Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

6 more to go

It's been over 2 years since my last blood donation. There was a clinic at MedSci, so I went today. All the registration and screening people were all impressed that I had a blood donation card (Canadian Blood Services sent me the card after my second donation).

Nothing special to report. It was boring donating at MedSci. The ceiling wasn't very interesting. I usually donate when they have clinics in the engineering building and you can see up the crappy atrium thing and see people walking around on the 2nd floor.

To pass the 15 min. while the blood was being pumped out of me, I was just looking around. Small little asian girl that had to stay an inordinate amount of time in the chair because she was looking pale after donating. On the other side of ther room, there's a first time female donor with her 2 friends supporting her. Lone guy donating for the first time takes the little asian's place. Random students walking around inside and outside. Boy do they look young. I haven't spent an extended period of time in non-graduate areas on campus for a while. Nurses walking around, periodically asking if you're doing ok. Volunteers walking around. Donators sitting and drinking juice and eating cookies afterwards. I'm still squeezing the paper towel ball in my hand. Trying to see the pump and my blood bag, but I can't. Ceiling's still pretty boring.

This was my 4th time and I have to donate 6 more times to get the next pin...

At my pace that's going to take a while. I'd do it more frequently, but whenever I see the clinic on campus, I come up with excuses like that I have a volleyball game that night and you're not supposed to exert yourself after donating. I'm also too lazy to find out where the local CBS building is and to book an appointment there instead of just going to clinics on campus.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Not so fresh bread

So, I bought some bread online at

I specifically woke up early this morning in anticipation of my fresh bread delivery, but there was nothing outside my door at 7. Nothing at 8. Nothing at 9. I got an email saying that my order was waiting for me downstairs and shortly after I got a phone call from the super that he had bread for me (he was kinda chuckling at it). Apparently, they just left it at the front doors of the building and not with the super or in front of my apartment door, as they advertised that they would (like how I used to get the newspaper right on my doorstep). That's pretty dumb to just leave it out in the open in the lobby.

The bag was a lot bigger than I expected. I got a baguette, a loaf of bread, 2 chocolate croissants, and 4 bagels (which turned out to be 6). Total including delivery was ~$15 (delivery was $1.50, but the items themselves were a little pricey).

Once I got back to my apartment, I eagerly ripped a piece of the baguette off and bit into it. Wow, that was disappointing. It wasn't stale, but it wasn't particularly fresh either and it tasted just like the baguettes you get at regular grocery stores. The croissant was pretty tasty, but I wouldn't say it was baked fresh this morning. The loaf wasn't anything special either. I haven't tried the bagels yet.

I'm not sure if it's b/c I ordered it Friday afternoon after the cutoff time for a Saturday delivery and they made it Saturday and just let it sit around until today to deliver (since they didn't deliver on Sunday), but it sure tasted like it. I was expecting fresh bread, just hours from the oven, as advertised.

I gave it a shot and was hoping for some mind blowing bread orgasmic experience, but ended up with just overpriced typical grocery store products dropped off at the front doors to my building left unattended.

I have to make a trip to Cobs Bread around the corner early in the morning some time and try that out. I'm also gonna try and make my own bread some time.

Are you prepared? I'm not.

Do you have what you need in case of an emergency?
Avez-vous ce dont vous avez besoin en cas d'urgence?

Is your family prepared?
Votre famille est-elle prete?

I heard on an ad on the radio this morning for and I would totally be screwed in an emergency. 72 hours of food? I don't think so. I wait until the food level in my fridge and cupboards gets really low until I get groceries, then I'll make a big run to Loblaws or Dominion's (or T&T if I have a car) with a backpack and a duffel bag and carry $150 of groceries by myself :p. Summer is easier since rollerblading home from Dominion's is easier and faster than walking while holding a bunch of grocery bags in each hand.

Right now, I don't have nearly enough canned and dry food and I never have bottled water on hand. At least Tiki would be fine. On the other hand, I would be surviving on vitasoy and granola bars...

