Sunday night. One more week passes…

I gave my car’s engine a little workout today by driving to the old landlords to drop off my room keys and pick up a little care package my warehouse accidentally sent to my old address. It was cute. They dumped all the papers from my old office in one box (and frankly, some of them weren’t even mine), added some year-end souvenirs (T-shirt and a customized sweatshirt), and threw in all the personal items I kept at the office. I’d forgotten all about them – a “Canadian polar bear in a snowstorm” coffee mug, an old cap from my Search&Rescue team, some glossy old-fashioned pictures I took way back in Nevada… It’s amazing how fast I forgot them, after only 309 days.

Walking around my little section of Toronto, it’s equally amusing and amazing how many squirrels there are all over the place, and how fearless and lazy the local pigeons have become. Almost anywhere else in the world, your typical pigeon would have at least enough self-awareness to fly away as you approach. These lazy birds just walk on by right next to you. Welllll, I guess we know Toronto has some backup protein reserves in case the food supply chain completely breaks down.

My steady exploration of the scrapping world continues. A lot of the people in that world are pretty hardcore, but the variation is interesting. Some have pickup trucks, while others have electric bikes with small trailers. Some post pictures of tons (yes, literally tons) of scrap they deliver, while others gather just a little scrap here and there before making their quarterly trip to the local recycler. Fascinating.

In covid news, my best friend in the US and his wife got their covid shots. They’re both in their mid-30s and (as far as I know) without any serious medical conditions (and definitely not in the healthcare business), but they made sure to get added to a waiting list in case the scheduled people didn’t come in. Their follow-up shot – and their ticket to freedom – is on Valentine’s Day. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, and I seldom lie. …I have an internally consistent ethical code that might not always make sense to others. I will not cut in line or take someone else’s place. However, if not enough people show up to take their scheduled shots, and if the unused doses would go to waste, I’d gladly get vaccinated – as long as I wasn’t taking it from someone who needed it more. When the alternative means the limited vaccine will go to waste, any single person is better than none at all.

That’s also a big debate worldwide right now: even if you try to set up a system that identifies, contacts, and schedules those who need it the most, what do you do with the inevitable leftovers? Do you throw them out to avoid even the illusion of nepotism, or do you give them to literally anyone around you, because the more get vaccinated, the better? And if you choose that second option, how can you guarantee that the system won’t get corrupted, that wealthy donors and politicians won’t get their shots first under the guise of them going bad otherwise?..

Lately, I’ve been wondering about certain financial choices I didn’t make in the previous decade. Both Tesla and Bitcoin set all-time-high records earlier this month. I honestly’ can’t recall the first time I heard of either of those… Probably sometime around 2014. They seemed like bubbles: to be fair, they still do. But if I’d taken a random chance and placed just a few hundred dollars in each of them – well, I’d have a lot more dollars now, let’s put it that way. (To be fair, hindsight is easy: at the time, I had quite a lot of student loans and a car loan.) With all the regular planning and thinking – brainstorming the next vacation, trying to get promoted, etc – there are known risk factors that we don’t take. Those thousand-to-one odds, those funny and improbable but not impossible options. (Such as the idea, five years ago, of Trump becoming the next president, which is something Peter Thiel had bet a lot on.) There’s nothing I can do about the missed opportunities with paths not taken, but it’s not too late to start taking weird (but not dangerous) chances, eh.

As much fun as it would be to remain a hermit for another seven or eight months, it’s time to get a bit more proactive, to trade a lot of time and a bit of energy for a chance to win big. I’m going to see what – if anything – I can do to get on the leftover vaccine waiting list here in Toronto… Stay tuned, eh – and maybe do the same.