Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My School Is Lame

At about 9:30am, approximately 20 minutes into AP English Lang, we are discussing the use of rhetoric in literature and various other situations. Out of the blue, the known *beep* of the intercom system is heard. The entire class moans. At Dillard, this can mean several things: word of the day, a message from the principal, an assembly, or lock down. Today it was a little different. After the beep, Mary J. Blige's Just Fine begins playing for 30 seconds. Exchanging stares of confusion with Mrs. Dinlocker and everyone else in the class, it was apparent that no one had any idea what was going on. Finally a voice appears--it is Marvin, the guy from the morning announcements, dubbed the "WDHS Morning Show" a few months ago. He asks for the attention of all juniors, and immediately the thought of assembly pops in my mind (and everyone else around me), but luckily, it wasn't an assembly. Of all classes, this was definitely not the one to be missing for some lame assembly.

Introducing, the Panther Power Card...

So, as a junior, if I score a level 4 or 5 on the science FCAT, I'll get one of these "amazing" Panther Power Cards. What is a Panther Power Card, you ask? (I hate phrasing sentences like that, but it goes along just fine [LOL!] with all of the cheesiness in this entry) Upon earning stellar scores on the science FCAT, eligible juniors, seniors at the time, will receive a Panther Power Card, entitling them to:
  • a free parking decal for the 2008-2009 school year
  • free admission to any home game of any sport
  • free admission to the 2009 Prom
  • a trip to Grad Night 2009
Sounds cool, I guess, but none of that stuff really applies to me. Also, I doubt that more than 75 of such cards, if that many, will be awarded. I expect to score a level 4, not to sure about the 5, but it really doesn't matter--at all. This is the first year that the science FCAT will count towards graduation, but even still, it doesn't matter. I know I won't fail. So if I do get this card, I probably won't be driving to school, actually, it'll be impossible since I don't even have my learner's permit yet and it'll take a whole year to get my license, and I doubt that I'll have a car. Sports games? HA! Prom? Mmmm, probably not, but still a maybe. Grad Night is probably the only thing that I might take advantage's free after all. But of course, this is all assuming that I get at least a 4...

So now with all of this hype, and really no excitement from the junior class at all, I'd like to flashback to a similar situation my freshman year. Around mid-February of 2006, all of the freshmen were pulled out of class during 2nd block into the gym, where we were given FCAT tips, strategies, and motivation, along with rap music blaring out of the over-blasted speakers. After all of this encouragement and bullshit, the principal came out and made a "promise" to our class after buttering us up with the same ol' story that "blah you were the first class when I got here so this is my favorite blah", we were promised that students that improved 1 level, or maintained a 5, on the reading or math sections would be awarded a free class trip (I think it was to Islands of Adventure??) at the end of the school year. Did this ever happen?! Nope. I actually did both, I went from a 4 to 5 in reading, and also maintained my 5 in math, whatever though...I wouldn't have gone on the trip anyway.

Sophomore year, they stuffed us with pizza on 3 different occasions to bribe us into scoring well on the writing exam. It actually worked, since Dillard had an average score of 4.5/6, which is pretty damn good for a school that still can't get half of the students to pass the Reading FCAT.

[back to today]

After 3 minutes of introducing this as if it was the offer of a lifetime, the announcement cuts out in the middle...gotta love intercom systems. He comes back on about a minute later after 2 failed attempts to reconnect, and then starts talking about the whole thing again from the beginning. For the sake of our education, the announcement finally ends, or so we thought it did. Just Fine continues playing for another 30 seconds, when it finally ends for real, thank goodness! I want my 5 minutes of English back!

