Archive for March, 2008

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 11)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 31, 2008 by jedicouncil

Monday.  I felt like total crap today getting out of bed, but it was interesting to wake up to an open kitchen and living room area.  I got up and got the kids going for the day and I went and got my shower.  I got out of the shower and the kids and I got going for our usual day.  I headed off to work and the kids headed off to school.  All in all, it was a relatively easy day for the start of the day.

I got to school and got things set up for my day.  I realized that my students are so far behind and I have so little time with them to get them caught back up.  I really am under the gun in those regards.  I had a decent day with my students.  I will say that it’s hard to believe that this quarter is really starting to wind down and things are really going to be changing towards the spring months.  So far, the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, however.  It’s cold and I had snow on my car again this morning.  You know, I’m a big proponent of winter weather and now I have to say that I’m officially sick of winter and wish it would go away.  Anyone who knows me, knows it’s a shock to hear me say that.  So, I made it through my day today and put an announcement in about the meeting we had after school just to see who would remember and who wouldn’t.

My first tech club meeting didn’t go too bad.  Quite honestly, it went better than I thought it would go considering the number of kids that I have involved in the group as of right now.  However, I have the feeling as in years past, the numbers will diminish and I will be back down to my skeleton crew of people yet again.  I don’t know why I sound so pessimistic, but I just feel that way all around.   I think it comes from years and years of “oh yeah, that won’t be a problem” and then suddenly I have three students to work with and a bunch that have joined track and other events that they think are appealing.  It wasn’t a bad first tech rehearsal quite honestly and I have hopes that things will work out.

I got done with tech club and came home and joined Heather for dinner.  I wasn’t home for long until I had to run out to Boy Scouts with Austin.  It was a nice evening with our leader and it seems like our leader has a course of action and we’re sticking with it which really makes Scouts easier now.  We got done with Scouts and came home and I did some grading with papers while we watched our usual T.V. Shows which are now starting to not be reruns anymore.  So, we watched “Big Bang Theory”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Two and a Half Men”, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, and “C.S.I. Miami”.  It was a busy day but I was exhausted by the time the day was over.  I hope that I start to feel better soon!
Okay, let’s talk about Part 11 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 11):  From the Private Journals of Mace Windu – I’ve read about war in the Jedi Archives and there are countless stories about soldiers fighting for some sort of purpose.  For the Korunnai this was not the case as they’ve never known any other life other than war.  It’s much like a death hollow, that’s a low valley portion of land where toxic gases can pool in one spot from the volcanoes.  Some of the foliage thrives on these gases and the bodies of many animals lay on the ground near these death hollows, lured by the existence of plant life, but killed by the toxic levels of the gas.  Mace said something to Nick about this and Nick said this is just the way the jungle works.  I have noticed that Nick refers to the jungle as something like a creature and he treats it as such.  The jungle becomes a creature and if you begin to trust it too much, you die.  He told me the lesson I need to learn is that everything in this jungle dies, accept it and live your life!  In many ways, that describes this war.  There is a vast undescribable darkness and I can no longer trust my guide…..


‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 10)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 30, 2008 by jedicouncil

Sunday.  No church today, but plenty of work to get done and I once again feel like total crap!  We woke up this morning and Heather said she wanted to get down what was left of the studs on the kitchen side of the house and I said we definetly needed to do that if we wanted to have any hope of getting the kitchen table back into the house.  So, we got to work right away this morning trying to get things cleaned up around the house.  Heather figured she might as well add to the mess before we try to clean up the mess.  So, I let her take down a bunch of the studs while I worked on some of the electrical and then we switched spots for a while.  It was a lot of work, but it needed to get done.  We also found some more interesting wiring in our house.  For example, part of the basement room below our family room is hooked up to two of the sockets in the family room.  It’s pretty obvious that the electrical in this house hasn’t been updated for many, many years.  It may be twenty or more and no one took the time to make sure the wiring lined up with all the updates made to the house.  It just wasn’t a smart thing to do.  I’ll have to update all that electrical later and make sure that I am using wire nuts and not electrical tape.

After doing all of this work, I was exhausted yet again.  This stupid bug that I have has really taken a lot out of me energy wise, which hasn’t made it any easier to move the basement steps in my house.  I went downstairs and did some work down there and then I decided to watch the beginning of the Nascar race and Heather suggested I take a nap.  I reluctantly agreed, but knew I needed to simply if I was going to make it through the week.  I slept for a good hour to two hours and then got up and did some paperwork that needed to get done for school and then went back upstairs and joined Heather again.

