School has started since EFX2 went down. Meanwhile, I’ve made quite a few friends. There’s this Iraqi girl who seems to be rather insecure and alone (why are such girls always Middle Eastern, hm it’s the same as Varsha); this Korean guy called Kim Seok who wants to play Schumann’s Piano Concerto No.1 in A Minor (I’ll do it first… if I had the good piano); Diego, a guy who’s really into Latin music (the old school kind, he says) and the guitar; Ilan, a 3rd year CompSci student who admits that I’m on the verge of knowing more than him about computers already… who plays chess well… and plays the guitar well too; Chad, a heavy set guy who seems to know a lot about partying; Rory, a Jewish neighbour who has a great guitar but is only a n00b at it, and he likes jogging; Jeremy, a French student on exchange from France and is rarely seen; and Small (he’s actually tall), a guy from Hong Kong (but hailing from China actually) on exchange.
Oh yes, I’m listening to Wiedergeburt from the Ever17 out of infinity Sound Collection. APE kicks ass. I don’t know where that feature went to, but if it’s WordPress, I can take almost any shortcoming.
12th September, I repaired the piano with Diego. There were two pianos in the Nootka House lounge in Totem Park. One was really fucking horrible. The other one we had got the front desk to send over, but it still had its problems. We dismantled it (Diego really has a knack for DIYing), identified the three key problems and started working on those (the Ab, C and Eb all needed work). After lots of scraping and grumbling and swearing (especially when putting the hammers back) we finally got it fixed, and I played an abridged version of Kocsis’s transcription of Vocalise on the piano (I didn’t remember the whole thing). It was 2100, and Diego said he wanted to do homework. Smart guy. I stayed there playing for hours and when I knew it, it was 0000, and it was time to go back up. That was when I met this Kim Seok. Korean, duh. Says his piano teacher was a fucking genius. Failed ABRSM 1st level diploma. Likes Arabesque I and plays II as well by Debussy. Says my left hand is too loud (his is too soft) and my pedal is too blurry. We spent a long time talking about piano playing and we played sections of the Arabesque for each other and he played a part from the first movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto 1 in Am, and I loved it.
Then I went up. And that was when I remembered I had to do the damn APSC homework.
I’m listening to Je Nach from the Ever17 out of infinity Sound Collection now. Oh yes, I must tell you about the 35CAD speakers. 2.1, Altec Lansing. The only redeeming feature about these speakers is the subwoofer. Oh yes. It makes it feel very nice. The pulsing beat, Ever17, and… Tsugumi? Poor Tsugumi… I haven’t seen much of her since I don’t have time to play the game. Even if I do, I’m that small wimp ‘Boy’ who doesn’t remember his name and fares really badly with Tsugumi. Takeshi is way smoother, man.
Back to the topic. The APSC homework was one of those kinds of homeworks that had only 5 questions in them, but a bazillion subquestions within that took ages to finish. The first one alone was really hard and I had to type things up to keep my left hand from complaining and time running out of my hands. I had to compare the code of ethics from three different Engineering Societies. The only cool part of that assignment was that I involved the IEEE in it. Remember Firewire (IEEE1394)? Those were the guys behind it, and a lot of other things too. Anyway I finally got 1a done. That was when I flopped on the bed without showering or brushing teeth or doing any of that good boy stuff and went to sleep.
I woke up at 0730, amazingly enough, without an alarm clock. I jumped on the computer again and started doing my homework while listening to the newly downloaded GITS Stand Alone Complex OST4 (No Break Disc). When 1000 rolled around, it was done except for #3, but I still had no place to print it. I went to class, and it seemed everybody in the fucking school had a fucking laser printer. Fuck. They told me it was CAD50 to get a cheap one. Well… that certainly sounds reasonable, but not really, as you’ll see later.
The next day was Friday. I slept in. It was 0759 when I woke up, and class started at 0800. I decided to skip that boring lecture (I’d probably fall asleep in it anyway) and take my own sweet time going to the next class, since it was at 1000. After taking my long sweet time I found it was only a tutorial session so you didn’t have to go if you didn’t have anything to ask the Teacher Assistant, but I went there and put in my homework in the locker boxes. They had Master Locks on them, and I had read up on locks to purchase with my new bike. I heard you could crack certain Master Locks with a fucking Bic pen, or was that Kryptonite U-Locks? In any case, New York sounded like the place where you could learn how to crack locks open (not the subtle way, no, the Americans use hacksaws and bolt clippers you see). I helped a girl with her math homework (due in 30 minutes) and she got a 99%. She was still agonizing about that last 1%. I suppose that’s a good thing, then again it shouldn’t be. Or maybe it’s the other way around.
They have A&W at the Student Union Building (SUB). I almost always eat there, and buy Subway’s for supper (2300 hunger pangs and popcorn while watching Kazamakase Tsukikage Ran). The Double Mozza burger with Onion Rings and bear sized Root Beer always gets me. I ate with Kathryn (a mega nerd who happens to be into yaoi…) and Garrett (a Chinese guy, also a mega nerd) and I walked off first.
