Archive for December, 2006

A Brief Hiatus

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2006 by jedicouncil



‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 1 (Part 5)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 14, 2006 by jedicouncil

It’s Thursday and I feel a whole heck of a lot better.  I woke up this morning a little groggy and having a little bit of pain in my chest, but my morning got better after my shower as my chest and throat opened up from the steam in the shower.  It got ready for school and the kids seemed to be be in a better mood as well.  Heather and I talked and I guess she had decided the night before that I would take the car to work today.  Not that I was gonna argue because I love having the car to myself whenever I can get it.  It’s still an absolute pleasure to have this car to drive.  I’ve found nothing wrong with the car.  We’ve even named it “TK-421” because the car kind of looks like a stormtrooper helmet.

Anyway, I got to school and started to clear off the equipment off the stage from the concert.  I’m pretty close to having everything put away.  It’s gotta be a new record for me as I usually take a week to get equipment put away, sometimes longer.  Got most of the equipment put away when I got a phone call from the other Classroom Music Teacher and she asked me to help her and her substitute out a little as she wouldn’t be in today.  So, I got some stuff covered for her just in time to get ready for my first period class.  Classes went well today.  Students were actually better behaved today than they have been in days past and I got quite a lot of my work done for school.  I was also able to update my gradebooks throughout the day today and now I need to work on getting my mid-term reports done.

I got done with school, and came home to an upset wife.  She didn’t get the pay raise she wanted from Wendy’s and they have decided they’re not going to train her any farther up the chain of command unless she becomes an Assistant Store Manager and is willing to put in ten hour shifts there.  So, she’s pretty much hit a brick wall with her workplace.  She’s not happy, but I told her that that is what she gets when she works at a minimum wage job.  The bosses won’t stick their neck out for you and they won’t always give you your raises when you think you deserve them.  Well, we’re surviving on what we’re making now so we’ll continue to survive.  We then went about cleaning the house up.  It’s kinda become a mess since I got sick on Sunday and lounged around all day on this past Saturday.  We talked about this weekend.  I thought this upcoming Saturday would be a day that I could sit around and do my podcast all day long.  But, that’s not going to be the case.  I need to go to “Gander Mountain Sports” to sell popcorn with Austin from 10 to 11 for Boy Scouts.  Then we have to be at the church by one p.m. for a rehearsal for our church’s Christmas program which is on Sunday.  After that, Ruth has a Girl Scout Christmas Caroling activity at “Good Fairview Shephard Home” on Robinson Street at two and THEN I get my day back.  I think.

Okay, time to talk about Part 5 of Chapter 1 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 1 (Part 5):  Ord Mantell, barrack block 5 Epsilon – RC1309 was buffing his boots while waiting to be chilled down.  Another trooper entered the room with the number RC-8015.  8015 introduced homself as Fi and 130 introduced himself as Niner.  Niner asked if Fir chickened out, since he was a sole survivor or was he just luck.  Fi said he did what was asked of him.  Niner went back to boot cleanining while Fi slid into the bunk above him and stared at the bulkhead above.  Niner would’ve known what he was thinking if it were his old mate Sev, but Fi is not.  Clones are brought up with extended families that start with the platoon and end at the regiment.  But Commandos worked solely with each other.  Niner and Fi had lost everyone.  Sure, they lost others before, like in exercises.  But they always performed well with their entire squad.  Niner said that the Geonosian battle was a waste because it was a job for infantry, not special ops like them.  Fi said it sounded like a critcism, but Niner said they just weren’t used effectively.  Niner finished with his boots and dress down inspection.  He had it timed t the exact minute it would take to get done now.  As he packed up his gear, Fi critiqued him, but Niner quickly put him in place noting that things are done differently on his squad.  Fi rolled over and after a while started to softly sing a Mandolarian fight song they all knew by heart.  Niner quietly joined in and relived today’s events wishing he could change where he sent DD and Sev and O-Four.  As they trailed off, Fi said he stayed with his team and Niner replied saying, “I know”.

