Vincent Cheung

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I need a break

Today was supposed to be my day of rest (golf doesn't count), but I got asked to sub for a volleyball game. I haven't had a day without playing at least 1 sport for a week:

volleyball, volleyball, snowboarding, curling, volleyball, dodgeball, volleyball, volleyball, volleyball, golf, and volleyball

The outlook ahead for the next week is:

volleyball, volleyball, snowboarding, volleyball, volleyball, dodgeball, volleyball, and volleyball

Not sure if I'll sub in for that team again next week, but if I do, then I'll be going like 3 weeks without a break. Fortunately, health-wise, I'm feeling pretty good. My left arm and shoulder are a little sore, which is probably a combination of curling and golfing left handed. My knee's been doing pretty good as well. It's sometimes a little sore after volleyball and snowboarding, but not too bad. I need to do more squats to strengthen the supporting muscles.

I need a break, from sports and otherwise...

Naan bread from scratch!

This was from the 14th. Again, I just didn't get around to posting this until now.

I love naan bread and since I can now make some pretty good curry, I figured I'd try making my own naan bread :)

Of course, I looked to the Internet for guidance, and I found this video of how to make naan bread. It called for 200g of flour, which was problematic as I don't have a kitchen scale. Again, looking on the Internet, I figured that 200g flour = 1.25 - 1.5 cups of flour. I used something in between. I found that the dough was really dry and I had to keep adding milk and yogurt to make it work, but maybe I just used too much flour :p.

It didn't turn out quite like naan bread, but it was quite tasty! I really like bread, especially fresh bread :). I don't think I rolled the dough thin enough. I didn't want to roll it too thin b/c the video warned me not to.

Naan bread and curry from scratch!!!

A closer look at the naan bread

Once I perfect the naan bread, I'm opening up my own Indian restaurant.

Fried udon

I made this on the 10th, but kept putting off the blog post. It's not the first time I've made fried udon, but it's the first time I'm documenting my process.

Ingredients: shrimp, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and udon. I should've chopped up some onions too.

Put a little water and oil in the pan

Add the udon. I only ended up using 2 packages.

Cook until the udon breaks apart

Add the veggies. A spatula is easier at this point rather than chopsticks.

Add some frozen veggies for more colour if you want

The water will evaporate. You may need to add more oil. You can use a bit of sesame oil instead of regular oil. When the veggies are pretty much cooked, add the shrimp, or other meat, or nothing for vegetarian.

Seasoning: sesame seeds, dark soy sauce, white pepper, chives, sesame oil, parsley flakes, and light soy sauce. I just add a bit of everything. I don't know whether to use dark or light soy sauce, so I use both. Dark seems to give it the colour and saltiness and light gives a bit of a sweet taste. If available, use fresh green onions and parsley instead of the jarred chives and flakes I used.


The final product. It was tasty!

Golf: I've been doing it wrong this whole time

University of Toronto Varsity Centre Bubble

Inside the bubble

Driving range ball that I swiped

I came back to Toronto after the Christmas break and all of a sudden there was this bubble on campus! It's being used for soccer, ultimate, and other stuff. It's fake grass inside. For half of every day, half of the bubble is set-up as a golf driving range, and as an introductory offer, it was free!

It was pretty busy, with most of the little cubby things were occupied. The bigger problem was that they had a very limited selection of golf clubs (also free). When I got there, there were only left handed clubs. I've only ever golfed right handed, but I decided to give it a shot as I play hockey left handed (not that I really play hockey).

I'm actually better left handed than right handed! I could consistently get the ball in the air, going straight, and hitting the back wall of the bubble! I've never been able to do that before. I was however, using a pitching wedge and a 6 iron, which are easier to hit with, but still, I've never hit like that before.

Unfortunately for you guys, now that I can hit a golf ball, there won't be any more videos like the last golfing video. You know that I had to link to it :). There have been 1,672 views of it on Google Video!!! That's pretty crazy!

While I had a fun time, the regular price of $17.50/hour for students is outrageous. I'd pay like $5 or $10. I'm already paying athletic fees in my tuition after all.

