Today was supposed to be a very relaxed day for me. I only had one class at 3pm followed by a 2 hour lab at 4pm. In the lab, we weren’t even expected to do anything. It was a day to get caught up on reading and other things…. well, that was the plan.

I got up around 10am and still in my PJs, I decided to toast some dinner rolls I had. I used a steak knife to cut them in half. As I went to slice open the second roll, my hand slipped, and the knife cut into right thumb. I could tell the cut was deep, but nothing to be panicky about. However, this was probably the deepest cut I’d ever had. I held the wound closed and washed it off. As I let go of the wound, it began to seep with blood. Again, I washed off the blood and kept the wound closed. I kept it that way for several minutes, hoping the blood flow would abate.

After a few minutes, I cautiously let go of the wound. The blood flow had stopped considerably, but there was still enough to cause me concern. This was going to need medical attention. Damn, I knew then my entire morning would be taken up by this.

I was still in my PJs, hair unkempt, and teeth unbrushed. Somehow with one hand, I opened two Band-Aids (TM) and applied them without letting go of the wound. With my thumb flexed, I was able to close the wound and stil have my left hand free.

Now that I had some more mobility, I managed to brush my teeth, combed my hair, and got dressed. The only problem was my shoes. I couldn’t tie with just one hand. I called Marcia and Nic down the hall, but they weren’t available. Oh well, I thought and I just stuff the laces inside my shoes.

Off I trundled to the Student Health Clinic at the hospital. I debated whether or not this was an emergency, but decided it was not. It had been five long years since I had stepped into the SHS, but there it still was, in the same place.

My wait for a doctor was quite short. A young doctor came out to get me. It looked like he was my age or even perhaps younger. In the exam room, he got me to take off the Band-Aids, and he looked at my thumb. The blood was just oozing now, rather than flowing. I asked him if I needed stitches. He said yes, probably two.

He got me to lie on the table and placed a cloth along my abdomen. I then placed my right hand on the cloth. He then went to work to get the items ready for my stitches. As I watched him get any number of gauze pads, kits, and bowls, I realized this was going to be my very first set of stitches.

When everything was ready, he turned on two examination lights, and wheeled a tray over. I swear the whole setup was straight out of ER. Next, he grabbed a swab and warned me this might sting a bit. I gathered it was going be a disinfectant or something. As he applied it, it did sting, quite a bit actually. The whole time I just looked at the ceiling.

Next, he said he was going to numb the area. This involved jabbing a needle into the area of my wound to inject the local anaestetic. This hurt like a sonofabitch! Try slicing your thumb open and then having a needle jammed into the area. He did this on either side of the wound. Seconds later, I felt my entire thumb go numb.

He then wiped my entire thumb area and index finger with what I believed to iodine or some other germ killer. The thread and needle came out next, I actually didn’t watch him put in the stitches. Three stitches later, he applied Neosporin to the area. A bandage came on next. Followed by a gauze wrap. He wrapped it around my entire hand for stability, so I looked like a prizefighter afterwards.

He said I was done, but a nurse would be in afterwards to give me a tetanus shot. I thanked him for his care and he left. The whole time I was thinking how young this guy was. He could have easily been Dave Shu’s age, who is doctor friend of mine, and he’s a year younger than me.

The nurse then came in and gave me a tetanus shot on my right arm. Strangely, this was the least painful part of my day.

With that, I was allowed to leave. It was 12:30pm. What a great start to the day.

I have to change the dressing in 24 hours and come back in 7 to 10 days to get the stitches removed.

I took a picture of my hand, look below.


Ok, maybe not, but here at erwintang.com, I’m always looking to bring you, the visitors, more entertainment value. On the weekend, I decided to pick up a webcam. It’s a sure indication I’m neglecting my studies, but oh well, I haven’t bought a new toy in a long time.

I have the thing set up in my room at St. John’s College. I’m still working out the best way to use it, but I’m thinking about pointing it out my window during the day. My window faces a parking lot and you can see people coming and going all day. I wish I had a better view, but that can’t be helped. Alternatively, I can point it towards my room, but there won’t be much activity here during the day. One other thing I discovered last night is that I can stream pictures off cable TV to the Internet. So, on some days, I might just send pictures of let’s say talk shows over to this site.

Now, as tempting as it is, I don’t think I’ll be sending pictures of my room when I bring a girl back here. The reasons for this are twofold: 1. There’s no chance in hell, a girl would ever come back to my room with me, and 2. If hell did in fact freeze over, and I did bring a girl back, I doubt playing with the webcam would be the focus of my attention.

