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February 26, 2002

Dinner And A Movie

What a strange day. It all started with my "America and the Vietnam War" class. We got our midterms back and I got an impressive B+. Swoosh.

After class Vanessa and I went to the Modern Language cafeteria for our usual coffee and chat. As with most everyday conversations, the topic turned to rotisserie chicken. I commented on how much I love St Hubert chicken, but alas, it is so far away (in Oakville). Vanessa asked if I wanted to go there right now, expecting the answer to be no. When I agreed, she was surprised, but refused to retract the invitation, so skipping three classes between the two of us, we set off in the pouring rain for Oakville.

I called my brother for directions to Dundas St, since he knows the Oakville area better than I. He assured me that he had never seen a St Hubert on Dundas in all his years at Sheridan College. I thanked him for the directions and disregarded his lack of rotisserie-radar. During our drive, we wondered what others would think if we were killed in an accident, alone together driving towards the big city. Maybe they would come to the conclusion that we had eloped. We both had a good laugh at that.

We finally found the restaurant and gorged ourselves on the sweet sweet chicken. After lifting a plate from the restaurant, we decided to see a movie (hey, if you're going to skip class, you might as well go all out). We got to the theatre just in time for the 1:10 showing of Queen of the Damned. Not a movie either of us had been dying to see, but what the hell. After 20 minutes of commercials and previews, the movie started. It was 1:30.



Oh shit! I had to meet my co-op coordinator to sign my letter of acceptance at Microsoft at 1:30. We bolted out of there and I phoned the school. The Co-op receptionist told it it was alright, and that I probably hadn't missed anything important. She was right. I said good-bye to Ness and arrived at my advisor's door at 2:30. She seemed indifferent to my "car touble" excuse (it really was car trouble--the car was in Oakville). She gave me some papers to sign and I came home.

Ok, so this story has a weak ending, and no real point. Shut up. Get your own damn website.

00:00 | Stuff

February 22, 2002

Loneliness And Cheeseburgers

So I'm sitting at my computer, working hard on my Computer Networking assignment, when I read the course newsgroup and find out the assignment has been postponed by almost a week. This is usually a good thing, except in this case it totally shattered my will to continue working. This was supposed to be Hell Week Part Deux, with no less than three CS assignments due, but ever since reading that posting, the procrastination gremlins (who until now, I had successfully fought back) bound and gagged my determination, rendering me a useless mass who would rather watch Star Trek:TNG reruns than even glance at the assignment again. (Oh Data, will you ever learn to be human?)

As if that wasn't bad enough, I have the whole apartment to myself tonight, the perfect environment for late-night programming and shouting profanities at my computer. Instead, I sat for a night of watching the Tee-Vee with the knowledge that even if I wanted to drag my unshaven, homework-clothes-wearing self out of the apartment, all my friends would be home with their parents for reading week.

I think I'll just curl up with a book and go to bed. Am I the only one who's actually reading during Reading Week? Am I that much of a nerd? Oh yeah, the Star Trek thing. Never mind.

00:00 | Nerd

February 19, 2002

Mr Lyon Goes To Washington

Yes, I'm going to Redmond, Washington to work at Microsoft.

00:00 | Work

February 18, 2002


Well, it's happened. Since co-op is so slow to update, my would-be employers have contacted me. I got offered the jobs at Microsoft and both RIM jobs. Now I have to weigh the pros and cons of each job. RIM offers a mangement position in a growing company with a very good chance of full-time employment and a better-than-average salary. Microsoft offers a huge salary but no one knows if there will be a place for me full-time. Damn it, I don't know. And I have to spend today studying for a midterm instead of contemplating it. Help me.

I guess I can't completely blame Co-op. If the employers don't send them the info, there's nothing to post. But still, if the point of the online system is to eliminate lineups and the need for paper copies of ranking forms, I'd say they missed the mark. By having Access not be able to handle the load of every co-op student at once checking their rankings at the exact time they said it would be available (co-op's choice... they could have updated it at night), they ensured that they would have irate students and the same long lineups in Needles Hall.

I did get one more piece of information today. Voxar cancelled their co-op position. Great. The only info I get from co-op doesn't help me at all. Oh well, Tuesday's the big day. Too bad I didn't have to weekend to consider my decision.

00:00 | School

February 17, 2002

Co-Op Wa Dame Desu

Sorry, I know this website is turning into a Co-op bashing site. Oh well. It's my site and I'll bash whoever I want (except the wonderful people at Bell Sympatico).

From the Co-op website:
Please check ACCESS again on Feb. 16 and on Feb. 19 for the most up to date information.

From the Access Website (since Friday afternoon):
The Application Server is currently down. Please try again later.

00:00 | School | Comments (1)

Tanoshikatta desu

Last night Ang, Ryan, John and I made sushi and dumplings for dinner. Memories of Japan came rushing back as we ate salmon sashimi, vegetarian maki and mushroom gyouza. We even had a little Asahi Super Dry beer to wash it down. We topped it off with a little Iron Chef.

00:00 | Stuff

February 15, 2002

Co-Op Angries Up The Blood

So at noon today Co-op "released" the interviewer rankings (OFFER, RANKED or NOT RANKED). At exactly noon the Access Web-based Co-op system crashed and stayed down for an hour and a half. When it finally came back up, I got my "results". They looked a little something like this:

Company Position Ranking
Longview Solutions Java Software Developer RANKED
Microsoft Corporation Software Engineer in Test NO INFO
RIM Quality Assurance NO INFO
RIM Project Manager NO INFO
Voxar C++ Software Developer NO INFO

Well thank you Co-op. Now I have the necessary information to make my decision. Did I mention that this decision possibly dictates where my full-time carreer will be? Tuesday is when my ranking is due, and I can't even think about it over the weekend, since I don't know who's offering me a job! I mean, what the hell am I doing here?!

00:00 | School

February 13, 2002

Co-Op Makes Baby Jesus Cry

I woke up this morning to find that co-op had scheduled two interviews for me in overlapping time slots. Two 45-minute interviews, one at 9:30am, the next at 9:45am. Great. So I made another trip to co-op reception:

Me: "Who do I talk to about interview scheduling issues?"
Receptionist: "What's the problem?"
Me: "I've been scheduled for two interviews at the same time on the same day."
Receptionist: "Yeah.. the computer does that sometimes."
Me: ???
Receptionist: "It does that if it can't fit you in anywhere else. Try to email the other people being interviewed and see if they'll switch with you."
Me: "And if no one will switch with me?"
Receptionist: "Then we'll just schedule you after everyone else."

So why didn't they just do that in the first place??? Urge to kill... rising...

00:00 | School


I had an interview with RIM today. First we had to meet for a group info session at 9:30am. When I arrived, the receptionist at RIM emailed the interviewer and told me to take a seat. I wondered why it wouldn't be quicker just to phone her desk. 10 minutes later the receptionist got a reply. Our interviewer was stuck on the 401 and would be here shortly. Ok well, that explains the email, since all employees have a Blackberry. Then I imagined the interviewer sitting behind the wheel, typing an email on the tiny Blackberry keyboard. I don't know how many of you have ever used one of these things, they're really hard to use with only one hand. That's probably what caused the accident on the 401 that held her up...

00:00 | Job Hunting

February 11, 2002


I had my two interviews today. The first was with Microsoft for the Software Development Engineer in Test position. I felt it went well. My weekend of preparing (at the expense of my homework) paid off. For all you nerds out there, you can read all about the technical interview tomorrow (hey, I'm not going to post the interview questions until after MS is done giving interviews at Waterloo!)

My other interview was with Longview Solutions for a Software Developer position. They're a company that "make software for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of Global 2000 companies". They said the magic words to me during the intverview: They don't just want a co-op student, they want to train a future employee. What a coincidence! I'm a co-op student who's looking for a company to hire me as a full-time employee after I graduate.

00:00 | Job Hunting

February 10, 2002

What Tomorrow May Bring

Went to the Microsoft info session at Ground Zero 6:30 today. Yes, it's Sunday. Anyway, there was a little intro as to what life in Redmond would be like, some Q&A and some pop and greasy food. I asked how we could best prepare for the interview and the response was something along the lines of "Relax. If you don't have what it takes already, there's nothing you can do in the next 12 hours to get it". Swell.

Tomorrow's the big day. Two interviews... Microsoft and Longview Solutions. Wish me luck.

00:00 | Job Hunting

February 9, 2002

Best Lecture Ever

Thursday I sat through possibly the most entertaining lecture in my academic carreer. It was my America and the Vietnam War class and the lecture was on how the soldiers were being abused trained by their drill sergents. The prof put up an overhead with the main points of the lecture. One of the points was "FNGs: Fucking New Guys". I think this is the first time I've written the word "fuck" in my notes because the teacher told me to.

