Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.


This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.


Wednesday, June 30

Dragon boat battle cries!

So the Banana Boat will have our first dragon boat regatta in a little over a week, and I must tell you that I hope we win something...anything. Our times in Hamilton last year were 2:13.73, 2:15.67 and 2:16.93. Let's see if we can't beat them.

Unfortunately, in my illustrious dragon boat career any sort of medal or trophy has eluded me thus far.

It's too bad that there's no prize for 4th place or exhibition races because we'd have a ton. But 4th place is like the 3rd loser (or something like that) and winning exhibition races means bombsquat. Unlike some other teams we don't sandbag it until the last race just to get bumped down a few divisions either (integrity FTW/Loss), so it's been a hard battle. I've been on teams as a substitute and we ended up top 3 in our finals, but apparently substitutes don't get medals either, heh.

Anyway, it's been a weird season so far as our team has had a lot more people than usual. I'm not sure how many there are but there seems to be way more than the 22 we usually have. Even when some people miss practices the boat is still somehow completely full, so it's hard to tell if teammates skills are progressing because there's different faces at every practice.

There's also only a hand full of us back from the team last year because our coach is a scary guy apparently a bunch got preggers, or boyfriends, or something like that (Note to self: get a hot girlfriend). And since we practice full time at Balmy Beach now, apparently it was just a little too inconvenient for some...and the fact that it's located next to a sewage treatment plant probably didn't help much either.

Tuesday, June 29

Win by default! GWN Crew Rankings - June 23rd, 2010

Even though we have yet to put down a race time this year, it's good to see that the Banana Boat is still on the GWN list...even moved up a bit, lol.

It also looks like there is going to be some sort of BATTLE FOR BANANA SUPREMACY as it turns out that we are not the only team representing the glorious fruit...and they're not that far off either! Come on, the word fusion should only be used when describing delicious food, what does it have to do with bananas and/or paddling? Amateurs...disregard the fact that they are ranked higher than us, lol.

I also finished this week's video from practice after some minor set backs. Worked in some fancy moving text into this one, will post later.

Monday, June 28

Screw the G20, praise Zeus it's over

You know, there are very few times that you can actually turn off your motor and just sit in traffic. It's pretty ridiculous that while some cops are fiercely battling rioters, others are just chillin' along the highway, and I've even seen some guys sleeping in their cop cars.

Despite all that, we still had dragon boat practice yesterday and everyone showed up! We had so many people that our captain had to sit out (again) - what a good sport. That's more respectable than missing the boat due to your AWOL cousin. I don't know if there is such thing as a bench warmer in dragon boat (shore warmer?) but he's probably going to be the first ever - talk about lack of commitment. If 22+ people can make it downtown in all that fuss, I have zero pity for the guy. Haters gonna hate.

On a side note I was working on this week's edit when tragedy struck!

That progress bar was destined to never move again, so it looks like I'll have to start over. What a pain. At least I can look forward to a 3-day work week and some white water rafting ;)

Saturday, June 26

What it takes to be a FIFA World Cup Referee

The Smithsonian had an interesting article about becoming one of the coolest or potentially most controversial jobs on the planet, which is a referee for the World Cup.

If you're an Average Joe thinking that they can step up to the pitch and blow a whistle, think again. Officials need to be fit and smart.

Here's a few of the more interesting points from the article:

  • For the World Cup, trios of match officials are chosen as a team - they are the referee on the field, who controls the game and calls fouls, and two assistant referees on the sidelines, who mainly call offsides and determine who gets possession after the ball goes out of bounds.
  • Fifty-four trios of officials went into the program and had their performances at FIFA tournaments evaluated but only thirty of them were chosen this February to work the World Cup.
  • In late May, FIFA announced that 2 of the chosen 30 teams would not be officiating at the World Cup because an assistant referee in each team had failed the final fitness test.
  • Referee and assistant referee candidates have their fitness monitored monthly in the three years leading up to the Cup and there are two fitness tests.
  • For the first test, a referee runs 40 meters six times. Each of the six sprints needs to be completed in 6.2 seconds.
  • A second test requires a referee to run 150 meters in 30 seconds and then walk 50 meters in 35 seconds, then repeat the exercise 19 more times.
  • Assistant referees have less strict standards. To track their fitness, referees constantly wear a watch that monitors their heart rates.
  • In the lab, a medical team in Zurich assessed each match official earlier this year. Among the tests were a blood test, an orthopedic examination, a resting EKG, an echocardiogram and a stress test.
  • They meet with a psychologist who analyzes their game demeanor and they attend seminars on the rules in an attempt to apply them equally across every continent.