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Around the unit circle: Vince, Michelle, Hannah, Christine, James, and Andrew

More pictures

Michelle's pictures

I'm a few days behind in blogging b/c my older sister was in town. Saturday night I went to Devil's Martini for Hannah's belated birthday party. My timing was pretty good, as I caught them right as they were about to go in. Hannah was disappointed that I wasn't wearing sandals, as that's the only footwear she's seen me in b/c of beach volleyball.

It was a nice place and for once, it wasn't packed with 18 year olds or Asians. It's still weird going to a club where everyone's Asian, and you're not in Asia. I remember the first time I was in one. It was in Calgary with Becky, Alvin, Florence, and Ching. We didn't know it was an Asian club, we just went in and we were like, what the heck? Everyone's Asian!!! It was weird.

Anyways, it was a fun time. My alcohol tolerance must be increasing, as it took me longer than usual to be buzzed enough to dance. 5 drinks in 1.5 hours, including chugging 2 Smirnoff's is too much though. I still get red and sleepy while drunk though.

Here's a photo essay of my progression of redness:

Red level 0: Despite pre-drinking at 2pm at the curling rink and a glass of wine at my older sister's award ceremony thingy.

Red level 5: Vanilla Ice

Red level 10: Hannah wasn't even close to my level of redness. I have excellent blood flow upstairs and downstairs ;)

Red level 7: Redness subsides, sleepiness takes over. Didn't help that I went curling for 8 hours earlier that day.

Red level 3: Purse carrying. Not altogether too unusual of an occurrence.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still a lot of ground to cover

visited 18 countries (8%)

visited 37 states (72%)

Create your own visited maps

I've included Japan, despite only being in the airport overnight, and China b/c of Hong Kong, Macau, and some place on mainland near HK, which did require a Chinese visa. I've also included states where I pretty much just drove through.

Sporty weekend

4 different sports this weekend: snowboarding, curling, volleyball, and dodgeball.

  • Friday: Snowboarding with the U of T Ski and Snowboard Club
    • Pretty much pwned Blue Mountain - greens, blues, blacks, and double blacks. The only run I didn't do was the glades run, which goes through the trees, but it was closed anyways, not that I would've gone. I value my neck too much.

  • Saturday: Hart House Curling Bonspiel
    • Random team of individuals that hadn't met before and we won the whole thing!!! Our skip was good, having played since high school and on the U of T varsity team. The skips on most teams were good, but usually the rest of the team is inexperienced. The difference with our team, was that while I've only played a handful of times (just at these random bonspiels over the past 3 years, which usually boils down to about twice a year), I think I've caught on pretty quick. I'm pretty good at throwing what's being called and I can do take outs and throw draw weight pretty consistently. We should not have won though. The team we played against was good (they won their first game 20-2 in 8 ends) and we won only by pure miracles. We were down and then managed to steal the last 3 ends to win the final game by 2. Every end, we were like, "oh, we're screwed", as the last rock was being thrown by the other team's skip, but by some sort of miracle, the rocks just rolled our way. We won 4 $25 gift certificates as a team to HMV, Indigo, Roots, and LCBO. I got the LCBO one ;). The other team won as well for being the highest one game winner (it's a score bonspiel with points given out for wins, ends, and points, with a cap of 12 for points), and they got the same prize. We figured, either way, both teams probably would've won since we both had good first games (ours was 12-2) and then the second game was close. I continued my curling prize streak. My shoulders, back, and triceps are still sore 2 days later from sweeping so much!

  • Sunday: CCF Volleyball Intramurals
    • I'm not really allowed to play, since I play for Skule in Div 1, but I snuck on anyways :)

  • Sunday: SGS Dodgeball Intramurals
    • Yes! Dodgeball! It's quite a sophisticated game when you get to as advanced a level as ourselves. We've developed some killer tactics. We had problems getting out this one girl at the end of the first game. She would just hang around the back, and with the balls we were using, it was hard to hit her. What eventually did it in was Eric going up without a ball, and me hiding behind him. She threw and got him out, I came from behind and pegged her off :). Next week we practice with wrenches.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Of course...

