While I had my time off there were two long weekends, namely Good Friday and Victoria Day, during that time. They meant very little to me as every day back then was a weekend for me. In fact, I was in London for Victoria Day.

Alas, long weekends are now a thing to be cherished once again. As I am back in the rat race, the much beloved three-day weekend is but a brief oasis in what is a regularly long work week.

One more day of work left before we can all celebrate the birth of this great nation. Happy Canada everyone.


I’ve been traveling out of the country quite a bit lately. When you leave the country for any amount of time, you should be prepared to buy travel insurance. It’s easily one of the golden rules of travel. One of the things I picked up as I grew up as the child of a travel agent. As an example of terribly wrong a trip can go, look at the story of a Canadian man who went to Thailand without travel insurance. It’s unbelievable that he didn’t even think once about getting insurance when going to a place like Thailand.

Anyways, because I’m a diligent traveler, I’ve bought travel insurance every time I’ve left the country. For my last four or five trips, I’ve used the same online travel insurance provider. You go their site, fill out the details about yourself and your trip, pay and you’re basically done. Once you pay, they e-mail you two sets of documents. The first e-mail contains the receipt while the second e-mail contains the actual terms and conditions of the insurance. This message is the one I print out the card that contains all the info you or someone needs to know should you require medical attention outside of Canada.

For every trip up until my London trip, I’ve been printing out that card and then just going on my trip. For my London trip, I read the contents of the second message much more carefully. I believe since I was going to Europe, I really wanted to be sure of my coverage and the terms. Well, it turns out that there is actually a form in the attachments that I was supposed to digitally sign and e-mail back to the insurance provider. According to them, the coverage would not be fully in place until I had signed and returned the form. I did so for my London insurance and got the confirmation that my travel coverage was in effect. I had neglected to do that for any of my last two trips to San Diego nor my Hawaii trip.

Had anything gone wrong on those vacations, my insurance provider could have probably legally argued that I had not fulfilled my obligations by not signing that last document. I essentially was perhaps even dumber than the man I mentioned above. I paid a company for insurance, yet did not do my due diligence to ensure that coverage was in effect from a legal standpoint. Scary to think about now but I’m obviously relieved nothing happened.

Leave nothing to chance when you travel. Read all the documents that you’re given.


Like many of you, I watch YouTube videos to be entertained. Some channels rely on original content to keep their subscribers watching. For some channels, that means new pranks on a regular basis. For others, it might be new eating challenges.

I’ve discovered and I guess they’ve discovered it can be really difficult to consistently make content fast enough to appease their viewers. Pranks for example, if not staged, can be hit or miss. When you rely on the public for reactions, you can’t predict what they’ll do. For eating challenges, it’s terrible on your body. You just can’t stuff your body full of weird foods on a weekly basis and not have it affect your health.

In light of this, many YouTubers have a secondary channel where they just shoot daily videos about their lives. It’s not scripted but it’s way easier to film. Sometimes, I find these videos just as amusing as the regular stuff.

Creating entertainment is not easy, so I understand their struggle.


Some of my long-time readers will know that I’ve been battling out of control nose hairs now for more than half a decade. I even wrote a post about it way back in 2009. Feel free to brush up on my nose hair history.

For years, I’ve used a trusty pair of scissors to snip the hairs if they got too long and started poking out of my nostrils. There was a problem though. The scissors only got a few offending hairs. I’d also have to stick my fingers up my nostrils and then try to grab as many hairs as I could so that I could get the scissors blades around them. It was inconvenient and inefficient. Are you glad you’re reading this right now.

The scissors also weren’t able to eliminate the most annoying things about of out of control nose hairs. You see, these hairs don’t grow in your nostril in a completely straight line. They grow and then coil in your nostril. You may think that everything is fine up there but then an errant sneeze, nose blow, or just a minor vibration can suddenly lead to a coiled hair to be uncoiled. Now I’ve got this massively long and thick nose hair sticking out of my nostril. I’ve had this happen to me in public and at work a few times. I can feel this wayward nose hair just sticking out, like tickling the top of my upper lip. I know this is gross but stick with me. I then awkwardly try to inconspicuously shove that hair back up the nostril without looking like I’m mining for nose gold. It never works of course. Have you ever tried coiling a nose hair back up your nostril? It’s like almost impossible.

So a few weeks ago, I got tired of all this crap and finally bought a nose hair trimmer. It’s battery-powered, small, and portable. I was a bit nervous when I used it the first time but after a minute, I was shoving this thing as deep as it go up my nose. I know it’s actually good to have some nose hair to keep out foreign debris and stuff so I tried my best to trim and not to completely shave it all off.