Got what it takes? Me neither...

Now here are some awesome images from The Big Picture to get you all excited. Go watch some World Cup!

Friday, June 25

Abort + Mission = Abortion?

Strong words.

Not your typical hockey mom I guess...or is she? She's probably a Scientologist...

Thursday, June 24

Don't ever settle for a ChapStick substitute...

When your lips just happen to be on fire and you need that soothing relief, just hope that you are not in Whitby, Ontario. You can look for Chap-Ex in the fish bowl next to the condoms and hot sauce. ChapStick and Blistex was nowhere to be found...

You might as well grab that candle stick off the dinner table and rub it on your face because that's basically what it feels like, but I'll continue to use it since I'm a cheap bastard it's all I got.

Wednesday, June 23

Team building exercises and earthquakes...

So at work today we attended our annual meeting, during which the big wigs tell us what's to come over the next year and how our ass is grass it affects us. People come from across Ontario and the to Toronto for this day long event, and it's one of the few times we actually get to meet the faces behind the emails and see all the teams together.

One of the activities during the day was a team building exercise, for which we had to choose our own theme and build something together using Lego. We won. It might not look like much but there are so many technology related puns in there that it took 1st prize. That's why they hired us...to make clever things out of Lego and sell it to the upper management.

Apparently this design was so incredible that it's greatness was felt across the province. But seriously in the bottom floor of the building we didn't even feel anything. On the top floor people were evacuating (just in case) because stuff was moving around...we were so enthralled in playing with Lego and eating candy that we didn't even know what was going on outside.

Tuesday, June 22

While She Sleeps

And the awesome kicks in...NOW!

Sunday, June 20

Cousin #16. And we're talking on one side.

You know you really are Jamaican when you name your kid Jaydon. Welcome to the family young blood!

Preston Jaydon Chong


Saturday, June 19

Bedouin Soundclash at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, Port Credit

I haven't had a chance to take out the camera in a while - it's probably because I'm lazy I've been too preoccupied with some other toys, but I did get a chance to bust it out last night at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival.

It's not often that something actually happens in the suburbs, but it was a chance to get out and enjoy the weather in the open air along the lake. Even though I have dragon boat practice there each week with one of my teams, I've never actually seen most of the park along the Credit River. Turns out it's huge, and a pretty nice space for a concert.

It also turns out that I need to practice more when it comes to taking pictures in the dark. I blame it on one handed shooting because I didn't want to put down my beer.

Here are a few shots that were not so bad. Lots of flaring but not the good kind! You can see the full set HERE.

Bedouin Soundclash 3
Bedouin Soundclash 4
Bedouin Soundclash 9
Bedouin Soundclash 11

Bedouin Soundclash 13
Bedouin Soundclash 12

Tuesday, June 15

Dragon Boat practice starts

So apparently YouTube is the master of cock blocking music content and giving you a hard time to upload. Well it's not really their fault but the music company's...or rather Kanye West. Haters gotta hate I guess.

Anyway, it's found a home on Vimeo for now, until I can use some different songs. Check it out it's at 20% original quality compressed with H.264 and around 400mb. That's been compressed even more for the web. Still passable I think.

YouTube says: The upload failed due to an unknown error.

Fail sauce. What up with that?!

Here's some sort of temporary fix which seems to work.

UPDATE: This video contains content from UMG, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Monday, June 14

New Mortal Kombat movie? Awesome.

So I had to do some work on the weekend and thanks to all this new fangled technology, the idea is that I don't need to physically be in the office to do it. Well that idea screwed me as Windows XP continues to do it's best at making life miserable for corporate rats everywhere.

I was in Whitby on Saturday helping Kevin and the gang move into their new house, then at 6 I was supposed to quickly remote into the office, do some work and then GTFO. It did not go as planned.

