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Showing posts from 2008

An Extra Second Before New Year

Do you know we will have an extra second inserted on Dec 31? Make sure you adjust your clock accordingly, or you'll be celebrating New Year 1 second too early. I am not kidding! Timekeepers at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich will be adding a "leap second" of time to the clock on Wednesday, a method used sporadically over the past 30 years to offset the fractional slowing of the Earth's rotation. The extra second will be squeezed in on Dec. 31 after 6:59:59 p.m. and before 7 p.m. ET. Combined with the extra day on Feb. 29, the extra second will make 2008 the longest year since 1992.

Merry Christmas!

May the reason for this season be with you throughout the year! 'Twas The Night Before Christmas A Christmas Poem by Pastor Jim Kamerer 'Twas the night before Christmas and as I looked round my tent, I couldn't believe all the money I'd spent For trains and dolls, for trinkets and toys Some for the girls and some for the boys. I looked round once more to be sure things were right; The kids were all in bed for the night. I set up the track for the train I bought Ted, The train went round twice and the battery went dead. I put on my cap, my gloves, and my coat; I went to Ames and over to Zayre. You guess it my friend, no batteries there! As I left the store a thought came to me, I had one in the remote of the color TV. Well, I placed that remote in my wife's favorite chair I was ready for Christmas with hours to spare. When out came my wife and punched that remote And then said to me, "The TV's broke!" So on with the coat, the gloves, and the cap O

Oh What Fun...

The forecast for upcoming weekend is looking wonderful... 2-4 cm of snow with a low of -7C and a high of -3C, plus 10 kph wind. It will be breezy for sure.. just in time for the Indonesian Society Christmas. Oh what fun!

List of Books My Family Wants to Read

Indonesians are not known for their love of books. But luckily for us, our mother is a bookworm and our father is a student-at-heart-for-life. So their children inherit a love for books. The following is a list of books my brother wants to read: Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity They Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2 Sinner And my sister's book list: Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy Guides for the Journey: John Macmurray, Bernard Lonergan, and James Fowler From angku Fendy's: Lighting for Photogr

Another E-book Reader: PRS-700

3 weeks after I got my first e-book reader, the PRS-505 , Sony released a new e-book reader, the PRS-700 . At first glance, this looks really promising. The loading time is way better than the old model. For my collection of 175 books on SD card, it takes 6 seconds to load. In PRS-505, it takes 12 seconds. Page turns take half the time compared to 505. It has a touch screen capability. Which means you have more ways to turn a page. Also, thanks to this ability, you can do search and highlight passages on the book you are reading. It comes with stylus, but using fingers will be as effective. Another thing I love is the buttons. The new PRS-700 has "back" button, "next" and "previous" page button, "home", "search", "zoom", and "option". The "home" button is really useful. Using PRS-505, when I want to switch between books, it takes anywhere between 5-10 clicks. Now, thanks to this "home" button,

The Little Man Who Wasn't There

I love random quotations and out-of-context sayings. It just opens up endless possibilities as to the context and the circumstances of the sayings. Today, a quoted poem from an American poet and educator Hughes Mearnes caught my eye: As I was walking up the stair I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd stay away. This is exactly the kind of poem that triggers imaginations. I was intrigued by the non-existent of the person that the writer wrote about. But after I think about it more, this is quite a creepy poem, probably belongs in the opening scene of a horror movie somewhere. PS: The above poem is called Antigonish , or better known as The Little Man Who Wasn't There

E-book Reader

I love reading. Specifically, I love reading fictions and mangas. Unfortunately, most mangas I like are not available in Canada. Fortunately, most of them are scanned and translated into English by their Japanese-reading fans. So there are lots of them online, if you know where to look for them. Having lots of manga jpgs means that I can collect the ones I like. But since they are not real books, it's kinda hard to re-read the mangas I have. I don't have a desktop, and the LCD monitor hurts my eyes once I stare at it for a long time. Knowing my addiction for books (and mangas), we did some research and decided to buy Sony Reader PRS-505 . Yup, I got the red one. The reader acts like a glossy-paper book. So even under sunshine, you can read it without difficulties (supposedly... I cannot test this with Vancouver's weather). Some people ask me why I don't buy Amazon Kindle . If you live in USA, you can search books on Amazon.com for free from anywhere (no wireless char

