Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Get your motor runnin'

So today Graham tells me that, inspired by Jowen's discovery of Oregon Trail online, he's been playing an old DOS version of Cross Country Canada. The main things I remember about this game are:

  • I loved it;
  • I never made a successful delivery ever;
  • "I don't know how to [blank]"; and
  • the food you got at diners was always either greasy meat pie with greasy fries or tourtiére with poutine, probably depending on whether or not you were in Quebec.

Recently I was telling Dave S. about Oregon Trail online, and talk turned to this game I played when I was a kid. It was just a sub-game of one of those educational games, but it was a tonne of funne: the idea was that you are in some little room and you can grab all manner of logic gates (even buffers and flip-flops). On one side of the room there are four outputs that turn on and off in a certain rhythm, and on the other side you need to generate a certain rhythm. It's up to you to combine the gates in some way as to match the rhythm on the other side. In any case, I don't remember the name of this game, but I think that this game is the single most important reason for me eventually going into computer science. (Dave rightly pointed out that this is pretty sad.) Does anyone know what this game was called?

But back to Cross Country Canada. It's funny that Graham should bring this up tonight, because just last night I saw a rather amusing piece (click on the one called "Public Enemy Number One") on The Daily Show about... uh... trucking. Yeah, trucking. Somehow I don't imagine that Cross Country Canada knows how to "drop truckerbomb", but if it did, oh man I would send the programmers money.

As an aside, I'm still looking for a decent colour scheme for the blog. I changed everything to be darker, but it was a little too dark for my tastes and it didn't project the happy, welcoming image I've grown accustomed to. But now with most of the colours changed back, it looks too bright again; back to the drawing board. At least I'm getting better with the GIMP (it's like Photoshop, only it's free and legal) -- before you know it, I'll be cutting pictures of your heads onto pictures of barnyard animals and the pictures will be so realistic none will be the wiser.

I'm also considering, inspired by vintage, putting a translucent image of myself right over the middle bit where the writing is. Wouldn't that be weird?

But back to driving and urine: Jimothy pointed me to this article on Conan O'Brien. It's really quite long but it's a good read, and on the third page it includes the line "Later, the NBC censors will prevent him from airing Chewbacca Stuck in a Glory Hole, and O’Brien won’t like that one bit."

Current Music: Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

EDIT (1:25AM, September 29, 2005): I've got it looking approximately how I want it to look... in Firefox. Those of you using IE will have issues, but just out of principle I'm not going to fix it for you right now. I hate IE, and not just as a computer guy who has used Netscape/Mozilla forever: I hate IE as someone who has developed a website for money. I'll fix it if I feel like it. (I'll probably feel like it tomorrow.)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Check out the new look. Isn't it lame?

Things are busy here, with TA work and my own classes to be working on. Solution: don't do any of it. Instead, Dave and I went to San Francisco followed by In-N-Out. While I was in San Francisco, I saw and played with an iPod nano for the first time. I've fallen prey yet again to Apple's products/marketing, and I have decided that I want one for Christmas. Anyone? Anyone?

Then next Christmas, I would like a Nintendo Revolution, although I think I can probably count on Derek or Mike to get one. However, in the off-chance they both decide to get PS3s/X-Box 360s instead, I guess it falls to me. How else will we play the next-gen Mario Kart? How else will Adam and I have lightsaber duels in my living room?

I've been having trouble with my Linux partition (and at this point about 80% of you are skipping to the next paragraph) because every time I boot into it, the clock is 8 hours off, because it's doing some bad compensation for time zones, even though the clock it's on is on local time. Today I accidentally booted into Linux, so I figured I'd try to fix it. After doing some digging, I realized that the system wasn't able to access the hardware clock, and the reason was that Debian doesn't compile the hardware clock's driver into the kernel. Now, I'm all for minimizing the kernel and putting things into modules, but doesn't that seem like a weird oversight? I think most people need the clock. Linux needs the clock.

Then, I discovered that it in fact had been compiled, but as a module (and yes, that 80% of you can skip this paragraph too without missing much). However, the system was not loading the module at bootup. Now, doesn't that sound like a huge oversight? Obviously someone must have already realized that you would need it.

I really gotta find me an advisor. Preferably one with lots of grant money. My officemate actually is part of a research group and they had extra grant money so they were trying to buy him a laptop. But he turned it down. He turned it down. Even his advisor was telling him to run with it, but no. At the very least he could have sold his current laptop, putting the proceeds into going into Sharks games with me (he's Canadian). Speaking of which, I've also discovered that one of the new students in the department is from Minnesota and is a hockey fan. This gives me two potential people to go to hockey games with, which would be great because it avoids the stigma of the man-date. Even better, my officemate is not a Habs fan despite being from Quebec, and the new guy isn't a Wild fan (understandably), so getting them to come to Canucks games with me will be easier.

