Tuesday, June 28, 2005
No Cigerette and Coffee makes a comatose Y.
Day two. I'm not sure about this quiting a smoking business. Today, stopped at an intersection on a green light. It didn't occur to me that it was a green until this big transport truck blew past me. WTF I stopped here?! Oooops. Then the usual elevator mess: press down button but didn't step into the elevator thinking it was going somewhere else. The Freudian slip(?): "I wasn't the one who drove you home last night, it was me." I figure a large double double should help me...ahh...Timmys;)
In the two days, I have finished my junk food supply. Soooo...the qewstion: If being smoke-free is so much healthier, is it healthier to not smoke and eat bags of junk food than to smoke and eat much less junk food?
On the light-er side...We are in the fourth day of our heat wave--30+C--and it is expected to last for another 2-3 more days. They say it's the hottest June on record. The welcomed heat has produced a rainbow of colours in the skyline due to the smog and other crud in the troposphere. It's so thick I think I can surf on it! STOP DRIVING PEOPLE!! CAR POOL! TAKE TRANSIT! Until we all start dying off, then us humans will realize our folly...damn we are stupid. How we lived so long as a species is amazing.

I now know why my tobacco cravings are muted recently: breathing this "air" is like smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! No sense in quiting really since we're all gonna die from our stupidness.
posted by Y> @ 10:05 a.m.   0 comments
Saturday, June 25, 2005
The Freak-out...QiGong
A little over a year ago, I decided to join Mike in the practice of QiGong every Friday night (at least I try to...haha.) To those that do not know what QiGong is, it kinda looks like tai-chi but very different. "Qi" means Energy or breath of life and "Gong" means skill. By practicing QiGong, you help improve the function of Qi and in turn maintain good health and ward off disease. QiGong consists of five movements, a "freak-out", and meditation. The movements helps build up your level of Qi. The freak-out (as Mike would call it) is when you let the Qi flow to areas of your body that requires healing. The freak-out looks like someone suffering from a seizure. The mediation is just that--a state of relaxation.

It is believed that regular practice will help cleanse the body of toxins, restore energy, reduce stress and help one maintain good health. Many of those that go to class, had some sort of ailment that once plagued them ranging from car accidents to natural diseases/disorders. After years of QiGong, they now suffer less. QiGong is not the cure-all and never will be; however, the exercise will generally improve health. I don't have any disease (at least that I know of) but I practice it to holistically improve my health. Yes, QiGong is usually meant for old people but I am old:P Besides, it never hurts to exercise.
Here are some information regarding QiGong: The Qigong Institute
posted by Y> @ 4:51 a.m.   0 comments
Monday, June 20, 2005
"Shaadi ke rishte to aasmaan main buntay hain"
Attended my friend's engagement party last night--a traditional Indian-Hindu ceremony. It was my first time attending such a fabulous and interesting event. The saree that the women wore were very colourful and sensual. It seems like every colour of the rainbow was in attendance and more! The collage of colours was certainly a gift to the eyes. I always thought that India has a conservative culture but that is not true. The saree I found were quite sexy in nature. My friend explained to me that there is a degree of openess in India, citing one example, the Karma Sutra. As well, one must take account for the heat in India; thus, their attire. This is in contrast to Pakistan and their Muslim culture where they are quite more conservative.

Congratulations Anisha and Sumeet!!
May your life together be like the stars above, forever shining bright.
"Marriages are made in heaven"
posted by Y> @ 11:03 a.m.   0 comments
Old is In
As a promise to myself, I have returned to the Yashica. Slapped on my old school flash and it was like back to the '70s. Many were interested in the camera since it was the oldest camera at the party and everyone was using digital, including the wedding photographer. Had some problems with the flash not flashing...gotta figure out why that was happening. Being my first time using a flash on this camera, I hope that all my pictures turned out good.

Update: I stand corrected, the Yashica GSN was first introduced in 1973. That puts the camera older than I! I strongly recommend this camera to those that wants a cheap alternative to a SLR or those awful pesky digicams. They are dirt cheap on any auction website.
posted by Y> @ 9:45 a.m.   0 comments
'Such is life...'
Many international students who take ESL are taught idioms and phrases. Many times they ask me of such phrases and while most times I can explain it to them, there are times where it gets me thinking. As well, many phrases I have not heard for a very long time.

