British Columbia broke several temperature records on Saturday, as Kamloops, located in the interior, was the hottest place in Canada, with a high of nearly 32 degrees Celsius. Think about that for a second. That would be a hot day in the peak of summer but it was that hot in April.
Local to me, Saturday was much cooler than Kamloops, with our high being in the mid-20s. I was outside for a few hours and it felt like a regular summer day, except that it wasn’t even May yet.
It immediately cooled down today however. The clouds came back and the temperature dropped about ten degrees in a day. The sunny skies are supposed to return this week though but the highs won’t be as extreme as on Saturday. While I suppose this warmer weather is somewhat good, it already means that wildfire alerts are in play in this province.
On a personal level, I bought some new shorts recently, so I’m prepared for the sun.
As I wrote about in my last post, I attended the studio opening at Great Northern Way this afternoon. I realize I didn’t take as many pics as I should have.
I did spend most of my time socializing and talking to people I haven’t seen in years and I even got to meet a co-worker that I’ve been working with remotely. That was really nice.
In general, I think the new space is clean, spacious, bright, and modern. It was also very easy to get to. I think I stepped onto a Skytrain around 11:45am and I was walking through the front doors at about 12:15pm. Because my commute is limited to just Skytrain, it’s a much easier commute than to the Burnaby studio, even though it’s technically closer to my home.
One highlight that may seem inconsequential to you but is interesting to me is that the studio has windows that open. Working at the Burnaby studio for so long, we’ve never had windows that open. That place is sealed up tight. The new studio has windows at nearly every desk and you can just crack open a window to get some fresh air. That’s so great.
As I mentioned before, I won’t be spending many of my workdays at the new studio. Most of the people I work with directly are not in Vancouver, so if I do decide to head in for a day, it’ll be for other reasons.
I spoke to some people who are already working there every day or plan to be there every day soon. Everyone has their preferences for what works best for them and I’m glad we have a choice.
I was supposed to get a tour of the new studio last week but it got postponed to tomorrow. I can’t remember the last time I was at any studio location. I think I was at the Burnaby studio more than two years ago now, either to pick something up or drop something off.
Anyways, I also have another incentive to show up tomorrow for the tour. We all got hoodies for the holiday season and they were sized really oddly. These hoodies were much larger than anyone anticipated. Most people should have selected a size down. I chose a medium, which turns out was a large for most normal clothing manufacturers. This thing hung off my body like a toga, it was so big. Long story short, a lot of people wanted to swap sizes and someone did the thankless job of figuring out who needed what size and who to swap with to get it. It’s pretty complicated. I need to give my medium to someone and then I need to go get a small from someone else. It’s not as simple as just giving your hoodie to one person and then just taking their hoodie. It’s a process.
Well, I’ll take some pictures and I hope it’ll be some fun.
I cooked a meal kit for dinner this evening and it was the easiest and fastest recipe to date. This kit was a “southern Califorian inspired turkey salad”. The first step asked me to pickle some jalapenos peppers, which I just skipped since I’m not a huge fan of jalapenos. So right there that saved me a ton of time and effort.
All that was left to do was to fry up some ground turkey, which I added some spice blend to. This took less than five minutes. The dressing consisted of some mayo, some added spice, and a splash of red vinegar, all whisked together in a bowl. I also chopped up a tiny tomato.
The kit had a bag of salad greens, which I plated, drizzled the salad dressing on, added the tomatoes, emptied the packet of guacamole I was given, and then topped off with the cooked turkey. The whole thing was probably ready in about 15 minutes and it was tasty. Clean up was simple too.
I need more meal kits like that.
The month of April so far in Vancouver has been cold, wet, and rainy. It’s been unseasonably cold for April. The rain I could excuse but temperatures were at or slightly below freezing in places just a week and a half ago.
The forecast, however, now calls for sunny skies and highs in the 20s for Friday and Saturday. For areas farther away from the ocean, highs could be in the mid-20s. If this holds true, this would be an incredible swing for the month of April. A much more typical spring for Vancouver would see a more gradual and longer shift in temperatures as we head into summer.
The weather continues to act strange in the last couple of years.
About a month ago my employer announced they were gonna lay off 6% of the workforce. At the time of the announcement some of those layoffs had already happened but many of them were still to come.
On Wednesday, those lay offs continued. I am involved in a long e-mail thread with many people, trying to diagnose a technical issue. I was told one of the people in this thread was laid off and they wouldn’t be continuing the discussion nor offering any more of their knowledge to the problem anymore. One day he was helping us with this problem and the next, he’s just gone.
I’ve heard from other sources that a bunch of other people got laid off as well, so this was not a one-off thing. I have no clue how many people were affected today or if more layoffs will happen later until they get to the 6%.
I hope these people were given decent severance. I’m not even sure what the job seeker market is like out there. With all the other layoffs happening elsewhere, it can’t be that great.
