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biggz

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makittymacmac [Mar. 5th, 2007|06:57 am]
biggz
[spot |orangelab]
[muzak |Mo-Do - Super Gut [happy rave '95]]

Oh my goodness: soooo cuuuuuute!

Ali (friend, not prof) was in town the week before last. It was awesome hanging out with him again, if only for a little bit.

Work has been crazybusy, as usual, but furthermore I've been slow at getting things done. Largely because I've been distracted by shiny things. And those shiny things are macbooks.

Last week, in a tragic collapse of willpower, I bought the cheapest lappy the FutureShop had. It was an Acer and it was a piece of trash; I spent the weekend laughing at it, its shoddy hardware, its pitiful attempt to run Vista, etc.. Debian wasn't much happier than Vista. It turns out the Acer recovery CD expects that the harddrive is intact with its magic Acer Recovery Partition, or it can't recover anything (wtf!?). I wanted to replace the OS with Vista before returning it to the FutureShop, but even the Vista CD couldn't reinstall Vista; it would just bluescreen and reboot after "installing". This is after the lappy's primary OS was set to Minix at one point so I could format the drive and stuff. Warning: Minix's partition app is shaaady!!! lol. Anyway, FutureShop took back the shoddy Acer, and I got my monies back. Yay!

Last week I had a dream of black macbooks flying around, like I was swimming with them in space. The next day I found this which is basically a video of my dream, and to the tune of a song that I was listening to lots around the time that my macbook was stolen. Wow.

I talked to the bank about lending me money for a black macbook, but they decided I was too hobo. I pondered the shady-beyond-all-reason FutureShop Credit Card, but decided that they are hobos. Then my mom called me randomly on Friday to ask if she could buy me a lappy, a good one. My mom is seriously the most awesome mom ever.

Catherine (my younger sister) had medschool interviews this past weekend at Queens and UofT. So on Sunday I went to visit her and my mom in Toronto, and we had a sensational brunch at some fancy French restaurant downtown. It sounds like her interviews went fabulous which is very happy :) And my mom gave me mad mad cash to buy a macbook, more than I was expecting her to pitch in (and so very voluntarily!). YaaaaY!

I am very excited to be getting a happy black macbook. I've already ordered happy things with which to make it pritty and not get scratched. Although, I'm not as hardcore as these people.... yet. But writing code is about to get much happier!!

I'm feeling much less hobo than I did last week.

Lots of other crazy stuff happened in the past week. I had a meeting with one of the WCF IVCF staff workers where I basically told him off and asked if there was anything I could possibly do to convince him and the others to leave. His response was unsurprising and depressing. I feel pretty crummy about the meeting, but I feel worse about the state that WCF's in, and that I must acknowledge that it's never going to change; not unless the Feds step in on the club's behalf. It's all very sad.

But I'm getting a macbook so life is awesome :D Now, back to work!
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isopants [Feb. 20th, 2007|06:49 am]
biggz
[spot |home?]
[muzak |Michelle Branch - All You Wanted]

What a beautiful morning. I'm so glad I've been up to enjoy it! 1-degree weather, the snow was sooo clean and fun to play in. My pants are soaked from rolling in the snow, and dunking my head into random 'banks; Malcolm-inspired. Booya.

Sunday afternoon I bought a used cheap*cheap clunky laptop from some guy in engineering. It was kinda sketch but would have been beautiful to code on. Sunday night it stopped turning on. Yesterday I visited the guy again and he was super-nice and gave me all my cash back for it!! Even though it had pritty Digimon stickers and was running Debian (altho I don't think he's discovered the latter yet!) So now I'm very happy and hav moniez :)

holdenk was somehow able to talk sense into me, that I really can't afford a lappy right now anyway. Clearly I have bad luck with them ;) but I'm back to being content with my crummy computing circumstances. Hurray for responsibility.

