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Site Opening Blurbs for June 2003 - End of Fall Term (Dec) 2003


17 December 2003 (Wednesday) 04:19

14 hours before departure


Well (breathes sigh of relief) exams are finally finally over (well, ok, they were over on 12 Dec, but it's just taken me this long to catch my breath.


(John and co. - yeah, what was this about going over at "whatever" time! haha lucky I phoned and Victor picked up - but yeah, in any case, sorry i couldn't make it over -packing sorta preempted me, and even at this late (early) hour I'm still up cleaning up and packing stuff)


Exam time - hm, what happened? I don't exactly remember, but from 29 Nov till 12 Dec, I had absolutely no clue about the day of the week or even the hour of the day. I had to repeatedly ask janitors or other people who weren't stressed out by these exams what day of the week it actually was.


Well, not like it mattered, since the few hours I slept every night were still full of thoughts about all the weird and wonderful (?) subjects I had to take, and one classified a day as "ECE 250 day" or "MSci day" and not the normal names one would actually attribute to a day of the week. The days were pretty routine: for exam days, wake up at 9 and go to the library and study till 2. Go home, sleep till 9... you get the point. For exam days, it was wake up 1 hour before exam, write exam, go to library, study till 2... etc.


So it's been hard keeping track of the day of the week, hour of the day, etc.


Events to be noted:

"Excuse me, what day of the week is it right now?"

"You mean what it is right now or what it was when you woke up?"

"Right now would be good, when I woke up is irrelevant and I forget when I did anyway."


4 Dec - TWO EXAMS! Three hours back to back with only an hour and a half in between. It's been a while since that's happened.

Calc studying - from 09:00 - 12:00 study session w/ Lipshitz. 13:00 - 05:00: study in RCH 209 (basement-ish room)

17:30, Friday 12 Dec - promptly start sniffling - it's the after-stress sickness I always manage to get.


So exams are finished - well, nothing too much to celebrate - passing would be. But anyway, enough of that crap :) It's nice to have nothing to do! On Friday night, just went out to see "Elf" - pretty good movie, I'd say, brings out the Christmas spirit in you - "SANTA!!!"


So, Saturday went out with William - finally - this guy's like FAMILY and I haven't seen him in years. But it was nice, had lunch at Kelsey's, and then milled around and then went home. After that I sorta just lounged around until dinner, then lounged around some more ... you get the point ;)


Sunday - nothing much to do, just again lounged around and picked up some stuff that I needed to bring to HK. Just sat around and watched TV w/ Jaime, until like 3am, pigged out on cookies and all sorts of other snacks.


Monday - woke up at 2pm! Went out to Conestoga Mall to take a walk... soak in some Christmas spirit ;)


Tuesday - hard core packing day... I had to do all sorts of laundry and whatnot so that I could pack it all -- two weeks of clothing really piles up.


And that leads me to now - where I'm still packing but in a much better off state than I was 4 hours ago.


And 14 hours from stepping on the plane to go home!


30 November 2003 (Sunday)

Finally, the end of a stressful week (or beginning of a new one? You decide)

Monday: go out to Kitchener to get this ONE FORM from the passport office so I can apply for my passport. Work until way too late finishing off the Java project and other stuff.

Tuesday: out in downtown Kitchener at 8:30 AM (!!) to hand in my passport forms and get my guarantor to sign. This takes insanely long, and I'm waiting at the passport office from about 09:30 - 11:00. Lovely. Hop back on a bus to go back to the Uni for my classes. Stay up until way too late analyzing an MSci case.

Wednesday: Nothing special there - again, a lack of sleep causes me to be slightly woozy all day. Wake up at 08:30 to do the lab demo, sleep way too late yet again.

Thursday: Spirit Night! But it was short-lived since I disappeared halfway through due to an earlier appointment (haha it's ok). Go to the lab at roughly 21:30 -- Stay in lab until Friday at 05:00. Friday get back home at 05:30. Alarm set for 10:30. Wake up at 11:30 -- just in time to realize I'm late for my MSci class and there's no way I'm going to make it without smelling like a common street rat. Skip that class, get to the Uni at 12:30, in time to get one last meal from Festival Fare before they close. Mmmmmm... roast beef...

