Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ghetto Tree 3.0

What is a ghetto tree? Take 4 very bored university students, add some dead vegitation a half drunk bottle of fruit punch and you will have it sooner than you think. At least you will if you live at 5 Glenmount.

This year's Ghetto tree's festivities went without a hitch I traveled 120km down to west Hamilton to participate in our yearly tradition! It just wouldn't be christmas without one of these! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

It all starts with a preparation montage, ok a single image is not much of a montage. Here's fearless maddy braving the splinters to get us some dead foliage!

Here's me attempting to put the tree together with packing tape, we downgraded from duct tape cause well it's even more ghetto this year! In about 2 seconds a branch is about to fly in my eye, following a precarious knock of the table.

It's Dan, Dan the cork man! Ok so this is his ornament you should've seen how long he sat patiently with a sharp stick hammering away so he could get the string through. Even bush is amazed.

Unfortunately Greg couldn't make it, but to make up for it I gave his orniment and upgrade. Now if someone gets injured during the dark we can say it was Greg in spirit.

I don't really know the story behind these all I know is they came from Bermuda. So guess what Mike's here in spirit too! We think the chair is fitting of Mike because he's so lax... come to think of it wasn't that the problem?

This is an action shot of the ghetto tree probably the best angle I taken in the night.

Here's the tree in all it's glory! This year it's bigger than ever it took several shots before I was able to fit it all in it reaches the ceiling! well almost, Ghetto tree 3 is the biggest yet!
And here's a dedication to Jenny, we all know you really wanted to come but can't really make it from Manitoba. Merry Christmas Jenny :-), and Merry Christmas everyone! It's finally here!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

View From TO

Toronto looks pretty awsome comming into town comming from the gardiner expressway here's a good idea.
This is taken approaching sunset (ok I really shouldn't be taking photos on the highway).

Young street is also nicely decorated this time of year being christmas shopping central (read: consumerism at it's best) I'm not too surprised.
This one was taken at 12AM yes it really is that bright at 12, I swear from the sky this area must be a uber bright beacon of light.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Funny cause it's true

I ran into this random link today and it was the funniest commentary. Mainly because the author help illustrate how rediculous some forms of argument have become. So if your up for a good chuckle or want to learn how to win arguments check this out.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

5G Reunion

Hopefully this would be one of many such reunions of 5G it was awsome seeing the crew again.

I could ramble for hours but I'll let the pictures do the talking.

If it's one thing to be said about these two it's this: "Finally!"

Some people can be so serious!

Self explanitory, all you white guys and redeye.


All natural and better crack guarenteed to make you smile!

This is what the rest of us felt like these two were talking about all night.... It's pretty sad, I think they diserve a billboard above their head how about you?

The entire first season cast!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blown a tire on the highway.

It's funny how when you look back it it was the little things that really did save your life. Things like having not turned on the radio, or changing into the left most lane early played an important factor on my safety that day, but I'm getting ahead of myself let's go back a day.

Yesterday, I was cruising on the highway at around 80Km/h which is slower than usual but comming home from work you're guarenteed to get into a traffic jam. Anyways I don't usually turn on the radio until I hit a speed below 50Km/h I generally don't leave it on when I cruise at speeds higher than that mainly cause I like to be aware while driving. Turns out this payed of, I began to hear a faint but intermittent hissing noise which at the time I wasn't sure where it came from. So being cautious and very aware of my vehicle (I'd better be after rebuilding: the wipers, the serpentile belt, the automatic transmission, the radiator, the termostat, all by hand.) and I knew that the intermittent nature wasn't good. So I switched to the left lane. That's when the hissing got louder, then
there was an abrupt shudder as the tire blew out and the rim hit the road.
Normal drivers would freak out and slam the breaks at this point. I ran a quick simulation in my head and realized that was not going to work since it's the front left wheel and that would make a tripod of a car horribly unstable. So immediately I switched the gearbox into reverse and let the car coast as I switched out of the lane and onto the shoulder coasting to a stop wasn't easy you had to disobey your gut instinct to hit the breaks, if you did hit the breaks the weight of the car would most definetly transfer onto the front wheels and that would mean I would risk damaging the rim further or blowing my other tire since there was only one tire holding the load of the van at this point.