Hung out with The Prof for a while in the MC tonight watching stupid YouTube videos :D And so I bring you, Polysics:
Polysics - I My Me Mine
Polysics - Electric Surfin' Go Go
<3 <3 <3 despite it's Japanese. Thanx Prof!
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terminally ambivalent over you [Feb. 17th, 2007|09:16 pm]
biggz
[spot |orangelab]
[muzak |The Real Tuesday Weld - The Eternal Seduction of Eve]

kids are awesome: "He's my brother. I'm allowed to hit him. I own him."

On Wednesday I took over POETS (thanks Owen and WatSFiC!), and threw a movie night. We watched Medabots ep.1, Hackers, and Mortal Kombat. w00t!! A fantabulous way to celebrate Valentine's Day, I tells ya. Sadly, scapegoat_5 apparently got in trouble because I returned the key late. Not that he had anything to do with the key :D

spoonkun and anna_marie were of the many people I forgot to invite to the last-minute Mortal-Kombat-party-at-POETS (sorriez!), but last night they held their own mini-movie-party in apt.303. As on wednesday, we watched Mortal Kombat and Hackers back-to-back. So for lolz:
  • I saw Hackers and Mortal Kombat back-to-back twice in three days

  • Their excellent soundtracks both feature my favouritest song ever: Halcyon+On+On, by Orbital

  • Last night I watched them in a row but each with a different female guest (eeks!), both of whom I bought dinner (!!eeps) not that this means anything, of course, just in retrospect, I guess it's kinda weird, lolol

  • Dee still hasn't seen Mortal Kombat, which is why I got it in the first place!

Research-craziness is still nuts. I gave a talk on Friday for random profs/grad students and it went okay, even though I was positively freaked out for no particular reason. Ali is awesome. My CSC talk is on the Tuesday after reading week, and I'm kinda excited!

I keep forgetting that I'm getting paid. Moniez! So now I'm laptop-shopping, trying to find something cheap and linux-happy and that I can use for code and scientific computation :o I don't need it to last; once I ever get a real job, I'll instantly replace it with a happy black macbook. My current price range is < $600, but that's barely enough to get something new; although used is probably the way to go for me. If I could find a place willing to give me one of them skeeetchy sell-your-soul-in-little-pieces-over-a-year-or-few deals, and I could just get my macbook now with a decent down-payment, I'd totally go for it. But any other comments would be happy.
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and i'm waiting for my body's re-entry again [Feb. 12th, 2007|12:32 am]
biggz
[spot |orangelab]
[muzak |The Mighty Moshin' Emo Rangers - Emo Rangers Xmas Theme]

Nowadays I just listen to all my music on YouTube. Then it shows me more bands and more songs that are awesome. Some of my recent favourites:
Saosin - Voices
Taking Back Sunday - Cute without the "E"
Lost Prophets - Rooftops

If you quickly notice a trend.... go watch this. It's a good ol' bag o' laughs, and their soundtrack is hawt!!

Oh and a healthy dose of dashboard: Dashboard Confessional - Am I Missing. That video (not legit, but well done!) reeally makes me want to watch Advent Children (and maybe even play FFVII), but I'd just be disappointed by the lack of dashboard :D

... speaking of which, I'm addicted to Chrono Cross. Like mad. I swearz, I see Lynx in my shadows, and can feel fate tugging me by the amulet on my neck straight down to Another World...

fwiw, g-lawlz! Saosin is coming to Kitchener in March!? Me wants tixxies!!!

Dee promised to watch Mortal Kombat with me. Can't wait to pick up the dvd. Man oh man I love that movie.

Yes, this is a very materialistic post. And while I am getting paid in some (meagre) sense these days, I really should revert what little attention I have back to poverty.

Friday night was an all-nighter, in the lab, with Ali my prof. I was micro'ing scientific computation on four machines at once, but my skillz were too weak and our results dismal. The paper got written for the mostpart, but my section is lacking at best. (Except for my calculus! I got in my calculus! Oh noez, my calculus...) Sigh, too much code, I got sloppy, numerical instability and other randomness burned me pretty bad. I will write many posts ranting about Matlab in the near future. In the meantime, I'll return to the twisted comfort of its brain-damaged metaphors.

Here's what happens when my algorithm is wrong wrong wrong: (pretty and wrong)

I bet you wouldn't guess that it's trying to draw the letter A!! Aiiieeee....

