Saturday, January 31, 2004

Of all the losers, you were the best

Markstrat rocked again. :D I love the SMA guys, they put on awesome and fun competitions, I wish the other clubs would do that. Well, Mauro and I were hoping to take the crown this time, but once again we fell short, this time by three points. Oh well, it was a hard-fought competition, and the first place guys deserved to win; funny thing is that we were better in the presentation component again. My presentation and speaking skills are finally back, that's a good thing no? They hit an all-time low during the Brand Wars competition. It didn't help that we totally failed to analyze the market properly, but I didn't help by choking during the presentation component. Goes to show that you can't be cocky in what you do; I think that was my problem, got too cocky. Learn to be humble, boy. There is still much for you to learn. Thus said the wise man.

I'm helping a friend to move tomorrow (today now?) morning now. She said I need to bring tools over to take apart her Ikea desk. @@ Is it really so big that we can't just fit it into the minivan? Ugh, we'll see. For sure, I don't think she'd be able to help me to lift it into the minivan, I guess; she's not the type to work out really? ;) Bleh, and I still gotta get that webpage done for the banquet. It will be done, oh fearless leader. Sorry to Blue for not being able to show up at SUCCESS.

So I finally ended up getting a Palm Zire 21. It was $149.99 everywhere, but Staples had it for $129.99. I got Future Shop to beat it, the sold it to me for $127. That's good. :) It'll do the job for me, I just need schedule organizer, address book, creating MS Word and Excel files, and reading .PDF documents. The Zire 21 can do all that (well, with some purchased software for the MS Office and .PDF documents). But the total cost of ownership is definitely lower than if I had gotten some PocketPC. I don't need a fancy colour screen, ability to play MP3 audio, or anything like that. So what's the point of getting it? :) This is way cheaper, even after I get the software and the portable keyboard. And I get a 20% discount for my first purchase at the Palm Store. Should serve me well to get that portable keyboard. ;) I really should have gotten this 4 months ago. :)

I still need to write that review on the Last Samurai, huh?

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

In the event of an earthquake, run to the basement

We got a tour of the IDC today (Information Data Centre, believe the "I" stood for Information?) and it was very nice. The one here in Vancouver is not as advanced as the ones in Calgary and Toronto, but it's still pretty safe. Resistant to earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. However, the one in Calgary is not going down, no matter what kind of disaster hits it; gotta have the customer's website up and running, you know. There was one case of a disaster hitting Toronto or Calgary (forget which), but the people in the data centre apparently had no idea anything was going on outside because it was so secure and safe inside. @@

Still, the Vancouver one still had its security measures. Fingerprint-scanning, electronic security cards, etc. The only thing that kept going through my mind as we walked through the place was Counterstrike Mod. Heh. The place is perfectly laid out for a Counterstrike match. We also got an overview on safety measures they have to ensure system integrity. For example, there are air conditioning and cooling systems all over the place to prevent the co-located servers from overheating. Also, there's a two-stage firefighting system; first stage is a lethal gas, second stage is water sprinklers. The lethal gas system should be replaced some day. If there's a fire and the gas starts coming out, you gotta HOOF it if you don't want to die. It's just that back in the day when the designed the system, this gas (forget what it's called) was the best option to use for primary defense against fires.

Celebrated a friend's birthday last night, so I treated him to movie and a dinner. Hadn't talked with him for ages (we knew each other since we were babies, pretty much, as our parents were friends). Last Samurai was a GOOD movie, definitely worth the money. Can't say that about many movies these days, since Famous Players keeps raising their prices. $27.xx for 2 tickets?? Chee... No matter what the reviews say, it'll be hard for me to justify seeing any movie at the theatre these days. With Last Samurai, I didn't feel like I was taking a gamble though, the premise of the plot was just too good. Troy is the only movie coming up that I think would also be worthy of being seen in theatres. You know the beginning of the trailer, where they show the one ship and then zoom out to show the 10,000? That one scene so makes me have high expectations for it. :)

I'll write a review on Last Samurai tomorrow, hopefully. Also, I finally posted some stuff in the poetry section. I want to write a poem soon, thought some really good stuff while riding the bus up the mountain to SFU. The trees gave much inspiration.

Also, I'm looking for a PDA finally. Can anyone recommend one? I'm hoping to max out at $250 Canadian, not including tax. Would be preferable for it to be able to edit MS Word and Excel files, plus be able to read .PDF files. I should have just gotten it back in September when I had the chance. Figures.

