“Heading to the city on a hill” (iPhone 3G camera, edited by BestCam app)

I had a pretty good day today.  Mostly because I felt – and actually was – quite productive.  I started off the day bright and early with a transit trip up to SFU, where I met up with a student that Johnson connected me with last night.  The student was responding to some ads that Johnson put up for Computer Science tutoring, because he was taking CMPT 250 (Computer Architecture).  However, Johnson passed him along to me since he doesn’t really do hardware/”engineering” stuff.  Actually, this course was perhaps my favorite course in my undergrad, and it’s all about VHDL.  In essence, it’s all about how to make computer chips by writing code.  Anyhoo, after some brushing up on the material the night before, I set off to meet my student.

Summary: it went well!  One of the tricky things with this sort of course is that it’s a bit like research & development.  You kind of have to expect that things won’t work the way you expect it too.  But I managed to avoid looking completely clueless, and after spending about 6 hours straight with no breaks (time flies when you’re having “fun”), we were done.  I was helping him with his assignment, and he still has to put things together, but I think all of the challenging things that he’d have to implement, we managed to work through.  I didn’t charge him for the full 6 hours, since some of the time I spent “stuck” with him trying to work with/around the development environment and constraints.  I guess the main reason I didn’t charge for the full time was because, man, 6 hours worth of tutoring adds up to a lot of $$$!  I couldn’t bring myself to charge anybody that much… at least not for the FIRST time (my first time).  If I get to do more tutoring in the future, that will probably change.  Postscript summary: Yup, I guess I do like to teach.  I didn’t mind sitting in one spot for 6 hours with my student/friend (I hope we’re friends, anyways).

Part 2 of good day – hung out with relatives, and watched most of the game where the Vancouver Canucks totally TROUNCED the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-1. It was ridiculous.  We have a rivalry with them, since they kicked us out of last season’s playoffs (while I was in Malawi… and wondering how we could have lost the last game with Luongo getting scored on like 6 times and us scoring FIVE goals? [something like that, feel free to correct me]).  The Canucks also exhibit this strange phenomenon where we regularly lose to the worst teams in the league (and looking TERRIBLE/skill-less doing it), but routinely kick the stuffing out of good teams – like Chicago, which is the #1 team in the Western Conference (and possibly the league).

Part 3 – while watching the game, I was also playing some Left 4 Dead on my 4 year old laptop (Melly).  I love that game!  Especially the VERSUS mode.  Such a showcase of how teamwork and close communication is ESSENTIAL.  And perhaps just as good is the fact that my antique computer can run it at 1280×720 resolution (aka “720p“) with 4x Anti-Aliasing with average framerates of around 25-35 FPS during regular gameplay.  For me, I consider that quite playable!  And it looks great, too (imo), even though almost everything is turned to low.  All this on a Pentium-M 1.6GHz (single-core) and a Geforce Go 6800 256MB discrete video “card”.

Part 4HOCKEY, baby!  On Saturday nights, I get to play hockey with my brother and a bunch of other people who have a regular ice-time rented.  Tonight, my brother wasn’t there (he had an “All-Star” game he was a part of – no joke!), and it so happened that we had a lot fewer players, too.  So I ended up playing forward, and had a LOT of ice time.  I’m still quite out of shape, so I was very tired towards the end of the game.  I also got hit by a LOT of bodies tonight, too (plus one puck in the lateral, inside part of the knee).  It was ridiculous the number of physical impacts I took tonight.  Quite unusual.  But aside from the knee thing, no noticeable bruises at all.  Yay for hockey equipment (and landing decently, I guess).

And in an interesting turn of events, while I was finishing up this blog post my really good day got excruciatingly frustrating.  But things are better now (that was quick, eh?).  Ok, bye for now!