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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Say hello to my little friend

As many of you know I'll be moving to Toronto in August to start my grad studies. But before I leave, I have to find a new home for my stunningly handsome '95 Toyota Corolla, who I have lovingly named Corey. Corey is a good natured and fiercely loyal companion who will not let you down. Unlike many of his larger North American cousins, Corey is easy on the sauce, always sipping rather than gulping expensive gasoline. To be honest, I've really grown to love this little guy over the years, but I just can't afford to bring him with me to Toronto. So if you or anyone you know needs a clean, reliable and economical car, please get in touch with me. I'm willing to let him go for $6,500, but if you promise me you'll give Corey a good home and walk ( him everyday, I'm sure we can work something out regarding the price. Here's a pic of the little guy (ain't he adorable?) and I've included some specs as well.

1995 Toyota Corolla DX
Automatic Transmission
111, 000 km, excellent condition
One local owner, no accidents
Owner is moving to Ontario for grad school in August

Friday, June 25, 2004

Mee goreng with duck

I decided to skip the Samurai on account of tonight's DF barbeque. I didn't want to stuff myself before going to the feast because I was afraid it would have a negative impact on my ability to gorge. So, instead of having Vietnamese sushi, I decided to go to to my second favorite lunch distribution outlet Hawker's Delight. Hawker's is a very filthy looking hole-in-the-wall type of place on Main St. near King Edward St. that specializes in authentic malaysian street hawker cuisine. Now, someone (you know who you are) told me that her Singaporean friend told her that Hawker's is a fraud and does not serve real Malaysian food. But this is hearsay, and not very good hearsay at that; What do Singaporeans know about Malaysian food?

The owners of this restaurant have clearly spent a lot of time decorating the place to make their patrons believe they've been transported to a hawker's stall in a tropical country where the people are friendly and the food safety laws very very lax. The walls here are painted a putrid shade of green and are adorned with travel posters of Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian tourist spots. The tables look old and worn out, but because the staff here do not wipe these tables down very often, many of them have retained a thin layer of black paint.

Today I chose to go with the Mee Goreng, a spicy thick noodle fried up in copius amounts of oil and served with a generous portion of chillis and dried tofu bits. The whole meal including tax cost me only $4.28 which just happened to be how much I had in loose change. I get an inexplicable satisfaction when I pay for things with exact change. The little math nerd in me always gives off a gleeful, girly shriek when the cashier puts my payment in the till and the display reads $0.00 in change. Perfection.

The weather today wasn't exceptional (in fact, it was very cloudy), but I decided to eat outdoors anyway. After I picked up my mee goreng, I drove to Queen Elizabeth park and sat down to share my lunch with the ducks that reside permanently at the pond there. I threw a piece of spicy tofu at one of the ducks, but this kind gesture of friendship was coldly rebuffed. Whatever. I'm better than ducks.

Your Favorite Jerk

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Dinner is served...Chinese style

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with my relatives at a fine Chinese restaurent on Broadway. From past experience, I have learned that these sorts of dinners consist of at least eight courses of meat, seafood, and more meat. So, to prepare for this gastronomical treat, I decided to have a light snack (read: practically nothing) for lunch. I was very happy with myself for having successfully ignored the grumbling complaints of my gut for most of the day, but when the first course came I realized that I had perhaps made a mistake. You see, I am allergic to crabs and the first course just so happened to be crab soup. Seeing this, my stomach contorted itself to punish me for ignoring it at lunch. I explained to the greedy little guy that the next course would likely be some sort of chicken dish which I would devour. To my chagrin, and to my gut's absolute horror, the next course was salt and pepper crab. At this point, my stomach threatened to turn itself inside out to feast on its own flesh to my demise. I threw all cultural sensitivity aside and muttered to my mother that if the next dish had crab in it, I would have to excuse myself to get a Big Mac from across the street. This suggestion was met with a frown. Things were looking grim.

