Saturday, July 19, 2003  


After promising myself two weeks I'd clean up the area around my desk and computer, I finally got around to it today. I started by clearing off my desk of everything, papers, pens, my monitor, speakers, and my desk lamp. I then took apart my computer. Well, actually, I just unplugged all the cables from the back, which were a lot in total.

With my desk cleared, I proceeded to clean the cables of all my peripherals and the peripherals themselves. As I wiped them down, I was amazed at how much dirt and grime had accumulated on just the cables themselves. The paper towel was almost black. I've been living here less than a year and it looked like these things were relics of the last century.

After that, I took my Swiffer and Swiffered my desk. It was a real time saver. Not only is my desk clean now, it smells lemony fresh.

Pat then helped me move my desk so I could vacuum under where my desk and computer had been. There was a hell of a lot of dust there. Like a layer of grey snow. With my desk out of the way, I also was able to finally wage war on the group of spiders that had taken position above my window. Using a powerful vacuum without the end attachment, I was able to suck up six(!) spiders and their webs.

I was planning on re-positioning my desk, but I got tired and now it's just sitting in the middle of my room. I had to check my mail, so I re-assembled my computer, so I've got everything set up in the middle. It's not efficient use of the space, and some might even call it a gong show.


posted by Erwin | 5:44 PM

Thursday, July 17, 2003  


Several days ago, I linked to a story about one Chandan Goswami of Bengal, India, who is suffering from a rare condition in which live flies are emerging from his body, near his crotch.

I was unable to provide any further details on his condition until today. After some intrepid 'Net detective work by Mike Kelly, Garrett Knights sent me several lengthy updates on Goswami's situation. Click here for the latest.


posted by Erwin | 8:32 PM


Happy 51st Birthday David Hasselhoff!


posted by Erwin | 1:11 PM


On Tuesday I bought a copy of Max Payne on Ebay. Grand total with shipping included? $16.11.

Perfect. Then, I tried to go pay. The seller accepted Paypal or money orders. He wrote that he preferred Paypal. I thought this would be ideal too, since it would be done all online and I wouldn't have to go to the bank and mail/wire off a money order.

I checkout using Paypal, and since I haven't used Paypal before, I discover this hoop-jumping exercise they have for new members. They charge $1.50 to your credit card and when that item shows up on your credit card statement, it also reveals what your Paypal membership number is. It's only when you get this number that you can actually start paying people for their items. And here's the kicker, Paypal says you should wait for your credit card statement to come in the mail or for the item to show up in on-line banking. They then warn you that the item could take as much as five days to show up, even if you're checking your statement on-line. Unfortunately, most sellers on Ebay require that payment be made usually 3-5 days after the auction has ended, so you're screwed.

To make matters worse, Paypal actually warns you not to call up your credit card company to check on your statement. They say if they get any complaints from credit card companies, they'll terminate your Paypal account at their discretion. Hello! People just want to pay for their stuff in due time.

I've been waiting a day now for my membership number to come through and it still hasn't. Meanwhile, I had to e-mail the seller and tell him what's going on. He was really nice about it and told me to keep him posted.

Paypal really needs to re-think how they start new accounts. The main reason people use Paypal is because it's supposed to be fast, but waiting five days or more belies such a belief.


posted by Erwin | 10:10 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  


For the last couple days, I've been trying to shake off this sense of impending misfortune on my part. It's a bit unsettling, because I usually don't have premonitions or stuff like that. For the most part, I can neither predict good or bad luck. This time, though, I just have a bad feeling. The feeling I get is that it's not physical harm and I know it won't be my family or my friends. I alone will suffer this.

We lost our softball game yesterday, and I was hoping that it was something silly like that . This morning though, the feeling remains. Will it be financial? Academic?

This is so damn weird. Meditate on this I will.


posted by Erwin | 10:31 AM

Tuesday, July 15, 2003  


I was watching Letterman last night when he was talking about the guy who just started talking after being in a coma for nearly 20 years:

" he's like a 19 year-old boy in a 40-year old body... sorta like Ashton Kutcher..."

Ha ha ha...


posted by Erwin | 1:45 PM

Monday, July 14, 2003  


On Friday night, Bryan and I are returning from the Village after a sushi dinner. We're walking along University Blvd. and we're near the bus loop and the pool. Our conversation is interrupted when we watch this black coupe turn onto Uni Blvd. from the bookstore. The car procedes to accelerate immediately and it's pedal to the metal all the way. When reaches Bryan and I, it looks like he's doing at least 80 kph on a road that is not safe to travel at that speed. To our surprise, he continues to accelerate past us, so for sure he's beyond 80 kph now. As we look back, I notice two things: one, it's a nice black Mercedes, very late model... and two, the light he's fast approaching is already green. I know the intersection of Uni Blvd. and Wesbrook has fairly fast lights. I think to myself, "Wow, I hope he makes the light at that speed..."

He's out of our view now, so Bryan and I turn back to look forward. We continue to walk forward for about four more seconds, when we hear... screeeeeeech..... BAM!!!!