I must also start looking on Vancouver's craigslist to look for Canucks tickets on sale over the holidays. Not all those 17000 season ticket holders can go to all the games, right? Right? Right?


Current Music: Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun

Ass Piracy and Japanese Schoolchildren

Thanks Frances:

I am a Japanese School Teacher

I've barely made a dent in it, but you should read the first article. It's really something.

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #29

Some people brag about their cars or penis size

I brag about my graphics card

You gotta keep in mind...having a nice car or huge schlong is great and all...but my graphics card can render a far nicer car or far larger penis than yours

And it can do so with 8x anisotropic filtering!

Does YOUR dick have 8x anisotropic filtering? I doubt it

-- Steve Kwan

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

Friday, September 23, 2005

Dickolas steals from Man vs. Clown!: Part 2 of an n part series, where n is large

Anything I say about this article before you read it will only spoil it that little bit more, so just jump right into it: Good Magazine's article

Palming Mark Kingwell

I stole this from Man vs. Clown! as I am wont to do. I highly recommend you pay Mr. Lynn an e-visit right now, because he has something you should all see right now, to get you back into the mood for hockey.

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

FINALLY you can SEE your meat

Last week some of us were talking about old SNL clips, and I realized that the two clips I remember most vividly from the early-to-mid 90's are:

Good times.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Leslie Anne Levine

EDIT (10:21PM, September 21, 2005): The links now point to where they say they point to.

Monday, September 19, 2005


This talking-like-a-pirate thing isn't working so well for me; I don't know if I can keep it up all day.

I think I may have to settle for talking like the pirates from Overboard.

Current Music: The Decemberists - From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #28

What about the Hot Carrrrrrrrrrrrrl?

-- Graham Pollock

Current Music: The Decemberists - The Sporting Life

Wot be Wang Today

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. For the remainder of the day, I shall respond to -- in addition to "Dickolas", "Richard", "Rich", "dude", "guy", "man", &c. -- my pirate name, Mad Dog Cash.

I shall also suffix sentences, as appropriate, with "HARRRRRRR", "ARRRRRRR", "ARRRRRRH", or my own preferred "G'yaaaaaargh!"

I will also attempt to not consume any more vitamin C for the rest of the day, but I already drank a box of orange juice, so I guess that's not that impressive.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

An oldie... but a goodie

Click to enlarge:

Make no mistake: this is a Canadian blog.

(Thanks to Shankar for this.)

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Things at home, and Things at home I don't miss at all #5

I've just decided to take advantage of my (currently on hold) 6-day subscription to the Vancouver Sun and get free access to the electronic version. What a racket!

Unfortunately, I basically go there and make a beeline (I almost wrote B-Line -- you can take the boy out of Vancouver, something something something) for the sports section. I am such a rube.

So it is only just now that I have heard about Adrienne Clarkson's announcement that she will create the Clarkson Cup, analogous to Lord Stanley's cup, only for women's hockey. Apparently there was no mention of which league it will be awarded to. This sounds suspiciously like something Puff "Diddy" Daddy might do.

Also, I heard that some kid got kicked out of Rideau Hall for asking, when hearing about our esteemed Governor General, if she was the woman spending all the money or something. Ms. Clarkson then apologized and assigned him an essay on the role of the GG in government. This made me ask myself: if the Governor General handed me more schoolwork to do, would I do it? I don't think I would.

Thing at home I don't miss at all #5: Adrienne Clarkson

As some of you know, lately I've been dangerously close to homesickness. Even the Burns Bog fire almost makes me wish I was there, so I could share in the experience and tell my hypothetical kids about the smell of smoke in the air, all the way in Port Coquitlam. However, my father has shingles, so I guess that's a good thing about not being there.

Vince, stop giving my father shingles.

Current Music: Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline) (they gone done stole our bit)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Okay, that's it

There are too many links. I have to take care of this somehow.

You have three days to vie for position, either by sucking up to me or by improving your blog. Then: I sort.

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - To the Workers of the Rockford River Valley Region, I have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Frances' birthday.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Picaresque

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Isn't this a bizarre Garfield?

