Photo Topic – Food

Squirrel, munching away

Theme for this week is food. This one’s a bit old, taken while in Toronto after a Blue Jays game last year. We were sitting down to eat outdoors, on a patio, when this little bugger popped up with a big chunk of food in its clutches.

Reason for the gap in posting is due to the recent trip to China. Reason for the old photo this week is due to the huge backlog of photos, taken in China, that I’ve yet to process. Didn’t want to add much more to an already intimidating pile. After resting up, I’m going dive headlong into the photos next week.

Side-note: I was torn whether to use “that” or “which” in the paragraph above (emphasized), a grammar issue that I’ve run juggled in the past, but never resolved. A quick check online and I’ve learned to use “that” when working with restrictive clauses, and “which” with non-restrictive clauses. Clearly, the photos I’ve yet to process restricts the entire set of photos, so “that” is the appropriate word to use in this instance.

World Expo Shanghai

Australia

The Australian Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.

My long absence can be attributed to my trip to China over the past several weeks. Internet access was sporadic, and I spent most of my downtime feeling tired from being constantly on the go.

I attended the World Expo in Shanghai for a day, but, disappointingly, found it an extremely underwhelming experience. With no limits on daily attendance, the venue was flooded with people, and the wait times for entrance into individual pavilions were lengthy. I waited an hour and a half at the Japan Pavilion, only to see a series of videos, during one of which I fell asleep.

Through the course of the day, I was able to peruse the Japan, France, Canada, Austria, and Romanian pavilions, and took a quick tour through the African group pavilion. It was hot (my skin felt like it was on fire, while waiting in the Saudi Arabia line, which I never saw through to its end, over 2 hours away), tempers were flared in the lineups and there was simply too many people. The Expo is being heavily advertised both by commercial and government groups. Television is filled with news reports of great success (success is measured by number of attendants, naturally) and commercials, urging the populace to experience the world. To me, it just felt like more China, with a bit of foreign culture sprinkled in, when not waiting in line.

By nighttime, the crowds had lessened and I had a few opportunities to photograph the lights. That was pretty spectacular.

4B Completed

Studies

Taken quite some time ago – certainly not during this semester. Playing with the camera instead of studying.

Yes, exams wrapped up several days ago, but it didn’t feel quite right that I write my traditional concluding message on the semester until finding out the last final’s mark. As it turns out, my fears of failure were quite unfounded, and I passed the course with flying colors.

The last semester went by in a flash. A few defining moments offset its otherwise monotonous passing: signing the Microsoft offer, IRS/IRC, fourth year design project symposium, end of classes, and my last examination on April 23. It’s somewhat interesting to note that perhaps the most important event, the signing of a full time offer, happened first in the semester. Needless to say, with my immediate future mapped out, the main goal was to simply graduate. It did help somewhat that I was able to choose a couple of interesting courses.

Since my H-1B visa petition precludes me from entering the United States, which I had planned to visit during the summer, I’ll likely spend some time traveling through Canada, a vast land that I really haven’t seen much of. With my future pegged south of the border, I’m going to take the opportunity to enjoy this great country.

As for this phase of my life? It’s time to close the book.

Graduation Present

Apple iPad

Taken in my home-made lightbox, wireless flash triggered.

I picked up a preemptive graduation present for myself, after completing my undergraduate degree this past week, although marks have yet to be seen. The last final (ECE 429) was the most difficult exam in recent memory. It seems only fitting that the last gasp would be representative of the difficulty of the program. Still, passing shouldn’t be a problem 😉 (knock on wood). It’s been heaven and hell for the past 5 years (more the latter than the former, unfortunately), and I’m glad to be moving on to the next phase of my life.

The conclusion of this final semester was celebrated with a significant portion of the class, which was awfully nice. Many of my classmates I won’t see in the future, aside from convocation later in the summer. That was a conclusive farewell for many. It’s a shame I haven’t gotten to know more of them better. One of my regrets.

As for the iPad, I’m just getting some time with it now, but the screen and battery life are immediate stand-outs. The IPS panel is gorgeous, and brightness is set at something around 30%. Plenty bright at that setting. I’ve been out of the loop with the whole App Store growth, so I’ve been rediscovering the whole application ecosystem. There are some pretty cool applications, but the vast majority are very expensive, simply because they’re for the iPad. Some careful picking and choosing of paid apps will follow soon, no doubt.

I’m looking forward to the Vancouver Canucks game later this evening. Let’s wrap this series up in 6! Go Canucks!

Spring Life

Spring

As promised, I’m going to attempt to post photos more actively, and part of that has to do with a photo topic assignment I’m doing with a friend. I figure given the time of year, I’ll kick off the inaugural subject, “Spring”.

This photo was taken a couple weeks ago, during a hike through the Niagara Glen. These cute white flowers were poking through the brown, dead foliage foliage of yesteryear. The trees were just beginning to show signs of budding, and soon, the forest will be a green mass again.