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January 29, 2002

The Blog Stalker

New Misc Rambling by yours truly. Despite what you may read, I still want you to keep reading my site. Please.

00:00 | Blog

Blog Stalker

Blogs. Internet Web logs. Diaries layed out for the entire world to see. Friends, family, enemies and strangers alike are free to browse someone's account of a personal experience, or his or her musings on a subject. Rarely do people post private things they would rather others not see. Still...

Recently my friend Rafi (whose blog inspired me to get off my ass and make my own) asked me if I had read one of the blogs on his links page. Now I enjoy reading my friends' and family's blogs. I also have no problems reading strangers' blogs. Call it cyber-diary voyerism. But there's that group of people who you recognize, and have probably met, but aren't friends. They're barely acquaintences. Maybe you were introduced at a (twice-removed) mutual friend's party while you were drunk. Maybe you only know the other person's name because you heard other people mention it. My point is, the blog Rafi asked if I had read, belonged to one of those "acquaintances".

No, I'm not going to tell you whose blog it was, but I will tell you it belongs to a girl. Reading the blog of such a person, especially a female, makes me feel like some sort of stalker: I know lots of interesting tidbits about her life, but she (presumably) knows nothing about me. It would be terribly awkward if we actually meet each other for real and she starts telling me some story:

Blog Girl: "So then, I came running out of the fitting room..."
Me: "Yeah, I know, and your pants were on backwards."
Blog Girl (hesitant): "Oh, did <mutual friend> already tell you about that?"
Me: "No."
Blog Girl (confused): "Oh. Did I already tell you this story at <previous social gathering>?"
Me: "No, we've never actually met, but I do know a lot about you. I know your cat's name is Fluffles, you go swimming on Wednesdays at 7:00, you use Secret anti-perspiraaaaaaAAAAAAAAHHHHH"
Blog Girl returns pepper spray to her purse.

That's just one of infinite possible outcomes to me reading her blog. Of course there's always the chance that we'll fall madly in love with each other and run off to some remote island or something, but I find the former scenario a little more realistic.

Well, since Rafi recommended I do it, I did read her site. It was very good. Insightful, creative and contained no juicy private bits. I guess reading it doesn't make me some sort of creepy Blog Stalker. Her site even has a webcam where I can watch her every move from the comfort of my living room.

00:00 | Misc Rambling

Oh Canada!

Poutine, that artery-clogging french fry, cheese and gravy snack is uniquely French-Canadian, but did you know it wasn't always made with potatoes? In the 1840s and 50s the French and Métis couriers de bois would take with them on their hunt for beaver pelts, cheese for snacking. Upon catching and skinning a beaver, the fur traders would build a fire and cook the beaver meat, spreading cheese and a sauce made from the drippings on the meat. They would then extend this dish to their companions saying "Pour toi" meaning for you. This eventually got shortened and colloquialized to "poutine".

After making the beaver Canada's national animal, the fur trade was prohibited from killing these tree-munching rodents. The poutine was nearly lost forever, until, in 1901, a Québec resident of French and Irish background Charles O'Gratin had a brainstorm. Knowing his Irish ancestors were saved from famine by potatoes, he sliced a boiled one up, poured cheese and deer drippings (still legal to kill) onto it and invented a national food. Oh Canada!

00:00 | Canada

January 28, 2002

That's Me Herc, That's Me

Just when I thought things were going badly enough. Co-op hasn't updated the interview list since Friday. I may be missing an interview as I type this, I don't know. Hopefully they update tomorrow morning, probably about half an hour before my interview.

Hell Week is getting worse. I just found out in my Greek Myth course that the midterm (thought to be multiple choice) will in fact be fill-in-the-blanks and an essay question. And we have to get the spelling of all the ancient Greek names right (like Erichthonios, who was born from the earth when Athene wiped her would-be rapist's semen from her leg onto the ground).

It is an interesting course though. I learned that centaurs came to be after some guy had intercourse with a cloud. And let's not forget about "The Erotic Adventures of Hercules" where he fucks 50 different girls in as many nights (on some accounts, all in one night). And they say today's kids are growing up without decent role models.

00:00 | School

January 27, 2002

The Depths Of Hell, Waterloo Campus

I just looked at my schedule for next month, and my heart trembled with fear. Hell Week is coming. Co-op interviews start Jan 28 and go on until Feb 14. For those of you who don't know, when you have an interview scheduled you cannot miss it under any circumstances under penalty of death. Ok, maybe not death, but the Co-op Dept becomes none too pleased. You are expected to skip class if necessary, and in dire circumstances, swap interview times with other people on the interview list.

During the week of February 4th, I have 3 midterms and an assignment due. And I have to drop everything for interviews. All this stress - and to top it all off, Sunday February 3rd is my birthday. (Shameless birthday plug. Send me gifts.) Not that I'll be celebrating that weekend.

May God have mercy on my soul.

00:00 | School

January 17, 2002

Toilet Humour

Ask and ye shall receive. I got two submissions for miscellaneous ramblings. Unfortunately one of them violated my Bell Sympatico terms of service agreement, so I can't post it. apparently bashing Bell and posting child porn are equivalent violations. Sorry Dav.

The article that did make it is by everyone's favorite Brownmannn Amit Malhotra. Read all about his adventures in the stalls in Toiletry Pleasantry.

PS - Hi Ang!

00:00 | Blog

And You Think I'm A Nerd

My name is Chris Lyon and I'm majoring in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. I wear glasses, I enjoy computer programming, playing computer games and even occasionally watching Star Trek. I may not have the best fashion sense in the world, and I may be able to count the number of girlfriends I've ever had on one hand, but if you think I'm a nerd, wait till you hear about some of my classmates.

