Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My America Photo Contest website

Earlier this month I sent in my photo submission for the My America Photo Contest through CDS International, Inc., my Visa Sponsor to the U.S.A. Most of you have probably seen these pictures already but here they are in super-high res if you are interested.

Check it ooout.

Lots of homework today but wow I got a lot done. Last night I was also up until 4am like tonight, and finished my History essay and my ActSci lecture and my ActSci assignment. Then I got 4 hours of sleep and schlepped to school fro 8:30am class, and then did my 2 hour workout today in between class. I am insane.

Tonight I started my CS essay but had to take an hour nap because I couldn't pay attention and was so tired. But after that and plenty of food I got back into the essay and researched and wrote the 2,000 word CS essay tonight!! Insane. I am sooo glad I got it finished. I've got a bunch of stuff this week so it's been great to rock through most of it over the past 3 days. Tomorrow I've got to study for Music but then that is the end of the huge amount of work from this week which is nice. A couple of things for next week but it won't be as nuts at this week which is always good. I'd like to go to Toronto and hang out with Matt and Alex this week but I still have too much to do. Maybe I'll see them on one of the days or maybe just another weekend instead. We'll see how it goes I guess!! Great JSA Bagels and Lox lunch again today. Man that stuff is good.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Barack Obama is awesome

Well I've only seen him speak twice on TV. But I really think this guy could change the world.

I sure hope he decides to run for US President next year. I think the polls say at the moment that he has a good chance of becoming the head of the Democratic Party and then he would be running against the Republican candidate next November for President.

What a change this would be to America's world opinion. I think it would be AWESOME to see Barack Obama as President, man he sure is an impressive speaker and it sure looks like he cares about his country a whole lot...

Let's hope everyone is smart enough to vote for him.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Busy week, The O.C. and Essays

Busy day today!! Last night was great and I was out pretty late with Jeremy and Joel and a bunch of friends from school, it was really fun and lots of cool people there.

Today we had a "Laundry Party" which was pretty hilarious, my Don here in Residence gave us all free laundry today which roooccked. I washed my sheets and my towel!!! Haha I kept forgetting to do that in the States and my Mom said that was gross and I should wash my towel more often cause if you don't it gets super gross and starts smelling weird. So that was a good idea I reckon!!

Anyway other than random free laundry, we went grocery shopping and I got like 5 tubs of Yoghurt. Man that stuff is legendary. Also some sweeeeet grapes today, and the usuals like tons of tomatoes and stuff. Yes, I just posted my grocery shopping on here.

Cool so yes after that I got home and then worked on homework for a good 7 hours or so. I wrote my essay for History which was super intense and I need to edit it a bunch tomorrow and tighten it up a bit. I also did an ACTSCI lecture which is good because I have an Assignment due this week and I still need to catch up on one more lecture before I can do it.

Man what a busy week coming up!! I didn't think I'd get too busy with so many reading and essay classes but wow it's nuts this week. I've got 2 essays due on Thursday, an Assignment due Wednesday, some reading to do and a Midterm for Music on Thursday!! Crazyness. Should be totally fine cause I finished one of the essays almost today, and I should be able to finish it completely tomorrow and do the assignment for Wednesday. Then Tuesday I can rock the CS Essay and then Wednesday I can study for my Music Midterm for Thursday. Haha wow yes busy week coming up. When I am finally done all this stuff I can start working on my UI Programming assignment which is due next Monday.

So other than a ton of work today, I just watched last week's episode of The O.C., man that show is AWESOME this season!!!!!! It's so intense and crazy and they really seemed to pick up the writing this season. The stories are so crazy and intricate and they are really rockin' it out. I love it. Just when it started to get good again it's been cancelled. That's too bad but at least they are doing an awesome job this season and making it really good. Also Simpsons tonight was insane too!! Man lots of good TV lately and not enough time to watch it. I saw Scrubs from a couple of weeks ago where they did the crazy musical and it was just great.

So yes I guess that's about all I've got to write at the moment, just gettin' stuff done and getting through the truckload of work!! I guess it's not too bad compared to the usual workload, so I'm sure it'll go smoothly and probably faster than I expect it to.

Good times with my Waterloo crew!

