James Cassell's Blog

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Christmas Day

My sister who was very excited about Christmas decided to get everyone up this morning. I managed to ignore her until about 9:30 when I got up. My three younger brothers and my younger sister got an Xbox 360 with enough controllers for each of them. If I were to get a console, the Xbox 360 would be the one I would get. I like the PC with a keyboard and mouse better. My mom gave me a Cruzer Micro flash drive with 1GB of memory. From my older sister, I got a mug that says "Proud to be a programming, upgrading, network supporting, surfing, internut Computer Whizz". On the other side, it says "World's Greatest Computer Whizz". My uncle gave me an Adidas hoodie with an Adidas hat to go along with it.

I and my family went up to my grandparents house to celebrate Christmas with the extended family. Before we opened gifts, I was talking to my uncle and found out that he already had an MP3 player. This is significant as I bought him one for Christmas. He said that he uses it almost every day. He says that he is going to see if the one I got him is better than the one he already has. I still have the receipt if not, but I can only return it within 15 days of when I bought it.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Searching for Christmas Gifts

This morning, I had swimming practice. Afterwards, my sister wanted me to take her shopping because she doesn't have her driver's license quite yet, though she has met all of the qualifications to do so. I took her (she drove) to several places including Border's book store, Michael's arts and crafts store, Wal-Mart, and several other places. When my extended family celebrates Thanksgiving, we draw names and get the person whose name we drew a gift for Christmas. If everyone were to get everyone else a gift, Christmas would become very expensive. I got a gift for my uncle from Wal-Mart. I got him an MP3 player. They are generally expensive, so I got the lease expensive one that they had, and even so went slightly over the spending limit.

On another note, all of this political correctness with "Happy Holidays" is getting on my nerves. Most people celebrate Christmas anyway. I do recognize that not everyone does, but a very large majority does. I don't see why anyone who isn't a politician needs to be politically correct about the Christmas Season.


Responses from Colleges

I have over the past few days heard back from several colleges. Stanford turned me down, and said that I wasn't allowed to re-apply this year. MIT, my top choice deferred me to the regular admission. Georgia Tech accepted me. The Coast Guard Academy also accepted me. And just yesterday, I found out that RPI also accepted me. I still haven't heard back from the other academies. I do hope that MIT likes my application when they look at it during regular admission.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Opera Browser Promo Image

Here is a funny picture about the Opera web browser.

Opera Bill Gates


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Restrictions at School

I hate when a few misbehaving individuals abuse privileges and get them taken away from the whole group. Today when I entered the library, I was informed that I would not be able to leave until the bell rang at the end of lunch. I regularly use the library during my lunch period to use the computers. I then leave about two minutes before lunch ends so that I can beat the crowds to get to my next class. Apparently, some kids were skipping class and doing other unspecified activities that caused "administration" to create this new rule. This type of thing has happened to me on several occasions. When I worked at Sam's Pizza and Subs, some people abused the free food by getting very expensive meals. My boss said that because of this, the only free food that we could get would be sandwiches. There was a similar incident in school this year; kids who ate in the courtyard outside didn't pick up their mess and caused the privilege of eating outside to be revoked. It has gotten on my nerves each and every time. I believe that the librarian is not particularly pleased with the new rule, but she must enforce it. I hope that this new rule will be relaxed. I'm thinking that the issue could be forced if everyone who used the library during their lunch periods were to stop doing so until the rule is revoked, but I think that the chances of this happening is virtually zero.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Swim Meet Against Colonial Forge (the school I previously attended)

I just got back from swimming in a meet. I went to physics class then to the meet. My best stroke is breaststroke. I can swim butterfly and freestyle if I need to, but if I am put in backstroke, I do very poorly. I have never in my life gotten first place, be it running or swimming. This year, I have gotten several second places in breaststroke, however. I did so again tonight. After the meet (my team lost again), when we were congratulating the other team, Coach O. who was my coach when I was at Colonial Forge congratulated me on my fast time in breaststroke. I was happy that she remembered me. She is the best swimming coach that I have had.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Windows Vista RTM

I've been running the final version of Windows Vista for almost a month. It is very nice, and a much-needed improvement over Windows XP. It does require good hardware to run smoothly. The sweet spot for ram for Vista seems to be about 2 gigabytes. A DirectX 9.0 card is also a must. Just about any modern processor except the Celeron will work fine for Vista, though I would recommend dual-core. It seems to be as stable as or more stable than XP. I have been up and running for 10 days and 12 hours as I type this. Some software doesn't work with Vista yet, but vendors are working on that, and most stuff should work by the time it's released to consumers in January.


Life lately

I've been busy lately. The National Honor Society site that I've been working on is almost ready for prime time. My injured leg still bothers me sometimes when I am swimming. I did get a Varsity Letter for Cross Country, though I never ran another race after I got injured. My Calculus class is almost over for this semester. I have my final exam tomorrow, or rather today considering that it's after midnight. Physics is almost over also, though I have a few more classes.

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