I had some leftover cream from a meal kit and rather let it go to waste, I decided to put it in my coffee this morning. I don’t know what percentage of this cream was fat but oh boy, it must have been high. My coffee was rich and decadent. It was heavenly.
For reasons that are still unclear to me, I normally use 3% milk for my coffee but I think that needs to change. Going forward, I’m gonna use 10% half&half for my coffee. You can beat that richness of a creamy coffee in the morning.
Also, for those people putting in 1% milk in their teas and coffees, why bother? You’re essentially putting in tasteless white water into your drinks. Just save your money and don’t even use it.
At 1am after watching the first two episodes of Barry, season four, I realized that Nope was also available for streaming. I’ve been wanting to watch that movie for a long time and the only thing stopping me was being a cheapskate and not wanting to pay for a streaming rental. It’s now available as part of the subscription to Crave, so my patience paid off.
Instead of going to sleep, I watched the first 30 minutes of it so far. It hooked me immediately. I briefly thought about just going for it and just watching the whole thing. That would probably bring me to around 3:30am. That’s late and I have a 9am meeting tomorrow. That’s too late and my morning is too early tomorrow.
The great thing is, the movie isn’t going anywhere, and I resume it tomorrow at a much more convenient time. The thing is, if I had won the lottery, I wouldn’t need to worry about work tomorrow. Hmmm… maybe it’s time to start playing the lotto again.
I cancelled my Netflix subscription a few weeks ago. I did this for several reasons. First, I realized that I am subscribed to too many streaming services. Back in the day, Netflix was basically the only streaming service around, so it just made sense to subscribe to it if you wanted to have streaming entertainment. Fast forward to the present and I’m now paying for Netflix, Discovery+, Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video, and Crave. Each of these costs anywhere between $10 to over $20 a month. All of that adds up to an appreciable amount of money dedicated to just streaming entertainment. The thing is, I don’t have nearly enough time to watch shows from each of these services on a weekly or even monthly basis.
Second, I realized that it had been three months since I’d even started the Netflix app on my TV. There was nothing on Netflix that I really wanted to see. There were no shows nor original movies on Netflix that made me think twice about cancelling my subscription. That made it a very easy decision to cancel.
It’s for these reasons that over the last two months or so, I cancelled subscriptions to Netflix, Discovery+, and Apple TV+. I’m keeping Disney+ because I need to finish the last season of The Mandalorian and the latest Ant-Man movie is going to stream there later this month as well. I’m staying with Prime Video because it’s relatively cheaper and also there’s a benefit of being an Amazon Prime member as well. Their entertainment offerings kinda suck but the Amazon Prime shipping perks win me over. Crave is staying because it has a lot of great HBO content and I have about two seasons worth of Picard to watch as well.
Going forward, I might strip it down to just one or two streaming services as a month. I know some people just switch from one service to another per month. For that month, they watch all the episodes of a particular show and then the next month, it’s off to another service to binge episodes of another show there. After this month, the next big release on Disney+ is in late June with Secret Invasion, so there’s really no need to be subscribed in between.
It’s time to save some money!
About two weeks ago, I heard that there was an in-house catered team event at the Burnaby studio where I used to commute to every day. Some teams have decided to return to the studio, at least a few days of the week. Anyways, there was some sorta social event, which had food served. Some of the employees who ate the food fell ill shortly afterwards with all the classic signs of a food-borne illness. There was nausea and the nasty stuff coming out of both ends.
Now I’ve heard the studio has been implementing sanitation and preventative measures that you would do for a norovirus outbreak. Apparently, employees have continued to fall ill and they believe that a norovirus has found its way into the studio. From what I understand, such a virus lives on surfaces and that’s how it is spread. To reduce common touch surfaces, they’ve even removed the silverware cutlery from the cafeteria, so that they don’t have dozens and dozens of hands reaching into the same container and touching many utensils while they get one from the pile. Instead, they’re now using these disposable and compostable utensils that you grab one at a time from a dispenser. Each person can get a fork or spoon and not touch the next one.
This is the first time I’ve heard the studio try to fight a norovirus proactively like this and I’ve worked there for many, many years. Could have such a virus been in the studio before? Possibly. I know I’ve gotten food poisoning while I was working there but it’s hard to tell if I got it somewhere else as well. I definitely have not heard about many people on the same team getting sick from a single team event. That’s new to me.
The one silver lining, if there is one, is that the washrooms at the Burnaby studio have been renovated in the last three years and they’re just so fantastic to use now. Most now have gender neutral individual stalls with doors that go from ceiling right down to the floor. They make for a very private experience to have a poop. Before the pandemic, they had already converted a single washroom like this and it became my default place to poop. I actually didn’t mind pooping at work anymore because of this new stalls.