Monday, May 23, 2022

Happy birthday to my best friend!

Today's my best friend's birthday. We have been friends since we met in summer school when I had just turned sixteen years old. He is 1.5 months older than I am.

He came out to me as being gay when we were in university. I still remember that conversation over the phone. He didn't know how I'd feel I was good with it.

We caught up today when I texted him to say hi and wish him a great day. I didn't realize that his Facebook account was hacked and he had created a new account. He didn't know that my Instagram account had got hacked, either. We both weren't following each other, which is funny when I look at things now.

We sent a bunch of texts today. It was nice catching up. We hope to meet over a meal or something soon. It has been way too long!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Long weekend and loan payments are over

Last week, I got great news. I had finished paying off my personal loan five months early. I felt great.

I have been making payments every two weeks for just over the last three years. I like freeing up those payments to put towards my other debt.

It's the long Victoria Day weekend here. I have been catching up on a few things while trying to relax. It has been nice so far. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Back from a last-minute trip back to the Twin Cities

Hello! I hope that you're doing well.

I got playoff ticket for the Minnesota Wild. Two Sundays ago, I flew down to the Twin Cities. It was the most rushed trip that I have ever done, but it worked out well.

I saw the Wild lose their first game, but win their second one. It was my first and second times seeing the Wild in playoff hockey mode. I had wonderful experiences.

Taking a break from blogging is both needed and missed. I am currently writing on a Microsoft Surface laptop. I never thought that I'd get one, but I like it so far. The touchscreen takes getting used to!

I returned home on Sunday night. I am relatively settled again to blog. I find writing here to be therapeutic, which I have missed.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Wild have home ice!

The Minnesota Wild have home ice advantage. The team is likely playing its first game on Monday.

I am waiting for the official NHL schedule. It means that I am either flying out on Sunday or on game day Monday to the Twin Cities.

I'm excited to see my first couple of Wild playoff games. The downside is getting my travel plans together. I can't until I see the schedule. There are two other games that are ongoing right now.

Waiting is such a pain sometimes!

Friday, April 29, 2022

Sports and rankings

The Toronto Raptors lost last night. The team is out of the playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild won in overtime. It's down to the wire to determine whether it gets home ice or not for the first round of the playoffs.

It's a bit of a pain for me. I am at a holding pattern to book anything. I want to fly down and see a couple of games, but I can't until I know whether the team is in second place in their division (home ice advantage) or third (they play at least games 3 and 4 at home).

It's best that the team gets home ice. They do better. However, it would be cheaper for me to fly down to the Twin Cities if they don't get home ice advantage. It means that I can fly during the weekday, which is cheaper. If they start playing next Monday, flights aren't cheap!

Such a weird problem to have. I like booking ahead, but I can't in this instance.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Farewell gift basket has been sent!

I went ahead and asked my friend for her mailing address. She gave it to me without any questions. Nice!

I bought her a spa basket with the contributions that I got from colleagues. It's such a perfect gift for her. She needs and deserves pampering! It's expected to arrive at her home on Friday.

Gift mission accomplished!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Update on my friend leaving the company, but moving to a new career elsewhere

Last Friday was my friend's final day at work. My team is horrible at sendoffs. I ended up creating an online meeting for us to say goodbye to her and solicited donations towards a farewell gift separately, if folks wanted to donate.

To explain the situation, my friend originally got a job as a project manager within the company. She was to move to a different department.

I had warned her about her soon-to-be new manager. She was toxic towards me and isn't a nice person. Sure enough, she never finalized my friend's contact and how much she would be earning. She also wanted my friend to work both was a writer and project manager for two months at her current pay.

My friend appreciated the warning that I gave her. She decided to quit. She deserved better. I don't blame her.

She does have a new job lined up and starts just over a week from now. I'm happy for her.

As a team, before this pandemic, we would normally get together for a farewell lunch. My friend isn't comfortable being in a large crowd. Instead, she'd rather have a meal with me and one other colleague. We'll be doing that soon.

I have collected enough funds to get her a spa gift basket. I need to figure out how to get her mailing address to get it delivered to her. I may need to ask my manager first. Otherwise, I may need to ask her directly, which kind of ruins the entire vibe.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Happy belated Easter!

Happy belated Easter! I spent a good part of my morning making Easter lunch for my parents and me. It turned out well.

