About three months ago, YouTube engineer Mark Rober made a video about bedbugs. Anytime I see a video about bedbugs, my interest perks up because almost two decades ago, I had my own months long battle with bedbugs. It was rather unpleasant and it totally sucked.

The video above is well done and entertaining and the end is filled with a lot of useful ideas and suggestions for dealing with bedbugs. Back in the day, I was only able to employ one of the suggestions and I wish I knew the others as well.

There’s a lot more information about bedbugs these days and I feel like people are able to handle them much better than before. I hope none of us have to use these treatments in the future.


Around 1pm this afternoon, a worker using a swing stage came onto my balcony to give it a nice power wash. I thought he was gonna just clean the balcony deck but it turns out he power washed all my windows, the railings, and the glass panels in between the railings. I have never seen my whole balcony this clean.

Part of the reason I haven’t seen it this clean is because there’s a strata by-law that prevents you from using copious amounts of water when cleaning your balcony. The drain just pours the water overboard onto the balconies below you. Yet these workers have special permission to use tons of water from a power washer to clean these balconies before the repair work is done.

It makes me think that once a year, strata should allow balconies to be power washed if you opt into the service. They already hire a window cleaning service to wash all the exterior windows once a year, why not go the extra mile? Yes, I understand it would be another expense but these balconies are so gross when they are dirty.

Anyways, I’m not sure what the next phase of the repairs will be, it might the wall-shaking part.


A few months ago, I paid $6k as my share to repair all the balconies in my building. Due to a deficiency in the construction, all the balconies are prone to water ingress, which could weaken them structurally.

They’ve been repairing the balconies in batches and I received notice late last week that this Monday is my turn. The whole thing is a pain in the ass. First, I had to remove everything that was on my balcony. I had two wooden chairs and a wooden table, plus two metal folding chairs out there. I had to bring them all in and lay them on the tarp I placed on my living room floor. The reason I used a tarp is because my balcony gets super dirty and basically is dirty year round. The amount of dirt that has accumulated on these chairs and the table is disgusting. You can put any kind of furniture out on my balcony and within a week, it’ll be coated in dirt. That’s a big reason why I never use my balcony and it’s essentially wasted space.

The work is scheduled from 7:30am-4:30pm, five days a week. They’ve also told us to close all our windows or sliding doors during that time. The reason for this is, apparently, they need to power wash the balconies and other construction/repair debris might fly through open windows and doors. This is ridiculous because my apartment becomes almost instantly filled with stale air if all my sliding doors are closed. I live in a modern building, so it’s designed that if all my windows are closed, there’s no leakage of air. Where the hell do they think I’m going to get fresh air from if all my windows are closed for eight plus hours? I’m going to leave my sliding doors open at least a crack because I’m gonna suffocate otherwise.

They’ve also asked us to take down anything off our walls because apparently the repair work involves doing things that causes massive vibrations and that might shake stuff off our walls? What the hell are they doing that might shake securely fastened items off our walls? How loud and disruptive is this gonna be?

Last but not least, they’ve also promised to put in wooden rods to prevent our sliding doors from opening anymore than four inches. So even when they’re gone for the day, I can’t get as much fresh as I’d like. Apparently, this is going to be done because other residents were putting their furniture back on the balconies before the new membrane had time to dry. That I can see happening because the majority of people are complete morons that can’t follow the simplest of directions. Unfortunately, these people have ruined it for people like me.

Anyways, they haven’t even told us how long this stupid repair job is gonna take. I can tell already this is gonna wake me up early and disrupt my entire work day with noise, vibrations, and crappy stale air. To think I had to pay thousands of dollars for this too. Super lame.


I recently learned a new word and it is “ecumenopolis“. It refers to a planet that has developed to a point where all urban areas on the surface have grown large enough to fuse together. The planet is essentially a single, massive city that spans the globe. The term was coined by Greek city planner Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis in 1967.

Fictional examples of ecumenopolis type worlds have existed for many decades but perhaps the most famous example is Coruscant. In the Star Wars universe, Coruscant is the seat of the Republic and subsequently, the Empire as well. The planet is featured prominently in the prequel trilogy.

The city-planet is always depicted to be grand, sprawling, and awe-inspiring. We never discover how such a planet would work practically however. Were there oceans on this planet before the cities? How did they build on top of them? How does the planet ecologically be in balance with all the urban areas? I am guessing technology overcomes many of these issues but none of Coruscant’s inner working are explained in the movies.

