My Diary #139

Dear Tigey,

April will be my busiest month on record yet! I have no time to sit down and breathe. Teach me how you do it.

Entry #139 (Apr 07 2024)

Table of Contents

Moving my…
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Dreams

Life

I think I’ll just do this and the Games and Dreams sections this week and that’s it, eh? Basically the chronicling sections and not the flashback sections, I didn’t really have time for introspection this week.

Early in the week, I completed my 2023 taxes so that I didn’t have to have that hanging over my head while I move and clean and get ready for my trip. I got annoyed at H&R Block last year for blocking people from being able to claim medical expenses on their taxes under their free tier, so I went shopping around for another free tier one this year, and ended up at WealthSimple. They’re an investment company and I think they mostly do crypto and stocks or something, but they have a tool for filing taxes too that was suggested by the Canada Revenue Agency. It went easily enough and I filed it after about half an hour. $430 refund for me this year.

Next, one of my Twitch streamers du jour, SoEverdream, was having a sub-athon (subscriber/donation push) this week, so I donated five gift subs, which he was horrified to learn costs $41.99 in Canada on both the app and website after the recent price increase. There was a rumour going around that buying these on mobile cost more, and it perhaps might be if one bought a personal subscription or something, but I found that at least for the specific case of Canadians gifting gift subs in bulk, they cost the same using both methods. Anyway, this was in return for winning the mug giveaway a couple of weeks ago, and for enjoying the stream and community in general. Several people donated 100 gift subs to him, which would have cost about $800 Canadian or the equivalent in American freedom bucks, and that was pretty insane for me to watch happen.

I also was curious and tested removing the block on gifted subs for channels that I did not follow, that I had enabled a little while ago. Within 48 hours, I had gotten 17 gift subs for channels, most of which I did not follow but that I recognized as either having clicked on once or twice at some early point due to being in the Recommended list, or that I had been raided to at some point in the recent past by streamers passing on their viewers to other streamers when they quit streaming for the day. 17! That was also pretty insane for me to watch happen. I got 2 gift subs last week and 21 this week, each one being worth around $4.99 USD or (as of March 28) $7.99 CAD. Most of the channels are ones I don’t care enough to ever visit. How weird.

I did my calls to transfer utilities to my new apartment. There were three that I had to transfer — EPCOR power, Shaw internet, and my Desjardins home insurance. The last one isn’t really a utility but stick with me here. I found out that power, of all things, required a three day lead time to change somehow. Thankfully, I did this on Tuesday for a Friday date so I was able to barely arrange for this.

Shaw internet was somewhat easier, although on their website they say to give them TWO WEEKS notice to transfer your service. Yike. I called them anyway though and they said they’d transfer it on Friday and also send over a technician for an additional $50. I hadn’t even seen the place yet so I said sure.

Insurance was also very simple, just a phone call and it was done. They made me download some app too but then also sent me a confirmation PDF in an email and I forwarded the form to my office.

One of the moving companies that promised to contact me within 24-48 hours finally contacted me a week later and apologized for answering my inquiry so late. They weren’t even the last company to respond though, one or two completely ghosted my request. Anyway, their price was about identical to the one that I hired in the end, but oddly the company, Aachen Trust Express, said that they waive the travel fee for Chinese clients moving within South Edmonton, which I do qualify for (I believe that they didn’t know at that point that I was Chinese, but said it anyway). I found that a bit sketchy though and it was only two days before the move at this point so I wasn’t willing to cancel the other company who contacted me promptly THE DAY I CONTACTED THEM.

I took Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off of work to deal with not only home moving stuff but travelling stuff. I might take Monday off too, but we’ll see. My work actually has a paid day allowance for moving so Friday at least will be a “free” day off.

I got called down to the office on Wednesday to sign my new lease, early in the morning at 10am. I was bleary-eyed because I was up until 4 am the night before and only woke up at 9:30, but it went smoothly enough. I noticed and commented that they actually gave me a 12 month lease on my apartment, and Michille, who was doing my lease, said that yup — it was a 12 month lease but they had a note that I would be allowed to cancel it without penalty at any time. That’s.. I like this new arrangement. So I can stay there for up to a year if I want to while I look for a new house, instead of just six or seven months.

