So despite finding out that my downstairs Tim Hortons is open 24 hours, I usually don’t frequent that place too often. If you look at it objectively, Timmy’s serves up a whole bunch of carbs, sugars, fats, and caffeine. There’s no deny that stuff can be packaged up in a tasty way but in general that stuff isn’t good for you.

I’m not sure how I discovered it but I found out recently that Timmy’s has this promotion where they are offering some of their specialty coffees for $1 for a small size. You get a choice between a mocha, a latte, and a french vanilla cappuccino. For whatever reason, even though I don’t drink coffee, I decided to try the french vanilla. When I worked downtown at EA, the only type of coffee I could stand drinking was the french vanilla. I decided what the hell, it was a Friday and the caffeine wouldn’t cause me any problems because I could stay up late.

I believe this was perhaps the third time in my life that I’d ever ordered a drink at Tim Hortons. I get my small french vanilla cappuccino and I bring it back upstairs to my apartment. I remove the lid and it smells great. It’s still super hot so I leave it for about two minutes to let it cool down some more. I take a sip and there it is, it’s like a little bit of heaven in my mouth. It was delicious. I drank the whole thing in almost a minute. I even briefly though about going right back down to get another. Maybe double fist?

I hesitated and instead looked up the nutritional info for this beverage. Of course, with something that tastes so good, it’s completely awful for you. If you look here, just a small contains almost 30g of sugar and 9g of fat. The caffeine content isn’t so good either. A small contains 60mg of the vroom-vroom, which is more than a can of Coke.

This didn’t stop me from getting a large french vanilla this Saturday but I felt bad about it afterwards though. During the consumption, however, oh man that’s good stuff.

I feel like this will be a pitched battle going forward. Maybe we can keep it to one small on the weekends?


So over the weekend I was doing some non-porn surfing on the Internet when I started to read a discussion thread on how much YouTube content creators make on video views. The original discussion was on something else entirely but it took a tangent to YouTube and the money you can make off it.

In one particular comment, someone estimated that one specific YouTube dude was making several million dollars a year on his videos just through views, not ad clicks. This a guess, as even the comment author pointed out, but it seemed to be backed up with some logical assumptions. The most interesting thing, besides that multi-million dollar figure, was that this YouTube dude primarily makes videos of him playing video games. Yes, that’s correct, he just records himself playing video games.

Ok, let’s just toss aside the millions for a second and assume he makes $1M a year doing this. That’s just stunning. You can be a millionaire by simply playing video games and putting videos of you doing that on the Internet.

For a long time, mothers all over the world would commonly say to their children, “you’ll never amount to anything if you just sit there and play video games”. For many of us, we had twist reality a bit to make that statement false. Sure we loved video games but no one would really pay us to just play. We had to go to school and learn stuff, and then make video games. It was hard work, certainly harder than just sitting at home and playing Xbox 360. Hell, even testing video games is hard work. You’re often playing broken parts of the game over and over again. Let’s not forget those eSports guys that make lots of money playing in tournaments. While they do get rewarded handsomely, they have to be in the top ten in the world in their specific game. It’s a lot of effort and it can be stressful.

This YouTube guy though, he just sits and plays the game normally. He doesn’t even have to be that good at it, certainly not top ten in the world. Someone will now literally pay you lots of money to just play video games.

So you might question the amount of money there is to be made in such gaming related videos. I was a bit skeptical too but then I have seen some anecdotal evidence. I’ve been following two particular YouTube content creators for a few years now. Both recently started a gaming channel, where they simply play games and record the game and their commentary. One of these guys never really struck me as that much of a gamer before but now here he is playing and recording all the new releases.

You know, if I knew there was this much money in these gaming YouTube channels, I would have done this a long time ago. I would have recorded hours of footage of me playing Atari 2600.


So apparently Kanye West did an interview with BBC recently where he said many things, among them that he was the one who came up with the idea of leather jogging pants. I didn’t even know leather jogging pants were a real thing but I did some looking and holy smokes, they are. If you look here, a pair will only set you back $3400 but it ships free though.

Kanye got super mad at Jimmy Kimmel for the above video though, which only made things even more weird.


