Acquisition

Today PMC has announced that it will spend $4 million to acquire the storage division from Aglient. This news explains why we have to lend $2 million in the quarter result last week. Borrowing money to expand the company is a normal business pratice, but I still think kinda uneasy using up all the cash reserves to add another 300 head counts to the payroll. Still, it is nice to know the company is back on growing mode, only if this acquisition works out. I am not in the storage division, this news doesn’t impact our consumer product division much. However I could image my friends down in first floor can feel the shockwave. The storage division is running off from Allantown before the acquisition, the Burnaby team always feel like they are mistreated. Now with the extra headcounts, ESD people in Burnaby will recieve even less attention. I guess the morale of the Burnaby ESD team has just dropped to the lowest point. I wonder does Harvard Businnes Review has case studies on acquisitions. Gota remember to check out the lastest issue from the library tomorrow.

Romance

Pat always complains I am a very boring guy, a typical engineer who knows nothing about romance. She have been trying hard to get me understand the concept of romance. So far I the aspect of romance I can get includes the element of surprise and the appreciation of arts together. Somehow sweet talks, which always think is romantic, is not part of the equation. She only think I am acting funny and turns her off. I always try my best to practise romanance even though I had limited understanding of it. I impressed Pat today by showing her my romantic level has improved. This afternoon we I buy lunch for her, I bought an exta chicken leg, which she love since childhood, as a surprise to her. Then tonight we went to a lounge resturant with live music for our halloween dinner. We sat, chatted and enjoyed the oldies songs for 3 hours. The dishes are very satisfying, it’s a fining dining resturant in Richmond opened by Chinese. The food has elements of fusion, the presentation is in the form of western cruises, but the cooking is tailored to the appetit of Chinese. The atomsphere is very comfortable, suitable for quiet chats with friends.

Please check out the resturant at Also Lounge

poker

Normally, I won’t join my colleagues for their poker games, but today is an exception. It is Daniel’s birthday, who usually host the game. The big group first have dinner together at Abadeen Center, then head towards daniel’s place. Me and Pat went to Mondo to have icecream after dinner, Verona has a sharp eye and spoted Mondo offers free icecream to birthday boys. We phoned Daniel to tell him the good deal. He did not believe there is such a good deal, but came down anyways and got the icecream for his wife. At Daniel’s place, some of us played poker and had red wine, a very spoiled life style. Some others who don’t gamble played a much more educational game, scrabble. The poker game we play is a variation of 7 cards hi-low stub, with an option to choose go high or go low after the last card is deal. I am lucky tonight and won a small amount, but Pat taxed 50% of my profit. I start to understand the trick in this game. Going low is always better than going high, which it the reverse of other poker games. You can’t calculate your opponent’s hand when you go high, but you can easily see your odds when going low. Since the pool is split evenly between the high and low winner, the risk of going low is actually smaller. When in doubt, and your cards on the table permits, always go low. The other key is know when to fold, never chase any card. In fact you don’t need to chase any card when you are going low. Gambling is not very good after all, so I only allow myself play at most once a month, probably on the monthly long weekend gathering of the group.

no-ip.com

I have been using no-ip.com for my DNS redirection for many years. It basically maps the my domains (www.horace.org and trishama.no-ip.com) to the IP address of my webserver at home. It is a free service and very reliable. I don’t expect my free account will actually expired. This unexpected link failure disturbed the service to my website for a few hours today, until I figure out the problem. I know there is no forever free lunch. It seems the no-ip service require the user reactive their accounts once a while. If it becomes too much of an annoyance, I think I will pay $20 to upgrade to the enhanced service to save all the troubles. I even briefly think about moving my main domain, horace.org to no-ip.com for the $25 package. Although it is $75 cheaper than the hosting service I am using, no-ip.com doesn’t provide webspace nor mail service. It costs another $45 to add a mail server to the package, and only comes with 20MB storage space. My deal at readyhosting.com is pretty good, 500Mb of mixed use space, unlimit email account, umlimit data transfer, web email access. The only obvious drawback is SQL database not included, an extra $25 for the database is more than I am willing to pay. I think the best solution is keep everything as it is. Continue to host the website in my linux box at home, and use the static domain just as a front channel all the traffic to my home server. I am lucky to have my own toplevel domain. I noticed horace.com and horace.net is up for sale and the seller is asking for over $1000. It seems these two domain is owned by cyber squatters at the moment. Those companies accumlate common expired domains and hoping to cash them out some day. I used to know the owner of horace.com, even asked to buy his domain. I wonder whether he sold the name to those cyber squatter or he simply forgot to renew his domain register. If I knew he will give up on his domain, I may ask him again. I guess I am willing to spend up to $500 for that name. Isn’t it ironic that you have to acquire the right to use your own name in the cyberworld?

Badminton

I had a real badminton game today since I had stopped playing badminton in the summer. Last time didn’t count as a real game, I only played for 30 minutes due to the stupid AC said they will deliver my lost luggage on that night. However at the end, I waited them until 11:00p.m., I could have stayed for the whole game. Then the following two weeks, we had the teachers strike in Vancouver. All schools are closed including the one we rented the gym for. I think we should joined the Tax player association to sue the teacher union for compansation. We should get back $2 per night per person, or at least entended our court rental 2 extra weeks for free. My badminton skill is kinda rusty due to lack of practice, and I am not very good to begin with. Tonight I rediscover a few techniques that I had forgotten. First, In order to increase your reaction time, don’t trace the birdy, trace your opponent’s racquet, which points to the general direction where the birdy will fly. Second, return the birdy with back-hand, don’t hit the birdy in front of your body, hit on the side, so that you can have more follow through movement. I never had any badminton training at all, I only learn by observing others or some pointers from friends once a while. I think I need some formal badminton training, especially on the leg movements. It is necessary to break through the ceiling of my current skill level.

