Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hello - My Life Updated!

Hello to the one or two (kind estimate..) people who might possibly read this. How are you doing? I doubt you realized I was gone. Jerks... Sometimes I do find this whole 'blogging' thing to be rather embarrassing. However, I decided to write some stuff because looking back it is good for a chuckle or two. Anyways, no commitments for the future but here is an update on my life!

This is me now,

 Dashing, I know, to the left is my friend Thuy appears to be eating something.

Now here is my lovely girlfriend of now 3 years, 6 months, 30 days (thank you

Here she is in all her glory! What a lovely, and smart young lady!

Also I have nearly completed my education at long last. I am completing a single summer course (philosophy of knowledge (metaphysics and epistemology)) The road to graduation has been a long and mostly ugly ride for me. My university performance has been down and up (emphasis on down) but I would be lying if I said I have not learned plenty. Here is a timeline of my university life,
Fall 2004- 2005 Participate in STEPs to University (an offering of SOC101Y1 for high school students)
Fall 2005- 2006 "Victory Lap" at Bloor Collegiate Institute
Fall 2006-2007 First year as a Life Science student!
Summer 2007 Traumatic Yukon Experiences
Fall 2007 Second year Life Science and Intro to Programming
Winter 2008 Switched into Computer Science! Complete first year CS
Fall 2008 Begin Second year Computer Science a.k.a the worst semester in U of T history
(Lang moves in, coincidence, I wonder?)
Winter 2009 Baby steps in second year Computer Science...
Summer 2009 More baby steps in second year Computer Science ....
Fall 2009 GETTING SERIOUS IN DAT SCHOOLIN, finish second year CS and English writing
(Started dating Thuy, coincidence, I wonder?)
Winter 2010 Started third year CS
Fall 2010-2011 Participate in P.E.Y. (professional experience year) at Research in Motion.
(RIM stock plummet nearly 30%, coincidence, I wonder?)
Fall 2011 Complete third year CS
Winter 2012 Start fourth year CS
Fall 2012 Finish fourth year CS
Winter 2013 Realize short a bunch of electives, take a crap load of courses
(those baby steps turning into non-baby kicks to the butt)
Summer 2013 Philosophy of knowledge!
All and all it has been a journey. I am really glad I chose computer science although I do wonder how things would have turned out if I had stuck with life sciences. I have started looking for work and it is going pretty well (minus the fact that I am unemployed) Okay well I guess that means it is not going so well but at least I am not crying or something. Maybe now that I am somewhat competent in the wondrous world of computer science I might have something useful to say about the topic. That could be a direction I take this blog maybe.

Anyways, kudos to anyone who actually reads this!

Good day,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movember Ends Plus Fantasy Tid Bits

In an hour or two the long awaited end of 'Movember' will finally be here. In total I raised 120 dollars (Thank you Mom, Dad, and Thuy)

Through out the month I received various feed back on the state of my face, here is a quick recap.

Thuy - "Ew"

Team Lead - (bursts out laughing during my speech at a stand up meeting) "I am sorry I just can't take you seriously"

Random Person at Work - "Nice Stache Man" (smirks and chuckles a bit)

Landlord - "Eh Steven, you got a little dirt on your face!"

Philip - "I like it"

The feed back was mixed, although generally negative. An unsurprising result. The former stache suffered from what is known mustache asian-white hybridism. It is a state characterized by long, uneven, low volume facial hair. This terrible facial hair set up is often subject to mockery and believed to not be very masculine. Thus the snickers.

Oh in other news here is the fantasy team I have been paying most attention to this year in league DK (in which I am commissioner - 18 teams, weekly roster changes, h2h, 9 cat)

PG Russell Westbrook
SG Arron Afflalo
G Jason Terry
SF Trevor Ariza
PF Kevin Love
F Nicholas Batum
C Pau Gasol
C Lamarcus Aldridge
U JJ Hickson
U Eric Bledsoe

B James Harden
B Ty Lawson
B Tiago Splitter

A very strong team. Essential the entire team has been great value except JJ Hickson and Trevor Ariza.

