{January 24, 2007}   the ski trip

k, so, I already blogged about the fun bus ride there. so we finally arrived, and the room we were in was quite nice… but… there were three beds (two double, one single). and seven of us. also, there was no hot tub.
we discovered that the couch was a futon, and one guy used a chair cushion and slept on the floor… I got the top bunk in one of the bedrooms. I had some medicine to stop my cough so that I didn’t keep anyone awake… but it wasn’t enough to let *me* sleep through the constant tossing and turning from the guy on the bottom bunk – every time he moved, the whole thing swayed. I’m surprised that it hasn’t fallen apart :P

in hte morning, three of us needed rentals – we were supposed to meet our guides at 8am, but they were nowhere in sight. so, 6 of us wandered around and eventually found our way to the village. after getting rentals and food, we headed out.
only one other guy in our group was snowboarding, and he was fairly advanced, so after messing around onhte bunny hill for a while I joined up with some of the guys skiing and they took me on one of the easy runs… which was definitely not meant for snowboarders. lots of flat areas. ended up having one foot out to push myself along for a lot of the first half. it got better after that, though – and the flatness seems to have taken away my fear of pointing the board straight down the mountain. I had a lot of fun the rest of the day, actually being able to go downhill without falling at every turn :)

at 3:30 it was supposed to end, and we got some free snacks in the pub at 4… which naturally lead to non-free beer. and then more alcohol back at our cabin. our guides were trying to sort out why us and one other group had no hot tub, and suggested we go knock on some other doors – but the door numbers she gave were for boring people that had already gone to bed :P it was only 7 or 8pm!

so, after a few more drinks, we decided to improvise :)
we filled the bathtub with hot water, the sink with ice and beer, and sat around in there for a while. it was a lot of fun :)
after that, I seem to remember going back to the pub for food, and waiting a stupidly long time to play a game of pool…

so eventually we got tired… at, like, 1am or something… I stole allen”s spot on the futon ’cause I did not want another night on the evil bunk bed. slept really well that night :) then in the morning we packed up – luckily ours was one of the late checkout areas so we could just leave our stuff – then went off for more skiing/snowboarding. it wasn’t as fun that day – my muscles were all sore and it felt like I’d forgotten everything I’d learnt and had a lot less control. weird. but still, it wasn’t bad :) I decided to quit a bit earlier than planned and just sat in the cafeteria relaxing until the guy with the locker key came back so I could get my shoes.

we were supposed to be at the bus at 3pm, so around 2:30 we walked back up to our room… by 3:20 everyone was on the bus, so we actually left *before* the 3:30 deadline. amazing. our group won a large amount of the prizes on the way back – I got a hat and a useless non-transferable discount coupon – and after that they just played movies for the whole trip. since I was sitting just one seat behind the tv – perfect view – this kinda interfered with my plans to do homework. oh damn, writing this has used up my studying time. oops. time to run to class!

{January 23, 2007}   yay, t-shirt

my properly-sized google SoC shirt finally arrived. :) yay. that’s the last bit of stuff from soc… now I’m just wondering what happened to the stuff I was supposed to be getting from the pizza ambassador program. :) I suppose I should email someone about that. but email takes time.

so the ski/snowboard trip went really well, but if it wasn’t non-refundable I would’ve stayed home – I was completely unprepared for the test today and this is another crazily busy week. I’ll try to find time to write about the weekend, but I don’t know when.

{January 19, 2007}   yay vacation

k, so before my schedule got insanely busy I signed up for the annual CSSS ski/snowboard trip. seeing as it’s non-refundable (afaik) I had to
make time for it – luckily I only had to miss one hour of class to get to the bus on time. :)

anyways, it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend. I’m on the bus right now, typing in vim and hoping that there’ll be net access at som
e point. :) it’s about 9:30pm, we stopped in chilliwack for dinner around 7-9pm, and ETA is sometime around midnight.

surprisingly, the journey hasn’t been boring at all. we watched a movie, played trivia games which kinda degenerated into making fun of the dr
unks at the back of the bus… :) now we’re watching some weird snowboarding video thing, and someone just got in trouble for trying to smoke
pot – I guess they were drunk enough to not realise we’d smell it. lol.

I’m really glad I have that spare battery now – poor little laptop can’t be recharged on the bus. anyways, our guides are cool and I think thi
s is gonna be a really fun weekend :) although I do have to find some time for homework, I guess. life is pretty nuts; at some point I need to
find time for a bit of rest! especially since I’m technically sick. laughed so much earlier that I started coughing again. but I feel pretty
darn good :)

yay, found net access in, uh, princeton or something. just stopping here a few minutes apparently.

{January 11, 2007}   busy busy busy

so, I’m kinda of two minds about this semester.

On the one hand, I’m rather pissed off about how insanely busy it’s turned out to be. I was expecting a nice relaxed semester, going to school 4 days a week, so that I could focus on mandarin for those 4 days and spend 2 of the other days on programming.

Instead I’ve got mandarin 5 days a week, *plus* a math course, and I haven’t even had time to read webcomics since school started. akregator currently says it’s got 134 unread articles. I don’t think I can catch up with that on the weekend :P programming seems completely out of the question. I’m actually listening to mandarin lessons as I type this; need to do *lots* of studying to make sure I don’t fall behind, ’cause there would be no way of catching up.