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 1 (Part 4)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 13, 2006 by jedicouncil

Well, it was an action filled Wednesday.  We got up as usual this morning and started to get ready for school.  Both Heather and I were exhausted but it always seems to be that way when she’s out till two in the morning the previous night.  I keep hoping at some time she’ll think that she’s working too late at night, but I guess I’ll have to wait until my wife is 40 for her “life” to catch up with her.  Anyway, my students were totally off the wall today!!  They are just ready for a break and so am I, but we have a whole week and a half to go and I’m wondering if they’re acting like this today, what are they going to be like by the end of next week?  I had to call some parents today.  There are times I don’t mind doing it, and other times I dread it.  I usually dread it when I have to tell a parent that their son/daughter is not doing well in music and is hiding their grade from their parents.  I know that not everyone “masters” music, but I don’t make my class hard and as long as you pay attention and try in my class, you should be able to walk away with an easy “A”.  You would think, right?   Well, you would be amazed at how many kids think I’m cruel because I ask them to do a little work in my classroom.  All right, I won’t go on and on about this.

I started to work on the next episode of TJCS today.  Started getting my notes together and puttng the concept for the show together.  I think everyone will like this one and I have a concept idea for the next show beyond that as well.  We’ll have to see if I can get the guest I want to get for that episode.  Anyway, I got done with school, did some paperwork after school and headed over to SMASH rehearsal.  It went fairly well and we now have a pretty good idea of what we are going to do for “First Night” here in Binghamton.  I came out of that rehearsal and had a massive back problem.  My back was hurting so bad that I had a hard time driving.  When I got home, I walked into a pile of dog throw-up (thanks Clifford) on my way to trying to find out “Icy Hot”.  Heather helped me downstairs and rubbed some on my back and we caught up on the day while I ate my late dinner.  My appetite finally has come back since Sunday, but I’m still trying not to overdo it too much.  We then turned on the T.V. and watched our usual Wednesday night shows (“King of Queens”, “Criminal Minds”, and “C.S.I.:NY”).

Okay, let’s talk about Part 4 of Chapter 1 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 1 (Part 4):  Etain said the usual, to which the farmer said he knew who she was.  Before he could get anything out, Etain had her lightsaber on.  She introduced herself as a padawan and said he had two choices.  He could let her go, or test her Jedi abilities.  The farmer said the lightsaber must not have helped out her Master much and she said Master Fulier was betrayed.  She asked if he was going to help and he said if he did, he’d have Ghaz Hokan’s thugs all over him.  She asked for shelter, he obliged and as they headed for shelter he introduced himself as Birhan.  She was a padawan that was not the best of the bunch.  She was only here because she and Master Fulier were the closest to handle a situation that arose.  They hadn’t heard from not had they found Master Fulier’s body either.  If Birhan htought she was a powerful Jedi, she was going to run with it to keep herself alive for another day…..

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 1 (Part 3)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 12, 2006 by jedicouncil

Okay, Tuesday.  Day after the concert and everything seemed to go okay.  I got up and felt a little better yet today.  I was able to get ready for work without being totally exhausted and without feeling like I was being rushed to get out the door.  Heather drove me to school so she could take the car to Syracuse to do some Christmas shopping.  She went to Syracuse because they are the closest mall with a “Build A Bear” store and they have a “Hello Kitty” that can be filled at their store.  So, Heather took off with the car and I was able to start working on taking the cords off the stage from yesterday and last night’s concert.  I guess it’s our way of finally defining that the concert is officially over.  Heather called me once she got to Syracuse and let me know why her cell phone wasn’t working.  Well, let me back up.

Evidently, Christmas is the time of year when companies just become stupid!  That’s right, you heard me, companies are just getting what I call “Holiday Dumb”.  I think they do it on purpose so they can try to screw their customers over more after the season and expect all of us to just throw our arms in the air and say, “all well, take my money!!”  Okay, let me start with my garbage company.  My garbage company has been telling Heather and I to simply tape an envelope with a check in it to our garbage can to make payments.  No problem, till we had a wind storm on a Monday night and the envelope blew away.  So, that idea didn’t work, so they told us to “wedge” the check in on the top of the garbage can and give them a call when we do it so they can look out for it the next day.  Well, before my wife left today, she found our check on the ground in our yard, even though we put it there and bothered to call the company.  Meanwhile, we’re earning penalties for being late with payments.  So, I told Heather, from this point on we are mailing the payments to them, which they don’t want us to do.  But, if they offer us no other solution to the problem, then this is my solution, and they’ll just have to deal!

