Category Archives: weekly

Week in review

This week’s main accomplishment was the compilation of my first draft,
which is currently being reviewed by my supervisor. While waiting for
his comments, I’m reading tons of research papers so that I can expand
my review of related literature. My research paper got accepted to
CASCON 2007. I’ll need to edit it down to four pages and include my
updates resultes. We’ll probably schedule my defense for early
September at the latest. I think we’ll manage it. It feels doable now.

I’ve mailed my application for an extension of my study permit. I’m
not too worried about getting denied. I think I have a good case for
it, and it would be silly to cancel my studies *now.* <laugh>

I’ve moved to Dreamhost for both web and mail hosting, so my
outgoing e-mail should properly reflect my e-mail address:
[email protected] .

Personally, it’s been an eventful week. My mom called me, concerned
about a doctor’s visit that turned up on my TODO list. It was actually
just a chat with the doctor, as I wanted to ask about some things I’d
read about. Understandably concerned because of the lack of detail on
my blog, my mom called me up and we talked for around two hours about
various issues.

One of the main issues is that I don’t keep in touch with my family
enough. I almost never initiate conversations. My family is half a
world away and I don’t keep instant messaging on (interruptions are
evil!), so we don’t have that many opportunities to “run into” each
other or do things together. I need to figure out what kind of
relationship I have and want to have with my family. Close and happy
beats distant and stressed, for sure.

Fortunately, my mom and I have practiced enough emotion-fu to be able
to make progress even during emotionally-charged conversations. One
thing that will make her happier is if I start the conversation more
often. Let’s try maybe two weeks of putting a secret family-related
task on my TODO list…

Next week: Update review of related literature.

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Weekly review: 2007.07.16 – 2007.07.21

Last week

  • After six revisions this week, my thesis is almost in a defensible form. Yay!
  • Will defend my thesis on August 8. The end is in sight!
  • Took information processing aptitude exam. Need more practice in word problems, I think.
  • Declined a formal job offer after much deliberation. Intuition tells me to go into technical sales.
  • Debriefed after declining job offer.
  • Awesome cooking and eating. Have decided to “live rich”, and good food is part of that.
  • Read five books. More on this later.
  • Sewed a pair of Thai pants for Alice as a going-away present. Used too much material. It was fun, though. Thinking of next project…
  • Attended VizThink4. That was fun.
  • Attended Alice’s going away party. Will miss her!
  • Caught up with Jed.
  • Talked to research supervisor on the phone. On track.
  • Installed shopping cart on my website. Still looking into PDF delivery systems.
  • Ordered books from Amazon.
  • Changed my Fido plan from $10 for 1000 text messages to $3 for 50.
  • Mailed care package to sister’s boyfriend’s dad.
  • Looked for virtual assistants in the Philippines following advice in book “4-Hour Work Week”.
  • Could not find a single shirt I liked in Eaton Centre during the sale. May invest in tailoring.
  • Ordered another bucketload of books from library. Have hit limit and should return some books soon.
  • Made Greasemonkey script for my use of Toronto Public Library.
  • Skin clearing up, probably thanks to Clinique acne kit.

Next week

  • Finish and print thesis draft
  • Book room for defense
  • Meet manager re declined offer
  • Ping tech sales
  • Read more books
  • Start booksnake blog
  • Do core exercises 3x week
  • Revise CASCON paper
  • Build cooking vocabulary
  • Finish 6 more sessions of Cantonese study
  • Swim
  • Outsource a task
  • Plan birthday event – LifeCamp
  • Fri: Attend drop-in circus class

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Weekly review: July 23 to July 29

Goals from last week:

Goals last week This week
Finish and print thesis draft In progress. Up to the tenth revision of my paper. Supervisor happy. Needs some more formatting, though.
Book room for defense Done.
Meet manager re declined offer Met Robert Terpstra and had great conversation about life.
Ping tech sales Talked to Liz Elek about immigration documents.
Read more books Read 7 books: one book on sales, four books on relationships, one book on e-mail, and one book on jobs. Only one sales book and one relationships book were particularly note-worthy: How to Sell to Difficult Customers, and the Feminine Mistake.
Start booksnake blog Done: Booksnake
Do core exercises 3x week Assisted reverse chin-ups.
Finish 6 more sessions of Cantonese study 5 done so far, 1 more scheduled today.
Fri: Attend drop-in circus class Tons of fun!
Revise CASCON paper Not started.
Build cooking vocabulary Not started.
Swim Not started.
Outsource a task Not started.
Plan birthday event – LifeCamp Not started. Thinking about what I want to do with my life.

Other stuff this week:

  • Watched J-‘s Shakespeare for Kids performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Watched Dream in High Park performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Found other book-related blogs.
  • Signed up on, a social website for stuff you want to do with your life. Like 43things, but better for my purposes.
  • Skin reacting to Clinique acne starter kit. Toner might be too strong.

Next week:

  • Send thesis draft to people, really.
  • Check paperwork requirements for post-graduate work permit and start compiling them.
  • Revise CASCON paper.
  • Do one week + one advance post for Booksnake.
  • Plan birthday event, really.
  • Touch IBM blogosphere.
  • Swim.
  • Pay rent and balance books.
  • Learn about sales.

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Weekly review

This week

Send thesis draft to people, really. Done.
Check paperwork requirements for post-graduate work permit and start compiling them. Started
Revise CASCON paper. Done.
Do one week + one advance post for Booksnake. Done. Pretty handy…
Plan birthday event, really. Bah.
Touch IBM blogosphere. Done.
Swim. Done.
Pay rent and balance books. Done.
Learn about sales. Done.

