Here’s Why You Should #VoteFordOut

"Here’s Why You Should #VoteFordOut"
  1. It took some 400 days into this pandemic for the Ford government to implement paid sick days.

  2. THREE paid sick days for people whose exposure/infection entails at least TEN days in quarantine? What’s the point? Even Doug Ford himself was home-quarantined for more than ten days.

  3. Doug Ford, a college dropout and bully, now is in way over his head. Still remember this is a guy who, when at City Hall, wanted a Ferris wheel and to close libraries to save money? Ontario had cut down medical spending significantly before COVID-19 hit the province.

  4. Look at the failed vaccine rollout in Ontario. Ontario has roughly the same population as Tokyo, the capital of Japan. But it seems to take forever for the former to vaccinate all its residents.

  5. Voting for Ford again equates to voting for ignorance, both his and yours, again.

Yet Another Domain Change …

"Yet Another Domain Change …"

In order to stop people from calling me Jay, I’ve changed my domain name again.

I must confess that I had wanted to own j-bear-dot-ca because my nickname is actually “J Bear,” apart from which I’m addressed as Jason most of the time. No one had called me Jay on any occasion until recently. However, j-bear-dot-ca was registered with CIRA as early as in 2005, while I didn’t start to blog until April, 2006. So I had no choice but to own jay-bear-dot-ca, which (un)expectedly led people to think Jay was my name.

Not that I dislike the name Jay per se; I simply dislike myself being called by that name.

From iiii-dot-ca to jay-bear-dot-ca to JLOG-dot-ca, thank you for being patient with the changes all the way.

A Knack to Poaching Eggs

"A Knack to Poaching Eggs"

I have to admit that eggs Benedict are very delish and yet cooking poached eggs is one big headache. Whenever I cook them the traditional way, I lose at least 30% of the egg whites into the boiling water. Besides, I need to add white vinegar and always end up washing the saucepan with some efforts.

So I tried my luck on Amazon, where I found scores of tools for the job: silicone ramekins, electric egg poachers, metal egg rings, etc. When I was just about to order a set of four silicone cups, a review caught my eye:

Jonnybgood
3.0 out of 5 stars
Verified Purchase

not great, use cling film instead

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2019

not the best, I find even if you add a bit of oil the egg still stick. Save your money buy cheap food safe clingfilm, wrap the egg in the film and simmer in water, works much better, cheaper and you can do more than 4 eggs at once 🙂

19 people found this helpful

What a bright idea! Cling wrap is designed to withstand high heat (up to 120~140°C), is BPA-free, and saves you from washing the saucepan and investing in unnecessary utensils.

But here comes an issue. Some cling wrap tends to melt at high temperatures when it comes into contact with fat, sugar, and, arguably, protein. So I laid my hands on some parchment paper in the kitchen as well. Parchment paper is water and heat resistant, and it has proven capable of doing the trick perfectly. Cling wrap or parchment paper, your choice. Just remember to add 30~90 seconds to the original cooking time (typically five minutes or so), as paper- or film-wrapped eggs do not contact boiling water directly.

Another small problem is that, probably because I wrapped each raw egg a bit tight and tied four of them together, none of these poached eggs looks like a UFO, which has the shape of an ideal poached egg. Instead, they are sort of ball-shaped and resemble crouching adult frogs. Wait… Does Ugly Frog Offspring have an abbreviation? 🤔

Bottom line: I’ll go with parchment paper for my poached eggs, and I’m confident of a nice shape.

Declogging My Kitchen Sink

"Declogging My Kitchen Sink"

The kitchen sink got clogged all of a sudden. Hours before I had washed a lot of dishes, pans, and fruits. Everything was fine. Then water just didn’t drain away anymore. I was at my wit’s end, pretty aware that the mesh strainer hadn’t been there for weeks. This could have been totally avoidable.

With this unexpected event I couldn’t start cooking dinner. It was 7pm and I didn’t feel like driving to Home Depot for a tool. Nor did I want to call a plumber — no plumber’s number has been on my phone anyway. Then I remembered I had half a bottle of Drano Max Gel in the bathroom. Eek!

I poured all the content into the drain slowly — as directed on the label. Then it was a 30-minute wait. I spent that time looking for an ideal plumbing snake / drain auger / clog remover on Amazon. By “ideal” I mean the most positive reviews, reasonable pricing, and one-day delivery. Unfortunately, no such thing came to my shopping cart eventually.

The HomePod played a chime; 30 minutes had just passed. The last step was to flush the drain with hot water. Wow… Incredible! Water started to drain! Drano worked like a charm!

Now I’m preparing dinner, and writing this blog post on my phone.

Don’t bother to remind me. I’ve just put the strainer back in place. 🙂

Hopefully I Can Sleep Tight Soon

"Hopefully I Can Sleep Tight Soon"

My doctor from the sleep lab called back this afternoon with a report of my sleep study done on November 17th, saying I have developed severe sleep apnea –– as predicted by my family doctor and Apple Watch.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Obstructive sleep apnea can range from mild to severe, based on a measurement system called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI measures the number of breathing pauses that you experience per hour that you sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea is classified by severity:

  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is greater than 30 (more than 30 episodes per hour)
  • Moderate obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 15 and 30
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 5 and 15

The sleep study shows I had 83 episodes per hour.

According to Harvard Medical School:

At sea level, a normal blood oxygen level (saturation) is usually 96 – 97%. Although there are no generally accepted classifications for severity of oxygen desaturation, reductions to not less than 90% usually are considered mild. Dips into the 80 – 89% range can be considered moderate, and those below 80% are severe.