List of dangers here in Ontario that I'm supposed to be prepared to be self-reliant for at least 3 days immediate after or during:
  • Blizzard

  • Earthquake

  • Flood

  • Hazardous material spill

  • Industrial accident

  • Infectious disease outbreak

  • Power failure

  • Severe Weather (heat/cold)

  • Terrorism

  • Tornado

  • Transportation accident

  • Wildfire

At least they don't have "monster attack" like in SimCity.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Strange online buying experience

So I'm buying bread online (I figured that I'd give it a shot; stop asking why I'm buying bread online and just accept the fact that I'm doing it and let's continue with the story). Anyways, I fill up my "bread basket" (instead of a shopping cart) and I go to check out. I enter all my info and credit card stuff and I get to the confirmation screen. I notice something about delivery options, so I go back and check to see what options I have.

As I'm doing this, my phone rings. It's someone from the website that I am currently buying the bread from! He's concerned about if I'm having problems with the site because I was about to complete the transaction, but then I went back. How freaky is that???

I tell him why I was going around in circles on his site, and proceed to complete the transaction in fear that he would show up on my doorstep as his next step.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse on Feb. 20, 2008 between 9:45pm and 11:22pm EST

Saturn and it's rings were supposed to be visible near the moon

Looking down Spadina at the CN Tower, SkyDome, and skyscrapers

More pictures

There was a full lunar eclipse tonight (where the Earth casts a shadow on the moon, as opposed to the moon casting a shadow on the Earth). I decided to bundle up and sit out on my balcony with my binoculars to observe the eclipse. We were lucky here in Toronto as the skies were perfectly clear. While I think I was able to figure out which little light in the sky was Saturn, unfortunately, my binoculars were not powerful enough for me to see its rings. I took out a tripod and snapped some pics of the eclipse, which I think turned out quite well. While I was out there (and waiting for stuff to change), I took some pics of the city as well. I should do the same during Earth Hour.

I would like to point out that I didn't observe the lunar eclipse just b/c of all the hoopla that it was given through the facebook event. This is actually my 3rd lunar eclipse:

Lunar eclipse on Jan. 20, 2000

Lunar eclipse on May 15, 2003

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fed up

Use the friend key.

Show encrypted text

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day trip to Banff from Toronto

I realized that it's totally possible to make a day trip to Banff to go snowboarding from Toronto! I did half of the day trip yesterday, I just missed out on the part about going back to Toronto :)

Here's the itinerary:

06:45 AM EST - Depart from Toronto airport
09:05 AM MST - Arrive at Calgary airport
10:00 AM MST - Leave Calgary airport in car rental
11:30 AM MST - Arrive in Banff
12:00 PM MST - Snowboarding! (on the slopes for the first run at Sunshine or Norquay)
04:30 PM MST - Leave snow hill (later if you do night skiing as well)
05:00 PM MST - Have brunner (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and relax in Banff
09:30 PM MST - Leave Banff
11:00 PM MST - Arrive at Calgary airport
12:00 AM MST - Depart from Calgary airport (no earlier flights that are possible)
06:00 AM EST - Arrive at Toronto airport

Total cost: ~$550 (including car rental and lift ticket, but not food)

It'd be slightly cheaper per person if there were multiple people to split the car rental. It's a shame that there's no flight at 7pm from Calgary, otherwise you'd be able to make it back to Toronto by 1am.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Singles Appreciation Day!

In celebration of Singles Appreciation Day (SAD), I'm going to Banff to go snowboarding... errr... I mean a conference.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Long distance online shopping

The Furminator

New watch

I'm not sure how this happened, but Debbie has become my long distance online shopping buddy. First it was VistaPrint, then I bought the Furminator and a new watch off of Ebay. So far they've all been good purchases and good deals, so I'm not complaining per se, just noting this strange trend.

Furminator retail price: $34.95
Ebay price: $16.99 (+$6.95 shipping)

Watch retail price: $175
Ebay price: $69.95 (+$12.95 shipping)

No taxes on either! (both were shipped as a "gift" worth $20 or $25)

Debbie recommended the Furminator to me since she had one and it removes the dead undercoat like crazy on her cat. Watch the videos on the website. It's pretty amazing.