Another lame attempt by Dillard to promote higher FCAT scores...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So I made it through the past two days...barely, with less than three hours of sleep each night. I just found out today that the terrifying, 47-monster paragraph, double-journal for "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" was one of the worst assignments that she would ever give, thank goodness. That doesn't lessen the intensity of it anymore. I didn't really finish because I found out yesterday that I was doing it completely wrong, so tomorrow, the highest that I can get is a C, oh well. For some reason, I just don't like English at all anymore. I knew AP Lang would be tough, but I didn't expect to suddenly hate English after 4 days :/

AP US History is fine. It's not a hard class at all. The work is simple, and all the material is in the text. I like that I have all the work that I need to do for a unit ahead of time, so when I get some free time (if I ever do!) I can get ahead. There is a lot of work, and she is kinda strict, but that's life I guess.

Other than that, the rest of school is just a buffer for these two classes. I realized this was a really bitchy entry with no point whatsoever, and again, blogging is becoming so counterproductive! My birthday is in 3 days. Don't care. The title of this blog is the only thing that I can be positive about at the moment, I'm alive.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Sleep Tonight

Okay, here's the deal. I have a short story due tomorrow. It can be about anything and the only requirement is that it has to be under 1000 words and typed. No problem....IF I HAD SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT. People always tell me that I'm a great writer, but I lack motivation to write anything original, as in I have to be prompted by a topic or stricken with a creative buzz. I can't come up with shit right now. It hasn't even been a week of the second semester and I'm already pulling all-nighters. Blogging doesn't help either, this is counterproductive. Ugh this is not going to be a good week, I know it. Fuck!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

FLL is Awesome!

No one ever has to tell me twice that robots are awesome. And I do also believe that Legos are too, indeed awesome. Put the two together and you get amazing, which is why I love the FIRST Lego League (FLL). It's a robotics competition for elementary and middle school kids with Legos. I'm actually extremely jealous that I didn't get to participate in FLL when I was a youngster, and that my 2nd elementary school, Broward Estates, got an FLL team a few years after I left. Even though I wasn't on the team, I was proud to know that they won this year's tournament at Crystal Lake in November. Nevertheless, this brings me to today's events. I have volunteered with FLL since I got involved with robotics in my freshman year of high school. For years, the only FLL tournament in Broward was "Robotic Dimensions" held at Crystal Lake. This year, the RoboColts from Hallandale Elementary hosted a tournament at their school in addition to the Crystal Lake event. I can't say that it was anything but pure success for a rookie event.

This event was my fourth FLL event as a volunteer, and second as a referee. I'm always amazed at what the kids bring out to the field at each competition. Like I mentioned before, even though the parents and coaches are often worse than the kids competitively, its still a cool experience for everyone. At times, I feel as if FLL is more advanced than FRC, which makes it even more amazing. With our level robots, there is only a 15 second autonomous (well, hybrid this year) period, and then the other 2 minutes are completely tele-operated. I could not imagine programming an FRC robot for a full match, besides the fact that I'm not a software person. A lot of the challenges require such precision to score, while some are easy grabs...literally. I really would love to mentor a team, and it would be awesome if Welleby Elementary had one since it's so close, but I have no clue of any other teams that are remotely in the area. For now, I definitely enjoy reffing at the local competitions.

For a new competition, everything ran quite smoothly. I was extremely impressed. I actually skipped out on robot building with my own team...don't ask go today. Hallandale Elementary is beautiful. I think it was renovated or built at a new location this year, but the structure seems more like a high school than an elementary school. Aside from aesthetics, everything was very well organized, and most importantly, everyone was SO NICE. I'm not used to having my efforts acknowledged, or even appreciated to the degree that it was today. Team 108 and some other FIRST events have made me cynical towards certain things, but today my outlook changed. It's amazing how a few very nice people can do that. I'm not sure if it was just that there were so many less experienced people there that changed the atmosphere, or if it's actually me that's changing, but this competition definitely felt different than the one I went to a few months ago. I often second-guessed my own potential and worthiness due to reasons unknown. I was really nervous about being a referee for the first time, especially with coaches and parents watching my every mark and breathing down my back. Today, I didn't care at all about them, the kids knew exactly what they were doing. I was pretty confident, and I think I managed to do a pretty good job. Another interesting twist to this competition from the other was that most of the volunteers were adults, as opposed to an all high-school/college crew at Crystal Lake. There was no major difference between the two, but it was kinda weird at times...sometimes I had to stop and think "woah, these are teachers!" Gustavo and I had an interesting conversation last night about how Elementary teachers were so much less bitchy and so much more friendly. They always seem happy. I don't know what happens to teachers from that point on, but sometimes, I wish that I could have an elementary-personality teacher, without an elementary teaching style. So, aside from all of that sappy reflective stuff (sorry, I just had to get it out), there was lots of fun...