There’s a clothing alterations shop right downstairs from where I live. For all you loyal readers, that shop is where I saw that half-naked girl earlier this summer. For a year now, this is the place where I’ve gone to get my pants hemmed. When I was working, I’d either go in on Saturdays or the two days a week that they were open past 6pm. Of course, when I had this summer off, I had lots of time to go get my pants hemmed.

I recently bought a pair of pants about two weeks ago. I was expecting to get it hemmed at this place. As this store is located right by where I enter my apartment building, I see the storefront a lot. Last week I noticed a change in their posted hours. They are no longer open on Saturdays, so they are now closed all weekend. They are no longer open late on any days and in fact, are closed at 5:30pm on weekdays. They don’t open until 10:30am everyday. Those hours don’t fit with my schedule at all. I’m gone for work well before 10:30am and getting back from work before 5:30pm is an impossibility. So effectively, this store doesn’t even exist for me. Everyday when I leave my building, the store is locked up and dark, and when I return it is the same way.

I’m not sure why they reduced their hours but I can’t see this as a good sign for business. For most working people, those hours just don’t fit their daily schedule. Does a store even exist when you never see it open?


No little chef hats for the bones...

I made a rack of lamb this evening. This is my third time making a rack of lamb. It was only when I realized my parents had given me three racks and all of them were still sitting in my freezer that I decided I needed to do something with them. I used a recipe that you can find here. For me, the most time-consuming step is the mincing of the garlic. I’m still really bad at chopping up all the individual cloves.

This is a very good recipe. It’s not that difficult to follow and the results are delicious!


The all seeing eye...

For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking of enhancing my home security with a network-enabled camera. Some of you might remember that I set up a camera when I first moved into my apartment a few years ago. That was very much a ghetto set up. I used a $9 web cam that had the resolution of a toaster, which had to be connected to a PC, and used freeware software to drive the whole thing. It was also a pain in the ass to access the stream from outside my home network. In the intervening years, cloud-enabled network cameras made things much easier. Cameras no longer need to be connected to a PC, are now wireless, and can be accessed easily and quickly through a PC and even mobile devices.

I had my eye on this particular model for a while. It was cheap but had all the functions I wanted, including a night vision mode that allows the camera to see in the dark. It even allows you to see your camera stream from a smartphone or tablet. I ordered the thing from Staples when I received a $20 discount coupon via e-mail. I did the ordering online in the morning before work so I was a bit groggy still. As I was entering the shipping address, I put my home address instead of my work address, which would have been a lot easier. Obviously I’m not home in the daytime. I only realized what I had done after I hit the “submit” button to place my order. I didn’t think it would be a big deal since many of Canada Post deliveries just go next door to the post office if I’m not here. I just pick it up in the evening after work. I read through the shipping FAQ on the Staples web site and saw that they use a delivery service and not Canada Post. If you’re not there to take the delivery, they take the package back and try again two more times before they give up. Your order is then cancelled. Damn.

My only recourse was to leave a note addressed to the delivery guy that stated I was ok with him leaving the package at the door to my apartment. I’d then have to risk having my package sit there at my door for hours. I didn’t want my order to be cancelled so that’s what I did. I was hoping the delivery would happen later in the day, like around 5pm, so it wouldn’t have to sit there too long. No such luck. The delivery dude buzzed my phone at 11am and I let him into my building. He dropped off the package at my door while I was at work. All day at work I wondered if my camera was still going to be there when I got home.

I didn’t get home until 7pm and I was cautiously optimistic about my chances. The people who live on my floor are generally very nice people. Only three other apartments are on my side of the floor, so only they would see this box lying at my door step. One of those apartments has a couple that I’ve been friendly with in the past, so I didn’t think they’d take my stuff. There was a chance some random guy could walk by and take it but my building is secured and you can’t just walk into my building.

As I ran out of the elevator on my floor upon my return I held my breath as I turned the corner. I looked down and… there it was, a small box on my door step. My camera had sat there for almost eight hours and no one had taken it. Was it pure luck or that my neighbours are just good people. I like to think it’s the latter.


As many of you have read in my previous posts, I was fairly active during the summer and attributed that to part of my weight loss. With the end of summer and arrival of fall, I wanted to continue to be out and about, getting exercise. I also know that with the fall, the temperatures will drop and the rains will be coming in full force. In fact, this morning the rains were already heavy and monsoon-like.