Monday, January 26, 2004

The nails in your hands, the nails in your feet, they tell me how much you love me...

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Have Liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Have Betrayed.”

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” “Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I Have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed At.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Done in My Anger,” “Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts,” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.
I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

“No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

By Joshua Harris. Orginally published in New Attitude Magazine © Copyright New Attitude 1995

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Her boyfriend, she don't know

Men really are pigs, huh? Yes, so what if I am talking about my own gender? Bleh... I was bored and browsing people's blogs on xanga (very cool service, btw, I like it's feature set; makes you wonder why my blog's here instead) and come across this girl's blog from down in the states. You know that cell phone virus thingamajig that's been going around (though I've personally never experienced it)? She thought she was getting calls from it every now and then, but it was in fact this girl who was wondering who her boyfriend kept talking with on his cell phone. So said boyfriend was essentially on the verge of cheating on his girlfriend, Ms. Blogger is all freaked out and sorry (didn't know, so sorry, blahblah), and the girlfriend simply says, "(crying by now) 'you really didn't know? well then, that's okay....because it happens a lot....'"
So why do I keep running across examples of guys being jerks and cheating on their girlfriends? But even MORE curious, why do all these girls (except a noted few) want to STAY with their boyfriends? It's clear the guy doesn't care and yet... This is what I hate about people saying romantic things to each other. So many times, they don't mean it. They're not willing to do what it takes to carry through with the obligations that exist as a consequence of their statements. I mean, of course, both sides have to be willing, but courtship isn't for chasing a target and then hanging the girl on your trophy mantle as a prize. When you start courting, you have to be willing to commit. I guess in my mind, the magic words ILU can't be said until you're absolutely sure you really want to commit (in this girl's case, it seems like the guy was never able to make himself go that far, good for him in that regard at least). Dang. Reminds me of a song by American Hi-Fi too much.

Flavor of the Weak
by American Hi-Fi

She paints her nails, and she don't know
He's got her best friend on the phone
She'll wash her hair, his dirty clothes
Are all he gives to her
And he's got posters on the wall
Of all the girls he wish she was
And he means everything to her
Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything, about her
He's too stoned, Nintendo
I wish that i could make her see
She's just the flavor of the weak
It's friday night, and she's all alone
He's a million miles away
She's dressed to kill but the TV's on
He's connected to the sound
And he's got pictures on the wall
Of all the girls he's loved before
And she knows all his favorite songs
Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything, about her
He's too stoned, Nintendo
I wish that i could make her see
She's just the flavor of the weak
Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything, about her
He's too stoned
He's too stoned
He's too stoned
He's too stoned
Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything about her, he's
Too stoned
I wish that I could make her see
She's just the flavor of the weak
Yeah, she's just the flavor of the weak
She makes me weak

Do you understand the last line? Kudos if you do.

Getting back to the basics

A reason for living
A new beginning
A teacup of meaning, yeah...
PakG1 is back. Or somewhere out there. And he is finding once again his original reason for living life; why did he ignore it in the first place? Did he forget what he has learned from dissecting this passage back in the summer of 2001?
ngoh(-) moon(,) dig(') teen(') fu(-)
yuun(-) nay(-) dig(') ming(-) sou(-) heen(-) yurn(,)
yuun(-) nay(-) dig(') teen(') gwok(-) loi(,) lum(,)
yuun(-) nay(-) dig(') jee(-) yee(-) fone(-) heng(,) joy(,) yan(,) gan(')
yu(,) tone(,) joy(,) teen(') surn(-)
kou(,) nay(-) gum(') teen(') surn(-) cup(') ngoh(-) moon(,) yat(,) yong(,) dig(') sig(,) lurn(,)
kou(,) nay(-) foon(') suue(-) ngoh(-) moon(,) dig(') jui(,) gwoh(-)
yu(,) tone(,) ngoh(-) moon(,) foon(') suue(-) bit(,) yan(,) yud(') yurn(-)
bud(') yiu(-) yurn(-) ngoh(-) moon(,) hum(,) yu(') hone(') ngok(-)
dan(-) gou(-) ngoh(-) moon(,) jik(,) jee(-) wing(-) yuun(-)
ah(-) maan(-)
The future awaits. Muster the troops, for he is ready to serve in battle. Just give him his sword back. The armour's important too, but the sword's the most important thing.