After Friday, I won’t be able to publish this blog in the manner that I’ve been doing for about eight years now. Blogger is removing FTP publishing from their service. Though I’ve had about two months warning about this, I kinda sat on my ass and as the May 1st deadline approaches, I’m not entirely ready for the FTP service shutdown.

Until I get all the details worked out (of which there are many), this is where you should look for my blog going forward:

I’m hoping to get everything sorted out in a few weeks.


This is most likely where my blog will reside going forward. There are a lot of small things I still need to work out though. Also, there is no way I’m going to leave it looking like this. The standard WordPress theme is way too bland for me.

Thank you for your patience!


So my gum surgery was done almost a week ago now and recovery is going well I suppose. There isn’t any pain at all. There’s been very little residual bleeding. The only bad part is trying to keep all my food on the left side of my mouth.

The recovery is very much aided by the fact that there’s a large dressing over the surgical area. It’s a light coloured putty-like substance that’s been pressed around the gums. It’s been keeping the delicate area from being exposed to food and other things.

I’ve been instructed by the specialist to remove the dressing tomorrow if it hasn’t fallen off already (it’s still there). The last time I had this surgery, the dressing just fell of by itself. I’m kinda hesitant to rip it off myself. I hope I don’t rip out the stitches with it. I’m also a bit leery to see what’s underneath all that. What if I look like a monster now?


I went to renew my passport today. It expires next month after having it for five years. I just discovered today that it’s now a lot easier to get your passport application/renewal processed in person. While mail has always been an option, getting your forms done in person was a big hassle since there were only three passport locations in all of Vancouver (at least when I applied in 2005). Shortly after I made my application in 2005, the government of Canada opened up Service Offices across the nation. Rather than have distinct locations where you could only do one specific government service, these smaller offices now provide access to a whole host of services. I went to one such office today rather than needing to head downtown to the passport office. I only had to wait for one person in front of me.

As part of my renewal package, I had to surrender my current passport. I looked at the pages the night before and it was kinda sad. I had only one stamp in it. That doesn’t mean I only left the country once. In the five years I had my passport, I only went to the United States (Europe, I haven’t forgotten you). Every flight, except for one, I was cleared to enter the US before getting on the plane. In those cases, they don’t stamp your passport. The one lonely stamp I have states my port of entry was “NYC”.

I get my new passport in four to five weeks. In the meantime, I’m stuck in Canada.


Last week, track and field officials announced that American sprinter LaShawn Merritt had tested positive for steroids in three separate doping tests. Normally this isn’t notable news since athletes are caught with illegal substances in their bodies all the time. Merritt’s case, however, is somewhat different.

Merritt claims that the steroids, specifically DHEA, got into his body via a “male enhancement” drug named ExtenZe. Though the makers of the drug can’t legally say it, they strongly hint that the drug can make your penis larger. Merritt claims ignorance in that he didn’t know the drug contained a banned substance. Of course, excuses like that are not entertained by sport governing bodies. Athletes in the past have been suspended for taking the wrong cold medicine.

It’s interesting to note that Merritt, who is African-American, was taking a drug that he believed might make his penis larger. Now I dislike going to stereotypes, I myself have been subjected to a lot of Asian stereotypes, but it just seems odd that a dude of his racial background would need a drug to make his wiener bigger. Isn’t his wang supposed to be larger than average by default? Perhaps he was just being greedy and wanted something that could belong in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Last but certainly not least, Merritt himself has released a statement concerning his failed tests. These are his actual words:

“To know I have tested positive as a result of a product I used for personal reasons is extremely difficult to wrap my hands around.”

Really? I can’t believe he actually used those terms to describe the situation. On the contrary, I think he took the drug for express purpose of making it difficult to wrap his hands around it.

I’m here all week folks and remember to tip your waitress.


Last week I was one of the few people on this planet who still hadn’t seen the movie Avatar. With its release on home video on Thursday, I decided it was time to see this much talked about film. When I was at the video store, the clerk that processed my rental told me it deserved every bit of hype and all the accolades the movie had received. He really liked it. I just politely nodded. When I got home, I tried very hard not to think about what the clerk had said as I slid the VHS tape into my VCR. Oh, one more thing. The lady in front of me was asking the same clerk if from a picture quality standpoint there was anything difference between the DVD version and the Blu-ray version. The clerk said he thought the Blu-ray version might have had brighter colours but it was essentially the same. Really? Really dude? You might want to get your eyes checked if you can’t notice nearly triple the vertical resolution. Sorry, I’m going off on a tangent here.

So anyways, as the movie started, I tried to keep an open mind, free of any expectations for the next two and a half hours. When the movie ended, I noticed something quite interesting. I wasn’t really wowed by the experience of watching Avatar. This is noteworthy because everything I’ve read in the media points to this being a movie which belongs in the “epic” category.

That’s not to say I found the movie to be bad either. Avatar is a good film, there is no doubt about that. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel it lived up to the hype that other epic films succeeded in doing so. For example, I found all three of the Lord of the Rings movies to be much more satisfying to watch. I remember sitting in the theatre after each one of those films and just being stunned at how awesome it was as a piece of epic of entertainment.

Even measured among Cameron’s own films, it’s my opinion that Avatar isn’t even his best work. I’d put Terminator 2 and Aliens far above Avatar. After I saw Terminator 2 for the first time, it was my belief that Cameron had redefined what an epic summer blockbuster movie should be. I was just so blown away that he had combined revolutionary CGI with a story that dared to be so audacious in nature. The whole movie worked so well in almost every way.

