DECISIONS, DECISIONS

I have lots of work to do. This in itself isn’t anything new. However, I’ve been led to temptation tonight. At dinner, Stephanie said that lots of people were going to the pub tonight. She said I should come. Sounds like fun.

Also at dinner tonight, I agreed to partake in a covert-op that will occur in the wee hours of the morning. I can’t say much, but it involves duct tape. One of the parties involved said she’s going to go “commando” tonight. In witty reply, I said, “You’re gonna go out with no underwear on?” I’m a funny guy, huh?

Maybe I won’t go to the pub, but I’m down for the late night activities. On the other hand, the pub could be fun

TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS

If I can just stop one person from patronizing the dry cleaners at the UBC Village, then this post will have accomplished its goal.

Last Wednesday, I stopped off at the dry cleaning place at the Village. Stupidly, I didn’t read the prices but I’ve been to many dry cleaning establishments and they all charge just about the same. Anyways, I dropped off two sweaters, nothing fancy mind you, one was a wool one and the other was cotton.

Today, I go and pick up my clothing. Total cost? $16.85!!! For two sweaters! I’m used to paying $5-6 per sweater, taxed included!

I know that any establishment is free to charge whatever they want, but $8.50 for a sweater is stupid. Just in case I was wrong, I phoned up a few dry cleaning places around town and I was quoted around $5 each time. They’re probably trying to profit off the fact they’re the only dry cleaners on campus.

Don’t go to the Village dry cleaners if you don’t have to!!!

LATE NIGHT POSTING

Hmmm… it sucks that I’m so busy. It leaves no time for the web site. I had a busy weekend that didn’t leave too much time for fun.

On Friday, I met up with my Mom for dinner. She gave me the pair of PJs she bought for me in Shanghai. Oh yeah, did I mention my parents came back from China on Tuesday? My Mom declared her and my father SARS free, but I’m still nervous. Anyways, the PJs rock. They’re virtually the perfect pair. 100% cotton in a blue gingham pattern. I’ll have to take a photo for you guys to see.

After I got back from dinner, I did work all night till around 2am or so. I think I got up at noon the next day.

On Saturday, I did work all day! The only time I paused was when Rhonda was nice enough to let me share her vegetable stir-fry for dinner.

Today, I went to Safeway for a much needed food run. I was totally out of food. For almost a week, I was eating food out of a vending machine late at night.

Well, it’s super late, so I better put this one to bed. Oh before I go, I’d like to show you the results of some new software I’ve been using to thumbnail my pictures. I literally just downloaded it ten minutes ago. I’ve used it to work on my Chinese New Year pictures. It looks like crap ’cause I don’t have time to tweak it, but it certainly saved me some time. In any case, take a look here.

A THOUGHT

Personally, I don’t like hard-boiled eggs, but I think they should put them as toppings on pizzas. You know, take hard-boiled eggs, slice them into 1/8″ slices and place them on the pizza. It’s gold Jerry! Gold!

TUESDAY’S TALES

This is going to be one of those posts where I should probably be sleeping but instead I’m writing.

I wrote my last midterm of the year today. I didn’t do so great. Part of the reason was that the prof likes to give really confusing exams. He’s fond of convoluting the basic facts and principles into these obscure problems. A classmate of mine wasn’t too happy about it either. I think another reason why I sucked today is that I don’t write exams as well as I used to. Time was a precious commodity today and that just makes me even more nervous.

The year is almost over. It seems like it was only yesterday when I moved in to SJC. I’m not sure if any eight month period has progressed faster in my life.

So, what else is happening? Oh yeah, the war in Iraq. I must admit I’ve been addicted to the news for the last few days. I just can’t get enough of the coverage. I want to know about every major development as soon as it happens. The reporting has been very one-sided thus far. By one-sided I mean, it’s all coming from the coalition side. While Western journalists are more likely to be fair and neutral compared to al-jazeera, I’d like to see and hear what is going on from the Iraqi perspective. And I don’t mean some propaganda from the Iraqi Information Minister.

Actually, some of you may have seen this link before, but I just found it myself tonight. It’s a blog supposedly written by, “Salam Pax”, a citizen of Baghdad. A few people out there are skeptical that the blog is real, but others have all but verified it’s authenticity. “Salam Pax” offers a decidedly unique view on the conflict. So many of the reports are about the fighting and the soldiers, but many times I wondered, how are the civilian people of Iraq dealing with this? Are they going about their business? “Salam Pax” has written about just going outside to buy food and surveying the city. He doesn’t seem to be a big fan of the Saddam Hussein regime, but at the same time you can sense his sadness at witnessing his city being bombed.

There is much sadness going around on both sides though. The American media is so fond of getting on TV the relatives of dead soldiers and POWs. Why do they do that? I guess one reason is so that the relatives can say so-and-so was a great person and they’ll be sorely missed. I have this is feeling though, the networks are putting them on to tug at the heart-strings of viewers.

