Friday, October 28, 2005

What a nice professor-guy

My computer science prof surprises us every day. First lecture, he showed us how to navigate Slashdot. Anyway, we are in this descending auditorium where the prof is at the bottom with his laptop, and projecting screen. Oh, he also has wireless. He is telling us about our exam schedule: “I am not allowed to in any way announce the exam schedule. The reason behind this… if you mishear me, it will be on my hands. So, I am not announcing anything…” He goes to the the University website, and clicks “exam schedule” and says “Later tonight, or some other time, you will look up your exam schedule.” From projection screen we read “Dec. 18 somewhat-PM BR”. So we ask him, “Where is BR?” He changes window to campus map, circles around the building and says “To find where the building is, after class in your spare time, make sure to check out the exam map and look it up.” Heh. All, what can I say? What a nice prof-guy.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 08:52 AM /

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wait in line

Yesterday, my dad and I went to the UofT bookstore to get me books, well… backpacks are not allowed there, so we needed to put our stuff in a locker. So, we open a locker, put in this stuff, and then some person comes up to us and says that he has been using this locker. Dad tells him that he wasn’t, and then he has the guts to cheerfully reply: “You’re an @$$hole.”

Actually, no — you’re the @$$hole. If you are waiting in line for something, stay there, and if you are staying in line, then act appropriately. We didn’t find the books I was looking for there, but the discount store had them in ample supply.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 12:26 PM /

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Higher Education

As of yesterday, University (of Toronto) has began (for some of you, it may be later or earlier). At a math course, the professor takes out a photocopied book and says: “You don’t need this book for the course, but I like it, I have ordered a few copies at the bookstore, I am sorry I don’t know how much it costs…” Class managed to contain laughter.

I don’t know much people: so far I met 5 people from High School, and 13 I had at least a conversation with (I have yet to decide whether the first set is contained in the second).

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 10:11 PM /

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Buddy, don't deny the facts

I am chatting with my “favourite” buddy Ivan Dimitrov now, and he is telling me how weird his new MIT dorm is. However, he is not really telling me why or how its weird (besides that he is in it) and then asks me whether I have seen dorms as weird as this. I tell him “yes”. Well, he tells me “no”. Listen, Ivan, don’t tell me “no”, when I tell you “yes”. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it. Its like telling a fat person, that he is not fat, when he really is fat. Such nonsense.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 12:48 AM / Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Captain's Log

A while ago, I went over to Kirill’s house and he showed me Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 (MSF2004). He spent half an hour preparing the flight (choosing terminal, landing strip, calculating atmospheric conditions, filling up the gas tank, turning on the steam, can’t remember - what else did he do?) and then he took off. You figure that this is where the game begins, where you greedily grab the joystick and cruise… Not so! Kirill promptly turned the plane on autopilot and switched to MSN. He was also supposed to show me the landing too, but he crashed. Not in a wall, no - the program crashed. Well, its Microsoft, what can you say!?

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 04:39 PM /

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Those unfriendly people

Today, during English, we had several visitors from OISE and they gave us a presentation about “Teaching as a Career”. It was all very nice and well, they even gave us a pencil… but sadly, I didn’t learn any English (which is fine with me, considering that we wouldn’t have been doing anything in English anyway). I don’t know why they came, and I certainly don’t know who in their right mind let ‘em in, but they did ask a very good question: “What qualities do you expect teachers to have?” — My answer: honest, knowledgeable, dedicated.

You know, I actually liked it… because we were in a classroom setting (as opposed to an assembly), and I got a chance to do some math (and also to make this Boring poster). Sweet. I am looking forward to seeing them again. A good excuse: “They came to visit us, so we should visit them.”

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 05:50 PM / Comments (2)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Biking to school

No, I didn’t bike to school or anything, and am not planning to do so in the near future… but there is one who did: a rather little but persistent creature by the name of Peter Yung. Ok, ok, he is not that little. Well, anyways, it was time to go home… the company and I took the bus, and Peter took his bike.

Well, we were both going up Don Mills, and the race was on. Well, the bus went ahead at first, but then traffic allowed Peter to catch back up… we opened up a window and cheered him on. But, man! The bus driver just picked up the pace, he just zoomed ahead. He definitely got pissed off moving too much schoolers around the town, and he certainly wasn’t going to let one of them beat him. Hehe, dammit: finally a bus driver with a good sense of humor, :).

