Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Coincidences of Coincidences

Think of it this way.

I walk into Fort Camp Lounge to practice piano, and see two guys already there. One of them is waiting for a third person to arrive at the Lounge before the three of them take off.

Lo and behold, I'm from The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, class of 2005. The one waiting is from The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, class of 2003. The one arriving is from The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, class of 2001.

This world is small.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Global flu pandemic could kill 62 million, says survey

Or will it? I won't harp on the article; anybody can read it and formulate an opinion on their own. Rather, I'll discuss a bit of my thoughts on the responses to the article.

People say that scaremongering is a trend, a culture amongst doomsday scenario scientists, and it's getting cliched by now. And I agree with them, but I don't view it as a problem. It was the doomsday scenario painters who predicted that SARS would kill millions worldwide, but because of effective response, none of those deadly figures were reached. Singapore wasn't wiped out, China's countryside remained populated, and Thailand didn't suddenly have death figures in the thousands. It was those doomsday figures, and many other factors working in tandem with mathematical model estimates, that galvanized medical professionals into action to prevent the prophecies from coming true.

Those who criticize scientific estimates should re-look at how they obtain those estimates, and the importance of alerting people to those alarming figures. Only then they'd be able to get a better appreciation for these numbers.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Okay, some random thoughts.

Working at Staples is getting really fun. Dan's an excellent consultant who gets the team sales going really well.

I'm a bit tired, though.

Swimming last night brought such a great feeling to me today. I think I'll go again tomorrow after work. $3.25 is a small thing to pay for that feeling... and staying in the pool for 1.5 hours felt awesome. The muscles feeling slightly fatigued, then rested for 8 hours in bed... nothing can beat that feeling right now.

I need to get down to making more bookmarks...

Cheap headphone's aren't that bad after all. $15 for a pair of Sony headphones with great sounding bass. I'm gonna try out Croatian Rhapsody on my comp...

Okay. That's it. Updates for the sake of updates.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ahh, white christmas.

Hey Eric,

If you still don't have a place to stay over christmas, I talked to my parents, and they are more than happy to have you here. We already have relatives coming, so one more is always welcome. If you are still planning to sleep on the street, or want a chance to spend a christmas in the Canadian rockies, get time off work, and get a greyhound or Plane ticket (both are probably cheaper than even a few nights in a hotel), and come down to Cranbrook BC. If you end up coming by plane, the airline that you want is Pacific coastal.

We would pick you up at this end, and have a bed for you (my house was a bed and breakfast before we bought it)free of charge, as well as a christmas atmosphere. We currently have about a foot of snow outside, and are putting decorations on our trees today. There is both wintery and christmas stuff to do here, but you would still have a good amount of down-time.

Feel free to ponder, and e-mail me back, or phone me (250-489-5597).

Talk to you later,



Unfortunately, I have to pass up this opportunity. My work schedule doesn't permit it this year, but I hope to go up north with Myles next year to see it in person. What a great man, Myles.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Outburst

Dear mom,

I will not apologize for my outburst, because I truly felt that it was
wrong for you to go on this idiotic fasting thing. To me, it's not
even a thing to discover - it's simply an absurd and idiotic idea that
shouldn't even be considered. People here in Canada can live well
without having to go on such absurd ideas; why do you have to do that?
I'd say it's risky, you've got pressure from the rest of the group,
and you'd be wrecking up yourself over nothing. My word on it: It's

And about Evan, if you say that whether he fails in life or succeeds
in life is entirely up to him, then why do you have confidence in your
own method working? What will it work for? What result will it
produce, if it works? I still don't get it. And by suggesting that he
come over to Canada so that I can take care of him completely misses
the point. You know for a fact that unless I quit my studies, I won't
be able to support him here. Additionally, if I quit my studies, what
am I to do to fulfil my potential for the world, for Canada, and for
our family in the future? I felt that the suggestion was 100% inane,
and that you said it in a moment of madness, and should never have
mentioned it.

Perhaps I should never have cared about what goes on in Singapore to
ask Evan and you about what goes on at home, right? Should I still
bother asking? Or in the future, shall I just report to you what goes
on here, without having to stress myself over the family situation in
Singapore? Shall I? Do you really want that? If you do, just tell me,
so that I can put my mind to rest on this issue. Because I realized
that each time I care about something in the family, it will run
contrary to what you want to do. So I'm starting to think that if you
know exactly what you're doing, perhaps then I shouldn't ask about
things at home, and question the things that you do. Maybe I should
just shut up about such stuff, and happily continue with my studies in
bliss, right? Then I wouldn't have to feel 100% f***** over for my
exams and care about these things, isn't it? Then you would have a
peace of mind too, knowing that you don't have to get challenged on
your actions. Then everybody would be happy, living in ignorance of
the reality that lies behind the facade.

I ask because I care. But if I shouldn't be asking, because it'll
always result in my outbursts and your getting mad and Evan suffering
in between, then please tell me so. Tell me, so that I can live in
bliss here in Vancouver, just having to report to you what I do,
without bothering about you and Evan in Singapore. If you want it that
way, tell me, so that in future, you'll hear all the good and bad news
from me, and you'll never have to get me incensed over the stuff you

Tell me.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Eric: Si Rim, don't copy it word for word, okay?

Si Rim: Oh, don't worry. I'm very good at this. =P

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nerdy Scolding

This is what Science One does to you.


11.30pm at Totem Park Salish 5th. I'm trying to sleep, people are outside talking really loudly.


1st Attempt to Shut Them Up:
"Excuse me, but I have work tomorrow, and I really need to sleep."
*door slams*

2nd Attempt to Shut Them Up:
"Excuse me, I need sleep!"
*door slams again*

3rd Attempt to Shut Them Up:
"For the nth time already, SHUT UP!"
*door slams damn bloody hard*

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Math is Natural

This comes after Mark Maclean teaches us about the chain rule and implicit differentiation, which much of the class found difficult.

Mark: But math is natural! And I can prove it to you mathematically.

Imagine you are a caveman, and you know that a cave has a tiger inside it. Three cavemen walk in, and only two come out. Do you walk in?

See? Math is natural. 3-1=2.

Friday, October 20, 2006

WTH... Hooked on Classics becomes Hooked on Vitas

My gosh, I can't believe my play count: 327 for Vitas' "Star", and 118 for "Komarovo", 9 for "Autumn Leaves" (which isn't factoring the no. of times I've played it on my MP3 player...).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

5 hour nights

Gosh, 20 hours of sleep in 96 hours of my life. 10 in 48. 5 in 24.

Gee man, study parties rock. Jamming with Sirim and Rachel rocks too. Sirim's such a great musician - guitar, bassist, jazz pianist... Rachel's such a great singer - piano + singing at the same time. Man, 我相形见绌...

Sunday, October 01, 2006


it'll be time for a break soon. Thankfully I have the weekends off already, because of my injured ankle. I hope it heals well, then I can get back to normal life and work. No crutches, but still limping. That's a bummer.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rain... Rain... Rain...

Oh my, the joys and horrors of rain. And what a way to end the day by going to Tower Beach in the midst of a pouring rain for a Biology lab.

I hereby conclude that I have a love-hate relationship with rain. Essential, yet detestable.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Study and Music

Ahh... the joys of study party with Charles, Joey and Cindy, and music with James and Tatsua.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How suggestive can things get?

(Disclaimer: for the sake of drama, some parts have been added and deleted. Please use discretion, even though the entire study party night itself was quite dramatic.)

[Curtains open]

[Eric walks into Charles' room. Karen, Cindy and Josephine are inside, in addition to Charles.]

Eric: Charles, how's things man?
Charles: Not bad.
Eric: Do you mind if we share the bed, since the girls are on the floor?
[the girls]: uhhhh.....??
Charles: Yeah, why not?
Charles: So what will we be doing tonight?
Eric: We'll be exploring forces and motion. Very fascinating subjects.
Charles: Ah, yes. Rotation ya?
[Eric and Charles are on the bed, engrossed in physics.]
Cindy: Hey look at the two of them - they're getting so chummy on the bed.
*laughter from everyone*
*laughter persists*
[Eric and Charles suggestively cover their mouths in close proximity of each other]
Josephine: Hey, where's your camera, Charles? Where's your camera? Oh there it is! Quick, snap a shot!
Josephine: 3, 2, 1. (pause) Eeeeewwww!!!!

