Ten years Can Pass So Fast It’ll Break Your Heart

   22 July 2015, evening time

I should warn you esp if you haven’t seen me in months that I have lost quite a lot of weight and look rather alarming even to my own eyes – also I’ve given up on the scarf and look like an emaciated Friar Tuck hairwise.

It was a shock to see her. People would visit the hospital and struggle to save their tears till after they had left her room. This was the last email from my cousin, Usha.

A week or so later, in between a series of emails about going out for drinks at Supermarket and a discussion with Shima about her day is an email from Usha’s brother, my cousin Mahi, letting me know about his sister’s health:

Usha will be moving to the Princess Margaret Hospital palliative care hospice today at around 1:30. This was her idea, and we don’t know how long she will be staying there. She can return to her apartment whenever she wants.

Two months prior Usha had written to say she had stopped chemo. I knew what that meant and yet this message felt like it came so quickly.

She can return to her apartment whenever she wants. Could she? I’m sure my cousin knew the answer there. His words reflect a defensiveness with how we are forced to talk about cancer. A person loses their fight with cancer. In this battle what is palliative care but a decision to give up?

But there is nothing to give up. There is no fight, no battle. You have cancer and it will destroy your body or it won’t, but that has nothing to do with what you do whatsoever.

I hate the Run for the Cure. I hate pink ribbons. I hate breast cancer.

One day later:

Usha is extremely weak and not completely lucid, so I was planning on sending an email out asking people not to come by because she needs to save her energy.

But she woke up a little while ago and said that she didn’t know how she would be feeling tomorrow, so it would be great “if people popped their heads in today just to say a brief hello”. She insisted that I make the request.

I would visit each day, watching her body fall apart. People had a week to say hello. When it’s not killing you slowly cancer will cut you down so quickly.

Next year I will be older than my oldest cousin. That’d be 11 years from the day she died, but who talks about the 11th anniversary of anything?

Ten years can pass so fast it’ll break your heart.

Usha was the smartest person I knew. Or, at the very least, she had good PR in this department. There was no aunt or uncle, distant or close, who wouldn’t speak highly of her. She was well read & well traveled. Was there a more cultured brown girl in all of Scarborough? She worked tirelessly to get my brothers and I to do anything other than play video games and watch TV. And she never got to see her success.

Usha is my oldest cousin. The very best of us all. Now and forever.

 

Glasses: The Sequel

   30 December 2014, mid-afternoon

I lost my last pair of fancy glasses a little over two years ago. That’s a long tale of woe not fit for the Internet. Lucky for me I had a backup pair, the glasses I had ordered from 39dollarglasses.ca. I had dubbed them my hipster glasses. Apparently between 2008 and 2012 thick black framed glasses stopped being quite so ridiculous. I wore those cheap backup glasses without any fanfare for far longer than I expected to. No one seemed to think they were a gag pair of glasses.

I think after a year your backup glasses stop being your backups.

I picked up my new pair of Mykita’s today, from the same shop I bought my first pair. I think I like them more than my old pair. I certainly like them more than my black plastic glasses. They were a reliable pair, anyway.

me in mykita's

Comment  

My Scarborough Commute

    6 November 2014, early morning

My trip to work yesterday took something like two and a half hours. There was random delay after mechanical failure after medical emergency, and with the TTC regardless of where those events happen the whole network ends up effected. These sorts of epic delays happen every couple months it seems. That the TTC is so slow isn’t frustrating, it’s embarrassing.

Travelling from Scarborough into the city is terrible. The fastest I can get downtown is about an hour and fifteen minutes. People who do transit planning talk about LRTs and people who try to get elected talk about subways, but neither would actually solve the problems many people in Scarborough face trying to get to work. A subway that ran right to my parent’s house in Agincourt would probably shave 15-20 minutes off my commute, never mind that particular subway is never getting built. The LRT lines they had planned for Scarborough wouldn’t help someone like me: I’d have to grab a bus to Shepard and then take that LRT to Don Mills and then take the Shepard subway to Yonge and then take the terrible Yonge line downtown. Scarborough does need LRTs as an alternative to its network of often late and crowded busses, but they aren’t an alternative to a good commuter train network. Oh wait, we sort of have one of those!

