May 30, 2004

Some 2004 T3C Summer Conference pics:



Tracy and Gladys, barely awake

Kenric copying Anita (plagiarism!)

This makes me extra proud to be a software engineer

Racoon.. look how skinny it is! Poor lil thing!

Somehow this 15 minute trail turned into a 45 min trail.. (that's ben btw)

Random people, but they look pretty happy don't they?

Is there anything Vic can't do?

I almost died from 1 bite of this.

Free haircut!

Ken, Kenric, Daniel, Olivia.. and possibly Tim Tang?

Best song ever!

May 25, 2004

I'm sick..

I think the turning point yesterday was when we approached the Bayview/Yonge/Allen exit, I was so tired that I was about to tell GY to just forget the PacMall idea and just drive me straight home.

Something compelled me to keep quiet. Maybe it was the computer geek inside me that wanted a new harddrive so I could play games again.

Circling the Pac Mall parking lot, I swear I think my bladder was about to burst, although it was funny realizing that G is one of those drivers that many of my friends complain about. I marvelled at her driving skills, but also am very fearful that one day someone's going to angrily jump out of their car and go ballistic on her.

Then we were in the mall, all the while I had a larger and larger urge to ralph. It was all adding up, the sick feeling in my stomach, the conference food, the sheer numbers in the mall, and then, from herbal shops, tea shops, bakeries -- a gigantic culmination of smells -- that were making me so noxious that I was "| |" (this) close to hurling.

Me thinking, 'gosh darn, how could there be so many cell phone stores in one single mall?'

My next post will detail the actual conference, with pictures.

May 21, 2004

wake up!

Do you guys use an alarm to wake up? I don't. I set my alarm for 7am just in case by some miracle I sleep past that time. I was up at 4:55 today.

hillsong united

Last night, I went to the Hillsong United Live concert at the Queensway Cathedral, with Kevin and char. Most people haven't heard of them, because they are really suited more for a younger crowd. Lon was the one who first introduced me to them, from a song called "God is Moving". I suppose also that the original Hillsongs leaders overshadow these group of guys in infammy.

They follow along with the Hillsongs tradition of singing a lot about God and me, what He does for me, what He stands for, the personal relationship. The only different is they're pretty wild, very loud, very ROCKin'. And they put on a great show.. I think the best way to describe it is that their combination of lyrics and music stirs something inside you that is really hard to describe.

Oh and last thing is their youth pastor, he was great. He looked like an australian Owen Wilson. He preached between the music, and did a really great job. He was hilarious too, his impersonation of the Crocodile Hunter was sooo funny! And he quoted the part when Gladiator (re)introduces himself to Caesar in the colisseum,

"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius,
Commander of the Armies of the North,
General of the Felix Legions,
Loyal servant to the true emperor,
Marcus Aurelius.

Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife.
And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

As Christians, we need to know who we are, when we face the enemy. Wild at Heart uses the same comparison.. I wonder if he's read it? =)

May 20, 2004

I'm sooo tired today. I went to bed late, and then this morning the alarm went off in our building at 5:30. So I got about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. 4 hours!

Last night I played COH with the founder of the SuperGroup I belong to (it's basically a clan). The games got this cool feature where basically a higher level character can give a lower character "sidekick" status. As a Sidekick, you are endowed the stats of a player one level below the leader. So I got to play at level 19, even though I was really only 12. Anyway, this allowed us to go out and fight enemies that normally I'd be killed instantly by.

The disadvantage of course is I don't get as much experience as they do, when we fight the enemies.. and, if he gets too far away from me, I switch back to normal (and that can be very bad).

It never ceases to amaze who I'm playing with sometimes. I mean obviously you automatically assume that it's all teenagers. My dad is always criticizing me about why I still play games, when I'm supposed to be an adult now. "You're 25 years old now Brian, time to grow up."

So there I was playing, and at about 6:30, the buffer (boosts people with defenses) guy says "brb, gotta cook dinner for my boys", and then at around 9:30, the healer says "brb, putting the kids to bed". I swear I've played with at least a couple of new moms (complaints of babies crying), and mostly older parents ranging from 35-50 years of age.

