Archive for March, 2007

‘The Jedi Council Speaks – Special Edition #3’

Posted in VII - The Jedi Council Speaks Podcast with tags on March 31, 2007 by jedicouncil

Okay, it’s Saturday and my day wasn’t any easier than it was during the week.  My parents showed up this morning around eleven a.m. or so and we spent most of the morning getting the house straightened up for them and the house still looks like a cyclone has gone through it.  We need a week’s straight worth of cleaning in order to get this house back to looking relatively normal again.  My parents showed up with their usual fanfare from the kids.  The kids always seem so eager to see grammy and grandpa and can’t wait to spend time with them.  Either sets of grandparents will do for my kids.  They just love to see them.  We had a great time visiting with my parents and they got a chance to see some of my Star Wars stuff being worked on while they were here.  I would be willing to bet that my dad was thinking that I was taking my fandom WAY too far.

Anyway, after we got them settled down for a while, we had an early dinner so Heather could partake of dinner with us. We also had to get on the road as I had a SMASH concert to get to and grammy and papa agreed to come and watch the concert with the kids.  We got to Roosevelt and had a decent audience to work with.  We decided half-way through the performance to cut-back on our length so that audience wasn’t there forever and there were quite a few kids in the audience.  We got done and my mother and father were impressed with what we had done with the kids.  My mom was especially proud of me because I’ve learned traditional grip as much as I have.  That’s a percussion term for those of you that don’t know.  Anyway, grammy and papa took myself and the kids out to ice cream at Suzy-Q’s after the performance.  It was a beautiful night.  Nice.  Not too warm and not too cold.  Just right.  A perfect spring evening.

We got home and spent some time together upstairs and then I headed downstairs around eleven o’clock or so and watched some T.V. while I posted Special Edition #3 of TJCS.  You can catch that here tonight, right here:

 

Okay, it’s Saturday and my day wasn’t any easier than it was during the week.  My parents showed up this morning around eleven a.m. or so and we spent most of the morning getting the house straightened up for them and the house still looks like a cyclone has gone through it.  We need a week’s straight worth of cleaning in order to get this house back to looking relatively normal again.  My parents showed up with their usual fanfare from the kids.  The kids always seem so eager to see grammy and grandpa and can’t wait to spend time with them.  Either sets of grandparents will do for my kids.  They just love to see them.  We had a great time visiting with my parents and they got a chance to see some of my Star Wars stuff being worked on while they were here.  I would be willing to bet that my dad was thinking that I was taking my fandom WAY too far.

Anyway, after we got them settled down for a while, we had an early dinner so Heather could partake of dinner with us. We also had to get on the road as I had a SMASH concert to get to and grammy and papa agreed to come and watch the concert with the kids.  We got to Roosevelt and had a decent audience to work with.  We decided half-way through the performance to cut-back on our length so that audience wasn’t there forever and there were quite a few kids in the audience.  We got done and my mother and father were impressed with what we had done with the kids.  My mom was especially proud of me because I’ve learned traditional grip as much as I have.  That’s a percussion term for those of you that don’t know.  Anyway, grammy and papa took myself and the kids out to ice cream at Suzy-Q’s after the performance.  It was a beautiful night.  Nice.  Not too warm and not too cold.  Just right.  A perfect spring evening.

We got home and spent some time together upstairs and then I headed downstairs around eleven o’clock or so and watched some T.V. while I posted Special Edition #3 of TJCS.  You can catch that here tonight, right here:

 

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‘Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 15 (Part 1)

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

Okay, it’s Friday, payday, and I was as busy as all get out.  I also wasn’t feeling too hot and seem to be exhausted beyond belief!!  I think a lot of this has to do with the stress that is surrounding work (which I cannot talk about here) but has to do with how my co-workers are interacting with each other.  I just feel like Rodney King saying, “can’t we all just get along?”  Anyway, I’m not sleeping well at night because of stress and because I’m worried about Heather and her surgery next week and performances and what-not.  I just can’t believe how busy my life has gotten over the past month.  How did I get myself into all of this?  Anyway, school went okay.  Students were fairly well behaved and they were just as ready for the weekend as I was.  A lot of them are really looking forward to next week’s vacation and I can’t say that I blame them.  I am looking forward to it myself.  I’m sure many of you have been attempting to read this blog and are probably reading this a week late at this point.  I just can’t seem to keep up with everything that is going on.  To make matters worse, I’m supposed to be giving finals next week and finish grading papers this week.  As Bill Cosby would say, “RIGHT!!”

