I was shopping at one of the local T&T Supermarkets this evening when I noticed something interesting. There was this Asian dude in the produce department and he looked exactly like someone who works in the communications department at EA. They were both tall and skinny, had almost the exact same haircut, and more importantly, nearly identical facial features. The only major difference was the EA guy is Caucasian. So the produce guy was the Asian EA communications guy.
This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed something like this. In fact, just a few weeks ago, some new dude joined my team at work. This dude just happened to be Asian. When I saw him for the first time, I thought, “wow, this dude is the Asian Kevin Smith“. My new co-worker was also short and stocky, had the same haircut, and also wore glasses like Kevin does. Their facial features are also similar enough to make the resemblance quite easy to see. Last but not least, both dudes love wearing shorts.
Over the years, I’ve encountered many instances where I’ve seen the Asian version of other people. The very first instance that sticks out in my memory though occurred in 1997. Just days removed from my last exam of my undergrad degree, I was in Honolulu, Hawaii for a family vacation (the first in many years). My Mom loves going on tours of places she visits so she arranged for the whole family to be shuttled around in a van to see the various tourist sites. It was at one of these tourist hangouts that my sister and I spotted the Asian Burt Reynolds. The Asian Burt was a tour guide but not ours. He had his own group that he was showing around. Asian Burt had slightly wavy hair just like the real Burt did. He was also rocking some sunglasses. He wore a turquoise short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt and brilliant white pants. The kicker was his mustache though. It was as grand and thick as real Burt’s ‘stache. If I were a betting man, I’d wager five whole dollars that even Loni would have a hard time knowing which one belonged to who (no riding allowed). Both my sister and I observed Asian Burt at two different stops of the tour. He seemed to have the right attitude to back up his Bert look. He even chewed gum like the real Bert.
Asian Burt made quite an impression on my sister and I. He was more interesting at times than the actual places we had been driven too. We never saw Burt again after that, though my sister and I would speak about him in fond terms many years later. When I went back to Honolulu two years ago, I briefly wondered about what happened to Asian Burt. I didn’t track him down but I did get to touch some taxi driver’s head though.
Today I was going through the list of spam comments for this blog when I saw one that was written by “blue dolphin vibrator”. I wondered if such a thing existed or if that was just a fake name that someone came up with. One Google search later, I discovered there actually is something called a “blue dolphin vibrator”.
“The textured surface ripples against your erogenous zones with every “dive”, offering shiver-inducing sensations each time the shaft dips in and out.”
Tonight I’ve been playing around with a new feature to Google’s Gmail which allows you to make free phone calls to landlines and cell phones within the US and Canada. This is pretty much what Skype can do except that it’s currently free.
The voice quality is fairly decent and what you’d expect with a normal VoIP application. The neat thing is that it’s essentially free calls to anywhere within North America with no restrictions (so far). The number that the calls originate from belongs to area code 760, which is the San Diego area. Everyone will have to know not to hang up from those numbers since it’s people using Google to call. Everyone should try it out!
There is no time for a lengthy post tonight as I was out quite late. I attended a farewell shindig for one Ben K, a former co-worker of mine. Ben and I worked on skate 3 together. Ben also randomly met up with me along my commute about 90% of time at random Skytrain stations. Unfortunately, Ben and I also got laid off together. His dismissal was quite a surprise since he is a very good software engineer. Maybe management saw that we rode the same bus together all the time. Sorry about that Ben.
Ben is going back to Ottawa. He says he’s not done with Vancouver just yet. I’ll have to remind of that statement every once in a while. If you’re reading this Ben, remember, no matter where we end up, you, me, Grant, and George will always be the LTFO crew.
Over the last six months I’ve had the displeasure of seeing many of co-workers become former co-workers. The manner in which they became “former” co-workers went through either one of two routes. The first route is the one everyone is so familiar with, the every popular “massive layoffs”. In this scenario, people who are relatively content with their jobs are told, without warning, their services are no longer required and they can begin watching daytime TV at home. The other route consisted of people who decided their jobs just weren’t satisfying anymore (for whatever reason) and willingly made the choice to leave the company. They just didn’t want to be there anymore even if EA were perfectly happy to have them stay.
Now you can see the big difference between those two groups of people. One group was forced to leave and other group left on their accord because they wanted to get the hell out. Now here’s where the corporate response to these two groups gets a bit weird. This is what happened on the skate team. The people who no longer wanted to work there and wanted to get out were given personalized skateboard decks that were signed by the team. It was a nice gesture and a thank you for the people who weren’t interested in their jobs anymore. What did the people who got laid off get? Nothing. Yes, in the cases where people were outright laid off, they got severance but that’s mandated by law. Did they actually get anything that was of a personal nature or a thank you for their hard work? No. No personalized skateboard. In the other cases where people got re-assigned, they got much worse, in most cases a dead-end job that was a million times less interesting than their previous job.
