The CEO of the company I work for sent out an e-mail to all employees today. He wanted to update us on the new timeline for employees returning to our studios for work. Since March of 2020, this date has been unsurprisingly pushed back. If you can believe it, when we all first began working from home, the initial target return date was in two weeks time. Of course that did not happen.
In the latest update, their best guess estimate for a return to our studios is now September of 2021. This lines up with when most countries will have had a chance to vaccinate their entire general population. Though it wasn’t stated in the e-mail, I’m almost certain this was the yardstick by which they used to measure when to return safely.
If this holds true, most of us will have been working from our homes for over a year and a half by the time we all go back. Another spring and summer will be spent at home. We did it last year and I’m sure we can do it again.
This afternoon I realized that I had run so low on groceries that I made frozen hash browns for lunch. That’s not a great lunch. It contained very little protein and none of those leafy green vegetables you’re supposed to eat every day.
If I was working with my previous team, I would have been able to just drop everything and go downstairs and do a grocery run but my current team requires a bit more from me, so I had to wait until after work to get some food.
I fell asleep after dinner this evening. I rarely do that but I guess I didn’t get enough sleep last night. On that note, it’s time for bed. Goodnight everyone!
Depending on when you’re reading this post, the above video may or may not have premiered yet on YouTube. If it has, you’ll be able to watch the gameplay trailer for Season 8 of Apex Legends.
As I mentioned in several posts, I made a move to a new team internally in November but didn’t mention any more details. I can now say that I’m part of Respawn Vancouver, working on Apex Legends. Season 8 will be the newest content for the game that I had a hand in developing. I’m quite pleased to be on the team and working on a game that is so popular. This is probably the highest profile game that I’ve had the chance to contribute to, so it means a lot to me. I hope players will like what we’ll be giving to them in Season 8.
So, this morning I had a meeting where I didn’t have to join the Zoom call until I was messaged on Slack (imagine reading this sentence just five years ago). This meeting is for sprint planning and it doesn’t make sense to have ten other people on a call, listening to one person’s tasks that they don’t care about. When it’s your turn, they message you on Slack.
I was given an order in which people are going to be called in and I was in the middle of the pack. Now about 20 minutes after the meeting started, I had to go poop. It seemed like the meeting was going long, so I thought I could quickly poop before the meeting got to my turn. I quickly checked Slack and I had no unread messages, so I turned to go toward my bathroom when I heard the Slack notification go off. It was my turn to join the meeting. If that message had come in 15 seconds later, I would have been on the toilet with a messy bum.
Luckily, my part of the meeting only took about five minutes and I got to poop right after I left the call. It does make me wonder how many people have conducted Zoom meetings on the toilet.
As President Biden moved into the White House today, I noticed things seem to return to normal. Dare I say, it even appeared to be a bit boring near the end of the day. There was nothing substantial to report, at least politically as the night approached. I think that is a fantastic sign. In many ways, you know things are going ok when politics is boring. These last four years have been a dumpster fire and people have been bracing themselves on a daily basis for the newest round of bad news. It feels like we could go entire days without having to know what’s going on in Washington. That is refreshing.
I don’t have much time to write anything tonight. I’d like to get to bed since I want to get up early to watch the inauguration tomorrow morning. I feel like a lot of hope that has been absent in many people will cautiously return tomorrow at noon eastern time.
My former lead engineer on the FIFA team sent me a message on Slack today to ask me how I was doing. He wanted to know how I was fitting in with my new team. That was an incredibly kind gesture on his part. As you might already know, I did not enjoy being on my last team, though it had nothing to do with him. In fact, his understanding nature was one of the few highlights I had.
Still, having a dude on his team that didn’t want to be there definitely added to his list of things to worry about, on top of trying to develop a video game. He had every right to say good riddance but that’s not his style for a classy dude like him.
I was happy to tell him I’m doing really well on my new team and I don’t regret making the move. He was delighted to hear this. I then asked him how he and the rest of my old team was doing. Everything seems to be going as it should be, which means controlled and measured progress on that team.
There aren’t enough good people in this world and when you’re lucky enough to interact with some of them, don’t take it for granted.
One month ago this Sunday my sister gave birth to her first baby, a beautiful little girl named Raya. I am officially an uncle now. Unfortunately, I have not met my niece in person yet. My sister and her husband live on the Island and because of the pandemic, it wasn’t safe for any family on either side to come see the baby. My parents are grandparents now, something they’ve waited for a long time to be true. I feel for them the most. We are going to assess the situation again in a few weeks and see if a visit is sensible and safe for everyone involved. In the meantime, I’ve seen my niece through pictures and video calls. I am greatly looking forward to the day that I can cradle her in my arms for the first time. One day in a hopefully safer future, I will discuss with her the extraordinary world circumstances under which she was born.
I can’t say I have the role of uncle all figured out but people tell me it’s pretty easy. All I have to do is buy her things that have no educational value, let her eat junk food with me, and introduce her to hobbies like video games and skeet shooting. Some of these things I won’t be able to share with her for a few years but that’s ok.
I received a text message from my cell phone provider indicating that my monthly plan is going up $5 starting in March. In total, that would mean I’d pay $45 a month going forward. I know many people pay much more than that a month for cell phone service but I think that’s almost criminal. For my $45, I get 6 GB of 3G data (not LTE), unlimited North American calling and texting. It’s fairly standard.
I don’t need 6 GB of mobile data though. With the work from home situation, I’m never on public transit anymore, which was where I used most of my mobile data. I checked and last month, I used 250 MB of mobile data, out of the 6 GB that I paid for. Even when I was commuting, on a high-usage month, I’d use between 1 and 2 GB of mobile data.
With the looming price increase, this was a good time to check out plans from other providers. While I haven’t chosen anything yet, it looks like I could change providers and for $36 a month, I could get 4 GB of LTE data, and the rest of the plan is almost identical to my old plan. The only difference I can see is that I don’t have unlimited calls to the U.S., which I can’t remember the last time I called an American number.
The highlight of this new plan would be the faster LTE network and the cheaper price. I guess I have to thank my current provider for raising prices because it pushed me to get a better deal. I wonder if their analysts did the math and calculated that more people would stay and accept the increased prices than leave (and thus get no more revenue from them). Companies don’t make these decisions lightly.