(click to enlarge)

It, quite frankly, is blowing my mind. I don't expect this brand of humour from Garfield; usually I expect this kind of humour coming from comics featuring poorly drawn characters and offensive dialogue. Seeing it come from these plush-toy-worthy drawings' mouths just fucks me right up.

The loonie is worth 85 cents right now. Never let it said George W. Bush doesn't care about Canadians, because he's doing me personally a pretty big favour.

For the third time in my life, I find myself in a position of almost-authority, as the new vice president of the Statistics Graduate Student Association. My first time I didn't do much, and in my second time, I did too much. I think I'm honing in on the right balance, although that's probably totally dependent on the president, since the first time the president did everything without asking for help, and the second time the president... didn't. Third time's a charm, right? Right? Right?

So my idiot friend Vince calls me up the other day and asks if he can come over to use my internet. He gets here (I'm still eating dinner, mind you) and plops down in my chair, and then says, "So I have shingles." What the fuck, why wouldn't you inform me of this before you got here? I know shingles isn't really contagious, and I have (quite memorably) already had the chicken pox, but still, what the fuck? Would you inform me if you had SARS before you came over?

I have now organized all my pictures, which was very cleansing. I feel like I've given my computer a good, thorough e-enema. I've been explaining to people a lot that Dickolas Wang has no good photos. No single good photo of Dickolas Wang exists. Richard Liang might have a few, but he's not telling. Well, now I'm not so sure that Richard Liang even has any good pictures, because my "Dickolas" folder has about 5 pictures (not counting ones that are filed in other places like Events->Math Club->Luncheon or Events->LUGs parties->Mak Visit 2005), and the "Me" folder has... one. And it's not very good.

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Thomas' birthday.

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #27

I'll swing that way if I have to.

-- Jowen Yeo

Current Music: Spoon - A Series of Sneaks

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest 2005: Results

When I posted my haiku contest, I really didn't expect so much interest. I was hoping for some good haiku, sure, but I had no idea I'd get 27 entries.

It's been a good contest, and you should all be proud of yourselves. I enjoyed all your haiku, and I look forward to next year's contest, which I hope will be an equally good display of creativity, tomfoolery, one-upmanship, and most of all, the Olympic spirit.

BUT. There comes a time when one must truly reward a job well done, and recognize the true standouts. So, without further ado, I announce the winners. Prizes will be drawn from this jar, or a similar jar acquired closer to the next time I see you, of whole cashews.

We begin with:

The Honour Roll

These entries were judged to be of a high quality, or were particularly enjoyable. Each haiku on the honour roll entitles its writer to one half cashew.

The writers of these haiku are, in no particular order:

From here, we move on to some of the minor categories. For these categories, runners-up receive one whole cashew:

and the winners receive three.

Best Phallic

It wouldn't be I, Dickolas Wang without a few penis jokes. It's in the name, after all. There were surprisingly few entries in this category, but the two that were entered were pretty darn good. Galen made a solid entry, which makes him the runner-up.

The clear winner, however, was Victor. His tasteful double-entendre set a new standard in elegance of dick jokes used in haiku. Congratulations to both Galen and Victor.

If At First You Don't Succeed...

The If At First You Don't Succeed award for persistence goes to Joyce, whose fourth (of six) entry was quite enjoyable, and incisive:

why was the haiku
contest held? of course it was
to increase comments!

(Oh no, she's onto me!)

Haiku Don't Have To Rhyme, You Know

Some of you made your haikus rhyme. I couldn't figure out why: you only have 17 syllables to make your point, so why would you add on yet another constraint? Still, I appreciate your efforts, so Thomas and Shelby receive the smaller half of a cashew that was split lengthwise.

(you get the smaller bit)

Here again, the clear winner was Victor, whose haiku manages to be both phallic and rhyming. Again, congratulations to Victor.

Before we get to the big important categories, I think now is a good time to list the Hall of Shame, entries that were for some reason or another disqualified from the contest.

Too Bad These Weren't Entries (for you)

Steve's entry was a haiku, but it failed to be about me. In personal correspondence Steve admitted to me that he had not read the rules of the contest, and he did not know it had to be about me. For this, Steve wins the RTFP award. An entry from a stranger named D.R. Gilbert also failed to be about me, but since I don't know if he RTFP, I'll have to go with Steve for this one.

Graham's entry failed to be a haiku: the number of syllables per line is wrong twice, and not only that, there's 8 syllables in the last line. For this, Graham wins the Farthest From A Haiku award.

It's a real shame that Jim's first entry had 6 syllables in the last line, because "fallow minefields tarry" is perhaps the greatest line of poetry anyone I know has ever composed. Since he did correct this entry and re-enter the haiku, though, I can only name him the runner-up for the Overall "Too Bad" award.