It's just funny to me, not that it in any way justifies my immaturity, but just the fact that these parents spend their spare time so differently from my parents. I mean take my dad for instance. Whenever he had spare time when we were little, he was in the workshop, or on the computer drafting up something. My mom would be watching sitcoms, drawing/painting, or reading.

And these parents, are MMORPGing!
I just took a "How Hong Kong are you?" test, instead of going to bed like I should have. I scored 19%. To be honest, I doubt I'd even pass a "How Chinese are you?" test.

Summer Conference is rapidly approaching. Just 2 more days. I remember when I was little I used to get so excited for these things, I'd pack and be ready a week before. But then when as I got older, I'd wait longer and longer before I'd start packing. I was actually considering not packing at all, going with the clothes on my back, and my small man-purse. Oh, and a sleeping bag.. can't forget that.

Could always just buy clothes when I get there. Or go off into town and find a coin laundry :P

"I didn't invent the rainy day, I just own the best umbrella." -- Who said this, anyone remember? Jimmy Fallon, on Almost Famous.

Anyway.. I'd been thinking about that quote all day long, but I couldn't remember the first half of it. Just popped into my head finally.

I'm going to see United Live today. I've never seen them before. It should be pretty wild.. I like Jesus Generation, that's a good one. Their rendition of Jesus, Lover of my Soul is really good too. I've got a couple of their albums, but sometimes it depends on my mood, because they're pretty loud. I'm rambling now because my eyes are half closed. Hey, bedtime!

May 19, 2004

You wonder why I love this game so much.. take a look at this:

It's Santa!

Not a bad movie. I mean, as a fan of the greek mythology stories, from that standpoint, it was interesting. And there was a good amount of violence and gratuitous bloodshed. The one and one battles were great. Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt, with some nude scenes, enough to keep the girlfriends in the theatre happy (although it's more likely they were the ones who dragged their boyfriends to see this one).

The movie has some great 'grandeur' scenes of massive armies, warfare, that sort of thing. I guess I would classify it as the first "epic" of the year, and first one I've seen in quite some time. The trouble with the movie was sometimes it dragged on, the romance was pretty cheesy, Orlando Bloom was improperly casted. He wasn't very convincing.. I mean sure Helene was good looking, but other than that I wasn't that convinced that he was in love with her.

Personally I thought the most interesting relationship was the one between Achilles and Perseus, I don't remember it from school. My favorite Greek character has always been Odysseus, and he was played by the guy who played Boromir in LOTR.

Well anyway, I give the movie a 7/10.

May 17, 2004


Well.. it was bound to happen, and finally it has. My harddrive is dying. Today I transferred all the important stuff from my D and E drives to my C drive. D and E are the same physical drive partitioned into two. D was my games, which can of course be reinstalled. E drive was media.. all of which legal of course, so I can get back.

An entire gigabyte's worth of digital camera pictures, which to me was the most important thing from those two drives.. Memories from the last 4 years. My time at McMaster, Ottawa, Urbana, trip to China, graduation, Disney World, Baltic Sea, flooded basement, countless weddings..

It's hard to believe I never burned them to CD! I am *very* happy about my choice to have two physical harddrives now.. hehe

small group

This past Friday we wrapped up the book we've been reading -- Whatever Happened To Worship, by Tozer. I had a lot of trouble understanding the gist of each chapter, possibly due to his writing/speaking style, or perhaps I'm just dumb. But either way, it was good to discuss each of them and get a general feel about how everyone felt about the issues he dealt with. I felt that most of the stuff he said was pretty obvious, but I guess it was good to be reminded of many of those things.

During one session we talked about satan's temptations, and how easy it is snap at a co-worker.. actually I guess it was two things, that, and how satan puts thoughts into our heads and we get manipulated so easily.

First with the co-worker thing, I thought that I didn't do it, but today at work this guy left me a message and after I heard I thought to myself, 'omg.. this guy is so st..' and then I stopped myself and realized what I was doing. However, I've never really snapped at anyone at work, more just thought about it.

