SIMPLE PLEASURES

I bought a Pyrex measuring cup today. It has a two cup capacity. I’ve owned a plastic measuring cup for years now but that one now leaks from all the cracks in it. It developed cracks because I kept pouring boiling water into it. It wasn’t really designed to hold a liquid that hot. The quick change in temperature caused stress in the plastic and now the whole thing is covered in leaky cracks.

It started leaking during the pandemic. Instead of going to Starbucks, I began making my own coffee from instant. I used the plastic measuring cup to dole out the correct amount of boiling water. I guess the daily stress of hot water was too much.

So my new measuring cup is made of Pyrex, which isn’t invincible, but should stand up to the heat stress a bit better than the plastic. I was genuinely excited to get this new measuring cup. When you get old, things like a new measuring cup can make your life easier and more satisfying.

Ok, I’m going to bed early tonight.

YOU CAN GO

A co-worker and I were discussing the United States this afternoon and we were both surprised to see that one could theoretically fly to the state of Arizona and attend an NFL football game. To be clear, we would be able to enter Arizona without the requirement of a quarantine period. This means we could go straight from the airport to the football stadium if we wanted to. It’s even highlighted in red on the Arizona tourism web site with “As of October 2020, there are no travel restrictions for individuals visiting Arizona”. Perfect! For completeness, I will just say that on Tuesday, Arizona reported more than 1,000 new cases.

The interesting thing is, I believe there are people who look at this risk and are willing to take the chance. I personally don’t know of any Canadians who have willingly traveled to the United States for tourism/pleasure since mid-March but you just know there are some people who can’t resist going south for some fun. I don’t want to say these people live in Alberta or are from Kelowna because that would be stereotyping, so I won’t say that. That would be bad.

In comparison, if I wanted to visit Atlantic Canada, I could but I would require a 14-day quarantine. It’s smart, decisive, and the type strong, public health leadership that these trying times require. I am proud of the residents of Atlantic Canada for doing their part. As a reward, life is nearly normal there. No NFL football games but I think it’s a fair trade.

NEXT-GEN

Next month both Microsoft and Sony will release their new gaming consoles. I know many people will buy them as soon as they are able to but I’ll be waiting for a while.

There are a few reasons for this. First, I have a huge backlog of games I still need to get through on my PlayStation 4 and on my PC. These games have been bought and paid for, so it doesn’t make sense to spend more money when I have existing entertainment that I can consume. Second, these new consoles will probably be best experienced with a 4K TV that has high dynamic range capabilities. My current TV is a plasma display with a 1080p resolution and is about ten years old now. It works perfectly fine and I’m still happy with it but if I were to get one of these new consoles, it would require me to get a new TV to make the most of their abilities. So, it would be more logical to get like an OLED TV first before the console. Lastly, consoles are at their most expensive at launch. You pay for the privilege of being one of the first group of people on the planet to play games on the latest hardware. By waiting, you can probably save a few bucks when they’re discounted. Also, by then, all the launch issues should be ironed out, the game libraries will be larger, and the games themselves should be discounted as well.

It’s cool to be an early adopter but I have lots of reasons to wait.

FILL ‘ER UP

I went to fuel up my car for the first time last week. As expected, it seems to be great with gas. Having bought the car in mid-September, it went almost a month without needing to visit the gas station. Yes, I don’t drive every day, so that helps but that first tank did get me to the airport and back, a few trips to my parents place, and some random jaunts to get food and supplies. My car’s computer tells me that my current fuel efficiency is 7.2L/100km, which is good if you compare it to my old vehicle. My 1994 Honda Accord, according to the Internet, would consume 10.2L/100km and that’s for a brand new one. With the aging Accord I had, I’m sure it guzzled more than that.

Not surprisingly, the tank capacity on my Corolla is less than on the Accord. The Accord had a 64.5L tank compared to a 50L tank in the Corolla. With a more fuel efficient car, I should be able to go farther on the same amount of gas or fuel up less, depending on how much I drive.

