February 28, 2003

at work, i finally moved up with the rest of team. i'm on the top floor now, 27th. it has a great view.. the chair i have is really crappy though. the seat is inclined in the wrong direction, such that i have to struggle not to slip down. now my leg is hurting from holding myself up!

tonight, i'm going to mission fest. i have sorta mixed feelings about it. i'm not sure exactly why i'm going, other than i have some interest in it, but i don't know what i'll do there. i'm not interested in any particular ministry.. maybe i'll just walk around and soak it in, let the spirit guide me. as i've mentioned before in old blogs, i would prefer to do something in the form of 'helps'. i'm not a preacher, i just like to help, and that's where i'd see myself, if i ever went on a trip.. thing is, i can't take 2 weeks off to go off somewhere. i can't even take a few days off. but i'd really like to go somewhere, far off, never-ever-land perhaps. i've always dreamed of living in some remote place having to scrounge around for my food.. that'd be so cool..
look, i don't know if john mayer plays his own guitar for his music, because if he does, he is very good. i opened up some of his chords and i cannot even get through the whole song once. it is so complex! goodness! 83 is the song that i like most, he talks about how he wishes it were 1983 and how great life was for him back then. the guitar is really funky in it, and i wish that one day i could play like that. although maybe, there are more than 2 guitars playing, maybe..

February 27, 2003

and gah, whoever you are, stop poking at my back!
it appears that it will either be joanna or daniel who gets booted off. daniel should have been booted off in the first episode really, since it was his fault that they lost the immunity challenge. on the other hand, i truly dislike joanna, the woman who sings hallelujah, and then turns around a slaps around christy, the deaf girl. what is up with that? she's a bit too high-strung and downright nasty, and i would prefer to see her go. so, it's down to either the christian or the oriental guy. orientals have a history of never winning anything on television, but then on the other hand so do christians, so i guess it's anyone's guess who'll really get the boot. i just hope it is joanna. and the men will take the reward challenge this time
it appears to be back now. lately i've found that coffee no longer has any affect on me. i was thinking of experimenting with just not drinking it. it is costing me $10 a week to have breakfast and coffee. is that a lot? the last few days, the coffee has been giving me indigestion/heartburn. it does not feel good..

i have a problem with my back, it feels strange, like someone is pointing at my back with their finger. in the middle of my back, just to right of the spine. it's such a weird feeling.. i wonder if anyone has had this before and can help explain what it is. i've had this before, but not as often as recently.

i also have another problem, a canker sore, or aphthous ulcer in my mouth, just behind my last molar on the bottom jaw right side. it's on the inner side of the gums.. it's been interfering with my eating (hurts when i eat anything that doesn't taste completely bland). and actually its been giving me mild headaches as well. its funny, yesterday my mom made me eat an orange because she felt it would help, and yet from my research just now, oranges are one of the causes of canker sores. haha.

oh, there goes my back again, who is that, and why are they pointing at my back?

is haloscan down? ah no matter, not like anyone is reading anyway :)

i finally stopped playing norah, realizing that I had reached the stage that her music may start becoming annoying. i also gave john mayer a try. he has a nice sound, his voice is really unique. i'd never even heard of him before the grammys. he sounds pretty talented, but it feels really light, maybe too light, or may be because i listened to too much norah.. heh

February 26, 2003

I've been listening to the norah jones cd pretty much non-stop since monday night. yesterday, i found myself not wanting to leave work because i didn't want to stop listening to it. hmm.. maybe i should get myself a portable cd player! i could not play games either, because for some reason my cd-writer doesn't read cd's anymore (time to get a new one!), and i don't have a cd player, so i had norah in my regular cd-rom, and thus could not use it to play games. anyway, last night after smallville (btw, this may have become my all-time favorite episode) i went down to my room and downloaded the whole album so that i could listen to it while playing games. yes, for the first time ever, i downloaded mp3s that were not illegal!