While they were photocopying my signed lease, I also noticed that they left a list with info on a bunch of other leases around the table, and this is not the first time that they’ve done this. This is sort of a bad privacy practice. Especially when it was a list of people who were on month-to-month leases, which also duly noted that their rents were rising soon (and what the old/new prices were), and especially when I then noticed the top name on the list was Karlo, literally one of the people on another team at the University of Alberta that my team sometimes works with (and who was going to eat over a $100 increase in his rent or something like that). Should I know that information about him? Probably not.

I was up until 4am that previous night firstly because of Minecraft, but then also because just as I was going to bed, I received an email from Google that informed me of a cheap one-way plane ticket from Edmonton to Tokyo via Calgary. A single ticket itinerary instead of two separate ones too.

Nice, a $500 discount. It’s WestJet, Canada’s other international airline, and while Kel has had bad experiences with them, I have had bad experiences with Air Canada so I prefer them at this moment. They did charge me for picking seats though, so after a $47 fee for picking a seat for the longer flight, it came out to around $625. It also comes with a 7.5 hour layover in Calgary, but that’s totally fine to me. Because if I miss the usual early morning plane somehow, which I’m always paranoid of, it means I have time to catch another connecting flight to Calgary. The flight time from Calgary to Tokyo is around the same as the one from Vancouver to Tokyo, 10.5 hours, despite Calgary being some distance to the east of Vancouver, I guess because this flight wings a straight shot across the ocean instead of up around the Alaskan coast like the flight from Vancouver does.

Moving on, I also went down to the University to talk to the travel agency there on Thursday, since I have plans to visit Kel in Guangzhou and knew that that agency, Maple Bridge Travel, specialized in helping people get visas to China, which normally, like the Japanese visa, involves a day trip down to Calgary.

I talked to the lady at the desk and she said that they had a driver that went down to Calgary every Wednesday or something like that, and based on my timeline, if I come in by Monday and get her the requested documents (passport, health card, photo), and a $282.75 fee, they could bring my passport down to Calgary for me to process it. Even though the driver goes down on Wednesday, she said that Tuesday would be too late because they deliver the documents to the driver early on Tuesday.

She said that the turnaround for the “single entry visa”, which I was trying to get, was about a week, and that I would receive my passport back in the mail by April 19th. This is slightly risky because my flight out, as noted above in the screenshot, is slated for April 21st. It should be fine though. She said that if the embassy rejected it, then the passport would come back with the driver on Wednesday and they’d contact me to return it to me right after, and then I can make a decision on whether to try to go down to Calgary to apply for it myself again, or skip that part of my trip.

She asked me if I had a flight and hotel itinerary for the China portion of my trip, and I said no, I didn’t want to buy a flight yet until I knew whether my visa application would be accepted or not, and also that if I were to go to Guangzhou, I’d probably be staying with Kel instead of in a hotel. She said that they’d.. “arrange” an itinerary for me as part of a fee and not to worry about that, but that they still needed to see a hotel or something similar, so she suggested that I look up a local hotel with a refundable booking, book a one-night stay there, and then either actually stay there on the first night or else refund it after.

Anyway, of the $282.75 fee, $132.75 is the embassy fee, which I would have to pay regardless, and the other $150 is for the service and the driver down there. Which I think is pretty fair, considering that the last time I went down to Calgary to get my Japanese visa, it was $40 or so each way, and $40 more in Uber rides around Calgary itself (though some fo that last bit certainly could be avoidable). Paying $30-$70 to avoid having to go down to Calgary and back for bureaucratic reasons again? Sure!

While I was at the University, I also went to get a new ID card at the Infolink office:

The last one expired in mid 2023 but I never needed one while working from home, although there’s some door access stuff on it. The card has changed a fair amount over the years though and I have a couple stretching all the way to my first student stint here in the early 2000s, although this time it was just a slight colour tint difference from the last one.

