Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rollerblading + volleyball + 5k run + rollerblading + beers + stairs + washroom = fun

See title.

Happy Birthday Michele!


Happy Birthday Michele!

Hope your last day is a good one and have a good trip to Vegas! Remember, you can't get a marriage license after midnight anymore ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Natalie Dee Parody - No Stalking


Continuing my webcomic parodies, this time it's Natalie Dee. It's a pretty random comic. A lot of them are weird, but there are some good ones. Sometimes you have to read the filename of the image to understand it. Here are some highlights to get you started:


By the way, without context, you probably don't get my webcomic parodies :p

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Haven't been on a Windows computer for 4 months

Back in Toronto. Thanks to Mimi and Nem, I got a hide home from the airport. That's the first time I have ever gotten picked up at the airport here. I usually just take a taxi (~$45). Oh, my luggage was overweight again (stupid inaccurate scale at home) and I had to pay $35. Damn airlines... I wasn't even over by much (54 and 57, with reshuffling I made it 52 and 60, so then I only had to pay for one overweight). The guy didn't think that me just taking a few pounds out of the 57 would have been enough. Apparently 54 was even too much :s

Not sure where "home" is anymore. Winnipeg has that home feeling, but it doesn't feel like home, probably b/c I'm just visiting and it just feels so temporary. Like, I don't have a desk to put my laptop on. I use a drawer thingy and I sit on my bed. Toronto does feel pretty home-ish, but something seems missing... We'll see how it feels once I get settled back in.

Things seem to have gone quite well here when I was gone. I was actually pleasantly surprised by some of the things Tony had done, like try and fix the futon/couch, vacuum, and mop. My bamboo is also doing quite well :)

It does feel nice to be on my desktop again. Fast. Solid Internet connection. Windows. Desk. Chair.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Packing is like having to pick your favourite child

Stupid airlines and their reduction in checked-in luggage weight.

*Shakes fist angrily in the air while mumbling something about a 50 pound limit*

Congratulations Mike and Anna!

Congratulations Mike and Anna! I'm really happy for your engagement! May all your children wear skirts.

Too many birthdays

People apparently get really frisky around the end of November for some reason...

Happy Birthday Alfred!
Happy Birthday Florence!
Happy Birthday Josh!


Alf's, then my Mom's, and then Flo's, and then Josh's. Insane.

For my Mom's, we went out with all the family here (including aunt+uncle+cousins, one set from each side of the family). Marigold was full b/c of a wedding, so we went to "Burger Factory". It's not Burger Factory, but it used to be, and me and my sisters don't remember the name of it, so we call it Burger Factory b/c there's still a Burger Factory sign next to the restaurant painted on a side of a building.

Cake, and then presents and my famous mango dessert when we got home.

Then, I went over to Alice's for Alf's surprise party. Brought a second pan of my mango dessert as it was a semi-potluck (hey, I take the two for one whenever I can :p) and had more cake as well :s.

It had already converted to a video game party by the time I got there (PS2). The drum game was retarded. It's so freakin' loud I don't know how anyone can play that indoors :p. Played Guitar Hero for the first time, and I was actually half decent. I contribute it to my training as a guitarist when I was younger (I suck at guitar, I tried again today for the first time in like 10 years b/c of this video, but can't do it). The first time I heard about Guitar Hero was just a few weeks ago from this xkcd comic. Upon reflection, the comic is much funnier now :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

xkcd Parody - Fan Time!

xkcd parody - fan time
This is my tribute to xkcd, "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language". The comic is hilarious, though you have to be at least part geek to get some of them :). Here are some of my favourites:

Rollerblading home drunk is the best

Me and Jill:  To Adam!


Me, Chris, and Dayna:  Self-powered commuters


Rob and Kelly:  7 more years until the wedding


Jill's pictures
Rob's pictures



Rob held a house warming party at his relatively new condo. It's ridiculous how nice of a place you can get for so cheap in Winnipeg :)

As it was Adam's last day at Google, Jill and I drank to him :). Thanks for the great summer! Have a safe trip home and good luck back at school!

Rob tried the whole, leave your camera on the table and hope that people use it strategy. It worked to some extent. Though, Jill brought her camera and Jill takes pictures :)

It took me just over 10 min. to blade to Rob's place (~4.5 km) and surprisingly not much longer to get back home a little tipsy :p. Rollerblading home drunk is the best :). Can you get pulled over for RUI?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Getting a new battery!

Apple's doing a battery recall as some of the laptop batteries can supposedly overheat and potentially cause your laptop to go on fire or something. I've never had any incident of my battery heating up, but I have found that my battery life has decreased substantially, from 4+ hours when I first got my laptop to ~2 hours now. It's just from frequent use of the battery.