My short-term concerns,
- It is hard to complain about the number 1 ranked fantasy player of the year but Gasol has entered a mini slump. I am sure he will get out of it soon. I need him to do good now though as I am facing the top team in the league (I am second)
- Shooting slumps: Jason Terry and Nicholas Batum

Long term concerns,
- Shot blocking ( I have remained competitive in the category due to luck sort of. Slightly inflated blocking numbers from Aldridge and Gasol)
- JJ Hickson got off to a decent start but has been beyond awful. I need to get someone else in there asap but the league is very quick on picking up FAs so it can be very difficult.
- Wesley Mathews. This guy has taken over Nicholas Batum's starting spot in wake of his poor play in the last 2 games. It is hard to gauge the right action in this situation as Batum had a 3 game slump earlier only to absolutely explode right after. Brandon Roy going down would also free up more minutes for Batum which is highly likely.
- Turnovers (Westbrook I love you but god damn you and your turnovers)

Will try to give an overview of the landscape of our league next time!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Staying Fresh, Basketball, and Mustache

Hello to the small group of faithfuls (or as of now angry group of former faithful due to ridiculous absence)

It has been a long time since I have posted and the reasons vary in their legitimacy. I moved out of the parent's house to live on my own while working as an intern @ RIM in Waterloo. I was really focused on my work for a couple weeks allocating a lot of time and effort into doing well there. As time went on, I began feeling a lot more comfortable and entered a very habitual cycle. Being caught (maybe a bad word since this is my first professional experience and I should be ecstatic, which I am!) in that cycle my mind became (often) devoid of meaningful thought after exiting my work premises. At times, I find myself walking home and totally forgetting where I am - yet I continue walking where I need to go. It is as if my body and mind have become separated.

Well this is not good in my opinion! So I am going to try to put in the extra effort to maintain this thing.

Things have been pretty good in Raptor land in my opinion. I have been very happy with the effort of the Raptors thus far. Here is a short list of the good and bad and the in between.

- After a slow start Amir Johnson has played very well. I would say he has moved from the predicted grossly overpaid into slightly overpaid.
- Reggie Evans has increased his trade value by showing he is not a no dimensional scary looking dude but back to his former status as a 1 dimensional rebounding monster.
- Like I said,the effort!

The Bad
- Andrea Bargnani. Sure he has average 21 PPG, but his other numbers are universally down. Most importantly his already pathetic rebounding numbers have declined further.
- Sonny Weems is doing very well! Okay this is good but I made a bit with a friend that he would average below 15 PPG. He is creeping very close.

- Kleiza is off to an underwhelming start. This would be in bad but I feel like he will pick it up..
- Jarret Jack trade. I like getting Bayless but I worry we will shy away if presented with the opportunity to draft Kyrie Irving. More minutes for Jose Calderon is probably not a good thing but at least it gives him the chance to up his trade value.
- Derozan has done pretty well, not great, but not bad.

Last but not least I am growing a mustache for Movember feel free to donate

Proceeds go to Prostate Cancer research!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Milwuakee Bucks Offseason Review

Sorry for the sluggish pace as of late. Have been stressing from various sources, all approximately equal in their immense stupidity. Now then, on to reviewing the Bucks.

There is something about this team I just love. Maybe its Andrew Bogut's at times weird antics (or the fact he is just an awesome center) Maybe its Brandon Jenning's constantly evolving hair cuts. Or Maybe its the fact that this team refuses to back down from anyone. Whatever it is I am board. I like this team a lot and if they are healthy (a big if at this point but I want to think in best case scenarios in terms of health on this blog) I could potentially seeing them upsetting one of the east's top teams.

Fear the deer (and rooster!)

Brandon Jennings has actually made Milwaukee cool. That is an unbelievable feet. He started off the year sizzling hot, topped off by his legendary 55 point performance against the lowly Warriors. He tapered off a bit from there but the flashy point guard was still a big contributor for the Bucks. He put up some great rookie numbers if you ignore his field goal percentage. That would not be a good idea though, so I will just say Jennings really needs to get that up. Regardless of the efficiency, it does not take an expert to see that this kid has so much potential.