By the time I got upstairs in mid-afternoon, she had the computer desk moved back and hooked up, she had the kitchen table put back up and the house was relatively back in order.  It was a nice surprise.  I felt bad that I couldn’t keep up, but Heather wasn’t upset and said it was okay with her that I just wasn’t able to keep up.  We got done relatively cleaning my house up and then I helped Heather get out some leftovers for dinner.  We all sat around our newly ripped apart kitchen, that actually looks pretty sweet with the walls missing, and ate some dinner.  We finished and then the kids cleaned up and Heather and I headed downstairs and watched a little T.V. before going to bed.  A long weekend with a long week ahead of me.  While I finished watching T.V., I worked on getting things organized for our musical rehearsals that will start this week for the tech crew.  Man, I can’t wait till the month of April is over!  And I haven’t even gotten into that month yet!
Okay, let’s talk about Part 10 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 10):  It was night time now and Mace was mending his pants sitting next to his tent using the light from his fake datapad as light to work by.  His datapad was starting to show corrosion provided by the fungus of the Haruun Kal jungle.  The rest of the crew talked low amongst themselves as tey field stripped their weapons and applied portaak amber.  After Mace got done with his work he simply stopped and observed the Korunnai.  He then opened the recorder on his datapad and began to speak very softly into it…..

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 9)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 29, 2008 by jedicouncil

Saturday and I’m exhausted today!  But, looking back on it all, it was all worth the amount of work that went on today.  We actually got a chance to sleep in a little today as Heather and I got a phone call around seven o’clock this morning to let us know that our in-laws were on their way.  I started to move some things around the house to get ready for the move, including moving the kitchen table and chairs out to the garage and moved other things around the house to make things go smoother when my in-laws get here.  Heather went out to Dunkin Donuts while put on some coffee for everyone.

My in-laws showed up not too long after Heather got home and we got to work right away.  We managed to get the stairs that were pre-fabbed into the house and into the basement and started to prep the basement to cut a hole in the floor.  There was a plan of action that I was a little unsure of, but I have to say that watching my father in-law was fascinating.  He really knows his trade and really built us some beautiful stairs!  He worked hard most of the morning and Heather and I kind of acted like “gophers” and we went and got things for my father in-law when he needed them.

He worked hard all morning and by the beginning of the afternoon, there was a nice hole in the floor.  So, we decided to take the next step and get things together to put the stairs in.  That was the hard part.  Getting the stairs in, leveling them. And then getting to two pieces connected to each other and making sure it all worked.  It was quite the experience and I had to help my father in-law lift the stairs and the lower stairs and get them all into place.  It was an interesting experience.  We got it done and then managed to secure the stairs.  Then my father in-law went to town cutting a hole in the one wall and putting up another.  A lot of work was done throughout the day today, including covering the hole of the other stairs.  There is still more work to be done, which we managed to schedule a time at the end of April to get done, but my house feels like a completely new place.  We got pizza and wings for dinner from Bella’s Pizzeria and we all sat down and ate some dinner together and then my in-laws took off and my wife and I spent the rest of the night working on cleaning up our house.  I’ve pretty much given up on having a clean house until sometime in August.  I just know that’s how it’s going to be and I’ve simply accepted it.  We were so tired after this, we went to bed and decided tonight that we were not going to church tomorrow as there was just too much that needs to be done before the work week this coming week.
Okay, so let’s talk about Part 9 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 9):  Nick didn’t know when it began, but he noted that the Korunnai maintained the balance of nature in the jungle, while the Balawai upset that balance.  That’s why they’ve been at odds for over thirty years.  Nick speculated that they destroyed the herd of a ghosh on some drunken bender, and when the ghosh got no satisfaction from local law, then he might as well go on a hunt of his own.  These kinds of attacks and counter raids had been going on and off for decades now.  The Korun were forced to use crude weapons, mounted beasts, and were even forced to use their connection to The Force to communicate with one another.  Each year, around summer, as the winter acid rains had dissapaited, the Korunnai and Balawai would again fight and counter fight till the next fall rains came along.  Mace had now realized that Depa found a guerilla army instead of having to create one.  Nick said this Galactic Civil War didn’t mean anything to them till the Seperatists gave weapons and vehicles to the Balawai instead of making them pay for them.  Nick said it’s fun, but Mace said there’s no score, Nick said they use the body count as a score.  Nick said they have to try and make it fun so their anger doesn’t tear them up inside.  Mace said the Jedi have a name for that.  It’s the Dark Side……

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 8)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 28, 2008 by jedicouncil

