Saturday, January 28, 2006

Everyone Has a Story...

What's your story?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Google Conspiracy Theory

I’m in a pretty good mood. Just had a quiz (labeling the provinces/cities of China, Korea, and Japan) and we had to know 66 items on them, but were only tested on 20 of them. I felt like I had enough time and since I studied all 66…I didn’t want that studying to go to waste….so I labeled everything (that I could remember), not just the 20. Pretty geeeeky I know.

Cheese is great. Melted cheese is better. I don’t know how cheese came to be, but I know that it’s beautiful. There are many encyclopedia articles written about it, maybe even books about cheese in the library. There’s probably a very concise article at Wikipedia, which I’ll probably read later to satisfy my curiosity. What I like about cheese, is that they’re like humans, in that there are different races or ethnicities of cheeses which adds diversity to make life interesting. Like processed, limburger, swiss, cheddar, feta, the kind with the red wax on it, and my current liking mozzarella. A few crackers (salted) or if you’re feeling fancy, tortilla chips, a few pieces of cheese on top, a few seconds in the microwave (o, microwave, how I am grateful to thee) and BAM instant eating temporary pleasure.

I like Google a lot. I use it exclusively when I search stuff just because it’s so easy, like when you want to find a specific site with the phrase…say, “kumquat recipes,” and poof, only the site with that exact phrase will come up. I think you’d agree. And so would possibly hundreds of millions of people too as there’s a Google site registered for almost every country out there, (Google Estonia, Google Malawi , Google Bolivia and the new Google China
to name a few). And they have beaucoup des services and it seems like they’re always expanding into some new territory. I can’t remember it exactly, but I remember hearing that Google made a suggestion they would consider to venture into a market and a company already functioning in that market lost points on it’s stock, just because Google was considering to do something. Amazing.

So here’s my conspiracy. Maybe they’re trying to take over the world. Peacefully at first and not harmful so far, but who knows what they’re capable of in the future? Maybe they’re the beast that’s talks about in Revelation (actually I have no idea what I’m talking about here as I haven’t studied that book o’ la Bible yet)? The tracking technology that’s available now is pretty sophisticated and with Google’s might, it can be scary thinking of what they’re capable of doing. Maybe we might get Google chips implanted in our forehands and hands (like the mark? Still, I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I should shut up about that). Ok, so all I’ve said seems pretty farfetched, but it is something to daydream about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to Google in the fact that their services are so useful, (as my site is powered by Blogger) and their business (or any category) ingenuity is something to learn from. Sigh. Whoah, I had a thought, imagine if there was a Google Cheese? Mmmmmm.

I saw gas for 93.2 and then 90.2 ¢/litre yesterday. It's been in the high 97+/- for a while now. And I saw 89.9 today. lovely.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Political Tidbit

Well, my hunch was right. And in case you've become deaf and blind within the past 24 hours (which boggles my mind, how you'd be reading this post right now) Stephen Harper will be the new leader of the minority government in the House of Commons and the __th (google it yourself...) Prime Minister of Canada.

"...God bless Canada." -Stephen Harper, January 23, 2006
In other news, I hate accounting. 8^P so pbbbbbbbb.....
And I hurt my ankle a bit in hockey. My used-to-be-sprained ankle. Not serious though. Lousy gravity and mass...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Generational Differences ?

[Setting: during a TV commercial]

my Mom: [in hokkien and english] You know, one could say that your big toe resembles your Second Uncle’s…[continues to stare at my foot]

Me: IT’S A TOE!!! [wide-eyed] I mean…..gaaaah..….[mentally bangs head on table]

I understand some parents/relatives do the whole, “oh, he has his father’s nose” or “she has her mother’s eyes” thing, but when it’s something like the above, it kind of drives me nuts. Family resemblances are sometimes very interesting to see, but I only notice them in people when they’re super obvious. I don’t understand why older people do the whole gaggling bit to younger kids, “look, his ears are shaped just like his brothers” thing….seems like the current generation doesn’t really care/observe them as much. Or maybe its just me. Bah, I’m going to go start my 5 page essay that’s due tomorrow. La fin de la procrastination. Pour maintenant. Hohohooo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mind-love struggle, video update, and general stuff

Sooooo……back in school now, although I’m still on holiday mode. Week Two, behind in my readings, falling asleep in class (just BUS 254), waking up and not understanding anything, assignments being assigned….and when put together, it all means that the academic rat race is definitely in full swing. Time for a sigh. Siiiiiiiigh.