February 25, 2003

I'm not sure how many of you guys are basketball fans, but check this out! The funny thing is at the bottom when they say he is still growing.. lol

February 24, 2003

The last time I got goosebumps like these was during U2's performance at halftime at last year's superbowl. This time, it was Norah Jones singing live at the Grammy's. I had heard that song Don't Know Why before on the radio, but never really paid much attention. She's good, and I can't say I've ever heard someone with that good a voice in a concert setting. Maybe, Mariah in her Unplugged album, but that is a different style of music altogether. What really got me too, was how she 'plays the ivories'. You know when someone plays the piano, they seem very robotic, whereas people with the talent or the love for music play it like their hands are dancing on the keys. If you've ever seen Victor Borge play you'll know what I mean. I saw a movie with Richard Dreyfus, where he played a pianist. There was a part in the movie where he was practicing a song in his head during a flight to a recital/contest. The music played in his head, while fingering the song, and he would hit a part where he made a mistake, and would go back and play it again! It's like knowing the keyboard is there, knowing the notes and keys, but not even needing the piano. That's pretty cool..

Goosebumps, I got, and worser so, this morning I downloaded a few more of her songs and got much of the same reaction. Goosebumps. So I'm going to head down to HMV at lunch time to finally use the gift certificate I got from Santa. This morning I found out Jones actually won 8 Grammy's.

I didn't make it out to church on Sunday because of the snow. We shovelled it all out of the drive way, but since the roads hadn't been plowed, I made the decision for the family that we should not go because of the unsafe conditions. I really wanted to go though. Over the weekend I had decided that I wanted to attend Missions Fest, and was hoping to purchase tickets from KK. If anyone knows how I can get them now, please email me.

On Friday, we had a study on Servanthood. I had been looking forward to this for a while now, but it wasn't what I was expecting. What we really did was discuss ways of serving and how to serve the community. I thought that G? brought up a good point about how our chinese culture tends to shy away from confrontations or times of being in the spotlight. I think this plays directly into a time of sharing we had at the retreat when A? brought up his concerns of why we (chinese, asians) have our own fellowships and our own churches, and why there is that segregation. It's something that I concerned myself a couple of years ago when I was at The Met, in Ottawa, and found myself sitting alone by myself after everyone had got up to socialize with one another. I observed that there was no culture barriers at all among other people, but yet the group I had come with did not mingle with other people but stuck with their own. It seemed so strange. Anyway what I was really looking for, for the fellowship was more of a discipleship talk.

On Saturday, my mom and I drove out to Oshawa because I booked my G1 Road test out there and it is coming up, so she felt I should drive around that area. Oshawa is pretty nice, but there are absolutely no speed limit signs that I could find. I had no idea if I was driving the limit or not. There was nothing on the main roads, nothing on the residential roads. By city law, it is 50 km/h if the limit is not posted. Hopefully this applies in Oshawa, otherwise I will fail the test.

February 21, 2003

I emailed anabret about getting some tabs, and they actually replied. I don't know if this was an automated response, but it appears that it wasn't. It was actually sent from what appears to be Martin McOmber's (the guitarist) personal hotmail address

Hi Brian,

Thanks very much for getting in touch with us. We really appreciate all of your
support, and helping spread the word in the Great North and around the world. No plans to play Torronto yet, but we'd love to.

As far as the tabs go, we've had other requests as well for them, so we're working on them right now, but it may be awhile. All of us suck at tabbing. If you or others have a specific question of how we play something, feel free to shoot it our way. We are happy to help. A few hints: I love dropping the high E to D and we use capos a lot.

And good news - you can get the CD in Canada.Go to http://www.cdbaby.com/anabret and you can pick it up. They ship anywhere in the world. And their auto-response is worth the cost of the CD alone. If that doesn't work for you for some reason, write back and we'll drop one in the mail to you.

Thanks again and take care,
Paul, Marty, Ted, & Paul

Well there you have it. I didn't think they shipped to Canada. It was pretty nice of him to offer to send me a cd though!

February 20, 2003

Today for the first time in nearly a month (or more), I woke up and the weather guy on the radio said it was over 0 degrees outside. Wow. Sunlight? Snow melting? Amazing!

