Archive for April, 2008

Provincials, the Sun Run, and a Brand New Camera

I’ve had an incredibly busy past 4 days. Thursday – math provincial, Friday – english provincial, Saturday – Spring Fair, Sunday – Sun Run. Oh, and I finally bit the bullet and bought a digital SLR on Thursday! The provincials went well, I don’t think I did well on most of the English exam, but I felt like I wrote a good essay. The topic was “Imagination is required for progress”, or something along those lines. I intro’d with a quote from John Lenon, “Imagine all the people”. I then wrote my two body paragraphs, the first on Mugabe – a man who has used his imagination for evil, hindering progress, and the second on the Dalai Lama – a man who has made great progress towards promoting peace. I concluded by again referring to John Lenon, “John Lenin thought he was a dreamer, but he wasn’t the only one. We are all dreamers.” As for the math exam, I understood everything except one question on probability, “three numbers are chosen between 1 and 9. What is the probability that at least 2 will be even?”

As for the camera, I’m loving it so far. There are however, many functions I am still oblivious to and still a myriad of buttons that I do not yet understand. I went around on my first photo shoot today, if I may be so bold as to call it that. I only used the stock lens, yet the quality of the pictures is very impressive. I like the relatively small aperture of the stock lens – this means I can take nice close-ups with artistically blurred backgrounds. If I was to purchase another lens, I’d go with either a macro (close up lens) or one with an even smaller aperture than stock. The above picture is a combination of three – the same frame with 3 different exposures. It’s definitely my favorite picture so far.

The sheer number of people at the Sun Run today was mind boggling – 59,000. From the start line, I jumped up to look back and was met with an ocean of tightly packed bodies as far as the eye could see. The run itself was very tiring. I haven’t run a 10k race or even trained on a 10k route since the Sun Run last year. I ended up drafting a man from the 5km mark all the way to the end which significantly helped my time. Everyone filed into GM place at the end, it was packed. The complimentary juice, bagels, bananas, oranges, and power bars more than made up for the lack of free space. I hope that the run will have motivated me to train more and get ready for the next race, whenever that may be.

Silky smooth

Having washed the car yesterday, I directed my attention to polishing it to a sleek red finish today. I hadn’t done this since last year and forgot how tiring it was. Basically, polishing the car consists of applying a few small dabs of product to a given panel, rubbing it in with a cotton cloth, and then buffing to a mirror-like shine with a clean cloth. This is then repeated for each panel of the car – the hood, both sides of the roof, the trunk, both fenders, both doors, and both rear/side panels. All in all it was definitely worth the effort, you’d never be able to tell the car had been sitting for 4 months through the snow, sleet, and hail of Vancouver.

As far as school goes, I’ve got a calculus test tomorrow that is far more difficult than I am capable. I’m not too worried as my calculus mark isn’t very important, but it would be nice to do well. Each question is from a past AP exam though, so this is a true representation of what’s to come in may. The English exam is now only 3 days away, a source of a great part of my anxiety.

I almost sealed the deal on a digital SLR camera today from craigslist, but ended up being outbid by $200. The deal hasn’t been finalized yet though, so there’s still hope for me. I’ve added bookmarks to my firefox page – links to craiglist searches for “rebel xt” and “rebel xti”, the 2 cameras I’m interested in. I’m hoping it won’t be long until I can begin my photographic career and post some masterpieces in an album here. I like to dream big.

A much needed update


It has been far too long since I last posted. Over the last 2 weeks much has happened. The first few days of school went by at a snail’s pace, in anticipation for Encounter. On Thursday, 3rd all of the leaders left the school with Gambier island in site. We arrived at our destination – camp Artona, and the rest is history. As I am bound by the grips of Encounter, I will reveal nothing as to what took place, but I came back refreshed and revitalized.

Over the weekend I went skiing for the last time this season. Grouse and Cypress are now officially closed. I do see this as rather strange as there is a fantastic base at both mountains of over 500cm. It would seem that the mountains aren’t generating enough traffic to justify staying open. I would chance a guess that the reason they don’t open just on weekends is because it would be hard to find staff for only those two days. There would also be much more work needed if the mountain was not maintained during the week. I hope to have the chance to ski at Whistler at least one more time before the end of the season there. With AP exams looming in the near future, however, this seems unlikely

Today was an extraordinary day for me as I purchased insurance for my car. A few days ago I fixed the rear brake by removing the wheel and rotating the axel to get the break “unstuck”. I now owe my mechanic $300 – he was nice enough to remove the labour costs from the bill. This is still far more than I would like to spend though. I washed the car and now it is looking better than ever – you’d never guess it had been sitting dormant in the driveway stagnating over the last 3 months. I do still have to clean up a bit of mould that has grown on the back seat while it has been there and need to give it a good polish and wax tomorrow.

I’ve been seriously lacking in the fitness department. Since buying my new shoes, I’ve used them only a handful of times. With the Sun Run drawing ever closer (this Sunday) I am becoming increasingly anxious. To my credit, I did run to the bottom of the road and back – a total of 4km in about 30 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so out of shape before. I am determined to go to the gym a few times this week, as I have the car now making it easy to drive there after school.

I hope to write a few creative writing pieces or journal articles over the next few days. This would probably be great as preparation for my English provincial. I promise to start writing more and not let this fall, like my car, into neglect.

Shoddy car mechanics


Most car owners have encountered a car mechanic during some part of their car-driving life. Early in January was my chance to test how accurate the stereotype of a car mechanic really was. As I drove home from school on a cold January afternoon, I felt the steering wheel begin to tremor. This was slightly more violent than the typical puttering of my ’94 Dodge Colt. I continued to drive along the highway and noticed that the steering was getting loose – it took a fair deal of force on the steering wheel to turn the car. I decided that I was close enough to make it home and arrived home five minutes from when I first noticed the tremoring. I called up my local mechanic – Bud, who works out of his garage a block down the road from me, seeking his professional advice. He told me that he’d quickly look at the car to tell me what was wrong. Immediately, after feeling the metal of the wheel – he told me that my callipers had probably failed, thereby allowing the brake pads to close on just the front left wheel. Bud let me know that a new calliper was going to cost about $60 and if worst came to worst the drum would have to be replaced for a total of about $90. We agreed that he should take a look at the car and would let me know what my options were. I got my car back the next day fixed and functioning, he told me that I would receive an invoice shortly with the total cost. Never did he tell me my options as we had discussed. I decided that I would not drive the car until I received the invoice.

I waited nearly two months without driving the car until the invoice finally arrived, the total – a staggering four hundred dollars. There was a $200 charge for 2 callipers, a $100 charge for labour, and $100 in extra charges including an oil change and new spark plugs. I looked at the bill in shock. This was rediculous. I called up Bud and as I expected, he said that the work was done and asked me what I thought should be done. He told me that he’d drop the labour charge – but the bill would still be $300. There is also the possibility of giving him the car as payment, but that would mean I would have to give up driving until the end of school.

Indeed, I am in quite the predicament. I look forward to resolving the issue, but every potential outcome looks to be weighed against me. This is truly a test of the ‘real world’.