After a whole bunch of useless calls to helpdesk (what's new?), I finally MacGyver the thing and eventually get the work done and finish of off on Sunday without having to actually go in. When I got into the office this morning I found that my workstation had blue screen of deathed at some point. Thanks Windows.

Anyway, here are some trailers to cheer me you up on this Monday.

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

And Scott Pilgrim for good measure...

Sunday, June 13

Head of the dragon boat

So this week was quite the opposite of last week, and we actually have more than 22 people on the team now! I'm telling you, everyone wants to be part of the Banana Boat now.

Because I'm so great, I got to sit at the head of the boat this week for about half the practice so I got to wear the helmet and film some starts. Let me tell you that its not so easy to stay on the thing - you gotta hold on for dear life.

Also turns out that the 1080p on the GoPro is a little too close for this type of proximity. Back to 720p wide angle it is.

Video recap to come soon.

Thursday, June 10

Is my clutch wearing out? Who knows...

At this point in time, I can't tell whether I've been wearing out the clutch or whether I'm just getting more awesome at driving manual. I have way less than 10,000 KM on the car since its only about a month old so I have no idea if it's me or whether...it's me. Lately as the weather has been getting warmer, I find myself a lot less jerky when driving around and the clutch a lot smoother. I don't know if this is because I've glazed the thing over or I'm just getting more used to it. Maybe it's the weather?

Yeah, I down shift to brake sometimes, heel-toe sometimes and get all up in the VTEC sometimes, but I take it pretty easy most of the time. I'm not exactly 4 fast 4 4urious, because after all I did buy a Civic. I launch at around 1.5K, shift around 2.5K, but I also drive in stop and go traffic every day...

I may feather the clutch sometimes or add a little gas while letting it go to get a smooth shift from 1-2-3, and I even slip it in stop and go traffic. Aren't clutches these days supposed to be able to handle this every day wear and tear?

My clutch engagement point has moved up in the last month (I could very well be imagining this), but the 8th gen Civics have a self-adjusting clutch pedal so that the travel is supposed to stay consistent. But apparently the self-adjusting sucks, so you can't judge clutch wear based on the travel.

I don't think I experience any slippage, even when I floor it the clutch still grabs and doesn't rev up. When I let off the gas, it doesn't lag when slowing down. So as far as I know, I haven't experienced any slipping.

Am I being paranoid or am I expecting a $1,000 Honda bill pretty soon? At least I know a few people who I can ask...

Wednesday, June 9

Dragon Boat paddling technique and Adobe Premiere woes

I still don't have this "video editing" bit down and I refuse to watch any sort of 10 year old give me a tutorial on YouTube. I did however manage to convince the team to take the GoPro out this past weekend for a spin on the lake by the docks (blame the weather) and I spent the evening getting my edit on. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday night...

I just found out that I can use MPEG Streamclip to cut up the video and re-save it instead of exporting it again which requires a whole lot more time to encode. It's almost instantaneous and you can just open them up right away in Premiere Pro and go to town.

Now here's my problem: Every video that I export is sort of choppy/blurry - it's the kind of effect you get when you watch sports on an LCD TV that is not 120Hz. The refresh rate doesn't seem to keep up with the video. You can see it in pretty much every video I've made using the GoPro footage. Other than experimenting with the settings, I have no idea what's the best qay to export videos with Premiere because there are so many settings. It just doesn't seem to work out sometimes and really has problems converting 60 FPS video to 30, and I never had problems editing older videos from my Canon SD960. Jon seems to have had more export success with Final Cut than I have with Premiere.

Fortunately, after playing around with the settings for longer than I want to admit a bit, I found out that it was not even be in the encoding but in the video clip properties on the time line. The culprit seems to be a default setting in Premiere Pro called Frame Blend. TURN THAT SH*T OFF.

Why it's on by default? Hell if I know.

Anyway, here are some quick edits I did for the team.

And the long one with all the coaching info...maybe a little too boring if you're not into that type of thing. More action and less talk next time, I promise.

WIN! Or at least improvement anyway...

