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A day in an old interactive month.

These are my archived blogs.

Blog Archive: [ 2000: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2001: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2002: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2003: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D |
[ 2004: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]

December 1, 2000


It's December...


Yes, I -have- archived November onto the November archive page. I'll delete them from below later; if I do it now the blog looks too bare. :(


It's about 4, and it's time to sleep, but here's another installment of the duckboy saga. Does anyone have a picture of a rubber ducky they're willing to send to me? Don't worry, Dave, I won't do anything...


December 3, 2000


The weekend.



Friday went flying by. Some items of notice: our last chemistry lecture ever, our last chemistry quiz ever, general stupidity in the ranks of the computer engineers, another 4 hour friday.


Friday is but a formality. The weekend really begins on Thursday night. Nevertheless, most of us dilligently attended our lectures. Whether we listened or not is a completely different story.


The weekend began. Oddly enough, weekends in Waterloo do seem to be much less social than the weekdays. Everyone goes home (mostly Toronto), or back to their residences, and you don't see them any more. Friday evening really did consist of studying in my room, as wrong as that may sound.


Most people on my floor went home for the weekend. It got rather quiet there, almost too quiet. After being "high" on people for 5 days, the weekend would leave you an intense lonelyness.

Alright, enough with the sad thoughts. :) Here's another round of the quickies, links to interesting sites and neat things.

pANdemoNIuM and Zahlman mentioned an interesting site concerning interesting English labels on Japanese products. For those slashdot fans of you out there, you might find my secret message board interesting. A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys. The name says it all. Jefferson sends along a link that's just wrong. The ever famous Clinton's Final Days video is still funny, and who could have a quickies without mentioning toasties?


December 5, 2000


Exams... urghh...


Yeah, so there aren't any more lectures. It's now all about studying for exams and the like. People disappear into their rooms, never to be seen again.

Studying for exams makes us anti-social. I guess it's all back to that "number on a piece of paper" rant that I wrote way back when.

Regardless, the new silence has created a lot of opportunity to think about my life and opportunities over the last few years.

My life took a drastic turn on August 8th, 1998. On that day, I started going on EUTS, and that's the sole reason why (at that time) I started developing my C programming skills. At that time, I started talking to people. And I realized then that I was lucky to have the opportunities that I had. So many things would not have happened if I didn't come to this realization. I probably wouldn't have gone to Shad. I probably would have holed myself up playing computer games all last year.

If you ever think the world is against you, go talk to some random people. Listen to their story. It will affect you, and make you realize that you can make a difference.

So go do it.


December 8, 2000


exams exams exams


Exams really bring out the most anti-social side of people. And the social side of others. Everyone disappears into their little holes, never to be seen again. It gets quite depressing some times.


To stave off the depression for a few more days, I'm going to insert random happy pictures on this blog. Everyone's smiling [except for maybe Sorin in the picture to the right], and they remind me of happy times that we once had only a few weeks back. Chin up, only a few more exams to go...


Exams may be dragging us to our doom, but our first one wasn't too bad. ECE150 took up most of this morning. It's over and done with. Only to be replaced with 12 hours of circuits next term. Oh well.


Deep thought of the day: Human belief is a powerful thing. Sometimes you can believe something so strongly that, in your mind, it is true. You convince yourself of the truth, you change your memory and perception of the event, and it becomes true. It's much like people coming out of an exam -- comparing answers, almost certain about their version of the truth. And when it turns out false, they're broken beyond belief.


Alright, enough of that. I leave you with some wise parting words from Dave 'Duckboy' Dymov, who has a new site, iminima.com. Anyway:

"I am a duck. I am a proud and noble animal. I swim with my family outside of village one. Quack. Quack. Quack."

It appears as though the exam stress is getting to us.


Ask Ardant #10


An anonymous reader writes: "So you're in computer engineering. That's a pretty hard program, what tips do you have for studying success?"

Here's the typical studying pattern of Ardant, Gordon, whatever you want to call me, during exam time (please don't copy me. :P)

  • 3 weeks before finals: realize you have finals in three weeks. Find your text books.
  • 2 weeks before finals: take shrink-wrap off textbooks [ed note: my ECE150 book still has shrink-wrap. If you're coming to Waterloo next year, can you buy it off of me? It's in mint condition ;)]
  • 1 week before finals: figure out your exam schedule.

Day before the exam:

  1. Get book, get course outline, sit and get ready to study.
  2. Go turn off ICQ. Don't forget to spend twenty minutes talking to everyone on your list before logging off ICQ. You won't be seeing them for a while.
  3. Go sharpen your pencils.
  4. Notice you're out of paper. Head to the store and buy more supplies.
  5. Get home. Go back on ICQ and tell your friends you're going to start studying now. For convenience, you leave ICQ in "invisible".
  6. Look over the course outline. Figure out what you know, and don't know.
  7. All that thought has made you hungry. Go to the V1 caf. Get food.
  8. Leaf through the midterm. Berate yourself for not doing better.
  9. Go back on ICQ and ask your friends questions about the midterm. Realize that you're on half the time anyway and just set your icq to "Occupied".
  10. Do some sample questions. Friends complain that they have to click on "urgent" message or the like. Set your ICQ to "N/A".
  11. Turn on the Winamp. Listen to some music. Try to get some problems done. Friends try to send you mp3s, but you're N/A. You set your icq to "Online", just for that moment.
  12. Two hours later, you're still "online". With all those people asking you to chat about "Calculus", you might as well set your ICQ to "Free for Chat". You do that.