I sort of do miss school, having talked to a few people about whether I miss school or not. I liked waking up at 8 in the morning and rushing out the door with my housemates to get to class. Or better yet, not waking up at all, and letting the 'designated note-taker' go to class for the rest of us. I liked sitting in the living room watching tv at lunch time with friends, joking about class and professors, making fun of eachother. I miss the occasional nights we would stay up late discussing world issues, getting married, our futures. I miss michelina's at 4 in the morning when we finally finished a project due in 5 hours. I miss writing super-small for formula sheets and copying as much of my course notes to a 8/5'x11' (both sides) as possible --- only to find that 90% of the exam covers the one thing I didn't copy down.

I miss going to fellowship and finding that everyone there was 3-4 years younger than me. Imagine, being 23 and being considered 'the old guy'! And despite my complaints, I really do miss those lousy burgers -- at least they contained real meat! I miss watching friends nod off to sleep, literally seconds after a lecture starts. I miss seeing peoples' heads bobbing up and down (fighting to stay awake) in class. I miss the times when a prof would ask us all a question, and discover that no one in the class has any idea what he had been lecturing about. I miss the wonders of bell-curves. I miss that feeling you get when you thought you just failed an exam, and everyone else comes out thinking it was a joke. Better yet, I miss that feeling when you think you aced an exam, and everyone else thought it was brutal. Or even better yet, when someone asks you what you got for the last question on page 3, and you say "there were 3 pages?". I miss clearing my throat at thode and getting dirty looks because i was making too much noise.

I miss visiting home every couple months and being treated like a king, or the prodigal son. I miss having last night's pizza for breakfast the next morning. I miss pizza. I miss getting to say "i'm a student, i'm too poor to leave a tip". I miss huddling at the bus stop outside our house with my housemates and watching helplessly as the bus drove right past us (we lived one stop away from the school). I miss that feeling when you thought the midterm was next week, not today. I miss the late study sessions before exams where we basically learned more about the course in 4 hours than we had all year.

Good times..

February 19, 2003

Dear McMaster University,

You called me once last week and 3 times this week. You wanted me to donate money to your alumni club, to help fund a new program -- not that I don't support it, but come on. People, what did you do with the 30,000 dollars worth of my parents' and my money? Hmm?? Is it all gone already? My tuition was the highest out of any other faculty. Furthermore it jumped from 3500 to 5500 in a span of 4 years. I paid for your university centre for 4 years, and you didn't start building it until my final year. I never even got to use it! I paid more than I should have for your lousy food, and had the nerve to tax me extra, just because I didn't live on campus. You bastard.

I spent over $3000 on textbooks, and you upgraded all your books so that I could never sell them back for a decent price. You rendered a perfectly good pine-based email system to a stupid and ugly web-based system. You gave me only 1 megabyte of email disk space, most of the other universities get at least 5 megs. Then, you upgraded it to 5, after I left. Wow, how generous of you! Jerks. And you wouldn't even let me keep my email address afterwards.

I stressed, strived, slept on average 5 hours per night. And for what? So that I could get a job (albeit a job I love) that I could have gotten with a college degree?

You called me at dinner time, and I told you I was eating. Then you called at the exact same time the next day. Once again, I told you I was eating. Then, you called me again the next day, still at the exact same time. Have you no respect? Or logic?

So in a nutshell, let's recap. I spent 4 years, paying for it every bit of the way, including money, time, and my life. You disrepected me, ripped me off, cheated me, and wasted my time. And now you want me to make a donation for all you have given me. Is this correct?

Yours truly,
McMaster Graduate
Today, I got bsod on my computer at work. I rebooted, and well, to make a long story short, it took 4 hours to boot up. It's back up now, but it is not in great shape. The only way to get the taskbar to appear it to his the Windows button on the keyboard (no, auto-hide is not turned on). When I click on the desktop, all applications minimize, as if the desktop is a maximized app!

On Smallville, it turns out that Clark's spaceship has healing abilities, and healed Martha so that she was no longer barren. Since there are no records of Clark ever having a brother, I can only assume she will lose her child before she delivers. I am interested in seeing how the writers plan on dealing with a miscarriage, as this is not something simple as Pete getting beat/thrown/burned/shot. Here's hoping that Chloe, not Lana -- eventually 'wins' Clark.

