Archive for June, 2007

Stuff I Got

Okay, not like last post but I decided to just get various stuff with my graduation money rather than saving it for college, as I already have earned enough for my first year…

1. Canon PowerShot a710 IS digital camera – $237 at Profeel
2. Transcend 2GB SD card (for camera, palm, camcorder, PC, etc.) – $15.99 at ClubIT
3. Duracell 4x 2650 mAh rechargeable AAs (for camera, 2 backup sets!) – $7.25 on eBay
4. Lenmar Mach3 Lightning (I think) 8-minute charger (for camera) – $29.99 at Vann’s
5. Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 OEM – $33.90 on eBay
6. Adobe Premiere Elements 3 Retail – $50 on eBay
7. Canon Elura 100 refurbished camcorder with bag (cheaper with bag) – $338.94 on eBay
8. 3-in-1 FireWire cable – $7.99 on MeritLine
9. 6x Maxell 60-minute MiniDV tapes – $11.96 on eBay
10. $100 toward Boy Scout summer camp fee

For a total of $833.02. This may seem like a lot of money (it is!) but it’s really nice to know that just the cash presents I got for graduation are going to cover this, and (likely) then some. Now to get some thank you notes written…:)

A Brave New Blog

Well, this is my first blog entry in a loooong time. My aim is to on these entries tell where I am now, and where I’ve been the day I’m writing on, what I’ve done, plus some deep thought and whatever else I want to talk about. So for you folks at home, behold, my life.

Right now I’m at what was my school…until I graduated about 195 hours ago. I’m here because my mom is taking her job too seriously…hopefully she’ll make up for that later on this summer. Maybe I’ll talk about that later. But anyway I’m here occupying myself, as I’ve run out of things to do (write thank you notes…at home…finish biology…at home…finish merit badge work…at home…watch a movie…not downloaded yet). I have internet access, on a different computer (wireless network has been password-protected since the second day of school ’06-’07 and I don’t feel like cracking it or suchlike), but I’ve already checked all the requisite sites there. I suppose I could do so again, but I really don’t feel like that’s as productive as wha tI’m doing now…writing this while that computer is BitTorrenting the first episode of the first season of 24. I’ve already listened to the Daily Giz Wiz podcase (first in awhile) and hope I won’t have enough time for another while I’m here…so I write…

I’m here also because I was spicked up from the house of the school’s principal and her husband, a really cool guy who taught a few different classes last year and was our “connected” (friend-wise) tour guide on the trip to D.C. that I’m amazed ended less than two weeks ago…more like a week and a half. I was there with the other three seniors (yep, a graduating class of four)…well, we were seniors until we graduated…having an absolutely great dinner of steak, corn, salad (who knew spinach could be so amazingly tasty…balsamic vinegar, feta cheese and cranberries obviously do the trick), sourdough bread and cobbler with ice cream. But of course the conversation was better than the food…it’s amazing when you have school faculty that treat you as friends…I hope I won’t have to miss that at Mines but I’m 99% sure I will. We talked about summer activities, a little about the past year…just relatively random things but everything interesting.

We (former seniors) were given a really amazing gift…beside the dinner…a keychain ornamented with a gold-plated (thicker than gold plate actually) ornament with our names, school class year, and an encouraging message that started with “Strong in grace” for all of us on the other side of the ornament that reminded me at first slightly of a dog tag though it didn’t really bear the slightest resemblance thereof. The messages had been the themes of each of our graduation benedictions, from baccalaureate chapel to graduation night. Thankfully, mine was abbreviated: Pursue people first (I’m glad there wasn’t space\was the consideration to respectively include and exclude “ahead of technology”…embarrasses me perhaps rightly). Good message, great gift. Too bad I don’t have any keys to hang on the keyring yet, and probably won’t have for awhile.

We four had a gift to give the school\them, too, helped by a local design firm whose “main man” was our art teacher: a framed and matted bunch of four photos in black and white, three of which were taken with my camera on the trip to Washington D.C., one of which taken on a Polaroid Land camera, three of which weren’t taken by me. The photos were of we four graduates…something to remember us by and a gift back to the school…I’m really thankful for the people at the design firm who helped us put it together, or rather put it together based on our rough ideas.

Start of extreme nerdiness

Going back a little, I had actually gotten to the dinner an hour early, to finish setting up a school laptop that had needed to be reformatted. Just basic stuff, like reinstalling drivers and whatnot. I had reformatted the laptop after a weird shutdown had corrupted the main hard drive, but not until I had safely gotten all the data off the drive by using a Puppy Linux live CD. The Windows XP CD was BitTorrented (I was surprised at the speed of the download when I did it) but the Dell serial number for Windows worked fine with it, as it was the same version of Windows as had been on the laptop. But I still had to install drivers for various laptop parts that didn’t come with the XP CD (but of course did come preinstalled with the laptop originally). A really annoying thing is that Dell really doesn’t provide a true recovery system for their new computers unless you specifically order a $10+ CD addon. You just get a recovery partition on the hard drive…a blank one…and a trial version of Norton Ghost. Ah well, all’s well that ends well and I actually used that backup partition (before upgrading my laptop’s hard drive) to dual boot a beta (RC2) of Windows Vista with the preinstalled Windows XP.

End of extreme nerdiness

While I was working on the computer the principal’s husband showed me the lovely 24-inch wall-mounted LCD he had hooked to his desktop computer (niiiice…beats my 19” panel on my desk but that’s fine with me…no space for a bigger panel where I sit anyway), as well as his new Vonage phone line…I had actually recommended Vonage to him a few months ago. He’s also now on DSL (was on dialup…glad he upgraded) with a D-Link router sitting near at hand. Geesh…the connection was a little less than four times as fast as my glorified WiFi connection at home (I live out of range of cable\DSL), at least on the download…uploads were maybe two and a half to three times as fast. Not as fast as they should have been, probably due to not a big enough data pipe coming into town for that ISP, but still nice and fast.

Sorry if this last part seems brief in comparison with the above but I’m running low on battery and don’t have my charger with me…

Before I went over to the people’s house I was generally sitting around my house doing…not much. Just obsessively checking a few different things online, plus reading up on savings accounts. Annoying that I can’t open one linked to my checking account because it’s in my name only and I’m a minor (16 to be exact). Before that I played a game of Age Of Empires II: The Conquerors against my 11-year-old brother and his friend…beat them relatively quickly of course but I think they had a little fun. Before they had come over I was motivated to actually do stuff…chores mostly, but also a cell phone review, the Motorola w370 from Tracfone…by pumping out the volume on U2’s 18 Singles deluxe edition (yay Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go!). But I still need to be more productive…sigh…

Hmm…that’s about it for now. My mom says she’s about ready to leave school\work and my laptop battery is at 7% and dropping. So hope you enjoyed reading this, my first blog post in…hmmm…several months and the first of this type of blog post in even longer…hopefully I’ll do this again sometime…until then, cya.