I was just thinking about getting a new battery, but now I don't have to since I qualify for a free battery replacement :D

It says that I'm supposed to return my old battery once I get the replacement, but I think that I'll just keep it and use it as a spare (good for long flights).

That hit the volleyball spot (for now)

Met up with Kives, Alfred, and Erid (and his friends) for some volleyball at Assiniboine. It was actually pretty decent volleyball. We managed to crank the net to about men's height. The sand was quite shallow, meaning that I was able to jump high :)

I hadn't seen Erid in ages. We met randomly on the same volleyball courts maybe like 4 years ago. I think that I was just rollerblading by and asked to join in. After some random chatting, we figured out that one of his best friend's ex-girlfriend is one of my older sister's best friends. I don't quite remember how we got to that conclusion. I think it's b/c I went to Shaftesbury and my last name was Cheung. That would be what I'd write for our "Facebook story".

He's married now, which is crazy. Oh, and then in another bizzare incident, he some how finds out that I know Anne Pickering. They were in Education together at the U of M and I guess she said that she went to Shaftesbury and Erid probably spit out my name. Today, he was like, so you graduated with Bev right? I said I didn't know, but Alf knew her. I checked my year book and she kinda looks familiar, but was in Mech and likely was in Alf's year, not mine, but we graduated together. Apparently she knows me, or knows of me. Erid seems to have this thing about figuring out peoples' social network and how people are connected, but in real life, not on the Internet :p

I was pretty surprised at how many people were playing there today. There was us, and then a group of 4 guys that we played 4-on-4 with for a bit, and then a group of 6 high school students. I saw the same kids play last Wed when I was at the park. Not half bad, I wonder which high school they go to... The logical one would be Shaftesbury, being so close, but then Alf pointed out that they were actually good :p

Kives put on quite the show today. I was actually impressed. His game has improved a lot, which is pretty amazing since he hasn't been playing. His hits were like all in and he was pretty consistent. It must be the grunt :)

Becky (who Kevin and I met up for lunch at Saffron's with earlier today) and Alice didn't end up showing. Kevin missed out as he left for his cottage in the afternoon.

Can't wait to get back to Toronto to play some serious volleyball...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Found a place

It's the one in the top corner


Found a place in Saskatoon!

It's a two-bedroom, single bath apartment. Top (4th) floor. A bit smaller than my apartment in Toronto, but about a third of the price, which is nice since it's only for one. It's pretty close to the University (well, everything is close to the University) and on the good side of the river.

Like in Winnipeg, there's a stigma about crossing the river in Saskatoon. In Winnipeg, crossing either the Assiniboine or Red River is bad. Us South-enders don't socialize with the North-enders :p. There are some exceptions, but they are few and far between and they tend to be sketchy, like Florence. In Saskatoon, I heard from several different sources to stay on the South and West side of the river and that's where the apartment is.

 
I realized that in these last two posts that I may have "accidently" misled people to think that I was moving to Saskatchewan. After leaving Winnipeg and living in Toronto, Seattle, and San Francisco, how could I ever go back? And to something even smaller??? No. Sorry. If you thought otherwise, you probably shouldn't have skipped your meds this morning.

It's my younger sister. She's going to the University of Saskatchewan for Pharmacy and she, my mom, and I drove to Saskatoon to help her find an apartment. There were surprisingly few vacancies. The place we decided upon was actually one that we just passed by and saw a sign, as opposed to one that we had found online. We were rather efficient in checking out like a dozen places and settling on a place all in under 24 hours in the city! We didn't want to spend any more time in that place than absolutely necessary :p

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Saskatche-what?


Saskatchewan. Hard to spell, easy to draw.


Moving to Saskatchewan! I made the ~8 hour drive to Saskatoon today to do some apartment hunting.

I had my reservations, but this place has its qualities:

Transportation
  • Never get lost
    • You can learn all the city streets in one afternoon
    • You can see your two story hotel from anywhere in the city

  • Amazingly efficient road system
    • Highways that run right through the middle of the city
    • No traffic
    • One highway gets you anywhere you need to go and can take you from one end of the city to the other in just 5 minutes!
    • Ample parking everywhere

People
  • Multicultural
    • Every colour of white can be found here
    • They even have a Taco Bell!