Tax-Free Saving Account in ING DIRECT

A while back, the government of Canada suddenly realized that Canadians did not save their money as much as they hoped. So, to goad Canadians into saving, they introduced the Tax-Free Saving Account (TFSA) that basically allows up to $5,000 per year contribution to grow tax-free. How the TFSA Works Starting in 2009, Canadians aged 18 and older can save up to $5,000 every year in a TFSA. Contributions to a TFSA will not be deductible for income tax purposes but investment income, including capital gains , earned in a TFSA will not be taxed , even when withdrawn. Unused TFSA contribution room can be carried forward to future years. You can withdraw funds from the TFSA at any time for any purpose. The amount withdrawn can be put back in the TFSA at a later date without reducing your contribution room. Neither income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals

Do-Not-Call List Going Live!

The Do-Not-Call List that I wrote about is going live this morning. You can register by calling the toll free number at 1-866-580-3625 or 1-888-362-5889 (for the hearing impaired). Alternatively, you can also visit their website, LNNT-DCNLgc.ca Expect to be put on hold for a long time, or a very slow page loading, though. The website and phone lines are overwhelmed . PS: You might also be interested in ioptout for opting out from hundreds of organizations contacts.

Keyboard Shortcut in Remote Desktop Connection (RDC)

When you start RDC, you can choose whether you want it to run in full screen mode or not. On the RDC connection window, click on "Options" -> "Display". For full screen mode, slide the remote desktop size option to the max, until it says Full Screen. Do not select your monitor resolution, as the RDC would then start in window mode. Running in full screen mode will allow you using the same keyboard shortcuts as you usually use. ALT+TAB will shift between applications on the remote computer. START+D will show the desktop of the remote computer etc. Which is great, but that means that the shortcuts won't work between our local computer and the remote one. We can always use a mouse, but programmers generally prefer keyboard shortcuts. So, how do we set so that the shortcuts work even when we are on RDC? For our normal shortcuts to work, RDC must be just another application. So it needs to be in non-full-screen mode. To change back and forth between full-scre

Engaged for a Year

A year ago today, my sister and I got engaged (to our respective boyfriends, of course). Since then, I have got married, and my sister has set a date for her wedding. Lots of our other friends got married as well, and some welcomed their firstborns to their family. It's mind-blowing how everyone seems to grow up nowadays. And to think we used to worry about our exam grades not too long ago...

Seigi no Mikata

Ilove Japanese dramas. In addition to being funny and (sometimes) manga-like, it has a limit on the number of episodes as well, usually 9-12. No 50+ episodes for Japanese drama. You can safely bet that you get to see the ending of a story. Anyway, I am in the middle of watching Seigi no Mikata : a story of an "evil" older sister and a "bullied" younger sister (of course this is told from the younger sister's point of view). "Seigi no Mikata" literally translates to "Ally of Justice". This term referes to, surprisingly, the older sister in this movie. Apparently, by doing something completely selfish (and sometimes downright evil), the older sister actually manages to make other people's lives better. Ha! It's quite a funny story. Of course, as with any other Japanese dramas, we watch this one because: 1. the story is interesting enough 2. the actresses are pretty (we are following Shida Mirai from Sapuri, Tantei Gakuen Q, and now t

Chrisye and Project Pop - Bur-Kat PV

Found this on youtube today. I love Project Pop. I very much enjoy the comedy in their songs. Let me attempt to translate this song: Him: There is a sweet girl I have known for a long time Her smile is cute, I remember it very well If she grins, her beauty lasts; if she cries, it itches me I fall in love, now everyday I am keeping up appearance When we meet, I stutter "you are beautiful" Friends: If you really ca-ca-ca-cannot hold it Prepare yourself to sa-sa-sa-say it Confess quickly, you should say it quickly Confess quickly, you should say it quickly Him: I thought about this for a long time Men has to be brave to confess "We are good friends, But I always carry a torch for you" Rather than keep on wondering It's better to make an experiment Friends: Grab your chance quickly Before others confess to her Friends: If you really ca-ca-ca-cannot hold it Prepare yourself to sa-sa-sa-say it Confess quickly, you should say it quickly Confess quickly, y

