Saturday, December 06, 2008

Life as an SCV; Lost Opportunities

So I know someone who's letting me try working at a shipping company for a bit, huh? Never did real physical labour for pay before, was interested in seeing what it was like. Lot of free time, why not? It gives me money too, while I work on my stuff. :)

There's a lot of activity that happens on the ground at the warehouse where I've been doing stuff for the past two days. Basically, I unwrap big blocks of lumber, restack the lumber, and then rewrap the lumber with a bunch of Mexican dudes. It's cool, and they're teaching me Spanish.

The forklifts are going all over the place, dropping off new shipments of lumber, and picking up the ones we repackaged. You feel small beside some of these things. Then it hit me. I'm an SCV, surrounded by siege tanks and goliaths on patrol. Any minute, I should be expecting a reaver drop or ling rush. And I'm only an SCV. Not even a marine. Not even a medic. A lowly SCV. And I hope that the goliaths will be able to stop the onslaught. Because I certainly don't wanna be hit by the spread of the siege tanks.

And after a couple of days, my body is starting to ache. I go in tomorrow for a third day, and I don't think I'll survive unless I hit the hot tub tonight. So I go to the pool and soak in the hot tub for 10 minutes. It's nice. Get out and lie down on a reclining chair for another 15 minutes. Then go to the shower. But on the way, I pass the pool. I think to myself, gee, it'd be nice to swim a bit. I haven't swum for a month maybe. So I get in the pool.

As I'm fixing up my trunks, this big monster of a guy gets into the pool and moves in front of me. The most intense dose of BO I've ever experienced hits me, and I gag. And then he starts swimming. In the lane where I wanted to swim. Because it was relatively empty. As I watch him splash through the water and into the distance, the odour finally starts to fade, and I am left with only one unsettling thought: I cannot swim in this water that has been contaminated by whatever caused this odour. I watch the guy to my left move to the other lane and start swimming there, rather than wait his turn for our lane. I think about following him, maybe the contamination won't spread to the rest of the pool so easily. But I realize that the rest of the lanes are too packed.

So I forlornly get out of the water and head for the showers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's like an alien world

Today, I watched maybe an entire hour of makeup videos on youtube. @@ Crazy. I never realized how much work girls put into their hair, eyes, skin, etc. It's so friggin complicated. I mean... wow. It's just crazy. @@ And it requires a ton of knowledge. And people (well, the women) look like they actually really appreciate these videos. Check out these comments:

"I was wondering... when you use the kabuki brush to buff the mineral foundation in, doesn't the liquid concealer come off with the brushing? Or is the brand that you showed us really good in that it stays on your skin?
I only conceal. I've tried doing powder foundation but whenever I brush over the concealed parts the colour just comes right off to reveal the redness that was under."

" l have a interview 2morrow and I'm going to do that look.

thank u"

"It is basically like a razor with grooves for safety and so it gets a grip on your hairs, so it will grow back faster than tweezing, because tweezing takes the hair out from the roots. But eyebrow hair doesn't grow that fast. I used the eyebrow shaper between my brows, it took 1 and 1/2 weeks."

" god i really love u !!
i'm from belgium and it's not easy to find these tips in dutch, but with your explanation it is so easy"

"i LOOOOOVE the second look!!! absolutely gorgeous, fun and easy to do :D thanks i've been wondering what to do with my bangs since the haircut lady cut them wrong from the start!!! thanks A LOOOT mwah"

Suffice it to say... if a girl asks me if she looks pretty, from now on, I will say yes, she looks gorgeous. Can't imagine what girls feel if they put all that work into it, and then people tell them it doesn't look good. I mean, most women are naturally beautiful anyway, but now I'll feel super guilty if I ever say no to that question. @@

It's definitely a world I'll never fully understand.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Global Warming is the New Terrorism

I joined another Facebook group today: Against the Global Warming Myth

Here's what I wrote on the group wall.
I read a BBC report and got really pissed, so I found a group like this to join just for the heck of it.

The entire article talks about food prices, and then this little tidbit gets shoved into the article at the end with no explanatory logic.

