I am beyond relieved that it is Friday. I didn’t sleep very well all week and as such, I kinda was just surviving each day, just trying to do what I needed to do on a daily basis. If I was at all refreshed from the holidays, I might have expended it all this week.

I feel like sleeping in until 3pm on Saturday.


What a chaotic day for Americans. As an outsider looking in, I don’t have any relevant or expert commentary. The Internet doesn’t need another moron chiming in. I will say though, if I am any kind of military leader in an adversarial country of America, I will have been thrilled to see what happened today. If a bunch of barely organized, rag tag yokels can penetrate Capitol security to the point where it might have gotten tragic, I can only imagine what trained special forces or even regular infantry could do. Today signalled to the world that American democracy is physically fragile and vulnerable, and is just waiting for bad actors to easily crush it. Americans are fond of saying their country is the best on Earth, but it’s hard to imagine the country with the #1 ribbon pinned to their chest would let what happened today unfold.


I managed to make it to bed time last night without napping, though I was very tempted around 8pm. I pushed through but maddeningly, I was feeling a bit refreshed around midnight. How does that happen when I essentially didn’t sleep last night?

When it was time for bed, I took half a sleeping pill, just to push things in the right direction. I haven’t taken sleeping pills in almost two years I think. I used to take them quite regularly but I stopped because I didn’t need them anymore. I was awake for a few minutes longer that I expected but I fell into a deep slumber. I slept right until my alarm, which is a rare occurrence these days. I was definitely groggy when I awoke, a bit worse than yesterday, even though I had slept about eight hours.

I was fine this morning but as the afternoon rolled around, I hit a bit of a wall and felt very sleep, which I did not feel at all during work yesterday. I prepared a cup of coffee which seemed to bring me out of the fatigue. It seems like your body never forgets that you incurred sleep debt and it will come to collect sooner or later.

It might be the rain, cold, my lack of sleep, and the pandemic, but I feel like I just want to hibernate until the spring. Sunday was the only day in recent memory where the rain hasn’t been coming down in buckets.

As I expected, 2021 isn’t much different than 2020 and I understand that. Whatever we all did in 2020 to get us to this new year, we need to continue doing that. I just need to get more sleep while doing those things!


Today was the first day back for many workers and students. For me, it did not start off that well. On Sunday evening, I felt exhausted, to the point that I wanted to crawl into bed but it was only 7pm. I felt that was too early to sleep, so I pushed on and stayed awake. By midnight, I felt much better, not exactly energized but much more awake.

I then headed to bed and waited for sleep. I think I may have fallen asleep for about five minutes when I woke up. I was then awake for pretty much the whole next six hours. I slept fine the entire holiday but I just couldn’t sleep for some reason. I’m not sure why. I didn’t have a ton of work to return to, just the normal “I don’t want to go back to work” feeling that I’m sure everyone had last night.

Between reading on my tablet, drinking water, going to go pee, and closing my eyes, I wasted enough time until 7am when I guess pure exhaustion allowed me to fall asleep. I awoke about two and a half hours later when my alarm went off. I felt pretty bad but I definitely felt worse.

Lucky for me, I had a light morning. I was able to get some breakfast and some coffee in me before my two morning meetings. Again luck was on my side when none of those meetings require my input. Those were my only two meetings of the day. No one bothered me at all today or asked me for things, so I was extremely thankful for that. I was running on minimum brain function all day and expected that I might have to crawl into bed for a nap in the afternoon. To my surprise, I held it together all day, right to the end of the day.

I don’t think I’ll have any problems sleeping tonight.


As I didn’t take any extra time off in January, I go back to work tomorrow. It was a much needed two weeks off. I didn’t do a whole lot other than sleep in, play video games, and eat chocolate. This was my first Christmas while living in a global pandemic. I guess that was true for a lot of people. I didn’t see any of my friends and there were some family members that I didn’t see. It’s unfortunate but I understand why.

I will probably wake up feeling very groggy tomorrow morning and I won’t have a clue what I wasn’t working on before the holidays started.


Since it’s the holidays, I have time to try out new things. I had a few leftover potatoes from a chicken recipe I tried. It turned out pretty well. Anyways, I wasn’t sure what to do with the potatoes, so I thought of some of my favourite potato things. One of them is hash browns, something I frequently get when I go to breakfast places.

I didn’t know how to make hash browns, so I looked up some recipes. Some common things I saw in these recipes is that the potatoes need to be shredded using a cheese grater, something I already have. Another thing was that the secret to crispy hash browns is to wash out a lot of the starch in the potatoes and to remove as much water from the shredded potatoes before frying.

