Defense

Since I have started writting my thesis, or merely the M.Eng project, I have to think about my defense. The faculty has just imposed a 2+2 weeks rule, that is the paper has to ciruculate two weeks before the defense and the defense has to be at least two weeks before the submission. That implies even I can finish writting my paper before the end of this term, my defense will be schedule in january. One of my colleague, Ivy, has started the program about same time as me and she is having her defense tomorrow. At first I would like to tag along and check out how the format of the defense. But she refused let people see her defense to avoid having unncessary pressure. Althought I can still find out the room and time and just sit in, but I don’t want to be rude. Since I objective is to check out a defence, which can be any defense. I tagged along with Ivy to check out someone else’s defense today. The defense is pretty straight forward, 30 minutes of presentation followed by Q&A session. The professors and your own supervisor will usually go easy on you, not asking tough questions. The audience can also ask questions, but most of them are like us, sitting in just to prepare for their own defense, they usually are polite enough not to give the defender a hard time. However in today’s session, a guy from Mainland China is being rude, he tried to drill the defender with hard questions. This act really shows his lack of proper manner. I hope I won’t encounter one of those guys in my own defense.

Department meeting

In my department, we used to have a quarter status update hosted by the VP. We found that session is very useful, keep us posted with the lastest project related news in department. When the VP was transfered to another department, the acting VP stopped the quaterly meeting. We kinda miss it. Now, we just have a new VP for the department. Instead of quaterly meeting, he hosts monthly meeting, and this month I just had one. Sometimes it is not always more the better. This materials in this meeting is 80% recycled from last month, there is not enough new stuff to keep us interested. In another word, our time is basically wasted for the meeting. My colleague in the next cube calculated how much this meeting has cost the company. There is over 100 engineers idling in the meeting for an hour, the is more than 100 man-hours lost in productivity. Take the man-hours times our averaged hourly wage, the company lost tens of thousands over this meeting. The cost saved by having a quaterly meeting instead of monthly culmulated over a year could buy every engineer a second LCD monitor.

Snow

Vancouver doesn’t snow much, usually it just rain all winter long. This year, the first snow fall comes quite early. I don’t mind snow at all, since I am already used to it back east. The problem here in Vancouver other people who don’t used to live in the white world. Before the snow melts away, the traffic is jammed thanks to all the clueless drivers. I think this skiing season will be excellent, provided that the snow will keep dumpping down.

God-parent

In the Catholic church, when a person baptise and join the church, he has to find a god-parent to sponsor him. The idea of god-parent is to give spiritual guidance to the god-child. Pat has recently become a god-mother. The odd thing is her god-daughter is actually a year older than her, she is a friend of hers. In today’s mass, there was a ritual to admit the new believers into the Church. In the following months, they will have go to catechism classes every week to prepare for their baptisium in the coming Easter. Pat feel quite pround and honoured to sponser her friend. I feel a bit jealous on her. I want to be a god-father too. I know I am probably not a very good example for the new believer. I am probably not good enough to be the god-father of an adult, it takes quite some responsibility. However, I think I am good enough to be the god-father of a baby or child. Especially those parents who are not-so-faithful catholic but somehow want their kids baptised for whatever secular reasons, such as applying for catholic schools. So, if there are any child want to be baptised in Catholic, yet the parents are worried the child getting too faith and end up being a priest, please let me know. I am happy to take in god-children who will still have the freedom to choose his beliefs when he grow up. Oh… to give some more incentive, I had already prepared a gift for my future first god-child. It’s a brand-new very cute precious moment bible I had ordered extra.

Shopping

I rarely go to shopping, I actually feel a bit uncomfortable going to the mall. I always prefer to know exactly what to buy, the price I want to pay before I go into a shop. Buy things base soley on the limited information available in the store and presumably unreliable sales is just plain dumb. Anyways, tonight after dinner, I went to Metrotown with Pat. I have bought some new clothings. I think the last time I had bought any clothes is almost a year ago. The good thing about going to shopping with Pat is I can offload the decision making to her. Obviously she had much better taste on clothes and know alot more on the market price range than me. The only thing I need to decide is the total amount of money I am willing to spend in one shopping trip. Although I am happy with the fact that I have new stuffs to wear, but I don’t really enjoy the process. I wonder how can woman enjoy shopping?

