August 2006 Archives

Firefox Beta 2

| | Comments (0)

When one thing leads to another

| | Comments (0)

I was busy looking at Yinling's work (YouTube it yourself), when I caught something about a contemporary art exhibit in Taiwan. And this happens to be curated by Cai Guo-Qiang, who happens to have an exhibit sponsored by the National Gallery of Canada, but shown in Shawinigan (I've seen the posters around this spring/summer, and there, one finally understands the need for a car). And who says Shawinigan, says Jean Chrétien.

Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez

| | Comments (0)

Jeudi, 20h30, sur l'Esplanade de la Place des Arts. Be z'ere or be square'z.

The Telephone Pass

| | Comments (0)

The Telephone Pass
Originally uploaded by Smurfmatic.
No, this ain't a Photoshop trick. The STM has actually decided to put ads on their September 2006 bus passes. Urgh, and the card design is plenty of finger-down-throat ugliness...

It was grandma's birthday, so we had relatives and friends over. I took a few pictures before the (relatively modest) dinner started. My contribution was some sort of chick pea-based salad I improvised a few weeks ago. I was probably inspired by the Arabic menu we feed ourselves with from buying most of our normal (not Costco-ishly portion-ized) non-Chinese groceries at Adonis these days. It's quite simple to make. A can of chick peas, some tomatoes (diced), chopped mint, lemon juice (from half a lemon), quite some salt to kill the blandness of chick peas and really enhancing the taste of tomatoes (I think that vegetable merchants at public markets do well in putting salt on the tomatoes they give for trying), and dousing with olive oil.

After taking the pictures (I should get myself a Flickr Pro account), I spent the rest of the night eating, w/o really thinking about what I ate. Guests talked about food for about half the dinner; usual family gossip for the rest of it. My uncle and aunt brought over some deliciously simple garlic chicken (lots of garlic and chicken), a sockeye salmon for broiling (wrapped in foil, sprinkled generously with fresh herbs), and an asparagus salad (asparagus, and tomatoes). My aunt left me for later what seems to be Vietnamese rice-based desserts that her sister brought over from Toronto. For pre-dessert, guests had a variety of fruits (yellow watermelon, maybe a "luk yao", and longans). We closed the eating part with a selection of artichoke tea (straight from Vietnam) and the usual espresso coffee, for serving with a custard tart topped with blueberries and raspberries or some sort of dry chocolate cake snack that shouldn't have been opened.


| | Comments (0)

Beef Tongue

| | Comments (0)

Beef Tongue
Originally uploaded by Smurfmatic.

A few years ago, my father discovered such thing as beef tongue, apparently a French recipe, generally cooked for hours. And of course, he was preparing it for the family (my mother's family, which is more numerous in Mtl), and ever since, it's become a perennial meal for such occasions as my grandmother's or grandfather's birthdays. We, the "kids", find it extremely erk-*bites tongue*, so won't go farther than a bite. The meat is tender, and etc, but tongue, hmm.

Basically, my father is a resourceful improviser, and has been a monumental inspiration for my cooking endeavors. My mother's not bad at inventing things either, especially since she's got more time just working part-time, but it is usually my father who steals the show at family gatherings. My latest attempt, last month, which I think went undocumented so far, was so for a very good reason (I went to play Civ4 and it burnt - so instead of a "Spanish-style lemon chicken with lots of veggies", it became a ... chicken stew with an aroma of something burnt XD), but the family likes the perpetuate the myth that I can cook (and that my brother can talk). It's a reputation that I like to have, but I suspect it wouldn't hold the road, or at least would be seriously tested if cooking was a daily thing one has to do, versus being just the casually fun activity. One does need some interest in eating for eating.

FFM 2006: Daisy

| | Comments (0)

Met up with astrael for Daisy, a Korean flick by a HK director shot entirely in the Netherlands. Had this concept going since Fantasia that I'd talk about anything but the movie, b/c I don't trust in my movie critiquing skills - so far, I can say stuff such as "this movie lacks rhythm" or "yeah, it kinda does rip off that other film". So yeah.

Today was an extremely beautiful day. While I only probably sat my whole day indoors, it was really really nice, I thought, to be downtown for once (we have a new client, and they happen to have their offices downtown). I will probably take full days downtown - which seriously diversifies my work experience. All is so very positive.

