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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

drama, drama, drama 

Life is basically just plays and school. I have to get around to meeting a girl or two. Actually that supposed to be one of the benefits of doing plays but the the opportunities are presenting themselves like they did last year. I'm plugging along in Image Processing class, which I find slow and dull, but the extra reading I have to do for the project is turning out to be both interesting and depressing. The part about being interesting is somewhat obvious - I'm learning, and it's a given that I enjoy learning otherwise it would be a dumb idea to be in Grad School. The reason it's depressing is that with each page I turn, I'm realizing how much I don't know or have forgotten from undergrad, which gives me a bleak view of the impending doom that is my comprehensive exam...yet to be scheduled, but already 6 weeks late. But it is one thing at a time first order of business is to come up with a plan of study for my OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship) application. They're due Wednesday so I have to come up with something tomorrow.


things have been pretty good on the amateur theatre front lately. Been helping with props and some set construction for Pal Joey. The show was pretty disorganized with regards to production, but they pulled it together. Direction was good, musical direction was good, but in my opinion, some of the choreography was horrific. I have no idea what Richelle was thinking. Jim (director) cut a numnber from the second act at the Tech Dress because it was painfully obvious that it was bad enough to make mother's disown their children for performing such acts of blasphamy against the dance gods. more succinctly - it sucked!


I'm also stage managing Patience, a Gilbert & Sullivan show at the Talbot Theatre in January. We had the read through two weeks ago and it went very well. Normally, the cast reads their part from the script and when it come to a musical number the director will pop in the a CD with the recording of the Broadway version of the play so the cast can hear how the number goes. Serge decided to have everyone sing their parts on sight with a piano accompanist. I must admit, that even though I wasn't really a fan of the songs, I was really impressed with the singing ability of the a number of the people (particularly the leads) considering songs were unrehearsed.

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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Games a plenty... 

I've been wasting a bunch of time over the last few days playing games. I kill about a hour at Ivey playing a bunch of those Yeti-Penguin shockwave games that can be tremendously addictive. Check em out. They are even designed to fool the boss if they happen to be walking by. You press the 'b' key and the screen instantly changes to look like you are running a virus scanner.

Then after leaving Ivey I head to the lab and proceed to play Max Payne for 3 hours. I'm stuck at the last stage...I can't see to figure out how to get through the security doors to the stop the evil bitch from flying away her helicopter.

D.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

New found treasure... 

I think we are always in search of treasure of some form or another; whether it be money, a relationship (romantic or friendship), a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment. It seems lately that my treasure hunting has taken the form of the third of the above categories. It's not that my cup overfloweth with the other two, it's just that I find they tend to work themselves out on their own for the most part. To feel a sense of accomplishment you actuallly have to put in some effort. So on to my search for treasure:

Friday:
Another annoying day of work at Ivey, but I was able to send all but one of the casebook that are needed for the september courses to print. The prof who has to approve the last one is a nice guy, so when I dump it on his lap on monday and ask him to review it ASAP, he'll have it back to me in a couple hours. Sure enough, he did just that. Not really a sent of accomplishment. It's more so a sense of relief...the pressure is off. I'll take it.

Went into the lab to relax and play a short session of Max Payne. I should be working on the ICRA paper, especially since I hardly ever make it into the lab, but a session of virtual violence was much overdue. Before I started this session, Ranga was 2.5 chapters ahead of me, but as of 7pm he's less than a chapter ahead. He's somewhere in Chapter 6 and I'm just at the beginning. Granted he gave me a hint that was a significant help late in chapter 4, but none the less - quite a sense of accomplishment.

Sat:
Had a plan to work like a ravenous possom on the ICRA paper. Alas, I am a dumbass! I ended up napping and watching TV the whole day. I did mess around with my computer, trying to get Linux properly installed. That more of an ends to a means thing since I need to have it setup right to make it easier for me to work at home.

Sun:
Still pretty much a useless lump of flesh and bone on the couch. I had to take Boon out to shop for a bed. Rob had left his bed with Boon last year before he went away. I can't remember where Rob was, I'll have to ask him. I think he took a year off of school because of financial reason, and went back to his parents to live and work. Well Rob is back and Boon was bedless. I have learned over the years not to let Boon navigate. It is the quickest way to end up anywhere except where you want to be. So after checking out the Sears outlet, we headed down Wharncliffe to Tepperman's. Just before we got there, I remembered a liquidation place (XS Cargo) where I picked up a dining room table and chair set for a great deal. Sure enough there was a double mattress for just over a $100. I love getting a good deal even if its not my money. It's a superficial accomplishment, but it still counts.

