More than five years removed from my last final exam, I write another one tomorrow. Am I nervous? I sure am, but not the most nervous I’ve been before.

During my undergrad years, I wrote approximately 56 final exams (the minimum required by mechanical engineering), and I think anyone would have learned a thing or two about finals after that.

One thing to realize is that a final exam situation can be different depending on the circumstances. Two common siutations are: “the A is for you to lose” and “the A is for you to get”.

The former situation is more rare, though admittedly more desirable. Here, two things are true when entering the final exam: you have 80% or more in the class and the final exam is worth less than 50%. In this case, it is not necessary to even get an A on the final to maintain an A on the final grade. For example, say you have 87% in the class when the term ends and the final exam is only worth 40%. When you write the final, you only need to get 69.5% to maintain the A. If you were able to get 87% during the term and you can’t even get 70% on the final, then you deserve to lose your A. On the flip side, it can be a nice feeling knowing that three-quarters through an exam, you’ve written enough to get an A.

The latter situation is the one that’s more common. Here, you’re hovering around 80%, perhaps one or two points below an A. The final exam is worth more than 50%. In this situation, you have to get at least an A on the exam, but not much more than that. An overall A is just within your grasp, it’d be crazy to let up now. It’s a far cry from those mathematically impossible situations where you need like 150% on the exam to get an overall A. The problem is you’re so tantalizingly close to your goal, it can be maddening if something goes wrong and you wind up losing the A.

I’ve been in both situations. For ELEC 263, everything was going right for me in that class. In the final, I had an hour to go and I knew I had done enough to get at least 80%. I was tempted to leave just to get something to eat or to study for another final, but I stayed and wrote the whole thing. For MATH 254, some very bad things happened on the day of the final. I had like 77% or something going into the final, and I was pretty confident I could pull out an A. I had plenty of time to study, I understood the material, and I got lots of sleep. During the exam though, it just went poorly. I didn’t freeze up which I know people do, I was able to remember all the material and steps to solving the problems. Things just didn’t calculate properly. I was like, “that answer can’t be right”, and “I know my steps are correct, but this number isn’t round like it should be”. The whole thing wound up being a mess and I think I got 70% on the exam. Needless to say, I did not get an A for multi-variable integral calculus. Those damn Navier-Stokes equations!


I spent most of the day attending the group presentations for my CPSC 544 class. There were four groups and each presentation was about half an hour. Earlier, I had spent the morning with my group putting the finishing touches on our video. Each group had to include a video with our presentation. I had a lot of fun editing our video and knew it was going to be good.

I actually didn’t have to say anything for our presentation as Doug and Reid took over the speaking duties themselves. That left Tim and myself to just listen. Alright by me!

As I expected, our video ruled! We were the only ones to include music, titles with an edge, and humour. Everyone else took a serious approach to their video, which was ok, but certainly didn’t have the entertainment value ours did.

The video has been encoded for online viewing, but I’m still working out the hosting issues. I’d think it might be neat for everyone to see what a few hours of work can get you. In the meantime, there’s a screenshot above.

I’ll let you know when the whole thing will be available for download.


I’m sure everyone has seen the Internet Movie Database, where you can type in a name of someone and get a list of movies and tv shows they’ve worked on. This goes for anyone associated with the production, including assistants and other lower stature people, not just the stars.

Well, there’s a similar (albeit less complete) web site for the world of video games. has taken it upon themselves to document the names of people who have worked on a game.

Surprisingly, given my short time in the industry, even I have an entry on the site. Click here to see my entry. As I said before, the site is incomplete, and my listing is missing NHL 2001 PSX and NHL 2002 PS2, which were two projects I had the pleasure of being on.

It’s amazing that sitting in front of a video game for four months can get you a little credit on a web site. Want to see some other interesting entries? Click here, here, and here.


Friday was the end of term and I was too busy even to notice it. In the morning I had a 30 minute presentation to give. Two days and two presentations.

When I got to the classroom to ready my slides, there was hardly anyone in class… even five minutes before class was supposed to start. Half the class wasn’t even there. At the start of class, I asked the prof if I should proceed, but she told me to wait another five minutes. We wait and no one else showed up.

The presentation itself went really well from my point of view. All my words flowed smoothly and I didn’t stumble at all during any portion of my talk. I think everyone liked my slides and it appeared my audience was quite engaged. The whole thing was a lot of fun really. I’m not sure why people are so scared of talking in front of groups.