Driving to the Agincourt GO station and taking the train from there would probably cut my travel time in half. That’s what I’m talking about! Sadly, I don’t drive. Getting to that GO station isn’t that easy. There’s also the fact i’d have to pay a GO fare and a TTC fare. Have they figured that out yet? I’m actually lucky to live “reasonably” close to a GO station. Huge chunks of Scarborough aren’t particularly close to the Lakeshore East line or the Stoufville line. GO seems more interested in moving people outside the city than it does with moving people inside the city. To be fair, that is supposed to be the TTC’s mandate.

My solution to this problem was to leave Scarborough. I live downtown and my commute is shorter partly because my transit options after better, and partly because i’m physically closer to where I need to end up. This isn’t a real solution to this problem. Toronto needs one.

Comment |  

An Open House

   19 October 2014, mid-afternoon

An open house sign

“Hey! Can you guys sign in?”

Who is this dude barking at us? Of course I know. My cousin and I have walked into an open house. It’s a surprisingly cavernous detached home near Bloor and Dufferin. I could imagine it being quite nice—in some alternate timeline. In this one it was probably a former rooming house. It’s listed at 1.25 million dollars.

The housing market has moved beyond rhyme or reason. My cousin narrates tale after tale of being out bid on places he already can’t afford. Houses in our neighbourhood now regularly sell for $100,000 over their asking price. That’s walking around money. Now, I like where we live, but our neighbourhood isn’t $100K-over-asking nice by any stretch of the imagination. These stories play out across the whole city.

This house is full of sad ancient furniture. Remnants from its past life. I’ve seen houses in worse shape, which may sound like faint praise because it is. At least this house is relatively clean. My cousin has seen houses where the sellers haven’t even bothered tidying up. Why waste their time? They know the house will sell for more than they want anyway. The desperation of home buyers is palpable. Agents are emboldened.

Who can afford to live in this city? I could never dream of buying my busted-ass house now. It’s price has moved beyond me. That’s some sort of wealth, I suppose. Not the useful kind, but it’s something.

We walk through the house and leave. The agent makes no effort to talk to us. I am sure he is well aware we are just touring this dump. We probably didn’t look worn down enough when we walked in.

Comment [4] |  

Tennis @ The Mod Club

    9 October 2014, evening time

Shima looked at our tickets. “7:00 doors open. Early show?” Neither of us knew what that meant, though we could guess well enough. We hoped in a cab shortly after 7:00. This might have been the earliest I’ve ever gone to a concert since seeing Rachael Yamagata perform a promo show when she was first getting started. The two of us were going to see Tennis at the Mod Club. We hadn’t been to a concert together since we saw the Woodhands play at the Phoenix.

Pure Bathing Culture

When we arrived the opening act was already playing. We grabbed some beer and listened to them play some indie pop music. The lead singer had a hair cut straight out of the 80s, but she was probably born in the 90s. They were very good. A four piece band, the singer also played synths. They didn’t sound like Tennis, but had a similar musical aesthetic. They thanked the audience for listening to their set and then walked off stage without saying their name. God damn it. I ended up discovering their name on Twitter: Pure Bathing Culture.

Tennis

Tennis are technically a two-person band, but when on tour I suppose having some extra musicians on hand is useful. They were up next. A mix of musicians and techs started setting up their instruments. I am guessing their singer is too recognizable to still do this stuff. She came out briefly to check out her keyboard and sing and the crowd started cheering. (This lead singer’s hair cut reminded me of Shima’s hair from a photo she has of her grade 8 graduation.) When the band started performing I realized the other half of their band was the person doing the bulk of the set up. That’s what happens when you aren’t on the album covers.

Tennis put on a good show. They played a mix of music, mostly from their most recent album. We were up near the front with all the turbo fans and people trying to take photos. It was fun. They played a lot of the songs I love, but focused on the stuff from their new album.

And just like that it was over—and it wasn’t even 10:00! I bought Pure Bathing Culture’s CD from the band’s lead singer. That’s why opening acts are the best.

