Happy Halloween!

Well, It's Halloween once again. This year I managed to come up with a costume that I liked, my friends recognized, and that was easy to put together. Pajamas, plus house coat, (or dressing gown, or bath robe, or whatever you feel like calling it) plus towel equals: Arthur Dent. This Halloween I went as the main character from Hitchhikers. I didn't go out trick-or-treating this year, I might be getting a bit old for that. I would have handed out candy, but my road doesn't do trick-or-treating. All the candy is given out at a community Halloween party. That party was last week this year.
So I've tried theming my blog again. Probably should have done that a couple days ago. I'll leave the theme up for a while, just so it has a chance to run. If you're reading this on Facebook, you may want to check out the actual blog just to see. Right now it's just a themed pic, but when I'm done typing this I'll see what else I can do.
I managed to fix the problem with my computer constantly overheating (Broken fan fin catching on a grate) so I can actually use Blender once again. Now I can get to work making, um, stuff and whatnot... like Jack-o-Lantern display pics. That's it from me today. Until Next Time.

You know, technically, tomorrow's the holiday. Why do we celebrate "All Hallow's Eve", but not "All Hallow's Day" or whatever it's called?


What a Trip!

I just got back from a two or three day trip, depending on how you look at it. Friday we headed to Toronto for a relative's wedding. I just figured out the actual relation at the reception. She's my Oma's Cousin's daughter. On Saturday we headed up to Peterborough. I got to spend the day with some of my friends who live in the area. It was nice to see them again. Today we drove by the place we used to live when we were there, and then headed home.

The wedding on Friday was alright, and the reception was awesome. The bride and her family have always known how to throw a great party. There was good food, Awesome deserts, lots of guests, plenty to drink, and - of course - a Live polka band. The band was very good. My parents were complaining that they only play polka music and nothing else, or so it seems. I didn't mind that very much. They had a CD player for the other music. The band was the Kielbasa Kings. They did some interesting stuff. They managed to successfully merge the Chicken dance with the Violent Femmes song, "Blister in the Sun" which made for an interesting song. They're polka remix of "Be My Yoko Ono" by the Bare Naked Ladies, another interesting combo. So all in all a great party. I mean, how couldn't it be? When you go to a party, and the first thing you do is find the small pumpkin with your name on it, you know it's going to be good. My dad took a bite out of his mini-pumpkin, just so you know.

I've been waiting for Saturday for a few weeks now. It's been about a year and a half since I've seen my friends from the Peterborough area. Although I could only hang with one of the two I went to see (and one of her friends I sort-of know) it was still fun. We didn't really do much. Just hung out like the "Good ol' Days." It was nice. Definitely worth the extra 8 hours of driving (2 up from Toronto, 6 for the trip home), and extra night in a hotel, compared to if we had just gone straight home on Saturday. I can't wait until later next semester (May, I think) when the school there does it's 1812 reenactment. My brother's part of the group that helps the school, so we'll be heading back up. That time will be for a few days, and with any luck I'll be able to see more of my friends in the area. I really miss hanging out with them.

Well that's it for me today. I've got some stuff in the works, if I can get my computer to stop overheating, so you may be hearing from me again pretty soon. Either way, you will hear from me again eventually. Until next time!

I'm going as Arthur Dent for Halloween.