Eventually the car costed to a stop and I was able to step out to inspect the tire.
Yep definetly flat,
went threw my mind. Unfortunately I didn't have a tow truck number on me so I called home to see if they can check the yellow pages. While I was doing that I remembered I had a spare, luckily the traffic jammed up at this time most cars were going only 20Km/h so I knew if I played my cards right I could finish the tire change at this time. I devised an intelligent plan as I reached for a bright yellow bin I used to collect trash in my car, I would need some way to make sure cars don't hit me and this was going to be it. Knowing the traffic jam would be brief I ran garbage can in had 10 or so metres behind the car it was hard to tell since the rain had started and it was getting cold. I knew the time I had was limited, so I droped the bright yellow bin at this position knowing that should alert drivers to steer off the shoulder or at least they'll hit that with enough time to stop before they hit me. Proceeded to unlock the hood of my car the engineers prepared me for this situation by stowing away a compact jack. The jack itself was not that great it took 100 revolutions before the wheel was high enough to be released. After many a curse words later the wheel freely came off, and I had the new spare on.
Unfortunately spares are not rated for highway travel
most spares won't let you reach over 70Km/h and I wasn't going to push mine. A few quick movements and I got off the highway but now I was in York Mills with no map.

Surprisingly my knowledge of water and terrain saved me Maddy would be proud. I live near the lake,
I realized that I could use the fact that water will always flow downhill to the lowest point to my advantage.
Obviously the lake was the lowest ground point in Toronto so all I would have to do was keep going downhill and eventually I'll be close enough to home to be able to navigate again. The plan paid off eventually I was able to get downtown and reorient myself.

Anyways that's enough excitement for the week. Now for boredom.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why are we willing to give up more and more freedoms?

Today on the radio I had the insight of a lady that called in. She was a mother and called to complain about HMV and rap in her exact words:

Woman: The government should not allow HMV to sell rap,
rap music encourages gang violence as well as distasteful
treatment [of women]. Our kids are being manipulated and need to be protected from such materials.

Host: Wouldn't you say that you as a parent should be able to prevent your kids from falling victim to such influence.

Woman: Absolutely not, advertising is evil they brainwash my kids and unless your kids have a strong belief in god they will fall for such evil, and there will be nothing you can do.

I find it very dissapointing that this woman is calling to the government and asking that we give up one of the pillars of democracy: "Freedom of Speech". What's more I'm continuing to see how each and every day we are more and more willing to give up the few rights we still have as citizens. Personally bringing up your children should be the parents job and the parents job alone. If the government was to say it was now law that your kids must relinquish their faith and convert to scientology there would be an outrage. This is why the government doesn't take responsibility for the upbringing of our kids. Yet, this woman is not claiming responsibility for her children's and think the government should do it.

Honestly this is the epidemy of lazyness, and stupidity, your kids are your responsibility.

The second issue that she presents that concerns me is she stated that HMV should not be allowed to sell all forms of rap music. Umm.. some call that cultural racism, surely that's Illegal in Canada and expecually Toronto of all cities because of how multicultural we are. We are talking about an entire genre of music that a large number of people listen to. What's to stop me from banning dance music for "promotion of homosexual behavior?", or rock music for "encouragement of recreational drug usage".

I think my point is this, these days we have few rights as it is. Yet all around I see people saying, "gee I don't know if I can handle all this responsibility of taking care of myself and deciding how to live my life, please take these freedoms away from me."

Seriously guys grow up act like adults you really don't want to wake up one morning and realize that you've just lost the freedom to wipe your ass when you go to the toilet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Nascar Speedway (Company Event!)

Location: Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre

One of the perks of working in a small company that I discovered is the free company events. These are events which the company your working for sponsors you to goto to have good time. I have to say this was quite awsome I'm a semi speed freak so this is right up my alley. Even if your not super into speed or go-karts this is a good chance to see a bunch of 40+ year olds act like they're 16.

The end of my 5 round heat I manage to score 4 first place records. I think it's a combination of my driving style and the fact that I'm lighter so the cars have an easier time accelerating and slowing down for a turn. Every lbs counts in a kart.

Few things lead to a slight advantage in my opinon.