The prof then performed a one-man dramatization of what would happen to a soldier should be caught laughing at the drill sergent. He began by screaming in a southern-US accent at the imaginary soldier, eventually demanded he drop and give him 20. He then crouched down next to the invisible private and, still screaming, suggested the private enjoyed pleasuring his grandmother orally. He even made hand and tongue gestures to get his point across.

Every other lecture I will ever attend can only pale in comparison to that performance.

00:00 | School

February 6, 2002

Google-Whacking Off

Googlewhacking, the lastest sensation sweeping the nerd nation! It's the new best way to procrastinate. Here's what you do:

  1. Think of two completely unrelated words. Word that you would not expect to be in the same web page.
  2. Plug those two words into Google.
  3. Make surprised face when you see just how many pages use the words stereophonic chicken on the same page.

The object is to get one single search result. Read the Googlewhacking website for rules and regulations. So far I've found a bunch:

Have fun, and play safe!

00:00 | Nerd

February 5, 2002

Oh My God

I got an update on my co-op situation. One rejection and one interview. Now I know what you're asking yourself: "What company would interview the student ten other companies wouldn't give the time of day to?"

Microsoft. Somebody pinch me.

00:00 | School

Pop Tab Fiasco

HA! I've finally found it. For years I've been sceptical of the whole "Pop-tab Collection for Poor Cancer-Patient Children Who Need Wheelchairs" hoax. Why do they just need the tabs? I would ask. Why not donate the whole can? And people would shake their heads at my ignorance about the magical material the tabs are made from. A material that when melted down and reforged into wheelchair form would make life better for a small crippled child, and possibly foil Osama bin Laden's next nefarious scheme.

Well read all about the hoax here. And someone get rid of the collection jar in the Davis Center cafeteria.

00:00 | Stuff

February 4, 2002

It Was A Super Birthday

Ang surprised me with a birthday lunch with all my friends on Sunday. It started off as a trip to a Thai restaurant, but when we arrived we found it closed. That's when Ang "out of the blue" suggested to go to Kelsey's. After Ang stalled for at least 10 minutes, we ordered. That's when my punctuality-challenged friends arrived. I was very surprised, and pleased to get a squash raquet. Now I can't use the PAC's rental raquets as my excuse anymore.

00:00 | Stuff


Midterm #1 is over. I guess it went ok. I need to study tonight for my next one. Some good news though: I got 95% on my last CS assignment (worth 10% of my final mark). I think I'm going to stick it to the fridge so company can see it when they come over.

00:00 | School

Co-op sucks

Access, the web-based online interview checker, wasn't updated today. I went to the co-op reception to inquire:

Me: "When will Access be updated today?"
Receptionist: "Access is updated Midnight to 6am Monday through Friday."
Me: "Ok, so that means it won't be updated until tomorrow?"
Receptionist: "Access is updated Midnight to 6am Monday through Friday."
Me: "Uh, right... So since the web page hasn't changed since Saturday, I need to wait until Tuesday to see Monday's new results?"
Receptionist: "Yes."

00:00 | School

February 3, 2002

Superbowl - Super Birthday

Today marks the 36th Superbowl, the annual pinnacle of American sporting events. Today is also my 24th birthday. I feel my birthday and the Superbowl have a lot in common:

Ok, maybe the two aren't all that similar.

00:00 | Stuff

February 2, 2002


I should be studying. I really should. Instead I redesigned the site s'more.

So much homework to do... At least I don't have to worry about job interviews. Yup, it sure must suck to have to worry about job interviews: researching the company, brushing up on your interview skills. None of that for me.

Good lord I'm depressed.

00:00 | School

February 1, 2002


Up to 9 rejections, including a company that in a previous term offered me a job.

00:00 | School

Co-Op Blues

I'm feeling down. Out of 24 résumés I've sent out, I have so far received 7 rejections. That's nearly one third. I'm now starting to wonder if I have some sort of awful typo on my cover letter, like accidentaly misspelling Computer Programmer as Donkey Molester.

What I really don't understand is, I applied at a bunch of companies that deal with wireless mobile device programming in Java. I'm one of the only people in North America with experience not only writing such software, but deploying it on actual devices. I have almost 1 year experience doing that.

Not only that, but this is my 8th co-op term. Co-op normally only allows 6, but since I went to Japan, they decided to grant me one more. So I have more full-time work experience than anyone else in the co-op program.

I just wish I knew what employers really wanted in a 4th year co-op student.

00:00 | School