So management has officially announced that starting on April 3rd, members of the team that I work on (who are Vancouver-based), will be able to work from the new studio (if they choose to do so).

This has been a long time coming. I think the initial estimates had the studio open last spring but obviously that didn’t happen. There were delays upon delays but I think it’s actually happening now.

What’s interesting is that two teams that were scheduled to move in with us, are no longer going to be based out of this new studio. In fact, one team made the announcement just today that they were no longer going to the new place. It’s crazy that just weeks before the scheduled move, they are no longer going. I don’t have any details on why this was decided. I also have no clue where these employees are going to go if they want to work on location. Maybe they’re all just staying remote forever?

As I’ve written many times, from a personal perspective, my daily work life won’t change very much after April 3rd. Most of the people I work with on a daily basis are located elsewhere, mostly in or near Los Angeles. So, I can either take a Zoom call at home in my PJs or wake up early, have to get dressed, pay to commute, and then take a Zoom call at a desk that’s just temporarily mine for that day. On most days, there’s a clear and easy choice. I might go in perhaps once a month, on a day when they’re giving out free food. Otherwise, it’s life as usual for me.

There might be some local press coverage of the studio opening next month, so if there is, I’ll post some links.


So I get a meal kit delivered to me every week and discovered something interesting very early on. The recipes often instruct you to add salt (and pepper) at certain steps, which is frequently unnecessary.

First, I believe the average North American diet contains too much sodium to begin with. When you are cooking your own meals, it’s imperative you control the amount of salt you’re adding to your food. With processed foods or premade items, you’re not in control of how much salt has been added, but with a meal kit, you are.

Second, I don’t think the meal kit maker, in my case Chef’s Plate, understands how unnecessary salt is in their recipes. In a typical recipe that might have a vegetable component, a meat one, and a sauce one, they will ask you to salt all these components. You might think this is required for the dish to not taste bland but keep in mind most of these recipes have a spice or marinade component that adds flavour that way. Some of these spice blends or marinades already have salt added to them.

It’s gotten to the point where I usually never use my salt grinder at all while I’m cooking these dishes. The only exception perhaps is when the recipe has me cooking pasta and I’ll salt the water, and even then I won’t add much to it.

We should all strive to eat and cook as healthy as we can.


I went on a walk this evening and at the farthest point of my walk, I had to poop. I briefly thought about comedian Bobby Lee, who also has frequent gastrointestinal problems. I wasn’t driving though, so I couldn’t poop onto the back seat of a car.

There wasn’t really anywhere for me to go unless I just wanted to poop in a side street and that was not going to happen. So I just walked quickly as I could.

I made it home in time but there were a few times where I did have to concentrate and clench a bit. The disappointing thing was it wasn’t even a big poop. For all the urgency, it turned out to be just a medium-sized poop.

One day I’ll poop my pants, but it was not today.


On Friday evening, I played about an hour and a half of Half Life: Alyx. While some VR games can be played while sitting, some games are better played while standing, because you need to be able to take a step or two forwards, backwards, left and right. You might also need to duck, crouch, and lean in any direction. That type of motion is difficult while seated.

So I was on my bare feet for almost two hours on Friday. I got hard flooring put in about a year and a half ago, so that’s what I standing on. As soon as I stopped playing, my legs definitely let me know it. My legs were immediately sore. It kinda sucks to stand on hard floors in your bare feet.

I needed to solve this problem before continuing my VR gaming experience. One solution would be to get rug but that’s just not practical. The rug would be need to be large and thick enough to be comfortable to walk on. That would be expensive and I’d have to store it somewhere, unless I’d just leave it out all the time.

The more logical solution would be to wear shoes. All my shoes are outside shoes though. I really don’t want to have to clean the bottom of some shoes every single time I wanted to VR game. So, I guess I just need a pair of shoes just for inside my home.

The next day I went to Walmart, because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to solve this obviously first-world problem. At first, I tried on pair of Crocs knock-offs. Let me tell you, whatever counterfeit or copycat Crocs Walmart has, is not worth the money. There were just $9 but no one should be buying these. Walmart made them out of some hard plastic, so it feels like you’re walking on stone slabs. There’s no cushioning or comfort at all. Authentic Crocs, while more expensive, feel so much better on your feet.