  1. Bounce avoidance: Karts will bonce alot of times when going down straight aways or turning and going down straightaways. This is bad for speed with every bounce the steering will go loose because the wheels don't contact the ground. This can lead to the wheels not being straight when you land, which I discovered first run. When going down bouncing try keeping your steering wheel as straight as possible, you will have to fight or tense up on the wheel substansialy to resist the bounce force.
  2. Racing line: I've played enough racing sims to realize that when you turn you want to stay on the outside and make your way towards the inside then accelerate until your all on the outside again. We're not drifting here so try not to skid your car that causes a loss in kenetic energy thus speed. If you do this right you'll learn now to sling shot yourself around turns which will gain you a slight lead every turn you take. If your driving defensively it might be helpful to take the inside line although not as fast, always keep in mind the swing force of your car and try to preserve as much energy you've built up already. Translation, don't force it if you feel the car giving your comming in too hot and can't convert enough straight kenetic energy into rotational energy.
  3. Watch your rear: Even when I had the slowest car I still managed not to come in last this is because I always watched my rear to make sure I gave as little opportunity to pass as possible. It pays to drive this way when you know your opponent has the upper hand.
  4. Controlled aggression: Often a calculated aggresive move will do in most situations. I'm not saying purposely hit someone head on, I'm saying if your taking the inside line and someone won't let you pass don't be afraid to squeeze since the karts have bumpers you'll probably be able to get past. This brings into play another factor, if you push their kart the right way around a turn you will gain more turning angle because your putting some energy onto their kart. If done right you can actually steal their momentum from them when they are trying to recover.

Anyways it was fun but I did get labeled an aggresive driver, to that in my defence I only can say: "I'm a Toronto driver, what do you want?". Surprisingly though I wasn't the one with the most head on collisions so at least my goal is to win not kill the person in front of me, abiet the two goals seem quite similar at times.

Seeing how my blog doesn't update for awhile at a time, until next time keep safe everyone and if that driving sounds familiar to you, please contact me when you are about to get on the road. One of me is enough trouble :-)

Friday, September 30, 2005

The real world does use .NET IDE

It's funny how when your in school the professors often preach things, but rarely will show any tools the industry uses. One of which is the .NET IDE. Now I've always liked the .NET IDE I think the one feature they focused on intellisense the did do right. With the new features that allow you to write alot more information into the interfaces of each function it is simply a joy to use.

When in University it seems that the professors focused on tools such as JAVA without demostrating the power of any of these tools we call IDE's. In fact alot of my classmates still would you notepad or vim to do all of their coding. Not that there's anything wrong with VIM in fact I'll admit to doing work in vim for simple single file projects, but any large project becomes difficult to manage and unintuitive without the aid of an IDE doing alot of the organizational busy work.

Theoretical languages like Haskell also work for theory courses but the fact remains that such languages don't really have any tools for larger development projects, they main a toy languages designed for specific evaluation of certain mathematical concepts.

I understand there are other tools like Eclipse which from what I hear are very good in their own right. Since I have insufficient experience with them I will not talk about them here. However where I work the .NET IDE is used to compile python, and binaries for UNIX platforms proving it's flexability. The fact is the .NET IDE wasn't made for just "Microsoft" languages, and is extensible just like Eclipse. As many have mentioned all over the .NET IDE has alot going for it finally seeing how .NET IDE can be used for more than just the inital languages it was built for makes me feel like it will become a dominating force when it comes to IDE's.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The thing I hate most about computers

Being the computer guy, the thing I hate most is that on regular occasions I have to go and fix computers for friends and family. Honestly at this point I really hate doing it, it might have been interresting when I was younger but now it's really a pain everytime I decide to do such a thing.

The thing with fixing computers these days it's the majority of time it's removing spyware and other junk on their computer. Unlike before these days users are much less willing to part with their data because they actually don't keep backups anymore. The result is that your stuck with the inability to format and you have to use a computer that's terribly infected with all forms of spyware and malware.

In back a few years ago fixing was actually fixing, it involved diagnosing the problem and fixing a particular problem. It was challenging since it might be anything from an invalid IRQ to an badly configured piece of hardware/software. The advent of the internet and wonderful spyware programs that claim to be freeware has destroyed all that an now every computer person dreads having to fix someone else's computer.

I am much more willing to help fix a computer of a computer literate person since the problem they have is almost always non-spyware related.

Anyways looks like I have to stop rambling and head down to a mutual friend of the families and deal with yet another spyware infested PC again. So until next week cheers to all.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Caught a cold today...

