Another blow was dealt to the Vancouver games industry today as Disney decided to cancel Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned which was being made at Propaganda Games. The sudden and unexpected cancellation was followed by layoffs as approximately 100 people were let go from Propaganda. I know of at least four people who were working there. As of tonight, I know three of them made it past the cuts. Unfortunately, one of them was not as lucky. I feel a kinship amongst local people who work in the games industry and because of that, it always makes me sad when I hear about these things. I hope everyone that was affected gets back on their feet very soon.
I wish I could say this was an isolated incident but I don’t think that would be true. Closer to home, I’ve been hearing some whispers and chatter about my own place of employment. I don’t have any hard facts or confirmation, so at this point I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I’ve been in the industry long enough, however, to realize that when so many people are hearing the same type of things, something is going to happen, we just don’t know the when or what. Actually, you can almost guess when something is going to happen. When game companies are publicly traded, as is the company I work for, upper management types like to get their house in order before the quarterly earnings reports. The next quarterly earnings report for us is scheduled to be one week into November. The reality is that for some people who are making sports games out in Burnaby, they have less than four weeks of employment left. I could be completely wrong of course and nothing will happen but it just doesn’t seem very likely.
So if I could be completely selfish for a minute, we can discuss where I might fit into all of this. The game I’m currently working on isn’t done yet and there’s still lots of stuff to finish. My area of responsibility still needs some effort and I’m pretty much the only person working on it. If we were being logical about it, it wouldn’t make sense to lay me off before the next earnings report. Now if we’re talking about laying me off before the financial quarter after March, that might be a different story. Unfortunately, another lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes companies don’t always make logical decisions. Anything could happen.
While today was not a good day for the local games industry, I believe we haven’t seen the last of the layoffs yet. I’m hoping I’m really wrong about this one.
The KFC Double Down “sandwich” is coming to Canada on October 18. If you’re not familiar with this new food item (which has been a big hit in the US), then you’re probably a healthy eater. The Double Down is like a regular sandwich except instead of bread, you get two fried chicken fillets. The “middle” consists of slices of bacon, two types of melted cheese, and some sort of special sauce.
A friend of mine and I have decided we’re going to try the Double Down when it makes its debut here in Canada. It’s probably not the wisest decision we’ve ever made but we’re big fans of fried chicken, so we just have to try it. I know it sounds really unhealthy but compared to other fast food, it’s really not that bad. If you were to eat a bacon cheeseburger and some fries, it’d be essentially the same thing. Now I know both those meals aren’t exactly steamed vegetables and tofu but sometimes you just have to go for the indulgences.
Just to put into context what my friend and I have eaten in the past, we once ate a 15 piece bucket of KFC between the both of us in one sitting. I was in a lot of pain after we did that and I essentially didn’t eat another meal until lunch the next day.
Welcome to another edition of “Did You Know?”!!!
Did you know there are instances where rats have their tails all tangled up together and cannot separate? The entanglement can be quite permanent and the rats are forced to live joined at the tails. This situation is called a “rat king“. Some people don’t believe such a thing could happen but there are instances in which the remains of a rat king have been found. Though rare, specimens have found their way to museums for display. X-rays of some rat king remains have shown breaks in the tails where the rats were knotted up.
The interesting thing is, there is very little historical evidence of anyone seeing a rat king while all the rats were alive.
Since the staff at et.com worked today, I’m giving everyone a day off tomorrow. We also need to air out the fridge in the lunch room anyways. I think someone forgot their egg salad sandwich in there.
In Canada, tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday. While most people have the day off, I’ll be working. I’m trading my day off for a day off on Tuesday. I’ll be using my time off to pick up my parents and my grandmother at the airport. They’re arriving right in the middle of the day which is inconvenient enough that taking either half of the day off wouldn’t make sense. If you’re wondering where my family is coming back from, they’ve been on a six week trip that covered places like Alaska, Russia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China.
If you have the day off tomorrow enjoy it!
I’ve had the exact same thing for lunch four days in a row now. I’m going to do my best to make that five days. Since Monday, I’ve had the same salad for lunch. It’s got lettuce and chicken in it and they drizzle on some dressing. It’s tasty and low fat. The greens keep me regular. The chicken provides me with some protein.
