I braved my one of the largest local malls in the Vancouver area this evening. I hate going to Metrotown but it has the widest selection of stores out of any mall that’s close to me, so it has some benefits. I needed to go buy my niece her birthday present since her birthday is just days before Christmas.

I was expecting terrible traffic, no parking, and wall to wall crowds but I experienced none of that. I got there quickly, found parking immediately, and there wasn’t a whole lot of people at the mall. I did my shopping quickly and efficiently, and got out of there in a reasonable amount of time.

Perhaps it was a Monday or maybe it’s not even December yet or people just might be poorer now but it did not resemble that stupid Christmas crush of shoppers that were a hallmark of years past.

The experience was pleasant enough that I’d even consider a return trip to Metrotown in the new year, this time to shop for myself.


It had been over two weeks since I’ve observed any ants in my bathroom, so on Saturday, I made the decision to put back all the crap that was underneath my bathroom sink. Unfortunately, right before I went to do this, I observed three ants milling about just inside the threshold of my bathroom, right near the sink cabinet.

For the next hour, I observed any ants I could see to figure out perhaps where they were coming from and where they were going to. Some of the ants seemed lost, they would initially move purposefully, probably following a scent trail but then they’d just to a point where they didn’t seen to know where to go next. They’d double-back on their trails repeatedly and wind up going nowhere really. I needed an ant to either show me where they were going or to where they came from. Some of the ants didn’t do that, so after a few minutes, I’d just eliminate them.

One ant proved immensely useful. It appeared seemingly out of nowhere, near the doorjamb. I followed him for several minutes as navigated up off the floor, up the wall, and then along the wall, where it met at 90 degrees with the sink cabinet. I had previously sealed this entire corner edge with silicone sealant, so I was expecting this ant to get confused and wander aimlessly. I kept watching it though and to my surprise, it wiggled into the tiniest of gaps where my sealing job was not perfect. It just disappeared into this tiny hole. If I hadn’t seen the ant go into it, I wouldn’t have even noticed it. These ants are quite small, so they’re able to squeeze into the smallest spaces. I immediately sealed off this hole. Are there more of these imperfect areas where I think I’ve sealed it off? Probably.

As for where they’re coming from, another ant gave me a possible lead. I have no definitive proof just yet. This ant seemed confused and there was a chance it was just wandering. It had originally appeared out of nowhere and I had followed it up along the bathroom wall. It double-backed a few times and it seemed like it was wasting my time. Then it climbed down the bathroom wall and then walked along the tile, hugging the doorjamb moudling. It eventually just followed the wall and entered my bedroom. That wall immediately makes a series of 90 degree turns and it winds up being in one of bedroom closets. The vinyl flooring planks in this area also have a bit of a gap between the end of the plank and where the moulding is. This gap is huge for an ant and I saw it walk down into this gap. Is this where the ants are coming from? It’s difficult to say because I did not observe any ants emerging from these gaps. I only saw one ant go in there and it might have been just confused. It’s something I need to observe more.

The good news is that the ants don’t seem to be underneath my bathroom sink anymore. None of the ants I observed this weekend were found there, nor did they seem to want to go there. So based on this, I went through with my plan of moving all my crap back underneath the sink. I also screwed back in the panel I had removed a few weeks back so that I could seal up a long gap.

I feel like I’ve made progress here. If the ants are actually coming up through these gaps between floor planks and the moulding, I’ll have to seal these up too. These gaps are quite big though, so the silicone sealant I’ve been using won’t work. I’ll need to switch to that expanding foam I bought. Using that might be an adventure.


I’ve noticed a particular apartment in a building about a block and half over from me. The reason it caught my attention is that the lights have been on in this apartment for about a month. You can notice the lights as soon as it gets dark enough and the lights stay on. I’ve gone to bed close to 4am and that apartment is usually the only one in the building that is still lit up.

This apartment is so interesting that I’ve trained my binoculars on it a few times. I’ve never seen any people moving about through the windows. The apartment appears to be still furnished because I can see a bar stool. Other than that, I can’t see much.

What is the deal with this apartment? Did someone move out and leave a bar stool and a light on? If so, how does an apartment go untouched for over a month? The rental market here, while crazy expensive, is still competitive. People are desperate for places to live all the time.

Maybe this apartment isn’t being rented out. So it’s just sitting empty? Or did the owner go away for an extended period of time and forgot they left the light on?

What bothers me in all of this is the light that’s been left on. What a waste of electricity. A single light left on 24/7 isn’t gonna break the bank but it just seems unnecessary. I’m gonna keep track of how long it takes before I notice the light is off. How much longer?!?!?


Every night after I crawl into bed, I take my phone, get Google to listen to me, and then I ask it to turn off all my lights. The lights in my bedroom, living room, and kitchen turn off.

As a kid, I used to daydream about the “home of the future”, where I could ask some sorta computerized home assistant to turn on or off my lights. This is now possible and even commonplace. More than half the lights in my place are now controllable over the Internet. Beyond turning some lights just on or off, I can even dim them and control the warmth of the light, and the colour. Ten year-old me would be pretty amazed at how much of my home I control with just my voice or my phone.

Now that I think of it, ten year-old me would also be blown away by my large TV that’s thinner than a sandwich and as bright as the sun (compared to a CRT). I hope I’ll be just as amazed about something like that ten years from now.


I have not seen a single ant in the area of my bathroom in about a week or so. Of course, since I just wrote that, an ant is now in my bathroom, that’s just how my luck goes.

