THE GREAT DON RICKLES

Legendary comedian Don Rickles passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 90. One of the greatest comics to ever grace a stage or the couch on any talk show, his unique way of insulting anyone and everyone will likely never be seen again. It became an honour if Rickles deemed you worthy of a zinger.

I was lucky enough to start watching Rickles as a kid, when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at the desk. I saw the old clips where he’d lambast Frank Sinatra himself. How many people in the world could get away with that?

In the above clip, Jimmy Kimmel gives a heartfelt and touching tribute to his friend, whom he got to know after his first appearance on his show. It was clear their friendship was truly special.

WAIT REALLY?

The city of Chicago has a Major League Soccer team which goes by the name of Chicago Fire. When I first heard of the team, I initially thought it was named after their fire department because I didn’t think the alternative was possible. Alas, I was wrong, the name of the team is actually derived from the Great Chicago Fire. In that disaster, 300 people were killed and over 100,000 residents lost their homes. As turn of the century disasters go, this one was a pretty substantial one.

I suppose the team name memorializes that event and recognizes the disaster’s place in city history. Sure that’s fine but let’s use that same argument and imagine, if you will, if some professional sports team in New York decided to name themselves the “New York 9/11s”. There would be a lot of uproar for sure. I’m guessing that time makes things less sensitive. The Great Chicago Fire happened well over a hundred years ago now. Anyone who was directly affected by the fire has now been long gone. There is no one left to be offended by the soccer team’s name. This is why things like this slide, which recreates another tragedy, got to the point where someone actually decided to make it.

It would not surprise me that perhaps 100 years from now (if civilization hasn’t ended yet), there will be a team called the “New York 9/11s” and no one would really raise an eyebrow at that.

WORK POOPS

I admit that over the years I’ve had to deal with varying degrees of anxiety over pooping at work. The problem in the past has stemmed by this odd reliance in North American work culture on the use of semi-private washroom stalls with massive gaps between doors, walls, and the floor. For some reason, in this continent, it became the norm to let people partially see that you were taking a dump.

Previously, I’ve been lucky enough to work at two studios that private, single-occupant washrooms. I actually quite enjoyed pooping at work in those places. For the longest time, however, the studio here in Burnaby was in short supply of private washrooms. That is until the new washrooms opened up in the newly renovated cafeteria. Before there were two standard washrooms, one for women and the other for the boys, all with the peep show stalls. Now that’s been replaced by a unisex washroom with a common sink area and a large number of private stalls. Each stall has a floor to ceiling thick wooden door. No stupid gaps between the floor and the door. The walls of the stall also are floor to ceiling, giving you complete privacy. It’s more like a room than a stall. Each stall also features individual exhaust systems to continuously pump in fresh air. To top it off, there’s a speaker on the ceiling that pipes in music, either for your enjoyment or to mask the horrendous sounds your colon is making. The lighting in there is also great, bright but not harsh. It’s really an oasis.

I take all my work poops in that washroom now and it’s really been quite enjoyable. There’s no hesitation or anxiety in the slightest. I love doing my business there. At first, when the washrooms were new, people weren’t sure what was in there so most of the stalls were free all day. Now, as word spreads, the popularity of the washroom can lead to busy times and fully occupied stalls. I’ve discovered that 1pm to 2pm can be busy time in there. You’ll want to go in the morning or later in the afternoon.

If you ever visit me at work, get me to show you this amazing place!

TIPS FOR APRIL FOOLS’

YouTube star and former NASA engineer Mark Rober stopped by Jimmy Kimmel to show off some science/engineering based April Fool’s pranks. Most of these you can do at home with everyday household items, including the last bit in this segment.

ACCIDENTAL FRIEND

On Saturday morning, I was perusing the vast realms of information on the Internet, while in bed on my phone. I had woken up too early and I wanted to get back to sleep again but I decided to check out the state of the world.