I woke up at 8 am, which is my usual wakeup time during the weekday. I felt that it would be best to serve lunch at 12:30 am, as opposed to 2 pm if I got up at my usual weekend time of 9:30 am.
 
Here are some food pics. I'm starting with a plate of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies and turkey.
 

 I love stuffing. I tend to put onions, mushrooms, and celery in it.


I love how crispy the skin ended up on the turkey. Delicious!


If you do observe Easter, I hope that it was peaceful, and that you were able to spend it with folks that you care about and love.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The winds of change

While I was away in the States, my friend, who is also my colleague, had good news to share with me. We had a quick call as I was driving over to the arena to see a hockey game.

She had landed a project manager job in a different department. I was thrilled for her because she has expressed wanting to be one in the past. I did say to be careful. She would have a manager who was toxic towards me and enjoyed trying to sabotage me. She was unsuccessful.

Well, on the weekend, my friend said that there was an abrupt change. She ended up resigning. Wow! I was not expecting to hear that statement from her.

We are getting together later on today. She said that she'd explain everything to me. I have a feeling that perhaps this toxic woman did something that made my friend quit. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

My hacked account ordeal and its recovery

A few Saturdays ago, one of my social media accounts got hacked. The following Sunday, I recovered it for five minutes. I saw this account get hacked again.

Recovering an account should not be difficult. It is.

My hacker changed my e-mail address and password. I had no choice but to do a video selfie, which compares video me against photos and videos of me on my feed.

It took me nine times to get my first confirmation. Ridiculous. I'm me. I have not had reconstructive surgery!

When you change your password to recover your account, you should get logged out of all app instances. Nope, this hacker was still logged in, and changed my e-mail, password, and handle.

Two-way authentication was on. It complicated things.

David versus Goliath.

I got help from my savvy contact. We planned for a few days. Our plan went down last night - successfully!

My video selfie was approved on the first try. You need great lighting. It helped!

Hacker had an IP address from Italy. My best shot was to recover in the wee hours Italy time. It worked.

When you do recover your account, do these steps:
1. Change your password again. You do it once before you access your recovered account. Do it again.
2. Change your e-mail account.
3. Turn on two-way authentication and make sure that you have it go to at least a text message.

I'm thankful to be back. This particular social medium had e-mails saying that you can click a link to secure your account when an unauthorized change occurs goes to FAQs. Not impressed. Do better.

Monday, April 11, 2022

April panties

On Saturday, I got new panties in the mail. I love my subscription!

Here's the front:


The fabric is comfortable. I like the lace. It doesn't feel itchy wearing them.

The back looks like the following:

I'm not sure why there are so many pieces to it. Perhaps getting a larger piece of fabric is more expensive than stitching two smaller pieces together to form most of the back? Who knows.

I do like it. It's functional with a bit of lace. I'm happy!

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

I'm back!

Hello! It has been a while.

I spent the last ten days in the Twin Cities. I ended up not posting a thing.

I should get back to writing about having one of my social media accounts hacked. A local business with cool owners reached out to me yesterday when I returned. Their business account got hacked and wanted to know how I got mine back.

Getting you account hacked is scary and frustrating. More later.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Hacked social account

One of my social media accounts got hacked on Saturday afternoon. It has been a pain trying to recover it. The hacker decided to change my e-mail address.

I was briefly able to log on Sunday morning after going through a verification process. You would think that when you change your password that this application on all devices would log you off everything. Nope, it didn't.

This hacker's location is in Italy. He (for the sake of using a pronoun) was still logged in after my password change. He changed my account handle and e-mail address. I got hacked again.

I got notification of these changes. There was a link in the message to click if this change wasn't done by me, but it goes to an FAQ page. It doesn't revert the changes at all.

Useless.

I'm still working on getting my account back. It has been a royal pain, to say the least.

I have more to say, but I'll save it for later. Let's just say that it's frustrating.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Returning to the office with more questions

Yestterday, I got official word from my employer that the office will be reopening to employees who are fully vaccinated on April 4. I have more questions than anything.

On a good note, I have taken April 4 off as a vacation day. I am doing a working vacation the previous week. It will likely be my last one working remotely.

We will be adopting a hybrid work model. It's supposed to be a 5-50 split being in the office and working remotely. Considering that it takes me an hour to drive into work, I want to see if I can make it more like a 60-40 split in favour of working from home.