Anyways, this is just an anecdotal observation. I did not have a camera trained on bathroom sink 24/7 so I could definitely say there were no ants for a week. Another reason why I’m not jumping for joy is that the absence of ants did not follow the most advantageous flow of logic. The most ideal situation would have flowed as follows: I see ants, I observe ants coming from a gap/hole, I seal off the gap/hole, and then observe no more ants. This would most likely mean that the ants no longer have any more points of ingress into my bathroom. I have effectively barred them from coming in.

What happened instead was this: I see ants, I observed the ants coming from the latest gap/hole, I sealed off the gap/hole, I continued to see ants wandering around the now sealed gap/hole for about a day, and then the ants disappeared for around seven days now.

The issue was that even after the latest action on my part, I saw ants for about a day afterwards. This leaves the possibility they were coming in from elsewhere, expecting to go into this newly sealed hole, got confused, and then left to go back to where they first made entry.

I kept looking for ants today and I even emptied out the end of the closet closest to my bathroom sink. I looked into the corners and saw nothing. Did I sit there long enough to conclusively say ants weren’t coming in from my closet? Of course not.

It would be premature to declare the bathroom battleground a victory at this point. A number of factors could explain the absence of the ants and some of them might not have anything to do with my efforts. It could be temperature related or it could be they just decided my bathroom wasn’t worth going to anymore. All of which could change and they could be back any time.

I’ll continue to monitor the bathroom but in the meantime, I’m going to start the battle again underneath my kitchen sink, which will be a bigger challenge for sure.


Has anyone else been getting ads for gold all over the Internet? I sure have. It’s mainly concentrated on Twitter but when I click on a Tweet, I’ll sometimes get the same ad for gold repeated multiple times in the replies to the Tweet. I’ll scroll in my feed and a gold ad will be there after every fifth Tweet or so. It’s quite pervasive.

To be clear, the ad isn’t to sell my gold to a pawn shop or to buy gold from a 1-800 number, it seems like the ad was created by “big gold”, similar to “big oil” or “big tobacco”. Why they decided to target me is a mystery. Gold is expensive, while I am poor. I don’t even know where I’d go buy gold even if I wanted do. Though I guess if I really wanted to figure that out, I could click on the ad, which I have yet to do.

I really wonder how “big gold” decided they needed a blitz of an ad campaign. Are people buying less gold these days? Are people on social media the best candidates for buying gold?

Well, good luck “big gold”, I am in no position to buy your products.


I am still seeing ants in my bathroom, despite my efforts. I know the changes I’ve made, however, have forced the ants to change their behaviour. I used to see a lot of ants underneath my sink, in the cabinet itself. Now, the ants seem to be almost entirely traversing along the left side of the cabinet, where it meets the wall.

On top of the cabinet is the granite countertop and in the corner, I found a tiny small hole where it wasn’t completely sealed. I saw an ant go in there, so I sealed it off. This appeared to confuse the ants, because I see the ants climb up there and they just wander around. I feel like this hole was definitely a major thoroughfare and now I’ve removed it.

So you might be wondering if they’re climbing up there, where are they still coming from? Great question. I have seen the ants appear the floor. The sink is located near the threshold between the bathroom and my bedroom. I sometimes see them on the doorjamb and then they make their way along the wall, to where it meets the sink cabinet, and then they climb. I still haven’t figured out where exactly they’re coming from. I feel like I’m close to getting this all buttoned up but I need to do more observation. Then again, I’ve felt like I’ve been close before and it turned out, I was not close at all. Still, I persist.


So I wanna get a new set of two free weights as I think I can handle a heavier set. I think I can go up twelve pounds each. Amazon has several options, most of which are quite economical. What’s stopping me is that I feed bad for the delivery person who has to then deliver a 24 pound package for me. I know they deliver heavy stuff all the time, like a TV, but with a TV, they know it’s big and they’re prepared to deliver it with a cart or dolly. With the weights, it comes in a standard box and it’s just heavier than you’d expect.

Maybe I’m just overthinking things and these Amazon delivery people are prepared to deliver anything, no matter how heavy or how small that heavy package is.


We gotta get rid of this stupid time change in the fall. I looked outside today around 5pm and it was as dark as midnight. I couldn’t tell the difference.

What’s frustrating is that legislative bodies across North America have already voted to get rid of daylight savings time. Some of these resolutions were passed years ago. In the United States, even the Senate has passed a bill which would get rid of the time change. Unfortunately, the bill is stuck in Congress, where no progress has been made. For better or for worse, if the US doesn’t make the change, then other jurisdictions won’t either, in fear of being out of sync with the US.

The crazy thing is, some medical experts think the US bill is bad for people in general because the bill wants to make daylight savings time permanent. That is, the bill wants everyone to do the spring forward time change in March and keep it there. Some medical people say this is not desired because our circadian rhythms are actually better matched with the sun setting super early like it does now. They argue it would be healthier this way for everyone.

I question such statements because how is this good for anyone? Because of the time change over the weekend, most people who commute home in the early evening now have to do the commute with no natural light. Think about how many more accidents happen at night where artificial light is the only light available to see other vehicles and pedestrians. How many people die every year because driving home in the dark makes it that much more dangerous?

Also, how depressing is it for people to get up before sunrise, commute to work in darkness, work all day, and then commute home in darkness as well? That’s supposed to be healthy for you? That’s actually a huge morale hit. Before the time change this weekend, most people would see at least a bit of the last daylight on their commutes home.

Congress needs to get off their asses and get this bill passed and see if we can get everyone organized for next year.