I had heard about this thing called Student Bike or something like that. It was a shop, and I set out to find it. I hopped on the 99 B-Line, and rode the bus next to this Chinese woman who was surprised when I told her I thought she was Korean. Her English was very good, and apparently she was going off to an interview with the Vancouver General Hospital. She sounds like she can get the position. I think I missed quite a few bike shops while I was talking to her. Well, in the end I couldn’t locate Student Bike Shop, and I found myself in Granville again, so I took the bus that went down past Cyclepath (which sold the expensive 399CAD Norco Katmandu, such a blast to ride) and to Bike Doctor to see if they could do anything about the 350CAD price of the Miele TT250 or perhaps the cheaper Umbrias, which were 250CAD.
I rode the Umbria 50, and then the guy directed me to an Umbria 100. It seems that bike shop people in Canada are really friendly in general. After hearing that the Miele Umbria 50 and 100 were made of steel, though, I got scared that they might rust. Me, buying a bicycle that I would show the younger generations in the future and say ‘this was my bike’ and they’d say ‘you rode that horrible POS around?’ no fucking way man. I want something that doesn’t rust. At the very least, the frame MUST NOT RUST.
The Bike Doctor directed me to a bike consigment shop across the road (Sportsjunkies…. and it seems that bike shops have no qualms about telling you where another bike shop is… nice people seriously) and I crossed the damn road and went there. The guy who dealt with bikes there was friendly in his own way, telling me that I actually wanted the chopper (this upright bike here that seemed like a poor man’s Harley Davidson). I rode the 250CAD one, but I didn’t like it, especially when downshifting (used bikes always have this issue…. their downshifting levers are especially hard to depress) and so I came back and switched to a Norco something or other. This one was 150 and was made of aluminium, teh win! But it was nothing special. I rode it along the back alley. Suddenly I heard a bad sound coming from my right pant leg. Oh man, first the white pants being totally dirtied… and now this beige one being trashed by fucking bicycles. When will I ever learn to put on jeans while riding a bicycle? But seriously… no chain guard? This bike fucking ate my pant leg! It tore it! I will never forgive it, even if installing a chain guardi s only 10CAD.
So I went back to the Bike Doctor. I was calculating how much it would be to get the chain guard and the Norco versus the Miele TT250. I asked the guy to let me ride it one last time ‘I swear’. He unlocked it again and I rode off with it. I love the Miele TT250. It’s pretty obvious that it’s too high for me (being a 20″ wheels frame) and my biggest problem with it is mounting it and finding a foothold when falling off it or dismounting it. It makes a fool of me when I’m not riding it. But when I’m riding it, it’s absolutely sublime. Not as great as the Norco Katmandu from Cyclepath, I remember, because that was was slightly lower, but it certainly felt… slightly special. Because it was the bike I liked. Red and black, with 21 speed Shimano derailleurs and a disc brake on the front. The pedals don’t hurt me when they spin out of control… unlike that one used bike that implanted its metal fangs into my marrow last week. Goddamn that bike. And I think it was a Norco Reactor too, or something like that. Anyway I didn’t feel safe pedaling that one. The Miele TT250 looks beautiful, though. Something I’d love to steal. I asked the guy if there was a student price.. he said if I wanted it right away, I could get it for 329CAD. Awesome. I went around to look at the locks. There were lots of them, but I think I only had money for a 40CAD lock. I was about to go for a chain or something, but they told me that chains could be easily cut through with bolt cutters, and pointed me to a Bike Guard U-Lock instead. I thought if that people could hack through chains, what’s to stop them from cutting right through a Bike Guard U-Lock? Their answer was that both of them were merely deterrents.
In any case, I chose the Bike Guard after all since it seemed like those guys knew what they were talking about, and they said they wanted to go over the bike one last time before they would hand it to me… I said I wanted it today, and they said I was lucky, their guy was free and could work on my bike.
I took out my wallet.
I kept on thinking. Was this the right decision? Would I regret this? How could I? Isn’t this my most wanted bike? Isn’t this the most beautiful mountain bike I’ve ever seen, rivaled by the Norco Katmandu? And yet it might just throw my parents into a frenzy. Whatever. I handed it over the counter. ‘I feel bad’, I said.
‘I feel bad, man, having to charge people,’ says the friendly guy at the counter. I punched in the card details and shit, and took my card back. I got 15% off the bike lock, and the bike came to me after 329CAD was paid… but the taxes negated all that and pushed it up to 393CAD total.
‘Oh well,’ I said, ‘Time will tell if this was the correct decision.’
Somehow everything felt sunnier and better and I was ready to smile again. I was told to come back in 30 minutes. I walked outside, around. I thought about how it was better to feel good about it since there’s nothing great that can come out of feeling bad and spending 393CAD at the same time. Besides, grieving would only transform the bike into something ugly in my mind, and I thought it was absolutely beautiful. I wanted it.