Now, onto Cingular.  My wife calls Cingular today to try and figure out why they have turned off her phone.  Cingular claims we bounced a check with them (get this) in 2005!!!!   First off, this is the first time we’ve heard anything about it.  Second of all, they have NO WAY TO PROVE IT!!!  That’s right, they said they’ve lost the data, but according to their computer we’ve bounced a check with them.  They’re just not sure where or when.   Right.  I just decided to bounce a phantom check for no reason at all.  So, now Heather can’t put more minutes on her phone until we take care of the bounced check.  What bounced check?!!! They can’t even prove it happened!!  Anyway, Heather said she’s going to try and chase this down tomorrow.  Huh, I don’t have a lot of faith.

Okay, Heather came and picked me up from school today and we came home.  She showed me some of the things we got the kids and some are ridiculously cute.  Like, she not only got the “Hello Kitty” doll, but jamas and slippers for her too.  Way too cute stuff.  Of course, I’m not allowed to get in the trunk of my car today because my gifts are there.  That will have to be resolved before tomorrow.  We came home and I took a little nap because all of this work at school takes all of my energy out of me because of still being sick.  I got up and helped to make dinner together and we had dinner and then dropped Heather off to work.  I then went to the Vestal Marching Band end of the year party and had a nice time with the staff and kids.  As a matter of fact, I received the “Just One More Time Award”.  Yet again, since I got it twice with Binghamton.  Hey, what can I say?  I insist that my students try something more than once, and everyone thinks it’s funny.  Anyway, it was a blast a ton of fun.  I came back to Heather’s work and she took her break to bring me home.

Okay, let’s talk about “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss, Chapter 1, Part 3……

 Chapter 1 (Part 3):  It was a bad day for Etain Tur Mukan as she ran through a field of grain.  She fell to the ground to hid herself as a Weequay tried to pursue her.  Etain thought to herself that she should’ve waited till it was dark to escape the Weequay.  He got closer to her and started to kick the grass trying to find her.  He kept calling for her,when a loud wet “thwack” sound was let out.  A voice told he Weequay, named Di’Kut that he needs to stop getting drunk and chasing women.  The Weequay made a horrible sound and the discussion now began to move away from Etain.  She waited till dusk to move, being careful before the gdans started to hunt in packs.  As she got up, she had dung and debris stuck to her from the field.  She pulled out a cloth and thought that all she needed was a stream to clean up in. Out of nowhere, a farmer commented about her waisting her time, if that’s the crop she’s after.  She made sure to hide her lighsaber in case he may think to turn her in.  She offered to pay the farmer for the damages to his crop, but he ignored the proposal and asked why they were after her……

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 1 (Part 2)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 11, 2006 by jedicouncil

I felt like total crap when I woke up this morning.  I was getting dizzy again and wasn’t feeling too great when I woke up.  I even lost my voice at given points in time while trying to get ready for the morning.  This just wasn’t going to be a good day.  I told Heather that I trusted myself enough to drive to school, but if I felt bad, I may need to have someone else drive me home and have Heather drive them back to school.  I got to school and started to drag equipment out for the concert.  Our choral, orchestra, and band directors all looked at me and said, “oh my god, are you okay?”  Evidently, I didn’t look so hot.  We had a shortened schedule because of the concert and I warned my students upfront that I wasn’t feeling well, so many of my classes behaved pretty well.  When it got to second period, I had a free period, so I literally laid on the floor of my classroom (tile mind you) and fell asleep for about twenty minutes (shortened periods).  It felt great and I felt a whole lot better.  I finished up all my classes and felt I even got a lot accomplished with them all.

The concert went very well this afternoon.  The kids performed well.  The audience is what I’ve come to expect of an audience at my school.  Most of the music teachers wished the students hadn’t “hooped” it up as much as they did, but that seems to be a common problem at our school.  We even had a student that was so upset with the audience, that while she was reading her announcement for the orchestra, she had to tell the audience to “shut up” and I don’t think she was completely out of line.  As a matter of fact, I think the audience deserved that.  We got done and I made it through okay.

I came home and crashed from all of the work from school.  I went back in the bedroom and slept for another hour today.  I needed to if I was going to make it through the concert tonight.  I came back to school a little early to put my students’ music videos on the T.V. in the hallway for parents to see.  We got some great feedback on it from both parents and students.  Everyone like the idea and liked how the video turned out.  I’m really proud of that video and I hope the next ones we produce will be just as good.  The concert tonight went well as well.  I was very proud of the students and I was able to make it through the night despite all that happened tomorrow.  I came home and Heather and I fixed some things around the house that needed to be taken care of (a lightbulb out in the hallway and a lightbulb out in Frosty outside) and then went downstairs and watched some of our usual shows (“Two and a Half Men”, “Life with Christine” and C.S.I:Miami”) and got to bed at a decent hour.  Heather is going to Syracuse tomorrow to do some Christmas shopping for me, so she felt that she needed to get some rest as well.

