All posts by Erwin

HOLY CRAP, THAT’S A LOT OF READING!!!

Wow, I just noticed this on the web page for the CPSC 544 course I’m taking. The first class was today, and the next class is on Friday. In the meantime, the professor wants us to read over 70 pages of material for Friday!!!

Whoa, I know grad courses required lots of reading, but 70 pages is a lot in about three days!!! This is going to put a dent in my free time. Geez, I hope this doesn’t limit the time I have to play games. 🙂

MOMENTOUS EVENT

Ok, so this may not be a momentous event, but it kinda feels like one.

I have a lab in my Software Engineering course tomorrow. Tonight, I wrote some Java code for the lab. Well, actually, I re-wrote some existing code, but still it’s kinda cool. And, I really don’t know Java either, but I’m not letting that get me down. I haven’t written code for a class since my fourth year of undergrad, which would make it 1996. Woo hoo! Exciting!

MORE STUFF

The beginning of school can be hectic. I did a lot of running around again today. I had a class and a seminar, but together, they only lasted an hour and a half.

After that, I came home, had a shower, and ate lunch. That’s when the fun started. I then went to see a CS prof about her class. Next, I decided to buy a textbook I needed, so I trekked across campus to the bookstore. Once in the bookstore, I saw my textbook was listed as costing $183.00!!! This book was tiny. Nearly $200 for a single text, what a rip off! I don’t think I’ve seen a textbook costing so much before. Balking at the price, I went and bought some dividers for my binders. I paid at the computer section thus, bypassing the clueless newbies at the front of the store.

I decided next to see if the used bookstore at the village had my book. So off I trekked to the village. One sweaty walk later, I arrived to the used bookstore only to find they didn’t have my book. The library I decided might have the book, so I took the considerable walk from the village to the library. At the library, I used a terminal to find out that the book was out and wouldn’t be back for three days. Bummer. I put in a request for it, but I still had to wait three days.

Ah, the Civil/Mechanical Reading Room might have the book I thought. From the library, I took the long walk back to Civil/Mechanical to check out the reading room. There, I found out that the Reading Room did not have my text.

Being fed up, I knew it was time for pizza. So, I took another walk, from CEME to the Sub and bought a slice of pepperoni pizza from Pie’RSquared. And then I went home.

At home, I checked out chapters.ca and found that my textbook was being offered for half the price the bookstore was selling it for! What a total scam by the UBC Bookstore! So, I ordered it online and it’ll be here in a few days.

If only I knew beforehand, I wouldn’t have had to walk what felt like a marathon today!

Oh and another thing, have I told you how hot some of the women are here at UBC? 😉

STUFF

Sorry for not posting in a while. I am still adjusting to being back in school.

I would say I am more comfortable being here than I was last week. The first week was a bit of a shock. In terms of school, I think I’m in the calm before the storm. None of my classes have really assigned any work. Well, I guess I could be reading my CPSC 352 text, but it’s no biggy. I’m expecting that two weeks from now, I’ll be deep into work, though I’m hoping it won’t be the case.

Let’s see what else… strangely, even though I get more TV channels here than at home, I’m watching less TV. I know I now have channels like CNN, TLC, etc. but I still forget once in a while they’re available to me. I love CNN, it’s the best channel for news.

Now I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. I am still very much stunned by the sight of all these girls on campus. I worked a year and a half at EA, and that skewed my perspective on what realistic female to male ratio are. Here at UBC, nearly 90% of girls are between the ages of 18-24. It also seems that almost all those ladies are super hot…. ha ha ha…

I will leave you with a few links to enjoy:

www.drunkcyclist.com – definitely not a site to be surfing on at work, however, it contains an excellent collection of free porn (no popup ads, no crap), a rarity these days

www.paulkatcher.com – undoubtedly one of the best personal web sites I’ve ever visited; Paul’s site is like mine in every way except it’s well-written, more funny, and better looking; his site contains the most interesting links I’ve ever had the chance to visit, they literally can suck hours out of your day.

IS THIS FOR REAL?

I read this on imdb.com.

