Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Universal Studios

Universal Studios was a blast! There was a lot of new stuff since we last went and it was pretty different than the one in Flordia. The Studio Tours was pretty cool - they put us in a little train-shuttle thingy and we got to see a lot of the Universal Studios sets. We drove right through Wysteria Lane (aka Desperate Housewives)! The whole street was there. The houses looked a little fake and the lawns were absolutely tiny! There was only like a few feet of grass. Not sure how the gardener had work to do :p. We also saw the set of War of the Worlds where the plane crashed. That was really cool, complete mess and looked quite realistic. Too bad the movie sucked shit.

We hit the classic, Back to the Future, which is always great. Be cried!!!! She was scared of the dinosaur! Which was on the big movie screen! She's 26....

The Mummy ride was pretty cool. There was a sudden drop to start the "real" part of the ride and that's when they took the ride photo. It turned out pretty good. Mich was grabbing Caz's arm like crazy and hiding. She tried to act all cool after. I liked the part where the car went in reverse.

After we finished the lower level production, we tried to rush to the T2 ride, but there were A LOT of stairs. Something like 4 or 5 long esculators, each higher than just a single story. Luke and I ran up the whole thing and did it in 3 min. My legs seriously weren't working after that. Luke ralphed.

The 3D movie "rides" were both really good - T2 and Shrek (which was really well done, original voices and everything and pretty good story line). T2 had real actors that kinda jumped in and out of the movie and tried to be Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and the kid.

We also saw the Backdraft, Special Effects, Animal Planet Live (which was ok, but not long enough and didn't do much that I hadn't seen in other animal shows), and Waterworld (which was different than I remembered) shows, all of which were good.

14 people in an amusement park is just crazy! Uncle Dennis was totally the kid!

We also figured out how the order of the kids by age (/ means same age, * means married in or significant other): Andrew, Russell, Linda*, Tracy, Caroline*/Luke*, Belinda, Michelle/Me, Kelly

We hit Chinatown for dinner, which was pretty good. We ordered A LOT of food and I was surprised that we packed it all down. Dad won the fight for the bill tonight. Luke had gone off after Universal Studios to meet up with some friends of his that he knew from when he lived in LA before. We went to Korean town after to try and find the elusive golf store that the guys heard of from Luke. We ended up in another sports store that was still open and got some random stuff. I got the Wilson volleyball from Castaway!!! I've been meaning to get that for a while :)

We walked up and down Rodeo drive (where all the expensive shops are) after, which was kinda nice b/c it was completely deserted at 10 pm on a Friday night. The coolest thing was that the street lamps were full out chandeliers !!!! They were enclosed in glass or plastic boxes to prevent theft and damage.

Called it a relatively early and quiet night as we're starting the cruise tomorrow! Starting then I'm unlikely to be online. Until then, talk amongst yourselves :p

Friday, December 23, 2005

Live from LA, it's Thursday night blogging!!!

This blog is now coming from it's 4th different city! The thing I noticed the most landing in LA was the obscene amount of smog. It was rather gross to actually see it in the air... Fortunately, no black stuff spewing from my nose yet.

Met up with the family from Australia for some Mexican dinner at El Coyotes. Amazing seeing them again. Always a great time. It's too bad I don't get to see these cousins more often. The frozen blended fruit margaritas were not as good as the place in Toronto. They were rather on the strong side...

Tomorrow is Universal Studios. Should be a blast in our group of 14 :D

Thursday, December 22, 2005

An awesome year of travel

Winnipeg -> Toronto -> Collingwood -> Toronto -> Snowbird, Utah -> Toronto -> Winnipeg -> Toronto -> San Diego -> Toronto -> Seattle -> Toronto -> Winnipeg -> LA -> Mexico -> LA

I'm just completing the last leg of this incredible year of travel. I'm leaving in a couple of hours, so don't expect many (if any) updates until next year as I'll have better things to do on a boat in a tropical climate. In the meantime, you guys can just talk amongst yourselves in the comments of this post.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Movie on a big screen TV + Settlers

Finally saw Chris's big screeen TV. Fantastic Four wasn't particularly fantastic aside from Ms. Alba. Settlers after was quite a bit quicker, which helped with only 4 people and everyone had played at least once, but was still rather slow paced.

Semi-annual Engineering Dinner

Monday: 9 iron rings (well, 8 since a certain someone whose names stars with "K" and ends with "wan") + indian buffet!