  • Everyone's Canadian!
    • There were lots in California, even more in Toronto and Winnipeg, but the number of Canadians here is just staggering

  • No prissy girls, as all of them are farm raised, winter hardened girls who had to work hard all their lives (cute too)

Safe
  • Safe from natural disasters
    • No earthquakes, floods, forest fires, smog, threat of rising waters from global warming, tsunamis, tornados, or Gozilla attacks

  • No fear of terrorists
    • No targets, no terrorists

Shopping
  • All stores centrally located in one area

  • 80's and 90's era diners the rest of civilization has long forgotten
    • Bonanza
    • Chuck E. Cheese's
    • Fuddruckers (from the Wikipedia page: "Fuddruckers has one restaurant in Canada. It is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and still remains popular. Other restaurants were tried in other parts of Canada with no success. ")

  • All the stores you ever wanted, some of which not even available in places like Winnipeg, Toronto, or even California, such as The Real Canadian Superstore, Lululemon, and the Culligan store

Miscellaneous
  • The University of Saskatchewan's campus is nice and the buildings all look quite new
    • The Agriculture building was absolutely stunning!

  • We don't need no stinking daylight!
    • No daylight savings here, though it means having to switch between Mountain and Central time.

  • Flat
    • But at least the girls aren't


Found a few promising apartments today. There were some incidences though. I knew I was in a sketchy neighbourhood when all of a sudden I saw a lot of minorities, when I hadn't seen a single one all day. I also found myself in a trailer park at one point...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Semi-Annual Engineering Dinner Redux

Rob, Rob, Florence, Andy, Alfred, Alice, Kwan, Becky, Vince, Nusraat. Chris is missing b/c he left early for "Bingo"


My amazing effect with the ladies! I love how Nusraat is COMPLETELY ignoring me. But between me and you, I think she was struggling to keep herself back so as not to come out with any incriminating photos since her boy toy (aka husband) wasn't there. I so do not have asian glow in this pic.


More Pictures (some pics stolen from Becky)



I was gonna call this post "Semi-Annual Engineering Dinner", but that was done already.

Again, 9 rings (11 people). Kevin would have made 10, but we're not sure what happened to him. Our best guess was that he was mauled by a caribou when he was at his cottage, but survived the attack, only to be pecked by two ducks while he was down and later devoured by a bear.

We went to the Paragon this time. Mediterranean in "downtown". Pretty much just randomly chosen. It was pretty dead there, so at least the service was pretty good. Nice inside, though we had the super long table, which sucks for socializing. Food was decent. But you know, if I have to pay for food, I expect it to be AMAZING, considering the quality I got for free.

Again, we hit up Rostecki's for board games afterwards (Rob, Rob, Flo, and Me). Again, not your usual board games. One was Toppos, a card game, and another was Thurns and Taxis or something. I apparently am good at Toppos (2/3) and just narrowly lost to Rostecki in T&T.

I got a phone call from my sister saying that the restaurant called and I left my camera at the restaurant. This is yet another reason why I don't like bringing my camera. Plus, my batteries were really low, so I couldn't take many pictures and the camera like shut off by itself when Florence was trying to take a pic (I was doing this new trick I had recently learnt). Anyways, I went back after board games as they were open until 1 b/c of the bar and got my camera back. Apparently the waiters had some fun with my camera :)
 

Monday, August 21, 2006

Running update #3

Sunday evening, I went for training session #3. 10 laps around the park (~8.75 km), ~65 min. I've been doing a pretty aggressive ramping up of distance, we'll see how long that lasts, but as long as I keep up the training when I go back to Toronto, I'll be ready for Oct. 15th. My next run won't be until late this week as I'm off to Saskatchewan tomorrow morning :s

Names to remember

Kives and Meghan had a dinner party on Saturday. Perhaps a more correct term would be Meghan's and Kives's Mom's dinner party as I don't think Kives did anything (except pick up my fondue and cooler) and his Mom made the brisket.

All the people there were Meghan's friends aside from me. I'm bad with names, so I'll write them down here for my own reference later on. There was Travis (who was also at pool the other day), Chris (Mr. PA), Ron (the DJ with 4 people in the bar), Nicky (who we had thought was Ron's gf), and Stacy (girl who had been everywhere and had a story about everything). The evening was surprisingly entertaining considering that most people didn't know more than about 1 or 2 other people in the room, yet we were there from 5 pm until 3 am! And that didn't even involve much alcohol!

I brought my camera, but in my typical fashion, I was too lazy to take it out to actually take pictures. I'm not a huge fan of taking pictures, but I like to have them. The best is when other people bring their cameras and then I just steal the pictures (like what happened this summer). Ron had a good idea upon leaving that I should have just left it on the table and then people would have used it, plus, then I'd also be in the pictures. I'm definitely gonna try that next time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"Is he under 14?"

My new shoes


I got dragged into shoe shopping with my older sister and my mom. I got a pair of shoes from the Shoe Company b/c we had a coupon.

