I feel like the first thing I should write in-depth about is jet lag since it’s currently what I’m dealing with.

As many of you know, I wrote in some earlier posts my strategy to defeat or mitigate the effects of jet lag once I was in London. I started by shifting my sleep schedule prior to departing for my trip. I think this actually did help. I arrived in London at about 7am. I had slept very little on the plane, perhaps an hour at best. This was not what I had intended. The plan was to sleep as much as possible while on the plane, simulating a good night of sleep. This was so I could then spent my first day being rested. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to sleep that much.

I arrived at my hotel sometime after 8am but my room wasn’t ready. That was ok since I felt some fatigue but it wasn’t that bad actually. Also, I knew I couldn’t just sleep in the morning. I had to delay my sleep until London night-time to quickly adapt to the new time zone. So I dropped off my luggage and decided to walk around the area. I wound up walking to Buckingham Palace and randomly lucked out and watched the changing of the guard. I then walked to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. I then wandered off to Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Trafalgar Square. I did a lot of walking considering that I was operating on about one hour of sleep and had just endured a trans-Atlantic flight.

I finally got back to my hotel, well after the 2pm check-in time. I went to get my keys but the front desk informed me my room was still not ready and they could not give me a definitive time when it would be ready. Before I could even get annoyed, they made a quick decision to upgrade me to an available deluxe room. This was of course acceptable to me.

Once I got into my room, my plan was to unpack, take a shower, and then grab a large coffee from the Starbucks across the street. I did all those things. I returned to my room with my coffee and sat on the bed while I watched British TV. By this time it was about 4pm or so. I was going to finish my coffee and go out, get my Oyster card, and then continue to see what London had to offer. After drinking the coffee, I began to feel very fatigued. It was as if I hadn’t had any caffeine at all. The hotel bed was so comfortable and I was so tired. I wasn’t even really in control at this point. I had to put my head down on the pillow as I watched TV. It felt so good to be resting. I knew sleep was coming and it was unavoidable. I reconciled this by deciding if I just napped for one hour, it would still be ok. To that end, I would set my alarm on my tablet, which was right next to me. I remember looking at it and seeing the time, almost 5:30pm. It was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep in London.

I woke up sometime later, not really sure how long I had slept. The TV was still on though the program I had been watching was over. The room was darker than before because the sun had gone down and the sky was dark blue. That was not a good sign. I looked at my watch and it was almost 10pm. Whoops. This was exactly the opposite of what I should have done. I slept too soon and too much. I was really afraid I’d messed up my sleep and now I’d be jet-lagged one extra day. I immediately jumped up and realized I felt a lot better. I was feeling more rested and I was hungry. I went out to get some takeout dinner from Victoria Station next door. I also picked up an Oyster card.

At midnight, I decided I had to try to sleep again because that’s when my body should be wanting to sleep. I wasn’t sure how the five-hour nap was going to affect that but it was worth a try. To help things along, I took a few melatonin pills and a sleeping pill. To my delight, it worked as half an hour later, I was very groggy and fell asleep. I slept for about eight hours, most of that uninterrupted. I woke up feeling rested and ready to explore London.

From Sunday on, my body was synced up to London time. I didn’t feel any effects of jet lag at all. I was awake and rested in the mornings. I didn’t feel the need to sleep during the daytime. At night, I felt tired and fatigued around midnight, which was perfectly normal given all the activities I had done during the days. This was something that allowed me to maximize my time in London. Except for that one initial afternoon where I had the errant nap, I really didn’t lose anytime where I was sleeping instead of seeing something important.

Of course, jet lag works both ways. It’s also something I didn’t really think about while I was in London. After all, I’d be an idiot to try to adjust back to Vancouver time while still in London. When I arrived home on Sunday, I did my best to stay awake until night-time but I succumbed to a nap from about 7pm to 11pm. I knew I was in trouble when I wasn’t tired at all at 4am. I tried going to sleep at 5am and took a sleeping pill to assist me. I woke up at 9am feeling wide awake.

At 6pm on Sunday, I started feeling really tired but I knew I couldn’t go to sleep then. I pushed myself to stay awake until midnight. I was able to sleep until 5am but no more. On Monday, the same thing happened. The fatigue starts rolling in about early afternoon. I stave it off until about 1am. I woke up at 6am this morning with no ability to go back to sleep. I am definitely not getting the amount of sleep that I should be receiving. Currently, it’s 11pm and I’m about to nod off. I think it’s time for bed.

I’m guessing I’ll need a few more days before I’m back to my old schedule.


Thanks for the miracle of modern air travel, I have returned home to Vancouver after a full eight days in the great city of London. I had a fantastic time in London, my second time there and first time as an adult.

