I’m so upset today, my website at home got hacked and the front page is defaced. I suspect it is due to a loop hole in the Apache server since port 80 is the only port opened to my linux box thru the router. So I patched Apache to the latest version at once and re-store my portal page. Luckily the SQL database is not affected or I’d lose all my recent articles. I just don’t understand the mind of those hackers, what do they gain from wacking others’ web server? Why can’t they spend their talent in more useful place, such as hacking the bank system for real money or hack and leak out secret documents for our amusement? Targeting amature web hosts for their low security linux box is not a real accomplishment at all. After I had my thesis completed, I’ll definely re-install my linux box to tighten up the security, and probably give my website a renovation which I always wanted to.
My name Horace is originated from the God of time keeping in Greek (not Geek) mythology. I used this the opening line in my Toastmaster timer speech. Unfortunately, a good opening doesn’t lead to a smooth ending. I had too many um/ah and dead air during my speech. I also forgot to address the chairman and the fellow toastmasters in the beginner and lead the forum back to the chairman at the end. I hope I will do better next time.
Tonight, I made enoki mushroom beef roll for dinner the first time. I spent quite some time in preparing it and the out come is very delicious. This is the latest addiction to my favourate recipe.
Other than that, nothing much happened today, except I went to see an allergist. My forearms got poked many times for the skin test and have some itchy rashes due to positive reaction afterward.
Apirl is the tax season of the year, and people are busy in preparing their tax returns. With only 1 week left before the filing deadline, I finally started preparing my tax return tonight. I have been a loyal customer to Quicktax for many years. Filing tax return using computer and internet is really convenient. I’m so used to doing tax electronically hat I can’t even imgaine how can I do it with pen and paper. After subtracted all my debuction and contribution to the retirement fund, my actual tax rate is only 20%. People always say Canada is a tax heavy country, but my experience found that it is not so bad. Maybe it is just me who don’t make enough money to qualify for the normal high tax rate. Sigh…
Lately, I’m getting in touch with my feminine side more often. Today I had tried my first facial treatment. Pat had bugged me to have facial treatment with her for quite some time. Today I finally gave in and go with her. Luckily, the beauty shop she usually go to is a home bussiness, that save me some embrassement. She had her treatment first, then I had my turn afterward. In summary, facial treatment are just regressive steps of applying different cream or solutions to your face, then wash them away with sponge. I think I’m the most ignorance customer the facialer ever had. I kept asking her question about the effect and material of each step. Other than all those cream, there are some other interesting steps such as: My face is steamed with hot vapour, which makes me feel like I am a BBQ pork bun. The dirt and oil clogging the pores at my nose are squeezed out, and it is less painful that I expected. An ultra-sound treatment to iron out my winkles and push nutrition deep inside my skin. At last, applying a mask is the last and most important step like all facial treatments seen in TV. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep for almost 20 minutes! After the facial treatment, I think my skin is softer and shinnier. Pat said my skin is even better than hers! Well… that’s the end of my exploration in facial treatment, doing facial is a female stuff after all. Man don’t need to do facial, so trying it once is enough for me.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.