Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hello, I'm... Linux

Hubby's more or less gotten Ubuntu set up and he's loving it so far. I also noted that one of my co-workers also put Ubuntu on his spanking new laptop (same model as mine, but without the wide-screen). Here are some spoofs to keep you entertained...


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I may not be posting for the next week or so. Life has suddenly become amazingly busy, and I don't know how much time I can even devote to my personal life. Going to the gym has already been thrown out the window for the rest of this week. Bah.

Some things that had happened so far this week:
  • We had a new guy start at work (finally!)
  • I almost melted at the gym last night. The air conditioning unit died during my step class. My instructor kept telling us that we didn't want to know how hot it was
  • After several false starts, hubby's finally managed to download the Ubuntu iso and will be playing around with it for the next little while. He's going to wipe off the W2K on our 7 year old laptop and install Ubuntu. (He's also a little fed up with MS). This will be an interesting experiment. More to come later.
  • We're trying to sell our coffee table
Things that are happening this week and next:
  • My big project at work is finally starting up. I'll be in meeting most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so I will be getting very little work done. Plus I don't know how busy I'll actually be until they start setting time lines late this week. We have2 months to make thing thing work, so it'll be tight. Lucky for me, they are feeding us, breakfast included. Whoo!
  • I really need to continue on with school work, that's kinda stalled this whole month for various reasons
  • I'm going to the car show. Whoo!
  • We have visitors staying at our place all next week. I need to clean my house. Joy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Movie Review: 300

Today, hubby and I went to go see 300. As I didn't know much about the movie, here are some impressions that I had.

Things I liked:
  • Lots of really buff half-naked men wearing what looked like black Speedos and red capes. What I noticed was a lot of the actors were in their late 30s and early 40s, so there was an impressive amount of man-meat to drool over.
  • The CGI was awesome and very well done. If you can watch this movie in IMAX, do so. I heard that they spent about 6 weeks filming in front of blue screens and 1.5 years doing the CGI. They managed to blend the CG in with the real people very well, and it was visually quite stunning.
  • David Wenham. I've now seen him in Lord of the Rings and Van Helsing, as well as 300, and he's really impressed with the range of his acting skills. And he looks hot half-naked in black Speedos. Ha.
  • The battle scenes were very well done.
Things I thought they could have improved upon:
  • The script. The movie had too many battle scenes. About halfway through the movie, I checked the time. That's always a bad sign for me. And the plot was not very well developed and certain times I had to ask myself, why they did that with the plot, it did nothing to the storyline. Or something went over my head.
  • Gerard Butler's accent. Don't get me wrong, I love Gerard Butler's accent, and he was very drool worthy flinging his half-naked body across the screen, and my beef isn't with him, it's with the director. Gerard Butler is Scottish, but I noted that pretty much everyone else spoke with a British accent in the movie. It may not be a big deal to some but I picked up on it and it grated on my nerves. Even David Wenham, whose Australian, managed a British accent. I suppose a part of this rant came from last night, when I watched most of Beowulf & Grendel on TV. That movie wasn't spectacular, and I was a bit disappointed as I really was looking forward to watching it. Not only did Gerard Butler's Scottish accent appear when everyone else had put on a British accent, but even worse, they allowed Sarah Polley, whom I love as an actress, to use her native Canadian accent. Another good example is The Phantom of the Opera, yet another Gerard Butler movie, where Christine and Raoul were very good, the actors were allowed to use their natural American accents, while the rest of the cast used English accents. I found this really jarring and it made me enjoy the movie less. Gerard Butler was very good in this role, and I think he made me fall in love with The Phantom all over again. My main rant is, unless the story allows for varying accents, please be consistent with the accents, as having conflicting accents when you're not expecting it really diminishes the over all effect that you're trying to make. It's the director's choice for doing stuff like this, not the actors, so I blame them.
  • Lena Headey, who plays the Queen, slouches. I've picked on people in the past who slouches because I have really bad upper back problems due to computer work, so I suppose I'm hypersensitive to stuff like this.
So all in all, I give the movie 7 out of 10. The generous marks go to the awesome CGI work and the half-naked men.

Happy Birthday to Meeee!!!

Today is my birthday. I'm now coughthircoughtycoughfivecough. Um I'm 29. For the seventh time. Heh.

