Category Archives: ramblings


I arrived this morning at the office to be greeted by a flurry of emails, press releases and articles about what had just happened. The company had annouced that it would be converting to an income trust. Yes, BCE Inc. Canada’s largest telecommunications company would be reorganized into an income trust to increase shareholder value and stay competitive with Telus, which has also recently announced that it would convert to an income trust. It hardly (actually that should read does not) affects me since I hold no options or shares of BCE, but for most of the full timers there, this has a big influence on their holdings. Hopefully it’ll be for the best.

I’ve been getting the recommended 8 or so hours of sleep each night this past week and I feel great. No more drooping eyelids during the afternoon at the office. I feel totally awake just about all the time now. It’s great not to have to fight off yawn after yawn. If you’re feeling tired all the time, seriously, just catch a little more shut eye. I bet you do have the time if you just plan your day a little better. An hour or two is really not that hard to waste at all, but an hour or two can really make a difference when it comes to sleep.

But I guess I just can’t be left alone. I awoke Tuesday morning with a rippling headache on the left side of my head. Now this in itself is slightly worrying as I extremely rarely get headaches. When I do get that occasional dull pain, it usually goes away after an hour or two at most. This time would be different. It lingered with me the whole day, which already got me worried. I thought a good night’s sleep would make it all better, but to no avail; I awoke this morning with the same headache around the same area of my head. I have no idea what’s going on. It’s getting better I think, but it does pop up now and again. A two day long headache cannot be normal.

I wonder what could be wrong with me?

No PDEng?!

Well, it’s partially true. Since my computer is constantly at risk of spontaneously combusting, I decided not to save my PDEng assignment this week for tonight, the last night to complete it. As a result, I have no PDEng to do. It feels quite relaxing. In fact I’ve been catching up on some TV shows I missed last week like The Office and I’ll probably watch the season premier of Smallville tomorrow.

So despite my best efforts, my order for the computer parts still got royally messed up so I ended up having to cancel and re-order. Thankfully, they’ve assured us that they have enough supply of the video card. So even though I’m back a ways in the queue, I shouldn’t have any problem getting it. However due to the mixup and subsequent delay, it’ll be hard pressed for the shipping company to get all the parts to me by this weekend. That also means I can’t send out this messed up stick of RAM as soon as I would’ve liked since I need some sort of computer, even if it is crashing every so often.

Speaking of shipping stuff, I sent a faulty motherboard to the repair facility down in the States three weeks about three weeks ago. Canada Post told me that it should take 8 days and gave me the tracking number. Ends up, neither the time estimation or the tracking number did any good. According to the tracking page, the package is still in Mississauga (wooooo, a trip that should take an hour by car took them… 3 weeks?!) and it’s been 3 weeks since I sent it. I decided to give Canada Post the good ol’ telephone call today to inquire and all I got as a result was “it should get there soon”. No matter how hard I pressed the guy and complained about the lack of updates on the tracking site or the 3 week transit time, I got the same answer back. Oh well. My guess is, the guy had no idea what was going on with the package. “It should get there soon” means I’ll wait a little longer and if it still doesn’t get there, I’ll call back and hopefully not get him. Someone else can deal with me then. 😛

Yep, so the 8 and a half hour sleep last night (longest weeknight sleep I’ve had in who knows how long) was amazing so I think I’m going to do it again tonight.

Too Much Mediocrity

I shall warn all you readers right now. This will be a random and incoherent post. With that aside…

First off, to address the title of this update. Why is it that everyone seems to be content with so-so, doing things to a mediocre state? Why don’t people want to do more, do things better? I’m not trying to say I’m good at everything. Hardly. But I definitely do try my best. It’s probably the fact that people just don’t care. Well, if everyone did something they actually liked, I think it’d be different. Unfortunately, that’s not the way this world works. It truly is unfortunate…

Why does Rogers lick nuts? I’m not saying this only because I work for Bell currently. Sure, that could be part of it, but seriously, getting Rogers High Speed was one of my worst decisions in a long time. Absolutely TERRIBLE upload speeds and they cap traffic from stuff like BT, etc. That’s not to mention the terrible download speeds as well. I paid for 5mb/s downlink high speed. I did not pay $44/month for 2mb/s downlink. Give me my goddamned bandwidth kthxbye. I guess I’ve been spoiled with my upwards of 10mb/s Cogeco connection back in Niagara Falls, but really, this is a little too horrible for what I’m paying. I’ll have to give Rogers a ring and share my mind.