Just recently, I’ve had a bunch of battles in my head. I question my actions and thoughts and I claim that I don’t know why, but I do know. For example, I hear some stranger nearby making questionable and inconsiderate comments and I fantasize of beating them for it. I hear veeeery long and loud screeches of tires outside my house at night, as if someone was driving recklessly and I considered that if they get into an accident, that they deserve it. And I know these are all wrong...and wicked things. I think this is a battle of the flesh versus the Spirit, me wanting things to happen that are horrid.

I read a lot of Batman (fascinating guy!) stuff last week, instead of wisdom-filled Scripture. A giant mistake. I guess I idolized him or rather the idea of his vigilante justice. It’s such a struggle. There are many times when I’m using public transit, and all of a sudden a number of young teenagers will come on the bus, maybe aged 15 or 16. They’ll be really loud and yell, swear incessantly and at everything, spit on the bus, pull out cigarettes or even marijuana, and act ignorant of all that’s around them. You know what I’m talking about, those kids who walk down the street with pant sizes too large for them and are about to fall down, and the eyes half closed and nose pointed high in the air as if the own everything. Gaaah. And it’s such a disturbance to see these careless attitudes, when other people are being made uncomfortable as they try to sit quietly and peacefully on the bus. And then it will hit me. The violent, vengeful part of me that wants to discipline and maim the kids for being thoughtless of others around them. Like Batman when he hunts down his criminal victims in a dark alley.

I never do of course. I question, how can I show God’s love in a meaningful way in my actions, as He and other persons I've met have shown to me, or what can I say to them? ...but still they should be reprimanded. And in the end, I do what the rest of the people on the bus do, and pretend they’re not there. The things that come up, when you need to fulfil the second greatest commandment

I had a good talk with Special K. He said that I should focus on learning to show more love to my family (instead of hurting the one’s I love the most) FIRST, and not my “neighbours.” After, showing love to those who are around me would be easier. That’s the gist of it and it makes sense. I’ve just got to do that now.

I updated the random junk place that streams it (if you’ve never gone fishing before, you probably won’t care/understand, sorry).

For the sake of keeping note, gas was 93.9¢/litre yesterday, after being around the 96-97.9 range for the past week or so. It went down to 90.9 very briefly a few days ago too.

Something interesting to check out (specifically, the "Blog" part of the site), this Alex guy got over 1 million US dollars. Pretty amazing, and is that all non-taxable? Many people have said it before, and I’ll agree, it was a genius idea (though not too genius letting the whole world you now have more than 1 million cha-chings).

Lastly, if you’re a random websurfer who’s looking for Jim Guthrie's "Hands in My Pocket" song, it’s being streamed here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Chinese-Canadians makes news. Sort of.

(I hate making titles. Don't make sense...)
I think I really started to get interested in Chinese-Canadian history when I was 13 or 14. I remember getting angry at my socials textbook as it gave all the credit to John A. Macdonald and William Cornelius Van Horne for completing the railway in 1885. Nothing about Chinese people working for super low wages or that, “…for every mile of railway, one Chinese man died.”

Anywho, I was at the bus stop on Monday and I noticed the headline on a newspaper stand thingy. It was about redress and a formal apology to Chinese-Canadian families who had to pay the head tax (see here and here),
in the very early 1900s. My chin dropped because I was shocked. This is something that the Canadian government (mainly Liberals) has absolutely refused and ignored for the past few decades, but because all the other main political parties have been acknowledging this, only now the Liberals are doing something which makes it seem that they are getting desperate for votes. Oh yeah, Global National had a news show hosted (I think it was Tuesday evening, January 10, 2006) in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and talked about this subject too.

I probably have no direct relation to any of the Chinese people who came to Canada long ago, but because I was born here, I feel that I’m distantly related to those people somehow. And seeing that the government is finally acknowledging this stuff is good, because the Chinese were a very important part in getting this country unified. And since they came so long ago and struggled, it’s been easier (slightly) since then for other immigrants to start new lives in Canada.

