So after working like a Latin American sweat shop employee for the last two weeks, I’ve finally caught up with all my school work. I have an assignment due tomorrow that I’m pretty much done and happy with. The students in my tutorial will have all their assignments marked and returned tomorrow. I’m also where I need to be in terms of reading for all my classes. I should be in this situation for the rest of the term, there is really no excuse to be otherwise.

Of course, this can all change in a day. In a day, a prof can give out another assignment, ask you to read another chapter, or hand out another paper to analyze. Also, like clockwork, my students will have another assignment for me to mark tomorrow.

The only concern I have is my grad course in Artificial Intelligence. I’ve never taken a course in AI before and though this one is supposed to be introductory in nature, it is still a grad course, which means it’ll be fast, it’ll intense, and I’m guessing it won’t be easy. There are many easy grad courses out there and I took several (to my delight) last year. AI, though, I just have a feeling this is gonna be tough one.

The first assignment for AI is due next Monday, so I have eight days to do. I’m really nervous about it. I should start now. Like right now. Human logic is well, illogical sometimes, so because I’m scared of my assignment, I’m going to clean my room, vacuum my floor, and perhaps do my dishes. Then I’m going to play croquet. Well, if I’m done my chores early, I might play video games. The main thing is I’m not going to start my assignment just yet… ’cause that’d be the intelligent thing to do.


Being in school, there have been many a time where I’ve been delirious from lack of sleep and food. During those times, I’ve come up with some interesting thoughts.

“I should put up a photo of myself from grade eight computer club on my web site.”

“Yeah, I think I can eat over 30 chicken wings tonight.”

“I’m going to purchase a pair of yellow slippers with hearts on them.”

“Being an avid baker of desserts does not undermine my sexuality.”

One of the most interesting thoughts I’ve had, however, centers on being the last person on this planet. I’ve always wondered, somehow, if in a single second, all human beings on Earth were to disappear (except for myself), how would I survive? Could I? For how long?

I’m guessing my first set of feelings would revolve around sorrow, fear, and exhilaration. Sorrow for the fact that the entire human race had somehow disappeared, leaving me to deal with that. I’d probably be pretty distraught at the loss of my friends and family. I’d definitely fear for my survival. How would I get food and water? After a while, I think I’d feel exhilaration because no one could tell me what to do or where to go. I could walk the hallways in my underwear all day now, whereas I only do that late at night when no one is awake.

So let’s explore this further. First up is survival. Shelter would not be an issue. I could live anywhere I want now. Any shack, apartment, house or mansion would be mine. Food would not be a concern for several months. There would be enough food in the city to last me years. The big kicker here? Electricity. Without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to live in places that necessitated elevators. Refrigerated food would go bad. Pumps at gas station would not work. I could have any car I wanted, but without access to gas, I’d be out of luck. So much would depend on electricity. The question is, how would the electricity stay on without human monitoring? Do hydro plants require human control on a daily basis to stay functioning? Probably not, but if something went wrong, someone would need to look into. Would I know how to do that? No.

Even something simple like a downed power line would screw me up. If a tree fell on a line on the street I’m staying on, I’d have to move. There’s no way I know how to fix power lines. The issue of electricity is a total crapshoot. I could have power for anywhere from months to years. If power did fail, I could just decrease the scale of my problem. Instead of trying to maintain the local power grid, I could just run generators for my local power needs.

Assuming I had electricity, food, and shelter, what the hell would I do with my time? I’d probably do a lot of exploring. I hate to say this, but I’d most likely break into a lot of homes. Not to steal stuff, but to see how people lived their lives. What furniture they bought. What they ate. The pictures they took. What their lives were like before they were gone. In terms of material goods, I’d take stuff from stores. I’d get a really nice computer. Plasma TV. A good stereo. A stainless steel blender. A lemon zester. A Clapper(tm).

I would probably try out a few different type of cars. I’d bring a few back to where I lived. Knowing me though, I’d settle on a single reliable car that I knew could serve me in any situation… like a KIA.

