food festival

This weekend the annual Eat! Vancouver food festival is taking place in BC Place. I went to the first day of the show after work with Pat. The ticket price is $12 regular, $10 with a donation to the food bank. So I bring along some old canned food digged up from my self that I will never eat. There are many free food samples in the show. On top of that, I bought some tickets to try larger sampling plate and alcohol drinks. The best part of the festival is the Food Channel cooking show hosted by Iron Chef winner Rob Feenie. His show is quite funny, I am not bored for hour long show. Best of all, I get the chance to try his dishes after the show. Most people just left after he is done without expecting they can actually taste the dish. Me and Pat went to the front to try our luck. Only a few people was standing there and we were just looking at the dishes at first. Somehow I’m brave enough to ask the host whether can I taste it. Out of my expectation, the host cut up the steak and fios gras, bring out four forks, and tell us to help ourself. Obviously they are not prepared to share the dishes with the audience, otherwise they should have prepared more folks. Pat also bought a recipe book written by Feenie and have him autographed. The food festival is definitely a good event to be to have a date with your girlfriend. Tasting the dish prepared by the Iron Chef is my highlight of the day, I guess I will have a good dream tonight.

badminton

I havn’t played badminton for the past two weeks, today I found my skill level had dropped alot. The weekly badminton game has less and less player, Jason, Edwin and Anson havn’t came for a long time. I can only play with those Mandarin speaking folks, and we can’t even fill two courts with double games. Although, I had played mostly badminton in P.E. lesson when I was in Lasalle days and served as a director of the badminton club in the university, yet my skill is pretty weak. I have to say that I picked up most badminton skills in past year playing with this group. The key for a better game is to position your body and arms before the birdy arrive at the striking point. That’s something no one had taught me in all these years.

surf web

Havn’t surf web for quite some time already. I usually only go to a few websites that I familiar with. Today when I was reading an article from PC magazine introducing top websites of 2005, I clicked through some of the links to visit them. I found that the web had changed alot since I first started using internet. Back then the internet is more true to its name that websites are interconnected by links, and people discover new sites from links to links. Nowadays with the increased complexity and rate of change, maintaining a list of link manually is no longer feasible. Search engine had replaced a web of links as the default mean to access different websites, and make people less likely to come across unintended yet interesting sites. Now the hot site reviews of PC Mag serves this purpose. I had discover many new and interesting sites today, probably I had wasted too much time sucking up all the new information. One of my favourate is Orisinal, which has many adorable mini games.

Pope Bendict XVI

White smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel chimney, Joseph Ratzinger from Germany has became the 265th pope. As a Catholic myself, having a new pope, the leader of the Church suppose to be quite exciting, but I just feel indifference towards the new Pope. According to the news, he leans heavy towards the conservative camp, which on many issues I couldn’t agree with base on my conscience. I don’t worry too much on this front, since it cann’t be worse than the previous Pope. Judging from the photos, Ratzinger lacks the personal charm of John Paul II that holds the Church together. I hope I’ll have better impression on him after meeting him in person at World Youth Day later this August. On a side note, there is an interesting prophecy of the Popes written by Arnold de Wyon in 1595, which is known as the St. Malachy list. The list had predicted 111 Popes before the “end of time”, and Bendict XVI is the 2nd last one. So far with the help of postdiction, the motto descripted in the list are stuntly accurate. Since I never believe in those superstitious talk about the 2nd coming, my intrepretation of this prophecy would be “end of time” actually means the complete disintegration of the Catholic Church. I won’t be surprise if this Pope choose an ulta-conservative path and making the Liberals break away from the Church. I guess I have no regret being part of the Church in its last moment and witness the fall of the largest and most historical religion institute ever existed. My only concern is after the Catholic church gone away, is there any religion force left to resist the Muslim and Prostestant fundamentist?

last game

Andrew Bell is leaving the company, today is his last day. He is the grand master at work, and he is the person got me interested in playing Chess. He used to played with Jackson alot, Jackson quit playing after his interest faded after a while, but Andrew still play with me quite often. Although I still not able to beat him, I did learn a lot from his moves and strategy. Through him, I can see my weakness in my playing. Today I had my last chess game with him before he left. It’s a close game, and I lost to him in the end-game moves. Playing against Gordon is fun, I don’t think my skill will improve much from his pure responsive moves. In the games I lost to him, either Andrew is the puppet master or I just made plain silly mistakes. Now after Andrew is gone, I think I will cut my chess at work to just once per week.

making cards

This afternoon, we had a card making session after the World Youth Day meeting. The whole parish team sit together, formed a assembly line, and cruched out all sorts of cards like Birthday cards, Thankyou cards, Get Well cards, etc. The cards are not very complicate, just nicely stamped patterns with sparkling power or ribbons, but they surely look good. We hope to sell the cards to the church goers on the next two Sunday and raise some funds to help our trip expensives. I always thought card making is a girly thing, and I still think so. Yet I helped out in the session as part of community bonding within the group. However, to my surprise, I found spending an afternoon to make cards is quite relaxing. When I concentrated on the small task in front of me, like folding paper, cutting ribbons, or stamping the patterns, I don’t have to think about all my troubles. I won’t mind do it once in a while for a good cause, but I surely don’t want anyone knows about the femimine side of me that actually enjoy making cards.

deaf begger

I think many people have encountered the deaf beggars in the restaurants. They just walk into a restaurant, putting down a card on your table. Usually the card says that they are deaf and ask for donation. You can either take the card and give him money or wait for him to come back and pick up the cards after a while. This afternoon when I was having lunch at a Korean restaurant, I came across one of them. I kinda hesitate to give money to a total stranger, especially when I can’t tell he is really deaf, so I let him take back the card. After he left, I talked to Pat that we should test whether he is really a deaf. Next time if we see this type of person again, we should give him a big shout at his back, see whether he will be startled. If he is proven be a deaf, I won’t mind giving him a buck or two.

carrot and stick

I got my market adjustment number today, not very satisfying, and it’s partly related to last year’s performance review. I don’t think I am doing exceptionally well and I got myself exposed to some political turmoils in the project, so the upcoming is kinda expectable. Even though the manager promise another adjustment in 3 months time if I am up to his expectation, I am not too warm about this carrot. 3 months time is not very long, I think I can keep my head down and just do my work. I kinda feel bad that when I work really hard and got good review, nothing happened due to the bad economy. The credits vanished got after walking into one bomb and another stupidly. I have to learn the lesson and try to avoid making the same mistake again. We’ll see what is going to happen in 3 months, that would be more a proof for myself, just like finishing the master degree, rather than for the compensation.

coperate culture

This afternoon when I had a meeting with the consultants from Versity about testbench architecture in the upcoming project, the consultant make a interesting comment about his observation in PMC’s coperate culture. He pointed out that the company is quite conservative in term of adopting new methodology and trying out new things, and I totally agree with him. For many times, I got turned down on suggesting the use of new cutting-edge cool development tools and was told to stick with the old proven way. The company is like a dinosaur, avoiding risk by ignoring the potentials coming with the risk. No wonder the we are slowing losing market shares in Telecom devices, and got slaughtered in the new market section where quick innovation is the key to success. Ok… enough whimming, gota go back to my M.Eng work, so I can escape from this boring company.