My mom was paying for my shoes b/c she had the airmiles credit card and the cashier asked:

Is he under 14?


AWESOME. Both my mom and me had to hold back the laughter. I haven't been estimated to be that young for a while :p. The reason she was asking was b/c at least in Manitoba, you can either get the PST or GST (sales taxes) off for children under 14.

We should have said "yes".

I totally need to go to that age guessing thing at the amusement parks. They have to like guess your age within 2 years. I don't know if anyone has ever been able to do that before :p

I was being responsible today

I was responsible today both in terms of my finances and my health.

Finance

I checked all my accounts (PC, TD, ING, CIBC, WaMu, FirstTech, Citi Canada, Citi) and paid my credit card bills. I also checked up on my investments and opened up a CD with WaMu to get some of my American money working for me. Also changed my address from Palo Alto to Canada.

Then, I gathered all the documents generated over the summer needed for tax purposes. I got this thing in the mail asking that I pay like 9k in advance taxes to the Canadian Government b/c last year I had a pretty big negative tax rebate since I didn't pay taxes all year (didn't pay upfront on my scholarship and then no Canadian taxes on MSR earnings). This advance tax thing is to prevent people like me from not paying taxes all year, collecting interest on it, and then paying it at the end of the year.

The catch this time around, is that I won't have to pay much in taxes b/c my scholarship is now TAX FREE! At least Harper did one thing right :). Basically what that means is that this estimate of 9k that I would have to pay in taxes is much too high as I will now have a huge portion of my income that I no longer have to pay taxes on. Anyways, my Dad does my taxes and wanted to see my pay stubs, etc. to estimate how much I'd have to pay in taxes for this year, and adjust that 9k accordingly, since I won't have to owe nearly as much taxes this coming year.


Health

I then went for a run in the evening/night. It's been a couple days since my last run. I blame volleyball/frisbee on Wed and golf on Thurs, and I was in no shape to run on Tues. To make up for lost time, I doubled the distance (8 laps, ~7 km). That's actually the farthest I've ever run! I did however, do it at a rather slow pace, about 50 min. (just over 7 min. kilometres). But I still had quite a bit of energy, and ended up sprinting the last half lap. I'm feeling pretty good right now and my legs are ok, so I can easily push a few more laps at that pace. I figure, I should get the distance down first before trying to go fast. One third of the way there! (The half marathon is 21 km). Not bad after 2 training sessions :p. Just under 2 months left!

The new blogger

I got the invite to upgrade my blog to the new Blogger today. I'm not making use of any of the new features yet (eg. tags, comment feed, different archiving links). That's b/c it doesn't let you edit the raw html once you convert to a new template and I have a lot of custom code in my template. Plus, I want to do a complete overhaul of the design of this blog when I do the conversion.

The best thing about the new blogger is that the pages are dynamically created. It's all backend stuff. You don't see the effect, but for me, when I'm changing the settings, I no longer have to "republish" my blog, which takes a while since my blog is pretty big.

Anyways, while I was looking through things, I made some cosmetic changes to my blog. It's all in the sidebar. The most noticeable difference is that I now show a picture on the side. The cool thing is the picture randomly changes everytime you load the page! It's similar to what Nusraat does, but I had to do it slightly different b/c I'm using Blogger and not hosting it myself. I just used a bit of Javascript to write the image tag into the document where the image url is randomly chosen.

Code snippet:

<script language="JavaScript">
<!--
var numImages = 5;
var imgIdx = Math.floor(Math.random() * numImages);
document.write("<img src='http://www.blah.com/ImageName" + imgIdx + ".jpg'>");
//-->
</script>
<noscript>
<img src="http://www.blah.com/ImageName.jpg" />
</noscript>

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I was sure that I was gonna get West Nile

I had already come to terms with the fact that I was going to get West Nile tonight. The plan was to go to Assiniboine Park and basically do what I was doing at Google (coincidently) - play beach volleyball and throw around a frisbee.

Met up with Kevin, Rob, and Jill at the volleyball courts (like a 5 min. drive from my place :D). I was spanking the ball pretty good today. The ball was like bouncing off the sand :). This obviously had nothing to do with the net being low (~women's height at the sides, and low enough for me to touch the top in the middle, so about 2-2.5 "squares" low). The sand was much softer than at Google, and when you dig down the sand was actually damp, plus it wasn't dusty at all.

Usually the volleyball courts are literally swarming with mosquitoes. Honestly there are mosquitoes just circling around constantly, even when you have bug spray on. They are vicious as well. They would go right through clothing. I used to get something like 25 bites on each leg and arm. It was insane.

