I’ve alluded to this in other posts but I’ve been temporarily loaned out to another team within the company as they strive to ship their game in time for the end of the summer or beginning of the fall. This team is in a studio that’s in the eastern time zone, three hours ahead.
They’ve been really nice about scheduling virtual meetings for us Vancouver folk, as the earliest meeting that I’ve had to attend was at 10:30am I believe. Unfortunately, someone included me in a meeting that starts at 7:30am PDT tomorrow morning. Ironically, the purpose of the meeting is to learn about a system from one of our engineers who flew to the east coast from our Vancouver studio. This dude works in the same building as I do! It seems silly that I have to wake up early to call into a meeting so I can listen to him talk thousands of miles away. The system in question doesn’t even seem like something I need to know about.
I thought about just sleeping through the meeting. I think as a compromise though, I will connect to the meeting while I’m in bed, listen for a few minutes, and then quietly disconnect and go back to bed. No one can say I didn’t show up then.
I’ve had my very first chequing account at CIBC for probably close to two decades now. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been charged $2.50 a month under the line item “service charge”. No matter how many transactions I made, I was always charged the $2.50.
Now back when I used my debit card frequently, this seemed like a good deal because I saw that other bank accounts charged up to $1.50 per transaction, which is criminal. I just assumed that the $2.50 was like a flat fee of sorts for whatever I wanted to do with that account on a monthly basis.
About a month ago, I noticed the bank announce new savings and chequing accounts. These accounts had new fee structures, including provisions for no monthly fees given certain requirements were met. I met all these requirements and I began to wonder why I was still paying $2.50 a month. My chequing account remains an old type that is still grandfathered into the system.
Last weekend, I marched into the CIBC branch downstairs to inquire about switching my old chequing account to one of the new ones so that I wouldn’t have to pay the $2.50 a month. It’s not a big savings but every dollar counts these days.
One of the CIBC representatives met me in their office and I explained to them what I wanted to do. They looked up my info and almost immediately said, “Oh, that $2.50 is from the paper statements that we still mail you.” They went onto say that if I signed up for electronic statements, I would no longer be charged the $2.50 a month.
I was pretty choked to hear this because the line item has always been described as simply a “service charge”. If I knew that the $2.50 I was being charged every month was for the privilege of having a paper statement mailed to me I would have cancelled that damn things years ago.
I told the CIBC rep that the charge should have been more descriptive and that because they weren’t clear, I’d been wasting $2.50 a month for who knows how long. I got them to immediately switch me over to electronic bank statements and now the $2.50 monthly charge will go away.
The lesson here is to always be sure what you’re being charged money for. Never assume and always get clarification. I don’t even want to know much money I’ve wasted over the years because of some paper statements.
Some friends of mine are visiting from out of town and they have their three year-old son with them. It’s the first time I’ve met said child. We planned on meeting up on Sunday afternoon. At first I naively suggested we get lunch but the parents said that their son would probably not be able to sit very still throughout a regular, adult lunch.
I don’t possess any children so I didn’t have many other alternatives to suggest but I did come up with the idea of going to Science World. That place is super kid-friendly and their little boy had a very enjoyable time there.
It had been many years since my last visit to Science World and I had forgotten how many small children visit that place on the weekends. It was full of younger kids. I became very aware that I probably shouldn’t touch anything. Many of the parents I know have told me that becoming a parent of small children means you’ll get sick more often. Little kids love touching things and then touching their own faces, which is great way to get sick. Then they’ll bring home those germs and viruses and infect their parents.
So this afternoon I was in a facility full of little children, some of them possibly ill, with hands-on exhibits all around me. I did my best not to touch stuff, which is a shame since they were a lot of interesting displays that encouraged touching (somewhat like some gentlemen’s clubs).
I washed my hands at least once while I was there and I washed them again when I returned home. I hope that was enough to stave off any germs that might have been there.
Legendary comedian Don Rickles passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 90. One of the greatest comics to ever grace a stage or the couch on any talk show, his unique way of insulting anyone and everyone will likely never be seen again. It became an honour if Rickles deemed you worthy of a zinger.
I was lucky enough to start watching Rickles as a kid, when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at the desk. I saw the old clips where he’d lambast Frank Sinatra himself. How many people in the world could get away with that?