English Class

Brace yourselves, this is going to be one of my "Making a point" type blog entries. I haven't written one like this since Don't We Get a Say in All This. This time I want to focus on English class. I have long held English class as my least favorite of all the subjects (with geography a close second). Last year it seemed more brutal than ever, which is what inspired the aforementioned post. This year though, it somehow got worse. This year's English class is the second of two classes that have ever made me angry. Thinking about what the homework is, and what it will be, and what we will be doing for the next few weeks, it bothers me. Basically, in a nut shell, what we are doing is finding the longest, most uneventful, boring and depressing stories we can, and going over them slowly and painfully to suck out the hidden meaning. It's enough to drive a person mad, or at least put them into a bit of a depression, if it goes on for too long. Personally, I find these stories hard to read, and even harder to re-read. Between the boringness, the sadness, and my short attention span, I keep realizing that I haven't actually read any of the words on the last three pages, and keep having to go back. So what does one do about this? Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that can be done. Either you just suck it up, do the work, and feel like garbage for the next few hours, every day, or you don't do it and you fail the project, get a low English mark, and are rejected from university. There is no real way of protesting this. Even if everyone in the class protests together, the result is just group failure. And if you do do the work? No guarantee you won't just fail anyway. All these stories can be interpreted several different ways. Everyone will find different hidden meanings and messages, depending on personal biases. Of course, you tend to only do well if you pull out the same meaning as the teacher, who "knows" the hidden meaning. The only way to really know the hidden meaning is to ask the author, not that the teacher has ever done that. Their conclusions are based of assumptions made by other people who think they have it right. You can't ask the author yourself either, as they tend to make sure the authors of all the stories died at least a decade ago. So there it is, the boring, angering, depressing, futile thing that is grade 12 academic English. Until next time.

I REALLY don't like English. :(


Now What?

Well... I've run out of things to do. For once I've gotten my computer to the point where everything is working. This morning I got blender all set up with my usual settings, and just plumb ran out of things that needed to be done. I'm once again looking for a project to keep myself busy with. I've got a couple things I've wanted to get started on for a while now. I was working on a 3D animation based on some really simple characters I found scribbled on some papers from when I was in grade school, And I've also got an Idea for a game I would like to work on. I'm just finding it very hard to actually get started. The animation is giving me trouble because I have this group of characters, and that's it. No story line, no personalities, no setting. The characters themselves aren't overly original, I'm pretty sure I had based them off of another character I had seen at the time, and I keep finding overused characteristics are all I can think of for personalties. As for the game, well, I started that over summer. Then I hit some road blocks. Then I tried to start up again. It's so tempting to just try and fix the code I wrote over the summer, but too much of it is buggy, and hacked together. So I'm trying to write it again from scratch, which his hard cause I can't remember what it was everything needed to do. I've tried looking off the original as a reference, but that just ends with me copying it, and is just as problematic as trying to fix it. I really need to sit down for a couple hours, completely uninterrupted and just think about it and work everything out. Of course, that's not going to happen anytime soon. during the day, when my family is all awake, I can't focus for more than ten minutes at a time. If it isn't my mom calling me to do something, then it's my brother just bugging me to tell me a joke from a Simpson's re-run that we've both seen about a dozen times. Or maybe it's the dog whining to go out. So that leaves at night, after everyone else has gone to bed. During the summer that's when I got the most work done. But during the school year, I have to get up at 6:00 in the morning. So the absolute latest I can stay up is eleven, which is when everyone goes to bed. Except on Friday and Saturday nights, when I can stay up later cause I don't have to get up. Lately, however, I'm finding I just can't do that. The seven hours of sleep or less, every night during the week is starting to catch up with me I think. I have no clue how to get in more sleep though. From six 'o' clock until three 'o' clock I'm at school, getting ready for school, or in transit between home and school. And although there is about two hours of free time over the course of the school day, it's not really constructive free time. Can't do much else other than talk to people. Not that talking to people isn't enjoyable, it just doesn't accomplish much. So that leaves from three 'o' clock until eleven 'o' clock in which I can get stuff done. That's eight hours. Seven if you take out the time spent on eating supper and doing dishes, less if my mom has me help her. So less than seven hours a day of true free time. Now, to actually get some work done on either of those projects, I need use of the computer. My dad uses the computer for work, on most nights, right up until super (six 'o' clock) so those three hours are gone. And I really should be using that time for school projects and whatnot. so after the hour for supper/dishes, I have four hours left at the end of the day, where I can sort of focus on getting stuff done. Provided my favorite shows aren't on that night. So if I were to go to bed earlier, I would get 3 hours a day to actually do what I want to get done, and it would be a distracted three hours. Also one of my favorite shows is on at ten, so I'd miss that. That's 15 hours, over the course of a school week, in which I can work on a project. Right now I get 18. Either way I'm usually distracted and multitasking. So what was the point of all this? I can't remember. I'm too tired. That was it I think. I don't get enough sleep during the week, and have no place in my schedule to fit more in. So on Friday and Saturday nights, when I try and stay up late, and take advantage of a few hours of productive, distraction free computer time, I find I'm too tired to focus on anything. I'm willing to bet that this blog entry has a few points that don't make sense, as it is after twelve on a Saturday as I write this. So I think I'm going to have to start taking advantage of the weekends to catch up sleep, which leaves me with no time to do some good, focused work. Of course, I'm sure I'm not the only one with this particular dilemma.
Doing some quick math, I come up with 21%. That's how much of the time I'm awake during a school week, that I can actually spend doing what I really want to, which is working on the projects I have going on the computer. It's kind of interesting to see that. Just figure out how much time during you school/work week you awake. I'm awake from 6am until 11pm, Monday through Friday. Unless I stay up late on Friday, but I'm just counting that as part of the "Unpredictable Weekend." So that's 85 hours each school week, of which 18 hours are actually spent on the computer, working on my projects. So that's 21%. Try it and see what you end up with. And feel free to post it in a reply here. Well, I think that's all for me. I'm going to re-read this and hope it all makes sense, and then I'm off to bed. Until next time!