The underlying theme in all of this would be survival. I’d be aware that at all times, if I got hurt, I’d be the only that could help me. Yeah, sure I could drive a Porsche down the #1 at over 180 kph, but what if I wrecked it? Then I’d be begging for death if I managed to survive the initial crash. What if I got sick? Would I self-diagnose and then prescribe my own meds? How the hell would I even how to do that?

Then there’s the question about exploring beyond city limits. It’d be pretty neat to explore the cities of North America, but also dangerous. I’d probably drive, but what if my car broke down in the middle of nowhere? I’d probably have enough food for me for a few days, but what if I couldn’t find another car? What if I go to a city that had no electricity? I’d be stranded there. That would suck. What if I managed to get to a city that had a nuclear power plant? Let’s say said plant didn’t shut down properly. I’d be irradiated and not even know it for a few days. By then, I’d be a dead man walking.

If I were really bold, I’d learn how to fly an airplane. If I were smart about it, I’d take months, even years to learn how to do it properly. Just in case, I’d get cold feet about the landing, I’d take a parachute me. I’d get the airliner over the city I’m going to, and just jump out. Yeah sure, the plane would crash, but hopefully I’d be smart enough to point it away from buildings. Like a power plant. Or a Wal-Mart.

Well, it’s getting late. What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?


I spent six hours today marking one damn assignment for the class I’m a TA for. Sixty assignments. That’s a whole lot of marking. I only get paid six hours a week for marking. Too bad I have two more assignments to mark this week. UBC gets free labour from me. Bah.

In other damn news, I found a baby picture of fellow SJC resident Bryan. See below.

I also found the costume I’m wearing for Halloween this year. I’ll be damned if I don’t get the freakin’ award this time around.


I’ve been working hard (at least for me) for the last couple of days. I think if I put in a good day tomorrow, I’ll be where I need to be. If I were to describe it as a commercial airline flight, I’m just finishing my climb towards cruising altitude. I’ll need to put some work to keep the bird in the air, but not as much work as I needed to take-off.

I could have worked until 4am, but around 2am I said, screw it. I’m tired of working until I had to absolutely go to sleep. It leaves me with a disatisfied feeling before I fall asleep. Like the whole day was put towards work, with patches of procrastination here and there, but never really having time for me.

So, for the last hour or so, I’ve been working on my site. Before I show you the fruits of my labour, let me tell you about my weekend thus far.

On Friday, I had a chance run-in with my good friend Marcia, or now more correctly, the new Mrs. Marcia George-Clarke. Anyways, she was in the middle of errands, so she asked me to walk with her while we talked.

Her first errand? To get her U-Pass. Um, ok. I follow her down to the base of Koerner Library. I’m wondering if Murdoch’s sister is still down there. I walk into the U-Pass room and there are shouts from behind workstations.

“Hey, it’s that guy!”

“Oh my God, it’s”

Marcia turns to me with a confused look. Murdoch’s sister is indeed still working. Except it appears she has told all of her co-workers about me and my site. The guy next to her has a laptop computer. He turns it around to show me what’s on his screen. It’s my site. For some reason, I’m feeling quite shy at that moment.

Some other U-Pass girl comes up to me and says hi. “Hey, that intro to your site? Nice… I like the part about you not having a girlfriend.”

“Um, thanks.”

Meanwhile, Marcia is getting her U-Pass processed, and I’m kinda hiding behind her while all the U-Pass workers look at me.

Unfazed, Murdoch’s sister is explaining to some other people what they can do with their U-Pass, she ends her spiel with, “and don’t forget to visit”.

Marcia grabs her U-Pass and starts to leave. I say goodbye and nice to meet you to all my new friends in the basement of the library.

Outside, Marcia makes me sit down on a curb.

“Ok, you need to explain to me what the hell that was all about.”

I tell her the whole the story. She seemed somewhat amused.