Today, none. Zip. Zilch. Amazing! I have never seen it like that before! Ok, well, in like the beginning of May, but never in August (like peak mosquito season). Apparently the new bug guy in Winnipeg, "Taz", is doing a good job this year!

We then switched to throwing around a disc (frisbee). My forehand is like way better than my backhand now, which is pretty crazy since I couldn't throw forehand like a month and a half ago.

Of course, afterwards, we hit the nearby 7-11 for slurpees. Slurpee capital of the world baby!!!! It was my first slurpee this year, though I've had many slushies (mostly fruit based, which are better and healthier than slurpees anyways).

Jill took some pics, but hasn't posted them yet... Watch her blog for the yang version of this post (or is that yin? I'm not sure which one I am)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OMG, STOP PEEING IN MY ROOM!!!

Earlier today, one of the two dogs we're babysitting for my older sister's friend peed in my room. I didn't even know the dogs went into my room, just that they were running around upstairs, and then I go into my room, and I see this wet spot :s. Not sure if it was Rafiki or Wicket... Those dogs are funny. They look a lot like Tiggy, at least in fur colour and size, and collectively, they are referred to as 3 cats or 3 dogs. It's a little ambiguous either way. I just call them all Tiggy.

Then, just a little while ago while, after I came out of the shower and clipped my nails (btw, clipping my toe nails was a bitch b/c I couldn't see my toes! Without my glasses (getting new lenses) and with me too lazy to put in my contacts right before bed to only have to take them out again, I'm useless...), I went to my laptop to kill time while I waited for my hair to dry and I notice that my bed is soaked.

MI-MI PEED ON MY BED!!! That's Mi-mi the cat, not Mimi the person. Not only did she pee on my bed, but she peed on my pillow! This is the SECOND time that she's done this! First time being like 2 Christmas's ago. It's b/c of my buckwheat pillow. She thinks it's fun to play with and kneed her paws on. It also has a similar consistency as litter and gives her the urge to urinate all over it. I had anticipated this behaviour and had covered my pillow with my blanket, but no, she found the pillow underneath and peed right through the blanket and got the pillow a bit wet as well. It's like not a small pee either, it's a monster pee when she does this. She's all acting friendly now and sitting next to me on my bed (with changed sheets, etc.)

You pretty much can't wash a buckwheat pillow, at least you can't properly get urine out of it. As such, I'm now in the market for a new buckwheat pillow. I guess it's actually good in some respects, as I was just thinking that I needed to do some much overdue purging and cleansing, and the pillow would have been the only thing that wouldn't have gone. I'll do the ritual when I get back to Toronto.


Update (Aug. 27, 2006):  I wake up at like 7 or something b/c I hear her scratching at the wall near the door b/c Mi-mi wants to get out. When I crawl out of bed, my knee feels wet... She had peed at the corner of the foot of my bed sometime in the middle of the night :s. It was too early to do anything about it, and it wasn't super wet or smelly, so I just curled up in the opposite side of my queen sized bed and kept sleeping :p

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Weak in the knees

I got it bad. I didn't think that I'd feel this way again so soon. I was actually losing hope that I'd ever feel this way again. My legs are practically trembling when I stand. I'm short of breath. My heart is beating uncontrollably. My palms are sweaty.

This is of course completely unrelated to my return to training where I ran around the park across the street 4 times. I only did the South side so I didn't have to cross Grant, but it was about 3.5 km. I was doing about 5 min. / km, which isn't bad considering that I haven't trained for about 3 years, and is just over the pace I did in the Toronto Marathon 5k run in 2003. It felt pretty good too. Every day (or day I train), I will add an extra lap (~875 m). What am I training for? A couple things. Getting in shape for the U of T varsity volleyball try-outs, training for the Toronto half marathon, and just to improve my aerobic capacity (since most of the sports I play are anaerobic).

Flying blind, or at least blurry

I'm getting new lenses for my glasses b/c my health insurance will cover it and the coating on the glasses was starting to chip off (cheap HK lenses). As such, I don't have my glasses anymore. This is a problem when I shower late at night. I am too lazy to put my contacts back in just for my post-shower, pre-sleeping activities while I wait for my hair to dry. My neck is getting sore from having to crane to see my laptop screen, as I can only see the screen if I am aobut 6 inches from it. I'm told that my glasses will be ready by the end of the week. Hopefully I won't run into a wall, trip over the exploded contents of my suitcases, or step on a cat before then.

i an nto rsenopslbie fo rany tyops im tihs bolg psot,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm feeling multicultural

"Rum Punch", apparently an "Indo Tropical Paradise" drink



"Indo Tropical Paradise" dancing and singing


The rest of Jill's pics



Hit up Folklorama tonight. Folklorama is "the largest and longest running multicultural festival of its kind in the world". Basically there are all these different pavillions hosted in schools and community centres throughout the city, with each one devoted to a different culture, and inside you get to sample that culture's food and drinks as well as see shows.