Numbers swelled to 13 due to significant others and the infamous pharmacist-turned-engineer-turned-internet pharmacist.

Settlers at Rob's afterward with a subset of the group (not that Rob, the other one, but the original was there too, it's all very confusing, uniqueness in names should be enforced like online, so then you'd get Rob3847 and Rob68473, or they can be referred to by their last names only). I so would've won if it wasn't for Florence!!! She screwed me over like a blind man's dog attacking its owner! Yes, you Florence! I know you're reading this! Words to the wise, 6 player Settlers with two newbies takes FOREVER. It was like 2 hours long! Just roll the damn dice!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Boxing Day!

As yesterday was Christmas (yes, it was Christmas!), it must mean that today is Boxing day, which seemed right as I went out and bought a new wireless router to replace my busted one in Toronto.

It was a predictably white Christmas with some snow banks as high as me! Even Santa knew it was Christmas last night as he had come down the chimmney and filled our stockings!

Didn't get anything spectacular this year, likely because I couldn't think of anything that I wanted. It's basically gotten to the point that anything I want within the price range of family Christmas presents, I'll just go out and buy. The things I want most are not materialistic and those that are (car, house, yacht, private jet, an island, trip to space and/or the moon), they're not for now and are out of the price range.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Steve, you need to see a psychologist

For those of you who haven't seen Steve Ballmer at a convention as a speaker, here's a treat for you. He's the CEO of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, so he should be respected. However, he may be mentally unstable. These videos are hilarious, but also edge a little on the scary side.


Steve Ballmer Monkey Dance



Steve Ballmer Loves Developers


Has he always been this insane? Apparently so. Here's one I haven't seen until I searched for these videos again:


Steve Ballmer Sells Windows 1.0 TV Ad


He doesn't disappoint in real life. I got a good show at the company meeting back in October. His intro song was "Eye of the Tiger" and the second I heard the song I knew who was coming up next :). I got the whole running around stage and screaming dance, plus the crouched over football stance, sweat stains, and loud proclaimations of "I HAVE THE EYE OF THE TIGER!!!11!ONE!!", "DO YOU HAVE THE EYE OF THE TIGER??!!?!", and "I *huff huff* LOVE *huff huff* THIS *huff huff* COMPANY!!!!11ONE1!!. All very amusing, but again, scary at the same time.

He does have one thing going for him. He's very enthusiastic and passionate. Though I can't imagine what's it's like being in a board room meeting with the alpha male gorilla from Microsoft. I'd bring a taser.

Annual Christmas Potluck

Tonight marked Lindsay's annual Christmas potluck! The highlight is always the tacky gift exchange where it takes forever to decide who gets what present. In the last "turn", I had my gift stolen repeatedly and had every single present at some point. I ended up with Rob's, as people tend to avoid his gifts because of his track record of glass vegetables and frog boxing pens. I got a small pillow that says "2 Sexy". It's almost practical and it totally fits me :p. Good present for me b/c it's small and light, 2 key things for fitting in my suitcase.

Miraculously enough, by some balance in the universe, Rob got what turned out to be Nusraat's gift, and even jokingly said "this better not be bath stuff", and got bath stuff :p. It looks to be a re-gift. There should be ground rules that presents should be unisex. Nusraat, you should know better! I know you read this. You heard me. The finger is pointing at you.

Cranium ended up being a marathon, but fun. We were close to finishing, but didn't b/c the teams kinda fell apart with Mohammad having what seems to be an allergic reaction to Lindsay's cats.

Last time this year, everyone was unmarried and almost everyone was living at home. One year later, we've got two married couples. The party's not appropriate for kids, so if things keep moving at this pace, we might have to pare down the group next year. *Points at the wives* have your pet spayed or neutered!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The gang of 4 is all messed up

This is what happens when one of us gets married! The whole group starts to get fractured! With Cutts out in Nevada with his wife and missing from the equation, we were left with the remaining 3 for lunch today. Hadn't seen Kives and his gf since Cutts's wedding and strangely enough, hadn't seen Cannons since the summer even though he lives just a few blocks away in Toronto, though Seattle had something to do about that. Looks like Meghan (Megan?) passed the Cannons test, so she's out in the clear. Now Kives is off to his regular Hawaii winter trip tomorrow and I'm off a few days after, leaving Cannons by himself here. Weird.

It's likely we'll be having a reunion of sorts in Feb. when Kives comes to T.O. for one of his random, spontaneous trips where the first thing I know about the trip is when he's already in town :p

Words to the wise

Pushing a shopping cart in an unshoveled parking lot isn't much fun.

