Thursday, June 30, 2005

Addicted to poker

Hello, my name is Al, and I'm a poker addict.

I play for for free on partypoker.com. I've also downloaded tigergaming and pokerstars to see what they offer. I would play for money, if I wasn't scared of my wife kicking my ass.

I've read everything I could find on the net about poker strategy. Even at work. Sometimes I've read articles twice.

I have my personal video recorder set to record poker, "all episodes, in any time slot", on The Score, Sportsnet, and TSN. I usually have 5+ episodes waiting for me on my recorded list. This morning I checked, and I have 0. I watched them all.

I play in a game once a week. I would play in more, but I'm not a gambler. I'm a poker addict. There's a difference.

Is there something wrong with me?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sad state of affairs

It's sunday night, and I'm already thinking of next weekend.

See, we're going to Wild Water Kingdom on friday. I haven't been there in years. And I've never been on one of those crazy high water slides before. Ever. Can Lil Lex do it? Will he "puss out"?

Then, on July 3, we're getting together at Kelso park. It was really fun last year, and we're bringing the dodgeballs again (protect ya neck, headshots are legal)! Bring an extra change of clothes, especially if we're meeting on the canoes again.

Work on Monday. sigh.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

How do you pronounce "Sorry"?

Am I talking with a wacky filipino-canadian accent? Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? I have been obsessed with how to pronounce the word "Sorry", ever since the Natty punked me. I was sure I was right ... right?

Is it pronounced sah-reeh (like an Indian sari)?
or is it pronounced soh-reeh (the first syllable like the word "sow")?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Featured on company website

Check this out, I'm featured on my company website:

http://www.tsworld.com/en/outside/inside_news8.html

My co-worker asked for a good picture of me in Paris to put on the site. What you see is the best I could offer.

It's the ROC!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Star Wars in our vernacular

It was funny watching Star Wars episodes 4, 5, and 6 recently, and hearing the origins of a lot of teamID sayings:

HAN: Still, she's got a lot of spirit. I don't know, what do you
think? Do you think a princess and a guy like me...
LUKE: No!

GOLD LEADER: (into mike) I can't maneuver!
GOLD FIVE: Stay on target.
GOLD LEADER: We're too close.
GOLD FIVE: Stay on target!

LUKE: I don't... I don't believe it.
YODA: That is why you fail.

LUKE: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
EMPEROR: Your faith in your friends is yours.

Add some if I missed any.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

PS3 or Xbox 360?

What is on your radar for next generation game console? Well, I don't have all the details, but I know what I like about each:

Xbox 360: releasing Halo 3 Spring 2006

PS3: releasing Metal Gear Solid 4 2006

Well, I guess that means I'm buying them both!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Batman Begins review

Batman Begins is a very good summer movie, and a welcome departure from the previous four in the franchise (especially the last two -- damn you Schumacher). It is darker and grittier, reminiscent of the comic and the animated series of the mid-nineties (as opposed to the corny tv series of the 70's).

Begins is very smart, and well-written, which is rare when it comes to summer action blockbusters. Co-writer/director Christopher Nolan gets props for "righting the ship", and I hope this is the first of many Nolan sequels.

My only criticism with the movie was with the fighting scenes, which consisted of too many blurs, zooms, and quick cuts. We are spoiled by the likes of Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Perhaps they can hire him for a bat-sequel, but I guess they need to figure out how to make the bat-suit more flexible first.

Highly recommended **** out of 5

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Punished by the poker gods

I played in Jay Abiog's weekly poker game for the first time last night. I came in fairly confident -- I mean, I'm not a newbie. I may not win it all, but I can finish top 3, right?

Busted out. First. Both games. How embarrasing. What's worse, I don't think I played any hand wrong. I just slowly watched my chips dwindle as I folded bad hand after bad hand. It was a streak of bad luck as long as Ron Jeremy's ... career.

I think I'll set up a set up a shrine for my pagan god, the Joker, and worship him until next Monday. Please forgive me for whatever sins I have committed against Texas Hold 'Em.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I love Google!

Has this ever happened to you: You go to a website, and fill out a form. You click submit, and you wait. Nothing is happening. Then the page refreshes. You wait. You watch the status bar at the bottom right fill up as the page is re-loaded. Then you see red text: there are errors in your form. You missed a required field or something. You fill in the required field, and re-submit. Wait. Reload. Red text. Pissed off yet? Me too.