I got done with school today and then helped to continue to work on the set.  I felt bad that I couldn’t be of more help, but my children arrived, I had a leave for a SMASH concert and on top of it all I was feeling tired and sick.  It just didn’t add up.  But, I went to Taco Bell and ate dinner there with the kids and felt much better.  Maybe I just needed some food to keep myself going.  You know, low blood sugar and all or something like that.  I got done there and we headed right to Benjamin Franklin elementary for our concert tonight.

When I got there, Mr. Lewis and I ran through some things between ourselves and then ran some things through with the kids.  We then waited for an audience.  We waited and waited and waited.  Not much of an audience showed up!  I believe we may have had thirty to forty people at most.  But hey, the show must go on.  The good news through the night was that I made money by playing the 50/50 at the show.  Of course, I only won $15, but hey, money is money.  I just plan on putting that towards my Mando costume.

I stopped by Heather’s work on the way home tonight to actually spend some time with my wife, since I hadn’t seen her all day.  In our short time together, we exchanged some information and she was able to tell me that we not only got our Tax Return (which will help to payoff some bills), but that she also ordered my Sintra today.  Awesome!!  I should have it by next week so I can start working with it on my break.  That will be loads of fun.  I then went home and had the kids work on laundry while I collapsed in the basement.  What a week!

Okay, enough talk about me and let’s talk about my favorite subject, Star Wars!!!  Let’s talk about Part 1 of Chapter 15 of “Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 15 (Part 1):  “So how do we justify breeding men to fight for us?  If we simply give in to this idea, then how are we any different from those we consider to be evil?  Do you have any answers Masters? ” – Jed Master Padawan Barden Jusik, addressing the Jedi Council. – Etain woke up from concentration and let Niner know that Guta Nay was dead, she felt it in The Force.  Darman pointed out  that Hokan would have found him sometime and the diversion he may have created may redeem his unfortunate demise.  There was a small scuffle about the statement then they all agreed they were just tired and punchy.  Etain then said that if one life justified many, then what would happen if she were to do the same to one of them.  Darman said they were all made for such things.  Darman also pointed out that Etain will give orders that will inevitably get clones killed.  Etain asked Darman how he felt about killing others, and he said he’s never had tim to think about it.  Darmand then said they would need for her to be a commander and thought to himself tht they’ve all never fought as a squad before…..

‘Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 14 (Part 5)

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

Thursday, and I’m still exhausted from all of the excitement last night.  Ironically, I forgot to write down what happened last night after I did the interview at the mall.  I happened to be walking down the mall so we could take some pictures when I ran into the principal at my school.  As Ian had said to me last night, I guess I’m out of the Star Wars X-Wing.  It’s our way of saying we’re “out of the closet”.  Not that anyone at my school did not already know that I am a huge Star Wars fan, just by looking around at my room. 

Today was a typical day and things seemed to go along as they usually do.  I gave my students one last chance today to catch – up on their school work before I closed the gradebooks today.  Some took advantage of my gracious nature, others took advantage of the situation.  It never ceases to amaze me how little my students care about their grades at time.  I even had one student say that he’s failing every class and hopes to fail them by the end of the year because mom can’t watch him over the summer, so she wants him to be in summer school.  And here my wife and I encourage our students to do as well as they can in school and this parent is actually encouraging their son to do bad.  Not a smart choice.