Second, our war with satan. Today's readings of Wild at Heart talked about the same thing, about the battle we face each and every day, and how satan is able to first send us a message, and that message slowly eats away at us, and how he gets us to doubt ourselves, cause descension, that sort of thing that leads us to sin.

The whole theme of the book has been to be a man, that is, to be a warrior and to stand up for ourselves, be like William Wallace: "All men die; few men ever really live.", and this part of the book kind of sums it up for me. Eldredge talks about the realization that we are in a battle, and to go to battle we need to be prepared. And how do we prepare ourselves -- by simply doing whatever brings me back to my heart and the heart of God.

I think that's the reason I've started reading again, because I've felt lately like I've been slipping. For whatever reason I've been feeling.. not so much sad or anything but, more like inadequate, or not good enough.

May 16, 2004

Rev. Stephen Yao

The funeral was fine. When I was there and sat down the first thing that I thought of (80% of the thing was in Cantonese, so I had a lot of time to think) was the Barenaked Ladies song "One Week", At that point I chuckled, not out loud.

How can I help it if I think you're funny when you're mad?
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad
I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can't understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will

They say that when you die, your life flashes before you. At a funeral, that person's life flashes before you while you reflect on their passing. I remember sitting there thinking how lucky Rev. Yao was compared to me at that moment.. I smiled as I thought: 'He's up there now, and I'm still down here. He's up there with God. That's pretty sweet..'

Reverend Yao was a great guy, I remember all the times he would come over to me to ask how I was doing, even though I couldn't always understand everything he said to me, there was this genuine feeling I got that he really cared about how I was doing, how my brother was, and my family. One thing someone pointed out was that he knew everyone's names. He was a very loving man, very caring and genuine.

Reverend Yao liked to sing and he particularly enjoyed hymns. And he knew the bible inside and out. You know how some older chinese folk constantly quote 'idioms' throughout various daily activities? Rev. Yao would quote scripture constantly, he could apply anything in life to a verse. He was always offering insightful advice, no matter what the situation.

I remember the first day when he joined Milliken. We had a gathering at the old T3C building and he arrived after all the other guests. I remember he didn't look chinese to me, but he was a very friendly guy. Mrs. Yao was a very cheerful person, also very loving (and still is). I think he knew my name from that day forward.. I must've been like 7 years old. Wow, I can't believe I still remember that. I even remember playing on the playground that day. T3C (now TMCCC) had a great playground..

A lot of people broke down when they spoke about how Rev. Yao loved them and cared for them. It was during those times that I remembered how he impacted me and my family. It kind of hit me then that I knew him for so long and had forgotten how close he was to our family because we had switched churches.

Wow, now I'm depressed. It's good to reflect on these things. So why am I still up at 1 in the morning knowing that I have to be at church early for choir rehearsal? Because I just woke up from a nap. I slept from 7:23 til 12:34. The only reason I'm up is because of a wrong number call. The strange thing is he asked for "Brian", and I said "yes?", then he asked for "Judy" and I was like "huh?". That's weird.

Anyway it just makes me realize that there are so many important people in my life that I take for granted. People who God obviously placed in my life for a great reason but I fail to realize it until it's too late.

If I haven't said it to you (and I know that to most of you I haven't), but I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life. Thanks for the rough times, for the lessons you have taught me, the funny moments we've been through.

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again

May 14, 2004

It's late, so I'll make this quick.

Tonight's game between the Lakers and Spurs was at times ugly, but wow, the talent on these teams leads me to have no doubt whatsoever that the winner of this series will win the NBA Championship. Ideally, I'd like that to be the Lakers, but Spurs could still pull off the miracle.

I need to clean my room. It is such a mess..

It occurred to me on Tuesday that mercyme songs were killing my voice. After singing along on the car on the way to church, I couldn't sing high at all during choir practice. The thing is Bart sings really high.. Didn't notice it til yesterday when I was driving mom to the airport, I was dozing off because of the slow traffic so I listened to Undone and sang along. No falsetto's, but practically was, I mean the songs are quite high.