Tonight was nuts. I read lots this afternoon and finished my book for History which is great, so now I can get started on my essay tomorrow. Tonight we went to Maharaja Palace but unfortunately it's closed for renovations!! I love that place so that's too bad we couldn't eat there for dinner. Instead we went to the Heuther Hotel and it was pretty fun, junky bar food like chicken tenders but they were good. Joel and Jer were there which rooocked and Tim came in from Toronto to hang out so that was totally sweeeeeeet!! After that we went to the Princess Theatre to try to see Pan's Labyrinth but it was sold out, that was too bad but instead we went to Symposium and hung out there, I ate a legendary cherry cheesecake and it was fantastic. Talked about music and stuff and hung out a bunch with the guys... fantastic.

After this we went to the Fox & The Fiddle to hang out with Jeff for his birthday. This was nuts, we had the entire back room there and there was an AWESOME live band playing, they played tons of John Mayer and Jack Johnson songs, it was reaaaaaaally good. We played some pool, hung out a bunch and talked about a bazillion things, lots of nice people there and good friends from school and VOC (Frosh Leading) and also a lot of people I didn't know too well and it was great to get to know them a bit better. All in all, a fantastic night and plenty of cool people and awesome homeys. Man I love this socializing this term. Hehe I guess the reduction in programming classes this term is inversely correlated to my social life and my exercise. :) Ohhh man. What a great time. I spent hours and hours at JSA last night too. I am loooving JSA this term. We eventually had a discussion that when you put on Tefillin (something Jewish people wear during a certain set of prayers), you wrap it around your arm and then hold it for a moment while you affix the headpiece, and then continue wrapping the arm. The explanation was that you do this because the arm or hand represents action, the act of doing things.... and that no action can (or should) be made before the mind decides to do it. This is soooooooo awesome because I really feel like that is something I care a lot about - the idea of using your mind to judge a situation and act accordingly. The idea of looking at something or a circumstance and deciding the correct course of action based on what variables are visible and available to your decision-making abilities. Very interesting and awesome. This also ties into the common lesson "If you mess something up, it's your own fault. If you make a bad decision, you must take ownership of it, admit that you were wrong, and fix it yourself." I think too many people in the world find other people, circumstances, things, etc to blame their pitfalls on... rather than just admitting they messed up and they need to fix it.

Anyway enough of a rant for tonight, it's 3:23am and it's time for some sleep. I went to bed too late last night too so I gotta get a decent sleep tonight so I can start rockin' that essay tomorrow. Word.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Selling my Lonely Planet France guide

So I bought Lonely Planet France, Italy, Greece and Greek Islands a few months ago in the USA. I was just looking on Chapters a day or two ago to decide what to spend my Chapters Gift Certificate on... and it looks like there is a NEW Lonely Planet France guide already!! I checked when I bought mine to see if there were any new ones on the "Coming Soon" list, and none of them were there. So it looks like there was a new France one and mine is about 2 years old. This isn't a big deal usually, but the recommendations for hostels and stuff are usually much better if they are recent.

I signed up for an MarketPlace account, this is kindof like or Ebay for selling books, and I am going to sell my old one for much less than other people, so the "upgrade" price to the new edition should only be a few dollars for me. Good times!

I also started looking at some flights to France and it looks like there might be a few places that have great deals. Looks like I can definitely get a return flight Toronto to Paris for about $600 or $700 Canadian which is pretty sweet. Also I have to decide soon if Spain and Portugal are going to be added to my travel destinations. I'm not sure as I want to spend a lot of time in Greece too. I guess I better get started on the reading of these books and planning my trip soon!! Oh maaaaaaan it is going to be awwwwwwesssooome!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Math Awards Banquet 2007

Wow today was nuts!!!!!!!!!!

Here's my day... go to bed at 3:45am after a night of dancing at Bomber. Wake up at 7:50am to go to class. Coffee. 1.5 hour debate-style discussion lecture. Hanging out with Yung for a bit. 1.5 hour full workout at the Gym. Lunch, more coffee. Reading for History. History class. Walk home. Snack. Reading for 1 hour. Shower, shave, gel my hair. Pick out clothes for the Math Awards Banquet. Pack stuff for class in my jacket. Walk to South Campus Hall in the -16 Degree weather (-24 with windchill!!) Then an ammaazing fancy dinner with Profs from CS and Math and all the other award recipients! Then photo, receive my scholarship award (sweet!) Then say goodbye to the new friends at my table and run to class (already 1 hour into my night class). Arrive in class still wearing my tux jacket and name badge. Frantically scribble down Joel's notes for 20 minutes. Another 1.5 hours of class. Walk back in the cold (now -21, feels like -26 at least... for my American homeys that's about -15 degrees Fahrenheit!!) Go to Bubble Tea. Socialize with the cool people there. Drink Bubble Tea. Play cards for an hour. Get a ride home from an old friend so we don't have to walk in the cold. Console Yung and Nick from their eventful evenings. Check my email. Listen to a Dave Matthews song. Watch Ever After with Yung. Eat some more snacks. Discuss the pitfalls of modern MTV society and pop music with Yung. Convince Yung that Dave Matthews Band is the best band in the universe. And now... blog about my insane day!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew. So yes that was my day which was full of tons and tons of stuff. Man I can't believe I did all of that on 4 hours of sleep. Crazy!!

