Staring into the Endless Void

The void stretched endlessly outward. Far past the insignificant planet, that he called his homeworld. Far past the distant gas giants. Far past even his own wild, mechanistic imagination. He stood there, the cold air condensing his warm breathe. Beside the glow of the fire, snuggled amongst the still river, and the dark forest, he stood. He stood there. A feeling of absolute insignificance in face of the grand scheme of things. He asked quietly, neither to himself nor to the silent, distant stars, “Are you there?”

First day of university, and already I feel about squished under the immense pressure. So much to do, so much to learn, so much to set into motion. And so many to greet again. I was in a stupid rambling mood… but still… I guess I was nervous too. Please forgive me. Anyways, this entry is going to be a longer one since it deals with the last three days… so here goes.

Saturday. I crawled into the tent when the sky became gray, and the stars had dissipated into the morning gloom. That was at 6:30. I got up around 9:30, and needed a few coffees to revive myself. After breakfast we packed up, as we had decided to head back home in the evening. Of all places, we found the outer covering of the tent, underneath the tent. We had been sleeping on it all the while. While the packing took some time, we managed to start kayaking around 2:00. This time we kayaked the lower part of the Masquash, below the Big Eddy generating station. There we encountered a long stretch of beautiful grassy banks, a half constructed bridge, and a not so amazing C1 rapid which handled like a swift. And I was hoping to have some fun on that one too. Anyways we paddled all the way down the river, and the adjacent Grey Lake all the way up to the falls.

The falls themselves were quite pretty, and dangerous but we didn’t go anywhere near them on kayak. We portaged ourselves (not our craft) to a lookout at the base of these falls. Quite a view. But the best was still to come. On our return trip, along the stretch of grass bank, we met up with a beaver chewing on fresh greens on the bank. Naturally my brother had to scare him, as my little brother is usually up to doing silly things. The beaver jumped into the water, but later emerged and swam along with us! Then we noticed another, and yet another swimming a bit further up. The creatures swam with us mostly, but occasionally waded unto the bank and after spying us jumping back into the water. I must say, that I felt privileged to kayak alongside such beautiful creatures. Of course, the beavers were sly enough not reveal their lodgings. But still… wow!

Due to the beaver incident, we got back to our car by dusk. We barely secured our kayaks to the rooftop rack before it got dark. After a short meal, we started on our long trip home.

Sunday. Fortunately not such a fast day, as I had expected. Still a worthwhile mention. I started off with mass as I have with every Sunday. This time the mass was held on the field nearby the construction site of the new church. Not a very interesting mass at that, since the pastor ranted the entire time about the “miracles” of preparations for building the new church. I will not state my opinion about the pastor, but it unfortunately leans to the negative side. Even more unfortunate, that most of the more “involved” parishioners have stronger, negative opinions. Sigh… Anyhow, leaving matters of religion and politics aside, my brother Martin’s dance performance happened later on in the day. Martin is in a Polish traditional dance group, and today he performed a number of dances. I am impressed with his progress, since he is one of the best dancers in the entire group. Go bro go!

The day ended in a disastrous walk to Heart Lake which ended up in me having some 12 crazy mosquitoes landing on my legs simultaneously. The walk cut short because of that, my parents decided to go to Professor’s Lake instead. I greatly enjoyed the latter park. When we got back home, I got started on preparing for school: getting rides, and fixing my wireless card. I gave up on the wireless card around 1:00 AM. I really don’t think its fixable.

Monday. First day of school, and I am ready for action. My lecture of the day was PHL245: Modern Symbolic Language. It seems incredibly easy thanks to all the previous intensive logic training I received. Rudy also found it simple too, and so instead of listening to the professor, Rudy attempted hacking my wireless card. Naturally after about half an hour, he gave up on the venture. When I talked to the head of computer services, Joe Lim about the problem with the card, he also remarked there was no way I could fix the problem… maybe the manufacturer could… or maybe not. After class Rudy and I drove to Chapters in hopes of purchasing of the textbook for our Information Systems Analysis course. We did buy them but only after searching for the store, then the book, and then paying for the books was fun too. The store price was too high, and they chewed up my gift card in the process. Fortunately they lowered the price and reset my gift card (hehehe funny little story about that too but I am not going to tell). On the way back to school, I grabbed a fairly inexpensive Netgear PCMCIA wireless card. It cost me less than the old one, and the new one can do the faster 802.11g protocol while being able to switch back to the older 802.11b one. Nice.

I arrived just in time for my next lecture: CSC320 Visual Computing. Yay! My graphics course. Well yay sort of… I mean the material is interesting, the professor is pretty cool as he seems to be one of those hacker-types, and a number of my school friends are in the class. The only problem is that the assignments are huge and technically difficult. Yes, I know its a third year level course… but still. The professor, Arnold Rosenbloom actually went through two lectures today. A song and dance about visual computing, the quality of the assignments, and a bit about image processing. Then on to the matting problem… which bewildered most of the class. When he asked for a show of hands who knew what was going on, about a third of the class raised there hands. Most of them were lying, including me. No, seriously I did understand it, but I had a bit of difficulty visualizing the solution, and its been ages since I touched linear algebra. Anyhow, no slouching in this class. No sir.