The team that ended up winning the competition had the most amazing robot EVER. I think they were the RoboMonkeys or the MonkeyBots or something. They scored 395/400 points consistently in the last 4 matches, and their kickass robot was pure genius. I was the referee at their table during the Top 8, Final 4, and Final rounds, and I was in awe at how they completely ALL of the missions. ALL of them. The only team that I've seen in the two competitions that I've been to to do that. On top of that, they weren't competitive little jerks either, they were actually really friendly. I need to take their robot, multiply it x20, and use it as our robot for the 2008 game, FIRST Overdrive, this year. It has the perfect forklift elevator system and such precise mechanisms, though we're definitely not putting rack and pinion on our robot again this year.

If you've never been to a robotics competition, you wouldn't know how large of a part music plays into the whole event. It can actually make or break the whole mood. Typically, there is a good share of techno, pop, rock, and whatever other flavor the DJ likes to bring. No robotics competition is complete without Mr. Roboto, some Queen and AC/DC, Cotton Eye Joe, The Cha Cha Slide, Sandstorm, the Macarena, and now...Crank Dat Soulja Boy. When I made the few CDs that I was asked to bring, I didn't think that it would be the only music playing. I didn't think that I could hear the same 45 songs that many times in one day. I didn't think that those little robot-builders had the ability to dance to all of those songs SO MANY TIMES in one day. Oh, but they surely did...

So now I'm not ready to go back to all of this serious engineering and science and physics and complicated robotics stuff that I have to do. I had so much fun today that I just want to do FLL and completely pwn at it forever. Little stress, no cuts and scratches, no heavy lifting...just pure fun! Okay, maybe not...pneumatics and those awesome transmissions are just too cool to give up!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back to the Ol' Grind

School starts back up again tomorrow for the 2nd semester. With a 5.5-day weekend after exams, it felt like an actual break, like Spring Break (essentially, this is only 3 days shorter). With the beginning of the new semester comes new classes. It'll probably feel like the first day of school all over again, which is cool -- until all of the work sets in. I found myself looking for my keys, finding the charger for my iPod and cell phone, packing my backpack, resetting my alarm, and suddenly realizing woah, school starts tomorrow! It's amazing how we can do things without noticing why we're doing them, like thinking about The Game without realizing that you have just lost the game. Back to school stuff, I'm ready for a change. Hopefully the robotics competitions sprinkled throughout the Spring will break up some of the monotony of my school year. Here's what I have to face for tomorrow (and the rest of the year):
  1. Multimedia Tech (really taking Physics online instead)
  2. AP English Language & Composition
  3. Research V/VI (Robotics V/VI)
  4. AP US History
I did the welcome call and was activated in my Physics class with FLVS today. Though I'm still a little bummed about not being able to take AP Physics, this class will be a breeze.

I've been behind on new music for quite some time. Daft Punk released Alive 2007 a few months ago, and I had no idea until about a week ago. It's awesome, and I'm using the rest of my iTunes gift cards to buy it. Sucks that I have to upgrade to 7.6 to download anything now, there's always buggy stuff with the latest versions. Gorillaz also recently released D-Sides on iTunes, which I discovered the same day I saw the new Daft Punk stuff. There's some amazing stuff on there that I've been listening to on Deezer. Lenny Kravitz also has a new album coming out in a few weeks. If Prince releases something soon too, I'll die of an amazing musical overload. Too bad I only have $0.78 left in my iTunes account now...