Thankfully, the next course would be that old whiteman's favorite: sweet and sour Pork (I was surprised to see this sort of dish at such a fine restaurant but I was too hungry to care). Unfortunately, Confucian laws prevented me from reaching across the table to secure a healthy supply of this juicy, succulent pork and I had to wait my turn as my relatives began to play Chinese Russian Roulette with the lazy suzy upon which the dishes were served. The Chinese version of this game of chicken is not as deadly as its Russian counterpart, but to me it was equally cruel. The game is played like this: everyone at the table must pretend to refuse the food in front them and must defer to someone more "honorable" by spinning the dish to him. This person, would do the same and this would continue until the dish landed in front of the "winner". Normally, this game is simple since the "winner" is always the oldest member of the family. However, last night there were guests at the table, and in these situations, things can sometimes get out of hand, leading to arguments, fist fights and sometimes even civil war. Luckily there was little violence on this particular night and the winner was determined rather quickly. Finally, the lazy suzy spun in my direction and I had to use every last ounce of strength to procure four large pieces of pork and lifted them to my trembling mouth.

Having satisfied my physical needs, I had to turn my attention to the inevitable concerns that my relatives had to raise about my life. These included thoughtful diddies like "it's such a shame that you can't read or write Chinese", which can be roughly translated as "it's shameful that you're illiterate". I wanted to reply that if the Chinese people had chosen to go with a phonetic system of writing like the Vietnamese, I would be reading and writing perfectly well. But I knew that such a response would only be met with humourless stares and blank expressions suggesting I be shot on the spot, so I held my tongue and promised to be more diligent with learning "the language of 5000 years". I had similar responses to deflect countless other "concerns", starting each one with "yes, I will be more diligent with...".

Finally, the final course (read bean soup) was served and I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked out of the restaurant, I thought about how so many Chinese families have had to live three generations under one roof and I began to wonder if Prozac, like gunpowder and the compass, was a Chinese invention stolen by the Europeans.

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, June 21, 2004

Bugmaster 2000

I don't like flies. I don't like mosquitos. I don't like moths. Come to think of it, I don't like any flying insect. But over the years, I've had to learn to live with them because my subpar hand-eye coordination did not give me the option of wiping these critters out of my home. All that has changed, however, because this weekend, I bought the Bugmaster ($4.99 at TNT). How does this clumsy tennis racket lookalike going to help me annihialate nimble flying insects you ask? Simple: Electricity. The wires that run across this racket are pulsating with a current that can fry anything thing it comes in contact with. I too was a bit skeptical of this device at first, but the moment I made contact with my first fly...and heard the distinct 'POP' sound made by the little sucker getting electricuted, I knew this was for me. I highly recommend this little domestic tool and for $ beats renting DVD's.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Update from the front

Vancouver, BC - The War on Obesity is off to a bad start. After a valiant effort in the early days of the war, enemy forces belonging to the Axis of Gluttony overwhelmed hungry Allied troops along the front last night. Preliminary reports indicate that traitors on the front caved when facing unsurmountable enemy forces and surrendered, ingesting 2 Cokes, a beer and a pound of buffalo wings in one sitting. Experts believe that that the cumulative effects of last night's fiasco negated advances made earlier in the day when Allied troops captured key enemy outposts by eating a salad for lunch. Allied General, Reformed Jerk conceded at this morning's press conference that the "enemy is more cunning than earlier believed", but went on to reaffirm his belief that Allied troops had enough character to win this war by saying "Rest assured that the war will continue and the Axis of Gluttony will be destroyed. Fat may have started the War on Obesity, but we will choose the time and place to end it". However, reactions from average citizens showed such positive spin has had little effect on morale. In the wake of last nights stunning setback, many have opted to sell off their War Bonds to transfer funds into less volatile Liposuction Bonds. Says software developer Joe Schmoe, "dude, we are hosed now. The only way we can get out of this alive is to turn to lipo". Moments later Mr. Schmoe was seen stuffing his face with an unidentified pastry. He was promptly arrested and has been sent to Re-education Camp.

Your Favorite Jerk

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Who wouldn't want to eat a bento box topped with ham that looks like cute little animals. It's the little things like these that will keep child-psychologists in business well into the 21st century.


Say hello to Poppin' Fresh

It's official folks...I'm fat. The NIH says my BMI of 26.6 means I'm overweight. It seems that years of sloth of gluttony have caught up with me. I used to be convinced that my Chinese peasant genes would protect me from the evils of inactivity and KFC Twoonie-Tuesdays. Alas, this is not so.

