Saturday, April 30, 2005

Correction from Jeff

Referring to this post.
Jeffrey... is says:
I just noticed something in your blog...
Jeffrey... is says:
"Mr. Chuck Cadman, a former Conservative that left the Conservative Party over issues in the merger process between the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives."
Jeffrey... is says:
That's actually not true. He lost his nomination because an east indian fellow went out to the temple and signed up everyone there right before the nomination vote... he was royally ticked!
Jeffrey... is says:
And since he thought that it was unjust, he ran as an independent and won.
Jeffrey... is says:
He's trying to get rules passed regarding party memberships and nomination rules.
Jeffrey... is says:
Well.. I have to go.
Jeffrey... is says:
What I wrote is what I read in the paper. I saw no contradicting sources anywhere. Can anyone confirm this? I have a tendency to believe that Jeff is the kind of guy to check his sources thoroughly. Unfortunately, the guy had to go offline before I noticed his messages.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I went and saw Puffy

I'll blog about serious stuff soon, I promise. Still really would like to comment on why Microsoft would probably be concerned about Firefox.

The Puffy AmiYumi concert was really fun! :D I owe Joyce much for pictures because I forgot to bring my camera. Hehe. It was kind of funny seeing all these cameras blatantly flashing throughout the concert when a guy went down the lineup before the concert started to specifically tell everyone that cameras weren't allowed inside. Hehe.

The opening act was great. Got to meet the lead singer and lead guitarist from Quietdrive. I really like their sound and will have to look into getting their CD when it gets released this summer. I loved their rendition of Time After Time too. It was fresh. And they're THE opening act for the ENTIRE Puffy tour! How insanely cool is that?? Makes me wish I had stuck with my bass guitar.

So Puffy sang a Green Day song too, which was fun. Their keyboardist was way cool, as were their guitarists. The keyboardist especially, he was a great soloist. And one of the guitarists wearing a Canadian flag and dancing around near the end was classic. Heh. I um... bought two more Puffy CDs. Why was a CD costing less than a t-shirt? Chee... And I had to borrow cash from Ehobah to get them because the place couldn't take plastic.

Me and Dammon went up close to the stage when Puffy came onstage. Ouch! My ears only now stopped ringing (two nights later!)! Next time I'm at a concert, I shall definitely bring earplugs. And those poor people in the audience who couldn't understand Ami and Yumi when they did some Japanese diaologue onstage during breaks. It was hilarious. :)

At the concert! Posted by Hello

Wearing Canada! Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fan Movies

Maxing out credit cards to the tune of $20,000 to make a fan movie? My goodness, some people are so dedicated, you wonder if they are sane.

On the other hand, hobbes still expects me to write up that script for our movie. Whoops. Getting there, hehe.

Um, apparently Darth Vader has a blog. But you know what? I'm looking forward to Star Wars III. It looks like it could actually be on par with the original Star Wars trilogy, unlike Star Wars I and II.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

News Flash from Left Field

Whoah. Adobe to acquire Macromedia. I'm not so sure this is such a good idea. Adobe and Macromedia hold a virtual duopoly on the graphics design and web design application markets. Sure you have other players like Corel, the venerable GIMP, and so on. But whoah. This will kind of change the industry, and not necessarily for the better. Adobe's not a techie company like Macromedia. I hope this won't kill the innovation that Macromedia's been able to provide to the industry over the years. This was kinda unexpected, yeah.

In other news, SCO continues to lose money. Gee, who knew? This was totally not expected. /sarcasm

Gee, maybe I'll have time to get back to real blogging soon.

Monday, April 18, 2005

More blogs

Added Desmond and Sam. Both of these guys are very cool. Desmond is in Germany for a while, while Sam hails from Calgary. And Vicky did well on her final. You go girl!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I want one

So I've been a little too busy to blog. This may continue until May starts. But I want one of these. Yeah.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Puffy Comes to Vancouver!

Going to a Puffy AmiYumi concert at the Vogue Theatre April 24! :D I am so looking forward to it.

Liberal Sponsorship Scandal Testimony Goes Public

I worked on a coop for Public Works and Government Services of Canada back when details of the sponsorship scandal was first breaking free. We would receive e-mails every now and then talking about how the affected part of PWGSC comprised a very small percentage of PWGSC operations. The e-mails would tell us what we could say to other people to explain the situation, things like that. I have no recollection, really. But it was interesting to see the lack of transparency, I'll admit. A political scandal breaking lose across the nation and government employees in the accused ministry department receiving infrequent e-mails and little information about what really was happening. I didn't think too much of it at the time, as I had no idea whether the scandal itself was truly significant (ok, there were millions involved, but it still seemed all so far from me).

Now the Gomery Inquiry has been really interesting. Chretien was hilarious bringing out his golf balls. The tide was slightly in favour of the Liberals, with big questions about Gomery's objectivity, Chretien's articulate passion, etc. But now this happens. Whoah. And then some blogger in the states gets whiff of what was said and published it online before the ban is lifted. And I'm too busy pulling all-nighters for my papers to notice. Bleh.

