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November 30, 2002

Best Spam Ever

I don't get spam to my Waterloo email account very often, but when I do, it's usually a big occasion. Today I got the funniest spam I have ever seen. This even beats the Become a registered minister email.

WARNING: The following except contains sexual content and may be offensive to, well, everyone. My comments are in italics.

I just want to tell you how about Amanda Lynn.
Yes, I am her fan, and she blows my mind.

Hmm... sounds innocent enough. I guess Amanda Lynn is some sort of celebrity.

If you really want to jerk off, just watch this girl at [address withheld].

Well, he just cut to the chase there, didn't he? I guess that answers my question about what kind of celebrity she is.

If you have adolescents at home, invite them to watch her too, so they can jerk off with you.

Now that's the clincher. Even if I were to go to this website with the sole purpose of masturbating, I seriously doubt I would invite my teenaged roommates/siblings/children over to the computer and make it a group affair.

If you want to send her money by PayPal use Payment Address Or you can visit her at Her web site and send emails to Such a sexy gril

I love it when a woman has a sexy gril.

Yours truly,
Mike Poop

If you can't trust a guy named "Mike Poop", then who can you trust?

00:00 | Nerd

November 29, 2002


Wow, I got an email from my Japanese teacher apologizing for forgetting about me this week. I think this is the first time in my university career that a faculty member has ever apologized to me, and believe me, some were much worse than sensei.

00:00 | School

November 27, 2002


I am so thankful that tomorrow is my last Japanese class. Don't get me wrong, I loved the opportunity to keep up with the poor Japanese skills I had, and was even able to make them slightly better, but I cannot take much more of the teacher.

A week before my interview, I went up to her to tell her that I would be missing the next class, and if I could write the test on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Here's roughly how the conversation went:

Me: (In Japanese) "Excuse me sensei, but I will not be able to make it to next week's class."
Sensei: (In Japanese) "Ah ah! Use the form we learned in class today!"
Me: (struggling because the form had nothing to do with what I was asking) "Um, class... uh, me?"
Sensei: "Say 'May I leave class early today?'"
Me: (confused)"May I leave class early today?"
Sensei: "Yes."
Me: "But what about the test?"
Sensei: "What test?"

Exasperated, I just asked her in English. She told me to meet her at 4:00 on Wednesday to write the test.

Wednesday 4:00 rolled around, and she wasn't in her office. I went to the classroom, and there she was giving a lecture. I waited for 15 minutes, but she showed no signs of ending the class. I knocked on the door and reminded her of my test. She informed me, rather coldly, that her schedule had changed and that she was in the middle of teaching a class. Without so much as an apology, she told me to come back at 5:00.

5:00 I met her in her office, wrote the test, then had her explain what was required of me for the final project. She said she didn't have any handouts with her, but that she would leave some in the office by Monday. If the handouts weren't there on Monday, I should email her and she'll have them for me before class on Thursday.

Well guess what. No handouts, and no reply to my email. So, I'll be handing something in tomorrow, but God only knows if it's what she wants. Somehow I feel I'll be losing marks over this...

00:00 | School

November 26, 2002

Last Week Of Classes

One week from now I will have finished my last university class ever.

Two weeks from now, I write my last exam ever.

Last night I got my website review assignment back: 7/20. Somehow pages 7-15 didn't get printed. I still don't know how that happened. It's all good though; the course marker allowed me to resubmit with no penalty. It's the kind of course that is really easy to get 70% in, but hard to get over 80%.

I also got some feedback from my English class about the last fiction piece I handed in. The group thought it was "awesome". I'm amazed, considering I did most of it the night before I handed it in, and honestly didn't put my all into it. If I'm so inclined, (and there's sufficient interest) I may post the fruits of this course to the site. But I have a Microsoft rant to write first...

00:00 | School

November 25, 2002


Today this site got its 4,000th visit since I started counting in July. That averages over 1,000 visits a month. Thank you to my loyal fans, and those who mistakenly stumbled onto my site searching for underage Japanese photos.