In other news, the Raptors finally traded Hakeem Olajuwon and Antonio Davis for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. I think this was a good move. Now if Carter gets hurt again, we will still have a scorer. Hopefully the Leafs can reunite Owen Nolan with Mats Sundin. That would be pretty sweet, and, it's about time the Leafs did something to improve themselves. Grit is nice, but talent is the main ingredient for winning championships.

If you go to fellowship on friday nights, you should tune your vcr to fox and record from 9pm - 10pm. John Doe is a really cool show. It's a lot like a mix between x-files and nowhere man. There are individual police cases, but then there are also episodes which relate to Doe. Those are the best. Last week's episode was pretty awesome!

In D2X, yesterday I found my first Gore Riders, and, my first Ohm rune. This rune gives 50% enhanced damage, which is as high as it gets for any one rune/jewel! Yep, I'm officially hooked again.

Quick prediction: Trista will pick Ryan, though she doesn't deserve him. Boys will win immunity this week, old lady Janet will get the boot.

February 18, 2003

I just got to work, just now, 9:46am. I left home at exactly 7:46am. Everything was fine on the subway, til we got to York Mills. The train started moving slower and slower, and when it got to Lawrence, the driver tells us we'll have to get off at Eglinton. Apparently some security alert or something, and there would be no subway service from Eglinton til Union. Btw, I get off at the station just after Union, so this was a serious pain for me. On the subway, I noticed a familiar face, it was Lawrence Lau, from highschool. We were really friends back then, but I just remember him from grade 10 english class. Anyway we got off at Eglinton and it seemed like there were at least 400 people lining up to get on the shuttles that would take people south on Yonge street. They had 2 guys passing out transfers to 400 people, so it took some time. One of the guys passing them out was Alex Ross, another Earl Haig alumni. Again, we weren't really friends but I remember him campaigning for student council. In fact, it was his voice which first reminded me of him, then I saw his police badge and name. After I picked up my transfer, I headed upstairs to the outdoors --- Thank God the weather was only -6C today!! So we all piled out of the building into the intersection at Eglinton/Yonge, when I spotted yet another familiar face.

Rev. John Kao. I tapped him on the shoulder and we talked, he was going to the hospital to visit someone. I spoke to him in mandarin, and some other guy (whom neither of us knew) started speaking to us, also in mandarin. Rev. Kao really surprised me. He walked right onto the road and tapped on the window of a car to ask them to give us a ride. Unfortunately, this guy was willing but he his destination was Yonge/Eglinton. Rev. Kao proceeded to walk along the street, pretty much in the middle of the right lane, looking into cars, cabs, and buses. I really marvelled at his courage of just going out to investigate and find a way to get to his destination. At his age too. Meanwhile I stood on the sidewalk and just watched him like an idiot.

After awhile he came back and said to me that most of the cars on the street probably wouldn't take us downtown because those people heading there probably would have taken the highway, not Yonge. So we both headed back to the station, where we saw people finally getting into the "shuttles". We lined up for these buses, and after 2 of them left fully loaded, someone yelled out "they're back up!" referring to the subways. So we all filed down the escalator back into the station. As we fought our way through the droves of people, I recognized Mrs. Lam, also of Haig fame -- she substituted for a few of my math classes there. Also with Mrs. Lam was another girl also from my school, at least I think she was. She was familiar, but I don't remember her name. I could probably check my yearbook..

As we stood at the platform, Rev. Kao turned to me and said he forgot my lastname. I had to explain to him who my father was, and that was when he finally remembered who I was. "Brian?" he said, the first word of english he had said to me all day. "Yes" I replied. Then he asked me about my father, and how I was.

It's funny though, because I knew at first he didn't really recognize me, but he still had the courtesy of talking to me. Sometimes it's an awkward situation whenever you run into someone you can't quite remember. I guess the best thing to do is just talk to them, and ask their names afterwards to avoid that awkwardness. These days you could probably ask their email to figure out their names!