I am not looking forward to this weekend at all. Sunday is another early morning, coupled with choir performance (I mean don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing it, but sometimes it gets a bit excessive, not to mention how early I have to wakeup). Of course there's the funeral on Saturday. Again, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't exactly call a funeral an anti-depressant!

Right so anyway, it's late..

May 12, 2004


Funny.. first Lon calls me to tell me he's downstairs (why does he always have to be so spontaneous?). Then some other folks invited me out to Ten Rens and I told them I was getting ready for bed. Here I am blogging and hour later.

I just ordered tickets to the MercyMe concert. They are in section 1000, which is the front section closest to the stage, but to the right of it. I wish I could have gotten the middle section, but you can't pick.

Two tickets are up for grabs I guess. (G: You want one right?) I'm not sure why I bought four, but I figured someone out there must like mercyme as well. Worst-case scenario, I can pawn them off to some Kyrios kids.

Ideally I'd like it if my brother can come visit me and we could watch the concert together.

I saw this interview of Bart and Mike, they talked about how they were so busy on tour that they'd write the music before the lyrics to songs. That's so weird.. and Bart writes all of the lyrics. All of them. The rest write the song, and then pass the music to Bart, and he pretty much sits there til he's inspired to write something. So all the words are his. That's kinda cool, but still weird that the music is done before the words.

Homesick was actually written for a relative of his who died (his uncle?).

today in the subway, i saw a superstar celebrity! it was Bizzy's dad, from Ready Or Not! imagine my surprise as I woke up from my nap, to look up and see such a famous superstar standing so close to me. unfortunately i was too nervous an awestruck to ask for an autograph..
new interface

In a word, sucks. The new blogger interface has prevented me from posting more often because every time I see it, it is so repulsive that I forget what I wanted to say. What's worse is that it's as slow as molasses.

Remember the old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it?


I made a new Lion-Oh, this time on the Pinnacle server. This time he is a Spines/Regen, and man, it looks hilarious when he uses his skills. Big spikes protrude out from his body. It's a frightening sight.. the first time I saw it I jumped out of seat!


Mom is leaving tonight. It's been great the last few days having mom home. We've shared quite a few laughs and enjoyed eachother's company. But I think it's right and meant to be that she is leaving. My brother and dad need her a lot more than I need her. I've grown accustomed to living alone and I enjoy being independant.


The funeral service for Rev. Yao is on Saturday at 9:30am. I've always wondered, is it wrong to pay respects to a soul-less body? To have the body lay there, all dressed up, and have people come by and say a prayer for it, seems so silly to me. Gross in fact. From dust to dust.


Did I mention how much I dislike the new interface? Boo you, Google! Boo!


I am so happy for the Leafs, up 2-0 against the feisty Montreal Canadiens in the NHL playoffs. It has been an exciting series up to this point but as expected Theodore has been a total bust. I think we should be able to take this series in 5 games. Bring on the Flames!


May 11, 2004

today's weather was unbelievable. you couldn't have asked for better weather.. i mean it was sunny, hot and humid. i love humid weather..

i haven't posted any pictures in a while, so here's one, though not really a picture:

This is the game I've been playing, called City of Heroes. That's me in the middle bottom. Lion-0h. I had to make the O and 0 (zero) and add the "h" because the original name(s) were taken already. Sweet though, he really looks like Lion-O, and I get compliments about it all the time. People (I assume they're my age, to be able to remember the Thundercats) walk up to me all the time and emote "Thundercats.. HOOOOO!", and they say how close I got it to the real thing. Hehe.. if only the game allowed the speedo's.

Anyway, I took that screenshot because I was so amused by the 3 crustaceans at city hall. The big one was called "The Lobster", the female was "The Crayfish", and the little one was "The Shrimp". They played as a super group, and they were so funny, just jumping around and role-playing. It was hilarious!

On the bottom left corner you can see Samus, from the Metroid games. She was done very accurately, best I've seen so far of Ms. Aran. The girl reading the newspaper was a dominatrix (tsk tsk, i know), and the girl just below her was Britney. I also saw someone had a Beyonce Knowles, a scantily clad black woman with blonde hair. It was great!

