Posts Tagged ‘Life’

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Back to School with Cheesecake

Recently, I’ve been busy for a variety of reasons. The most significant reason? I’ve gone back to school! 😮

Shocking, I know. But it’s probably not what you expect. Since April 11th, I’ve been going to culinary school in downtown Vancouver. It’s an 11 block program (each block consists of 4 weeks, so… 44 weeks) – I should be done in February 2012. In addition, I just completed a 4-month stage (unpaid internship) at a hotel. I would go there after class (or before class, depending on the class) about 3 times a week. Lots of getting up early, and some getting home late. It can be tough work. I’ve been physically exhausted. Heck, I’m exhausted, right now. And you know what? I love it. There is something really satisfying about cooking. You produce something you can be proud of in relatively short period of time… and the kitchen can be an exhilarating place to be. I’ve always liked a bit of adrenaline in my life and I guess I didn’t find that in an office environment.

Anyway, I haven’t been taking photos at school. And I should be. So today I took some photos. I’m currently in block 7: baking and pastry. Here are some cheesecakes I decorated today. My partner and I had finished pretty much everything, so we had lots of time to play around. 🙂

whipped cream rosettes with orange segments and strawberry. Probably should have left the orange bits off the rosettes, but oh well.

rosettes on top of kiwi slices, with strawberry on top of orange segments.

The cheescakes turned out really well. No burning, no cracks (thanks to a sour cream topping), and quite level and smooth. Clean!

Spent way too much time on this, but had a lot of fun doing it. Marzipan pumpkin and chocolate "Booo" leaning on rosettes, Messy spider is 2 strawberries covered in chocolate with marzipan eyes and chocolate disc legs. All on chocolate webbing.

The cheesecakes go for $18. It’s a good deal considering how much cream cheese is in them… each about 750g? But whoever gets that halloween one will have a bunch of chocolate shrapnel when they attempt to cut it. Hah! 🙂

Attacked and almost robbed

Last night, at about midnight, I was attacked while approaching my parked car at a bus exchange in North Vancouver. I was returning from downtown and was on my way home. I had just got off the bus, walked over to my car, put my bags in my trunk and was unlocking the driver side door when I saw a man approaching me in the parking lot. I didn’t think much of it, I thought he wanted to ask me a question or something. So I just stood there and waited for him to approach me. He yelled something, which I didn’t understand until he said it a few more times, “Give me your shit!” I was totally taken aback. Was this really happening? Is he serious? I noticed he was holding something threateningly in his left hand, thought it might be a chain or something. It was dark and hard to see… and I still couldn’t believe this was happening.

My door was open, but I didn’t let on to that. I lowered my key and tried to talk him out of it, saying it couldn’t end well and stepped cautiously towards him. I may have had my hands up and open. Obviously, he wasn’t a rational person. Even if I did pop my trunk and give him all my stuff, I had no insurance he would leave me alone. I suppose that’s when I decided I would have to defend myself as best I could and find help. He swung his weapon at my head a few times, some of which I managed to block with my arm and sweatshirt. I charged him, knocked him back a bit and retreated to the bus exchange looking for help.

I was being pursued, but I didn’t have have to try very hard to keep a safe distance. As I jogged through the bus exchange, there was a young couple there (waiting for their bus, presumably), no buses, and no authorities. I didn’t really want to bring this lunatic into them, and felt a sense of regret. They cast concerned glances at me and asked if I was alright. The assailant was still a safe distance behind me, ranting and stomping on. That’s when I noticed blood on my hands. I was bleeding? I was aware of a different sensation on left side of my face, but it didn’t hurt. I may have actually said that aloud, both shocked and annoyed, “I’m bleeding?!”

Then I actually got a bit of luck. Nearby, I noticed the police had set up a roadblock, so I ran over there and got help. The assailant was surprisingly cooperative, dropping his weapon, lying down on the ground and putting his hands on his head. I later found out it was a studded belt – I guess he was swinging the clasp at me? He was taken away, would be put in jail for the night (minimum) and be charged with assault and robbery. I was interviewed, the young couple were interviewed, and I got a ride home from the officer. After I was home, I was finally able to see what I looked like.

