Headlines for Thursday:

  1. I have finally caught up with LJ (23 words)
  2. Competition and cooperation (188 words)
  3. The paperwork is easy! (471 words)
  4. Housing (693 words)
  5. New plan (84 words)
  6. Okay! I've got it! (96 words)



1. I have finally caught up with LJ: 00:14

At least for now. No longer a delinquent friend... yay!

Random Emacs symbol: battery-load-low - Variable: *Upper bound of low battery load percentage.

2. Competition and cooperation: 11:38

JJ Ferro pointed out this inspiring story of how technology can make a difference and how competitions can lead to cooperation.

Challenge finalists team up to aid typhoon victims One of the great benefits of participation in the Challenge is the sense of community and mutual trust that develops among the finalists especially. That sense of belonging is the basis of a collaboration between two of the 2006 finalists

When a typhoon hit the Philippine province of Bicol in early December 2006, challenge finalist Jay Vincent Plaza of HotCity Wireless wanted to help, but, while he knew how to deploy wireless networks to replace the damaged telecommunications infrastructure, he needed tools to connect donors, volunteers and victims to solve the many problems that had arisen.

As a finalist in the 2006 Awards Jay remembered another finalist, a disaster response project from the Health category that had an application for exactly that purpose.

That's the best story I've ever heard about competition. =)

E-Mail from Jj Ferro

Random Emacs symbol: line-move-invisible-p - Function: Return non-nil if the character after POS is currently invisible.

3. The paperwork is easy!: 15:08

I passed by the International Student Centre to ask about work permits, and I'm thrilled to report that the process of hiring me will be *really* easy for Canadian companies.

Because there's a special category of work permits for international graduate students (how convenient!), Canadian companies can treat me like any other Canadian when hiring. They don't have to do an extensive job search or be of a certain size. They just have to decide what they want me to do.

The permit allows me to work in Canada for one year. Applying for a proper work permit after that should take me around four months. The six-month performance review is a good time to get started on that paperwork. The second work permit will allow me to work for an additional two years. When I have more work experience, I'll easily qualify for a skilled worker visa, which will let me become a permanent resident. The government will credit a maximum of one year from non-permanent residents, so after two more years of permanent residency, I'll be able to apply for citizenship.

So I'll probably complete the process four years from now: 2011. I will be 27 years old, maybe 28. Yes, that sounds like a good plan. It'll open up more opportunities for me, and I can use those opportunities to help others.

I still love the Philippines, and I'm glad that I can become a dual citizen instead of giving up my Filipino citizenship. I'm looking forward to being one of the examples of people who manage to bridge both worlds.

My next step is to apply for an off-campus work permit so that I can start work before I graduate. This will be handy after I finish my thesis, because I can do a maximum of 20 hours of work while waiting for the rest of the university paperwork to clear. By June I need to have a chosen job offer firmly in my pocket.

Hmm. I woke up my network a little early, then, but that's okay. I'm the kind of person job ads are rarely written for. It's early in the year. People can start planning for me. That way, when I'm ready, they can create a position if they don't already have one!

There'll be no lack of things I can do in Toronto. The only thing is to find the best fit: the best fit for the company, and the best fit for me. I know I can do the technical stuff. I want to learn more about the people side of things: customer relations, public relations, sales, marketing, and even management. I can learn new technologies and tools through experimentation and from documentation (and source!), but people skills are the ones that will really make me wildly successful. =)

Life is good.

4. Housing: 17:15

I have decided to stay in Toronto for the next few years. I want to get used to living somewhere. I've packed up and lived in a strange country--twice. Now I want to try becoming a pillar of the community.

Now that I've decided to stick around, I can consider long-term housing. I passed by the student centre for off-campus housing. I was pleased to see that the advertised locations were generally cheaper than those advertised in newspapers. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of these great resources!

The person at the student centre said that April and May are when all the boards are full. If I wait until then, I'm sure to have much more choice. On the other hand, I can start seriously looking soon (after my NY trip!), but only take a place if it's seriously stellar.

I think I'll slowly inch my way up the renting ladder. I'll start with a budget of $800-1000, and I'll give myself a raise in a year (which is just about the right timing anyway). The cost of moving shouldn't be too high, especially as I'll be moving around in the same city.

What's the immediate cost? Visiting places takes time. It's good practice for interviewing people, though. I can use it as an excuse to explore neighborhoods, too. High-rises are better than houses for this, because if I find something wonderful that I'm not ready to move into yet, I can bookmark it and have a reasonable chance of getting a spot.