I also bought lunch from Hoho’s, my former favourite store in the mall. Their menu layout had changed again, although the options haven’t, I think. Or at least they’re still missing all of my former favourites. One of the women working at the counter is also someone I still recognize from long-ago pre-pandemic visits as well. We exchanged hellos.

On the way out of the University, I took a walkway toward the Rutherford Library and saw this:

This exhibit, Beyond Human Will by Tamara Storm, is the same one that was there when I visited 37 weekly blogs ago in July 2023, and I had commented at that time that it was already up two weeks longer than the sign introducing it had indicated that it would be up. Now it’s approaching one full year.

Well, whatever. Good for her. I came this way so that I could pass by the library on the way to the train station and take a picture of their weekly question board, and said picture did get taken:

I was going to change my phone’s SIM card from a physical one to an eSIM again so that my phone’s SIM card slot would be available for me to slot in random ones while travelling, but what instead happened was that I saw signs being posted on the Koodo (Telus) and Virgin (Bell) store advertising a 20 GB for $29 per month offer that was a bit cheaper than my current deal of 20 GB for $40 that I had gotten last year but that was nearly over. That deal was for 18 months, though there was no contract, and despite the $40 deal, I was actually paying $48.25 per month for some reason.

Anyway, I inquired at the Virgin Mobile booth store about the new deal, and instead got counteroffered with an even better deal, 50 GB for $39 per month instead. The booth attendant said that this one had an advantage over the 20 GB one because I would be charged for going over the limit on that plan, whereas for the 50 GB one I would just get throttled if I went over. Also, the 50 GB one was on the 5G cell network instead of both the 20 GB plan and my current plan, which were both on the 4G network. I agreed to this plan, so the attendant switched me over to this, although this necessitated changing my cell provider from Virgin Mobile to Bell Mobile, their parent company. He said I could still come back there for service though, for example to change my SIM card into an eSIM… which I had brought up at the beginning but he said should be done on another day instead because the system might complain and lock my account since he had to already register a new physical SIM for me to switch me over today or some nonsense like that. That isn’t much of an inconvenience though since the mall is so close to my house (and I’m moving even closer to it!) so I agreed and said that I’d just come back another day for that. I noticed that Bell managed to force install a Bell app on my phone too that I have no normal option to uninstall. That was very rude.

The next day, I saw that I had a bill of $69 or so for March/April from Virgin Mobile, and I went down to the desk again to inquire why. It was so suspiciously timed, the same day that I switched over to Bell, so I figured the rebate had fallen off and someone forgot to apply it or something. Instead, I was told that the 18 month deal was actually a 15 month deal and that the 15th month just ended. But since it was only a few days into the month (my phone bill cycles on the 28th), from what I understand I think I immediately got $55 in credit returned back to my account… but not to my card or anything yet, it’s just sitting as useless credit on the Virgin account that I no longer have an account on since they moved me to Bell Mobiility. I assume that the credit will eventually end back up on the credit card, and I seem to recall this happening with Telus in the past too when I was transitioning away from their cellphone services. It’s just going to make my ledger spreadsheet a little weirder.

But then I forgot to actually get the eSim switched over, so the NEXT day, and we’re well into Saturday now, I went down and talked to some representative at the booth again, and finally got my number changed over to an eSIM card. The Virgin Mobile rep wasn’t sure if she could do it since it was a Bell number now and she murmured something about more restricted permissions, even though Bell was their parent company, but she tried it anyway and like the first rep promised, it worked.

I saved most of my packing for the day before moving day, as I needed to do trip stuff on the previous days, so I was already rather sore by the time moving day itself, Apr 05 2024, rolled around. This was no wise wolf move — I was dead on my feet halfway through the day and kneeling or squatting down really hurt by the end. I only approached something resembling a sad emotion once, briefly, in my entire last night there. Less than I thought I would. I did take this picture for posterity though.

Also look at how many disposable utensils I have because I don’t like throwing them away without using them.

I woke up on the 5th at 7:30 am, and did some last minute cleaning and packing, dismantling my computer and storing the cutlery after an early breakfast. But outside things weren’t going so well. April the 5th this year looked like this:

Even the early Canada Geese were so confused.