I'm not going to say anything, post anything, or link anything because of what I read here:
Canada's attorney general is investigating the legality of the U.S. blog posting. Government lawyers may charge Canadian Web publishers with contempt of court if they reproduce some of the Adscam testimony or perhaps even link to Morrissey's blog, the Toronto Sun reported.
There's no use me getting in trouble for something that will become officially public so soon. But this does raise interesting questions about bloggers. An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the issues of blogging, and how there are no rules. True news professionals need to be held to a code of ethics, which includes things like obeying publication bans. But bloggers have been prone to ignore that paradigm of thought. See Think Secret for an example of one website that would hate the idea; these guys are battling a lawsuit from Apple over product information they published. The lawsuit is testing big laws and there's a battle over whether bloggers should be afforded the same privileges as professional journalists, especially considering how some indie journalist blog rival professional journalists. It was bloggers that led to Dan Rather's resignation at CBS, for example (just google for "Rathergate" for more information).

This publication ban being broken is possibly even more significant than Apple's battle with Think Secret because the ban was broken outside of Canada. I remember similar things happening before (I can't for the life of me remember what they were, I think it was information about Robert Pickton), but this one deals with airtight stuff from the federal government. I must get back to my papers and whatnot, but the implications of this American blogger's actions are going to be amazing. We're watching history in the making, folks. Dang, I wish I could write about this. Bleh, stupid papers. And stupid publication ban. Go google.

Will this be the catalyst that causes my election prediction to come true? Incredible.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Food for Thought

Daniel found an interesting article on gay marriage. Perhaps I'll be able to comment on the issue after finals. Darren wants me to, anyway.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Setting Priorities Straight

Last year, a friend asked me for my thoughts on how to organize priorities, especially in a Christian context (in his case, he was volunteering a lot with his church, and it was becoming quite overwhelming). Another friend asked similar questions today. And I am constantly battling those questions day in, day out. So I'll post the e-mail I wrote up here because it'll be easy to reference in the future. My SFU e-mail account will expire soon, and all the e-mails in there may as well disappear, since I have no intention of downloading them all to some e-mail client. His name has been replaced with the word "Dude." :)

The e-mail:

Hey Dude,

Luke chapter 10, verses 38 to 41.
1 Kings chapter 19, verses 1 to 18.

I would rather be a Mary than a Martha any day. Service is great, but I cannot find a single passage in the Bible where service is said to be more important than the relationship we have with Christ. Ironically, the service becomes more important than the one who we serve. Perhaps this is what Jesus was talking about when he said to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:3, "If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent." The Pharisees thought that their relationship with God depended on their works and their obedience to the law. As Christians, we know that the foundation of relationship with God is based only on faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, by whose blood we have mercy and grace. I know that James 2 talks about how works are necessary. But the logical statement used in verse 18 is "If I have faith, I will have works." Logically then, the statement is broken down as faith is sufficient for works, and works is necessary for faith. But the converse is not necessarily true, as it acts the same as any other "If p, then q" statement. Just because somebody has works doesn't mean that they will have faith. In conclusion, works starts in faith, which means that Jesus was right when he talked about abiding in the vine. We are the branches, and if we don't abide in him, we die.

But to the point. Below is a passage that was taught to me a few years ago. I have found it extremely helpful whenever I felt overwhelmed. I hope that it will help you.

1 Kings ch 19. Elijah just defeated all the priests of Baal at Mount Carmel and killed them all. Jezebel's really mad and wants to kill Elijah. And Elijah runs. He wants suicide. He asks God to kill him. He's tired of it all. God wants to teach him a lesson.

1st step: Elijah is made to rest and eat, for the first thing he needs is physical restoration. His body is shot. God is telling him that he needs to be physically healthy to go on the journey of life (or the journey on which he is about to go in this case).

2nd step: He makes the journey and God asks him what's up. Elijah complains about how much he's tried to serve and how he's so tired of it all, because it seems like he is the only one serving, and it's not worth the effort to him (especially considering that his life is at stake).

3rd step: God tells Elijah to go stand on a mountain and wait for God to pass by.

3a. A powerful wind comes and does amazing things. But God's not there.
3b. A big earthquake happens. But God's not there.
3c. A fire comes. But God's not there.
3d. A still small voice comes. God asks him again, "what are you doing here?" Elijah makes his case again, talking about how he has done everything God asked him to do, but he only gets hatred. God gives him a plan because God always has a plan. And most importantly, God makes Elijah realize in verse 18 that Elijah is self-centred in thinking that he is alone. God reassures Elijah that God is looking out for Elijah.

