Saturday, December 21, 2002  


UPDATE: All is well, mail is working at both addresses now.

There is currently a problem with the mail server that handles my erwin at erwintang dot com address. I'm not sure what the hell is going on. I can't send or receive mail. Unfortunately, I am not the administrator of the server. The person who is the admin is leaving for Alberta for a few days.

In any case, if you did send me mail at the above address after 6pm PST on Dec. 20, please re-send your mail to this address: Please use this address until I get things figured out. Sorry for the inconvenience.

posted by Erwin | 3:08 AM


I am home at my parents' place for the next few days. Yesterday, I had a very good lunch with Chris and Joanna, who are regulars here at I also got to meet Chris' wife, Debbie, for the first time.

After I arrived home this late afternoon, I decided to take a long anticipated trip to Lougheed Town Centre. What I hadn't realized beforehand was that I hadn't driven in about three months. During the first minute or so of driving, I was like, "Whoa... I'm driving a car... I'm driving a car...".

I think you really do forget what it's like to control a couple thousand pounds of steel and glass as it hurtles down the road. In any case, I made it to the mall without incident and without any problems finding parking.

I entered the mall from my usual entrance. As I made my way there, I saw where they had put the new IHOP. It's located right where the old Pizza Hut used to be. I was surprised by the low-key nature of this IHOP. The signage for it is very minimal. There's no actual external sign outside of the restaurant. A few medium-sized decal stickers on the windows identify it as an IHOP. You can't really see what kind of restaurant it is from afar.

Some of the entrances are different now. They are now graced with automatic doors. As I walked through, the mall seemed different but familiar at the same time. The new London Drugs was a sure sign things were different, but other parts of the mall were decidedly unchanged, even with the new flooring.

I did a quick tour of the whole mall and I saw that there were still spaces left for new retailers. It didn't take me long to get a feel for the new expansion.

A funny thing happened today. At SJC, I was talking to my neighbours Rastin and Susan and I found out that Rastin used to be the manager of the cheapo movie theatre at Lougheed Mall. What a small world. He said the place was run very cheaply. This was not a revelation to me.

In the next few days, I look forward to going to IHOP with my sister, and completing my tour of the new Lougheed Town Centre.

Since my sister isn't here yet, I actually get to sleep in a bed tonight. After that, I'm relegated to a mattress underneath a desk.

I'll check in with you guys tomorrow.


posted by Erwin | 1:33 AM

Thursday, December 19, 2002  


I had a very full day today. I managed to get as far east as Brentwood Mall. I haven't been that far from campus in over two months.

I'd write more, but I think I'm going to sleep now.


posted by Erwin | 11:53 PM


I'm going to let you in on a little secret. This is almost a sure-fire way of making yourself into a success. Unfortunately, it requires you to have a little bit of money first, or at least investors.

Someone should open up a Vietnamese pho noodle restaurant in Yaletown. I bet it'd be overrun with customers. Think about it. Yaletown is filled with trendy, cutting edge, and sometimes pretentious eateries. What would go against that, but still offer food that people want to eat? The universal appeal of pho is undeniable.

I've seen people of different cultural backgrounds and different socio-economical origins come together to eat a steaming bowl of pho noodle soup. It's the one thing they can agree on and be addicted to.

The downtown core is sadly lacking in pho joints. They are far and few between, and poorly advertised. There are none in Yaletown.

If I had the gumption and the cash, I'd open a pho restaurant right in Yaletown. Somewhere along Hamilton or Mainland. I'd make it friendly and not too trendy. I'd call it just Pho and the sign would be back lit with blue neon. Inside, the furniture would be nice but not avant-garde. The kitchen staff would consist of real Vietnamese cooks. I'd have a web site. I might even take orders over the Internet for delivery around the Yaletown area.

Pho would be clean, classy, affordable, approachable, and worthy of every diner's dollar. I tell ya, it's a gold mine waiting to be discovered.

If I had $200K, I'd be on this mofo in a second. Anyone who does, you'd be foolish to not at least look into this.

I can't believe I just gave away this great potential business opportunity! It's money for the taking folks!


posted by Erwin | 1:51 AM

Tuesday, December 17, 2002  


My lunch arrangements are done. I am meeting Martin tomorrow on-campus and on Thursday I'm meeting Joanna and Chris at Swiss Chalet.

Martin and I used to work at Cypress Solutions. This was a dark period in my life, and Martin was one of the few good things to come from working there. He's working as an electronics technologist at the Chem department. He says we have a lot to talk about. I am looking forward to it.

