Here’s a cat eating mashed potatoes from KFC.
Month: September 2015
I had to poop at work today which isn’t really newsworthy by itself. What is interesting is that the number of attempts I had to make before I could actually poop. It all started when I went to my favourite washroom to poop. Upon entering, I saw that the washroom was empty and both stalls were free for me to choose. Of course, I chose the roomy handicapped stall. That particular stall has a really messy flush so the bowl water frequently winds on the seat in the form of random drops. This was the case today but no big deal because you can just wipe off the water before you sit down. I grabbed some of the toilet paper and dried off the seat.
As I was about whip my pleated khakis down, I looked at the toilet paper dispenser and realized both rolls were empty. I had used what little was left to dry off the seat. Actually, it turned out to be a good thing that the seat was wet otherwise I probably woulda done my business and then had at most eight squares left to clean up the crime scene. Anyways, I was annoyed but I was willing to go the stall next to me, even if it was way more cramped. Upon exiting the handicapped stall and entering the other stall I was greeted with an odd sight. On the toilet seat of this stall was a small, wadded up pile of toilet paper. It looked clean. I then looked at the toilet paper dispenser and both rolls were also empty! What the hell! That little pile wasn’t going to cut it.
This was very odd since I know this particular washroom is cleaned and re-stocked at about 10am every day. Since it was not even 1pm at this point, there’s no way all that toilet paper would have been used up in less than three hours. Now I was really miffed. I went up one floor to another washroom because I had no other choice. There, to my amazement, I found that this handicapped stall was also unoccupied. As you might imagine, after I locked the door, I went to check on the toilet paper status. You can guess what I saw. Both rolls empty as well. What the hell was going on? It was clear to me that the cleaning staff had not cleaned and re-stocked the bathrooms today and probably all weekend.
It’s a good thing I really didn’t need to poop that badly because I finally found a stall with toilet paper two stalls down. It was like finding gold. With a secure supply of TP assured, I was finally able to bare my ass and get down to business. After I was done, I was washing my hands when someone came into the washroom and went into the handicapped stall. I really wanted to say something to him but I didn’t know him. By the time I was done with my hesitation, the door had closed and locked, and I could hear the tinkle of his belt buckle. He was getting ready to poop and I did not feel comfortable telling a man I did not know that he was going to have to wipe that up without any toilet paper.
As the shame burned through my body, I could not take it any longer and I quickly left the washroom. I hope that person was able to deal with the situation effectively and with dignity. I truly am sorry I did not speak up when I had the chance. Perhaps someone spared him a square.
THE GOOD OLD HOCKEY GAME
The regular season for the National Hockey League starts next week and for the first time in a long, long time I am overcome with indifference about it. I am normally somewhat interested in how many different ways the local team, the Vancouver Canucks, can manage to lose in the course of 80 games. This is year is different however. After a summer of questionable trades and mind-boggling player signings, I really can’t find any enthusiasm to follow the team.
Make no mistake, the Vancouver Canucks will be terrible this season and likely be so for many years down the road. It is my prediction that in less than three years, the Canucks will have a top-five draft pick during the summer and sadly that won’t come from trading for it.
I am more excited about the prospect of a team coming to Las Vegas than I am about my local team. Can you imagine how fun it would be to see real NHL hockey in Las Vegas?
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
At work, we’re lucky to have two Starbucks branded coffee kiosks. It’s convenient and offers a small selection of Starbucks beverages at a slightly lower cost (compared to their retail outlets). This week they started offering pumpkin spice lattes. I was feeling the afternoon fade and seeing as how I’ve never had a PSL, I decided to go for it.
A woman who had previously made my caramel macchiatos made my PSL today. As I was handed my drink, I saw the lovely presentation of a small dollop of whipped cream with what I imagine was a light dusting of pumpkin spice on top. Alas, my delight was short-lived. I took the drink back to my desk and I partook in my first sip. It was very sweet and dare I even say it was perhaps too sweet. I was also not a fan of the pumpkin spice flavouring. It just did not resonate with me. I was actually quite surprised by how much I hated it, given that I love eating pumpkin pie.
I could only drink a few more sips before abandoning the experiment. I am sure there are millions of people who enjoy a Starbucks PSL but I am not one of them.
Hey, let’s do something fun! About a year ago (or more, who knows), I made some investments. One was an RRSP (because I needed to for the home buyers’ plan) and the other was a new TFSA account (because I wanted to get rich). Admittedly, I went really far towards the risky end for these investments but how did I make out some 12 months later?