I was hoping to get to bed by 11 tonight so that I'd get six hours of sleep, but it doesn't look like that's happening. I'll shoot for 12...

EDIT: iTunes doesn't want me to have this album. First it tells me I must update to the latest version, then I had to restart my computer. I try to purchase the album again, it tells me I need to reread the license agreement, fine. "Please re-try your purchase". Okay, whatever, retrying... Download starts... "iTunes cannot connect, please check your network connection"...My connection is fine... Downloads resume... So much for 1-click downloading.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Okay, so I've been lazy today (big surprise!) On these types of days where I'm home all day, I find myself doing the most random and unusual things, like watching lame old movies like Bring It On. I'm almost ashamed that I would watch that movie dozens of times when I was 10 and now I can recall every line. A few minutes ago, I caught myself reciting one of the cheers 'something something something your school has no gymnastics team, this is a last resort!'. Interesting that I didn't get half of the innuendos in this movie when I was 10 either, but I still thought it was awesome. Nonetheless, away from tacky movies...I always find ways to waste time somehow. This wasting time thing is getting to be detrimental, as I've also noticed that I barely eat at all when I'm sitting at home doing absolutely nothing. For example, today:

8am: wake up (very early for me for a day off. I ended up sleeping 13 hours the night before)
8:30am: hmmm, I should eat something; bread and gatorade
12pm: woah I haven't really eaten anything all day, I should eat something to hold me over until I make lunch (why didn't I just have lunch then?); makes nachos, ginger ale
4pm: Paula Deen comes on TV and makes delicious food. I remember again that I still haven't eaten anything of substance, though still continuing to watch Paula lick her fingers and eat butter.

Sidenote: I LOVE Paula Deen. Especially her live show, Paula's Party or something like that. The butter-eating, finger-licking, country-talking, goodness! She always makes delicious food, and even though she has the countriest and most syllable-enhancing accent that I've ever heard, she is still awesome. I would love to be in her live studio audience and eat her butter saturated country food. Normally I'm not a fan of country-style anything...but I mean, how could you resist this? I've never even had corn fritters before, but they just sound so delicious. ::gets hungry again::

[somewhere in between]: My mom calls and tells me that I can order pizza for dinner, again reminded of my lack of nutrition for the am I still alive?
5pm: Rachel Ray comes on TV and I turn it off because she begins to get annoying.
5:15pm: Check my email and Dominos sent me another BFD coupon/promo code, I remember to order my pizza
6:10pm: Finally roll around to ordering pizza (how did I lose an hour? curse you Internetz!)

Dominos has this awesome new Pizza Tracker app, where you can see the progress of your pizza in real-time. No lie. It is awesome.

Now, I've already raved about ordering Domino's Pizza online, but it's still awesome. Ordering pizza online is just n^infinity times better than being on hold and repeating your order 5 times over the phone. They may not have the best pizza I've ever had, but these little feats make it so much more awesome. I managed to catch a few of the steps, since I only checked back to the site every few seconds.

6:12pm: Order Submitted
6:12pm: "Carlos put your pizza in the oven at 6:12pm"
6:19pm: "Carlos took your pizza out the oven at 6:19pm" (it cooked in only 7 minutes?!?!)
6:19pm: "Robert walked out the door with your pizza"
6:32pm: ::KNOCK KNOCK::

My pizza arrived in only 20 minutes? They are amazingly efficient. Google Maps shows that I live 2.4 miles away from this Domino's, so there might be a slight advantage...but wow. TWENTY minutes, from [enter] to my front door? Wow! Don't believe me? Take a look...