Anyways, I've done some reading to prepare for my 'War on Obesity' and I've come up with two preliminary battle plans to reduce my outrageously unhealthy BMI of 26.6 to a more accepatble 24.9 (which just so happens to be on the cusp of Normal). Here's what intel has dug up on BMI:

Name: BMI
Function: of mass over height
Our ally: height
Our enemy: mass

From basic algebra, we learned that to decrease the value of a fraction, we must increase the value of the denominator or height in this case. So plan A calls for me to grow an extra 2 inches. I think this can be easily achieved by means of a height increasing hairdo à la Kim Jong Il. I believe this plan will be sufficient for the success of my campaign. However, in the unlikely event that $5 of Alberto European Styling does not do the trick, I may have to resort to plan B, the reduction of mass. I've been reading up on a fast way of doing this, but it seems that the most effective ways such as induced vomiting and liposuction are either temporary solutions or prohibitively expensive. So here's what I'm going to do: I'll start with plan A while I investigate plan B a little further. Stay tuned for updates from the frontlines.

Your Favorite Jerk

Friday, June 11, 2004

Adam Smith is overrated

I'm not an economics major and that's just as well because it appears that the laws of economics don't apply anymore. CNN reports that people are paying real money to buy virtual land as investments for the future. But before you cash out your RRSP's to purchase 1000 acres of 1's and 0's, consider this: the amount of land in the real-world is finite while the amount of "land" in the virtual world is only limited by the amount of harddrives you can cram into a rack. The infinite supply side of the supply and demand equation for these sorts of investments makes me think that they will be wholly unprofitable. But then again, I said the same thing about cybersquatting and I almost choked when sold for millions, so cavaet emptor, Dear Readers.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, June 10, 2004

In Soviet Russia, music pirates YOU

Okay, so the title is a tad misleading. But since I missed the boat on the 'All Your Base Are Belong To Us' phenomenon a few years ago, I thought I should at least get in on the ground floor for the budding 'In Soviet Russia...' movement.

Anyways, yesterday I found the Russian equivalent of iTunes at For those of you familiar with iTunes, you'll find that has a similarly large catalogue of music that you can browse through and sample. However, offers some distinct advantages over its larger American cousin. All the music you download from is encoding on-the-fly at rates of up to 384kbp and are not restricted by digital copyright protection. Don't think that's a big deal? How about this: you pay for downloads by the megabyte at a rate of (sit down for this one) 4 cents US per MB. This reminds me of stories I've heard about software "stores" in China selling software by the pound (now you know why MS Office comes in 5 freaking CD''s an anti-piracy measure).

Apparently, these Russian entrepeneurs are able to offer such competitive prices because copyright laws are interpreted (or rather, enforced) differently in Russia. From what I've read, in Russia it's okay to perform music without the permission of the author as long as it's for broadcasting and cable transmission purposes. And since downloading an mp3 is technically a transmission over a cable, this is supposedly legal.

Now, I'd like to believe this and I'm actually very tempted to try it out (you can pay with Paypal so no worries about your CC number being given to the mob) but I really don't think this is totally right. But then again, I did see Nelly on Cribs last night and he didn't look like he was strapped for cash so maybe he doesn't need my $0.99 after all. In fact, I think this should be the law regarding music downloads: If the performer has ever appeared on Cribs and has more diamond in their mouth than Tiffany's, his/her music should be fair game. It may not stop music piracy completely, but it would at least teach musicians not to flaunt their wealth. We'll save that rant for another day.

Your Favorite Jerk

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Day after tomorrow...yesterday

I must admit I felt a bit guilty as I watched the demise of the world unfold before my eyes last night at the Silvercity Riverport. Here was a movie telling me that my conspicuous consumption would ultimately lead to the ruination of western civilization, and yet there I was listening to this message while eating a Taco Bell Combo #1 (best deal in Silvercity BTW) while sucking back an iced tea, served in a non-recyclable disposable cup the size of a small poodle. At my feet was a standard issue Taco Bell plastic bag (non-recycleable I presume) holding a slew of paper napkins, hard-shell taco wrappers and other disposable trash. Oh, and did I mention I drove over 20km to get to Silvercity Riverport because the closest theatre to my house didn't have THX certified sound and stadium seating? But I digress.