FIFA 21 CREDITS

Earlier this month FIFA 21 was released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. I had a very tiny contribution to this game and for that, my name was put into the credits, along with other people who did much more work than I did over the last few months.

This is my first time working on a FIFA game and I didn’t realize how many people are involved in its development. The credits list rolls on for more than an hour and a half. That’s by far the longest credits list that I’ve been a part of. Did half the company have a part in this game somehow?

I don’t expect anyone to watch the credits above but if you’re curious to the various groups that get included, feel free to explore. Also, by total luck the person who made the above video used a thumbnail frame that just happened to have my name in it.

COLDER

A few weeks ago I wrote how I was surprised at how the warm weather was sticking around as we approached Thanksgiving. That has now changed as you can feel the autumn weather has taken hold. The multi-day rains have begun. In particular, it rained quite heavily during parts of the long weekend. The thermometer in my apartment shows a four degree Celsius drop from the sunnier days in September. Outside, the lows now drop into the single digits. On Sunday, the low is supposed to be three degrees. That’s chilly for Vancouver in October.

It’s really not practical to wear shorts outside now. If I’m outside after the sun has gone down, I need to wear a jacket. I had to turn on the heat in my car on the weekend as well.

Of course, this is going to be an autumn like no other as the pandemic is still on-going here. I supposed it’s going to be more of the same, just with colder temperatures, worse weather, and less going outside. There’s also the fast approaching cold and flu season. Speaking of which, I’m getting a flu shot this year. My employer is offering it this year. I have to go into the studio to get it done. It’ll be all very controlled and the same protocols as when I went to pick up my personal items will be in place. That’s happening next month.

For those in the southern hemisphere, I envy you as the spring weather approaches and things get warmer. Trust me, the pandemic is slightly more bearable during the sunnier months.

INSURANCE

My strata corporation renews its yearly insurance policy in October, while I do mine in February. The offset timing is an inconvenience because the building’s insurance policy terms can change and then I have to go update my insurance policy mid-year. We owners never get an appreciable amount of notice as to what gets changed.

This year, we had about eight hours notice that our deductible for water damage originating from our unit was going up from $50,000 to $75,000. I know my policy from last February covered me for the $50k water damage deductible. This new policy went into effect last Friday. I wasn’t able to get my own policy updated until today, a Tuesday. That meant that for four days, if someone sprung a leak in my place and caused damage to common property, I’d be liable for the $25k difference in what I’m covered for and what the new deductible is.

I had planned on doing laundry on the weekend but since it was a long weekend, I had trouble contacting my insurance company and getting my policy changed. There’s always a risk of one of the hoses leaking and causing a flood. I delayed doing my laundry for a day while I wondered what the risk would be. In the end, I rolled the dice on this and I did a load of laundry that was much needed. There were no leaks this time but knowing my luck, it would have not surprised me if something did happen.

I finally got the policy updated today. It shouldn’t have taken four days to do this but like I said, the long weekend made things more difficult. If you live in an apartment, you should always get insurance, no matter if you’re an owner or a renter. It’s especially important if you’re the owner. Always send a copy of the strata’s insurance policy to your insurance company so they can make sure your policy covers you completely.

ASKING TO BE RUN OVER

As I wrote in an earlier post, I had Friday off so I took the car out for a spin. I was on my way home, trying to get on the highway. About fourteen seconds into the above video you can see a dude just walk right into the middle of the road. He appears out of nowhere. He doesn’t even look my way before crossing. He’s not even close to an intersection or a crosswalk. Where is he even coming from? There’s no real sidewalk on this road and it looks like he’s coming from out of the bushes. Where is he going to? The bushes on the other side of the road?

I had to apply my brakes otherwise I definitely would have hit him had I kept on going. You can tell on the video that my speed decreased. What an idiot this guy was.

I guess on a positive note, this new dashcam is providing entertainment for the blog.