Archive for January, 2007

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

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 31, 2007 by jedicouncil

Another long school day, but a productive school day at that.  Classes went fine at school today and when we got done we finished auditions for the musical.  Once we finished with auditions, we sat down and figured out who was going to be playing what parts.  It’s always a long and involved process which draws out for at least an hour or more.  We really hash over our decisions and constantly doubt ourselves and rehash decisions over and over.  It may be a long process, but it definetly turns out positive in the end, at least it has in the past five years, so I don’t see it being a negative thing.  We got done so late, that I really couldn’t head over to SMASH because I would have gotten there just as they would have been leaving.  I even had to wait for Heather as she had the car to take the girls to girl scouts.  Once I got home, I had dinner and went downstairs to watch T.V. with Heather.  We watched our usual shows and went to bed.  Not too much of an exciting night, but definetly a packed night.

Okay, time to pull on those flanel pajamas, pull up those wool socks, use that flanel sheet, and enter George Lucas’ little world through the eyes of Karen Traviss.  Time to talk about “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact”; Chapter 4 (Part 4)…..

Chapter 4 (Part 4):  Darman was aware that it was too risky to do more in daylight.  To make matters worse, he was nursing a broken leg.  He found a small depression about a hundred meters from what looked like a road.  He was watching the road with deep intent.  He had no idea where he was, as he couldn’t risk turning on his GPS and being located.  From his mathematical estimates, Darman believed he was about forty to fifty klicks northeast of the first RV point.  He knew he couldn’t cover that amount of space  in time and he also knew he couldn’t drag his packs behind him as it would leave a “here I am!” line.  Darman took a minute and replaced the bacta soaked bandages covering his leg and he decided he could wait a little longer before getting something to eat.  He checked the road again from the HUD in his helmet…..



‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 4 (Part 3)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 30, 2007 by jedicouncil

Well, today I decided to take some control back of my classes and the concept worked.  I only have one class giving me problems this quarter and I decided to follow my “soccer rule” very strictly (I use yellow and red cards as warnings and then ejections).  It only took throwing one student out of class for them to understand that I meant business.  Once I removed the biggest problem in that class, I was able to regain control of that classroom.  Anyway, my school day seemed to go much better today.  I did what I usually do and then we had auditions for our musical this year after school was over.  The auditions went well and some students impressed me with their ability to sing.  Students that I wouldn’t normally have thought of as singers.  I got done with auditions and came home.  We had a quick dinner together and Heather headed off to work.  Once she left, the kids and I went downstairs and played our “Lord of the Rings” miniatures game until it was time for them to go to bed.  Once the kids went to bed, I worked on a new promo for TJCS which can now be found here.  After I got done with that, I figured it was time to go to bed and end my long day.

 Okay, let’s talk about Part 3 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 4 (Part 3):  Etain noticed a clearing that hadn’t been in the field before.  Birham walked by her cursing and telling her that it was her “lot” that did this to his fields.  Etain saw the large crater where the ship had crashed and noted the presence of a Trandoshan and Ubese searching the wreckage looking for something.  Etain realized it was too late to convince them that the crater was a natural phenomenom and looks at Birhan and wonders why this crater is linked to her and her find.  Birhan points out that speeders, freighters, and sprayers come down hard, but don’t leave craters.  Only soldiers and their vessels do that.  He asks Etain to take their fight off of his planet.  Etain began to wonder if Birhan would turn her in now when she noticed that the Trandoshan and Ubese were moving away fromt he wreckage while listening to  what looked like a comlink.  Etain walked over to the crater and peered down.  She thought the wreckage was a pretty large area for such a small craft.  It was then that she pulled out of the ground a piece  of metal with Republic markings on it.  Etain recognized it as part of an R5 droid and this now confirmed what she thought, they’re coming; whoever they are…..


‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 4 (Part 2)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 29, 2007 by jedicouncil

Well, it’s Monday and it’s the beginning of a new quarter.  I was able to meet my new students today and most of my classes seem nice.  I always have to have one class though, and this quarter it’s a sixth grade class.  I already had one sixth grade girl get in my face today and tell me that she doesn’t like me.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised and I guess it’s a good thing that I’m not a teacher to become popular.  🙂  Anyway, I was able to get things together and get my grading done today so that tonight I can input the grades into the computer.  I got done with school, packed my things up and came home.  Heather and I talked for a little bit and then called her uncle to confirm some things about the desktop computer.  Like the portable DVD-RW drive and the RAM we need for it.  He forgot about those problems and promised to get them out to us when he could.  I tried calling a gun shop around here that I thought may be interested in buying my used replica Enfield musket, but they decided they weren’t interested.  It’s a shame as I could probably get a couple hundred dollars for that rifle that I could put into Star Wars costuming, but I just can’t seem to find anyone who is interested in buying it.  Anyway, I did some work and then we ate dinner (lefovers).  We got done with dinner and Austin and I headed out for Boy Scouts at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.  We had a great night there where Deputy Wallace and his K-9 partner Colby led us on a tour of the Sheriff’s office.  It was really cool.  We even got a chance to see the 911 call emergency center which was all nice too.  We got home and Austin went right to bed and I did some work on the students’ music videos and then did some blogging and updates on sites.

Okay, it’s time to don on the Jedi Boots and talk about “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss.  Let’s focus on part 2 of Chapter 4…..

Chapter 4 (Part 2):  Niner moved quickly dragging the second pack behind him and moving at about ten klicks per hour.  He was glad that the Qiilura moon was a new moon as his grey armor would stick out like a sore thumb from the trees, even in the dark.  When he was four hundred meters from RV Alpha he hid his extra pack and started on a silent approach.  As he crawled for the last two-hundred meters, he spotten them, then suddenly found himself staring down the barrel of Fi’s DC-17.  Fi apologized and said the seargent had startled him.  Niner’s to other operatives had smeared dark mud all over thier armor to shadow the grey color of their armor.  Atin asked aobut Darman, and Niner said he didn’t make it off before the ship crashed because Darman shoved Niner off to gather more equipment.  Atin asked what they had and Niner said a missing comrade.  Atin said he wanted to knw what gear they had since Darman carried most of he ordinance.  Niner was upset that Atin didn’t seem to care about the loss of life.  Fi sai they have enough gear to put a dent in them.  However, lack of intelligence makes them wonder what they’re putting a dent in.  they wondered how long they would search for Darman and Atin pointed out that everyone knows they’re here as it wasn’t exactly a silent insert.  Niner says they’ll follow standard operating procedures and make the RV points and search the wreckage and make a decision about Darman from there.  They argued about how long they should search for him as long as it didn’t jeopardize the mission.  They looked for a better way to transport equipment while Niner turned on his long range communicator in case they heard from Darman anyways…..

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

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 28, 2007 by jedicouncil

It was Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!  We got up earlier than normal so Heather and I could get to church early.  Heather was singing in church today and didn’t want me to write about it until now because she didn’t want my mom to make her nervous like my mom made me nervous every time I went to a NYSSMA solo.  That’s right mom and dad, everytime I did a NYSSMA solo, mom would make me a nervous wreck and it’s amazing I did as well as I did.  To dad I know this is not a surprise, but I don’t think I have ever had the guts to tell my mom until now.  Honestly, she still makes me nervous when I’m performing and she’s around.  I could play in a  crowd of thousands of people (and I have), but if my mom is in the audience and I know it, I’m sweating like a pig.  Anyway, Heather got to church, rehearsed and really sounded very good.  I sang in the choir and she decided to save her voice for her solo which was for the Anthem.  Today was our church “meeting” for the year and we left after the service and didn’t stay around for the meeting.  Heather and I haven’t had the heart to tell anyone there that we are looking for other churches to go to.  Simply because our kids don’t have much of a youth program there and Heather and I are feeling like we need more for ourselves and we need more for our kids.  We’re still on the fence on all of this, but it is being seriously discussed at our house.  It’s going to be a hard move for either of us because this church has tried to help support us the best way they know how.  But somehow, neither of us feel fulfilled here.