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 11:28 PM / Comments (1)

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Report from CS Lecture

I am in a computer science lecture right now. Yes, I am not listening to the professor. I’ve brought my laptop to lecture most of the time; it’s not like listening to the professor will help. So why, you ask, do I bother to go to the lecture at all? Because I have class before this, so I might as well go. We are supposed to be doing some stupid paper handout, but I don’t feel like doing it. 2-dimensional arrays in Java… so difficult! Java’s indexing of arrays is intensely annoying. Well, class is almost over. Back to playing bridge on Yahoo!

Posted by aSo, 09:32 AM / Comments (4)

Monday, May 2, 2005

Hacking the Online Grader

Recently, I wrote this peculiar DWITE (computing) competition, you know… its not actually a competition because its not like you are competing for anything (no prizes) and the problems are also dumb (something do with geese and lasers). The rules are simple: the problems are posted on Thursday, and you are able to post your solutions during specified times (11am - 3pm, Friday and Monday), and they will be automatically marked for you. Now, the thing is, if you don’t like how your program works, you can always try again.

However, since the test case data doesn’t change, you could experimentally establish the test result data and hard code to start your algorithm close to the answer (by changing the program on-the-fly, or by saving a text file on the grader’s hard drive - you should have permissions, because you do have to output a file). [Ed. This will allow your program to know which test case it is working on.]

Now, if you have the added ability to use net resources (which is very probable considering the computer needs internet connection to receive the program in the first place), you may even upload the test case data to your web space or email account, and bash it out with any crappy algorithm over the weekend. Will try this next time!

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:22 PM /

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Review: First to Fight (7.75/10)

First to Fight is a military game. It began as a training tool developed for the United States Marine Corps. Then, Destineer Studios has jumped in, and with active duty marines and their newly-formed 3D game rendering engine, it became a game. The Close Combat series was quite popular in the past, and the game showed much promise. And for the most part, it is worth it.

You are in charge of a four man fire-team. As their leader, you go around the streets of Beirut shooting the Syrians and radicals and other men with guns (until they die). There are 6 missions which are nicely subdivided into parts. You deal with all sorts of indoor-outdoor situations while your troops perform all sorts of military 360-degree coverage and frag takedown tactics. One of the best parts of the game is that you can summon reinforcements: airstrike, mortar and snipers. They come in handy to destroy bunkers and tanks… and other annoying such like that. I gotta say that playing this game makes me feel like a US marine.

Now for the criticism: first, you can’t jump. I know marines don’t jump around, but making the game ultra-realistic has its downsides. Secondly, even on the highest difficulty, the game is predominantly easy (not very challenging). Finally, there is not enough types of enemies and while the music is good in general, its far from perfect. Oh, and there isn’t much plot (you mostly go around chasing the next checkpoint). I wouldn’t exactly call it revolutionary, but its fun.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 06:10 PM / Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Compiling Favourites

I have buckets of music. Sorting out the favourites is a hard, difficult task. I do not rate music, it feels a little sad giving two equally good songs different ratings. So, if I like a song, I drop it in the favourites playlist and when I get enough from an album, I move on. Of course, most people want outmost perfection from a best list, spend all their time and energy dealing with frustration… only to be displeased with what with they have chosen.

The more times I read my own essays, the worse they seem. It took a while, but I learned not to care. Changing every word five times loses the original passion and train of thought. And not to care, means not to try. I’ve got it in shuffle anyways.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 06:45 PM /

Friday, February 4, 2005

Toss a ball...

Conversation could not have been less efficient… I am chatting with [some guy] from [the neighbouring school]. If you thought that the average IQ at our school was low (the assumption is that Big Party readers represent the smart part of the school), you would have been wrong (that does not mean that you automatically transfer to the dumb (loser) part of it - after all, even the smart people…)

If that guy transferred to our school, then the average IQs of both schools would decrease. He sounds like a guy who is wrong exactly half the time, but that wouldn’t be the complete truth (actually, its a very inaccurate assessment), because he never really says anything (just cycles with non-expert high tech mumbo jumbo) and thus his statements don’t have a true-false values. More often then not, his notes are pointless and boring. I mean, who cares? Imagine him talking to a ball: “Yes… okay… yes… and?… the point being… boring!”