Anyways, when I was finished and I sat back in my seat, a classmate of mine turned to me and said, “That was good, you’re a really good speaker”. I was flattered.

The day didn’t end there though. My group members and I grabbed another subject for our experiment when we bribed him with a chocolate bar. We all went down to the lab, did the experiment and taped the whole thing. For the project presentation (on Monday), we have to show a video of users working with our system.

Next, we had to edit the videotape we already had. We were using Adobe Premiere, which none of us had experience with. I had to leave for class, but I came back at 4pm to help Tim with the editing. He had to leave for class too, but he showed me the robes. For three hours, I learned how to edit digital video. It was a lot of fun. I got to cut clips, make transitions (star wipes!), make titles, and put in music. If I had the money, I’d get a digital video camera and make my own movies (non-porn of course).

I wish I could put our video in Quicktime so everyone could see it.

By the time I left for dinner, I realized this was the last day of class for the term.

Wow, three months have passed since school started. While it flew by, I have learned a lot, which I’m quite happy about. I also know a lot more people now as well. For that, I’m extremely thankful.

Now, I have to go study again… lol.


When I wrote about Dev0n’s blog, I never thought she’d read it. After all, we don’t have common friends… or do we? Plus, her site probably has 100x more visitors than mine, who’d tell her about my little dog and pony show?

Lo and behold, Dev0n has left a comment on my site. I feel she has graced me with her presence. Not only did she leave a comment, she mentioned me in one of her posts. She even left a link to my site. With the number of visitors she gets, even more people will be looking at my site and saying, “Damn, that’s an ugly site.”

Here’s to Dev0n and more increased web traffic! Woo-hoo!


Thursdays are supposed to be one of my easy days. I don’t have class until 3:30pm and it’s my only one of the day.

Today, however, was different. I had to get up at 8:30am to get ready to run an experiment. I’m doing this group project for this class. Anyways, we developed this system (don’t ask) and we need to test it on users as part of the project.

The whole experiment ended at 12pm and I had to go get my transparencies done for the presentation I made today. You know the one where the prof gave us a day and a half notice? I got my transparencies done at the SUB, grabbed a slice of pizza for lunch, and headed home. The weather around UBC has been weird lately. The whole campus was shrouded in this gray fog.

When I got home, I checked my e-mail, and I didn’t even bother rehearsing my presentation. I changed into my PJs and went straight to bed. I got up at 3pm, got changed, grabbed my presentation stuff, and left for class.

As I walked into class, I was five minutes early, but they had already started the presentations! I knew this was going to be trouble. We had thirteen people in the class with the average presentation going 10 minutes each. That’s 130 minutes folks, not counting transition times. Yikes!

Some guys went totally over the 10 minutes and the prof would cut them off. It was kinda funny, these guys would look at the overheads they hadn’t gotten to yet, and you could almost hear them think, “but I spent hours on those last fews slides…”

Well, serves them right for being totally over. One guy had a ton of slides, like enough for an hour’s worth of time. I don’t know where he thought he could get through all of them in ten minutes. Dude got cut off!

Nearly two hours later, it was my turn to go. I was bringing up the other extreme in terms of number of slides. I had three slides in total. I was also last to go. People were antsy, raring to go by the time I got up there.

It had been five years since I had made a presentation. Suprisingly, it went really well. At least that’s some people told me. The prof asks a question or two of everyone at the end of the presentation. Luckily, he didn’t ask anything that revealed my stupidity. And he didn’t cut me off either.

Tomorrow, in about eight hours, I have to make another presentation. This one is going to be way longer, about 25 minutes. I think I’m prepared, but who knows what could go wrong. Hey, it’s also the last day of the class for the term!

Ok, I gotta go sleep.


I anticipate the next few days are going to get quite hectic for me… hell, they’re hectic now! As such, I might not be making many posts, and if I do, they’ll probably be short, if not coherent.

However, I know my faithful readers still want some entertainment out of this site, so who I am to disappoint them?

In light of this, I figured I’d let you read some of the blogs I read. Surprisingly, there are more blogs out there than mine own! Really! Let’s begin:

This blog actually has a personal connection to me… sort of. I have this friend Fraser, who told me once that he met some girl on this on-line dating service. They were going to go on a first date and naturally I wanted to hear more about this girl. He wouldn’t tell me anything except that she had a web site. He gave me the address and I took a look. Devon’s blog was the first ever I had seen. I was immediately interested in the whole format of blogging. It seemed so random and easy to get your thoughts out. It took about five months, but I gathered the courage to launch my own blog after seeing Devon’s.