I got done with school and managed to get some time to relax at home.  I even went home and took a brief nap.  I had to.  I was so exhausted, I could barely keep my eyes open as I drove home after play rehearsal tonight.  Rehearsal went well, and I got home and actually had some time to spend with the family.  We tried to clean up around the house a little, but got very little of that accomplished.  The ONLY reason we were cleaning was because my parents are coming this weekend and we thought it would be imperative to clean a little around here before my mom saw this house looking the way it does right now.  Even after cleaning, the house doesn’t look great.  But, with a SMASH performance tomorrow night, one on Saturday night, and a troop with my Star Wars FanForce group on Sunday at Barnes and Nobles, my weekend is going to be completely full.  I feel bad as I won’t see my parents as much as I wanted to, but there’s not much I can do about that as all of these things were planned months and weeks ago.

Okay, enough about me and let’s talk about Part 5 of Chapter 14 of “Star Wars:Republic Commando” by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 14 (Part 5):  Ghez Hokan pulled out master Fulier’s lightsaber and told Guta Nay that he has ten seconds to live.  Nay shouted out that he had been captured by Republic troops and that they forced him to carry equipment.  Hokan put the lightsaber away  and asked how many, to which Guta Nay said four plus a girl.  H then tells Hokan that they discussed another squad just before he escaped while they were sleeping.  Hokan asked about Hurati and the Trandoshan.  Hurati says the Trandoshan offers himself and his three friends to help deal with the issue and Hokan agrees to the offer.  He then asks Guta Nay thow the target is for these two squads and Guta Nay says it’s the villa.  When Hokan asked about their equipment, Guta Nay explained the weapons and then told Hokan that they all have armor just like his.  then Guta Nay told him that they all have the same faces.  Hokan knew that this now meant they were dealing with clones.  Hokan called back Hurati and told him to split the droids between the villa and the complex.  He had a feeling the two squads would attack both.  He told Hurati that they would attack at night because they are bold but not stupid, Hurati suggested the Jedi was female and the commander.  Then Hokan realized that Guta Nay was waiting on him.  Guta Nay asked Hokan if he was going to live.  Hokan said he can’t  he can’t, it’s bad for morale, took out the lightsaber and struck down Guta Nay.

‘Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 14 (Part 4)

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

Okay, Wednesday, and it’s hump day.  Ironic that name.  I got up this morning totally exhausted because I didn’t get to bed until midnight last night.  It was to the point that I could barely keep my eyes open this morning on the drive in to work.  I got my morning tea and things seemed a little better with some caffeine.  I knew today was going to be a pretty busy day.  Not only did I have the typical school work, but I am going to be on T.V. tonight.  I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to do it.  I know others would think it’s completely dorky to be excited about wanting to be on T.V. in your Jedi costume, but I find it exhilarating.  I think that’s just how costumers think.

So, I had a typical day with my classes.  My one period that gives me problems, continued to give me problems today.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore.  I was rather excited the whole day today to get the opportunity to be on T.V. tonight in my Jedi costume and I guess it showed.  Probably a little too much.  As soon as I got done with work, I went home right away and got into the shower and got ready for our interview tonight.  I got dressed in my costume and then headed to the mall to meet up with the crew.  Once I got there I met up with my group including two new people that I had not met until tonight.  The one man seemed very interested in working with our group and he was really cool.  He’s got a great Darth Vader costume and seems like a nice family oriented type guy.  The other guy seemed a little ticked off that he was even there.  He told us he dreaded putting on the Stormtrooper costume again and rather he hadn’t shown up.  I find this interesting as I would give my left arm for his costume to be able to wear.  Some people never appreciate what they have.

The interview and all the teasers went well.  You can catch the teasers here and here, on YouTube.  You can also find the entire interview here.  It was loads of fun, but we almost got ourselves into trouble.  We decided to hand out flyers about the Hockey Night that we have coming up next Friday night.  It never occurred to us to ask the mall for permission first.  Luckily, the security guard was really cool about it all and simply asked us to stop handing them out.  Not a problem there.  But, I was bothered because some of the stores in the mall complained about us being there.  Like we were some sort of distraction to the customers.  Nevermind that we were probably attracting attention and may have been attracting people to the mall for business.  I can’t believe how closed minded some people are.