It was indeed delicious. Two more awesome facts -- the Cheesy Bread was free, since they have a promotion where you get a free bread side with the purchase of any pizza, and also, I specified that I wanted pepperoni on the right, and where is it? (No, I'm not that nitpicky, you just have to specify online.) Not only do I love free things, but I also love Cheesy Bread. An updated version of that picture would reflect 3/8 of the pizza gone, 1/4 of the Cheesy Bread gone, and 1/3 of the Coke gone. Domino's gets a coolPoint++ in my book now, and it was definitely worth the $20 for efficiency and suspense factor alone. At first I was a little disappointed because the Crispy Melt delicious double-crusted pizza thing was no longer available, but I quickly forgot about that. No lie about their new "You Got 30 Minutes!" slogan.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm Free

At the moment, I am not a student of any classes right now (yet!) and it feels great! I have a 5-day weekend ahead of me with no worries or obligations to anything school-related. It hasn't been this way in a long time. It feels like a huge burden has finally been lifted off of my shoulders. Now I can relax (kinda). The last of exams were today, and I can safely say that everything went well.

Calculus - surprisingly easy exam. He allowed us to use the TI-89s on the exam, which meant that for half of the equations, I could just manipulate the numbers a bit, punch in the equations, and have the correct answer. The free response were pretty easy too, and even though I had to show my work, I could still check my work with the calculator. Also, I brought my easy button to school with me that day, so I Kyle, DJ, several others, and I pressed it before the exam, and also as we each finished. It was hilarious to break the silence and shuffling of papers with "That was easy!" That thing really works!

Electronics - Same stuff as before. The review sheet that he gives us 3 days before the exam is always identical to the actual test, though you can never be sure if your answers are correct. It wasn't too hard. It still sucked that we had to write two BS FCAT essays in addition to it. I don't mind writing essays, but when I'm forced to write them in that horrible format, especially with stupid topics, I just take it as a joke...especially since I'm done with the FCAT -- I've got nothing to prove.

AP Psychology - Can't say it was easy, can't say it was hard. Pretty much what I expected it to be. The essays were the Free-Response Questions from the 2007 AP Exam, and I felt pretty confident about answering them. Also, Mr. Lacroix wore his Freud shirt that DJ and I got him for Christmas.

Interactive Design - Honestly, even though we've had the whole semester, I actually started coding my site only a week ago. I know, shame on me. It still came out great though for the time span that I did it in. I think it looked the best because I took the time to learn CSS and managed to apply it in a simple, not over-doing it manner, but there were some other great concepts out there with more interactivity. All of the pages on the site weren't done, but it was really about the presentation, and I had enough to show something substantial. If I ever decide to host it somewhere perhaps I'll put a link here. It was an accomplishing feeling knowing that I did the whole thing from scratch, regardless of how bland and grey (hey, I like grey) it looks.

Also, since today was an early release day, we kept up our tradition of going to McDonalds as soon as school ended. Proper planning and speed walking ensures that you'll be there first, since half the school seems to show up within the next 15 minutes. It's an awesome feeling being first. We've been doing this for a whole year now. There are stares of jealously walking back into school carrying those delicious fries, while everyone else has school lunch from the typical early release day menu that's been used for the last 11 years. When I got on the bus, we had to wait at Parkway for a few since they didn't get out until 12:40pm. A garbage truck pulled up and we got him to honk his horn. When their school finally ended, you saw kids scattering around the campus like chickens with their heads cut off, as if it was the last day of school or something! I don't recall middle school being like this at all.

So, I've got tomorrow free, Robotics on Saturday, and then Sunday-Tuesday free. I plan on finishing up my MITES and WTP apps (shame on me for wasting away winter break) and then just doing nothing. And by nothing I mean anything.

Monday, January 14, 2008


It's the last day of the second semester before finals, I have work to do in every class, but for some reason, I can't pull myself to get absolutely anything done. Regardless of if I turn off the TV, computer, music, lights, whatever, I don't feel motivated to do work at all. WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!? I used to actually like school. I mean, the work will definitely get done, and I do have good planning skills, but time management and actually living up to the planned schedule? Hmmpf. It's amazing how people think I spend hours with my nose buried in the books when I rarely crack them open.