"Awwww... I was studying all night, and I still don't understand the material..."


December 9, 2000


assorted fun


another exam is done. Calculus now bites the dust. It was fun, not too hard, pretty much expected.

Oh well, only three more to go. Just a little more, and we'll be out of here. Everyone seems to be counting down to next Friday, I know I am, I can't wait to go home...

Thanks for all your support over the last couple months :) It really has been fun writing on this blog, taking pictures, sticking random things up :) I promise to keep it coming :)

I found this really nice song today. So nice, I'm going to stick it up on my server. It's a remake of the popular "Bizarre Love Triangle Song", this one by a little unknown group known as "Frente!" (I'd appreciate more info if someone has it). They don't seem to have a webpage, or I'd put a link up.

You can download the song. Don't sue me. ;) Enjoy!


That song is -soo- addictive...


Help fuel (or maybe break) the Gordon addiction.

Click to make him listen to the song.


December 10, 2000


I belong to the Verdana cult


Yeah, so it's true. After doing some studying, I turn to surfing the net at some ungodly hour (5 AM??). Went around, read some other people's blogs. Wow.

I realize that I've but another hapless victim of the verdana cult. Look around you. What font do you see? Look at some other blogs, the nicely designed ones. What font do you see? Verdana. Verdana verdana verdana.

There's something about that font which makes us all use it and live by it. It's just natural. Regardless of our message, size 10 verdana is our medium.

Atleast Microsoft did something right. Good night.


more pictures from a happier time...



I'm getting tired of studying for physics. So I'll stop, and put some more pictures of happier times on the blog. For all of you 1A comps reading this, don't worry, there's only 3 more exams, and less than 6 days... the countdown is on.


I have enough pictures in my little archive to post one or two new ones every day for the next month. :) So I'll keep the pictures coming.


Looking over all these pictures, and reading my past blogs, it seems like frosh week just yesterday, and we were still running around with our hardhats and t-shirts. Wow. Frosh week will be one memory you'll cherish forever, a time when we could do nothing and get away with it.


Of course, some of us still do nothing and get away with it. Like Dave, the chronic class sleeper. Oh well.


And you might wonder... "What are all the other faculties like? You engineers seem to be having so much fun...". The picture at the right depicts the life of the typical Mathie. (Sorry Matt, yes, you can kill me now).

Good luck on physics.


December 11, 2000


pensivity, another made up word


I'm in a pensive mood at the moment.

Instant noodles are cooking on my desk, and the smell of MSG permeates through the air. Rachmaninov plays on my Winamp. A nice piano concerto. Physics studying is done, and the pre-exam nervousness seems to have taken over.

After you know you've studied enough, you still can't shake the thought that the exam might destroy you tomorrow. Oh well.

So many thoughts racing through my head. So much to do, so little time.

That's what life is about.


December 13, 2000


algebra exam.


I saw two of my fellow classmates cheat on the algebra exam today.

It was quite obvious. They were sitting in front of me, and every few minutes they would look up to see if there were any professors, TAs, proctors, the like, floating around. They'd glance at each other's papers and mouth the answers back and forth.

This continued for about two or three hours. They were ever wary of encountering anybody. Making sure they wouldn't in trouble. The penalty was getting zero on the exam, thus failing the course, being placed on academic probation... It obviously didn't stop them.

Whenever you see people cheat, a plethora of emotions rush through you. You think it's completely and wholly unfair (that it is), but you're afraid to put up your hand and tell someone. About 3 or 4 people saw them cheat. No one said anything.

It's all back to the social obligation versus moral obligation thing. By reporting person doing wrong, you're aiding the "society". But where do we draw the line? Is reporting one person doing wrong aiding the society? Perhaps it is. Or how about reporting 100 people? Perhaps. Reporting an entire army, a militia overthrowing the state? How about an entire country ousting their despot? (See Orwell's 1984).

I really did think we were better than this.

Other than that, the algebra test was all ok :)


December 15, 2000


Done exams!! :)


For some reason, my website is brutally slow, but the server seems to be fine. Hrummph. Looks like Shaw is messing with my connection :( I seem to be getting 4 bytes per second up, 400 kbytes per second down... So I'm writing this from shell in a good ol' copy of Lynx :)

I think this might be a sign that I need to get a -real- server. Oh well, I'll have to look into that.

Back to happier things: after the conclusion of the Chemistry final, exams are now over (woohoo!) Two weeks of holidays... and then the whole thing starts all over again. Oh well. That's life.