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 10:55 PM /

New prospects

The first half of the academic year is over… and the second is about to begin. I face uncertainly - the lack of knowledge. I have yet to meet my classmates, my teachers… the fun is about to begin. Yet the past isn’t history: I am to find out my marks, and they might haunt me dearly after. On the other hand, what am I to say? Just as likely, I will forget them the moment I see them - after I ascertain their value or observe them in pattern (just like my exam timetable).

Deep Thought: For some, it is the fear of the unknown - but I think that in the deepest hell, the truth is in the reverse: it is knowledge - of failure, of impossibility - the sharp lines, the dead curves which puzzles us - that break our minds and take over our souls. Bloody thoughts shuffle us in bed, and those who do not sleep, walk dead. But don’t blame knowledge, and do not harness the mental resistance (ignorance) to fight it, for it is better to suffer failure, the very worst bit of it. Sometimes it is the weak who are buried in hope that emerge victorious… but in this battle, I grow stronger every hour.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 08:05 PM /

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Its a race

So ended my chemistry exam. It was like my data management exam, but squared. Teachers were watching thousands of students in the overcrowded cafeteria (or gymnasium) punching buttons in their calculators. There is nothing to know (its just a bunch of common sense - and if you do not want to know what is happening, use dimensional analysis, and multiply or divide the numbers given. More often then not, you will get the correct answer). The whole exam becomes one large RSI-development race, and what is supposed to be completely boring suddenly becomes fun.

After you get your answer, if it matches one of the choices, most likely you are correct. Then you go through all that Scantron bubble trouble. Reminds me of a good Ambrosia game. I was lucky to finish early, so I stole a scantron from a neighbouring desk and bubbled it in under the name of Max Fachine. Its like Fax Machine, but only Max Fachine. Unfortunately I was caught having two scantrons on my desk - but luckily, they didn’t consider to punish me. Today is my last exam, so wish me luck.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 12:17 PM / Comments (2)

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Free Parking

Campers. I tell you who else I hate: “stationary observers” (sobs) or lookers. They just sit in a corner and look. This is one long thought, so take a deep breath before you read on. At lunch, between courses, or in-between them - I like to walk around the school: explore the hidden secrets, look for treasure, talk to people - basically enjoy life while sipping a nice can of cola… or a brisk - walking efficiently, hastily, tilted on a thirty-degree angle like an idiot, walking and talking; talking rapidly just as I am walking, on occasion spilling cola to the right or to the left - or juggling it if its still not open, in essence like a drunk, but not drunk because its cola.

Okay, fine it is two long thoughts. Now, this attracts a lot of attention, allowing the sobs to monitor my activity. But, I don’t like that. I mean seriously, they would think I am weird or something (but I can think that they are weird or something, well they most likely aren’t weird but they are definitely something).

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 11:46 PM /

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Bashing Away

Some people (the non-experts mainly) tend to think that just throwing money on Tsunami relief is really going to help… that money is the all end-all factor, and that once you put it in a vending machine, you will get humanitarian aid. Reasoning that the night is long… procrastinating, and finishing work over night. Except that it doesn’t work. I mean seriously… kicking a wall for hours isn’t going to break it (try it). Ok fine, maybe it will break it, but the world is not different, a little worse, but who cares? Bashing algebra won’t solve a problem, and just having a crowd of people doesn’t make (build) a bridge. Truly, exceptions apply.

Update: Bashing away with exams with no real knowledge is a waste of time. When you have no questions left to actually answer, waste your way through, pack your stuff and go home. But whatever you do, don’t leave anything blank (show your teacher that you have at least read the question).

