Headlines for Saturday:

Reading paper progress:
45 papers read.
212 papers to go.

Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AXWork on reading paper
AXEvening: Pick up papers from AJAX
ACMorning to afternoon: Take ferry to Central Island and bliss out in some lakeside park
CXCheck out livebooks : E-Mail from Harvey V. Chua
CXLunch with Andrew
CXGet in touch with mentees

1. Backlog: Friends: 00:20

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I had merienda with Steve and Mike Tsang (well, they had dinner), and then I attended a party Mike+Alice McGuffin's place. A veritable feast of green stuff! =)

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Random Japanese sentence: いなくなった猫はまだ見つかってない。 The missing cat has not been found yet.

2. Reading paper: 00:21

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Okay, hmm, maybe I won't be able to take my Center Island break... I'll focus on my reading paper instead, and treat myself to the Central Island break on May 6.

Random Japanese sentence: たとえどしゃぶりになろうとも行かなければならない。 I have to go even if it rains cats and dogs.

3. Thank you, Lazy Web! - Feedrinse: 01:07

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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 free...

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.

4. Uh oh...: 01:20

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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.

5. More Rails twiddling: 02:17

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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.

6. Deskbar applet - GNOME coolness!: 02:22

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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.

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

7. Meep! Comments lost!: 02:29

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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.

8. Alejandro: 12:26

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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 well!

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.

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