And then the movie, that plays in normal Korean drama levels, even if I've never watched an actual single Korean drama. Some people sitting to our front right kept laughing at particularly indeed laughable scenes. A person even went talking on his/her cell phone during the freakin' movie. It was not bad... but if you've seen Infernal Affairs, and are familiar with Korean teargas films, then you've actually already seen Daisy. Jun Ji-hyun is very very plastic-surgically cute. After coming home and sitting down to write this, I think she and male protagonists were seriously hitting on my nerves, which can explain why I kept on grimacing near the end of the movie (it suffered from what Spielberg's A.I. notoriously suffered of, I think).

Go see it, b/c it's pan-Asian (Putonghua-speaking Netherlands-based gangsters!), and has pretty faces. Plays again, this Saturday (Imperial - 2:00PM) and Sunday (Quartier Latin - 12:20PM). And their website still sucks very much.

Notes: Movie score by Shigeru Umebayashi, of 2046 / In The Mood For Love. I believe it was a Canadian premiere.

FFM 2006 (1)

| | Comments (0)

Well well, one does see things better with a schedule in paper. I took down a number of films, including many of which are free screenings on the Place des Arts esplanade...

Zazie dans le Metro (France, 1960): I actually saw it in cegep, for the last class of our French literature course. It's based on Raymond Queneau's novel, and is delightfully 60s, feel-good and remarkably nonsensical. A lot of people I know would be pleased to discover this pearl of retro cinema. [Monday at 8:30PM, on the Esplanade]

Daisy (South Korea, 2006): But the cineast is HK-based, and is probably best remembered for Infernal Affairs, although I am told that he made quite a bunch of blockbusters. It's rather romantic, and is the story of a young woman in Amsterdam meeting two men attracted to her, but each respectively hiding something from her. Umm, so the action happens in the Netherlands, but the cast is all Asian? [Aug 25, 26 and 27]

Taiyo no Uta / Midnight Sun (Japan, 2006?): Sounds like one of those minor-ish Japanese films I've been putting under my belt at Fantasia, the FFM, and the Nouveau Cinema fest (and whatever other reason they show minorish Japanese films in Mtl). Another romantic filck - the story of a young woman with a rare skin disease that forces her to hide from the sun. She meets a boy student who will change her life, blabla. [Aug 31, Sept 2 and 3]

Les Filles Du Botaniste (France-Canada, 2006): Another Dai Sijie film. One probably knows him for Balzac and the Little Seamstress (with Zhou Xun casted as the seamstress). And I'm not sure whether to appreciate the intro to China, or despise the extremely romanticized of China for Westerners. 'Cause, you know, Dai Sijie is probably more famous in France, and the West than he'll ever be in China? At least, that seems to be the impression I'm getting, that he is not genuine Chinese, like Francois Cheng, and every other Chinese author writing in French (so, why is every Chinese author going to France? I connected the dots... Mao and the others studied in France, duh). But Les Filles Du Botaniste is probably more controversial b/c it's a story on lesbian love in communist China. And if you scan the FFM schedule looking for ambiguous / potential lesbian stories, you will find aplenty (but then, there are probably more than 100 films showing this year...).

À Bout De Souffle (France, 1959): La Nouvelle Vague. I am a fan of Wong Kar-Wai, but have failed to go watch what inspired him, and seen too many LJ icons to think of missing this chance. XD This one has J-P Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and is directed/written by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, so I immediately assume it borders on the classic of classics. [Sept 2 (a Saturday), 10:30PM, Esplanade]

In The Mood For Love (HK, 2000): Ok, no comments. [Sept 1, 10:30PM, Esplanade]

FFM 2006

| | Comments (0)

Daisy - Korean flick by Andrew Lau of Infernal Affairs fame! I was surprised to see his name in the South Korea section, but eh. Three showings, all during this coming weekend. Part of the official competition, woaw.

(The website sucks so much that two days before the event, you still can't search for movies in English, and have to rely on hacking the urls from the French site...)

Sheesh, there's a bunch of them... So, tomorrow, I'll actually go fetch myself a schedule.

SCMP joy

| | Comments (0)

Man, my mother got me this morning's SCMP. It's so... fresh ._. (and is actually mostly made up of the weekly business classifieds, woaw).

Behind the news: "Political bombshells", a feature on the Lebanon war and political consequences in Israel.

Saturday Columnist: "Taking workers for a ride", by Albert Cheng. Labour-related stuff, low-wages despite HK's economic recovery.

Sports: Hum, a glossy paper calendar for the upcoming Premier League season. Looks so awesome, and so not into football anyways.

City: "Activists take aim at child-sex offenders". Woaw, I was thinking about the JonBenet Ramsey case during the last month, and just this week they apparently found who did it - just a few months after the poor mother died of sorrow / cancer.