You’d think that all things technology would decrease in price as time goes by right? Wrong. I think RAM is one of the only parts of a computer that’s heavily commoditized. That means it doesn’t just generally trend downwards. It’s heavily influenced by supply and demand and the prices customers (me) pay can vary quite wildly over a short time frame. Take for example, well, right now. RAM prices are sky high. Towards the end of last month (August) when I started budgeting parts for a new computer, 2x1GB DDR2 800 was going to cost $200 give or take $20. Now that exact same model of RAM is pushing $300. Yes, that’s right. One month and a full 50% higher prices. Now the question is, where does RAM prices go from here? I hardly want to shell out $300 only to have it drop back down in a couple weeks. On the other hand, it could rise even further. Decisions, decisions.

I’ll end it off with some comments about the new John Mayer album, Continuum. At first I wasn’t terribly impressed by it, but after listening to it over the past week or so, it’s really growing on me. Generally, his lyrics are quite a bit more mature. This is exemplified by my favorite song (mmmm, I’ll regret saying that) from this album: Belief. I’ll indulge you with the lyrics. I’d suggest go getting the album if you enjoyed his previous stuff.

“Belief” – John Mayer

Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?,
is there anyone who really recalls
ever breaking rank at all
for something someone yelled real loud one time?
oh, everyone believes
in how they think it oughta be
oh, everyone believes
and they’re not going easily

Belief is a beautiful armor
but makes for the heaviest sword
like punching underwater
you never can hit who you’re trying for
some need the exhibition
and some have to know they tried
it’s the chemical weapon
for the war that’s raging on inside
oh, everyone believes
from emptiness to everything
oh, everyone believes
and no one’s going quietly

We’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

We’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

Is there anyone who can remember
ever surrender with their life on the line?

We’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

We’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

What puts a hundred thousand children in the sand?
belief can, belief can
What puts a folded flag inside his mother’s hand?
belief can, belief can


Ahhhh, yes, the new John Mayer album that was released this past Tuesday I believe. I’m listening to it right now as I write this post. Actually I’m not even done listening to it once yet. The current song is ‘Gravity’. Actually, I remembered that I should get this album after watching the last episode of House. Mmmmm, I’m so glad that show is back again. It really didn’t seem that long ago that I was watching the season finale. That’s probably because university siphoned all my time. Oh well.

Well, I haven’t written anything in quite a while again. That’s mostly due to The Office though. No, not my work office. I’m talking about the TV show. Several friends were watching it over the past summer semester, but for some reason, I never got hooked like they did. It seemed too cheesy and lame for my tastes. This past weekend, I watched a couple episodes, right from the start and it really piqued my interest. So over the past 4 days, I finished up the first and second seasons. Needless to say, that’s a lot of TV watching. I can’t wait until next Thursday for the season 3 premier. I can’t believe how they left off in season 2!!!

This Continuum album is definitely lighter (so far at least) compared to some of the previous albums. He definitely has a different style of guitar playing in this album. It’s a little more… adventurous? Is that a good way of putting it?

Speaking of continuation, one of my most dreaded moments occurred this past week. I got an email from the PDEng 25 course. If you read my blog during the last co-op semester, you’ll have already heard me speak my mind about the course. If not, well, do a search for PDEng on this blog and you’ll find lots to read. 🙂 I’m sure it’s going to be the same BS this time around. From what I heard from last semester, PDEng 25 is like PDEng 15 on steroids. That means more time required to complete the assignments and even more BS. Really, they’re not setting up a good image of what the Professional Engineer is. Currently, if I had only these PDEng courses to base my opinion on, I would think engineering is about how little can you actually know and still produce a passable project.