00:00 | Blog

I'm Back

Well. The bad news is, I didn't do very well during the interview. I was visibly nervous, managed to annoy one interviewer, and during the 5th hour became mentally exhausted resulting in brain freeze trying to reverse a linked list.

The good news is, they want me to come back and interview again sometime in December or January, so my adventures in Redmond aren't over yet.

Later this week I will include a rambling detailing my gruelling 6 hours of interviews for your reading pleasure.

00:00 | Work

November 21, 2002

It's Time

Well, I'm off. I'll be arriving in Seattle around 9:00pm PST tonight, and hopefully will be getting together with some old co-workers to raid the hotel mini-bar. Tomorrow at noon, I'll be proving my worth to the largest software company in the world. I'll be coming home Saturday night, either feeling great, unsure, or like I should have cast myself out of the plane somewhere over the American Mid-West. Assuming the NDR I'll be signing allows it, I'll post a recap of the interview here for your reading pleasure.

Unless, of course, there's a Chris-shaped hole in some Minnesota farmer's corn-field.

Since I'll be gone for a few days, you'll have to get your blog fix elsewhere. If you're sick of my regular links, try Yada (site down). Anyone who wants to be my protégé can't be all that bad.

00:00 | Job Hunting

November 20, 2002


By the way, only 20 days left until I'm done university forever. Not that I'm counting or anything.

00:00 | School

When Bill Comes A-Callin'...

Worried that I wouldn't get a flight in time, I emailed my contact at Microsoft Recruiting and explained the situation. A few hours later I got a phone call from Redmond. Apparently the online form I had filled out somehow didn't make it through (insert "M$ sux, h4x0rs rule!" comment here). I resubmitted and am now scheduled to fly Toronto-Seattle non-stop on Thursday. Out of the four times I flew to and from the West, this will be the first flight that won't be stopping off at O'Hare airport in Chicago. I will be coming back Saturday night (after a brief 35-minute stop at, you guessed it, O'Hare).

I knew this would all work out in the end, didn't you?

00:00 | Job Hunting

November 19, 2002

The Pressure Is On

I'm starting to get stressed now. I have a Japanese quiz tomorrow I spent the afternoon studying for, which means less time to study for my upcoming interview. Funny thing about that interview... I still haven't received any travel arrangements. I would really hate to miss the interview for a reason as stupid as they didn't fly me over there.

I'm checking my email compulsively every 5 minutes, but I'm always disappointed by either an empty inbox or ads to enlarge certain body parts.

Next on the list of interview study material: data structures and algorithms. Words like B-Tree, Quicksort, Dynamic Programming and Boolean all sound familiar, but if they ever came up in an interview I think I'd freeze up.

Another funny thing is that they want a list of references. The problem I have is that all my previous employers:

00:00 | Job Hunting

November 18, 2002

Interview, When?

Still no word on when I'm flying to Seattle. I've already packed my suitcase, just in case I only get 2 hours notice.

00:00 | Job Hunting

You Know A Class Is Boring When...

...visiting professors fall asleep in it. Today my first-year CS prof attended my Distributed Systems class, just to listen, I guess. He didn't last 15 minutes.

...the prof announces that the slide projector wasn't available so he'll have to draw the pictures on the board. Then, in an effort to fill up the 3-hour period, he tells us to get into groups, where we have to work on a project that is worth 0% of our final mark.

00:00 | School

November 17, 2002

The Juice Is Loose

My roommate Ryan went grocery shopping yesterday, and brought home no less than 10 litres of orange juice. The entire top shelf of the fridge is now taken up with Tropicana jugs. I guess he figures with the cold weather and the snow we got, that all the orange trees were going to freeze, driving up the price of OJ. I don't have the heart to tell him oranges are grown in Florida, not Waterloo.

00:00 | Stuff

Microsoft Preparation: Day 3

Today will be spent surfing the web for interview questions. I did the same for my my co-op interview and it really paid off. If I'm lucky, they won't be asking any stupid MindTrap questions with contrived answers involving a guy standing on a block of ice to hang himself.