You know, I honestly have no idea how this is all going to end. That’s partly why I can’t get enough of the news. It will be fascinating to watch this come to whatever conclusion presents itself.

Oh, I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, so I’ll just tack it on this post. I’d like to publicly thank Lulumon for making their yoga pants. I’ve never worn a pair myself, but that doesn’t really matter. And that’s all I have to say about that.

STORY CONTINUED

Yeah, so where was I? Well, I sat on the domain for a few months, perhaps two or three. The big thing was finding out what I’d do for hosting. Most of the plans I saw were about $20 US a month, for around 30 Mb of storage space.

Back then, I thought that was a lot of money for something that I had potentially no audience for. Around the spring time or so, I had a chance conversation with a friend Jason Grant. Jason kept a Linux box on the Internet, maintained his own domain, and hosted a few others. I mentioned how I had a domain but had no hosting. He graciously offered to host my site, give me e-mail usage, and also lots of storage space. All at no cost.

Once that was done, I began building my pages. It was really simple at first. I can’t even remember what it looked like. There were maybe two pages initially. I gradually built it from there, adding on pages and trying new things. Traffic was sparse to say the least. I think I’d get perhaps two visitors a month!

I’d tell people my new e-mail address and web site, but very few people caught on. The first time I had a major spike in traffic was when one of the guys over at plantfortress.com linked to my site on their main news page. I had helped them write a small article on a game, and they publicly thanked me. I was so surprised when I saw the server logs that day. Twenty visitors in one day! Ha ha ha…

Fast forward to the present and twenty visitors a day isn’t out of the ordinary any more. I’m still glad whenever people visit, but it’s nice to know people are finding my site everyday.

So, that’s the abbreviated story of erwintang.com.

SORRY FOR THE POP-UP ADS

Some of you may have noticed that pop-up began appearing on my site sometime today or yesterday. I can assure you I did not do this on purpose. I have been using a stat tracking service named InterTracker. Sometime over the weekend, they changed the JavaScript code that gets called whenever anyone visits a tracked page.

The result was the ads you might have seen. This was done without warning by InterTracker. I was quite unhappy to see what had happened this morning. I was not the only one to be angry either.

It appears that the pop-ups have stopped for now. Maybe someone changed their mind. If they continue to appear I will remove all the offending code and erwintang.com will continue to be pop-up ad free as it always has been.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO erwintang.com!!!

Today marks the third anniversary of the registration of this domain! Everyone here at erwintang.com is grateful we made it this far and we all hope the coming years will be even better.

There were times where we weren’t sure what we were doing or where the site was headed, but we’re happy where we are now. Part of the credit goes to you, the tens of readers out there. The fact that we all know people are visiting and expecting something reasonable to read motivates us everyday. That’s true from Jimmy in Accounts Receivable, to Lauren in Advertising, and all the way to me.

So, if you’re a regular visitor or visiting for the first time, thanks again for stopping by and I hope you’ll be coming back.

If you’ve ever wondered what possessed me to start erwintang.com, I’ll tell the story now. In March of 2000, I was sitting at home, unemployed. I was receiving UI, so I wasn’t really motivated to find a job. Plus, I had just gotten my ADSL line, so I was doing a lot of Internet time.

In between surfing for porn mating habits of field mice, I was stumbled across some story about a promotion about free domain registration. Apparently, some company was going to give away free domain registrations for an entire hour on-line. The promotion was to start at 5pm that day. I think I read that around 2pm or so.

So, around 4:55pm, I started hitting up on that company’s web site. Nothing. The site was being hammered with traffic. I tried attempt after attempt. Around 5:15pm or so, I got in, but I got only as far as one of the very first registration screens. I think I actually made reverse progress a few times as I re-loaded. It was maddening. I think around 5:45pm I actually got as far as the screen where you enter in the domain you want. It was then I realized that I didn’t even know what I wanted. I did some quick thinking and came up with the obvious. I spent another 15 minutes trying to complete the registration but I didn’t even get to a confirmation screen. 6pm rolled around and the hour was over. I was pretty sure I didn’t get my request in on time.

Over the next few days, I forgot about it when one day, I checked my e-mail. In my inbox was a message from the registration company. I had successfully registered erwintang.com and that all the details for the registration would follow shortly.

The story goes on from there… but I think I’ll leave that for later on Monday.

Anyways, if I were rich, I’d be having a big party for our third birthday, but all I can offer everyone is a big thank you once again for visiting.

Thanks!

WHO KNEW…

Making something to read e-mail would be so hard? I’m swimming in a sea of work, late nights, and toil. All of which leaves no time for a blog.

Until this all blows over, I invite you to read the blogs I read. Alyssa just got one of her teeth extracted. Make sure you click on the link for the “after” photo… very cool. Devon is going through another crisis. Will she survive this one? You’ll only find out on her blog as the Internet turns. Paul, on the other hand, is bringing attention to a very important birthday that’s coming up.

Have fun reading and have a great weekend!

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill