Dear Lord, did I just get my ass kicked. What the hell was that?

I didn’t even get to finish the last question, which had about 30% of the marks. I knew I was in trouble when I was on the 2nd to last question still and there was less than 10 min. left. It took me nearly five minutes alone to read and understand the last question. By the end, I was in that freak-out mode where you’re just scribbling crap hoping to get part marks. The thought of getting the whole thing right is just out the window at this point.

The next thing I know, the exam is over. We pass our papers over. I was sitting next to my buddies for the exam. Chris turns to me and goes, “What the fuck was that?!?” Jonathan didn’t finish either.

While I’m still disappointed, my feelings are somewhat tempered by the fact I’m not alone in being displeased with the pacing of the exam.

Well, I’m going to Safeway now. Bacon here I come!


I’m about 15 hours from my first midterm in over five years. I have studied for the last six days for this. I should be ready, but the vibe I’m getting doesn’t feel right.

Some exams are easy. You know they’ll ask you for the definition of this or draw a diagram of that. Or, they’ll ask you questions which are very similar to those in the assignments.

This exam won’t be like that. The prof warned us there will not be any memorization required. Sure they’ll be a few diagrams needed, but these will be specific to the question asked, so you just can’t memorize something. As for assignments, they’ve been structured so that they are only somewhat applicable to the exam.

So where does this leave me? With a whole lot of potential for danger. This exam doesn’t follow the expected, straightforward nature that some profs use.

I could come back tomorrow and be extremely pleased with my performance, yet I could also come back cursing a forgotten concept that will cost me dearly. I just don’t know.

What I do know is that I’ll be glad to get this one underneath my belt, regardless of the outcome. Plus, I can go to Safeway after the exam and get some food.


Believe me, it was hard finding a shot where people weren’t naked

Let me make a public service announcement. You can now watch soft-core pornography on public, free television. Yeah, you heard me right. You know those movies you order at US hotels when you take a business trip to sell your shower curtains? The ones that cost like $12.95 a pop (get it? a pop… ha ha ha…)? That’s all free now.

City TV has decided to make every teenage boy (and perhaps even one grad student) in Vancouver happy they’re home watcing TV on Friday night. Every Friday at midnight, City TV puts on a soft-core porno. You won’t see an erect penis, but you’ll see plenty of enhanced breasts, flashes of frontal female nudity, and simulated sex.

Truly, we belong to the greatest civilization that this planet has ever witnessed.


Hey, corned beef from a can is already cooked right? ‘Cause if it isn’t, this is gonna be one of my last posts for a while.

Anyways, today I actually felt like I got some work done. First time since I started school. I got up at 11am, and studied for my midterm until basically 3pm. I think if I stopped studying now, I’d pass the exam. Yay! Except I’d like to more than pass.

I just realized though, if I was as dilligent as I was today in the past, my November would be a lot easier. As it stands, November is going to be a tough month. I have two major projects to complete, several assignments, two midterms, and two presentations. I could have finished one of the assignments and one of the presentations by now, but my slacking prevented that. If I work harder now, it’ll ease the workload I have in November.

I had another interesting thing happen today. Have you ever gone through a really familiar place like a hundred times, and thought you knew everything about that place? I had that feeling about the main floor of the Student Union Building here on campus. I’ve been through that place countless times and I thought I knew every nook and cranny. However, today I acquired a new perspective. After my only class of the day, I walked to the SUB with a classmate of mine, Michael. We went to Pie ‘R Squared and grabbed a slice of pizza. Mike said, “I’m gonna eat this at the Film Society, we got couches, wanna come?”

I said ok, I’ve never been there before, so why not? Mike lead me to this door at the end of the main floor of the SUB. I went into this darkened room and here was the space for the Film Society. There were couches, a widescreen TV, a 5.1 sound setup, and a movie playing. This room was literally right next to the loud, busy, and crowded main floor of the SUB. Yet, here, the room was quiet and tranquil. Several people were watching the Helen Hunt snorer (ha ha ha), “As Good As It Gets”. I never knew that room ever existed, and it was weird knowing you could find some peace there.

Sometimes, you can find new experiences without really going anywhere new.


I have this weird situation in one of my classes right now… well, technically it’s two. Anyways, for my undergrad class, there’s this guy and he’s my TA for the lab. However, for one of my grad classes, this guy is in the same class, so he’s my classmate in that particular situation. I’m sure he’s realized that I’m in his class, but at the same time, he knows I’m in the lab section he runs. He’s been cool about it so far, and he hasn’t even said, “Hey, you’re in one of my grad classes”.