{It's day 2, and we're in the Chem lab, finding lab benches:}
Eric: Charles, where's bench 5?
Charles: Right there... Oh, we're next to each other. High five man! Hahahaha...
*Eric and Charles laugh and laugh...*
Eric: Hey Josephine, Charles and I are next to each other.
Josephine: What? No!! Now I have to endure the sight of you two together...
Mark: Which bench are you at, Eric?
Eric: Bench 5. Charles is at 6.
Mark: Oh! I'm jealous...
Eric: Cindy, Mark is jealous that I'm at the same bench as Charles is and he isn't.
Cindy, Kaylen and Breanne: Uhhh....
Breanne: And it's like there's no girls involved in it...

Oh man, this is going to be one of the biggest classic internal jokes going around. I still can't remember my brilliant puns from the study party at Charles' room, though... hahahahahahahahahahaha....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Ah... the joys of physics. Charles is damn good man; I think he and I make for a great study pair.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Oh, I can't believe it. It was just so fun, singing to James' pop-style music. It was the most fun 2 hours of the day yesterday, all taking place from 10.30 to 12.30 at night.

Friday, September 08, 2006


"The scoreboard says I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say is what it is I have found. Over the last 21 years I have found loyalty; you have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I have found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I have found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams; dreams I could never have reached without you. Over the the last 21 years I have found you and I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life." - Andre Agassi

Life's a journey. One must humbly learn what one can from it, the way Andre Agassi did.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

O Canada

Today was Imagine. Orientation for the UBC class of 2010. I went through it like any other ordinary UBC student would do, but there was only one part I'll remember clearly.

'O Canada'.

We had just finished the campus tour, the student success workshop, plus lunch. And now it was time for the pep rally. Frankly, nothing really inspiring was spoken. I'm very used to the usual hush-hush of cheering and "follow your passion" speeches, because frankly, I'm already cheering myself on and I am following a passion. But I still enjoyed it nonetheless. There were my new Science One classmates, whom most of them are younger than me by one year, and the tremendous atmosphere of gathering the entire class of 2010, the class that will graduate to the Vancouver Winter Olympics (given that they don't do co-ops or screw up any years) in the War Memorial Gym, with flashing strobe lights, colorful faculty shirts, and roaring cheering from Science and rivals Arts, plus the smaller faculties of Business, Engineering, Forestry, Land and Food Systems, Music and Human Kinetics. All through that, I kept my spirit up, I cheered with the crowd, and I basically had fun.

That one part, which still sticks in my head, is the part when one student, obviously a music student, came up to lead the entire class to sing the national anthem. When I heard it, my voice box suddenly became stuck. Tears came to my eyes, and I simply couldn't squeak a sound. I had to mouth the first few lines of the song before my voice came back to me, and I sang it with real pride, trembling still, tears still coming to my eyes as I sang it. It was then, that I made a massive realization.

"Our home and native land"

I realized the true extent to which I yearned to come back home, after spending all those years in Singapore. How else could one be moved to speechlessness when their homeland's national anthem is sung? For 10 years on that island, I sang (at first), and then simply stood through (later) the "Majulah Singapura", knowing fully what the song meant. yet not experiencing one bit of it. Canada's my true homeland, the true place of opportunity for me to jumpstart my life.

"True patriot love, in all thy sons command"

My critics will tell me, I escaped Singapore to escape the mandatory NS. And I won't deny that. I'm a pacifist, which means I'm anti-war in general. But then I always have this prepared mindset ingrained in me, something that I learned while in Chinese High - 没有国家就没有家,没有家就没有我. Indeed, without Victoria, BC, Canada, there's absolutely no way I'd be here. And there'd be no way that I'd be born into the family I've got. I owe my existence not only to my parents, but also to Canada, for without this place, there'd be no me. Hence, I'm always prepared to serve my nation first, and not a foreign one in which I was but a 10-year-transit passenger. If there's a war and Canada's territorial integrity is at stake, I'd grab a gun and join military training. Medic, engineer, machine gunner, signals, whatever it is, bring it on, I'll be there.


Whatever it is, the yearning to come back to Canada, and my longing for this land, culminated in that one moment during the pep rally. There's no way I'll ever forget that moment when I was entirely moved to speechlessness.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


'I did not provoke him, I responded verbally to a provocation,' Materazzi told the daily Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.
'We both spoke and I wasn't the first. I held his shirt but don't you think it is a provocation to say that 'if you want my shirt I will give it you afterwards'?
'I replied to Zidane that I would prefer his sister, that is true. I brought up his sister and that wasn't a nice thing, that is true,' said Materazzi.


Nah, not one bit. How could it be provocation in the first place? Shirt-grabbing was always outlawed in soccer...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

No more restaurant eating

I learned a very important lesson about culture shock this evening.

Rather than go back to Totem for dinner, I decided to eat out with Richard after work. We went to the Japanese restaurant upstairs, and for me, having been at restaurants very, very infrequently, I forgot all about tips and service charges. Turns out, I was totally shocked when the waitress asked me if I wanted my change, because I had paid $10.13 for my dish which was $6.63 after taxes, so I naturally was expecting some change back. I didn't realize that she obviously thought I was some extremely generous customer... -_-"... Anyways, I asked for my change back, but after Richard reminded me about tips, I decided to forgo half of the change, and accepted $2 back. After all, they had given me some band-aids for my cut on my thumb, which I foolishly got when unpacking my stuff.

Anyways, the big things is this: No more restaurant eating.

Hmm... but then again, that dinner with Richard, and having eaten at that restaurant, really lifted my mood. It wasn't a drab day after all. Hmm... food for thought... the effects of restaurants... (that's me thinking aloud...)

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I'm feeling that sense of happening inside me. Turmoil, wandering, having to be in search. I'm embarking on a new stage of this journey through life, and I've no idea what's up for me next. All I know is that my room smells of apple (scent), and I've yet to get things off my bed. Everything else is a blur to me. I've met new people, new acquaintances, but none I'm ready to commit to as a friend. I'll wait and see.

It's like the Jewish Exodus. Some would rather go back and be slaves under the Egyptians, while others eagerly hoped for a new start. Part of me wants to go back to 2875 Osoyoos Crescent, to the familiar washroom, kitchen, and living room. The other part of me desires a new start. It's a struggle.

By the way, Totem Park's dining hall food is expensive. Just to eat something filling costs $7.80. I figure I'll probably want to pop by the Village more often...

Totem Park Residence

I'm typing from my residence at Totem Park. The move was easy, the packing was easy, the unpacking was easy. I stunned myself by seeing that I needed around 6 boxes to fit all the stuff that I had. And that's when I assumed that just two would do. Hahaha....

Well, I'm feeling random right now...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Younger than what you think

Hoho.... I met a Staples customer at the Granville Island Market @ UBC Marketplace, and chatted with him about the new laptop bag that he purchased. Then, the question popped out - where do you live? Okay, so I said, "I'm living on campus just back there at the University Apartments, but I'll be moving to Totem Park soon."

Guess his response:

"Are you an advisor?"

In my head, I'm thinking, what?! Me? I'm first year man!

"No, actually, I'm first year, gonna do science..."

Hoho, I seem older than I really am, so I'm younger than what you think. Then again, I'll be one year older than the rest in my class.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Today was an efficient day, I'd say. Not to bad, not too good. Scored two ESP sales, managed to do one transfer, sold a computer (that's one of the ESPs), and helped lots of customers get what they wanted.

I found that the secret is to take things at your own pace. Much the way Katie does it - no rush, no fluster, no stress. Just take it at your own pace.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another tiring day

Right, I wonder if I'll be able to get past a week that lasts like this week.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Okay, so things have been cleared up between me and Uncle Ken. I called him to apologize, and we thrashed things out. All cleared.

One thing I realized is that man cannot blame inanimate objects for whatever happens, for man's problems stem from man's nature. Inanimate objects merely provide the trigger, but we, having free will and choice (if it isn't an illusion), have the cognitive ability to choose not to interact with the inanimate object. So never blame the computer if anything happened to the computer. In fact, never blame anybody. Focus on solving the problem, and identifying why the problem occured, but never blame anybody. Just investigate it, solve it, and move on. Lesson learned, let's move on.

Moving on...


I've learned a few lessons from this incident where I agreed to help Uncle Ken. Here they are.

1. Never agree to help without thinking.
When I spoke to Zhang Yi over MSN, his advice was this - listen carefully to what God says to your ear. Indeed, taken from that point of view, one must reflect over whether or not one has the capability to help others or not. Recklessly agreeing can only bring upon disaster for yourself.

When I took Uncle Ken's printer, I told him I could sell it, so he thought he could get rid of something that he didn't need that was in his house. But I agreed without thinking. It hasn't been sold all this while, because I haven't had time to put a picture of it on the web. Now, I have to disappoint him by giving him the printer back while I move out of my place into Totem Park.