Today, I went downtown again. The plan was to buy a small gift for a friend, and some Christmas cards. I did that easily, but then I wandered into Banana Republic. There was really no reason to go there. There were no gifts to buy there. However, as I perused the items, I found the pair of pants I've been looking for over a year. They are the replacements for the pair of khaki jeans I've been looking for. I love these pants. They fit really well, which is rare for me. It wasn't cheap, but I know it'll be worth the money I paid.

Speaking of money, I'm poor. I don't think I've been this poor before. During undergrad, I always had scholarships, and then I worked during the summer for the co-op program. This time around, I'm paying for everything out of my own pocket. It sucks. I guess I won't be buying more stuff at Banana anytime soon. I may get a loan. I'm going to buy more lottery tickets.


posted by Erwin | 11:27 PM


They say the holidays are a busy time, but I can't say that's the truth for me this year.

Today, I signed a card and chipped in for the gift for my supervisor. Whoops, I hope she's not reading this.

I also did laundry. Someone gave me a copy of all the season one and season two episodes of The Family Guy on CD. Thanks Heather!

That was the extent of my day. I tried to co-ordinate lunch between friends. The logistics maybe difficult.

I did also find two interesting pieces of news. The first was that the long-delayed opening of the on-campus liquor store is going ahead. With the new construction going on at the Village, a new liquor store was slated to open. The inventory was moved in and the store was ready to go. Then, the wise, wise Campbell provincial government decided to get out of the liquor selling business. The on-campus liquor store was held in stasis, neither completely shut-down nor was it open either. Thousands of dollars was spent on this location, yet it appeared the government was going to let it go to waste, all in the name of "saving money". I was speaking to Marcia earlier this weekend and the rumour was that Campbell's sister-in-law wanted the retail space that the liquor store currently occupied.

We were certain that if indeed the liquor store was scrapped, and his sister-in-law moved in, we would have a conflict of interest on our hands. I almost wanted the liquor store to close after hearing that juicy rumour.

However, Marcia informed me today, that in fact, the liquor store will open soon. Oh well, I guess the province has lost an opportunity to oust our premier. We do get an on-campus liquor store though.

The second piece of news I received was that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Kris Beech was in hospital after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Kris' brother, Ryan and I are good friends. I met Ryan several years ago while we were living in Hamber at UBC. The Beech family was kind enough to let me attend Kris' draft into the NHL, where he was taken 7th overall.

It looks like Kris will be okay, but he'll be out several weeks before he can return to the ice. Let's hope Kris has a speedy recovery and can join Mario back on PP soon.


posted by Erwin | 1:46 AM

Monday, December 16, 2002  


I woke up at 10am today. This might seem like a reasonable time to get up, but I didn't fall asleep until 6am. I think I had too much caffeine.

Anyways, I got up for a good reason. Several residents of SJC had planned out a farewell brunch for one of our own. Dr. Richard Townsend has been staying with us for the last three months.

Richard came out of retirement to teach at the Educational Studies department. He's from Toronto originally and he ventured out west for a change in pace. Richard was a shining light at SJC and could always be depended on to provide a positive and pleasant outlook on things. He was a popular presence around the College, and it was a delight to converse with him. Richard took an active role at SJC, and we were all better for it.

We wish him and his wife well, back in Toronto and back in much deserved retirement.

For Richard's brunch, we decided to go to Sophie's Cosmic Cafe on 4th. Sadly, in the five years of undergrad and half year of grad, I have never been to Sophie's. I've heard many good things about it, so I was excited to go.

We lined up for almost half an hour for our table. Once inside, I was able to see the eccletic decor. On the wall next to me was a signed photo of Angela Jolie at Sophie's. Neat. I even got to meet Sophie herself.

I had two pancakes, two scrambled eggs, and some bacon. It was good, but I've had better breakfasts. Denny's makes better scrambled eggs in opinion. They add butter to theirs, which makes it so good. Over conversation, Arash told me that he's been to the new IHOP at Lougheed Mall already! He stole my thunder! Arash lives at SJC with me, and he's originally from Tsawwassen! There's no way he should have gone to Lougheed Mall! Apparently, someone wanted to go to IHOP, and they drove all the way there. I spent ten minutes grilling him on what it looked like and how good it was. Arash said he lined up for almost 45 minutes for a table. Lineups at IHOP! That's awful!

Richard came around to speak to us all personally during the brunch, a classy touch.

After we all got home, I slid back into bed and napped from 3pm to 6pm. I woke up pretty groggy.

I've done nothing all night. I'm looking forward to adjusting my sleeping schedule to more decent hours.

Alright, have yourselves a good Monday.


posted by Erwin | 3:05 AM
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