Anyhoo... here are some pics from the ammmaaaziiing Math Faculty Awards Banquet Dinner from tonight!!

Place settings at my table

Awesome decorations

Waterloo sign

Main course, Chicken with Ginger sauce, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and cauliflower.

Aawwwesssooommme Mango dessert

My table with several CS and Math Professors and a few other awards recipients

Another table picture

Me with Byron, the CS Prof who wrote our CS 133 Textbook!

Joel and I looking off into the distance at the Bubble Tea shop

Me and Jocelyn chillin' at the Bubble Tea shop

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

L'Chayim - "To Life"

This afternoon and evening I've started to read Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz", another book for my History of the Holocaust class.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about Elie Wiesel's "Night", the books in this course are really making me think a lot and I will certainly have lots to post about these and my reactions to them. I think it's important for me to share these feelings with you - thanks to Google Analytics I know I've got roughly 120 readers of this blog per week, from usually about 5-10 different countries. The majority are family and friends in U.S.A., Canada and Australia, but I've seen plenty from other countries too. I feel that - in the words of my History Professor - that it's my duty to bring attention to this important subject.

Anyway just a couple things that are swirling in my head after the first 70 pages of this book...

I have been reading all afternoon and focusing hard on my work today because tonight I am going to have fun, tonight is the best bar night of the week. Lots of friends from VOC (Frosh Leading), class, and other things I have been a part of on campus come to the Bomber, it's fun, it's exciting, it's loud - but most of all it's relaxing and a nice break from my work. Obviously this club has plenty of drinking, I don't tend to drink much or at all, mostly due to the fact that I have more fun if I don't, and for me it's not a necessity for a good night, as some people tend to view it. Either way, it's great and I love it there. Lots of friends, lots of good music to dance to, lots of good hip hop and so on. Happy times.

But reading this book this afternoon puts me in an interesting mood before going out tonight. I should be VERY thankful for this opportunity. Sure I have a lighter workload this term and thus I have more free time for "fun stuff" and hanging out with my friends. But what I mean to say is, can you imagine how much Primo Levi (author of this book) would have liked to go out in the evening, blow off studying for a night and just enjoy himself? This book hits me extra hard because the author was exactly 24 years old when he wrote the book - the same age as I am right now. Can you even imagine yourself in that situation? It's almost impossible to comprehend the fear and hatred you would have towards the people who have imprisoned you. But alas, he writes the book in a calm, pensive and a matter-of-fact kind of way. His strength through his words is clear and stunning.

So when I am out tonight, enjoying the company of my friends... I'll be sure to enjoy it just a little bit more. A "Cheers" with friends, a "L'Chayim", meaning "To Life!" How lucky I am to be living in an age where I am not persecuted for who I am, and that I have the benefit of taking the evening off from my homework, visiting with friends, and just enjoying life. This is a blessing and a right that I would not have, were I born 40 or 50 years earlier and in Europe. I think we should all be grateful for this fact, and wary that others in the world now may not have the rights that we so clearly deserve.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Winter time in Waterloo!

Well it's definitely winter! Big snowfalls over the past few days, and we even had a -14 Celsius Day already, that's about 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit for my American friends South of the Border. That is pretty mild as long as the wind isn't too nuts. There have been a few really cold days, but nothing too nuts yet. No -30's yet but I'm sure we'll get some of those soon enough. :)

Here are a few pics of the snow and also of some of my Dons making us all food, we had a Res Brunch one day and it roooccked.

Today was the JSA Bagels and Lox day and yes, it rocked. I ate so much smoked salmon that it was pretty ridiculous, but still legendary.