I lost Uncle Ken's receipt, and now I can't find it back. This is really biting my head, for I had agreed to take his receipt to help him with the mail-in rebate, and so I have responsibility over it. But no, I lost it. Hence, I know for one thing, keep important documents to yourself, and give others only copies. I should (1) never had agreed to take his receipt and (2) not lost it, since I already took it.

3. If pressed in a corner for help, say no.
When Uncle Ken brought in his UPC barcode and receipt to mail out, he really put me in a spot. I was at work, dealing with customers, and he was asking me for a personal favor. Additionally, I had other customers in line waiting for my attention. Now, I'm no owner of a Staples store, and neither am I in a position of power, so for me to be dealing with personal things like that is wrong. It is wrong. But rather than take a step back and think clearly about what I'd be getting into, I said "yes" straight away. Ended up, I mailed his stuff 4 days late. Thankfully, it was still within the time bracket allowed for him to get back his rebate, but I'm not risking doing such stuff again.

Then again, when I go to Owl Drugs, if he needs to tend to a customer, I'll let him go, and keep myself entertained on the side. Or else, I'd try to help out - dusted the products a few times too.

4. Say "no" to minute things, for things that you know that they can do.
Mailing out a rebate form? Man, it can't get too inconvenient. I wonder why I even agreed to it. All I had to do was to give him the UPC barcode, and he could do it, but he wanted me to do it. I feel so dumb agreeing to that request which, in the end, I dragged for 4 whole days.

Overall, I'm actually quite mad, not at Uncle Ken, but at myself, for being an idiot in agreeing to minute, small things that he asked me to do, and for agreeing to help him out without considering the consequences for myself. Thinking back, there are many questions to ask oneself:

(a) Are you capable enough to help?
(b) More importantly, are you dedicated enough to help?
(c) Most importantly, do you have the time to help him thoroughly?

If the answer to any of these questions are no, say a prayer, and move on. It's useless to help a person if you can't follow the assistance through. Oh, and don't forget, tell that person nicely that you can't help, so you don't disappoint him in the future.

What's wrong with me?


And so I've been doing that. Well, okay, not 3 times daily in a disciplined manner, but rather at very frequent and random times, I discover something new about myself. Here's the latest.

I've been getting very easily irritated. Perhaps cocky as well. A renewed sense of confidence that came from working at Staples has suddenly bloated and exploded within my head. Suddenly, I feel like I'm not the old person I was.

When people came to me for help, I'd help, without thinking or asking for returns or favors. Then, I degenerated to a state where I constantly thought about favors, even though I don't ask for them. Now, I blatantly refuse to help people. Leon comes asking me for help looking for a room, and my immediate thought is, why me? I'm not searching for one... Uncle Ken comes and calls me every 2 or 3 days with some new computer problem, just because I said "free tech service for buying it from me". Yeah, hell man, I said free, but not necessarily at your beck and call. Even paid service works at the convenience of the technician.

[Heck. I hate dependency. Man must learn to stand on his own feet, while still trusting something higher to work things out.]

Yet here's the paradox - once I put myself in their shoes, it seems all so natural to react like that. Leon would need, desperately, a room, for his once-trustworty landlord has thrown him out; for him, he must move out by Oct 1, no later. Uncle Ken detests failure the way I detest dependency, and so would rather have everybody do things for him rather than he do things on his own.

[No, no, you're getting torn away from your principles. Dependency is not a good thing. Cut it.]

Then again, I helped Lulu with Xuyue today. Perhaps I was happier to help her, in a sense, because I know she's at the minimum not the kind who'll cling to a dependable person. She'll give people space, the way she herself needs space. (At least that's my own preliminary analysis; I don't know her well.) I was glad that she made it on time too, rather than drag her feet and be late. Exceeded my expectations for a person. She would match well with Xuyue, for he needs some disciplining on that part. (XD hope he doesn't see this entry...) I guess I was alright doing this deed for it was convenient - I had control over when, how and where I could help.

No, no, it's settled. I'm sticking to my guns - I detest dependency, and I'd rather people give me space to breathe, for I need space. Likewise, I'd give you space to breathe too, for I'd not cling on to you like shrink-wrap. Everybody should learn how to, at the minimum, stand on their own feet and take care of themselves.

And, like I've learned from BSG and from Steve Jobs, trust something higher to connect the dots for you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wireless Set Free

Browsing from Starbucks is a very new experience to me. Never did I realize how fun it'd be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Despair and Misery

Looking back at photos of myself when I was younger, I notice something.


Smiles always permeate photos. It's a natural reaction towards things that we know can be kept for a long time - we want to retain happy memories, not sad ones. Especially with the advent of photography, we know that we want to keep happy things to view, not sad things. It's just human.

But when I looked at photos of myself when young, it seemed as if everybody in the photos were all happy to be around me. It seems, from the faintest of my memories, that those were the good times. (Yes, this is me sounding as if I'm a retiree speaking...) Times when we could shamelessly hug our parents and squeeze them without suffocating them, when we could smile with two missing front teeth and nobody would poke fun. It contrasts very starkly to what I'm seeing nowadays.

As a nineteen year old teenager, I realize I'm becoming more and more sensitive to problems that occur in the world. It's a process of discovery, indeed. I see families in situations worse than mine. Some are separated from their parents, others have two living parents but are torn between them two being separated. At least I know with certainty that I'll never see my dad again, for he's no longer alive, but others have mothers and fathers alive, but cannot see them. Is that not a bigger torment than what I've gone through?

In a sense, having one less parent has been a liberation too. I am thankful for meeting up with other people willing to take over at least part of a paternal role in my life, people like Uncle Poh Bin. And others, for being willing to communicate with me and do things with me, people like Junning, Zhang Yi and Zhiming; they have been friends, good friends so far, even though they are at least 7 years older than me. I have another buddy who jokes with me the worst kind of jokes you'd ever hear - Guo Jing. But still, none replace the fatherly role that's left.

I spoke to Uncle Poh Bin two nights ago. He told me about his eldest brother, who is actually his closest sibling. Of 11 brothers and sisters, he and his eldest brother happened to share the same bed when they were younger, so they developed a special bond. 6 years apart, the elder one would always give him advice, one-on-one, just like the way Uncle Poh Bin does for me. I'm nobody to him, except the fact that I kept forgetting to turn off the lights when I stayed at his place (which is what he remembers me for), yet he is willing to dispense his life's experience to me whenever he deems it relevant to my life. (Just in that same conversation, he talked about many things, of which I remembered to (1) Invest in property whenever I have spare cash, and (2) Always keep an eye out for the sensitive spots of other people.)

Anyways, that was a digression. (I just needed an outlet to remember it properly.) Despair and misery surround me in this world; is there light? Is there a light that can shine a path through for us as a human race? Despair and misery - twin themes that sum up one of the truths of existence - suffering. I see broken families, I see stressed colleagues, I see lonely souls, I see needy people manifesting their needs negatively... How I wish there was a way out for the world.

How I wish.

Dream on.

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Long Shift 1

Alright, so I finally managed to get through my very first long shift at Staples. It wasn't bad, just that there was a major sales drought from the time I started all the way till I ended. I learned how to do cashier stuff, basic stuff like ringing products through the till and getting cash in. It was like DQ all over again. Then, I managed one sale, that helped us exceed our sales target by $400 for the day, topping it off at $19,400-odd. Felt good.

Tired. Feel like I need some good rest.

Tomorrow's recording day.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

President's Entrance Scholarship

Okay, you're finally in. Thankfully.

It took them a long time to list it out.

Ups and Downs

I fully comprehend the meaning of why people say that there are ups and downs in life. Over the past week, I've gone through mini-cycles of ups and downs. Very, very accurate.

But they don't affect where my direction is. That's the most important. I'm clear about who I am, where I come from, and where I'm going. That's most important.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vroom Vroom Varun

I did my test this morning. 92.6%, bringing up my average for Philosophy to 87.5%. Just have to continue this trend and everything will be okay wrt my average.

Today, Varun did 10 ESP sales. 10. Yes, not more, not less, 10 of them. I'm still wondering how the heck he managed to do that. On the other hand, I managed to convince one customer to get printer ink + ESP + paper, so I hope that amounts to a perfect sale. Gee, 3 perfect sales all on printers.

I found out that my Asian Studies class average is only 69. I can't believe it. How can it only be 69? That's too low... Well, whatever it is, I did get a good mark on it - 91 - so it shows I must be doing something right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Named twice, for effect. I managed to make two ESPs, and one perfect sale, of which one of the ESPs were with the perfect sales. Yay!!