Friday, January 26, 2007

PhD Comics comes to U of T!

I'll tell you when I'll be done when you tell me your cup size, waist, and number.

This was me over the Christmas break. I had basically that exact conversation with my prof.

Santa didn't leave me a finished thesis either :(

Jorge Cham, the creator of PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) comics came to U of T yesterday to give a talk. It was entitled "The Power of Procrastination". He's a pretty good speaker and got a lot of laughs out of the audience. Aside from a few undergrads and faculty, the crowd was almost entirely grad students. It was pretty spectacular to see grad students from all over the university. There was a shockingly large number of females in the audience, may be even close to 50%. That is definitely something I had never witnessed before for anything related to grad school. Thank god for PhD's in humanities!

At one point, Jorge was talking about why go into grad school in the first place, and mentioned the nice lifestyle of grad students, strolling into the office at 10. People chuckled, others were like "No, 10's too early..." Jorge was like "11?" The audience was still not completely satisfied. Jorge asked "Ok, how many of you came directly to this talk from your apartment?" My hand shot up, along with a couple others. The talk started at noon :)

He jumped all over the place in his talk. He talked about how the comic came to be and his theories about grad life. Most grad students feel that they are overwhelmed with work, but when asked what they had to do, they replied with things like sports, organizing events, sewing classes, procrastinating things, etc., but that they should be doing research!!! I completely identify with this. I should be doing research. In fact, I should be doing research now. No, I take that back. It's 3:45 am and my bus leaves at 8 am to go snowboarding. I should be sleeping :p

Anyways, he told us not to feel guilty for procrastinating and that procrastinating has a bad rap as it is commonly equated with laziness. Laziness means not wanting to do something. Procrastinating means not wanting to do something *now*. It's ok to procrastinate. There were more points and funny things, but I can't think of them right now b/c I'm sleepy. I was napping in class today, which is brutal when there are only 10 people in your class :s

The whole talk thing was a scam though. It was sponsored in part by the U of T Career Centre and they handed out all these propaganda pamphlets and the organizing lady was telling us about the Career Centre and shit and tried to put a moral to the story. Then, the book signing was in like this tiny back room of the Career Centre and they had all these stations and posters set-up, not unlike a science fair. What a scam!!! They were just trying to lure us into that place the whole time!!! What's even worse is that they advertised free food, and it was the worst free food I've ever seen. There were like 10 cookies. Not even good cookies either. They were like the crappy assorted variety for $2.

Anyways, PhD Comics is one of the three webcomics I read. I've previously mentioned the other two I read, xkcd and Natalie Dee. PhD Comics is really only funny if you're in grad school. Funnier if you've been in grad school for a while...

Here are some of my favourites, aside from those at the top of this post:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

GReunion 3.0: Happy Birthday Janna!

Janna jokingly asked me if I was gonna come to her belated birthday party.... in Windsor. I was like, "sure!" I then jokingly asked Mark if he wanted to cum as well for a full frontal GReunion, and he was in! Mark's easy. He was even going to bring Emine! I rented a car, as it was only $50 for 2 days and I was gonna pick up Jon in Waterloo on the way, but he had family plans. We almost convinced Adam to cum, but despite the low price tag of $90 for a bus ride to Toronto and then I'd drive him the rest, he opted out due to opportunity cost and his upcoming Uganda trip. Sean, Mike, and Brian thought it was too far for them to get to Windsor, but at least they were there in Wii spirit.

I left Toronto in the early afternoon and after a bit of a detour (I got the freeways mixed up), I got to Windsor in about 3.5 hours around 5ish.

The party was a lot of fun and Windsor was a blast, though I only saw the inside of the beer store and Janna/Michelle/Tyler/Jon's house, which is probably why Windsor was so much fun.

It's surprising how many more photos I take when I have a camera that is small, the battery lasts a long time, and doesn't take a minute to take 1 picture. I've gone from the picture stealer to the picture taker. Hey, that was pretty clever :)

All the incriminating photos and videos can be found in my and Janna's albums. Janna's follows more of my summer of Google theme as I'm not in most of my own photos.