Winter in Waterloo

Karen making lots of scrambled eggs

Natalie the master pancake maker

Monday, January 22, 2007

Another awesomely fun survey

Man I love doing these things, especially at 2:30am when I am too excited to sleep and I've finished my homework for the night. Good times.

Four Things about me

Things you may not have known about me.....

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Pixar Animation Studios Technical Director Intern/Production Engineering Intern
2. Alias Maya Developer
3. Computer Salesman at Harvey Norman Computer Superstore in Newcastle, NSW, Australia
4. Computer Solutions President, my own computer fix-it business I started in Grade 8

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Monsters, Inc.
2. Almost Famous
3. The Big Lebowski
4. Cars

C) Four places I have lived
1. Emeryville, California
2. Newcastle, NSW, Australia
3. Oxford, England
4. London, Ontario, Canada

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. The Simpsons
2. Scrubs
3. Arrested Development
4. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

E ) Four places I have been on vacation:
1. South Africa
2. Norway
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland

F)Four Websites visited daily:
2. (Canada-U.S.A. Exchange Rates)

G ) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Steak
2. Oatmeal (I'm going fierce on it at the moment)
3. Bubble Tea
4. Swiss Chalet Quarter Chicken Dinner, White Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, with a White Bun (the whole grain one kinda sucks), and a glass of water (this meal is legendary)

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At work (at the end of the summer!)
2. Backpacking in Europe (this summer!)
3. Hangin' out with my family (after finals!)
4. At a Dave Matthews Band Concert (probably sometime this year)

Screenshots from UI Game

Here are some screenshots of my Memory Card game in XLib for my User Interfaces class. This is the classic "Memory" game where you need to flip over one card at a time and try to match cards with each other. We all had to design and program this game in XLib from scratch with no supplied code. It took a couple of days but it was cool to learn how XLib works and get to directly design the click handlers and event loop and redraw methods and so on. Sweet deal!!

Level 1

Level 4 after flipping over all the cards

Enter name screen for keeping track of high scores

High score screen

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finished card game for UI

Tonight I went to school and did a bunch of programming and then hung out with my sister for a bit, she made me some awesome tea and biscuits and stuff, it roooccked!!!!!!! She had some legendary challah she made too. Man she is good at making that challah!! I gotta join up next time she makes it so I can score a few loaves for my house. Awesome.

Also finished up my UI Assignment today which is totally sweet. It is a memory card game, where you have to click on cards and match them up. I've got a high score thing working, some cool UI features and stuff and also managed to get all of the requirements done and add a few more things to it. Good times!

Rocked some Bubble Tea again tonight after finishing up programming at school at like Midnight. That was good, and glad Joel and I got a bunch of work done today, I think Joel has a fair bit more to do tomorrow but hopefully he's a lot of the way there too. I'm happy to be done so I can relax tomorrow a bit and have a real weekend day. :)

Just chatting with my buddy Alex now, sounds like he had a great time skiing over the weekend.

Friday, January 19, 2007

UI Programming and Bubble Tea

Yep it's 4:16am. I gotta be less crazy with these random sleeping hours. But anyway good times!!!!! I had a great time last night, hangin' out with a bunch of cool old friends at Bomber and dancing up a storm for like 4 hours, it was really hot in there and I must have had an insane workout, but it was awesome for sure. I had a great time and definitely I am enjoying this term (and that I have been to Bomber 3 times already and we've only been back for 2.5 weeks!)

Today so super busy and nuts. I just wrote a Facebook survey and one of the questions was "What did you do today?" Here was my answer...

Went to bed at 3:30am, got up at 7:50am, went to class, read a History Article, programmed my UI assignment, went to a discussion class for History, talked to a cute girl, ate some sushi, went home, slept for 3 hours, went to class, chatted with my professor after class, got props from my professor for my movie commentary skills, ate some Campus Pizza, drank some Bubble Tea, watched John Stewart, watched Stephen Colbert, programmed my UI assignment for 3 hours.

Yeah that's nuts. The "watched John Stewart, watched Stephen Colbert, programmed my UI assignment for 3 hours" explains why I am still up at 4:30am. Anyway on that note I am off. I should finish UI pretty soon and then hopefully a relaxing weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

XLib Programming

Today I started on the UI Assignment, it's an XLib Programming assignment for XWindows!! Pretty 'ol school stuff but definitely interesting. I am really enjoying it already, I thought it would take forever to get going on it, but it's working out pretty well.