Yuck. The cleaners came at 9, they were two ladies that spoke Chinese (one of them spoke English too) and had buckets and chemicals in tow. 2 hours 10 minutes later and they were done with the kitchen and bathroom and fridge and oven and everything looked brand new. The whole place stunk of chlorine, like a swimming pool would, for the rest of the day though, all the way into the evening even with the bathroom ventilator on. But they did great. It cost something just over $175 but I tipped them a bit and gave them $200 instead.

Or I tried to, as I attempted to pay with an Interac e-Transfer from my RBC bank account, but it got declined. Twice. Then I couldn’t even log in to the account anymore and was told to call support. I called them after the movers had left later in the afternoon, and got redirected to the fraud department, and then got put on hold for 68 minutes. There was an option at the start of the call which said that it would allow me to hang up but keep my place in line and get a call-back when it was my turn, and I tried to register for it, but after it confirmed my phone number it told me to please hold instead of letting me hang up. Which I think was worse than not giving me the option in the first place. In the end, I had to eTransfer (to both the cleaners and the movers) using my Scotiabank account, and then much later on, once my RBC account was unlocked, I went back and transferred money from the RBC account to the Scotiabank one to keep that latter one above the $6k balance mark (which is necessary so I don’t incur a daily/monthly fee on the account).

And what was the reason for this lock? Because I tried to pay for the eTransfer using my phone, which had changed providers from Virgin Mobile to Bell the previous day… one of the confirmation questions they asked was which provider I use and I explained the whole thing.

While the ladies were cleaning my house, I was going back and forth and tossing stuff in the dumpster, and I met John, the friendly Malaysian handyman, doing his rounds. He helped me dispose of a bunch of my boxes and wished me luck on my move. Then at 10 am I went to the rental office, and then my new apartment, to do a walk through of the place.

It had pretty good scenery! Minus all the white.

Out in the hallway was a laundry room, an elevator, and a garbage chute. Every level has all these things. How fancy, my old building didn’t have an elevator or a garbage chute and there were two laundry rooms for five levels. The garbage chute reminds me of Singapore HDB flats, except there every unit has a chute in the house, under the sink. Here it’s a little room with a chute that you can dump small garbage pieces into.

It goes into a larger room at the bottom where you can manually dump larger garbage pieces into:

After that I went back to the apartment where the cleaners still were, and started to slowly move things to the new apartment. They left a bit after 11 am, which was the start of the appointment window for the Shaw tech to come to my new apartment and help with setup. The first thing I had moved was the cable modem, and it connected fine after a few minutes, so I wasn’t sure if he was even needed, but then the connection died, and came back to life, and died again, and once the tech actually arrived a little past noon, he said that he could see on his doodad that I had connected my modem to the new access point, but he had to attach a widget to my modem to actually activate it on the new access point, so the tech wasn’t actually an optional step in the process at all despite what the telephone agent had said.

I also asked about paying a fee when he was leaving, and he said he wasn’t aware of that $50 fee, but that if there was one they’d just tack it onto the bill anyway. Hopefully I can redirect them to my Virgin Mobile credit if that happens.

Then, at 1 pm, the movers from Last Stop Moving came. Well, sort of. They came at 12:40 pm, but couldn’t find my apartment building at first, then spent about ten more minutes after that trying to back the truck into the empty parking lot in front of the footpath by my apartment building.

It was kind of hilarious to watch, but at least they didn’t charge me for that time. I guess that was part of their “one hour travel fee” though.

They inquired three times over the course of the next ten minutes where the elevator was in my little apartment building, before they finally got it in their heads that when I said there was no elevator in my old apartment’s building, I meant that THERE WAS NO ELEVATOR. Anyway, although I had only hired two people without the truck, the estimate I gave included the price for two people with the truck (which was the same price as two people’s labour without the truck, apparently, since they had to drive there?), so when they said it was probably faster to use the truck even though the buildings were close by, I agreed. They spent about two hours moving around 30 boxes, my two tables, my two computers, a microwave, and a bed to their truck, and then spent 45 more minutes or so moving them out from the truck to my apartment.

