Lisa, our talented and cheerful receptionist at Black Box has been promoted to a new position with EA. In light of this good news for Lisa, we’ll be needing someone to step into her old role. If you have or know someone that has good organizational skills, are friendly, and enjoying working in a casual and creative atmosphere, feel free to contact me.

I also must mention that while in some other companies, a receptionist might seem like a temp or dead-end position, at EA Black Box and EA Canada, there are clear paths to higher positions within the company. The next logical step is production coordinator and from there, many options exist. I personally know someone who was a production coordinator and is now a producer on the NHL development team.

Think about it!


In a previous post, I detailed the real estate listing that appeared to show a picture of a genuine stripper pole right in the middle of a condo’s living room. I was interested in the condo beyond just the pole but it certainly did add to my desire to see the place, plus its owner.

Today, my realtor arranged for us to see the apartment. It was weird in that the listing realtor did not meet us there. My own realtor managed to get the keys to the place even though someone was already living there.

We went up to the place and knocked on the door. No one answered so my realtor took the keys and unlocked the door and went in. It was clearly being lived in. Also, music was playing from an unseen source. Whoever was living there had cleared out for us, knowing we’d be arriving. The whole thing seemed a bit odd, so my realtor told me to be quick about having a look.

I can confirm with my own eyes there is indeed a brass stripper pole right where it is in the picture. With the various fingerprints up and down the pole, I could also tell it has been used in the past. At this point, I really, really wanted to meet the tenant and/or the owner but neither was to be seen.

The rest of the apartment itself is quite nice with a very large den, attractive kitchen, and decent hardwood floors. The sucky part is that the view nothing to write home about. The living room window faces a side street and part of a main thoroughfare, none of which are spectacular things to look at. It also didn’t have a storage locker which might account for the random piles clothing, objects, and knick-knacks lying around.

The question of the day for me is whether or not the pole comes with the apartment. If it’s simply a portable pole that can be packed away easily, I suppose the answer would be no. An ok apartment nonetheless but I don’t think I’ll be making an offer.


Today was a big day for geeks and scientists alike as they turned on the CERN Large Hadron Collider for the very first time. Even non-sciencey people might have read about this since there have been some fears the ambitious undertaking could lead to the destruction of the planet (via black holes).

For those who don’t know what goes on with the LHC near the Swiss-French border, it’s quite simple. Scientists are attempting to accelerate particles at each other near the speed of light and smashing them together. The resulting collision, they hope, will shed some light on the mysteries of quantum physics that have eluded physicists for some time.

The facility is interesting for many different reasons. First, there is the whole “it can destroy the world” controversy. I have read that technically the experiment could produce black holes, which by their nature coud suck all matter into them, including our planet. I have also read though, that such black holes would be too small and live too short to do any damage.

Second, such a large scale and ambitious experiment has had many parallels in fiction already. The most famous of which comes from the video game universe of Half-Life. In that universe, a large scale experiment relating to quantum physics goes horribly wrong, opening a portal to another world. Aliens from that world enter our world through the portal, effectively starting the end of civilization. The hero of the series, is none other than an oddly silent physicist, who was working on the experiment.

Third, I actually knowing a scientist working at the LHC who is there right now. Frank, who I met while living at SJC, is doing a PhD in physics and was lucky enough to witness the “flip of the switch” today. We always joked how Frank was the closest thing we had to a real-life Dr. Gordon Freeman but little did we know he’d take it a lot farther than we’d ever guess.

Last but not least, there’s something you should consider. You may believe everything is cool since they turned it on and we’re all still here. Keep this in mind, today was just the initial start up test. They only got the particles moving in one direction or the other today but not opposite directions at the same time. There were no full speed collisions today. In fact, they don’t plan on having big smash ups occurring until near Christmas. How do I know this? Frank told a whole bunch of people this and he should know. So it’ll be a few months yet before you can let go of your crowbar.

Stay vigilant!


About a week ago, I received the following e-mail (with no subject line no less):



The all-caps e-mail message. I haven’t received one of those in a long time. We’re almost ten years into the new century. E-mail etiquette is now widely known, at least it should be. Sending a message all in caps means, of course, that you’re shouting. Had Jessica been mad at me, then all caps would have been appropriate. I did not think, however, that Jessica really intended to yell her request for Grey’s Anatomy Season 4.

Anyways, I do not know Jessica if you’re wondering. You might also be wondering why she’s asking me for Grey’s Anatomy Season 4. It probably has something to do with the fact I have a few pages on this site about bootleg DVDs. Keep in mind, no where does it state nor imply that I make, distribute, import, or conjure up bootleg DVDs. I simply show how some bootleg DVDs have inferior image quality compared to the real thing.

