So those new ant bait traps arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Each trap is basically clear plastic packaging that contains a sticky, thick clear liquid. Just look at it here.

The instructions tell you to break or snip off one end of the package and place it label side up on a surface where the ants will find it. In this configuration, the liquid stays inside the trap and the ants are supposed to then make their way into the trap via the hole at the end, feed, and then leave. I quickly discovered this was not gonna work for me.

The ants that are infesting my apartment are much smaller than the ants you might have seen outside on a sidewalk or something. I believe they are called pharaoh ants. These ants are tiny. The opening to the traps is elevated off the ground and are way too high for them to easily get into the opening. The second issue is that the liquid bait inside the trap isn’t attractive enough for them to smell it and then investigate. They just ignored it or couldn’t smell it.

Some of the reviews of this trap mentioned they had pour small drops of the liquid bait directly onto the surfaces where the ants might find them. I did this and I also discovered I had to pour the liquid right in the paths of where they would traverse. A drop even like 5mm away from their “highways” would not be touched or noticed. I also used a cotton-tip to apply the bait along a vertical crack in the cabinetry where I saw lots of ants coming and going.

I did this both under my kitchen and bathroom sink. Last evening, I had dozens and dozens of ants eating from the bait in both locations. My original thinking was that the kitchen sink had more ants but it was the bathroom that attracted more. Keep in mind, I taped off the most probably point of ingress in the kitchen, so this is most likely a sign, I’m closer to solving the problem in the kitchen.

Anyways, after a night of feeding, I went to check both areas this morning. In another good sign, all the ants had left and I saw no dead ants anywhere. This meant that the ants that fed had taken the bait back to wherever they have their home and I’m hoping they shared the deadly bait with others.

This evening, I haven’t seen a whole lot of ants in either location but I refreshed the bait areas anyways. This liquid stuff tends to harden a bit after 24 hours and the manufacturer recommends keeping the bait as liquid as possible.

I’ll check again later this evening to see if the ants come back to feed. My hope that the extermination process has started and the ants will start dying in another day or two.


Some high school student from France is using one of my email addresses with some sorta school administration system. I guess it’s the system where you can look at your grades and schedule.

How do I know this? Because I received at least four emails this morning each of which were password reset messages. I could have reset his password and then logged into his account but what purpose would that serve? I have no benefit from looking at some high school grades.

I hope he figured it out.


As some of you know, I am dealing with a minor ant infestation at my home. I have narrowed down their general points of entry as underneath my kitchen sink and my bathroom sink.

This weekend, I cleaned out the areas underneath of both those sinks to look for more specific points of ingress. I started with my kitchen sink. It was a good opportunity to give that area a good scrubbing and cleaning. It’s where I put my garbage receptacle, so it was due for a cleaning, even without the ant infestation.

During the cleaning, I was able to see ants popping into view from two places, where the cold and hot water pipes come up from the floor below. There are gaps in between the cabinet and the pipes and they were using them to get into my apartment.

The bathroom sink cleaning and examination was less conclusive. The water supply pipes come out of the back wall and I didn’t see any ants coming out from there. I also saw a lot fewer ants in this area compared to the kitchen. I couldn’t tell where they were coming from.

So the question was, what to do? On my way back from dinner with my parents, I stopped by Walmart and got these ant bait traps made by Raid. These traps don’t kill the ants immediately and let them bring back poison back to the nest, so they kill the ants you don’t see. I laid these traps down in both the kitchen and the bathroom, right near the ants. Unfortunately, they had no interest in them at all. I ordered a different bait trap on Amazon that seems to work better than the Raid one I bought today. It arrives on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I sealed off the gaps between the pipes underneath my kitchen sink. If this is indeed where they’re getting in, hopefully this means they won’t be doing that again. The issue is that means I’ve also trapped any ants that are currently in my apartment already.

I feel like I’ve made some progress in the kitchen area but I need the bait traps that actually work. I also still need to figure out where they’re making entry in my bathroom. If I get bait traps that work, that becomes less of an issue in the bathroom so we’ll see on Tuesday.


I’ve started cooking and washing dishes with an apron on now. It kinda makes sense because when you’re cooking, especially when frying, you get all sorts of splatter that goes everywhere, including your clothes. When washing dishes, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been soaked afterwards because a wayward spoon redirected the water up and out of the sink and onto my shirt.