I'm not sure how it will be organized. What if everyone wants to go into the office for work on April 4? I don't think the office can handle that capacity.

There is no organization or detailed planning. Do we sit where we used to over two years ago? Will my badge to get security clearance work?

Anyway, we'll see how things are communicated over the next few weeks.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Yay, weekend!

Happy weekend! 

I have started mine off by cleaning a section of a room. I have neglected it for a while. It felt good attending to it.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Sore wrist with minor swelling

Friday is here. Yay!

I have a sore left wrist. I also have a bit of swelling. My guess is that one end of my cuff bracelet dug into it while my head rested on it as I slept.

I need to sleep differently.

It's weird. I took my cuff bracelet off and hope that the swelling subsides.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Skype and the ex-guy

I don't use Skype as much as I used to. I have it installed on my work laptop. I used to chat with my ex-guy when he was on the road.

These days, all I do is upgrade my Skype app. 

He has two Skype accounts. I used to be connected to both. When he broke my heart, I removed both accounts from my contacts list.

I still have our chat history. I went there and he had sent me a contact request.

I don't know when he had sent it. I made it clear to him that I want nothing to do with him.

He remains unconnected on Skype.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day! 


Years ago, when I was working for a company that got acquired by my current employer, I had to prepare release notes for every software delivery. They were done in an Excel spreadsheet.


One word: ugh!


Excel wasn't the right format for telling people about changes and fixes within software. Crunching numbers or making calculations with formulas? Yes. Paragraphs of text? No.


The manager who dealt with customers and shared this spreadsheet decided to change it without telling me. He went into our shared repository, checked it out, and changed the tabs such that the latest release was the last tab. The first tab that you saw in Excel was a release from eons ago.


I was annoyed. As the writer, I owned this document. Not this manager.
I undid his changes. Customers wanted the first tab to be the latest. I slapped a password on my spreadsheet. 


He noticed this password protection and wanted it removed. I said no.
A couple of years later, my current manager and I reminisced about this manager who had just retired. We ended up talking about this incident, with both of us hearing each other's side of the story.


After I had shared my experience, my manager said that this guy had approached him and said, "Control her."


This remark was news to me.


My manager said that I was doing great. He concurred with me. He didn't need to intervene. I had his support.


My manager is far from being perfect. He has flaws like all of us. On the whole, he has always been supportive. It showed here with a ridiculous, archaic, boys' school remark.


Today is an important day for women. Do you. Shine when you have a strong point to make. Be yourself.


As a man, support women. Be an ally. You'll do a world of good.
Of note, I ultimately ditched the Excel spreadsheet. I moved our release notes to Word, followed by our current authoring tool. Our team no longer handles release notes directly, but I handled the transition to the current person who writes them.


As women, we have come a long way. However, there's plenty more to do. Don't stop. Be your best.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Weekend over and a new humidifier

Weekends fly by.

My humidifier that I've had for over a decade died. I loved that it was a penguin. However, it wasn't a top-loader, which was a pain.

I got a new one to replace it. I love it. It changes colour. I oddly don't find it bright when I have it on at night. I simply change it to dark blue and I'm good.

I do find it soothing to look at when I have it cycle through all the colours. I fill it with water from the top, which is life-changing.

It works well. I find that it's so dry in the winter that I'm congested, so I need humidity.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Shakshouka

Today, I made Shakshouka for the first time. It worked out well. It's essentially sauteed onions, red bell peppers, garlic, and spices, with tomatoes added in and simmered. You then add eggs and have them steamed with a lid on.

Here's my plated result:


I am thrilled that it turned out well. It's so easy to make. I'd make it again.

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Weekend cooking and trip planing

The weekend is here. Yay!

I'm thinking of making shakshouka this weekend. I have never made it before, but the combination of eggs with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices makes me want to give it a try.

I booked my plane ticket to return to the Twin Cities. I'm taking in a couple of hockey games. It'll be a combination of work and time off.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Early meeting and snow

I have an early morning meeting in several hours. I'm trying to wind down. 

The good news is that I'll end my day at 3:30 pm. It's supposed to snow on Wednesday, so I'll run my errands after work today.

It's snowing right now, but it's not heavy.

Okay, I should get some sleep or I'll be sleeping through my meeting!

