For some of my Canadian readers, you’re aware that our dollar has been performing spectacularly against the greenback from down south. “Experts” apparently predicted the dollar to be on par sometime in the new year but many now for see that happening as early as next week.

I was initially dismayed to see our dollar rise so much and so fast in the last few weeks. In September, I sold some of my EA stock, the proceeds of which I received in US dollars. Selling US-based stocks is a bit of a two-step process. The first step is deciding when to sell, which is never an easy decision. Then there’s deciding when to convert it all back to Canadian dollars.

As I waited, the dollar went up and up. I didn’t really need the money right away, so I just dumped the proceeds into a US dollar ING Direct account. There it sits, waiting for the inevitable drop. For now though, our dollar is strong.

I didn’t really see the bright side of things until today, when I realized I should probably buy all my US goods now. I have my eye on a few things over at MonoPrice and I really want Season 5 of Mythbusters on DVD.

So I suppose it’s not all bad news. By the way, I forgot to bring my camera to work today. You’ll just have to trust me that I fish and chips for dinner. I would have had the BBQ ribs but they ran out. The lady behind the counter even chastised me for not eating earlier.


So I have officially started to work OT. I say officially because now the managers are now providing meal vouchers which are redeemable for dinner at the cafeteria. I haven’t had an OT cafeteria dinner since March of 2002. That all changed this week. Despite the seven year gap, it seemed all very familiar.

While working OT isn’t a great experience overall, working OT in Burnaby is less enjoyable than working OT while downtown. When we were working late at our Howe St location, at least I could look outside the windows and see the hustle and bustle of the nightlife. Now, when I look outside a window I see nothing, it’s pitch black.

Anyways, I’m thinking of taking a photo every single OT dinner I have. I’d also take said photo and put it on this blog. Wouldn’t that be interesting?


So for the past few years I’ve been doing something silly as the calendar blends from summer into fall. I try to go as long as possible without wearing my winter coat. Every year it seems like I just put away my heavy wool coat before it turns cold again and I need it to keep warm.

This year so far has been a fairly easy transition into fall. Yes, it did get quite cold the last few days but there hasn’t been many rainy days. I can tell I’m not the only one who’s doing this. The guy who sits next to me and the dude behind me at work both wore shorts today. I myself haven’t worn shorts to work at least two weeks now. I’ve been holding the line with just hoodies so far. I have a fleece MEC jacket somewhere but I think I may have misplaced it in the move.

My goal is to get to at least November without wearing my winter coat. If my Mom knew about this, she would be very displeased with me.


For the most part, the older people in my immediate family don’t know anything about my Internet presence. My father doesn’t use a computer. My mother is a little better, she browses a few web sites and does that e-mail thing.

So it was a bit surprising when I saw a new Facebook friend request on the weekend. It was from my aunt or specifically, my mother’s older sister. Now I’ve seen many, many examples on the Internet where people allowed their parents to be a Facebook friend and that did not work out so well. Yes, I realize my aunt isn’t my Mom but as sisters, they talk on the phone fairly regularly.

Now I don’t have extremely embarrassing pictures in my Facebook profile but at the same time there’s the stuff you do while you’re not around your family and the stuff you do while in family company. Those two different kinds of “stuff” don’t mix well sometimes.

I haven’t responded to the friend request yet and I’m not entirely sure what to do. I wish there was a setting so that a friend is a “limited” friend, where you can control exactly what about your profile they can see. I swear there was something like this but I can’t find it anymore.

So do any of you have your parents as a friend on Facebook? How’s that working out for you?


Today was the debut of the greater Vancouver area to Google’s awesome Street View service. Supplementing an already fantastic Google Maps feature, Street View offers a new way to explore the city of Vancouver (and its surrounding areas) in the comfort of your own home.

First, I must commend Google on its boldness, logistics, technology, and vision (no pun intended) to get this done around the world. Imagine how many streets there are in even a medium-sized city. For Google Street View to work, their mapping cars must visit every street from beginning to end. When I think of the size of the greater Vancouver area, which is nothing compared to some of the world’s larger cities, it’s amazing what Google has done.