I survived two years of heavy course load at BCIT; I didn’t want to ever do it again. yet somehow it seems I’ve got myself into a tough program. doh. and there won’t be any programming courses for ages, because I have credit for most of the lower ones. not only do I feel bad about not working on kopete’s filetransfer stuff, and worry about forgetting a lot of the stuff I learnt, but, well, I feel kinda lost when I’m not programming. it’s been a part of who I am since high school. I’m using kubuntu more than gentoo and have hardly written any code in the last 3 months; I don’t feel like much of a geek :P and I don’t feel like I have much else in the way of practical skills. heck, the soldering iron I bought is still in its packaging (although that’s partially because I wanted to use it on computer stuff and the computer hasn’t been off long enough to do so :) .

strangely enough I don’t mind so much about the death of my social life. I guess I got enough partying in september to last me a while. I see people at school all the time, and I still have some shreds of a life left (going out this weekend, probably won’t go anywhere for a few weeks after that) – and I guess I’ve been feeling rather antisocial lately. the stress of this unexpected busyness has increased that; I’m finding it really hard not to snap at people whenever they try to be helpful.

I think the biggest problem with all this is that it just wasn’t what I planned. I really hate unexpected surprises (unless they’re something nice and harmless like chocolate, of course ;) . Other people are in control of my schedule and that’s really not something I’m comfortable with.

still, there’s part of my mind that’s starting to feel optimistic… a busy schedule gives me less time to worry about silly little things that I shouldn’t worry about in the first place, and I don’t have time to start procrastinating. learning mandarin is certainly interesting, and going to china will certainly be an adventure :) I think I’m starting to regain some of the curiosity that got killed off by grade school; it’s nice to be around people who actually want to learn. It’s still frustrating to not have time for other things I’d hoped to do.. but if I can let them go now, I might even enjoy learning this stuff. Especially with pete – he has so much enthusiasm for learning mandarin, it’s a bit contagious ;) and he’s just generally wonderful.

I know I meant to write more, but I can’t remember what. anyways, need sleep. hopefully after the weekend I might be less stressed out – it’s kinda hard to be in a good mood when a corner of my mind is constantly on the verge of panic :P

{January 10, 2007}   long day

right now I’m stranded up at SFU. it sounds like traffic is beginning to move, though, so maybe if I can persuade someone to drive up here I could get home.

so, this morning went well. I got up early, went to the evil mall and got various things, including rubber boots. the snow was beautiful.

then I went to class, and the first half was fun. I checked my email during a break and found out that there’s been a curriculum change and I might have to take a fifth course this semester. it’s just math, but still, I’m already feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mandarin :( I don’t have time to think about other things!

for the entire 4-hour class, it was snowing heavily and buses were “delayed” according to the internet. then around the time class ended they stopped – so, I’m probably stuck up here with pete. internet’s being flaky, but if I can get online later I’ll write more.

update: we went back to the common room after dinner (dinner taking a couple of hours because there were so many people and one of our dishes disappeared) and a friend offered us a ride down the hill. by the time we left part of the road had been plowed, so we got home ok, and basically just went to bed.

naturally the roads were all clear this morning so SFU was open again for our class at 9:30am :P all that snow and we didn’t get to miss class – then again, we have so much to learn that that’s probably a good thing. :)

now the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the fishpond is frozen over (I kicked it, but didn’t try to stand on it). it’s really beautiful :) pete took some pictures, so maybe I’ll link to those after he uploads them.

{January 8, 2007}   back to the grind

today was the first day of the new semester.
oh god.

so, it was already bad that I had almost switched to a nocturnal schedule during the break, and didn’t manage to get much sleep last night. then forgot to bring lunch, or even water. this just generally started things off badly.

then I found out that what we had been told were optional tutorials for getting extra help were “optional” in name only; they would be extra practice classes, and at least once a week there’ll be stuff worth marks there. this takes my schedule from 16 to 22 hours a week, and means that I don’t get fridays off :( and of course we’re going to have plenty of homework too. speaking of which, I should get back to that. there’s a quiz in the morning.

I’d been hoping that I’d have an easier semester, with time for programming.. silly me. :(
looks like it’s going to be hard work instead – I’ll have to figure out what happened to my BCIT work habits and get those back before my brain implodes. I got far too stressed out today.

I’ll still try and find time for kopete on the weekends, but I’m not sure how well that’ll work :( and the summer is looking pretty busy too – I certainly won’t be applying for SoC this year.

oh well. at least life in general seems to be going well :) *crosses fingers* and my laptop’s been much better at hibernation ever since I upgraded to edgy. although I don’t even get time to *open* my laptop in these mandarin classes…

{January 4, 2007}   power!!

yay, I *finally* got a new battery for my laptop! :) it’s only a 6-cell – I’ve given up on trying to find a 9-cell – but it’s certainly better than my poor old 3-cell that’s giving me less than an hour of power these days… it looks like I’ll be able to get about 3 hours out of the new battery. :) that means I no longer have to be constantly checking for power outlets.

I suppose it won’t matter quite so much this semester, though – I have 12 credits worth of mandarin and nothing else. 4 hours a day in one classroom. I do hope we get more than one break a day; I cannot sit in a chair that long.

as for kopete: I need testers! it seems I’ve completely lost the data about one of the aim bugs, and iirc I’m going to have to do a lot of reverse-engineering for icq, so I need people with the official clients that are willing to accept and send files over and over and over.

et cetera