Comment |  

Leopold FCC660M

   16 September 2014, early morning

My Leopold FCC660M

I’ve been using my Unicomp Spacesaver more or less continuously for work since I bought it several years ago. Shima hates when I use it at home: she finds the chatter of the keys annoying. I’m pretty sure my coworkers do as well, but they seem to have gotten used to the white noise now. I love that keyboard.

At the time I bought my Spacesaver there seemed to only be a handful of other mechanical keyboards on the market. The two that jump out in my mind are the Happy Hacker and the Matias Tactile Pro. People would also track down old mechanical keyboard stock: Apple Extended IIs and IBM Model Ms. Today there are so many mechanical keyboards it is hard to keep track of them all. I joined a site called Massdrop some time ago: it constantly has mechanical keyboards up for sale—or kits to build your own keyboards. It’s a brave new world for mechanical keyboards today.

I decided to replace my Spacesaver with something that actually saves space. I like the smaller profiles of so called ‘hacker’ keyboards and wanted to get something in that vein. I settled on the Leopold FCC660M. It’s very small, but still has all the keys I wanted on a keyboard. (I’m not hardcore enough to say goodbye to my arrow keys.)

The Leopold uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, unlike the buckling spring switches found in my Unicomp. I picked “Blue” switches, which are similar to my old keyboard’s springs: they are tactile (you can feel when the switch actuates) and “clicky” (they make some noise when the switch is actuated). They are slightly quieter and take slightly less force to actuate. Rounding out the things that keyboard nerds fuss about, the keycaps for the switches are made of thicker PBT plastic and use dye sublimation to label each key. They keyboard feels solid and well made. The experience of typing on this new keyboard is satisfying.

The Leopold lacks function keys, as well as many of the keys found to the right of your typical full-sized keyboard (the number pad, insert, home, etc). Thus far I haven’t found the loss of these keys a nuisance, but if you rely on them heavily that might be something to keep in mind. Typing a back tick on the keyboard requires pressing FN-ESQ, as escape, tilde, and the back tick all sit on a single key. I’m getting used to doing so, but it definitely stops me in my tracks when I’m typing right now.

My Unicomp was clearly a good investment. All these years later my Unicomp looks and feels as nice as the day I bought it. I’m hoping my Leopold holds up as well. If you are still using a lame keyboard you should switch. If you are typing everyday—and really, who isn’t?—you should do so on something that is a pleasure to type on.

Comment [1] |  

Funkaoshi: Year 10

   20 November 2013, evening time

Ten years is a long time on the Internet. It’s a long time in real life, I suppose. This site turns 10 today.

The glory days of this site were in its early years, 2004-2007. That’s really when I was posting the most, when the site might have had some amount of cachet. Back then the site was linked to from Kottke.org and had a PageRank of 6! I wrote about my life: going to concerts, watching movies, checking out bars, and all the boring stuff in between. It was an impersonal personal site. I linked to stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Those years were busy for the site.

The early audience for the site was probably other Textpattern users and my friends. I used to write lots of plugins for the Textpattern and was very active on its forum. It kept me busy after I had finished school, but before I had started working. That summer of 2004 was fantastic.

YearBlog
Posts
LinksMovies
Reviewed
200384 1 7
2004360549 80
2005287183997
2006252309647
2007233302037
2008157202150
2009141170433
201092 971 20
201131 635 4
201242 579 15
201332 496 15

There is more to this blog than posting frequency, though. 10 years is a long time. This blog has been around the entire time I’ve known my wife. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary earlier this year. I posted here the day before our wedding. In the time I’ve run this blog Shima was pregnant and had a baby, who then turned 1 and then 2. I was hit by a mother fucking car! and spent 6 weeks in a cast I’ve watched the city change, and then change some more. I also bought a wireless router, something apparently noteworthy in 2004.

There are lots of posts I like on this site, but the one I think I enjoy the most is about going to an M.I.A. concert back in 2005. (A discussion on Tamil people a few months later makes a nice epilogue.)

10 years! They’ve been great.

Comment [5]  

Two Spaces

   11 November 2013, early evening

The Elements of Typographic Style advises a single word space two separate two sentences. Most books on typography and layout do. Like most people my age, I had been taught to type using two spaces after a sentence, a hard habit to break. Or so I thought. Apparently sometime between junior high and right now I stopped typing two spaces after a period, but never noticed.

