Dual monitors

Finally I received my dual LCDs at work after waiting for almost two months since I had talked to Uncle Bob. Colleagues gathered around my cube today and check out the dual LCD setting. I am not sure how to measure the productivity increase using dual displays, but it definitely much more convenient to use. The moral of this story is that you will get what you want if you keep asking for it and ask it to the right person.

My windows machine is dead and it keep rebooting itself. I suspect some files of the OS is corrupted since it won’t even boot into safe mode. The only option I have is to re-install windows. I hope the windows recovery works so I won’t lost my data. Sigh.. I don’t have much time to re-install all the software.

Selling T-shirts

Today I spent almost the whole working on Worth Youth Day fund raising again. All those fund raising events taking too much of my time, and the amount we get back really won’t justify all the effort. Anyways, we are selling lots of stuffs in St. Mary after masses. I’m taking care of selling the T-shirts. Pat designed the T-shirt, the light color one looks pretty nice, but the dark color one don’t turn out too great. The T-shirt selling system is very confusing, so I end up have to run up and down stairs a lot to get the color people want to buy. I guess we sold almost 200 hundred T-shirts over the weekend. Since the T-shirt are donated by someone, all the money go to the WYD team. In a few weeks, we have to distribute the T-shirts, I can foresee it would be more chaos than today. From today’s experience, I know I would never want to be a sales, especially clothes sales.

faith formation

I went to the 2nd faith formation session held by the Vancouver archdiocese for everyone who is going the World Youth Day. The topic is on prayers, presented by the Youth Ministry director and the newly ordinate deacon Anthony. Claymoo make a funny presentation, he make analogy of prayer to cell phone plans. Staring with the most basic plan cannot place out-going calls, can only able to listen incoming calls occasionally. One level up can only call 911 in the case of emergency. A higher level gives you unlimited minute on a weekend morning, but cannot place call during the weekdays. A better plan includes some minutes over the week and the best plan gives you 24×7 unlimited access but could cost quite some sacrifice . He put it in a very funny way, sorta like a salesman getting people to upgrade their cell phone plan. This kind of trick always works in preaching by trapping the audiences’ mind into pre-defined categories. I wonder in this analogy, what if I say I want to switch the carrier? Bro. Anthony talked about penance, and use his boring talk as an example. As a result I didn’t sleep in his talk this time, and offered all the boredom to God as my penance. Still, I don’t understand that why God wants penance in the first place. What good can my boredom brings to God?

Piano

Pat will have her piano exam next Monday, so she is practicing piano very hard. To encourage her, I bought sushi for dinner tonight and deliver to her place. When I arrived, she was watching a documentary on the history of piano. The internal mechanism of a piano is an art of engineering, I can’t believe each piano has more than 2000 pieces. The history of piano is not very long, only a few hundred years old. I also known that Bach is the first piano composer. I wonder how do the musician back then learn to play piano when it was still a prototype not commonly known. After the dinner, Pat make me listen to her exams rehearsal, It is my pleasure to listen to Pat’s rehearsal (changed due to censorship), which last about 30 minutes. It is quite relaxing listening to classical music after a big meal, so I fell asleep. Pat grumble about both me and her piano teacher sleep when she plays. Oh well, maybe her music has some magic power putting people to sleep. I would like to start listening classical music to improve my taste. I had already downloaded over 100 classical CDs in mp3. The only problem is that I can’t recognize the name of the songs or the composers. It is not fun when you don’t even know what you are listening to.

Bubbling wine

In today’s German class, the teacher offered us some bubbling wine to celebrate her admission to UBC education program. It seems that we have alcohol in every one of the past few German classes. It’s nice to have beer or wine and learn at the same time. The environment is really friendly, much better than class room style of teaching. We held lots of conversation in German, but due to my lack of ability, I can barely follow the talks, never mind taking part in it. I read out allow my composition and had it corrected by the teacher. I made lots and lots mistakes, especially on word order and the use of preposition. My vocabulary is still very weak, really need to memorize more verbs, nouns and adjectives. I can understand all the grammar rules well, just often forgot to apply them in my sentences. My pronouncation is the worst of all, but I couldn’t really help on that part, I have no one to practice German with. Hope with my beginner level German, I can survival the two weeks World Youth Day trip in August.

social sense

Maybe I am a person really lack of social sense, according to Pat’s complains. She had come up with examples that I’m can’t deny, thus I’m convinced that I have problems in this area. Am I social challenged? In some sense, yes. To come up with cure, first I have to understand the context of social sense. According to Pat, the first rule of thumb is consider others feeling. In some occasions, I lack the awareness of others’ response to my action. That part is easier to fix, just have to run a several thread in my brain to always simulate others reaction. In some other case, I just don’t expect they will have that kind of response, at least I won’t. They are weird to me as I’m weird to them. The principle of not being selfish can no longer apply. I guess I have to start watching more TVB series, especially modern ones, to take samples on how a normal stereotyped person will react in different circumstances.