Here’s where it gets a little weirder. I got a little curious about my classmates in my grad class, so I tried to see if they had web pages on the CS server. Most CS grads do. Lo and behold, my TA does. I find out that this guy is just a kid! He’s at most 23 years old, but probably only 22. He graduated high school a year after I graduated from university! When I was battling away during my hellish 2nd year of mechanical, this guy was celebrating his graduation from middle school. Now this guy is marking my labs.

This made me feel really old. I also felt like I was snooping on this guy’s life. Though, I guess if he didn’t want anyone to know about something, he shouldn’t have put it on his site.

Which brings up an interesting point, should I censor what I say here just because I know someone will read it? One issue that’s come up is that by using my @erwintang.com e-mail address, people automatically are curious about the crap I have here. I think I’ve mentioned this before.

So let’s say I’m in this really small grad class where we fill out an info sheet with our names and e-mail address on it. Then let’s say, there’s some super hot chick in that class. Yeah, unlikely in CS and MECH classes, but bear with me. Then assume this info sheet gets passed along to said super hot chick, and she sees my address. Then, assume I go home and write here, “Oh my God, there’s this smoking hot chick in my CPSC XXX class, I’m gonna spank it tonight thinking about her naked!” Then she visits my site, sees what I’ve read, and now I’m in deep trouble.

Ok, extreme example, but it does illustrate my point. I’d hate to think I would not write about something interesting just because there’s a chance someone might read about themselves. I wonder if I’ll have to make a secret blog where I put all the juicy stuff in there. Mmmm… highly doubtful since my life isn’t all that interesting, but you never know!


I’ve been wanting to do some really exciting things (well, at least to me) with my site lately, but the demands of school have been preventing that. I still think I go about work in the most inefficient manner, so I need to improve on that.

One thing that has occupied my time lately is a proposal I’m writing for a project in my fuzzy logic control course. Fuzzy logic can be used to implement a control system with artificial intelligence (AI). That AI term is used in the wrong context usually, hell, I think I used it incorrectly in my last sentence. Anyways, for my project, I’m proposing to control the behaviour of a video game hockey player using fuzzy logic. I’ve totally simplified it. First, I’m only controlling the defenseman. Second, I’m restricting my control output to the position of the defenseman. Third, I’m constraining the freedom of the defenseman to a single degree (lengthwise along the ice). I know it sounds totally hokey (or is it hockey?) but I think I’ve narrowed the scope of the project for it to be feasible, yet be non-trivial. The interesting part will be implementing the rule base for my control system. I’ll have to come up with crazy rules like, “IF puck is held by opposition AND puck is moving towards own goal THEN move back into defensive zone”. I think I may have to come up with at least 30 rules based on the parameters I have.

I’m also studying for a midterm I have on Monday. I’m kinda nervous about it, not so much for the material, but for the fact it will be my first midterm exam in over five years. Damn, I thought I was done with those things, but here we are. By my fifth year, I was a pro at writing those things. They were so damn easy. I had all the (legal) techniques down for getting a good grade on an exam. I think the last time a midterm kicked my ass was in third year. Fast forward to now… I wonder if I still have it in me. I wonder if this is how Lemieux felt right before he stepped on the ice to end his retirement. Of course, I’m not making the comparison that I’m the Mario Lemieux of exam taking… that guy would be Chris Dumaresq!!! Ha ha ha!

So in closing, I’d like to say I have some neat things in store for my site, I just need some time to fit them all in. Stay tuned!


Sorry, for not posting in a while, I was really busy when I got back to UBC.

Anyways, today I was reminded of how damn lucky I am to be living at St. John’s College on campus. I had a meeting at 9am, so I woke up at 8am. I stumbled out of bed, got decent, boiled some water, and had a nice breakfast. I went to my meeting and was back in my warm room by 10:15am. I got back into my PJs, checked my mail and checked if the sniper had killed anyone new, and then crawled into bed for a nap.

You can’t beat that convenience! The naps, the comfort of your own place right on campus, your own food, the warmth of your fuzzy slipppers… these are things a commuter can’t have during the day. Today after lunch, I watched a taped episode of Friends. Now, I’m going to go to my last class of the day. Truly, I live a charmed life compared to those who have to drive or bus it to school. I thank the stars I made into residence.


So I’m at my parents’ place for the long weekend. Less than 10 minutes after arriving, my Dad passes a message off to me.

“Mark, from the Internet phoned,” he says.

“Oh, Mark from the Internet phoned? I didn’t know the Internet had a phone number,” I replied.

My Dad then passed me a phone number along. Turns out it was my old ISP calling. I wonder what they wanted.

Anyways, my point is, it’s always interesting when I come home from school.