Sunday, October 31, 2010


I've made a promise to continue create more pages and do more work on Mahalo, even if it involves waking up early or staying up late. If I'm getting paid to write a page, then why shouldn't I be doing more? Even with my confusing schedule at the casino I should be able to devote a bit of time each day to write or update a page, or complete any assignments given to me. It would also give me time to properly write a page, as with my rushed schedule the quality of my work has dropped a bit as of late.

Besides, I will be going on holiday end of November for two weeks, so I should probably get as much done as possible before my trip. I don't want to lose my creativity, and hopefully when I get back I'll be able to devote as much, or even more, time as before. It is such a rewarding and relaxing job for me, and who knows, maybe I might end up more and more involved with Mahalo. It would take a lot to get me away from the casino industry (despite the stress and pressures) but for a long time, when people ask me if I had a choice what would I do: my answer is simply to write.

Sports on Mahalo

Earlier this year Mahalo had a different system where writers would create their own pages and then be responsible for updating them as facts or news changed. This was perfect for me as I was able to create a lot of hockey-related pages from scratch. Because the company is based in California, hockey is not as well known to them as other sports. As a bonus, I did a few pages on the Dallas Cowboys as well. The very first page I did was on the Dallas Cowboy jersey. With the help of my mentor Jeff Hoard (who luckily was Canadian and believe it or not a big Montreal Canadiens fan) we got most of the Habs pages going. I wrote pages on most of the Habs roster and updated the playoff page during the amazing run. It was with sadness that I had to update the part where they lost that last game to the Philadelphia Flyers. Maybe next year.

The system is a bit different now, we are no longer in charge of updating our own pages. Nobody really "owns" the pages anymore, they are just updated by whoever is available. I will explain this shortly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mahalo Pages

This week there are a number of categories of pages on Mahalo that have been assigned: actors, Black Friday sales, Thanksgiving, and coupons. Most of the actor pages are for TV actors who don't have a page on Mahalo. So far I've done pages on Paul Guilfoyle (Jim Brass on CSI), Bonnie Bedelia, and Brian Benben. Benben was on an HBO series Dream On that I enjoyed in the 1990s. There are a lot of actors left to do.

You can perhaps begin to see the enormity of this whole "project" of starting a search engine by scratch. Mahalo has been around a while but there are so many pages in so many categories. The old system (which was discontinued this past June) had the writers doing pages in their "preferred" categories but that has changed for the time being. I would love to continue writing pages about the Habs and anything to do with Las Vegas and gambling, but for now I have to do what is assigned. We do have the option of suggesting new pages to do, but we also have to do what is assigned.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goals at Mahalo

Eventually I would like to be a part of the Quality Control Team at Mahalo. Currently there are three people who are working way too hard but doing a fine job of critiquing new pages and updated pages. It's been hard for me sometimes to put together a good page. I usually like to spend a lot of time proofreading my own work, and sometimes if I'm updating a page, I have to proofread somebody else's work. Updating pages takes about an hour a page. This involves checking for grammar, adding news if necessary, and making sure all the facts are still true. We frown on words like "current" or "today" as these tend to date the page. Pages have to be free from bias, so things like "Montreal Canadiens rule" unfortunately don't work (even if it is the truth).

It's too bad I can't spend more time with my writing, but hopefully with a more balanced schedule at the casino I may be able to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Romer's Burger Bar

I'd forgotten to mention that last night Amy and I went to the grand opening of Romer's Burger Bar down in Kits (it is where Pinky's used to be). The grand opening was also a fundraiser for Pinups for Pink. We didn't win the 50/50 draw but we got a nice surprise when the owner, Jim Romer, treated everybody to a free meal (less alcohol), what a nice gesture.

