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Showing posts from July, 2008

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.