I've tried making other builds but the Lion-0h one turned out the best so far, in terms of the look and accuracy. My character has the Katana ability which matches Lion-O's capabilities with his Sword of Omens. Anyway, yeah, that's been my "after work activities" of late. Pretty sad, but fun.

May 10, 2004

what the..?

Wow, I stop blogging for a few days and the whole format changes! I'm not sure if I like this.. it looks more like an emailing interface.. and it feels a lot like the gmail interface? Go Pyra Go!

Hmm.. where to start? I few prayer items. My mom is leaving on Wednesday, so pray for her safety on her flight home. Also pray for my grandparents and myself. Last year, they were fairly independant, but things have changed and they no longer cook for themselves. I'll have to take the responsibility of cooking and caring for them.

God sent Reverend Stephen Yao, one of the founding pastors of my old church (Milliken Chinese Community Church) back where he came from on Saturday afternoon. He left our world peacefully at around 3:30pm. Rev. Yao (no relation) was like a father to my dad, and in many ways became a mentor for him during the years we attended M3C. He'd retired a few years ago but he will definitely be missed.

i want one!

I want a kid. After watching the baby dedication service yesterday, and seeing all the children during the children's message, and watching the Friends finale where Monica and Chandler adopted twins.. I know that I've always wanted kids, but particularly this week I really want one.

One time Yee-Lee asked me if I thought it was a good environment for a child to grow up with no mother (we were talking about adoption). Certainly it would not be ideal for a child to grow up without a mother. But there are kids out there who no parents period. Better without a mother than without any *parents* at all, right?


The Survivor finale show was awesome. Although I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Boston Rob should have swept the final vote, it had to be the best finale ever for this long running series. Boston Rob and Amber got engaged! It makes me wonder how guys manage to propose to their girlfriends without crying.. one of my friends start bawling when he proposed, and I don't see how I wouldn't do the same thing.

Boston Rob deserved the million bucks, but he got it anyway by proposing to Amber (the eventual winner), just before they announced who the winner was. Amber was wearing this I (heart) Rob shirt, and just after she showed the audience, Rob asked Jeff Probst if he could say something, and I knew right there what he was about to do.

It was awesome.

May 05, 2004

by some miracle, my mp3 player started working again today. i reformatted it to FAT16 and it worked!

Anyway, I listened Undone on the way to work today and one of the songs kinda hit me. The song is called "In The Blink of an Eye". At first I overlooked it as a pop-style song because of its beat but the words are really motivational.

It really uplifted my spirits. Here they are:

You put me here for a reason
You have a mission for me
You knew my name and You called it
Long before I learned to breathe

Sometimes I feel disappointed
By the way I spend my time
How can I further Your kingdom
When I'm so wrapped up in mine

In a Blink of an eye that is when
I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given
There's a reason I'm alive for a blink of an eye

And though I'm living a good life
Can my life be something great?
I have to answer the question
Before it's too late

Cause in a Blink of an eye that is when
I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given
There's a reason I'm alive for a blink of an eye

If I give the very best of me
That becomes my legacy
So tell me what am I waiting for?
What am I waiting for?

In a Blink of an eye that is when
I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given

In a Blink of an eye that is when
I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given
There's a reason I'm alive for a blink of an eye

Seems to me that the band themselves have progressed, musically. Or at the very least, the success they've had has allowed them to get better stuff. The sound is richer. I mean, you can tell the progression even between Almost There and Spoken For, but this CD is the most complete of all. There's just more stuff going on in the background than before.

I notice it more when I listen at work with headphones because the sound is just that much closer, allowing me to notice all the extra percussion and background guitar they play. You can really hear the McPherson's going in some of the songs.. they sound great! Anyway, in general it just sounds like they've spent the last year or so not only touring but learning. Of course I'm no expert but it just seems that way because they've added all sorts of riffs to their music.