Do-Not-Call List for Canada

Finally!! On Sept 30, 2008, the natinal do-not-call list will officially begin operating. It means, I can opt never (for a period of 3 years) to receive any calls from telemarketer anymore (who seems to call during dinner time, movie time, or even bed time). There are two ways to be on this do-not-call list. You need to either call Bell Canada, or register online at www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca . The telemarketers have 30 days grace period, which means you will probably still get calls during the month of October. But after that, they will be fined if you complain about it. The list only lasts for 3 years, so you need to re-register every 3 years. But triennial-5-minute efforts of inputting all your phone numbers on the website will prevent countless unwanted calls to your phone. So I say it's worth it. As usual with any rules, there are exceptions. Charities, political parties, polling firms, newspapers and companies that have done business with an individual over the past 18 months c

Earthquake

Earlier today, Southern California experienced a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. Apparently, it lasted for about 7-8 minutes, with several aftershocks up to 3.8 magnitude to follow afterwards. Since I first arrived, I have been told that Canada (and Vancouver specifically) is long overdue for another big earthquake that is supposed to happen once every 100 years. The 100th years was several decades ago, so we would have one very soon. That was 9 years ago, and here we are, still no major earthquake to speak of. I started to believe that it would never happen after all. Although statistics have proven otherwise, it's hard to imagine something that life-changing will happen in my lifetime, or ever. The California earthquake reminds me that, yes, it can happen, and it can happen anytime, even during my so-far-uneventful life. Just because I don't see it, or don't think about it, or don't prepare for it, doesn't mean that it will wait until I'm ready. Just because I f

Entrepreneurship and Time

Flexo from Consumerism Commentary asked a good question today: Can you be an entrepreneur in your spare time? There are strong arguments for maintaining a relatively secure job while laying the groundwork for your own business. With a stable income, you can fund your endeavors. With benefits from your day job, you don't have to worry about making enough money from your side work to support you if you encounter medical emergencies. On the other hand, there are some reasons why you can't be a successful entrepreneur if all you can devote to the business is your spare time. The more aggressive your goals, the more risk you must be willing to take. Hah! I am averse to risk myself. I like the idea of me being a risk-taker and reap benefits of the challenges I take. But in reality, I like the consistent and the familiars. I guess that's the reason I am not an entrepreneur myself. Flexo then continues to argue that while trying to launch a successful business, don't expec

The Last Lecture

What would you do if you know that you only have a limited amount of time to live? If you knew that you will die in a year, what will you do? Randy Pausch , a professor at Carnegie Mellon, found out that he had pancreatic cancer and had only 3-6 months to live. And he delivered his now-famous Last Lecture. This is an uplifting (yes, uplifting!) lecture on the dreams he had and the path he took in achieving those dreams. If you haven't heard his lecture yet, take an hour to do so. It's widely available on youtube . Prof. Randy passed away yesterday, bless-his-soul, at the age of 47. His inspiring lecture has been made into book as well, for those who prefer to read rather than watch. Back to the original question, though. Most of us don't live our fullest until we know we don't have time anymore. I myself is included. And of course, it's easy to say that we will aim for this, but how exactly do we plan to live to the fullest?

Fatal DNS Flaw

I thought I would pass this on for my tech-savvy friends: DNS Dot Bomb: Update Your Nameservers . In brief, the flaw relates to how DNS requests are made to servers and fulfilled... With poisoned DNS, you could think you were visiting a given site that you trust, and yet be directed to a look-alike site packed with every form of malware that tries to auto-install or prompts you to accept ActiveX-based horrors that would take over your computer. In my opinion, if you don't initiate it, do not install anything when prompted. If you want to check emails or news, and you are prompted for some player installation, it should raise a big warning flag in your head. Of course, it gets tricky when you try to play online games. After all, almost all of them uses ActiveX, Java, or Flash player, so you will need to accept installation prompt. There are people out there who want to take advantage of the clueless. It's a sad reality. Don't be clueless!

The New iGoogle

I love Google. I have used it since it was still in its toddler years, and I love the simplicity of the solution it presents. Nowadays, it is much more than just a search engine. I remember the first time I heard of gmail. I was asking around for an invitation. I believe I even did free advertisement for them (most of my friends now have an @gmail.com account). Of course, as we all know, Google offers more products nowadays. One product I use everyday is iGoogle. I love how it enables me to put multiple websites (ie, gadget) on one page, giving me a glimpse of what I will be seeing if I were to visit those individual pages. I love the fact that I can check for news and email and facebook notification and new blog entries all at the same time from the same page (before iGoogle, I have tons of bookmarks). Google has just introduced a new iGoogle, which is applied to randomly-selected accounts. At first glance, it looks good. We have the option of "maximizing" a specific gadge

Booming

On my way home today, I stopped beside a car with booming bass on one intersection. I can understand people loving music and turn their radio up, but my windows were closed and I could feel the bass blasting through my eardrum. The red light lasted for about 30 seconds or so, but it sure felt like a loooong time for me. I don't know how that driver can preserve his hearings, but oh well, to each his own. I was glad to speed away when the light turned green.