The rest of this post will be explained through pictures.

Happy Birthday Janna!!!

Hello Mark! ;)

Emine started getting a little possessive of Mark. Mark was pretending that he liked it. Emine agreed to a three-some, and I told her that Mark would have to watch.

Sean called to say "Happy Birthday" and "Happy New Year". We counted down at midnight b/c Janna was stuck in O'Hare for new year's.

There was a decent amount of Wii action going on. We made some Mii's for people as well. Christina's turned out pretty accurate.

Despite having a nice seating area upstairs and downstairs (in the 24' by 8' room), we chose to sit on the floor in the hallway/stairwell.

Cupcake shots!!!

A bunch of us slept over and Michelle made us waffles in the morning! The party had died down around 6 am without any major incidents. I probably did a personal best of 7 Mooseheads, though this was spread over almost 12 hours :p

Mark and Emine made short work of the waffles and were showing off their label whoreness.

The GIntern shot for the blog

Oh, I don't have any pictures of it, but the pizza for dinner before the party was pretty funny. I, of course, wanted mine with no cheese, so we asked for half the pizza with no cheese, but instead, they only put toppings on one half. I proceeded to eat the pizza in 3 stages. Stage 1, pick off the toppings and eat them. Stage 2, rip off the cheese, which Mark was more than willing to take. Stage 3, eat the crust. Janna made me a pizza slice by ripping the cheese off a slice and putting the toppings back on. Pretty gruesome, but it tasted fine :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy Birthday and (Belated) Anniversary Mimi!!!

At the top of the Waterfall run at Blue Mountain

It's hard to believe that it was just over a year ago that Mimi and I were forced to sit together on the bus after Crystal ditched us on the ski and snowboard club trip. It was definitely against both of our wishes, as we found the other to be annoying, but by the end of it, we had overcome our initial impressions of the other person and were friends.

Today was this season's first outing with the U of T ski and snowboard club and it was much better than last season's. We had a short charter bus this time instead of a school bus and it took us just over 2 hours to get there and so, even after getting the season passes, we still had about 5 hours on the slopes. Most of the runs were open, the first time this season for many of the runs. None of the runs were groomed, but there was a decent amount of powder, but it was spotty as I did come across some ice and grass patches. I started off at the North base, having jumped off the bus after getting my season pass and rode all the runs to the South base, and then traversed back to hit the Northern most side for the blacks and double blacks, and then back to the South end for the bus. I did my first double black diamond on snowboard today! Ok, aside from that time I accidentally went down that double black moguls with Manuel at Crystal Mountain and just edged it down. Anyways, it wasn't that great b/c it was pretty much all ice at the top, but I managed to mostly stay in control. I was quite impressed with myself, having almost conquered the mountain on almost exactly the 1 year anniversary of when I started snowboarding.

It's surprising how perspectives change over time. I have gone snowboarding 5 times (Seattle and North Dakota) since the last time I went to Blue Mountain and the runs seemed a lot easier this time. Dr. Doug, my most feared blue run as a skier, is now a joke even as a snowboarder. Black diamonds weren't very challenging today, when they were last time I was there, and double-blacks aren't even that intimidating now, aside from being pure ice.

On another note, of course with my luck, fuckin' Marsha, my face for evil in the world, was on my bus. When I saw her come on the bus, I had to restrain myself from screaming and pushing her off the bus. And being the bitch she is, she was late to get back onto the bus and was the last person to get on. I was hoping that we would leave without her. The only redeeming thing was that I didn't hear her on the bus as she was at the front and I was at the back, though I don't think she knew many people on the bus this time. Everyone who knows her probably switched buses. I know I would have had I known she was going to be on my bus.

With traffic, we got back to campus at 6:30 pm. By the time I dropped my stuff off at home, got changed, and bladed to Sid Smith for fellowship, it was a little after 7. The back door was locked and I really didn't want to enter in the front nearly 2 hours late. I text messaged Michelle to open the back door for me. I didn't think this had much of a chance of working, as I figured she would either have had her phone off or wouldn't have heard it. Surprisingly within a few minutes, she came and opened the door for me :). I was also able to successfully reverse stalk Yuan.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My cat is famous!!!