With that in mind, 10 minutes had passed. I found a metal shop. I went in. All sorts of records were in there. I marveled at how their music and vocalists seemed to suck but the visual art on their CDs was always so intriguing. Suddenly 20 minutes had passed. I walked back to the good old bike shop. It was done, and I could ride it home. I took it out of the shop, and they told me to take it back after a few months to replace chains and stuff, after all I got free service for a year.
I thought about trying out that bike rack in front of those buses, but I thought better of it and decided to bicycle all the way back to UBC instead. It was hard. The air here is dry, and my throat (which takes the brunt of the airflow when I breath) got dry very easily and I burnt through an entire 1.5Ls of water. I biked up a hill, went down, biked up another incline, and yet another, and by that time my thighs were really aching and when i got off the bike (which wasn’t easy anymore since my legs weren’t quite working at the bike was a bit high for me anyway, which meant I fell a lot) and the gears weren’t doing their job for me anymore and my legs felt really heavy. I pushed the bike up the slope, got on it to go down, and finally arrived at University Boulevard. It was a freaking awesome feeling I got when I realized I had biked all the way from Granville, no, Bike Doctor and arrived at UBC. I took a short tour around some areas of the campus and went back to Totem Park.
After that, I brought the bike up into the elevator and into my room, just like some other people have been doing (Ilan with his Norco Scrambler, for instance). It’s sitting here right now, with the chain for the front wheel and the U-Lock hanging off the mount on the bike. I’ll get a pannier for this. I don’t think it’ll look that great with a basket, heh.
I love my Miele TT250. I hope it doesn’t get stolen, that damn lock doesn’t look that great to me and I don’t get a refund if it gets broken. Anyway why is bike theft here so big anyway? Nobody cared about my 10″ Lerun Hopper when I parked it unlocked outside of German class (albeit with an old security guard there sitting watch, not standing). But I think I can understand why people would want to steal the TT250 instead. Too bad I already scratched it a couple places, falling on gravel, pavements, and even grass. The SR Suntour M2000 fork especially has a few scratches, and the Shimano V-Brake thing has a scratch on its plastic. The rubber grip on the left is slightly torn, but thankfully the awesome red and black paint scheme isn’t touched.
It’s hard to imagine that the first thing that caught my eye was its price tag, not its design.
Meanwhile, I’ve downloaded Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran, Galaxy Angel A and AA, GITS SAC OST1 and 4 to supplement my collection, and a few more Galaxy Angel CDs. Does anybody have the Galaxy Angel A OP+ED single Galaxy Babanga-Bang? (no not Bang Bang, Babanga Bang). Please let me know. I want to hear Angel Wasshoi in all its glory.
Now playing: 08. 美空ひばり – [オリジナル・ベスト 50 CD2 #08] 車屋さん
As you can see I’m listening to some old Enka by Misora Hibari, so old that even the recordings sound old and scratchy and the encoder didn’t bother encoding them in anything better than 128kbps CBR MP3. But let’s get back to the basics. I’m downloading and uploading at 10kb/s. Why is that?
Well apparently I hit the 5GB penalty box. Basically, what it means is that if you upload and download a total of 5GBs within a 24 hour period (according to the people over there, I did something like 6GBs instead), something flips a bit over at the IT department and your internet gets throttled. Pings get extremely horrible and bandwith gets limited to a paltry 10kb/s. Well, running utorrent and eMule at the same time basically got me past the penalty box. But I can’t stop now! Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran’s OST is just about to complete. I have a slight suspicion that the 5GB limit was reached by my uploading, not downloading. See, I tried to raise my ratio on Boxtorrents.com.
Of course, changing the MAC address works. Make sure you delete any cookies in your web browser before refreshing to the website over at this link. Once their DHCP server gets fooled and gives you a new IP, that’s when you’re free to go. Don’t abuse it. 5GBs a day is very generous, I think.
Now playing: 08. 美空ひばり – [オリジナル・ベスト 50 CD2 #08] 車屋さん
Hoho, I feel like a real oldie. I even went out and bought laundry powder just like any good old housewife in her 50s would, after putting on heavy makeup and practicing talking in a high squeaky voice. I spent the morning sleeping and converting my FLAC collection of Last Exile OSTs into AACs. I think it’s better than OGG, then again I wouldn’t know, with these cheapo Altec Lansing speakers. My Miele TT250 needs a rack, but I don’t think I have enough money to do that. I need to wait until September 21st for the Physics thing to come in, as well as the APSC CCM. That should lift up 160CAD from my bank account, goddamn Canadian economy. Oh, make that 176CAD thanks to tax. Goddamn Canadian government.
Wait. No… buying them separately does not decrease the tax. Where are my shopping receipts? 7% for the GST… an unspecified percentage for the PST. Ah what the hell, buying them separately does not decrease the tax.
Now playing: 14. 美空ひばり – [オリジナル・ベスト 50 CD2 #14] 髪
Misora Hibari sounds great, even when she’s mostly singing about hair.