Bald Ben Affleck’s toupee secret has been shockingly revealed when his hairpiece flew off at a party, according to press reports. The Pearl Harbor hunk, who is dating Latina babe Jennifer Lopez, had his secret revealed at a party when he and fellow actor Vince Vaughn started play-fighting and his carefully concealed hairpiece flew up in the air, British newspaper the Daily Star claims. A source says, “Ben was embarrassed. But he was with friends and begged them to keep his secret. He’s very private when it comes to his hair loss. He hasn’t even broken the news to girlfriend Jennifer Lopez yet. But his baldness has been the talk of Hollywood ever since he flipped his wig.” A friend adds, “Ben’s very vain. He’s had close to $50,000 worth of dental caps to improve his smile.”

WHOA… NEW DIGS

Well, I’m posting this from my new home at St. John’s College at UBC. There was a hiccup with internet access, but it’s all good now. Virtually all my stuff is moved in and I just need to organize a bit now.

It was very weird after dinner with my parents tonight. After the meal, I gathered my crap together and stuffed it into the car. My dad then drove me to UBC. This was exactly what happened on Sundays for five straight years between 1992-1997. And these weren’t happy memories either. During the years 1992-1995, I was taking inhumanly tough course loads, so I was always stressed out about getting work done. Having to stop work to have dinner and then driving back to UBC meant I lost about two hours of valuable work time. When I would get back to UBC, I’d always be in a hurry to unpack and start work again.

As I look back upon that, it was insane to feel that much stress. It was really unhealthy. In 1996 and 1997, my course loads were much lighter, so on those Sundays that I was at home, I’d be watching TV before dinner, my dad would drive me back to UBC, and then I’d continue to watch at UBC. What a world of difference.

Of course, the stressful memories are the ones that stand out.

Grad school is a bit strange, there’s a possibility I won’t have any grad classes at all this week. I’ll just have my one undergrad class to go to. I’m hoping this is the case, since I need a few days just to adjust to being in a new place. Man, I just moved in early June!

I wonder if I’ll be able to fall asleep easily tonight. It being a new room and new bed, I’ll probably be a bit uncomfortable. It’s strange how I used to get a new room every year, and I didn’t even blink, but after five years of being out, it’s a big deal now.

Ok, that’s it for now. Wish me luck on this new wild adventure.

KIDS THESE DAYS

If I could just slip into my crochety, ornery old man persona for a bit, I’d like to rant for a bit. Thanks.

First year students at UBC these days sure have it easy. Back when I was a first year, I had to walk uphill both… er, I mean… well, for instance, first years will never know the joy of lining up for over two hours in bookstore lineup to purchase outrageously priced textbooks. Back in my day, you had to endure a war of attrition with your fellow students waiting for the line to inch ahead. Woe were you, when you got to the sign that said, “The wait from here is approx. 2 hours”. These days, all first years have to do is submit their class lists to the bookstore. The bookstore then processes the lists, picks the texts for them, packs them into a box, and informs you everything is ready. The students then come, pay, and pick up the box. Done!

If that weren’t enough, first years don’t even have class the first week. They have this week long “orientation”, where UBC gently eases the wussies into university life. They an entire week of just getting used to the campus! Back in my day, we sure as hell had classes the first week! In fact, for three of my classes we had a midterm worth 40% on the very first day!

There’s no excuse for first years to fail now. The exams virtually write themselves!!!

THE GREAT SPIDER HUNT

This morning, before I left the house, I was engaged in a life or death struggle. It was epic, ok maybe not, but still, people shouldn’t have to expend the energy that I did so early in the day.

I was just about to leave and I walked towards the door to the garage. I was about ten feet away from the door when something dropped from a great height to the floor. It instantly caught my eye because it was brown and big. If it can catch your eye from ten feet away, it’s got to be big.

A split second after it landed on the ground, I knew what it was. It was a big-ass spiderTM. It was initially revulsed as it move slightly. However, I knew I had to kill it. This was big enough that given a few days, it might be big enough to take down a small dog.

I assessed the situation quickly. The spider was near a wall but still out in the open. Nearby was footwear, boxes, and a corner where it could easily hide. I had to act fast. I turned on some lights to get a better look. Next, I had to take my eyes off the spider and go get my hockey stick. There was no way in hell this was going to be a short-ranged attack.

