I bought a whetstone like the one you see in the above video. In the past, I’ve used knife sharpeners that you pull through a v-shaped device. I’ve learned however, such devices take the most metal off your knife and can reduce the lifespan of your knife. Using a whetstone is better for your knife but takes more practice to sharpen your knife properly.

I’m a less than skilled at-home cook, so I’ve been using the same kitchen knife for over a decade. Now that I think of it, the Henckels knife I have sure has been durable and more than worth whatever money I paid for it so many years ago.

Anyways, it’s been a long time since I last sharpened this knife and I’ve noticed it has trouble with things like ripe tomatoes and even some larger onions now. It really gets bogged down with sweet potatoes.

I’ve watched the above video so I feel like I know the major steps involved. I’m gonna give it a try later this week.


My employer does its employee annual reviews in late May every year and I had mine today. My manager met with me to discuss my performance for the last fiscal year and also to tell me if I got a raise, a bonus, or any restricted stock units.

I can’t say I have too much to complain about in my review meeting. By any measure, I did quite well in the last fiscal year. Unfortunately, my team or my game did not meet the financial targets that we set out for ourselves. They never tell us grunts how much the game made or how much we exceeded or fell short of the targets but this year I heard we missed it by a large margin. As such, my bonus and almost everyone’s else bonuses were quite small compared to previous years. The one bright spot was that I was awarded a generous amount of RSUs. Stock is great but it’ll take 35 months for it to fully vest, meaning I won’t take ownership of all that stock until May of 2027, which seems like a lifetime away.

I do acknowledge though, these are small problems given the larger context of the current state of the industry. At least I have a job, a bonus, and some stock. Thousands of my fellow developers have lost their jobs in the last year and a half. So I do feel very lucky to be where I’m at right now. There’s a storm to be weathered and my shelter feels fairly safe for the time being.


I want to make it clear that I really wanted the Vancouver Canucks to win. They are my home team and I will never stop wanting them to finally win their first Stanley Cup. That said, I am a realist and I knew the above outcome was always a strong reality. I will take this money but begrudgingly and with disappointment.


I’ve been playing a game called Evil West and while it’s mostly enjoyable, I believe the difficulty it poorly balanced in some parts. I mainly play on the “normal” difficulty level but at times, the enemy composition and tight quarters for combat makes the challenge legitimately unfair for the player. When this happens, I have no hesitation in turning down the difficulty level and just continuing on. I could just restart the checkpoint after my character meets his untimely end without changing the difficulty, but who knows how many times I need to replay the sequence before succeeding?

I have so many other things to do that I can’t waste my time on a game that is poorly balanced. I’ll gladly put it on easy and continue progress on the game. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this in a game and it won’t be the last time. A game needs to earn a player’s valuable time and if it wants to make a level unnecessarily difficult, it certainly won’t make me want to replay that level over and over again. I’ll just cheese it with the easy mode and move on. The game is lucky I don’t quit playing it entirely.


A few years ago, my information was leaked when LifeLabs got hacked. If you’re not familiar withe LifeLabs, it’s essentially a company that has a monopoly on medical testing services in my province. If you need to get blood drawn, pee in cup, drop off your poop, and the like, LifeLabs is basically your only option.

There was a class action lawsuit against LifeLabs, which I was a part of. The suit was settled almost a year ago and at the time, it was estimated the payout per person would be anywhere between $50 to $150. Now, if you think about it, even at $150, that doesn’t make up for the fact that your personal information was exposed to the Internet. Who knows what people did with some of this information. It’s possible that someone took this info, targeted a person, and then used the info to gain access to more info. The hassle and damage done by identity theft is hardly offset by a measly $150.

Well, after almost a year of administrative work, the payout for the settlement occurred this week. This morning, $7.86 was deposited into my account to make up for the fact that LifeLabs’ insecure systems allowed my personal information to be leaked. So not only did I (and everyone else affected) not get $150, I didn’t even get $50. It’s really quite telling how much your privacy is worth these days. $7.86 might get me a medium coffee at a decent coffee shop. Imagine the leak caused your credit to be ruined by identity theft. LifeLabs gives you $7.86 and says sorry, and waits for the next time you need to come in for a blood draw.

All of this is just so frustrating, from the leak itself to the compensation for the settlement. Companies will continue to leak personal information of their customers and the people affected will never get the full compensation they deserve.


I completed my parents tax return this week but I have done the same for myself. I probably should do mine before too long because I’m only partially convinced I don’t owe more money to the government. My parents got a refund this year but I’ll be lucky to do the same.

I did the math and I should get a refund of less than $100. I had to contribute a hefty amount to my RRSP in the first sixty days of the new year to even get to that point though. We’ll actually see if my math was correct.


I was at my local Safeway last week and I saw they were selling sliced banana bread in the bakery section. It was eight slices per package. I couldn’t remember the last time I had banana bread. I hesitated before putting the package in my basket because I wasn’t sure how much I was gonna like it.

When I got home, I ate almost half the package in a whole day. The banana bread was light, moist, and delicious. It made me remember that I enjoy banana bread but it also was a reminder that making banana bread can go horribly wrong.

While this was commercially prepared banana bread, I’ve had my fair share of homemade banana bread. I will preface what I’m about to say and state that homemade baking is lovely and thoughtful. It can be better than anything you buy at the supermarket. Having said that, it’s clear there is a skill to making banana bread, at least in the way that I like it. In some cases, people have made what I call “banana brick”. Somehow, their banana bread is incredibly dense. I can only imagine they’ve somehow used too much actual banana or the banana hasn’t been thoroughly distributed or mixed in. When it’s like this, it feels like less of a bread and more like a compressed brick of banana. While some people might like it like this, the consistency of it is not palatable to me.

As for the Safeway banana bread, I must have not been alone in liking it, because two days after I bought it, I returned to the supermarket and saw all of it had been sold out.


On a recent weekend, I discovered my local municipality had set up an “Earth Day” recycling program at city hall. You could bring all sorts of stuff to be recycled or junked. This included textiles, electronics, random pieces of metal, and other household items. I learned about this about thirty minutes before the end of the event.

I really wish I had known about this well in advance. I scrambled to find things that I wanted to get rid of. I was able to gather several items of metal that I had been holding onto because I didn’t know what to do with them. One of these items was an old cast iron pan that was just sitting in my kitchen. The outside of the pan was and continued to flake, leaving black bits of cast iron whenever you moved or touched the pan. I also had several metal containers that previously held food, like not cans, but like cookie tins and such.

With minutes to spare, I arrived at the city hall parking lot where the recycling event was being held. I was glad to have these items gone but if I had more time, I would have gathered much more. In particular, I have so many old shoes that have holes in the canvas, leather, or soles. They’re no good for donation. I also have old clothes that are also ripped or contains holes, also not good for donation. I would have definitely sent those off for recycling.

I know I can drive about 40 minutes to offload these textiles on any weekend at a transfer station but my city hall is so much closer. Maybe next year?