Stupid cold, makes me feel not 100%. My friends tell me it's anticipation of Hamilton air. Yeah "steel town air" will do that to you.

I guess my #1 priority right now is to get better cause I start my internship on monday.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The numbers are in

I first want to apologize for the hap-hazard look of this I wrote this on the palm while on the bus so there was no chance in organizing any of it. I haven't run analysis on it yet cause I'm a bit beat from the whole trip. I'll have a full detailed analysis for you everyone in the comming days.

Departure - 9/6/05 7:50 am
From departure to the trasfer on to sheppard took approx 30min. this is with consideration that I missed a streetcar to simulate possible delays. There was no that high a volume of commuters as I once though, possibly because the bulk of the commuting happens at 8:30-9:00am.

Transfer at Sheppard - 9/6/05 8:32 am
Sheppard line seems to go slightly faster I feel a stronger acceleration curve it just so happens that Don Mills is the last station on this route.

Arrival at Don Mills - 9/6/05 8:41 am

On final bus - 9/6/05 8:46 am
Hmm... it seems to be taking more than 15 min you might consider getting a place near your work at this rate.

Consideration zone:
< 1hr none
1hr < 50% < 1:30hr
1:30hr < a must!

at the current rate we either find a better route or get a place here.

(took the longer path the loop is excessive)
loop start: 9/6/05 9:10 am
This loop is a bad idea it's taking too long

18min loop
Off final bus - 9/6/05 9:28 am
wrong stop - 9/6/05 9:28 am
9/6/05 9:40 am
9/6/05 9:46 am
9/6/05 9:48 am

At Pci - 9/6/05 9:52 am

(return trip we'll take a different route)
Taking the VIIA
departure - 11:16 am
arrival at richmond hill centre - 11:21 am
arrival at finch - 11:49 am
pass troubles - 12:00 pm
Enter train - 12:02 pm
-- time from departure -- 34min
arrival at king - 12:32 pm
(note bus time is longer due to non-rush hour use the previous numbers for this part)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Simulation Run

Tomorrow I'll be doing a check on how long it will take for me to get to work via rush hour times. I'll be riding the bus en-route to check the times for these things. Mainly I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to take too long over 1 hour to get to work everyday otherwise I might consider renting a place near my new workplace in richmond hill.

From the looks of things I'll be taking the King streetcar to King stn. (starting approx 8am) At king station hopefully I won't forget to get the GTA weekly pass (it's cheaper than paying for both Toronto and York transists every day). Then from King subway I will squeeze, and I do mean that literally cause if you've seen rush hour at the subways boy its it ever a squeeze. Anyways I will squeeze my way to Don Mills station. If all goes well the info I obtained about the GT I'll be able to find the 25D bus that will take me to my final destination. What I'm not certain about is the timming of all this so being the first time I could easily take more than 1 hour. To make things fair because I have to do things like buy a weekly pass and find where all the terminal traffic is I'll probably be taking away 10min on my travel time.

The bus will probably drop me off 0.2km from my final destination so I'm going to make sure I simulate that part as well. If not I'll be sure to add on time for that particular part of the journey.

Personally I really don't want to live out there, its barren and there really isn't anything to do. The only reason for really heading out there is that it really is taking to long to get to work every morning, and come back. Now if it comes to that I'll make the descision after the 1st month. I think the other reason I'm not so hot about going down there is that since it's not downtown I'd probably be bored out of my mind in my apartment mon-fri. Without a roomate amounst other things I will really be deprived of human contact that I thrive on.

Anyways better get a show and get ready for tomorrow it'll be a long day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A whole lotta...

Finally I get a break I can say that for the next 4 days I'm doing NOTHING! That's right nothing! whew. After a whole 12 months of activity I'm sure as hell glad to finally get this week off. I'm prepared to catch up on my rest, and to finish tying up some not so loose ends. (cough cough government).

It really does feel good to do nothing, in fact waking up at 12:00pm everyday could not be sweeter. I think my body is still catching up the rest it lost throughout the entire year.

oh and another thing I just changed my cell number today to a local number. If you didn't get it you'll have to email me to get it.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Phone interview and a job offer in the same day!