For better or worse, I bought an apron off Amazon that was probably meant for cosplay, rather than the kitchen. If you’re familiar with an anime series called Way of the Househusband, you probably know the titular character wears an apron almost all the time. I got an apron exactly like his, down to the cartoon dog on the front. The problem is it’s sorta flimsy and thin. It’s thick enough to protect me from oil and sauce splatters but for dish washing, sometimes the volume of water coming out of the sink is enough to soak through the apron and still get on my clothes. It’s better than not wearing it though, so I can’t complain too much.

I’m a real chef now.


Even though I received access back to my balcony almost a week ago, I was such a lazy ass that I didn’t move my patio furniture back until today. When I write I moved it back, I really mean I stacked it up into a dirty pile on my balcony. I had some chairs and tables stored on a tarp in my living room because they were so dirty, I just couldn’t have them sitting bare on my floors.

I am considering just junking my patio furniture because it would take so much work to get it clean again. Once clean, I’d have to put some sorta tarp that would enclose the furniture from all sides and angles because my balcony gets so dirty.

Well, in any case, at least a quarter of my living room isn’t taken up by dirty patio furniture anymore.


My car insurance expires tomorrow and in typical fashion, I waited until today to renew it. In the renewal process I discovered that in the last twelve months, I drove my car about 2,700 km which is not a whole lot at all. On average, that’s about 225 km a month. Working from home, living in a walk and transit friendly community, and being somewhat of a homebody means that I don’t have a frequent need to use my car.

This was also the first time I renewed my car insurance online. The process went very smoothly and to my surprise, my insurance was $600 less this year. I’m only paying $1300 for car insurance for the next twelve months, which is very low compared to other people. Renewing my insurance online was convenient but then again, even when I renewed it in-person, it wasn’t that much of a hassle. I can see the insurance office from my living room window. Again, that just highlights how walkable my neighbourhood is. Since I own a laser printer, I was able to print out my own insurance documents and the whole process took about five minutes.

The future is here!


In my time as someone who lives inside buildings, I’ve had to deal with two insect infestations. The first was bedbugs, which had a huge impact on my last year of grad school. Then much later, my current apartment had a moth problem.

I now have an ant problem. For the last two years, residents in my building have complained about ants. How do ants even get into a high-rise apartment building? I knew these ants were steadily making their way up from the ground floor.

Several months ago, I’d see a random ant here and there, maybe a few weeks apart. Since it was one ant, it was really difficult to figure out where they were coming from. I’d see an ant in my bedroom, in my kitchen, or my bathroom. I’d kill the ant and then move on with my day.

Last week, I saw as many as ten ants at a time in my bathroom. I’m not 100% certain but I believe they are using the pipes as conduits to go from floor to floor. I’m also pretty sure they’re not going up the pipes from inside the pipes. I think they are climbing the outside of the pipes. The ten ants I saw were fairly close to my bathroom sink, underneath the cabinetry.

It’s still not a major problem but it could turn into one any day now, so I’m going to spend this weekend doing a thorough investigation. Residents who live on lower floors are reporting much more dire situations, with some saying they’re battling hundreds of ants in their units.

I need to deal with this problem in a serious way. My initial strategy is going to be preventing them from entering my apartment, so somehow sealing off areas of ingress. A friend of mine has recommended a type of trap that doesn’t kill them off right away. In fact, the trap is so attractive to ants that I’ll see even more of them if I hadn’t laid the traps. Apparently this is as designed, with the bait in trap being harmful to the ants and it lets them live long enough to bring the bait back to the nest, thus killing the ants who were foraging in my apartment plus the ants back at the nest. Where are they nesting though? The most logical place would be somewhere near the ground floor. I live twenty-eight floors up though and when I think about how far that is for an ant to travel to get back home, it boggles the mind. I’m human being sized and it takes me almost five minutes to walk down the stairs to get to the ground floor. How long would that take for ant? Would they even be able to get to the nest?

In any case, this is just another pain in the ass that I need to deal with.


I live in a municipality that has been experiencing growth for over a decade now. Lots of high-rise buildings are being constructed in my area as planners to try increase the density of people. Now whether or not these new apartments are worth the money people are paying is another story.

