Recent Updates 06/30

The past two weeks or so have been a little bit hectic for me, and that's part of the reason why I have not updated this blog in a while. In the mean time, I thought it would be appropriate for this semi-diary formatted blog to have some sort of a miscellaneous update on what has been happening to me recently. This would not be a short post, but due to its miscellaneous nature, I felt that it belongs to this blog more than the main one.

Of course, school has been the majority of what I am doing. Research, teaching assistant work, and so on. Two weeks ago, I actually had a bit of a panic attack with regard to the research topic I was doing in the hope that it could become my thesis -- it was not going well at that point, and I was really scared that I might have to throw everything out and start over. Later I had a talk with my supervisor, and by changing the goal a little bit, it seemed again that this project could end up with something good -- and I really, really hope that I could graduate on time next year with this project as my thesis. On the other hand, because it is near the middle of the current Spring term, the course I am TA-ing this term had a mid-term exam, which I (with a bunch of other TAs) had to mark and release the grades. It was somewhat of a pain due to me forgetting a lot of what I really should know and have learned during my own undergrad years. Nevertheless, I managed to refresh my own memory on the spot and finish the marking (hopefully I have not messed up).

In other news, I have had the absolute pleasure of dealing with wheelchair providers for the first time in Canada due to an unexpected puncture in one of the tires on my wheelchair. I was, and I am not joking, in a panic when I realized the presence of the puncture, because now my entire chair was slanted towards the flat one and it was extremely uncomfortable, and, frankly, kind of dangerous to go anywhere on. It was on a weekend, so I had to wait until Monday, but that was not the issue. On Monday, I called up a wheelchair repair shop in my area, and got notified that they do not even fix punctured tires or replace inner tubes at all, and they wanted me to provide the exact manufacturer, model, and style of that wheel on the wheelchair so that they could source a wheel and replace the original one for me. They did not tell me how long it would take, but from the looks of it, I would assume minimum a week or so for the sourced wheel to even arrive at all, for which I don't have the leisure of waiting since I have to rely on the single wheelchair I currently have.

What I ended up doing is just showing up to a bike shop and ask them if they could attempt to patch it up, since the tire is basically a smaller bike tire (similar in size to a kid's bike tire). They agreed, and promptly fixed it for free -- yes, they did not even ask for me to pay for the patch they used. Turns out, the puncture was so small that we had a hard time even finding where it was, and we had to drop it in some water to rely on bubbles to locate the hole. This only made dealing with the wheelchair store seem more ridiculous -- I really cannot imagine waiting for weeks to replace (and pay for) an entire wheel, when it can simply be fixed with one patch on the inner tube.

That was a bit of a bad luck for me, but it also prompted me to really look into the possibility of driving an adapted vehicle, because if my wheelchair broke in a more catastrophic way, say, the motors broke, and the only place I could fix it in is somewhat far away (because wheelchair stores are far from being everywhere), then I will be kind of stranded without something like a car. Well, I had already started looking into adaptive driving before the incident, but that only made me want to get it figured out soon. I was looking around online for rules and procedures, but they are somewhat confusing and often conflicting with each other. After the incident, I decided that I should just call the Ministry of Transportation and ask them to clarify the procedure to me, which they did promptly. Apparently, I should just go and get the written test done first, and they will provide information on the next steps to me after that.

Those are the major updates I would like to talk about, but a bunch of other minor events also did happen. Right after the last blog post here, I made up my mind to finally debug and figure out why AOSP kept locking up on my new Xperia device -- it was a deadlock in android framework, which somehow did not happen on any other device I had but this one. Maybe it was the scheduler doing something funny. But anyway, I had it fixed and submitted the patch to AOSP, which is now waiting to be merged. Later, I almost got involved into a drama between some open-source projects and developers, but as I didn't have a Twitter account, and I really did not see the point of it, I refrained from saying anything public about it -- which I still see as the right decision. I have been on the Internet long enough to realize that this kind of drama never really result in anything helpful. The eSIM manager project I was working on is now a bit stalled due to everything that has been happening, but hopefully I should be able to get back to it somewhat soon-ish.

On the topic of blogging, I have been losing interest, again, in writing blogs, possibly due to the hectic past two weeks, but more likely due to the general trend of me giving up on things quickly after a while of obsession. I, however, knowing what has happened to my previous blogs, do still want to keep writing and keep my current two blogs alive. I have been forcing myself to keep writing diary entries regularly, so that when I finally decide to produce a blog post, I would have something to refer to. I am somewhat forgetful, so having an archive of my own memory would also be very helpful. Let's hope that I could keep this going for a long while.

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