Since this design is definitely not going on our robot, I guess I'll show it. It was my first design after kickoff and took me two nights to model, but I'm working on something else now. Admire my mediocre CAD skillz...

starting position

fully extended, scoring position

I know that there are many flaws in this design, besides the fact that it is a complete rip-off of PINK 2K7, so that's why it's not being used. Also, the strategy required to make this an effective robot is too complex. A slight bump while trying to score, or even manipulate the ball would throw us off. Assuming the telescoping portion would extend to 8ft, this robot is bound to tip with a 10lb manipulator + a 10lb ball. There was another part of the gripper that was used to clamp and secure the ball, though Inventor crashed at 2am the night before I was going to present, so I took that as a sign to go to sleep.

So now I'm off to force myself to do work, since I thrive on As (which I only have one of right now!) Procrastination is a bitch, though my best works come from those pressured nights -- winning science fair entries, big projects, essays, applications, etc...maybe I should do an entry on that some day.

EDIT: I just wasted another hour, someone come slap me!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

In a Nutshell

Why this week sucked:
  • exams are coming up Wednesday - Thursday
  • I suddenly have an 88 in Electronics that is impossible to change (WTF!)
  • I had to go back to school
  • I have to wake up at 5am every morning
  • being at school seemed like a complete waste of time
  • no more AP Psych
  • the end of an "easy" courseload
  • robotics -- Why can't there ever be peace?
    • Felix, the most awesome mentor/engineer is leaving soon :(
Why this week was awesome:
  • Calculus and Electronics are ending
  • I finally beat Tom Morello and Slash in Guitar Hero 3
  • I get to go home early Wednesday-Thursday
  • I discovered new Gorillaz and Daft Punk music
  • new bed
  • my Interactive Design site is actually looking like something
  • robotics -- I learned so much and got stuff accomplished today, quite productive with no parts yet

I could go into detail about all of these little events, but it would be pointless. That was the gist of my week. I always hate the first week back after a long break. I couldn't remember any Calculus for the first day to save my life, yet it seemed like everything else picked right back up, as if it was a 3-day weekend. I'd rather not talk about robotics at the moment. There are a few things that I'm quite upset about, but a rant won't solve anything. Oddly enough, today was also one of the best meetings that I've had since I've been on this team. Weird. Don't know if I'm looking forward to AP English or not yet, I keep hearing too many Dinlocker horror stories. I'm still not registered for Physics with FLVS yet. Boo.

This week was lame.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

FRC Kickoff!

Today, FIRST released the 2008 game for the FIRST Robotics Competition, "FIRST Overdrive". This year, Motorola was able to host an official kickoff for us, so we distributed the kits from our facilities, and we had the field ready to look at as soon as the game ended. I'm not really too excited about this game, as it's not extremely defensive, and the offensive challenge is quite strange, interesting at most. We're not too thrilled about having to control our robots with TV remotes either, though the addition of the RoboCoach as an additional player is an interesting factor. AND 40in. BALLS! WOAH! I can barely pick it up off the ground.

The Game - FIRST seemed to think about this pretty thoroughly, attempting to fit in the best of both worlds offensively and defensively, though there is slack on both parts. Again, it'll be interesting. My view of the game always changes when I see it played out. We're going to New Jersey first this year, a week 1 regional, so I'll definitely see the true gameplay there. I thought Rack & Roll would be too easy last year, boy was I fooled! 6 weeks to make magic happen...let's go!

Our software guys were really disappointed to see the CMU Camera and green lights disappear in place of IR. It seems like a step back in term of technology, but we must deal with what we're's a challenge! I can't wait to see what interesting things teams come up with, I'm always amazed when pics start popping up on ChiefDelphi in week 4.