I’ve been trying to figure out what the logic behind all of this is. People who no longer had the desire to work at the company got rewarded with a nice, personalized gift. The people who wanted to keep their jobs but got laid off got nothing. That’s like giving the partner who wants a divorce a big reward for leaving the marriage while giving nothing to the partner who got left behind. How does any of that make sense?
To be clear, I’m not bemoaning the layoffs happened. I’m beyond that now and I understand that’s what companies do. It’s just that the response to the two different ways that people left the company is so odd that I can’t figure out the rationale behind it. I guess what this has taught me is that given the same level of effort and dedication on your part, you’ll be appreciated more if you leave on your own compared to if you hang around to get axed by the company.
This evening I went out to dinner with some former co-workers. Among the four of us, we managed to eat 10 lbs of chicken wings. The place we went to made some great wings. I’d definitely go back to try some of the varieties I missed out this time around.
The problem with consuming about 2.5 lbs of wings each is that I’m nearly comatose right now. I’m also extremely thirsty. I believe there is a lesson to be learned from my experience tonight but I’m not sure what that lesson is. I’m going to put my head down on my desk for a second.
Despite being a big fan of comic books, I only read one series on a regular basis and that is Marmaduke. No but seriously, I’ve been reading The Walking Dead since about 2008. As you might infer from the title, the series is about a world in which a zombie apocalypse has befallen the planet. Readers follow the struggles of a small group of people who are trying to survive against both the zombies and other people. In some cases, other humans are just as much of a threat as the zombies are.
The comic has now been adapted for the (HD)TV screen. AMC, the makers of Mad Men, is producing the new series. Frank Darabont, the man behind The Shawshank Redemption is one of the people helping to get the show off the ground. What you see above is the first trailer for the new show. It was shown at this year’s Comic-Con. The trailer features protagonist from the comic, Rick, who is just discovering that the dead are walking the planet. The series debut is slated for this fall.
Just for kicks, I decided to take out my $8 web cam and have some non-illegal fun with it. I placed the camera on my balcony and made it take a still photo every five minutes over a 24 hour period.
The capture period was done yesterday, ending this morning. When it was finished, I made a time lapse movie with the images, using 4 frames per second. The result is what you see above.
I’ve never done this before so it was interesting to go through the process. My web cam really sucks though so that degraded the quality of the images. The resolution is only 640 x 480 and it has a difficult time adjusting to varying light conditions. I’m tempted to get an HD web cam just for kicks now.
I’ve never been a big fan of spicy foods. The more spicy the food, the more uncomfortable I get. My mouth burns and the top of my head gets all itchy. As you might imagine, that isn’t a pleasurable dining experience in my opinion. I know for some people the spicy kick is the appeal and the hotter is it, the more they enjoy it. I think these are the same people that like getting punched in the testicles.
Lately though, I’ve been giving a hot sauce a try at work. This might be in response to my perhaps boredom now with the EA cafeteria. For a while there, I’d have this daily snack of kettle chips with a squirt of Tabasco red pepper sauce on each chip. It was delicious. The red pepper variety of Tabasco sauce is extremely mild. It’s not very spicy at all but still retains a bold enough flavour for me to notice. Because of the vinegar in the sauce, it also has a bit of sharp and sour taste. The combination is quite tasty. I stopped eating the chips this way because I was consuming a large amount of potato chips on a daily basis.
My new “thing” is adding the Tabasco sauce to the breakfast wraps. To me, this is the tastiest thing on the menu right now. The combination of eggs, hash browns, bacon, cheese, salsa and the Tabasco sauce in a spinach wrap is the most delicious way to start the day. It’s certainly not the healthiest but it tastes so good. When I have one of these in the morning, I usually don’t have lunch until 2pm.
In light of my new spicy experiences, I am going to buy a bottle of green and red Tabasco sauce for my own home. I am already looking forward to chugging these bottles while drunk and in my underwear while alone in my apartment on Saturday night.
Yesterday I was thinking how tubby I’ve become since I was 20 years old. Back then, I fit into 28″ waist pants and I believe I weighed some where around 130 lbs. Now I squeeze into 32″ pants and I clock in around 160 lbs.
To be fair, I looked like really skinny when I was 20. I saw this picture of me from that time and I looked ridiculous. My head was still the same size but I had this skinny neck. It was like having a pumpkin on a toothpick. I don’t think I’d like to be that skinny again but I’m pretty sure it’d be healthier to lose a few pounds here or there.
I’ve always admired people who got into better shape as they got older. I bet it is sure fun to go to high school reunions for those people.