I’m currently attempting to multitask between writing this entry, scrutinizing the new songs and working on the first module in PDEng. I have a feeling in the end none of the three are going to be finished with any sort of quality.

The first and actually the main project of this co-op semester was finally started this past week. Actually it was started late last week, but my supervisor was gone this week, so the other co-op and myself have been trudging through the details of the project on our own, with some guidance from a different director. We’re doing all we can without knowing the finer details that only our supervisor can provide. But at this point, I already know that we’re going to be meeting with all the product managers. These people are busy as hell and it’s extremely difficult to try and book a meeting with them. I’m pretty excited about the project though. We laid out a plan and I wrote it up. It looks pretty pro actually. I think the end product could be extremely useful to the whole department. I won’t bore you with the details, although I did read a 100 page research paper on mobile messaging and am in the middle of a 250 page research paper on wireless data trends. How fun. 🙂

Okay, it’s really time to get cracking at this PDEng assignment. This weekend is supposed to be really nice (weather-wise). It may just about be the last hurrah for summer. It’s supposed to be sunny and 25C+ so I’m sure I won’t want to sit inside and work on this crap. I know I’m forgetting to write about something I had on my mind, but that’s okay. Perhaps I can write about it tomorrow if I remember. These updates are getting really too sporadic for my liking.

Oh one more thing…. (the Apple launch was sorely disappointing in my opinion, but that’s not the one more thing) I’m ending this post with the song Bold As Love. The album doesn’t seem too bad. I haven’t paid too much attention to it, but at least nothing was so horrible that it caught my attention. Then again, with that said, nothing awesome has caught it either.

Catch Up

This past week has been ridiculous and I’m damn glad that it’s finally over. It finished off with a ECE100 circuits midterm which I did okay on. I made a couple stupid mistakes which will cost me, but hopefully not too much. I knew the material well, I just had a brain fart. It definitely wasn’t helped by the lack of sleep leading up to the exam. But what’s done is done and leads me to my next point.

I find myself dwelling way too much on things that have already occurred and I no longer have any control over. It’s probably been exacerbated by the fact that I’m in a difficult program and it’s reasonable to say that I’ll make a few mistakes here and there in any exam. But the fact that I know I could’ve done better if I had of done this or that, or remembered this or that really drives me nuts. I mean last night, I lay there awake wishing I had another crack at that midterm because I knew the material. A slipup cost me many percentages. To be honest, it’s not only mistakes I make on a test either. I spend way too much time thinking and moping about things I cannot control or change. I have to change that aspect of my personality. It doesn’t help me at all.

Because last week was so busy, I had little time to keep up with the material being presented in class. As a result, I’m slightly behind and I’m taking advantage of this weekend to really do some catching up. It’s not very common for me to do much work on Saturdays, but I really upped the self discipline today and got a solid amount of work done. I’m hoping to get caught up in all my classes and get all the assignments done for this week, excluding Calculus, before Monday. I’m going to try for a fresh start next week so that I’m not worrying about things I don’t understand. Plus, it’s really getting close to final exam time and I need to start studying. (Yeah, only a little more than two weeks left of lectures and then about 2 weeks of exams.)

I also decided that I want to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area when I graduate (or maybe not after undergrad, but after grad school if I can make it). Not only is Silicon Valley in that area, the Bay area just generally seems like a nice place. (I Google mapped California for a good while this morning) I mean the weather helps a lot and watching shows like Entourage, which is based in California, just makes me want to go live there. I don’t think I could ask for anything more than to lead a comfortable life somewhere nice and warm. As I’ve aged, I think I’ve become more moderate, or perhaps more reasonable in my wishes and dreams. No longer do I wish to be some super rich person. Money just doesn’t seem to impress me as much anymore. I’d just like to live a comfortable life that I’m happy with.