"The main causes of the rising food prices include rising demand from fast-developing countries, higher oil costs and global warming."

OK, rising demand from fast-developing nations, self-explanatory. Higher oil costs, obviously would increase production costs and thereby outputted food costs. Global warming... how is that connected? @@ Global warming has become the new terrorism but worse. We can now blame global warming for everything from the length of the Iraq war to the Chicago Cubs not winning the World Series. I exaggerate, but hopefully you get my point.
Seriously, how did it get this bad? It now reeks of the overarching rhetoric used to fight the war on terror: "If we don't go to the movies, the terrorists have won. If you don't study hard enough, the terrorists have won. If you don't vote, the terrorists have won. If you don't kiss me, the terrorists have won." Well, maybe we can blame global warming for the increase in crop prices. Because of global warming, people have championed biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels, leading farmers to produce crops for biofuel to fight global warming, in turn decreasing the supply available for food. But that's not global warming causing an increase in food prices, that's the supply of crops being diverted to biofuel production causing an increase in food prices. But if this is what the journalist truly meant, note how the sentence is worded to make us think that global warming is the ultimate culprit, even when it's not. After all, IF global warming is scientifically valid, there are more effective ways of decreasing carbon emissions than biofuels. Current studies show that biofuels increase greenhouse gases (see Science, February 2008). It's not global warming that's causing an increase in food prices, it's people's stupidity and manic panic.

Friday, May 30, 2008

How long will the novelty last?

I've been learning Python and am starting to play around with Google AppEngine. And surprisingly, it's really nice because I can get things up and running quickly, and focus on actually architecting and building the design, rather than writing stupid SQL queries for the most part.

I'm finding programming fun again. The question is... how long will it last until it gets boring again?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Monument

Stone upon stone
Heaped to the stars
Not knowing how
Or even why the heap was made
I asked a passerby
The meaning of the stones
A war had been fought here
A final battle waged in blood
A test between champions
Too tired of the bloodshed
And deciding to end it
With one meaningful climax
Whereby the victor
Would lord over the other
Creating a peace that would last
So long as the stones stood
The test of time
So long in its duration
That the battle's legend grew
And the reason for war
Was long forgotten
Until one day I searched for the answer
An epic journey through history
In the annals of the sacred libraries
And finally found record
Of one fierce titanic clash
Between two renown men of valor
Fighting for pride and honour
A contest of wills
Commonly known today
As Rock, Paper, Scissors

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I cried

Watching episodes 7, 8, and 9 of Clannad made me cry. Chee. Those weren't even really sad episodes. But they were sad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm a movie star!

OK, here's what you do if you ever want to feel like you're in a movie.
  1. Dress up in a tuxedo.
  2. Add one pair of cool shades.
  3. Rent an Escalade.
  4. Turn the radio to The Beat 94.5 FM.
  5. Drive around at night.
  6. Optional: Walk around the city with a photographer taking cool photos of you in cool poses during the day.
Yeah, that was cool.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Proof that you're too jaded

I've come to the conclusion that you're too jaded about life when you refuse to watch cartoons for the sole reason that they are cartoons, and cartoons are for kids. If there is no remnant of a kid in any of us, then we can no longer experience innocent joy, laughter, and happiness. Instead, we have only cynicism, skepticism, and anger. That, my friend, is being jaded.

Hogwash to those who say they don't watch cartoons because cartoons are not intellectual enough. Watching cartoons does nothing to take away from one's intellectual capability. If it did, then your intellectual capacity is truly low. That's like saying you're too manly to cry; it takes a real man to cry. :p

Friday, April 04, 2008

Days 6 and 7

Yesterday, John called me as usual. But Andre called me late. But I still got to the pool and back.
It was ok.