On Facebook, I saw that a friend of mine had been tagged in some photos at a conference. I was looking through the album and it should be noted that my friend didn’t make the album. Some other person had taken the photos and just tagged my friend. At this point, I got sleepy again, and phone still in hand, I fell asleep. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I must have made contact with the screen at least twice before it turned off. One of the touches brought up the photo album’s owner’s Facebook profile. Keep in mind, I don’t know this person. A subsequent touch must have clicked on “Add Friend”.

I later woke up and started on my day, going about my business. I then received an e-mail from Facebook saying that “so and so” had accepted my friend request. I was puzzled at who that was and when I had last sent a friend request. It then clued in on me that this person was the photo album owner. I like to keep my friends list pretty tight and relevant so I was wondering what to do. First, I could just unfriend this person without any fanfare. It would be easy but they’d probably wonder why I sent the request in the first place. Second, I could send them a simple message explaining the situation and then unfriend afterwards. Third, I could just do nothing and just hide all their posts from my timeline.

I’m leaning towards option three since it requires the least amount of work and avoids any awkwardness.

A YEAR AGO

A year ago I was getting ready to attend the wrap party for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. A few days after the party, I hopped on a plane and was on my way to Hawaii. That began a wonderful series of vacations, in addition to Hawaii that included San Diego, jolly old London, and Los Angeles. Those were some incredibly fun months where I didn’t have to work and my biggest daily concern was what to eat for dinner.

Fast-forward to the present and I’ve already stayed up way too late tonight and I know I’ll wake up feeling tired tomorrow morning. I’ll then have to drag my sorry ass to work. It’s a good thing the weekend is right around the corner. Did I mention a year ago, every day was a weekend?

EA STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II

I wish it happened more often but occasionally I get to see really cool stuff well before the public does. Last week was one of those times when I had the pleasure to see a work in progress cut of the first trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II. EA has just announced the trailer will be presented at this year’s Star Wars Celebration, which is being held in mid-April.

Because both EA and Disney would hunt me down if I revealed anything substantial about what I saw, I cannot go into a lot of detail. I will say that I was really impressed with what DICE and other teams have added and refined in this sequel. Since the first game came out, gamers have consistently asked for several things to be added and changed in the next game. Again, without going into detail, I feel their pleas have been answered.

The video gaming public is notoriously fickle though, so I know we can’t please 100% of the people. I do sincerely hope, however, the majority of the people who see the trailer will be quite happy.

AW MAN

So as you can see in this tweet a few of the Vancouver Canucks dropped by about two weeks ago to visit the studio in Burnaby. I see a lot of visitors to the studio but I have no clue where I was that day when the Canucks dropped by. I totally missed them. Not that I was going to be an idiot and run up to them and ask them for their autographs or anything. As employees, we’re supposed to be totally chill around all our visitors, no matter how famous they may be. It just would have been pleasant to catch a glimpse of them as they were touring the studio.

ALL DAY CLOTHES

I sleep in a comfortable shirt and PJ bottoms, it’s a setup that just feels right, year-round. Like most humans, I change clothes before I head off to work. On Friday, I thought I succeeded in doing that as left my home. I was wearing a dress shirt, an undershirt under that, and jeans. When I got to work, I noticed one of the buttons of my dress shirt was undone. I was absentmindedly trying to button it back up while looking at my morning e-mails. I then felt something odd with my undershirt. Why did my supposedly plain white undershirt feel like it had something silkscreened on it? I looked down and I realized I had not changed out of my sleep shirt, which has the face of some dude on the front as a graphic.

Perhaps it was fatigue or maybe I was just in a rush but I just slapped on my dress shirt and was on my way out the door. Now it doesn’t seem like a big deal, as my sleep shirt is white, just like my undershirts but it is bigger. It was big enough to be poking out from underneath my dress shirt. It also felt too loose on me, as if I wasn’t wearing anything underneath at all. It was a bit of an odd feeling.

I will admit that I was pretty pleased to get home, not just because it was the start of the weekend, but because I could be wearing my sleep shirt in the right environment again.

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill