I just checked the weather forecast for tomorrow and it calls for clouds and showers. The high will be just 18 degrees Celsius. Despite this, I am going to wear shorts to work. I don’t care anymore. It’s essentially July and we’re experiencing autumn. If I don’t start wearing my summer clothes soon, there will be very few chances to wear it for the rest of this “warm” weather.

On my way home this evening, the elevator up to my apartment stopped off on one of the parking levels. The elevator door opened and all I could see was a huge crowd of middle-aged to senior Japanese women. They all squeezed into the elevator car with me. I had to count how many there actually were. There were ten of them and they were going up to the penthouse floor. I have no idea why there were ten of them and what they were doing up there. They all spoke Japanese and there appeared to be a leader amongst them. My floor came before the penthouse so I had to exit first. It was the oddest thing I saw all day.

Tomorrow is Canada Day here in… Canada. That makes sense. As well as being a national holiday, it’s sorta like Christmas for professional hockey fans. July 1st is the day that some hockey players become unrestricted free agents, meaning those players can shop their services to any and all teams. Fortunes will be made on Friday and some players will be set for life. Some teams will get better and other teams will rue the day they made horrible, costly mistakes. It’s a good day to refresh the sports web sites every five minutes starting at 9am PST.

Ok, maybe the oddest thing I saw today might have been on the Skytrain on the way home. At Granville, a rather attractive woman wearing yoga gear got on the train with her workout bag. It contained a big bottle of water and some takeout food. She sat down in front of me and then proceeded to open the container of what turned out to be fried noodles. Using her bare hands she grabbed some of the food and then scarfed it down like she had not eaten in days. She repeated this a few more times as some of the people around her raised a few eyebrows. After consuming the food, she then put her head down and fell asleep, a sleep that appeared to be quite deep. Most people don’t do this on the train and for someone who didn’t seem homeless, it was exceedingly odd. The only time I’ve felt like eating in that manner is when my hypoglycemia kicks in and my blood sugar levels drop to a low that makes me primal for any type of food. I actually wanted to wake her to make sure she wasn’t a diabetic who was in a hypoglycemic state but she really didn’t look like she wanted to be bothered. My stop came before hers so I couldn’t get closure on this. I hope that woman was alright.

Have a good long weekend Canada!


My life is filled with bad habits but one of them I find very difficult to avoid. I often eat within one or two hours of going to bed. I’ve heard people say that isn’t good for you. Apparently, you gain more weight from the same amount food if you eat right before going to sleep compared to consuming it many hours beforehand. I don’t know if that’s true but I’m too tired to Google it right now.

I’m not a fan of eating just three large meals in a day. In fact, a nutritionist told me that a healthier diet consists of several smaller and reasonable meals throughout the day. I’ve taken to that strategy but it also means I’m sometimes hungry before bedtime. I used to just ignore the hunger and just go to sleep but that sucks. Hunger makes it more difficult to go to sleep. I’m also not fond of patterning my life after an orphan in turn of the 19th century England. I’ve learned to just snack reasonable before going to sleep if I feel even just a bit peckish.

One evening last night, I had two pieces of toast with butter. The other night I had a small portion of pasta with some cheese. Tonight, I had two pieces of dim sum and some yogurt. I think this is pretty reasonable but the fact that I’m even eating anything this close to sleepy time probably isn’t ideal. I should consult a dietician or a nutritionist about this.


For those not living in Vancouver right now, I just want to let you know what kind of summer we’re having thus far. After experiencing the coldest spring in about 50 years, it appears we’re about to experience a similar chilly summer. I believe the temperature has been 25 degrees Celsius or higher on just two days of the entire year so far. The summer has consisted of cloudy days and brisk evenings. Not surprisingly there has been rainy days.

I see the odd person walking around with a tan but that’s either from a trip elsewhere in the world or a trip to a tanning salon. There are a lot of Vancouverites walking around with pasty white skin. The forecast calls for clouds and showers for the rest of the week. The long weekend promises a bit of sun but I’m not so sure.

If you’re enjoying the hot and sunny summer where you are, think of us!


If you’re a fan of indie games on the Xbox Live Marketplace, I encourage you to check a new release. The game is called Lair of the Evildoer. It was essentially made by one dude named Ben who quit his job at EA and decided to go it alone in the indie scene. I worked with Ben at EA before he formed Going Loud Studios on his own. He’s a smart guy, understands the business of games, and is an overall good person.

I bought his initial release, Zombie Account but Lair is his most ambitious project yet. At just 80 MS points, it is well worth your time and money. At the very least, you should download the trial which priced at FREE. Just try it out, for FREE! If you’ve never looked at the indie game scene on the Xbox 360, this is a great place to start. Help a guy out!