WHAT?? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE MUSIC!!

JUST CAME BACK FROM THE BAR, WHICH IS WINNIPEG'S WAY OF SAYING CLUB. Sorry, I'm kinda deaf right now. At least I don't reek of smoke, courtesy of the smoking ban. I went with the bloggin' boys + Lindsay, no not that one, the other Lindsay, NO, the OTHER one... YES! We also met up with some swing dance people there. Good times at Coyote's, of which a more proper name might be Cougar's, but it wasn't too bad tonight, guess enough students were done exams. Rob, you said you were gonna get totally smashed. I'm highly disappointed in you.

That's the other thing, cover was only $4 and beers were only $4 as well, being in Toronto too long has skewed my view of prices... The line-up was decently short as well (like a 15 wait), which was nice b/c it was pretty damn cold outside. My toes were freezing! Those shoes may have been made for dancing, but sure weren't insulated and made for cold weather! And we didn't even get passed through a metal detector or get frisked and when there was this loud noise inside the bar, it was a balloon popping, not a gun shot!

Prior to the bar, we were playing some Carcassonne, adding Chris into the mix, who ditched us for his gf after. Fun quick game. Next time we play Settlers.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Complaining works

The DSL here has been rather flaky ever since I got back here. I blame Florence. I determined that it was MTS's fault as the "DSL" light on the modem was flashing red and green and wasn't able to establish a good connection with the what-ever-ma-call-it. I finally got fed up enough to call to complain. The guy was nice and I guess I showed enough intelligence to not warrant the usual "are the wires plugged in" questions, so that was nice. Anyways, they checked things on their side and a guy called me back in a couple minutes saying that they "changed my profile" and surprisingly enough, it was working. Not sure what "profile" they had me under before, but whatever, it's working now. Florence if you're reading this, please provide some insight.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

In other hockey watching news

Today was rather unproductive. Me waking up at 1 pm may have contributed to this.

I did accomplish one thing today - I watched a professional hockey game! Jill had the good idea to watch a Manitoba Moose hockey game (AHL, not NHL) after hearing about my "open mind" policy and mindset to "do things I haven't done" and that I had never seen a professional hockey game or been at the relatively new MTS Centre. Although, I suspect that one of her ulterior motives was to get mentioned on my blog again, as she enjoyed the fame that came with her previous mention :p

Rob joined us on what turned out to be "singles night out". We planned on hitting up Moxies at the arena before the game for a bite to eat, but it was way too small and crowded. We resorted to Pasta La Vista nearby. It seemed like a decently fancy restaurant, but I was rather taken back when our waitress commented "so you guys going to the game?" Was it that obvious?? We weren't decked out in hockey jerseys like the guys two tables beside us. Not like the restaurant's that high class, c'mon, it's in a friggin' mall! Whatever, we were in and out in an hour and got to the game on time and the food was pretty good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trying to look professional when you're not makes you look even less professional


Thank you for your email. I have left for the weekend and will return on Monday 04/18 at 8am. If you require immediate assistance, please call our answer service at 206-XXX-XXXX and a specialist will get back to you shortly.

I love how weekends start on Tuesdays at Microsoft and last for 4 months. I hope my reimbursement for my travel expenses come back sooner than that...

Dollarama

How do these guys pay the bills? I went to a Dollarama for the first time today and was shocked to see the stuff that they had. It wasn't your usual dollar store where it's mostly crappy stuff and sometimes the stuff is more than a dollar. No, here, there was genuinely some cool stuff and the stuff didn't look like it came off the ground and would break about 5 min. after using and everything was $1 or less (Canadian nonetheless!) It reminded me of the days of "Everything's a Dollar" when it first came around in the States. You're tempted to just grab everything off the shelves b/c it's so cheap :p. Of course, some stuff is a total rip-off like drinks, chips, and chocolate bars (unless you compare to a vending machine). The funniest was packages of gum selling at 2 for $1, but the packaging said 45 cents... But there are definitely some good steals.

One lucky person, perhaps even one of my regular readers, will be a receiving no less than 5 gifts during the "$5 tacky gift exchange" come Saturday :p. Shhh... don't tell anyone where I got the gifts from :p.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New banner!

I finally replaced that obscenely overused banner that came with my template and now I have a spiffy new banner! Let it bring you strength and inspiration and come back tomorrow to see it again!