Two spaces? One space? It’s actually a complicated story.

Comment [2]  

Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation, Communication

   21 October 2013, early afternoon

ed. I attended a conference on small business today for work. Most of the speakers were amazing. One was not. My notes from their talk.

This last talk is pure nonsense. Mostly new-age this and that. I wonder if he will be able to talk like this for a whole 45 minutes without actually saying anything. I regret not leaving before he started. It seems rude to leave now.

People are slowly trickling out of the talk. He sometimes mocks them as they leave.

He has all the ticks of a great speaker: he’s funny and engaging; his tone is conversational; he repeats his points; he speaks with a smooth cadence; his voice rises and falls at just the right moments. He’s just not saying anything. It feels like he’s strung together a series of platitudes into a whole talk.

He’s talking about about how these sorts of talks are mostly bullshit, by delivering a talk that’s mostly bullshit. It’s all very meta.

Something something continuous improvement something something. That sounds like it might be worth listening to. He doesn’t say anything useful, though.

“A true entrepreneur sets out to discover the truth.” Seriously. Like Magellan, apparently. Magellan was hacked to death by Filipino villagers.

Comment  

Mythilli is Two!

   30 January 2013, early morning

Mythilli is Two

Two days and two posts about my actual life? Let’s rock it like it’s 2005.

January is a busy month for me, filled with birthdays and anniversaries. One birthday of particular note is my baby’s. Well, she’s not a baby anymore: she’s two. She is like me, but small(er) and a girl. She enjoys Pingu, trucks, sucking her thumb, and all sorts of other things. Every month I’m impressed by how much she’s changed and developed, but then the next month she seems to have changed and developed even more. She has become an interesting little person.

Comment  

10 Years

   28 January 2013, evening time

When I first met Shima I thought her birthday was on the 23rd. That was the day the members of the Japanese Cultural Club (KonJa!) all went out to celebrate her birthday, as part of our weekly Thursday meeting. We all met at McGinnis, a sports bar the Japanese exchange students loved. In fact, it was where we usually met for KonJa meetings.

Shima and I had met one week prior, at Fed Hall, a night club run by the University of Waterloo. That may sound lame, but that place was amazing. We bumped into each other again the following night at the Revolution, another night club in Waterloo. Friday was their hip-hop night. She was there with some of her’s friends from Toronto. I was there with my friends Yang and Gary—and probably a million other people: Waterloo is a small town. That winter term in Waterloo, like most of my terms at Waterloo, was filled with a lot of clubbing.

Between these two nights and her birthday party was a string of conversation on ICQ.

McGinnis was a fun place to drink, but that night people felt like dancing. We decided to walk over to Loose Change Louie’s. Shima and I had barely spoke while at McGinnis, but some how we end up walking to Louie’s together. It’s was short walk between the two bars, but we both fell in the snow all the same.

The following Monday we met in the South-East stairwell of the Math and Computer building, between the 5th and 6th floor, and decided we should date.

And that was 10 years ago.

Shima and I Celebrate Our 10th Anniversary

Comment [10]  

Photography is a thing I used to do

   20 December 2012, early evening

I thought after having Mythilli the number of photographs I would take would increase, but that hasn’t been the case at all. I used to be an avid photographer. At some point I stopped being one. I had some sort of crisis of faith, I suppose.

One of the last lines in Six Feet Under is, “You can’t take a picture of this. It’s already gone.” Photography is an artistic pursuit, but it’s also a documentary one. Photography is all about capturing a moment in time. Well, sort of.

I used to take lots of photos at concerts I went to and then I more or less just stopped. When I watch people photographing a concert now I find they look ridiculous. You are a few feet from a band, watching them play through some shitty LCD screen or viewfinder. Sometimes you should just stop and enjoy the experience.

I think about this a lot when taking pictures of my baby.

All of that said, I should take photographs again. I quite like it. And every so often I take a photograph that is pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Comment [4] |  

Mythilli, Climbing.

