In what seems like a lifetime ago, my employer made an educated guess many moons ago that we would see employees returning to workplaces starting in February of 2022. This guess was, of course, before the many variants began ravaging the world.

For those following along, February of 2022 is next month, just scant weeks away. It should come as no surprise that my employer is no longer expecting or allowing employees to return to workplaces in great numbers or even any numbers at all. In fact, they’ve gone backwards and sent home the small skeletons crews that were on-site previously.

In addition, they’ve announced they will be no longer giving out global “date of return”. The situation is just too fluid now to make grand predictions and should be we ever return to work, it will be done on a per jurisdiction basis.

It seems like I will be working from home for a long time to come.


After spending several days moving back my furniture and cleaning up my apartment, I was able to place my new robot vacuum and its charger. I’ve had it for weeks but I didn’t want to use it until after my apartment was painted and everything was moved back into place.

It’s not the fanciest robot vacuum out there (not a Roomba) but it does have lidar, which enables the vacuum to “see” the rooms it is working in and also to map out the entire floor space. This allows it to clean in straight lines, rather than earlier robot vacuums which used an algorithm that looked mostly like random movements to cover all the rooms. The image above is a somewhat current map of my apartment, seen through the laser “eye” of the vacuum.

Another great thing about having a lidar robot vacuum is that you can then use an app to partition your living space into rooms. The boundaries are user-defined, you just draw them on the map on the app. In this way, you can tell the vacuum to clean one room. You can also draw virtual boundaries on the app, so the vacuum knows not to try to clean there. In the above map, the dark red areas are closets that the vacuum shouldn’t and doesn’t need to clean, so I don’t want it try to.

If ten year-old me could see this robot vacuum, the integration of it with the app on a smartphone, and what it can do (see with lasers, avoid obstacles, charge itself), my little child brain would hardly be able to believe it wasn’t some sorta science fiction. As terrible as the world might be right now, at least we have robot vacuums now.


This evening I had to turn my alarm back on which made me sad. After about three weeks of being away from work, I have to “go back” tomorrow. I’ve been away for so long, I think I’ve forgotten how to do certain things. I guess that’s how you know you had a long break.


Tomorrow is my last day of freedom before I have to go back to work after the holidays. It’s been three weeks of time off but I gotta admit, this business of getting my apartment painted has been a real pain in the ass. I’m still cleaning up my living room and only half of my living room stuff has been put back into place. My bedroom is back to normal thankfully.

Yes, my newly painted apartment looks great but the lazy side of me wonders what else I could have been doing for the last week and a half instead of dealing with all this painting crap.


I received my booster vaccine shot today. When I became eligible for the booster shot, my initial appointment was for the 29th of January, which meant I was going to need to wait almost a month for it. With the pandemic going the way it is, that seemed too long to wait. I kept refreshing the available appointments every day. I believe that due to cancellations and increased availability, lots of people were able to move up their appointments.

My first rescheduled appointment was supposed to be for tomorrow at the Vancouver Convention Centre. After refreshing the list of available appointments this morning, I was able to find a new appointment for today at a Shoppers Drug Mart that is much closer than downtown Vancouver. I have been told that lineups at the convention centre can be lengthy, with some people needing to wait an hour or more for their shot, even when they arrive on time.

My appointment was for 3pm and I only needed to wait about fifteen minutes for my shot. The shot was administered in a small room next to the pharmacy. While I believe a large clinic like the convention centre has both Moderna and Pfizer available, the pharmacy I went to today only had Pfizer. That was ok with me. Any shot is better than no shot.

I now have had three different brands of vaccines in my body. I started off with AstraZeneca, got Moderna in the summer, and now Pfizer for my booster. As with the Moderna shot, I have not felt any significant side effects at all. My arm is a tiny bit sore but other than that, it would be hard to tell that I even had a shot today.


I apologize for my extended absence here on the blog. I normally give the staff at this site a break over the holidays so they can relax and spend time with their loved ones. My absence was longer than normal for a few reasons.

Let me try to sum up what my holidays were like. I spent the majority of the remaining days of 2021 trying to do accomplish two things: staying warm and not catching COVID-19. The last two weeks or so of December were extremely cold ones for the greater Vancouver. It was unseasonably cold, with temperatures going down to around -13 in some cases. I was forced to turn the heat on almost on a 24-hour cycle, which rarely happens. It was bitterly cold, a deep freeze that Vancouver doesn’t see very often all. The air also got very dry which caused me to run my humidifier on a 24-hour cycle as well. I had my humidifier on full blast in my bedroom and it was competing against my baseboard heater. The heat would dry the air out and my humidifier would try to add back in some moisture. I could never get it above 30% humidity in my bedroom. I’d have to dial down the heat to get more moisture in the room but then it would be too cold. So it was either be warm and have itchy dry skin or cold and less itchy skin.

The cold also made for some interesting driving conditions. Before the heat would kick in, my steering wheel would be like an ice cube, so it felt like gripping a block of ice while steering. I don’t like driving with gloves, so this sucked. It of course snowed while it was this cold and invariably I would track snow into my car. I park my car exposed to the outside, so the snow would stay solid in my car sometimes. I also had a bottle of water in my car which froze solid for almost two weeks.

Of course, the holidays and freezing cold all is still occurring during a pandemic. Normally holidays are a time for seeing friends and family but those activities remained curtailed for a second straight year. I kept my social circle small and didn’t take many unnecessary risks. I managed to finish one game, The Outer Worlds, before the year ended.

I used vacation days to extend my holiday until the 13th of January, but I have to say, I haven’t felt very relaxed since the 2022 started. That’s because I had a painter come in to paint my place starting on January 3. That meant that I had to clean up and move my furniture and belongings before that. So while some people had a relaxing New Year’s Day and January 2, I was moving furniture and boxing stuff up and cleaning. The first week of the new year was basically me having my entire apartment unavailable other than sleeping. While the painter was painting in the apartment, I was either relegated to a small spot or I was hanging out somewhere locally. I also couldn’t sleep in during the week since the painter would start early in the morning. The painter finished on Friday and he left a mess despite saying he’d protect my floors, furniture and belongings from paint dust and paint splotches. It’s Sunday, and I my apartment is still not back to where it was before. I still have to do a ton of cleaning before I can move my furniture back. I basically put my bed back so I could sleep and just today I put my desk and computer back together. My living room is still a disaster, with everything piled into the center of it, all covered in a layer of paint dust.

I don’t go back to work until Thursday but I feel like I’ll be using all those days to just clean and move all my crap back into place. As far as I’m concerned, my last restful day where I was completely relaxed was well before the new year.