Monday, May 27, 2013

Santa Catalina Island Field Trip Part 1

Last week, May 20 to May 23, I went to Santa Catalina Island for a school field trip. It was an overnight, four day field trip. Santa Catalina Island is twenty-six miles off the coast of Long Beach, California. We took a plane, a bus, and a boat to get there. We snorkeled, hiked, and kayaked. I had a blast! There were eight kids per "cabin" (they were similar to tents).

The cabin had small bunk beds and had a bumpy wooden floor that was covered in sand. There was also no light in the cabin. There wasn't even candlelight. We had to use flashlights and it was annoying because it caused us to have one hand full all the time. The cabins were diagonally placed and my cabin was situated closest to the beach so we could hear the crashing waves at night. We ate food at the food court. It was located right next to the beach where you can find tiny little sand crabs.We could take two minute showers everyday or we could not take a shower one day and take a four minute shower the next day etc. This is because of water conservation.

Snorkeling was very fun. On the first full day, I went down to the Waterfront, or Snorkel Shack, as I call it, to get my wetsuit and snorkel gear. Normally, when you go snorkeling, you don't need to wear a wetsuit. However, at Catalina Island, the water is quite cold and to stay warm for a long period of time, we had to wear extra thick wetsuits.In addition to keeping us warm, they acted as a personal floation device. It took ages to put on the blubber like wetsuits, but it was worth it. The wetsuits were 2-piece, so we had lots of trouble because the suit was extremely tight when it is dry. After putting on the blubbery suits, we had to put the snorkeling masks on. We washed them and then put them on. Shortly after, we waddled like penguins to the edge of the water. Then we back waddled into the ocean. As I looked down immediately after I got into the water, I couldn't see anything. Our counselor explained that there was too much sand near the beach so we swam farther out. Then we came across a kelp forest.

The kelp forest was vibrant with life and many fish were seen. First, we saw a huge school of Blacksmith fish. Then, we saw Garibaldi fish. They were eating parasites off the Giant Kelp. Giant Kelp can grow up to two metres a day! I thought that was amazing! The Garibaldis paid us no attention as we glided by. Then, out of nowhere, a Ray leaped from the sand causing us to stare in awe. Then, I looked to my left, and a piece of kelp glided towards me. However it was moving at an unnatural speed. As I looked closely, I realized it was an octopus! I looked around to signal my friends, but as soon as I looked back, it vanished. Darn it! I looked down to the sand and saw a leopard shark sweep across, scattering many fish in all directions. Then there was a bubble and as I looked to my right, I saw a harbor seal swim by. As I got out of the water, I was shocked by how much life was underwater.

I was exhausted after being in the water for a full day but I was looking forward to the next day!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Apple vs. Microsoft

Many people are arguing about whether Apple is better, or Microsoft is better. I don't think you can argue. Apple is a hardware and software company. Microsoft is a computer software company. They sell products that make computers work! We can only compare them based on their software.

Personally, I think Microsoft's software is better. When you buy a Mac with the new Mountain Lion or other type of software, it doesn't come with much productive software. Just Finder and Safari and the Trash Bin (possibly more I have forgotton). When you buy a PC with Microsoft software, it comes with File Explorer, Internet Explorer, and the Recycle Bin. Very similar.     However, when you run things or download things, Apple software makes it more complicated than it should be. I am not trying to discourage you about buying Apple products.

An example of how downloading things is harder on Mac's is Minecraft. When you want to download Modifications, or Mods for short, you have to find Libraries, then find Minecraft.jar, then unarchive the java script, then unarchive the Mod into a folder, copy  the info into the Minecraft.jar folder, then log in to minecraft. With Windows, you just drag the folder into the already un-archived Minecraft folder, then you are done. There are more steps for the Mac. This goes for many things.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Flu

You may wonder why I am writing about the flu. I am writing about the flu because I had the flu about a year ago, and it was awful. As I was thinking about what I should write about the flu, I came up with a poem.

The flu is a nasty little bug,
It can sneak to and fro,
It attempts to get into your body,
Where it seeks to go,
Your eyes are flashing up and about,
To look for this miniscule creature,
Who is invisible to nearly all,
It bulldozes all in its path,
For a little virus,
It takes days to defeat, the malicious bug,
But next time it may come back again,
this time in another form,
And hopefully you're prepared,
Because it is like a storm

When I had the flu, I was weak and pale. It was hard to even take a step from my bed! Therefore, I spent the worst days of the flu in my bed. Eventually, it started to get better so I could get up to go to the dining table (not that I had much of an appetite). It felt like I had to learn to walk again. It took about an hour to get used to to the motion of walking. Not only were the symptoms bad, the medicine itself was disgusting. It was so icky that the description makes me feel like I am tasting the medicine all over again. It had like a slimy texture and it tasted very mucky and bitter. It almost made me cough all over myself. Then the miracle happened. I felt the flu retreat and I felt renewed with strength. I felt cured. I started to feel better after a week and the flu was defeated!

Portal Party

On April 28, Sunday, I will go to a Portal party my friend Aidan hosted. Portal is a fun video game that requires you to claim a "portal gun". You must use the "portal gun" to make your way through many test chambers to defeat the final boss, Glados. During the game, you will start to unravel secrets. Therefore, the game is less confusing as time goes on. In the game, everybody is a robot except you. The storyline is...

You wake up in a bedroom, but instead of getting up to get breakfast, you have a robot knock on your door. You get up and open it. A tiny robot, Wheatley, who hangs on the ceiling comes in to tell you it is time for exercise and arts class. He leaves the room and you are left alone. A voice comes on. It screeches, "When the buzzer goes off, look down." You look down. Then the voice continues, "Now look up when the buzzer goes off." You look up. "Perfect. Now stare at the painting on the wall. When you feel like you are well exercised and have learned about art go back to sleep." You go back to sleep.

When you wake up again, everything is broken and run down. The lights aren't working and an alarm is on. Wheatley barges in without knocking and says, "I'm gonna move your room. Tell them, the last time you saw the other test subjects they were fine." Then the room starts moving, and the walls and ceiling collapse. You look and there is a humongous iron sliding door in front of you. Wheatley announces, "I am going to open the door, hold on tight!" The door screams as it opens and as the room goes through, the room shudders. You jump off and land on cement but you are fine. That is when the testing really begins...

You get a primary portal gun, which can only shoot one portal at a time. Then the testing elevator rises and you step in. The first level is easy, a few portals and you are done, but as you go on, the levels get harder and harder.