I settled on a pair of slip-on sneakers, which if I had to guess were Walmart’s version of Vessis. The label said the soles had “memory foam” but I found that hard to believe. They didn’t feel like I was walking on stone but there weren’t exactly Nike Airs either. It was somewhere in the middle. It was comfortable enough that I didn’t need to break them in and my feet felt supported. All of this at the reasonable price of $19.

I gamed with these shoes on for almost two hours this evening and they made a huge difference. My legs and feet felt fine afterwards, not sore at all.

I never thought I’d need a pair of shoes as a gaming peripheral but here we are.


I mentioned previously that I acquired a new VR headset recently. This evening, I played the best VR game that I have seen so far. Admittedly, I’ve played probably around ten VR games so far, going back to the PSVR, so my sample size is really small. Nonetheless, Half Life: Alyx is simply amazing.

I guess it helps that the game is played via a link cable, attached to my PC. Instead of relying on the processor and GPU onboard the headset to render the game, my PC does that instead. My PC is much more powerful than the VR headset so the game looks phenomenal. The headset is just displaying the pretty pictures sent to it from my PC.

It’s also set in the Half-Life universe, which immediately gives it a sense of familiarity. For the last two decades or so, I’ve been used to seeing elements of this universe on a flat, 2D screen. In VR, I have been dropped into this universe and it looks and feels real. I examined a dead headcrab in my virtual hands and it was crazy how good and disgusting it looked. Walking through an alley and then seeing a walker appear above me was a breathtaking moment. It’s just truly great stuff.

Lastly, the game just has solid gameplay mechanics. Shooting a gun and reloading it in VR feels so intuitive. I can’t properly describe the rush I felt shooting a Half-Life zombie for the first time in VR. Seeing that thing shamble towards me was both exciting and scary. They also introduce these gravity gloves which allows to you to pull items in the world straight towards you. This is genius because in VR, it’s still a pain in the ass to move and locomote in the game world. These gravity gloves cut down on the amount you need to move because you just pull things towards you like you have the Force.

I just started this game but I can’t wait to try it again tomorrow!


Working at a company that has over ten thousand employees means you get added to a lot of distribution lists without your knowledge or your control. For example, I get e-mails whenever some service players use is going to be updated. I don’t work with these services, aren’t involved in developing these services, and have never cared about when these services are going to be updated.

You’d think there would be an easy way to unsubscribe from these distribution lists but at least at my company, it is surprisingly difficult to get yourself removed from them. Remember, these are internal e-mails, so it’s not like an angry customer who wants to unsubscribe, it’s just us lowly employees.

As such, to keep my inbox sane, I have add filters to my Outlook client to send these dumb e-mails straight into my trash folder. I added three such filters lasts week and my inbox looks so much better.

Speaking of e-mails, it’s a rare day now when I actually have to compose or respond to an e-mail. Prior to about 2014, my primary method of communicating with co-workers would be e-mail. We’d have tons of e-mail threads discussing development of a feature or how we test something new we’d be making. Once Slack arrived on the scene, the number of e-mails I had to write or receive in my inbox dropped dramatically.

For collaboration and in a business setting, Slack just makes things a lot easier. It might be a bit different if your role requires a lot of communication with people outside an organization, in that case, e-mail is still very valid and the easiest way to get in touch with people externally. For me, I rarely need to communicate with external groups, so all my stuff can stay on Slack. On an average month, I might write less than ten e-mails a month at work.

Is this the same for you at work?


I am currently on a free trial of Apple TV+. One of the shows I’ve stumbled upon there is called “For All Mankind“. I got hooked on it immediately and it’s easy to see why. The show deals with alternate history and the exploration of space through NASA’s eyes. The premise is that the space race didn’t end with the United States landing a man on the moon. In the show’s reality, the both the political will and government money from the US government pushes space exploration beyond just a few cursory visits to the moon’s surface. Much of the impetus behind this is to best the Soviets, in pretty much everything space-related.

I’m a sucker for alternate history entertainment in all forms and I often wonder how different the world would be if the US didn’t stop that crazy pace of development they had in the race to the moon. How much further would humans be out in the stars? What cool and useful technology would we have now as a result?

The show gives me a view of a reality that could have been. There would be a permanent base on the moon by the early 1970s. The Mars rovers that we know so well now would have been on the red planet by the mid-1970s. Electric cars would be emerging on the commercial market in the early 1980s.