Monday, February 28, 2022

Weekend is over

The weekend has come and gone. I do miss the longer weekend that I had before this one. I am all for a five-day weekend.

Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Errands, including package pickups and Whole Foods

On Saturday, I ran a number of errands. I had a few packages to pick up at the post office. I also had an Amazon package to pick up at Whole Foods.

I like Amazon hub lockers. You simply scan your barcode that you get in an e-mail and the locker magically opens up. You take out your package and leave. It's great.

I haven't had a locker door open up and hit my face. That's my worst nightmare.

I then got groceries at Whole Foods. Hey, I'm here anyway. I might as well. I bought four items and they came up to $36.

I always find that I'm broke when I shop here. At least I like how unique the items that I get are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Busy workday and bonus pay

It was a busy workday on Tuesday. The day flew by. I loved it.

Diva woman drives me crazy. I asked for her feedback last Friday. She provided it yesterday. Ugh!

She also said that she had "a couple" of thoughts, which ended up being three. A couple is two. Double ugh!

My friend, who is also my colleague, asked me about when we typically get our bonus pay. It's coming up. It's typically the last pay period in March. It feels like you have won the jackpot because you get your bonus pay with your regular paycheque.

I like looking forward to a surplus of money. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Extended weekend, and shoulder and neck pain are over

My five-day extended weekend is over. I feel rested. My neck and shoulder pain are gone. All is good.

Shorter workweeks tend to be busy for me. I am hoping that this week is an exception.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Fitness reward, incompetence at work, and sushi

I am a part of a corporate fitness program. There is a fitness challenge every quarter. I achieved my challenge for this quarter, which consists of getting $75 towards anything at the online store.

I typically get an electronic gift card. It gets sent to my work e-mail. I had to log in to my work account to fetch the code and use my gift card.

The problem is that I ended up glancing at e-mails from work and I didn't want to. I noticed that one developer decided that since I was away for two days, he had to forward the work to my colleague.

First, his update isn't urgent. It was already assigned to me and I needed more details from him. Second, he sent the update to the wrong person who isn't my backup. She's the incompetent one that decided to forward a question to this developer's boss and take on this task. She didn't tell him that she isn't my backup.

I'll need to sort these issues out when I return. I have already told this developer in the past that this incompetent person isn't my backup. Some folks don't know better.

Anyway, today is Family Day. I hope to go out and pick up some sushi. I just looked at some photos and everything looks good. I shouldn't look at food before I go to bed. I need a snack now!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Long weekend, with a stiff neck and truck protests

It is a long weekend here, with Family Day on Monday. Due to putting in a ridiculous number of extra hours recently, I decided to take this past Thursday and Friday off from work.

I have enjoyed this extended long weekend, except that I tweaked my neck, so it feels stiff and also affects my left shoulder. All this weirdness happened on Friday. The stiffness and pain has subsided a bit, so things are mending

On Saturday, I was supposed to pick up an order of food downtown. The problem was that the police decided to put blockades up to limit the truck protests. Due to these blockades, I couldn't get to this eatery to pick up my food. I spent a good 1.5 hours in traffic and decided to give up. I let the eatery know and the woman was nice to credit my account for a future food purchase. How nice!

I had bought crispy pork belly and vegan coconut jelly desserts. I am a bit bummed about not having them, but I hope to order them again when they are back on the menu.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Spank me, it's Valentine's Day

A friend of mine posted this photo on Valentine's Day:


I like it, although I didn't have anyone to spank me on this day.

You have probably noticed that I haven't talked about anything about spanking as of late. I'm just not in the mood. I realize that it's tough when you don't have someone to spank you. Self-spanking hasn't been gratifying as of late.

However, it's little pick-me-ups like this one that help a bit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Amazon locker, parking, and minivan mixup

Yesterday, I decided to get some air and pick up a couple of packages at my local Amazon locker hub. It happens to be inside a Whole Foods.

Unfortunately, a large, white minivan decided to park super close to my car in the parking lot. It was a Chinese female. I just stared at her as I left my car to go into the store. I was not impressed.

When I came out with my packages, I got to my car and slowly squeezed myself into my car. A woman came over and asked whether it was a tight squeeze. She offered to move her vehicle.