February 17, 2003

This past week involved me playing games later than I should have which resulted in me being very tired at work, which led to me not being as productive as I should be. This of course led to long hours at work and getting home late and being too tired to do anything (until night time when i started the process all over again).

On friday, we had small group at EF's place, which is always nice as it is but a hop, skip and a jump away from my house. We did a study from a book about the languages of love. I learned that different people have different tendancies and reactions from the various forms of love, and that some people can take each action differently. I did not look at it that way before, thinking all people prefered what i liked. I like Quality Time, Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service the most. The others were Gifts and Physical Touch. It's not that I don't like getting gifts or hugs, so much as I just prefer the other 3 more.

We had dessert afterwards. During that time I felt sick a little (nausea), so I had some cinnamon hearts and that helped a lot. I ended up eating quite a bit of the home-made cookies that M brought. They were good! Somehow that evening reminded me that I needed to get back to talking to some people that I've lost contact with, just to say hello, or to see how they are doing. I wish that there was a holiday from now til Easter where I'd get a chance to visit some people. Thank God for email.

On Sunday, NY attempted to turn a styrofoam cup inside out (like i always do). She wasn't able to do it without having the bottom pop off. To me that's the hardest part of turning them inside out. That piece almost always pops off, rendering the cup useless. Out of 30+ tries, I have only managed a perfect inversion twice. I think the trick is softening the edges and a lot of heat helps that. As you massage the foam, it gets softer and its less likely for it to crack. Anyway, that's that.

My cellphone has been pretty useless to me thus far. I have received a total of 7 calls. 4 of them were wrong numbers. I have also missed at least a dozen calls. I have used it more to play battleship than anything else. Once again, a 'gadget' purchase that has been proven useless.

I have to pay CIBC for my annual Visa fee. It's due today, and I have not paid it. I will wonder around the PATH area for a CIBC shortly. Wish me luck.

February 14, 2003

Work has been pretty hectic this week. Yesterday I had 3 meetings, and the day before I had another. One of the meetings yesterday was way over my head, so I asked the project leader to give me a book to read. It's called "Web Services Business Strategies and Architectures". It's a pretty good read, I would say that it has been as entertaining as -- ok, i won't lie, it is really boring. Yesterday on the subway I fell asleep after the first paragraph.

MD invited me to his lan party this weekend. I decided I could not go because all of the games they mentioned they will be playing will be pirated copies. None of my classmates believed me when I told them I wouldn't play pirated games. So instead I gave them an excuse that I had to be somewhere tomorrow.

I've been doing curl-ups and whatcha-ma-callits (lying on back, knees bent and pulling them in? It's like a curl up only its the legs curling up instead of back) every night before bed to attempt to rid myself of the 3-4 tires i have around my abdominal area. I have actually noticed a slight difference after a week of doing it. I might be down to 3 tires now.

On bachelorette, Jamie (the shower guy, I thought he'd be a finalist but oh well) mentioned that he gets panic attacks sometimes. I get those too. For no apparent reason, sometimes I will feel nausea, nervousness in confrontations or certain people. Dunno why. By the way, I still think Ryan will take this one. Charlie is good looking, but Ryan is the type of 'whipped' guy that Trista needs..

Do groomsmen have to make speeches/toasts during a wedding banquet?

Yesterday I watched a show called Are You Hot? It was on CityTv. They are searching for the hottest person in America, using judges who are models themselves (I think), and judging by face, body, and sexyness. It's just one big flesh show. The insults that this one judge hurls at the contestants are pretty hilarious. On one girl he says something like "Your slutty outfit makes me think of only two words: How much?". LOL. It's also funny some times a judge would say their clothes weren't right, and the majority of these people would just start stripping. What is wrong with these people?

We switched between that show and Survivor, which is featuring its first boys vs. girls contest. The girls are SO going to win this. When they announced this new "twist" a couple weeks ago, it dawned on me that most (if not all?) of the winners have been males. What easier way to have a woman win that putting m vs. f? Put a group of 8 guys together, as long as the challenges aren't all strength-based, they are going to screw themselves over with their cockiness, sheer lack of brains and machoism. Highlight of the night: Watching the guys struggle across the balance beam, especially when they tried to crawl across.. that was really funny!