Quite often, I think we get so caught up with our service, whether it be for church, other volunteer activities, work, or even school, and we forget to listen to God like Mary listened. Instead, we're bustling around so hard trying to serve God like Martha did, except that's not what God wants. Mercy, not sacrifice. Grace, not the strictness of the Pharisees. If God has 7000 people to do the work Elijah does, why would he not have even just one other person to do what we do? Let's not be arrogant here. We're not particularly useful to God. God doesn't have us serve him because we have special talents, or because we're indispensable to him. God GAVE us whatever talents we have, and we are simply vessels for his cause. He CHOSE us. We didn't choose him and go to an interview hoping to get hired. He CHOSE us when we were not worthy. In fact, 1 Corinthians 1 says that he chose to the foolish to shame the wise, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (a hyperbole). Paul even talks in 2 Corinthians 12 about delighting in his weaknesses, for that is where God's power works. Our focus should not be on our service towards him, but rather our relationship. Because if that relationship suffers, we will be of NO service to him. If we don't abide in the vine, the branch will bear no fruit. Jesus said so. :)

The thing that I have found to be most important is the ability to say no. To know my limits and say no. God is more important to me than whatever service somebody asks me to do and if something starts to overburden me, I ask one of the 7000 helpers to help me out. This is partly what the church was created for. It's a community of support, we build each other up and help each other out. Jesus said that people will know that we are his disciples when we show love to each other. And even business authors like Max Bazerman agree that it's more important to stop a problematic path than it is to commit to it, no matter what you did or promised in the first place. We read his book in BUS 437, decision analysis. ;)

Here're some encouraging words. Picture the context. Jerusalem has just been sacked. Israel has crumbled. There is no hope left for the nation of God's chosen people because they have disregarded God's words for many years. Jeremiah is seriously at the end of his rope and doesn't know what to do, just like Elijah, because the nation has been almost destroyed.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations chapter 3, verses 21 to 26
And if I REALLY feel tired, I say no to everything and sleep for 16 hours. Seriously. Step 1 of God's routine for Elijah. Physical restoration.

God bless, Dude.

End e-mail.

I hope it helps people out there. I need to read it over and over again myself. Hehe.

Top April Fools of All Time

Well, in honour of this special day, here are the Top 100 April Fools Jokes of all time. This one is one of my favourites, even though the date is probably only coincidence. :)
#13: The Predictions of Isaac Bickerstaff
In February 1708 a previously unknown London astrologer named Isaac Bickerstaff published an almanac in which he predicted the death by fever of the famous rival astrologer John Partridge. According to Bickerstaff, Partridge would die on March 29 of that year. Partridge indignantly denied the prediction, but on March 30 Bickerstaff released a pamphlet announcing that he had been correct: Partridge was dead. It took a day for the news to settle in, but soon everyone had heard of the astrologer's demise. On April 1, April Fool's Day, Partridge was woken by a sexton outside his window who wanted to know if there were any orders for his funeral sermon. Then, as Partridge walked down the street, people stared at him as if they were looking at a ghost or stopped to tell him that he looked exactly like someone they knew who was dead. As hard as he tried, Partridge couldn't convince people that he wasn't dead. Bickerstaff, it turned out, was a pseudonym for the great satirist Jonathan Swift. His prognosticatory practical joke upon Partridge worked so well that the astrologer finally was forced to stop publishing his almanacs, because he couldn't shake his reputation as the man whose death had been foretold.
Oh, and Cypress is opening its runs tomorrow due to the rash of snow we've been having lately. This better not be an April Fools Day joke! Not that it matters to me since I have papers galore. But it's comforting to know that there might be snow there for me once the semester is over. :)

Latest News...
THE DOWNHILL AND CROSS COUNTRY AREAS WILL BE OPEN TOMORROW FROM 9AM - 4PM. All Season Passes will be valid during this time. Ticket prices will be 25% off the regular price. SkiCard holders, Voucher holders and Adult Lesson Program holders are encouraged to take advantage of this re-opening. UNFORTUNATELY SKI SCHOOL LESSONS AND KIDS CAMP WILL NOT BE OFFERED AND THE TUBING AREA WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. We will provide an update on the weekend regarding the operating schedule for next week. We hope to remain open if the weather continues to provide us with good ski conditions.
Back to papers. Papers, papers, papers. It'll all be over after this semester! :D I wish all these appointments didn't have to happen this week. Interferes, you know.

Friday, April 01, 2005

In Internet Years...

Well, well, well. Was browsing Anandtech, and guess what I see. They're still trying to make Duke Nukem Forever? Why are they even bothering? Better physics than Half-Life 2? Darn well better have better physics. Better graphics and AI too, after all that development time!

But that's nothing. US Congress finishes an Internet study seven years late. Isn't one year our time worth seven years in Internet time? I could be wrong, but let's assume that's what the maxim is. :) That would mean that this Internet study is 49 Internet years late. Hehehe. You need comedy like this when you've had only two hours of sleep and you still can't sleep yet.