There were a lot of mumblings of Jennings being bad locker room guy. His description of Scott Skiles upon being drafted did not help either. However, from my point of view this guy has been great for team chemistry. He has an infectious enthusiasm for life that seems to have lifted the entire city of Milwaukee. Not only that, his chemistry with his team mates appears to be great. Jennings had many doubters after his meh year in Europe. It seems like his time in Europe did wonders for his maturity however. He may run his mouth a lot (ask KG), but I believe he uses his emotions the right way. Jennings most important contribution though may be the will he has instilled in his team. The Bucks are now a team that is not rattled or intimidated by anyone (I think Bogut had a big effect on this also) As a fan of the Raptors I can vouch that this is an invaluable trait to possess.

Andrew Bogut has been a player for years now I have been predicting to break out. While not garnishing much attention in the media Bogut was quietly producing very well but being absolutely plagued by injury. Sadly, Bogut was injured again in a freakish accident, but he and the Bucks had done enough to get the media's attention. Analyst praised Bogut's play and while Brandon Jennings had been getting all the initial hype it was Bogut who was now being recognized as the one holding things together in Milwaukee.

Bogut is about as skilled of a power big man that you could find in the NBA. He is a sort of a rugged Vlade Divac. Also, for me he is the closest resemblance to Shaquille O'Neal I can think of currently in the NBA. Both are power players with great awareness, slick passing from the post, and solid defense. Obviously Shaq was way better in his prime, but as far as player archetypes go, Bogut is quite similar to Shaq. There are however some skills that Bogut lacks when compared with O'Neal (on top of being freakishly athletic, er wait is that a skill?) For example Shaq's awkward yet surprisingly effective ball handling.

Andrew Bogut has been one of my favorite players for awhile now. It is only recently has he began getting recognition on a larger scale. Taken from here

Now I know most people like to compare Dwight Howard and Shaq and yes I agree to some extent. I think Shaq and Howard's game are similar in terms of their off ball offense and devastating dunking style. However when it comes to their skill sets Shaq is more similar to Bogut. To sum it up, if you mixed Dwight Howard and Andrew Bogut into one super player I think what would come out might resemble Shaq. I hope the Shaq fans out there will not hate me for the Bogut, Shaq comparison.

Moving along the Buck's swing men are composed of John Salmons, and Corey Maggette. Neither are top wings but are undoubtedly solid starters in the NBA. Maggette as a new addition was a great pick up for Milwaukee. He will give a boost to their offense which was in desperate need of a spark (whether it be off the bench or starting) Buck's fans will hope Corey can keep up his high level play he showed last year for the Warriors. The move will also lighten the burden on Jennings and hopefully help improve his efficiency.

Milwaukee also selected Larry Sanders in the middle of the first round. He appears to be an active, athletic big, who will be looked upon to contribute right away. I have not seen him play much but Bucks fans have high hopes for the guy. He is known for playing excellent defense and many have compared his ceiling to former Raptor Marcus Camby (who refers to Camby as former Raptor honestly....I do!!) If the rumors are true then Scott Skiles could possibly end his love affair with Drew Gooden (6 million a year for a guy who was thrown around like a hot potato honestly?) Sanders performed admirably in summer league and has added to the buzz in Milwaukee.

The rest of the team is compromised of Carlos Delfino, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Keyon Dooling, Michael Redd. While not the greatest supporting cast of all time, they are enough to get by.

Brandon Jennings has brought excitement back to Milwaukee and is one of the reasons I have them ahead of Atlanta. Taken from here

I have the Bucks finishing ahead of the Hawks which most will feel is silly. I will quickly try to justify this decision and save some face with a short list!

Pros Milwaukee
-Jennings has more room to grow then any Hawk player
-Added solid pieces in Corey Maggette and Larry Sanders
-If healthy, Andrew Bogut still has even more room to improve and will be an all star
-The team is hungry
-They took Atlanta to 7 games without their best player and all of the previous improvements

Cons Milwaukee
-Bogut's health
-Michael Redd
-John Salmons could possibly start to decline
-Drew Gooden got paid big time at Milwaukee's expense

Pros Atlanta
-They have a very solid team
-Resigned Joe Johnson
-Al Horford continues to develop

Cons Atlanta
-They came back with the exact same team which needed a shake up

So in conclusion, Atlanta and Milwaukee are very close. I just feel the Bucks improved and have some nice momentum while the passive approach of Atlanta is not going to pay off. I am really looking forward to watching the Bucks on league pass this year. Fear the Deer!!!!