I'll be the first to say that I'm as surprised as anyone about this today at approximately 1:00pm - 2:00pm I was given a job interview for an company that needs someone to convert their old source code over to a newer framework. This is basically a dream job development related alot of refinement and not to talk about redesign for when we adapt it for the new framework and it's in a small place that can move you around alot. What shocked me was that I was interviewed on the phone and given the position on the spot!

This is sweet! Guess all those software projects payed off!

Woot now all that's left is I need a sublet. So if anyone you know needs a place in Hamilton next to McMaster University located at: 43°15'20.18"N, 79°55'26.07"W (see google maps) I'm renting for 8 months yes the very rare 8 month lease! So get it while you can!

Stats: Located here: (google maps)

  • $375 / month Utilities included!
  • 5 Minutes from campus
  • Single room fully furnished (just bring your pc)
  • I have an air conditioner here you can leave it here or I can unmount it.
  • High speed internet equipped (pay approx $7 / month)
  • Of course the best feature your gonna be with an excellent group of people!
Contact me if you want to see the place: kaboom-5(at)hotpop(dot)com (prevents spammers)

Monday, August 15, 2005

August 6 Ottawa:

August 6th me and my family decided to head down to the parliment buildings in Ottawa. Being a good tourist and all I got some photos to share with you guys.

Here's me at the main attraction the parliment buildings in Ottawa and me not really knowing if I should be standing at attention in this photo.

Mom here is in a much more relaxed pose I would say it was good enough of a photo that I decided to make a post card out of it.

Funny story about this one. It seems that all our fore fathers have the same problem with sea gulls on their heads. It seems that each has a seagull on it proudly standing on it's head and promptly crapping

Mom and my brother at the parliment buildings again.

Me at the centennial flame, that was lit one canada was first formed and has been burning ever since.

The redeau canal, Toronto really doesn't have water this clean.

When people are bored on the car funny things will happen I managed to caught my mother doing the japanese tourist pose after some convincing.

This is us in Montreal (yes we aren't in Ottawa anymore).

After this trip there was a 6hr car drive, it was quite exhausting. You should've seen me during that but taking a shot of yourself while driving on the highway was probably not the brightest idea.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

35 Degrees!

Oh my god it's hot 35 Degrees Celcius hot to be exact. I'm so lucky my room has AC otherwise this laptop would die.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The government really sucks!

For those that have been paying attention the last little while (for the last year now), I've been trying to get my name changed over to the proper name. Guess what a so far there's no word from the office of the registrar general, and all thier lines are busy every time you try to call.

They've already deducted $137 fee for the service that I see them yet providing. I now have to get an affidavit certifying that although the driver's licence and SIN card are under different names (only slightly) they are still the same person. For that I need a legal certifying authority.

Guess what, that means more digging. For me.

I mean this last little bit with the government feel like training for the adult world. After this I'd be an expert. I mean in the beginning I was your typical polite guy at the government offices, waiting to be served, starting my sessions with "can you help me with this?". Now it's more like "LOOK,... I payed for services that obviously you didn't provide. I demand justice".

That leads us into what fun things I have planned for today. I'm going to head down to the Office of the Registrar General in Hamilton, and I'm going to vent some steam. At the same time if they tell me to call the number to find out the status I'll just fire back. "Listen miss, that so called number is disconnected or for some other reason is constantly busy, if I could call a number do you really think I would come all the way down here to your hole?!"

I apologize for my harsh words today but as you can see I'm a bit pissed, and I'm using this to vent. Honestly, I think waiting a year when the estimated wait time is 6-8 weeks is patient enough!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Upon Jenny's return from her co-op job which, is incedentally not in Hamilton. It was decided that we should go explore a little known "Trinity falls in Hamilton" Posted by Hello

The Tiffany falls! Posted by Hello

Hmm..Who thinks with Jenny's sense of balance this is a bad idea? Posted by Hello

Jenny simulating penguin flapping? Posted by Hello

Maddy pose! Posted by Hello

Maddy being adventurous Posted by Hello

Simply Magnificent Posted by Hello

Evidence of a crime? Posted by Hello

Aww here's Maddy and Jenny by the falls Posted by Hello

Snack time, with a very good view Posted by Hello

Jenny is fishing? Posted by Hello

Look at us all touristy Posted by Hello

Japanese POSE! Posted by Hello