My parents are going up to Toronto this weekend to check out a few places for me, when I work in Mississauga next semester. I didn’t get a chance to go home this weekend, but I trust their judgment enough. I still have to do some reading for that job… I need to brush up on my (non-existent) business and strategy analysis skills. If anything, I’ll learn a great deal about business this semester. On the topic of living somewhere, the bunch of people that applied for residence for the next study semester still haven’t gotten anything back from the Housing department yet. I read a newsletter that said the apartment-style residences are already full. See, if we don’t get into UWP I will be very angry. We put in our applications… more than a month ago now and when we last visited them, they told us we would get something soon. Another two weeks have passed and we’ve still got nothing.

I’m super excited about visiting PEI this summer. I can hardly wait to see the old crew again. It should be a good time and I’ll definitely savor the break from school. Some of you know the feeling you get when you finally finish that last exam and you’re free for a semester. (I no longer consider a full time job work. :P) Toodles, it’s time for bed.

Home Once More

Well, this feels different. It’s now been three weeks since I’ve been on this bus with my laptop, writing away. So what’s on the docket for today?

Today was just about the same as yesterday. I started getting tired around 9:30 am and the attention span went downhill from there. The co-ops went out for lunch again today, but I decided to stick around the office instead, since I left early for catch the bus. I somewhat regret that since it was an extremely nice day and we had made reservations for a patio spot. It felt like summer with the sun blazing down, 20C temperature and a nice warm breeze. Couldn’t ask for anything more.

To keep some sort of attentiveness at work, I decided to crank out the old Seussical MP3s that I ripped from the CD about a year ago. That was quite a trip down memory lane. It kept me awake, but I wasn’t really doing any work. I was transported back to those days when I ate, breathed and lived Seussical in some shape or form. I was quite surprised just how many lines I still remember from all those songs. And I can still picture those notes on the page that I played over and over so many times. It also got me thinking about theatre and acting in general.

I can definitely see how theatre or acting would be an extremely enjoyable career. Now I’m not really talking about the bigshot movies or anything. I’m talking about the musicals and plays presented on a stage. It’s the sort of thing where you get one crack at it and only one crack. That rush of adrenaline is quite a feeling. And when the show’s over, that feeling of elation and satisfaction is so very addictive. The way that people grow together through all the hard work and fun is remarkable. I got such a little taste and yet I crave it so. I know a few people who are still at it. You can’t even begin to understand the envy I have for you sometimes. Engineering’s pretty much the opposite of what you’re doing. Don’t see too many musicals put on in engineering firms. 😉

In other news, I’ve become a big fan of Michael Buble’s It’s Time album. I remember listening to it quite some time ago and hating it. Well, for one reason or another, I’d probably have to say it I like it more than his self-titled album. I think it’s because there’s a great mix of big band tunes along with some more mellow ones. Okay, so I’m not a big fan of Home as it’s one of his more ‘poppy’ sounding songs, but the other song of his that seems to get played quite a bit is Save The Last Dance, but I absolutely love that one.

I almost forgot to say I did something awfully flukey today. I had looked up the bust times on the Coach Canada site. I decided I’d take the 4:30pm bus from Kitchener. So I backtracked to see what buses I would need to take to get there in time. After some searching I found I needed to take the 14 down to Conestoga Mall then I’d have 15 minutes until I needed to leave on the iXpress for the Kitchener terminal. I decided I’d spend those 15 minutes at the Bell Mobility store checking out some phones. Well, when I got to the Conestoga on the 14, I saw the iXpress just pull into the terminal. So I thought, ugh, I’ve got this big, heavy bag. I’ll just take this iXpress.