Oh yeah, I finished reading Chinatown: an illustrated history of the Chinese communities of Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax by Paul Yee awhile ago. It was great. It’ll probably be fascinating only to those who are truly interested in this kind of thing, because basically it’s all about what it says. A history of the Chinatowns in Canada. There’s some neat statistics, colourful pictures, and fact-based insightful commentary. There’re so many little tidbits and stories, I don’t know what I should mention. So I won’t. Because I’m lazy. And because it’d be better to read the book. But you probably won’t. So let’s just leave it at that.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Long Considerations....(post-Cowtown)

click here for my -bi-mon sci-fi con- ccc win-con pics

I’m so lazy….
And the 2005 Campus Crusade for Christ (Western) Winter Conference in Calgary (can I hear a whoop whoop?) was veddy veddy glate. I mean great. Praise God for safety to, from, and at there. What to say, where to start? Here goes.

Before going to le Calgary, I was told I’d be challenged. I was. Challenged to know God on a more personal level, and challenged to actually spend more time with Him. I’m working on that. I didn’t get to sleep much throughout the 5 days, but the fellowship I had and new friends I made, along with the general nonsensical tomfoolery and general stupid guy stuff made it worthwhile.

Bus ride to there? Good, because we had stops and the scenery was beautiful. And when I say beautiful, I actually mean BEAUTIFUL!!! The long stretches of mountains on either side of the highway were very breathtaking and reminded me of the part in the Lord of the Rings where Gondor lights the signal beacon thing across the mountains to call Rohan for help. Something to that extent. I still need a picture of a particular road sign I saw though: “Maximum 110 km/h.” Narf and zort!

The Hyatt Regency Calgary was very nice, clean, but pricey! Eight bucks for a bowl of oatmeal with raisins. That’s what it said on the breakfast menu. Helpful staff and quite patient, as they had what…200 uni students running around everywhere? Ah…the memories.

That wasn’t all. Lou Leventhal and Holly Sheldon, our main speakers, were truly most excellent (yeah that blurb about them isn’t very exciting, but they’re unforgettable). Extremely gifted and blessed people, or rather, servants of God who have huge hearts. Some things that stuck in my mind are that God is always speaking to us (radio waves, tune in, listen shhhh) and with faith comes blessing (did Abraham go forth? Yes, yes he did). Mike Woodard, (National Campus Ministry Director) spoke our last day there too.

I also went to the sessions by Michael Horner (Queer Mind for the Straight Kind and Everybody Hates God) and Dilbert (faith in the workplace) by David Tan (UBC grad. Boo UBC. I’m kidding. Really I am. I’m sorry. Don’t hurt me….[bam!]). Oh dear, there was tons of training and teaching…..if you want to talk about any of this stuff, just ask me.

It’s a little disappointing that there was no snow. But, on the plus side, we didn’t have to experience -30° C temperature drops. Calgary seems to move slowly compared to Vancouver. There’s less traffic, and the streets as pointed out to me, are relatively clean. Oh yeah, being a prairie province, majority of the land was flat (like a flattened pancake in a flattening machine), and I had trouble navigating where I was all the time, walking on the street. Too used to the mountains and water. Just for fun, I noticed that gas was 83.9¢/litre when we arrived in Cowtown and 86.9 when we left. In BC it’s been above 92 for a while.

There’s a very memorable event that I still think about, unconnected to the conference. I’ve been debating with myself whether to put it out, but maybe, someone can learn something from it or knows what I’m feeling/thinking (those pesky unreliable feelings….).

Wednesday around 5 PM-ish, Me, S and J were walking east from the Calgary Eaton Centre back to the hotel via 7th Ave SW. We saw a heavyset lady in a wheelchair of Native descent through glass doors in a lobby. It looked like she wanted/needed to get out so S and J opened the doors for her. She didn’t really move but she sort of smiled and then pointed at me and said something. All that time, her speech was very slurred, mumbled and she didn’t say many words at one time.

