Thursday, November 10, 2011

Timmy's Runs

First off: if you were confused by the title, it's okay, you're probably not alone.

I often get to work just after someone has left to go to Tim Horton's to get coffee and Timbits. This frustrates me, as I always bring my wallet to work, for the express purpose of paying a coworker to get me coffee. Or, in the rare instance, when I actually go with a coworker to Tim's. That's only happened, what, once in my entire Co-op this far? And it's already half over, too.

In fact, one of my coworkers actually asked me if I wanted to go on a "Timmy's Run" today. I would have accepted, except for one thing:
That was at 4 pm. My Co-op ends at 4.

If I had my own vehicle (and a driver's licence), then I could easily accept, walk to Tim's (it's not far from Future Shop), walk back, hang out for a bit, then drive back home. Sadly, this is not the case.


The presentation of our group poster didn't go over so well, in my opinion. I believe it was obvious that we didn't practise. (We couldn't, because of Billy going off on his science trip to the zoo; ironically enough, he sounded the most rehearsed out of all of us. Probably because he wrote the explanation for the pictures on the poster.) Overall, I think we did a decent enough job. The presentation isn't everything; with all the written work that we did, I'm confident my group will get a good mark.

ENG - Macbeth Group Work

Last night I stayed up way too late (in my opinion, that's 11:00 on a weekday) doing English group work. Specifically, Macbeth group work.

We were tasked with making a visual element (a poster), a 250 word explanation of the pictures used on the poster, finding 5 quotes from the play that represent different themes, and, finally, individual questions (to be answered individually. Duh).

I ended up doing most of the work for the poster. Johnny helped me out with ideas for the pictures (I ended up copying one or two almost exactly as he had done them on a lined piece of paper, just blowing them up a little to match the scale of my other drawings), while Qadry drew one of the pictures and helped out with brainstorming. Billy was away yesterday (Wednesday), so he couldn't really contribute during class, but I sent  him a picture of the poster once I was done it on Facebook, so he could write the explanation for it (Johnny also said he'd do it, but he's not exactly known for his proficiency with words, so hopefully we'll have two different versions to choose from).

When I was done the poster, my right arm felt limp - I'd drawn, inked, and coloured at least 6 different images, and written a few critic quotes on the bottom-left corner (also a requirement of the assignment).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weird Day

Yesterday was a weird day for me, and it was full of pain.

First was the Honour Roll assembly. Me and a few hundred other students were waiting in our respective grade lines to get into the Auditorium for about 40 minutes or so. With my flat feet, that was a killer on my lower back.Then, when we sat down in the auditorium pews, that didn't help much, either. So, through the rest of the day (including my Co-op), my back hurt like heck. When I got home, it hurt to walk, much less go up the stairs!

The Honour Roll assembly itself was okay, despite people behind me (I knew them, they were in Grade 11 as well, but I'm not naming any names) being extremely rude and talking at a normal volume, which is quite loud in a quiet auditorium. My Mom was there, trying hard to record me with our SD video camera (it was her first time using it). She successfully caught me as I was walking across the stage, shaking the (former?) superintendent's and the principal, Mr. Daly's hands. My Dad was busy at work with 6 meetings (he works in the Sales department of Digital Video Group, a division of Metroland Media), so he couldn't make it. In addition to getting almost a carbon copy of the same certificate I got last year (only the years and Grade level were changed), I also got a neat little pin with the SJB logo and motto on it.

At Co-op, I was having trouble maintaining my balance, as I was feeling slightly dizzy, though for the most part I was coordinated enough to do some work. Nonetheless, one of my coworkers offered to take me on a Tim Horton's run for the tech room and anyone else that wanted anything, which I gladly accepted. The fresh air did me good, and when I returned I was feeling much better - that is, until I reentered the tech room, which was much, much warmer than outside. I quickly finished my coffee before it got cold, but immediately regretted it, as it made me that much warmer inside.