As a test run I coded up our Prof's example from class, a super quick drawing program. It is incredibly simple and was quick to get going and the details totally make lots of sense now which is great.

Here are my fantastic drawing skills with the mouse. :)

Sweet times!!!!!! I am doing a memory card turn-over game in XLib for this class, fun stuff. It wasn't a huge amount of work to get it going today which was great, as I wasn't sure how much work this Assignment might be. Hopefully I'll get a bunch more done tomorrow and I'll get some screenshots posted if they look cool. :)

Instead of doing this on Linux I am trying it out with Eclipse on Windows and then running an XTerm through Cygwin. It's actually working out really well and it's a pretty good setup. Man Eclipse is AWESOME!!!!!!

Anyway just a bit of Computery stuff tonight. Also I had some awesome tea at Karen's apartment and hung out with Yung and Nick a whole bunch. Happy times.

Monday, January 15, 2007

John Lasseter at the Golden Globe Awards

Tonight was the Golden Globe Awards and "Cars" was nominated in the Best Animated Film category... and "Cars" won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course none other but the legendary, the amazing John Lasseter was on stage at the Golden Globes to receive this award. John Lasseter is the Director of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and Cars, and quite possibly the awesomest person on the planet. He also MC'd the Pixar Halloween costume contest this year (see pictures here: That was possibly one of the best days ever. :)

Just wanted to post this congrats to the Cars team!!!!!!!!!! John Lasseter's speech as always was eloquent and legendary. What an inspiration.

Snow Day at Waterloo!!

Today was a nice bonus... a snow day!!!! I haven't had one of these in ages!!

For those of my friends to the South, a "Snow Day" is every Canadian child's dream... a day when you are expecting to go to school, but as you look outside into the freezing cold, gusty wind, the TV and the Radio announce that the roads are so treacherous and the weather is sooo bad that school is cancelled!!!!!

The last time I clearly remember a snow day was in Grade 5 I think, the snowfall the night before was so insanely intense and the snow was more than 1 metre deep. Insane!! It was impossible for snow cleaning crews to get out there nearly fast enough, and there was so much ice under the snow that no one could drive anywhere at all (if they could even get out of their driveways!)

So today was the return of the snow day. Awesome! I woke up this morning to hear my roommates chatting about how "UW is closed today... something something... it's a Snow Day!!" Sweet. So I had a great day of staying inside in the nice warm apartment, doing lots of homework and watching the Golden Globes.

Here's an excerpt from an article from the UW Website from today.

UW closed by snow and ice

The university is closed for the day because of a winter storm that paralyzed the American midwest with ice over the weekend and came howling into southwestern Ontario overnight.

Following procedure, UW automatically closes when the Waterloo Region District School Board shuts all its schools (not just buses). News of that decision by the school board came a little before 6:00 this morning, and a UW announcement was sent to local radio stations and posted on the main web site.

The closing means that there will be no classes today, staff get a paid day off, libraries are closed, and everybody gets a 24-hour extension on assignments. A few essential services, including policing, the Student Life Centre, and residence cafeterias, continue regardless of an emergency closing.

Wilfrid Laurier University and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are also closed for the day, along with a multitude of smaller organizations. The University of Guelph is open, as is Conestoga College. Early this morning, as ice pellets peppered the city and slicked the pavements, radio traffic reporters had word of one crash on the roads, then another and another. Freezing rain and snow are both expected to fall before the day is over.

Less than two weeks into the winter term, today wasn't scheduled to be a busy day at UW — no midterm exams, no co-op interviews. It was to be the first day of a five-day blood donor clinic, and the university senate loses its monthly meeting.

Closing the campus (as well as UW's outlying units, architecture in Cambridge and distance education in Kitchener) means staff, faculty and students who have kids will be able to stay home with them. It also keeps thousands of people off the dangerous streets.

And it gives the plant operations grounds crew — who don't get the day off — more room for the plows, salters and sanders to work on campus roads and parking lots. The UW police told me at about 8:20 that roads on the main campus are in "terrible" shape, although the grounds crew is hard at work.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

While discussing Cars toys...

So after all the excitement of those 2 new sets of Cars toys tonight (see previous post), I managed to get Dirt Track McQueen and Hamm the Car!! Sweet!! This will certainly add very nicely to the collection!!