Actually, Matlab is less brain-damaged than it is brain-damaging. It ruins the way you think, and makes you think like Matlab. Optional first-parameters, array-the-only-data-structure, variable-reuse-ftw, diag(A(find(triu(ones(size(A,1)))))), ..... wait, I said I'd rant about this later.

Oh one more one more: min(D,D') == wtf!? (it's a symmetrize!) rawrrrrgghhh!! i love it!

Laughably, the ICML's paper submission system was broken (for some browsers, apparently... lolz?), and we kept submitting updates after the 6am deadline.. (well, the deadline was midnight, in Apia, Samoa time.) When the conference noticed, they decided to truncate submissions to the 7:00 version. I have no idea what paper we'd submitted at 7:00, but it probably wasn't a very good one.

At least now we have time to clean things up, run some real meaningful trials, etc. Back to the code... there will be code...
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free fooooood [Jan. 12th, 2007|02:50 am]
biggz
[spot |home]
[mewd |sleeepy]
[muzak |(+44) - Chapter 13]

Today was just too randomly awesome to not blog about.

I got up in the morning for a meeting with Ali, and we started our research with some calculus, and I actually made a claim that was correct, and proved it, which is cool even though it was trivial :) It saved some time. I was supposed to spend the rest of the day trying to solve our problem.

I got tipped off from Paul Kates at lunchtime that there was free food in the PAC. It was the University's 50th anniversary!! SO the PAC was full of free food and games and events and stuff with "Everyone Welcome!" signs everywhere. Free food! I laughed when I saw people like stylish Jeff and dzapollo and canwolf there getting some foods. It was such a random happening to be happening.

The CSC elections were at 4:30 and as ridiculous as always. A big turnout too. markster3000 did an excellent job as CRO, even though he got fired (then promptly re-hired) as soon as our prez was appointed. I'm glad to see that Tenty is in, even though I was very torn about all of the runnings. Not that I was voting anyway of course ;)

Then we (mostly) all went to the Amazon infosession. I think that's where we lost lambda_calculus; he was one of the few of us that actually went inside. eggarea peeked in too but only I think to help with getting a full pizza box out of the talk, and we all ate it and laughed and knocked stuff over and were otherwise glad to be skipping what appears to have been an awful "what jobs at Amazon are like lolz" talk. Wait, I don't remember holdenk actually entering the talk either...

So we ditched through the trippy tunnels and went to Google's "tech" (read: hiring) talk at Hagey Hall. Over an hour early of course, so we goofed off in the building and were... *cough* unprofessional to the people who eventually were trying to run the infosession. Much asking for free shwag early so we could ditch the Google talk to go to Sandvine's infosession with free beer. (obv I had nothing to do with this...)

For more lj-props: we still had jbdeboer with us at the time (and holdenk and markster3000 and the prof and a buncha other ppl without ljs), and we met backguy (and stylish-Jeff, and lanortha+Joe and some random girls and friends of markster's and other ppl presumably without ljs). Google gave us mini-whiteboards, so we decided to each write a digit of Pi on one side and "e" on the other. When the lady started talking we yelled "Pi!!" and held them up and she didn't get it (she thought that we were rating her performance LOL. Luckily "e" seemed to have some higher numbers for her haha).

Google's talk was boring but we got free shirts (with sleeves!) and more pizza. Donning our Google shirts, we all went to the Sandvine concert at the Bomber. Someone (markster?) had a stack of tickets that we passed down our line immediately prior to requiring them for entry. (which is lol, not that anyone cared.)