The winner of this "Too Bad" award is Jowen, for his entry:

My sandwich is gone
Where could it be? Dick has it!?!?
I am going to kill him

It had good flow, it was topical, and it was 100% Jowen. Unfortunately it wasn't a haiku.

While I did enjoy these haiku, the fact remains that they were not valid entries. To the writers of the Hall of Shame entries: for wasting my time reading these, you owe me one cashew each. (Except D.R. Gilbert, my mom told me never to take food from strangers.) And Jowen, since your entry was so tantalizingly close to being a great entry, it hurts just that little bit more and so you owe me a larger cashew.

The international "pay up" sign

An example of a larger cashew

We now finally come to the main categories. Runners-up in these categories receive three cashews, and the winners receive five.

Best Insulting

Ah, the insulting haiku. It's amazing how much hate the best of these packed into the three lines of their haiku.

Runners-up: David S. and Jowen Yeo (tied)

Our Dickolas Wang
He's like the Chinese Yao Ming!
So big he's jolly

David S. managed to throw in one of his best jokes as well as a reference to my jolliness, demonstrating a true adeptness with the form.

You are in my sight
My sword cuts of your head - ouch!
I win again - ohhhh!

Jowen's entry was pure Jowen. Classic.

The clear winner, though, was Adam, with his haiku that referenced our shared adventures as well as saving the punch for last so effectively that I was actually almost hurt. Kudos!

Best Flattering

The flip-side of the insulting haiku is of course the flattering haiku. These haiku provided an uplifting counterpoint to the above insulting entries, and were every bit as good.

Runner-up: Victor

Biggest Dick out there.
You will see it everywhere.
Gives you quite a scare.

Victor's versatility garners him another award, and another three cashews.

There was a clear winner in this category, too, and that winner was Li'l Devilangel. Congratulations, Amber: who knew you had the soul of a poet?

Best Neutral

Runner-up: Jowen

With his Richform hat
He looks so hot and sexy
I bought him that hat

While this is somehow flattering, I think the emphasis here is on Jowen, making this a neutral entry. And a good one.

There was again a clear winner in this category. Jim takes the Best Neutral award with this entry, mentioning both the calves and the Minesweeper.

Best Overall

The clear winners in the three main categories were also head-and-shoulders the best entries into the contest. These three entries form the three best overall haiku: this was a tough one to decide, but the ordinals are as follows:

3rd place: Adam

A fact you should know:
From Central Weed to South Weed
Nobody likes you.

For this very strong entry, Adam receives six cashews.

2nd place: Jim

Cal Berkeley beckons
colossal calves trek southward
fallow minefields wait

Jim receives eight cashews.

1st place: Li'l Devilangel

O garrulous Wang
A piquant wit among rubes
Hallowed be thy cock

The grand prize winner receives ten cashews.

I think I can say, without qualification, that this was the best haiku contest I have ever had. Thanks to all the participants, and see you in '06!

Current Music: The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

EDIT (Sept. 6, 2005): I realized too late that Li'l Devilangel's entry is also a phallic haiku. I thus name it another runner-up, tied with Galen's, in the Best Phallic category, since its phallic-ness is not the main thrust as it is with Victor's.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Reminder: The Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest 2005

You have 7.5 more hours to enter the Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest.

(Also, one more entry/comment will make 30, which would be pretty sweet.)

Awards will be determined sometime in the next few days; I'd say tomorrow but I might be busy. The prizes will be edible.

Current Music: Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The day is mine

Google "dickolas wang" (no quotes).

Notice anything different?

EDIT (11:29PM, September 4, 2005): Apparently it hasn't changed for a bunch of you, probably the ones in Canada. But I wasn't lying, I swear.

EDIT (11:03PM, September 5, 2005): So much for that. Now it asks me again if I meant nicholas wang. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Why didn't *I* think of this

Eric conveys an emotion

For example, the emotion of visiting for the first time:

Or finding out that Soylent Green is made of people!!:

Thanks to Cecile for this.

Current Music: Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk

Friday, September 02, 2005

Sweet, sweet retribution

Everybody, meet Brad (right click, "Save As", &c.).

He was such a good sport about it though, I almost feel bad.


Current Music: The Darkness - Permission to Land

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #26

I've decided that all of my problems in life stem from not knowing kung fu.

-- Shankar Bhamidi

Current Music: The Decemberists - Her Majesty The Decemberists
Current time left in the Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest: Four days