I did not get the same feeling with Avatar. Yes, the visuals were certainly breathtaking. There was a lot of crazy new stuff that went into making the movie from a technical point of view. It’s two and a half hours of pretty pictures. I think where I found the most fault was the plot. The story was, at points, somewhat predictable. It also borrowed from other movies. A lot of people have noticed the similarities between Avatar and FernGully, the animated movie from the 1992. Also,Giovanni Ribisi’s character as the on-site administrator for the mining company was essentially the same as Paul Reiser’s character, Burke (Carter J.), in Aliens.

While Avatar is the most commercially successful movie in the history of the film, I don’t think it’s critical acclaim will match its box office.


So I am back home from gum surgery. I’ll be honest and mention that I’ve had a few gin and tonics in the last several hours. You might be wondering who goes drinking after having gum surgery. Let me explain. The skate dev team decided this afternoon was a good time to celebrate a super-late St. Paddy’s Day or Skate Paddy’s Day if you will. The pub was just a few blocks from my periodontist’s office and it just happened that the shindig was starting right after my surgery. The drinks were also free! There was also free food! There were prizes too!

To make a long story short, I drank a bit and used my ice-chilled glass against my cheek. I also ate a bit of bite-sized calamari. I even won a baseball cap in a prize draw. I am now home and in no pain. I am currently on 600mg of ibuprofen every five hours. There is barely any swelling though I’ll expect that to change tomorrow. Beside some slight tiredness, I am doing fine. In my experience though, it isn’t today that I start feeling effects of surgery, it will be tomorrow when I start to get my ass kicked.


I’m having gum surgery tomorrow. If that seems vaguely familiar to my long-time readers, it’s because I’ve had it done before, as chronicled in this post, nearly six years ago to the day. It’s almost in the exact same area as well, the lower right portion of my mouth.

I cannot express in words how much this is gonna suck. At least for the first time, it was all new so I didn’t know what to expect for the recovery period. Now I know what’s in store for me, which is a whole bunch of suck. Specifically, my mouth is gonna swell up, I gotta eat soft crap for a week, and I’m gonna be super tired all the time. What a wonderful way to spend the last week of my month off. The most awesome part is that this is gonna cost me well over a thousand dollars, of which I don’t know how much my dental plan will cover (which is not likely going to be 100%).

If you happen to look at the clock tomorrow and see that it’s past 2pm, know that my mouth will be a bloody mess by then. See you mofos on the other side.


After doing my income tax return last year I discovered that I had to pay $60 to the government. It was the first time in my entire life that I had to pay taxes rather than get a refund. That was disappointing.

I just did my tax return for 2009 just a few days ago. I was kinda dreading the result because I was afraid I’d have to pay again. It turns out that I’m getting a refund again. It’s a pretty sizeable one, well over a thousand dollars. I’m still not exactly sure why it was different this year. I bought the same amount of RRSPs as last year. I also know the federal government made a few changes this year to give citizens bigger tax breaks. It’s my belief that the biggest help came from two things. First, I reported some capital losses on some stocks I had to liquidate. I bought shares in two companies around 2000 or so. The shares are now worthless so I lost several hundred dollars with that foray into trading. Second, I believe buying an apartment helped me out too. I was eligible for the First-Time Home Buyers tax credit which amounted to $750 (non-refundable). It’s good to know that going into debt several hundred thousands of dollars gave me a one-time, non-refundable tax credit of less than a thousand dollars.

There’s a lot I could do with my refund but I’ve already decided I’m going to use it to pay down my mortgage. That’s a very responsible thing to do and it makes me feel like I might be a grown-up in no time.


I am currently cat sitting for a friend while he and his girlfriend are on vacation in Mexico. I really don’t mind doing this for several reasons. First, I like cats as they’re one of the most interesting domesticated animals on this planet. Second, my friend lives in my building so it’s very convenient for me. Third, I have a lot of free time on my hands.

This cat, named Mika, requires just three things from me: food, water, and a little bit of attention. I was told I didn’t have to attend to Mika on a daily basis and that checking up on her every other day would be fine. Since it takes me about two minutes to get to my friend’s apartment, it’s really no big deal for me to spend some time with Mika every day.

When I open the door to the apartment, Mika is usually there to greet me. At this point, about a day has passed since she’s interacted with another human being. She meows for like a minute or so, the only time she really meows while I’m there. I immediately go and refill her water dish and her dry food dish. I then get some wet cat food from the fridge and give her some.

At this point, I could just go back to my apartment but since it’s taken less than ten minutes to do all of this, I usually stick around. As a bonus, my buddy’s cable TV selection is about 10x better than mine, so I wind up just watching a bit of TV.

While I’m examining the schedule to see what’s on, Mika is usually eating the wet cat food I’ve set out for her. It doesn’t take her very long to finish it. When she’s done, she’ll come by the couch where I’m sitting and paces a bit in front of me. Soon she’ll decide to jump up onto the couch and on my lap. She’ll then proceed to rub her face on both my hands. Mika will also headbutt me in the face a few times as well. It’s at this point that things can get painful. Mika will then try to put both her front paws on my chest and sorta kneads all over. This would be slightly endearing except for the fact that she’s got her claws out. The first time she did this I just had a t-shirt on and it hurt like a sumbitch. I now ensure I have a heavy-duty hoodie zipped up when I’m on the couch now.

When she’s done the kneading, she’ll settle down and just rest on my lap. At this point, I can comfortably go back to watching TV. Once in a while, I’ll give her a little rub between her ears on her head. When I’m done watching Jersey Shore, it’s time for me to go. Before I leave, I give Mika a little treat in the form of some catnip.

The whole process then repeats itself the next day.