Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do You Remember...

the 21st night of September?


Me neither. I just thought that the first line of September by Earth, Wind, and Fire would make an awesome blog title. The 21st night of September was quite uneventful. For some reason, I didn't sleep the night before, but I got delicious Chex Mix and a Monster in the morning, went to work and sold stuff, played an awesome round of Rock Band during my break, sold more stuff, left, went home, and went to sleep. That's it. But it was the last day of summer, thank goodness, even though seasons mean nothing in South Florida.

I can actually say that I enjoyed school today. In Visual Computer Modeling (VCM) we're working on our mobile device projects, in which we are supposed to design a multipurpose cell phone thing in Rhinoceros. I absolutely loathe Rhino and I have a hard time adjusting to the lack of design features from using Solidworks all summer, but I did manage to come up with something that looks okay. It didn't exactly come out the way I wanted it to, but that's life...and it still looks okay.

But that's not the good part. Sure it looks cool and everything rendered in a fancy 3D modeling program, but what about in real life? Oh yeah! Today we tested out the new rapid prototyping machine with the faceplate of my phone, the Boomerang. I've gotten lots of interesting feedback about it. Some people understand how it looks like a boomerang, some think it looks like a sideways Xbox 360 controller, and others ask "how the heck do you hold that thing?!" The prototyped model actually came out tiny since I wasn't drawing life-sized when we first started the project, but it'll make a cool keychain and my full-scale version will look even cooler. It only took 30 minutes to print the miniature sized faceplate and it was a completely effortless process. Machines are cool! We have so much new equipment in the new robotics lab that I can build almost anything that I want. I definitely have plans for more stuff to make and pictures will be coming soon. The next step of the project is to make an advertisment, but I'm going to take it a step further and make a real commercial. 

I want to stay up all night and do stuff, but I can't. I have to sleep so that I can wake up in time to go to school. At least tomorrow is early release. Sleep is so paradoxical. I feel like I'm wasting time, but it feels so good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

At the Moment...

I have way too much going on. Actually, there isn't really much going on, I'm just thinking about everything that will occur in the next three months at once and it's a bit overwhelming. I haven't been blogging much lately because I don't feel like ranting about the same ol' stuff over and over again. School. Work. College Apps. Sleep. Eat. Breathe.

Okay, so maybe it's not that simple, but my life is definitely getting back into that monotonous routine, which is partially a good thing because I'm more productive when busy.

School sucks and senioritis is definitely kicking in (as if it didn't exist 3 years ago, I can just officially call it that now). Everything is moving too slow, with the exception of AP Lit, which is actually enjoyable this time around. Robotics/Research is going well to be a freshman level class, the NXT platform is really cool, but I'd love to do more with it than the tutorial exercises. VCM is okay, I just absolutely loathe working with Rhino. I hate Anatomy and Physiology, and for some reason I get the vibe that the teacher doesn't like me, which is odd because I finish everything early and barely speak to anyone.

I might quit my job at Circuit City soon. It takes forever to get there on the bus and I'm not really digging the environment. I hate being pressured to hassle customers about buying services or a protection plan when they are clearly disinterested, don't have the money, or are leaving the country soon. Retail is definitely not for me. Hopefully I'll get a call back from one of the other places I recently applied to (hint hint, Laser Quest!) and perhaps I can be happy elsewhere. I guess people calling CC a hell hole and telling me "don't work here!" or "I'm leaving soon" should have been a sign.

I'm disappointed with Hurricane Ike. WHY did you avoid Florida? Pretty sad, but I think I would rather endure no power for 2-4 days rather than go to school and work. I was counting on that little peaceful vacation. You wouldn't expect this coming from me, but I think no electricity (ah, no YouTube!) for a day or two might be relaxing.