Finish the VHDL Lab, and I get home before 11. Wow. :P


Saturday: slept at 00:30 but managed to wake up at 12:30 (i.e. 12 hours of sleep, which I had NOT intended). Good rest. But shouldn't -- argh, exams start on 4 Dec!


Anyway, enough. I'm going to get back to work now :P Been working on the VHDL thing again, since I realized that we'd made a stupid mistake.



23 November 2003 (Sunday)

Ah, what a joy it is to be riding my bike at sunrise.

(Wait, you might think - sunrise? What the heck am I doing up so early on a Sunday?)

Truth is, I was never asleep - I was in the ECE lab until about 7 before I started to make my way home :P Darn 223 and 250 projects, both being due at the same time, and both being equally long and crazy.


Well, it sucks, since it's only about 11 and I can't fall back asleep anymore. I really need sleeepp! *sigh*


Oh yeah, and I broke my key in the lock.


16 November 2003

Well, it's been a long time since I've updated, so I'll tell you what's been going on:


Between 4 Nov at 9am and 8 Nov at 6am, I had a total of 8 hours of sleep. This was due to projects being due on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as a large Calculus assignment due on Friday. Not good: Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) I slept at 5am -- we spent until 4:00am or so in the MC building working on the Apollo 13 project. Wednesday night I had no sleep whatsoever, working on the Java project, and Thursday night I slept at 6am. Yeah, it's an insane amount of work, but well, whatever. Friday, I sorta brought it onto myself -- haha was at Pat's party until about 4, then we left and by the time we got back it was like 5:30 or so -- we saw the paper boy come around to deliver newspapers.


Last week (week starting the 10th) wasn't too bad, I got a decent 5-6 hours of sleep a night, but it was the 223 labs that were exteremely annoying ... Xilinx was refusing to take our code and the thing was crossing wires and things like that.


It snowed! It was kinda scary seeing the snow on the ground, since I was biking to school in the mornings. It takes wayyy too long to get to school walking (well, about 20 mins) so yeah. I biked anyway, seeing that the roads were salted and things like that. Thankfully, it's all melted.


This weekend -- well, I finally got my fair share of sleep, I've been sleeping till 11 or later every day, but I've been working on the Java Game of Life project -- quite annoying if you ask me, even if it IS a good learning assignment. It's been tough getting the data structure prepared, and Enumeration is still an annoying thing to implement :(


Gotta get my passport renewed before my trek back to HK, and it's been an absolute annoyance getting my photo taken without looking absolutely dead ... so I'm sleeping relatively early today (12:15 by my clock, this is Monday morning now).


Cheap SMC router, I shoulda sprung for the more expensive ones... but when I bought the router I didn't have that much money on me... :P


25 October 2003

Midterms are finally over!! Wow, it's nice to actually be able to sleep a good 10 hours.

Anyway, Calculus... see 20/Oct post. Hmm... ECE 250 wasn't too bad. Big Ohs aren't really my forte though. ECE 223 and 209 weren't too bad.


Lemme recap my week:

Monday: study Calc... until about 2. Sleep. Wake up at 9. Bike to school, go to lesson, have lunch, panic, go to class (and study during it), panic. Exam, panic, eat, go home (at 8pm), study 250.


Tuesday: 250 studying goes until 2am. sleep. Wake up at 8. Go to morning tutorials, eat, go to lessons (and don't pay attention), go to afternoon tutorials, exam, eat, go home (at 9pm) Study 223/209.


Wednesday: Study until 1am, Sleep. Interview at 8:45 (geez, i screwed that one up badly, I was half awake when I got in), go to ECE 250 at 10:30, study, study, go to afternoon lectures, go to tutorials, go home (at 10pm), study 223.


Thursday: Study until 2am, sleep. Wake up at 9am, go to morning tutorials, study, eat, study, go to afternoon lessons, go to tutorials, exam, eat, go home (at 8pm) study 209.


Friday: Study 209 until 3:30am, sleep until 9. Wake up, study, go to class at 11:30, eat, study, go to class, exam, go home (at 8pm). relax.