In the above clip, Jimmy Kimmel gives a heartfelt and touching tribute to his friend, whom he got to know after his first appearance on his show. It was clear their friendship was truly special.
The city of Chicago has a Major League Soccer team which goes by the name of Chicago Fire. When I first heard of the team, I initially thought it was named after their fire department because I didn’t think the alternative was possible. Alas, I was wrong, the name of the team is actually derived from the Great Chicago Fire. In that disaster, 300 people were killed and over 100,000 residents lost their homes. As turn of the century disasters go, this one was a pretty substantial one.
I suppose the team name memorializes that event and recognizes the disaster’s place in city history. Sure that’s fine but let’s use that same argument and imagine, if you will, if some professional sports team in New York decided to name themselves the “New York 9/11s”. There would be a lot of uproar for sure. I’m guessing that time makes things less sensitive. The Great Chicago Fire happened well over a hundred years ago now. Anyone who was directly affected by the fire has now been long gone. There is no one left to be offended by the soccer team’s name. This is why things like this slide, which recreates another tragedy, got to the point where someone actually decided to make it.
It would not surprise me that perhaps 100 years from now (if civilization hasn’t ended yet), there will be a team called the “New York 9/11s” and no one would really raise an eyebrow at that.
I admit that over the years I’ve had to deal with varying degrees of anxiety over pooping at work. The problem in the past has stemmed by this odd reliance in North American work culture on the use of semi-private washroom stalls with massive gaps between doors, walls, and the floor. For some reason, in this continent, it became the norm to let people partially see that you were taking a dump.
Previously, I’ve been lucky enough to work at two studios that private, single-occupant washrooms. I actually quite enjoyed pooping at work in those places. For the longest time, however, the studio here in Burnaby was in short supply of private washrooms. That is until the new washrooms opened up in the newly renovated cafeteria. Before there were two standard washrooms, one for women and the other for the boys, all with the peep show stalls. Now that’s been replaced by a unisex washroom with a common sink area and a large number of private stalls. Each stall has a floor to ceiling thick wooden door. No stupid gaps between the floor and the door. The walls of the stall also are floor to ceiling, giving you complete privacy. It’s more like a room than a stall. Each stall also features individual exhaust systems to continuously pump in fresh air. To top it off, there’s a speaker on the ceiling that pipes in music, either for your enjoyment or to mask the horrendous sounds your colon is making. The lighting in there is also great, bright but not harsh. It’s really an oasis.
I take all my work poops in that washroom now and it’s really been quite enjoyable. There’s no hesitation or anxiety in the slightest. I love doing my business there. At first, when the washrooms were new, people weren’t sure what was in there so most of the stalls were free all day. Now, as word spreads, the popularity of the washroom can lead to busy times and fully occupied stalls. I’ve discovered that 1pm to 2pm can be busy time in there. You’ll want to go in the morning or later in the afternoon.
If you ever visit me at work, get me to show you this amazing place!
YouTube star and former NASA engineer Mark Rober stopped by Jimmy Kimmel to show off some science/engineering based April Fool’s pranks. Most of these you can do at home with everyday household items, including the last bit in this segment.
On Saturday morning, I was perusing the vast realms of information on the Internet, while in bed on my phone. I had woken up too early and I wanted to get back to sleep again but I decided to check out the state of the world.
On Facebook, I saw that a friend of mine had been tagged in some photos at a conference. I was looking through the album and it should be noted that my friend didn’t make the album. Some other person had taken the photos and just tagged my friend. At this point, I got sleepy again, and phone still in hand, I fell asleep. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I must have made contact with the screen at least twice before it turned off. One of the touches brought up the photo album’s owner’s Facebook profile. Keep in mind, I don’t know this person. A subsequent touch must have clicked on “Add Friend”.
I later woke up and started on my day, going about my business. I then received an e-mail from Facebook saying that “so and so” had accepted my friend request. I was puzzled at who that was and when I had last sent a friend request. It then clued in on me that this person was the photo album owner. I like to keep my friends list pretty tight and relevant so I was wondering what to do. First, I could just unfriend this person without any fanfare. It would be easy but they’d probably wonder why I sent the request in the first place. Second, I could send them a simple message explaining the situation and then unfriend afterwards. Third, I could just do nothing and just hide all their posts from my timeline.
I’m leaning towards option three since it requires the least amount of work and avoids any awkwardness.