Anyway, we came home from church and we had lunch.  I had a small blow-up about the lights outside.  I have been trying to get a “frosty the snowman” light on the spike it was supposed to sit on. I couldn’t get it on the spike it was supposed to sit on and I couldn’t get the spike out of the ground.  Needless to say, they won’t be used again next year.  Anyhow, we had lunch together (hot dogs and macaroni and shells as requested by the birthday girl) and then we celebrated Tara’s birthday (which is next week monday) with a cake and presents.  She had a blast and was playing with her new toys all afternoon long.  Grammy and Papa left not too long after that so they could try and avoid the bad weather in Syracuse and Rochester (although I don’t think there was supposed to be any, but my mom had herself convinced there would be).  Heather and I then took an hour nap together while the kids played in the family room.  We got up and the kids and I went downstairs and played my miniatures game for another two hours while I watched the original “Doctor Who” on DVD.  You know, the one from like 1962 and the BBC.  It’s in black and white and everything.  It’s actually a really cool version of “Doctor Who”.  I would like to compare that to the current version of the show to see which may be better written and performed.

Later, Heather left to go to the grocery store and grabbed me a burger from Wendy’s while she was out.  She also grabbed some groceries we needed around the house.  When she got home, we made some brownies for my school book club luncheon tommorrow and then headed downstairs and watched our usual Sunday night line-up “Grease, You’re The One That I Want” and “The Apprentice”. 

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

Chapter 4 (Part 1): ” The true art of genetics is waling the line between walking the factors that surpress, but letting the creature learn.” – Hali Ke, genetics of Kamino. – Niner was hauling together his chute when he saw the fireball in the night sky.  He assumed that Darman had probably not made it out alive.  He told himself that if he didn’t act fast he’d  lose two other squad members.  He cut the cord from the parachute and buried the rest of it.  He found his second pack several meters away at the edge of a field being chewed on by Gdans.  Eventually he got them to give up and let go and they went running into the field.  He would have to find his squad without the use of GPs because if he did he could give away their positions to the Neimoidians.  He reflected on a training that seargant Skirata gave them talking about stabbing another creature in the neck, not the heart, with a knife.  He figured that if Fir and Atin survived they would head for RV Alpha…..

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 3 (Part 5)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 27, 2007 by jedicouncil

Well, considering I stayed up until two this morning, Heather and I woke up pretty early this morning by being awake by nine this morning.  Austin and I put one last coat on his car this morning and finished putting the wheels on.  Grammy and Papa called us about ten a.m. or so and let us know that their going was slow this morning, but that they had made it to Cortland which meant they would be here by ten thirty or so.  We were finishing with pre-race “stuff” when I noticed that one of my “rack and pinion” solution to the problem of not having enough space between the wheels had come loose again.  So, my parents arrived and then I sat down with Austin’s car one last time and superglued it together and basically prayed it would hold together.

We at some lunch and then went over to the church to the race and raced Austin’s car.  He came in last place with the Bears as I knew the car wouldn’t go very fast.  As Austin put it to the other boys, his car was for show and not for speed.  He was a good sport about it all and I’m glad that all he cared about was the fact that he and I were able to make his concept come to life.  He was almost a full second behind every other boy in the Bear group, but that didn’t bother him and he was a good sport about it, and I was glad that he was a good sport.  We then came home and spent the afternoon with Grammy and Papa and had some nice conversations about everything from school to polotics.  We then ate dinner early so Heather had a chance to  eat dinner with us.  We had baked Ziti and it was really good.  We finished dinner and cleaned up and got done fairly early.  So, I told mom and dad they could watch the news upstairs and the kids and I went downstairs to play my “Lord of the Rings” miniatures game of Helm’s Deep.  We need to get it done before next week Saturday as Heather wants the set down before next week Sunday for the Superbowl party.  So, while we were playing, Grammy and Papa came downstairs and joined us and we all watched “Men in Black” I and II and then watched “Law and Order:Criminal Intent”.  I was able to show them the clarity of HD T.V. and I think they were both pretty impressed.  Because of the work we did with the insulation, they both felt warm enough to be in the basement and a year ago, my mom wouldn’t have been caught dead in our freezing cold basement.  So, I think that’s proof that the insulation did it’s job.  Once they headed to bed, I came back downstairs and watched “Saturday Night Live” and then went to bed.

