[Shad] 6-29: they are here!

It’s 11:18pm, and the first night with the Shad here is thankfully quiet. Only a few people wanted to stay up, and the number was well below the critical point such that these people find little point in staying up. That would change soon enough I expect.

My right leg is grass-burned already from one of the random games that we played in the afternoon, and the biting pain and throbbing heat are quiet annoying.

The Shads arrived in batches on shuttle vans driven by Dev and Martin after they were herded by Steve at the airport. My focus shifted quickly from fellow staffs (when we set up the welcome table and things) to the arriving Shads (after they gathered into a familiar, still a little awkward group). Learning a few names quickly, but I still haven’t met some of the Shads yet. That can be fixed soon enough.

We did our “biotile” introductions this evening after dinner. A biotile is a 15cm x 15cm piece of something flat that represents you. Here’s mine:

And I’m sure readers of this blog will know almost everything on this biotile. 🙂

The biotiles from the Shads were expectedly amazing again. We’ve put them up on a wall in the unit lounge (oh, we’re staying in Kwak this year), making an impressive display of this year’s group.

Went to the Rose Garden for sunset, watching the Shads mingled somewhat hesitantly in a beautiful setting with Martin playing soothing guitar was simply great.

Today was pretty laid back and kinky (cuz people don’t know each other well yet), but I’m sure we will switch into high gear in no time.

Note to self: I need to take more pictures! Although taking pictures makes me feel I’m an observer and not a participant, I should still take some pictures to help keep the memories alive. But this may conflict with my role as a PA, especially if I take pictures with the Shads in them. Hm.

Note to my friends who supported me in Relay for Life: I’m looking for open spots where I can squeeze in some video editing time, so please be patient with them vids 🙂


[Shad] 6-28: the only quiet night?

After a fulfilling AYCE dinner with the whole family at 仁和, I finally moved into Totem Park (for the 3rd time) for Shad Valley. Last time I PAed Shad, my room was way down the hall away from the action, so this year I was gonna ask for a room closer to the house lounge.

But when I got to the staff office, Darren said apologetically (or slyly?) that he has already switched his room with mine — and Dev added she hoped I had ear plugs. Turned out as soon as Darren realized his room was the closest to the house lounge, he switched it with what was supposed to be my room — at the end of the hall.

Back up a bit. I did Shad in 2006 where I’ve met most of the staff I’ll be working with again this year: Martin – our boss – is still very “politically incorrect” and opinionated and “does not care what anyone think of him”, Dev – our real boss – is still bossy and sarcastic as ever, Jill is still organized and on top of everything, and I haven’t seen Ken yet. The above quotations about Martin are quoted from Steve, a 6’5″ buff guy who is surprisingly unintimidating once I got to know him a little (and helped him move from his beautiful Marince Drive Residence) (“Here’s a case with wheels — and you’re gonna carry that heavy one which doesn’t”). Eleanor was a Shad in Carleton and she’s just graduating from MIT into Stanford, and I just realized she’s the only staff who is completely new to the UBC program. Lynn is a biol 140 prof, and she’s very kind and gentle. Darren is our math and engineering guy who was the director of Shad UBC who trained Martin, and he is at least as humorous and unorthodox as Martin.

The above all worked for Shad last year except for Eleanor. Mackenzie is one very special staff this year because she was a Shad at UBC in 2004 – the year I PAed. It would be really interesting to see how she acts as a staff member, which is supposed to be mentors for the Shads.

After a long staff meeting, Mac, Eleanor, Darren and I went into the 26 degree blazing sun to set up 7 tents that were more complicated than any sleeping tent I had to set up. “Don’t get cooked before the program starts… there is plenty of opportunity later,” I said.

Went to One More for a Japanese dinner, which would be the best dinner in a while to come, and helped Steve move. Played a game of Hive with Eleanor. Dev said it would only take 15 mins to play a game, but we gave up playing after 1 hour of struggle. The game is really fun. I think I’ll get it later (from 4th and Macdonald).

Enjoyed a quiet night’s sleep in a room that’s pretty much identical to the one I had in 2006. In a few hours the Shads would arrive, and things would switch into high gear instantly, but for now, they are just names on the doors, quiet and peaceful.

Relay for Life – Kaman’s clip

Kaman is very special because she’s the first friend I had when I immigrated to Canada in late grade 9. In fact, she’s the only friend whom I’m still in touch with in the first high school that I went to – Richmond High – even though I was there for only 3 months.

There was this one day, I was eating in the cafeteria by myself, and a guy went up and started singing. A big crowd of people gathered around him in the cafeteria – a clearly popular guy. Sitting outside the rim of people, I was probably the direct opposite of what he was. I thought: wow, he could really sing! And he wrote a wonderful song!

Until a few months later, I realized it was Hero by Enrique Iglesias. That was how fresh-off-the-boat I was.

And it’s very special to have a friend when I was that out of place. Thank you, K-man! 🙂


I have to stop working on this at some point… I’ve been spending way too many hours on this short story XD
希望能被LeMook看上, 大家如果有建議歡迎指教!










