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


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.