Okay, let’s talk about Part 2 of Chapter 1 of Karen Traviss’ “Star Wars:  Republic Commandos – Hard Contact”……

Chapter 1 (Part 2):  A commander came by and asked his number and he rattled it off like a typical trooper.  He knew in his gut that the rest of his squad must be dead.  Darman asked if they heard anything from 1135, and the commander said no.  Darman knew better than to ask because he had been bred for one purpose as a clone, fight and move on.  Darman never doubted himself till now.  Another, non-Commando trooper sat next to him and was commenting on the DC-17 he was carrying.  The trooper said the job was done, and Darman agreed.  Darman figured that this trooper, or any troopers for that matter, thought that Commandos were a bunch of prima donnas.  Darman didn’t look at it that way.  They were trained to do seige assaults, counter insurgency, hostage extraction, assassination, surveillance, and more.  He never got taught how to live without his squad though.  He felt shame even though they had won the battle.  Once the “Implacable” landed on Ord Mantell, he knew he would be reassigned…..



‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 1 (Part 1)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 10, 2006 by jedicouncil

I really don’t remember much from the day today.  Heather had to tell me what happened, and quite honestly, I’m writing this on Tuesday because of what happened today.  I woke up this morning and felt like total crap.  I would have stayed home from church, but I felt guilty that we haven’t been at church for some time and Austin needed to distribute his Boy Scout popcorn.  Besides, I REALLY wanted to get to my Star Wars Fanforce meeting today at Barnes N’ Nobles so I could record our group’s viewpoints on my “What If….” Segment for the next episode.  Well, that was about to be immediately bashed down.  I got to church and felt worse than I did at home.  But, my wife told me to “not try to look like death warmed over”.  So, I decided to help out with the sound since I couldn’t sing in the choir (Heather and I both agreed that we didn’t feel well enough to actually sing in the choir this morning).  About a quarter of the way through the service, I felt extremely HOT!!!  I mean like burning up hot.  I could have torn off all of my clothes and still would have been burning up.  I tried to get out of the balcony, but according to my wife, I sounded like twenty horses.  Luckily, one of the teenagers from church took over and helped me out in that regard.  I got down to the parlor, where all the couches were and collapsed on the closest couch I could find.  I was still burning up and decided it was okay to at least roll up my sleeves and take off my tie.  Heather came over to visit with me and was really worried about me (evidently I was as white as a sheet of paper and beyond).  I told her I was okay for now, and that I would take a nap here on the couch.  From this point on, I lost track of the day.  Evidently, Heather made the decision to take me home right away after church (good choice as I was partially conscious by this point).  I had spiked a massive fever, I’m not even sure what my top temperature was, but Heather had considered calling an ambulance.  By this point my stomach was doing the mambo as well.  As she drove home, I was getting sick from the motion of the car (this has never happened to me before!).  Heather got me home as quick as possible and dropped me off and then headed to CVS for some medicine.

When she got home, she found me passed out on the couch in the family room.  Evidently, my body was unable to make it any farther.  So, she helped me into the bedroom and gave me some “nighttime” Tylenol medicine for Flu.  It was the only medicine she could find that would hit everything that I was having problems with (including diarrhea).  My fever was starting to come down now, but now I was having hot and cold flashes.  Man, if this is what menopause feels like, then I can never be mad at Heather about it later in life.  I was hot one minute and freezing cold the next.   I must have turned on and off the ceiling fan in our bedroom at least two dozen times.  I started to loose track of time and by around four o’clock, I began to wake up a little.  I was simply conscious, not better.  I got up to go to the bathroom and felt sick and threw up.  For the first time all day, I felt vaguely better.  When I got up, there was no one in the house and I couldn’t figure out why.  Then I remembered my wife saying something about having to desperately go out and get groceries and then I remembered that we have little food in the house and she was going to go grocery shopping while I was at my Fanforce meeting that I didn’t go to.  I managed to drag myself downstairs to the home-theather room and onto the couch with two pillows and a HUGE blanket.  After a while, I turned on the T.V. and watched some football while I faded in and out of consciousness.  Evidently, I got some saltine crackers and some flat ginger ale in there, but I don’t remember doing any of that.  I was finally starting to get to be conscious again by six o’clock and was able to watch my usual  T.V. shows (“Amazing Race” and “Cold Case”).  At ten o’clock I went upstairs, took a shower, and was in bed by 10:15 p.m.  That’s the first time I’ve gone to bed before eleven o’clock in about a year.  I don’t remember much about this day, so most of this account comes from Heather.  Such is my life.  I was trying to get myself better quickly as my school concert is tomorrow and they desperately need me as no one else knows how to operate the sound and lights for the concert, so no matter what, I need to be there.  It’s going to be a rough day tomorrow.