That latter one was a lot easier because of the elevator, and because I had booked it so the staff had locked one of the two elevators specifically for us. Except that I thought they were going to move the boxes dolly by dolly over to the new place from the start, since I had just hired the labour portion and allegedly not the truck, so I had booked it for 1 pm to 3 pm. Then I realized that they probably had to do some prep work in my old apartment first, or maybe they’d move the big tables first, so I called the office and told them 1:30 pm instead. Then the movers called to say they would be early, so I changed it back to 1 pm. Then Michille said they’d just unlock it at 12:30 and then head off for lunch. She taught me how to use it over the phone. But then once the movers decided to move all my stuff to the truck first, I knew that timing would be off again. I called them after the lunch hour and said that we’d need it until 3:30. They said sure. But when we actually reached there, neither of the elevators were actually locked. The front desk lady was puzzled as to why this was the case, since they had left it locked earlier, so she had to come over and lock it for us again.

There was another moving van that pulled up as my movers were finishing unloading the truck, and they had to wait around until we were done before they could pull in, and they couldn’t use the booked off lift either so it took them longer than it would, though they only seemed to have one large shipping pallet of stuff to unload in the end. Our truck gave way to them once it was done unloading though, which added a bit of time onto the total that I was charged for.

I also did notice one of the guys drop and spill out part of one of my boxes in the truck while unloading, as I was basically manning the apartment front doors for most of the day and was looking out of the glass doors and at the truck at the exact moment the box fell off the dolly and partially spilled onto the floor, and I wasn’t too impressed that the guy that knocked it over didn’t mention that to me or apologize for it. Though everything in it that spilled out (mainly Japanese textbooks and random notebooks) seems to have survived fine without any stains or creases or issues. Some stuff definitely dropped on the ground though, and then was picked up. Except for a magnifying glass that they only found much later on and then, to their credit, texted me about. They’re either going to stop by next week to drop it off, or mail it to me.

While moving the boxes up, they also loaded up the booked elevator with nearly all the boxes and dollies, and were preparing to head up to my apartment with it, when I pointed out that they had left both my computers out in the lobby with the two tables and three or four more boxes, which I didn’t like because we had seen a good number of people travelling back and forth during the time they had spent unloading. So I had one of them grab a computer while I brought the other, and the two of us used the normal elevator to go up to my floor instead, but then somehow the other mover had no idea how to use the booked elevator (press floor number, and then hold a button until it closes) so the first guy had to go back down and then come up with him again later. Silly things like that which wasted time did make them lose some points.

They also got rid of the bed frame that I wanted to junk for me, for an additional cost of $42, though it made me a bit sad when they smashed it to pieces with a hammer so that they could get it down the stairs. I don’t like it and haven’t used it in years, but I have had that bedframe since 1999 or 2000 when we first came to Canada. I don’t know how Dad and I got that thing up the stairs and into my apartment when I first moved in, back when Dad (and I) was still sprightly and full of vitality and strength.

The movers were generally quick and efficient though, I had few complaints about the speed, effort and optimization they used in moving my things for me, as for most of the move they seemed to be working at a brisk pace and doing multiple things at once. Although they did stall for 10 minutes or so after the move was completed and they had left my apartment, before they actually stopped the clock and tallied the bill, which was.. weird, especially when they said they were first going down to pack up (which involved moving the truck back to the front to load up dollies because they had moved it for the other mover truck with the one pallet earlier who didn’t actually end up needing it) and tally the bill, and then said they would be back up to my apartment to settle the bill instead of having me come down, but after the ten minutes texted me to say that they had forgotten that they couldn’t actually enter the apartment building without my key and no one else was coming by. So I had to come downstairs again. And only THEN did they stop the clock, so the total for the 3 hours (plus 1 hour of travel expenses) came to $620 or so. They also charged me for a roll of masking tape that they mainly used to wrap up blankets over the tables and computers, and then also some plastic wrap around my bed that I had specifically asked them NOT to wrap because I also had already put a wrapping that I didn’t care for around it (a covering that I had bought during the bedbug incident way back when — it goes around the entire bed and zips up to keep it sealed.).