11 hads

Found this sentence on the net today: James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher. Do you think it's grammatically correct? For answers, look here: http://toshuo.com/2008/james- while-john-had-had-had-had- had-had-had-had-had-had-had-a- better-effect-on-the-teacher/

Coins Counting

In the effort to minimize spending, I like breaking bills into coins and store the coins up in "savings" jars. It helps me stop spending, since I feel like I've been using up all my cash (when in fact I haven't). So after collecting coins for a year, I have jars full of pennies, quarters, toonies, loonies, and probably some buttons and foreign countries' coins. It is time to trade them into cash. So off to the bank we went. Imagine our surprise when the teller told us that we need to roll them all up nicely (manually) before trading them in. They don't have coin-counting machines in any of the branches (even in the head office). This was ridiculous. Even back in a third world country such as mine, all banks have the coin-counting machine. This is Canada! Besides, if we had them all rolled up nicely, we wouldn't need to trade them in. So, off to Google we researched. And yup, everyone apparently had the same problem. And the only place that would trade y

Left or Right?

In Indonesia, people wear wedding rings on their right ring finger. In Canada, they put it on their left ring finger. Being an Indonesian couple in Canada, we decided to wear ours on our right hand. Chris is very adamant about "being different than everybody else". (Heck, our wedding theme was blue -- nobody in Makassar uses blue as wedding theme). A couple I know make different arrangements every day. They might put theirs on right hand one day, and switch to left hand the next day. They make plans, though, so both of them put the rings uniformly on certain finger every day. Personally, it doesn't make a difference for me. BUT, I did get hit by some random stranger when I wore mine on my right hand. I had to flash my ring several times before he got the clue. ^_^ So my policy now is, when I am alone, I wear it on my left hand. When both of us are going out together, it's back on my right hand. I don't know why people put the ring on left or right hand, thoug

Company Golf Tournament

Last Friday, my company held an annual golf tournament. Being new and not knowing anyone yet, I decided to join in, hoping to know more people during this time. Of course, I warned the coordinator that I never stepped in a golf course, so rules etc were nonexistent as far as I was concerned. Heck, I only knew golf from reading Dan Doh!! On the tournament day, it was cloudy in the morning. I started to regret my registration. Also, I realized that playing on a golf course meant I had to walk around in "forest" for hours. I hated exercises (still do). What on earth was I thinking when I registered? Hhhh.. We all went to work in the morning, and at about 11 am, we headed to the golf course for lunch before the game. My mood got better after that. The sky cleared. I found out that some of my colleagues didn't know golf either. And I knew one of my teammates (phew!). After trying it out, golf turned out to be pretty fun. Okay, it was fun only when I hit the ball - which di

Happy Canada Day!

Today, Canada celebrates Canada Day. Unlike Indonesia or USA, Canada Day does not equal Independence Day. Since the time long ago, territories on Canada were part of British colonies. On July 1, 1867, apparently 3 of those colonies - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) - merged together and became a federation of 4 provinces. It's interesting to know that Canadians were not really interested to celebrate this day. July 1 became a statutory holiday only in 1879. Even then, Canadians thought of themselves as "primarily British" and thus did not take part in a Canadian patriotism. That was until World War 2. Beginning 1958, government started to celebrate Dominion Day. And in October of 1982, the name was changed to Canada Day. Isn't it interesting? I never knew that! PS: I am using Wikipedia - Canada Day as a reference.

Cleaning Cleaning and Cleaning

People says that in life, there are only two things that are certain: death and tax. Well, I think "the need to clean the house" is also another certain thing in life. It feels like we are cleaning up the house nonstop. Just a few more days, and another batch of cleaning must be carried out again. Of course, I like a clean house. I don't like the process of cleaning, though. Hhhh... Yesterday we spent the whole day cleaning level 1 and level 3. Chris also automated some lighting so that our house is smarter. Too bad he cannot automate the floor to be self-cleaning.