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:01 PM /

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Urban Exploration

We people are going to be doing some Urban Exploration soon. My Exercise Science presentation on “Extreme Sports” was a major success. Good tools make good presentations. And that means using Keynote, Apple’s stunning presentation software. Its similar to Powerpoint, but much much better. And I managed to get my hands on Keynote 2 which came out only a few days ago on Jan. 22. Even the losers found it funny. Man, were they ever laughing! Thanks to them, my blog is going to get a lot more popular. The two best parts:

Elevator Surfing: What started out as a new branch of urban exploration - became a sport in its own right. Basically, the idea is to move around on top of elevators. In most places, elevator surfing is illegal. It is also very dangerous: surfers can be crushed between the elevator and the top, sides or bottom of the shaft, be struck by counterweight, or simply slip off the elevator - or even be knocked off by a passing elevator. It is usually performed in skyscrapers or on college campuses. Most large buildings have elevators grouped close together. Participants usually go early in the morning (at day, others have to use the elevator for valid reasons). Once in the elevator, they open the safety hatch and climb on top. Another way to enter is to force the doors open on the floor above the elevator and jump down. While this is easier to do, the elevator should not be moving (for obvious reasons). Accomplices would often press buttons on different floors to keep the elevator moving (otherwise the surfing would be rather boring).

Urban Housework: The idea of urban housework is making vacuuming a sport. Basically, people (known as suckers) go outside and start vacuuming the great outdoors. Some believe that this will cause damage to the natural recycling of decaying matter, while others argue that the vacuum has to be emptied somewhere. Some argue that the great outdoors aren’t and shouldn’t be clean. Recent urban housework advocates are attempting to expand the sport to include downhill vacuuming, mop-joust, inner city clothes drying, apocalypse dishwashing and so on.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:20 PM /

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Don't give me a zero!

When you don’t hand in an assignment, you get a mark of 0. What kind of mark is that? Thats a no mark. You should be getting a mark proportional to the marks you are getting now. Suppose the coefficient is k = 1/2 and all assignments weigh the same (in schools k=0). That means instead of getting 0, you get 1/2 your standard mark.

If you hand in one assignment and get 100, and if you don’t hand in the next, you get a mark of 50 on it. Thus, your average becomes 75. If you don’t hand in another assignment, you get a mark of 37.5, moving your average down to 62.5. Only after two more unhanded assignments, you start failing with 63/128 (which is still bumped up to 1/2).

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:18 PM /

Friday, January 21, 2005

Who the hell is Ben?

Making a non-existent person come to life is harder than it seems. Before I created Justin… now I made Ben. I had to make a group project (it could have not been individual) so I wrote in the name Ben (has to be someone from school, not necessarily the class). The thing is: there is no Ben. Ben does not exist. But the teacher doesn’t know that. Trouble is: the teacher wants to see this Ben; but I say, Ben isn’t evaluated for this thing, and that he is too lazy to come. Ben surfaced in other places… in the chess club, in the CNML. I wonder if the teachers post a reward for this guy, Ben. Maybe I should ally with a few people and create another Koz’ma Prutkov.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 04:33 PM / Comments (1)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Regarding Textbooks

Has anyone bought a textbook recently? Anyone notice the outrageous prices? I just burned around $280 USD on textbooks for three of my courses - and I am taking six courses in total. A thirty-page manual of supplementary notes - $17.65 USD. Universities realize that they hold monopolies on the textbook market, which allows them to charge outrageously high prices for their textbooks.

Even better are the “Special Cornell Edition” textbooks, of which our Cornell Store is the sole distributor of. The best example is the textbook for introductory chemistry; the same Olmsted & Williams that you use at the University of Toronto for your introductory chemistry class. So what’s the difference between the Cornell Edition (TM) Olmsted and Williams and the standard edition? Well, in the Cornell Edition, a few pages have been cut out and replaced with black and white photocopied pages of the same size. Yes, my friends, this entitles Cornell to charge something on the scale of $150 USD to’s more “reasonable” $132.95. Might I add that the Olmsted and Williams textbook is one of the worst chemistry textbooks I have ever seen.

But the shameless highway robbery of the textbook market doesn’t end there. Take, for example, the Purcell Electromagnetism book that I talked about a little while back.’s price is $103.44, much cheaper than the Cornell Store’s $154.50. As we clearly see, the university is taking great advantage of the on-campus store - after all, if you buy from the store, you know you’ll be getting the right “edition” of the textbook.

Textbook companies aren’t helping much with this price inflation either. There are two big problems that must be dealt with. First is the virtual monopoly a textbook company has with respect to its textbooks. The second is the profusion of new editions that plague the market.