Whatever. I paid them using Interac instead of a credit card so I saved what would have been an additional 3% fee on top of that, and due to the way that that transaction happened (and the dropping of the box and weird ending stalling portion and extra charges I never asked for) I didn’t end up tipping them at all.

I did buy a six-pack of Gatorade the day before the move, planning to have two for myself before and after moving day, and offer one each to the two cleaners and the two movers. The two cleaners declined the drink though, and because they never came up again (and other aforementioned things) I never offered the movers the drink. So I ended up with a lot of blue energy drinks.

I also realized one thing after — their boss already had me do a $100 deposit when I first booked them earlier in the week, and here they took the entire $620 or so anyway. Did they just “conveniently” forget about the deposit? I’ll find out about Monday. Also, this entire fee was only $3.66 cheaper than my one way plane ticket to Tokyo, after the seat selection fee!

I spent the rest of the day moving some of the stuff that I didn’t want the movers to bring for me, as that would have probably added another full hour (valued at $135 or so) onto the cost of the move. I made 13 trips, moving the things I felt that I needed that night, but was very sore by then so I took the rest of the evening and night to rest and recuperate. My favourite night-time Twitch streamer, Nomakk, happened to do a special 12-hour stream overnight that night and I really appreciated that timing. I watched him for a bit, then slept from exhaustion and woke up at 4:30 am, watched him for an hour or two more, then slept again for an hour or two more, then woke up to catch the very end of the stream. I said it was like a familiar fuzzy blanket feeling while settling in to a new, unfamiliar apartment.

I was a bit less sore the next day thanks to the liberal application of some Chinese tiger balm ointment upon my sore muscles, though it was still very difficult to lower myself to the ground. Anyway, over the course of about nine further hours, I did 25 more “loot runs” of my old apartment, moving basically everything over bit by bit except for some cleaning supplies that I left for the next day. I even made an itemized list to track all the movement:

I really enjoyed this process, it was like a real life rendition of something I do in a game where I’d take all the loot I could from a dungeon I found back home, even though it’d take me many trips to do so. And then I’ll dismantle the dungeon itself and take that, too. Or something like moving bases in Minecraft, which I have to do again soon on the public server that I play on.

I also brought some soap back to the old apartment to test removing a couple of little droplet stains in the carpet with soapy water, and that seemed to work successfully. On Sunday, I then spent three hours vacuuming the half of the house that was carpet and that the kitchen cleaners didn’t do, and wiped off a bunch of surfaces with alcohol wipes and tissues. And that was it for my old apartment! I will have a walkthrough of the old apartment with one of the apartment managers on Monday and return the keys then. I’m not sure if I’ll be penalized for leaving some water/soap stains on the balcony door because it’s huge and heavy and multi-layered so its hard to clean, and I didn’t have a squeegee to completely remove the smudges. The neighbour upstairs was making a racket the entire time I was cleaning, it sounded like he had a nice 3+ hour cleaning session as well and it was almost nostalgic. Almost.

I also found a bunch of mail addressed to the apartment above me, four seemingly unopened envelopes in all, seated abandoned on top of the communal mailbox in the old apartment, except the four envelopes were addressed to three different people, none of whom were the actual current occupant of the unit as far as I knew. It seems like the unhinged Ukrainian living there had been hoarding other people’s received mail for some time too and was not sure what to do with them. In the meantime, I’ve received a couple of letters for the former occupant of my new unit too and have already sent one of them back to sender (the other was a donation drive or something from a charity with no return address so I will probably just scan and upload that).

I do like the apartment building that my new apartment is in, so far, although as mentioned above it’s a very busy building, with people constantly moving in and out. I can hear some neighbours occasionally, but it’s not a constant stream of irritating noise that goes all the way into the late night, and nothing has been particularly loud yet, so I have no problems with it so far.