Dirt Track McQueen (with dusty wheels)

Hamm from Toy Story in Car form

Awesome new Cars toys

This is super awesome. 2 more sets of Cars toys seem to have appeared and they are AWESOME!!!!!!! I am going to check for them at regular stores before going nuts and paying too much on Ebay for them. Ohhhhhhhh man they are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

These are Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. (as you all know, the best film ever made) in Car form from the end of the movie "Cars" in the end credits part of the movie. Amazing.

Also Guido and Luigi with their Ferrari racing fan stuff is super cool and that looks a lot like a fluffy wig on Guido the Car, pretty super amazing. I definitely have to get these and add to the collection. I've got every die-cast from Series 1 and all the movie moments plus the new releases following that (Nitroade, Leakless, Buzz and Woody, Cruisin' McQueen, Radiator Springs McQueen, Yellow Ramone and Fabulous Hudson Hornet.) Those are sweet and I just have Dirt Track McQueen and Hamm left out of all that are currently available. I've heard there could even be more coming, and clearly at this point I've got to keep up the collection. :) These are really cool to have on my desk and I looooove them. Amazing!!

Anyhow check out these pics, these toys might be the coolest things ever.

Mike and Sulley as Cars

Guido and Luigi with Ferrari clothing on!

Sort-out time!

Today feels like sort-out time for a whole bunch of stuff. Sending lots of emails and just started an Excel Graph/Spreadsheet to track my weight loss plan and sent an image of my photographs to CDS International, Inc. (my Visa agency for the U.S.A.), sent Thank-You letters to the two sponsors of the two scholarships I won this term, and doing a whole bunch of other stuff too.

Nick got an awesome fancy digital scale so I'll keep a weekly tab on the progress of my working out/nutrition/healthy eating focus. I'd call it a "diet" but it's really not just that - I'm still eating basically what I was eating before, just a bit more fruit, more water, and a bit less juice and chocolate. :) The problem with me has always been portion size and not enough exercise. So I am working hard to change those 2 things and it seems to be making a big difference already. If it's super awesome by the end of term I'll celebrate (but preferably with buying more Cars toys or something and not with just eating a lot of food) hehe. :) Good times!!!!!!!!!! Anyway totally psyched about this new focus and I think it's going quite well already.

24 starts tonight but I think I am going to opt-out of this season, hehe. I just watched it last term with my Pixar homeys and it was sweet but I already have enough on the go. I am keeping up with the usual Scrubs and The O.C. watching (sweeet) and I think that's enough for this term.

Anyhoo, planning on listening to a couple of lectures from my DE class tonight, so I should get going on those. I wonder if Simpsons is on tonight? :)

Hehe as you can see from my super random post I'm still in the sortof-settled-but-not-quite scenario. I finally got some awesome photos of my homeys/Jutan Clan up around my desk and also here's another random photo of Matt and Jer from last week when we went to the Bomber.

Matt and Jer last week

My desk decorations

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The change in school/life balance

Hehe this term feels soooo weird so far. I am really putting much less priority on school - I am of course still going to put in everything I need to do and do a good job on everything, of course - but I feel like "just my homework" is not the #1 priority this term. It's SO weird, because every other term at school has been rush rush rush rush work 150% every single day hardcore insanity, and since now it's my last term and it's a bit lighter than usual I feel WAY less pressure from school to be running at 150% capacity all the time.

Hehe funny I say that though ("running at 150% capacity") because usually my workload around here requires an insane super focused fierce pace. I am using this energy instead to focus on my health and exercise and nutrition... pretty awesome. So after several years of this "Frosh-15" (or more like "Frosh-25") lbs. of weight that I gained in 1st year and haven't been able to get rid of, I'm working out like CRAZY and focusing very carefully on my food intake/portion size to finally do something about this. As crazy as it is to say this, I feel like I haven't had the time to make this a priority until now. That's terrible and really not a good situation if my health/fitness/nutrition gets cast aside because I am so exhausted mentally all the time that I cannot bring myself to do any physical activity and I just grab the easiest possible food, which is never good. Easy implies fast which implies eating too quickly which implies eating too much. Also easy implies pre-prepared which implies tasty which implies full of fat and plenty of empty calories which implies not the correct nutrition which brings us back to being mentally exhausted (also due to lack of correct nutrition) :) Hehe this puts the picture from Austin Powers in my head, hehe, "it's a vicious cycle!!!" haha.

