CAEN

The C++ class was overwhelming. We’re being given a library to make pong with many of the functions stripped out so we have to write them ourselves. It’s strange to be dumped in the middle of someone else’s code…

Also, I got to play Dota, (which I sucked at) and Counter-Strike 1.6. (in which I was rank 18 of 200!)

CAEN Again!

So yeah, I’m waiting for 7:30 so I can go to breakfast. Class should be cool – we’re going to do graphics. It’s with DirectX according to the class description, so I may have to learn the more cross-platform OpenGL on my own. I hope they aren’t too different… My roommate Jamie has a DS flash cartridge and has cloned an old game on it. It’s pretty sweet.

Back From Canada!

I got back from Canada on the 11th. In Canada, they ask if you want gravy with your fries, or ketchup with your eggs. Some of their roads are pinkish. They have lots of heather. Many do say “about” like “aboot,” but the only person I met that really said “eh!” was my grandma’s friend Tom. We went up in the CN tower’s spinny dining room. It was awesome and the food was really good, but it was $50 per-person. The science museum had a hallway where they dampened the sound 10Dbs with holes in the walls and weird-shaped foam things. That was cool. There was also this thing where they let you control one of two frequencies and you had to try and get them to form a circle on the occiloscope. I got it to a slowly turning oval, but not past that.

Toronto

We’re going to Toronto! I’ve never been out of the US before, so it’ll be interesting to go through the infamous border security. I’m leaving today, and I’ll be back by the 12th. From what I’ve heard of Canada, I really like it. Their socialist democracy is working wonders. Do want.

Bike

I like my bike. It’s a Scott hybrid – not a mountain bike, not a road bike – a comfortable middle ground. I like it, coasting along briskly is very enjoyable. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble using it, not because of the bike, but because my hips don’t have enough range of motion to easily pedal. 🙁

Driver’s Ed

I passed my driver’s ed test! They made it sound like it was hard, so I read through both the horribly written textbook, the “What Every Driver Should Know” booklet, and the study guide. I passed it, but so did everyone else. I know for a fact that at least two of my fellow test-takers didn’t study, so it makes me feel that I might have wasted my time somewhat. Nice to get it over with anyway. I still have one more hour of driving to go, and I’m not sure what else, then I can get my green certificate of completing segment 1, and go on from there. Something unexpected happened today, though. We got pulled over! (Jimmy was driving.) The car had a licence plate that was four years out of date! Yeep. Mr. DeLeano couldn’t believe the school would let it get that bad. The insurance info in the glovebox was also four years out of date… We didn’t get a ticket, though.

Comcast Followup

Our Internet (and cable, but meh) fixed itself around 4pm. It seems a bit faster, which is nice. I was downloading Ubuntu updates at around 650KB/s. I don’t know if it was just because less people were using the network as they hadn’t realized it was back up, or if there was wear and tear that was fixed along with the damage. I’m looking forward to Google’s ISP throttling detection tools. Given enough users complaining who are suddenly easily able to point to results of their own experiences, Comcast may be able to be nagged into investing some of its hefty profits into expanding its network capacity instead of just sitting on its user base. Looks like they’ve been having these insane (compare to BP and Exxon Mobil for perspective) profit margins for a while. Nope… I don’t think they’re willing to use their profit to improve their services. Given the presumably significant investment they’ve made into Sandvine hardware to molest BitTorrent seeding and other traffic, I doubt even with their terrifyingly healthy profit margins they’d be willing to stop unless required by regulation. I think the whole reason they’re doing this is so they can continue to oversell their network capacity by forcibly cutting down bandwidth use. Part of me wonders just how expensive it would be to upgrade their bandwidth abilities, and if it would really be that much more expensive than installing Sandvine stuff all over the place.

I’m also kinda creeped out because someone working for Comcast found and commented on my previous post less than three hours after it was posted, and assured me that Comcast cares. I have mixed feelings about this. It’s creepy to some extent, but I understand that although the corporation Comcast is acting like a jackass, there are people working for it who really care. It’s to this corporation, not these people, that I extend my anger.

Comcast

My dad’s Comcast cable and (3Mbits? Pfft. Not high-speed) Internet went down last weekend. He still doesn’t have them back. Needless to say, he’s getting pissed, seeing as how his phone service is still just fine, which probably means if he had been on DSL, his Internet would have only been unusable (no DSL modem during power outage) and not down.

We’re looking at Cavalier’s C2. It’s a phone-DSL bundle for $50 a month. I’m extra-excited about this because they’re quoting crazy-good speeds. At my mom’s, it’s 10mb down, 2mb up. At dad’s it’s 15mb down, 6mb up! (Yes, those are all megabits despite at the very least me only really having concepts of file size in megabytes and gigabytes. That’s standard practice for ISPs though.)

So yeah. I hope we switch. We can watch our TV online anyway, what with Comedy Central offering free streams of the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, and South Park, Hulu offering The Office, and ESPN offering streams… I’m hoping Dad agrees we can say goodbye and good riddance to paying Comcast $80$130/month for cable and their glitchy little DVR box.

Phew!

We metaphorically dodged a bullet, and literally dodged a humongous tree branch!

Even the chairs weren't spared from the wind.

This is the branch.

It got close.

Really close.

So close it wrapped around the end.

Mom takes this as additional evidence as to the existance of God. I’m really conflicted on whether God exists or not, as for just about anything else I can see definate, tangable evidence of it. Mom tells me I should go with what I’ve felt of God to prove the existance of an omnipotent, metaphysical being. Therein lies my conflict. When I was little, I made a little clay crucifix in Sunday school. The priest blessed it. There was a feeling of power in that thing. I went outside church to look for my mother and sister. Then I asked the crucifix. In a surge of energy, I knew just where they were, and looked down to see them waving at me from down the hill in the parking lot. I carried it around after that moment, but it met its prompt end – I think the very same day – when I had it in my back pocket and it fell out and shattered on the cement. It then lost its power.