My French class went on a field trip today. We went to “Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre”. It’s a place down near Kingfisher Lake where they teach students about biology and the environment and stuff, and it’s a neat place to visit. Our French teacher, Mme. Ben Sari, arranged for us to take the trip so that we could practice our French (the guides don’t speak French, but we could speak in French to each other about what we saw and such). Let me say right now that it was a really cool idea.
We got on the bus at the start of the day and drove for half an hour to Kingfisher, which is slightly out of the way. Now, before I go on, I should explain what I mean by “slightly out of the way”. For those of you who have never been to Northwestern Ontario, Canada, or even the northern part of the United States, then you must realise that we are smack dab in the middle of the boreal forest. Basically you drive either east or west along the highway, otherwise you are in the bush. Looking out the window of the bus, I would see: “Trees”, “Trees”, “Trees”, “Rocks”, “Trees”, “Trees”, “Bait shop”, “Trees”, “Trees”, “Trees”, “House”, “Trees” … and so on and so forth, with many, many more trees.
We arrived at Kingfisher around 10:00. The bus couldn’t go all the way up to the cabins, so we had to walk up the road to the cabins; it was a good way to start our adventure. We met our guides, and we went into classroom-like place for our pre-hike briefing. Having been to Kingfisher before, I already knew a lot about it.
Before embarking on the hike, we took a picture of our French class (bonus points if you can identify who I am in the picture). On the hike we saw such things as evidence of woodpeckers (you naysayers were wrong; they do exist!), moss (ooooh), a bog (yummeh), and a pitcher plant. Our guides, (left to right) Jenny, Shelly, and Lisa were quite nice, and interesting.
After the hike, we had lunch, cooking hot dogs and sausages and such. Mme. Ben Sari even had some French songs on CD. She put them on; they were kind of jig-like. She urged most of us to dance, and a few did, including myself (the rest of you guys were yeller! ).
After lunch we got to play what must be the coolest game in the universe. It is called the “survival game”. Each person gets an animal. They are either a herbivore, carnivore, or an omnivore, identified by a coloured headband. The goal of the game is to survive in a section of the forest near Kingfisher whilst getting essentials: food, water, shelter. Herbivores have seven lives and must collect 5 foods (5 hole punches out of 15 specially marked cans hanging from trees in the area) and 5 waters (the cans are blue). Carnivores have three lives and must collect 5 herbivore lives for food, and 5 waters. Omnivores have three lives and need 5 waters, but they can eat either herbivores or they can get food from the food can things. The adults get to play various natural disasters that can kill any type of animal, such as fire, flood, a hunter, disease, et cetera.
I was a deer (a herbivore, for those who don’t know ) and I was okay. Not great, but okay. I had trouble finding enough cans; I kept on coming back to the same can! I was caught thrice, but I gave each carnivore a good chase, and I even fell down once or twice and hurt myself. But it all turned out all right, and by the end of the game I was exhausted.
Realise that I’m not an outdoors person to begin with; I am sedentary and enjoy my computer. So the fact that I had fun on this outdoors trip was really quite something, and it was fantastic. I guess I‘m just very, very lucky.
Anyway, that was about it. It was by far a great way to spend my day, and very exhausting. In fact, I’m surprised I managed to type so much about it, but it was that good—I just had to document it so that I would never forget it, eh.
VSNS Lemon 3.2.1 is mostly a security update, but brings a few new features as well. You can download it from the VSNS Lemon website.
- Security: Addition of mysql_real_escape_string() to validate user input
- Security: Fixed cookie authentication bug
- Enhancement: Title of article now appears in title bar
- Enhancement: Ability to preview comment or article before finalising changes
- Enhancement: Word filter for comments
- Efficiency: RSS feed is generated only when articles are edited or created
With that last one, you need to make sure that you chmod your rss.xml file to 0777. If you don’t do it, then you will get an error later on. Also, you should go edit an article after you upgrade so that you regenerate your RSS feed. Hopefully you won’t run into any errors. If you find a bug, please report it in the Bugs forum, and if you need help, check out the Help forum.
Now I can go back to working on Vanilla Guestbook. I’ll add the word filter and preview features into it and see how it goes.
The changelog’s neat dropdown doesn’t work in Internet Explorer, but I’ll fix it sometime.
Next time you and your family sit down in front of the television to watch your favourite new episode of whatever show you like to watch, try the following game. It’s really cool and could liven up what might otherwise be a dull evening, especially if no one spontaneously combusts.
We all know that product placement is becoming increasingly common. As personal video recorders allow people to skip commercials, companies have to find other ways to market their products through television. Suddenly a chance placement of a Coca-Cola can or a Dell computer may not be so “chance”.
The objective of this game is quite simple: compete with each other to see who can identify the most instances of product placement in an episode of the show. Keep score on a notepad. Alternatively, use a giant, decorated chart, and gloat to your family members when you’re ahead by throwing food at them (note: this may be considered bad sportsmanship in some places in North America and Europe).
You can also win in the category of “Gratuitous Product Placement”. Sometimes writers will place a product in a situation which is really unnecessary; they just need somewhere to put the product into the show. Identify the most unusual placement of products—like a makeup product, such as Covergirl, in a restaurant; or a cleaning product, like CLR, in an office—for an extra point.
