November 2005 Archives

Dare to Care

| | Comments (0)

Heh, Felix passed on this article written on one of our highschool classmates (if it is who we think it is - also notorious for being the class' big mouth :D) who founded his own indie record label. Interesting, I'm going to fetch some of the audio samples on its site... (an eclectic lineup, says the Mirror article)

There goes the government!

| | Comments (0)

Elections for mid-January. Campaigning served on the side with ya turkey.

Spruce beer

| | Comments (0)

Apparently, I've read an article on spruce beer this week, and I am still wondering: would I dare go on one of those culinary trips for spruce beer (in memory of the Maurice Richard era et al.)?

In the funky non-alcoholized drinks category, there was this rice milk drink thing from that Mexican restaurant ("horchata", says Google).

Can't keep repeating this: I revolutionized the cooking of congee in this household (my parents would not admit it - but then how hard was it to marinate your rice with coarse salt and oil?). That's like, lesson for the day of a lifetime, bring a small adjustment to something you've only found meh previously in your life (same as with bak choi: fry them, don't overcook it - contrary to what we've always done - and the result is surprising (although only if you've always been boiling or overcooking Chinese veggies previously)), and you will never see it again the same fashion. So until the day my own kids teach me how to reinvent the eating of toasts and eggs or something... (But actually, it's more like, one has actually started paying attention to congee b/c he's been to places where entire restaurants could afford to serve it as a speciality - now that's a cultural shock!)

In any case, I started cooking the congee downstairs (in our rice cooker). I may have swung back my sleeping "disorder" into order - will go back to bed and see. It will be ground beef congee. Mmmm.

Je ne veux plus travailler

| | Comments (0)

(Like the song / car ad) Just b/c there are no more freakin' features to add, nowhere to go with this, argh! I'll watch the Grey Cup, gather myself together in time for Monday. I'm lagging behind... I don't know what exactly I'm lagging behind. Have not seen coworkers for three weeks, or the end-user for months. :/

(Well, shows what I would want to improve; like self-motivation? I mean, it isn't hard... Write a kickass application that generalizes to any form of data. *That* would be super awesome.)

Open invitation: Musée d'art comtemporain - a photo exhibit on urban space. This Wednesday, no entrance fee that day.

I wanted to work 40+ hours per week, so let's do that ok.

It was probably at the beginning of one morning show this week on Radio-Canada that I heard this song:

Ariane Moffatt - Imparfait

One of the saddest songs I've heard in a while, so for a mood downer, here you go! But in any case, it made me look a bit more closely at the one who was crowned revelation of the year in 2003 by the ADISQ. Electronica? Well, if it can be non-mainstream pop (while being at the top of the francophone rankings at the HMV and Archambault), it might be good? A buddy of Marc Déry, of Zebulon fame (which had one or many hits that I liked when I was a teenager), and also one of Daniel Bélanger? Then it must be good!

Music situation

| | Comments (0)

Listening to Radio-Canada steered me towards French Canadian pop. I already bought the Jean Leloup compilation. I've heard enough of Ariane Moffatt on the radio to like it and want to purchase the newest one (having not listened to the first and previous - she won new artist of the year on the Quebec music awards in 2003; my tastes in music are probably more in sync with those of other people living in my city/province than I thought). Gently mixed with my HK indiepop, there you go achieving some sort of identitarian equilibrium!

(I must also point out some clever Quebec rap! Forgot the names of the bands, but it's on Bande À Part!)

And tonight I will be attempting to see Maurice Richard the movie in premiere, which might be a sports movie, but is said to be the most expensive Quebecois movie ever made at 8-10 millions CAD, and hailed by critics to be a Good Movie(tm). Also a look at a character who was one of the best hockey players of all time yes, but also one of, if not the most, important heroes of French Canadian society, especially symbolized by what the CBC names the "Richard Riot" (simply called the "Forum Riot" on my usual French medias).


| | Comments (1)

Reading governorgeneral's blog periodically renews my admiration for doctors - or doctors to be. It's a bit hmm to grow up surrounded with people wanting to become doctors. It's often hard to distinguish the true from the fake. Who's doing it for the vocation, who's doing it for the money - but even if you did it for the money, it must still be a hell of a self-investment to get through medical school.

