After talking to one of my friends who is much smarter than I am, I have deduced that my last supposed episode of “food poisoning” was actually a norovirus infection.

At the time, I blamed it on some bad pineapple which was the last thing I ate before getting sick but that doesn’t really make any sense. It was fresh pineapple that I had cut myself from a whole pineapple and I’ve been eating pineapples like that for years. The flesh of the fruit didn’t smell or taste bad at all. When you think about it, a fresh pineapple is pretty damn hard to get sick from especially when you consider it’s covered and protected by a thick rind.

I’ve also taken into account that there’s a current outbreak of norovirus illnesses in the Vancouver area. Norovirus is easily spread and extremely contagious so it’s quite likely I caught the illness that way. I also found out that at least one other person at work was also felled by this virus and had to stay home for several days.

If you’re in the Vancouver area, make sure you wash your hands frequently and stay away from people you think might be sick. If you yourself have been infected with this illness, stay home! Your vomit and diarrhea is extremely contagious. If you share a home with others, isolate yourself from your housemates. If possible, don’t share your bathroom with anyone.


Welcome to another edition of Did You Know?!?!?! Did you know it is illegal for non-US citizens to look through third generation night vision goggles manufactured by the United States? Doing so is subject to fines and/or incarceration in prison. I wasn’t able to find the exact wording of the law but I’m guessing the person in trouble would be the US citizen who supplied the equipment to the non-US citizen.

I discovered this while shopping for night vision goggles on the Internet. I’m guessing the US doesn’t want anyone to know how good their technology is in this area.


I carry hantavirus...

I work in an older but lovely building that has lots of exposed brick and large wooden beams throughout the structure. It’s a character building that houses many business offices and even a few restaurants on the lower floors. I was told during the summer that occasionally the building has a bit of a rodent problem because they are attracted to the food and food waste produced by the restaurants. There was a chance the pests could possibly reach our floor but that was unlikely since the restaurants were more likely targets.

When we returned to work after the holiday, we discovered that perhaps these rodents weren’t so discriminating after all. One of my coworkers had left a sealed plastic bag full of cereal on his desk. We came back to find the bag had been chewed or otherwise torn apart and cereal had been strewn across his desk. Close by to the mess were a few mouse droppings. We believe the rodent was a mouse because the droppings were much too small to be a rat.

In response, the desk was cleaned off and my coworker no longer leaves food on his desk overnight. A pest control dude was called in and he laid some traps under a few desks, along some walls, and in our kitchen area. At least to my knowledge, nothing has been caught yet. Just this week another coworker discovered some more mouse dropping on her desk. It’s unclear if these droppings were fresh or just undiscovered until now.

I’ve taken care not to leave any food on my desk overnight. I did, however, leave a Nestle Crunch on my desk and forgot to take it home or put in my desk drawer. Luckily, nothing happened and I got to it before the mouse did. Now, I just have a hard plastic container of chewing hum on my desk, which I ensure is sealed whenever I’m done with it.

I’ve been also lucky in that I haven’t seen any mouse dropping on my own desk. That’s not to say that a mouse hasn’t walked across my desk or my keyboard though. The thought of that kinda makes me uncomfortable but at least the little dude was kind enough to not poop on my stuff.

I’m not sure if the traps the pest control dude laid out are effective. I’m thinking we should go old school and get the battle-tested ones. I’m tempted to buy one and bait it with some peanut butter and lay it out near my desk. I am afraid though that it might actually work and I’ll come in one morning and find a dead and smushed mouse by my desk.

At this point, I’ll settle for the mouse never pooping on my desk.


It’s been a week since I’ve experienced my last bout of food poisoning. What a record. I usually go years without having serious food poisoning. I’ve had it twice in the last four weeks. I don’t even wanna know what freaky kinds of bacteria are in my digestive system now.

I borrowed a cordless drill from a friend to permanently install the door sweep at the bottom of my door. It’d been held in place by duct tape in the interim. I’m glad that thing is there because the hallway air that is being blown into all the apartments is not heated. That’s right, freezing cold air is being forced into all the units on every floor. I don’t know what other people are doing because it’s like having an air conditioning unit turned on all the time. Luckily the seal at the bottom of the sweep is pretty tight so I’m now blocking all that air.

Tomorrow is pizza lunch day at work. We order in pizza for everyone at the end of the month. I feel like it’s elementary school and it’s hot dog day.

I did my first Dine Out Vancouver dinner this evening. I went to Hapa Izakaya in Coal Harbour. I used one of my selections for a salad. I’ll let my Mom know on the weekend what a grown-up decision that was. I am sure she will be proud of that.

I bought something over the Internet and I received the online tracking notice. My package left Chicago early this morning via ground transport. I’m trying to guess where it is right now. I’m thinking either Montana or Idaho.