That was my last class, and it was time to go home. On the way out, I saw a posting for a student position in working on programming in the Psychology department. Very interesting, and I met the guy hiring. Apparently there is one more position, and I should bring in my resumée. I will try it out. I should be up for the job. I took the bus home since I have not gotten a concrete answer for a ride. Sigh… the rest of the day was spent resting, and preparing for tomorrow’s kayak trip. Looks like another busy, and interesting school year.

Rain on my Window

Morning again. The rain outside gentle patters on my windows, smearing the world into a watercolour-like painting. Dream-like. Same way I feel today. Nevertheless I must quicken my typing if I want to get anything else done this morning. I will probably be going on a pleasant 2-3 day camping and kayaking trip along the Masquash river so this maybe the last entry I will have time to write before the eve of school.

Yesterday, I managed to sneak in a bit of preparatory work for university. I managed to switch a course that I by mistake chose. Later on in the evening I convinced Rudy one of my friends who gave me rides last year to class. Now all I need is someway of returning on Wednesday back home. I am also planning to get a new wireless card, as I will not have the time to fix the old one. Other than that I just need to get into two tutorial sections, and get my books. As for actually reading up before coming to my first lecture. Well that is not going to happen probably.

Unfortunately I could not get anything done on my software projects due to lack of time. I do not know if I will be able to work on them again until next week. And only then when I do not have any assignments or course work to do. On the plus side I managed to write up almost all of the factions that will be in my novel. As for a glossary of made-up words. Well I will leave that for later as I write the novel. Its kind of unfortunate that I can not bring my laptop with me for the trip, as I would be able to get more writing accomplished that way. Sigh…

Yesterday, I walked down a beautiful white sandy beach around the Long Point region. The soft squishy feeling of my feet impacting with the wet sand that stretched down the surf. A fresh breeze blew from across the lake, whipping the water into turquoise and indigo waves. The tan, foaming, sand laid-en breakers rushed up and down the beach. Every so often, a larger wave flowed over my feet up past my ankles with such force, that the water sloshed up onto my knees. And so I walked down the beach in a leisurely pace. The sun blazing in the clear sapphire sky. The wind tugging at me. And the surf washing over my feet.

Then we went to London, to see my brother’s orthodontist. He also asked to see me, and said that my backward jaw was also fixable. Yes, overbites without the use of surgery. The cost… $5800. Ouch. Out of my own pocket. Ouchie-ouchie-ouch! Then forth to the local Costco where I found a tempting offer. Twenty dollars for Myst IV. I only left it for the sake of my own project, Insomia, so that the game’s ideas would not influence my own. Sigh…

The rain has stopped outside. Now the world is clear to see through the minute drops that cling to my window. Time to move on.

Standing on the Edge Looking Out

The cool wind tugged at his body as he stood at the edge of the cliff. Beyond the worn sand hills stretched in contorted shapes, casting strange shadows in the rising sun. He leaned gently on the smooth bubble canopy of his desert mlaren, and smiled.

Well today I am feeling a bit better the last few days. My sinuses still pound repulsively inside my face. But I hope that this the last part of this disease. With the hay-fever season in full swing its hard to tell which of the symptoms are the illness or my irritable body reacting to the ragweed pollen super-clouds drifting around. Sometimes I wish we could get one quick frost. Now. Then the rest of the autumn can be as warm as it wishes. But that would be too easy. Right?

Yesterday, I got up feeling much better. No pain, only one nostril stuffed up and in rather happy mood. I was up by 5:00 AM so I took the time to try to fix my wireless card. I am not sure I can fix it. In Linux doesn’t show up at all, under Windows it gets detected as PCMCIA MTD-0002 after I take it out. It quite disappointing. Not too mention my USB flash drive is not being detected in Linux. I will have to fix this up first. I searched the Internet to my hearts’ content and found nothing about the wireless card. I think its firmware is absent… but I can’t load it until it can be seen by the system. Endless, vicious circle… a challenge for Rudy when I get the chance to talk to him.

Anyhow, I worked on the justCheckers project in the morning. I went through all the documentation, and updated most of it. All that remains is to expand upon on the style guide which pretty much complete, and write up a code of behaviour for developers and community users. I am confident with that done, and CHARVA being removed from the dependencies I will be able to release version 0.1.1. Then I will have to do a fair bit of work on updating the code, fixing a bit of the website (yuck), and getting the GUI finally fixed up.

As usual my work didn’t last for very long as I found out that my parents had planned to go on a trip. A kayaking trip. I mean I have been sick for these past two weeks, and they want me to kayak?!? Where will I get the energy? My feeble protests were naturally ignored. So we went kayaking on the Masquash river in the Muskoka region. So after a bit of grumbling (especially from my father’s side), some hectic packing, whining (mine and a bit of mother’s) and a long drive we were there. While I usually don’t admit defeat, I must say I enjoyed it. Mind you I had a fair bit of rests during the kayaking trip. I love silent lakes, and northern Ontario forests. I could go into a long description, but that would spoil everything. Go there and see it for yourself!

So when we got back home, I naturally dropped into bed from exhaustion (I couldn’t sleep in the car, and I had to tow Mom in her kayak back to the car earlier on). That is why I am writing this now, the morning after. Oh well better put this up on the web… and see if I can get anything done before today’s planned trip. Argh!