For a bonus round, go online and see if you can research whether or not your instances were actually product placement. Each confirmed placement is worth a bonus point in addition to spotting it in the first place.
Cheating is allowed. This includes distracting your family with ploys such as, “Mom and dad are getting a divorce”, “No, dear, I really do like your hair”, and of course, the famous, “Look! A distraction!” The only type of cheating not allowed is actually buying product placement time for products of your choice; you can’t stack the deck.
Note: Coca-Cola, Dell, Covergirl, and CLR did not in any way pay to be mentioned in this blog post. Well, probably not. It’s not like you can hack into my bank account to prove it either way. Don’t judge me.
Ugh, it is spring. For most this means the return of green things and the celebration of warm weather. I love those too. But for me it also brings the seeds of hay fever, and I must endure weeks of stuffed up noses, phlegmy throats, and puffy eyes. I can feel it already, eh.
This was day two of me not doing anything. I should really do something. I managed to make a start on that slideshow project, but I just didn’t finish it. It’s not even difficult—but I still didn’t complete it. I feel a bit dirty, and a bit guilty, for not getting it all done in one go. That’s how unmotivated I am.
I didn’t do anything interesting today. It was my brother’s birthday (happy 14th, Brad!) but I have not accomplished much. Maybe I’ll do some more writing before I go to bed. I have a slideshow due on Tuesday for computer science too—“Pervasiveness of Computers in Everyday Life”. It shouldn’t be too hard once I get around to doing it.
Now I’m watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and doing nothing. I love holidays.
I dropped my application, cover letter, and resumé to the library today. They‘re hiring pages and such, so I think it’d be a good summer job. My body type sort of fits—tall, pasty, book-orientated. Hopefully I’ll soon be the “employed pasty tall guy”.
(Okay so I know that I’m already employed, but you know what I mean.)
Original titles are for people who have tea. I have no tea. My tea is steeping, but it is not presently next to me. Hence, the no tea.
We had our first performance of Freak Show Circus tonight. While I still am on my post-performance exhilirated euphoria, I shall say that it was fun. We were also awesome. I was awesome, even though I suck. Contradictions are good too.
I couldn’t see anything. The lack of light, plus the fact that I had no glasses, made it very difficult to navigate on stage. Hopefully I didn’t muck things up too bad. Walking on the “tight rope” was the most terrifying thing I’ve done. Theoretically I should have been able to see the bench, since the ends were marked with tape, but I saw nothing; the only way to judge its presence was by the rope to the right. Scary indeed.
Everyone acquitted themselves with the utmost gusto and enthusiasm. Having never done this before, I don’t think my opinion is the most accurate. All I know is that these people are wacky, zany, and that means I belong with them.
Math homework now. Eeeeeech.
Oh, I got this letter (well, my mom got this letter), from the “Domain Name Registry of Canada”. They kindly offered to switch our domain name to them before it expires. The catch being, of course, that they happen to be about 4 times more expensive than Yahoo! (my current registrar). Way to kill trees, people.
It appears I have been selected to attend an OSSTF Student Awards Banquet. I was kind of out of it when Ms. Kwasny told me about it, so I don’t fully understand its implications. I‘m not sure if I want to go though. :/ My first inclination is to not go, but I’m going to think about it for a few days.
On behalf of the People of Earth, I hereby formally surrender to you. Your evil scheme, as much as it pains me to admit it, has worked. We solemnly promise to purchase as much All-Bran cereal as you command, oh master, on the sole condition that you stop using William Shatner in your commercials. Usage of Shatner as an All-Bran spokesperson represents reckless endangerment of society, civilization, and The World As We Know It.
Gah. I think one of the reasons why I get stressed a lot is because I make too many commitments—especially to myself. I have coding, reading, writing, schoolwork, other obligations, and they all collide and go boom! It doesn’t help that I lack time management or prioritizing skills. So I end up devoting all my time to nothing.
Anyway … other than the fact that the day needs more hours, things are going well. I got my driver’s licence in the mail yesterday. My photo makes me look paler than I normally am, and I look like some sort of serial killer. My neck is way too long.
I need to get some writing done before I head to bed, because even though my priorities are completely scrambled, it feels good to do…
I went driving for my first time today after Black Light!
I didn’t crash the car into anything, though, so we’ll call it a success. My dad took me to a subdivision where there’s no traffic. Basically I tried to get comfortable with the car—which still scares me—and get a feel for using the steering wheel, gas, brakes, etc. I bemoan my lack of spatial sense and find it very difficult to know just how hard to press a pedal or turn the wheel. But I’ll learn.
Like I said, I didn’t break anything, and I did pretty well. Now I just have to find a driving school. I’ve put that on hold for a bit because Black Light practices have been my weekend focus. We present on April 10 and today (er, Saturday) was our first actual practice with the entire set assembled. Unsurprisingly, the play makes much more sense with a set around it than without! We have one more practice next week, a dress rehearsal, and then…show time! I think we’ll be ready.
My “project” this weekend has been programming Snake in Turing (what we’ve been using for computer science). I have it all done except for one bug with the high score feature that causes the game to crash. Darn inconveniences.
And I just realised that Daylight Savings Time kicked in—I glance at my clock: 1:59. I look again, 3:05. :blink: Either DST snuck up on me, or I blacked out. Now I have to go to bed because I’ve just lost an hour.