PSP

Today at lunch, Edwin showed me the Gundam game on his PSP. You all might already know that I am a long time Gundam fans. The new game is very attractive, so I played in car and while waiting for food. The game play itself is similiar to the old Gundam arcade game, but with different machines. It also come has story mode and support multi-player via the built-in PSP wireless protocol. Edwin had already finished the game, so all the machines are unlocked. The graphics is very nice, especially the glare and explosion effects. However, the game control is much worse than the old arcade game. The movement is not very natural, the terran doesn’t interact with the players. The moves are very limited, only very basic long range gunfire and meleec combat. In summary, it is a total disappointment. I wonder Bandia make this title just to milk the Gundam franchise. I rather they sincerely port the arcade version to PSP. Another reason justify not to buy original copy of mostly crappy games. Edwin is trying to convince me buy a PSP, my response is wait until I see the killer game, which I doubt will ever be made.

Procrastination

I have listened to a very inspiring speech on procrastination, which I found is one of my biggest problem. There are three types of procrastination in general. The first type is the prefectionist. They won’t start working unless everything is planned out prefect, and everyone knows you can never archive perfect in planning. The second type is fear to success. Once the work is done, they don’t know what to do next or fear to work on something unknown, so they keep prolonging the work. The thrid type thinks the work is too tedious, they don’t bothering to start working on it. I think I have combined problem of the second and third type. The remedy to the procrastination is divid up the work into small managment task, and allocate a set time slot to work on it. If you couldn’t finish it within that time slot, at least you had start working on it. One can never get any accomplished by thinking about doing the thing, you gota act.

Mui Garden

Mui Garden is finally reopened. This resturant is the default place to have lunch. When we are out of ideas, we can simply pick it with no objection from anyone. It was closed for a couple of months already. The resturant has posted a notice on the door saying it is closed due to renovation, but I don’t see any work going on every time I go by there. We suspected it got a warning from the health agency and have to close down for inspection. I don’t want to cook tonight, and somehow I wander to Mui to check whether it has reopened without any expectation. To my surprise, it just opened today. Everything, including the menu and the waitress are still the same. I ordered the hainanese chicken I had missed for so long. Maybe I am a long time customer, I got a free upgrade from chicken breast to chicken leg. It is as good as before. Anyways, we don’t have to be troubled by where to go for lunch anymore.

Bookstore

When I went to T&T in Metrotown for glocery shopping today, I found out that the chinese bookstores next to the supermarket is closed. There used to be two chinese bookstores next to T&T, one is Taiwan based, and the other one is China/Hong Kong based. When I go to T&T, I usually stop by these two places to check out new books. I don’t like Taiwan books very much. I found there are way too many yet another translated copies or very taiwanized get rich quick books. Althought there are some good writters and a few translated gems, especially on literatures. The China/HK based one sell lots of simplied chinese books, and some first shipment of new HK books. I won’t mind reading simplied chinese, but the paper quality of those books really bothers me. It feel like they are printed on tiolet paper. I had finished reading quite a few books standing right there, but rarely I make a purchase with them. If I can wait, I can always get it cheaper by ordering over the internet. No wonder both of them had to close the doors. I will feel something is missing when I go to T&T for a long while.

Jazz

I went to Cellar Jazz at Boardway and Almo on friday. This is the first time I go to a jazz lounge, and I found that place is pretty comfortable. Listening to jazz is more for the life style it represent than the appreciation of the music itself. Jazz is commonly associated with the bobo (bourgeois-bohemians) way of living, especially those protiated in HK TVB shows. The atomsphere in Cellar Jazz is very different from the usual bar that only serves alcohol. $10 ticket for whole night of entertainment from an ameture jazz band is reasonable, and the drinks are priced like anywhere else. I like the music from tranditional jazz trio pieces, piano, drums and cello. But that night has added an odd instructment to the show, african drums, I found the sound of african drums doesn’t fit very well to Jazz. I would like to listen to a Jazz band with a Saxophone player next time.