I have chosen to be a programmer, for now (it's nice to say "for now", b/c this way, you regard the rest of your life as a blank book for you to write in). I can see that my work would benefit something in the end of a long chain. And it would, I'm sure.

For or against biographies? I don't have time for biographies, so obituaries are alright. The Economist usually posts one per week, and this week posted two, one of three pages on top of the usual one-page one.

As a part of the grand scheme of things. Hmm. When you think about it, it might become all very overwhelming. What's all this? A very superbly wired machinery producing an "intelligence" capable of "choice", and writing this alignment of strings accessible to other superbly (finely) wired machineries? The chance to destroy ourselves is so great, yet that's not what we want.

Life is probably a continuity. Err. Our body works because it worked one fraction of second before this one. We "think" through a continual process of nervous impulses. We are born from cells from our parents, from their parents, etc, upwards to the primordial soup. That's really fantastic.

Snow plows with their quadruple/sextuple lights look like giant insectoid monsters in the dark of the night.

Hockey is the lifeblood of Canadians

| | Comments (0)

It's election time soon, and you can tell it's election time *in Canada* when the Heritage Minister announces she will get try to get the Canadiens' (the hockey team) games back on public TV (as of now, you will only see the Canadiens on non-cable TV on CBC games when the Habs are playing the Maple Leafs). >_> That reminds me of the Foreign Affairs minister (another cabinet member from Quebec) today comparing the sovereignist movement with a game of hockey (along the lines of, electing the Bloc is the first period, electing the PQ in Quebec City is the second period, and holding a referendum is the third - ha-ha!). Some reports earlier this week also pointed to the Conservatives trying to lure former Habs captain (and who won the cup here in 1993) as a candidate in Kingston. Ha?

(Remind me: lifeblood, not bloodlife. >_>)

The Pancakes - Everyone Has A Secret

| | Comments (0)

After some serial listening, "b" (if you like me then it's fine / if you don't i don't mind) and "hallo goodbye" (guest vocals with lai from false alarm) are clear favourites. I also like unexpected obstacles. Simple charming lyrics, that's what make the pancakes a hit with me.

Beef and Tomato Macaroni
Originally uploaded by Smurfmatic.
The 15-minute beef and tomato macaroni. Cook the macaroni, cut an onion, a few tomatos. When done with the macaroni, fry beef with the onion, add the tomatos, and a small can of tomato sauce. When the sauce's done, mix in the macaroni.

Expresso coffee with milk foam

| | Comments (0)

Expresso coffee with milk foam
Originally uploaded by Smurfmatic.

The second was a pure luck buy, b/c I wandered in the "urban" section of HMV, only b/c I was looking for a certain house compilation released by the CBC. Instead, I came across the latest from Kobayashi, a Montreal-based band mixing elements of jazz, electronica and hip-hop. I know this band through my cousin Brian, who had one of the band members as his (music?) teacher back in high school, and bought a previous album (in one of those old-school floppy disk in guise of CD pouch) which I still have in my possession...

Of all the French Canadian music I listen to, Jean Leloup must be one my faves. For its clever lyrics and happy sound. "Je joue de la guitare", a compilation of all his hits from 1985 to 2003, is one of the two albums I bought today. From comparing his sexual exploits to Operation Desert Storm (1990) to describing desperation of an "ugly" office worker (La vie est laide), and of course the theme song to hit show "La Fin du Monde est à 7 heures", officially released for the first time (which did the sale). Delightful.

Just as you fought for several hours (if not the whole day) an error that ends with "Service exit with a return value of 1", you think, gee, maybe if I changed the permissions of the directory (and so you do), and it returns a "Service exit with a return value of 122". _O_ (I am talking to myself)

Edit (a few mins later): Holy fuck, the return value of 122 was just b/c the daemon was already running - after I just set the Java install dir from 644 (read-write for all) to the correct 755 (world-executable) and restarted Tomcat again to see. After I restarted it once again, the server worked just as it did before! I can't believe I spent the night up (to learn all that had to be learnt on Tomcat, daemons and the intricacies of Java installation) just b/c of a stupid permissions mixup!! >:O I have my lesson: never underestimate permissions.