Tuesday, June 8

Adidas Star Wars Cantina 2010

More Star Wars awesomeness, with about a billion cameos...

adidas Originals invites you to join David Beckham, Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Franz Beckenbauer, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara, Jay Baruchel, DJ Neil Armstrong and some of your dear, old friends for an intergalactic 2010 FIFA World Cup™ viewing party that you'll never forget.

Monday, June 7

Get out of bed and dance!

Start your week off right, compliments of Greg Williams.

WARNING: Sexy alert. Maybe a little SFW...barely.

Saturday, June 5

Burrito Boyz, Port Credit

Despite the Toronto Star giving the general public some good health advice, I've continued to take the risk and eat some delicious burritos.

Checking out the scene on a nice day while strolling along the lake with a burrito in hand...you should try it some time. Too bad it's supposed to rain all weekend though...

Burrito Boyz, Port Credit

Friday, June 4

Newsflash: Credit Valley Hospital ER still sucks

So in a weird turn of events I ended up at Credit Valley ER the other night because my grandma took a bit of a spill and ended up breaking/crushing her wrist. Life happens you know...

Anyway, the last time I was in the ER was last February when I separated my shoulder, and let me tell you the service still sucks. Well part of it anyway. While the actual doctors and nurses doing the treatment were great, I don't know what the deal is with receptionist that checked us in was, but her ridiculous attitude really got to me.

So I get in there and walk over to reception, I'm waiting in line because there's no clear area to wait and the lady's all like, "Do you need to see a doctor or something?" She was practically doing the hand back and forth snapping her finger thing, and I'm like, "I don't but my grandmother does..." She sort of looks over at her...OK...is this one of those standby to standby situations, are you going to help me or should I go and get a bite to eat? Anyway, after waiting in the non-existent line for a while I check her in and the lady continues with, "Go and have a seat, there are 7 people ahead of you and you'll be waiting for a long time" Thanks, a little less bitchitude next time maybe.

So the time comes when she's doing some sort of assessment she goes on asking questions about general health or allergies and this and that, then she asks if she speaks Cantonese or Mandarin, I tell her Hakka Chinese blah blah blah blah, stop it lady she speaks English perfectly fine. She can understand how much of an idiot you are everything you say to her. Don't assume that just because she's an old Chinese lady that she's too FOB for Canada's national language. She is a citizen after all.

Dammit white woman, you know what they say: Don't assume, because when you assume you make an asshole out of you.

Anyway, here are some boredom shots from waiting 382983238 hours there.

They're probably doing their best - maybe it's been a long shift or maybe it's because they see so many people coming through the ER that they develop some sort of lack of interest presumptuous attitude cynicism who knows what...but when someone comes into the ER, presumably because they have some sort of legit problem, stop sexting your loser boyfriend for one sec and do your job.

There's my rant for the day. Is it Friday yet? Yes it is.

Thursday, June 3

Just another day in the office...

Other than lunch with Clinch, it's just been one of those days...

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, June 2

BAM! Hot chicks from various countries.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 1

UFC 114 Salaries/Big Ballin

I'm pretty disappointed that Rampage lost over the weekend, although I kind of expected it. I like the guy because he's so hood, but I think he just ran his mouth a little too much this time. A lot of unexpected wins/losses this time around too.

MMAWeekly has released the payroll...released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and as usual there's a huge gap between the main and undercard of the event. No championship fights either.


Rashad Evans: $435,000 (includes $185,000 win bonus) def. Quinton Jackson: $250,000

Michael Bisping: $190,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Dan Miller: $15,000

Mike Russow: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Todd Duffee: $8,000

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: $120,000 (includes $40,000 win bonus) def. Jason Brilz: $11,000

John Hathaway: $22,000 (includes $11,000 win bonus) def. Diego Sanchez: $50,000


Dong Hyun Kim: $64,000 (includes $32,000 win bonus) def. Amir Sadollah: $15,000

Efrain Escudero: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Dan Lauzon: $15,000

Melvin Guillard: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus) def. Waylon Lowe: $6,000

Cyrille Diabate: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus) def. Luiz Cane: $19,000

Aaron Riley: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Joe Brammer: $5,000

Ryan Jensen: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Jesse Forbes: $6,000


Dana White also handed out a cool $65K to Mike Russow (KO of the night), Ryan Jensen (sub of the night), and to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Jason Brilz (fight of the night).