As there is so much construction in my area, it may not be surprising that this leads to a lot of disruption to traffic (both pedestrian and vehicle, area access, and general convenience to existing residents.

If you’ve ever seen a completely new apartment building being constructed, you’ll know that they basically take over that side of the street for an extended period of time. On my street, just about 100m down from where I live, they are building a 40+ storey complex. They dug a giant hole and then they started building up. Somewhere along the timeline, they blocked off the sidewalk on that side of the street. I guess more accurately, the sidewalk basically got obliterated. They tore it up and just fenced off that side of the street.

It feels like it’s been like that for years now and I used Google Street View to find out how long it’s been. The last time I saw that side of the street and it was walkable was back in 2019. It’s been four years now since I was able to walk on that side of the street. The construction isn’t even done yet (though it seems like it is nearing the end), so I don’t anticipate anything changing until well into 2024.

If you stay on my street but walk another block down, you’ll run into another construction project, another new apartment development. Again, the sidewalk has been blocked off and pedestrians haven’t been able to walk down that side of the street for years. I checked Street View again and it was walkable in July of 2019 but the next update in October of 2020 shows it inaccessible. Three years of no access.

Local residents like myself have had to zig-zag across the street as we dodge these construction projects for years now. Will we ever get our sidewalks back?


Just over two years ago, I got a new electric toothbrush, a Sonicare. A few weeks ago, it started acting really weird. I wrote that it felt like it was perhaps too powerful or at least seemed like it. Then this week, the opposite happened, when I turned it on, it seemed weak, like it wasn’t really cleaning my teeth.

It turns out my Sonicare succumbed to a very common design flaw. The Sonicare I have has replaceable toothbrush heads, which slide onto a metal post on the end of the toothbrush. It’s this metal post that vibrates and thus imparts the cleaning action to the toothbrush head. This post can become loose inside the housing, so you can then move it around several millimeters in all directions. Because the post is loose, the vibrating energy can’t be conducted as effectively to the brush head. I could easily tell it just wasn’t doing a whole lot against my teeth.

The Internet told me this has happened to so many people who also own a Sonicare. It turns out the post is secured to the rest of the toothbrush internals by a screw and that screw can become loose. Why isn’t the screw held in place by a nut?

The bad news is that Sonicare doesn’t design their products to be easily serviceable by consumers. A fix involves prying open the bottom of the toothbrush, trying not to destroy the charging mechanism, and the pulling out the internal assembly to get at that screw. I saw a video of a guy doing it but it seemed super difficult. Another video showed a guy destroying his Sonicare trying to get at the screw.

Now before I started even contemplating this repair, I saw that my Sonicare was out of warranty by at least a month. So knowing that, I had nothing to lose. To tell a long story short, I could not get my Sonicare open and I sorta busted the damn thing.

My new Sonicare arrives tomorrow.


On Thursday, I notice was placed on my front door. It indicated that on Tuesday this week, they’ll unblock my patio doors so I can finally open them as much as I want. I’ll also be able to place my patio furniture back on the balcony. Truth be told, my balcony deck is fine to walk on now. I don’t need to wait until Tuesday. How do I know? Last week, I watched some workers walk on my balcony in normal shoes as they painted on some sorta coating onto the ceiling of my balcony. If the deck wasn’t fully cured and sealed, they wouldn’t have walked on it like that.

Anyways, on Tuesday, this long and expensive saga will finally come to an end. It’s nearly mid-September and they started this work in early July. It might have taken two and half months but I think there was about seven days of actual work done on my balcony. For example, they power washed my balcony and then left it alone for more than two weeks. In that time, my balcony just got dirty again. The actual sealant was applied to my balcony deck about six weeks or more after the power wash. I have no doubt, a whole lot of dirt and dust got sealed into the deck surface.

Now I understand my balcony wasn’t the only was that was being worked on and it wasn’t practical to work on one balcony from start to finish. Instead, they had to make progress on each balcony in step with the others but that meant that rather than inconvenience one resident at a time, they inconvenienced a whole bunch of residents together, and for longer.

In general, I understand why the repairs needed to be made but the whole projected sucked and it was a pain in the ass for a part of my home that I use and enjoy the least. Also, it’s finishing up just as summer is ending and the cold weather approaches, everyone’s favourite time to be out on the balcony.