Now about Devon’s blog itself. Hmmm…. how should I put it terms that are accurate. Ok, how about this… if my blog is a combination of a Dennis Miller rant and a Fox sit-com, then Devon’s blog is an old fashioned melodrama. She’s so open with her thoughts and emotions, it can’t help but read like a melodrama. She writes down when she cries (it can be quite often), what her fears are, when she has fights with people (again, can be quite often), and almost everything in general.

I’ve never met her in person, but I feel I know a lot about her. I rarely go to her site to get a laugh, but I do go to see how gritty other people’s lives are. I applaud Devon for being so candid on the Internet. If I had to deal with some the issues she does, I doubt I’d have the strength to post everything on the Internet for all to see.

Click here to read Devon’s blog.

Alyssa Murphy

On the other end of the emotional spectrum, is a 23 year-old woman living in Hawaii named Alyssa Murphy. I still can’t remember how I got to her blog, but I’m glad I did. I’m going to get this out of the way, so I can continue… Alyssa is a very attractive woman (some of my friends might even describe her as hot). There, I feel much better… 🙂

Her posts are really interesting to read. She’s a capable and confident young woman with an interesting job, lots of friends, and an active social life. She always seems upbeat and even when she has a bad day, it appears to never drag her down that far. A bit of a contrast compared to Devon at times.

This is going to sound weird, but if I were to have a daughter, I’d like her to have some of the qualities that Alyssa exhibits. Man, I must be getting old… ha ha ha.

Anyways, here is her blog and here is her personal web site.

I need to sleep, so I’ll catch you guys later.


No one likes reading about everyone’s whiny complaints, but at the times, you just have to bitch.

School isn’t very fun right now. Today, one of my profs (who shall go unnamed… ha ha ha) told the entire class we had a presentation to give on Thursday. This was the first anyone had heard of this. We all have to give a ten minute presentation outlining the project we’re doing for the course. One small problem… I haven’t started the project yet (which itself is due in two weeks, worth 50% of the course). I’m in good company since nearly no one in the class has started too. I’m basically going to have to wing my presentation on Thursday, and talk about things I have to do as if I’ve done them already.

The funny thing is, I have another 25 min. presentation to give the next day for another class. It’s supposed to be 15 to 20 min. for my talk and another 5-10 min. for question and answer. I timed my talk twice tonight. Both times I can up with 13 minutes. I need to eke out two minutes somewhere. Maybe I should talk really slow for during stretches. Actually, Garrett Knights came up with a great idea. He said I should tell two minutes of jokes at the beginning or end.

If that weren’t enough, I have another group presentation to make on Monday. It’s been five years since I’ve had to make a presentation and I get three in the span of four days.

I also have my first final exam in seven days. That wouldn’t be that bad except I have a million other things to do which kinda gets in the way of reviewing. Screw reviewing, the prof is still teaching new material until Friday, so I’m still learning at this point. In fact, I’m two units behind.

It’s times like this I think it’s incredible students actually paid to have the privilege of being stressed out of their minds.

For an alternate view of university life, go over to Nordman’s site.


I should be in bed right now, but I’ll write this quick post.

If you haven’t seen them already the NY Islanders unveiled their new third jerseys yesterday. It’s a… whole lot of orange.

If you’re wondering, that’s model Carol Alt next to Alexei Yashin. If you ask me, and most people do, they make an unlikely couple. He just doesn’t seem “with it”.

Oh well, I have a busy day tomorrow, so I’ll write more then.


As some of you might recall, during an earlier episode of, I told a tale of the St. John’s College pop machine accepting my money, but refusing to give me product.

I am happy to announce that the situation has been resolved with a happy conclusion, well at least on my end. Earlier last week, the Aramark Corporation mailed my $1.75. It was sent as a loonie and three quarters, all taped to a standard Aramark “We’re sorry our machine took your money and then gave you nothing” apology card.

This is further reinforcement that a consumer using firm, yet polite communication can make big companies to listen. I have no thoughts on where I’ll be spending the $1.75, but I am looking at property in Monte Carlo.