Family Fun

I had dinner with every single person in this city that I'm related to. That's 13 people, including me - one family on my mom's side, one on my dad's side, plus 1 cousin from my dad's side here for high school. It's sizeable enough that it's somewhat of a big deal, but also manageable and relatively easy to arrange for everyone to be there. It'd be cool if I had more family here (the rest of it being in Hong Kong, Australia, and one family in Chicago), but then on the other hand, you would have to deal with the extra family :p

Nice to see everyone again. My cousins are changing quite a bit and it's strange that my cousin who's 10 years younger than me and I remember carrying him as a baby is almost as tall as me! He better stop growing like right now!

The fastest blood sample in the west

The reason I was up before McDonald's breakfast was over was because I had a doctor's appointment to check if I need a hepatitis vaccination. The nurse was insanely fast in taking my blood sample. I was seriously out of the chair 30 seconds after I sat down! Elastic band. Cotton swab. Poke. Bandage. Done.

Random Winnipeg Things

I'm pleasantly surprised by all the construction activity around here. I went through the Kenaston-Wilkes intersection and was surpised that such a nice job was done. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, that intersection is the busiest intersection in North America with a railroad crossing. There's something like 80 trains that pass that every day between 9 and 5. The cars get backed up for like a kilometre. My old high school accepted the fact that people on the other side of the railroad would be late for class in the morning and when I was going to the U of M, I had to pass that crossing twice a day and got stopped at least once a day. It's almost as bad as getting a train at 3 am when you're trying to get home...

After 20 years of talks, they're finally putting in an underpass to relieve the traffic and while the underpass isn't built yet, they've made a nice detour around the area that looks like it actually improves traffic (moves the intersection farther away from the railroad crossing. I like the new Sterling Lion Parkway as it bypasses the second railroad crossing on Wilkes where the trains go back and forth on the tracks. It's the worst when the train crosses the intersection, but doesn't quite cross the road, then reverses, and repeats. You sit there for like 15 min. watching the retarded train driver.

I also saw the construction site for the new Manitoba Hydro building the other day. That reminds me, I should check out the new engineering building at the U of M. It's almost as if it's not a stagnant city!

I went through the drive through at McDonald's for breakfast this morning and the window was frozen shut! I had to open the door to pay and get my food :p

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The symphony and other random stuff

I checked out the Millenium library today, which just opened recently after much delay (hence the millenium library opening at the end of 2005...) It's pretty nice now, though I would have liked to see more study space and longer hours (they kicked us out at 5). It's nicer/newer than the Toronto reference library, but pales in comparison in size.

I got some clothing from MEC today as well. I needed some ski clothing - quick dry undergarments.


I also went to see (hear?) the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Express concert today with Jill and the girls (Lindsay, Monica, Kelly, and Lisa) for Jill's belated birthday. The 5-to-1 girl to guy ratio was pretty good, although you should probably take away the married girl from the equation.

I quite enjoyed it. It was the first time I went to see any type of symphony. All the different types of sounds were really cool and figuring out where the sound was coming from always provided entertainment. The whole thing was sort of shifted towards pop and mainstream as it was a holiday special. It was mostly Christmas carols with a Chanukah song and a vocalized version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas thrown in. I wasn't a big fan of the singing Santa or the ballet dancing reindeer, nor was I pleased with the solo singers. The choir was quite good though.

The symphony outing has added to my "open mind" project.

We all headed over to Jill's and met up with Rob and Chris and just hung out. Snacks, drinks, cake, Cranium. Good times.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Back in the 'Peg

Just got back into Winnipeg tonight. Things are pretty much the same here as it's always been and should remain so for the next 10 days.

I noticed a few trends in progressing through 3 homes in 3 cities in less than a month (Seattle -> Toronto -> Winnipeg).
  1. It's colder

  2. More snow

  3. The water is harder

  4. The air is drier

  5. The house gets bigger

  6. There's more people in the household

  7. I've lived in the house longer

  8. More food in the fridge and cupboard

There are some constants though:
  1. Queen sized bed

  2. My buckwheat pillow

  3. PoBo

I had an interesting encounter on the plane. I was talking to this guy on the plane that was in the Canadian military, I think he was like a mechanic or something and not actually fighting. He was 20. Very different talking to him than people I reguarly talk to. It was cool getting some insight into the military and his view of things and life. He told me about how cut backs have really hurt the military. Two heart breaking stories: soldier is away for like 2 years, much longer than expected, and comes back to Canada with the wife is gone and divorce papers on the table, second solder is also away for an extended period of time, unable to sort out all his problems with his wife, gets notice that he's being deployed overseas the next day, after getting back after several months the wife is gone.