Wait a minute. This woman wasn't the same Chinese female. I asked her whether she had the correct van. I made her laugh when I said that she didn't look Asian and I knew that I had given that woman a dirty look for parking ridiculously close to my car.

She owns a white minivan, but the sun in her eyes made her believe that this vehicle was hers. I said that it happens. I wished her a good day and she reciprocated.

She was nice. I liked chatting briefly with her. I appreciated her kindness and humanity.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Documents are done. Now what?

The good news is that I completely my two documents last night. I can finally do regular work later on today. 

I am thrilled that I don't have to look at an ugly spreadsheet for a bit. I am thankful for the extended deadline.

I have worked so many extra hours that I am taking most of Tuesday off. I could technically take the whole day off, but I'll work 2.5 hours in the morning before I get my car serviced. I have a backlog of work that I should have got to last week.

I plan on taking Friday off. Monday is Family Day here, so it'll be an extra long weekend. I'm debating whether I want Tuesday off.

It's Valentine's Day. If you are celebrating today, enjoy it. Otherwise, know that you are loved.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Delay in a software release is to my advantage

This major software release continues to have hiccups. It means that many people are working on the weekend.

It's good news for me. I have one page of updates left. It is sadly the longest update to make, though.

This page lists a number of products that are used in our software itself. The original list had seven products. It is now closer to 1500. It means that I need to add all these products in, including their versions.

It's a pain. I am down to roughly 700 products left to add. It's doable getting this task done by Sunday.

I can't wait to get this task over with.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Progress and plan of attack on an massive spreadsheet

I spent Tuesday working on a page of updates. It took me a good eight hours of thorough work.

I have roughly ten pages left. I am going to copy and paste content as-is. It's not the best method, but it does make my documents complete.

Once all that is done, I'll cycle back and do my thorough fixes. It's my current plan that will definitely get the content in by end-of-day Wednesday. If I can't get my thorough fixes in by Wednesday, that's okay. I'll continue fixing them for the next software release.

I dislike scope creep. An additional 2,000 rows of information in this one spreadsheet was completely unexpected.

Monday, February 07, 2022

Spreadsheet nightmare and next weekend's plans

I have a deadline of Wednesday to get two documents delivered. It's involves in regards using ugly spreadsheets as my source. They went through massive updates since I last used them in December.

I spent Sunday working on these documents. I have made good progress, but need to go through roughly 2,000 rows of data. I've already gone through that may rows! We'll see if I can get through this nonsense.

Next weekend will be better. I'm getting together with a friend on Saturday now that our lockdown has been lifted once again.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

New panties have arrived!

On Friday, I received new panties in the mail from my subscription. Yay!

They are cotton with lace. Here's the back:


The front has the same lace design. There's a little bow on the front:


I haven't worn them yet. They look pretty comfortable, as they are cotton panties and seem to have a fuller cut.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Snow doesn't seem as much as predicted

The snowfall so far hasn't been huge. We had our first wave last night. The second wave is happening now.

I just realized that I have a drive-thru event later on this evening. Here's hoping that the snowfall isn't that bad as what's being predicted.

I went out briefly yesterday to fetch something from my car. It was a mix of ice and snow on my windshield.

Thursday, February 03, 2022

More snow!

It's snowing. It's so peaceful looking at the snow falling.

It's supposed to be a two-day snow event. Here's hoping that all is great.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Lunar new year and more snow coming

I enjoyed having a day off on lunar new year. I went out to fetch some bubble tea, a bite to eat, and groceries.

We are going to be hit with yet another snowstorm for the next couple of days, starting later on today. We are expecting at least 20 cm of snow. Oh, joy!

Right now, it's raining. Just when the snow from our last snowstorm is starting to melt, we get more snow.

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Happy lunar new year!

It's here! Happy lunar new year!

Here's to a year full of wonder, hope, joy, and good health. Cheers to a terrific year ahead, with some fun and good eats for good measure.

I have the day off. I'm so glad that I do.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Taking Tuesday off for Lunar New Year

Weekends fly by quickly. Crazy!

I'm taking Tuesday off. It's Lunar New Year. During this pandemic, I have been taking this day off. In the past, I'd work through it.

It's nice to take the day off and soak in the festivities. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Performance review with nice comments

On Friday, I had my performance review with my manager. It was held online for the second year in a row.