February 11, 2003

I cannot stand it when people say "at the end of the day". That expression is so annoying. "You know, blah blah, blah blah, but -- at the end of the day -- blah blah blah blah." I hate that.. And the thing is, everyone uses it. At the end of the day, if I counted up the number of times people used "at the end of the day"s, it's like 40. At the end of the day, I can't take it anymore.

February 10, 2003

At fellowship, we were given bible verses that supported 3 different views on how a christian should react in regards to the Iraqi situation. The first was to pray and resort to a diplomatic way to preserve peace. Second was to rely on UN's decision, and third was to "ATTACK!!". A fourth group was an independent view on it, but ended up being same as the first group -- their choice was to have the US disarm, and assume that such an action would be so surprising that everyone would just throw down their weapons and world peace would be upon us. If it were only that easy.. hehe. I was in the first group, because I knew that the easiest way to argue points would be through scripture, and that is what we did, arguing point after point with scripture. You can't really lose, using scriptures, in a room full of Christians :) It wasn't so much winning as just getting a better understanding of the different opinions of each stance. My brother said pd did the same exact 'activity' for his sunday school class on sunday..

After fellership, we went for dessert at a dessert place at first markham place. I swear though, when they said dessert place I thought we were going for waffles/crepes and ice cream. But it was a chinese place.. I had a fruit thing. It was pretty good, strawberries, melon balls, kiwi, with those chewy coconut cubes (from the now banned jelly cups), with a coconut milk and little tapioca balls. yum!

I had to wake up at 6:30am to go with my mom and bro to pick up my dad at the airport. He looked different, seemed to look older even though it'd only been 2 months since i'd last seen him. Maybe it was from the loads of work he was doing, and maybe stress from not having the family with him. Anyway, it was nice having him back with us. At night, we went to Starwalk buffet (yum!). I had 2 plates of sushi, 1 of mussels. They had one bucket that was labelled "bacon and cauliflower". The funny thing is, it was abalone, not bacon. But everyone saw the sign and just walked past it, so me, bro and dad pretty much cleaned that bucket out of all the abalone! It wasn't real abalone of course, for that would single-handedly put any buffet restaurant out of business. It was more like clam abalone, but still, it tasted the same as abalone and it was very tender! I can't remember the last time I ate this much in one sitting. Maybe not since the last time we went to Starwalk.

Something funny of note was at dessert time, I went with my brother to get some redbean soup and vanilla ice cream. On the way back, I grabbed two spoons. When I sat down, my mom asked me why I got two spoons? I told her bro would probably forget to bring one. The funny thing is, when bro finally came, he also had 2 spoons, because he thought that I would forget to bring one too!

I really started feeling the effects of not getting to sleep in on Saturday. I was dozing off throughout the sermon, even though it was a pretty good sermon. Even mom said she couldn't stay awake. Bro was having trouble too, I could see he was struggling to stay awake. Meanwhile dad was fine -- even with the jetlag, he normally wakes up at 4:30am (PT), so not that big a deal to him. In Sunday school, it was even worse. I found myself staring down at the workbook and sneaking little 30 second naps every now and then!

I bought warcraftiii on friday, to attempt to continue my vow of not playing pirated games. funny thing is bro was in my room later on, and i was trying to log into battle.net. he said there's no way you'll get in (cuz he though i still had the pirated version). he bet me 10 bucks, and minutes later, bnet opened up. he was pretty surprised! lol. he now owes me 21 bucks from various bets we made. i can't remember where the $1 came from, but the other $10 was from him insisting that angelina jolie played the messed up girl in don't say a word. i knew he was getting the movie mixed up with girl, interrupted. it's funny how all the bets he's lost are the ones he proposed.. hehe

February 06, 2003

Just learned Blackbird, the beattles version, not Sarah Maclachlan's. Can't find the chords to that version. Holy moly it's a hard song to play though.. I mean, the timing? Mastering the timing would take ages to practice. But it sounds pretty cool though, and it wasn't too hard to learn. Practice makes perfect.
Note to self: Do not eat BigMac if BigMac is no longer warm. Definitely do not eat cold BigMac. Buy some Imodium on the way home.