Yeah, don't those days look awful repetitive? Geez, it's tiring. Anyway, it's been a lonnnnnng week... I don't know how on earth I managed to survive. Next week I have a TPM (TPPE) and we also have to do the Apollo 13 assignment for MSci! Man, I'm so dead.


Oh yeah, I have to catch up and find out what the lessons were all about since I was sorta half paying attention in class... now just reading over some MSci theory but I got really really bored.


For the first time in a week there's actually food in the fridge! I can now actually cook at home if I want to! (I've been living off clam chowder, chunky soup, and (oh, the humanity!) caf food for the past week.)


20 October 2003

Overheard after the Math 211 exam:

(Other Prof): "Wow, your students must love you for giving them an extra 15 minutes."

Lipshitz: "I don't think so."


That's how bad our exam was. 'nuff said. Gotta study for ECE250 midterm.


19 October 2003

This is unfair! KGV gets half term while I sit midterms?!

Anyway, going to sleep now, had to quickly rant before doing so though. :P Calc midterm tomorrow.


17 October 2003

Wellllll... another week gone. So scary. And another week with like 4 hours of sleep per day.

MSci midterm on Thursday -- went okay, I suppose. But I think what's really scaring me at the moment is the fact that there's 4 more midterms next week! sigh, and while lectures are going on too!


It's now one of those times that I don't feel like doing ANYthing, but then I'm too psyched up to fall asleep (after all, my sleep schedule now looks something like 4-8 or 4-10 on a good day) Plus it also sucks not being in residence, where you'd just sorta talk it away... I was invited over to Shaun's place, but basically I had trouble biking home today, so I decided to stay home and hit the sack hopefully earlier than usual. (I mean, actually properly sleeping rather than passing out)


I hate to say this, but Calc was actually rather... tame this week by Lipshitz's standards. But I guess that makes up for the previous assignment that took 12+ hours to finish. This one only took ~4.


So scared for ECE 209, no clue what's happening. I'm scared about the other courses too. But that's the one subject I know nothing about. arrggh...



Which 323 Joline Roommate are YOU?


11 October 2003

Happy Birthday Ahmad!


Thanksgiving weekend... finally. Whew, I'm absolutely exhausted. Sleeping for 4 hours or less for five days in a row is NOT the way to go. But I managed to get through this week, and hopefully this weekend will allow me to catch up on my sleeeeep. On one day I slept at 6am and woke up at 8am, much to the surprise of everyone in HK who messaged me to ask me what the heck I was doing up this late/early up.


Anyway, yeah, still lots of things to catch up on. I have a midterm on Thrusday.

Oh, and my work term report got bounced back... failed the checklist :( So I have to resubmit at some point before Friday.


Hmm... what else? Most of Waterloo is deserted since many people are back home in Toronto.


And I've got the Toronto Advert jingle ("You belong here") stuck firmly in my head since I got sent the song.


Calculus was crazy this week. What the heck gives? One question was long enough to do as a WEEK's homework! Thank goodness for MathCAD, otherwise I would've been deriving the equation for weeks.


Just got back from going out, we went bowling tonight and dinner. Haha Yibin, I gotta beat you at bowling at some point... wait, I can't. There's no way I can process all those math problems in my head (I swear that the boy calculates all the parameters of motion before throwing the ball)


So yeah, sleep is good. Will do that soon.


4 October 2003

Well, it's been a while since I put something new here. So what have I been up to? Wednesday night: celebrated Jo's final day without braces, and we absolutely pigged out on pizza and stuff like that... worked on Calculus and circuits... this lasted till about 5am, when I finally decided that enough was enough and I *had* to sleep. Thursday evening: worked on Calculus exclusively, since I decided somehow to recycle my work from the night before! (that's one of the really bad things about a messy desk, i thought it was scrap at the time). Friday night: finally, a chance to rest... watched Apollo 13 for MSci with the rest of the class, and then went off to to work with Hui on the team contract. (The third partner disappeared never to be seen again -- we're still waiting for a third member to join our group) So then it's raining like crazy, I decide that since I have no way home except by bike, I'm going to spend some time actually wiring up the circuit.