Besides helping out with dinner and watching the Big Bang Theory, one of the best running comedies around, I spent most of the evening/night at home in my room, lying on my bed, with an ancient heating pad on my back, playing Metroid: Other M on my Wii. The heating pad didn't help much, because it's so old and barely works anymore, but the "Dual Action" hot/cold gel that I had on my back when I went to sleep really helped ease the pain, and I drifted off peacefully enough into sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Power Supply, USB issues, and POST

Last night, before Youth at the church (West Highland Baptist), I went to Canada Computers and got a new power supply, a Cooler Master ( I got it for three main reasons: making my computer quieter, decreasing total heat output (makes my room way too warm), and stabilizing my system.

What I mean by the latter is that, I continuously had to press the Reset button on the front of the case (often more than once) in order to get my computer to just start up. When I tested the system last night, it seemed as if for naught, as it was only a few decibels quieter, and I still had to hit the reset button!

This morning, however, when I started it up, I learned, not only that, but the front USB ports weren't working, and, since my computer's beneath my wooden desk, I have the wireless dongle for my Logitech Unity keyboard and mouse combo plugged in there. (If plugged in the back USB ports, they don't connect, or the input lags.) So, I took it apart, took out all the cables connected to the USB headers (on purpose) and power connectors for the front panel (by accident), and put them all back in. Then, when I turned it on, they worked! Hallelujah! And, so far, the 3 or 4 times I've turned it on since (different tests to see if I connected everything properly again), I haven't had to press the Reset button! And this was all before school this morning!

Now, as I mentioned earlier, my system isn't a whole lot quieter. This is not because the power supply is loud, but rather, because one of the fans, a 120mm Blue LED Cooler Master "Sickle Flow" fan (, is directly connected to a Molex power connector, instead of the motherboard. My mobo (This crappy thing) only has one fan header, and that one goes to the rear case fan, though I might switch, and see if that makes a difference (in noise level, not cooling ability. I don't have very new parts that require a lot of energy, so I'm not worried much about them overheating).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


While I'm enjoying learning Computer Programming in C#, I can't help but wish there was a course or unit that covered Python. Python is a cross-platform programming language most often used in Linux, but many programs (if Python is installed) can be found on Windows and Mac OSX. Python is usually used to create Open-Source programs, meaning, free, as in beer (you don't have to pay to get it) and free, as in, you're free to modify the source code as you see fit, while still giving credit for the original program or code, should you choose to repackage it and redistribute it.
Since I feel most at home using some sort of Linux distribution, it is very difficult for me to use C# anywhere outside of school. Most PCs have Microsoft Windows of some sort on them. Those who use Linux are considered "Power Users", and are considered a minority. Despite that, we are a very vocal, and very stubborn, minority indeed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Design

Just a quick update: I have changed the background to make it look more like my comic site. Look in the previous post for a link. I will likely make more such edits in the future.

At long last!

I've finally, after so much delay (intentional and not), have started my first comic! At this point, I'm just pencilling it - I'll ink, colour, and add dialog later on the computer. I only have the first two pages planned out at the moment, but I'll get working on that, too. I'm so happy! I've been horrible with this, posting an Author Blog on the site "explaining" (more like excusing-!) why I haven't done anything yet. Darn Halo: Reach, Mass Effect (1 & 2) and every other fun and/or entertaining distraction out there!


It's been really rainy the last few days. It's supposed to rain more tonight. Yesterday, walking home, my head got soaked - I was afraid I'd get a head cold! Thankfully, it hasn't rained all that much today - that is, walking home, I didn't get wet! My day away from Co-op (it was a half-day today, and afternoon students get to choose if they go or not) was...productive. That is to say, I got lots of chores done, and I finished my first draft for my ENG Persuasive Essay. Good thing Miss extended the deadline to tomorrow, or I'd be finished-!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halo: Reach

I've been playing Halo: Reach with all my spare time for the past few days, ever since I got Xbox LIVE Gold again. Due to the lack of me playing, I've stayed the same rank the entire time: Major Grade 3. However, judging by the way that my team comes in first almost all the time in a Team Slayer* match, or how I kicked the butts of those ranked even higher than General (formerly the highest rank known to Halo players) in a Free-for-all Slayer match, I should be a much higher rank, such as a Colonel, or even Commander! In Reach, rank is more determined by how often you play, if you don't quit most of the time and play all your games to their end, than skill (though it does take some skill to complete the Daily and Weekly Challenges, which reward you with huge Credit* bonuses upon completing them).