Over the years, I received about three or four of these types of messages. Now that torrents are all the rage, there’s really no reason to be looking for bootleg DVDs.

By the way, I looked up Jessica’s e-mail address domain. It looks like she lives in or near Atlanta. Knowing that isn’t really relevant to this post but it sure adds to the word count.


Congrats go out to Tyson and Tom for making it to Cape Town. Their motorcycling journey through Europe and then Africa was certainly an enormous undertaking and I am glad they got to the end safe and sound. You can read Tyson’s final post of the trip here. Also, the lads were featured in a Sunday Times article. It’s a great summary of their trip and there are some amusing comments from some readers at the end.

Tyson is now back in Toronto, resuming his education in the medical field. I wonder if all that seems dull now compared to riding across the plains of Africa? Bone, I’ll see you in about a month in Ottawa! You can tell me about all the unwritten stories!


What you’re seeing above is a receipt that I found at a bank machine that I was using at a local 7-11. In this day and age where every bank machine asks you if you want a receipt or not, why would you press “Yes” but then not even take it out of the slot? I do not understand that.

Anyways, whenever I encounter a receipt left in the slot, I always look at it. Call me a snoop or nosy but I admit, I like seeing how much money people have left in the account. In this case, when I looked at the account balance, I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Sure enough, this account was in the negative for close to $33 000. There’s no way someone could be overdrawn that amount. This must be a line of credit or similar account.

I do understand that many people in this financial climate live with large amounts of debt. I understand that students come out of university with large amounts of debt. I understand people use debt to fund a lifestyle that might have been out of reach otherwise. Hell, I’m willingly looking to go into debt for over $200K with my apartment-owning aspirations. Still, $33K is a lot of money to be owning to the bank for reasons that one ATM receipt can’t let us know.

I wonder what they did or are doing with that money. Tuition for them or their kids? A boat? A car? A vacation? Mortgage payments? Jewelry? Gambling debts? Booze? Blow? Hookers? Comic books? Tempura? Their own business?

I suppose I will never know what that money is being used for.


I usually don’t remember my dreams but I did last night. I dreamed I was backstage at a TV studio. There was a taping of a performance of some sort. There was an audience of no more than a hundred people, sitting in a semi-circle. The studio was slightly darkened with lighting with a hint of purple.

On stage was an older gentlemen. His hair gray, almost completely white in places. He was a singer, not anyone I could name right now. He was older than Neil Diamond and definitely more traditional in his musical taste than Neil for sure. For reasons unknown to me, he was singing David Bowie’s China Girl with very little accompaniment, almost a cappella.

“I could escape this feeling, with my china girl
I feel a wreck without my, little china girl
I hear her heart beating, loud as thunder
Saw the stars crashing”

Whoever the singer was, he was very into the song, as odd of a choice it seemed for him. While the audience was respectfully quiet, they were clearly enjoying the performance.

I don’t remember anything else from the dream. If this dream means anything I would like to know.


Though I didn’t read about it until after this morning’s commute, I had first-hand experience with the report that wait times for transit were much higher this morning compared to yesterday. After yesterday’s commute, I thought the first week might not be so bad after all. This morning proved me wrong.

I had already left for work late, heading out at around 10am. I was thinking I’d be in the studio by about 11am. The first bus that came along was the community shuttle that takes a meandering route to the Skytrain station. That shuttle takes almost double the time that the express bus takes, getting to the same location. If only I had hindsight there to tell me to take that bus. Instead, I waited for the express bus. The waiting continued. Ten minutes became twenty. The express buses usually are just ten minutes apart. Nearly twenty-five minutes later, I saw a bus come along. It was not in service. Five minutes later came another bus, also not in service. Ten minutes later, a real bus came along but it was so full it didn’t even stop for me. Ten minutes after that, the next community shuttle came along. Looking down the road, I couldn’t see any more buses, so I had to take this one.

Not two blocks down the road, the express bus came roaring by us as we puttered along. Not only was it flying down the road, it was half empty. We were in between stops so there was no way I could execute the “switch”. So not only was I on the slow, short bus (it’s been years since I’ve been on one of those), we came upon construction which narrowed the road down to one lane in either direction. So my morning of waiting continued.

We finally made to the Skytrain station where I realized I was going to make it to work just in time for lunch. After an uneventful ride to Waterfront, I sheepishly rolled into the studio just after 12pm.

I’ll be glad when this week is over.