It went well. My manager said a number of nice things. Some of them were the following:
  • I am reliable and trustworthy. If he gives me a task to do, he can sleep well, knowing that it'll be completed.
  • He misses our talks about food!
It was a nice way to kick off my weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Chatting and planning with a friend

Yesterday, my friend, who is also my colleague, and I had a texting conversation. I could tell that lockdown number 4 in Ontario is getting to her.

Restaurants are reopening for dining next Monday. Currently, you can either do takeout or sit at the patio. These changes happened while I was on vacation in the US. Considering how much snow and how cold it has been lately, takeout is the better option.

She immediately perked up. There are some people who need that social interaction. She is one of them. I'm the type that likes people, but I'm perfectly comfortable hibernating.

I'm looking forward to seeing her. We are both triple-vaccinated. It's nice to plan getting together with a friend.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Driving during rush hour and eating patties

Last night after work, I drove across the city to pick up an order. The drive during rush hour going westbound was a bit crazy. It's never fun having the sun in your face!

Driving back home was far more enjoyable in the dark. It was my usual drive home early two years ago, before this pandemic. It wasn't busy, which was nice.

I bought a dozen beef patties after I had picked up my order. They were so good. They were hot. I ate two of them in my car before heading home.

Thank goodness I bought a dozen. At the rate that Imm consuming them, they won't last long!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

I'm Dear Abby

One of my colleague's mother had passed away late last week. I knew that this person was going on bereavement leave, but my manager quietly let me know on Monday that it was his mother.

The reason why my manager had disclosed this information was that he didn't know what to do. I became his go-to person for advice.

He isn't the strongest person writing heartfelt messages that express emotion. On the other hand, I'm perfectly fine emoting and expressing how I feel.

So, I helped him out. I indicated that we should send flowers to express our support. He showed me flower arrangements and I picked out one. Done.

I wrote a short note that he could cut and paste. I also recommended that he send the flowers to the funeral home for the visitation.

He thanked me directly and in an e-mail to our department. He also said that I was his Dear Abby.

I am good dishing out advice. I knew that as a young person (it sounds crazy, but I was and still am fairly wise for my age), but it was incredibly noticeable yesterday. It's always good to help someone out.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Weekend thoughts about cooking

Just like that, the weekend is over.

On Sunday, I made beef burger soup and meatballs with sauce. They both turned out well. I'm happy that I have leftovers that should last for most of this week.

I find cooking enjoyable on Sundays. It's simply sad that weekends tend to be shorter than we'd all like!

Lunar new year is next week. I placed an order for some snacks. I get to pick them up this Friday. Yay!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Meatballs and soup

As I wait for my hair to dry from washing it, I am thinking about what I want to cook later on today. It's enjoyable and a way for me to unwind.

My original thought was to make meatballs in sauce. The plan is still there, but I'm making fewer meatballs.

What I am doing instead is taking some of the ground beef to put in a burger soup. I am in soup mode that I think making a burger soup would be fun.

I made a huge batch of zuppa toscana last weekend and it was great having it for a few meals. I love soup, especially when it's colder outside.

Friday, January 21, 2022

My manager and a moisturizing mask

My manager has been away all week. He mentioned on Monday and Tuesday that he wasn't feeling well, and that what he has is not COVID-related.

As much as it has been great to not have a cluttered inbox at work, I'm concerned. Here's hoping that he feels better soon from whatever he is recovering from.

I spent the last hour caring for my face. I put a moisturizing mask on my face. It felt good. I can't remember when I last did it. I should focus on caring for my face more often.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Broke out of the house

Yesterday, I went out at long last. It was a warmer day for a brief period, reaching a high of 3°C.

There is a lot of snow here. A bit of it melted. The problem now is that it's refreezing. I expect lots of potholes.
 
Right now, it's windy and the temperature is tanking. Fun.

Here's a carved path near where I live:


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Snow update and bubble tea

The good news is that my street has been plowed. The bad news is that it's currently snowing again.

The temperature is expected to rise, so there should be a gradual melt happening. Perhaps I will head out later today. We'll see.

I was supposed to pick up free bubble tea with a friend yesterday. We both decided to postpone meeting up. We got so much snow that it didn't feel safe meeting up.

I'm glad that I went grocery shopping on the weekend. I technically don't need to get anything at the store for days. I would love to get some fresh air, though.