I went with Kevin (back from Toronto like the exact same time as me), Jill, and Florence. I was just talking with Jill and Florence the other day about how they had never met, yet they are the two people, aside from my family, who's vacation plans revolve around Hotel Vince, as they visited me in both Toronto and the Bay Area (though at different times). They did however, miss out on Seattle...

We planned on going to the Cuban pavillion, out in the "North" (aka bad) part of the city. Ok, well, not super North, but we crossed the river, which is always a big deal for us South-enders :p. Jill was driving and it was my first experience with "Truck". I have to say that the "backseat" was not very ergonomic at all, but aside from that, Truck was very nice.

When asked over the phone if Jill knew how to get to the place, she was like "ya..." She didn't know how to get there. We got mildly lost, and being Winnipeg and not many cars on the road, at least in that area, we couldn't even use the "follow that car" approach. Had I known that she didn't really know where she was going, I could have made one of my famous hand drawn maps (3 lines on a piece of paper). It's hard to trust the people from the bad part of the good part of town.

The line at the Cuban pavillion was hella long. We waited and 11:15 pm rolled along, which is when the last show started and we were told that the place had reached capacity and basically that we had little chance of getting in. So, we moved down the street to the pavillion next door.

"Indo Tropical Paradise Pavillion". We were rather confused at what culture this pavillion represented. Our first instict was telling us Indonesia-ish. But, then there was a banner on the wall for "Indian Place" or something like that and one of the singers was introduced as one of Winnipeg's most famous Indian singers.

We eventually figure out that it was the "West Indies" (aka the Caribbean), which makes sense why one of the drinks was from Jamaica. The show was alright, but the rest of the pavillion kinda sucked. They took down the cultural display by the time the show ended, the food was pretty much gone by the time we got there, and the drink selection was pretty bad. There was a dance like thing after the show, but the music was insanely loud. Like my pants were vibrating from the bass (Mike, it's pronouced like "base", as in "all your base are belong to us", not like the fish).

We took off and hit a Mexican pub/restaurant in Osborne. I knew that I had been there before, but wasn't sure when or with whom. Seems like Rob (Carroll) was there.

The exciting bit was when Kevin got drenched by the waitress who was trying to take our orders while holding a bunch of dirty dishes and cups of water. Kevin, being quite mild mannered, took it well and kept his cool. She paid for his bill, which wasn't much b/c he didn't order much and no drinks. He should've ordered everything for us and bought us drinks :p. The waitress apologized like a billion times.

We spent most of the time at that place talking about what you would do if you won the $42 million Lotto 649 that was the current jackpot (and that's $42 million tax free b/c it's Canada ;)). Florence would quit her job immediately, Jill and Kevin would follow suit quite quickly. I think that I'd finish my phd and sit on the money, letting it earn some interest for me. Everyone seemed to agree that they'd want to use that money to travel. But you know, travelling by yourself can get lonely. I eventually decided that most of my big purchases would have to have some social aspect to it. Mutual vacations are a lot of fun, like take a bunch of people on a cruise somewhere tropical. Vacation houses/condos (like on a nice ski slope in the Alps or a beach in Hawaii or a lake in Australia or just buy an island) would be nice b/c you could invite friends over (like how Jill and Flo visited!). I would then need a private jet to fly people to my place. I also decided that I would only invite my current friends b/c any new friends I'd make would only be my friend b/c of the money. The problem of finding a wife came up, as she'd only be in it for the money. I decided that I'd have to leave town like right away, and keep a low profile (like doing a phd in Toronto). Marry for love, and then be like, oh, and I have like $42 million...

Jill has posted her version of tonight's events. Check it out to see how much BS I just fed you ;)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Strange things in that big dark room

Something I hadn't seen in ages.

There are these big flashes of bright light and loud sounds along with water coming from the ceiling in that big dark room that usually has the twinkly things and that big bright circle thing.

I was actually pleasantly surprised when it started.

Wow, that was a big flash from some ginormous camera! I saw the whole backyard when that happened! The sound of the water hitting the ground is actually quite soothing. The bad thing is that it's gonna result in an increase in mosquitoes.... yay.... I'm so getting West Nile this year.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home sweet home

Home


Aside from the flight delays, nothing notable to mention about today's travels. I am surprisingly awake right now considering my 2 hours of sleep and 14 hours door-to-door, but I guess I got a couple hours of sleep on the plane and the time zone difference (2 hours ahead here) helps.