The main dish from that shipping was The Pancakes' Everyone Has A Secret, latest album of this one-girl band. Music that always sounds good, with these sweet Cantonese-accented English vocals. Will listen to it a few times and post a favourite, or something.
It has arrived! It's a single alright. Mini-CD size with two HK high school style notebooks with fake highschoolers graffitis. I believe it's a production by silentagreement. Besides Gigi (first track from My Little Airport's 2nd album "B/c I was too nervous at that moment"), there is "washide", a 1:29 track in Japanese (or fake Japanese), and two guitar versions of previously released songs, "你的微笑像朵花" and "dee, it may all end tomorrow" (the last one was acoustic). Too short indeed, even by single standards.

Le temps qu'il fera

| | Comments (0)

I clicked the weather shortcut off my browser to see that "temperatures were on the rise" tonight. So, yay, says he, b/c today's been feeling like the coldest day of the year - when everyone knows it frequently gets below -20C around these latitudes, and probably more like -40C with the chill factor. In any case, "temperatures on the rise"; I will keep this positive observation.

I then decided to check the weather in HK, off the observatory's predictions (and official observers of the skies), which I used to have on bookmark off my aunt's computer. I then checked other Google hits, one of which was the weather underground, a website mainly for sharing between weather enthusiasts and experts, "Weather enthusiast" reminded me of the first job I dreamt of having when I was a kid (other kids would want to be veterinarians - I never got this), which was that of meteorologist. Of course, it was more about being fascinated with cold, warm fronts, and the shape of clouds in the sky, than making conjectural analyses with heavy statistics involved (which is what I guess is what some of atmospherical sciences is about). Oh well. Not meteorologist. Not even chemist (but I was a biochemist at some point). I think programmer/software dude is alright, but I'm quite open to the idea that I could do something totally from outer space. Something food-related - but then I'm afraid of dealing with paying protection money to dark societies. :/

Fearless mice

| | Comments (0)

As seen on Slashdot (and read the 2nd entry of the thread).


| | Comments (0)

Got tagged! Since I can choose which blog, let's say the current one, the MT blog:

A grandiose flying-away, on my own, to Japan, a stopover between here and Wonderlandu, a buffer between Occident and Orient.

5th sentence from my 23rd entry, back in March 2005. It was three weeks before leaving for Asia, to Japan, on my way to HK, before the true beginning of wacky adventures in the land of yellow people. The trip was special, indeed. I talked about it a lot, yet I feel as if I didn't really talk about it. Probably b/c there aren't so many people who can relate somewhat precisely with what I experienced. So, you know, coming from a place where you don't have any ancestral roots, and going on a long trip to discover the world, somehow. It's not exactly home, but people look like you, speak in the language which you, as a child, was the only language you knew (a combination of environmental determinisms would then make me totally fluent in French or English - but I struggle to have an intelligent conversation in Cantonese, let it be Putonghua). Etc. In any case, do not force yourself to be what you can't be - and besides, I enjoy being fluent in both Canada's official languages, such that I can understand nerdy jokes on La Première Chaîne *and* Radio One. Someday, you just want to share your true amazement at getting xiao long bao for 10RMB for a bowl of 16 big ones, or at the poutine they sell in Wan Chai (for 50HKD - the costliest, ugliest poutine I ate in my entire life), or at the micro cars that are the norm in Japan and which are the first models that can convince you to get a driving license.

Tagging! (The reason why I never do memes - other than b/c nobody tags my singleton blog - is that I am always a bit insecure about the responding part. Rejection is such a hard thing. I need more practice.)
- petronia
- thericebowl
- helvetius
- xanawu
- moderntime

Cannot work

| | Comments (0)

InputStream, OutputStream. InputStream, OutputStream. In principle, you think, why don't people just manipulate files as files in applications. I upload a file, therefore I deal with a file, which I can therefore insert on the server's filesystem. But NO, the file you get is in fact an abstract mass of bytes with headers, and which needs to be invoked as an InputStream to be usable by a program, and if you need to save it somewhere, you then need to convert it to an OutputStream, which will then be taken and saved where a file can be created... (and nicely enough, some frameworks from a file uploaded will even give you the bytecode to be directly used in an output stream) Why isn't computing like in Tron, or worse, like in Swordfish? T_T

