I had a really bad day today. On my way to work, I hit the curb and resulted in two flat tires on the right side of my car. If it is only 1 flat tire, I could change the spare tire myself, but I couldn’t help when there are 2 flat tires. I called BCAA to tow the car to the nearest tire shop. I was not the BCAA member, so I have to join it right on the spot. I explicitly told them I had 2 flat tires afraid that they will send the service truck instead of the tow truck. I had waited for 45 minutes before the service truck arrived, which can’t provide much help. Then I have to wait for another 30 minutes for the tow truck. The service of both the truck drivers are excellent, they are friendly and very helpful. We all agreed that it is the dispatch center’s fault to send the wrong truck. Luckily my tires are bought at Canadian Tire and have life time warrenty. Can Tire replaced the two unrepariable tires just for $16 warrently fee. Able to saved two hundred dollars for a pair of new tires, I am not too upset at the end of the day.
I have a full day Prep meeting from 9:30a.m. to 3:30p.m. today. Time is so tight that I have to have my lunch in the meeting room, but we still couldn’t finish all the Preps. Prep is the short form of Problem REPorts, which is a database to keep track of all the issues discovered in the design cycle. Before tape-out, which means the chip is done, all the known issues has to be resolved, problems either fixed or dropped. The block I am assigned to is a so-called resuable block, but it is more like salvage code from the previous project. We are going to tape-in in two weeks and it’s time for us to go thru all the open Preps one by one and determine the couse of action for each of them. The meeting is long but productive, I have a better handling of how much work leave for the next two weeks. The only complain is that is very boring. I volutuneered to bring some snacks next time, so we can have chips while talking about chips.
This weekend I had done lots of dancing. Last night was the Okotoberfest dance and dinner at St. Mary. The dinner is just so-so, and there were lots of old folks and Phillipines in the event. There were dance after the dinner, social dance music then followed by disco music. I am not very fond of disco style, but quite interested in ballroom dancing. Me and Pat danced for the few steps we had learnt. Pat forced me to dance the steps we havn’t learnt yet and got me upset. She then apply her psychology skills trying to analyze why I refuse to dance blindlessly without knowing the proper steps. She keep saying it must be related to my shadow that I had fell pretty bad on my very first social dance lesson back in university day. The fall was true, but it is not the reason. I don’t want to dance unknown steps just because it looks stupid. She says I can dance whatever style I like, no one cares about my bad dancing. However she contradicts herself instantly by not letting me dance like Rain, the gay Korean singer.
Today we finally had picked up our social dance lesson again. We learnt the first lessson of Jive. With the help of my new dancing shoes, I am more confidence in dancing. I am ok in remembering the steps and moves, but still very weak in counting beats. I need more to pratice beats counting espeically during complication moves. I can only handle either one.
The teacher union of Vancouver has been striking for a week already. I had finished school a long time ago, I thought teachers strike shouldn’t affect me, but I was wrong. The school workers support the teachers and went on strike as well. As a result, all schools in Vancouver is closed down, including the one we go to play badminton every thursday. I think unions are evil in Canada, since they have way too much power. The union already deviated from the original idea of protecting the welfare of the workers and becomes more like a company. It exists only to maximize its own benefit, without taking any social responsbility. The teacher union is holding the student as hostage in their illegal strike to ask for more money from the government. Everyone want to ask for a raise, but they don’t have to go this far affecting almost one in Vancouer. One of the root cause of this problem is the union executives are paid handsomely, instead of volunteer member from the workers the union represent. Those fat pocket union executives need to do something big once a while to jusitfy their heavy pay checks, and stirke is the best demostration. I think the law should change that only non-paid volunteer members from the trade it represents are allowed to run the union.
Pat bought me a small Nici keychain to hang on my backpack when she was in HK. Nici is a new European band that makes stuff animals. The characters are very cute and it is getting popular in these few years. Normally a guy like me won’t be crazy for stuff toys. However this particular one got my attention. It is a promotional item from Ferrari, a cute version of the Ferrari mascot. This cute little horse is dressed in bright red T-shirt with the word “Horse Power”. I fall for this character instantly. I had ordered several more “Horse Power” items from eBay, a cushon and a shaving bag. Unfortunately, I havn’t seen these stuff sold anywhere here in Canada, the only way getting them is order online.
Please check out my small Nici Ferrari collection here
Censorship is one of the biggest threat to freedom. When one is not allowed to express his thought freely, he may soon lose the freedom of his mind.
Now, I must keep telling myself that Pat is a very nice girlfriend, she has a good temper, she does not get upset easily or I will get into trouble by slip of touge, or pen, or keyboard accidentally. I had spent time fixing the “errors” in my World Youth Day journal, edited out the sentences that she feels not right.
There ain’t much energy left in me to write today’s blog. I have spent half of the night writing the final chapter of my world youth day journal. (The other half of the night went to cook dinner, wash dishes and ns2) I had wrote 7 articles in total since I came back from the trip. The first one is an introduction, then 5 articles one for each stop in my trip, and the last one for some thoughts and feedbacks of the trip. I think I had wrote at least ten thousand words, or maybe even more. That is almost as many words as a real book. The only difference between my World Youth Day Journal is my writting is kinda bad, not good enough for publish.
Pat made a very tasty thanksgiving dinner tonight. It has salad, turkey, grill mushroom and japanese tea rice, quite an interesting combination. After dinner, I baked cookies for the WYD auction, where each of us promised to take turn and bake two dozen of cookies each month for a whole year. It is my first time making cookies, I cheated a bit by using ready made doughs bought from super market. The only thing I did was use cookie cutter to make the shape. The first dozen looks pretty good, it has two kinds, round and heart shape. The second dozen is looks quite odd, since I underestimated the expansion of the cookie in the oven. The cookies turned out filling all the empty spaces on the plate and pressing each other. Oh well, although the shape is irregular, the second dozen actually taste better, because I used a named brand instead of Superstore brand in the first dozen. Last month Pat baked some really fancy pretzel-like cookies and raised the bar of our donor’s expectation. This month my first-time cookies should set the standard of our donor back to normal.
For the first time, my group of friends at work had organized something that interested Pat. We had been saying to have a wine and cheese party for quite quite, and this Thanksgiving weekend I push it to become reality. The most important thing is the wine and cheese, which is taken care of by Steven who is our culinary expert. Jackson offer to host the party and Ivy taken care of the sushi dinner and head counts as usual. Steven bought six bottle of wine, three white, three red to the party. He also prepared matching cheese, bread, biscuits and dry fruit. We played foosball, pool and NHL 06 while tasting the wine. Steven also gave us a brief tutorial on wine pairing. The principle is very simple, strong taste wine pair with strong taste food, vice versa. After the wine tasting they start the poker game, but I have to go home early since Pat is getting tried. The party is very fun, much better than just the usual eat and then gamble party. Most important, Pat enjoy coming along to try something new and play with snowball.
Today I have accompanished many things, I also helped Pat fixing her sink. The sink is clogged for a few months and draining very slowly. Finally Pat can’t stand it anymore, bought a home maintance DIY book and make me do the work. Fixing the clogged sink is easier than I had expected. Just unscrew the drain at the bottom of the sink, take out the cock to remove all the hair clogging the drain. Pat said that I am very man while doing the plumbing work. The upper stair toilet is now officially reopened.