I stuck my finger up my nostrils after my trim and my word, what a difference this little tool makes. What used to be a jungle up there now feels like a finely manicured lawn, good enough to putt on for the final hole of the Masters Tournament.

I yet to have a wayward hair come down south since using this thing. It’s a true life changer. I should have got this thing years ago!


So it’s back to Los Angeles with this post. Before we begin the festivities, let me give you some background on my poop behaviour. I am fairly regular guy. I am rarely constipated. I poop about once a day on average and it’s completely normal for me to poop more than once a day. For example, I pooped twice today. With that in mind, let us begin.

I flew out to Los Angeles on a Monday. Sometime late on the day before, the Sunday, I pooped. It was probably in the evening when I did that, possibly around midnight. Since my flight was leaving around 4pm the next day, I was hoping that I might poop once more before flying. I try to make sure I poop before I leave for the airport for several reasons. First, it’s just so inconvenient when you need to poop while in the process of traveling. Pooping at the airport isn’t ideal. If you’re unlucky enough to need to poop while you’re boarding, that’s hell on earth. You can’t grin and bear it and wait until the plane takes off, gets to altitude, and only when the captain turns off the seat belt sign can you dash off to that cramped bathroom to unleash your bowels. What a nightmare! That’s not for me, so you can see why I like to empty the tank before flying.

Unfortunately, no poops came out of me before my flight to Los Angeles. That was ok, because I had a great flight and a smooth ride out to the apartment that I was staying at. Now I am sometimes prone to what’s called traveler’s constipation. My body gets a bit weirded out by new surroundings and can’t get comfortable enough to poop. For example, in London, I arrived early on Saturday morning and didn’t poop until sometime on Sunday afternoon. Then I was as regular as a Japanese bullet train.

So it did not cause me any concern when Monday came and went and my bowels went unmoved. I was, after all, in a new city and my body needed to adjust. Plus, I also had a normal sized breakfast, lunch, and dinner (in Los Angeles) and I was sure things would be moving along on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up and I went to Jack in the Box with my friend for breakfast. I had a massive, greasy breakfast sandwich which I brought back to the apartment with me. I ate that with a nice cup of green tea. Now normally, that would be enough for me get the waste disposal going. Thirty minutes afterwards though, I felt nothing happening and I knew it was time to go to the first day of E3.

When I began to get hungry for lunch, I ate a large, deli-style sandwich, where the meat is several inches thick. I knew I might have to poop at E3 but I was ok with that because the Los Angeles Convention Centre has a ton of washrooms and for the most part, they’re clean enough for me. After devouring lunch, still nothing was happening so I continued to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of video games, lights, and sounds. I wasn’t uncomfortable or anything so I was having a great time.

Dinner time rolled around and E3 was closing up for the day. My friend and I headed off to a nearby restaurant for dinner. There were salads on the menu and I knew that probably was a good choice but there was also steak. Foolishly, I chose a reasonably sized steak with fries. The steak was merely ok but I ate all of it. At this point, I was expecting at least a tinge of movement down below but I felt nothing. I was still comfortable.

My friend and I decided to head back to our apartment after dinner. We rested for a bit, changed our clothes, and then took an Uber to a hotel that was popular amongst game developers at E3. We stayed at the hotel bar for about two hours or so, drinking and talking. After midnight, I was getting hungry again. Using Google Maps, I found this 24 hour diner that served breakfast about two blocks from the hotel.

At the diner, I ordered a platter that had three scrambled eggs, five pieces of bacon, hash browns, and two pieces of toast. I was really hungry so I basically ate that whole thing. Now keep in mind, I hadn’t poop since Sunday night and it was now the early morning hours of Wednesday morning. By my count, it was over 48 hours since I had last had a bowel movement, which was incredibly out of character for me. Yet I felt no discomfort even after eating this wonderful breakfast meal. My friend and I took an Uber home. I was hoping that I might feel the need to poop once back at the apartment but nothing happened so I went to bed.

Wednesday morning was when things started to happen. We woke up late because we’d been drinking the night before and we got back well past 2am. I didn’t feel like eating breakfast so I made myself a cup of green tea. I might have eaten half a small granola bar.

My friend wanted to take a small detour before heading out to E3 for the day. He wanted to see a building downtown where they had filmed a bit of Blade Runner. I thought that would be cool, so off we went. When we got to the building, I finally felt the accumulated food that I had been piling away into my body for close to three days. I felt bloated and uncomfortable. Mentally, I was going over all the food that I had stuffed into my body since my last poop. I was frankly amazed at how much was in me. Though I was uncomfortable, I did not feel like pooping though. Damn!

