After weeks of humid and rainy weather, a blast of cold air on the weekend dipped the temperatures below freezing. Sure, the rain isn’t great but being freezing cold and having your skin dry up like an ice cube in the desert sucks even worse.

I had naively put away my humidifier weeks ago but I had to bring it out because the moisture in the air dropped to almost 20% in my apartment. On Sunday afternoon alone, I dumped close to four litres of water into the air of my bedroom and it still was less than 50% humidity in there. Meanwhile, I’ve been applying moisturizer all over my body to ward off the itchiness.

Thankfully, tonight is supposed to be the last night of freezing weather for at least this week as the lows return to above zero.


At end of December I ordered some items from an online retailer. The package was going to be sent via Canada Post and by their estimation, it would get to me around the first week of January.

One day, a weekday, in the first week of January, I got a notification via e-mail from Canada Post that my package had been delivered and left in my mailroom. I read that e-mail about 50 minutes after it had been delivered. I went downstairs right away because package thieves are known to be working in my building.

As I was going downstairs in the elevator, I actually it was weird that they said my package had been left in the mailroom. Unlike Amazon delivery people, Canada Post rarely, if ever, place packages in my mailroom if the package doesn’t fit in the actual locked mailbox for each resident. They almost always leave a notice card and we’re supposed to pick up the package at a post office. At least from our building, theft from Canada Post should be way less frequent. I knew my package wasn’t going to into my tiny mailbox.

When I got downstairs, my package was nowhere to be seen. I looked several times around the mailroom but none of the packages there were mine. I went back upstairs and e-mail the online retailer and to their credit, they got back to almost immediately. They said they’d start an investigation on their end but told me to wait at least ten business days before contacting them again. As these items were less than $50 in value and not critical to my well-being, waiting ten business days was not a big deal to me.

On the twelfth business day I e-mail the retailer again to get an update. They immediately offered me either a refund or a new order shipped out again. As these items were non-essential, I briefly toyed with a refund but since a new order wouldn’t cost me any more money, I went with a re-order.

The new order shipped out the next day and it would take about a week or so to get to me. Such wonderful customer service from the retailer, who was so quick to respond and didn’t hesitate to give me options to make things right.

Two days later, I get a notification in my e-mail that a package was waiting for me at the local post office. This was unexpected because I have no other outstanding orders from anyone in flight, other than the one that was going to take several more days to get to me. What was this?

I clicked on the tracking link and it revealed that this was the original tracking notice from the beginning of the month! The latest set of status updates went from “delivered to mailroom” to “item available for pickup at post office”. What happened here? How does a supposedly “delivered” item get transported to a post office? I have no idea where my package was for the last three weeks or so. I went down to my mailbox and sure enough there was a notice card there so I could go get my package.

I immediately realized I had a problem here. My original package was now at the post office and the replacement was probably somewhere near Manitoba right now. I didn’t need a double-set of these items and frankly, it seemed kinda low if I just took both packages. I do, however, know that if I don’t pick up the package from the post office, it will just get sent back to the sender, without additional charges.

I came up with the idea that I’d just not pick up the package from the post office and the retailer would just get it back that way. I’d just wait for the new package to arrive and accept that one instead. Of course, I wanted to clear this with the retailer first. I e-mailed my solution to them and they agreed that would be acceptable.

I feel slightly bad for the retailer because in the grand scheme of things, they had to pay for shipping twice but they still get one set of the items back. I hope it won’t be too much hassle to re-stock them. I plan on writing a good review somewhere for them because their customer service was excellent.


I’m not sure if you can remember that far back but in the early spring of 2020, most of us spent a lot of time at home back then. Malls and restaurants were closed, lots of stuff was cancelled, and people didn’t do a whole lot. I was lucky to keep working back then and I noticed staying at home a lot meant I saved a metric ton of money.

For the months of April and May of 2020 and into the summer, I saved the largest percentage of my paycheque ever. It was perhaps the only good thing to come of those early months of the pandemic.

Well, it’s years later and we’re still in a pandemic, with the added bonus of everything costing a metric ton more. My condo insurance renews in early February and it will cost me just shy of $700 for the year. As a comparison, the same coverage cost me around $300 about ten years ago. I couldn’t believe my insurance was going to be that costly, so I shopped around recently. To my surprise, all the quotes I got were even higher. I’m actually getting a deal!

On top of this, the Bank of Canada raised the prime interest rate this week, which means my mortgage payments will increase yet again. There was a time where I paid about $600 a month in mortgage payments. Oh those golden times were sure fun.