Tiggy as "My Buddy" on Stuff On My Cat

Tiggy made it onto Stuff On My Cat!!!! stuff + cats = awesome

I submitted that pic way back at Halloween and it just got posted this month. I didn't realize it until I checked all the pics on that site that I had missed.

For all you idiots out there that keep telling me that that's not my cat b/c the pic was posted by "Mario", umm... hello, I don't own, hence I'm not the one posting pics. I e-mailed them the pic and they ("Mario") posted it. You want proof that it's my cat, check out my other pics of my pets in costumes, where among other things, you can see the uncropped, un-stuff-on-my-cat-branded, original photo. Maybe Tiggy will be in the next Stuff On My Cat book!!!

I guess I really am a whore

A volleyball whore, that is.

Deanna told me to go watch the girl's tri-campus volleyball game today as it was the two downtown campus teams playing (as opposed to Scarborough or Mississauga). I'm jealous that the girls have that league b/c they have organized teams, coaches, practices, full court games, proper refs, and uniforms. I wish they had that for guy's volleyball.

Anyways, I went b/c I know people on both teams. I just didn't know that I knew that many! I knew 2 on one team and 6 on the other. There were only 8 or 9 players on each team... I also recognized a few others from pick-up volleyball and intramurals, but I don't know them.

The scary bit is of those 8 players I know, I know them from different volleyball things (various pick-up volleyball and intramurals), so it's not like I was on one volleyball team with all 8 of them. I met each of them separately through volleyball. Even worse is that I have been on teams with 2 (out of the I think 3) boyfriends watching the game, again, I met each of them separately and played with them on different teams :s

Yes, I'm a whore. I'll play as much as I can, whenever I can, where ever it is, and with whoever I can get. Ok, maybe not with whoever, I do have standards after all ;)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I thought I didn't watch many movies

Supposedly if you've seen over 85 movies in the following list, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 movies on this list.

( ) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
( ) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total so far: 5

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 10

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
(x) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
(x) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 20

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 28

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
(x) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 35

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snickt: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
Total so far: 43

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
(x) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
(x) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber
Total so far: 48

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 52

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 59

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 65

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 70

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 77

(x) X-Men
(x) X2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
(x) Cruel Intentions 2
(x) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 91

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
(x) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
(x) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
Total so far: 96

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 102

(x) Baseketball
(x) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 106

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
( ) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 110

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
( ) Hook
(x) Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
Total so far: 113

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 116

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 122

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
( ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal

Total: 127

As expected, I don't have a life. And here I was thinking that I didn't really watch movies...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dinner, volleyball, and dinner again

Dinner, 4 hours of indoor beach volleyball, and then dinner again. Whoever invented this idea is a genius.

The food has been amazing as well. Typical food has been Korean (at least one of the two dinners has to be Korean), Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese. I've had these cuisines many times before, but I'm discovering many new dishes (mostly Korean dishes).

Indoor beach volleyball is an interesting concept. Take a warehouse, hangar, or some other large abandoned building, dump a huge amount of sand inside, and put up volleyball nets. I went to the "beach" and it's the middle of winter, though you wouldn't know it by the weather. It was like +7 today. I was supposed to go snowboarding today at Blue Mountain, but the trip was canceled b/c there's just not enough snow and not enough runs open.

The group I've been doing this with is a pretty random group. Apparently it was just assembled this past summer at the beach playing volleyball, growing as friends of friends of friends of friends joined. I just caught the tail end of the summer here in Toronto and now I play with these guys and all the friends of friends of friends of friends connecting me to these guys aren't even there. Weird how that turned out.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Collapsed

The Collapsed (front)

The Collapsed (back)