I'm in the lab until 1am. I spent 4 hours in total doing the wiring! Needless to say, I can't fall asleep at all since I've been working late evenings/early mornings.


So after getting under 6 hours of sleep a night for the past week, I manage to get a good solid 10 on Saturday.


Calc assignment is brutal this week; ECE250 assignment is up; ECE209 needs to be revised.

ARRGH! This is insane.


Better get to sleep now, it's late :) Sleep while I have the chance!!


Oh, and I forgot to mention: I had two pictures (that I took, not of me) published in the student newspaper! Rather cruddy photos by my standards, but hey, it was publishable! I've been out of practice for way too long when it comes to photography.


27 September 2003

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Well, another week over. I finally know how to use MSN web chat :) Calculus is once again piling up on me, but it's a lot more interesting as a subject this term... hm ECE 223 is also killing me, just cuz there's so much... stupid circuits. I still have to download that Xilinx thing! Why isn't it working?!


Well, anyway, enough of my ranting, gotta keep studying. There've been a couple of updates and layout changes to the website... and my room's actually clean for once after completely cleaning out everything in it. Pics later.


14 September 2003

Week 1 has passed by already. That's kinda scary. But anyway, life is still all right, and my room is in less of a mess than it was before. Hmm... anything else? Oh, my classes are late classes, although I'll probably be going to some morning ones just because I need to get up earlier and fix my work-sleep schedule up.


13 September 2003

Work report is finally finished!... good luck to all of you who aren't done yet! I went down to Kinkos and bound my project. On the way, something very interesting happened. A little kid, who couldn't have been more than 7 years old, came up to me and asked the way to Waterloo Town Square (on King St.) and go to the Library -- and this happened on Erb and University.


I was obviously irked that a kid was trying to make his way down, and he told me that his dad would be waiting there for him. Well, there was no way I would tell that kid how to get down there since it would take him over an hour to walk it. So I asked him where he lived (smart kid, he didn't tell me, but he pointed in the general direction), convinced him that he would not make it down on time to go to the library, and then finally, he started walking home. I gave him a quarter in case he needed to call anyone on a payphone.


I find it weird that parents would allow their kid to even think about walking that far. Apparently the mother was home, and allowed him to come out!


2 September 2003

Isn't it scary how fast things go? In 6 short days, it'll be the first day of classes! Arrrgh. I don't wanna go back into the uni! Oh well, at least today, the internet got hooked back up, and it's all well and good. Excellent, I'm now connected again. Haha... 10 emails in my normal inbox after 4 days not checking it. And well over 50 in my other accounts :P


Working on my Work Report, taking a break since the Internet came back haha.


31 August 2003 [offline update]

Happy Birthday, Winnie!! Yeah, sorry this is a bit late, I don't have Internet right now!


28 August 2003

Happy Birthday, Tammy and Peter!!

Well, it's almost the end of summer, and I've been busy packing and preparing for my move back into the gulag (aka Waterloo). Most of my stuff has been packed and moving day is slated for 31 Aug.


I went to sign up for Bell Sympatico broadband internet, and they gave me a nice, hard time! The guy in the shop (rather rudely, if you ask me) told me that there was no way to set up the internet until 2 days after the setup of my phone line, i.e. 1 Sept (the Labour Day Hoilday). Only THEN could I order and wait up to 7 days to activate.




So I go on the Internet to order -- no hitches there. They even let me pay using cheque! (I have no credit card) Now all I had to do was submit a voided cheque for pre-auth payment ... which, I might add, I'll now have to keep a close eye on my bank account.


The guy told me that since I registered but wasn't fully activated on their system, I couldn't submit the cheque. (i.e. I would have to wait 2-3 days before submitting, and another few days until it activates)


Haha and here's where I hinted that Rogers offered to set me up immediately (and it's true! They could set me up on the day I move in). They took the cheque right away.


And maybe that was TOO much of a good thing -- the activation date is 30 Aug. Wait, I'm not in there yet. But luckily, all they need to do around here is drop off a package -- there's no onsite installation required in Canada for DSL.