To prepare for this I’ve been shopping around for weather-appropriate gear for my walks and short hikes. My plan was to get three items, all water-repellant: shoes, pants, and a jacket. The pants were the easier part. I picked up a pair of cycling pants from MEC. Yes, they’re for cycling but they look great, are easy to move in, and they’ll keep the elements out. With the shoes, I was having a hard time deciding between trail running shoes or light hiking shoes. Both are designed to be light and allow you to move quickly. I wound up going with a light hiking shoe. It didn’t feel too heavy on my feet and it’d keep the water out.

The last piece of the puzzle has been the most difficult. So far, I haven’t found a jacket I’m totally happy with. I’ve narrowed it down to a few North Face selections but I’ve yet to make a final decision. In the process of looking, I’ve discovered some simple looking rain shells can cost around $500. For that, I’d expect a jacket that you could wear all year and that makes french fries in the pockets.

The funny thing is, while I’m doing all this shopping, I can’t but help feel like I’m some sorta yuppie poseur, buying gear that won’t even see the summit of Kilimanjaro. Oh well, I think it’s a noble attempt on my part to stay active and outdoors during the fall and winter months. I can’t wait to wear these things to the mall!


It’s now late September and the long, hot days of summer are at an end. Indeed, this Sunday is the fall equinox. Here in Vancouver, summer is hanging on as we’ve had some surprisingly sunny and relatively warm days this week. No matter how good the weather though, the sun is starting to set earlier and earlier, the temperatures don’t quite get up to where they were before, and the nights are beginning to feel cooler.

In fact, the last couple of evenings, the wind picked up and there was a noticeable chill in my apartment. I’ve had my sliding patio door wide open since probably late May. It hasn’t been closed since. I thought about sliding it closed just a bit, not all the way, but I resisted. It was mostly out of stubbornness, as a refusal to accept this great summer was coming to an end. Soon winter will be upon us and once again I’ll try to go another cold season without turning on my heat. I wish I could say I was looking forward to it but visiting Hawaii would be a lot better.


While I am generally very pleased about where I live, the one very minor lament that I’ve had is that there seemed to be no businesses in the general vicinity that were open beyond midnight. I’m glad that the Safeway and the Shoppers is open until midnight, which is pretty good actually, but the nearest convenience store that is open 24 hours is several kilometers away. It would be awesome if there was a 7-11 nearby. During the “summer of me”, I was awake at all hours of the wee morning, sometimes wanting a snack or sorts but thinking there was nowhere close by to go.

Well, yesterday I was walking by the Tim Hortons below my apartment and I heard someone say it was open 24 hours. I thought they were wrong because I just assumed they closed at 11pm or something. Then I realized I’d never walked by that Tim Hortons anytime after 10pm. Maybe that person was right? So I walked in to the store and I asked an employee. They are open 24 hours a day and had been since day one apparently.

All summer here was this place that was open every hour of day, ready to serve me doughnuts, coffee, sandwiches, and sugary drinks, whenever I wanted, just an elevator ride away. Perhaps it was a good thing I didn’t know this during those four months.

It pleases me to know I can conveniently get a coffee and a Danish at 4am if I wanted to.


I’ve been at my new job exactly two weeks today. As you know, I’ve been really concerned about getting fat again now that I’m back to work. I haven’t weighed myself since I started work, partly because I was apprehensive about what the scale was going to show. Well, this evening I sucked it up and stepped on the scale. I was pleased to see the digital needed edged just over 156 pounds which was what I was around during my most active period of the summer. Granted, it has only been two weeks and I should wait a whole month before I feel some real satisfaction. I do believe I’m headed in the right direction though with my diet at work. In these two weeks, I’ve avoided any greasy breakfast items like an Egg McMuffin (even though a McDonald’s is along the way to work). For lunch, I’ve been careful to steer clear of major carbs. I did falter once when I got some fried rice for lunch one day at Noodle Box. It was definitely a moment of weakness but fried rice and stir fry noodles are so good though. For the most part though, I’ve been trying to keep my lunches low-fat and low-carb. I also don’t snack during the day as much as I used to at my last job. It definitely helps that there’s not that much free food in the studio. No more potato chip snack breaks at 4pm anymore.

I’m also trying my hardest to keep active. For this month, I’ve walked as much as I did in the whole month of June, when my weight really started coming off. If by November I’m still going good I’ll be really happy. Steady as she goes.