My snow sculpture is complete and after much delay, I present you with it's public unveiling. The work makes a statement about some of the challenges that we face through life and making the most of the time that we have. While at first glance, it seems that the work speaks about a grand challenge where a single difficulty resulted in immediate submission. However, upon closer examination, the multi-layer nature of the piece becomes apparent, as there were two distinct collapses that occurred. Not to be deterred by the first obstacle, persistence won, but it is important to not be foolish and realize when to stop. It is about picking your fights and balancing persistence with sensibility. Don't be deterred by difficulties encountered, but also, don't waste your time in a losing battle and suffer further pains with no retribution. It's like relationships, whether they be friendship or otherwise. You need to work to build these relationships and establish trust and your progress should not be simply tossed aside at the first sign of difficulty; however, sometimes there are just irreconcilable differences and it is not worth the effort and it is best to take what dignity you have left and spend your time in things that will reap the most reward. Scientific research comes across in very much the same light. It is important to try new ideas and work though the inevitable problems, but it's also important not to try to reap obviously unfruitful pastures, however fruitful they were in previous seasons, as it will just end up being a waste of your time; time which could be better spend on a different problem. There is also the chance that you will come back to it at a later time with some additional help, new ideas, better equipment, or drought resistant crops. Finally, this piece reminds you of the ephemeral, transient, and cyclical nature of some of the things we encounter. Things will eventually evolve and others will come and go despite our desires, but they are not gone forever. The memories will always remain and anything worthwhile can be restored or rebuilt, potentially even greater than before. Time heals and gives you second chances, but don't make the same mistakes the second time around.

As a special treat for my readers, I have included some exclusive sneak peeks at some of the behind the scenes material to appear in the special release DVD of the documentary about my snow sculpture! Enjoy!

Reportedly Winnipeg's 6th biggest snowfall in 40 years

This sudden gift from mother nature completely changed how my piece turned out.

About a foot of new powder

Winnipeggers didn't blink an eye at the snowfall. Work continued as per usual with no mass panic or military presence.

The first collapse

The collapse was a result of a combination of the weight of the new snow and foolishly trying to increase the height of the quinzee.

Clean-up from the first collapse and massive extension to the right

The extension was made easy because of the abundance of new, light, easy to shovel snow and some earlier help from my older sister.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

6 weird things about me. Tag. You're it.

Jamie Ly tagged me (full name used for pagerank purposes).

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you'. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

  1. I order cheese-less pizza. I don't drink milk or eat cheese. It's not because I'm lactose intolerant, though I probably am by now having not had any milk or cheese for decades (2 decades is still decades).

  2. I eat cereal dry. I also eat cereal any time of the day. I had it for "dinner" today:

    Puffed wheats

  3. Despite my apparent symbiotic relationship with my computer, most of the time I'd rather be outdoors.

  4. I take my buckwheat pillow everywhere I go. My cat pees on my bed and pillow, yet I continue to let her sleep on my bed. No accident on my last trip back to Winnipeg! I hid my buckwheat pillow very well every day.

  5. I rollerblade everywhere. I have been known to rollerblade into meetings with my prof on the fourth floor of Bahen. I can be seen at Dominion's (grocery store) at midnight rollerblading behind a shopping cart. 12 wheels makes heads turn.

  6. I'd rather it snow than rain. Rain is depressing and gets you wet. Snow can be easily brushed off and is fun!

I'm tagging people that I think have the highest chance of participating and haven't already been tagged. In order of who I think is most likely to participate, I tag:
  1. Rob

  2. Jill

  3. Janna

  4. Becky

  5. Nastassja

  6. Ducky

Don't let me down, I linked to you and gave you pagerank!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Return to U of M

For the uninformed out there, U of M stands for University of Manitoba, not University of Michigan, or Minnesota, or whatever crap, actually it's also crap, but at least, not as crappy now.

After my successful Wii run, I went to the University to visit as I had to kill some time before I picked up my older sister (it was the only way for me to get a car for my Wii hunt). In particular, I wanted to check out the new engineering building.

It's quite nice and the renovations to the old buildings are much appreciated.

Here are my highlights from my self-guided tour:
  • First recognizable person I see fuckin' Dr. Bitch, my eternal nemesis from first year circuits. I don't remember her name. Her name is not worth remembering anyways. She saw me and gave me a bit of a look. I like to interpret it as a "fuck, I dissed the smartest person to ever walk these halls, and I screwed up big time" look.