My oxygen level during sleep was only 73%.

Protracted sleep apnea results in low blood oxygen level and gives rise to Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and depression, among other serious conditions. Desiring to take a nap in the daytime is also a sign of sleep apnea. In some cases, a sleepy driver may fall asleep behind the wheel while waiting at the red light due to sleep apnea. (FYI, this is not me. I’m too safety-conscious to fall asleep in the driver’s seat.)

The sleep doctor also says that a person should feel refreshed after sleep, without the need to take a nap in the daytime. White people suffer from sleep apnea usually because they are obese, whereas Asian people have greater chances of having sleep apnea even if they are slim.

It’s easy to explain why my Apple Watch frequently detects a blood oxygen level as low as 76% in the nighttime and just above 4 hours of sleep even when I have lain in bed for 8 hours straight. After a cessation of breathing, I have to gasp for air, readjust my breath, toss and turn, and move my legs, so unconsciously that I thought I was still asleep. My Apple Watch doesn’t think so –– it doesn’t count in any minute spent on non-sleep events. Kudos to Apple for making such an intelligent device. You don’t even have to purchase any sleep tracking app; the built-in Apple Health app can do the job adequately.

In a word, I’ll be prescribed a CPAP machine, 75% of the cost of which is covered by OHIP. My sleep doctor will follow up on this CPAP therapy on March 11, 2021.

Hopefully this will improve my sleep and overall health.

Finally, Out of the Nintendo-G2A War

"Finally, Out of the Nintendo-G2A War"

You know that some of my recent posts share a tag #G2A_con and I was torn by the war between Nintendo and G2A.com. Around 2:44 pm today, the suspension of my Nintendo account was lifted. All I have now is mixed feelings. From May 19 to July 6 – that is, 6 weeks and 6 days – Nintendo and G2A.com beset me heavily as well as other Nintendo users all around the world. ⇢ Read more

Stay away from G2A.com!

"Stay away from G2A.com!"

TL;DR: G2A.com sells illegally obtained game keys but doesn’t refund customers when they are fully aware what is happening. The seller who sold me the stolen game key for Super Mario Odyssey is no longer in their system. Even so, G2A refuses to refund me. @G2A_com

⇢ Read more

An Important Message to Our “Deer” Friends

"An Important Message to Our “Deer” Friends"

The following message was originally published in “The Hippies were Right” Facebook group (Link).

Dear Friends,

we just received our first phone call regarding newborn fawns, therefore it is the time of the year to post this.

Deer deliver their newborns in the strangest of places! Residents will find them and be concerned about a newborn deer on their lawn, in their garden, under the azaleas, etc.

Most call because they think the fawn is in peril and Mom is nowhere to be found. Well, Mom is actually off feeding and helping to keep predators away. Those who call ask what they should do for the fawn … Leave it alone, do not touch, move or attempt to feed it. Here’s the scoop. Deer are NOT like horses. They do not have their legs under them immediately and need time to rest after birth. Horses get up and go that’s the sign of a healthy horse. A healthy fawn will curl up, nap most of the day and move their heads. They have no scent and predators cannot find them unless humans interfere. Mom leaves during the day for 2 primary reasons: to feed, and to keep her scent a distance from the fawn.

Mom will come back (unless something tragic happens to her), but don’t expect her until dusk and certainly don’t expect her if humans are hovering around. If you are fortunate enough to have the gift of a fawn please enjoy the experience, respect Mother Nature and let the Mom do what comes naturally. She will move the fawn daily so you may see it in different locations.

Please share, thank you.

On the Resistance of Europeans and Americans to Face Covering

"On the Resistance of Europeans and Americans to Face Covering"

Many of my friends in Asia wonder why people in European countries and North America are not embracing the idea of face covering during such a pandemic. My observation is that basically ten reasons lie behind their reluctance to wear PPE. Some are just asinine, and others are even illogical. But this is what a “free” community is like: everyone is allowed to make their own decisions and think independently 1. ⇢ Read more

Ontario vs. Tianjin during COVID-19

"Ontario vs. Tianjin during COVID-19"

Province of Ontario, Canada — pop. 13.45 million — 16,608 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 1st, 2020

City of Tianjin, China — pop. 15.62 million — 190 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 1st, 2020

The similitude in population size made me want to probe into the cause of the huge disparity between the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. ⇢ Read more

Flat Sheets or Cards: Some Thoughts on Timeline Design

"Flat Sheets or Cards: Some Thoughts on Timeline Design"

Which is the best timeline design? Different designers have different answers. My observation is that the flat sheet style, which means all information runs continuously on the same page with a horizontal line between two pieces, is a better choice for a multiple-user timeline. For an individual’s timeline, just like this site, the card style serves better. ⇢ Read more

From FruityLoops 3 to FL Studio 20

"From FruityLoops 3 to FL Studio 20"

Today I happened to know that Image-Line had rolled out FL Studio 20 for macOS, skipping versions 13 to 19 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enterprise.

I started to use FL Studio from 2001, which was then known as FruityLoops 3. It was the first digital audio workstation I came into contact with. It later became so deeply a part of my creations that the way I made music radically changed.

I was too young to own a credit card way back when. As such, I relied on a few cracked versions of the software to support my hobby until I switched to macOS years later. As much as I had expected a macOS version, Image-Line did not unveil it until May 22, 2018, when I had been away from Windows for almost a decade.

It was a serendipitous and wonderful encounter with Image-Line’s FruityLoops. Today I showed my belated support by purchasing my own license (Producer Edition + Signature Bundle).

It probably means that I could be prolific songwriting-wise again.