City (also): "Summer of Love". Five steps for a happy fling: 1- Don't believe in everything they say, 2- set goals, 3- don't over-commit yourself, 4- protect yourself, and 5- have fun.

Sports (also): Hum hum, news about Evgeni Malkin. XD

Business: Air China is not doing as well as it thought it would. Developer SHKP sets new low in mortgage rates.

Oh yeah, DB compete XD

| | Comments (0)

It was one of those minor, extremely chill dragon boat competition, with the Wasabi Dragons (to boost our team blog's PageRank). It was in Rawdon, a small regional municipality a 45 minutes drive up northeast of Montreal. I woke up at 6:30AM, picked a ride with Alex-everyone-knows, joined five other members waiting for us at Lionel-Groulx at 7:45AM, and arrived on site at 8:45-ish, in time for our first race, at 10-something. XD

Rumors had us do a fairly good time on the 500m (2:23), despite generally feeling that we sucked (as usual - always aiming for better :D). The 250m was novel, as we only competed on the 500m at the Montreal Race. I personally felt better on the afternoon 500m race...

The weather was beautiful, and I probably mentioned Rawdon because I thought it would be so nice if I could drive, so that on random weekends, I could drive to the country with friends and have a good time on some randomly faraway beach. I've never quite been a countryside person - but it's interesting when you change your way of seeing things (such as with the only interest in a thing like "driving")? But I already thought an outing to see shooting stars at an observatory, or some mountain out of town would also top my list of neat.

(Mozilla Firefox 2 Beta 1 (Bon Echo) has a spelling check for all inline text boxes. But feck, how do you disable it? o_O)

Our team finished something like 2nd-ish in the last race, but generally noone really seemed to care, unlike at the Montreal race, b/c the atmosphere was really really too chill.

I Love Egg Tarts

| | Comments (0)

My mother raided the local UniQlo on my behalf and got five random t-shirts, among which:


Upon closer inspection, we take note that those are concatenated egg tart images and also contain a semi-hidden "I Love Egg Tarts ^o^ RT" message across the design. XD Third prize of the current local UniQlo design contest (1st and 2nd were sold out, apparently).

She also bought a new digital baby for myself and father to share, a Canon S3 IS. We'll need to baptise it.

Red red tomatoes

| | Comments (0)

There was so much traffic on St-Laurent after work today that I decided to jump off the bus in Little Italy, and make a hook by the Jean-Talon market to fetch a basket of tomatoes which I knew were on sale for very cheap. It was 20-ish crimson red Italian tomatoes for $2.50 (I think the large basket, large enough to make tomato sauce for a gathering of 30-something people must've been even cheaper).

I took ten to make a tomato sauce (with leaves of basil, and coarsely-chopped garlic), and improvised bruschetta (Toasted slice of Première Moisson Belgian bread, with a mix of the tomatoes, basil and olive oil...). With the congee (and random fruits) I ate for the rest of the day, am definitely sure I have my high-carbs for tomorrow. :D

Fridays along the St-Laurent are so fantastically pleasant, especially on days like today (back up to 29ºC, yes).

My mother's back from HK tomorrow night, which also means that after three months w/o a camera, I'll once again be able to photo-spam the www.

My boss insists that emacs is for n00bs, and that I should learn vi. Hm, vi.

(Convulsions from eating too much... reminds me of a few years ago, also with pasta and the cooked fresh tomatoes sauce. There's probably a lot of expansion involved. Last time, I literally passed out on the couch, thinking that I'd die there.)

Proverbial 13-hour work day

| | Comments (0)

Counting in three hours of transportation, but that's about it. Everyone does the same, so it's just to say that I'm doing what anyone at my age should be doing.

I don't know what to say. I'd like to think that I can work better, so that I can work less. Is that the biggest lie of capitalism? I read a paper with which I agreed heartily, in which the author was pointing out how the young professionals generation in HK would work these crazy 14-hour shifts, six days a week, and how they'd do it per peer pressure, and per influence from a boss that'd stay well past dinnertime. They could work better, and work for shorter hours, then, and spend their daily time better. Bosses would be compelled to do the same, just to give the example, and thus would benefit general productivity. Presenteeism is worse than absentheeism, in that it's better to skip a day of work to nurse a common cold, than be stuck the rest of the month suffering from the effects of a now-chronic-ish neglected illness.

In fact, a day at work is always more satisfying when you slept nine hours the night before, which I'll probably attempt to do for tomorrow.