It’s property tax time in the province of British Columbia and I just paid my property taxes for my apartment for the third time. As some of you know, the price of real estate here in Vancouver can be outrageous. For my first year, my taxes were well under $1000 which was quite reasonable. The next year, my taxes went up 16%, mainly because my apartment was now being assessed at fair market value. This year, the increase, at 5%, was more in line with what I’ll see in the future. My taxes this year were just over $1000. All of this for an apartment that is 620 sq. foot in size.

How does that compare with where you live?!?!?! How much tax do you pay for your penthouse condo in Dubai?


A few weeks ago I was contacted via e-mail by an online advertising organization looking to pay me to put what they deemed a simple ad on my site. At first I thought it was spam but a little research showed they were legitimate though certainly not as well known as Google Adsense. I replied and it took a few weeks of back and forth to find out all the details. I took a long break from the correspondence due to my devotion to this year’s hockey playoffs. With that out of the way, I finally got around to discovering the exact nature of the ad they wanted me to place.

It turns out they wanted me to actually change the editorial content of one of the more popular pages on my web site. I imagined the ad would be some banner or text box that visitors could clearly understand was not my content but advertising. I was wrong. They even gave me the revisions they wanted to my own text that I wrote that had the references to some company and the link to said company. I was disappointed this was the way they wanted me to sneak an ad into my site. I imagine some people might not have a problem doing this but for me it’s not the way I run this site. I understand this little dog and pony show is nothing compared to even the top 500 most popular sites on the Internet but even the smallest sites can maintain their integrity. The money they offered certainly could have come in handy for me but that’s not the way I want to make some cash. I’m not against online ads at all but they need to be placed in a sensible and honest manner.


I use an electric shaver because it’s convenient and saves a lot of time. I used to be an old-school shaving cream and razor dude but that just took way too much time and effort. Last week, I was shaving with my electric when one of the blades snagged on a hair through the foil and rather than cut the hair, it basically ripped it out of my body. It was painful but what made it worse was that I wasn’t shaving my face at the time. I have no shame in admitting as a dude of the 21st century, I keep things neat and tidy “down there”. I know many of you dudes do the same.

Anyways, I immediately turn off the shaver and went to inspect the damage. The shaver had ripped the hair right out and it had taken a noticeable area of skin with it. Surprisingly, beyond the initial sucker punch of pain, it didn’t hurt that much. The bleeding was minimal as well. Usually when I get cuts on my body, I play it safe by putting rubbing alcohol on it. It certainly stings but keeping the wound clear is worth the pain. In this case, given the sensitive nature of the area, I couldn’t bring myself to get out the rubbing alcohol. Instead, I decided to hop in the shower and wash off the area with water and a bit soap. It did sting a tiny bit but it was certainly not too painful. After drying off, I decided a bandage was out of the question. First, the wound wasn’t that large and second, I ain’t putting a damn Band-Aid there. Beyond the first hour or so, I didn’t even notice it anymore.

The lesson to be learned here is to maintain all your shaving equipment. For me, I knew I was supposed to replace the cutting blades and foil every eighteen months. I had probably gone double that when I had my little mishap. Today, I replaced said items even though it almost cost me $50 to do so. The shaver cuts like it was new now which means no more snagging and pulling. Let this be a warning to you all.


Jackass star Ryan Dunn was killed early Monday morning in a car crash. He was the driver behind the wheel of his Porsche when it went off the road and caught on fire. There are indications he may have driven while under the influence. If he did indeed drive drunk, it was a terrible, tragic mistake. Nonetheless, we’ll never see another stunt from him again.

The above video shows him in one of the earliest and most memorable Jackass stunts. It involved riding around in golf carts, hitting stuff and trying to get as much air as possible. It was simple, effective, and entertaining. It also involved one of the most painful looking crashes I’ve seen in Jackass. I wish the boys of Jackass well in the next few weeks.


Late Saturday evening, I returned home from a housewarming. I took a taxi home since I stayed beyond the last Skytrain towards the boonies where I live. Getting a taxi wasn’t difficult but I was reminded that I should always get a driver from Vancouver Taxi. Through almost three years of taking cabs home from work on EA’s dime, there’s always a chance I’ll get a driver who recognizes me and I get better service. Anyways, I got a cab from MacLure’s and the ride home was uneventful. Unfortunately, I left my phone in the taxi and it was nearly twelve hours before I could go retrieve it from the MacLure’s dispatch office. A big thank you to my driver who turned int the phone. If it wasn’t for him and his good morals, I’d be out a phone and I’d be in for a whole lot of hassle.