I don’t like the wooden floor, and I’ve dropped a couple things on it already and wondered if the downstairs neighbour was annoyed with me, but it should be much easier to keep clean than the carpet in the other place. It’s also colder though, which isn’t always a problem since I wear slippers in the house, but my plushies who have to sit on the floor will suffer a bit. Maybe I’ll put down a rug or cloth for them. I even bought a broomstick (JUST the stick) and an attachable mop head (from the same company) from the dollar store for the house. It has a detachable head and I’ll probably shortly buy a broom head for it as well.

I discovered that most of the cold was flowing into the house via the gap under my front door, specifically because there’s a huge vent across from my door in the hallway outside that’s pointed right at my door. So whenever it comes on, a bunch of cold wind rushes at my door. Weird. I stoppered up the hole under the door with a stick and a couple of rugs and that helped a lot.

My toilet is also small and cramped, the door opens weirdly and blocks the tub and that design is bad. The tub is slippery too, and the stream of water from the shower head is far weaker than in the other apartment. The hot water is also wonky and doesn’t adjust up in temperature the way I expect it to, so I’ll need to get John or some other handyman to come take a look at it. The sink doesn’t exactly drain properly, there’s a very shallow sheen of water that collects around the edges of the drain instead of flowing into it. And also, even though I got yelled at for not turning on the ventilator after showers to dry the bathroom in the other apartment, this apartment only has one switch in the bathroom and it doesn’t control the vent, only the light — there’s no vent switch at all or it’s broken!

For the kitchen, one of the four stove coils doesn’t sit down in its recess properly, which is a problem that I’ve never seen before. The bottom bumps up against a metal tube that’s protruding further up than it should be. I like the kitchen though, its layout is virtually identical to my other apartment but I can actually see it from my desk, which I like.

The storeroom is nice but narrow and I’m not sure yet what to put in there. Right now it’s my storage drawers and Kel‘s comics, whereas all my other boxes are in a corner of my giant main room. Though I need to reiterate that the feeling of finishing my “loot runs” and “rescuing” everything to my apartment, and then having to sort through it slowly, was a great feeling. Now I can take my time to organize them from the safety of my home base, including deciding on what goes into my closet and/or storeroom. And I might get to do all this again in six months or so if I find a nice house. This week was a lot of playing the “which damn box is the item I need right now in?” game though. And it was exhausting, so much so that I felt light-headed at times while moving between buildings, and felt like dozing off all through the day on Saturday and Sunday. The Gatorade energy drinks helped though!

There are other weird things about the house that give me pause, one of them being that the front door does not have a bolt chain lock that can be secured from the inside like the old apartment did. I’m not paritcularly worried about intruders all the way up here though, and if I did I’d just move one or two of my boxes in front of the door. Talking about intruders, I “share” a long balcony with the neighbour to my left, and there’s just a large but flimsy-looking metal gate between the two of us. So if they were evil they could break it and enter my apartment through my balcony door. And I’m sure I’ll find more little nagging issues over the next week or two too before I abandon this place for Japan.

Despite that list of negatives, particularly involving the bathroom, I very much like this new apartment so far. If I had been offered the place straight up, for a $30 increase a month, while I was living in my old apartment, even without having a noisy neighbour above me acting as a push factor, I think I’d have taken it. The primary reason is that I just really like great window views. Something my future new house almost certainly won’t have. Especially since thanks to the squabble with the bad neighbour, I got the place for up to 12 months on a very flexible contract.

So my desk is now positioned similar to this:

With views like this if I scoot to the side a little:

My balcony door points west, right at the setting sun!

Epilogue: This section was REALLY long this week! It was not lost on me that it’s basically written like a travel log, the soreness I have is like the soreness I get when I walk 8 hours a day while on vacation, and the new apartment building and actual new apartment itself all have a kind of hotel-like feel to it. And also that it’s good to get this soreness out of my system now so it won’t be as big of a shock when I start my trip in two weeks!

Games

The public Minecraft server I play on got wiped and it was a lot of fun starting from the very start again with everyone else. Despite being a public server, the community is very nice, I think the active players at least bonded together quite well during the problems of the last three weeks and this has continued into the new server. There’s even a huge chest stash at spawn (chests are largely instanced in this server due to a mod and can be picked up and moved around, so people pick them up and teleport/bring them back to spawn so everyone can loot them separately), that’s seated right there in an unprotected public community chunk, and the main problem with that is not griefing or stealing but instead a lack of space to hold even more donated treasure chests.