If your professor chooses a textbook for a course, then the students of the course will, of course, have to buy the textbook. This practically allows the company to charge whatever it wants for that textbook. After all, the sales of the textbook are in no way related to the price. You don’t need Introduction to Economics to figure out what an excellent opportunity for businesses this is.

Let’s take a look at introductory calculus for a moment now. We can say with historical certainty that the calculus of integrals and differentials invented by Newton and Leibniz in the late 1600s hasn’t changed much since then. After all, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus is still the same Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. So why do we need a rehash of it year after year? Adams Fifth Edition, Stewart Fifth Edition, and the endless books that we had in high school… every semi-decent university calculus lecturer seems to have their own two cents about d(fg)/dx = fg + fg’. And it seems that those two cents seem to change as rapidly as the US Mint’s coinage. Every year, on the year, the writers write and the publishers publish a new two cents on a basic rule that hasn’t changed for at least 300 years. Keeping up with their spiffy new editions (sarcasm fully intended) becomes a high-cost enterprise for students, considering how the previous edition ends up as recycling paper to print the new textbooks.

Well, I have to go now and put up my new collection of winter tinder on my bookshelf.

Posted by aSo, 02:28 PM / Comments (2)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Heck, it was fun while it lasted...

Unfortunately for all of you (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), I will be leaving for Cornell tomorrow. Considering that I have met most of you already, I can say quite confidently that I have had a very excellent break in this respect. However, I completely failed and wasted my five-week-long break in another respect, and that is workwise.

Before break, I swore to myself that I would work through all of Purcell’s Electricity and Magnetism. However, all I have accomplished is to partially read through the first and second chapters, and learn a fragment of the vector calculus required to work the problems in the book. Break seems to make people inefficient, but, as all of you can attest, inefficiency (a.k.a. procrastination, if the context is school work) is fun. And now that break is over…

…heck, it was fun while it lasted.

Posted by aSo, 11:51 PM / Comments (1)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Computing at DMCI

Hello, folks! I am in school. The connection here surprisingly sucks. Half the time, it is broken. Half the time, your computer freezes. The other half (there are three halves, what?), it sort of works. But right now, it sort of doesn’t work. When you want to download a “large enough” file, at first it goes relatively quickly (say at 30K/sec) but then it just as quickly slows down to (5K/sec).

Logging in takes like half an hour. Graduates might not be familiar with the “New System”. First, you have to wait for the Script Logic to load. It says “Registered to 15512 users”. Do I need to know that? Do I want to know that? No. Then why do I know that? Because the progress bar is always on strike. It simply doesn’t show progress. Then, when you do log in, you are bombarded by a McAfee security checks. You promptly close those.

Then you want to open the web browser. Once you open it, it takes you to the Cyberlinks page. The page takes 10 seconds to load and does not conform to the W3C standards. You wanna click the “STOP LOADING” button but the browser doesn’t listen. Finally you manage to type in the URL for blog posting. You write your entry and set the post status to “publish”. Except, it doesn’t get published (luckily it still gets saved, so I would have to republish it later at home).

There is this annoying floating language/drawing bar. Every time you minimize it, you get a dialog that this bar is actually useful, and tells you how you can bring it back. Also, it asks you whether or not to show the dialog again. You click the checkbox, but the thing doesn’t go away - it keeps coming back the next time you log in. How horrible.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 05:20 PM / Comments (2)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Confused here!

Some people believe too much in me and think I can never get confused. At times, I am even abused! I and friend are talking. He tells me all those formulas, all those complicated names, writes in some weird notations (of his own), scribbles, and you don’t have a clue what’s going on - then he tells you “right?”. Discussion is only helpful if both sides understand it. I work on the basis that people grasp a concept fully at the end of the segment… but some people don’t even allow for that! They are using complicated and obscure terminology - and you have no clue what it is. @!&% - is it a noun? is it a verb? is it a process? a function? what is it supposed to do? what are you supposed to do with it? how do you do with it?