Our planet will never become an ecumenopolis. The Earth just wouldn’t be able to sustain the number of people that would come from that much development on the planet surface. There just wouldn’t be enough water and agricultural land to keep that many people alive and thriving. Just look at us now. We’re probably just a few decades away from climate and ecological collapse, and we’re still mainly just covered in oceans.

I do wonder though, have some of the aliens out there figured this out? Is there an actual ecumenopolis out there?


Sometimes I set my status on Slack with a little sandwich emoji with the word “lunch”. It’s like that for an hour. That way, people know I’m doing lunch things and if I don’t respond right away, that’s why.

I frequently take my lunches later in the day because I feel like at noon, I’m just getting into the groove of the day. Most often, noon is when I’m meeting free for the first time of the day, so to then suddenly stop work at noon feels like halting momentum.

Today, I took lunch at 3pm, which even for me is late. The reason I waited that long is because I had a meeting at 1:30pm that went to 2pm and then I had another meeting at 2:30pm. The half hour in between just wasn’t enough time for me to go get something, so 3pm was really my only option.

I wanted to use my lunch to get outside because I didn’t have a lot of outside time on Monday. So as soon as my meeting ended, I ran downstairs and headed down to the waterfront park to get a burger and fries. The weather was a bit cold and it was a cloudy and grey day. I had to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants. While I was eating, the wind picked up enough that I almost put on a jacket that I brought. I would not have blamed anyone if they had mistaken this for a crisp autumn day.

I got back home around 4pm and it did feel a bit weird that the end of my lunch was so close to the end of the day.

I have no meetings tomorrow, so lunch will be earlier in the day.


So it’s hard to believe there was a heat wave here in May. We’re in the back half of June now and it’s been rainy and cold for the last several days. It was cold enough today that I brought my winter robe back out and wore it during the work day.

This June has certainly been a cool and wet one in general, with just a few days of sunny weather here and there. There hasn’t really been any real need to use my air-conditioner. I did my dual-hose conversion and my A/C has been just sitting there.

This isn’t a complaint post though. The wet weather has lowered the forest fire risk. The air quality is good. The mild temperatures have also made it so that no one is uncomfortable. It’s a lot easier for the general population to put a jacket on than to find someway to cool their homes. This is especially important for seniors.

We’ll see what July and August bring.


One of the best things about summer is strolling down to the waterfront by my place and having lunch at the concession stand. They make wonderful burgers and fries. It’s not pretentious, just solid concession stand food for a decent price.

Since today is the last sorta sunny day for the next seven days or so, I decided to go there for lunch. My intention was to have a burger and fries.

I already hungry before I even leave my apartment. When I get there, I see a big sign on the concession stand counter. The hand-written sign informs all who can read, “FRYER BROKEN”. They can’t make any fried, which includes fries, onion rings, and chicken strips. They can, however, still make burgers and hot dogs.

Well, gosh darn it, half my lunch wasn’t available. I had committed to the concession stand, so I decided to get at least a burger but I really wanted some fries. In hindsight, I should have gotten a hot dog as well but I thought that would have been too decadent.

The people working the stand said it might be fixed tomorrow but there was no guarantee of that. Also, there’s a good chance it’s gonna rain tomorrow and do I want eat concession stand food for lunch two days in a row? I already have leftovers from dinner that I need to eat. Isn’t life difficult in the first world?


I have been playing the game Jedi: Survivor, which coincidentally was made by another team at the same studio I currently work at. The game is great and I want to point out a few small design decisions that help it be great.

First, is that in this sequel, they didn’t make the character start from scratch again. Many games and their sequels find a way to knock the character back down again in the second game. This might happen because the character was really powerful or skilled at the end of the first game and the designers just don’t want them to be that high level for the sequel. Thus, you need to build your character back up again from almost the beginning.

Jedi: Survivor doesn’t do that. For the most part, all the skills and equipment you accumulated in the first game carry over and are available to you right at the start of the second game.

One piece of equipment that you have right away is the Jedi rebreather, which is the Star Wars universe version of scuba equipment. First seen in use by Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, it’s just a small piece of equipment that goes into the mouth that allows your character to breathe indefinitely underwater.