Each of the steps in making hash browns was pretty easy. It was kinda fun shredding the potatoes and before long, I had a huge pile of shredded spuds. Washing out the starch was a bit tedious but it didn’t take that long. The biggest pain was trying to remove as much water from the now very wet pile of shredded potatoes. I had to divide the pile into two, each of which went onto a cutting board in a thin layer. I then used paper towels to press and blot out as much water as I could. This was a hassle because a lot of the shreds would stick to the paper towel, so I had to pick them off every time I pressed a towel against the potatoes.

I did this a number of times before the paper towels seemed to not pick up as much water and as my patience ran out. I then heated up a large non-stick pan and added some olive oil. Once the oil got hot enough, I arranged the potatoes in a thin layer in the pan and fried them on each side for a few minutes until they were relatively brown. I had enough potatoes to do this in two batches.

The first batch was slightly undercooked and wasn’t nearly crispy enough. The second batch was better, I made sure to cook them longer. I also used a spatula to apply pressure all across the layer of potatoes to really make sure the heat was being applied everywhere. Like I mentioned, it was better, but nothing approaching the hash browns I usually eat at Denny’s or my local breakfast joint.

If I had to do it again, I’d dry out the potatoes much more. After blotting out the shreds, I’d probably put them in the fridge for a few hours, possibly up to half a day. Things seem to dry out in the fridge, so this would have made the hash browns more crispy. I also would use less oil. I would consider greasing up the pan with butter instead.

Now the question is, would I try to make them again? Maybe but as easy as the steps were, it was a lot of manual labour to make it. It was almost an hour from the start to when I was ready to start frying. If I had bought frozen shredded hash browns, I would have saved myself an hour of labour. Are my homemade hash browns going to be that much better? I don’t think they would be.

Well, at least I got to try it myself for once.


From all of us on staff here at your favourite blog, we wish you and your friends and loved ones the happiest of holidays. I know it has been a challenging year to varying degrees for all of us. I hope you’ve been smart, kind, considerate, and safe so far, and that continues going forward.

Please try to get some rest and relaxation in before the new year arrives. All of us will need it as we try to see this pandemic right to the end.


This late afternoon, as the sun was setting, I went for a walk along the boardwalk near my home. I had a coffee with me that came from a local shop. I took my mask off to drink and walk at the same time. As my mask came off, I instantly felt colder, as if the ambient temperature had dropped several degrees suddenly.

While my coffee was delicious and I wanted to savour it and not just chug it, I admit a part of me was looking forward to putting my mask back on. I’ve been wearing my mask outside all the time now, so I’ve had very few instances where I can compare what is was like to be exposed to the winter elements with a bare face. It does make a considerable difference. It didn’t just feel like my face was freezing now, it felt like my whole body was colder.

I suppose this isn’t going be some sorta world-changing revelation. Who knew putting a piece of fabric over exposed skin would make you feel warmer? That’s why we wear clothes after all, right? I guess if there is some surprise here, it’s that such a relatively small surface area that the mask covers can make you feel so much warmer.

I know that all of us can’t wait for this pandemic to end, so no one can catch this virus anymore, and we don’t have to wear masks anymore. When that happens, I think all of us should look into continuing to covering our faces for warmth during the winter.


It snowed for the first time this fall/winter this morning. It was all gone by evening though as heavy rains washed it all away. Despite having a plethora of things I could complain this year, one thing I have no problems with has been the weather. This has been a very mild fall and winter (so far), at least temperature-wise.

We’re approaching the end of December and the only jacket I’ve needed is a light rain jacket that I bought in California last November. Underneath, I might wear a thin cardigan or most of the time, just a t-shirt. Something to keep in mind is that I’m not out in the elements for hours at a time. My walks outside these days are perhaps half an hour max before I’m inside again. Does that factor into how warm I think it is? Perhaps.

On the other hand, I feel like it’s been fairly mild while I’m at home too. Not once this fall have I thought about turning on the heat. When I’m in bed at night, I’m not shivering. I’m still wearing the same set of sleep clothes that I wore in the summer.

As I mentioned above, today was the first snowfall of the season and it was gone in a few hours. As the year ends, I am at thankful at least for the reasonable weather.


My last day of work for the year was on Friday, so I’m officially on holidays now. I am thankful to have two full weeks off. I don’t have a lot of plans for those two weeks. I think it would be pretty ridiculous to have a long list of things to accomplish when sleep, rest, and relaxation are the best ways to end what has been a long year.

I have turned off my alarm on my phone and I will sleep in as much as my body wants on Monday morning. If I get that done, then I will consider the day a complete success. I am keeping my expectations low and realistic.

I hope everyone reading this will also get a chance to get some time off this holiday season. We all deserve it.