Today was scary! My phone turned out to be on vibrate mode, so I didn't hear John call me. And then I didn't hear Andre call me either. I only heard the one vibration from the notification for the voice mail that Andre left me. If not for that, I would have slept in and would have to have bought Andre a Gotham steak! Glad I woke up! Phew! @@

Did more laps than ever today in the same amount of time. It's still an embarrassingly low number (single digits), but I guess it shows improvement.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Day 5

John called me as usual this morning. But this time, he didn't wake me up. Andre called me later. Called John back and said that Andre woke me up. Went to the pool. Came home. Went downtown.

Still didn't feel like I wanted to throw up. But maybe fatigue is getting to me. John couldn't wake me up this time.

Had the best creative sushi rolls I've ever had today, courtesy of Andre's tip. Kadayo Sushi. I think that's what it was called? It rocks. The Canada Roll was simply divine. I liked the Volcano Roll too. The Snow White Roll was interesting. But the Canada Roll rocked.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Day 3

Still felt like throwing up today. But I managed to increase my lap count. @@

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 2

As per Tim's request, this post will explain all significant events in reverse chronology.

10:30 AM - Watching snowflakes as big as nickels floating by my window with a stomach that is still a bit queasy.
9:30 AM - Arrive at work after walking through light falling snow.
8:45 AM - Leave home
8:00 AM - Get back home. Felt a bit queasy, but not nearly as bad as yesterday.
6:45 AM - Leave for the pool.
6:07 AM - Get a phone call from Andre.
5:01 AM - Get a text message from John because reception is bad and he can't phone.

Friday, March 28, 2008

So, how was your morning?

At a late lunch yesterday and a discussion on self-discipline, I entered into an experiment that includes three tests each weekday until Friday next week. This involves Andre phoning me in the morning when he gets to a phone (he doesn't have a cell, nor a phone at home). The tests are:
  1. I wake up and answer his phone call.
  2. I immediately drive to C.G. Brown pool for some swimming.
  3. I immediately drive back home and then immediately go downtown for work.
If I fail any one of these tests on any particular weekday, I owe him a dinner of his choice at Gotham Steakhouse. Subsequently, I hedged myself by having John phone me every morning when he gets up, which would be a little bit before Andre would phone me. If John fails to phone me on any particular weekday when he gets up, then he owes me $50.

So how did my first day go?

5:00 - John phones me. It's enough for me to get into the mood of waking up. I nap until Andre phones me.
6:45 - Andre phones me. I groan and get out of bed. Surprisingly, washing my face wakes me up enough for me to feel relatively fresh. Brush my teeth, etc. I get into the car and wait a few minutes while the engine warms up, then drive off.
7:15 - Arrive at the pool, do some laps. I don't remember it being this hard.
7:45 - Leave the pool feeling like I'm going to throw up. It was a big late lunch, and I don't know if it all digested fully. And combined with swimming, it did not make for a comfortable feeling in my stomach.
9:00 - After various things, leave home to walk to the Skytrain. Wearing sweat pants because jeans feel too uncomfortable with how I feel like I want to throw up.
9:15 - Almost at the Skytrain, but realize that I forgot my cell phone. Usually, I put my cell phone in a clip thing on my belt. Wearing sweat pants, I have no belt. Walk to the bus stop to take the bus back home. Just before I reach the bus stop, the bus rushes by me. I walk home.
9:30 - Arrive home, get my cell phone, decide I want to bus to the Skytrain station instead of walk again. Go to the bus station, but before I reach it, I watch the bus zoom by. In resignation, decide to walk to the other street's bus stop and wait for that bus instead.
9:30 to 10:00 - Watch not one, but TWO buses zoom by the bus stop that I originally was at. Meanwhile buses fail to show at the stop at which I am waiting.
10:00 - Bus finally arrives at the bus stop at which I'm waiting. I go to the back to sit by the window, but a man counting his cigarettes asks me not to sit beside him. The man looks schizophrenic, and I spend the entire bus ride listening to him talk to himself or people that don't seem to exist.
10:15 - Waiting for the Skytrain to come. See one in the distance standing still and wonder why it's not coming. Meanwhile, two or three Skytrains zoom by in the opposite direction on the other side of the tracks. Finally, my Skytrain comes. It seems that the Skytrain that is standing still is a spare Skytrain or something that just sits there on the tracks.
10:45 - Arrive at the office still feeling like I want to throw up. :(