On the weekend, the fine folks at EA out in Burnaby had a huge post-holiday staff party at the Hotel Vancouver. It was an impressive event which was a James Bond or Austin Powers themed evening. As such, I wore my finest suit, which remains my Indochino number.

In the last twelve calendar months I’ve worn my suit about a half-dozen times. Previous to that, I don’t think I’ve worn a suit more than a half-dozen times in my life. I really like wearing suits. Perhaps it’s the novelty of doing something new or experiencing something you usually don’t. It’s probably because I finally bought a suit that actually looks good on me. Whatever it is, I kinda want to wear a suit more often. Alas, in my line of work, there’s not a lot of opportunity to do that.

Now there are probably some business dudes out there would who gladly trade places with me and relish the opportunity to show up at work on a daily basis wearing jeans, a hoodie, and skate shoes. They’re probably sick of their daily grind of having to wear the business uniform. I’m probably not looking to wear a suit to work everyday but I just wish there were more chances for me to dress it up once in a while, in a work or social setting.

Maybe I can get in my suit to go to the movies.


My home insurance comes up for renewal in less than two weeks. As such, my insurance company has sent me a revised renewal policy. I’ve been with this same company since I bought my apartment. So far, it’s been quite convenient going with them. They offer online payments so I don’t even have to step into their offices. Even so, just over a year ago, they opened up a branch just downstairs from where I live. I walk by their office almost every day.

This year’s policy arrived in the mail and I was dismayed to see the quote had gone up about $50 from last year. I’d never filed any claims and this was supposedly already factoring in my “no-claims” discount. There was no real explanation for the dramatic rise in cost. One evening after work I went to the downstairs branch to ask why the policy had gone up so much. The lady who assisted me first checked to see if I had anything new put on my policy. Nope, no new coverage. I then asked if there was anything I could get taken off (within reason) from my policy. She checked and it turned out I had a pretty bare bones policy to begin with. The company didn’t really offer anything less as a policy. I was left with a “take it or leave it” scenario. I thanked the lady for her time and left.

I decided at that point that loyalty to a particular insurance company makes no sense. As long as you get the amount of coverage you want, who cares who you go with? The supposed “no-claims” discount after almost four years still didn’t prevent a steady rise in cost year after year. It was time to shop around. I spoke with another insurance company today. After answering a few of their questions, they gave me a ballpark quote for their own policy. I made sure to ask for virtually the same coverage as I have now so I could make an “apples to apples” type comparison. To my delight, the rough quote came in more than $50 under what my current insurance provider had given me.

I still need to do some due diligence but I’m almost certain I’ll go with the new company. It certainly does pay to shop around sometimes.


The above video shows you five minutes of US Vice President Joe Biden as he walked the parade today after President Obama’s inauguration. Biden seemed to have the same enthusiasm he did when the campaign was still on. Always a crowd favourite, Biden mingled with several spectators and bounded from side to side, causing his Secret Service detail to have to keep up with him.

If Biden was full of energy there, then perhaps the polar opposite moment was here, when President Obama turned to look at the inauguration crowd once last time, quietly taking in the moment.


Whoa, so I don’t know if I can chalk it up to just bad luck but I came down with another case of food poisoning on Wednesday night. I’m not sure but it may have been some pineapple I had or possibly some poutine. I’m leaning towards the pineapple because it was the last thing I ate before things went to hell again. It’s always hard to tell with this stuff. Anyways, the nausea from the food poisoning actually woke me up in the middle of the night. I didn’t get much sleep at all that evening.

When I woke up I had the chills, my head was pounding, my muscles ached, and I had zero energy. It sucked but I had to take another sick day. Then I started peeing out of my butt again. Fun times. I, for the most part, just laid in bed all Thursday from the morning into the evening. It was a real downer. Sometime during the day, my chills turned into a fever. I also got dehydrated because I could keep fluids in my body for any length of time.

By Thursday night, I luckily stopped peeing out of my butt but the headache which had been plaguing me from the start remained. I took an Advil before trying to get some sleep. Apparently it worked because I woke up part way through the night and I was all sweaty and my headache was gone. With my fever broke and no pounding headache, I slept peacefully until the morning. I was well enough to go to work on Friday.

I have never gotten food poisoning incidents so close to each other. I don’t think this is indicative of anything I need to change at home because I got sick from a restaurant the first time and the second time was from a pineapple that was fresh from the refrigerator. Was it just bad luck? I hope so.


I am exhausted tonight. I went to the Canucks scrimmage this evening. Then I went to eat way more poutine than was really advisable. I somehow dragged my fat ass home and now I feel like sleeping for two days straight. You kids are gonna have to make your own dinner tonight. Daddy will be back tomorrow with real food.