Then there's the psychological problems. Living in a world where the rules are completely different and you're fighting for your life 24/7, "normal" society is a shocker. People tapping you on a shoulder can make you jump. I totally see where he's coming from. I've seen it to some extent myself. I'm say using the computer a lot and doing something pretty critical, perhaps playing a game or writing something, and I'm saving very often and often using the "undo" button, then I go out into the "real" world and I'm like *ctrl-z*, shit, the "undo" button's not working!!! Oh, right, life has no "undo" button. Apparently soldiers get put into some program for a couple of weeks before they're allowed to go back to society.

Airport's fun with soldiers as well. Bomb sniffing dog is gave the guy a hard time once. The security people tell him that his bag has remnants of gunpowder and explosives. The guy's like, I'm in the military and shows the guy his papers and badge, and gives him the *duh, are you retarded?* look. Eventually he's let go and not deemed to be a terrorist. This guy was dressed in "civilian" clothing, which is I think military policy, although for security reasons, it'd probably actually be better for the soldiers to stay in uniform during flights as least to mascarade as additional security :p.

He seems content there with the prospect of making 40-50 grand and retiring at 45 (25 years of service) with a full pension. He mentions things like guaranteed roof over your head, food on the table, people looking out for you, and pretty easy life. This was the biggest shocker for me. Just kinda hit me that I don't know anyone like him. In fact, my view of people is really skewed as I basically exclusively socialize with people with University degrees (or in the progress of obtaining one), where it's not usually a question of roofs and food, but how much and ambition for more prevails over the simple life. Off the top of my head, I can't name a single friend of mine that isn't in University or graduated from University. I also realize that everyone I know is computer literate and this guy doesn't seem to be. How weird would it be to not use a computer? The view of the world from this guy is completely different than mine and it makes you evaluate what is important in your life and how you live it.

This whole thing is definitely helping me have an open mind. Try new things. Be open to new ideas. See the world differently. This is the basis of my new year's resolution and new outlook on life.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Airlines suck. Packing sucks even more.

Stupid airlines are restricting luggage weight to 50 pounds and I can only take one piece of luggage onto the cruise.

How am I supposed to pack for both -30 and +30 with one piece of luggage less than 50 pounds???!?!?!111!!!1one!!?? It's stupid. It's anachronistic. They're regressing technologically.

Update (next day):  I just made it - my luggage was 51 pounds and (so far) I only forgot a dress shirt for my suit and my sunglasses, which are now on my Christmas list :p

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bio Party

I went to a bio party tonight. Kinda weird. The bio guy I'm collaborating with just did his phd thesis defence today and his advisor threw a party at his house. I knew some people, mostly just by face though b/c other people in my group collaborate with them. Brendan would've been there if he wasn't in Whistler skiing, I mean at NIPS.

There were a lot of kids running around. All the profs brought their kids and like even Nevan has a 2.5 year old kid! One point it really freaked me out. I was eating some food, being careful to hold my plate above kid head height level so they didn't know my plate b/c they were running around. One kid ran around me and then past me. Then I resumed my conversation. I then lifted my plate during my food consumption process and was like shit! there's a kid under my plate!!! He was apparently standing right in front of me and under my plate without me knowing :p

The worst part was that the kids were all running around and pushing people out of their way and squirming between people. The problem was that their arms reached just at crotch level. I can't even count how many times I was groped. Wild party....

Just something about Toronto that seems to get me to be a semi-regular drinker. The summer I was drinking every week after pick-up volleyball. Then the last 3 weeks, I've been drinking too - Peter's last volleyball b/c of baby, intramurals loss, and Nevan's thesis defence. Not that my tolerance has increased at all, because a half glass of wine and a small cup of champaign makes me light up like rudolph's nose.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Lots of intramural watching

I went to my first live hockey game tonight! But it was intramurals. And Div 4 (the "best" being Div 1). And it was non-contact. And only half an hour long. It was however, very exciting!

I went b/c it was my friend's last hockey final ever as this is his last semester of pharmacy. Next semester's he's out doing placements. We got a goal right before the end of the first period with 2 men short, it was pretty lucky. We were up 1-0 right to the end of the second. 5.... 4..... 3.... 2..... OH SHIT!!!! The evil "K. Cheung" scored a goal for commerce! Me and Sony were cursing him through the whole game b/c we all shared the same last name, none of us related. Overtime started, but within 8 seconds, it was all over and we won!