Anyway I think I am putting the fierce energy and focus that I usually put completely and entirely into my schoolwork into my exercise, my health and my nutrition. This is great, but also very strange since it is a much different attitude than I have taken in previous terms at school. I think now that I am almost done, I'm starting to see the whole picture and realizing that, since I have a lighter term, I need to spend a lot of mental and physical time doing stuff for myself. Pretty cool. Also, I've already taken the most awesome, amazing, legendary and important Computer Science course already, and that was Computer Graphics last summer term. Therefore I've already done the class that will be the most important to me, so the rest of the stuff this term is really just to gain some more interesting knowledge and to finish my degree requirements.

I am thus far finding it kindof hard to get into the work this term, I am doing a fair bit of it, and I guess I'm working hard enough so far, but it's always hard to know. I feel like I am working out and socializing all the time and seeing friends and so on, but I don't feel like I've done a ton of work yet. Well I guess it's only a week and a half into term so there hasn't been an exorbitant amount of work yet, but also there probably won't be since it's not really all that hard of a term, and I only actually have 1 Programming class this term (and it's not insane like some of the other 4th year programming classes I've done.)

Anyhow here's another thing I am doing (blogging) rather than going to do my laundry and doing some homework. Hehe so I better get to it. For a change I am not thinking about work and what I need to do for school 20 hours a day. :) Pretty nice change. This is good and I hope to keep this attitude going, but I also would love to be able to still graduate with distinction. I am very close. At the moment I am about 1% above the cutoff on my cumulative average to graduate with distinction which would be sweeeeeeeet!! Of course this is not like the most important thing in the world, but it sure would be a nice bonus after working my butt off for 5 years. Good times.

Friday, January 12, 2007

JSA, Bubble Tea, Working out

Today was sweet, just 1 class today and then off to the Gym AGAIN for other workout. I've been going pretty much every single day, I've only missed maybe 1 or 2 days in the past 10 days, and those days I went to Bomber and danced all night. Good times.

Today was clubs day at Waterloo and I got to chill at the JSA Booth (Waterloo Jewish Students Association), met a couple of new students and let them know about some of our events. Lots of cool kids around this term and a great bunch of friends from previous terms of course.

Yung was waiting around for hours for me to get back, I didn't realize that. Hehe but after Nick got back we all went for Bubble Tea and yes, it was awesome and yes, I was just there yesterday. :)

Great times so far this term at school, not too much pressure or anything too nuts yet, and it should stay decently like this. I am making 2 things the forefront of this term: working out/eating better and socializing. :) This is what I had planned and looks like it's going very well so far. This term is not going to be overly busy which is good, and also I need to get planning my trip to Europe soon too. Sweeeeeeet.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thinking about humanity, read Elie Wiesel's "Night"

University and learning in general are meant to broaden your mind and make you think and question the world around you... and most certainly my choices of courses this term is doing just that.

I am taking a course entitled "The History of the Holocaust" and I feel like this course is really going to make me think a lot and I'll have lots to say about this class, so keep your eyes on this blog if you like these bouts of Mike Jutan being serious for a change and not just going on and on about how much I love my job and my friends and the Dave Matthews Band (although there will still be plenty of these kinds of posts, I am sure of it.) :)

Anyhow, I'd like to post a couple of feelings on here tonight. I just read Elie Wiesel's "Night", a terrifying recount of the author's life during World War II and during his time in the Auschwitz concentration camp and other concentration camps. It was a very short read, only about 120 pages or so. But it was incredibly powerful and hard to handle. I cried several times in the 2 or 3 hours it took to read it. Why I point this out is that I feel that this book is powerful yet very accessible, a good read for young adults or high schoolers. Certainly University students can handle the language and the length of the book. This fact makes this book all the more important... the message of "Never Forget" MUST be carried on by our society, and as my History Professor so nobly said in class today, it is our DUTY... not our choice but our DUTY to remember the Holocaust.

As the Spanish philosopher George Santayana said in his famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

I therefore applaud Elie Wiesel and all who were involved in his publishing, editing and translating. This must have surfaced such painful memories, but we as a society can certainly benefit from reading his story. I also applaud my fellow classmates, many (or even most) of whom are not Jewish and are taking this course out of interest in the past. This is a moment in human history that should never be a distant fading memory, it should be a clear field of study with ongoing research and discussion, so as to spread knowledge and understanding and prevent this kind of atrocity from happening ever again.

So I implore you, get a copy of this book, borrow it from a friend or a library, or buy it. It's only $12. Very accessible. There should be no reason why people of our era, the "age of information" should be kept in the dark about issues of this magnitude and historical urgency.