(I always liked 'Eugenie' as a daughter's name - b/c it reminds me of Imperatrice Eugenie, Napoleon III's wife, and on whom everyone seemed to have a crush on (including the sovereign of Egypt). It's ancient enough to be a hit for people of my generation to name their kids after. Like 'Rose' or 'Ada'. Or 'Rosaire' for a boy's name? Hmm. In fact, I'd like Chinese names best. Give me a moment to think about this...)

teh painful

| | Comments (0)

It was a painful evening trying to recover Sabs' HD. It wouldn't have been a complicated thing if my g33kn3$$ did not fog me from the law of the best solution being the most simple solution. In fact, we did the following: boot a perfectly working Linux computer with a Live CD, after removing the principal HD, and plugging in hers (with two partitions, one VFAT, the other larger one, WinXP-native NTFS). Transfer the files she needs to another Linux computer on the network. Transfer them again on a Windows 2000 machine, upon realizing that the 2nd Linux one didn't have a viable CD writing program. All this b/c Linux, as lovely as it sounds to my ears, refuses to work properly, and b/c I didn't think of, damn, just plug the HD as a slave drive in a working Win computer!

I can assure you that just two years ago, on my first Linux install, it really really sucked. The installers sucked, the packages sucked, *everything* sucked! I think that with Ubuntu, you are really starting to get a Linux distribution that can hold the road for desktop users. I can work from the command-line, but it's really all much more enjoyment if your favourite basic apps like a proper CD-burning utility was to work according to plan! Why the eff am even using WMaker as my windows manager??

These are moments when you don't care about raw power and go for the bearness of a Mac (it has nothing of a tiger or panther, imho - and windows is a duck).

Posting from da Ubuntu box (bis)

| | Comments (0)

I got the ATI driver to work with 3D acceleration. That means games and cool Linux-only kickass screensavers. Yes...

Advice of the day! If you are ever faced with a crashed system, do no panic! Burn yourself a Linux LiveCD, which is Linux on a CD and boot from it, instead of from the hard disk. This will allow you to access your system, w/o making any changes to it (everything runs on the RAM, so you never actually modify your existing system). The most well-known Linux-on-a-CD is probably Knoppix, but many other "flavours" exist, such as Ubuntu, the live version.

In the future, one can imagine people storing their whole computer data (operating system included) on a portable memory device (USB key) and just carry it around to boot on any terminal they find on their way. Now *that's* portability. People already make live Linux for USB keys, but when the tweaking will have been done, I'll be an adopter.

Plain yogurt with fig jam

| | Comments (0)

Simply one of this world's many edible joys. I always liked plain yogurt textured like gelatin, rather than the usual stirred variety they sell in most grocery stores here. The only mainstream brand selling the harder type of yogurt (Beatrice - with fruits in the bottom) stopped selling surely around a decade ago, and I never kept track with yogurts on sale (my parents would then occasionally buy 24-packs at Cosco). Recently, on the trip to Egypt, I started paying attention to the peculiarities of Arabic-style yogurt (not being a specialist of yogurt, I also assume this *is* the proper way to make yogurt in any non-Western country, which would include China), and tried putting fig jam in it, like my aunt recommended (I mean, duh, what else would you put). And of course, it made sense. A healthy, cheap (a pot of this sort of yogurt is only around 2$ for 500g!) dessert. No photos, b/c it actually has the appearance of puke.