Let’s talk aobut Part 5 of Chapter 3 of “Star Wars Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 3 (Part 5):  The Qiilura traffic controller thougth that the ship looked just like another crop sprayer as it entered the atmosphere, and why shouldn’t it?  Inside, Fi was noting the new enhancements  to his clone armor.  They had two options, land clearly with the ship, or a hard bail out of a hundred clicks above the ground.  Darman didn’t like the idea of being defenseless in the sky.  Darman was packe to the hilt including detonators, a Wookie Bowcaster, and his DC-17.  At one hundred klicks, all of them put their helmets on.  As they transcended they heard a band sound against the hull and the engines stopped working.  Niner headed for the cockpit as Darman prepared for an emergency bail-out.   It wasn’t fire, but a bird hitting the hull and knocking the engines out.  The R5 droid attempted to glide the heavy metal ship to the ground.  Soon, they went from gliding to crashing.  Niner told them to bail out as Darman opened the hatch and air and debris rushed into the cargo bay.  Atin and Fi eased right out of the hatch and jumped out.  Darman tried tried to start collecting gear when Niner tried to force him to jump.  Darman wnet through the motions, but grabbed the door last minute and managed to hand on while Niner jumped and swore at Darman on his way out.  Darmand dropped his bowcaster and began lashing blaster sections together.  He was going to try and save as much equipment as possible.  He strapped the cannon to his back and jumped out of the craft using his HUD as a guide.  He was free-falling in a heavy manner now.  When the chute deployed, it fell like a train crash.  He noticed a white flash forward and toward the right.  it was the vessel with the R5 droid on board, crashing.  He figures he was spotted and he started to see the tops of trees now.  He hit something hard while in the air, then hit the ground.

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 3 (Part 4)

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 26, 2007 by jedicouncil

Well, it’s Friday and it’s the end of the week, and end of the quarter.  I finished giving finals today and had very few students who didn’t have a chance to take the final.  This always makes me happy as this means that I won’t have to hunt as many kids down next week to get them to take the final from my class.  I actually had a chance to finish the music videos with two out of the three groups I was working with.  The third group just didn’t want to finish the video, which was fine with me.  I was also able to finish recording all the podcasts for my seventh graders.  I still have a lot of editing to do for both the videos and the podcasts, but it’s been a blast to put both these projects together!  I can’t wait to start these exact same projects again next quarter with a new set of students.  I hope the students are enjoying these projects as much as I’m enjoying putting them together.

I got done with school and Heather showed up to pick me up.  She had a great day today because the kids had a half day at school and Heather had them the second half of the day to help her get the house clean for my parents this weekend.  I got my W2 today and Heather picked it up while she was there because she needed me to sign a piece of paper for the registration on the car.  We kinda had just realized the other day that the registration on the car was up at the end of December of last year.  Whoops  :)!!  Anyway, Heather managed to buy for me today a Nerf Maverick pistol and had it for me when I came home tonight.  It’s actually pretty cool without anything being done to it.  I ran around the house for about an hour or so shooting the kids with it and they all thought it was pretty funny.  It was just a blast to play with my kids like that.  I guess it made me a kid for a while as well (at least that’s what Heather told me).  Amongst all the running around, I kept working on Austin’s Pinewood Derby car with him.  We put four more coats of all the paint on the car and continued to work on getting the car done.  By nine o’clock tonight, we had attached our R4 droid top that I had made and the Jedi Starfighter was starting to look like a Jedi Starfighter, the way I pictured it in my head.  Austin went to bed around ten an all I had to do was put on polyurethene coats.  I got four coats on before two a.m., Saturday morning.  It really looks cool and is completely put together.  It looks pretty awesome, and there is no doubt now that my son is as big of a Star Wars fan as I am!