Stuck in Bellevue

So we went for lunch earlier, and accidentally did something that blew the front tire up (don't ask). As a result, we spent an hour changing the tire, and then drove to the nearest Discount Tires to get it changed. Should be done in an hour, they said. In the meantime, I am reading this very interesting book titled Adam by Ted Dekker . It really is a gripping novel. Although I know this is a Christian novel, it certainly doesn't feel preachy. On the contrary, it feels more like a suspense novel with philosophical side. Of course, I read it for the plot. ^_^ Now, back to my book...

Out of Town!

Hey everyone! Just a quick note to say that Chris and I are currently out of town. Yup! We are taking another week for road trip. We don't know when is the next time we can take off like this, so while we can, we are. On that note, please don't call us if it's not urgent. And if it is urgent, you should definitely SMS us so that we know we should pick up the phone. We check email occasionally. Our current hotel does not have an internet connection, so it is kinda hard. But when we move to another hotel, we should be able to go online. Cheers and out!

Life and Changes

After a month full of parties and lazing around in Indonesia. I came back and was ready to tackle my real life. I went to work and found that things were different. It was so different, that on my 3rd day coming back to work, the company decided to shut down the software department. About half of the Vancouver employee was let go. It came as quite a shock. But I found that I was okay. My co-workers were very supportive. this was my first lay-off situation, and they gave me encouragement by telling their stories. It took a while, but I found a job. It is a very interesting position (as Build Coordinator) for an auction company. I am looking forward to start working there. Vacation is almost over.

Waiting...

I hate waiting. I don't hate the time spent waiting. For example, if I am baking a cake that will take 1 hour, I am fine with sitting around waiting for it. Or if I have a project that needs requirement from some busy people, then I spend quite some time waiting for their answer. But the thing is, in the meantime I can do something else, whether it's productive or totally self-centered. I don't mind the fact that my creation will be delayed as a result of waiting. Except in some extreme cases, usually the time frame is still acceptable. I am also not bothered by the fact that I will receive a gadget later than I thought. Instant gratification was not part of my bringing, so ordering product online works for me best (no line-ups, cheaper price, no commuting time... what more can I ask for?) ^_^ But I hate the uncertainties that waiting entails. Sitting beside the phone waiting for news about a sick family member, or the result of a product launch, or a job offer... thos

Bill C-61 and Me

Last Thursday, the government tabled bill C-61 that deals with copyright on the digital world. In a nutshell, the bill says that: you can only rip CD's that you own (ie. your sister / brother cannot rip it). you can record TV shows for later viewing, but you cannot build a library of digital movies on your computer. you cannot bypass technology that disallow you to rip/record. Technology to unlock DVD, cell phone, etc are illegal. I am not an expert on law. There are more to it than what I wrote above (including clauses for fines, etc). At first glance, though, I know that the third condition would make it almost impossible for the first and second rights to be carried out. If you have the right to rip the CD you own, but the big company decides to put a lock on it, then kiss your rights goodbye. I am not sure if this bill will ever pass. If the government does not listen to regular Canadians and vote based on their own experience, then there is a big chance it will. After all, t

Crazy Gas Price!!

If you drive at all, you would have noticed that the price of gas climbs up steadily over the past few weeks. It has hit $146.xx everywhere, and some gas station has stopped the 3.5c discount. Yaiks! If this continues, I will have to really find a work-from-home job type... The gas price has really hit me hard. My only consolation is that I have a hybrid, and I even got a rebate from the eco-rebate program (which has since been dropped -- see the news here ). Hhhh... at least I can justify the purchase even more now. My area is a newly developed one, where buses run infrequently, and you need 2-3 transfers to get anywhere. Even if I want to take public transit, I have to drive and park somewhere first. There is no way I am taking only buses to work!

Handyman

A handyman came to my house this morning. I bought a new house and it came with 1 year warranty. So he came and fixed all the little things that have been bothering me. The hot water did not run. He took the faucet apart, found the problematic part, and replace it with a new one. The electrical plug did not work. He did something to it that I don't understand. I am happiest about his work on my kitchen cabinet, though. There were huge defects on the cabinet, but the cabinet guy said that they could only paint it to hide the defects. Else, they had to replace the whole thing, which they wouldn't do. But this handyman fixed it by applying some putty to it, and add the stain. I don't understand the process, but it looks much better than what the cabinet guy did. All in all, this handyman did a very good job!

More Interesting Web Products Out There...