All of this makes me want to duplicate my spending habits from the spring of 2020. No takeout meals. No dining in. No shopping. No frivolous spending on anything not essential to living or working. Cut spending for at least February to offset some of the insurance cost and higher mortgage payments.

I’m already trying hard to be good with my money. I’ve made all my meals at home this week, including an incredible “lasagna” soup with orzo and ricotta cheese. I wonder how long I can keep that up.


This evening, I started watching a TV series because I knew it filmed in my area. I fully admit, I would not have started watching it otherwise. I’m four episodes in and I can tell they filmed several scenes in a coffee shop and a restaurant that are located about a block from where I live.

The show isn’t half bad but sometimes I fast-forward through a scene just so that I can get to the next external location shot and recognize where in Vancouver they are. I didn’t know this show existed until last week but the first season came out in late 2017, so I’m really behind the times. For the first season, based on the weather in some of the scenes, I’m guessing they shot it in late 2016 or early 2017.

I know a lot of people will watch a show because a certain actor will be in it but I’m watching it because I just want to recognize my hometown in it.


Prior to getting my new floors installed, I had a small moth infestation in my apartment. Here is the story of how all this happened and how it got resolved.

I am actually not sure when I got the moths but I do know where they came from. The common hallway outside my apartment is carpeted and I remember that quite frequently, I would see these small flying insects in the hallway. I’d step outside the elevator and I’d see one or two of these things buzzing through the air.

I didn’t pay attention to these things because they were small and I’d see at most two of them at a time. One day, however, I noticed one of these damn things in my bedroom. It landed on a wall and I killed it. I didn’t think anything of it, partially because it was small, there was only one, and I didn’t know what it actually was.

It turns out, it was a common clothes moth. A few days later, I noticed another one in my bedroom, which I also killed. This got my attention because now I was seeing a pattern. On a hunch, I checked one of the closets in my bedroom. I got a flashlight and I rustled some of the clothes hanging in there. I immediately saw two of these damn things flying off. It was then I realized I had a problem and these were tiny moths. Worse yet, there were eating my clothes for food and almost assuredly reproducing in my closet.

What followed what a week long process of washing clothes and then putting the clean clothes in sealed bags. Textiles that I couldn’t wash, went into sealed bags with moth balls in them. I emptied my closets because I read that I needed to remove everything that they could eat or hide in. At the time, I still had carpet and my closets were also carpeted. The internet told me I had to vacuum the carpet to get rid of any potential eggs that might have been laid in the carpet. Gross.

Once the closets were empty, I noticed many dead moths on top of boxes that were in the closet and on the closet carpets as well. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign that they were dying in there or it was bad sign that they were enough moths to start piling up dead.

I did a thorough vacuum of both my bedroom closets and left them empty for a few days. I left my clean clothes in garbage bags and just got my clothes directly from the bags. After a few days, I felt it was safe enough to take a few items of clothing and hang them back in my closet. A day later or so, I noticed two or three moths flying in my bedroom. It was hard to say if these moths had been hiding out in the carpet in the rest of my bedroom or if I hadn’t been thorough enough with the closet carpets.

I again vacuumed the closet carpets and also vacuumed my bedroom carpet. By this time though, I had already made the decision to get vinyl flooring. So, not long after, I began ripping up my carpet. It took a while but eventually a junk service took away rolls of my old carpet.

I never saw any moths in my apartment after that and all my clothes hang in my closets again. Do you know where I actually did see moths again though? I saw them in the hallway outside my apartment. In fact, I distinctly remember coming home one day and as I was about to put my key into the lock, I saw a moth fluttering in front of my door, as if it knew I was about to open my door and it was waiting to fly inside. I smacked it against the door jamb and killed it.

I have a theory that somehow these moths got into the hallway and that one day, when I wasn’t vigilant, I came home, opened my door, and one of these moths got into my apartment. My home is moth-free for the time being and I haven’t seen any hallway moths for several months now. I hope it stays that way.


This weekend I had the fun task of doing a preliminary draft of my income tax return. It’s preliminary because I don’t have all my tax receipts, including the most important one, which is my T4. As such, some of the numbers I plugged in are just guesses or educated ones at least.

I’ve been doing these preliminary returns for a few years now because I need to find out if I’m gonna owe the government more money (and how much) or if I’m gonna get a refund. If the tax program tells me I owe money, then I try to figure out how much more of an RRSP contribution I need to make to roughly break even.

This year, if the calculations are to be believed and if I do nothing else, I am still owing the government about $300. If I then contribute another $750 to an RRSP, I will wind up with a refund of less than $20.