Sunday Night Medley

| | Comments (0)

1- First, hi to the few people who may've added me to their blogroll in the past week or month. I used to have the habit of sticking up a few blogs on the sidebar too, but the turnover's been so great that I gave up I'm really a lazy person. Maybe some time again soon. I think it's nice to have at least a few infos about the owner of the blog. Project for the Holidays: embellish the contents of this blog. It's like getting a new haircut, buying new shiny clothes. (I syndicate my blog on Livejournal - this too I will add to the sidebar, eventually)

2- After pondering about Windows/Mac/Linux the other night, I decided to submit the question to the g33k list. Besides what I anticipated to be the next great things to come to the world of home computing, I also asked, well, if Apple is switching to Intel chips, would it mean the same Intel chips used by Windows computers (ie x86/AMD64)? The expectation was that, yes, this is probable, while possibly Intel could still develop a different architecture to fit in the new Macs. If yes, I wondered, wouldn't I just be able to build myself a computer with cheap parts and run a MacOS X deemed superior to Windows, thus save from giving extra bucks that I would have to fork out on an Apple-manufactured machine? Then Rob points out, maybe not, b/c of Trusted Platform Module. In other words, while potentially running on the same sort of chips as any Windows computer runs on, I still wouldn't be able to, b/c of some sophisticated mechanism that locks me out during the installation/running process. This is very evil. In some sense, Apple is even more "evil" than Microsoft, b/c it doesn't just control the software, but also the hardware! (which is not news, and not threatening/considered evil, while Apple's still the underdog)

3- Genies en Herbe trivia compete today. 4 wins, 2 losses (we did not win last year - but then we merged my duo with Felix, with Nicolas', acquaintance from way-back-then cegep, but most importantly top-scorer in combined GeH leagues for several years I believe). My average score has plumetted, as a result of Nic's contribution to the team. But it is to point out we never won before (20 something losses, one tie game last year).

4- My grandparents are leaving for HK next Saturday (and will be coming back right when the snow starts melting). I don't know how to say this. I've taken conscience in the past years about my mortality and realize how little time there is to see/talk with those we love, and even to live our own life the fullest? There are many periods of relaxation, but too many of them to my own taste. Since the August to September two-month hiatus after coming back, I've been thinking that what I would really long for is work hard, party hard - along those lines. Surely have freedom as an inspiration. Work, is what you give to society. And money, is a way for society to say, gee, thanks for being useful! I am drugged up from the lack of sleep of yesterday night from the irregular sleeping times, and having to wake at 9PM for item #3. I like to speak with old people - and I enjoy speaking with family members, b/c I know they won't be there forever. I often wonder why I am not extending this to friends, or even strangers. Setting social barriers to not be overwhelmed?

5- One former co-worker invited a few of us (myself, other former co-workers I know, have seen around - who aren't so "former", b/c I work in the same old moldy building, just on different floors) over to her flat for a home-cooking night. Maggie is Shanghainese, and so cooked a few local dishes, like "Shanghainese salad" (potatoes, ham bits, green peas, carrots, with mayo sauce - which actually reminds me of a salad I was served at another home-cooking happening they had at Uri's Japanese teacher's home when I went over to that fishing town where he teaches English - maybe it's just b/c we don't make cold dishes with mayo/peas/carrots/potatoes), fish pieces sauteed with Chinese 'shrooms/fungi, or one more Sichuanese-style stir-fried chili chicken with cashews. We then sipped some oolong, plus the jasmine and "one-leaf" tea.

6- Canada's going to election! And we'll get yet another Liberal minority! This country is in an impasse. It will probably never go for the Conservatives, still painted as red necks from the West by the media (I need to read more about their platform). In any case, due to Canada's political system, my vote will not count as my riding has been Red Liberal, like, forever. The Conservatives will never carry a majority, simply b/c they are the incarnate devil in Quebec (while the Libs can at least expect to get a few ridings in Qc, mostly in the Montreal area and other urban zones). The Bloc has Quebec, the Liberals, Ontario, and the Conservatives, the West; and fill in the blanks with Orange NDP.

7- My father loves Jewel In the Palace, but even my mother, his inseparable dramas-watching partner, finds it totally cheesy.

Not like Canadian Senators

| | Comments (0)

The Ottawa Senators should be given the Stanley Cup right now, so we can all look forward to season 2006-07... They continually crush the opposition. 8-0 against Toronto. 10-4 against Buffalo last week, and 6-1 again tonight...