「對啊,好像是因為避孕措施不夠力,最近政策改了,變成只有擁有優良世界公民(Excellent Global Citizen)資格的夫婦才可以合法爽快。」










「人類動物的本質和突飛猛進的大腦是不能夠同時在地球上永續生存的。沒有控制,就戒不掉貪婪;不戒掉貪婪,人類就沒有希望。為了保護地球資源,維持人類文明永續發展,我在此正式宣布 “Mechanical Messiah ──機械救世主計畫” 的實施。










另一個朋友也接口:「還有,交通失事率也大幅下降,因為車子開不快、駕駛喝酒就沒法發動引擎, Hondayota在開發的新車甚至會全自動電腦控制,到時候因交通傷亡的人數應該會變成零。」













Relay for Life – 全身而退 (updated)

從7pm到7am的耐力/體能/聲帶訓練, 活著回來了。


然後想要先濃縮成一個5分鐘的短片, 結果發現我整個五音不全啊!完全不想把影片貼出來,咱們當作沒這回事好不好?





UPDATE: the abridged edition of my Relay for Life mission.

How to find out How to make Facebook apps

In my shower today (if you don’t know me well enough to know that most of my creative juices run in the shower, well, they do), I suddenly realized I don’t know how to make Facebook apps, and if there is one thing that I wish I could do, it would be making Facebook apps.

So here is the How-to guide to finding enough good How-to guides that would lead me to making my own Facebook apps.

1. Google “how to make facebook apps

I thought about ending this tutorial there, which would be pretty humourous. But then I’m actually interested in the Facebook platform.

2. Poke around

and find out what schools like Stanford are doing with there staggering tuition money:

Virtual Marketing Blog

Only 100 students enrolled? There must only be 50 computer science major in Stanford. Them and 50 commerce kids.

3. Don’t forget to read the blogs

And you can find some dude’s blog about making Facebook apps. Too bad this guy already took the spotlight in the blogosphere; if this post of mine came just a year earlier, I could have been cashing in theoretical dollars.


No matter, let’s see what Keebler has for us.

Basically, there are three main areas inside Facebook that your application can play with:

  1. Facebook Canvas pages which let you embed your content on a page inside Facebook accessible from the left-navigation
  2. A Profile Box which sits on your profile page and is visible by all your friends
  3. Your news feed which appears on your profile page, and is visible by your friends on their home page

You can build a Facebook Application using just Canvas pages without ever touching the API. All you need are basic HTML skills and a server. Using the API requires some programming knowledge and the handling (and storing) of a session key on your side.

And he goes on to talk about the components of Facebook that the app can play with. Cool, but what do I do first? Do I download something?

And his mentioning of me needing a server is pretty unnerving. What if I don’t have a server? No server = no Facebook app? Let’s keep looking.

4. Take a deep breath and look at the official developer’s site

And you’ll find assurance in the well-positioned “Get Started” page that it’s easy!

But then I remember that WordPress said installing it is easy too, famously easy, even, but just take a look at the domain of my blog right now and you’ll know that I’ve failed at installing WordPress on my machine.

From their description, it does seem superbly easy. It wants you to “just add the Developer Application to your Facebook account. Then download the client library of your choice, open your favorite development environment, and you’re ready to go.”

Let’s see where I’m ready to go.

5. Add the Developer Application

I’m not expecting this step at all. I thought I would be required to download some programming language like Ruby on Rails or PHP, or some proprietary programming environment.

I dunno what this does in terms of my privacy (I have a natural dislike for application invitations, and so far I’ve only installed Who Has the Biggest Brain cuz I wanted to beat my brother (but couldn’t), and Texas Hold’em cuz I wanted to beat my friends (which I did)), but it certainly conveys an undeserved friendliness, as if creating a Facebook app is as easy and fun as playing a hand of poker.

6. Download the client library of your choice

Oh, so here is the PHP that I was expecting. By “your choice” I think they meant PHP 5, because I don’t see an alternative here.

As a comp sci major, perhaps I shouldn’t be paranoid by the lack of an installer executable… but I am!

I’m thouroughly confused by the content in this zip, as I am always confused by those open source projects that don’t come with an installer.

So I ran back to the cozy Facebook page that pretends everything is handy-dandy.

Here’s the content of ReadMe:

Welcome to the Facebook Platform!

You can just grab the libraries out of the client/ directory and start building
your own application.  It will probably be instructive, though, to first get
our sample application up and running so you can see exactly how the library is
meant to be used.

We’ve created an application called Footprints that utilizes a lot of Platform
functionality while remaining fairly simple.  If you don’t want to set it all
up you can still check out the code and see it in action by going to

To get Footprints running on your own server, you’ll want to first open up the
“footprints/config.php” file and modify it with your mysql database
configuration.  Also, create the necessary table in your database as described
in the same file.

Next, go to http://www.facebook.com/developers/apps.php, where you’ll
register for an application.  In the account creation page, set up your
callback URL such that it is the directory on your web server that corresponds
to the footprints/ directory of this package (if you loaded the callback URL
directly, it would display this package’s index.php).  In the same page, you
may also want to register for a framed page URL.  You can also set up some
default FBML – ours is set as follows:
<fb:if-is-own-profile><br />Hi <fb:name uid=”profileowner”
firstnameonly=”true” useyou=”false”/>!  This is the default FBML as specified
in Footprints’ account configuration page.  This will get replaced the first
time you get stepped on.</fb:if-is-own-profile>

Finally, copy the API key and secret key from the developers account page into
your config.php file.  Now go to http://apps.facebook.com/<your-frame-url>/
and you should have Footprints up and running on your server!

NOTE: If you only have PHP4, we’ve built a modified version of the client
library to work with that.  Use the files inside the php4client directory
instead of client.  You’ll need to download simplexml44 and extract it into the
php4client/ directory to get it to work – you can get it at:

7. Give up take a indefinitely long break because you don’t have a server.