Other accomplishments:

  • Got on Second Life.
  • Tried out scripting: built interview bot.
  • Read five books; three of them were worth it.
  • Attended birthday celebrations for W-.
  • Hung out with Steve.
  • Went to Yoga for Geeks.
  • Drafted blogging presentation.

Next week:

  • Prepare presentation for thesis defense.
  • Defend thesis.
  • Write and mail birthday letter.
  • Choose driving school.
  • Go to Toronto Circus School drop-in trapeze lessons.

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Weekly review

This week has been a tumultuous one. Trying to sort out lots of
different issues took up a lot of my time and energy. There are still
a lot of tricky bits to work out, but we’re slowly making progress.

Because other people are involved, I don’t feel comfortable writing
about it in public. (There, see? I do have a private life.) I learned
a lot, though, and I’m still learning more. I wish I could share what
I’m going through, because talking about things helps me understand
them better. Writing is difficult; even talking is. It’s easy to
forget that words can only sketch a still-evolving understanding. My
mind maps have helped me think, and maybe after a few iterations I’ll
understand a few things enough to describe them.

It hasn’t all been complicated, though. As part of my preparations for
the working world, I found out what to do about clothes that need to
be altered. I’m short and my top and bottom are different sizes, which
means it’s difficult to find ready-to-wear clothes that fit me well.
Some of my pants needed hemming. A new blazer that I picked up as part
of a suit needed to be reconstructed to fit me better. Pants were
relatively inexpensive, but the alterations to the blazer cost nearly
as much as the blazer itself. Still, I’ll be glad not to have to think
about the clothes. As it turns out, getting things done by a proper
tailor (High Park Tailoring in this case) is only a little more
expensive than getting it done at the cleaners, and you’ll get more
advice and chitchat from a proper tailor.

I also dropped my shoes off at a cobbler so that the soles can be
reinforced with rubber. I’d been meaning to do that in order to extend
the life of my shoes. I like simple designs, and good shoes can be
hard to find. I walk a lot, though. Reinforcing the soles now might
make the shoes last longer or be easier to maintain later on.

This week has also been quite a week in terms of entertainment. On
Thursday, I attended Jedediah Smith’s
long-form improv class show at the Bad Dog Theatre.
Gabriel Mansour and
Syed Dilawar were also there. Friday, I went
to Buskerfest to take some pictures of street performers. I got a
Facebook status update from Jed asking about things to do that night,
so I invited him over and we watched the fire show. Last night, W-, J-
and I went to the Ex. We had tons of fun at the Aquareve show. A
waist-high sea of bubbles reduced J- and me to squeals of delight.
Some pictures are up on my
Flickr; log in and friend me
if you don’t see them.

Tea was also fun today – nice conversation. I made meringue cookies,
which were quickly demolished. I had a number of kitchen accidents
(spilled vanilla, etc.), but W- and I both managed to not freak out
about it. =) Little things like that make me more confident.

It’s been a jam-packed week, and I’m looking forward to balancing that
with some peace and quiet.

Next week is mostly taken up by driving lessons. I’ve signed up for
the Young Drivers manual shift course. It’s a bit pricy, but I’d
rather pay a little more now for a program that everyone I’ve asked
has recommended to me, than pay lots more later if I get into an
accident. I also need to follow up with my supervisor. I’d really like
to finalize my thesis by the 31st in order to give myself some
breathing room for my paperwork.

Yes, I think the main thing I want for next week is to find that
quiet, happy center again… =)

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Weekly review

This week was mainly taken up by driving lessons at Young Drivers.
Their program was much more expensive than others, but it was highly
recommended by my friends. I was happy with how much I learned in the
program, and it was well-run.

I also spent some time running errands. I’m reasonably happy with High
Park Tailoring. The proprietors had been in business for more than
forty years, and they gave me friendly advice on how long my slacks
should be in order to accommodate the two heights of heels that I
brought. Altering the blazer turned out to be almost as expensive as
buying it, but the result was okay. For routine alteration, the
drycleaner in the Bathurst subway station is much cheaper. I was
disappointed in Yiorgos the Cobbler. The shoes were not ready when I
came to pick them up. The shopkeeper hadn’t even started on them. I’ll
look for a shoe repair shop closer to High Park. Now that I’ve sorted
out my wardrobe and figured out a few places to go for maintenance, I
should be fine.

James Iveniuk’s birthday/send-off was a blast. I met a number of
interesting people I’d like to get to know further, including a few
geek girls. I baked meringue kisses, which were a hit. I think I’ll
make some for the department.

I’m a little nervous about my paperwork processing time. I’ll talk to
Lorna tomorrow about all the requirements. I’m planning to rush two
bound copies of my thesis and complete the rest at a little more
leisurely pace, if that’s possible. It’ll cost me $50 extra, but I
think the peace of mind is worth it.

As for September: I’ve been meaning to writing a book on Emacs. I find
myself skipping over my help.gnu.emacs messages, though, which tells
me that I’m not quite that interested in Emacs at the moment. Thinking
deeply about and writing about social computing might be something
that’ll help me transition into work more smoothly.

Next week, I plan to:

  • Complete my degree requirements
  • Complete my paperwork for post-graduate work permit
  • Have lunch with IBMers
  • Plan blogging talk
  • Take two in-car driving lessons
  • Outline social computing booklet

Random Emacs symbol: coding-system-list – Function: Return a list of all existing non-subsidiary coding systems. – Variable: List of coding systems.