The cam is setup to take images every two minutes, but the webcam window will refresh every 30 seconds. This is because sometimes I have the motion detector on and the image might refresh much faster than two minutes.

So, without further ado, click here for some not-so-interesting fun!


Those UBC worms are back, just like they do every year. If you’ve ever been to UBC in the fall, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll try to describe it. I’m no entomologist, but these worms are about 5mm to 10mm long. They’re yellow. These worms can be mostly found on the tree-lined Main Mall, which happens to be the most used pedestrian walkway on campus. The worms hang from the trees on a thin strand of filament. Think of them as nasty Christmas tree ornaments.

My theory is that the worms are banking on people or animals to make contact with them and then carry them away to other areas to breed. Either that, or they’re waiting for a breeze to carry them off, like baby spiders do.

It’s still early in the season, but I’m hoping the worms aren’t as prevalent as in past years. Let’s hope UBC has done something about them. When I was in undergrad, during September/October, the worms basically made it impossible to walk along Main Mall. Every where you walked you were trying to dodge tiny little yellow worms swaying in the wind. It was disgusting.

I remember one time, I was sitting in class when I looked at the person in front of me. He had the misfortune of walking into one of these worms. It had landed on his hair which was kind of poofy, so he couldn’t feel it. This little yellow worm was wiggling and writhing on his hair. It made me shudder in horror. It was straight out of Wrath of Khan, you know when Chekov get implanted by that thing? Anyways, I was so grossed out, I couldn’t bear to tell this guy.

These damn things are back, and I hope to hell I don’t get any on me. Does anyone know the real name for them?


If you know me really well, you’ll know that I am a big fan of pyjamas. I lounge in them whenever I can. In the mornings, if I have no where to go right away, I’ll stay in my PJs. If I go out for an errand or for the afternoon, I’ll come back and change right back into my PJs. I’ll stay in my PJs all day if I don’t have anywhere to go.

I find that pyjamas are the ultimate in comfort and really let you relax. I’ve always thought it would be great if it was socially acceptable to wear pyjamas out in public. Then, I read this.

I’ve always thought Communist China was a backwards nation, but in this regard, they are really leading the world in public pyjama acceptance.


Thus far, my Sunday has been quite boring. I woke up around 11am, got up, boiled some water, wash my face and brushed my teeth. I then had a rousing breakfast of a Powerbar and some warm water. I honestly love warm water in the mornings. As I ate, I sat down, surfed for news, and also watched the local news. It just made me sad.

I chatted on Messenger a bit and then before I knew it, it was 1pm. Still feeling hungry, I went to one of the kitchens here and heated up a can of soup for lunch. Then came, the boring readings.

As I mentioned before my CPSC 544 prof is assigning a tidal wave of reading. It’s so much, that she’s not even addressing a lot of the readings in class. This prompts me to believe these “readings” should be “references” and not actual testable material. However, I’m in a lot of trouble if she thinks all the readings that are assigned are testable material. There are only two days in between classes and so far, she assigns about 100-120 pages of reading in between classes. Not only is it just a Herculean task to get the readings done, I find it hard to believe anyone is retaining all info they read.

Here’s an example of how it’s going to be impossible to keep up with her reading assignments: on Friday, she assigned us to read Chapters 9, 10, and 11 from this book (approx. 80 pages!) which she freely admits that won’t be in the reading room until after the lecture for which we should have done the reading. So by the time Tuesday lecture ends, I will have to read the previous 80 pages from before, plus the 100-120 pages she will invariably assign for Friday.

Nic, a nice chap I’ve met at St. John’s, has recommended I begin doing a skim reading technique for this class: read the first paragraph and then the conclusion for each section, skim through the rest. This will become a necessity for me I believe.

Another beef I have about this class is that all the lectures are presented in Powerpoint form. Unfortunately, the slides aren’t posted on the course website until after the lecture. So, I have to sit there watching the slides which I don’t have. The professor teaches exclusively from the slides, so we don’t take any notes. It’d be nice to make little annotations next to the slides as she goes along, but since no one has the slides we can’t do that. Afterwards, we can print out the slides, but here’s where it gets ridiculous, some lectures have as many as 80 slides! I’ve calculated it where on an average week, I’ll have to print out 60 pages of Powerpoint slides for lecture notes. That’s 240 pages of notes for one month of class. In my undergrad days, I’d be surprised if I had 240 pages of hand-written lecture notes for an entire term in a class.