In Everything Impossible, they used (i don't know what it's called) but basically when you mute the guitar and still strum it so that you essentially get a (muted, and tuned) beat. A lot of bands do that, and it sounds great -- Where The Streets Have No Name by U2 -- has that and it sounds amazing.

I read somewhere that Bart actually had surgery when he was teenager, in his throat. It's hard to believe he sings so well. God has really blessed this group of guys. I can't wait to see these guys live..


Since in Canada we don't get to see the Dove Awards (airs May 28th on UPN), this won't be a spoiler. MercyMe picked up 4 Doves:

Group of Year
Artist of the Year
Song of the Year (Word of God Speak)
Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year (Word of God Speak)

Well done guys!

May 04, 2004

Change-up: Today's blog will contain one-liners only.

William Hung does for chinese people what strippers and porn stars do for women.

7th Heaven might be the most boring show ever. Wholesome = boring?

Shall I skip the Summer Conference and go to one of my very good friend's (classmate) wedding?

Why do I keep waking up at 6am?

Will Far Cry ever end?

Why does Toronto still have a baseball team?


A: "Hey"
B: "Hi."
A: "How's it going?"
B: "Good. How's work?"
A: "Well, I was talking to my boss and--"
B: "Oh yeah, I read that on your blog."
A: "Okay."

A: "So how are you?"
B: "Did you read my blog?"
A: "I may have.. which post?"
B: "Umm.. the one about my friend."
A: "Hmm.. I don't remember.."
B: "oh okay, well, my friend at school is--"
A: "Oh yeah, I remember now. Yeah, I read that."

B: "Cool. So uh.. I guess I'll see you around."
A: "No, I'm going away remember?"
B: "You are?
A: "Yeah, I said it in my blog."
B: "Oh, I must've skipped that part."

How many of you have experienced parts of this conversation? I know I have. It makes me wonder why I ever bother to blog at all, because blogging is such a conversation killer. If such a thing as an 'avid reader' exists, what could I possibly have to talk about, with that person? If I completely stopped blogging for an entire month, would people start asking me how I was doing, because they couldn't just check my blog to find out?

I guess one thing it might do is help me to separate real friends from posers.

May 01, 2004

I am dead tired and have been this way all week long. I was only able to sleep until 7am this morning, before I was awoken (is that a word?) by the clanging of dishes in the kitchen.

In most ways having mom and gp's home has been a wonderful blessing. Some nights (before) I would come home and actually "announce" to the empty condo "Honey! I'm home!", just for fun. Now when I do it, mom comes up and gives me a big hug.. It's awesome.. Dinner is being cooked when I get home, so all I have to do is change and get ready for food. In the mornings, when I leave for work I get to say goodbye to someone. Little things like that make quite a difference..

While it's great to be able to depend on and spend time others, one side effect is not being able to spend time alone and depending on God. When things are handed to you on a silver platter, it becomes too easy to forget about God. Not that I've lost my faith or something, what I just mean is not being able to enjoy God's tiny blessings and not being able to focus my attention on Him. And the result is burnout.

One thing that I have really missed in the last while is having quiet time with God, and quiet time for myself. Every day has been hectic, if it's not one thing then it's another, the tasks are endless and don't finish until I hit the sack at midnight. And then it's the whole grind again the next day, and the day after, and the day after. I used to read devotions on the way to work on the subway and back. Now I'm so tired I sleep through the entire trip.


Meanwhile, I'm absolutely *stoked* (wow, haven't used that word in a long time) about this new game called City of Heroes. I haven't even started playing yet but I'm really excited about it. It's another MMORPG, but the difference between this one and all the other ones is that you play a superhero, one that you create. That includes his/her name, powers, and costume. In other mmorpg's, you're a dwarf, or an elf, or a knight. There's not a lot of 'roleplaying' to do there.

By roleplaying I don't mean levelling up a character and killing stuff, but moreso acting a part in the grand scheme of things. I want to make a tiny brown fellow and call him Curious George. Or a tiny blue fellow with high heels and a white hat and call her Smurfette. I think it'd be a riot, running around Paragon City as a Smurfette who shoots an assault rifle and can control the elements.