Last Friday we had a farewell party for three students and a "going away" party for Nori-P. Flavia will be heading back to Brasil for urban planning(?); Akitoshi back to Japan as a trader; a mexician girl that I never met and; Noriko to sail the Pacific. All are wonderful people and I am very grateful in having them as my friends. I will never forget Flavia's wild but serious nature; Aki's sarcasm and sexual jokes; and Noriko's free and spirited persona. I will miss them dearly.

Good luck in your future endeavours.
We will meet again.


posted by Y> @ 1:23 a.m.   0 comments
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Some people have asked me what my alias stands for. It is actually a name of a small rodent-like (not related to the rodent family) animal native to Chile. The other spelling of "dagus" are degus (more correct), Octodon Degus (Latin name) and degu. The reason I choose this name is because my sister used to have degus as pets in my computer room so when I needed a handle, dagus was the first unique word that came to my mind.

The following are some facts about degus:
- same suborder as Porcupines, Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs, Spined Rats, Chinchilla Rats, and are related to rabbits
- Degus are active during the day, and wander about grazing mainly during the morning and evening hours. They feed on grass, grain seeds, and fruits, and they hoard food supplies in their burrows.
- Like other Octodon species, the Degus is similar to the rat in size and proportions. Its physical adaptations to a subterranean life are a squat body and short neck, a large head, a long tail with brush-like hair at the tip, which it raises slightly when walking, and long whiskers. Hearing and other senses are well developed in this species. The hind legs are shorter than the front legs.
Kawai, eh?
posted by Y> @ 11:18 p.m.   0 comments
Monday, June 13, 2005
Hurricane Arlene
Thanks to the hurricane turned tropical storm, it was too cloudy and wet to head up to Panorama for a night view of Toronto with Nori-P. Will try again Wednesday. Instead we went for bubble tea which she never tried before. I went for my regular taro black milk and she settled for Yakult black tea. I was surprised that they even had that flavour...weird. It's a kid's drink but Nori-P being a kid loved it, eh? I haven't had Yakult for a very long time--my parents said I loved it when I was a kid in HK. Don't remember much about it but the drink did indeed tasted like Yakult.

In an unrelated story, someone started a rumour that Yakult would ward off SARS during the Asian SARS outbreak in 2003. Sales of Yakult in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan rosed as much as 500 per cent. Funny what people will believe these days. Regardless, Yakult is a healthy drink so no harm done: "Yakult is a fermented milk drink made by fermenting skim milk powder and sugar with the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain. This bacterium helps to replenish the good bacteria in the small intestine, ensuring that our digestive system works efficiently and effectively." Keeps you regular, eh?
posted by Y> @ 11:59 p.m.   0 comments
KinKan Relief
This past weekend I was invited to Chris' cottage to help out with cleaning and some repair work on his cottage. There were 14 of us doing odd jobs like cleaning the couch, some roofing repairs and picking up the garbage but the main theme this year was fixing up the eavesdrops. This was my initiation year. Lots of alcohol and power tools made a great time. Mike and I arrived at around 4am Saturday morning and the party was still going. We, along with Glen (a retired IT manager/developer) stayed up for the sunrise with scotch in hands before turning in. Saturday started off very hot, sunny and humid but the guys were relentless in their work. Then the thunderstorms rolled in and spoiled it all. The guys even had to postpone their frisbee "golfing." The frist thunderstorm was short-lived so after the storm, the guys continued their work; however, the next one stopped work till the next day. The only positive aspect was the light show: it was spectacular. Mike, Chris and I cooked up dinner: steak, potatoes, beans and salad. Sunday morning, the work continued full-paced to meet the deadline but I unfortunately had to be off early. The guys are awesome. Thank you Chris!