In their world, spaceflight is common, and the general view of space exploration is that it’s worthy of effort, time, and money. At any given time of the year, there are dozens of people that live and work on the moon, people from all nations. NASA is leveraging what they know about landing, building, and living on the moon to plan a manned mission to Mars.

All of this is exciting stuff for me and appeals to the childhood wonder I had and still have for space exploration. I started watching the show this weekend and I think I went through fifteen one-hour episodes so far.

All of this just makes me hope that I’m still around when NASA goes back to the moon. I understand that is supposed to happen in less than a decade but we don’t live in the reality of the TV show. We live in this reality where space exploration has been done on a shoestring government budget or has been left to private companies. Our technology is now exponentially better, faster, and lighter than anything NASA had in the 1960s but it’s not the technology that holds us back from sending humans back to the moon and beyond. What holds us back is a missing will, desire, and passion to do these things. We have become mired with problems down here that drag us down and keep us firmly on earth. I have always been so envious of the people who got to watch the moon landing so many decades ago. I hope to get my chance to see the same thing in a few years but who knows how many delays we’ll have until then.

For now, this show kicks ass and I’ll binge it until I run out of episodes to watch.


Cecily Strong, who is one of my all-time favourite performers on Saturday Night Live, filmed season two of her show Schmigadoon! in the Vancouver area. For whatever reason, she lived in the suburb of Coquitlam while staying here.

A few months ago, she appeared on Seth Meyer’s show and told a story about living in Coquitlam and encountering some bears. I grew up in Coquitlam and did nearly all my public schooling there. Never in a million years would I have ever expected Cecily Strong say the name of the suburb that helped form my childhood but it happened.


This month marks three straight years of working from home for me. In many ways, it doesn’t seem like three years as parts of me still think it’s 2020. On the other hand, my life of waking up early and commuting to work seem like it was a dream. Did I ever even have to be somewhere else to do work?

Even as my employer is readying a new studio space for my team, it doesn’t seem like I’ll be stopping working from home anytime soon.

One game I play almost everyday is something I call, “is there enough time for me to poop before I have to attend this Zoom meeting?”. This game gets played frequently for a few reasons. First, most of my meetings happen in the mornings. Second, my body really wants to poop in the mornings as well. The combination of those two things frequently leads to conflicting needs.

It doesn’t take me a long time to poop. Without going into much detail, but if my butt is on the toilet seat, I’m guaranteed to be taking care of business. As such, I can squeeze a poop into a fairly short window of time. I can’t imagine if I was one of those constipated people.

If there’s ten minutes to go before my meeting, that’s an eternity for a poop. I don’t even hesitate to go, as I know I’ll have a leisurely time. If I have five minutes, that’s also great. I can do everything I need to do in five minutes. At three minutes, that’s where it starts to get interesting. I have gone and pooped with three minutes before a Zoom call. With this much time or lack thereof, every second counts, so I need to be doing something every second. If I’m not expelling poop out of my butt, then I gotta be wiping. If I’m not wiping then I’m flushing. If I’m not flushing, then I’m washing my hands.

At the extreme, I have gone to poop with two minutes before a Zoom call. These are usually very dire circumstances. I obviously wouldn’t wait that long before going to poop, so either the need just crept up on me suddenly or I was stuck in another meeting while needed to poop badly and found myself with just two minutes to go before the next one. A two-minute poop is just not great time. Everything is just rushed too much. It’s only done so that I don’t have to feel the need to poop while in the meeting.

Personally, I think going to poop a minute before a meeting is not doable. If this happens, corners will be cut. Parts of you will be left messy or if not, then you’ll be late to a meeting. Now, you might be wondering, have I gone and pooped while in a Zoom call. The answer is yes. If I recall correctly, it happened once. My camera was obviously off. I was muted. It was a meeting where at least ten people were present. I knew beforehand that I wasn’t going to speak and I also did not expect anyone to ask me questions. The meeting was purely informational, so I was there to just listen anyways. The great thing about having a wireless headset and mic is that I can move pretty far from my computer and still be engaged in a meeting. To be very clear, I would never poop in a one-on-one meeting. There are boundaries and lines in the toilet that I would never cross. This is one of them.