April 15, 2006

Bulk view


I love studying in the common room. I like the floor-to-ceiling
windows facing the courtyard. I like the sun-drenched white walls and
the gently rippling water. I love the opportunity to encounter all
these interesting people in Graduate House.

Alejandro is one of the maintenance staff here. I first encountered
him and his co-worker when I was practicing billiards. They joked
about not wanting to play against me because I looked so serious, and
thereafter I smiled at them whenever I ran into them.

Today we chatted a bit more. He asked me what I was taking and where I
was from. Upon learning that I’m from the Philippines, he said a few
words in Tagalog. (Aww!) He also asked if I was planning to return or
stay in Canada, and I told him that I wasn’t sure yet. A PhD is
tempting, and so is work, but I miss my country.

He asked me what I was doing, and I told him about the reading paper
that I’m working on. “You should be outside,” he said. “It’s a
beautiful day. You can study until fwop,” and he mimed a clock’s
hands, “and then you can go dancing.” He proceeded to demo salsa,
merengue, and other Latin dances. And he knew how to dance really

A Spanish teacher in his native Chile, he found upon arriving in
Canada that few of his university credits would be honored and that
he’d have to start all over again. He said, “Forget it,” and started a
pizzeria. He worked hard for six years, but it folded and he was left
with a huge debt. Now he works at Graduate House to pay the bills.

I told him how even PhDs from developing coutries are often forced to
give up what they had trained to do, and how many people from the
Philippines go to other countries to find better opportunities but
don’t get further than being a domestic helper or a construction
worker, much less open a pizzeria. I said, “Well, at least you have
salsa…” He laughed.

Canada has its own little sorrows.

Random Japanese sentence: このようにして、おじいさんは、あたりをみまわすたびに、きれいなねこがみつかっておいていくことができなくなりました。そして知らない間に、そこにいるねこをみんな拾い上げてつれていくことになってしまいました。 So it happened that every time the very old man looked up, he saw another cat which was so pretty he could not bear to leave it, and before he knew it, he had chosen them all.

On Technorati:

Meep! Comments lost!

I’m so, so, so sorry. I’ve just realized that my comments form was
silently dropping comments. To anyone who’s used it to post a comment
for… well… a good while – ever since the antispam answer changed
to “one” – please repost, if it’s still relevant…

… and if it was about my recent crisis, don’t worry, I know you care… =)

Random Japanese sentence: 猫は背中を丸める。 A cat arches its back.

Deskbar applet – GNOME coolness!

If you’re on the GNOME windowing environment, check out nafai77’s blog entry about Deskbar. Totally cool. It’s almost like Quicksilver for non-Macs.

On Technorati: ,

Random Japanese sentence: 猫はテーブルの上で眠った。 The cat slept on the table.

More Rails twiddling

My “What’s in My Fridge” app is now a little bit smarter. It can keep track of what’s still in my fridge, what I’ve used, and what I’ve thrown away. I wonder if this will let me come up with statistics on how quickly I go through certain ingredients…

Random Japanese sentence: ねこはひなたで遊ぶのが好きだ。 Cats like playing in the sun.

Uh oh…

My power supply isn’t happy. The cord near the end is now a bit
sensitive to changes in angles, so there might be a slight break near
there. And it’s the part near the computer, not the easily-replaced
mains cord! Aiyah…

Must figure out where to find Fujitsu AC adapters here… Output: 16V 2.5A.

Random Japanese sentence: 彼はとても満足そうに見える。 He looks like a cat that ate the canary.

Thank you, Lazy Web! – Feedrinse

Aha! Someone’s finally gotten around to making an RSS feed filter.
It’s about time! http://www.feedrinse.com/

Now, someone just needs to think about how to make this work for

Random Japanese sentence: うちの猫は大変海苔が好きである。 Our cat is very fond of sea weeds.