I haven't been back in Winnipeg for about 8 months. Mittens and Tiggy both remember me :). I'm quite furry right now.

Everything's pretty much the same here, though I've been noticing all these small things that are different. Drawers don't open like they used to, the banister seems narrower, the stairs smaller, the shower head higher, and the shower water in thicker streams than I remembered.

Dehydrated flying

Sitting in the Chicago airport. Waiting for my delayed flight back to Winnipeg. Stupid North American airports don't have free wireless Internet access.

With the whole UK->US supposed terrorist threat, you're not allowed to bring any liquids onto the plane. No water, drinks, lotion, cream, toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, hair gel, yogurt, etc. I thought that I found the loophole whereby I dumbed out my water bottle at the security check, and then filled it up at the water fountain outside of the gate, but no, no water allowed on the plane...

My flight out of SFO was only delayed by half an hour, which was fortunate b/c I was cutting it close. My flight out of Chicago is supposed to be an hour and a half late, which made the connection a little bit more relaxing.

Flying is always very stressful for me. More to do with packing (I went to bed at 5:30 am and got up at 7:30) and worrying about how heavy my luggage is. While packing and realizing that they were heavy, I mentally prepared myself to pay $50 / piece in overweight charges. At this point, I didn't really care. I hate packing and just wanted my stuff to get to Winnipeg.

Both of my suitcases were overweight (57 and 67 pounds), which is surprising since I gave a bunch of stuff to both my family and Florence to take back for me. The guy was decently nice and told me that if I just moved a few pounds from the lighter one to the heavier one that I'd only get charged $50 for the one.

I should have more time in Winnipeg to figure out what is in my baggage that's so heavy, plus I'll be leaving a bunch of stuff there (t-shirts, extra volleyballs, random crap, etc.), but I'll be adding my rollerblades and some books.

Anyways, I should move to my gate as the flight should be boarding soon.


Update: Fark. Flight delayed another 45 min. Looks like I'll be here for a while longer. I'm convinced that it's a big ploy to get passengers to spend what's left of their arms and legs at the airports for food. Guess I'll blog offline more.

Another update: 6:15. 7:45. 8:24. 8:45. 9:05. They better not delay it again. I just found a plug, so I can write more :p

Final update: Flight finally left at like 9:15. At least I met a cute girl from Winnipeg to talk to, so I didn't mind waiting.

Florence

With few plans in place, all my evenings when Florence was here were spent planning (and mapping) what we were gonna do the next day. Sitting here in the Chicago airport waiting for my delayed flight, I finally have time to blog, though I don't have Flo's pics yet.

Here's the rapid-fire bullet point version of the past week:

Wed., Aug. 2nd - The arrival
  • Florence arrives

  • Winning my volleyball game to come out on top of the losers bracket

  • Posing as a U of M Masters' student doing an internship in the Bay Area, I get her into the Google Engineering Intern Open House. Having noticed that Janna indicated in her calendar that she was going, I invited myself as her guest :)

  • The food was crap, the talks were ok, the free shirt is really what counted, and being able to sneak around security so I could show Florence around was great


Thurs., Aug. 3rd - San Francisco
  • Big tourist day, though I had two things to do this day (lunch with Nevan at UCSF and Kelly Clarkson's concert), which we worked around, i.e. Florence shopping while I did other things

  • Twin Peaks on a clear day, Golden Gate Bridge without fog, and walked all along the pier

  • The Vegas plan falls through with Mike not feeling great, Adam's idiotic move of trying to stand on an oversized exercise ball and getting a concussion, and everyone else being wusses


Fri., Aug. 4th - Museums
  • Asian Art Museum

  • Chinatown

  • Legion of Honor (for the Monet in Normany exhibit)

  • Japantown

  • Getting kicked out of Kan Zaman on Haight St. for not ordering a minimum amount of food at 10 pm when we just wanted dessert

  • Gelati in North Beach

  • Twin Peaks at night in the fog


Sat., Aug. 5th - Winchester
  • Slow afternoon let me plan out the Napa trip

  • Winchester Mystery House (a horribly built mansion where they charge an inordinate amount of money for you to see)

  • FREE FOOD AT PANERA. Oh how I miss free food :p. Thanks Sean!

  • Poker at Panera where Brian and me had a side bet to see who would drive to Napa. We both lost in the same hand to Mike. Brian kindly volunteered to drive, which ended up being a good idea b/c of his car's navigational system and my lack of a printer (and resulting poorly hand drawn maps)


Sun., Aug. 6th - Napa
  • 30 wines!