In relation with this (my current computer bg), other people thought of it before (thanks for the link, Mel), obviously. It's stuff from my nightmares, I was going to say. For someone who was born and raised in a city like Montreal, I suppose Asia might be extremely foreign b/c of Orient, etc, etc, but surely b/c of the population density, and general lack of anything old in the cities. If you go to Japan, most of the buildings in the city were destroyed by fire-bombing during WWII, and while it seems cool, I must admit, it's uniformly that way (concrete, white, geometric shapes). In HK, it's a constraint of space - although I never really understood that, b/c there is *so much* green space outside of the urban areas. There're mountains everywhere in HK, which vastly reduces buildable land for sure, and makes transit lines very costly to build in order to develop new areas. So people generally build up, in HK, whereas in Tokyo, b/c it's mostly flat (and b/c if you built up, earthquakes will make sure to flatten it pretty quickly), urban areas can expand and expand until you don't see a single area of un-urbanized land.

This makes for very interesting walks. If you go to Asia, or HK more particularly, it's fantastic to walk in old quarters like North Point, which were probably built during the late 60s, or 70s. It's also interesting to see the more "popular" districts like Chai Wan where the buildings are white, but with floors of concrete with playgrounds and basketball fields that haven't been renovated for at least a decade. You may also want to visit the newest areas, like Tseung Kwan O (built in the 90s), or the sub-area of Tiu Keng Leng (area was opened just a few years ago - now already bustling with new middle-upper class young families). Or even try Repulse Bay (while you spend some time at what's said to be the nicest public beach of HK), where the high-end flats are built.

Forgot the rest of what I wanted to say. Gotta go.

Oh, so it was genetic...

| | Comments (0)

Coin du Mexique

| | Comments (0)

Laurent's girlfriend took us there last winter when he came back from China for a month or so (b/c he couldn't just have Tianjin winters, he had to have Montreal winters, *in January*!), and I decided it was the first restaurant on the ethnic cuisine trail I had to have since getting my regular income again. It was featured in a Mirror article, so I thought the place was unusually-packed and I could get away with it tonight without making a reservation...

The "Coin du Mexique" (Corner of Mexico) is not your usual Mexican restaurant. Or at least, not your usual in-downtown Three Amigos, or Carlos & Pepes resto-bars. Tacos, there were, but not served the way you'd imagine it. Rather, you have the crunchy tortilla lying on a small plate, with the stuff on it - meat, cheese and lettuce. We had a cactus salad (cactus tastes like pickles?) and I had one fine Mexican equivalent of your Chinese peanut-butter dumplings, a spicy chocolate-sauced enchilada (it's called mole sauce). It can be pricey for what seem like small plates (the salad and enchiladas were about 10$ each!), but it's satisfyingly filling. S had the spiciest of all enchiladas on our table. Something with beans and lots of chili on it. I'm surely up for more Central American food.

I forgot the address as I went there tonight, but it was clearly as I remembered it, right across the street of Metro D'Iberville on the blue line, and no matter from which metro exit you come out from.

Posting from da Ubuntu box

| | Comments (0)


(The picture is of an old appartment block in North Point, Hong Kong Island, where my uncle's mother lives. A beautiful sunny afternoon - the pic turned out better than I thought it would, with all the sunlight, daily lives of the inhabitants hanging by their windows...)

There are quite a few non-trivial things still not working, but I'm finally satisfied with yet another Linux installation on my computer, the second of the Ubuntu distro (since the last one crashed on me a few weeks before Asia - to the dismay of other Ubuntu-lovers). Simply, Ubuntu is such a Desktop-based user-oriented distribution that it shouldn't crash, and everything you love on a Windows machine should be available on it, less the fanciness of a Mac (which I would probably get, if I were to buy myself a laptop, but as for desktops, a Mac is out of question, b/c of its lack of raw power, and design is not such an issue (in the portability sense) as it would be for a desktop laptop (a terrible lapsus making the whole sentence nonsensical - but my brain does not compute)).

Speaking of Macs, they successfully ran MacOSX on a Toshiba laptop, but I don't think they're news. Speculating, I would want to be optimistic and think that Apple is going head-on against Windows, on Intel/AMD chips, the i386/AMD64 architectures, which everyone has. It's probably daydreaming, when we consider that the sale of hardware has been the milk cow of Apple for several years. MacOSX on i386 is probably a leak (and I didn't read the recent reports to really know). I am putting my money on another clever marketing trick Steve Jobs pulls out of his ass on regular basis.

