I forget how I stumbled upon this but I’ve been listening to Paul Anka’s new release Rock Swings. It’s quite an enjoyable series of tracks from the legendary Canadian crooner. Anka has done fourteen covers of some of the most well-known songs in popular culture. He managed to put his own smooth and laid back signature on these songs making them versions you no doubt have never heard before. The complete track list is as follows:

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Jump – Van Halen
Everybody Hurts – REM
Wonderwall – Oasis
Blackhole Sun – Soundgarden
It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
It’s a Sin – Pet Shop Boys
True – Spandau Ballet
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Hello – Lionel Richie
Eyes Without a Face – Billy Idol
Lovecats – The Cure
The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

My own favourites include his renditions of Everybody Hurts and It’s a Sin. An odd choice is Smells Like Teen Spirit but Anka manages to pull it off without sounding awkward. Why don’t you listen for yourself?

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Paul Anka (3.7 Mb mp3)

If you like the track, I encourage you check out his CD on


I’m too tired tonight to post something coherent, so I’ll just show you this image from a recent episode of the Family Guy. In Petarded, Peter finds out he’s technically mentally challenged after taking an IQ test.

Actually, you can make your own chart. Just go to this web site. I made my own. You can too!


So where was I about this paper I talking about? Oh yeah, so I did a course-based Master’s degree which meant I didn’t have to write a thesis or do any research. I can tell you right now that fact saved me a whole bunch of trouble. Sure Matt C from SJC once said my degree “wasn’t a real one” but he’s an arrogant prick and I’m not the only one to think that. Whoops, did I write that? I hope Google doesn’t crawl my blog.

Anyways, because of the course-based nature of my degree, I never expected to get an academic paper published or even written. In the academic world, published papers are the means by which researchers measure how big their dicks are among themselves. Academically speaking, it was never my intention to participate in such an event.

As I began to read more and more papers, I thought it’d be pretty cool if by some chance I’d write a paper and get it saved to the ACM Digital Library. At least for my own interests, the ACM Digital Library represented the most influential body of archived papers, proceedings, and journals.

In my last semester at school, I took a project course dealing with physical user-interfaces. It dealt with devices like force-feedback joysticks, stuff that you physically touch to interact with computers or electronic devices. I completed a project with two other people. The prof thought that our work was good enough to possibly be presented in a mid-level conference scheduled for October in Italy.

I helped co-author a paper based on our work and we sent it in. We got back the reviewers comments just about two weeks ago. It was my first time having to go through stuff like this where faceless people pick apart your work. Unfortunately, our paper wasn’t fully accepted so we won’t be presenting it formally, but we were accepted as a poster session. I say poopy to that.

Anyways, I believe our paper will still be archived in the ACM Digital Library since it will be part of the conference. Yay! Hey, if you’re in Trento, Italy on Thursday, October 6, 2005, be sure to check out The Seventh International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI’05)!


Blogger fixed their post counters. This is my 1038th post. Over the three years, some have been better than others but the important thing is I’m out there everyday, gettin’ it done. What that is, I’m still not sure.

Some of you may have read my post about the man date. Along the same lines comes an article about the “man hug“. It’s informative and thought-provoking. While I rarely hug other men, I’m partial to the “half-and-half” or the “hip-hop” but “the bear” isn’t to my liking. Wow, just think about a man date where there’s some man hugging going on.

You know, there was something else I wanted to blog. It was something I’ve been meaning to write down for the last couple of days. Now I can’t remember it. Hmmm… I’m sure if it’s important I’ll remember it again. Oh wait, now I recall. It was about that academic paper I co-authored for a conference. Now, that I thought about it, I’m too tired to go into details. I’ll write about it again some time later this week.

I’ll end with some video game news. The use of zombies in games has been a popular concept. The use of such enemies is attractive since who doesn’t love being freaked out by the living dead? The whole wanting to eat your brains thing is pretty cool too. Now comes a game that turns the whole concept in the other direction. In Stubbs the Zombie (A Rebel Without a Pulse), you play the game through the eyes of Stubbs… a zombie. Your goal is to turn as many humans as you can into zombies. Available to you are some pretty cool zombie powers including the ability to smash through doors to get at your human brains. Because the game is set in the 50s, there’s a unique classic feel to it. From the decor right down to the Mr. Sandman soundtrack it’s something you’d see in small town America. Take a gander at the videos on the web site.


On your first day of work at Digital Eclipse, you’re given a short questionnaire to fill out. One of the questions they ask is what do you see yourself doing if you didn’t have to work in your current position. Of course, I found this hard to answer since I was so nervous about everything else I had to do on my first day of work.

In the five minutes I had to fill out the entire form, I managed to write something lame down about being a “game show host”. The answer is eventually used by a caricature artist to make our name plates to identify who sits where.

I, along with several other new employees, got back our caricatures on Friday. I thought the artist was quite kind to me, giving me a more defined jawline than I could ever have wished for in real life. It looks pretty good.

Upon seeing other caricatures related to Yoda and Darth Vader, I somewhat regretted not answering with something Jedi themed. Nonetheless, the original laminated drawing is now attached to the wall by where my desk is, clearly identifying my mess.


Toyota is opening up a new manufacturing plant in Ontario. Along with Ontario, many southern U.S. states were attempting to woo Toyota in choosing their respective territories for the site.

According to this CBC report, despite higher subsidies offered by the U.S., Ontario won out because Canadian workers are easier to train with a higher level of literacy and education. Let me supply you with a quote from the story:

“Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained – and often illiterate – workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use ‘pictorials’ to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.”

Now keep in mind what I just quoted you came from the mind of president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, an organization which has the goal of promoting Canadian interests in the auto industry. This actually maybe true but Toyota sure as hell won’t say it.

Also keep in mind that along with Nissan and Honda, even Mercedes-Benz has manufacturing facilities in the southern U.S. states. Though this might be the first signs of a new trend towards more educated auto plant workers. Who knows really?

To be honest, this doesn’t make southerners look very good at all.


I really have nothing to write about tonight. Let’s see… um, we’re on a new e-mail system now at work. We switched over to Microsoft Exchange today. Yep, we did… yep… My name is in the company address book now. I right-clicked on my name and looked at the properties. Under the title field, it said, “Engineer”. It’s still very hard to believe that I’m now a software engineer. Remember that old commercial where they deliver the new software engineer his first stack of business cards? He gingerly takes one out, runs his fingers over the raised type, and then violently sniffs the card before putting it away. Well, I didn’t do that, but I can relate.

In other work related news, I’ve had lunch at Connie’s Cook House two days in a row now. I had the lemon chicken today. I doubt we’ll go again tomorrow, but you never know.

And that brings us to the end of tonight’s abbreviated post.


When you run a web site, you’re privy to info like how people are getting your site. I search the logs for specific terms like “Google”. As you might imagine, I get to see what search terms people are using to find my site.

Once in a while, I’ll see spikes in specific search terms that all happen in a particular short period of time. For example, several weeks ago, I noticed I had many hits from people using the term “Angie Harmon” who happens to be an actress who on Law and Order. It was unusual to have so many hits on that term, so I myself used Google News on her. It turned out she had her second child the day before.

And just today, I got two really specific searches from Google from distinct IPs. The terms were as follows: thong, underwear, City TV, news, Vancouver. Hmmm… I’m not a genius but I’m thinking there must have been a City TV Vancouver news story on thong underwear which probably ran on Monday night. I have no idea what that story was since I didn’t write about that specific story, but it’s interesting to know it’s out there.

And in other news, I had beef chow fun for lunch today.


Stand-up comedians are an interesting lot. It’s a fascinating occupation with a long history. They have their own lingo, ways of doing things, and superstitions. Some stuff they keep within their own circles, rarely letting the public in on the secret. One such example is “The Aristocrats”.

What exactly is the “The Aristocrats”? I actually didn’t know until about two months ago. “The Aristocrats” lies somewhere between an inside “joke” and a competition for comedians. The basic premise begins like this: a comedian must start off the joke with a family visiting a talent agent to show off their act. After this, the comedian is free to improvise whatever he or she dream up. The goal is produce the most rude, disgusting, politically incorrect description of the family act. The end is constrained with the family calling the act, “The Aristocrats”. It is the common beginning and end that binds every comedian’s version together with everyone else’s.

Apparently, this little inside joke has been around for decades, passing from one comedian to the next. “The Aristocrats” however, will not be a secret for much longer. Comedians Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette have made an entire movie based on this premise. In his film, they’ve asked about 100 comedians to give their take on “The Aristocrats”. Participants include Drew Carey, Jason Alexander, Lewis Black, Tim Conway, Andy Dick, Carrie Fisher, and many more.

The trailer for “The Aristocrats” can be seen here. Worry not, the trailer contains not even single objectionable syllable, so feel free to view it at work.

What is not safe to view at work is the leaked version of the joke from the South Park guys, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Not surprisingly, they framed the joke around their most famous creations, the boys from the South Park cartoons. Before I give out the link, I cannot stress how utterly inappropriate this clip is for work environments. There’s no nudity, but the words coming out of Cartman’s mouth is worse than anything you’ve probably heard anyone say. I’m serious, if you’re a sensitive type of person, it’s best you sit this one out. Let me say this again, unless you’ve got the most liberal work environment in the world, don’t view the clip at work. Ok, so here we go…

The South Park take on “The Aristocrats”

As bad as the South Park version is, I’ve read that among the other versions in the movie, it doesn’t even crack the top five in terms of shock. Wow. The Aristocrats opens on August 12, 2005.


So apparently these long weekends are supposed to mean more when you’re a working stiff. I guess I can see that now. Then again, I’m guy that a had long weekend every single weekend last academic term.

While others had grand plans of partying, boozing, and/or camping for the weekend, my biggest goal was to sleep in. I still think I’m feeling the effects of OT week, or as I call it, “my second week on the job”. As the weekend draws to a close, I believe I got some rest, but certainly not as much as I could have.

The weekend started early for me, as in Thursday night, where I said goodbye to my friend Nenagh. She’ll be the best damn prof in Australia before you can even say “top chick”. We’ll all miss her. Thanks to Bryan and Sarah for hosting the event. You know, they never tell you at the beginning of grad school that you’ll have to say goodbye to all your friends eventually.

I tried my best to sleep in on Friday. I lounged around before playing some tennis in the afternoon. It was supposed to be a guys night out that evening, but Tyson and I wound up going on a “man-date” for dinner. It didn’t help that Tyson ordered hot tea for his drink. The waitress was kinda surprised. After our romantic dinner, we tried to see War of the Worlds, but the tickets were almost sold out and Bone had an early morning the next day. We left it for another day. I went home and watched TV shows I had downloaded earlier.

On Saturday, I slept in enough that I was late for brunch with friends at the Rugby Beach Club Grille. Their brunch is surprisingly good and no one wanted to kick us out of the restaurant after we were done eating. After dining, I headed downtown for some shopping. I was on the hunt for casual and tennis shoes. I am now convinced 98% of the athletic shoe market consists of basketball shoes. It was very difficult to find any tennis shoes. I am now leaning towards buying a pair of New Balance cross-trainers.

That evening I made the trek to Riverport with Tyson and Tom to finally see Mr. Katie Holmes and his movie. It was a really well made movie. It was technically flawless. The special effects were top-notch. The way they composited live action with CG elements was amazing. It was hard to tell where real life buildings and streets ended and the striders began.. whoops, I mean the tripods. Anyways, despite the excellent execution of the film making, the movie suffered from the same weakness as the original movie from the 50s… the ending. Now, for people who knew nothing of the original movie or the novel, I can easily see how the ending would have left them absolutely disappointed. Mr. Spielbergo has an easy way out of the jam now, because he can just say he was being faithful to the source material. Bit of trivia for you, the actor that played Cruise’s son was born in Nanaimo and once attended UBC as a commerce student.

I’m too tired to write about Sunday, but the highlight of the day by far was having dinner with Woba, Chiming, and Eddy. Those guys are a laugh a sec, thereby making the laugh frequency a stunning 1 Hz.

Tomorrow’s work day comes too soon. Until then my friends.