The movie itself was not outstanding. In fact, I was disappointed with Emmerich's most recent work because I remember how much more I enjoyed watching the earth get destroyed by aliens in Independence Day. Compared to the green deathray of the alien mothership, the icy waters of the Atlantic was very...bleh. Now, I'm not saying I don't appreciate the enormity of the scenario, but if a bunch of highschool nerds can survive this supposed disaster by hiding out in a public library how bad can it be? And another thing: I don't mean to sound harsh, but really how many times can I see NY get destroyed before I start to lose interest? There are so many other cities out there that can blow up and get flooded just as beautifully as NY. Just once I'd like to see a place like Moose Jaw get wiped clean by man-eating bees or a volcanic eruption. What's that you say? There are no volcanoes or man-eating bees near Moose Jaw? Newsflash genius: there are no aliens or 7-day global climate changes either! But I digress.

I'm not a geoweatheromics (I coined this one myself, BTW) scientist so I didn't get a lot of the "science" behind this movie. For example, which law of geoweatheronmics stipulates that the cheesiness of human dialog must increase as the temperature of the globe plummets? Here's a little gem from this movie (don't worry it's not going to spoil much):
guy: What are you doing?
girl: I'm using my body heat to warm you up

really? It's good to know that even as the world plunges into darkness, highschool kids are still willing to get it on for the continuation of mankind. Touching.

Anyways, here's my final verdict for Day After Tomorrow: avoid like the plague.

Your Favorite Jerk

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I've found my sport

Everyday, I get reminded by well-meaning friends and relatives that I need to pick up a sport to enrich my otherwise dull life. After carefully evaluated my skillset and its suitability for various sports, I've decided that the sport I will master will be Speed Stacking. Apparently, this sport is picking up a lot of momentum worldwide because it involves two vital elements: speed and the ability to stack cups in various patterns. According to Bob Fox, the founder of this sport, "The most important thing to do when cup stacking is to use BOTH hands, and use them almost equally as much and as well." . Think it's an easy sport? Think again, check out this Ripley's Believe it on Not segment on Emily Fox (the Speed Stacking equivalent of hockey's Wayne Gretsky) and see how fast those hands move. Yep, I think it'll take years of training to do something like this, but I know one day I too will be able to stack a three-point pyramid in 2.5 seconds.

Your Favorite Jerk

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Battle Royale syndrome

When I saw Battle Royale last year, I was overcome with both disgust and admiration for the Japanese culture. BR, as the movie is known among its rabid international fanbase, is essentially a Japanese rendition of Lord of the Flies. The premise goes something like this: In an alternate Japan, the economy has tanked and obnoxious back-talking teenagers run around unchecked, terrorizing teachers and generally creating headaches for hardworking adults. To rectify this, the government inexplicably decides to pass legislation to randomly select a highschool class every year to be sent off to a remote island where the kids are forced to engage in a Battle Royale. All the kids are assigned random weapons (ranging from standard fare like submachine guns to more creative, albeit weaker implements like fans and pot-covers) and are told to kill each other. There are, of course, rules governing this "game", but I'm not one to spoil movies so these I will leave out. Suffice it say, the whole movie is one giant orgy of killing, interspersed with some inevitable highschool romance. Now, I don't consider myself to be a squeamish person, but even I had trouble keeping my lunch down while I watched these highschool kids blundgeon, shoot and maim eachother. When the credits started rolling, I remember thinking how amazingly disciplined the Japanese mind must be that such violent entertainment has no negative effect on youth crimerate. This is even more amazing, considering many Japanese anime that target kids would be rated 'R' on this side of the ocean. However, today my admiration for the resilience of the Japanese psyche faded when I read this article about a girl who slit the throat of her classmate because the later had said some "rude" things to her on an internet chat site. The Japanese, alas, are no more immune to suggestive violence on TV than the rest of us. Sad.

On BTW, if you're interested in watching BR, you won't find it at Blockbusters. But if you don't mind heading down to Richmond, I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy.

Sad Jerk

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Such a lovable dictator

Here's an article about some Italian guy who was invited to make pizza for the Dear Leader in North Korea. Worth a quick read.