NO INTERNET

Well, I lost internet access about five minutes ago which means I can’t write a real post tonight. I’m typing this out on my phone and it’s slow. I wonder if my internet dropped because of the snow. It didn’t snow again today but did the existing snow on the ground cause this somehow? Who knows. I’m going to bed.

APOCALYPSE

A major snow storm hit the greater Vancouver area today. It started snowing about 1pm and it didn’t stop until well into the evening. In my area, I heard it accumulated anywhere between 12 to 18 centimeters but it could have been more.

I live about ten blocks from a major bridge in the area. It spans the Fraser River and on an average days thousands of vehicles cross that bridge. From my apartment, I can see the main road that feeds into the bridgeway. Around 2pm traffic started to really back on that road though it was still moving. At about 4pm it crawled to a standstill. It got to the point that there was no discernible movement of any cars. It stayed that way for hours.

At around 11:30pm, I went for a walk just to see how bad it was. It was like a parking lot essentially for as far as I could see. Many people had shut off their cars and were just waiting, looking at their phones. Someone was on foot, going car to car, handing out granola bars from a large box of them. If I had to guess, some of these people had been waiting in their vehicles for five or six hours now, possibly even longer.

I read on the city’s official social media accounts that the bridge was closed for hours due to stalled vehicles and unsafe road conditions. A further update after midnight indicated the bridge was not open in both directions. It’s now well after 2am and I can see there is still a massive lineup of cars waiting to get onto the bridge. It looks like it’s the peak of rush on a long weekend out there and it’s 2am.

There is another major bridge near me but five or six kilometers away but I can see the red lights of stopped cars waiting to get on that bridge from even where I am. These cars are so far from the bridge.

I cannot imagine how many experiences of hardship occurred tonight. People who are tired and hungry, stuck in their vehicles for nearly half a day. They have my deep sympathy and I wish I could have done something to help.

BURGER KING

I live within a five-minute walk of a Burger King. This BK has been there long before I moved to my apartment. Over the course of more than a decade, I’ve probably been there seven times. I love fast food but I think Burger King is just ok. There’s nothing wrong with it but I much prefer Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

A few weeks ago, I got some BK coupons in the mail. Normally when this happens, I just recycle them but this time around, I decided to keep them. Tonight, I didn’t have definitive plans for dinner and seeing these coupons on my kitchen counter, it felt like a good night to get some BK. Through the array of different choices of coupons, I saw a Whopper and poutine combo for $9. You know stuff costs a lot these days when that’s the coupon price. Nevertheless, that’s what I got.

I got the whole thing to go because I didn’t want to eat in that solitary and sad dining room. When I got home, the first thing I ate was the poutine. I was starving so this may have coloured my perception of the whole meal. The poutine was really good. They use actual cheese curds. The gravy was deceptively salty though. The Whopper was next and that was great too. The thing about a Whopper is that it’s never a dry burger. BK puts enough pickles, mayo, and all sorts of stuff to make it a saucy burger.

Overall, it was a great fast food meal. Thirty minutes after I ate it, I got so sleepy that I had to nap on the couch for almost an hour. I’m not sure I’d eat BK regularly but it certainly did the job tonight.

SNOW

The weather forecast is calling for freezing temperatures and a significant amount of snow for the beginning of the week. It’s times like this I’m thankful that I have nowhere to go in the day time and work from home. I’m also thankful that I don’t belong to any sports leagues, book clubs, or anything that would force me to leave my home in the evenings.

SMUGGLERS

As of this writing, the National Geographic YouTube channel is streaming the same set of episodes of a show that follows the United States Customs and Border Protection officers as they try to catch smugglers. I don’t know why they don’t just have these individual episodes as individual videos but you can have this stream on all day and it’ll just loop around. I watched a few episodes and I learned a lot about cocaine smuggling.

US THANKSGIVING

A majority of my co-workers are living in the United States so Thanksgiving for them is the next two days. While I don’t get any days off because of that, I am still excited for their holiday. It means for the next two days, those will really quiet days of work. This means reduced Slack messages, e-mails, and JIRA issues. I get to work in peace and quiet heading into the weekend. I can’t wait!

BETTING

I have turned $10 in to $37 by betting on hockey games. To be specific, I have bet that the Vancouver Canucks will lose when they play certain teams. This season, I’ve bet three times, turning my initial $10 bet into almost quadruple that.

The Canucks have been terrible this year and have found this amazing ability to lose games even after taking multi-goal leads. For example, I bet on the game tonight, when the Canucks faced the Golden Knights from Las Vegas. The Canucks managed to get a two-goal lead in the third period. For a normal team, such a lead so late into the game puts that team in a very high percentage situation to win the game. Not so for the Canucks, which is why I didn’t really think my money was at risk. It didn’t surprise me when Las Vegas tied up the game with lots of time remaining. It certainly didn’t surprise me when Las Vegas scored to take the lead as well.

I don’t bet on every single Canucks game. It’s too risky to do that. Some of the teams that Vancouver faces are just as bad as them and in those games, the outcome can be very unpredictable. The next game, however, is against the Colorado Avalanche, which is a very good team. They won the Stanley Cup last year. That game is a fairly safe bet, so I’ll probably roll the dice on that one.

COKE

Despite no longer consuming soft drinks regularly anymore, I tried this Coca-Cola with coffee product recently. This combines two things I really enjoy, Coke and coffee. While I don’t drink Coke very much anymore, I drink coffee almost daily still.

In Canada, it comes in two varieties, vanilla and dark blend. I have tried them both and both aren’t bad at all. The coffee taste is very subtle. I think the vanilla is a bit too strong and overpowers the coffee. The dark blend tastes a bit more coffee forward, which is why I think I prefer it over the vanilla.

There are a few drawbacks with this product. First, it’s expensive. At least here in the Vancouver area, it’s over $3 for a single can, which pricey for essentially a soft drink with a bit of coffee in it. Second, it’s partially sweetened with artificial sweeteners like sucralose. I’d prefer it were just straight sugar.

I currently have a can of the dark blend in the fridge right now, so I guess we’re doing this for the foreseeable future.