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 11:42 AM /

Friday, January 14, 2005

What a loser

Last month, I wrote the entry “such a loser” which proved to be quite popular… the saga continues: People in my exercise science class… are just your plain ordinary run-of-the-mill kind of losers. Spending time with them, is making me a loser - I am becoming one of them. Again, we have a supply teacher and off we go on the computers. I tell the guy next to me about my board. He looks: “Talk with Oleg”. What is the guy thinking? I’ll tell you what he is thinking - he is thinking that I am a loser (however, I think that he is the loser). The guy next to him wonders why anyone would want to “Talk with Oleg”.

Turns out there are such losers - deep losers! Those losers… are quite hard to find. There is a thing called loser chess. Basically you are supposed to give away all your pieces and if you can take you have to take. Now, these kind of people… are losers in every sense of the word. These losers never sleep. They call themselves the Loser Squad. You go on the chessclub any time, say past midnight, and they are still there playing in their Losers Quad. How they became such losers is beyond me.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 11:54 PM / Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Stop dying, already!

My teachers… they die too much. Sometimes, they get sick or take a few days off… sometimes they go their workshops or coach some sports team… whatever the reason, I have supply teachers every other day. But sometimes, they actually “die” - by “die”, I don’t mean die, (well, they sort of die) but take long, long vacations.

During my unfinished highschool years, I had a few such cases. One teacher got drunk in a car accident not to return till the Final Exams… another teacher, was only temporary, and went away after half the semester, and left another teacher as a replacement. One could really wonder who really was the actual teacher and who was the supply. It was all too sudden… we were never told of this. And now, our teacher “falls of the staircase and breaks her arm” or something like that… well, we’ve got a new teacher; but there is just so much disorder, so much panic! Who am I to complain if my marks are bound to increase?

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 02:22 PM / Comments (3)

Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Resolutions

The new year is about to begin. Only one second remains. I recently installed Google AdSense - I guess I could use the pocket change to go to Starbucks once in a while. Well, I hope I will earn enough money to go to Starbucks twice in a while; I guess that is all I can ask for. Perhaps, I will get a life. Happy new year!

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 11:59 PM / Comments (1)


At times, online chess becomes all about rating. The actual games don’t matter anymore… and all you want is rating, fast, “cheaped” out unfairly, stolen - simple brutal vindication. You are told, “Relax man, rating is just a number”. Who wouldn’t want a high rating? The phrase was said countless times by low rated patzers who given up real chess and moved to losers. Play enough losers, and you’ll become a loser yourself. Losers never sleep.

Bettingbot chips don’t matter? Said by a bunch of “channel-280-people”. Rich sonuvabitches. “Its not real money.” Well how close to real money can you get? Chips don’t matter when you are broke? Actually, its the other way around: chips don’t matter when you have a lot. Because numbers grow. What I want is a challenge - not something trivial or something impossible - a place where numbers matter.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 05:00 PM /

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

No, don't come over!

This is not an advice to my good friends - but rather to my “best” friends. By “best” - I don’t mean best friends - but the ones dealing with math or computer science or whatever - somehow “dealing”. Feels a bit irritating, doesn’t it? I am not a loner or anything… I like when friends come over, we have a lot of fun… but not these friends.

When they come over, we have nothing to talk about. With them, talk has become an eventful thing - we can talk over math, over computers, over stuff - over trees, over a hike… but nothing %&#!ing happens at home. We try to play computer games, but they are simply not fun. No, we just cannot play those modern action shooter games - we have to play stick death. I simply don’t know how to entertain them.

This very instant, one of them is here - upstairs; while I am here down stairs typing this up. And now, I feel somehow bored - and will go up.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 06:53 PM / Comments (2)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Just leave me alone!

My brother and his girlfriend/fiancee/wife - you take the pick came all the way down from Montreal to visit me for Christmas. All’s well except that they have me in their plans. But I have plans of my own - like building that balloon. Somehow, they believe that their plans superscede mine - that they feel that they have the right to decide what I should do with my time… Well, I am sorry - they just don’t.

They tried everything - but I resisted and they got nothing out of me: only wasted five hours of my time. That is a heavy toll… and my adventure simply isn’t turning out too well! Don’t dream - I won’t be flying those ever-friendly skies anymore. But its victory nevertheless - trouble is trouble, and I got rid of them for good. “Go away and never come back!”