Not to mention, one of the sales was on a laptop. I felt great after finally selling one at the end of the day. Undoubtedly, it was a reprive from the monotony of the day so far.

Hence, explains my trip to Starbucks for a Tangerine Frappucino this time round.

Gimme a break man...

I realized that I need a considerable amount of breathing space. Some time to interact freely with others, or to meditate silently (otherwise known as daydreaming or stoning) rather than letting my mind continually run.

Some classmates in Philosophy, see that I can answer their questions... then they questioning me like they do the prof. What's more, one question comes after another, asking questions that so obviously refer back to previous sections in the notes or previous lectures, it gets on my nerves. Then, without giving me any break to rest my mind, the lecture starts, or I have to go off to work.

Can't people have some consideration? Gimme a break.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What I Did And What Happened To Me Today

I'm tired from soccer, work, and the morning service at UC, so I'm gonna keep this brief.
  1. Went to UC for morning service. Made it just in time. After everything, I asked Junning to play what he learned from his friend at St. John's College, to see how much progress he made. Then I attempted to play Flight of the Bumblebee at a regular pace. Made it once, then fingers slacked off.
  2. Rushed to work to make it at 12pm. Quickly got in my work clothing, and onto the floor.
  3. Sold one PC, monitor and a pack of DVDs to a lady who wanted to buy one. She eventually selected a higher-end model, rather than a lower-end model, after I listed out the advantages of keeping your computer future-proof. Oh, and not to mention, one ESP scored.
  4. With Aaron and Brett's help, I sold an Epson photo printer to a guy who came with his family. Coz it was a demo model, Aaron gave it to him at $99.95, plus the ESP at $9.99. (Scored another here.) Had to hunt high and low for half of the AC adaptor (-_-")... Eventually grabbed one from the Tech room instead.
  5. Introduced a couple to the world of digital photography. I gave them a run-down of what to look out for when buying a camera, wrote it all down, and gave it to them. I also introduced the ESP to them, to highlight to them the peace of mind they would get if they bought a camera at Staples. They commended me in front of Aaron! Yay!
  6. Introduced another couple to the world of internet communication. They came in wanting a microphone, but I eventually managed to get them to take a look at webcams instead. Then we had a long, long talk about Singapore. I really wondered how it got that far. Hahaha...
  7. Dashed home after work, to get my laundry out. Then I folded the colored clothing first, and decided to quickly dash to UHill to play soccer. They were almost finished playing, but for my sake, 7 others decided to play on. (So nice of them.) So 4 on 4, I didn't score a goal (too tight to play), but this time, I managed to do a fake on the opposing defender. Perfected it this time. But alas, we let in two goals, so we had to go topless playing for the rest of the 20 odd minutes. Hahahaha...
In conlcusion:
  • 1 piece played well
  • 2 sales
  • 2 ESPs
  • 4 great conversations
  • 1 superb soccer fake.
In short, another good day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What a way to end the week!


87.5% for Asian Studies Paper
First, I went with my ASIA 101 001 front row gang to pick up our papers. Rohini offered to drive us all there rather than walk... well, I'm not surprised that she drove her car from her place to the bus loop in the first place, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that we all got a ride in the end too. So we went to the Asian Studies building, and after making our way down, I realized that I didn't bring my identification; rather, I had left it in my backpack, which was in the trunk of the car. So I went back to the car and opened the trunk, and got my wallet. Then, I brought back everything to the Asian Studies office.

Sounds rather mundane, right? Well, yeah, it is mundane, till I saw the score - 17.5/20. I jumped! I never expected anything so good out of that essay. Especially since I had only done 4 days of work on it - compared to at least 9 days of work on my first one - I didn't expect anything above an 80%, but here I came out with 87.5%! Well, unexpected as it was, I had to face my next lesson, which was Philosophy.

Perfect Sale at Staples
After Philosophy class, I went to work at Staples, where I immediately resumed training under Stephen. He's a great trainer, and has always been willing to help me whenever I needed it. A number of times I was stuck in the middle of a sales, I immediately double-checked any information I had against him, and queried him when I couldn't handle a customer's queries. And today, he was of great help.

A lady came in asking for a printer, and spotted the one she wanted on the shelf. It was a deal - $109.92 for a Samsung monochrome laser printer, with $30 off after rebate. And to top things off, she also asked for printer paper and a USB cable. That immediately made it close to a "perfect sale" - where we sell an item and at least 4 add-ons (in this case, printers I figure get 3 add-ons, since they're tougher to sell 4 as compared to 3). Then, I brought up the Extended Service Plan - the ESP - which Staples sells to extend the manufacturer's warranty. And boy, was this the toughest to sell. I encountered difficulty mainly because she objected because of the price -- "Student, don't have the extra $20 for the ESP." But really, if anything happens to the printer and you're not covered by the ESP, you'd likely be paying $70 to $80 for shipping and handling to get the printer mailed to Samsung, and on top of that, there'd be repair fees too. In other words, $20 for an ESP would be a massively great investment. But I couldn't convince her - only Steve could. He chipped in, and managed to convince her to buy it, but he gave me the credit for it! Man, I wonder how often one meets a superior like that.

Then, after convincing her about the ESP, Steve showed me all the paperwork for home delivery, and even filled it all up for me and faxed it to IDEAL (our shipping company). Then, he brought my sales receipt to the manager, and mentioned in front of him that I did a perfect sale! Waa... so great man...

After that, I met these two graduate students coming in to look for laptops. Both of them are from India, and both are doing their MBAs. Vijay and Abajeet. I'm going to remember their faces and names properly, because I want to be there when they come in on Sunday or Monday to complete their laptop purchases along with all the software and accessories that they need.

91% for Asian Studies
And so to wrap it all up, I scored a 91% for my Asian Studies overall, which means I have an overall grade of A+! YAY! First time I ever scored an A+ in so many years. Considerably, this is quite a success for me. Hahahaha... I'm over the moon now...

[On a side note, I'm typing this entry out while being locked out of my apartment. I'm just at the door, unable to get in, yet able to access the wireless network I set up. What an ironic way to end the day.]

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day 2 at Staples

I finally had a chance to get onto the ground and try out my skills at selling computers.

Today, things started off well. I started in the ePK room, where I finished off the last two courses on my list. Obviously, I was very eager to start working on the ground, rather than be cooped up in the room for 4 hours straight. So I achieved my goal this time round, starting on the floor after just 1/2 hour into my shift.

I was assigned to Stephen (Steve), who is the Consultant for the Computer Department. He brought me through all there is to know in the Computer Dept, from laptops to desktops to routers to multi-function printers to shredders to speakers to... everything. Hahaha... basically everything in the computer department.

Halfway through training... well, essentially all the way through training, we got cut off because of customer requests for help. At one point, an old lady came in asking for a pair of headphones, complaining that her old ones were too troublesome to put on. She asked for a pair of earbud headphones, for her sound amplificaiton device. After 20 minutes of trying, she eventually found the one she wanted.

Here's the catch - she spoke only Mandarin. So I had to handle the sale, translating for Steve. But the best part is, I managed to convince her that this pair of headphones she was looking at was the best solution that she'd need. Hence, yes, after 20 minutes of speaking in Mandarin, she bought it.

I then went back to Steve, who continued training for me. But later, he was interrupted for some matters at the counter, and so I decided to go to the laptops area to look for other customers to help. There was this guy who wanted a deal on a laptop (Indian --> think Russel Peters =P), and I immediately brought his attention to the deals on laptops. Then, I started asking him things like what he wants to do with his laptop, and what he feels would be a good price range, how many years he intends to use the computer etc. I told him a good laptop over $1200 would last him well into 5 years, but anything under $800 would likely be just a temporary 2-year or max 3-year laptop. (That is why I want so badly to get a MacBook =P) Then, I proceeded to find the best specs that he'd need - most of them on deals run AMD processors, but he wanted Intel. 1GB RAM, 80GB Hard Disk or so, and a sizeable integrated graphics memory. Not to mention 1.7 GHz minimum. He seemed sold, but he wanted to place an order through the Dept of Chemical and Biological Engineering... which from what I learned today, can't be done. Nonetheless, he said he'd go back and think about it, and I encouraged him to come back another day when he decided.