  • Next up is Parker. Great. She didn't see me. Disaster averted.

  • I am completely lost as nothing looks familiar

  • The alignment of floors between buildings throws me off and I'm astounded at how the buildings connect together (they didn't previously)

  • The absence of asbestos is refreshing

  • Nusraat is not in her office (~11 am), a shame, b/c she's actually someone I wanted to see, but I understand b/c if it were the other way around, there'd be no chance I'd be in my office at that time :)

  • I see Blair Yoshida and he kinda glares at me, but I veer off path

  • The power tower is much too easy to get to now

  • I can't find Kinsner's office or his minions

  • The new 229 is a shit hole. It brought back a lot of memories seeing the old tables and chairs there, but there's not a high traffic hallway in the middle of the classroom anymore and it's shit. It was the fact that so many people walked through the classroom/lunch-room/uno-room/study-area/meeting-place/chill-out-place that made it magical.

  • Howard Card Lecture Theatre. It was touching to be inside. The plaque on the wall was nice.

  • Ran into Kinsner in the tunnel to UC, just as I was about to leave. We chit-chatted for a bit. I did want to see him, just to at least keep up appearances.

I wish I had brought my camera :(. I didn't anticipate on going to the University as I thought I was going to be Wii hunting the whole time.


It took me just over a week, but I finally got my hands on a Nintendo Wii!

It was actually pretty sad up until that point. I had 2 games, an extra Wii remote, and a nunchuck, but didn't have the system to actually use that stuff!!! Yesterday, back in the day when I was Wii-less, I connected the Wiimote to my Powerbook using the Bluetooth connection. I was able to control the mouse (poorly b/c I didn't have the infared thingy) using Darwiin Remote and various applications using Remote Buddy. It was pretty cool. I think for my next talk, I'm going to use a Wiimote to control Powerpoint :). That made me feel a little better that I was at least able to use the Wiimote despite not having a Wii.

Anyways, I went to Futureshop at 10:30 am today and they had a shipment of 3 Wii's that morning and I got the last one! They weren't out on display and I had to ask someone to get it. It was the first time (after like 30+ tries) that the person didn't just outright say "NO!". She went to the customer service desk and came back with a Wii! I was actually pretty shocked. I was at the point where I was tired of getting my hopes up and I was just going through the motions and just didn't expect to get a Wii, but was trying anyways. Today was my last ditch effort. I would hate to have to work at any store that carries (or should I say, doesn't carry) the Wii or PS3. "Do you have any Wii's in stock?" "Do you know when you'll be getting more?" Some people were rather annoyed at me when I asked such questions as they had obviously been asked the same questions time and time again for the past month and a half... Always the same answers: "Nope" "Nope, they just come randomly"

I had an inkling that Futureshop was going to get some Wii's today. I was carefully studying the shipment patterns of stores and was pretty sure that Futureshop, Walmart, and EB Games were going to get Wii's today. These two forums have been very useful. Yesterday I went to 2 Futureshops, a Best Buy, a Superstore, 3 Walmarts, 2 EB Games, a Toys 'R Us, and a Zellers. Nothing. Saw a bunch of PS3s, but not a single Wii. There were just no deliveries. Last week however, Futureshop, EB, and Walmart supposedly got shipments on Wednesday and I missed it b/c I didn't have access to a car and didn't go to any places until the late afternoon (on my first of 3 trips to Gord's for my snowboard rental). So, with the mirroring of holidays this week, I highly suspected a shipment and knew approximate delivery times as well - Futureshop in the morning, EB and Walmart before noon, probably around 10ish. Yes, all my careful observations and studying of patterns paid off!

I also picked up a 3rd Wiimote from Superstore. I'm going to wait for the game Wii Play, which supposedly includes a Wiimote for my 4th controller.

It definitely lives up to the hype! I played it all afternoon and my older sister played it through the evening as well (mostly Rayman Raving Rabbids and Wii Sports). My Mom even joined in. My younger sister just missed it as she flew back to Saskatoon last night. It's not unusual for my family to play, we used to play the original Nintendo together. There was a lot of Dr. Mario back in the day. Oh those combo's that made extra pill crap fall on the other person's screen!