00:00 | Job Hunting

November 16, 2002

Microsoft Preparation: Day 2

Today I'll be going over my old database notes, since I don't remember a damn thing about SQL. I think I'll also review some of the finer points of C++ because interviewers love asking tricky C++ questions. I always get a chill down my spine when an interview opens with "If you have a virtual method..."

00:00 | Job Hunting

Beard Brother

Greetings to everyone who came here after finding out sneakypete is on hiatus for retooling. I can only hope to be as entertaining as Pete and his magical beard.

00:00 | Blog

November 15, 2002

Microsoft Preparation: Day 1

I've decided to kick off the studying with a thorough review of two of Microsoft's new technologies: C# and .NET. There's a delicate balance between being too cool to spend Friday night reading last year's textbooks, and being nerdy enough to spend it programming.

00:00 | Job Hunting

By Douglas Coupland

Everyone at Microsoft seems, well, literally 31.2 years old, and it kind of shows.

00:00 | Quotes

November 14, 2002

Should I Complain?

I got "The Email". The interview is on. One slight problem: it's set for Friday November 22nd. I know I really shouldn't complain that I have an interview, but it's just that it now conflicts with a Japanese quiz, an English workshop, and Ang's family's early Christmas get-together (which I have been missing the past couple of years due to being out of the country).

D'oh, I was hoping for an interview after exams so I could actually prepare for it... now, it looks like I'll have to cram like I've never crammed before.

I know I shouldn't complain.. what with other Waterloo grads who are so desperate for interviews they would open-mouth kiss their own dog if it meant a foot in the door.

00:00 | Job Hunting

November 13, 2002

Ten Percent, Eight Months Later

I guess I won't be dropping off a resume at RIM anytime soon. When they interviewed me for a Co-op job 8 months ago, the interviewer was proud to tell me that RIM was one of the only tech companies not only not laying people off, but hiring. A lot can change in 8 months.

00:00 | Job Hunting

Chris Lyon, Web Critic

I'm working on a 1000-word report on the usability of the City of Toronto's website. It violates almost half of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, commits dozens of Nielson's No-nos, and their total lack of CSS would make Jeffrey Zeldman cry out in anguish.

I only have 1000 words, but I could easily write a short novel about the site, tearing it up like a Kleenex at a snot party.

00:00 | School

November 12, 2002


I'm mildly annoyed that Microsoft's .NET Framework version 1.0 does not contain a folder chooser dialog. I'm currently working on a side project using C# and .NET (gotta keep the skills fresh), and I don't want to spend my time reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

What is this side project? Let's just say it will have a direct impact on this website. I don't want to say too much, in case I never get it finished, and I get hundreds of emails inquiring about its progress.

Ha! It's fun to dream.

00:00 | Nerd

Blow, Not Grow, Part 2

Re: yesterday's entry. I got several inquiries about the $10 bill fiasco, so I thought I should clarify: The new $10 always had the correct poem, people just conveniently forgot the correct line at the thought of having a drawer full of collector's items.

00:00 | Canada

November 11, 2002

Blow, Not Grow

Canada's new $10 bill came out while I was in Japan last year. Since I'm a Canadian coin collector, I took great interest in learning about it (also so I wouldn't be shocked when I got back to Canada and someone gave me one for change). On the back on the bill is the first couple of verses from John McCrae's In Flanders Fields. This poem is taught early in Canadian schools (I learned it in grade 4). It really saddened me to hear that a lot of Canadians were stockpiling the bills because of a "typo" in the first line of the poem:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Blow, not grow. A two-second Google search revealed that. I think people are to ready to abandon common sense and their education when it comes to making a potential fortune.

00:00 | Canada

By John Mccrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

00:00 | Quotes

Let We Forget

It appears this year Canadians are buying more poppies than ever before. Some attribute it to the September 11th attacks last year, some think it's the new stylish back-centered poppies. Now, I know the green represented the green of Flanders Fields, but I haven't heard the official story behind the new black. Mourning? Maybe because poppies really are black inside.

