Night before moving

I have been packing all the evening for the moving tomorrow. I am surprised how much stuff I have culminated over the past 5 years. I have over 30 boxes of books, toys, clothes and misc. things. I can’t imagine how many stuff can actually fit into an one bedroom apartment. I found some things I haven’t touch and expoded some places havn’t seen lights for 5 years. The apartment is quite dirty, took me some effort to make it looks a bit more presentable. I guess it is beyond hope to get rid of all the dirt accumlated over the years. I have no choice but have the deposit deduct the cleaning fee. The most gross area is the refrigerator. I found long expired food and drinks. I almost wanted to puke after I discovered the chicken powder I have been using is expired in 2002. I have been eating it for the past 4 years! I throw away lots of things, but none of my clothes yet, since I don’t have to sort them. I won’t throw out any books or toys, so my library collection will keep growing. I guess I should control myself on buying less useless stuffs, especially food, which I tends to forget their existence and left perish in the shelf or in the refrigerator.

Clothes

I am perparing for my move in tuesday over the weekend. I stayed home today packing all day despite the fresh snow in the mountain. When I pack my clothes, I found really have too many clothes. I can understand one want to have as many underwears and socks as possible, so he doesn’t have to do laundry too often. However, why do I need all those pants and sweaters? The cover clothes I have can allow to skip laundry for at least 2 months. Yet, I only wear a small subset of those clothes, usually the same one every week. Because I put them back on top after I did laundry and it’s more convinient to pick from the top of the pile every monring. I don’t like shopping for clothes and I rarely throw away clothes. My clothes usually mysterious appear in my closet after my Mom’s trip back to HK. Occasionaly, I was forced to buy clothes by Pat. I can tell some clothes has over 10 years of history. Since I am moving into a smaller apartment, I worry I may not have enough space for all the clothes. That got me thinking that how many clothes a person need realistically. I found most apartment come with a closet with mirror sliding door in the bedroom. From my experience the closet in every apartment are roughtly the same size. Did anyone research how much clothes a person need and then design the closet to fit the need of average people? Maybe I should donate all the extra clothes so that my clothes will fit in one closet space.

Choir

Today is the first time I joined the church choir. Pat have been bugged me to join her choir for a long time. Since she is now the choir director, I promised to show my support to her. Choir is not as bad as I thought. I have heard most of the hymn before. So it is the one hour practise make the difference. Since the transit time already factored in the mass time, an extra hour is effectively less than an hour.

Although I still question why God need people to praise him at all, I can’t deny music is what makes a mass great. Rituals are created for the man, not God. I have a deeper thought about the church during the mass today, since it is bad to fall asleep on the choir bench. Actually I like the church traditions, rituals, legends, stories, namely the culture of the church. I grew up in this environment and it has became part of my background. What I can’t agree with the church is the metaphsyical stuff that no lay church goers care about, so call the high theology. It seems all the good stuff of the church are glassroot addition to the tradition evolved over time, not the teaching imposed by the high up. In theory, we could swap out the core belief of the church and keeping every else the same. Since those core values are merely used as slogans, they really are mysteries has no epistemological value. I see no reason why people should hang on to them. The Protestant’s religious revolution took the wrong route. They ditched the important stuff but kept the useless stuff of the Catholic church. The 2nd religious revolution should take a step back, preserve the tools that give religious experience and make people feel spiritual. The underlaying belief can be replaced with a more up-to-date version that is compitable with the modern secular world.

Church events

I found that most of the social events in the church are quite mundane. Take an example, the dance party I went tonight is one of the worst party I have seen. It is as chessy as a highschool prom, and worse the people ain’t fun. This observation get me to rethink about my theory that church is mainly a social gathering place. How can such a place always have bad social gatherings?

My solution is to refine my theory. Church is still a gathering place, but mostly gather people with interest in that particular religion. Just like ski club gather people like skiing, only that more people like going to church. Church is good in running religious events, such as sunday services, prayer meetings, spiritual programs. Usually those events are well responsed to the participatens come voluntary out of interest. However, people go to the other social events in the church not because they are interest in that event per se, they go merely to show their support to the church. Moreover, the church is not specialized in running those events. This can explain why church social events are usually sub par. It is just because they are not good at it. The principle of division of labour applies to any organization, including the church.

Now, what about those who go to church not for religious purpose? My theory still holds, but need some tuning. Just like you go to the French lesson just to meet that cute girl rather than learning French. You can still go to church to hang out your with girlfriend. Although you may not have high interest in church, at least you can’t reject or even hate going church. Force yourself joining to an interest group you hate just won’t work. Imagine, how can you win over that cute girl in French class if you have absolutely no interest in French? The only problem is, after you have archive certain minium requirement in the French class and the girl became your girlfriend, you don’t have the obligation to strive in learning French any more. In Church, some how people expect you to make it the life long highest priority hobby. Why can’t church just like one of those old hobbies one can enjoy from time to times with no commitment?

Graduated

Finally, I am officially graduated from my master degree. I have submitted my thesis to the library, got the signatures and paper done. All I have to wait for is the degree shows up in my transcript, refund two months of tuition and the convocation. In order to graduate, I have to pay $48 to bound 3 copies of my thesis. One copy for the library, one copy for the department and one copy for myself. I guess I could have saved $16 to skip my own copy, but didn’t brother.