Due to London being London, I had a few small apprehensions about the trip. First, would I go mad on a flight that was close to ten hours? Would I get swallowed up in a bustling and busy city of close to 9 million people? Would I get lost on the London Underground and find myself on the way to the icky parts of town? Would I get pick-pocketed? Luckily, none of that was a problem even in the slightest. London was full of interesting things to see and do. Every day was packed with things to do from sun up to sun down. I was able to visit two of my friends who now live in London so that was extra special.

Over the next few days I’d like to go in-depth with a few posts about my trip. For now I need to deal with this jet lag. It wasn’t a problem at all when I arrived in London. I was tired for about half a day the first day but after the first night of sleep my body was basically in sync with London time. Now that I have returned, I have to deal with the reverse. My body wouldn’t let me sleep for more than four hours last night so I’m pretty tired right now and it’s “only” 1am. I’m guessing after tonight, my body will be back to west coast time. Anyways, I think I’ll be heading to bed shortly.


It’s about 7:30am now and I went downstairs for breakfast an hour ago. The transit station was full of activity with lots of people on the move, getting to where they need to go. Man, lots of people get up early! To be where they were for 6:30am means many of them probably got up at 6am at the latest. I don’t know how people do that.

As I was walking to A&W, I could smell the aroma of breakfast from various other food places around me. I detected mainly coffee and baked goods. The Safeway had been already open for half an hour at this point. I saw lady walking out of there with a grocery cart full of food. Who buys groceries that early in the morning?

There wasn’t a lot of people in A&W so I got my breakfast quite quickly. Other than my toast being a bit burnt, everything was pretty good. A&W serves Van Houtte coffee and the blend they use is very bold. I added a bunch of sugar but it was still bitter as hell. I drank it all though as I needed the caffeine.

It’s still eight hours until my target bedtime but I don’t think that’s realistic right now. I don’t feel tired per se but I would describe my current mental state as lacking in concentration. I kinda feel spaced out slightly. So while I’m awake, my brain is probably having a difficult time doing anything other than preventing me from sleeping.

The interesting thing is, I gotta go to the currency exchange in an hour. So this is perfect. I’m not exactly all with it and I’m about bring a large wad of cash downtown and have to bring it all back (converted to quid). How could that go wrong right?


It’s just after 5am and I’m feeling ok. I wouldn’t say I’m full of energy but I’m not ready to fall asleep either. The push to adjust my sleep schedule is going alright so far. I drank a can of Coke for lunch and then around 9pm this evening I had a grande coffee from Starbucks. It’s probably my natural tendency to stay up late plus the caffeine that’s keeping me awake. It’s light outside now and the sun is supposed to be up in about ten minutes. I might go outside and watch that but it’s kinda cloudy today.

In 45 minutes, A&W opens so I think I’ll go get their breakfast. I have a coupon so it’ll be cheap. For $5, I’ll get two eggs, three slices of bacon, two pieces of toast, and a small coffee. More coffee means more caffeine! I’ve also decided to exchange my currency for British pounds today. I’ll be using a real currency exchange for the first time. They offer much better rates than any of the stupid big banks. Interestingly, I’ll be converting a big wad of American greenbacks to quid. I have US dollars left over from my two previous trips, plus the exchange rate between US/GBP is much more favourable than CAD/GBP. All the currency exchanges open at 9am though, so even after I have breakfast I’ll have to sit around for almost two hours before I can head downtown.

It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to stay completely awake until 4pm, my target time, but I hopefully I’ll be close. Like I said before, if I can make it to noon today, that will be fine.


I’m going to London this Friday so I’ve decided to adjust my sleep schedule to fit London local time more. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be staying up way past my normal bedtime and seeing how far into the afternoon I can go before going to bed. The last time I wrote about this, I got some helpful comments from some of my readers. It seems the general consensus is to just deal with it when I get there. I’ll try to push the odds in my favour a bit by doing the adjusted sleep schedule as well.

Like I mentioned previously, the goal is to make it to 4pm and sleep until 12am. I think my body will be able to make it to around 7am or 8am and then it will get tough. If I can make it to noon, I feel like I’m close enough to London time that it won’t take much to make that final adjustment. The side benefit of doing these adjustments is that I’m planning on getting breakfast at various places that I usually don’t have the chance to. I’ll also get to see how shift workers sleep. This should be interesting.


Last week I was at Walmart and I always check the soup aisle to see if Campbell’s Chunky if on sale. If it’s $2 or less, I go and buy a couple of cans. It’s this type of thrifty behaviour that’s allowed me to save tens of dollars over the years. Anyways, next to the cans of Chunky were the normal cans of soup, including Italian wedding. Despite knowing about this type of soups for years, I’ve never had it. I just thought it was because I hadn’t been invited to the right Italian wedding.