Some hopefuls: the iPod with wireless access, so that you can listen to web-streamed radio stations; a Flash memory based laptop, if I understand well that flash memory consumes less energy and is much much lighter than good ol' spindle HDs.

I run Linux now, mostly for work, b/c I was pissed at Cygwin/X not providing easy X-forwarding. Linux is cool b/c of X-forwarding, and not anything else (except the fact that it's free). The big desktop support for Linux is flaky on the latest ATI driver, so I have to rely on an older driver that doesn't accelerate my graphics (so when the really cool Linux-only 3D screensaver collection shows up, it's as if I *didn't* have hardware acceleration...). And b/c I choose to use the full "power" of my 64-bit chip (which really isn't required for the feeble desktop work I do), I don't get Flash, Acrobat or Java runtime to work properly. These are big annoyances people talk about in forums. You software companies can eat my shorts with those penetration rates you boast. :D


| | Comments (0)

The radio channels on my player have been set. CISM, CKUT, and all four Radio-Canada/CBC channels Montreal is getting. This is why this overexpensive music player is still better than an iPod. ^^;

Like being slashdotted

| | Comments (0)

I got linked by something this morning, and it produced an avalanche of hits to this site. I've yet to figure out how that happened, since this site rarely gets Google hits on anything interesting... My guess, must be blogging from Flock. >_>

Blogging from Flock

| | Comments (0)

(Testing, testing?)

I guess I'll know if it's working when I press the Publish button... This Flock is another one of those cool new web age applications everyone must try. I think it attempts to make the web more interactive. One's usual web browser allows you to "read" the web, but Flock aims to provide all sorts of "write" features, starting with an integrated blogging tool (integrates with most popular weblog software - LJ, Blogger, MT). The rest of the cool features. (Oh yeah, the blogging tool integrates one's Flickr feed...)

Yellow Two

| | Comments (0)


Give up (the song)

| | Comments (0)

It's one of my least favorite songs off of Faye Wong's Scenic Tour album, mostly because it is directly after two of her songs which I like the most - Emotional Life and Forbidden Love (do not ask me the original Chinese name). I do not know the lyrics of the song, but every time I do feel about the "giving up" (before actually going back to my state of letting-go), I think about this song title. Track #4 of Scenic Tour, so.


| | Comments (0)


I hunger for a bowl of noodles with two pieces of bok choi. I would also want to cook some congee like I like it. There are a number of things that I would like. This is a sort of expression of your freedom thing.

The Habs top the Eastern Conference again with yet another win they shouldn't have had. The Habs are not the best team in the league. Truthfully, it's a team of scrubs, with some very fine players, but a lot of non-star players too. They play good as a team, one would say. And we still love them for who they are (Montreal's team). The Ottawa Senators, on the other hand, rock the hockey world. 8-0 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and 10-4 'gainst the Sabres on Wednesday night... With three players scoring four goals in a game...

The other thing is that I've been bored the hell out of me with the music I currently have, so instead turned to the FM tuner capabilities of my portable sound device. I've been exclusively tuning in to La Première Chaîne of Radio-Canada. Interesting anecdotes, news from around the World, all sorts of goodies I want to hear.

My grandparents are leaving for HK within a few weeks to spend the winter away, and so my grandmother is having all of us over for shark's fin on Saturday... After the Disneyland drama, and HKU ban on shark's fin, I could be more consequent and just refuse the thing, which doesn't represent much to me (and if you didn't tell me, I'd think that's a rather crunchy variety of fermented beans!). But still, getting to see my aging grandparents is priceless. HK is surely a second home - a rather hypothetical / dreamlike one (I want it just like how people attempt to be what they cannot be, but in an un-serious, half-dreaming way). HK is in fact the second place in this World where I've spent the most time in my life! But it's foreign: I cannot meld in, not with my limited Cantonese speech, not with my westernized manners. But I am a fine Canadian Chinese, it's been many years before I realized, but it's an identity I can live with, finally.