Later in the evening I went to my parents’ place to pick up some stuff. I spent the night there. I totally forgot it was their anniversary last week, so I took them out to dinner on Saturday night. I’m such a good child.

So, that brings us to here; and the work I’ve done on my site.

First off, I’ve put up another interview here at I may or may not have re-used a previous set of questions in the interests of saving time. Also, the idea of re-using questions may or may not have come from the interview subject Carolyn. In any case, you can read the new interview here.

Lastly, I feel really bad that I have three sets of digital photos on my HD and they’ve not seen the light of day on the Internet. These sets cover my trip to New Orleans, the 2003 SJC Welcome Dinner, and Nic and Marcia’s wedding. I will eventually put these photos up, but here’s a sample of things to come.

That’s enough work for one night, I’m going to play a game, watch TV, or clean my fridge before I go to sleep.


I’ve been working hard the last couple of nights, reading from text books and such, in an effort to catch up. I still can’t believe how fast my classes have been out of the gate. It was out of my control really, but had I been on the ball from week one, I’d be laughing right now. As it stands, I gotta go hard-core until probably Sunday before I’m where I need to be.

Until then, the rest of my life is somewhat on hold. My room is a mess and I need to vacuum. I want to go shopping for new dinner plates. There’s a recipe I want to try from a cookbook. Jedi Academy is now out. My fridge is empty. The list goes on…

3am in the morning… I need to get some beauty sleep.


Wow, who knew slacking off the first two weeks of school would cost me so much in terms of work now. The odd thing is that I don’t even have any assignments to work on. I’m just doing reading.

Actually, it’s all the damn marking I’m doing that’s costing me. There are over sixty students in my tutorial and I haven’t been given answer keys to their assignments. I have to make up the keys before I even mark a single question. I’ve talked to a few of my fellow grad students here at SJC and according to them, this is not normal nor fair to me. I learn a little bit more each time I teach and each time I mark, but I still have lots to learn. The good thing is that I’m pretty sure I’ll be a kick-ass TA for this course next term. I just hope I can get through this term first.

So today, I had two odd run-ins with total (almost) strangers on campus. I decided today was the day I would get my U-Pass. All of this stuff is done at Koerner Library, which I like to avoid since it’s so busy with undergrads. On the way there, I’m minding my own business when out of the blue someone says my name.


I stop and look and it’s this young lady going by me the other way. I have no clue who it is. I gamble and make a split-second decision to bluff my way out of it.

“Oh hey, hi”

I guess I had a really bad poker face on because she saved me from further embarrassment.

“I’m Molly’s younger sister, we met last Thursday.”

Yes, in fact, we did meet. Molly was one of the bridesmaids from the wedding I went to on Friday. Molly drove me home from the rehearsal dinner, but she stopped off at her parents’ home before that and I met her family.

Her sister was able to recognize me again from a five-minute meeting and this time in daylight instead of night. Weird. We talked a bit about the wedding, but it got progressively weirder. I made some mention about my U-Pass and left.

Once in the library I was met with some bureaucratic red tape, but luckily that resolved itself quite quickly. To get your U-Pass you have to hand your student card to any number of student workers manning workstations. Out of the many workstations, my turn in line directed me towards one where a young lady took my student card. Not five seconds after I handed her my card, she asked me a question which was most surprising.

“Hey, did you work at EA?”

I was surprised enough at her question that I didn’t answer right away. I eventually did though.

“Now, why would you ask me a question like that?”

“My brother is Alex Murdoch, you played softball against him this summer. I was there too.”

Too weird. Two separate run-ins. Both with sisters of people I know. Murdoch and I worked at EA togther. During the summer softball league, Murdoch played as a ringer for another team. I didn’t know he had a sister, nor that she was on his team when I played him.

Since there was no one else lined up behind me, I decided to chat with Murdoch’s sister. It turns out she’s finished her degree at UBC in Theatre. She told me Alex is engaged. Of course, if you’re an EA employee, you might already know this. After a few minutes of small talk I decided I to take my leave. I thanked her for my U-Pass and went on my way.