First speech

Finally, I had completed my first toastmaster speech. I don’t think I’m doing very well. I can feel my legs was shaking for the whole time. It is different than doing a table topic, where is more careful and have no expectation. My time management is really bad, run out of time half way and my mind went blank because I don’t know what to say in order to cut my speech short. I can imagine my pronunciation and grammar has some problems, due to the lack of sleep makes my mind slow. Anyways, it’s done and I have to think about the second speech planned in next month.

Time is running out before my trip to Germany, and I have less than 2 months to reach the milestone I had set for my thesis. I found talking an extend period of time on phone with Pat every night become a big distraction to my study. Especially when I have to spend energy to ‘tum’ her all the time. My goal is to cut down the duration of phone call from over 45 minutes to 15 minutes a day. The extra 30 minutes may not seems a lot, but the time it takes for me to focus make the big difference. In addition, the timing of call make a big difference. Have an hour of solid work before the phone call helps productive, so I could use it call as a welcome break. Unlike the current habit, I got interrupt when I just about to begin my study. My mind on the work is lost after the phone call, and it usually take an hour to regroup.

One last thing, although I agree not to sleep again in church to avoid more nagging from Pat, sleeping in church itself is NOT an immature behavior. There are many valid reasons to fall asleep in church, and it doesn’t imply disrespect to the priest, fellow church goers or God. It may worth the time to write a serious article on the true nature of sleeping in the church, but that would take quite some time to a proper research. I’ll definitely put this topic down on my to do list after I had finished my thesis. For the time being, let’s use the reason that sleeping is a from of prayer, quoted from this article written by Maurice Bellet, a Catholic author.

self introduction

I was preparing my ice breaker speech for the toastmaster meeting tomorrow. I found that it is quite hard to condense all the material into 5 minutes. There are so many things I want to talk about myself. I had picked school as the mean to describe my character. I always believe the importance of education in shaping the personality of a man. I had picked a few anecdotes from Lasalle days, Appleby and Waterloo days to illustrate the real me. At this moment, I’m still struggle to organize my speech. Maybe I’ll just give it one more practice and then go to bed. I had already spent 2 hours but still couldn’t speak fluently. To become a good public speaker really require lots of hard work and practice, unless you are born with this talent.

Freedom

What is freedom? Does a person has the right to think freely and act freely as long as it doesn’t cause any harm to anyone? In a relationship, why both partner had to think alike and act alike? Can two people with totally different character be in love and live happily and peacefully together? I think such relationship can exist, if both partners learn how to respect the other half. One of the evils of religions is that even though they all claim they are teaching tolerance, but in fact they all decline the right to exist of any thoughts contradicts to their core believes. Why can’t a good christian fall asleep in church if the priest is boring and he is tired? If God truly don’t want people fall asleep in church, he should simply keep everyone awake with supernatural means. I just couldn’t understand why Pat make such a big fuss about me sleeping in mass?

Ordination of deacon

It has been a long day today. I had to wake up early in the morning to attend the ordination of deacon ceremony of Br. Anthony Ho at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown. I have to pick up Pat and her friends as well. It was so rush that I don’t even have time for having a breakfast. Luckily we arrived on time, but church is already very full. We had to squeeze in between nice people who are willing to pack closer with each other. Ordination of deacon is the final step before becoming a Catholic priest. In layman’s term, it is equivalent to the engagement as the priesthood is equivalent to marriage. Today is a big day for the archdiocese of Vancouver since it the first time in 20 years having 5 brothers being ordinate at the same time. According to the history of the Vancouver archdiocese, it had only two occasion with 5 brothers graduated in the same year. In both years, one of the 5 brothers end up being an archbishop later in their career. I wonder who will be the the future archbishop among these five brothers? Could he be Br. Anthony? He definitely meet one of the requirements of being an archbishop, his preaching is quite boring. The ceremony is a mass hosted by the Archbishop and there were at least 30 fathers co-host today’s mass. I had never seen that many fathers under the same roof in my life, quite a spectacular view. As usual, the homily of Archbishop is extremely boring and I fell asleep most of the time. The actually ritual of ordination is less fancy than I had expected, probably as uninteresting as the ritual of my own confirmation. After the mass, we went over to congratulate Br. Anthony, but it was so crowded that we couldn’t really talk with him other than giving him the gift. So we left him alone and went to have lunch with a group of church friends in Robson street.