Up and Running Once More

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Ahh, it’s good to be back and blogging again. After almost a month of having our Internet down, it’s finally up and running once more. We had a Bell Canada technician come in and fix the problem, and in the process he also gave us a new modem – a faster one, I might add. I believe we were at 20 Mb per second before, and now it says it’s at 100 Mb per second – I’ve already noticed the increased speed when downloading larger files such as movies and music. It almost makes it worth the downtime and frustration of not being connected to the World Wide Web. Almost.

I can’t even possibly hope to update this site with all the dealings of the last month. When our service first went down, I tried to remember some of the highlights of each day to remember once I was able to blog again. Unfortunately, with a memory like mine, that idea was quickly abandoned. I suppose I could have just written each day’s entry up in a Word document or something, and then posted them all once I got back online. I didn’t think of that until just now, though. The break was certainly appreciated, however, since I’ve been quite busy with school, work, and the Christmas season quickly approaching. Things have certainly been hectic, although I’m not sure that most of the things that happened would really be noteworthy enough to mention here.

One thing I just have to talk about was the Physics bottle rocket challenge that occurred about three weeks ago. I can’t say that I was very impressed with having to make a bottle rocket out of a two-litre pop bottle. It all seemed so grade-school; however, I made one anyways, since it was for marks, after all. I looked on the Internet (while I still had it, thankfully) for bottle rocket designs, and ended up with a nifty-looking thing that I wasn’t sure would be all that successful. It featured a striking orange pylon on the top, cardboard fins on the side, and a cool parachute assembly cleverly hidden underneath the pylon. The idea was that once the rocket started coming down, the increased inertia of the nose cone would make it come off of the rocket (though it was attached with a string, so it didn’t hit anyone), and then the garbage bag parachute would deploy, gently lowering the rocket to the ground as the crowd stood and watched in amazement. Of course, I wasn’t sure that it would work at all, but I figured that since there were marks simply for creativity, I couldn’t go wrong with the whole idea, even if it didn’t end up working.

Launch day arrived, and people brought their unique bottle rockets and bottle planes to school. Some looked very nice, showing that their builders had spent a fair amount of time on them. Other ones were cheap and pathetic, showing a complete lack of effort. But whatever – rockets are still rockets, and so we went outside to launch them. We went out to North Park’s lawn out on the side of the building, and stood in the corner furthest away from the road, so that we would have the maximum amount of leeway for stray rockets. The rockets were fired, and some of them were quite impressive; others were simply pathetic. Finally, the time came to launch mine. Mr. H set it up in the launch assembly, and had it set at perhaps about 10 degrees from the ground. He pumped up the pressure, got ready, and pulled the string. The rocket raced through the air like a bullet, and must have gotten at least 30 or 35 feet of air. It was astounding. It went probably at least one and a half times higher and further than any of the other rockets. And then it started coming down. The nose cone never came off at all. It was like a missile, and it headed straight toward the ground. Bang! It hit the far side of the road and then bounced up onto someone’s lawn on the other side of the street. Everyone was standing there in shock. Then, poof! The parachute deployed.

Still amazed, I ran over to the other side of North Park Street to retrieve my rocket. I picked it up and realized that it was still in one piece. Though it had collided quite forcefully with solid pavement, all that was different about it was a tiny dent in the top of the pylon. I pushed the parachute back inside, put the nose cone back on, and then crossed the street again. I’m really having a very hard time conveying to you the immense shock of this event. If the rocket had been launched about five seconds later, it likely would have hit a car. That’s how amazing it was. It was the highlight of the day, and all the people in class were talking about it for the rest of the class.

A couple more rockets were launched, and then up came Julia with hers. It was a cute little thing, pink with futuristic-looking pink fins and a rounded pink light fixture on top (without the lightbulb, of course). Around the edge of the light fixture was fuzzy pink fluff. It really was, in every essence of the word, “cute.” And I can’t say I like using that word all that much. Mr. H set it all up, and then launched it. Foosh! It went probably about the same height as mine, but veered off to the left more. And then it hit the back of the clinic building. It was amazing. It went up, got lots of hang-time, and then bang! hit the brick wall with the force of, well, a rocket. Julia went and brought it back, and showed it off with its newly crushed light fixture. There was a dent in it probably about the diameter of a golf ball, and although that meant that it didn’t look as good, its performance was certainly interesting. Somebody inside the building probably had a heart attack. At least they were already in the clinic.

That’s basically the most interesting event that’s happened in the last month. I know it’s pretty pathetic when the highlight of an entire month is a Physics class, but at least it wasn’t one of those average classes or anything. There have been other things that happened, but as I already mentioned, there’s no chance of me remembering every little thing that happened. Most of my time has been spent at school, at work, or trying to find something to do without my precious Internet connection.

I guess I’ve really learned a few things since my loss of connectivity. I mean, some of my time was spent watching television, but since I’m not a real big couch potato anymore, I had to find other things to occupy my time. I actually got several things done, although not as much as I’d like to. It’s really amazing when you realize just how much you use the Internet. I found myself having to go to the phone book to look at maps of Brantford to find places, since I usually just look up the place on Google Maps. I would have spent more time playing guitar, except that most of my guitar tabs that I use are on the Internet. I wanted to get busy deciding to which universities I should apply, except that the Ontario Universities Application Centre requires the Internet to apply, and I wanted to get onto the website to help me through the process. I would hang out with my friends, except that I found it really hard to stay connected with them in the absence of MSN. It’s so easy to just go online, talk to someone for about five minutes and ask if they’re up for doing anything, and then get a bunch of people together. It’s so much harder to have to go and find everyone’s phone number, call them all up, figure out who can go, then figure out what to do, and then call them all back to let them know what’s going on.

I guess you could say that, most of all, I learned how to get along without my precious Internet for a month. And with all that free time, I found myself drawing blanks when trying to find things to do. That meant that there was lots more time to just get closer to God. Although I still make time for Him even when I have the Internet, I found it so much easier to sit down and just have a decent conversation with Him, more than just dumping all my requests on Him and then going about my day. Even with the increased busy schedule with work and Christmas shopping, I still feel much better about myself now that I’ve dealt with some issues in my life that God was slowly chipping away at. He’s not done of course, but I think He had a lot more time to work on it. So while I’ve probably been slightly irritable recently since I was disconnected from the Internet, I’m also sort of thankful that it happened. Sort of, anyway. At least it’s better than not at all.

I guess that’s really all I have to say. Man, I’m gone for a month, and I still can’t come up with a huge entry like I’ve done some days. Then again, I also worked tonight from 5-8. I started this entry when I got home from school, and now I’m finishing it after work. But of course, that doesn’t really concern you as the reader, since for one thing, you’ve been waiting a month for this entry, so what’s a few more hours? And another thing, it’s not like I published the first half of it, then left you hanging until I got back. It’s all going up at one time, so you don’t really even need to know that I didn’t do it all at one sitting. But whatever. I managed to squeak out one more paragraph with that unnecessary information, so I guess it’s all good. Until tomorrow (hopefully), this is Jeff, back once again. Word.

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