After cleaning up and sleeping, it looks a bit better. Bit of a shiner, though. 😛

Aside from being a little shaken, a couple cuts and welts, I’m okay. I was not robbed. Nobody else got hurt. And I’m thankful that things turned out the way they did, as it could have been much worse. 🙂

UPDATE 2011/09/04:
The shiner keeps developing. It’s so… colorful! ^_^

Work and Stuff

I meant to go snowboarding at Cypress today, but I went to sleep at 4am (thanks to the time change and my laptop), so I’ll take a lazy Sunday to provide a few much needed updates. (If you’re reading this and also thinking about squeezing a little out of the remaining ski season, hit me up and lets see if we can go together!)


At the beginning of April, I will be returning to the government office I worked at previously, but this time as a full-fledged civil servant! Exciting, I know. 🙂 I worked there previously as a casual employee, and the person I primarily worked with will be going on maternity leave, so I’ll be filling her shoes while she’s gone. The work is not exactly what I’d like to be doing, but I’m hoping I can work on personal projects and keep my mind tuned to my other interests. (However, I know I have trouble doing this, as regardless of the job, I like to relax afterward.) This is also my proverbial foot-in-the-door, so I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for other job postings of potential interest. Right now, the security and benefits that come with a government job are quite welcome.

Additionally, over the last few weeks, I’ve been working as an ESL tutor, and I will continue to do so until I start the new job. Actually, I really enjoy tutoring! It’s fun working with different people all the time. And if I decide to teach English abroad at some point (a very acceptable means of travel) this is great experience. It’s good to know I might actually enjoy the work, as well. It’s just not a job that can sustain much of a life, in Vancouver, at the moment. 🙂

2008 In Review


This year has been pretty big. Naturally following up with lots of events from last year, these are some quick memories. My nephew, Rayden, was born on Feb 12th, six weeks early! This caused the father (my brother) to be indisposed for my dad’s (2nd) marriage on Feb 14th. I got bumped up to best man (but didn’t have to do much) and had a rather empty hotel room to myself in Vegas. I attended the Open Web Vancouver conference. I went to Whistler mountain for the first time in years and plan on going again soon. I went on a fantastic road trip down the west coast of the United States, something I will never forget. I slacked off most of the summer but managed to do quite a bit of rollerblading and outdoor activity hanging out with Kurt (visiting from Brazil). My brother, now a father, married the mother of his child on August 3rd. I was best man at this wedding, as well – with more responsibilities, but they were well received and totally worth it. Our beloved cat, Sky, met an early and terribly unfortunate end. We had our first encounter with bed bugs who are now the sworn enemy of our household. Vancouver, a city that sometimes doesn’t get snow all year, had its whitest Christmas ever with 60cm (2 ft) of snow! Perhaps we should have seen snow in April as a sign….?

That reminds me: Happy Holidays for 2008! Guess I was a little late on that… Here are some pictures of our insane weather in Vancouver.


With my free time, I think I was able to really exercise my geekiness in 2008. I released a couple updates to the Rhythmbox Jump-to-Playing plugin, which led me to submit my first patch to an upstream project! Said patch was accepted and will be in the next version of Rhythmbox! Yay. 🙂 It was just for some XML UI description, but it feels nice to have helped improve (even a tiny bit) a project that will be installed on thousands of computers in the next cycle. I also released a usable proof-of-concept GNOME Panel File List Applet which has stayed on my panel and I find quite useful. And I’ve done a couple little scripts and how-to’s that fall under the “nerd” category quite nicely. Oh yeah, and significant website updates. Next website todo item is to customize the attachment page for my theme, I think…. Also, I joined Twitter. And And LinkedIn….


Not many artsy things done this year. But with the significant improvements of tablet handling in Linux, I did some random doodles and a birthday card. I may not do it very often, but I still enjoy drawing, thank goodness.

Blog Stats for 2008

My Blog is by no means high traffic, but stats are fun! (These stats were obtained using the Stats plugin, and exclude the Feed stats, because I use Feedburner for that… although, I’m thinking I should revert that, now that I mostly use Stats.)