We got done with the interview and I went straight home and caught Heather in the middle of her usual Wednesday night madness.  She had just dropped off Ruth and Tara and I started to eat leftovers while we talked.  I then went downstairs and graded some papers while I watched our usual Wednesday night shows.

Okay, enough about my life, let’s talk about some Star Wars.  Let’s talk about “Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact’ Chapter 14, Part 4 by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 14 (Part 4):  Etain asked about a plan C when Jinart came out of the woods and said she would carry the remotes and meet up with them at the laying-up point or LUP, as Niner called it.  As they followed the line of woods, Etain kept close to Darman.  Niner worried that Etain really seemed to take a liking to Darman.  Niner remembered Skirata talking about the positives behind the Jedi, but that they can’t get personally involved.  Niner also wondered if the heat of battle could change that all.  they hit the edge of the woods and crouched as they crawled through a thicket of waist-high grass.  This was killing Niner’s back, so he took out a stim and stabbed himself with it.  He suggested they all take a stim about an hour before the attack or so.  Niner even suggested that Etain take the stimulants and she agreed.  Etain drops into a meditative state and Niner gets on the helmet comm  and asks Darman if they should worry about her and Darman tells Niner to put himselft at ease.  Jinart then grabbed the three remotes and put there where she would normally carry her children, in an animalistic pouch.  All the commandos pull out ration cubes and decide now is the tiem to have a last minute meal.  Atin went to get Etain, but Darman stopped him and said she was meditating…..

‘Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 14 (Part 3)

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

Okay, I got up and went to school like a typical Tuesday.  I can’t wait until I’m done with the podcasting and video producing in class.  It just seems to take up so much of my time during the day and my time at night as well.  It just seems like everything is hitting me all at once and I can’t seem to handle it all.  Can you tell I’m stressed yet?  There is so much to be done and very little time to get it all done in.  I have to edit videos and podcasts, I have tech rehearsals, I have a podcast to put together for my school’s band and stage band, I have to keep working on my Mando costume (things seem to be rolling along with that), I have papers to grade, I have the end of the quarter coming up, I have to organize some things for our FanForce night on Good Friday, I have to get ready for trooping at Barnes and Nobles this Sunday.  As I said, LOTS to do!!  Oh, and on top of all of that, I have two SMASH performances this weekend!!

I got ready for school and headed to my classes.  We started to wrap up workbook work this week as I want to get all papers graded by Monday of next week so I can concentrate on the finals with my classes.  Things seemed to go well with classes today, but there are other stresses in the building that are mounting, which I cannot discuss here.  Needless to say, I need all your prayers as the stress in my life related to my job is amping up at a pretty high rate.  My hope is to get through the end of April without a heart attack or needing to go on blood pressure medication.  I got done with school and had tech crew rehearsal.  We all came to the conclusion that the other students will not show back up and we distributed jobs amongst the tech crew that was already there.  I’m a little upset, because yet again, I don’t have enough people to have anyone do a camera crew to put together a “behind the scenes” look at our play this year.  All well, I guess you have to make sacrifices somewhere.

I got home and had a ton of work to do.  I got right to grading papers and getting things squared away with my classroom.  Once I finished with this, I headed downstairs and did what I’ve been waiting all day to do.  I put back together my newly painted Maverick Nerf gun and my newly painted front half of the Longshot Nerf gun for my Mando costume.  The best part?  By painting them and doing them the way I did, they’re still fully functional as Nerf guns!  I love it!  If you want to check out the pics, take a look at my “Mando Costume Progress” link in my album.  Things are coming along rather nicely.  I hope to tear apart the other guns and start working on them this weekend.  Things are looking up in the Mando making costume business at my house.