Boredom has sparked my creativity, and I've started drawing mazes again. On both Saturday and Sunday there were no customers (maybe 3 or 4) in the morning, so I started drawing detailed, tangly mazes on the back of scrap paper and challenging my coworkers to solve them. Most people thought it was cool, though they were generally confused with the concept, even though it becomes really easy once you begin. Solving one of these mazes is actually more a challenge of focusing than of intellect. I should start a collection if I (or other people!) don't lose them first. I started drawing mazes towards the end of middle school when there was pretty much nothing left that they could teach us. A lot of people liked them just because they looked cool, but a few were too difficult to solve (even I couldn't). Maybe I'll pick this up again. I like having the finished product before my eyes.

The thoughts in this entry were quite disorganized and I don't think I'm too satisfied with the way it came out, but only like 7 people are going to read it, right? I suppose this is just a reminder to my future self not to be disappointed in my writing. Haha I'm going to laugh at this eventually.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google Chrome

Yet again, Google has just improved their awesome level by like a zillion points. Today, they have released the beta of their new browser, Google Chrome. It's quite nice -- clean and easy to use interface with faster page loads. The transition from Firefox was effortless, as all of my bookmarks, browsing history, and settings were imported and implemented. Some interesting features I'm looking forward to are incognito mode, integration with existing Google Apps, new apps, the tab page, and whatever else Google wants to give us. Full run down of features is here.

I've been using this browser for about 2 hours, and it will probably become my main browser since I'm sick of crashes and other inconvenient bugs in FF3. I think the only thing that I'll really miss will be extensions, so I won't completely phase out FF.  Who knows, extensions may be in the near future?

I'm still waiting for my Google OS! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Late-Summer Mentality

I've never been to fond of the months of August and September. October isn't that great either, but it's sort of an in-betweener that separates summer from the holidays (there is no such thing as Winter here). This year, it's a bit different. Not only does late summer bring humidity and hurricanes, it also brings the start of this college application, but I'll get to that later. Let's talk about hurricanes.

So it seems as if my wish has already been granted -- a few months ago I hoped that there would be at least 2 hurricane days just for the heck of it (not before school though!) and we did indeed get them for the wimpy TS Fay. Now Hanna is coming, and probably Ike soon after. It feels like 2005 all over again with one storm right after another -- 2006 and 2007 were surprisingly dull in terms of oceanic activity. I'm not stressed out about a major disaster or anything since I feel like I can stick through anything after 2 weeks with no electricity during Wilma, it's just that I would hate for these storms to interrupt anything important that will happen in the coming months.

Speaking of important things happening in the upcoming months, I've been trying to focus on this whole college thing. It's been kind of difficult to organize my thoughts since I have so much on my mind at the moment -- I need to get a planner or thought book or something. I've removed RPI from my list, so now it's down to MIT, Olin, Princeton, Cornell, UF, and GaTech. I've been thinking about the essay topics, but nothing concrete or amazing has popped into my mind yet. I have a feeling that I won't be anywhere close to being finished early. I was registering for the SAT Subject Tests a few minutes ago but Firefox keeps crashing on me, so I guess it's not meant to be today.  I did register for the October ACT a while back though. I'm working towards getting my scores in the 32/34ish and 700ish range, so I've got my work cut out.  I'm also at a bit of a dilemma with recommendation letters. I'm sure that my teachers will write wonderful evaluations and such, but I can't really trust guidance to do the same. I hope it's not that big of an admissions factor. I've been keeping away from College Confidential for the past few weeks, and those that frequent the site know why. It's not healthy during this time.

Outside of school, I've been working...and that's it. Labor Day weekend was insane with me being there for almost 30 hours. Oh the tales of retail. I have an interesting post on consumerism coming up soon. I was planning to purchase my Nintendo DS after I got paid on Thursday, but it's really hard justifying a relatively expensive purchase when I've actually had to work for it. Every dollar that I spend equates to time now and I'm a lot more money conscious, even though I was a cheapo to begin with. Maybe I'll treat myself to something later, there is really nothing that I would want or have time to enjoy. Sucks. Saving is nice, I guess.

September is kind of a weird month. Summer vacation ends when school starts in mid-August, though the summer season doesn't official end until late-September. This creates a weird extended transitional period where it's not really summer, and not really Fall (Fall doesn't exist here either, there are just a few more cloudier days). My life is going by too quickly at the moment, it may be a good thing?