It’s amazing how many people you can run into on campus on any given day.

Ok, sleep time!


Over the weekend, I was in Pacific Centre when I passed by one of those carts they have in the mall level. They were selling Sea-Monkey starter kits. I picked up the cheapest one they had.

It looks identical to the one I had as a kid, right down to the location of the magnifying bubbles on the plastic tank. I remember my Mom helped me clip an order form from the back of a comic book. We sent the form away and a few weeks later the kit came in the mail.

Even as a kid, I knew the elaborate illustrations of Sea-Monkeys in clothes and doing activities as a family were a bunch of crap. They’re a special kind of brine shrimp. How special? Well, a few weeks after I had my kit up and running, as a typical kid is prone to do, I knocked the tank over. The whole thing emptied onto the carpet, much to the chagrin of my parents.

For some reason, I didn’t clean out the tank and just left it to dry out. Weeks later, I put more water into the tank and pretty soon I had new Sea-Monkeys. That batch lasted much longer and they got to be quite large in size and complexity. In the end, I had to flush them down the toilet, because I swear my little Sea-Monkey society was mere days away from acquiring the ability to produce nuclear weapons.

So, I have a new tank now. I’m not allowed to have a cat or a dog and fish are too time consuming for me, so these brine shrimp should do the trick. I only need to feed them once a week, so that’s something I can do. When they get bigger, I’m thinking about putting them on my webcam.

If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because you might have seen RALLAN do something like this. I figure we’re even because I’ve visited his damn “new” web site for months now and it stills says it’s “mere days” before it launches.

Well, it’s getting really late and I’ve done squat all weekend. I’m going to get my ass kicked by school work this week. Have a good one everybody!


I am glad the week has ended. I’ve been really stressed all week. Actually, I’ve been stressed since school started. Not only did I have to deal with school, I also had duties as one of the ushers for the wedding of two of my close friends, Nic and Marcia.

Their wedding was on Friday evening. My ride to the wedding was late and I nearly caused the whole production to be late as well. I spent most of the way to the wedding fretting in the back of a mini-van. If it weren’t for the re-assurances from my friend Rhonda, I probably would have been much more nervous.

I arrived five minutes prior to the scheduled start of the wedding. What made it even more important for me to be on time was that the History Channel was on hand to tape the wedding ceremony. A relative of Marcia’s was the last Canadian to win the Victory Cross.

About five minutes after I got there, I realized I hadn’t caused that much strife and that things were going to be ok. It was a wonderful and quick ceremony. I’ve never been in a wedding party before and I didn’t realize the importance and honour of such a position until I was actually at the wedding. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but it can be worth it in the end.

With the wedding over, I thought today would be the day where I could get caught up with the rest of my life, namely concentrating on school again. I got off to a late start by waking up at 11am. I had to return my tux, but I dicked around to 3pm before leaving. I partly blame that on Arash, and you can ask him about that if you see him.

After returning from downtown, I had sushi for dinner at the Village. Blah, blah, blah… next thing I know it’s 9pm and I still haven’t done any work. By then I figure I’ll start easy by marking an assignment for the tutorial I’m teaching.

Three hours later and I still haven’t finished marking it. I realize I’m new to TAing, but I’m being really careful about marking, getting it right, and making helpful comments. I need to speed up my marking or else I’ll be spending more time on it than I’m paid.

Unfortunately, I’ve done nothing for my own classes and I need to do that soon or else I’ll be really behind.

Well, I gotta go and get some sleep for tomorrow.


Blogger has just included a whole slew of new features to their free blog customers. Posting is now even more fun.

I have been very busy the last few days with preparing for a wedding I’m going to, plus all the school-related stuff.

Last night was SJC’s Welcome Dinner. It was fun!

Well, I have to go. I will be back later tonight for some more posting goodness.