Well, after lunch, I tried to read this online book that was assigned to us. The whole document was setup as a web site, and I hate reading academic material on a monitor. So, I decided to print out the whole book. The whole thing was divided in sections for about 70-80 pages in total. I got half way through printing it all when I just got frustrated at having to read all this and to probably not discuss it in class.

I decided to read some stuff for my CPSC 352 Software Engineering course. I’m really enjoying this course. It was much more enjoyable.

After that, I started reading this online book. Four hours later, I’m about two-thirds through it, but my motivation is really low when I have no clue how important this material is. If the prof is going to gloss over the material, why the hell would I want to spend my entire Sunday afternoon reading this?

Now, if I were younger, I’d probably just continue to bitch about this, but I’m old and ornery now. On Tuesday, I’m going to talk to the prof and ask her two things: 1. can you please consider putting on the slides before the lecture? 2. why give us so much reading when it seems so little of it is addressed in class?

I’m going to try to finish this stupid book before Band of Brothers is on tonight, but it probably won’t happen.

Be glad you didn’t have the Sunday afternoon I did!


I was going to use my cell phone here, but the reception sucks. Something probably to do with the asbestos in the walls.

Anyways, I took the plunge and got an actual land line. Now if any of you care, and I doubt that many of you do, you can e-mail me and I’ll pass along my number.


So I e-mailed the guy that knew about the all the network traffic problems last night. He response was an eye-opener. I’m no network engineer, but what he told me was surprising. Apparently, St. John’s is on an unswitched network. Using any number of publicly and free software tools, you can monitor all the internet traffic on our network. He said it’s perfectly legal to do so since you’re not going in and rooting around inside anyone’s computer. You’re simply analyzing the data that’s coming over the network.

Well, I tried this right away. I went to download.com, typed in “network sniffer”, closed my eyes and picked the first program my finger pointed to. In about ten minutes I was able to see what everyone was doing on Internet in my residence. Some people were using MSN Messenger, others were using Outlook, and most everybody was surfing the net. Here’s the interesting thing, I was able to also see what sites they were visiting.

To my dismay, at first everyone was visiting really innocent and productive sites, eg. Yahoo mail, Hotmail, NY Post online, TSN, UBC departmental sites, UBC student services, etc. Where was the porn? Where were the racy sites? I began to get bummed out. I couldn’t be the only pervert in St. John’s! I suddenly became very conscious of what sites I had visited recently.

Undeterred, I continued to monitor our network. About 15 min. later, everyone was still doing completely productive surfing. Then, it happened, two IPs on the network began listing porno sites as activity. Yes! I am not alone! Ha ha ha…

The lucky thing is that you can’t match the IP to exact room numbers. I’m not sure who has that list, I don’t think it’s public. Nonetheless, it’s a bit weird knowing anyone can see what other people are doing over the network.

Ok, I gotta go read some stuff. Take care.


So, sometime between 12am and 12:30am my internet connection crapped out. Everything stopped. I couldn’t do anything. About fifteen minutes later, I reboot and everything is fine.

An hour later or so, I get this e-mail on the St. John’s mailing list. One of the residents is looking for a specific port owner on the St. John’s network. In his e-mail he states that one particular port caused the gateway to shut down to due to a massive amount http requests from that port. Furthermore, he said that most of the requests were going to web sites that were unavailable. His message was a warning to that particular port owner that something might be wrong with their system.

I read that e-mail and forgot all about it. Twenty minutes later, it clicked in my head… wait a minute, how the hell did that guy know about the traffic over the network? How did he know what sites that port owner was trying to visit? Did he have access to network stats or something?

Geez, with all that porn I’ve been looking at, my log of sites visited must probably make me look like a real sick individual!


If you’re like me, and let’s hope you’re not for your sake, you’re eagerly awaiting the DVD release of Episode II : Attack of the Clones. I am counting the days till November 12th.

Sure, you could start looking for a copy of the disc one leak, but why not wait two months for the real thing?

In the meantime, you can take a look at the Episode II DVD trailer. I snagged it off the dvd.ign.com site. It’s pretty slow with so many people getting the file. I decided to put it on my server. Right-click here and choose Save As (.asf / 8.9 Mb). You’ll need to have Windows Media Player to play the file. One other note, if you’re using Media Player 9, the file will screw up at the end. Use an earlier version of MP to see the really cool parts near the end. Enjoy!