Answers to common questions:

"What are you doing over the holidays?" Nothing. Vegetating. Sleeping. Zilch. Working on random projects as need be. Relaxing. :)

"How does it feel to finish 1A comp eng?" No different than anything else school/term/year related. It's over and done with. :)

"Are you crazy? You don't sleep at all!" Yes. I'm crazy.

:) Happy holidays, going home tomorrow, will write more.


December 16, 2000


The story of a move...



I finally got around to cleaning up that rather large mess that was in my room. Exams are finally over, and it was time to go home (for the first time in about a month and a half).

So I'm at home now. I brought my computer. :) My computer is having fun re-bonding with the 3 or so 486s that habitate in my computer room. I'll have ICQ. And I'll be able to play my mp3s without worrying about disturbing people (the walls in Village 1 are corkboard :P).

And if I get sufficiently unlazy before the end of the holidays, I might even do some shoutcast streaming of mp3s across the great big internet. :)

It's good to be home.


Now Streaming...


Now streaming my music over the internet. (No more upload/download quotas is a good thing.) It's just a test, at the moment, so please be patient. I don't have enough bandwidth to support more than 5 @ 48kbps, at the moment...

It's only for the next two weeks though. ;) Anyway. You can listen to the stream now, if you wish. :)


December 18, 2000


Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.


I dropped by a place I used to work at earlier today.

It just seems all very static. Sure, there are new people. People still remembered me. People were still in their same old jobs, doing the very same things I remembered them doing, sitting in the same way.

Almost déja-vu. Then I realized that it had been over a year since I had last seen them. I searched desperately for change, something new to wear, a new haircut, and new job responsibility. Something different. Nothing to be found.

And there was always the ubiquituous gratuitous question. "So how long are you off for?". Two weeks. "Lucky.". Something inside you wants you to exclaim, "What do you mean, lucky? I've been toiling for the last 4 months, stressing over exams, getting 3 hours of sleep a night, and you call that lucky?".

Then you realize that one day you'll be wishing you had two weeks off at Christmas.

When you're but a little kid, you don't completely understand what reality entails. In fact, it isn't until you're on the threshold of venturing into the "real" world that you truly appreciate it. When I was a kid (4? 5?) the "bank" was an infinite source of money, you worked just "because you had to", and you didn't really understand why mommy couldn't always buy you that toy that you really wanted. Or why daddy had to work while you were on "holiday".

If this is life after university, it scares me. I guess my life has been quite dynamic, I never seem to be in the same place for too long. Always on the run, always with something to do. Quite frankly, it's something I don't want to lose. I'd get horribly bored doing the same thing day in, day out.

A year of change for them is about a day for us. Maybe take the time and realize, as I did today, that we won't be like this for much too longer. There comes a time to grow up, and we've been pushed -- shoved rather -- down the garden path. The grim realization that "real" life is much closer than it appears.


December 20, 2000


Assorted things.


I'll be heading down to my old high school tomorrow. Just to visit. To catch up with a few old friends. Should be fun.

It's sad that the Christmas break seems so short. Already an entire day half week is gone. Only a week and a half yet. And we still, like little kids, look forward to Christmas.

I'm bored. Which means I did something different. Started working on a little fictional work, hyperion.ardant.net. Read if you dare.


December 23, 2000




Wow, it's been a long time since I've written. Partially because there's really nothing new and interesting ni my life. Besides sitting at home all day and wasting time like I used to :)

Ahhh, the joys of winter break. Two days until Christmas, and the anticipation is just too great. Don't you just feel like a little kid again?

Alright, now that I'm just wasting space and bandwidth on the web I'll be quiet now. Someone bug me, I need something to do. ;)


December 24, 2000


Christmas Par-tay...


In about 1 hour 50 people will be romping through my house. Well, my parent's house. That should alleviate most of the problems.

It's the annual family and friends get together. And if you're reading this and wondering why you aren't invited, feel free to come down. ;-)

Christmas spirit is magical. Everyone perks up, and you get to see family and friends again. What a wonderful time of year. Even though people like me get even less sleep than normal (if that were ever possible).

Wow, 7 more hours until the 25th of December. Not that we're counting or anything.


December 30, 2000


I'm still alive...


I were to delay this post any longer, my website would probably retain a lawyer and sue me for negligence.

Regardless, I'm alive and well, more or less. I figured that I could take a few (read: 5) days off from writing on the blog. Who would want to read a blog during winter holidays and the ensuing boxing week?

Thanks though, for all the support and friendly email asking me where I went, and the ICQ messages. :)

I'm up to my bad habits again. I sleep from about several hours before sunrise to a few hours before sunset. What have I been doing? Vegging, I guess. Wasting time.

I guess the winter break isn't all it's hyped up to be. Funny how every year we look up to it, but it's never what we imagined it to be. Already we're forced to look forward to the next term which rushes into our lives with the speed and elegance of a speeding freight train. And although I hate to admit this, I'm sure I, like many others, will look back at the winter holidays in a few weeks and complain about our complete waste of time.

Oh well, 'tis life. I guess we can try to enjoy the rest of our little break. :)

Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

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