Okay, time to talk about Part 4 of Chapter 3 of Karen Traviss’ “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact”…..

Chapter 3 (Part 4):  Gdans could be nasty creatures when they hunt in packs at night.  It wasn’t the teeth they feared, but the deadly bacteria the Gdans carried.  So Etain was housebound at nights.  She ate the dinner provided by her helpers as the creatures made noises outside in the night air.  She contemplated how she was going to communicate with the Jedi Council.  Stow away on a transport?  Maybe. Direct Transmission?  No.  Risky and may take up a lot of time.  At this point, Etain needed an army to fullfill any hope.  Her eyes were growing heavy and she felt that she may be thinking more clearly in the morning.  She was suddenly forced awake by a geat disturbance in The Force.  Something had changed, something big!  Then she realized that she had sensed her Master’s death.  She wasn’t sure if he was dead before, but the emptiness she was sensing now confirmed what she had suspected.   Feeling helpless, she headed for the door of her shelter and opened it when she suddenly realized there were no Gdans to be heard or seen.  She saw a flock of leatherbacks take off into the night sky and couldn’t sense the presence of anything but small creatures.  She thought to herself, “they’re coming” and stumbled back into the shelter and barred the door shut…..

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

Posted in IIB - Star Wars: Republic Commandos - Hard Contact (10 with tags on January 25, 2007 by jedicouncil

Thursday.  Final exam testing with most of my students is complete.  It was a usual day at work.  We did find out today that a former school board member that I knew recently died.  It’s a shame as the gentleman was a supporter of the arts, including music.  I know that he will be fondly remembered by everyone in the school district.  I got done with the school day and came home and had a usual Thursday night with the family.  I continued to work on the car with Austin and It’s going to be tight trying to get it ready for Saturday, but I have confidence that I can get it done.  My parents are coming this weekend just to visit.  It will be nice to have them here, but our house looks like a cyclone hit and we just won’t have time to clean it all up.  I hope my mom can be forgiving about all of that.  Anyway, it wasn’t a bad day, so let’s move right on to talking about Part 3 of Chapter 3 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..

Chapter 3 (Part 3):  At Atin’s request, there were two Trandoshan LJ-50 concussion rifles.  Darman asked if he had something for that type of technology and he said it’s better than having and E-Web equipped with them.  Niner began to wonder if their clone trainer was simply miserable as it came acrossed in this unit.  Fi lifted up a Geononian force pike and said it was a souvenir that wasn’t worth wasting.  Atin said he didn’t need any souvenirs of Geonosis as the scar on his face would be a permanent one.  Niner ceased the chatter and pondered about whether Atin would ever act like one of the squad.  As they looked into the cockpit, an R5 droid was at the controls having the ship fueled for take-off.  Niner synchronized the flight pattern and E.T.A. with his own.  Jusik leaned into the cockpit.  He told them to go to comm silence as soon as they take-off.  He also tells them the “Majestic” will be less than a parsec from the planet for extraction.  Jusik said he hoped to debrief them when they get back.  Jusik left as Darman hopped in and closed the rusty dor as chips fell off of it was it locked.  Niner told himself that it only had to land.  They all looked at the intel that had them landing thirty clicks north of a town called Imbraani.  Darman said that it’s the “captured alive” part that makes this mission difficult.  Niner closed his eyes and visualized the flight path one last time.  That’s when Niner knew that Jusik meant the debriefing comment as more of a, “good luck”!…..