The Wii's all packed up and ready for it's trip to Toronto! I figured that it'd be easier to buy it here in Winnipeg where I have access to a car, plus there's 1% less tax, and my family could try it out. The only reported injury is that my Mom hit her arm on the corner of the coffee while bowling. She's gonna get a bruise...

Oh, my Wii friend code is 2390 3177 9065 4384.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy Gregorian Calendar New Year!

I bet Rob a toonie to eat that: a nacho chip with spinach and cheese dip and a turkish delight

Rob on the prowl

Lindsey, Lindsay, and Clayton

Me and Kathy

More pictures and a video

First stop was Rob's, a frequently visited place this trip back to Winnipeg. Rob picked me up and we gathered forces at his place and filled ourselves with Chinese food. Then, we hit up the Pyramid Cabaret to ring in the new year.

I haven't been to a club that white since.... well, Winnipeg :)

Let's just say that some streaks were maintained and others were broken ;)

Happy New Year!!!

Snowboarding in the prairies?

My rental

Frost Fire

It's funny how you don't speak to someone for 6 or 7 years, and even back then you didn't really speak, and then suddenly you're going snowboarding together! Similar stories has been told several times over for me. I didn't talk to Rob, Chris, Jill, Nusraat, and others back in high school. It's not that we didn't like each other (ok, well, I was predisposed to not like Chris, but that's a whole other story). We were all civil to each other. It's just that we had different social groups (I was obviously in the cooler group ;)). It was only after high school did I become friends with them, mostly b/c Rob, Chris, and Nusraat were in engineering with me.

I went snowboarding at Frost Fire with Christy just across the border in North Dakota. It was actually better than I thought it was going to be. The runs were short, easy, and there weren't many of them, but that was to be assumed. The vertical drop was about half of Blue Mountain's, which itself is about 1/4 the size of a real mountain. The "blues" were actually "greens" and the "black diamonds" were "blues". Despite all this, I still had a lot of fun! The snow conditions were pretty good and the runs were groomed well. It's funny that we weren't actually snowboarding on a mountain. The prairies don't have mountains. We were snowboarding in a valley!!! I donno, I found that funny. It was weird b/c when we got to the slopes, we started at the top of the runs, as opposed to the bottom of the mountain whereby you would then have to take the chair lift to the top :)

I got my ass handed to me time and time again. At the end, I was taking a head start and Christy still beat me to the bottom! In my defense, I haven't been snowboarding since high school :p. I also haven't ridden with anyone even half as good, as I have been going with people that just learned recently, so I haven't been going fast as it's boring to have to wait at the bottom. It's good to go with someone better than you so you can learn.

I tried jumping for the first time, which was fun :). I landed my first jump, which was more of a hop. The second time, I was a little too aggressive with my jumping and didn't land flat and took a bit of a fall. I just needed to test my limits. We also rode switch (other foot facing down the mountain) a few times, which was interesting. It's like trying to do anything with the other foot/hand. You end up having to relearn how to do things. Try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. Riding switch obviously involved falling. After about 3 tries, I did manage to do a few turns and that was the only time I beat Christy down the slope (I'm refraining from using the word "mountain" or "hill", b/c it was neither). Let's not argue about how long I was riding switch vs regular, etc., etc. :)

I was able to get in and out of my bindings much faster than Christy (and beat her to the lift) b/c the rental I had had "flow" bindings, which with just one switch, my boot could go in or come out of the binding. I rented from Gord's b/c I didn't bring my board to Winnipeg as I didn't think I'd be going snowboarding. It was good though b/c it gave me the chance to try some good equipment. It wasn't however, good enough to convince me that I need new equipment considering that I just bought mine. The boots were a bit more comfortable than mine and the board felt pretty good, but not substantially different than mine, despite it being 156 cm instead of my 151. It was hard to really compare the two b/c the snow conditions were good (not bumpy, hard, crunchy, or icy) and I've ridden in a lot of crap. It was also a brand new board b/c all their rentals were out :)
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