- Mockatoo The idea is simple... you make a list of collection that people can see, but you don't actually put the files online. Why is this important? I guess so that people know who to ask for the file if they want it, without you violating the copy right thing.. (after all, sharing between friends are permitted ^_^) - Joe's Goal There are habits that we can do without, and there are habits that are very good to have. Joe's Goal lets you write down all these habits and give them points accordingly (+, 0, -). Every time you do any of the habits, put down a smiley face (or a frown face). You will be able to track how many of those you have successfully adopt (or discard). - Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing Success If you are a blogger, chances are one of these days you want to write about more than about "my life". This site provides tips about blogging, and business people might find it very useful. The links to some interesting topics follow. - 5 Comm

Hello, Vancouver!

Finally, after spending a month in my birth country, I am back in Vancouver. My sister mentioned how different life is between the two countries. Indonesia is bustling with activities and noise. People are selling stuff everywhere. Cars honk every 5 seconds or more. Trucks pass by all kinds of road with little regulation. And our lifestyle there is very different -- no self-laundry, self-cooking, or self-cleaning up, thanks to the maids we hire (people power is cheap over there). Whatever we want can be fulfilled easily. We basically live like a princess. Canada, on the other hand, has clean air and good road. It's cooler in temperature. And we do everything ourself. If you don't pick up your clothes, nobody is going to do it for you. If you don't cook, then you don't eat. Canada is also quiet. Cars don't honk. People do not shout. When I was back there, life in Canada felt surreal. I saw how the women spend their days filled with things they like to do. They arr

Just Married!

Finally.. today was the day I got married. I am officially a Mrs. Wow!!! A lot of married people told me that there would be disappointments, unmet expectations, and things go wrong in married life. I was sure there would be, but yet I was still optimistic about this. Hahaha.. I guess focusing on the negative wouldn't make a good start of a successful marriage. I was definitely looking forward to this day. What would it feel like? Who would be there? Would all go smoothly? Time will tell...

OpenSSH Public Key Authorization on Linux

To find out whether a user exists or not in a Linux machine: *    grep username /etc/passwd or *    id username To give a new user access to Linux machine: 1. Login as root user 2. Run this:     $ /usr/sbin/adduser new_user 3. Set a new password:     $ passwd new_user     (and put the password when prompted) To give them root access: 4. Edit the /etc/sudoers file     $ vi /etc/sudoers     User_Alias YOUR_GROUP = new_user     YOUR_GROUP ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL To test whether the new_user has been granted root access, run these two commands:     $ su new_user (user should be 'new_user' now)     $ sudo su (user should be 'root' now) If the conditions above met, then new_user has root access. If the new_user want to use public/private key gen authorization: 5. Change your user to be the new_user     $ su new_user 6. Create ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file if it doesn't exist yet     $ mkdir ~/.ssh     $ chmod 700 ~/.ssh 7. Insert the public key on the

Life Around Food

My time in Indonesia seems to be full of food and wedding-related activities. Obviously, since my main purpose is the wedding, I do lots of preparations for it. The thing is, for the wedding, I need to lose weight (always!). But the culture dictates that people offer food to whomever they happen to meet. So whenever I meet my future parents-in-law, lunch or dinner or snacking is sure to follow. My cousins would tell me all about the delicious food at a place they have just visited. Yesterday, my mom and I went to a jeweler's store, and he treated us to ice cream! We talk about what's for lunch every morning. After lunch, we plan our teatime snack and/or dinner. After dinner, there is a late-night snack talk. And of course, what's for breakfast. Ahhh... Life revolves around food during vacation. What a (yummy) life! ^_^

Free Tax Software

A friend of mine found out that I always did my own taxes manually every year. He then pointed me to StudioTax , a free tax preparation software for Canadian. This software is really powerful and convenient. When you run the program, it asks for your province of residence and the kind of claims you will make. If you study, you will claim T22. Workers claim T4. If you have savings or investments, you will receive form T5 from the bank. There are also selections for charity, RRSP, etc. Once you have made your claim choices, the screens you need to fill are very simple. It is basically copy-and-paste from your forms to the screens. The software will put the informations on the correct columns. If you make mistake, it will give you warnings before you generate the NETFILE file. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to fill one form. But with StudioTax , I was done in about 15 minutes or so. And that was my first time using it. If I have to do it again, I am sure it would take me less ti

In Hong Kong

Waaaaaahhhh... The moment I stepped out of the plane, I knew I was in Asia. The air is more humid, and have this after-rain smell. It's nice.. 1 more hour till my flight to Indonesia...