The tour of the building didn’t last very long so my friend wanted to go to the Grand Central Market nearby for lunch. It’s this cool place where you can get different types of food in a historic marketplace. It’s very popular with locals and tourists alike. While my friend was starving for lunch, I could not think about putting more food into my body. Instead, I got to watch my friend eat his breakfast burrito for lunch.

With lunch done, we took an Uber to E3. We decided to split up because our video game tastes are somewhat different. This way both of us could concentrate on what we wanted to see. I told my friend that I hoped to have pooped the next time we saw each other. It took another two hours or so of wandering the show floor before I finally felt the urgent need to poop.

I had prepared for this since I knew pooping at E3 was an eventuality. I avoided all the popular and well-used washrooms. The ones outside halls or just inside the halls are well trafficked so I knew to avoid those. The upper floors of the convention centre have meeting rooms. These are areas where companies can conduct the actual business of video games. Since there’s really nothing for the average gamer or consumer to see up there, the upper floors are relatively deserted. That’s where I walked up to with a quiet and confident purpose.

I found an empty men’s bathroom where there was a comically large handicapped stall. It was massive. Imagine a large room with a toilet tucked into one corner, this was the stall I was in. By now, the urge to evacuate my incredibly full bowels was strong and could not be denied. It was about 4pm on Wednesday and I had not pooped since around Sunday evening. I whipped off my shorts, sat down, and closed my eyes.

There was but the briefest moment of pain coming from my butt and then just relief; waves and waves of relief. It was so odd. One second the toilet bowl was empty and the next microsecond it was not empty, far from it actually. It was all over in less than thirty seconds. I had to sit there for a minute just to let my body recover and to just enjoy the relief. It was so good.

A part of me wanted to take a picture of what I saw in the bowl but I decided it was far too gruesome for me or anyone else really to witness again. I cleaned myself up, washed my hands, and walked out of the bathroom.

I was a new person. I felt light as feather. I didn’t walk anymore, I glided above the ground with the grace of a dancer. I wanted to say there was a tremendous load off my shoulders but we all know that’s not where the problem was. I texted my friend that I had succeeded. The remaining two hours of E3 that day was a pure delight.

The next day was Thursday and I pooped again that morning at the apartment. We left Los Angeles that night at 8pm. I only pooped twice while I was in Los Angeles between Monday night and Thursday night. What an ordeal that first one was. Thanks for reading folks.


Though it’s been almost a month since I’ve returned from London, I still have much to write about my fabulous eight-day trip to the capital city. In the short-term, you’ll reading a mix of posts about both London and Los Angeles.

When you’re a visitor to any city, you have to figure out how you’re going to get around the city in the most efficient and economical way. For some cities, you’ll have very little choice as their public transit system just isn’t practical enough. Many American cities fall into this category, such as Los Angeles. For London though, the city has well-developed and sprawling public transit system that spans multiple transportation types.

I will admit I was initially a bit apprehensive about getting around London using the various methods available to me. I was namely nervous the world-famous London Underground system. If you look at the map for the entire system for the first time, it can be quite daunting. The many different lines, with the many different stations where you can connect with other lines can seem like a confusing mess to comprehend. That’s just the Underground itself. There is also the light-rail system, the network of bus lines, and even the river boats which cruise along the Thames. These are all parts of the Transport for London system. Outside of the public system, there are also the ubiquitous black London taxis and the newcomer for this century, Uber.

Before leaving, I decided that I’d be open to using any of the above mentioned methods of travel but I would concentrate on using the Underground (or the Tube as they call it) and old-fashioned walking. I was told many times that central London is quite walkable and I personally love walking through a city to really get to know it.

Because of my apprehension, I did as much research as I could into the London Underground before leaving. Their system works with the Oyster card, which is a stored-value card which you tap in and out on the various methods of public transportation. This was immediately familiar with me as Vancouver recently changed their public transportation system to use a stored-value card as well.

I watched a lot of YouTube videos that explained how the Underground system worked. This gave me a feel about how the stations worked, how the gates behaved, what the trains looked like, and how seasoned London commuters acted while on the Tube. The Internet also told me to download an app Citymapper which is apparently invaluable if you’re trying to get around London.

With knowledge in hand, I jetted off to London. I arrived on Saturday and as you might remember, my hotel was right next to Victoria station, a major transportation hub and also a Tube station. In the afternoon, after checking into my hotel, I went into the station and bought an Oyster card from one of machines. You can buy an Oyster card almost anywhere in London. Inside the station they even have manned booths for visitors where you can buy the card and have any questions answered. I also put some money on the card as obviously just getting the card isn’t going to be useful if you don’t put any value on it. I initially put 30 quid on it, which is almost $60 CAD. That might seem like a lot, which it is in Canadian dollars, but I wasn’t sure how much traveling I’d be doing during the eight days.