There were other things that I tried to get accomplished tonight, but just didn’t quite get to them.  Including updating the SMASH website, trying to get flyers done for Sunday (we’re trooping at Barnes and Nobles), and business cards for TJCS for the table at next Friday’s hockey game.  Like I said, lot’s to do and little time to get it done in.  To make things a little tighter, my parents are going to be here this weekend and I’m going to be all over the place.  I even called my mom tonight to warn her.  I don’t think she was too excited at the prospect of me not being around all the time while they visit.  But much of this stuff came up because we had no other choices, or they were last minute decisions, and how could I say no?

Okay, let’s talk about Part 3 of Chapter 14 of “Star Wars:Republic Commando – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 14 (Part 3):  Niner looked at the squad’s pile of equipment and was trying to figure out what they could take into battle with them.  Fi suggested they put a cache near their rally point, but Niner pointed out that this would put them in harms way, twice.  Atin offered to carry a lot fo heavy equipment, and Fi suggested he not bet stuck in a small place.  then Etain pointed out the obvious, she could carry equipment as well.  Niner looked at Darman and he suggested the Sarge load her up!  Niner then began explaining his Plan A.  He proceeds to explain that they’ll lay-up and release two remots to have eyes on the facility and the villa.  A remote with ribbon charge will do what damage it can at the villa while Fi covers Darman while he blows the doors on the facility.  Etain said this was all a big risk and admitted that she wouldn’t be much good with only a lightsaber.  Then Fi handed her a Trandoshan array blaster.  Etain said she’d learn to use it quick and reminded them that she still has the ability to move objects using The Force.  Niner said they would rather take Uthan out alive, than taking her out sedated as this would add to their dead weight…..

 

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 14 (Part 2)

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

Well, I feel better about this Monday because I’m busy, but in many ways it’s a fun busy this week.  I got to school and went to open my classroom and then realized that I forgot to grab my school keys.  So, I called Heather and asked her to drop them by and then I got the master key from the Main Office and let myself into my room.  Once I got in, I thought it was dumb to try and go upstairs and potentially get locked out without keys.  So, I stayed in my room, organized and got ready for music videos.  Classes went fairly well today.  It’s going to be tight over the next week or so.  Final Exams will start next week as we finish our quarter just before Easter break.  I’ll be pushing to get it all done in time.  But hey, as my wife says, I perform better under pressure.

I got done with classes today and got a text from my wife.  She let me know that “Gary’s U-Pull It” came and picked up our Ford Escort today.  She was a little sad to see it go, but I was glad to get the space back in the garage.  It will also be nice as my parents will be here this weekend and will now have a place to park their car which is not on the front lawn.  I was then running tech rehearsal for the musical and got a cell phone call from her.  She decided to join us for rehearsal today try to get ahold of some of the students to measure them for costumes.  That was kind of a nice addition to what was going to happen and it was nice to be able to spend some time with the kids.  I finished with rehearsal and my group of students did a good job putting equipment away.  I was a little upset as many of them did not show up today, but this happens every year.  I start with a whole bunch of kids, and then when they find out how much work is involved, many of them either quit or go to sports teams.  We got home and got ready for dinner.  After we ate dinner, Heather and I retreated to the basement and watched “Dirty Jobs” and “Future Weapons” while I worked on my Mando costume project (almost done with my first round of Nerf guns) and then worked on some webpages and then put together a leaflet to pass out for my Star Wars fan group on Sunday at Wal Mart and Barnes and Nobles.  I got a lot accomplished as well as tri-folding all 200 of the pamphlets we’ve made for our game on Good Friday.  Oi!!  Lots to do and little time to get it done!