First up is the CIBC Latin American mutual fund. I know nothing about the Latin American economy, except that it’s even shakier than the North American economy. There’s a lot of corruption in these countries and depending on the region, people can be quite poor. So like an idiot, I put $1500 of my money into this fund. That $1500 is now worth $1234 as of today. Keep in mind, having this RRSP meant I paid less taxes last year, so you can’t just say I’m in the hole $300. Nonetheless, this doesn’t seem like it was a smart move for me. Who knows what will happen years down the road but if I had to do it over again, I probably would have not bought this fund.
Next up is CIBC Energy Fund, which I put into a TFSA. I put $500 into, so it’s not a big deal. I bought it when the price of oil had dropped. I didn’t realize it was going to drop even lower. I expected it to rebound pretty quick and then I’d make some fast cash. Nope. My investment is worth $392 today. I also hear that oil prices are going to stay depressed for a year or beyond. It looks like I’ll need to hold onto this for a long time before I break even again.
So there you go, that’s how I used some of my hard-earned money last year. This year, I anticipate being a little more reserved with my investments. Perhaps a bar of gold, hidden in a cave somewhere?
The best part is when Travolta dances.
HALF WAY THERE
This milestone passed about three weeks ago but I’m now half way through my current employment contract. On March 2, I started work again and here we are, more than six months later. As with a lot of things, it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed. Obviously this is a good thing. I’ve been at jobs where it’s a total slog to get through the day but on most days now, the end of the day almost comes too soon.
I guess I haven’t mentioned too much about what I’m doing in my current role. Part of that is laziness and the other part is my ingrained nature to not talk too much about a game before it’s released. I can definitely say I was put in an area that I’ve really had very little experience in before. You can classify my current role as an online engineer. Most people think that means sending the zeros and ones over the Internet that tells everyone if you moved or shot your gun. While some online engineers do that, modern video games use the Internet to do so many more things compared to just even a few years ago.
Our online systems deal with commerce, telemetry, metadata, user account info, and a whole bunch of other data. I work with a great group of individuals who have helped me learn these new systems. I’ve asked a lot of dumb questions and I continue to ask dumb questions every day to figure out this stuff.
Some systems I work with, cause me more stress than others. The commerce system makes me really nervous. If I don’t do things right there, consumers can spend real money and they won’t see their virtual items in our game. Nothing gets people more incensed when they spend their real, hard-earned money and get zilch in return. Those are the type of bugs that Microsoft and Sony give you no leeway on (and deservedly so). Stuff like that keeps me worried on the weekends.
Overall, it’s been an enjoyable six months so far. I imagine the last six months will go by even faster.
WINTER GAMES BY EPYX
In today’s post, we go back in time and watch some dude play a video game that I enjoyed immensely as a kid. Winter Games by Epyx, as its name suggests, is a game based on the sports in the Winter Olympics. I played it mostly on the classic and legendary Commodore 64, where it was one of them most popular games for the system.
Hard to believe it captured my attention for hours at a time given the complexity of today’s video games but back then, it was amazing.
I’ve been thinking about getting a coffee/espresso machine, which is crazy because I don’t drink a lot of coffee. I have, however, discovered I occasionally enjoy an espresso marked with a bit of milk. Machines that make coffee and espresso can be very expensive though and it seems stupid to spend that much money for an occasional indulgence.
This is where the AeroPress comes into play. The AeroPress is a simple, fast, and cost-effective way of making coffee and espresso. It’s ideal when you just want to make one or two cups of coffee at a time. As you can see above, it’s essentially two plastic cylinders with a plunger. You simply add ground coffee, hot water, and you press the plunger. It’s about $40 with shipping, so even if I wind up just using it a handful of times, it’ll be worth it. The reviews of the AeroPress are great. A friend of mine has one and I’ve seen him use it at work many times. It’s literally takes about a minute to make a coffee.
I’ll still drink green tea during the week but on weekends, it’ll be a nice change to try a few shots of espresso.
PANTS FOR THE TIME BEING
I wore shorts today as I promised in my last post but I questioned the sanity of my choice as I walked onto the Skytrain platform this morning. The skies were grey, the temperatures were cool, and the rest of the assembled commuters were wearing considerably more clothing than I. I saw coats, jackets, and perhaps even a scarf; pants were common. It got better once I got inside a train car.
I didn’t even have to wait a second for a bus, so I was spared standing outside. Once I was on the bus, I was quite relieved I wore summer clothes. The bus was fairly full and the number of closed windows meant it got a bit stuffy within minutes. I was comfortable in my shorts though.
The short walk to the studio from the bus stop was pleasant and not cold. In fact, I actually saw a bit of blue sky opening up between the clouds. I was basically inside for the rest of the day, so it didn’t matter what happened to the weather. The sun did come out briefly in the afternoon though, which was nice to see. By quitting time though, the sun had retreated and clouds had come back again.
The weather forecast calls for rain until at least Monday, so I’ll have to switch back to pants for the foreseeable future.