Not a very eventful birthday, but still fun. Hubby and I went to go see 300, review forthcoming. Afterwards, we went with my parents, my best friend N and his friend S to Baci Ristorante. The food was yummy. Anyone that lives in the area, you must go to this restaurant. Not only is the food really good, but it's not as expensive as some other places.

All in all, a good birthday!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Birthday Hair!

Yes, it's that time again folks, my yearly Birthday Hair Colour indulgence. Here are the before and after pictures:

Before (note that this was taken earlier in the week at my Grandma's birthday dinner. You are looking at a slightly drunk Weed. Heh)

And after! (I don't think that side of my face is the most photogenic, but you get to see the wicked colouring job. Plus, I need to get a better camera phone, my pictures somehow turn out all red!). I really am loving the red, although it's hard to see.

KOOKY: New toys

New toy for work. A Lenovo T60 15.4" wide screen, duo core Pentium processor laptop, with a huge hard drive and 3 GB of RAM. This thing is sweet! What you don't see is the dual 20.1" monitors (yes, I have two external monitors), a new Logitech wireless mouse and a big ass top-of-the-line docking station that I also got. All compliments of work. I had some fun trying to rearrange my desk yesterday with all the new toys. Heh.

We had some money left over in the budget, so a few of us got new laptops. My boss said, "Get whatever hardware you need to do your job, because I rather you be more efficient with your job with the equipment you need than doing your job poorly because you're not properly equipped. So go forth and spend the money."

I'm not going to argue against that. Spend money he says, and so spend money we did.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

KOOKY: The Adventures of Weed

I wrote a really long post, then upon reflection, felt that it was one of the lamest posts that I've written, so I decided to delete it and give you the shortened version instead.

The highlights of my day:
- I had to deal with dog-pee on our office room carpet (it's still there by the way)
- My co-op student's landlord is a 57-year old single man who doesn't do much except watch B-rated slasher movies into the wee-hours of the morning. Apparently, he has hundreds of VHS tapes of B-rated slasher movies in every nook and cranny in his apartment, including my co-op's bedroom. Oh, and he's noticed that my co-op owns a meat cleaver.

I think I'll leave the rest up to your imagination, heaven knows it's probably going to be more interesting than what I wrote originally. And I work in IT!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Ultimate Ultimate!

I've been playing this song to death. I like it for several reasons:
  1. It happy sounding;
  2. I like the synth/pop sound
  3. It's got wicked bass riffs, and I would love to see if I can copy it one day on my bass (which I don't even have right now, my friend has it sigh).
I love this video, it's so goofy, and the 70s shorts are a great touch. Here's the new ultimate-ultimate, Here In Your Arms by hellogoodbye

Friday, March 16, 2007

Computer Woes!

*** I apologize in advance for all the techie talk ***

So we've been experiencing computer woes for at least several weeks.

First, Shaw's service was less than stellar. I guess the grid that we're on was getting overloaded. Some of the speed test that we did with the tech guy showed that the download speed really sucked, maybe 100Kb/sec. They finally fixed that, and we're now we're getting 4-5 MB.

Second, the router that we've had for a while finally crapped out. It was always flakey to begin with. When I did ping tests, it either timed out, or the data packets took a very long time to come back. Boo. After calling twice today, hubby managed to get a receipt for a replacement. However, we still need a wireless router as I need to stick my web server out in the DMZ for my school project (I don't know how else to do it, I don't do networks or firewalls =P), and my parents need their Internet. Hubby's friend hopefully can lend us a temp router until we get the replacement.

Then I called hubby today to see how he was doing (he stayed home and spoke to two different tech support people in different parts of Asia). He told me he couldn't boot my computer back up. I almost had a heart attack. I was hoping it wouldn't be my hard drive, because, like every good techie, I backed everything up, not! I seriously had visions of having to restart my project (of which I've been working on for 1.5 years) from scratch, so you can understand my concerns. It didn't sound like it, and lo and behold, when I got home, hubby was in the middle of switching power supplies with another box that we have (I was thinking about putting Ubuntu on that box at some point, but until we get a new power supply, I guess not). So it was the power supply that was the problem, and my computer's happy again. The guts are still sticking out (ie, hubby hasn't put the panels back on; apparently, I don't do hardware either), but it's happy. For now.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Marriage Checkup

Last Saturday, hubby and I attended a marriage seminar. This is the second marriage seminar/conference that we've gone to since getting married 4.5 years ago.

