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Today after the meeting with Dr. Hardy, on my way back to Burnaby on the skytrain, I gave some advice on research to first year grad student. I’m kinda surprise she does not even know how to use IEEE Explorer, yet already has a paper published in a conference. Internet really is the most powerful research tool, all you need is type in keywords, then the papers will magically show up. Actually one of the problems is there are the search result is too long. I really have to filter out the useful ones to be efficient. Using citation identify the “hub” that everyone else is referencing to is the key. Unfortunately I just know this method not too long ago, and wasted a lot of time reading useless papers.

Deutsche field trip

Tonight, in the second half of my German lesson, the whole class went to a German restaurant for dinner. We had to order our food and talked to the waitress in deutsche. It is the first experience to use German outside classroom, and I realize how poor my German is. One of the classmate brough along his German girlfriend. Some more advanced classmates can chat with her without much problem. Of course, my German is so bad that I can’t even understand half of their conversation, let alone join them in the talk.

Still, I have a great time guessing what does those sentence means and picked up a few useful vocabulary. Most important, now I feel more comfortable in an all-German environment.


Hope is one of the three virtues, and it is an indespensable element of life. If you have a dream and striving for it, you know there is always a way out regardless of the current state. I found the emptiness feeling inside me fades away as I stop wasting time and focus to get my goal accomplished. It took Titanic three and a half hour to sink after it hit the icebery, I wonder how much longer can PMC stays afloat. I need to get myself ready to jump the boat before the final moment comes.


Today when I download the google desktop search bar, I came across a photo management tool from google, picasa. So I installed and tried out both softwares. The searchbar is nothing special, just yet another search tool. But I’m quite impressed by picasa. The interface is pretty user friendly and the speed is lightening fast, much better than the another tool, acdsee, I used to view images. Picasa crawls through my harddisk and index all the the pictures, including some I had long forgotten their existience. When I’m viewing the old photos from several years ago, it brings back some good old memories and I wonder how time had really goes by quickly. Another thing I always wonder about is how come I looked so awkward with the funny hairstyle back then?

On a minor thought, today I got assigned to a new project. It is another rush-to-market kind has development cycle less than 6 months. Somehow I have a feeling that it’ll go bust somewhere down the road. I guess I’ll just keep my head down and staying cool to avoid the turmoils. Just concentrate on finishing my thesis and I can move on into a new chapter of my life.


When I am reading many journal papers this afternoon, I was wondering how many of those research paper are actually practical in reality? It seems many of them are just like my thesis, they are written for the sake of being written. I can’t convince myself what I am working on has any research value, rather it seems I’m just playing in a sand box, building my own version of overly simplifed reality. I guess that’s the difference between me and a true academic.


Tonight in the Life in the Spirit Seminar, for a moment I thought I had received the gift of interpreting tongues. I was a bit shocked and excited when I hear plain English during the tongue prayer. It turn out that it is a false alarm, the person actually did insert English into the prayer. What a bummer.

This afternoon when I got so tried in studying, I re-arranged my toy display a little bit. I transformed and posed my Optimus Prime from truck mode to robot mode. I found a sense of peace in my toys, they makes me temporary forget all my worries and stress, and feel like being a child. The Bible says only those who are like children can go to heaven. I think having toy collecting as hobbies will bring one closer to salvation.


I finally start working on my thesis today, I had written the introduction section so far. It’s a good start. I found it quite hard for myselt to concentrate on doing one thing. There is always a urge to do something else and I have to fight hard against it. Actually concentration is not only a must in study, it also needed in playing badminton. Today during the game, I found that when I’m concentrate, I can get the birdy with much more accurately. However, my concentration ran out after I got tired in the first two game. Keep up the hard work and carry on my 200 hours workplan.


Today is a rough day for me. First I went to Whistler with Chris early in the morning and the condition is not very good. The mountain is very foggy with low visibility, the snow at the top is ok but down in the middle is all slushy, even worse it’s raining close to the bottom of the Red Chair. I had a good time with Chris despise of the poor condition, as I havn’t ski with him for past two years. Moreover, it’s great to have someone you can talk to. Then I had my deutsch stunde in the evening. Ich still spreiche kein flussig deutsch. Sigh…

When I was skiing today, somehow I realized how much time I had wasted in downloading and watching BTs, checking out toys websites, reading meaningless articles in chatboard. With rough calcuation, I estimated I had wasted on average 10-15 hours a week, with the time I wasted in janurary and febuary, I could have get my thesis half completed. Thus I had came up with a 200 hours workplan for my thesis. My goal is to spent 200 hours working in my thesis over the next 2 months. The workplan will be divided into 3 hours sessions and I will force myself to concentrate by staying offline and not answering any phone calls. In each session I have to write at least half a page that contribute towards my thesis or at least some code fragments for my simulation. The workplan officially start tomorrow with 2 sessions, followed 3 sessions on friday and saturday each. In a normal week, I will have 1 session on sunday, monday and tuesday each, and 2 sessions on saturday (except go to ski). My goal is to keep up with my workplan and stay away from the temptation of those time wasting activities. I have been praying to the Holy Spirit for the gift of strength and stewardmanship to complete this single most important task in my life for the time being.


Depression used to be a foreign concept to me, I don’t remember I feel really unhappy for an extended persion of time since the I have memory. Just somehow I don’t feel right for the past week and it getting worse, probably the worst today. Last time when I feel sad was when I got dumped by my ex-girlfriend in university days, but this timing the feeling is different. I can explain what happened back then and I’m totally aware what I was doing and allow it to happen. This time just that I can’t really jusitify my sadness, and can’t really figure out the cause of it. I have several clues but none of them or even all of them combined seems bad enough to turn me down like this. I’m looking forward to have a great day of ski in Whistler tomorrow, as my 5 days vacation begins. Hope I’ll feel better tomorrow.


I think I am having the problem of procrastination. I just keep delay the work I have to do until the last minute, and already not follow the schedule I set up myself. As I’m reading in the Zen and the Art of Motercycle Maintenance, the root cause can be due to anxiety, anxious to get the work done well and end up not starting on it. I think I should have just do it, don’t think too much on how good or bad it will be at the end. Mmm… I should also pray to the Holy Spirit for changes on my lack of discipline too. Hope the baptize in the Holy Spirit from last week really work and will change me to a better person.