Last monday, I watched my old/future co-ed volleyball team win it all in Div 1 volleyball against SGS. Either way I was going to win. Skule (Engineering) vs SGS (School of Graduate Studies).... either way I win, but I used to play for Skule b/c the SGS team was new this year. It was a pretty convincing win for Skule.

Last Thursday, I watched my old/future men's Div 2 SGS team lose in the finals to Woodsworth (who's team came out of nowhere, but had a bunch of familiar faces, they were good b/c they didn't have a Div 1 team, so all the good players played Div 2). It went to 3 sets and we lost by like 3 points in the last. Stupid rules though, the last set only went to 15, instead of the usual 25, which I can see why they do that in regular season, but there's no excuse for the finals b/c they give us 1.5 hours. Argh... I told them not to screw it up like we did last year...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm on an e-mailing rampage

I'm catching up on all my e-mails right now. So check your inbox if you e-mailed me like 2 months ago and I never replied.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The student has become the teacher

Oh Kdog, or Circle K if you prefer, how the balance of power has shifted. The tides have turned and it is now I that must write the reference letter.

Still, this isn't as awkward as the student who's advisor was in the same undergraduate class as him.

The plan for today

  1. Write down things that need to be done

  2. Do them

Friday, December 02, 2005

Evidence against creation

Who would make such a messed up world where it's warm one day, then it snows, but is warm enough that the snow melts, and it gets all messy, then it's actually dry for a few days and I'm rollerblading around in December and it's pretty warm, then the next day it's fracking freezing and snowing and there's a windchill and then it's going to melt again and get messy again. Repeat.

Intelligent design my ass? What part of this is intelligent? Looks more like a shitty, quickly thrown together project by a procrastinating student.

Messy stuff is the worst. Make up your freaking mind. Either be warm or be cold enough so the snow stays on the ground. Stop with this hovering around melting point shit. And someone turn off the air conditioning in my office. Intelligent design would involve a dome around the city to regulate the temperature. When god throws one of those down from the heavens around Toronto, then I'll start believing.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Weirdest phone call ever

The phone rings in the office. The guy on the other line asks to whom he's speaking. He's relieved to hear that it's me, this was my first tip-off that this was going to be weird b/c strangers don't generally call me in the office.

He then confirms that I've done some work in video recovery, which he saw on my webpage. I was a little surprised at this, someone was actually calling me about my research! This is where things go rather strange.

His problem however, has little to do with my research. He has accidently taped over some video on his camcorder (presumedly something important like home made porn) and is asking how to recover it! I'm thinking, ummm.... wtf? that's not what I do! Well, in a small scale to some extent, but not what he's asking for, where in the best situation a huge amount of video is missing and in the worse, the whole thing is missing. The whole basis of my work is that I have examples of what the missing data potentially looks like and then fill-in based on that, not just recovering arbitrary data from nothing. Who I thought was a legit researcher turned out to be a complete random off the street. The proper solution for him is not algorithmically derived. He should be looking into media recovery...

I tried to point him in this direction, but I have no idea of what's out there. Like, for hard drives, it's definitely possible, but I'm clueless about video media. It's also dependent on what kinda media - analog film, mini-dv tapes, or whatever.

I guess the weirdest thing was that this was actually a phone call. I would expect that the typical form of communication for this would be e-mail. I wonder who this guy is, what he taped over, and where he's from (guessing from Toronto if he called, would've been bizarre if it was long distance). Wonder if he's a big Hollywood guy that is shitting himself b/c he now has to reshoot a multi-million dollar scene. If he flys me down to Hollywood I'll do my best to help him out ;)

Update (later that day):  Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Hollywood was calling. I've determined through my spying techniques that the call has come from some random from the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University, who got to my site by googling "video recovery toronto". My advisor, Brendan, had a good laugh at my new found fame.

Speaking of random encounters, here's one I got recently. This guy was sensible enough to send me an e-mail rather than call me up on my office phone.

Hi,
Do you know Leung Kam Cheung? I met him when I was in Lufkin, Texas.
Just wanted to know...
Konstanze

And no, I don't know that person. Just because we share the same last name, doesn't mean that we know each other. And what makes him think that I've even heard of Lufkin, Texas?
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