Hello 2019!

2018 has been a busy year. I stopped writing here mid of last year because I got promoted at work (yay!) but has been really busy.

One of my goal for this year (and was my goal last year) is to write 1 post each week. Last year is also the first time I didn't have a year-end summary. Oh well. Let's  be positive as we welcome the new year.

New Year's Eve I arrived in Canada last 2015 and I spent NYE for 2016, 2017, and 2018 thinking and dreaming of watching the fireworks in Downtown Vancouver. I didn't go those previous years because of the cold and crowd. I told my brother during my first NYE in Canada that we should book a hotel in Downtown where we could see the fireworks, avoid the crowd, and be warm.

Pan Pacific Hotel That dream came true NYE of 2019. Last September, I booked a hotel room at Pinnacle Hotel. However, in November, I learned that the fireworks display won't be visible from any of their rooms which is unfortunate. I, then, called Pan Pacific Hotel …

How to apply for a US Nonimmigrant (tourist) visa in Vancouver, Canada?

I just had my interview for a US Tourist (Nonimmigrant) Visa this morning, and in this post, I want to share the process and my experience to hopefully help you with your application.
I am a Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) card holder with a Philippine passport. Do I still need to have a valid US Visa to enter the US? Absolutely!
How much does it cost to apply for a US tourist visa from Canada? USD$160.00 (depending on the conversion rate; I paid around CAD$215.00)
How do I apply for a US tourist visa (as a Philippine passport holder with a PR card)? Part 1. All onlineComplete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.Pay the visa application fee. It's all online. You will need a valid credit card to do this.Schedule your appointment.Read and follow the instructions carefully and thoroughly. Part 2. Prepare things to bringYou are required to print the DS-160 with the barcode. Yes, a printed copy is required. If for some reason, you didn't, there's a nearb…

Best Baked Potatoes in Vancouver: Russet Shack

It's delicious, flexible, and affordable.

Every Wednesday, Gumstix pays for our team lunch which I manage (meaning I order food for the team).

One of the places we're consistently ordering from is Russet Shack. Today I want to share what customized baked potato variety I have tried from this place. Yes, I daresay that this is the best-baked potatoes in Vancouver. If there are other places that you think is better, please let me know in the comments below, and I would love to try them out.

Chili & Cheese PotatoGreek Potato with chicken shawarma, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauceChicken Avocado with Chipotle Sauce PotatoMexican Potato with avocado, beef chilli, chicken shawarma, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.Canadian Potato with steak
You can visit their website at Russet Shack ( to learn more. They are also on DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Foodora, and LazyMeal if you prefer to have it delivered.

First Book for 2019: Zero to One by Peter A. Thiel

I borrowed a few books from the Vancouver Public Library, and the first I read and finished is Zero to One, Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter A. Thiel.

In summary, the book discusses questions and things startups should ask in their quest to build things that will change the world. Below are the seven question, in the book that you should ask for before launching that product. If you answer, yes to all seven items, then your chances of success will be higher.
Can you create breakthrough technology?Is now the right time to start?Do you have the right team?Are you starting with a big share of a small market?Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don't see? I have a couple of product ideas that I think can be startups but going over this question, I always have a tough time answering 4, 5, and 6.
I highly recommend re…

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