The monthly yen checkup

| | Comments (0)

Yo! If you round it up, the Canadian dollar's would be worth 100 yen if you round it! :D

Breaking Point: The DVD

| | Comments (0)

CBC archives, and Election Night from the Radio-Canada archives (in French).

I bought the DVD, in its French version. I wanted to get the English version, so that I can eventually show it to non-French viewers. A passionate story, my plan B has recently been to escape to China, although it doesn't make much sense, b/c I don't feel more attached to Canada that I am to Quebec. I am still more proficient in French, although I work and write (here) in English. Damn Jacques Parizeau! Or bless him, b/c all he did on his concession speech was to divide the country even more with his famous "we lost 'cuz of money and ethnic votes" (which is probably true). I think it's none of my business. I also think I am confused (like a lot of Quebecers), but I like the idea of protecting Quebec culture, rights; while Canada looked for its breaking point by rejecting constitutional reforms at Meech Lake talks earlier under the reign of the Conservatives in the late 80s. So much drama, loving it every second.

Ten years after 93.52% of the Quebec population participated in the vote (The No won by a margin of 1%!), people have hanged the constitutional debate back in the cedar wood closet. There was no change, and Canadians are currently enjoying the release of the Gomery commission drama on the sponsorship scandal.

I think the point to make the rest of Canada understand is that Quebec is different, made up of people different from them, by their culture and the language they use. Actually it's a whole, Quebec with its Anglos and Francos; it's pretty different from the rest of Canada.

No more Canto-generic Chinese food

| | Comments (3)

A five months trip to HK does that to you: finally realize and have engraved in your mind that generic Cantonese/Szechuanese with such typical dishes as "egg rolls" or "general Tao chicken" (and let's not forget sweet and sour pork) is not equal to Chinese food, and really just a subset of it. Sure, the usual stuff does not vary much: the veggies are likely to be variants of Nappa cabbage, or bok choi or kai lan.

Shanghainese was something I often had at fancy restaurants my auntie took me to, with most place serving similar dishes, the make-or-break xiao long bao on top of my list. There's a whole entry dedicated to food I had in HK.

The trend these past two weeks has been Uyghur food. There's another place Wee found out, from listings on a food column on the Sino-Quebec website. People from other parts of China are slowing making up for decades/centuries of letting coastal China dominate in terms of immigration to Western countries. It's a nice thing, especially with the food. After that Manchurian place two years ago, and the few Uyghur ones, I'm looking forward to see in Montreal some real Shanghainese cuisine, some authentic Sichuanese, Yunnan, and other places I've never heard about.

The place we've been to is only identified as "Arzou", in English characters. It's at 6254 Avenue Côte-des-Neiges, down the slope from the Jewish Hospital, a block past the Jean-Coutu. The specialty seems to be the spicy mutton fondue, which is a spicy soup with typical flavours (with at least 10 whole pieces of garlic thrown in the mix) and lamb meat, lamb liver, some veggies and tofu for dip. $19.50 and it feeds two people (but we're greedy and had 4 largish 羊肉串 each, $1.49 apiece :P). With this sort of regime, all attempts to lose weight through exercising have been annihilated. >_>

I suppose Brazil was weirder and destroyed more carton board sets than Time Bandits did. I was going to say it's the stuff my dreams are made of. Not the substance of it, just the feeling of it (the claustrophobicity), dark interiors, and that feeling of being trapped in an industrial expanse. Not quite. I wanted Brazil to end, b/c the popcorn felt cold, dry and bland, and b/c noone likes to be reminded of what the land of their bad dreams is made of.

I'm not sure whether it helped to destroy a perfectly going day, but was there too much msg soya sauce in that 干炒牛河 ("gon chao ngau ho" - beef noodles stir-fry)? A place in Chinatown II near Concordia, opened by one of the waiters from that 京都 ("Beijing", although it's "capital city" if translated properly) restaurant we used to go to a lot, and who saw me and my brother grow old. To be fair, the seafood udon soup seemed quite fine, even with perfectly green baby bok choi cut in quarters, and a variety of other things in it.

I have the Winamp on shuffle (like the Habs' lines when things aren't working). So I hit this Macross Christmas song from someone's Xmas mix...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2005 is the previous archive.

December 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.