She also has this very peculiar hobby of collecting watches and for some reason or another was sending me links to ebay listings of watches that she was interested in bidding on. That got me thinking that I wanted a new watch, a thought further spurred by the dying of the battery on my old watch, which I replaced anyways because I can't go a day without a watch, otherwise I feel stupid looking at my wrist several times a day and just seeing a freckle instead of the time.

I am now also recommending VistaPrint, the Furminator (see zip lock bag of fur above), and buying watches on Ebay. Stupid Debbie...

Friday, February 08, 2008

How non-Americans can influence the elections

As a bit of a political news junkie, it frustrated me a little bit that no matter how inspired and moved I am by a candidate, my vote doesn't count.

I have, however, found a way that the world can influence American politics: (illegal) donations.

I'm not saying that I, as a non-American, went to Obama's donation page and made an individual contribution, which required me to lie about being "a United States citizen or a lawfully-admitted permanent resident". I'm just saying that people can do that...

Money counts. Obama and Clinton raised over $100 million each in 2007 and there were reports of Obama getting over $30 million in January and $7 million since Super Tuesday (2 days ago). With Obama's coffers, he was able to run TV ads in most of the Super Tuesday states, while Clinton was only able to do so in about half of them. Obama was even able to run ads during Superbowl, which usually costs a stupid amount. The money is used for all aspects of the campaign from hiring people, getting the word out, traveling costs, nomination fees, etc.

Obama has a big grassroots (netroots?) campaign and apparently a lot of his hundreds of thousands of donations are small contributions made online and by individuals, compared to other candidates that get most of their money from big donations from large corporations.

If I was "a United States citizen or a lawfully-admitted permanent resident", I would totally make a legal donation to Obama's campaign, but as it stands, I can't :). If you want to watch a good video of Obama, this is the one that really impressed and inspired me. It's a video of him giving a talk and Q&A at Google:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Volleyball's wrecking my jewlery

I jammed my pinky finger about 2 weeks ago. It's swollen and I can't take off my iron ring anymore...

Tonight, my gold chain necklace got caught in the net while I was blocking (never happened before) and as I landed, it snapped. Gotta see if I can find a place that can relink the chain together...

Sorry boys, you've lost your chance

Shaved leg for the anesthesia


Zoomed in stitches

Sorry tomcats, you've lost your chance with Tiki. I did as Bob Barker preached and spayed her. She stayed overnight at the vet on Monday, leaving my apartment strangely empty. Tiki was very happy to be home and is doing very well. I was hoping that she'd have a cone b/c it's hilarious when pets have them, but this vet only gives them out if they see them biting or licking the stitches. The stitches come off in a week.

With the removal of her ovaries and uterus, not only does this prevent pregnancies, but it also stops her from going into heat, which I'm told is not a pretty sight. Spaying also eliminates a certain kind of cancer (as long as the spaying is done before the first heat). I'm told that I have to watch her weight more carefully though as spayed cats are more prone to becoming overweight. Tiki's still quite active, much more so than I remember Mi-Mi or Tiggy being, which is good. For the most part, it's not an annoying active lifestyle, aside from her knocking stuff off my desk, bookshelf, and white/bulletin board. She's well behaved as she's non-destructive, non-violent, and listens to her Mommy.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another Natalie Dee Parody


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Happy Food Freedom Day!

Happy Food Freedom Day! Food, I set you free! Be free food, be free!


Tonight, I was simultaneously:
  1. The token male

  2. The token straight person

I was hoping to make it a triple-play and also nail the title of token Asian, but I wasn't able to pull it off.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Time to wash the floors

I figured that my floors were pretty clean until I walked around my apartment with my new volleyball shoes and looked at all the dirt that my shoes picked up.

In other news, 5 guys walk into a volleyball store and leave with over a grand in stuff...
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