The second customer I serviced was from China, who is going to be here for only 6 months. Originally, he wanted a Palm PDA with a keyboard, but after discussing with him, I found that the price was not what he expected for a PDA. So we turned our attention to the laptops. Again, I referred him to the deals, and he, like the other customer, wanted an Intel-based laptop, not an AMD laptop, though for different reasons (he was concerned about heat; the previous one was concerned about compatibility). This time, we found the deals weren't enough for him, so we turned our attention to other laptops on the shelf, including some by Sony, Toshiba etc. They were sub-1000, although most had prices very close to $1000. I introduced him to different models, different makes, helped him keep his options open (admittedly because I myself didn't know what I was doing... Hahahahaha...) and basically brought him through the models I felt were the best. I guess because I wasn't very familiar with the products, I still had lots of guesswork to do. Hopefully, over the next few days, I become more familiar, and I'll be able to spend more time zooming in on what the customer really needs, rather than jumping and hopping between computers.

Whatever it was, he was the last customer that I serviced today, and I managed to bring in the Extended Service Plan (ESP) for him. (He even took down notes on the ESP card; that'll probably remind him to get one.) I told him the days I'm in the store - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday - and told him, next time he comes, he could look for me and I'd re-confirm what he wanted, and we could wrap it all up for him. (Pity, I didn't bring in accessories he might need, like a laptop bag and lock... two very essential items on campus.)

Today was a good work day. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep on balancing all my activities together well. (Darned, I just realized that on Sunday, I might not be able to play soccer... coz of work... gee... then again, work ends at 5pm, so I might well be able to join them in soccer later.) The real challenge comes when I start school in September.

Bring it on.

Comments from Lucas

To quote his blog:

Now - if you comment on this entry,

1. I'll respond with something random about you
2. I'll challenge you to try something
3. I'll pick a colour that I associate with you
4. I'll tell you something I like about you
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of
7. I'll ask you something I’ve always wanted to ask you

So here are his responses:

1) Your use of English is downright impeccable. Seriously.
2) Come back and visit us in the next year or so? Haha!
3) Red - maybe something to do with Wushu, I don't know.
4) You have a habit of facing and beating down the odds. It's cool.
5) First, at debate training. Clearest, when you told me you were leaving.
6) I'm not exactly sure how to place you as an animal. Wereboar? =P
7) Any regrets going back to Canada?

And here are mine:

1. Seriously?! Man, I'm starting to have doubts about my own ability.
2. I'll see, I might be able to. I'll remember to give you a call if I ever make it back there.
3. Hm. Red's a nice color. =P
4. Thanks for the compliment... though, I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion. Care to share?
5. Same here, first at debate training. But the clearest for me is when we were at the NKF Charitas Debate Championships, when you passed me your Bible when it was my turn to debate. When did I tell you I was leaving?
6. Somehow, I associate you with a laughing hyena... I'm not sure why...
7. No regrets, for North America is where I'll be developing my career and future.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I Hate Rain

Vancouver's weather today: 17 degrees, light rain shower.

I come home from shopping with Jason with my head wet. I hate rain.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Today At Staples

I guess it's an easier start, with the system not wanting to make things too difficult for newbies. I started by doing training on a computer, where they had web courses specially designed for Staples' employees. So I spent 3 hours in front of a computer, chionging through 6 or 7 different courses. No, I just checked... it's 8 courses. Man, and he thought I only went through 6. Whoops! Hahaha... so much for efficiency.

Well, whatever, I'm going to go and study now.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Soccer today

Another great game. Of course, the feeling 'great' is a relative term, as things only get better in the second half.

The first half was abysmal. Kept missing passes, then I never got the ball passed after that. I remember trying to head some balls; rather I was knocked left right and center. Then, tackling went bad too; I didn't manage to get the balls either. So the first half of the match went with me being overshadowed by other, better strikers.

I even had an opportune moment, which I totally blew away! It was a pass from Leon, who immediately shouted, "Eric, SCORE!" Well, I wanted to, and I raised my leg and shot, only for it to go inches wide. (!!! - that shows my feelings then...) I'm like DAMN IT...

However, things became much better after the second half. A little rest, a little water, and a little more energy came back to the game. We start the second half with much "ho-oa" at first, and the pace kept up. The tempo increased, and more goals and shots on goal were taking place. More pressure kept on the opposing team. It felt good.

Then, I managed to score one! This was similar to my missed goal from the last time. I had the ball passed in from Leon. And then I took it, and saw: nobody in front except the goalie. Opportune moment. I took a mad dash, and all I remember was having players from all sides calling for the ball but I was ignoring them. The goalie didn't want to come up and tackle me (I think he's being nice though, coz I had complained to him that I wanted to score at least one...) and I pressed on. Then, with a flick of the ball, I shot, and he stuck his foot out. It just went over the knee (the waist is the maximum height allowed for goals to be counted). YEAH!

3 other opportunities, and here's description of one of them. I was standing in front of the goal, menacingly awaiting the ball to come crossing in from the right. And yes, my fellow striker was about to cross in to the center. I stuck my foot out -- and it went inches wide again! DARNED! I could have scored a second just by sticking my foot out at the right angle. Hahaha... well, it was a good attack.

I remember trying some antics. I saw the ball curling in, and I raised my leg up, attempting to do a back kick in the air, but saw it fly in the wrong direction. Well, I'm not going to do that again... hahaha... (until I've mastered it! XD)

Ah well, it all ended when I had a cramp. I was tackling a defender, managed to get the ball away from him, but then I was forced to dribble it to the side. He came up, tackled the ball away from me, but I tried to get it back, only to fail and fall onto the ground with a cramp in my right calf. So they helped me to ease the pain off, but the game effectively stopped at that moment. I limped off, well not exactly in pain, but in some miniscule form of agony. (Ms. Heng would mark that as "poor expression"...)

Whatever it was, it all felt great. Fair play, good play, goals scored. Kudos to the other strikers to did their part.


Friday, August 04, 2006


No, it's not "八八" implying "Bye Bye", but it's my mark for Linguistics. Insane man! After that bad feeling in the finals, I must have scored 84 marks in it to get the final of 88. (Yeah, that's after calculations...)

Well, whatever it is, a good start to a good year. Get an A now... and get an A+ for the rest of the year.

Where The Hell Is Matt?

Inspirational, in its own very unique way.

Photos and Memories

I discovered this while doing something quite mundane. Ok, here's the background:

UBC's Housing website has this option to let me upload my photo, for any of my roommates to see. Well, I don't have one, but I thought I'd just upload a photo just for fun. Turns out, they have a criteria - 200KB max size, and must have passport photo dimensions. I decided to browse through my Picasa collection to see whether I had one...

I started scrolling downards, from 2006 to 2005 to 2004... I realized that the events which give me the most number of memories were those events that I had the most number of photos. Doing a quick count...
  • Bowen Island trip - 2006 - 328 photos, but only a handful taken by me.
  • HCJC Astronomy Workshop for Primary Schools - 2004 - 64 photos, hardly any taken by me, but I organized the event.
  • Track and Field Meet - 2003 - 165 photos, all taken by me.
  • ChemComm 03 - 2003 - 82+101+7+5+18+5+2+83+33 photos, taken by the whole team.
  • 4B Teacher's Day Performance - 2003 - 122 photos, taken by me and others in the class.
  • CNY Photography Competition - 2003 - 54 photos, all taken by me.
  • Duck Race CIP - 2002 - 99 photos, all taken by me.
These events I have the strongest and fondest memories for. Perhaps it's because I had an important stake in them too - Track and Field was my life in Sec 2 thru to 4, for I had asked for the role of training up the basics of the juniors on the team. ChemComm 03 was the competition not just that I earned best speaker, but it was also the year I mastered the pronunciation of "metaphenyline diamine and isopthaloyl chloride to form polymetaphenylineisopthale amide" (heck, I don't even know the spelling anymore...). Duck Race, I was heavliy invovled with the Throwers. HCJC Astro Camp, I organized it with Jonny and Jerlene. Teacher's Day, I helpd Lee lead some parts for the singing, and got really involved in it. Good memories.

Then there are stuff I can't really remember. Graduation. Sec 4 Prom (which thoroughly convinced me never to go for any more proms). Founders Day. Science Summer School (I lost all the photos in J2... except for Yiwen's ones). Music Of The Night. 7B stuff. I just didn't have an inspired role in those events. Blame it on me being the cynic. Or is it that I didn't have enough photos?

Perhaps I'm a person rooted in visual memory. Photos are important to me, just as long as I'm not in them. Yes, that's me - photophobic visual person.

Totem Park Room Assignment

Right, so I've learned that I'll be moving into Totem Park, Salish House Room no. 546. That probably means moving luggage not only TO Totem Park, but also UP the floors till level 5. Hmm... that won't be bad, actually, since the 5th level would probably be more quiet (because it's more detatched from the ground). Oh well, whatever it is, I'm gonna need help moving, so I'm gonna start asking...