Top 3 Referrers:

  1. (402)
  2. (209)
  3. (126)

Top 3 Posts and Pages:

  1. Pidgin 2.1 UI Ideas (1,053)
  2. 2D Game Art and the Virtual Console (580)
  3. Rhythmbox Plugin: Jump to Playing 0.2 (455)

Top 3 Search Engine Terms:

  1. rhythmbox (327)
  2. bug (174)
  3. pidgin (165)

Top 3 Clicks:

  1. Pidgin UI screenshot attached to a bug (57)
  2. Pidgin UI mockup (50) by Hylke Bons
  3. SF2 HD Ken (42)
  4. The fourth was with 38 clicks, so it’s kinda cool I helped advertise a small project a little. (A project I’ve submitted patches to, no less. 🙂 )


Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful 2008. It’s been interesting, and despite a failing economy, I’m looking positively toward 2009.

Happy New Year! (????????????????) 🙂

Say Uncle

A lot of things have happened over the last month or so that I haven’t really mentioned, as I’ve been fairly busy, tired, lazy, or all of the above. Let me see… a (mostly) chronological bullet-point of events:

  • I went snowboarding at Cypress with my brother (Jan 23). Was awesome.

    My brother and I on the lift

    Here’s a couple videos my brother took of me snowboarding. Impressive camera work, actually! Not as impressive boarding. Notice my arms are pretty active. 🙂 But not bad. Keep in mind, I think this is only my 8th time snowboarding in like 7 or 8 years? Video1 (more of a trial, 6MB), and Video2 (24MB)

  • I’m now 27 years OLD (Jan 25th). Managed to let that one slip by, somehow….
  • Went to the Ruby Barcamp in Gastown. Met Shirley and an old classmate there. Saw some Python groupies, as well, scoping the competition. (Jan 26th)
  • I also briefly went to Prince Rupert (Jan 29-31), which was interesting, in a small-town kinda way. Really beautiful looking out across a foggy Tuck Inlet at dusk. Didn’t get out and about as much as I would have liked. Funny (terrible?) method to get there (plane, bus, ferry, bus).

    Coming into Rupert on the Ferry

    Looking out across Tuck Inlet

  • Went to the Brickhouse with Jesse and his friend, John. Really cool atmosphere in a not-so-cool area. Also cemented my dominant status. Again. (Feb 8 )
  • I’m now an Uncle! … er… Biologically! At 4:20am on Feb 12th, my big brother and his girlfriend had a baby boy. He’s very tiny and cute. And tiny. Congratulations guys! Not sure how my brother will be able to use his other Cypress ticket now…. he’ll be busy!
  • On Feb 14th, I gained step-family when my dad remarried. More congratulations! The wedding was in Las Vegas , so I was there for a few days (Feb 13-16), hanging out with siblings and losing money – which was pretty fun.

    Vegas at night

    Huge Alcoholic Slushies!

    My sister and I are holding huge alcoholic slushies with extra shots that come in test tubes!
  • Failed to meet up with Shirley for the VanUE meeting. Walked around downtown for an hour with the wrong address in my head. Doh. Went to Guu with Shirley and John, after. (Feb 21)
  • Oh, and I did a day-long course on Aircraft Ditching and Underwater Egress. It’s not every day you get to be dunked in a pool with all your clothes on! Really good experience, actually. I Hope I never have to use what I practised. 🙂 (Feb 18)

Anyway, it’s been a pretty crazy month. Some more pictures forthcoming. Maybe.

2007 in Brief

Despite no grand plans of getting pleasantly inebriated tonight, 2007 was actually a very eventful year. I finally finished up my undergrad in May; something that was long overdue. After, I enjoyed some free time in Vancouver’s fantastic summer (and then Fall), and I just recently started making a much needed dollar. (I got Jesse to thank for hooking me up with that.) My big brother and his girlfriend of six(?) years announced their engagement AND that they were expecting a little one. My dad announced his (2nd) engagement. My cousins are expecting their first and second kids. One of my best friends, Kurtis (who I’ve known since forever), moved to Brazil and got married! Alex married Dez. Ben and Mayu had a baby (whom I’ve still yet to meet).

But one person in particular made this year very memorable for me: you know who you are. 🙂 Thank you.

And to all my friends and family, Thank you! And Happy New Year!


2008 will be interesting, I’m sure. ??????

Update: I went to the local watering hole for a drink and some chat with our homestay student, who also had no plans. We even got champagne! 🙂