This server has a couple of dragon mods that affect world generation, and it turns out there was a large dragon under the area which I considered to be a potential colony spot. I beat a giant troll to death and picked up a zombie arm from it, and then proceeded to slowly beat the giant dragon to death with the zombie arm (and an infinite bow) from a spot where he couldn’t reach me. Only in modded Minecraft can these things happen. I probably still need to look for a better spot to settle down though, but this week has been very busy and I haven’t had much gaming time. Also the ore to make the most powerful weapons, armour, and tools in the modpack bugged out and didn’t actually spawn in this update and server wipe, so I’m not sure what they’re going to do about that yet. Thankfully it only is supposed to spawn in the Nether so maybe they’ll just wipe that specific map once it’s fixed.

I did manage to complete the second last achievement in Hades, and unlocked the requirements for the last one, which should take 3 or 4 more runs to do. Then I will probably put that game down for good. It’s good, but has kind of run its course now. I played a tiny bit more Backpack Battles on the side, but otherwise mostly didn’t play much this week, not even our daily games of AMQ after our daily anime group watch sessions, since the latter also didn’t happen once I started the moving process.

Dreams

A combination of the move and the new apartment, and my exhaustion, meant that there wasn’t much in terms of dreams this week. I do remember that I had dreams on several of the other nights, but no details surfaced regardless of how much recollection I tried to do.

Apr 01 2024
  • A friend and I were patrolling a school at night when we stumbled into the computer lab and heard the end part of a conversation that a Chinese employee who was seated in the elevated row at the back of the lab was having with someone else on the computer. He was obviously a corporate or national spy, and we weren’t sure if he had seen us or not so we ducked into the server room that was connected to the computer lab, and lay down on the floor there so that he could not see us. I made sure that my leg was blocking the door in case he tried barging the door open.
  • My partner then pulled out his phone and asked me if I knew what the employee database server was so that he could go in and disable his account. I said I did not, but had the program saved on my laptop too, so I pulled out my own laptop from my bag, lay it on the ground and proceeded to boot it up, making sure to turn the volume down to 0 so that it wouldn’t make any noise. I looked through the audit logs and filtered by recent uploads to try to figure out what his account name was. I thought his login name was 5 letters long but most of the accounts I saw with recent activity had 7-letter names. I think we figured out who it was in the end and disabled it anyway though.
  • After that, my friend wanted to catch the perpetrator, so he opened the door a crack and yelled the person’s name. I hid inside a walk-in closet that was in the room, leaving the door ajar so that I could see when the criminal burst in. When he did, I jumped out and on top of him, pinning him to the ground as he yelled and struggled. My partner successfully processed the arrest from there.
  • Later on, I was making my way downwards through a vertical factory, traversing ramps and stairs as I followed a floating paper airplane down to the packaging area. I asked someone in the packaging area where the planes were being sent to, and she pointed to a viewing gallery not far away, two “map squares” west and one level up.
  • I headed in that direction but couldn’t find a way up from inside the building, so I went outside and started circling the base of the gallery, which had an outdoor portion at the top of a cliff surrounded by a fence too. There were three discarded paper airplanes lying at the foot of the cliff, and an Indian man up on that ledge hailed me and asked me to pick them up and toss them away as he said that throwing paper airplanes was fun but at odds with the societal goal to not leave litter lying around, and he could not easily get down there to pick them up.
  • I said I would pick two of them up, as I only had two inventory slots and one of the three paper airplanes was crumpled and wet anyway. I picked up the other two and circled the base of the cliff, hoping to find a way up. I instead found myself on a narrow, dead-end ledge where a female student was seated, her legs dangling over the edge, as she looked up quizzically at me from her lunchtime studying. The ledge was several feet off the ground, and I gingerly lowered myself over the edge as much as I could before jumping down, but it turned out that the drop distance was actually a lot shorter than it looked and I got down safely.

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