Regular Season Record: Milwaukee Bucks – 49- 33 (fifth in east)
Offseason Grade: B- (Did not make a blockbuster deal but a solid draft, good job
resigning Salmons, and a nice deal to acquire Maggette. Gooden
the most overpaid player of the 2010 free agent class)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boston Celtics Offseason Review

The Celtics showed their veteran swagger in the 2010 playoffs impressively taking to the Lakers to the edge in an epic showdown. Not many changes were need with this team and fittingly not many drastic moves were made. They did do some minor moves however, so here is what they did do.

They signed Jermaine O'Neal. He will replace Rasheed Wallace and be similarly effective. I think O'Neal will do a bit better then Wallace, especially after factoring all those technical fouls! Matching Wallace's production is not an impressive feet however and I don't expect JO to be a big factor in the Celtics success.

They also got that other guy, Shaquille O'Neal. I suggested Shaq a new nick name on twitter (@sidk4) 'The Green Giant' however I did not get a response! Shaq is a nice option off the bench and should provide good defense in specific match ups. He adds a lot of entertainment value as well. Reporters will enjoy having the Diesel around to provide his expert commentary on the going ons in Bean Town. The Cavaliers picked up Shaq to guard juggernaut Dwight Howard last year. With Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins, and the Diesel, Dwight Howard is going to have nightmares about playing the Cs.

Luke Harangody was drafted in the second round by the Celtics. Think Matt Bonner combined with Kobe Bryant. I am joking but I do like him a lot! Taken from here

Another guy the Cs brought in was Notre Dame standout Luke Harangody. He is a big and white center who loves to jack it from 3. I know what you are thinking, Matt Bonner...Ryan Anderson...Brian Cook (I know he is black but whatever)...Dare I say Nikoloz Tskitishvili? Lets get the record straight, Luke Harangody owns these fools! I am joking to some extent, he does not own them and Matt Bonner is not a fool. Harangody seems to have a flare that none of the others possess though. His shot form makes me laugh, and makes it even sweeter when tickles the twine. I actually expect this guy to get some minutes on the deep Celtics and will be a nice player for them.

The Celtics also drafted Avery Bradley. He is a super athletic scoring point guard out of Texas. He was good value for that late in the draft, and has very nice upside. He is going to learn a lot from this veteran team. More on him in a bit.

The only player other then Rasheed that the Celtics lost was shooting guard Tony Allen. This is a bit of a loss for them, Allen was a great player to have coming off the bench providing them with elite perimeter defense and the ability to finish emphatically on the break. There is going to be a big drop off at the backup 2 for the Celtics this year. Having to rely on Marquis Daniels and Avery Bradley is questionable for a team of this caliber. Bradley really has a great chance to flourish in his role as backup. Think Ty Lawson. If Bradley struggles this position will be a point of weakness for the Celtics.

Jermaine O'Neal will add a lot of toughness especially in the form of sliding punches to the Celtics. Taken from here

Looking at the big picture now. The Celtics still look to be a power house. The big three is getting older but they still have a few years of high level play left in them. Rajon Rondo, what can really be said at this point. He is an amazing point guard. Physically gifted and a basketball genius, the sky is truly the limit for him.

A big question mark for this team is the health of Kendrick Perkins. An extremely vital part of the team. His health will decide whether Boston is at a championship level or not.

Expect the Celtics and Heat to meet for an epic show down in the second round in 2011. I am so tempted to declare Celtics victor of this battle, but my gut is telling me I will look stupid in the future. I will predict a game 7 victory for Miami against Boston.

I am very high on Boston, however I don't believe they will have an amazing record. Why? Just look at the roster, you know these guys are going to be coasting in the regular season. When April comes, expect the real Celtics to show up.

Regular Season Prediction: 51-31 (fourth in east)
Offseason Grade: B (Losing Tony Allen sucks, resigning Nate is meh, good
value signings of both O'Neals, and awesome draft picking up
Bradley and Harangody)

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