My manager has been away sick for the last two days. As much as I hope that he feels better soon, I like that my inbox has been nice and quiet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Huge snow accumulations and frustration working with a software developer

On Monday, my area got a blizzard warning and a lot of snow. 

Snowfall estimates were bumped up to between 40 to 60 centimetres. Toronto got 47 cm. Oshawa got 55 cm. Where I live is midway between the two. I'll take the median and say that we got 51 cm. It was a lot!

I don't think that my street has been plowed yet. It's so quiet. One neighbour tried to drive on the road and was highly unsuccessful.

I got annoyed with a software developer yesterday for a few reasons:
  • He sent me a Word document that was on his personal SharePoint site. I couldn't access it because he didn't share it with me. I told him to send the file to me as an attachment.
  • The details in his document were vague. I had to ask him about specific parameter names. Some had global as a prefix. Others did not. Highly inconsistent. He said to follow what the old parameter names were as a guideline. Um, no. That's not how it works. If you give me a list of new parameters, I assume that they apply to all hyperlinks that you have mentioned in the same section.
  • I asked which software releases these changes were for. He guessed at it. I asked him to confirm.
As patient as I am, I got more annoyed with the number of questions that I needed to pose because he took shortcuts to give me in the information. Horrible! If I have so many questions because the content provided is unclear to me, how is a customer going to understand the information that I am writing about?

I let him know that details need to be more explicit in future. Telling me that he can have a call to explain stuff was ridiculous. Just give me the correct details right off the bat and save us both time and frustration.

Here's hoping that I'm not snowed in on Tuesday.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Snowday

It's snowing. We are expecting anywhere between 25 to 35 cm of snow today. 

It's definitely pretty to look at from indoors. Here's to a snowy Monday!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Rules and guidelines on masking in the US

The hotel in which I stayed in the United States is a part of a large chain. The official wording on its clean policy is that for guests staying at its US hotels, you do not need to wear a mask at the hotel if you are fully vaccinated. Staff are required to wear face masks.

As a cautious Canadian, I threw that guest policy out the window. I am fully vaccinated. I got my booster shot on Thursday. All is well. I have a sore arm. That's it. I'm boring that way. I'll take boring any day!

Whether I was heading downstairs to the kitchen area to fetch breakfast to take up to my room or doing laundry, I wore a mask. Heading to and from my room? I had a mask on.

As for staff, housekeeping never had masks on. When I headed to my room to check in back in late November of last year, I had to walk by two housekeeping staff without their masks. Luckily, I had mine on.

I'd say that 50% of the time, staff at this hotel had face masks on. The front desk was much better at it.

What I am trying to get at is that there are rules and guidelines on wearing masks, but they aren't enforced. We are still in a pandemic. Not wearing a mask in a public area is ridiculous these days, vaccinated or not.

The moral of this story is to mask up, to protect yourself and others from the various COVID-19 variants that are out there.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Cancelled and rescheduled flights

On my last full day in the States, I received a notification on my phone driving back to the hotel that my flight heading home the following day was cancelled. My heart sank.

I pulled over to check my inbox. I'm glad that I did. The airline managed to book me on an alternative set of flights home. It involved going into the opposite direction. I essentially flew from Minneapolis to Denver, and then to Toronto.

It was roughly an extra three hours. It made for a long day, but I was grateful to get home on the same day and wasn't left stranded somewhere.

I was originally upgraded to business class. With these two flight segments, only my second one was in business class. It was fine, as it was the longer segment.

In business class, I sat next to a nice, older man. He figured that I was heading home to Toronto, probably because I was my usual polite self. He was heading to Dubai after landing in Toronto. He had a two-hour layover.

By the way, the flight out of Denver was delayed by two hours. It isn't unusual these days with staff being sick.

When the plane touched down in Toronto, he said, "Welcome home!" He made a comment that it's always a good feeling returning home. He was right.

I have been fortunate to have struck up conversations with folks during my travels. I enjoy them. He was so nice by getting my backpack and jacket from the overhead bin.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Happy 2022!

Happy 2022!

I haven't written since last year. =)

I decided to simply enjoy my vacation without writing in my blog. I also had my work laptop with me, so I didn't exactly want to spend a lot of time writing personal blog details on it.

On Monday, I flew back home. I have a story about my flight. I'll write more later.

I hope that this year will be a good one for you.