I also want to talk about the tired game design trope of underwater exploration for a bit. So many games have this mechanic where your character can swim underwater but as soon as you do, there’s an oxygen meter that appears and starts to go down. If you start to run out of air, you start to take damage and if you don’t surface, your character dies. This design trope has been around for decades. At this point, I find it so tiresome. Designers usually put the chest you need to get to or the next underwater cavern at a point where your air is almost exhausted, it’s so predictable. Also, since your exploration of the underwater space is limited by this mechanic, it’s a chore to try to scour every inch of the water. You go down, look for treasure, then have to come back up for air, and then repeat ad nauseum until you’ve looked everywhere. It’s such a chore.

In this game, the rebreather allows you to explore underwater at your leisure, without the need to surface for air. I don’t think the game suffers because of that. I’m not constantly thinking, oh man, it’d be so much more fun if I had to surface for air.

Anyways, it’s a great game, for lots of reasons.


The Bank of Canada raised the prime interest rate again last week and it didn’t take long for my mortgage company to send me a notice that my mortgage payments are increasing yet again.

I didn’t even read the notice in full. I knew exactly why they were sending me a message. I really regret not locking in a fixed rate sometime in 2020 but I’m a moron that doesn’t know how the economy works. Now I’m wondering if I should lock in right now to insulate against further hikes but who knows if it’ll continue to go up. Knowing my luck if I do lock in, the rates will just slide in the next year or so. Also, though, if I don’t lock in, it’s almost guaranteed we’ll be looking at 15% mortgages in a year.

I say all of this with the context that I know some people can’t even be in a situation where owning a home is possible, so this might be a first-world but nonetheless, a valid problem.


About a year ago, my parents requested that I help them buy a portable, at-home blood pressure monitor so they could monitor their health conveniently and without having to go to a pharmacy or a doctor. I got one from Amazon and when I brought it over, I tested it on myself to show them how to use it. The unit I bought was really easy to read the results, along with the typical numbers used for blood pressure, it also colour-coded your results to green, yellow, and red. My result was in the yellow, which sorta surprised me.

I know blood pressure readings can be inaccurate at times and can vary depending on time of day, if you’ve been active right before the reading, and even your posture while doing the reading. I chalked it up to that and didn’t think anything of it.

That yellow result never really fully left my mind though. I left it to simmer in my memories and with some feet dragging a few months passed. One day, I just decided to get my own blood pressure monitor from Amazon. I needed good data to figure out if my worry warranted or not.

When my own monitor arrived, I read the instructions carefully. I followed them exactly so I would get a proper reading. I made sure I was sitting and not doing anything for about ten minutes before taking a reading. I made sure that any caffeine I had earlier had been many hours beforehand. I also ensured that my arms were on a table, feet flat on the ground.

I took three separate readings, to ensure nothing was weird about each reading. For my unit, there’s three levels of green, one level of yellow, and three levels of red. All three of my readings landed me in the middle level of red, which according to machine meant that I had “moderate hypertension”. Obviously that was not good.

At that point, I decided that I’d try to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet and try to get more exercise. I’d try that for thirty days and see if there was any change. If there wasn’t, I’d go talk to my family doctor.

Reducing the amount of sodium in my diet wasn’t really difficult. I tend to think that I have a reasonable amount of sodium in my diet but I tried really hard to cut it down even more. I do mealkits for a few days of the week and where the recipe called for added salt, I added none. When the recipe said to add ingredients that I knew had salt in it, I added half the amount. For processed or off the shelf food, I just made sure to look at the nutritional values and avoided super salty foods. I’d say that over the course of a month, almost every day had me under the suggested sodium consumption levels.

As for exercise, it’s my belief that I get quite a bit of it already. I lift weights every other day and I get cardio everyday. I try to get a walk in during the workday, almost five days a week. I felt like I didn’t need to do more, I just needed to continue to do it.

So a month went by and probably based on fear, I didn’t take any BP readings during the month. I wanted to be surprised, either in a good way or a bad one. I was hoping for the best but when I took the new readings, very little had changed. I was still hovering in the first two levels of the red section, which was not good.

I promised myself if nothing changed, I’d go talk to my doctor, so that’s what I did. We had an appointment over the phone and I gave him the numbers from the readings, before the thirty days and after. He decided that I needed medication immediately, so he prescribed me a diuretic, at the lowest possible dose. He explained to me this very common medication will pull sodium from my body and that’s how it’ll lower my blood pressure. I asked about side effects and he said that I might notice I’m urinating a bit more, which makes sense since the drug is a diuretic.

I’m supposed to take these meds for about two weeks, monitor my blood pressure every few days, and then report back to my doctor. I hope it works!