*Note: for those that know nothing of Halo or its online Matchmaking multiplayer system; Slayer is a deathmatch-type game, where the object of the game is to get as many kills on the other team as possible within the allotted time, or until you reach the kill goal. Credits are your experience points, and you can spend them on items in the Armory without losing your current rank and experience point total.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I seem to be doing perfectly fine in my Programming class. Right now, the stuff is easy. Today's quiz was just creating a GUI for an Internet Radio application. No programming whatsoever. That's not to say we haven't done any programming... just not any heavy stuff.
Then again, this is a grade 10 class. And I've always been ahead of my peers. Probably helps I'm in Grade 11.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bowling and Bumper Cars

Last night I went out with my Dad and some of the guys from previous churches we've attended, as well as some of Dad's closer friends. We went 10-pin bowling at Splitsville with a WagJag deal that lasted for 2 hours of bowling and one ride at the bumper cars.
Bowling was fun, though after my fifth gutter ball and Kevin's fifth strike, I just wanted to go home and play some Halo: Reach (you know, to take out my frustration). I ended with a bang, though, as I got a spare and a strike on the last frame. That made me feel good, despite only having gotten 51 points in the last game (to contrast, the second-lowest score was in the high 60s/low-to-mid 70s).
Bumper cars was also a blast. They were kind of like hovercraft, with big, round, air-filled cushions encircling the rider, and two joysticks on either side. If you got hit a certain amount of times (or oversteered/turned, I'm not sure), you'd stop moving and spin in place, lights on your car flashing red. It was difficult to gain momentum, so there were no jerky bumps, unless you and another rider charged straight at each other. Unfortunately, it ended all too soon, or at least felt like it, especially since the music cut off abruptly, rather than being in sync with the rest of our ride.
After bumper cars, we were heading back to the main part of Splitsville (we were in the arcade section) when we spotted a Hurricane Simulator. I ended up trying it, and it certainly felt like hurricane-force winds were buffeting me. The effect would have been... well, more effective, if I had longer hair. When I got out, I realized that, instead of feeling cool and refreshed, I was sticky. It seems they pump humid air into the chamber, as it is, after all, a hurricane, and not a tornado.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Violent Dreams, and Lots Of Homework

This morning (or was it last night?), I woke up with a pain in my hand. I had just punched the wall - hard - after dreaming about punching an imposter of someone near to me in the face. The previous night, I had dreamt about using a stiff cardboard tube to disarm people looking to attack me in a place that looked suspiciously like Future Shop - where my COOP placement is. I don't know why I'm dreaming of whacking people with cardboard tubes and assaulting would-be kidnappers (don't ask, I don't know). Some psychiatrist could probably tell me, but it's not like I'm waking up to find my room is trashed or anything. If that happens, then I'll go to a doctor.

I just now finished an extensive amount of homework, all for a subject I never thought I'd have a lot of homework for: COOP. Yes, notice how everything seems to be revolving around this particular part of my life? Hmm... Mind you, this was a project that was meant to be done over a few weeks, not in one or two nights, so... yeah. Tomorrow night is an English Essay Outline. Yay!... not.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Video Gamer's Dilemma

I sometimes have a hard time being patient. Right now, my problem is waiting for Halo Anniversary to come out on November 15. While that's only a month and a half away, I've been feeling like I should play the original Halo again, but, as Anniversary allows you to switch back to the original experience with the press of a button (specifically, the "Back" button), I think I'll wait.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Procrastination? Or Just Plain Tired?

Is it wrong that I often start something, then never finish it? Is it just a part of me?

The reason I say this is because of my "comic", Unreal Circumstances. I started the site with the full intention of finally getting into being an author/artist of a webcomic. But, the moment I finally finished all the preparations of getting the site in tip-top shape, my spark of motivation died. I think I'm actually intimidated by the giant leap and commitment that the first comic represents. I'm also worried that my art won't be good enough, but after seeing some of the comics out there, I think I'll be fine (but I still don't feel it).