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 01:50 AM / Comments (4)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Such a loser

People in my exercise science class are such losers. Well, not all of them (of course!). So this is the situation: We have a supply teacher and we are playing around on the computers. I tell the guy next to me about my blog. He looks: “Oleg’s Big Party”. It just doesn’t spark any interest in him. What a loser (even though he thinks I am a loser).

The guy next to him doesn’t even bother to look. He is playing slime with himself. Normally, he’d be winning on one side and losing on the other - but can you believe it, he is losing on both sides. Wait, he is the loser.

How do people become such losers? Explanation is obvious and is thus omitted. Too bad that the words loserness, losership, loserability simply don’t exist (at least in the English language anyway). I leave the task of defining them to you.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 03:26 PM / Comments (1)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The box is nasty

$24 and it was worth it… There were nine people, but we substituted Ivan with Andrew. When its freezing, people tend to wait inside the restaurant. Five of us were waiting inside; four were waiting outside. Good to know that the majority is smart. Fortunately, both groups had a cellphone. Needless to say, it was a pleasant reunion 15 minutes later after the time of reservation.

The food was delicious (and nutritious). I think I gained a few pounds. Normal people measure in kilograms, but pounds - well there are just more of them. There was this box (made of leaves) stuffed - no filled (because you obviously don’t eat the box) with the most disgusting stuff you have (I have) ever seen. Thinking of it makes me sick: if you (I) thought it smelled bad, it tasted even worse.

I must thank Charan for being such a good driver and dropping me off at a familiar (albeit undisclosed) location.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:40 PM / Comments (3)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Away, my friends!

“I change words with those that dime.” And for me at least, “buffet” and “away” rhyme. Tout suggested “Buffet City” and it seems like a cool place. He will make the reservation.

Location: 3160 Steeles Ave E, at Woodbine. Phone: (905) 474-9899. Map: Google Local. Time: 6 PM. Cost: $25 should easily cover your expenses (including tax and tip).

So my list includes: Adrian, Oleg, Tout, Kirill, Ivan, Charan, Amir, Eric and Nick. Running total: 9 people. If you want to come or can’t make it, please inform me before 12:30 PM tomorrow. We meet at the restaurant.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:11 PM /

Friday, December 17, 2004

All you can eat!

Just a few days ago, I was sitting on the exact same chair doing homework and drinking stimulants (only cola). Now, I feel a little hungry - and I want to go to a buffet. Personally, I like Oriental Feast: Location.

I am thinking about Sunday - 19th or Monday - 20th (tentative time: 8PM) and if you want to come, send me a tell over MSN or drop me an email. Twenty dollars should easily cover your expenses (food and tip). Date and time to be finalized by Sunday.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 08:45 PM / Comments (2)

Google Suggest

When it comes to internet searching, you need Google. The "competition" (A9, Clusty, blinkx and MSN search) are far behind. Last month, Google announced Google Scholar - and only recently, Google Suggest. I played around with it and this is what i found:

Query Suggested With Top of the List
oleg ivrii 6 letters +2 more letters
firefox 1 letter +0 more letters
macbeth 4 letters +0 more letters
kazaa 1 letter +0 more letters
george bush 2 letters +0 more letters
halo 2 1 letter +1 more letter
starbucks 2 letters +3 more letters
google 1 letter +1 more letter
ipod 1 letters +1 more letter

Of interest, the suggestion list is ranked in terms of how frequently a particular query is searched rather than by the number of results.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 03:34 PM /

Thursday, December 16, 2004

To hell with it!

I hate losing. Especially to patzers like Vlad Baranov. We played nine-dot - a Tic-Tac-Toe type of game played on a 9x9 board. We played to 21, win by 2. And today I blew it. It ended with the score 26 - 24. Just a couple of games ago, it was 23 - 24 in my favour. In fact, I am blowing it to him the third year in a row now. I just hope that we will be in separate classes next semester - or I will blow another season.

At least, the homework is finished and nothing's going to stop me now from enjoying a good night's sleep.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 01:39 AM / Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Friendly Fire

When you are me, it happens all the time: people bump into you on the street; people spill their juice on your binder; people do stuff to you. Whatever the case, they always say one thing: "I am sorry". This phrase has truly lost its meaning. First of all, most likely they are not sorry. A good reply is: "You better be... (pause) if you so say so".