   21 June 2012, early evening

The last year and change has gone by so quickly. Mythilli has figured out how to climb our fence. Well, at least one rung. Like her father she has no upper body strength. The fence will keep her in, for now.

Comment [1]  

Nest

   31 May 2012, early evening

The Nest hanging on our wall

It’s been a very long time coming, but I finally have a Nest learning thermostat in my house doing whatever it is thermostats do. When they were first announced I hesitated just long enough that they sold out before I could buy one. I signed up to be notified when they had more, and eventually I got an email saying they had one waiting for me. It was only then that I learned they were only selling the things to people in America. That was maybe a half year ago. Between now and then is a tale of woe, lost shipments, interoffice mail, random strangers, credit card companies and the horror that is UPS.

You can tell the Nest came from someone who used to work at Apple. It’s packaged with the same aesthetics and the installation process was absolutely painless. It’s packed with everything you could possibly need to install the device: extra base plates, a screw driver, etc. I think it took about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. It’s got a really intuitive interface, especially when compared to other programmable thermostats. (I can barely figure out how my parent’s one works.)

The Nest actually arrived at a good time. For whatever reason my old thermostat would run the forced air fan all the time when the air conditioning was on. That was both costly and annoying. The Nest doesn’t do that. I suppose this is really the bare minimum you should expect from a thermostat. I’ll post an update after we’ve had it for a while and it’s become self-aware.

Comment [4] |  

Well.ca: Best Online Store Ever?

   14 May 2012, early afternoon

When you order with Well.ca you can enter special instructions for shipping. A couple days ago I placed an order, and I had used the box to request Ali, their CEO, autograph my order. (To quote myself, “Tell Ali I want him to autograph my order!”) When my order arrived, it was autographed by the person who packaged my order up, but not by Ali. As a joke I was going to complain on Twitter to Ali, but thought he has better things to worry about like running a company and all of that. (The package actually arrived way faster than I thought it would.) So that is where the story ended.

Today I got a unsolicited email from their customer support about my order.

My name is Angela and I am a part of the Customer Care Team at Well.ca. Thank you for your order. I’m so sorry but Ali was unable to sign your order since your order was already shipped out. The most effective way to communicate with us is emailing info@well.ca as opposed to order comments. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do let me know and I’d be glad to help in any way that I can. Have a great day!

Is Well.ca the best? Don’t answer: that’s a rhetorical question.

Comment [2]  

Old School D&D

   24 April 2012, terribly early in the morning

Issues 8 and 9 of Loviatar

I’ve been on a serious D&D kick recently. (That would be Dungeons and Dragons, the nerdiest thing ever.) I discovered a few weeks ago, via Kickstarter, that the version of D&D I played when I was a little kid is still “popular”. There is a sub-culture of a sub-culture that is all about playing old-school D&D. People play versions of the game from the 70s and early 80s, and speak disdainfully about the version of the rules being sold today.

There are retro-clones of the old games, so if you don’t own a copy Red Box D&D you can pick up Labyrinth Lord which more or less reprints the rules in a way that avoids a copyright infringement suit. If you prefer the first edition of AD&D you can grab a copy of the OSRIC. There are also modern day re-imaginings of the old-style game. I recently grabbed a copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, which is very much its own game, but one clearly inspired by the same things that inspired the original D&D.

There are countless blogs all about this movement. Grognardia, written by James Maliszewski of Toronto, seemingly the most popular. It was from Grognardia that I learned about Loviatar, a D&D zine. I ordered a couple issues of Loviatar last week, and they arrived last night. I never get mail, let alone mail with my address written out in pen. It felt good. The little booklets were an enjoyable read as well.

I’m planning on converting funkaoshi.com into a D&D blog: stay tuned!

Comment [1]  

HackTO 2012

   18 April 2012, early morning

HackTO

My coworkers and I participated in the HackTO 2012 over the weekend.