She wasn’t moving out of the lobby in a hurry but seemed eager to “talk” to us and I remember her saying stuff like “I love Chinese people” “I go to Chinatown all the time” and “Chinese people are the best.” I wasn’t sure why she was saying that, but now that I think about it, maybe she was trying to butter us up because she asked us for $2 and we were kind of just, I don’t know dumbstruck, unsure of what to do because she wasn’t moving and we were supposed to be on our way and we gave it to her (in retrospect, it was suggested that we should have bought her food instead of given money). We tried to tell her we had to leave, but she said something like, “Don’t leave me,” and S strongly felt that it wasn’t right to leave her, but to make sure she got to where ever she needed to go to, safely. So we asked her and she told us to wheel her up onto the C-Train station which was actually right in front of us.

S asked if she was waiting for someone and she said, “I’m waiting for Jesus.” It didn’t seem like she knew what she was talking about and I missed what S replied because the train had come and she had told us she needed to get to the drop-in center. She kept asking us not to leave her. We were unfamiliar with the train, and she told us, “The blue light is the retarded doors” so we pushed her to the wider wheelchair doors of the train and wheeled her on. We had planned to walk back to the hotel, but she kept saying, “Don’t leave me” and even grabbed onto us a few times and the guys thought it’d be good to stay. She told us she needed to get off at the city hall stop, so we stood there on the train with her. People looked at us out of the corner of their eyes, wondering what 3 young Chinese guys were doing in the evening, pushing around a lady in a wheelchair. We passed the stop that we would have gotten off at, if we were going to the hotel. But the next stop conveniently was the city hall stop and we began to push her out of the station, continuing east down the street.

We had walked quite a number of blocks, and she wasn’t being clear in her directions where to go, but we kept pushing her. I noticed she had tear stains down her face. I could smell traces of alcohol and cigarette smoke too as we kept going. For some reason as we were making our way, she mentioned to us that she was homeless and that her husband was dead. And she mentioned that drug dealers took her house, something to that extent. We didn’t know what else to do; we kept pushing her to where she directed us.

By this time, we were going north on 3rd St SE and it seemed like we weren’t going anywhere. Finally she pointed further up and said that’s the place. All I could see was a small strip mall with a dollar store and another store called Beer Land, and a larger condo-looking building behind it. She said that was it, so we kept going. Finally we got outside the parking lot of that small strip mall and we stopped because things didn’t seem right, as we were looking for an entrance to the drop in centre. She then started to ask us to buy her cigarettes and beer but we told her we couldn’t and we tried asking her again where the drop-in was. She said to go to the back alley behind the tiny strip mall, so we did. Slowly. The guys took a look around the corner, and we went around and saw what appeared to be a very small warehouse with a door, and no lights around anywhere. There were a few street people waiting and talking outside the door and then I noticed a sign in the upper corner of the wall of the warehouse thing which said “Calgary Drop-In Centre.”

We asked the people standing there, “Will she be safe here” and they nodded yes at us. They were probably wondering the same thing as the people on the C-Train. We told her we had to leave, but this time, she pleaded with us loudly not to leave her, over and over again and grabbed our arms again. It sounded like she was going to cry. But we had to leave and she started to repeat the things she said earlier, “Chinese people are the best,” “Don’t leave me, don’t leave me” and then one other different thing: “I’ll never see you again.” She had bowed to us earlier when the guys first opened the door to her in the very beginning (as she sat in her wheelchair) so as we left, we bowed to her a few times, and she bowed to us back, all the while pleading for help and to not leave her. And then we walked back.

As we left, we noticed more street people going in the direction of where we just left. It’s apparent to me now, that the huge condo-looking building is actually a part of the drop-in centre. The entrance was on the other side I think.

I’m not trying to be dramatic or sound…I don’t know, but I’ve never really been around street people before. And somehow I feel that in that situation, we were obligated to do something more for her, in the sense that we were materially better off. I don’t quite understand God’s reasoning for putting us in that circumstance yet, other than to help the lady, because she did need help getting to the centre as it was already dark and quite cold. But as for teaching, I’m not sure what the whole lesson is yet. We considered sharing the 4 Laws with her, but didn’t because it didn’t seem like she was understanding us, (mistake). Hmmmm. God does interesting things to get our attention sometimes.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Back from Cowtown

I'm tired. I'll post some junk up about the trip/conference sometime during the week.
Got to root through my email too....I was gone for approximately 5 days and I was just warmly welcomed by 204 pieces of spam in my inbox.
And also, Happy New Year. We got 364 days left of it to deal with.