Sandvine people were actually pretty cool to talk to. This was clearly the best event, despite the free beer; TONS of free food (wings, nachos, more pizza lol), free pop, free pens and other stuff if I cared. But just talking to people was neat, and the company doesn't seem bad. They'd brought in Pilot Speed (formerly Pilate -- I forgot to ask them about the name change dangit!!), and they're quite good live!! Are they christian or just chill? I'd only ever seen a couple vids on Youtube. So that was crazyfun. Sandvine didn't care much for our Google shirts though ;-)

Kyle and eggarea and I ditched early to play DDR at cove (I only played a song), and had cool discussion with James. So yeah, a random day full of free food and goofing off with pplz. Now I should sleep, for Code Party tomorrow!!

p.s. are Taking Back Sunday christian or just emo?? AFAICT noone can tell! They have a song called "Cute Without The 'E'" and it's made of lol. And rofl!
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random life update [Jan. 12th, 2007|01:39 am]
biggz
[spot |home]
[muzak |Taking Back Sunday - Liar (It Takes One To Know One)]

Holidays were awesome. Lots of food, family, friends, parties, relaaaxing, peace, and writing code!! It was an actual vacation, not the kind you need a vacation from. :) Girls are weird, but meh. I had tons to write before about all that but clearly I got distracted.

So I'm back at Waterloo. Last term I got my rejection from Stats grad school, and made some money writing statistical simulation code (for a cluster! cluster computing is hawwt) for a psych PhD student which was awesome and fun. And I started looking for an actual job, but that's been put off since the holidays. So why am I back at school?

My prof (Ali, a guy whose course I took a year ago and who hired me for an RA last summer and who is toootally awesome and researches happy things and tried to take me in as his masters student, and who I generally just refer to as "my prof") has hired me again as a researcher this term. YaY! Our hopes are that we'll finally solve (to some degree) the problem(s?) we've been working on and get a paper published. That would be rad with a K, and would help my new application for Computational Math grad school :) And Shawn (the psych guy) has and will be calling me in for random updates to our project throughout the term.

Conclusion: This term is a repeat. I'm trapped at waterloo again, doing the same research for the same prof with the same hopes of getting the same paper done, again to help with my application for grad school, which would be with the same prof doing the same type of work. (But with a slightly different program name! I'd be doing Computational Statistics for a Computational Math degree, instead of Statistical Computing for a Stats degree! Ninjaaa!). And I'm really stressed and concerned about my whole life situation in all of this, which as far as I can tell, is a farce!! And I think I LOVE IT.

I'm trying to dress more stylish these days (it's kinda fun!). I'm adjusting to my new schedule-of-sorts, and writing lots of random code. Coooooooooooode!

.. this post was meant to be a random blog about my awesomely random day. Not a life update. Usually it's the other-way-around. Meh?
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lollidayz! [Dec. 24th, 2006|10:11 pm]
biggz
[spot |ottawa home]
[muzak |Angels and Airwaves - The Gift]

Merry Christmas all! :D
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yaaay xmas [Dec. 17th, 2006|02:42 am]
biggz
[spot |home]
[muzak |Lifehouse - Simon]

Tonight I went to a marvelous Christmas party, hosted by Megan and Patricia and I'm not sure who else actually lives there. We had fabulous desserts and played games and listened to holiday music and chatted. It was cozy and happy and nice. The Guys Team (with one extra person, apparently) won two intense games of Four-On-A-Couch. Then I convinced some ppl to come play Hit.

Hit: We had a bright-orange hockey ball. Whoever has the ball is It, and tries to hit others with the ball. If you get hit, you are then It. Simple and brilliant. Although, it oft degenerated into hitting someone, getting the ball again, hitting them again, repeat... lol. jbdeboer, Heather, Aseel, and Jeff were in for the action. For concern of smashing cars and windows, Aseel went inside and us four remaining troopers went on a Magical Adventure.

The Magical Adventure: We went through the haunted forest. We played chicken with the swamp. We played chicken with the iron grating that leads to the underground sewers. We met the Lost Simons. We followed one to a trail. We discussed playing chicken with a waterfall. We considered log rolling under a rapid-y bridge. I rolled down a big hill, almost hitting a tree. We followed more trails behind homes, debating their property values and appreciating their Christmas trees. We found a weird electric pole. All in all we had much random conversation and lots of fun. I don't think Faith and the party hosts were pleased as to Heather's disappearance, however :/

Maybe chilling with Faith tomorrow, applying for more jobs, stressing about life, and hopefully writing some code!

Update: Heather lives in that house too apparently.
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