I got eaten alive by mosquitoes at the cottage. My legs are dotted red everywhere because of my scratching--my feet hurts when I walk! Mike, however, got it the worse, like a pincushion. His legs must be burning. For some minor relief, I have this Japanese afterbite concoction called Kinkan. Like Afterbit, it is not very effective but it feels good.
posted by Y> @ 1:34 a.m.   0 comments
Do not drink and Digicam
My digicam finally met its demise last week at a party. The rotating lens rotated too much and the wires inside got messed up pretty badly. Good reason to pick up a new camera but I really do love my Nikon (Nikon da best, eh, Nori-P? :P Trying to find a used busted cam on ebay to scavenge parts from it but to no avail--I lost an auction for one. Why would anybody wanna pay $30us for a busted outdated digicam?! I know what parts I need to repair it but I'm sure ordering such parts from Nikon will be expensive. If anyone wanna get rid of their Nikon 2500 at a reasonable price, SCREAM! My new Canon digicam is just not the same...doesn't feel right:'(
The remnants of the poor guy:
posted by Y> @ 12:51 a.m.   0 comments
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Whitewater Rafting
Last Saturday we went to the Ottawa River to try out some whitewater rafting. Started the trip Saturday morning at 2am picking up the 11 guniea pigs for the 5 hour trip. We arrived just in time for check-in, did the breifing stuff and by 10am we were on our way to our launch point. The weather was perfect: 30C and not a cloud in the sky, simply beautiful. Our rafting guide, named Zander was really cool and energetic. Started off with some lessons and off to our first rapid, McCoy's Chute (class 3 rapid). As we hit the rapids, a wall of white water struck us hard almost knocking some of us off the raft. After a few tries at "surfing" the raft, we decided to jump into the water for a light swim. The water was warmer than I thought but still cool enough to give me the chills after awhile of being in the water. We then proceeded to a few more rapids, Butcher's Knife, Garburator (was wild and almost knocked me off the boat), and Waikiki (I cannot remember all the rapid names) before we stopped for a snack. Here we did some cliff jumping into the rapids below. The cliff was about two storeys high but was nevertheless intimidating--it took Manami a few long seconds before she gathered enough courage to jump. Some people chickened out and I won't mention any names (you know who you are.) After the little break we headed off to Coliseum where we saw a nest of Ospreys in the trees. The two rapids afterwards--Farmer Black's and Dog's leg--were not as thrashing.

All in all it was a experience to remember. I was hoping for more rapids and a lot rougher rapids, however, I was not disappointed and I am sure the others were not disappointed as well. The cliff jumping was a bonus that many enjoyed. We were lucky (or unlucky) to lose nobody on the rapids--some of the other rafts ejected all their passengers on the first rapids and all you see was blue things floating down the rapids (the helmets are blue.) I cannot fully express how wonderful the experience was so go and try for yourself!
Next time whitewater kayaking!!
posted by Y> @ 5:12 p.m.   0 comments
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Ecologically Sustainable Use
There's been a lot of talk recently in Japan and other nations of resuming the harvesting of restricted whale spieces or increasing catch quotas. Currently Japan whales under the guise of "scientific research" but the world knows that all catch is sold to the markets. If Japan does not get their way, they will abandon the International Whaling Commission and resume the unabated slaughtered of these beautiful species. Their studies have shown that whales are abundant but lest us not forget what happened to Cod stocks in Canada's Grand Bank--Cod stocks crashed and the fishery had to be shut down in 1992. To this day, Cod fishing is still prohibited. The commision has worked long and hard to prevent extinctions of whale species but yet Japan and other countries wants to destory what the IWC tried so hard in protecting. Japan even admited in buying votes in 2001 so they can relax the restrictions but luckily they failed (money can buy anything, eh?)
I am against the practice of whaling but yet, I cannot ignore scientific research in stock supply. However, I cannot totally trust such research because they have been wrong before, it is difficult to measure in our vast oceans and, especially bias reports that are conducted by a bias country. I understand the traditional values whaling have on certain countries but recent history have shown that countries indiscriminatly harvest the beasts mostly for financial gain; thus, the whaling ban was needed. As well, one cannot blame the ban as having an negative financial effect since ecotourism (whale watching) is much more profitable than whaling. The history of whaling goes back very far and there are lots of controversy on the topic. Google it but remember to have an open mind on both sides.
In any renewable resource--whether that be whales, fish, trees, or ecosystems--we need to harvest it in a sustainable manner: "the use of living things or areas within their capacity to sustain natural processes while maintaining the life support systems of nature, and ensuring that the benefits of the use to present generations do not diminish the potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations."


posted by Y> @ 11:48 a.m.   0 comments
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Location: Canada
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