Flying Out

Finally... today I am flying out of Vancouver. It is a long-anticipated day. Strangely enough, I still have lots of things to do before my flight out. In any case, I can't wait to see my family again. It's been such a long time. We are all going to there to celebrate my younger brother's 15th birthday. I think the last time we did that was when he turned 2 .

Bridal Shower

Yesterday after church, my friends threw me a bridal shower! I didn't expect it at all and I was taken completely by surprise. Every female members and friends (and girls) were there. Cik Anita organized the whole thing. She prepared some games where my friends did my evil make-up. Then they tied my hair into lots of small bundles and put a tiara and veil over it. The young adult females made this overall that looked like a Hawaiian skirt, with the duster incorporated in it. I still do not know how I looked, but it must have been pretty terrible, because the little girls were staring, and the teenage girls were giggling and pointing. I was thankful that nobody cried though.. so there is hope still... Then I had to identify 14 cleaning products in a story that cik Anita read. If I got less than 10, I would be 'punished'. Although I hate cleaning, the hours spent in front of TV pay off... I managed to identify 12. Hehehe.. I think cik Anita was pretty disappointed that I go

Pre-Wedding Pictures

Some of my friends have been asking us to post some pre-wedding pictures. Well.. Chris has posted some on our wedding website and some more on Flickr . Without further ado.. here they are!

Done with the Laundry!

Ha! Finally.. after postponing putting away the laundry for several weeks, yesterday night I hardened my resolve and spent 3 hours taking care of the laundry. Who knew I had so much clothes? Who knew I had so much too-small jeans? Must... lose... weight... (but love food too much to stop eating.. ). Hhh... Next up, filing tax returns. I am starting to dread the process and wondering if it worths paying $80 for a consultant service. Hmm....

On Procrastinating

Procrastinating.. Ah... You would think that a word starting with "pro" would have a positive meaning. Proactive, professional, protein.. They are all good. But this one pro is not good for health. Currently I have lots of things to do before leaving for Indonesia. Let's see.. I need to go to Costco and buy medicines for mom. I need to find more clothes as well. And arranging my room. And packing my baggage. Oh, and filing tax. Whew.. lots of things to do. And yet, every night I still sit in front of TV and watch these cool Japanese guys sing, act, talk, and play games. Procrastinating.. I have master this one art that I definitely can use without.

Third Visit to the Dentist

So I am back from yet another dentist appointment. And the dentist discovered new problem with my teeth. I need several fillings and root canals. Which means yet more appointments to come. Arrgghhhh!! I hate it when this happens. At this rate, I will know every inch of the dentist office by the end of Summer. Now I wish I do not like chocolate and go to dentist regularly. Then perhaps I won't be in this much trouble.

Transposer 2.0

Earlier today, worshipmusic.com sent me a newsletter today regarding the release of Transposer 2.0 . Here is the full announcements: NEW: Transposer 2.0, pitch and tempo changing software! Singers, musicians, worship leaders- ever wanted to change the key of a song instantly, so you could hear the audio file in the best key for you? Changing the sheet music or chord chart was always something you could do, but how could you change an actual audio file with your favorite recording on it? The answer is Transposer 2.0. Transposer 2.0 allows you to raise or lower the pitch of any MP3 song without changing the tempo. You can also change the tempo of an MP3 song without changing the pitch. The quality of the recording remains the same, within reasonable limits (pitch changes between 4-5 semitones, and tempo changes of 25% or less). This program can be very useful to someone trying to learn a certain track of a song.Transposer 2.0 Some applications of Transposer 2.0 include: Practice or pl

Me, the Complex Potential, and the Ideal Fluid Flow

Graduating from university a few years back, I got my degree in both Mathematics and Computing Science. I have passed the classes for ODE, PDE, BVP, and other abbreviated principles of Maths. So how come I can't remember anything about Complex Potential and Ideal Fluid Flow? (Actually, anything with "fluid flow" in it spells trouble for me). Hhh...

Wedding Shoes - part 2

Some friends found out about my shoes dilemma . Advices from those who saw the pictures are for the gold one. When I wore them though, the gold one actually looked worse (and less stable) than the white one. So I returned the gold one already. My friends told me an alternative I have never thought about before -- flat or lower shoes. Since I am short, I like high platforms. Apparently though, for the wedding, I will be wearing a tiara, which would add to my height. So lower shoes are better (plus, nobody look at your shoes anyway). I'll try browsing around more for lower shoes.