While it was essentially my driver’s good nature that got me my phone back, there are several things you can do to help prepare for the unfortunate event that you lose a smartphone or a laptop. There are several free programs out there than you can install on your phone/laptop to help you recover your cherished item. Some companies like Apple already have their own recovery systems pre-installed on their products. If you don’t have such a thing, consider the following options. I actually have two separate products to assist me. The first is called Lookout Mobile Security. This app deals exclusively with mobile platforms: Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. It does a lot, including virus and malware scanning, data backups, and device recovery. The free version has enough features to be useful, most importantly using a web interface to locate your phone via GPS and/or Internet trace routing. It can also backup your contacts and even your entire call history. Unfortunately, it requires an upgrade to the paid premium version to invoke the remote locking and data wipe features. This is can be critical if your phone is in the hands of people who don’t have any intention of giving your property back. Also, Lookout requires your phone to have a data connection to be enabled for it to work.

Because of some the limitations of Lookout, I also have an called Prey installed on my phone. Prey runs on the most popular computer OSes and on mobile, it’s available so far only on Android. If I traveled more with my laptop, I definitely would install it on there. Since I’m out most of the time with only my phone, I use the Android version. Prey deals just with helping you recover your lost phone. The great thing about Prey for Android is it does not require a data connection to start its location services. You send a text message to with a special code phrase to let Prey know to start sending location information to a central server. Of course, the rest of Prey’s features do require a data connection, so you’re kinda of stuck there. Another good thing about Prey is that you can remotely lock your phone for free without having to upgrade to a paid version.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you lose your phone. Obviously, the fastest, easiest, and most common sense thing to do when you lose your phone is to call your number. Even if you only have one phone, the phone you lost, you can still make free calls via Gmail. Second, having a data plan that’s turned on all the time will assist you in getting your phone back. The above apps can use that data connection to send telemetry back to you. It will also give you the chance to remotely lock your phone and even wipe your data if you want to go that far. Last but not least, make use of your phone’s native screen locking capabilities. On Android, you can use a gesture, a phrase, or number as a passcode. This will add another layer of protection so that other people can’t get at all your info on your phone.

I feel quite lucky to have my phone returned to me but I felt much more relieved knowing I had those apps installed. They let me know where my phone was and kept my data safe until I could get it back. It’s too late to install these programs after your property has been lost, so do it beforehand!


The one bet I would have gladly lost...

When I was but a child, following sports, specifically hockey, was something I enjoyed doing. It did not take me long to learn though, especially as a follower of the Vancouver Canucks, that disappointment would often be my reward for cheering for the home team. Watching your team lose is never a pleasant experience. The worst thing is that you cannot control the events you follow. You merely witness them and hope for the best. There is nothing you can do to help your team. You can buy as many tickets as you want or wear your jersey day in and day out, that’s no guarantee your team will do better.

In June of 1994, the Vancouver Canucks were defeated by the New York Rangers in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final. That day remains the most disappointing experience I’ve had as a sports fan. What made it worse was I felt more disappointment for the players than myself. They were heroes in my eyes and they did absolutely everything they could to get that last win.

As I grew older, I got wiser with many things in life, including how to handle disappointment with the sports I follow. When the 2011 edition of the Vancouver Canucks started the playoffs, I decided to make several strategic bets against them. With the advent of online sports betting, these bets were easy to make. Rather than bet on individual games, I bet on the Canucks’ opponents to win the whole series. The goal was to get myself in a win-win situation. If the Canucks won, then I’d be out a few dollars but at least the Canucks would be through to the next round. If the Canucks lost, then my disappointment would be tempered by the monetary windfall. In any case, there would be a positive outcome for me. This was my way of getting sports insurance.

In the first round, it wasn’t difficult to bet on Chicago. The Blackhawks had destroyed the Canucks in two previous years. When the Canucks stumbled and lost three straight games to Chicago, I thought my bet was looking pretty good. I was so unsure of the Canucks performance that before game seven, I placed an additional bet on Chicago for that game alone. I nearly won those two bets as I was just an overtime goal away from making nearly $1000. I ended up losing my initial bets but that was ok. The insurance was working.

For the Nashville series, I forgot to bet before the series started so I lost my chance there. I was also hesitant to bet since I deemed the Predators to be a much less problematic compared to Chicago. For the San Jose series, I am disappointed to say I got caught up in the hype and I perhaps actually believed the Canucks would probably defeat the Sharks. Rather than throw away money, I decided not to bet against them. I was correct in doing so.

When I saw that Boston had defeated Tampa Bay, I came back to reality. I instantly recognized that the Bruins would be the toughest test yet for the Canucks. I made a simple bet that would ensure I would get something out of the Stanley Cup Final, no matter who won. At this point, after devoting so much effort, energy, and hope in the playoffs, I needed to cover my ass. It was the one bet that I made in my life that I would have gladly lost. In the end, the Vancouver Canucks were defeated and the only solace I can seek now is with the money that I won.

Keep in mind, with the two earlier bets I lost, I basically come out even at this point, so I didn’t not strike it rich with this insurance policy. This is something I will continue to do with future playoffs involving the Vancouver Canucks.