I have applied for the post-baccalaureate diploma starting in summer, so that I can continue taking the philosophy courses. Because my identity as a graduate student, my application status is somehow a bit confusing. I became the human ball boncing between the registration office, the philosophy department, the arts department, the undergrad admission office and graduate office. Each office points me to another office when I ask for my application status. At the end of the chain, I went back to where I begin in the undergrad admission office, and found out they had pointed me in the wrong direction in the first place. I cannot simply reactivate my account, I have to submit a late application with a letter of explaination. I simply retell my story of being bounced between the offices. Hopefully, things will sorted out soon and I can register the moral theory course in the summer.

P.Eng

The lunch and learn session at work this week invited the Professional Engineer Association of BC to talk about P.Eng. application. They started with the question why apply for P.Eng. To be honest, their argument are not very convincing, other than it is required by Canadian law to register as an engineer to practise engineering. To my disappointment, I found out I had always wrongly assume those DJ calling themselves sound engineers are illegal. In fact, anyone can call himself an engineer except when his work has public or safety concerns. I have already made up my mind to apply for P.Eng. I did it just for the sake of having another four letter title behind my name. I somehow have a feeling this title may becomes handy in the future with reasons I can’t really justify. The second part of the session is a Q&A about the application process. Other paying about a thousand dollars for the application, seminer and examation fee, the biggest hurdle is to write the 10 pages work experience. After I had talked to them, I think I get the feeling of what they are expecting. Basically, they are asking for BS on how to present yourself as an engineer, re-describe your boring task with fancy ideas about application of theory and socialy implication. I estimate it would take me about a weekend to write the first draft, followed by a week to put on some decloration. Right now, I am aiming to write the practise exam in July. I will start filling out the application forms and write that 10 pages of BS after my move.

Today I came across large collection of quality eassies written by
Paul Graham. His articles not only written in good style and easy to read, they are also thought provoking. There are many things to learn from his writings.

Thesis defense

Today I have my master thesis defense. I have been waiting for this day. I dress in my new suit going to work, everyone ask me what is the special occasion and I am happy to tell them. I did my preparation last night, rehearsed my slides, but I am still quite nervious today. Since I have no external examiner, I don’t expect though questions and I got none. As a tradition, I bought donuts for my audiences. Pat came to see my defense and lend me her laptop to display the slides. Two friends from work also shown up. There are a few other graduate students sat in, but they are very polite without asking though questions. My presentation is long, plus one of my supervisor is late, the presentation of my thesis went on until 5p.m. I spot one of the examiner fell asleep in the middle of my presentation. I must admit the material of my thesis is quite dry and boring. The Q&A part of my defense went smoothly as I expected. Everyone is nice, no though question asked. Althought the chairman spot a minor error in one of my diagrams. I recieved a pass on my thesis defense. All I left to do is fix some typos in my report, sent it to my supervisor and fill out the paper works in the grad office. I can declare I have a master degree once I see the degree shows up in my transcript. It is getting really really close.

Books and toys

I have start packing my stuff for my move next tuesday. So far I have only finished packing my two most valuable asset groups, toys and books. I have quite a lot of toys indeed. Luckily, I keep all the original boxes, so I don’t have to worry about storing the toys. I have quite a lot of books too. My books filled 6 boxes. I think I need a new bookshelf in my new place. I hope I will not run out of wall space to put bookshelves. I have this weird habit that when I visit other’s place, I always check out their book collection. The books one read can tell a lot about the person. Oddly that I havn’t met someone has more books than myself. Most people don’t even have enough books to fill one bookshelf.

Irresponsible dog owner

A friend of mine is moving back to HK. He has a golden retriver that he cannot bring along. Pat has taken care of the dog for a few weeks when he is on vacation. He asked whether Pat want to adopt the dog. It seems he didn’t have the poor dog in mind when he plan his move. His is leaving town in a month and he ask Pat with such a short notice. He keeps saying dropping the dog off to SPCA is the last option. How can a dog owner be like this? He always claim to be the dog is dad, but he choose to ditch the dog when it becomes a burden. Owning a dog require responsibility, people can’t just throw the dog away when they don’t like it anymore. Pat cannot take this poor dog since she already has two dogs in the house. She is very upset by the lack of responsibility of this dog owner. It seems she puts more effort in finding a home for the dog. If Pat didn’t ask, the dog owner doesn’t even bother to prepare an dog adoption to circulate among friends of friends. Maybe we should consider Anson’s suggestion. We have always talk about cooking Rocko to make a dog meat hot pot. Let us enjoy a big feast is better than letting Rocko faces his final fate in SPCA.

Whistler again

Today I went to Whistler again. Yes, two days in a row. Quite a record. This time I went to ski instead of snowmobile. Best of all, I don’t have drive. I can get a ride from a friend at work. We have a very small group today, just three of us and some friends of my friend from Seattle. The snow condition is ok, but not as good as last week. There is no new snow fall in this week, therefore the snow is high packed. My friends are hard-core skier. We had quite a few black diamond runs today. In the one of the run, I am completely whited out. My flys all over the place and slided down in 360 for at least a hundred meters. Fortunately, I didn’t look too bad since my friend share the same fate with me. It is a good day of fun, althought my skill is getting better, I have to work more on my strength. At near the end of the day, I know I should be able to do those runs, but I lack the strength to bounce around the bumps.