It's OK, I'm a Chemist

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just a shout to say I'm heading home to Montreal after my first semester at UBC. I'm a little drained now - might be from the shotluck party last night or from a full semester. I will be taking the train home so don't expect to see me on line or responding to emails the next few days. I'll be home the 21st. It's going to be nice.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I feel like passing on this popular meme (lab reports be damned, THIS is important work).

The Soundtrack to my Life
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle/Random
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits:
"Debra" - Beck
---- a sexy beginning "I want to get with you, only you... and your sister, I think her name's Debra"

Waking Up:
"Supply and Demand" - The Hives
------- definitely a song you'd wake up to

First Day At School:
"Like a King" - Ben Harper

Falling In Love:
"Those to Come" - The Shins
----- not very promising "They are cold, still, waiting in the ether to form, feel, kill, propagate, only to die"

Breaking Up:
"Wild Horses" - The Rolling Stones

"You were loved" - Hayden

Life's OK:
"Reconstruction Site" - The Weakerthans

"A get-together to tear it apart" - The Hives
--- good selection "giving my middle finger a whole new start"

"It's Time to Party" - Andrew W.K.

Flashback:"Clodhopper" - Glueleg

Getting Back Together:
"This is It" - Ryan Adams

"Butterfly in Reverse" - The Counting Crows

Sex Scene:
"O Girlfriend" - Weezer

Birth of Child:
"Thunderstruck: - AC/DC
---- I'd love to see this scene

Final Battle:
"Where is my mind?" - The Pixies
----- a pretty lethargic final battle

Death Scene:
"G turns to D" - Sloan
-----------Glen turns to Dead????

Funeral Song:
"Going Steady" - Death from Above 1979
------------a rocking good-time funeral!

Dance Sequence:
"Trying your luck" - The Strokes

End Credits:
"Wishing well" - Joel Plaskett

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

When it snows in BC, Vancouverites use umbrellas

The original title for this post was "When it snows in Vancouver, asians use umbrellas" but then my prejudice melted away as I saw more and more wide-eyes going to this extreme measure to prevent the horrible snowflakes from cascading from the skies onto their coats or *gasp* hair. I'm not sure if they realized that just a good shake or two will free them from these frigid attackers. I wonder if they just think that because its chemical formula is H2O and it fell from the sky that it should be dealt with in the exact same way as rain. Who knows, but it's amusing to me to this very day.

Also, the week and a half long tapwater ban was lifted just in time for the blackout and Snow Day that occurred at UBC this past Monday. A fair amount of snow fell and I guess the infrastructure wasn't prepared for that so it was lights out until about 3 pm on Monday. Coincidentally enough, my productivity soared during this time as I couldn't check my emails, watch season 2 of The Office on DVD, read blogs and recheck my email. On Tuesday, the university was open but with some outstanding issues such as heat and fumehoods. We had to sit through a 1.5 hour seminar in a lecture hall maintained at a comfortable 5oC. The only thing which made it bearable was the fact that a major topic of the talk was CAAC (try pronouncing it). Apparently a rigid CAAC works better than a flexible CAAC. Small CAACs are useless and disappointing. (I kid you not these terms were actually used and compared in this way).

Here are some beautiful pictures I took of the campus.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On turkey weekend, I made plans to visit my friend Kevin from undergrad whom I hadn't seen in like 3 and a half years. We had some crazy times back in the day and I was really looking forward to meeting up with him again. My boss let me leave work a little early so I could catch the ferry to Victoria (population 400,000). After spending 8 months taking the ferry to work in Halifax I thought I had seen all that a ferry could have to offer but I was blown away by the view. Here are some pics:

Sometimes, people spot orca whales. I unfortunately didn't see any but I did get to see some hawks soaring high above off of a cliff. I would honestly take the ferry again just for the view.

Once I made it to the other side, Kevin was there waiting at the terminal for me. This set up a running theme for the weekend where I wouldn't see him and he would walk right up behind me completely unaware. This probably happened about six times over two day period. On the ride to his place, between recanting stories of the old days, I had the craving for some dirty bird. There's nothing more to that little detail but to say I wasn't feeling well after eating it. After cleaning up and downing a beer or two, we headed downtown. At our busstop were three girls, who based on their level of drunkeness, had no business going out and really should have been passed out in a bush at that point. One of them, out of the blue, asked me if I spoke french. Though I consider myself only semi-bilingual, my french is considered outstanding on the left coast. So I spurted out a few short sentences, which completely awed her since her grasp on french was minimal. She then asked Kevin if he spoke punjabi, which is even odder since she didn't speak punjabi at all (though she gave a valiant effort). I knew right away that this had the making of a good night.

We hit up three clubs that evening. The first two were unremarkable except when we took two tequila shots at the first one. One was done stuntman style, and the other was taken with a straw. The bartender was delighted (especially since the club was empty at this time). At the third club, Kevin ran into a trio of female friends he hadn't seen in a while. I began chatting with one, and when she mentioned her boyfriend was going to run in his first marathon the next day, I proceeded to tell her that based on my experiences "the first one's the hardest". Kevin and our cabdriver later that evening had a good chuckle about that one since being 5'9" and 200lbs I definitely do not have the physique of someone who has ever ran a marathon in his life. At the bar, I ended up chatting up this one barstar who told me straight off the bat told me that her two friends were on E. Needless to say, drinks were in order. Ultimately, nothing good came of this interaction except maybe some dirty dancing on the dancefloor.

That was the first day...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My research group!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

From a spam email I received recently (it sounded poetic so I'm bringing it here to your attention):

"Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Your in hot water. Welcome to my garden. Want my place in the sun. Schools out for summer. Sweating blood. The silly season. A stepping stone to. Sweet as honey. She's a nut. Read the tea leaves. Spring forward fall back."

Monday, September 11, 2006

On Sunday, three friends and I decided to tackle the hike affectionately known as the "Grouse Grind" up Grouse Mountain (summit is 4100 feet above Vancouver). This basically involved climbing up steep stairs and rocks for about 1h20mins. Why would anyone do this? Because it's there.

Here are some pictures:

The mountain we were about to tame

The treacherous climb up - an average portion of the climb

Four very tired climbers (Mike, Jessica, Kyle, me)

The view from on-top showing West Vancouver (and at the tip of the peninsula is the UBC campus)

Semi-obstructed view from the top

There were quite a few bear sightings in the area -- this was the only one we saw.

A bird of prey demonstration with a Harris Hawk...

and a Great-Horned Owl.

A lumberjack exhibition (this picture showing the axe-throwing portion of the competition)

Apparently there was more hiking to be done, so we dragged our weary legs up another few hundred feet.

But the views were well worth it!

At the very top of the summit!