August 2000

Cup of Soup

Tues, Aug 22, 2000

Well, I finally finished the basics of this site. I had to relearn a lot of XML and XSLT in order to do it; not that I had to use XML, but I thought it would be good practice. Thanks to Khun Yee for teaching it to me in the first place.

I very carefully avoided the word "daily" on this site, for I know that there isn't the slightest chance of me being able to add to it every day. Thus, I will say it is updated "every now and then, but don't hold your breath".

Anyway, if you're reading this message, it means you're one of my first visitors. So enjoy.

Sane Person Undercover

Thurs, Aug 24, 2000

I think the site is starting to solidify itself, which is good -- my vacation is almost over. 'Survivor' ended last night, so there's no way I can go without a word or two on that. When I started watching the show about halfway through the series, I thought Rich was going to win. I should have bet on it. Oh well.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the show. When I first heard of it, I thought it was just another gimmick to satisfy the American Dream -- get rich quick without any effort. That's one reason why I can't stand "Who Wants to Be a Millionare?". But watching the show changed my opinion. These people had to work really hard to succeed, and go a long time without seeing their loved ones. Following the series introduced you to these people, and you almost got to know them as time went on. Unfortunately, it brought out a lot of sinister motives, and showed to what level some people will stoop to satisfy their material desires. But, like it or not, it's a microcosm of the real world. It reveals to us a lot about social politics and judgement of personality. I find it disheartening that it ended with a vote for the one that was "least objectionable", but it shows us the sorts of behaviour that will create friends and spawn enemies. You yourself will probably never be stranded on a desert island, but there always comes a scenario where you have to spend a long period of time with the same group of people. Perhaps this show can teach us a bit about what we need to do survive our relationships with them.

All in all, a good show.

Fri, Aug 25, 2000

After spending the day finally getting our little household network up and running, I read a bit of Douglas Adams' "Last Chance To See". Adams was talking about Darkest Africa, where there are endless jungles, erupting volcanoes, and the worst transportation system in the world. After dismissing the idea that Mississauga Transit had set up shop in the Congo, I started to think that it's been quite a while since there's been a major breakthrough in transportation technology, at least in the sense of what applies to the average person travelling to work and back each day. For many decades, we've had trains, cars, busses, and planes, but we haven't made much of a significant jump since petrol became common. I think it's about time someone becomes able to mass-produce an affordable and reliable hydrogen-powered car, or an electric car that can actually take you across town without having to recharge every three blocks, or a flying hoverpad that makes "bee-dee-bee-dee-bee-dee" noises like you saw on "The Jetsons" . . .

Sun, Aug 27, 2000

I start work tomorrow, so that effectively ends my summer. Working during the warm season is quite the downer -- during all the pleasant sunshine and warm weather, you're cooped up in an office. At least at school you have classes spread out during the day, so you have opportunity to enjoy the weather as you like. Hopefully, it won't cool down for a while. I plan to bike to the train station en route to work as long as I can. It's cheaper than taking the bus and the subway, and it will get me some much needed exercise that I would otherwise be going without.

I may not have spent my break in sunny California, or scenic Europe, but I think I used my spare time well. I built this page, got lots of sleep, enjoyed the weather -- which was nearly perfect the entire two weeks, spent lots of time with my friends, got lots of exercise on my skates, and took a scenic tour of the lakefront on my bike. All in all, quite the needed rest. Now, it's back to work.

Tues, Aug 29, 2000

One thing I refuse to become is a workaholic. I returned to work yesterday and recognized some old faces, met some new faces, and got reacquainted with the numerous workaholics of the tech world. Normally, I'll get in at 9, and the same people are usually there before me. I got in at 10 today, so I left a little later, at 6 o'clock. When I left, those same people were still there. I walked out thinking "Don't these people have other things to do?" Sometimes it's necessary to work long hours, like when a deadline is approaching, or those not fortunate enough to have a regular-hours job, and need to work late to support their families. But, to consistently and voluntarily spend all your waking hours at the office to support the needs of a client or boss, while the needs of your family back home are being neglected seems very wrong to me. I picture myself in the future leaving for work early every morning and coming home late every night, and I get sick to my stomach. I did the ultra-long-hours thing for over two work terms, and it was bloody hell. But I'm young and I don't have a family yet, so I figured I could use the overtime to support myself and build some work skills. Better now when I am able, than later when I can't, but I never want to do that again. When I finally left that job, I thought I would climb a clocktower with a shotgun if I ever saw a cubicle again. A career is an important part of your life, but it shouldn't be the biggest. Perhaps I'm naive, and don't yet know what's necessary to stay afloat in today's working world, but if I had a wife and kids waiting for me at home, I wouldn't let some bloody job get in my way of seeing them.

Archive Index
(C) 2000-2003 David Faria