Thursday, August 03, 2006


OMG! There's somebody in class who actually doesn't know what in the world the theory of evolution is!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's fun, really. Just that... the setup is quite dry. Very, very technical. OK, back to class now...

Sarabande, Claudine, The Flight of the Bumblebee

3 songs now, 3 songs that I'm learning, each getting better by the day. (Save for Claudine, which seems to be hovering at more or less the same standard.)

The Flight of the Bumblebee seemed to be the best. I can now go (through the first 2 pages) at a tempo of 110 rather than 70. The actual tempo is 144. I'm inching my way there. Now, to master the 3rd, 4th and 5th pages too.

Sarabande ranks second in terms of progress. I've managed to get the song in my head before, and it is an easy piece to play to start with. I merely managed to refine my own ending to the song, which I feel adds a nice after-ring to it.

Claudine... well, I've long mastered it. Now it's about adding in the mood, the feel, the ups and downs, the highs and lows. PAWN IT. =P

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dealing with Troublemaking Bullies

To quote the bottom of the article:

I lived by three rules as a teacher: 1) Use humor to deal with tough situations; 2) don't ever let a student know they have gotten to you; and, 3) don't run to the vice principal - handle your own discipline problems.

On Friday, I held the mike at an assembly. I was hyping an upcoming basketball game. Because their classroom is so far away, shop-class students arrive late to assemblies and usually enter quietly from a door on the side of the gym. This day was different. During my pep talk, in a clear effort to be disruptive, Big Josh burst through the door like a wrecking ball. He just so happened to be wearing a garish, red shop-class apron.

All eyes were on him. He had gotten his laugh.

Then it happened. Without premeditation, I yelled, "Heyyyyyyy Kool-Aid."

It was Dave Chappelle funny. Laughter thundered through the gym. KO'd in the first round. Immediately, Big Josh was dead, and "Kool-Aid" rose from his ashes. For the rest of the year kids would yell, "Hey Kool-Aid" when they encountered Josh. After the assembly, somehow students saw him as more human, more accessible, more like everyone else.

During lunch I posted a new sign with a slightly adjusted message: "Leave all excess baggage (and Kool-Aid) at the door." It hung intact for the rest of the year.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sending Mom to the Old Folks - Why You Should Never Do It

A story I grabbed from SS's blog.

[[Sending Mum to the old folks]]

Please read & think.

Daughter-In-Law to her husband's mum. "When I cook food which are bland, you will grumble that they are tasteless. Now that I have added more salt, you complained that you can't swallow this at all! What exactly do you want?"

When the son came back, the mother immediately ate the food without a word. She stared at him.

The son took a bit of his mother's food and spitted it out immediately. He ranted at his wife," Didn't I tell you that my mother cannot take too much salty food?!"

The wife shouted,"OK! She's your mum! You cook for her in future!"

After saying that, she stormed into their room angrily. Feeling helpless, the son told the mother,"Mum, don't eat this anymore. I will cook you a bowl of noodles."

The mother said,"Son, you have something to tell me? Don't keep everything to yourself."

Son:"Mum, I am going to get promoted soon and my upcoming working schedule will be very, very tight...and as for my wife...ummm...she said she will be going out to work...."

The mother understood what he meant and said in a begging manner,"Son, please don't send me to the Old Folks' Home.."

The son remained silent and tried to think of a good reason to persuade her mother.

Then he said," There is nothing wrong with the Old Folks' Home.

Once my wife had went out to work, no one will serve you as well as the Home which provides you meals and care. It would definitely much better than being at home."

The son went for a bath after that and went into the Study Room. He looked out from the windows and thought back and hesitated a while....

His mother has been remaining as a widow since she was young with him, and brought him up painstakingly, solely.

She tried all means to earn as much as she could, in order to support him in studying overseas. Yet she expected nothing nor used her past painful experience to threaten his son to be filial.

While now, his wife is threatening him with the stake of their marriage.

"Should I send my Mum to the Home?" He asked himself.

"The only person who will accompany you till the end of your life would be your wife..." said a friend before.

"Your mother is in old age now, and if she's lucky, she might be able to live for a few more years longer. Why not be filial to her for this period of time? Reminded by some relatives.

He was stuck in a dilemma. He did not want to think anymore, in order not to affect his decision.

The son found a Home with high standards, built on a beautiful and tranquil mountain top. He told himself that he would feel much better when the more he spent.

When the son helped his mother into the lobby of the Home, the 42" TV was turned on. The program shown on screen was a comedy. But no one was laughing.

A few old folks, dressed similarly in clothing, were sitting there, in a daze. There was one who was sitting improperly on a sofa, there was one who was bending down to pick up a piece of biscuit from the floor, there was one who was talking to himself...

The son knew that his mother likes sunlight, so he chose a room with ample sun rays shining into the room. By viewing out from the room, was a big piece of greenery scene. A few nurses were wheeling some old folks out for some fresh air.

It was so pathetic of silence in the background. The sun would still need to set down.

Soon it was dusk.

The son told the mother, "Mum, I am leaving."

The mother waved to him to say goodbye, opening her toothless mouth..

He turned back to look at his mother. She was full of grey hair and wrinkled skin with deep set eyes...

He found that she was really old.

He remembered when he was six, due to some circumstances, his mother cannot bring him along with her thus temporarily placed him at a relative's home for few days. He recalled hugging his mother's thigh and begged her not to leave him alone. In the end, his mother never leaves him alone and decides to stay with him.

He stopped thinking and left.

When he returned home, his wife and his mother-in-law were busy discarding things from his mother's room, happily.

One of the discarded items was his tall trophy which he won as First Prize when he was young. He wrote an essay on "MY MOTHER".

The second item discarded was a dictionary. That was the first gift from his mother, who scrimped and saved for a month in order to buy for him.

He shouted, "Enough! Stop discarding anymore!"

His mother-in-law cried," There were so much rubbish. If don't discard, there would not be any place for my stuff.."

His wife continued, "Yeah! Need to dump away that old, stinky bed of your mum too. We will buy a new bed for my mum later,"

He saw some pictures from the stack...they were taken at a zoo and amusement park when his mother brought him there.

"These are precious belongings of my Mum! You can't discard them!"

"What sort of attitude is this? I demand you to apologise to my Mum NOW!" ranted the wife.

The husband said," When I got married with you, that showed that I will love your Mum too. But why can't you do the same too?"

He went back to the Home and saw his mother weeping in between her frail legs. She was missing the moments when her son would apply ointment for her every night...

The son kneeled before her and said, "Mum, here I come. I brought the ointment

The mother said," I will apply it myself, Son! You still need to work tomorrow. Go home, Son!"

Son said,Mum, please forgive me! Let's go home!"

Hope this is inspirational and touching to you. Without our parents, we won't be here.

No parents will resort to harm their own children. They only want the benefits for them.

For Daughters & Sons: Please remember to return gratitude to your dads and mums.


Yeah!!!! I finally scored in a soccer match. A foot placed at the right spot, and the goalie can't do a single thing about it.

It was a good pass to me from the side. I was in front of the goal, just a yard or two. Then, I saw the ball come in, and stuck out my foot - next moment I knew, I saw the ball cross the line between the two cones. RAWKS!

Another attempt came, when I received the ball from Jason, who was in the midfield. I saw the opportune moment, for there were no defenders in front of me; only the goalie was standing there. I made a mad dash for the goal, one on one with the goal keeper. I managed to chip the ball past him into the goal... but it was too high! It went over his waist... But then by the nature of our rules, we don't allow goalies to use their hands, so it's fair. Aiya, if only we had the regular goal posts, that'd solve all the problems. Nevertheless, THANKS J FOR A GREAT PASS! YEAH!

The third chance that I had was a missed chance. I had a cross from a teammate... only for it to go a bit past me. I had stuck my leg out, but it wasn't enough. Later, I realized that he thought I was an opposing defender, so he wanted to get the ball past me instead. Oh well, next time it'll be better.

My last chance was the least impressive. I had the ball, dribbled it up, wanted to take a shot, but the goalie simply shut his legs and blocked the ball. Gee, if we could shoot higher, I'd definitely want to aim high, for I could have gotten it in. Never mind, I'll try to convince those guys next week.

So all in all, I found out that those guys from China play every Sunday, 4pm. I'm joining them.

Random Thought: They actually thought I was Taiwanese! Gee...