I hate this. I really want to be a part of the online community of webcomic authors (or, as I would be doing both the art and story writing, "I do everything myself"ers). I just can't get past this first step. 

My current lack of motivation to get into this reminds me of how I downloaded the FREE Student Copy of Autodesk 3ds Max 2012, what I believe is the industry standard for 3D  modelling  and animation... but then never actually DID anything with it. My copy lasts until I graduate, in 2013, and then I have to pay the $$$'s for it. Now would be a perfect opportunity to familiarize myself with it, right? Well, that's what I thought, too.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Opening for Gumball Project

As the title may or may not suggest, I have finished the opening scene for our 'gumball machine' project. I have also uploaded all my files relating to this class to my Dropbox account, Just In Case.

Also: it's becoming harder to focus on my book I have to read for my ENG3U class, Fahrenheit 451. While it's a good book, and small, it's still not quite as portable as my phone, which goes with me everywhere, and has multiple free eBooks and more than a few fanfics. Don't know those terms? and, respectively.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

COOP progress & Buttons

My COOP experience at Future Shop is going smoothly, so far. I had to call a customer on the phone yesterday, and, silly enough, my nerves started acting up. I didn't settle down until a few hours later, which is pretty sad. I hope I didn't show anything on my face or in my posture to suggest something was wrong.

In ICS today, I learned how to create buttons in Flash. Some pretty exciting stuff, even if what we've learned so far is pretty limited. We actually started using ActionScript 2.0 today, instead of just dragging stuff around on the stage. Now it feels more like a programming class, and I feel right at home from when I was teaching myself Python. (I quit after a while, I need somebody to hold me accountable for this kind of stuff, I need a reason to keep me going. Kind of like how I'm struggling for motivation to even start my darn comic...)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Introduction to Flash CS4

Today Mr. Chiarelli introduced us to Adobe Flash CS4. We learned Drawing Basics, Text Basics, Understanding Layers, and Symbols and Instances. It was interesting, and I learned how to make a Motion Tween (moving images across the screen).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PowerAMP and Hardware Test

First things first: I finished the hardware test for my Programming course. It wasn't that hard, but some of the things on there weren't in our notes, and more importantly, not in my notes. Some questions could only be answered if you had looked at the sample test on the Edublog from last year's class, or if you knew it already. I fell into the latter category, so I'm confident I did well.

Now for the next thing: I'm looking for a free alternative to the awesome PowerAMP music player for my Android phone. I don't have a credit card, so I can't buy anything on the Android Marketplace, but after trying out the 14-day trial of PowerAMP (still not done it yet, I don't want it to ever be done) the default, built-in Music app is incredibly inferior. Just about every Android user knows this, and surely somebody else has been in my predicament!

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Phone

So, I got my first "real" phone yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy Gio. A fairly new phone, as they don't have any accessories (read: case) for it.
I ended up going with Virgin Mobile, even though the rest of my family is with Koodo. The reason? Koodo has an extremely limited selection of phones, and only two Android phones, which is what I really wanted (and got). Both are old, the LG Optimus One and the Samsung Nexus S "by Google" (well, duh, who else is going to make Android?). So, after exploring my options, I went with Virgin, though I didn't get a data plan (the plan - and phone I was originally looking at, the Samsung Galaxy S, were too expensive).

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Welcome to my new blog. I seem to be making a lot of new websites lately. My comic website is my latest endeavour: Unreal Circumstances, though I haven't posted any comics yet...

So, what is this blog for? For posting what I've done in my ICS2O1 class, hence "The Programmer". ICS2O is a Computer Programming course. (Hope you've figured that out by now.) I might also post unrelated things from time to time (who knows, I might even make this my main blog... which isn't saying much, last post on my old one was June 6, 2010, IIRC).

Just printed out 7 pages worth of notes that I did for homework. Good thing I already paid the course fee for printing, huh?