For the first time in my life, I received poppies in the mail. Maybe that's the reason poppies are in short supply, people think the Legion envelope is junk mail and toss it without getting the poppies inside.

00:00 | Canada

November 10, 2002

Two Thumbs Up

We have a local alternative movie theatre here in Waterloo called Princess Cinema. I was first brought there in September 1997 with the rest of my frosh group. Since we were all computer science students, it stood to reason that we should see Monty Python and the Holy Grail, cause, you know, nerds like Monty Python.

Over the years I had the opportunity to see some really good (and some really bad) movies there, movies that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to see. Last night, Ang and I went there to see Spirited Away, the best-selling movie of all time in Japan. I'm not a big Anime fan (despite the fact I'm in Computer Science, and, you know, nerds like Anime), but I really enjoyed this movie. Although it has a fantasy theme, I wouldn't consider it a children's movie. At the end there was no "And it was all a dream... or was it?" crap, like most fantasies have. Ang liked it because about half the characters were giant talking frogs.

I'm looking forward to using my new Princess membership. Ang and I have plans to see Bowling for Columbine, the new Michael Moore film, and Rabbit-Proof Fence, an Australian film with an excellent soundtrack by Peter Gabriel.

00:00 | Entertainment


If you have a blog and like to flaunt it, check out Blogwise. If they'll list me, they'll list anybody.

00:00 | Blog

November 7, 2002

Purintaa Ga Dekinai

Purintaa Ga Dekinai

I stayed up til 2am last night typing up this Japanese composition. Luckily Windows XP and Word XP are very friendly to Asian languages, so typing it was no big deal. It even let me use furigana for all the "big" words. I emailed it off to my friend Aika in Japan (arigatou Aika-chan!) for proof reading, made my corrections this morning and was set to print it off.

Except Ryan's printer doesn't work (no, I don't have my own printer. My big computer purchase this year was my new monitor). It's now too late to write it up by hand, so hopefully my Japanese professor has joined us in the 21st century and has email.

00:00 | School

November 5, 2002

Interview On Hold

I learned that my Microsoft interview won't be happening in November after all. I guess it will have to be nestled somewhere after my last exam, and before Christmas.

00:00 | Job Hunting

The Google Gods Have Spoken

The Google Gods Have Spoken

For whatever reason, the gods of the Internet have decided to strip cplyon.ca from Google's database. As a result, the Google site search I had on the sidebar no longer worked. The ban also makes it harder for me to spread my word around, since the most popular search engine is refusing to list me. If this site were a business site, I may as well close up shop. If you're not listed in Google, you're nothing!

So I enlisted the help of WhatUSeek to index the site. I have more control over it than I did with the Google search, and it won't ban me. Go on, try it out!

Update: The gods have heard my plight! Google loves me again!

00:00 | Blog

November 4, 2002

The End Of The Beginning

Today is the last midterm I will ever have to write. Let's not forget that in less than 48 hours after that, my last programming assignment ever is due, and less than 24 hours after that, my last Japanese composition. The midterm: STV. The program: a distributed client/server system. The composition: a rough Japanese translation of The Old Man of the Train.

After that, a long-overdue weekend off when I'll be writing my next rant, coming up with a website face-lift, as well as a adding new addition to the website (my programming side-project). Oh, and I'll be preparing for my upcoming interview at Microsoft.

00:00 | School

November 2, 2002

Copy N' Paste

When Microsoft Visual Studio.NET (the program I use to develop my CS assignment) crashes, does it really have to clear the clipboard too? It's kind of like stabbing me in the chest, then pouring salt in my eyes, so if I happen to recover from the wound, I'll be blind.

I had just cut an entire function (a few dozen lines of sweet sweet source code) with the intention of pasting it into another file when VS crashed. When it came back up, I noticed it helpfully deleted my copied text. Thanks!

00:00 | Nerd