Heh, ok, birthday wishes and ranting aside, now I'll hafta get back to my work report :P No, I'm nowhere near done yet.


18 August 2003

This is the first working day after the Blackout. I've put up some Blackout 2003 photos up. I took maybe 60 shots, but these are some of the few that (I think) were presentable.


16 August 2003

Power mostly normal. Source pinpointed to three power lines in Northern Ohio.

I'm sick of everyone finger pointing when they have no clue what's going on. Pointing a finger at Canada -- or anyone else for that matter doesn't (a) solve the problems, (b) avoid the facts, and (c) help the problem of a power grid that's not able to handle the needs. I hope this is a humbling experience for the US. Problems CAN arise at home and affect others. The world doesn't cause your problems. Neither do terrorists, and although I'm sympathetic with Sept 11, I still don't like how terrorism is blamed for everything from Iraq to (initially) the blackout.


As Mel Lastman put it: "The US doesn't take blame for anything." I agree - but Mr. Lastman shouldn't have said something that bluntly.


Not that Ontario is completely not at fault, and some of OUR leaders shouldn't have been so quick to point a finger. We need to be more self sufficient in our own power generating capacity and quit the bickering and red tape. I hope we are ALL humbled by this experience.


My 2 cents.



On an unrelated note, I wanted to say that last night, I was watching the news. I guess I've been really tired for a long time, and then I fell asleep (thankfully, I had set the TV's sleep timer to 60 minutes). I woke up at 5 or 6 to the sound of thunder, brushed my teeth, and went back to sleep. haha



14 August 2003

The Great Blackout of 2003 - the largest power cut in North American History - please see article here. It's wayyy too big to keep on the front page.



7 August 2003

The weirdest thing happened to me today:

It was after work, and I was walking at a leisurely pace (shock! horror! Jason is actually able to walk slowly?!) down Yonge St. to Union Station to catch the GO train back home. I was milling around Eaton Centre for a while and bought myself a bag of popcorn as munchies on the train.


So I'm walking down, merrily eating my popcorn, when suddenly, a guy (6 feet, at least) on the side of the road, with his girlfriend, says "Are you enjoying your popcorn?" (Girlfriend since I saw them kiss, while I was waiting to cross the intersection)


Now, he's not really that scruffy looking, so he wasn't the typical I-need-food-do-you-have-spare-change-gimmie-gimmie-gimmie deal. So I said "Yeah, it's good."


He says: "Got any spare change for food?"

Irked, I half step back, but I realize I'm only on the busiest street in downtown Toronto and given the number of people walking down the road at that time, not much could be done to me. So I'm talking now at his arm's length (just in case, see I DID learn something from Grade 3!). Okay, this guys looks relatively honest, he doesn't have a means of getting away from me quickly. No vans parked in on the street -- I'm facing the road.


So I say: "Well, not this time. I'm in a rush to get to the Station. You can have a bit of popcorn though. Hold out your hand and I'll give you some."

Stranger: "Can I have the whole bag?"

Me: "Uh, no. I just bought this, and it's for the road. So just hold out your hand I'll give you some."


So he does so, and his girlfriend asks the same. His girlfriend's smarter though - forms a scoop with BOTH hands and not just one. So they thank me, and we all go on our merry ways. Me walking even faster than I usually do until I pass another block.


I'm not sure if they did get change for food, or whether they were just "Amazing Race" type of people who were backpacking Toronto.


Not sure what made me even stop to respond to them. If I was in HK, I probably would have sped along and pretended nothing had happened. Haha, only in Canada. Now I know what people mean when they say that.


5 August 2003

Happy Birthday Sherman!

(There, now I said it -- I hope I've fulfilled at least ONE of your wishes for your birthday :P)


I can't believe it! One month left till I have to go back into uni! (Note that I didn't say "of summer vacation" since technically I don't have a summer)


So, hm, lots to do. Went out with Ahmed, Wissam, Joyce, Farhan, Lenoard and Ken (nice meeting you). Okay, so we got lost and stuff, but heck, that was still kinda fun. Yes, we did spend most of the time on transportation. *sigh* oh well, that's Toronto for us!