When I told my co-workers on Monday what I did over the weekend, they questioned as to why I would do such a thing? My answer: My marriage is in pretty good shape, and I want to keep it that way.

You go to the doctor to do a regular checkup to see if you're healthy. If there's something wrong, then you take steps to fix it. In business, you continually check upon your customers to see if they are happy and that you have a good relationship with them.

So why not have a regular marriage checkup? Why wait for you to be unhappy about your marriage before doing something about it? Marriage is hard work, and no one I know is ever given a user manual to figure out how to get through with it. We can only learn by example and trial-and-error. I am certainly no expert, and I can't say I'm really an expert of my own marriage, so why not get as much help as I can? I'm not perfect, and neither is hubby.

Going to these seminars has given me good ideas as to how develop my relationship with my hubby. The great thing is that hubby is also there, so he hears the same things I hear. I know that we have challenges coming in the next 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 years down the road, so I want to continue to build a strong foundation now.

I find that going to these seminars so helpful. I've been to counselling once in my life (for non-marriage issues), and this is different. I've been given practical tips on communication, sex, and how to deal with issues when they arise, stuff that you don't normally hear in counselling sessions. The first one we attended even had homework for us, but it forced us to talk about and answer questions that we normally (as well as most couples) don't talk about. I suppose you can view it as a user manual for marriage.

The main speakers of these seminars are marriage counsellors, and have been for many, many years, so they've seen it all. They've also seen people heal their marriages, so their advice is certainly worth their weight in gold. What I particularly appreciate hearing is stories about their own marriages. It goes to show you that everyone does deal with the same issues and even those who are the "experts" are also human and just as fallible as we are.

So I strongly encourage any one of you, no matter how long you've been married, or what stage your marriage is at, to try one of these seminars. They have claimed that there were people who attended pretty much as a last resort, and if this didn't work, they would have gotten a divorce. Many have said that it has saved their marriage (not to say that they didn't have a hard road afterwards to fixing their marriage, but at least now they have a focus and a common goal).

Whether or not you believe that, I can believe it because I've come away with positive tools and ideas that anyone can use to continue to strengthen their marriage. Believe it or not, a lot of stuff is pretty common sense, it sometimes takes someone else to point it out.

Please note that the ones that I'm listing here are Christian seminars, although many non-Christians do attend. If you're not comfortable with the idea, don't click on the links.

The one we attended on Saturday: Dr. Gary Chapman
Family Life Canada

Monday, March 12, 2007

Method Products

I'm posting this mainly for my friend T, who is an avid reader of this blog and who works for Evil Telus (you know who you are!).

Several people have told me about Method Products. Method is a company that makes environmentally-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products. Since there was so many people raving about them, I decided to give it I try.

So far, I've tried the Daily Shower Spray and the Cleaning Cloths (Cucumber scent). I have to say I love it! The shower spray, although I don't use daily (because it's still relatively expensive), works great and I don't have to use as much elbow grease when I go to scrub the tub. I also use it on our bathroom sink (again, less elbow grease).

I also bought a bottle of the Cleaning Cloths, and this stuff rules! The clothes are thicker than the Lysol cloths that we currently use, and I found that these cloths clean better than the Lysol ones. Plus the cloths are biodegradable (however, hubby did point out how would it degraded when you wrap it up in a plastic garbage bag, ha!)

Two thumbs up for Method!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Star Wars Mailboxes

Attention all Star Wars geeks! The United States Postal Service is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Wars with R2-D2 wrapped mailboxes.

Now how long do you think these things will remain on the street before someone nabs it for their mailbox collection?

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I found this quote in my Study Bible. It was part of an introduction to the book of Philemon
Everyone says that forgiveness is a wonderful idea, until he has something to forgive. -- C. S. Lewis

Two surprises

Yesterday was an unusual day. The day started off with a wedding. Now normally, weddings, while pleasant affairs, usually aren't big surprises as there tends to be a build-up months in advance leading up to the event.

However, I got the invitation to come to the wedding Friday night after 11pm, after I was already in bed. The wedding was set for Saturday, 1pm. I had less than 14 hours notice, freaked out because I had nothing to wear, I ironed my clothes (something I never do, too much bother), and we rushed to the mall to grab the gift.