Mon:
work blah. Went to the parents house. There's been some external leaking around the edge of the eaves trough and Dad was worried about roof damage. So I grabbed a ladder from the neighbour's garage and hopped up to check it out. There's no flashing between the lower level of the roof and up portion (the house is a side split so the bedrooms are on a raised level from the main floor and thus a two level roof). However, the leakage problem only started this year and the last time the roof was down was probably 10-12 years ago. So that joint hasn't been sealed (no flashing) for that entire time. So why was leakage a problem all of a sudden. I can't say for sure, but the only thing that has changed is that the neighbour on the northside of the house cut down a huge tree that was right up against the our driveway, which made me happy because I'd usually have to go up on the roof 3 or 4 times in the fall to clear out all the leaves that would clog the eaves-trough. But without that tree, the prevailing winds, from the north east can now blow the water up against the joint...thus letting it collect and seep through. Maybe it's the engineering side of me, but I always gather a true sense of accomplishment when I figure out obscure problems like.

Besides that little bit of emotional treasure, I ended up with a really nice belated birthday gift. My godmother, from England is visiting a bunch of people around Canada and the US. She was in Toronto on the weekend and my parent went up to see her and brought back the gift she gave me. It was L 100 cash (about $240 CDN) plus a gift set with a 4oz stainless steel flask and some sort of leather case. I can't figure out what the case is for. If I do, I'll post it as another obscure problem solved.
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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Trapped like a rat... 

I've fallen back into my old ways of self-loathing lethargy. Damn TV! How do you have such power over me? Why must you always beckon to me, "watch me - waste your valuable time, and I will reward you by ensuring that you never excel at anything." Yes folks, I am yet another victim of the TV generation. I think the most productive thing I did so far, today, was to sort my mail. However, that in of itself isn't even as worth while as it sounds because 99% of my mail is financial statements. So basically, I removed the contents of the envelope put the statements in a pile (to hole-punched and filed at a later date) and those extra inserts and the envelopes in the garbage. So for most of the day, I sat in front of the TV, trapped like a rat in a cage - a cage of my making.


Actually, now that I think about it, I did also finish reinstalling Linux (Fedora Core 2)on my computer this morning. I started the installation last night, but finally went to sleep at 3am before it was finished the 3rd CD. I'm not going to evangelize about the pros of linux. I just happen to prefer it to Windows. It is particularly useful for someone like me because I'm a graduate student in electrical engineering. The distributions come with a good amount of useful applications for software development and other research related tools. Not to mention the fact that a lot of researchers around the world will develop there own software for scientific experimentation (simulation or practical programming) on linux because it is freely available.


Anyway, I've finally extricated myself from the trappings of my own procrastination, walked down the street to get a delicious green apple bubble tea and sit down at the keyboard to work on a paper. A paper, which is due for submission to the Internation Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2005) by Sept 15th. If the paper gets accepted, I'm off to beautiful Barcelona to present it at the conference in April 2005. But here I sit blogging away instead of trying to finish the first draft - something I should of finished last weekend. That being said, I'm posting out.

D.

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Return of the Mac 

I finally get back to blogging today, after a 3 month absence and I loose my first attempt at a post. That really pisses me off. It wasn't exactly Pulitzer material, but I spent the time writing it and lost it when I tried to preview it before posting. I don't have anymore time to waste. I have to back to working on my conference paper.

D.
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Saturday, May 01, 2004

May sucks 

Quitting smoking didn't work out as well as planned. The big problem is that I just could focus while going through the withdrawal. I thought I could just stick it out, but then along come the assignments for my course in Nonlinear Systems because of the lack of focus I was having trouble getting them done. So I quit - quitting...temporarily. I've put off quitting until June when my course is over. Actually I have to submit the take-home final on May 10th, but as soon as that's done, I have to burn the midnight oil trying to finish a research project that we have to present at the IRIS conference in on June 6th.

My friends Jaime (singer) and Igor (pianist) have embarked on a cross-Canada tour performing Opera concerts at United Churches from St. John's to Vancouver. They began their road trip this morning in the rockin' RV aptly named "The Warrior". I'm going to setup a blog for them so that they can keep us up to on their heroic adventures.

Back to work...I have to figure how to design a gain-scheduled feedback integral controller to stabilize a pendulum at a constant angle from the vertical axis. And is only question #1. ...see I told you may sucks.

L8r
D.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Nicotine...a wicked mistress 

Been smoke free for 6 days...withdrawl really sucks!! I can't seem to focus. I haven't done any work on my nonlinear systems assignment or my research project for the last few day. I'm not exactly a diligent student, but I can usually bring myself to do a couple hours of studing in a day when a deadline is looming. Not so, the last few days. Aside from work (part-time job at Ivey), I've just been watching TV and taking lots of naps.

After I finish work today, I'm going to run some errands and then finish my assignment before I go to audition for the English departments Summer Shakespeare production: "Much Ado About Nothing". I hope I get the role of Benedict. That character would be a lot of fun to play. He's cynical and grandiose, with most of his dialogue being very witty and sarcastic.

D.
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