Bryan and I look at each other. It is obvious what car was just involved in that. From where we are, we can't see anything. However, people at the bus stop near the intersection are now streaming towards the traffic lights. We decide to walk back to the intersection.

When we get there, we can see throngs of people milling about. The black coupe has come to rest right in front a pole on median running north-south. It's entire front end is smashed in. The airbags have deployed. I can't see anyone in the car though. On the median running east-west is an old, red Pontiac Sunfire. It's right front tire has been blown out and windshield has been heavily cracked. There are lots of people surrounding the Sunfire.

I ask the guy standing next to me if he saw what happened. He says no, but he tells us there are two people in the Sunfire. We tell him we saw the black car tear it down the road. We ask where the driver of the Mercedes is. He points to this guy in the crowd. He sticks out like a sore thumb because he's in 50's or so among the throng of 20-somethings. That's the guy? He's old enough to be my father. One guy is keeping close to the driver. When the driver walks, he walks with. He's thinking what I'm thinking... flight risk. Nonetheless, he looks unscathed... perfectly fine.

I ask if anyone has called the accident in. Some guy with a cell phone says yes. About 30 seconds later, two RCMP cruisers, an ambulance, and a fire truck arrive on scene. They do so simulataneously because all three are stationed less then 20 metres apart just a km down Wesbrook. The fire guys do a circle of the scene and they actually leave.

The EMTs start working on the two people in the Sunfire. I'm not even sure if they looked at the driver of the Mercedes. Two RCMP constables are now talking to everyone, the uninjured driver, witnesses... After a few minutes, the female RCMP member on scene crosses the street toward Bryan and I.

"Gentlemen, I hear you saw one of the cars approach the intersection?", she asks us.

We tell her yes, but we did not see the accident itself.

"Would like to make a statement for us?"

We say sure. She leads us to the back of her cruiser. She pops open the trunk and pulls out two clipboards. She gives us instructions on how to fill out the forms. She grabs a camera to take some photos and leaves Bryan and I to write on top of the trunk.

As we start writing, the driver of the Mercedes saunters over to us and takes a quick peek of my paper before I could react. "Take a seat over there", I tell him. I then realize he might have seen my name. Oh well, it's not like my name is on the Internet or something. The dude walks off and we continue to write in silence.

I look up and they've taken out the occupants of the Sunfire now. They're both on stretchers. The weird thing is that Bryan and I can't figure out if the cars actually hit each other. It doesn't look that way. We surmise that the cars probably saw each other in time to swerve.... into different medians and poles. Of course, our statements contain nothing about the accident but only about the black coupe and its bid to make the Kessel run in record time.

We both finish our statements but the RCMP members are busy still. With all the emergency vehicles now, the buses are being re-routed around the crash. The whole intersection is a mess. I notice that the ambulance hasn't left yet, which I gathered was a good sign. If they were in serious trouble, they would have been whisked off immediately after extraction. Meanwhile, the uninjured driver is asking the cops how he's getting home. "Will I be driven home or should I call a taxi?"

While we patiently wait for the cops to take our statements, Bryan asks me a question.

"Have you ever had both hands on the back of a police car before?"


We look at each other and simulataneously put down the clipboards, and place our hands on the trunk. Ok, enough of that.

Moments later, a constable comes over, checks our forms for completeness, thanks us, and sends us off on our way.

"Wow, we can be called into court now," I say.


From the time we saw the Mercedes to when we left the scene was about thirty minutes. It seemed a lot longer than that.

It's almost Tuesday now, but I wonder what happened to the people in the Sunfire. I'm sure they were ok. And what did really happen at that intersection. I wonder if I should go over to the RCMP station and ask?


posted by Erwin | 11:41 PM


In a previous post, I wrote about the coin that was jammed in the vending machine next to my office. Today, armed with a set of nail clippers, I grabbed the coin and pulled like there was no tomorrow. Though completely covered with adhesive on one side, I managed to pull the coin out. It was a dime, not a quarter as I had suspected.

On my lunch hour today, I'm going to buy a new car.


posted by Erwin | 11:50 AM


Whoops, it's way past my bed time, but I'd like to get this public address out of the way.

Does anyone have a copy of Max Payne they want to lend me or let me buy for cheap?

It's $30 at Futureshop and only $20 at that place near Broadway Chapters, but they don't have any in stock. Can anyone help me out?


posted by Erwin | 1:49 AM


I had a really busy weekend, and as I eluded to before, which included making a statement to the campus RCMP. I'll write about it later, but I'm just too tired to do it now.

However, I do not want to deprive my five readers of their $0.10 worth of entertainment. In the meantime, please take a look at the following photo. It's from President Bush's recent trip to Africa. Here we see Pres. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, and their 21-year old daughter Barbara, observing some elephants in the wild. Note that two of the elephants are engaging in reproductive activities. That's comedy gold Jerry! Gold!


posted by Erwin | 12:28 AM
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