As for the food, it was delicious. We both had.... burgers of course. Amy had the Maple Bacon Burger and I opted for the delectable Ultimate Kobe Classic. It was a $20 burger (no sides!) but it was delicious. We also ordered two types of fries on the side, the garlic fries and the truffle oil fries. Yum yum. And if that wasn't enough, we ended with what was called Drunken Doughnuts, 10 of them drenched with powdered sugar and then served with three sauces: Lemonchillo, Nutella, and Maple Whisky. I can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I forgot to mention that on the weekend we went to see the new movie starring Bruce Willis and a bunch of big-name stars. We hadn't seen a movie in a while and it was a good choice. Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren were also in it, as well as Mary-Louise Parker. Maybe it was just your usual spy movie but I had a good time. Helen Mirren played her role very well, and reminds me a lot about Meryl Streep who also can star in just about any movie.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Acme Cafe

Amy had heard about this nice little cafe near Gastown and we saw a writeup of it in the latest Food & Restaurant Guide so our Sunday brunch adventures resumed after a short absence. She had an Americano and turkey sandwich while I opted for a very delicious Chicken Pot Pie and something called an Affagato, which is two shots of espresso with ice cream. Mmmmm. I must say the chicken pot pie was one of the best I've had in a long time.

Then the server tempted me with something called the Double Rainbow pie. Nice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life at Mahalo

So what do I do at Mahalo? Simply put, I write! It's one of my favorite hobbies so I'm doing something I like, and getting paid for it. I am a part of two departments, the Gurus and the Guides.

Gurus are in charge of asking and answering questions on various topics. The main "answer" site is located at Mahalo Answers but there are other more specific topic pages as well. One of the ones I am heavily involved at is on the Ask Inc site. Gurus are paid money for each question and answer they ask, subject to quality control policies that must be followed. Each question and answer must be a minimum number of words and include a video.

Guides are more involved with writing and updating pages. Mahalo is a page similar to Wikipedia, which you may be familiar with. Once on the Mahalo site, you can search for a specific topic (like Marie Osmond for example). A page comes up with a description or snippet of what you are searching for. As you can probably figure, there are a LOT of pages to do. My coworkers and I are basically in charge of writing an encyclopedia from scratch. It is a tedious process. Many pages are assigned but the guides are also available to suggest pages that they wish to work on. Due to my knowledge of hockey and gambling, I have been able to do a number of pages on River Rock, Aria Las Vegas, and Venetian Macau for example.

Guides also have to update pages that are already in the "system". The task this week is to do a lot of updates on the 2010 Senate Elections in the U.S. Yes that's very exciting for a Canadian like me but it's part of the job. I'm waiting for them to assign hockey page updates.

Anyways, if you have any questions, let me know!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Laugh of the Day

Amy and I were at Canadian Tire after a nice dinner. As we were leaving we overheard a lady and her companion attempting to return two of those red gas cans (those ones you get when you run out of gas). She said something along the lines of that they were broken and don't work. The clerk politely said that they don't do returns because the cans smell of gas. Yes, lady and companion, you were so smart thinking that when you ran out of gas and had to get two gas cans you thought you could use it once and then bring them back. You could have at least been marginally smart enough to WASH the damn things before you tried to return them.

Octopus Garden

Amy and I went to a nice little Japanese restaurant in Kits last night. It was a small restaurant with interesting decor. Other than the sushi bar (where we sat) and some rooms there were tables with chairs arranged so that customers had to cross their legs as there was no leg room underneath. Interesting.

Amy chose this restaurant because they served Wagyu Beef! Yay! The 4 oz steak (yeah that's it) was $35 but it was good. I could tell it wasn't the "real" Japanese-imported kind but it was well cooked nevertheless. We also had the usual Spinach Gomae, as well as a pan-fried Okara Cake, spicy tuna sushi, soft shell crab sushi, and bluefin tuna. Very nice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where Have I Been?

There was a time when I would try to update my blog every day or at least every two days. But unfortunately that time seems to have passed. But I'm still here. I think everybody has an idea where I have been and what I have been doing. It's the four-letter word every dreads.... W-O-R-K.

Things have been quite hectic at the casino. A lot has happened in the past two or three months. The Party Pit has been going well as of late. We even have an unofficial Party Pit hostess Jessica who is great with the guests and even some of our VIP players upstairs. And of course the casino gets busy when the cage dancers get going at 9pm.

My part-time work at Mahalo is also going well. It is unfortunate that I can't spend more time writing for them but work at the casino comes first. But I enjoy what little time I can devote as I am doing something I truly enjoy. I'm writing little pages on topics that I love, what more can you ask for? If you are interested in working part time, let me know. Or email and mention you are interested in working for Mahalo. Include my name as I will get a referral bonus!