Sunday, July 30, 2006


一直被中国的朋友叫成 "Eric-AH" 或者 "Eric-UH"。 能不能不要这样子吗???两者都听起来像"Erica", 而 "Erica"是女生的名字,不是男生的名字。 我的名字,仅仅是 "Eric",没有任何"uh"或者"ah"在后头。所以,从今以后,凡有谁叫我"Erica"的,我一律都不会回应。


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lingustics 100 Post Mortem

Linguistics this evening wasn't the best of all papers. It kinda reminds me of my JC math papers, where I struggled through each question, not knowing whether what I was doing was correct. Of course, the only difference between the JC math papers and this paper is that the JC papers were never the final grade; only my A levels mattered, and I breezed through that one. Rather, this paper was difficult by my own standards. Of 100 marks, I estimate 20 will be deducted. If I am lucky, and have less than 13 marks deducted, I will still have an A+ grade overall, even though I wouldn't get one for the final paper. If not, I will get an A overall.

Study Method
Linguistics is a subject that requires constant practise. Right now, looking back, it seems I didn't give myself enough of the right kind of practise. X' schema trees definitely stumped me badly, and it ate into quite a bit of my time. This is one example of a failure in study method.

Exam Strategy
I found it quite puzzling that I answered the question on Standard Dialects, Regional Dialects and Official Dialects/Langauges, rather than Lingua Franca, Pidgin and Creole Languages. The latter I had revised well, and the former, I was not as well-prepared for. So after the paper, it stumped me that I had actually chosen the former. I believe I didn't read the question carefully enough, resulting in this particular slip.

Other Factors
What else could it be? Perhaps the poor time (it's at night), or the short coursework period (giving little time for practise). But these are not excuses, neither are they reasons. Fact is, I didn't pre-read my materials enough, and I took for granted the ease of 100-level courses.

This means that come Science One in September, as well as Philosophy this August, I will have to buck up in my attitude. Yes, it's all in the head. No more lax attitude; dilligence and consistency will be my keywords from now on.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Buggy Computer

Man, more rumbles about my computer. Leon said it right, no random clicking on my computer allowed. One wrong click, and you pay the price of 5 seconds waiting for some context menu to appear. SWITCH!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Eve of 26 July 1987

I remember the days when I programmed in Visual Basic. It would have taken me just 15 minutes worth of coding to write a program to tell me how long it would be, in minutes, to a specified point in time.

Now, it is almost 21.5 hours to 26 July, 1987. And here I am thinking: what will happen tomorrow? What will I do? Will I just let it go by as another day? Or will I make it a better day than before? How should I live my life?

If I were to plot a graph of life's excitement against time, I would probably see a curve similar to the human blood pressure graph, only in reverse. Life's excitement gradually increases, but it's always filled with highs and lows, ups and downs.

One day every year is always kept just for you. That's because that particular date marks the start of your life. I look back now, and I see how many years I've disregarded it, and didn't cherish it. I treated it as just another day in the life of Eric MJL, just another day to go by. I always relied on others to make it a special day for me; I never bothered to make it significant.

But how does one make such a day significant? Does one go out and party with friends and family, enjoying the atmosphere of friendship in the human race? Does one go and do something particularly rare and exciting, such as going to bungee jump from a bridge over torrent rapids?
(Anybody thinking "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" now?

Too typical for me. Thousands, if not millions, if not billions, have marked their birthdays by inviting friends to a gathering, blowing out candles, and essentially playing together in a day of fun and happiness. But no, it's too typical for me.

Yet, what do I do? Let the day pass? Let it be just "another day in the life" of Eric MJL? Let no. 19 become another statistic in the eulogy of missed birthdays? Get a life man.

No, I won't celebrate it meaninglessly, and neither will I let the day pass. Carpe Diem man, Carpe Diem. That's what Mr. Tham gave all of us in 6-1/1999 of SAJS as a leaving message. Sieze the day. Sieze the day.

I will sieze the day, and mark it as the new start. 19, the age of coming in Canada, shall be my new start. New responsibilities to take on as a youth no longer dependent. New challenges for the young to face. 19.

I reflect back on the ritual of coming of age. Tribal elders make male youths endure hardship to prove their manhood. Singaporean men go through National Service. For me, the ritual was becoming independent, separating from family and friends, from familiarity and closeness, to embark on seeking my own identity and capabilities. Indeed, the rituals across cultures are the same - to get you to stand on your own two feet, to be no longer 100% dependent on your parents, to get you to make your own decisions, to be no longer controlled by authoritative figures but to have a mind of your own.

Symbolism in the rituals of coming of age are abundant. Think of the first army uniform Singaporean men receive. Their boots, their name tags, their caps. For those who go on to OCS, their one bar on their coats. Think of the chants and songs the tribal people sing. Then add on the charred, steaming hot coal, or the stick to battle the lion. For me, the symbolism was little. My rental money, my first job, my first courses in university... It wasn't visual or audible; it was intangible. Yet, the symbolism is just as strong. There will be one turning point, where all children will finally grow up and become independent.

19. The new age.

Carpe Diem


Oh man, I've just flipped through my textbooks and I've found: these are repeats of my A level course. (!!!) Calculus is single-variable, has all the stuff I did for integration and differentiation; Chemistry has the exact same topics, and Physics... well, what does one expect from Physics?!?! Only the labs seem to be different; everything else seems to be the same.

Then again, there is an advantage. I'll know how to study for these topics, since I've covered them once. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my pre-readings out real quickly, and grasp the concepts faster than the rest.


Today, I went to the UBC Bookstore to get my textbooks. All of them are used; thankfully, I went early (this is REALLY early... classes don't start until September), so there were stocks of used texts for most of what I needed. The only exception was Biology, where used books weren't available. I asked the lady at the counter, and she said, "Wait till August. There'll be more books coming in at that time." Oh well, it'll still be early in August.

Then, I went to the Mac section and played around more with the MacBook. It's just GOREGOUS! Simple and clean design, powerful on the inside, fully-featured. Gee... And it fits well in my bag too! Ah well, that's out of point.

Then, I saw Call of Duty on one of the PowerMacs just behind the MacBook. Man, I stayed there for an entire hour playing on it. Gee whiz. Whatever it is, it's the end of games for today.

Jeepers, I'm feeling creepily sleepy. And it's 1pm in the afternoon now. Sheesh.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I got it! YEAH!

YA MAN! I'm employed again!

And it was only after the second interview! Gee, his only problem was my availability... which is pretty normal for any student anyways. Well, whatever it is, I know my schedule now, and I know my timetable too, and that'll make scheduling work around my school timetable much easier.

Now, I have to be able to manage my time properly. With Philosophy coinciding with my work, I'm going to want to be able to practice time management skills, so that when the regular term starts, I'll be able to be a more effective time user.

I think... I just think... with so many people having similar time availabilities, I'll need to prove my worth if I'm to be retained as an employee. That means outshining the rest and being an asset to the store. That way, I'll be able to have the option to stay on even after the Back To School season.

Okay, gonna go shopping.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

A New Start

July 26th is coming, and that's when I embark on a new start.

It won't be a dramatic new start. It'll be gradual, slow. I resolve here to change myself, renew myself, make myself better.

August will come, and I will push through Philosophy, studiously reading my textbook before classes. No more slacking.

August will come, and I will pack up my stuff, bit by bit, day by day, awaiting September 2, when I move to Totem Park.

August will come, and I will wrap up Ambrose's DQ website. He's been a great boss, and I hope I have done my work to satisfy him.

August will come, and I will search for a mini-sized refrigerator for my dorm room. Must be second-hand, no brand-news.

August will come, and I will buy all my textbooks and lab manuals for Science One, and prepare myself for the first term of lessons by noting my science definitions and formulas before classes start.

August will come, and I will read through additional resources to improve my study habits.

August will come, but I will not forget Jen, Elise and Rohini, great friends who walked through Asian Studies, my first class, with me.

August will come.

Grant me strength to follow through my resolutions. Grant me strength to develop my personal discipline.

Help me.

The Beanery

So now, I'm with Jen and Rohini at the Beanery. I decided that after I drew out the entire blackboard filled with mind maps of Asia, I needed a break. A break I got indeed; I had an hours nap after eating dinner!

Later, they helped me to finish my potatos. We had it with ketchup, however, since I didn't add enough salt to it.

It was filling... after all, its starch and oil, in essence. hahahaha....

Study Session

So I'm here now, in the Hennings Building, with Steve, Jen and Rohini. We're going through our entire coursework in Asian Studies... interesting, very conducive here. I like having a big, big blackboard here for us to think through our thoughts.

I did quite a bit of the big mind-map of Asia. The three themes, Imperialism, Nationalism and Modernization, and the three main countries, Japan, India and China.

Still got more to do...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

10 Dimensions

This website shows us how to imagine 10 dimensions. Now that I think about it, it's not that tough after all.

Man, StumbleUpon for Firefox rocks. It gives me random sites like this...


Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging
by Marina Margaret Heiss

Profile: INTJ
Revision: 3.0
Date of Revision: 27 Feb 2005

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs "do" tends to be what they "know". Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete', paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

Functional Analysis
by Joe Butt

Introverted iNtuition

INTJs are idea people. Anything is possible; everything is negotiable. Whatever the outer circumstances, INTJs are ever perceiving inner pattern-forms and using real-world materials to operationalize them. Others may see what is and wonder why; INTJs see what might be and say "Why not?!" Paradoxes, antinomies, and other contradictory phenomena aptly express these intuitors' amusement at those whom they feel may be taking a particular view of reality too seriously. INTJs enjoy developing unique solutions to complex problems.

Extraverted Thinking

Thinking in this auxiliary role is a workhorse. Closure is the payoff for efforts expended. Evaluation begs diagnosis; product drives process. As they come to light, Thinking tends, protects, affirms and directs iNtuition's offspring, fully equipping them for fulfilling and useful lives. A faithful pedagogue, Thinking argues not so much on its own behalf, but in defense of its charges. And through this process these impressionable ideas take on the likeness of their master.

Introverted Feeling

Feeling has a modest inner room, two doors down from the Most Imminent iNtuition. It doesn't get out much, but lends its influence on behalf of causes which are Good and Worthy and Humane. We may catch a glimpse of it in the unspoken attitude of good will, or the gracious smile or nod. Some question the existence of Feeling in this type, yet its unseen balance to Thinking is a cardinal dimension in the full measure of the INTJ's soul.

Extraverted Sensing

Sensing serves with a good will, or not at all. As other inferior functions, it has only a rudimentary awareness of context, amount or degree. Thus INTJs sweat the details or, at times, omit them. "I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts" could well have been said by an INTJ on a mission. Sensing's extraverted attitude is evident in this type's bent to savor sensations rather than to merely categorize them. Indiscretions of indulgence are likely an expression of the unconscious vengeance of the inferior.

Famous INTJs:

Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers)
Susan B. Anthony
Arthur Ashe, tennis champion
Augustus Caesar (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus)
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
William J. Bennett, "drug czar"
William F. Buckley, Jr.
Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, Ironsides)
Chevy Chase (Cornelius Crane) (Fletch)
Phil Donahue
Michael Dukakis, governor of Mass., 1988 U.S. Dem. pres. candidate
Greg Gumbel, television sportscaster
Hannibal, Carthaginian military leader
Veronica Hamel (Hill Street Blues)
Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote)
Orel Leonard Hershiser, IV
Peter Jennings
Charles Everett Koop
Ivan Lendl
C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Joan Lunden
Edwin Moses, U.S. olympian (hurdles)
Martina Navratilova
Charles Rangel, U. S. Representative, D-N.Y.
Pernell Roberts (Bonanza)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
Josephine Tey (Elizabeth Mackintosh), mystery writer (Brat Farrar)
Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor
Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense
General Colin Powell, US Secretary of State
Lance Armstrong
Richard Gere (Pretty Woman)
Katie Couric

U.S. Presidents:
Chester A. Arthur
Calvin Coolidge
Thomas Jefferson
John F. Kennedy
James K. Polk
Woodrow Wilson


Cassius (Julius Caesar)
Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
Gandalf the Grey (J. R. R. Tolkein's Middle Earth books)
Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' nemesis
Ensign Ro (Star Trek--the Next Generation)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Hamlet)
George Smiley, John le Carre's master spy
Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

Copyright © 1996-2005 by Marina Margaret Heiss and Joe Butt


Gee, I sound dangerous... hahaahaha

It's coming...

Coming... coming... coming... can't wait for it to come...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Interview - Yay!

Got past the first one! Hope I can cross the second hurdle now...

And if I get past the second hurdle, there'll be a third. That'll be the toughest.

But for now, focus on the second...

Busy, busy, busy

Past few days haven't been too good. I've been kept busy. First, the second Asian Studies 5-page essay, which I think I wrote okay this time, but then again, I'm still feeling shaky about it. Then, comes my daily Linguistics assignments. Not to mention, I also have to study for the Asian Studies finals, which starts on Monday. Then more studying for my Linguistics finals on next Saturday. Gee, that's so much.

Not to mention, I've an interview for Staples Business Depot (on campus). If I get the job, which I hope I can, I'll get to work at the computer dept, selling... you got it right, computers! That'd be so easy for me. I mean, like, I kinda helped the staff seal a deal with this guy from China, whom I conversed with in Chinese entirely about the specs in the com... things like CPU, GPU, HDD capacity and rotation speed, RAM capacity and clock speed, other factors that affect performance and pricing etc... he bought it in the end. Yeah, granted, he probably already wanted one computer, so he was gonna get one anyways, but I think I accelerated his buying mentality. Hehehe... So I say, I can already translate many of those terms into Chinese and use them fluently, and I already understand computer performance quite well, that I think I won't have any trouble on the job. Now, I just hope I can get the job......

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


每一次我感到彷徨 不自禁就会回头望
我知道心中有个地方 一定会有 一盏灯
照亮每一颗黑暗的心房 指引未来方向
沿着生命河流来导航 就能登陆理想

我的家 收藏 我的欢喜悲伤
只要点燃希望 梦就会自由飞翔
我的家 给我 一双坚定翅膀
我的梦 不论在何方
一生的爱 唯有家

再也不会感到彷徨 不会再失意回头望
我要用心中一点烛光 燃放千万户 辉煌
要让繁华的城市更灿烂 世界和平共享
全凭生命河流来导航 一起登陆理想

我的家 收藏 我的欢喜悲伤
只要点燃希望 梦就会自由飞翔
我的家 给我 一双坚定翅膀
我的梦 不论在何方
一生的爱 唯有家

我的家 收藏 我的欢喜悲伤
只要点燃希望 梦就会自由飞翔
我的家 给我 一双坚定翅膀
我的梦 不论在何方
一生的爱 唯有家

世世代代 温暖的家







Beautiful British Columbia; Vancouver, the world's most livable city; Victoria, beautiful hometown.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Soccer at U-Hill Secondary

It was a good game. Felt good doing all that running, running with a purpose in mind - to get the ball and score. Though the game started out poorly for me, I finally found my rhythm, role and purpose in the game.

I didn't play in my traditional defensive position, having an abysmal start to the game. As goalie, I let in one goal, as defender, I was out-tackled 8 or 9 times within the first twenty minutes. One can imagine the amount of hesitancy I had in doing my tackles. I only managed to make one good run - when I received the ball from my fellow defender, I passed the ball back to him and moved forward, for him to pass back to me. Following that, I made a run forward, looking out for Jason's position. I passed the ball to him smoothly, and he passed back to me after I ran forward, and then I passed it to this Ghanian guy who was the other striker... only to see it not convert! Gee. I ran back, panting like mad. Following that, I switched back to be a goalie, but then even when defending the goal, my calf kept acting up. I decided to stop at around 1.5 hours in the game, to get some drink, sit down and stretch again. (Serves me right not to stretch before the game...)

Well then, after I came back from the Acadia Park Commonsblock - where I got my bottle of water - I decided to hang out in the midfield. Yet, as a midfielder, I kept running back to the defense. It felt horrible. Nobody was passing the ball to me, probably because my role wasn't very well-defined. I kept getting out-tackeld too. I made up my mind; I was going to try out striking.

And so I plopped myself in the opposing defense area, where nobody was, and waited for a chance. The chance came. I found the ball, dribbled it forward a bit, and then passed it to the right. We inched our way to the goal, and I set up quite a number of plays, mostly from the center-left of the field, but occasionally from the center-right. When a corner came, I headed the ball - but it just barely went over the bar!!! Gee whiz, if only I had angled it downwards a bit more. Haha, well, everything seems to be "just a bit more" to get it right. Unpolished skill. ;-)

Striking went well in other ways too. I was hardly stopped. Perhaps my mass makes me a target tough to stop. Hahaha... another advantage.

So I've finally found a new definition for myself in soccer - I can play as a playmaker, setting up plays for others to score. I'm probably not a good striker - strikers must score - but if I can help set up goals, that'll underscore my value to a team.

Bringing this topic broader, perhaps I'm not the one who's meant to 立下功劳, but rather I'm one who has to 提供机会. I have to create chances for others to succeed, rather that let myself succeed. That way, I'm able to be an effective team player. Hm. Quite a lot to learn from soccer.

Anyways, we lost, in part because nobody on our team could convert well. Maybe I'll try scoring next time round. But the feel of the game - absolutely terrific. Next time I play, I'm playing an attacking role.