I didn’t actually take my first trip on the Tube until the next day on Sunday. I’d done a ton of walking on that day as I wanted to acquaint myself with surrounding area of central London that I was staying in. After a long and winding walk that included Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Leicester Square, and Piccadilly Circus, I was nearly exhausted and decided to take the Tube back to my hotel. I was close to Green Park station and it would be just one stop to Victoria. What a perfect way to introduce myself to the Underground system. With just one stop, it would be difficult to screw this up.

As I walked up to Green Park station, the signage was very clear. It was easy to find the entrance to the station. I was slightly nervous as I walked up to one of the gate and slapped my Oyster card on the reader. Would it work? Would the gates not open, thus incurring the wrath of a Londoner behind me? Luckily, the gates did open for me as my card did work. The next thing to tackle was finding the right line and the right direction. Green Park has three different lines servicing it, each going in two directions.

Again, this turned out to be no problem as the excellent signage clearly indicated where to go to catch the Victoria line south. At the designated platform I waited patiently for my train to arrive, which didn’t take very long at all. I rode the one stop to Victoria station and tapped out with my Oyster card. I was back in my hotel within minutes. That was easy!

Confident that I handle more complicated trips, I began visiting more far-flung locations the next day. This is where I discovered how absolutely useful the Citymapper app was. The app allows you enter in a destination and it will give you various options on how to get there. You can select Tube only options, bus and Tube, and so forth. It will tell you how much your journey will be and how long it will take. The app also monitors the status of the transit system in real-time. If a certain Tube line has delays, it will know and warn you about that so you can choose a route that avoids that line. Once you choose a route, the app follows you along on your journey. If it can get positioning data, it will give you a notification that your stop is approaching and that you should prepare to alight. If you’re traveling via the Tube, the app will even tell you which car is ideal for your destination, either back, middle, or front. The app knows where all the Tube station exits and transfer points are, so it can position you so that you are nearest the best exit for your journey. Citymapper is easily the best transit app I have ever used and is in large part why I was able to navigate around London so easily.

I must also point out that the signage around the Tube stations is so good. I never once wondered where I needed to go or where a particular platform or exit was. It’s as if the planners knew exactly where someone would need a sign if they were first time visitor to that particular station. Partnered with the Citymapper app, I riding the Tube and visiting all areas of the city with the confidence of a weary and jaded Londoner. It actually became quite fun and exciting to see a new Tube station that I had not visited before.

While the London Underground system is indeed fantastic, there are some things that you need to be aware about it. The ventilation in some of the stations and thus in some of the cars can be horrendous. It can be dreadfully hot while waiting on the platform and once you’re on board a car. I began to purposefully wear shorts on some trips, even if it was actually quite cool outside, because I knew I’d be in a stuffy Tube car for 30 minutes or more. Londoners seem have adjusted to this because I saw many people with jackets and sweaters on even they must have been boiling inside. Be prepared to dress in layers so you can remove a layer or two while using the Tube.

The next thing you should know is that while the London public transit system is the most economical way to get around the city, it certainly is not cheap. A single Tube trip within the central London zone will cost you £2.40. That’s nearly $5 CAD, for a single ride on the Tube. In Vancouver, a stored value trip of a similar nature is only $2.10 CAD. As you might imagine, if you’re a tourist who is spending the whole day going from place to place, just using public transport can add up. Luckily, there is a daily cap for what you can spend on transit. Currently, for central London that cap is £6.50. Trips beyond that cap are free, so you can travel unlimited after that. Keep in mind though, that’s nearly $13 CAD.

Overall though, the public transportation system in London is wonderful and it turned out to be a tourist attraction in itself. Beyond the Tube, I also rode the DLR or the Docklands Light Railway and the river boats on the Thames. Again, for both these modes of transportation, the signage is clear and efficient.

I never did use a taxi nor Uber in London because they were much more expensive than the other modes of travel. They were also subject to the infamous London traffic, which still can be horrendous at times, even after traffic reduction programs.

If you’re ever in London, download the Citymapper app and be prepared to enjoy one of the best transit systems in the world!