Of course, being more productive to work less is probably a big lie. How do you sell working exactly no more than 7 hours per day to youngsters with precarious first jobs? :P

For the first time in a while, I felt very passionate about learning something new technically (besides the stuff obviously related to my line of work). At lunchtime, was fake-consulting away for my friends at CTF on something I didn't know (LDAP auth on Apache, and then for replacing NIS on UNIX), but which I should really dip my feet into, also b/c it might come in handy for eventual real work.

As usual, I'm out of music, so I'm listening to Comfort Radio. This one uses samples from train announcements in Japan.

Metros from the world

| | Comments (0)

Got at!
I rarely do this sort of thing, but metros, how can I resist? It's from Metros from the world. Seriously, there's something attractive about this activity. Of course, it's to say "oh I've been to this city!", but subways are the foreign daily life cool that, if you're in a certain category of tourist, will want to do. Idem for supermarkets and cinemas, and beaches.

For the next HK trip

| | Comments (0)

i should start planning, especially with things like this.


| | Comments (0)

Woaw, like really really thick books were shipped to me from How the hell can they find so much to write about Ajax, which name was coined only last year, and which concept has been put into application only like 2-3 years ago? Even the PHP book is less thick, which is a total mystery.

Yuki - Prism

| | Comments (0)

Is actually not bad at all. Eclectic, thrown together on the spur of the moment - I guess that the individual tracks have their appeal. I don't like Joy, but Joy is the most strongly tied with memories (of me trying to sleep in an actually quite nice and cheap hostel in Osaka, near the Shin station, using Yuki as a barrier against snoring roomates...).


| | Comments (2)

My brother failed to completely un-pack from Hong Kong (he's been merely using the luggage, left in the entrance hall, as remote drawers), but I discovered in one of the side compartments, two copies of the SCMP dating from July 18th and July 26th, for me.

Trying to go Edgy Eft

| | Comments (0)

Changed my sources for Edgy Eft, and just downloaded close to a gig worth of packages. Config is screwing up as x11-common is being installed, so, um, I'll try to do that from a text console? ...

Ah, it says, "requires that the /usr/X11R6/bin directory be removed and replaced with a symlink".

Electronica typhoon alert

| | Comments (0)

Had to try some complex music with these headphones, so I put two Piknic Électronik podcasts from on my music player, which liked it very much. So I guess we're up for some electronica again?

In the Economist this week

| | Comments (0)

There was a very interesting story in last week's issue on the Suez Canal Crisis, one of those historical events we know about, but then don't know much about in details, like the Tian'anmen square massacre. It was fifty years ago - and in it, a dramatic recounting of how the old Europe tries in vain to re-assert itself, how political characters tragically cause their own failure, and how the Americans sided against Israel for the last time (so we'll see, as the Lebanon crisis/war evolves). I guess I see the appeal of long historical and political essays which I don't have the patience to read, and thank magazines for providing at least a bit of the entertainment.

Also, in this week's issue, Hong Kong public housing crumbling into shambles (on the culture of defenestration).


| | Comments (0)

I'm the type of person who saves on lunch money ($1.25 for right-enough tomato pizza), but then goes on to blow it all on some big relatively unnecessary spending ($90 on headphones - which I acknowledged to buy before entering the shop... I don't know if it was a good sign the salesperson reduced the price by $10 despite that I was basically sold?). I also spent 80-something on the books aforementioned, one of which is available online, for free, through my channels.

I will ask my mother to get me ten more of those UniQlo tees. Ten for the price of two of similar quality, here in Montreal, Canada, but I don't get to choose by myself. It's a tradeoff I'm... able to live with. XD

Ok, and let's see here now

| | Comments (0)

I didn't get around the mt-comments.cgi problem yet. Now if I do something as simple as stupid as changing the directory name, and putting a blank page of 0 bytes instead of the old one, would it solve my problem? Sometimes, a Livejournal/Blogger/Xanga/whatever seems so much easier...

So let's see...

| | Comments (0)

Javascript is untempting, b/c it works despite the flagrant lack of standards in the actual use of it. Maybe it's a thing of the past, b/c it really just fairly looks and works like any other object-oriented programming language. Also, AJAX is cool. So, it's fine to try it for loading more than half a page, but it's exactly not for that that it exists.

I bought two books from Amazon today. Not bedside reading: Programming PHP and Ajax In Action, both of which I will probably let sit on bookshelf, desk, to collect dust. No, it's alright actually, but so many books/websites I want/should read - and I am lying to myself flagrantly.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2006 is the previous archive.

September 2006 is the next archive.

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