Things I Learn from One Piece

When I was growing up, my mother always told me that fictions were not the best choice for reading. I should be learning piano or Chinese instead, she would go on. Or improve mathematics skills and do some physics experiments that would be beneficial to my study. Being a kid, I disobeyed her and enjoyed novels very much. I read almost everything from short stories in magazines to detective stories (The Famous Five, The Three Investigators, The Secret Seven) to adventures stories to school-life stories (Malory Towers, St. Clare's). Oh, and of course, fairy tales too. In my junior high school year, Japanese Comic (manga) entered the country (Candy Candy). Along with it, the first anime also came (Doraemon). We have come a long way since Candy Candy and Doraemon, but anime and manga are still enjoyable today. One of the series I like very much is One Piece. And this might sound weird, but One Piece has really good advices and life values that I admire. One, Luffy is always loyal to hi

Japanese, Observed

In my spare time, I love watching anime (Detective Conan, One Piece, etc) and Japanese drama (Liar Game, Hana Kimi, etc). After watching lots of Japanese shows, I started noticing how Japanese market their products. It is very different than how Western does it. Their advertisements are embedded within the drama. So while the character does something boring or routine (such as driving or locking the apartment door), big letters would appear and names of sponsors would be displayed. Audiences will sit through all the sponsor names for sure, because the drama is still playing in the background. They also market their actors differently. Some actors are dedicated to acting only ( Oguri Shun , for example). Some do modeling on top of acting ( Shibue Joji ). Most, though, are also singers ( Yamashita Tomohisa ). If the actor is a male singer/actor (also referred to as idols), then chances are, he "belongs" to Johnny's. I don't really know the details since I don't spea

Second Dentist Visit

So I am back from my second dentist visit of the year. It was 2 hours long, and my mouth is numb from all the freeze they injected. I still have to go back just for cleaning. I am starting to feel that the tooth fairy hates me. Anyway, while I was sitting on the dentist chair and trying to think about anything but the drill that was in my mouth, I imagined what would happen if our teeth can grow indefinitely all our lives (just like crocodile). If it hurts, we can just pull it out (gently, of course), and it will grow again. There will be no need for hygienist and dentist (or limited need for this profession as we know it now). No drilling in the teeth and no freezing anymore. Instead, there might be field for teeth-polishing, teeth-coloring, and teeth-shaping. Much like what we have for our hair and nails. Come to think of it.. I am so thankful that hair keeps on growing and nails grow back after we cut it. If I have to go through the drilling thing with my nails, I would absolutel

Wedding Shoes Dilemma

In my culture, people have big weddings. Everyone the parents know gets invited. The friends of the bride and the groom also get invited, of course, but they usually make up only about 5% of the total guests. My husband-to-be is a first son in his family. More reason that we will have a big wedding. Anyway, big wedding means standing up for a long time. Which means that I would be needing a comfortable shoes that I can stand in (and walk around with) for hours at end. The shoes must make me taller (since I am short). But it can't be too angled (it would be too tiring for me). I want it to be white (or at least mostly white), and above all, comfortable. I thought that with all these shoes stores, there must be tons of choices that I wouldn't know which one to buy. Boy, was I wrong! It's really hard to find shoes that match those requirements. I walked around for 2 hours with no luck. Fortunately, at the end, I visited Aldo store and managed to find 2 pair that more or less f

Dodging the Dentist Chair

If I have my way, I would never ever have to go to the dentist. My tooth hurts at the thought of dentist. I fast-forwarded "The Little Shop of Horrors" on all dentist's scenes. That's all because of my first visit to the dentist when I was small. He worked on my tooth without anesthetic. I was in pain for a day or two. Ouch! Anyway, after running out of excuses not to go to the dentist, yesterday I finally mustered up the courage to visit one. It was a painful experience. My teeth and gum were very sensitive to touch and cold water, so they need to be frozen first. It turned out that I was hard to freeze. The hygienist must have injected my gums several times with little luck. So she only worked on 1/4 of my mouth's section. Yup, it means that I have to go back to the dentist at least 2 more times!! The good news, though, is that after I got it all cleaned, the gum will start healing itself, and hopefully next year's experience won't be as painful. But u