Perhaps we can do more than just shed a tear about Elie Wiesel's painful memories of the Holocaust - perhaps we can see it in our hearts and minds to see others as who they are... fellow Human Beings. Everyone deserves the right to practice their own religion and to live their life peacefully.

There are many lessons to learn from this book and from the Holocaust. Wouldn't it be nice if one day all of humanity could treat each other as equals?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Updated Resume Jan 2007

Just a quick one to say I've posted an updated resume on my website at:

As always please email me if you'd like a copy of my resume with references from my previous managers at Alias (formerly Alias|Wavefront) in Toronto, Canada.

London crew visiting in Waterloo

Last weekend my buddies Ans and Tim came up from London to visit and hang out. Good times!! Ans bought a sweeeeeeet new Bass in Toronto and we jammed for a bit.

Ans and my computer

Yung rockin' out

Ans and Tim

Just hangin' out


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Silly internet stuff, working out

Well this is a quick post from my roommate Nick's computer!! Hehe looks like my school internet stopped working on Saturday and I have to wait until Monday for them to fix it. Oh well. Hehe so yes with my internet down I actually went to bed at a somewhat decent time last night (only 2am!!!) Sweet deals.

I have been very serious about the working out, doing cardio now every single day since Thursday except for 1 day and weightlifting and stretching and stuff every other day. Sweet well looks like Nick needs his computer so I am back to the lounge now. Mmm my apartment smells good cause all my roommates are cooking food that smells tasty. Happy days!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to start some reading tonight for school that I need to do. Looks like a lot of reading and essays this term, much different than the usual term. Hopefully I'll keep the working out at this fierce pace and also keep seeing friends and enjoying my last term here at Waterloo.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Chillin' with my boys

It's been an awesome few days over here in Waterloo. I'm spending a lot of time doing a lot of stuff I don't usually do at school - working out at the Gym, seeing my Sister a lot, hanging out with my friends from London, dancing/cuttin' it up all night at the Bomber... amazing. I am really enjoying it and hoping that this term won't be too nuts and I can keep most of this stuff going all term. Especially important is the eating well and gym stuff which I am going to really be very careful and serious about.

Tonight was sweet, we went to Phil's, I've never been there and everyone says it's a really gross and dirty bar which smells bad and so on. :) Hehe it was much better than I expected, though yeah I guess it did smell a bit. Hehe we went there for Casandra's going-away party, Casandra is a friend from VOC (Frosh Leading) at Waterloo and she is off to Australia for a year so we hung out with her and her friends tonight. Lots of fun.

Anyway it's 3:48am and I better get to bed. Lots more fun tomorrow and hopefully plenty more working out and so on over the weekend. Good times!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Moving back to Waterloo, Bubble Tea

This morning I took the Greyhound from Toronto back to Waterloo and moved into Res!! Very cool to be back in Res and Yung and Nick are my roommates!! Yung's friend Evelyn came up from Toronto to help us move and she was reaaaaally helpful which was awesome. We all helped carry each other's stuff so the moving in was very quick!!

In the afternoon we got groceries and then packed the fridge and stuff. It is really an awesome apartment and I think we are going to have a fantastic time here!!

Turns out my friend Karen from VOC is donning in this area, which rooocccks!!!! In the evening we went to Mongolian Grill, then I got my bike from my old apartment and then we all went for Bubble Tea. Here are some pics from today.

Just moving in

Sweet room

Slick bathroom


We have one of those cool and weird apartment calling things!!!)

Another nice pic of the lounge

Clean fridge

Nice cupboards

Sweet stove

Yung at Bubble Tea

Me rockin' out

Evelyn is relaxing before driving home


Workin' it

Yung and Evelyn

Me and Evelyn striking a pose

Hip Hop style

Whhaattt uuupppp!!!!!!

Yung, Evelyn and Nick

Karen in her room

Karen cutting me some "Chinese Cake"

Karen cut too much cake so she tried to make it thinner so we could share it, and tried slicing it down the middle, and then that was too hard. It was hilarious and we photo-documented this awesome event!!!!

Haha us and our cake

My clothes all unpacked

Cars Sheets ready for use!!!!!

My books

Desk and computer setup

Cool closeup of Mike Wazowski

Buzz and Woody Cars

Luigi and Guido

Awesome one of Hudson Hornet