When I returned I panicked slightly as I couldn’t see the spider. As I looked closer, I was relieved to see it had just moved a few inches. I readied the stick, positioning the blade so it would be flat against the carpet. Inches above my furry, brown arachnid invader with my stick, I struck… poorly. I thought I had made a direct hit, but the damn thing scampered away towards the shoes and the boxes. It was probably my imagination, but the spider appeared to have repeled my attack by pushing against the blade. Nah.

Now the thing was dangerously close to the nooks and crannies of the storage boxes and a corner where two walls met. My next strike had to count! Again, I readied my blade, and struck for all of humanity. And again, I managed to miss. To my chagrin, its eight huge legs propelled it into a narrow long gap between a box and the wall. It was now several inches away from the open and much harder to reach. This was not good.

I could still see it, but the narrowness made another quick strike impossible. Stupidly, I jammed the blade into the gap, no so much as an attack, but as some futile gesture. The blade blocked my view of the spider, so I pulled the stick back. The spider was no where to be found. Great. I left to get my MagLite, and shone its piercing beam in the gap which was now sanctuary for my little furry invader. I saw nothing. It was clear for all two feet of the depth of the gap. This was not good.

Already late for UBC, I pondered letting my spider nemesis win this round. As I looked at this corner where he was hiding I noticed all the footwear and the three boxes. Did I want him to start hiding in my shoes? What about hiding in my boxes of books? That would be awful. I decided I had to go in and get him.

It was no easy task. For one thing, he could be anywhere now, inside a box, or in one of my shoes. I decided to move the three boxes first, which was difficult. Each box must have weighed between 30 to 50 lbs. and were stacked on top of each other. I spun the first box right around to make sure it wasn’t hiding on the other side. I lifted it off and put it aside. With more space, I examined the corner from above. Nothing. I then removed the second box, fully expecting it to bolt at this point. Nothing. Where was it? I was down to the last box on the ground, this was it. For this box, I decided to pull it away from the corner. As I did so, I initially did not see anything. As looked closer, I saw its legs poking out from underneath the baseboard heater at the bottom of the wall. There!

For the third time, I readied the hockey stick, hoping this would be the final attempt. I struck and to my surprise, my aim was true. Rather than scampering, the spider balled up in defense. I struck again to be sure, and the spider was turned into a brown smear on the carpet. Spent, I pushed the last box in and stacked the last two back on.

I then left for UBC. Perhaps one day I’ll clean up the mess.

ROAD KILL

Well, as expected, I did not wake up in time to attend any of the talks given on graduate student orientation day. I managed to get to UBC by 11:30am, but the information fair was still going on, so I didn’t miss everything. I managed to receive a few bits of info and picked up the graduate student’s handbook. Having been a UBC student before, I think it was less important for me to go to this thing compared to students completely new to UBC.

While I was driving to and from UBC, I managed to see some really weird road kill related things. Having lived all my life in urban and suburban Vancouver, seeing road kill is a fairly rare occurence. Today, I saw road kill all over the damn place. When I was getting on the onramp to the highway, I saw what used to be a fairly large sized animal. All I saw was flat mound of fur and a splash of pink, this was no squirrel I assure you of that. It appeared to be the size of a housecat. If that wasn’t enough, when I got to around the Grandview Highway exit, the entire left lane of the highway was covered in fish! I’m not taking one or two small trout. It was if someone had painted the lane with a coating of fish meat, guts, scales, and skin. It smelled really bad. I was luckly enough to avoid the slick mess, but I can just imagine what the tires look like if you had driven through it. I later found out that a fish truck had lost its load. They had to sand the area to keep it from being too slick. Now I thought this was the last of the road kill for the day, but I was wrong! As I exited the highway, this bird flew awkwardly towards my the right front of my car. I’m pretty sure I missed it, but it was awful close, and I haven’t checked the front of my vehicle yet. Ew. Finally, as I left UBC I was driving on 4th Ave. when I saw squirrel flattened to the height of a pancake. It was just a platter of fur, ringed by a pink stain. Poor thing.

I saw a lot of animal carnage on the road today. Which will probably mirror the human carnage that will inevitably exist on the roads this Labour Day weekend. Only stupid people don’t wear seatbelts! Buckle up dummies!