Well, when I actually got down to the Kitchener terminal, I waited only 10 minutes or so before the Coach Canada bus came and left. I made it. But if I had of done what I had intended to at the mall, I would have missed this bus. I’m not exactly sure which bus this is, since I really don’t think they’d just leave 15 minutes early for no reason… I told my parents I’d be in St. Catharines at 7:30pm or so, but I don’t think it’s going to take that long. I still need to ask the drive when we’re actually supposed to arrive in St. Catharines.

Well, that was an awfully long and rambling post, but it’s because I’m bored on this bus. I can hardly wait to eat some home-cooked food and sleep in my own bed. Oh, I’m so tired right now. I’m also hungry. This is probably a good time to break out those two-bite brownies I got just for this occasion. Toodles.

Uncle Sam

It’s that time of year again when all us lucky folks get to fill out those monstrous tax forms. There truly isn’t any such thing as free money. Those tax returns only come after you’ve labored at those tax returns for long periods of time, while pulling out your hair trying to dissect what the enigmatic wording is really trying to tell you. Fortunately my dad already has a nice Excel spreadsheet laid out for doing the taxes. Unfortunately, my university costs and co-op job add another dimension of complexity on top of it all.

I picked up a Canon SD450 digital camera and a 1GB SD card for my grandparents. They’re still using an old school film camera from back in the day and with email and whatnot, it should be a lot easier to send digital pictures as opposed to film ones. The camera’s an updated and more powerful version of my year-old Canon SD200. I’ve been super happy with it so I thought it would be a nice choice for them. It also kind of made me want a new camera… I managed to assuage some of tech craving by (finally) picking up a new mouse. It’s nothing fancy, just a Logitech LX7. It’s one of those optical wireless mice, not even a laser one, but it was 30 bucks or so and my trusty MX500 of almost three years now is finally starting to give way. The buttons are breaking or something. They’re making this weird cracking sound every time I click them now. Hmmmm… now that I think about it, the MX500 does have a 5 year warranty, although I’m pretty sure the receipt would be long gone by now.

[tags]tax returns, canon, logitech[/tags]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well, this will definitely be belated in the area I’m targeting mostly (PEI), but nonetheless, it’s still Valentines for me, at least for another.. 19 minutes.

It also marks just about the middle of the semester. It’s pretty shocking that I’m half way through my work term already and for all you lucky people out there, half way through your second semester, meaning summer break is creeping up. I’m somewhat torn actually. Work terms are definitely a big break from school and it almost feels like a summer break comparatively. There’s so little that must be done outside of work. So once I’m done at 5PM or whatever, I get the whole night to do what I want, not that assignment I know must be done.

Then again, I’m looking forward to the resumption of classes since all those people I know will be returning. And while it’s probably going to be the worst thing in the world to have to study in the summer (I heard the first summer term is absolutely brutal from upper year students. Only a few seemed to like it.) it’s going to be awesome to be around all those people in the summer when we can actually do stuff outside as opposed to the winter when it’s generally brutally cold. I walked about 15 minutes across campus yesterday and I probably came the closest I’ve ever come to actually getting frostbite.

Mmmmm… I’m rambling since there’s really not much to say. And I decided I’m allowed to ramble in this blog again since I’m splitting the tech content out to another blog.

Oh, right. I remember. Happy Valentine’s Day! Betcha don’t know how it really started…

To Make My Life Sound Interesting

This is going to the first of a couple things I want to get down before I go to bed tonight. It’s been only really one day a bit since my last update, but it feels like much longer for some odd reason. I may not get to post too much in the upcoming days since I’ll be moving back to Waterloo on the 2nd and I start work on the 3rd. I’m sure I’ll have my hands full.

I’ll be honest here. I feel somewhat alien out here in Niagara Falls. In fact, tomorrow will probably be the first New Year’s Eve in a long time that I’ll spend with the family. I’ve got no where else to be really. Now I’m not saying that being with the family’s not a good thing. Far from it since I don’t spend that much time with them during most of the year now. But the fact it, New Years is a time I’ve always spent with friends. It’ll be different not doing that this year. I know there are others in much the same position, some without even family to spend it with, so I should be grateful for that.

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