It turns out that Italian wedding soup did not become popular because it was a soup that was always served at… Italian weddings. The name came about because of a botched translation to English from Italian. The more proper term would be “married soup” due to the delicious bond of green vegetables and meats in the soup.

Now that we got that out of the way, I can tell you how I liked Campbell’s interpretation of the soup. It was simply delicious. The chicken broth was clean and not too salty. In general, I really like soups with chicken broth. The combination of spinach, beef meatballs, and the acini pasta is what makes the soup so good. It’s a marriage made in culinary heaven, if you could marry three ingredients that is. In particular, I quite enjoyed the spinach and the pasta. I thought the spinach might be relegated to a goopy mess as it sat in a soup can but it still had some texture to it. I love pasta, especially when it’s in a form that’s close to rice, like orzo. The acini wasn’t too cooked, so I didn’t feel like I was eating a soft paste.

Not sure why I waited so long to try Italian wedding but I bought two more cans this weekend. I also keep hearing this thing called “lasagna” is pretty good as well.


So my right eye is infected with something. Late last evening I noticed some odd discomfort in my right eye. It just appeared out of nowhere. I went to the mirror and saw the white of the eye was all red. Nothing too ghastly but it definitely not normal. My eyelid and/or my eyeball was also tender to the touch.

I thought maybe it was a stye because I’ve had one of those before. It didn’t look like that though. There was no “pimple” like bump on any of the eyelids. My other thought was it might be conjunctivitis but I’ve never had that before. It’s easy to be an Internet doctor so I decided I’d just go to bed and see the doctor in the morning. I washed the eye out with some warm water and went to sleep.

I woke up in the morning and when I looked in the mirror, my eye had some crusted up discharge. Again, nothing too gross but definitely not normal. I decided to go to a walk-in clinic and this time I chose to go to one a bit further than the two downstairs from me. The two closest to me are extremely busy all the time, to the point that they normally stop taking patients around noon. This other clinic is way less busy and when I called to make sure they were still taking patients, they even offered to give me an appointment time.

The doctor took a look at my eye and he really wanted to rule out a foreign body of sorts that might have gotten into my eye. He didn’t see anything, which I suppose is good. He wound up giving me a prescription for antibiotic eye drops, something I’ve never had to use before. Hell, I haven’t really used any eye drops at all for most of my life.

The doctor said he thinks this might be the early on-set of conjunctivitis since the symptoms are still minor in number and severity. I’m to apply a single drop to the eye twice a day for a week. That’s good timing since I’m on a plane to London in one week. Let’s hope this gets all cleared up before then.


For the first time since sometime in 2006, I don’t own any shares in Electronic Arts. I sold them all this morning. Over the years I’ve accumulated the shares through either the ESPP program, which allows me to buy shares at a discount, or through annual vesting of stock awards, which are free shares (taxes notwithstanding).

The ESPP shares never really were big money makers for me. Because of bad timing, the best return I’ve had for selling those have been maybe 15%. At worst, I broke even on some of them. The jewel in my portfolio were the stock award shares, the ones that were just gifted to me. I’ve held onto them all these years, some shares going back a decade now. I was patient with them. I didn’t sell when the economy went south in 2008. I didn’t even sell them when I bought my apartment and I need money for a down payment. I held onto them because I believed the share price would rally, even from the dark days of July 2012, when it threatened go below $10 at one point.

Perhaps it was dumb luck rather anything smart on my part but I was right. The stock hit the mid-70s in October, the highest it’s been in the history of the company. I probably should have sold then but I was greedy and thought that I should wait until after the quarter where Star Wars: Battlefront was included. Of course, that was a terrible idea. You can read about it here.

So as the stock got mired in the 60s for most of the new year, I waited until the quarterly results were announced this Tuesday. I honestly didn’t know what to expect or how Wall Street would react. My expectation was that the news would not be good. The last quarter didn’t have a big blockbuster title, just two smaller ones, the game I worked on and UFC. I didn’t even bother checking the financial sites in the afternoon.

Things changed when a friend of mine who still works at EA texted me. He told me that the share price was way up in after-hours trading. I immediately jumped online to figure what the earnings report look like. It turns out the last quarter was actually a pretty damn good one. Beating Wall Street estimates is always a good thing.

At this point, the after-hours price had jumped about $6 to just over $70. I was thrilled. This was it. I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer. It was time to get rid of these shares and cash in. Maybe I would sell it at the historical high share price but it would be pretty damn close.

Since it was after-hours, I had some decisions to make. I could easily just log on and request a sell order at market price and my shares would be sold at whatever price it would be once the bell rung the next morning in New York. That seemed risky though since I wouldn’t be able to predict what the opening price would be. At a minimum I wanted to sell it for no less than $70.