My friend married a girl who was not a Canadian Citizen, nor was she a landed immigrant. So to expedite the immigration paperwork, they got married. The bride had come back for a visit to do some wedding planning (they're still having a formal ceremony in June) and of course to see my friend. Little did she know that she was was going to get married. She didn't even bring any dressy clothing with her, so they had to go buy some.

So after everyone arrived, some last minute furniture shuffling and a quick trip to the florist, my friends were hitched. Everyone was surprised, but pleasantly so. The bride and groom had big stupid grins on their faces which mirrored ours. I'm so thrilled for him. It was totally evident that they loved each other. This is one wedding ceremony I won't forget for a long time.

The other surprise was for another friend later that night. Tomorrow is her birthday, and we wanted to do something nice for her. She couldn't make it to the wedding, so we'd asked if she wanted to go for dinner with the rest of us. She would only show up if the newlyweds were going to be there. We let her think that (the bride and groom had an extended family dinner, half the family didn't even know that the wedding had taken place yet!). Anyways, she showed up with a nice bouquet of red roses, ha! The joke was on her. But in any case, we had lots of fun stuffing our faces with yummy Greek food.

Today I feel like a total blimp, too much food from yesterday, and it was a pretty tiring day, but so much fun!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Not-So-Evil-Homework

Many of you who know me have heard me mention "Evil Homework". What the heck is it? Well, hopefully this will make some sense. I know even hubby doesn't fully understand what's going on, but here goes nothing.

I'm currently finishing my Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems at BCIT. It's essentially equivalent to a Computer Science degree, but a little more technical and a little less theoretical. (But of course if you ask the illustrious academics at the big universities around town, they'd turn their nose up to it). Two reasons why I'm doing this degree is so this will make me more employable if I should go looking for a job in town or within the country, but also, it opens the door for me to gain employment in my field should I wish to work in a different country. I'm not planning on leaving the country any time soon (or possibly ever) to work elsewhere, but it'll be nice to have that option opened to me.

Anyways, a component of my degree program is to do a large project. I'm not going to get into the details as to why I couldn't do the project through work, it's too complicated, and a lot of it is silly rules that BCIT have built around project eligibility. Bah. Hence, I had to go look elsewhere for a project.

BCIT managed to hook me up with the clients that needed some coding done. Yes, I'm building an enterprise solutions for free. My clients (one is here and another one is in Toronto), are typical clients, despite one claiming that he's "technical". I don't think he's built an application outside of school before, and so he really doesn't understand my frustrations with users that don't know what they want.

The best parallel that I can come up with is that they are asking me to build a house, only they give me a part of the blueprint at a time. No one builds a house with only seeing a small part at a time, but that's what they are doing. Not only that, but the blueprint is incomplete, because users really don't know what they want and hadn't thought through some items well enough. Which required me to fill in parts of the blueprint for them. And build a part of the house with incomplete blueprints that I still haven't seen the whole of yet. So you can possibly imagine what problems I've been facing and why I've been frustrated.

This project has already stretched for 1.5 years. I do have an end date, but it was later than I had first anticipated (more drama, this time with BCIT, long story there as well). I had more than once felt like I was in a dark tunnel with no glimpse of light at the end of it. It got depressing more than once. And it's affected my health (ie stress and back problems)

Well, something happened last weekend. My clients had decided to cut out 1/5 of the final product. You don't know how insanely happy that makes me. I've been constantly stressing about how I was going to be able to finish everything on time. Now the light at the end of the tunnel's getting brighter.

Not only that, but these guys want to start looking for venture capital to fund the product. If they get the money, I was actually offered a job at the end of it. I actually said no, for a few reasons. 1) I'm at the point of my life where I've discovered that, as much as I love development, that part of the world goes way too fast for me to keep up any longer, so I want to move away from it 2)I really need to stop sitting in front of a computer so much because of my health 3) I've already worked for a start-up once, no thanks. 4) My job, while not as technical, give me paid vacation, benefits, regular, non-crazy hours (for the most part) and a kick-ass pension. I'm not wanting to give these things up anytime soon.

However, they did say that they wanted to compensate me somehow if they did get their hands on some money. I was honest. I knew going in that I wasn't going to get paid a red cent, and I was okay with that. However, I'm not one to turn down money should someone offer it to me, I'm not that stupid.

So that's the story of my Not-So-Evil-Homework. Cross fingers that I'd actually finish the darn thing before the end of this year.