Vincent Cheung

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Friday, May 16, 2008

GReunion 5.0

Me and Adam! Just like back in the day, I got Adam sunburnt :p

We walked EVERYWHERE! 17km...

I haven't seen Adam since Google almost 2 years ago. He was in town for a bit, which obviously called for a GReunion! We spent the day together with his friend, Beth, who broke the sexual tension between the two of us. It was really good seeing Adam again and we did a lot of reminiscing of the memorable summer of 2006. We walked EVERYWHERE (17km) and saw a good chunk of Toronto (numbers do not correspond to the numbers on the map, which are kilometre markers):
  1. Brunch at Over Easy

  2. U of T Campus

  3. Maple Leaf Gardens

  4. Eaton Centre / Toronto Life Square

  5. Nathan Phillips Square

  6. Fort York

  7. Plane / swan / duck watching at the lake front

  8. Steam Whistle Brewery (free beer!)

  9. Harbourfront Centre (aka Harperfront Centre)

  10. Hot dog on Queen Street

  11. Drinks and dinner at Montana's (movie ticket included!)

  12. Scotiabank Theatre (formerly Famous Players Paramount) for Forgetting Sarah Marshall

  13. Chinatown

  14. Playing with my pussy and Wii

My prize of the day was swiping this glass from the Steam Whistle Brewery

Couple or just friends?...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New processors

I heard on the radio this morning that the newest and fastest processors are now from Cuisinart. Sell your Intel and AMD stocks!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Living without a car

Living in downtown Toronto, I've managed to get by without a car. This is a far cry from suburban living in Winnipeg where I started driving at 15 and a half, got my full license (none of this graduated licensing crap) at 16 and one day (my 16th birthday was a Sunday), and I drove everywhere. I could have a car here, but it doesn't make sense practically, financially, or environmentally. I get by mostly by rollerblades, subway/streetcar/bus, and bumming rides off of other people (when going places outside of downtown). I'm actually quite adept at the latter. I got rides from 4 different people today :). I've also been able to get rides from people I only met mere hours before. I guess I have a non-intimidating appearance along with a look of desperation.

Why it's better not to have a car in downtown Toronto:
  • Cheaper (no car, no insurance, no gas, no parking, no repairs, no maintenance, no car washes, no having to pay a locksmith to jimmy your car because you locked your keys in the truck). I keep my license though.
    • Money saved now means more money in the future because of the time value of money

  • Less stress. Traffic aggravates me and having to find parking aggravates me even more.

  • Reduced carbon and environmental footprint

  • No need to worry about drinking

  • You get to know people when they drive you around (outside of downtown)

  • You get more exercise when you have to engage in human powered commuting

  • Faster to rollerblade downtown since traffic, one way streets, and turning restrictions are irrelevant and you don't have to find parking or walk to your car

Why rollerblading is superior to biking:
  • Cooler

  • Funner (sic)

  • No need to follow the street rules: do as a pedestrian would do, use the sidewalk or the street or both, no laws about wearing a helmet.

  • Smaller profile so its easier to weave in between pedestrian and vehicle traffic

  • Going over curbs is less jarring (just step onto the curb)

  • Comparable speed when you take into consideration the time it takes to lock/unlock the bike (especially if you don't take off your rollerblades indoors)

  • Cheaper and less maintenance

  • Pant legs don't get caught in the chain

  • Rollerblading inside of stores and buildings is like gliding on air

  • You can carry more stuff (like 5 grocery bags in each hand)

  • No need to worry about having your rollerblades being stolen (wear them inside, carry them with you, or even sneak them into a club and check them at coat check)

  • I'm 5'10 with rollerblades

  • Easier to blend in with pedestrian traffic (either on rollerblades or carrying them)

  • One way trips are possible, where you rollerblade to the destination and bum a ride back home (subway/streetcar/taxi is also possible)

Tips for bumming a ride and being a professional hitchiker like myself (I can easily count 20 different people that I've gotten a ride from this year):
  • Make nice with people that have cars, especially those that live near you or drive by your area

  • Reduce the inconvenience imposed upon the driver (they should be going your way and if the ride is not for the immediate circumstance, you should be punctual at the pick-up location)

  • Have no shame in asking for a ride (it's a common occurrence for me to ask everyone in the group if anyone is going downtown as we are about to leave to go home)

  • Looking a bit hopeless or desperate helps

  • Play hard to get by being a bit reluctant if it would overly inconvenience them (you need repeat drivers :p)

  • Be good company in the car

  • Show gratitude

  • Don't think about how you're gonna get back, just get to where you need to go and figure out the next ride later (backup plans always include subway/streetcars/night buses/taxis

In all fairness, when I am driving, I do my fair share of giving other people rides, even if it is out of my way.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Travels for this year

Here's my tentative travel plans for the year (New Year's to New Year's)
Winnipeg -> Toronto -> Banff -> Toronto -> Ireland -> Toronto -> Winnipeg -> Toronto -> New York -> Toronto -> Winnipeg -> Hong Kong

I'm leaving for Ireland with my family in a month. If you've been, let me know if you have any suggestions for where to go or what to see.

I did a carbon footprint thing online and I would be pretty well below average if it wasn't for flying...

I just added the "Cities I've Visited" application on facebook. It's pretty interesting and nice to keep track of where I've been. Apparently I tagged 194 cities in 24 countries, although that's cheating a bit because it includes suburbs within a city. I also pinned places that I only spent a few hours in (airport overnight layovers, cities I've drove through, but used their toilets, etc.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Still the same after 11 years

Around this time way back in Grade 10, the usual suspects (John, Kives, Kevin, Matt, and Tim) would come over to my house after school every day and we'd play Mario Kart 64. Our favourite was Battle Mode. There were only 4 or 5 different tracks for Battle Mode, but we'd play them over and over. It wasn't boring though because the more we played, the better we got and the more sophisticated our strategies. For me, video games has always been a social activity. Video games was however, far from our only source of socializing. We were a well rounded bunch. We did well in school and played video games, but we also played all kinds of sports together and spent countless hours playing cops and robbers on bikes (even with girls!) throughout the neighbourhood.

Fast forward 11 years and things are eerily similar. I just got Mario Kart Wii last week and I had some people over to play and then we went to go play basketball. Even stranger is that the new Mario Kart has a lot of tracks from the older games in the Mario Kart series, so that just really brings back the memories. Sometimes it's just great being a kid again.
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