Most Computer Science students content themselves with having debates about Microsoft's business practices or playing Magic: the Gathering with other tight t-shirt wearing, overweight individuals. Most of the men have long unkept beards, and most of the women... well, there aren't enough women in Computer Science to generalize.

This rant is about real people who I've had the misfortune of sharing Computer Science classes with at Waterloo. The nicknames are made up, but each anecdote is completely true.

Calculator Boy

The first of the nerds who got me so angry in class, I had to be restrained by my friends to prevent me from kicking his ass in the middle of lecture. This guy insists on answering every question armed with a calculator in his left hand. I think it may be permanently attached.

Professor: "Ok, let's fill up this data structure with some random numbers. Somebody give me a number."
Student1: "Uh, 7"
Student2: "3"
Professor: "Anyone else?"

Calculator Boy is waving his right arms wildly in the air, his calculator-hand, clutched tightly against his chest. He has the look on his face like he has something so terribly funny to say that he just may explode if he doesn't say it.

Professor (reluctantly pointing to CB): "You."
CB (snickering): "65535"
Professor (unimpressed): "Why did you choose that number?"
CB: "Because that will cause an overflow!"
Me: "I'll kill him!"
Ryan: "Sit down Chris."

Laughing Boy

Laughing Boy's super-nerd power is the inability to control to volume and intensity of his laughter during lectures. The professor would make the lamest attempt at a joke, and Laughing Boy would howl at a volume that was embarrassing to us all. He was in all three of my computer classes last term. My favorite incident occurred in my operating systems class taught by a Russian professor.

Professor: "The clock in the back of the class is wrong."
Laughing Boy (snickering): "Sir, what's that on your left wrist?"
Professor (confused): "It's my watch."
LB (snickering louder): "Then why don't you look at it instead of the clock?"
Professor (pointing to his watch): "This is Moscow local time."
Guy behind me (under his breath): "Shut the fuck up!"

Navy Boy

This guy is much less of a nerd than the others, he just really creeps me out. He's a Croatian, or something and he used to wear this blue-and-white striped shirt and has short hair, so he looked like a sailor to us. Then one day he started bringing in this green navy-issue blanket to class and wrapped it around him like a shawl. Then he started getting creepy.

He would always sit about two rows ahead of me and at least once every class he would slowly turn his head until he faced me. Still wrapped in his shawl, mouth slightly open and with eyes that could penetrate my soul, he made eye-contact for just a moment, before slowly turning his head back to the front. A few seconds later he would do it again, but this time, he turned his head the other way, again making eye-contact for a moment before turning back to the front.

Skunk Head

Here is a guy so smug in his nerdiness, I just want to punch him in the throat. I have to give this guy credit for having the balls to look the way he does. What makes Skunk Head what he is, is his hair. His hair is bleached platinum on the left side of his head, and dyed black on the right. Maybe this represents some sort of yin-yang, good-evil symbiosis or something. Maybe he's just a big nerd.

He was in one of my computer classes about two years ago. Then his hair was long and always in a black and white ponytail. I still see him around here and there. His hair is now short and still divided into two opposite hemispheres.


The only nerd in my list whose name I did not make up. Socrates is what he likes to be called. He's fat, has a huge black curly beard and wears a felt hat with a red feather in it. And not a little feather either. I'm talking a foot-long puffy ostrich feather.

I've never actually had him in any of my classes. Something tells me if I did, I'd have one hell of a story to tell.

Wall-Eyed Mike

This guy really gets on my nerves. He has this big head and round bulging eyes and never looks directly at you when speaking. He seems to focus on something to the above right of your head and stares during the entire conversation. He has a know-it-all attitude and lets everyone know it.

WEM is sitting in the front row of the class with no books open in front of him and his arms crossed. As the professor lectures, WEM starts scoffing, sighing, and chuckling to himself loud enough for the whole class, let alone the professor to hear.
Professor: "Is there a problem?"
WEM: "Well sir, it's just that what you're teaching is so simplistic."
Professor: "Why do you say that?"
WEM: "Because I read all this last night and found it really easy."
Professor: "Well why don't you sit quietly so the others who haven't read the material already can learn."
WEM, eyes rolling sighs deliberately.

Well, you've read my rant about my nerdy classmates. If you haven't felt sorry for me yet, just remember, for every Skunk Head and Calculator Boy in my class, there are dozens of others in the Computer Science club, probably masturbating to revealing pictures of Lara Croft.

00:00 | Misc Rambling

January 14, 2002

A Sense Of Community

I was reading my friend Rafi's blog today. He was writing about linking to other blogs and checking his popularity amongst other bloggers. I realize that my "blog" isn't part of any greater blog community, and the only people reading this site are myself and anyone else I personally forced to read it. But you know, I don't care. I was never much of a team player when it comes to hobbies: never on a high school sports team, never part of a club or society (except Boy Scouts).

Don't get me wrong, I would love for lots of people to read this site. Hell, it would bring that extra level of meaning into my life, but you know, I do this because I enjoy it. To hell with the rest of you.

On an unrelated topic, feel free to submit some articles and a possible name for this site! And tell your friends!

00:00 | Blog

January 9, 2002

School Sucks

First week back to classes today. Time to start assignments, readings and of course, sleepless nights cramming. To celebrate, I wrote a Miscellaneous Rambling with an appropriate topic. Hope you all enjoy.

00:00 | School | Comments (2)

January 1, 2002

By Edsgar Dijkstra

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

00:00 | Quotes

Same Shit, Different Year

Happy New Year everybody.

I've decided to enlist some people to help out with my website. I'll be taking submissions for the Miscellaneous Ramblings section as well as submitting my own. It should make the site slightly more entertaining than it is now. Look for some new submissions some time this month.

00:00 | Blog