The more investor savvy amongst you are probably asking why I just didn’t make a limit sell order for $70. I didn’t because I got greedy. I had a feeling there was a strong chance the opening bell would ring and the share price would just continue to rocket past $70 and keep on going up. So the magic question was, what number do I choose? $80? $75? I thought $80 was unrealistic. There was very little chance that it could go from $64 to $80 in one day. I then settled for $75 but then I thought I was greedy. I paused for a second and then put in $74. It was a good compromise. After a few more clicks it was done.

I thought about staying awake for the market open but I was really tired and the limit order was there so I didn’t have to keep an eye on a chart every minute. So I slept. I was sleeping as the market opened and the price started at $70 and kept going up. For some reason, I woke up way before I really needed to. Maybe I was too excited. I looked at the clock and realized the market had been open about 20 minutes. I checked my phone. I had no new e-mails, which meant the limit order hadn’t been executed, which meant the stock price hadn’t reached $74 yet.

Obviously curious, I pulled up the real-time data. The price hovered between $73 and $74 as the minutes ticked away. It did this for several minutes as it went tantalizing close to $74. At one point, I realized it was going to happen. It would be breach $74 and the order would execute. In the next minute it did exactly that as the price barely nosed into $74 territory. Like it was on schedule, an e-mail arrived on my phone from the broker.

At that moment I had sold all my EA shares. I also became very aware that I should no longer look at the real-time share price. It didn’t matter anymore. I was no longer a shareholder. It could have went to $100 the next hour and it would have no bearing on me. So, I closed the app and tried to go back to sleep.

You’re probably wondering how much money I made on all of this. I definitely did not even break six figures, not even close. On the other hand, this wasn’t exactly a handful of quarters you find in the sofa either. Given what transpired today, I could easily live comfortably for another 12 months without working. Is that what I’m going to do? Probably not at this point.

I’ll receive the money in US dollars which is great. For now, it’ll go in a US dollars savings account while I figure out what to do with it. Part of it will probably get converted to Canadian dollars but I’ll wait to see what happens to the exchange rate. If this was mid-January where the dollar was worth $0.55 US, I’d convert a major chunk but the dollar has rallied since then. What I definitely know is that my London trip will be comfortably paid for now with this. I was planning on having McDonald’s for most of my meals but I’m thinking I might be able to have one decent fish and chips lunch now.


On the weekend I was investigating the process for updating one of my laptop computers to Windows 10. It’s a pretty crappy laptop that I bought in 2011 to connect to my living room TV so I could stream movies and TV shows from the Internet or my own server. It’s woefully under-powered but I guess I shouldn’t have expected much for $250. Now that I have a PS3 to stream media, I don’t use it all that much.

I was in the process of updating the BIOS before doing the upgrade when I noticed a product recall for a large number of laptops that were manufactured in the 2010 to 2012 timeframe. Apparently the power cords sold with these laptops can potentially overheat causing a burn or fire hazard.

The recall was announced in August of 2014, so I’m almost two years late to the party here. I’ve had this cord plugged in probably almost the entire time since 2011 so maybe I just got lucky here. I immediately filled out the form to have a replacement cord sent to me, free of charge of course. It’s already on the way from California where it currently sits in a shipping facility in Compton (no joke). I’ve never participated in a product recall before and I guess that’s a good thing.

Hewlett-Packard suggests that while the replacement cord en route, I should unplug the power cord and refrain from using it. Once the new cord arrives, it will contain instructions for how to dispose of the old cord so that it cannot be used again. For reasons that escape me, I am going to tempt fate and keep the cord plugged in. I went five years with nothing happening to the cord, what’s another four or five days? Right? Right?!?!!?


Sometimes it doesn’t take much for me to view a day of as a rewarding one and today was one of those. I woke up at the embarrassing hour of 1pm but that’s ok because when I felt pretty refreshed when I did.

I had a ticket to see Captain America: Civil War for 3:30pm so it’s a good thing I didn’t sleep any later. After waking, I made some breakfast and did some futzing around on the Internet. It was getting close to 3pm so I decided to take a shower so I didn’t stink in the theatre. It was about 3:15pm and I was out of the shower and still had no clothes on when I realized I should probably get head down to the movies.

I will never tire of living directly over a movie theatre. Fifteen minutes before the trailers started, I was still getting out of the shower. Anyways, I will say that if you’re just a remotely small fan of superhero movies, you’ll enjoy the latest Captain America. It’s basically another Avengers movie but with Captain America being the central character.

After the movie ended, it was dinner time. I decided I was going to have either poutine or sushi for dinner, two different options from a health perspective. I went for poutine even though I probably shouldn’t have. It was really good though. The poutine did a number on me so I went down for a post-dinner nap.

It wasn’t a productive day but it was a simple one that I enjoyed quite a bit. Like I wrote, sometimes that’s all you need from a day.