Just a few weeks ago, I was lamenting the predictable end of the summer weather in Vancouver as August ticked over to September. Indeed, the first week of September gave us rain and colder temperatures. I was ready to put away the shorts and t-shirts but today I changed my mind. I’m going to attempt to wear shorts until it’s not practical. Now, the threshold of what is “practical” remains to be seen. I know some dudes have very high threshold of “practical” and wear shorts year-round. I already know that is not for me.
I do know, however, that I will wear shorts tomorrow. The high is going to be 18 degrees Celsius, which is far from cold. The only iffy thing is that there’s 43% chance of precipitation tomorrow around noon. That shouldn’t matter since I’ll be already inside at that time. With a 15% chance of precip at 6pm, I feel pretty good about going bare-legged tomorrow.
Of course, I won’t be stupid about though. I’ll bring a hoodie just in case I need it. Also, it being Vancouver, I’ll have an umbrella with me too. Who knows how long this will last? I’ll probably give it up once the torrential rains come, which could be as early as next week.
On Saturday evening I had the pleasure of seeing comedian Norm Macdonald perform live at the River Rock Casino. Norm is one of my favourite comedians and has been since his days at the anchor desk of Weekend Update on SNL. Despite living in the US for many years, Norm still has a great fondness for his homeland, which also adds to his appeal as one of many successful Canadian comics.
Norm did not disappoint and his set was performed very much in his style. He sometimes appears to ramble on and you’re not sure where the joke is going but you have to put your trust in him. You’re in good hands and he’ll lead you to the punchline eventually. He covered topics all across the board, jumping from one thing to another. He did a short bit about Bill Cosby and one of the jokes came from the Larry King interview you see above.
Norm also talked about getting old. He straight up said that his penis didn’t work as well as it used to and he wondered why people could retire from having sex like you retire from working. He also did an amazing bit about male masturbation. He revealed that he can only fantasize being with average women because even in his fantasies, he can’t imagine that an attractive woman would want to join him in carnal pleasure.
As a testament to his rambling style, at one point, he let on that he had got to the end of his material twenty minutes ago and that he had been just randomly talking about stuff since then. No one could tell as it all seemed to be all part of his set. Apparently the stage manager had signaled to him several times that he could leave the stage but Norm just ignored him.
Norm has a fairly active Twitter account, so you can view all the Periscope videos he made during the weekend here in Vancouver. Some people also paid extra money for a meet and greet (which I did not even know about) and their photos can be viewed here.
I’m now past the half way point of my one-year contract at EA, which means I’m now eligible for benefits at the company. The benefits for temporary full-time employees aren’t as good as RFTs as we miss out on bonuses and the sweet RRSP matching. Losers can’t be choosers though, so I’m just happy for the medical and dental benefits. The timing is good because it’s time for my regular dental check-up this month anyways.
Now that I have my work benefits, I can cancel my own personal health plan that I started with Manulife around November. I paid about $67 a month, mainly because I wanted my dental to be covered because my check-ups were billed at over $200 sometimes. In the end, I didn’t take advantage of the plan as much as I should have. For example, I neglected to get registered massage therapy which I was covered for up to $400 a year I think. Stuff like that made it a bad deal for me. Though, it was great when I went to San Diego, because my plan had travel insurance included.
Will I go get another personal health care plan once my contract ends in February? I’m not sure as I’m currently leaning towards no. It might make sense for people with families but maybe not for me.
On the weekend, I got off my ass and ordered some emergency gear online. First up was a very basic emergency kit. For those keeping track at home, this kit has several types of candles, light sticks, first-aid kit, hand warmers, water purification tables, emergency ponchos, emergency blankets, camp stove, and headlight. These things probably won’t allow me to survive a nuclear winter but it’s better than nothing. Just having this kit will probably put me in better shape than the average city dweller out there.
The second item I ordered were some emergency rations. They are designed to have a five-year shelf life and provide the basic nutritional requirements. It won’t be a gourmet meal but enough food to keep a single person alive for three days. Should an actual emergency occur, I’ll probably also have whatever foodstuffs I have on hand, so realistically, I should have way more than three days of food to eat.
My next concern might be water. I have about 4L on hand that I absolutely trust, in a sealed container away from light and heat. I think I could do with more water. Perhaps more importantly, I might need a personal water purification device like a LifeStraw. If it all goes to hell, 4L of water won’t last that long and I’ll need to find a different source.
One thing to keep in mind in all of this prep work for an emergency is that I actually need to survive the initial calamity that forces me to need to use all this stuff. I live 28 floors above ground. If an earthquake happens, I could be the most prepared person in the province but I still need to survive that quake. None of the equipment I have will matter if a ton of concrete lands on me as the building goes down. Similarly, there’s no use in having emergency rations for a year if I get bitten by a zombie in the first hours of the apocalypse.
There is currently a cucumber recall in parts of Canada due to a possible salmonella contamination. I didn’t really think twice about this because I can’t even remember the last time I even bought a cucumber. Then it dawned on me I ate some cucumber in a chef’s salad for dinner tonight, purchased from Save-On-Foods, one of the supermarkets listed in the recall.