Secondly, you don't need them to acknowledge that something bad (unpleasant) has happened to you. If you notice it, then they are not being informative - they are being annoying. You could say: "Of course you are sorry, don't tell me the obvious!" The only time telling the obvious actually helps is when you are swearing.

If you don't notice it, then they are only being insulting. Here you have two options: (1) Ask them if you care. (2) Say that you are the sorry one. The only time when you should be saying "I am sorry" is when you want to insult somebody and as a civilized person, you are apologizing in advance.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 09:07 PM / Comments (1)

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Endless Supply

Supply teachers translate in a direct waste of time. This could save you from those dreadful tests or even worse... assemblies. But most of the time, it feels that you are stuck in a zoo with no way out... and you are the wild animal in the cage who everyone else is laughing at. The class is out of control and so are you. Yet, I always remain the same.

Plenty of evils. When I don't like something, I say "Boring! Take them away". So take the supply teachers away.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 05:30 PM / Comments (2)

No good deed goes unpunished

Yesterday, I wrote the article "Art of Posting Comments" and specifically mentioned not to call yourself Bucky. Today, the first comment I get -- Bucky.

If you punish these people by erasing their comments, people run away from you. If you don't, you blog becomes a fun house. So what do you do?

This year I began programming club. We started with 12 members. If you don't make them work hard, its a waste of time. If you make them work hard, they run away from you. See the parallels?

On that level, people want to see progress. People need motivation for work. And progress must progress. Its the law of inertia. All you have to do is give them a little push in the right direction. But the kids there, are awfully resistant. They fight me in every way they can but they still come. What are they doing in there!?

People simply don't want to start doing actual work. They haven't made enough progress to understand the hardships and the frustration of programming. Perhaps, they will understand that by the end of the year. Who knows?

Well, we are now are reduced to size of 5 members (and not all show up all the time). But its five people who show potential and that is fine with me.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 04:46 PM / Comments (3)

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Fool of Controversy

Plenty "professional" news sites offer pop-ups and banners. And instead of writing good quality content, they make it controversial. Welcome to the world of today - where good opinion does not matter.

But why doesn't it matter? It sure does, to you and me, but that is about it. These sites exist with the sole purpose of stockpiling profits. That means maximizing the number of hits. And it is done how? By people like me who link to them and trash their article.

And you know what else I hate? Those analysts who work hard enough just to provide a quote. Its not about saying something actually useful. Its about providing a quote. And you know very well how easily quotes get flipped off C|net.

From a non-expert. You know how much I hate those? There was a proposal to amend the zoning by-law to build an 8-story building (for old people) on my street. Imagine them celebrating a funeral every day - and if there is no funeral, the place would be exceptionally quiet.

Residents were encouraged to show up at a meeting and complain. But they were strictly warned not to talk about traffic consumption, drainage systems or stuff they had no clue about.

But perhaps this controversy and immense profits are a good thing. These "professionals" leave a gap for the independents - that includes me - to really shine. And I think I am doing it well.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 06:48 PM / Comments (1)

Assemble, my friends!

Today in school, we had an assembly. And man... was it ever boring. It could be entertaining, or not entertaining, but please make it relevent. Things to consider: Does it concern me? Is it beneficial to me? Do I even want to care? Well, whatever happened, these things weren't considered.

So why do we even have these assemblies? Who invites those people (social interest groups) anyway? Put it simply, next time we have one of those assemblies, I don't want to be there.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 02:57 PM / Comments (2)

Monday, December 6, 2004

Its heading your way!

The subway works fine, but the nice red TTC buses could use an improvement. Actually, most TTC personnel try to be friendly... Especially the ones that are smart with you about student cards... or the the drivers which yell at the people in the front to move back (but they can't because standings people are docked with their friends) and while the friend is full, the back remains usually empty. The correct solution of course, is to tell everyone to move back.

Speaking of TTC, snow hit Toronto hard and it took me 30+75=105 minutes to get to school today. I arrived in Politics class at 9:40. It felt like a blizzard (haven't seen snow for a while). A lady on the bus noted that it would be faster to walk. Okay, go outside and walk. I don't think you could walk very fast on slippery snow when a blizzard is blowing right into your face.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii, 03:38 PM / Comments (2)

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