  • The key to the day was the schedule that I told people, and the contingency plan I had in place, knowing that we wouldn't make the original schedule

  • Rubicon Estate (Francis Ford Coppola's winery), Beringer (crap), Beaulieu (meh), random small winery behind BV (suprisingly good), and Domaine Chandon.
  • Some of the wineries we went to were way too commercial

  • Nice find for lunch at some sandwich shop in St. Helena

  • Mitsuwa for dinner, meeting up with Janna, Sean, Adam, Michele, and Jenny in addition to our group of me, Florence, Brian, Mike, and Natalia.

  • Coldstone


Mon., Aug. 7th - Yosemite
  • 400 miles of driving, 5 hours of hiking/walking

  • In-N-Out for dinner


Tues., Aug. 8th - Tech company tour
  • Nasa Ames, Microsoft, Google (for lunch at Cafe 7), Yahoo, Juniper Networks, AMD, Cisco, Intel, NVIDIA, Apple

  • Victorious in Google's volleyball tournament finals part 1

  • Snuck into the Google Dance ;). Not even "The Enforcer" could stop me!


Wed., Aug. 9th - The departure
  • Xerox PARC, Stanford Linear Accelerator, Stanford, Jamba Juice, Cheesecake Factory, SFO


Thanks for visiting Florence, it was a blast!

Flight is soon (hopefully) and my battery is running out...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Still packing

4:30 am. The last of the people left at 2. I swung by Google one last time around 3:30 am to get my beach volleyball that I left on the court and also to fill up the gas tank.

Everything's pretty much folded, sorted, etc. and just needs to be shoved into the suitcase now. Flight leaves at 10:45 am, and I'll have to leave here around 8:30ish b/c of traffic and I have to return the car rental, etc.

Hopefully I'll at least get an hour or two of sleep. See you on the other side of the continent.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Vince 1, Mike 0

Victory after only a week and a half ;)

  1. Go to Google.com

  2. Type in:  Mike Perrow

  3. Click 



Picture courtesy of Adam Hooper (and that picture was courtesy of Michele Battelli).


On another note, Googling gay pictures vincent gets to my blog :s


Update (Sept-ish): I stopped being evil and this joke no longer works

Friday, August 04, 2006

KELLY CLARKSON CONCERT, BITCHES


Free poster!


This is how I find a suitable radio station when I'm in a new city:
  1. Press the "scan" button

  2. If Kelly Clarkson is playing, stop.
    Else, goto #1

3rd time's a charm. First time, it was Sarah's fault. Absolutely 100% of the blame is on her. That was like Dec. 2004. Then, it just so happened that while I was at MSR, Kelly Clarkson was on another tour and was playing near Seattle! I had the ticket in my hand, but she cancelled the concert b/c of laryngitis. That was Sept. 2005. Another internship, another tour, and another coincidence! This time, I finally went!

It was awesome.

If you have anything bad to say about Kelly Clarkson, you will be kindly asked to leave this blog.

For the sake of professionalism, please refrain from making any comments about jailbait or insinuating that I went soley for that purpose. Yes, there was jailbait (and plenty of it). Even "Canadian" jailbait.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Why snowboarding is better than surfing

I went to Pacifica this morning to go surfing by myself (everyone else claimed that they had to go to "work"). The conditions weren't great, but I managed to entertain myself and get up a bunch of times on the white crumbly stuff. It's actually quite scary to go by yourself. One time I got my ass kicked by a wave and while I was tumbling around, not sure which way was up, I remembered that there was no lifeguard on the beach.

I realized while I was out there, that I like snowboarding a lot better. Here's why:
  • Chair lifts
    • None of this futile work trying to get past the waves, only to be pushed further back from where you started at every attempt you take

  • Snowboarding is warmer
    • Yes. You heard me right. Frickin' ocean in "Nor-Cal" is freezing, even with a wet suit. At least with snowboarding you can put on more layers.

  • You get to wear a tuque

  • You don't have the constant taste of salt in your mouth

  • You get to stand up for more than 5 seconds

  • There is food mid-slope

  • You don't have to wear a frickin' wet suit

  • It's possible to go to the washroom
    • You try getting out of a wet suit

  • You don't have to lug around a massive board
    • In fact, you can just skate with it

  • Your board doesn't try and knock you unconscious

  • Mother Nature doesn't continuously try to drown you

  • You don't have to plan your day around the tide and you can board all day long

  • You don't get sandy

  • People don't say hella
    • As in, "dude, that wave was hella good"

  • It's an Olympic sport
    • 2010 baby!

  • You don't get showed up by 12 year olds
    • You get showed up by 5 year olds

With all that, I still think surfing is fun, just that I'd enjoy it more if the surf was good and I was in say... Hawaii, where the water temperature is actually above the freezing point. Oh, and if there was a volleyball court on the beach ;)
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