QUARTER POUNDER

I had a McDonald’s quarter pounder burger for dinner last night. Yes, I know, that’s not a great choice for dinner. I didn’t get any fries nor did I get a sugary drink though to be clear, I just got the burger.

I have never been a big fan of the quarter pounder burger product from McDonald’s. It’s just so bland compared to their other offerings and burgers from other competitors are easily more appealing than the quarter pounder. A Big Mac, a Teen Burger from A&W, or a Whopper from BK are all superior choices compared to a quarter pounder.

I think the only reason I chose the 1/4 lb burger last evening was that I hadn’t had one in years. After consuming one last night, my opinion has not changed, it remains a very pedestrian and average product at McDonald’s. I think it’ll be many, many years before I’m tempted to try one again.

HOLIDAYS?

It’s now less than three weeks until Christmas and I can’t wait for the holiday break to arrive. This year, we get a full week off, plus a day for New Year’s. It’s not a whole lot of time off but I don’t want to use any extra vacation time. I’m relying on a lot of other people taking extra time off so that the days before and after the break are easy, quiet, and allow me to get lots of work done. If I have to work, at least it can be really productive days.

CAST IRON

I am in the market for a new cast iron skillet. The current one in my kitchen has been in my possession for probably over twenty years now. I’ve cooked a lot of meat in that skillet but it’s showing its age now. The bottom of it is flaking off for some reason. Flakes of cast iron come off the bottom so easily now that the drawer I keep it in looks like it has black snow in it constantly. Luckily, the actual cooking surface remains in good shape but the skillet is literally losing mass every time I handle it and it makes a mess.

Cast iron skillets can now come pre-seasoned from the factory, so that’s quite convenient. I remember seasoning my skillet and over the years, that thing has become naturally non-stick. It’s quite amazing. One thing I still haven’t figured out is what do to with this skillet once I get a new one? I don’t think my local recycling program takes cast iron. I also don’t have a smelter where I can melt it down. It’s in a condition where it can’t be donated either. I need to figure this out.

NO INTERNET

Well, I lost internet access about five minutes ago which means I can’t write a real post tonight. I’m typing this out on my phone and it’s slow. I wonder if my internet dropped because of the snow. It didn’t snow again today but did the existing snow on the ground cause this somehow? Who knows. I’m going to bed.

APOCALYPSE

A major snow storm hit the greater Vancouver area today. It started snowing about 1pm and it didn’t stop until well into the evening. In my area, I heard it accumulated anywhere between 12 to 18 centimeters but it could have been more.

I live about ten blocks from a major bridge in the area. It spans the Fraser River and on an average days thousands of vehicles cross that bridge. From my apartment, I can see the main road that feeds into the bridgeway. Around 2pm traffic started to really back on that road though it was still moving. At about 4pm it crawled to a standstill. It got to the point that there was no discernible movement of any cars. It stayed that way for hours.

At around 11:30pm, I went for a walk just to see how bad it was. It was like a parking lot essentially for as far as I could see. Many people had shut off their cars and were just waiting, looking at their phones. Someone was on foot, going car to car, handing out granola bars from a large box of them. If I had to guess, some of these people had been waiting in their vehicles for five or six hours now, possibly even longer.

I read on the city’s official social media accounts that the bridge was closed for hours due to stalled vehicles and unsafe road conditions. A further update after midnight indicated the bridge was not open in both directions. It’s now well after 2am and I can see there is still a massive lineup of cars waiting to get onto the bridge. It looks like it’s the peak of rush on a long weekend out there and it’s 2am.

There is another major bridge near me but five or six kilometers away but I can see the red lights of stopped cars waiting to get on that bridge from even where I am. These cars are so far from the bridge.

I cannot imagine how many experiences of hardship occurred tonight. People who are tired and hungry, stuck in their vehicles for nearly half a day. They have my deep sympathy and I wish I could have done something to help.

BURGER KING

I live within a five-minute walk of a Burger King. This BK has been there long before I moved to my apartment. Over the course of more than a decade, I’ve probably been there seven times. I love fast food but I think Burger King is just ok. There’s nothing wrong with it but I much prefer Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

A few weeks ago, I got some BK coupons in the mail. Normally when this happens, I just recycle them but this time around, I decided to keep them. Tonight, I didn’t have definitive plans for dinner and seeing these coupons on my kitchen counter, it felt like a good night to get some BK. Through the array of different choices of coupons, I saw a Whopper and poutine combo for $9. You know stuff costs a lot these days when that’s the coupon price. Nevertheless, that’s what I got.

I got the whole thing to go because I didn’t want to eat in that solitary and sad dining room. When I got home, the first thing I ate was the poutine. I was starving so this may have coloured my perception of the whole meal. The poutine was really good. They use actual cheese curds. The gravy was deceptively salty though. The Whopper was next and that was great too. The thing about a Whopper is that it’s never a dry burger. BK puts enough pickles, mayo, and all sorts of stuff to make it a saucy burger.

Overall, it was a great fast food meal. Thirty minutes after I ate it, I got so sleepy that I had to nap on the couch for almost an hour. I’m not sure I’d eat BK regularly but it certainly did the job tonight.

SNOW

The weather forecast is calling for freezing temperatures and a significant amount of snow for the beginning of the week. It’s times like this I’m thankful that I have nowhere to go in the day time and work from home. I’m also thankful that I don’t belong to any sports leagues, book clubs, or anything that would force me to leave my home in the evenings.

SMUGGLERS

As of this writing, the National Geographic YouTube channel is streaming the same set of episodes of a show that follows the United States Customs and Border Protection officers as they try to catch smugglers. I don’t know why they don’t just have these individual episodes as individual videos but you can have this stream on all day and it’ll just loop around. I watched a few episodes and I learned a lot about cocaine smuggling.

US THANKSGIVING

A majority of my co-workers are living in the United States so Thanksgiving for them is the next two days. While I don’t get any days off because of that, I am still excited for their holiday. It means for the next two days, those will really quiet days of work. This means reduced Slack messages, e-mails, and JIRA issues. I get to work in peace and quiet heading into the weekend. I can’t wait!