Okay, let’s talk about Part 1 of Chapter 1 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 1 (Part 1):  Encrypted message to Ord Mantell – Geonosis forward control team is sending twelve thousand wounded back on transport, eight-thousand of which are walking wounded.  Seventy-two thousand troops need to be re-deployed.  The “Implacable” is prepring for extraction – Commandos 1136 noted every face around him, even though they all looked the same.  He was in charge of evacuating troops onto the dropping gunships.  This wasn’t a retreat but a victorious regrouping.  RC-1136, named Darman, took off his helmet and let the Duros dockmaster know that he was waiting for his mates, in the harshest manner he knew how, threatening.  The Duros backed off and told him to board when he’s ready.  Darman was concerned that he hadn’t heard from the rest of his squad yet.  He grew-up with them and flet compelled to stay as long as possible.  He waited till the last man, but never found them.  As Darman’s gunship hit the landing bay on the “Implacable”, he noted how quiet it was for so many troops being around.  He felt that if there weren’t injuries, no one would know that a major battle had just taken place…..



‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Prologue

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on December 9, 2006 by jedicouncil

There is one word that could describe today.  “Firefly”!!!  Yeah, I used the excuse that I needed to get the “Firefly” T.V. Series back to Charlie tomorrow as an excuse to lock myself in the basement most of the day to watch the DVD’s.  Heather wasn’t a big fan because she wanted to do some sewing down there, so she was stuck having to watch it with me.  I have to say, the first few episodes of “Firefly” were a little boring.  There just didn’t seem to be any point in the show and then by the third episode, it seems as though the show became very interesting.  I think it’s an absolute shame that this particular T.V. series did not continue.  As I watched the shows today, I tried to think to myself the best way to explain “Firefly” to someone who’s never seen it before.  So, here goes (for those of you that have seen the show, correct me if I’m wrong).  “Firefly” can be best described as a mix of “Deadwood” and “Star Trek”.  Or, if you’ve never seen “Deadwood”, then it’s a mix of an old cowboy film and “Star Trek”.  I really do like the T.V. series, and ironically, when I finished my DVD’s, the movie “Serenity” (based on the T.V. Series “Firefly”) was on HBO.  So, I couldn’t help but watch it.  Wow!!  My viewpoint on this movie has changed and I understand so much more of the movie now.  By the end of the day, I wasn’t feeling that spectacular, but I didn’t feel that well when I woke up either.  I just figured it’s because I haven’t gotten a lot of decent sleep over the past few weeks and I was just tired.  I went to bed a little earlier, considering Heather was working in Vestal till two tomorrow morning.  Got to bed by 11 p.m. and fell right to sleep.

Okay, let’s talk about the Prologue of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Prologue:  They zip down into a pitch balck crevasse.  They immediately turn on their helmet lamps and realize that in front of them is a triple blast door.  The Geonosians are on the other side and they need to use a lot of explosive to blow it and they have to stick it to a door with a lot of crap on it.  Delta Squad’s CO asks wha they’re waiting for and Theta says to hang on.  The CO reminds them that there are a lot of spider droids attacking.  He yells “clear” and the doors are blown wide open.  He radios to Delta Squad and they enter firing rapidly while the others cover their six.  The battle becomes so noisy that he can’t even hear his comlink in his own helmet.  He catches movement ahead and looks through his DC-17’s scope, but Taler points to a different tunnel.  He (Darman) is ordered to take the E-Web and hold while Taler, Vin, and Hay advance on the tunnel.  Then Darman looks up and sees lots of Geonosians above them.  Darman tries to call Taler, twice, and is answered with a call of “Man down!!”  Darman asks who’s down with no answer.  He’s lost contact wtih his squad.