Round 2

We had our 2nd match of the foosball tournament today. Both me and Anson did exceptionally well in the match. In the first game, we lost to the other team 5-0 straight. It is partly due to we were distracted by some other bad mouthed players before the game, and partly we tried new roles, Anson plays offensive and I play defense. I was afraid we will be the laughting stock around the foosball table if we lose two games straight. In the second game, we changed back to our normal strategy and we were able to win 5-2. The other team got confused in the 3rd game and switched their roles. The result is not very good for them and we won 5-3 in the end. It was a very tense game, and I am glad we won at the end of the day. Our first two opponents are relatively weak, I don’t think we will be this lucky next week. During the game, a player from other team made pretty harsh comments on our skills, he said how come he didn’t get to play either of us so that we can score an easy win. I was too concentrated on the game so I simply ignored him, but his comments really bothered Anson. I know we are weak, but I think we may have a chance standing up aganist them if we practice more. If we meet them in the play off games, I will definitely get even on them of making such comments if we happened to won the game.

Rush

I have been feeling very rush since Sunday. No only the tape-in date is getting close at work, but also I have encounter unexpected problems in my thesis after work. It like I am continuously chasing something, couldn’t slow down and take a breath. I don’t have mood to write my blog today, and I had skipped it yesterday. I had already formulated an article I have to write on my review section but couldn’t find time to type it out for a few days. I have a small book called slow-down therapy, maybe I should reread it several more times to slow down myself. However, slowing down cannot help getting all the work done. My focus should be getting all the piles in front of me cleaned up, and not adding any new pile at the time.

Dance gigolo

I just found out an ideal part-time opportunity from my cousins. What kind of part time job gives you $80 an hour basic salary, included dinner, on top of that every $5 for every 3 minutes of work, while you can have fun and excerise at the same time? The answer is to be a gigolo! Oh well… not quite right, but close enough. This job is “dance man”, be the dance partner for old women. Of course you first have to be reasonably good in ball room dancing. Then the big leap is that you are willing to scarfice your digity or perhaps your butt, which may get squeezed by those aunties. The fact is there are many old women like ball room dancing, but most of their husbands are not very interested nor good in dancing. This creates a hugh demand on men who can dance. Thus allow them charge money in this normally recreational activity. Both me and YanYan’s boyfriend are very interested in joining this profession. The prospect of becoming a dance gigolo is a good motivator for us to go thru the harsh dance lessons, especially on the painful trainings in counting the beats and remember the steps. The only problem is how can I convince Pat let me “step into the sea” to be a part-time dance gigolo.

Natural disasters

Today, Father Perie didn’t talk about the Bible in his homily. He dedicate the whole homily to the victims of the Pakinstain earthquake, urge us to donation money through the national charity to help those victims. I think today’s message is very meaningful, the father as a good example to acted out Jesus’ teaching rather just talk about it.

This earthquake is like the hurricane in New Orleans, most of the damage could be avoided if the growth of the cities are well controlled. An earthquake will not cause much damage to a primitive society doesn’t rely on electroncity or pumping water. In ancient time, villagers could probably rebuild their shaggy home and life back to normal in relative short period of time. The more complicated the society, the better its ability to fight natural disasters. But it also prone to suffer much more damage if it face a disaster it couldn’t win.

We have heard about the damage cause of flooding almost every year in the recent years. The number of damage in dollar value or lives taken is getting higher and higher. These numbers may give an impression that the world’s climate is getter worse and worse. However if we look at a different presective, the area of the flood remains about the same for centuries. Flooding is just part of the nature. It is the fault of man who expand their cities into high risk areas, ignoring the geographical reality.

I havn’t make up my mind whether or not donate to help the victims of the earthquake. If Pakinstain government can spend millions of dollars to develop nuclear weapons, they should not ask for aids from other counties. The people living in Kashamir is different than those who lives in poor rural China. I don’t feel the bond to them, and the obligation to help them. Natural disaster always happens, and the local government always asking for aids afterward, rather having better preparation. If there is some kind of charity insurance fund covering natural disaster in selected poor places, or charity investment fund help poor area to build better infrastructure against the disaster, I will definite donate. Giving money to reward poor planning will only encourage local officials to become more irresponsible about the welfare of their own people. At last, the root cause of all the huge damages is there are too many people. I always wanted to donate money help solving this problem. I have long been searching for to a charity organization that carry out birth control in poor countries.

Visit of my mother

My mother stoped by Vancouver and visit me on her way back to Hong Kong. She will stay for 2 weeks this time and another two weeks on her way back to Toronto. I originally planned to go back to Toronto on the X’mas, but couldn’t make it due to Pat’s schedule. It is always nice to have her tasty cooking and have someone clean up my apartment. I am kinda lazy since her last visit. I will only vaccum or dust my place when I absolutely cannot stay it any longer. On average, I think I clean my place every 2 to 3 months. My mom also repairs my clothes, which is a very important skill that Pat lacks. My mom always boast how much time I save while she is here. The reality is there is no big difference. The time I save for not cooking my rudimentary dinner is lost to eat a proper meal at the table. I rarely clean the house, so not much time is save over there. The only real time saver I can think of is doing the laundary that is a task I couldn’t avoid every week.