Went to IKEA over the weekend, deciding on what I'm going to get as furniture when I go back to Waterloo. I've somewhat decided on what I want, but not firmly. We'll see how things go.


Anyways, off to sleep :)


PS (late edit) A happy birthday to Angeline too :) Yes ICQ warned me, but I forgot to post.


26 July 2003

Finally, one nice long sleep :) it's been a while since I've been able to sleep for a solid 9 hours. Nothing much new, otherwise. Work has now been extended to the end of August, and yes, I've just signed the contract. So looks like I'll be sitting around here for the rest of the summer, converting database records and staring at a computer for at least 8 hours a day!


I'm now requesting that people take photos of any fun events you take part in! So that I can be, well, sort of, part of the action :)


Hope everyone else is having tons of fun during the summer, you guys can have my fun for me! For Christmas, I'm definitely gonna be in HK. Forget about *ahem* (yes, i'm keeping my slience on this one. The people who need to know already know)


16 July 2003

Very interesting. Look at the Chatterbox. I'm sure you'll get a laugh too. I decline comment about any of the things that are said in the chatterbox :X Mouth sealed.


Anyway, what else have I done? Work-sleep-work-sleep... (again)... went cherry picking last weekend and bumped into Ronnie, but otherwise that's about all that happened that was interesting this week.


Anyway, more news: looks like the chances of me heading back to HK this summer are slim -- if anyone wants to come visit me in Toronto, please feel free to do so :) The absolute latest I'll be back would be Christmas. Sigh, sudden homesickness hitting... I miss all of you!



Hong Kong Skyline by night, looking towards Hong Kong from TST

Ah... home sweet home. Doesn't it look wonderful?


9 July 2003



6 July 2003

Hmm, pretty uneventful rest-of-the-week. Work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleeeeeeeeeep. Fishing. (Yes!! I caught a fish! But we let it go after I had a picture with it.) Hmm... sleep. sleep. wake up, go shopping for food, naptime... chatting on MSN/ICQ.


That about describes my week. :D


I've just been informed that I missed out Linwing's birthday on Canada Day. So HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY Ling!!


Sherman also just informed me that her birthday is in a few days. Riiiiiight... when did this place become the birthday board?? Maybe I'll put everyone's birthday on a page or something :P


2 July 2003

Good news! Toronto is off the SARS hit-list and Vancouver gets the 2010 games! Well, at least it's good news for us all now that things have calmed down a bit (on all fronts).


Last night, we went to watch fireworks on Richmond Green (Richmond Hill) -- nowhere nearly as spectacular as the stuff you see in HK, but then again, there aren't millions in corporate sponsors to make the fireworks that exciting (unfortunately). I'm an admitted fireworks junkie :)


Hmm, what else is new? Well, I discovered I could make it downtown in less than 50 minutes if I run! Hmm...


Well, I'm going to bed now, need sleep. Have fun everyone!


1 July 2003 - HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Well, now that I"m posting... it's nice to know that HK is FINALLY off the SARS hit list! Toronto's next I hope (and yes, I did have a swipe at someone about Toronto vs Hong Kong, ask for more details).


25 June 2003

Whoa, it's been so long since I've had the time to upload anything. Between tutoring kids and working, it's been really busy. Dialup is also killing me, since I'm online for like at most half an hour a night or something, so it's been tough (haha, I've been spoilt with broadband for like 3 years now) So yeah, just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still alive.


Anyway, you'll also have noticed that I haven't said happy birthday at all :P

So...... Happy Birthdays to...


3 June - Zara (hope you liked your present!)

9 June - Phebe (biu je!)

18 June - Adrian

19 June - Alex (or Alexandros!... by the way, we discovered an "Alexandros" bar and grill or something in downtown Toronto)

15 June - Mr. Benjamin Lee (yes, it's a late addition to the original post :P sorry)


Uhh, my apologies if I forgot anyone, sorry, since I haven't checked up much on birthdays :P I hope I said Happy Birthday to you on ICQ already or sth.




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