Read the rest of this post. (729 words)

Comment [2] |  

Crying Babies

   24 October 2011, terribly early in the morning

Parents who can’t control their crying babies should be made to pay reparations to all those sitting around them. How inconsiderate of them.
— Shima’s friend and planning all-star, @jasontsang

I’m sure in a previous life I have complained about a crying baby on a plane or a train. “Why won’t their parents do anything?” Now I have a baby. Here’s the thing: if it was so easy to get a baby to stop crying don’t you think the parent would get their baby to stop crying. Do you think parents want to listen to their baby cry? Trust me when I say it’s no less annoying if it’s your own baby who won’t be quiet.

How are you going to reason with someone that craps their pants in public and doesn’t respond to their name? It’s a challenge. There are certainly lots of things you can try and do to console a baby, but the only sure fire way to get a baby to stop crying is probably something along the lines of diazepam. If you think you can rock a baby to sleep, or that some warm milk will get them to shut up, you are in for a rude awakening if you ever have a baby of your own. Mytilli will cry because she is tired, while laying down in bed. Mythilli will cry because she is hungry, while inches away from Shima’s breast. How does that even make any sense?

Shima and I have more or less fled restaurants when Mythilli has started to get cranky because no one wants to eat with a baby wailing in the background. That’s the considerate thing to do. If we were stuck on a plane? Well, that’d be a long flight.

Comment [7]  

Montreal 2011

   14 July 2011, terribly early in the morning

Reading at the Park

As in past years, Shima and I travelled to Montreal for the weekend. This year was a little bit different in that we had a baby tag along with us. (This was Mythilli’s second big trip: the first was to Windsor for a wedding reception.) We flew with Mythilli, who was quite well behaved on the flight. (Though, it’s not like a 5 month old has any real control over any of their actions or behaviour.)

I wrote this on the plane ride:

Shima and I are boarded on our flight earlier than everyone else, since we now have a baby. We aren’t seated next to each other because we were so slow to check in online. A pretty blonde lady sits next to Shima, who was too slow or polite to ask her to trade seats with me. Shorty after a tall handsome man approaches me to take his seat next to mine. I ask if he wouldn’t mind trading seats with my wife and he agrees—of course, who wouldn’t give their seat up to a young lady and her baby. He swaps places with Shima and is now sitting next to the pretty blonde lady. The rest, as they say, is history. Well I assume so, they have been chatting the whole flight. Shima and I plan take full credit for their future marriage.

Travelling around the city with a baby is eye opening. Montreal is so incredibly inaccessible, much more so than Toronto. (And after travelling around the city with a broken leg, I can say that Toronto sets the bar pretty low.) We carted our stroller up and down stairs, over turnstiles, and through the rough terrain of Montreal’s streets. In previous years we would take the metro around the city, but on this trip we walked most places because the Metro is such a pain to take with a stroller. I don’t know what people in wheelchairs or with broken legs do in the city. I assume they are carted to the edge of the city limits and left to fend for themselves.

The trip was exhausting, but lots of fun. Montreal is a great city. (One that looks to be on the verge of falling down at any moment.)

Comment  

Proportions

    4 March 2011, early evening

Stephen Jay Gould wrote an essay about the evolution of Mickey Mouse, from his Steam Boat Micky form to the version we know today. He argued that Mickey evolved over time to more closely resemble the proportions of a human baby. The eyes got bigger and bigger. The torso grew in size while the arms and legs shrunk. I hadn’t really paid much attention to how the character had changed till I read the essay. Sometimes Mythilli sleeps stretched out, her arms above her head. I couldn’t do this comfortably since I’d be half way down the bed. Her arms barely reach the top of her head. Walt Disney was on to something.

Comment  

Mythilli's Birth Day

   13 February 2011, evening time

Around this time two weeks ago and a day Shima started having contractions. At the time we didn’t think much of them. We were watching Six Feet Under. We didn’t stop because of the contraction. Shima didn’t seem particularly bothered by them, all things considered.

Read the rest of this post. (800 words)

Comment [5]  

Please Help Krisy

    2 February 2011, early morning

There is a pretty obvious blog post in the works, but before I write it up I wanted to post something for my brother. His friend Krisy desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. She’s younger than me and has cancer. You can help by registering to be a bone marrow and stem cell donor. Please read my brother’s message to me, below.