It is illegal to steal cable. It is illegal to give away something that's not yours to give away. Then, it is legal to record a tv show, provided that you are not stealing cable. But is it legal to record a show, and lend the tape to someone who does not have cable? Is it legal to record a show/movie, make an mpeg of it, and send it to your friend over the internet, who doesn't have cable? Would it be legal to do that if your friend has already seen that movie in a theatre?

Is it fair to have to pay to rent a movie that you've already paid for to see in a theatre? Would it be illegal to memorize the lines from a movie and write them down somewhere and publish them? What about pictures? What if you have a photographic memory and can draw really really fast. Would it be illegal to reproduce scenes from a movie from memory and publish these on the internet?

Is it legal to rent a movie, but, discovering that your tv's sound is broken, make it digital to watch it on your computer instead? Is it then legal to send that mpeg to your friend, who doesn't own a vcr? Can a video rental store be allowed to make a video available online, for their customers who don't own vcrs or dvd players? Is it legal to download a movie that has already aired on tv, even if you don't have cable and thus could never have seen that movie, for free? Is it legal, to download a movie that has reached video/dvd? Is it legal to rent a video, and it into an mpeg, if you've already paid to see the movie in theatres?

Is it legal to copy a dvd/video that someone else has bought? Is it legal, to copy a dvd/video that someone else has rented? Is it legal to copy a dvd/video from a friend who borrowed it from another friend, who bought it? Is it legal to record a movie/show off tv, copy it, and send over the net to your friends?

Is file sharing legal?
18 unique IP hits to this site yesterday. That has to be a record.. I'm sorry to those of you who came here looking for information and instead found some guy's weblog. I've been getting a few hits for anabret. Unfortunately I have no additional information on them. Too bad that they are west coast, I would pay to see them if they came here.

Yesterday while coding I made some huge alterations to my code and messed up a lot of stuff. In the process of my panicking, I chewed up my right hand's pointing finger. It's in really bad shape now. One side of it is missing a whole layer of skin, and is really raw. It doesn't exactly look too good either.. Actually it looks downright disgusting, like some animal had chewed it up. I am pretty surprised that there aren't any blood stains on the keyboard. Suffice to say the pain I am experiencing is exactly the same as you are probably imagining it as you read this. Sorry..

I got sucked in yesterday as I ate mandarin oranges with my mom after dinner. I was sucked in, to watch the Bachelorette. My pick from when I first saw the show (the first episode), is still alive. That Ryan, what a hunk! Handsome, sensitive, funny, romantic -- and he's a firefighter! Yep, it's down to two, and my boy still has a shot. Go Ryan go! (btw, i was kidding about the hunk stuff, lol)

On a spiritual note, God is really wiping people out in Joshua. Those Israelites are slaughtering everyone. Kinda makes you wonder if there were any 'good' people in those cities that Joshua blew up. I read all this stuff when I was younger, but now it's clear to me that God plan was set in stone during these times. His loyalty to his chosen people is astonishing.. He just wiped out city after city, hanging the kings too. Like Mel in Braveheart going from city to city, fort to fort. Gotta wonder though, when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, was that all the Israelites in existence? There had to be a few that escaped, or was in hiding when the rest were caught. What about those ones? Were they just forgotten? What if one of them had hitched a ride to Jericho, and had started a family there? Would God still have destroyed the city, or would that one dude and his family be spared?

February 05, 2003

Yesterday I discovered voice tags on my cell phone (Sony Ericsson T206). I can go "Call", "Mom", and it'll call home. Or, "Voicemail", and it'll check my voicemail. It's a pretty nifty feature! There's also "Dial" "4" "1" "6" -- but I think this part of the feature is a little silly. The whole point is for shortcuts, and that is definitely not a shortcut, as the phone pauses to confirm everything you say, it would take almost 1 minute to dial a 10 digit number. The coolest thing will be doing it in front of other people, with nicknames.

My dad is coming back this weekend to visit us. This means I can finally get a haircut.. My hair hasn't been this long since highschool!