Also, condominium rentals are more expensive than house rentals, but they might also be managed better because the landlords have more experience. There will be less negotiation, but that's okay--at least it's pretty clear. I like the idea of 24h security and having control over the entire unit instead of sharing a house with someone else, and the condominium rules make it easier to deal with neighbors. Also, if I give parties or have people over, then amenities might be nice. Downside? The block design might be sad, and I won't have as much control over the interior as I'd like--but then again, I'm not planning to do any renovations this soon anyway.

Clearly my inner self is keen on going for a medium- or high-rise for now. I'll ask about Graduate House's moving-out policy. Then I'll start a short-term project: apartment-hunting. Two weeks for information-gathering, two weeks for looking at places. If Graduate House will let me give a month's notice and still be flexible about it, then I'll probably be out by April 1. I've already paid for February rent, and my deposit can cover March's rent. I can actually move out earlier if I'm willing to forfeit the deposit, but what's another month? It will fly by. So now is actually the right time for me to be looking for these things.

A quick search of the rental listings shows that I can stay within the the downtown rectangle of Bloor/King-Spadina/Yonge given my budget, so I don't need to compromise on location. I'm drawn to hardwood floors and big windows, and I would love to have a bedroom window with plenty of sunlight (only way to get out of bed!). I don't smoke, so a balcony or patio would be useful for me only if it's large enough to have the occasional outdoor meal. A studio or 1-bedroom would be ideal because it's easier to manage parties if I can keep an area separate. I'll take a furnished suite only if I can change the furniture gradually.

Right. I should jump and trust that there'll be someplace to catch me. I'll plan to move out mid-March, so there's time for me to settle in or hit the panic button. Doing the move now instead of delaying until graduation is good, actually, as that means I'm only making one major life change at a time (and my postal address will be good during my job search and everything!).

Yes, life is good when you have a plan...

Random Emacs symbol: complete-in-turn - Macro: Create a completion table that first tries completion in A and then in B.

5. New plan: 17:54

Wow, when my life decides to go somewhere, it moves *really* quickly!

It seems more complicated than it is, but I *might* be able to do something tricky if I can swing the very careful timing. It'll be more convenient than moving twice in a month, for sure.

I need a short-term storage company, some boxes, and a mover or a really big favor. I can do this. I can make this happen.

Random Emacs symbol: tramp-handle-delete-file - Function: Like `delete-file' for tramp files.

6. Okay! I've got it!: 19:12

  1. Find boxes.
  2. Pack one backpack of clothes to take to NY.
  3. Pack one suitcase of clothes that I need if treating GH as a hostel.
  4. Pack everything else into boxes.
  5. Move boxes into Graduate House temporary storage (ideal), the other room (2nd option), or someone's basement (may require huge favor)
  6. Shop around for condo rentals. Don't panic; we have good backup plans.
  7. Move. Will definitely require huge favor.
  8. Throw house-warming party. Get new plates.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-topic-sort-topics - Command: Sort topics in TOPIC alphabetically by topic name.


  1. Reply to Simon Rowland - sent today
  2. E-mail to Joyce Davis
  3. Reply to Gobi Kathirgamanathan - sent today
  4. Reply to Alvin Chin - sent today
  5. Reply to Anton Mari Zachary B. Elep - sent 7 days ago
  6. Reply to Lea Cameron - sent 7 days ago
  7. Reply to John Oxley - sent 7 days ago
  8. Reply to Jedediah Smith - sent 7 days ago
  9. Reply to dae unisa - sent 7 days ago
  10. Reply to Rodney Buike - sent 7 days ago
  11. E-mail to Alvin Chin
  12. Reply to Dean Michael Berris - sent 29 days ago
  13. Reply to Nathaniel Brown
  14. E-mail to Simon Rowland, Karen Quinn Fung, Mike C. Fletcher, Shane D'Costa
  15. E-mail to milorg
  16. Reply to Alex Schroeder - sent 33 days ago
  17. Reply to Anabel Suico
  18. Reply to "Jj Ferro"
  19. Reply to Don Marti - sent 9 days ago
  20. Reply to bok
  21. Reply to J. Angelo Racoma - sent 13 days ago
  22. Reply to Gabriel Mansour - sent 14 days ago
  23. Reply to Gabriel Mansour - sent 9 days ago
  24. Reply to Jean-Pierre Schaller
  25. Reply to Charles Cave - sent 12 days ago
  26. Reply to Patrick Miguel - sent 15 days ago
  27. Reply to Michael McGuffin - sent 12 days ago
  28. Reply to Kevin Magee - sent 10 days ago
  29. Reply to Mama - sent yesterday
  30. Reply to Chelsea Taylor, Keynyn Brysse, - sent today