At the end of 2009, Krisy was working as a legal assistant and she and her boyfriend Dan had just moved into their first home together. What they didn’t know was that less than 2 weeks later, Krisy would be diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

After months of intensive chemotherapy, Krisy’s condition improved and she remained in remission for most of 2010. However, her leukemia recently relapsed and this time, Krisy needs a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, her family is not a match, so her hope now is to find a match from an unrelated donor. That’s why we need your help.

What can you do? All it takes is a simple and painless swab of the inside of your cheek.

Please register at an event being held on:

Thursday, March 3rd between 2:40 to 8:30pm
Donald Cousens Public School
315 Mingay Ave, Markham, ON (map)

You can also learn more and register yourself on www.onematch.ca, a bone marrow and stem cell donor matching network.

Why should you do it?

  • Minority groups are hugely underrepresented within the global stem cell network. Asians, for example, represent only 3.8% of potential donors. The likelihood of finding a match is from one’s own ethnic group. I am asking as a friend for you to register as part of this database; while you do not get to know or choose whom you donate to, you could potentially save a life, maybe even Krisy’s.

Who can do it?

  • Anyone between 17 and 50 years of age (covered under government health care, e.g. OHIP)
  • In good general health (click here for eligibility)

For more information and future events please visit our Facebook page.

Krisy is a girl with a sunny personality and a big heart. If you asked for her help for something, she would do just about anything for you … which is why we are trying to do the same for her.

Even if you are unable to register, please help us spread awareness and encourage others to join.

Comment [2]  

Open Secrets

   23 January 2011, early afternoon

If I wasn’t superstitious, back in August I probably would have posted this picture.

Shima at 4 Months

Couples usually keep the fact they are expecting a baby a secret till they pass the first trimester, because the chances you will have a miscarriage are much higher early on in your pregnancy. I am so superstitious this is the sort of secret i’d want to keep till there was a walking talking baby to show people. In the real world this secret gets harder and harder to keep because of pretty obvious physical changes that take place in the mother to be. On the Internet you don’t really have that problem. Shima and I are going to have a baby. We’re at the point where it’s probably going to happen any day now.

Comment [13]  

TechTalksTO with Ali

   11 November 2010, terribly early in the morning

I went to the Gladstone with a coworker and Tyler to hear Ali and Matt from Well.ca talk about how they keep Well.ca chugging along. They discussed the software development process at Well, the tools they use to get things done, and the corporate culture that facilitates the work they do. Ali’s one of the smartest people I know, so if you’re interested in starting a start up I recommend you copy what he does, more or less verbatim.

Since i’m new to web development I thought the talk was particularly interesting and informative. I learned about a few cool projects that I will share with you now:

  • Matt’s told the audience about an automation tool he wrote called doo that looks quite nice. It’s made out of surprisingly little code. Ruby is a strange beast.
  • Ali showed off a jabber bot called well-partychat. It’s an implementation of Partychat you can run behind your own firewalls. Partychat is a way to do group chats with Jabber, regardless of how shitty or not your IM client is. Since most everyone already has a Jabber account, this is a good way to set up a persistent chat room. Since it’s in something people already have open and running, I can see how it would actually get used over something like status.net or Campfire.
  • Well.ca have somehow managed to trick out Speedtracer to do all sorts of magic. Sadly, i’m not entirely sure how. Speedtracer looks like a seriously awesome project in and of itself. It’s a profiler for Chrome that can tell you all about your web application.

After the talk everyone headed over to the Rhino for drinks. How did that place become the defacto hangout for Toronto software geeks?

Comment |  

Chennai (and a day trip) — Feb 1st - Feb 6th

   21 October 2010, mid-afternoon

How did I not finish posting about my trip to India? Anyway, the last portion of our time was spent back in Chennai. For the most part we just loitered around in the city. My pictures of Chennai on Flickr. (Or IMG VQVZ) We made one day trip to the scenic coastal town Pondicherry, and to the archaeological site Mahabalipuram. My pictures of Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram on Flickr. (Or IMG VQVZ) You can see all my photos from India in a collection on Flickr. I took these notes to myself on my iPhone, hence the strange change in tense, poor grammar, and what have you.

Read the rest of this post. (1249 words)

Comment [1] |  

← ← ←