So now to the fun stuff. Since I was at work, I was able to play around with the service for only a bit. What I did see though was very interesting. After looking at the obvious places like my own home and my parents’ home, I started to look at places I used to work. As many of you know, I was quite fond of Black Box’s downtown location. It was there I found a few gems. Look at the screen shot below:

What appears to be just two dudes crossing W. Cordova along Howe is actually a technical director and an online producer on my team. We can thus surmise that the Google Street View car did this section of Vancouver before our June move. Click here for the actual link.

Now take a look at the dude below:

Waiting for the light to change is Gord, a world modeler I worked with on the original skate. Click here for the original link.

Has anyone else found interesting things in Google Street View for Vancouver?


I was on the phone today with my building manager to find out when someone was coming to actually repair my now “supposedly” dry bathroom ceiling. He said it was up to the restoration company and their schedule but it would be soon.

I also tried to find out who was actually paying for these repairs. I originally thought this was all going to be under the new home warranty for the building but I was wrong. The building manager is billing the owner of the apartment above me for everything. He didn’t give me an exact figure (not all the work has been done of course) but he mentioned it would be in the range of several hundred dollars. Sucks to be that person.

Now I could be subject to the same penalty if spilled water near my toilet too. Of course, I’m not stupid so that won’t happen. I will, however, put a seal around my toilet base just in case. When that happens, I’ll probably document here.


So I spent another weekend with those two big machines in my bathroom. As you might recall, Friday was supposed to be the day they took the drying equipment out. This did not happen because they determined my ceiling was still too damp. So I had to run these machines all weekend long. This morning was another judgment today as the restoration company came by again to assess my ceiling.

Using a handheld piece of electronic equipment, they somehow detected my ceiling was dry enough to repair. They took the blower and dehumidifier away. Then they told me that someone else would be in touch to begin the final stage of repairs. No one called me today but I’m going to get the building manager on the phone to find out additional details.

If you’re interested, the above picture is the current state of my bathroom ceiling. The indent is from me applying light pressure with a single finger on the ceiling. It was mushy enough for me to easily push in. This is where I think two drywall sheets meet up and I was actually pushing in the joint tape. I’m not certain but it sure seems like it.

I’m hopefully in the final stage of repairs.


On Saturday morning, I woke up very early in the morning to go out to the airport. The purpose was to visit a friend who was coming in through Vancouver on his way to Bangkok. His layover was about five hours. Not long enough for him to venture out into the city but long enough for us to have a leisurely brunch.

Using public transportation to get to the airport from where I live offers two interesting options. Keep in mind I live just about due east from YVR, so the most geographically sensible route is to go due east. So option one does almost exactly that: a bus from the 22nd street Skytrain station goes east along Marine Drive and stops at the Marine Drive Canada Line station. From there, it’s just a few stops to YVR. The other option involves riding the Skytrain northwest all the way to Waterfront (going in almost the complete opposite direction from where YVR is) and then taking the Canada Line south, visiting almost all its stops. This option makes the least sense geographically.

In reality though, both options take about the same amount of time, with the difference being less than ten minutes. The reason why the times are almost the same is that the bus crawls compared to the speed of the automated trains. While going in proper direction, the bus is subject to more stops, traffic lights, and traffic congestion. In the time it takes the bus to go from New West to the south of Vancouver at Marine Drive, you could get to Waterfront, hop on the Canada Line and speed south to the Marine Drive station and meet up with the bus.

Knowing this, I decided to take the bus option to the airport and the other option on the way back home. It was an interesting trip in both cases. On my way to YVR, I got to see a new bus route which is always useful. On the way home, I got to see many of the Canada Line stations I hadn’t seen before. It really is amazing how fast you can travel from YVR to downtown Vancouver.

As a side note, this was the earliest I’ve been to the airport where I wasn’t traveling nor transporting people to/from YVR. I got there before 10am. If you know me, that’s incredible for a Saturday morning.


If I ever need to recreate desert conditions in a small enclosed room, I sure know how to do it now. Going inside my bathroom is not a very enjoyable experience. Besides having to navigate around two big pieces of equipment, it’s hot, noisy, and dry in there. The dehumidifier is super powerful. Since there’s almost no moisture in the air in my bathroom, static electricity builds up quite easily and in great amounts. How do I know? When I lift up the toilet seat cover alone(which is plastic), I can almost lift up the toilet seat at the same time because of the static charge between them. I can also hear the crackling of the charge. It’s like I have a tesla coil on my toilet.

Friday morning is when I find out if these machines have done their job yet. I want those damn things out of here!