So for my trip to Los Angeles I went with my friend Garrett, who currently sits next to me at work. We’ve been friends for over sixteen years now and we’ve always talked about going to Los Angeles and E3. About two weeks before our trip I floated the idea of getting tickets to Conan O’Brien’s show on TBS. The first time I tried to see Conan host a talk show was in 1997 when I was in New York. Back then, you didn’t use the Internet to get tickets, you had to use old-fashioned mail. I wasn’t prepared though so I had go into the stand-by line. Everyone showed up that day though, so the chance was lost. I eventually did see Conan live when he came to Vancouver on tour after he lost The Tonight Show to that rat bastard Jay Leno. That show was more of a variety show though and not his well-known talk show style.

I thought perhaps I could finally see him in his most famous element. Garrett was open to the idea so he made arrangements to sign up for tickets on the Wednesday that we were in Los Angeles. The guests for that day weren’t on the TBS web site until almost before we left on the trip though. We were left wondering who’d be on the show. Once the guest line-up for that week was revealed, Garrett and I knew we had some decisions to make. It turned out the main guest for Wednesday was Fred Armisen. The day before was Kate Beckinsale. Now before I continue, I must make it clear that I’m a big fan of Fred Armisen and I’ve enjoyed his comedy for well over a decade. From his SNL days to his appearances in movies, he’s made me laugh countless times. Having said that, I was hoping for huge, big-name movie star to be the main guest for our day. Ok, so we would have settled for an absolutely gorgeous female star as well, someone like Kate Beckinsale for example.

Garrett and I agreed we’d play it by ear and make a decision sometime on Tuesday, after our first day of E3 was done. After E3 wound up for day one, we came to the consensus that we’d probably need as much time for E3 as possible. If we decided to go to Conan’s show, we’d have to leave E3 on the second day pretty early to get to the taping on time. Since we also were flying out on Thursday, that meant we couldn’t get a full day of E3 on that day either.

We cancelled our tickets to the show. Conan’s show tapes in the afternoon and we had to be there at 3pm. If he had taped at night, which most shows don’t really do, we could have gone but the timing was just not right. I don’t feel that bad since I’ve seen Conan live before and I feel like there will be another chance for me to see him again for a taping. Los Angeles isn’t very far away at all and getting tickets was quite easy.

So apologies to Fred Armisen, I am a fan and continue to enjoy his work. Please don’t take it personally.


I have returned safely from Los Angeles. After getting back late Thursday night, I had to go to work on Friday which was pretty crappy. Fortunately, it was an easy going day as people don’t expect me to be productive yet. I spent the weekend mostly relaxing and resting up after a long week.

Overall, I really enjoyed my week in Los Angeles and at my very first E3. I haven’t been in L.A. since the mid-1980s when my parents took my sister and I to Disneyland. It’s one of those crazy and unique world-class cities. It’s has a lot of great things about it but it’s far from perfect. The traffic in Los Angeles is famous for being terrible and I can say from first-hand experience it deserves every bit of that reputation. Seemingly close destinations on a map, separated by a reasonable distance can be in reality separated by a surprising amount of time stuck in traffic.

As for E3 itself, I’m so glad that I finally attended the gaming industry’s biggest showcase. I’d like to write a more in-depth post about it soon but I will say E3 is loud, busy, and is the ultimate show if you’re into video games. I was part of over 50K people who showed up in Los Angeles for E3 and at times, I felt like we were all in one room together. I saw a lot of fellow developers from Vancouver that I recognized and many other developers that are famous within the industry. I also brought back some nice swag from the show.

I’ll devote several posts about the trip in the coming days! Stay tuned!


After just five days of work, I’m heading to LA tomorrow for the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The last week has been a period of great transition for me as returned to work after nearly four months of relaxing and travel. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to return the working world after a lengthy period of free-living. The transition is never easy and I don’t think it gets an easier. How can it? You go from having total control of your life to the grim reality of having a job to go to every week day.

You’d think returning to the same company, to the same team, and with the same co-workers would ease the transition somewhat but it only did in the slightest of ways. My former and now again current co-workers told me that I’d be in for a rough ride. Some of them went away for two-week vacations and returned in a state of discombobulation as they attempted to get back into work mode. They said that with my multi-month journey of fun, I’d probably be in an even greater confused state. I’d say they were right. The first week wasn’t all that fun as I tried to reconcile with the reality of having to get up early, commute to work, be somewhere for eight hours, and then having to come home.

So as my mind tried to adjust and survive the first week, I’m now headed off to LA for E3. While I am truly excited to attend my first E3, I’m wondering how confused I am making my mental state as temporarily swing it back to vacation mode again briefly. Part of me thinks my transition back to work would go smoother if I’d just leave the vacations behind for a while. As it stands, I’m jetting off to another sunny destination and leaving work behind once again.

I hope my psyche is strong enough to survive all these sudden changes.