There shouldn’t be anything stopping me from getting the salad one more day. Perhaps the only obstacle will be someone who wants to go out for lunch. Leaving the studio for lunch is a nice treat. I wonder how many days in a row I can continue to have that salad before I get sick of it?
Tomorrow marks another start of the NHL regular season, bringing professional ice hockey back into the limelight for North America. Sports writers, bloggers, and plain old regular folk have been trying to predict which teams will do best in the upcoming season. The local professional ice hockey team in my city, the Vancouver Canucks, have been penciled in by many as the best team in Canada and the best team in the Western Conference. Some even go as far as saying they are the favourites to win the whole thing, the ever elusive Stanley Cup.
While I agree that the team looks good on paper, I get quite frustrated when I read such lofty predictions for those Canuckleheads. It leads less informed fans to think that the Vancouver team can do no wrong this season. In reality, this year’s version of the Canucks retains that special ability that every other past Canuck team had. It is that special ability to play like crap even when everyone else thinks they should be playing great. I’ve seen it before time and time again, and this year will not be different. I don’t care if the players are different, they’ll find a way to let the wheels fall off at the most inopportune time.
The other thing to consider is how well the Canucks play in the playoffs. They haven’t been able to escape past the second round since 1994. It doesn’t really matter how good your regular season was once the playoffs start. No one cares about that. What good is 100+ point regular season campaigns when that doesn’t translate into playoff success?
The Canucks will play their first regular season game on Saturday with high expectations. I hope they live up to them.
I had way too much bacon for my own good today. I had three crispy strips of bacon with my three scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning. I did pretty good for lunch, opting for a healthy salad devoid of any bacon. For dinner though, I had a bacon cheeseburger. It looked like there were three strips of bacon there as well.
Six slices of bacon in one day. That can’t be good for you.
I went to my dentist today for a routine cleaning. He really worked me over as my teeth and gums are still a bit sore. It’s the good kind of sore though because it indicates to me it was really thorough and deep cleaning. My teeth also feel super smooth, like a highly polished marble.
My dentist is downtown so I had to head over this morning. I really miss working downtown. Things are different now.
I had a salad for lunch today. It was so good. How good? The chicken in the salad was decent but I ate the non-meat parts of the salad first because it was so tasty.
I’m gonna wear green pants to work tomorrow.
That is all.
Throughout recorded human history there are tales of remarkable people whose lives were fascinating. Two men who lived in the late 1700s are such individuals. Tarrare (his real name is unknown) was a French man who was a soldier and a bit of a side-show freak. Charles Domery was a Polish man who was also a soldier. They both are well-known for having extraordinary appetites and the ability to consume incredible amounts of food. Despite consuming so much food both men strangely did not become obese though they suffered from other physical effects.
I could just re-write what is in their Wikipedia entries but that would be a waste of time. I encourage you to have a read through both entries as I myself found them to be quite interesting. I’ll leave you a few quotes for you to consider. First, a description one of Tarrare’s episodes:
On another occasion Tarrare was presented with a live cat. He tore the cat’s abdomen open with his teeth and drank its blood, and proceeded to eat the entire cat aside from its bones, before vomiting up its fur and skin. Following this, hospital staff offered Tarrare a variety of other animals including snakes, lizards and puppies, all of which were eaten; he also swallowed an entire eel without chewing, having first crushed its head with his teeth.
Finally, a description of Domery’s talents:
At 4:00 am, Domery was awakened and fed 4 lb (1.8 kg) of raw cow’s udder, which was eaten without hesitation. At 9:30 am he was given a meal of 5 lb (2.3 kg) of raw beef, twelve large tallow candles totaling one pound (453 g), and a bottle of porter, all of which were consumed. At 1:00 pm Domery was given another meal of a further 5 lb of beef, a pound (453 g) of candles, and three large bottles of porter, all of which were also eaten and drunk. During the course of the experiment he did not defecate, urinate or vomit at any point, his pulse remained regular and his skin did not change temperature.