As a whole, I think everyone is delighted to see the departure of the "Banebots Transmissions of Doom", and they're more qualified replacements, the AndyMark ToughBox (I think?). We'll probably be using the AM two-speed shifters, but we can still play around with the others.

The Team - 108 is functioning quite differently this year. We lost about 5-6 engineers since last season, so we're only left with a few. Team dynamics are a little better. I enjoyed the open discussion, and that everyone's ideas were taken into consideration, rather than "we're only listening to this guy because he's in charge!" We also planned a few to have meetings pretty much everyday next week, and a design freeze on Saturday, so it looks like we're taking a step in the right direction with strategy first, rather than starting immediately with design, and then failing miserably when the parts come back. It was still a bit chaotic with ideas all over the place and not really any documentation or structure, though it was the first day, so that can be changed for the future. I'm more optimistic this year, and though we have limited resources, I feel we'll have a much better season.

I have a few goals for the team that I'm not sure that people are actually aware of as this transition is taking place, but I think 108 really needs a sense of organization instilled. There is a reason why tasks don't get done, and it's not because the kids are stupid or lazy. Communication is always key. After brainstorming and working at school Mon-Wed, I have a few things that I'm looking forward to presenting at the design meeting on Thursday at Moto already. I wonder what everyone else will come up with?

Me - If I have time tomorrow, I plan on making a mock-up of the field to use when strategizing, as it's much easier to move a piece of cardboard or plastic rather than to say "well if we move our robot around with this doodad here and put the ball over that thingamabob and then do X, then we can do Y!" I'm still reviewing the manual, so I don't have a firm idea of what the robots will look like exactly, or my stand on the best strategy for the game, but I can't help designs from popping up in my head. Launching Autodesk Inventor! Or pen and paper for now. I'd like to have a solid strategy to stand with by Thursday. I was so glad that Dominique said that she wanted to help write Chairman's, as that takes a load off my shoulders, though I still have doubts of if 108 is a qualified team. It's worth a shot...

Kickoff > Strategy/Brainstorming > Design > Build! > Test > Ship > New Jersey > Orlando > Championships (ATL)

Since I couldn't think of an original conclusion of some sort, I'll close with some pictures from today. Enjoy!
Game Element - Big Blue Ball (they come in red too)

perspective of how huge the ball is
more field

more strategy


Thursday, January 3, 2008


It's cold outside!

Today was a record setting day with temperatures in the 30s, only moving up to the 60s in the afternoon. It ties the record of the coldest day in S. Florida with January 3, 2003, five years ago. I don't mind the cold at all. It beats sweltering heat.

Today we got cable, Internet, and digital voice installed, so it feels really homey now. Yay, "lightening fast" Internet! It's Comcastic. I got the router set up in no time, and no longer will I have to steal my neighbor's wi-fi. Maybe I should leave a note for them stating that they're vulnerable? I'm not used to having cable, so I have no idea of those schmancy network shows, or what time anything comes on, though I have no problem with watching the Discovery Channel all day.

I also decided to finally open up my wireless mouse that I got for Christmas. It's wonderful. I've managed to get some work done over the break, well only last night. Surprisingly, I'm extremely efficient at 3am -- getting work that would've normally taken me 2 hours to do done in only 45 minutes. I feel a little accomplished now that AP Psych is out of the way, but there is still tons more to do. Break is never long enough!

FIRST released a 3rd game hint. The first was an IR Board, the second are three numbers, which are thought to represent coordinates, possibly Copley Square in Boston, and the third hint was released yesterday, the phrase "vet hurdling FIRST tetra". I'm not going to bother with speculation, as Kickoff is on Saturday, and I can definitely wait. Speaking of which, Kickoff is on SATURDAY! Goodbye weekends! I downloaded the encrypted versions of the manual so I'll have it for when the key is released after the kickoff presentation is broadcasted. It still seems too soon.

Kickoff > School > Finals > Build Season > Ship Robot > Compete