I am reading the book of Joshua. It's kinda funny the way God makes him do so many things that seem extremely silly or trivial. Joshua knows God's promise to the Israelites but through faith and fear obeys His every command. This reminds me of my job searching. Writing up resumes, cover letters. Calling about jobs, asking friends about jobs, thinking about going back to school, applying to 150+ jobs. You kind of know that God will get you a job, eventually, but you have to through the routine anyway. Although the bible never says "God helps those who help themselves", it's almost implied. Maybe it should God helps those who who does what He says to do.

I tried to play guitar last night but my fingers were still hurting from the night before. I found some pretty nice christian chord sites though. Yesterday I watched Smallville as usual, and a bit of American Idol (during commercials). Smallville storylines are getting weaker and weaker these days. This weeks' was almost a total carbon copy of the first time Clark encountered red kryptonite. It bothers me that this show is getting worse and worse. The writers are running out of ideas, or they can't think of ways to make the stories more creative because they're forced to follow the original Superman storylines. For instance, Clark can never get together with Lana because that would negate the Clark/Lois thing later on in his life. Not to mention Lana was mentioned in the Superman movies, and they were never together. Clark won't dawn the tights and cape either, as those weren't made until later on his life. He probably won't even fly either. And Pete will probably die, as he is never mentioned in the movies. Poor Pete..

Praise God, yesterday we sealed the deal on a condo. We can move in mid-April, so I am definitely looking forward to that!

February 03, 2003

Well, obviously I will need more practice, but today I watched *only* Boston Public, and came down to practice guitar instead of watching Joe Millionaire. I learned to play God of Wonders from the first City on a Hill cd, including the solo parts. The solo parts are really fun! Of course they would probably sound better with an electric, but still not bad on an acoustic.. After 30 minutes I realized I'd been playing Em7 incorrectly all this time. Which sucks, because the way I was playing it was way harder than the actual way. Silly me.. my fingers are hurting bad now.

winter retreat

The Genesis retreat was really quite good, for me anyway. There were 12 of us in total. This made for pretty intimate times of bonding and enjoying one another's company. I really, really enjoyed myself and felt that I finally feel totally comfortable with the my surroundings. It's been a long time since I've been able to be totally myself with a group of people. Having that feeling of pure joy is something that I've not felt since my days in Ottawa.

Having less people also gave me lots of time for personal reflection. I'd like to thank KL for suggesting the scripture passage that I ended up reflecting upon throughout the retreat. It not only gave me something to share about but also enlightened me about my current situation. It gave me a chance to think about the numerous ways that God has blessed me in the past year, and also helped me to realize that I should be the happiest guy in the world. Being content and satisfied is such a hard thing to do. How often have you asked someone how's work, or how's school, have they said "fantastic! praise God for everything that He has given me!"? Probably never. I know I've never said that.

Being the second youngest person at the retreat also gave me a glimpse of where I need to be in a couple of years, at least in terms of maturity and spiritually. And sure, I still need to be able to draw the line, from trying to emulate other people to what kind of person I am.. What's important to me and what's important to other people are two separate things. But still, there are things in my life I'm not happy with and feel need changing. Games, for instance, and television -- what a waste of time!

On the left, I've listed so many television shows that I watch, almost religiously, week to week. What a time wasting habit. If I spent all that time practicing guitar, I would probably be good enough to lead worship. Instead, my skills are waning as I squeeze in one 30 minute practice per week! What a waste of time! What a waste of my life!

Yesterday I was trying to think of ways to limit my gameplaying. And I've come up with the best way, which is to force myself to only play games which I've purchased. If I only played games that I bought in the last 5 years, I would have only played 2 games. Whereas the 100+ games I've played when I was supplied my friends or family. I'm not proud of that.

Yesterday on the ride home, dL asked me why there was such a huge draw for diablo2. Why do people continue to play, why is that people are still playing even though they've already conquered the game? Now that I've had time to reflect on it, i think it is definitely greed. I think of the number of times I've said to myself "ok, i'll stop playing once i find a (windforce, or stormshield, or tal rasha's guardianship)". But I have all those now, and yet I am still playing.