The web works in a client-server relationship. By clicking a link or submitting a form, you are sending data to the web server. The web server responds by sending you an entirely new page. But what if the page didn't change that much? Can't the server just send a small piece of information back to the browser, like "the user didn't fill in the form properly, notify him", and the webpage slightly adjust dynamically?

Enter remote scripting, a technology available to webmasters back 4-5 years ago, but seldomly used due to cross-browser incompatibilities. Fast forward to the present, and we are starting to see rich web applications that have the responsiveness of a desktop app.

The most popular of these remote scripting apps are coming from Google. Yes, they have the wickedest search engine, but they are now diversifying. Take a look at three applications that are currently in beta:

Google Suggest: Type into the search bar, and Google dynamically populates a pull-down menu with suggestions for you. With every few key strokes, Suggest is making a round-trip back to the server and dynamically adjusting the menu. Wicked.

Google Maps: Mapquest WAS nice. Yahoo maps WAS nice. But go to Google maps, and try to find your address. Type something like "255 richmond st e toronto". Click search. Boom. But wait, it gets better. Try to pan the map by clicking and dragging (don't use the arrows, just click somewhere on the map and drag). Holy crap! But wait... it gets better. Try to click the "Satellite" link on the top right corner. Try using directions too, I'm telling you this is fucking wicked (nerd alert).

Gmail: I've got 49 gmail invites if anyone wants to test drive an account. I was skeptical at first -- I mean, I already have an email address. And I already tried web-based email (Hotmail), and it sucked. Soooo slow. Sooo much spam. But now I won't go back. Gmail is that damn good.
  • 2 GB of storage and counting (today, I have 2279 MB)
  • The power of Google search on your email. I don't need to sort shit! I have 500+ emails right now, but I can find anything with one search (like that email when Shaun promised Anth something? search for Shaun blowjob). Boom. There it is.
  • the responsiveness of remote scripting. Inbox. Compose email. Inbox. Compose email.
  • Keyboard shotcuts. Taking it to the old school, just like a BBS!
  • Email replies are threaded. Click one link, see an entire conversation.
The moral of the story: Remote scripting will usher in a new age of web application development.

The real moral: Get your ass over to the Google! Look at him, he loves it (just like it says in the encyclopedia).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Never work again

As most of you know, I worked one summer for Vector marketing (Selling cutco knives). It was an interesting summer to say the least. My experiences can be a topic for another post, but for now I wanted to share one day in particular.

During one of our workshops, we were given a list of famous quotes, and asked to find one that was compelling. I don't remember the objective of the workshop, but I do remember the quote that made me stop and think:

Find a job doing something you love, and you will never work a day in your life
Until I read this, I always thought of work as a chore. Means to other ends. And yes, as I sit here writing this blog during work hours, I would rather be somewhere else (like sitting outside having a rye and ginger!). But after reading this it really struck a chord.

Take, for example, my last 8 months, working on a big content management tool project, and how the time just flew by. How I worked 9-10 hour days, and even brought work home, but didn't really complain. Working during Christmas break, and Easter break? no problem. The project was fulfilling for me. I was learning new programming languages, being challenged, solving problems -- it was great. Every day was exciting, and because of that, I never really felt like I was working.

Does this mean that if you find a job doing something you love, that it should become your life? Hell no! I place great importance over my time with my wife, my weekends, and I would never put off holidays because "It's too busy at work", or "Nobody else knows how to do it properly". Eff that! The quote tells us that we deserve happiness at our job just as much as when we are away from it. Why not, right?

Ask yourself, "Am I working somewhere doing something I love?" It doesn't have to be specific, like "playing video games", or "swimming". It can be something like "helping others", or "creative writing". I ask myself that question all the time, and for now, the answer is "yes". The "for now" part is important, because if it ever changes, I know I need to move on and find something new.

If your answer is "no", then you need to ask yourself, "why am I still working here?"

Bored at work!

Well, it took a while to make the plunge and start my own blog, but the utter boredom at work has left me with no other choice!

Do I have any good stories to tell? Wonderful insight? Humerous anecdotes? no, not really. So why should you read my blog? Well, if you're bored as well, then there really isn't anything better to do, so you might as well read it!