I have 6 more days of this? :(

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why Climate Change Activists Bug Me

I'm attending GLOBE 2008 the past few days, and today's the last day. I finally figured out what it is about climate change activists that's been bugging me. In the tradeshow space, there's this big wall of artwork and information. One of the posters talks about how in the earth's history, there have been five large climate-based events that have caused mass extinction. The events are about 50 to 100 million years apart each, with the last one apparently happening about 65 million years ago (the dinosaurs). Then the poster goes on to say that if we don't take climate change seriously, we will be facing another extinction.

My irk is this. The climate change issue has been turned into a moral issue due to us saying that the fate of the human race is in question. Firstly, I've learned enough to know that the debate is not yet settled, and I'm not qualified to lean one way or the other on the debate. However, people seem confused as to what they're worried about. Are they worried about the environment or are they worried about the human race? If they're worried about the environment, they're certainly talking about the subject as if the human race were integral to the environment. I always hear people making statements about how because of climate change, we have to seriously change our way of life, or else WE will perish, and that will be the end of the world.

No, quite frankly, the earth will still be here. The implication of this poster is that it was still here and life restarted just fine after each major extinction. Now the thing is, all of those previous extinctions happened WITHOUT the intervention of human beings. Previous global climate changes and ice ages happened WITHOUT the intervention of human beings. So clearly, there are factors at play that ARE NOT human. Take away the human impact, and these factors would STILL exist. And if these previous patterns hold, we would STILL eventually face major climate change and extinction because if the previous patterns are any indication, it's a NATURAL thing. And here are humans so arrogantly thinking that the humans did something different. Yeah, maybe we did. We accelerated the process, perhaps. But quite frankly, if the last extinction happened 65 million years ago, and extinctions happened every 50 to 100 million years according to the chart, then we're quite due for another extinction anyway. It's certainly debatable in this big picture how large human impact has actually been. It seems almost arrogant to say that we caused this naturally occurring phenomenon and then say that we can and should fix it too.

But that arrogance is a part of human nature. We've never cared much for simply living. We've always used our intelligence and abilities to change the world for our liking and our desires, whether it be for pleasure or survival. And now we're saying that we can, should, and will control climate cycles for our own survival. That's all fine and dandy. But if you want that, then don't link our existence to the welfare of the environment, because the environment carries on just fine without us, it has through five extinctions. Separate the two and admit that you in fact wish to manipulate the environment to serve our own needs.

Now don't get me wrong, I think a lot of green technology is good, if it has the ability to give us cheaper alternatives to expensive oil, clean the quality of air so that we have less asthma cases and health scares, improve everyday products so that there's less risk of scary things like cancer, and reduce excessive logging so that topsoil isn't prone to mountain landslides ending thousands of lives. But again, all of those don't have environmental welfare as their root motivation, they have human welfare as their root motivation. Finally, if the environment is a moral issue because of human interests, I think there are quite a number of moral issues that are equally, if not more troubling, issues that are not natural cycles and which we do clearly have control over.

edit: Here's an even better summary that I just included in an e-mail to someone...

Basically, the implication of their poster was that climate change was a natural cycle, directly contradicting their position that climate change was caused by human factors and had to be manipulated to save humanity. This seems to result in a cognitive dissonance as to whether or not humans are integral to the environment. This cognitive dissonance is then simply ignored, and the human race is called to action to save the environment for humanity, which comes full circle. If the poster's original implication is that climate change is a natural cycle, humans are then actually interfering with the environment for the sake of humanity, thus showing that they are being hypocritical and don't really care about the environment, but rather, THEIR environment and THEIR self-interest.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fighting evil by moonlight...

So I just finished watching the Prince of Tennis animated movie. They do a lot of silly scenes when the players do their fancy specialty shots, of course. That's to be expected for anyone who's watched the series. But did they really have to make Echizen Ryoma undergo a Sailor Moon-style transformation scene? It was disturbing.