Oh Well...


Back in the Flow

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been suffering from a mild case of Distro-itis, brought on by the purchase of a nice, new, shiny, 160gig sata hard drive. I went with a sata drive because my computer came with a bunch of sata cables, so my natural assumption was that the computer supported sata. Imagine my surprise when I had to go back into town the next day to get an adapter for the power connection. Anyways, Like I said, I went through 3 distros. Fedora 7, Ubuntu, and PCLinux OS. My original plans were just to install Fedora, as I really enjoyed the live CD. I then thought it might be a good idea to try Ubuntu too, as it was supposedly very good.
So I installed both of them, and was having trouble juggling the two. I decided to Install just one, and since Fedora was causing me some frustration over my IP address (It was picking one that was on my network, but which was below the range my router broadcasts on) so I went with Ubuntu. That was going well, for a bit, but I was hitting problems left and right. Not anything you would find in the course of day-to-day use, just some fancy stuff I was trying to get working (XDMCP, or something similar, and MIDI). It would insist things like Xinetd were running, and XDMCP was on, but none of the other computers on the network could see it. So I set forth looking for another Distro that might give me more luck.
I took every "Which distro is for you?" test I could find, and ended up starting a download of OpenSuse. I was feeling slightly guilty about this, what with the whole Microsoft deal, and was looking for an alternative. I found one that none of the tests recommended to me, PCLinuxOS, and I stopped the download of openSuse, and went for PCLinuxOS instead.
It turned out to be a very good distro, within a day I had all the things that I couldn't get Ubuntu or Fedora to do over the course of a week. The only thing that bothers me is that the Beryl effects don't work well. They do work, it just gets a bit choppy a times. I might look into the DRI (I think that's it) project to get it working smoothly, but no rush.

In less technical news, I went to Stratford yesterday on a school field trip, to see The Merchant of Venice. It was an enjoyable experience. The best part of the trip had to be on the way home, when we stopped at a mall for supper. I found myself in a bookstore, following some friends. I had no intention of buying anything that day. But while I was waiting I decided to see what they had by Douglas Adams. I ended up getting myself a copy of "The Salmon of Doubt." So far I am enjoying it immensely.

Well, that about does it for me today. Until next time!

It's really the only way I can think of to end these things.


Quick Update Through the Chaos

I did in fact get that hard drive, eventually. I've gone through about 3 distributions in a week or so, trying to find one that fits my needs. Haven't found time to post through all the chaos. Once everything settles down I'll be back with a full post with lots of details.

This post is really just so you don't think I dropped off the face of the earth ;)