Now I might be ok since the recall covers cukes sold on or before September 4th. The label on my salad said it was prepared on the 7th of September, which was yesterday. Of course, the date it was prepared doesn’t mean that was the date the cucumber arrived at the store. It’s unlikely though they would have made the salad with the bad cucumbers given the recall was known on the 7th. I mean, that would be irresponsible right? Well, as I like to say, if there is a non-zero chance of something happening, that means that something could happen.
The symptoms of food poisoning brought about by salmonella will appear within 12 to 72 hours. If I’m not sick by the end of Friday, I know I’m good. Let the countdown begin!
Tomorrow is just another work day for me (that is if I can make it to work in a crowded bus) but for many students, it will be their first day of post-secondary education; some will be ambivalent, some will be excited, and some will be scared out of their minds.
For many, it will be their first step in gaining 20 pounds before the end of December. Oh, I remember those heady carb- and fat-filled days of yesteryear. What’s exciting to me is that somewhere out there is the possibility that this is the first day of university for the person who cures cancer or discovered practical nuclear fusion. I also have no doubt that tomorrow will also be the first day of school of that guy who invents this totally new way to experience porn.
There are many reasons to love summer. I love the longer days with more sunlight. The warm and sunny weather is also nice. I’m also quite appreciative of the students who are not in class. You see, the bus I take to work also goes by a large post-secondary institute. During the months where students are in class, that particular bus route is packed with students in the morning. When I first started my job in March, it was like sardines in a can in the mornings. I rarely got a seat though I am thankful my stop is only five to seven minutes away once the bus departs.
In May, the students left for the summer and things were pleasant, lots of room on the bus all morning. Alas, these last few months of freedom are now over. On Tuesday, the students are back to school and I’ll once again have to try to avoid backpacks being swung into my face because people don’t know how to ride the bus.
During the last TV season I found that I was particularly taken by a large number of new shows. I wrote about that briefly in a previous post where I posited that would be the kiss of death for those shows. Oh Selfie, you were gone far too soon. Anyways, a few of those shows hung around for season 2! Yay!
While it’s good news that some shows are returning, in some cases, I never got around to finish watching the entire season. Due to the modern world providing an average person a plethora of ways to waste their time on this planet, many episodes of various shows remain unwatched. When summer rolled around, I decided I’d have months to catch up on these shows before the fall season rolled around. Well, of course I used the summer to do things other than watch TV. I played video games and went outside.
So now it’s September and the new TV fall season is fast approaching. For some shows I’m lucky in that their season premieres won’t happen until the beginning of 2016, like Daredevil and 12 Monkeys. Going the other extreme, two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead have already aired and I haven’t even watched the first one. As a side note, I’ve walked by the set FtWD a few times during the summer in downtown Vancouver.
Anyways, now that the weather is all crappy, I’ll have more time to be inside to finish my TV watching and start accumulating fat for the colder months.
I took a nap this evening, which is quite normal. I often take naps as I find it leaves me feeling more rested the next day. Tonight’s nap was a bit longer than usual but I thought it would be ok as I would just take a sleeping pill later. The sleeping pill would allow me to fall asleep again so that I could get a normal night’s sleep.
Well, it’s after midnight now and I just discovered I’m all out of sleeping pills. Because of my extra long nap, I feel very awake right now. The drug store downstairs was open until 12am but I didn’t realize I was out of the pills until after that. I’m too lazy to go find a 24 hour drug store so I’m stuck with what I have at home. I managed to fish out a bottle of melatonin pills that expired over three years ago. I’m not really concerned about the pills expiry date, it’s just that melatonin doesn’t really affect me too much and definitely is not as effect as a regular sleeping pill.
Over the weekend, more than 700,000 people in the province were without power at some time. I believe the incident exposed the fact that the population of most large metropolises are unprepared for extended emergencies.
Though people had access to drinking water, there was no hot water. Though temperatures are still mild, the reality is some people were also without the ability to heat their homes. Food spoilage also became a concern as some people had freezers and refrigerators that were without power for over 48 hours.
There were multiple stories of people crowding into coffee shops, malls, and community centres to charge their various electronic devices. Restaurants who were lucky enough to have power were packed in some cases as people who couldn’t prepare meals at home had to get sustenance any way they could. Now I’m sure in many cases it was just more convenient and tastier to go to a restaurant than eating whatever they had at home that didn’t require cooking. How many of those people though, really could have gone that route though?
I’m guessing that many people would be in a lot of trouble if the electricity was out for everyone for a one week, as an example. The food spoilage thing was something that surprised me. I went to a large supermarket tonight and they had signs stating that many of their perishables were unavailable due to spoilage. Sure enough, the meat section barely had any beef items in it.
People need water, food, and shelter. Back in the “summer of me”, one of my grand projects was to prepare my home for an extended emergency. I only partially finished that project. I have on hand about 6 to 8 litres of water. I have a self-powered flashlight. I have some but not enough non-perishable food stuffs. I think I need a little more water, a lot more food, and a real emergency kit. I might even need a small camp stove for heat and to cook with.
I will spend next weekend seeing if I can start procuring these missing items.