As 2013 draws to a close, some neat blogging gizmos generated a summary report for this blog for the last 12 months. I know this little dog and pony show ain’t the most popular corner of the Internet but I appreciate each and every one of those 10,000 visits during the last year, even if people were mainly looking for pictures of women in volleyball outfits. Thanks for your support and I hope you continue to come back in the new year!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays thus far. For those of you who’ve had to work since Christmas Day, I feel for ya. I’ve been off since last Monday. I’ve spent the time visiting friends, spending time with my family, watching movies, and playing video games. I’ve also been staying up late which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. I’m fast approaching that weird limit where I’m about to jet-lag myself without going anywhere. I’m waking up beyond noon now which isn’t a good sign since I gotta be back at work on Thursday. I need to get to bed earlier starting tomorrow. If this were the summer, the sun would be rising as I write this.
From everyone here at et.com, we wish you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays and all the best in the new year!
In my experience, video game studios start their holiday break the week that includes Christmas. I’m pretty sure all of EA had their last day of work of the year on Friday. For whatever reason, the studio I work at changed their policy for this year and made both Monday and Tuesday (Christmas Eve), regular work days so that the break doesn’t start until Christmas day. That’s a bit odd in my opinion. Anyways, many people just wound up taking vacation days for both Monday and Tuesday, so there won’t be many people around tomorrow.
Since I’m still kinda new, I don’t really have many vacation days so I didn’t want to blow them all on Christmas. I did have a “floater” day, which doesn’t carry over to the new year, so I used it up for my day off on Tuesday. I’ve never worked on Christmas Eve and I’m not about to change that now. All this means is that I have one more day of work on Monday and my holiday break starts. Now with very few people at work tomorrow I’m not saying I’m gonna come in late, take a super long lunch, and leave early, because that wouldn’t be right and I’m better than that. I will say that tomorrow will probably be a laid back day of work, albeit still productive, just to be clear for any of my managers who might be reading this.
For all those are already on their break, I am envious!
In the above video, they got some doctor to analyze the injuries that John McClane would have suffered in the first Die Hard movie. While I believe the exercise was interesting, the doctor definitely took some liberties with his diagnosis. A concussion by simply breaking through some dry wall? The dry wall that I’ve seen wouldn’t really even give most people a bump on the head. The doctor seems to take the worst-case outcomes in all the scenes. Anyways, it’s still neat to hear all those fancy medical terms.
It being the festive season, I’ve dined out the last two nights for dinner. Yesterday evening, I did the buffet at the River Rock Casino. I’ve been there several times with my family and it’s usually quite good. It doesn’t compare to say the Wynn buffet in Las Vegas but that’s an unfair comparison. This time it sucked though. The selection of food wasn’t great at all. There were a lot of filler items. Yam rolls at the sushi station. Large globs of stuffing next to the turkey. Some items were just very bland tasting. There was a fish dish that tasted like nothing. My scoop of cheese tortellini tasted like cardboard. The best thing I had that night was the won tons in soup. I was better off just going to a noodle joint. The worst thing about the whole evening is that both my friend and I both felt very uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. I had massive amounts of gas after getting home. We didn’t even eat that much! I finally got a case of the poops at 1am but felt much better after that. My friend was not so lucky. He had a grumbly stomach that kept him up until 5am.
Putting that dinner behind me, I met up with another friend this evening at Al Porto, a great Italian restaurant downtown. We had a very simple but fresh tasting bruschetta for starters. For my main course, I had a wonderful seafood risotto consisting of clams, mussels, prawns, and scallops. I finished off the meal with a chocolate torte. The whole meal was splendid and was the complete opposite of my buffet experience.
I might go back to the buffet at a later date but I’m definitely returning to Al Porto much sooner. Watch out for those buffet poops!
So last week I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, the blogging platform that powers this wonderful blog. Behind the scenes, things are all shiny and new. Something that stood out to me is a list of the most popular searches that led people to my blog. You can see the search terms above.
If you were wondering if sex was still a big part of the Internet, the answer is yes. The strange one is “flossmaster”. If you use that term in the search box, nothing comes up. I don’t even know what a “flossmaster” is. A guess might be one who is really good at flossing? Google turns up nothing.
Perhaps it was the fatigue or the case of the Mondays but sometime this evening I decided that I am going to buy a wok over the holiday break. Over the summer, I quite enjoyed my culinary explorations but they were decidedly Western dishes. I love Chinese cuisine as well so I think it’s time I looked into making those foods as well.
Of course, having a wok isn’t necessary to make Chinese food. You can make a lot of stuff without a wok but the wok is an iconic part of Chinese cooking. I think buying one is a great first step for making authentic Chinese food.
Selecting the right wok is critical. I have a ceramic stove top so that will limit me to a flat-bottomed wok. Ideally, all wok cooking should be done over a gas flame because you need the very high temperatures that only a gas range can supply. This is called wok hei, which I wrote about a few years ago. In a perfect world, I’d be cooking my round bottom wok over a blue flame but I have to use what I got. I am definitely not buying a non-stick wok. I’ll be going the traditional route and buying a steel wok. This will necessitate a proper seasoning of the wok but that’s part of the charm of cooking with a wok. I’ve seen woks that retail for several hundred dollars but some go for less than $60. I’m probably going to get something that lies in between those amounts.
So what will I be cooking? I’m really interested in making stir-fried noodles and vegetables. There are so many recipes to choose from. My ultimate goal is to try to make lobster in the wok. I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons (but hopefully not my waistline).
Last week I read about an outbreak of norovirus at a hospital in this province. I immediately thought of my two experiences with norovirus about a year ago. At least in my case, norovirus is way worse than food poisoning. It’s much more painful, as I had headaches and general pain throughout my body. That’s not even including the vomiting and diarrhea, though if there is a silver lining in some of this, I tend not to vomit that much.
I cannot stress enough how easily it is to get norovirus. Just touching an infected surface is enough to cause you world of hurt. Wash your hands frequently when you return home from being out and about. Try not to make contact with anything that is commonly touched by the public. I always try to grab door handles with my sleeve over my hand. I like to think I’m saved myself from all manner of colds, flu, and poop-related illnesses by following that one simple rule.
Stay safe out there!
I received my first batch of Christmas cards today. I’m always thankful for any cards that are mailed to me because as a single dude, my card only reaches one person, whereas they could have sent it to a family and had many people see that one card. I’m especially thankful because I’m a terrible friend and don’t send cards back.
Lots of people sent pictures of their whole family, including their kids. I like this because I can see how the little ones are growing. It also lets me know if there was a new addition to the family, which is very useful sometimes. This year, a couple I know, they showed up to this social thing I went to and they had a child I’d never seen before. I’m not talking a newborn baby or anything, it was little girl about to go into kindergarten. How did I miss that?
I also applaud those who spent mega bucks on their fancy cards. These people aren’t getting their stack of cards from the dollar store. One particular couple from Manitoba (you know who you are), sent me a card that I knew was deluxe even before I opened it. I could feel it was a 3D card through the envelope. When I took it out of the envelope, I saw it had all manner of elegant accoutrements on the front. This card must have cost at least $5. These people aren’t messing around.
Can’t wait for more in the mail!