I feel fortunate that I have the contribution room and the actual money to dump another $750 to an RRSP. I have until the end of February to get this done, so I have plenty of time.


If you’ve looked at any of the headlines relating to business and/or technology recently, you must have noticed that the tech industry has experienced mass layoffs across some of the biggest companies in the world. To name just a few, Amazon, Unity, Salesforce, DoorDash, and Meta have all laid off significant numbers of people. Just today, Microsoft announced they’ll be letting go ten thousand people, some of whom found out today they no longer have a job.

My LinkedIn feed is full of people with posts about losing their jobs, just one after another. It doesn’t seem like there’s any other topic on that site.

For a while, at least during the summer, it seemed like maybe the video game industry would be immune to this but I’ve seen a few job losses in my industry too. It started off with some smaller studios having to let go some people but now, even Microsoft has decided to cut jobs at some of their studios, including those who worked on Halo and Gears of War.

From a personal point of view, I am astounded that none of this seems to have affected my current employer. EA used to be the leader in layoffs during every financial quarter during the very lean and dark years of the early 2010s. My co-workers and I would fear the end of each financial quarter, because that’s when the layoffs would most likely happen. I survived countless cuts but even I got laid off twice from the company I work for now.

I am not saying no one has been laid off in the last twelve months from my company but if it has happened, it hasn’t been the hundreds of people that used to get axed every year. We used to read about whole teams losing their jobs on the Internet, before the official e-mail even was sent to the rest of the employees. That is not happening now.

It oddly feels safe to be where I am now as thousands of people worldwide struggle to find new work in the tech industry. This is a bizzaro world because a decade ago, I was the one who was always on shaky ground and the Amazons and Microsofts of the world were source of the stable jobs. How is it this has flipped now?

Of course, since I wrote about this now, I have jinxed myself. Our quarterly financial results will be released on January 31, in less than two weeks. I have tempted fate by writing this post, let’s see what happens.


I spent some of my valuable weekend afternoon hours recently to go to the dentist. I was due for a cleaning, so this was a regularly scheduled appointment. Due to bad genetics and bad luck, I have to work hard to keep my teeth clean all the time. At a minimum, I have to brush two times a day with an electric toothbrush and I always floss at least once a day. Even if I religiously keep to that schedule, it’s never a guarantee that the dentist won’t find something wrong with my teeth every six months.

So, while last weekend’s cleaning went very well and quickly (they barely had to scrape off any plaque at all), I was waiting for the dentist to tell me what new cavities or oral malady he found this time around. To my surprise, he found none. I get another reprieve for about six months. Again, that’s not a sign that I can neglect my dental care going forward. I need to continue to brush and floss every single day. Do you know there are people who don’t brush twice day and never floss, rarely go to the dentist, yet still don’t get cavities? I’m not one of those lucky sons of bitches. Genetic lottery winners.


Recently, I wrote about a post about when the new studio location would be ready for people to work in (if they wanted to go in for work). They said it was going be February but I knew that wasn’t realistic. It turns out they weren’t too far off of that. We received updated news this week that the Vancouver portion of the team that I work with is slated to be given the ok to work in the new location starting March 6th.

Of course we live in different times now compared to when we were all together last. Some people have moved away from Vancouver and will stay remote. Others are still in or around Vancouver but still have no interest in returning to the studio. Some will do a hybrid of remote and on location. Lastly, some will go old school and do five days a week at the new location.

I know that many, many months ago when we were all asked to choose one of those options, I marked down that I wanted to be hybrid. That makes less sense now. Most of the people I work with directly are not located in Vancouver. No matter if I worked from home or in the new studio, my main methods of communication would still be Slack and Zoom. The only question is, do I want to wake up early, slog through a commute on both ends of my day, just so I can do Slack and Zoom at the studio. Most of the time, the answer to that will be no.

The only real reason for me to go in will be perhaps for social reasons, To chat with people I haven’t seen in a while. Maybe there might be a free food day or something. Otherwise, I’ll get more sleep, be more efficient, and have more time for myself if I continue to work from home.

I’m open to change however, so I’ll see how the studio opening goes. I might drop by in March, just to take a look. I’ll take pictures of course.


My internet service provider has informed me that I lose access to the internet in about two minutes so that emergency maintenance can occur tonight. They say it might take up to four hours, which basically means I won’t have internet for the rest of evening. I am glad I watched a few streaming shows before the shutdown.

I need to hurry and press the “publish” button now.