Okay, let’s talk about Part 2 of Chapter 14 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 14 (Part 2):  Uthan asked about the scientists as well as the project.  The project could be re-started, but the scientists were more important to her.  Hokan said their safest bet was to stay on the planet.  Hokan told her that her facility was very safe and would hold anything from getting in.  That’s when Uthan revealed that she didn’t build the lab to keep things from getting in, but to keep things from getting out!  Hokan said he thought the nanovirus would only make non-clones unwell, and Uthan corrected him restating that it would make them VERY unwell.  Hokan asked if that meant dead, and Uthan said it depended on the subjects genetic structure.  Hokan was extremely upset he’d been lied to, and tossed Uthan acrossed her desk and told her to never lie to him again!  He gave her one last chance to tell him anything else he needed to know and she said there was nothing else.  He told here that his weapon will now change how they have to fight.  Hokan then decided to seperate her, the biohazardous material, and her staff.  He told her to get moving.  She called him a fool and he told her that she’s lucky she’s important to the Seperatists.  Hokan walked outside and a droid approached, informing him that Captain Hurati was bringing to him a prisoner and a friend that disobeyed orders.  As Hokan passed the droids on defense at the doorway, there stood Hurati with Guta Nay and a Trandoshan Mercenary.  Guta Nay said he has information for him, Hokan says that he better!!…..

‘Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact’ – Chapter 14 (Part 1)

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

Wow!!  Even my “day of rest” just doesn’t seem like a day of rest anymore!!  I am so exhausted from today I can’t even keep my eyes open as I’m writing this blog at this moment in time.  We got up on time for church this morning and headed right out to church.  But, before I got going, Heather headed over in the morning to pick up the girls.  They look exhausted, but I can tell they had a blast because  they can’t stop talking about it.  Tara especially loved the lock in as it was her first one ever.  We got everybody ready for church and headed out.  I had to sound at church today because the usual sound tech was away on a High School trip.  So, yet again, I was roped into working sound (as usual).  We got done with church and Heather wanted to go to Wal Mart to get some things and get her eyebrows waxed.  Well, I’m glad we made the trip.  First, we found the material for my Mando vest.  We didn’t buy it yet, because we’re waiting on Heather’s bonus check and our tax return before we do.  I also managed to find some cool personal finds for my Star Wars collection.  For those that don’t know, I’ve taken to collecting the Star Wars Titanium ships.  Well, today I found two rare finds at my local Wal Mart.  I found “The Invisible Hand” and the “Firespray”.  We picked those up among other things we needed.

On our way home from church, we stopped at Lowes as Heather has started planning her vegetable garden and has already started seeds inside the house.  Hopefully we’ll get our garden going this year.  We priced out stones for the garden and looked into how much gardening fabric costs to keep the weeds out of the garden.  We got done with that, and bought a Raspberry and Blueberry plant.  We go home and I had to turn around and leave right away to go to a Marching Band meeting to pick out this year’s show.  That meeting went well, and Vestal now has a show picked out for next year and the design concept is starting to come together fairly well.

I had to leave that meeting early as Heather’s brother was coming over for dinner.  We all had a great time and then Heather’s brother left.  Once they left, we got to some personal projects of ours.  The big one for me is that there is only one more coat of Varnish to go on both the Maverick and the front part of the CS-6.  They’re going to look sweet once I put them together on Tuesday night!  We then watched our usual Sunday shows as we worked on our projects.

Okay, let’s talk about Part 1 of Chapter 14 of “Star Wars:Republic Commandos – Hard Contact” by Karen Traviss…..


Chapter 14 (Part 1):  “Fear should never stop you from functioning.  Fear can keep you alive.  Show me a man without fear, and we’ll see a danger to his ship.  There are no fools in the navy.” – Admiral Adar Tallon – Hokan looked out the veranda of the villa to the autumn ground below.  He walked to Lothan’s complex via a diverted path in case a sniper wanted to take a pot-shot at him.  Hokan inspected and then addressed the droids in the entranceway.  Inside the complex, Uthan was upset at being moved yet again.  Hokan layed out a holo of the complex, impenetrable.  Hokan said that it was the last time he would move her, but tried to explain that the strategy would put him on the winning side of an all-out strike.  Uthan said she didn’t understand.  Hokan explained that he was dealing with a small, ill-equipped squad.  Why else would they have had to borrow explosives fromt the mine to blow up the ground station?  Uthan said there was no way to be sure, to which Hokan retorted that all good generals just happened to make the right guess at the right time.  Uthan told him that she would have been evacuated from the planet.  Hokan said that everytime they move her, they take a risk of losing her…..