Friday.  By the time my day ended today, I was in total exhaustion, and my weekend has only just begun!  I got up this morning and got the kids going for the day.  It was interesting as they were as groggy as I was and I think they’re already tired too.  I think what’s making me more tired is this cold that I have that I’m trying to battle with.  It’s not helping my situation with sleep and energy.  One thing that helped me a little today was my morning.  I got a phone call around six-thirty this morning from the school to let me know that we were on a two-hour delay.  So, I got a chance to actually sleep in a little.  I went out to the T.V. and checked and the kids had a two-hour delay as well, which helped my morning out.  We all got up an hour later than we normally do and that was okay because it still gave us an extra hour to get going for the day.  We took our time this morning and goofed around a little and were able to watch most of Dr.Phil before the kids even left for school

I got to school this morning and found out we were running our usual period one through four schedule this morning. That was cool because that meant I had prep periods the morning before and after lunch.  So, I was done editing my podcast, so I made sure I set everything up to have my podcast published and let my laptop go while I worked on some things around my room.  We went out for lunch today and I just let my laptop keep working and by the time we got done with lunch and came back, the next episode of “The Jedi Council Speaks” was officially published onto my laptop.  Just in time for my busy weekend considering I won’t have a moment to work on it all weekend long.  I got done with my school day and it was time to go to work on the stage of my school.

I started to start to set up the set for the musical for our school tonight.  It went up reasonably well and fairly easy.  It was especially hard on our director because all the pieces that we were putting up were written on by her father and her father had passed away last year and it brought on some sad memories and I knew our director was doing all she could to hold back the emotions of the moment.  We worked on it for quite some time, but managed to get it up.  While I was working, I got a text from my buddy Dan in the Binghamton FanForce group and he works at Target and he let me know that the Aayla Secura Jedi Starfighter had come in.  The reason it was so important was because Tara is a HUGE Aayla Secura fan (ever since she played the role in my “Jedi Babies” show) and I wanted to make sure to get her one since it’s a Target exclusive.  So, I called Heather and asked her to make a stop there sometime tonight.  She was at home taking down some studs and some electrical in our house getting ready for our massive basement stair move this weekend.  It will be a lot of work and it will require even more work when we’re done.  I also found out from Heather in the phone conversation that my father in-law’s daughter’s boyfriend won’t be able to make it, which means we’ll have to cut back on our expectations for tomorrow and may not get all the work done.  That’s okay, as we may need time between projects anyway.

I got done with the set build and then grabbed my dinner (that my wife dropped off – Taco Bell) and headed off to SMASH at MacArthur elementary school.  When I got there (a little late) I found out from Jim that they didn’t set up the gym at all and the janitors weren’t even aware that we were going to be there.  We had some people show up, but not a lot!  I think we had an audience of about thirty to forty people.  I managed to eat a little dinner before we began, but I didn’t get much to eat.  We got done with our performance and I called Heather and found out she was at Target as we were speaking.  I told her I would meet her at home and I headed home and had some dinner at eight-thirty.  I got done and did some quick things downstairs and helped Heather move some things around for tomorrow’s big project.  It’s going to be a long day tomorrow!
Okay, let’s talk about Part 8 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 8):  Nick had told him that non one sleeps well in these woods and that he’ll get used to it.  They used akk dogs to communicate and spread out their group for safety.  The jungle was full of dangerous creatures, but the most pesky were the insects that left welts all over Mace’s body which he used The Force to try and maintain control over.  The Korunnai themselves had learned to use plants to treat some of these ailments themselves.  They would have used the grasser roads, but militia gunships made them extremely risky.  The akks dogs constantly reminded them of the passing ships as they often reacted to the sound of the overpassing repulsorlifts.  Mace had seen enough of them to now know they are simply retrofitted Seinar Turbostorms.  Each ship carried it’s own surgical field generator to keep the fungi from eating the metal on the ship.  Mace noted that the grasser roads were a few years old by now and Nick said that when the Balawai can’t find them, and they get completely bored, they shoot the grasser herds.  Then it dawned on Mace that this meant their war started before the Republic Civil War and Nick told him their war has been going on since before he was born.  This was Mace’s introduction to the Summertime War……

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: A Summertime War (Part 7)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 27, 2008 by jedicouncil

Thursday and it’s two days before the mass chaos in my house and one day before my next SMASH concert.  As much as I enjoy doing these SMASH concerts, they really are taking a lot out of me, having to take up almost all of my Friday night.  I’ll be glad when our “tour” is done for SMASH and we start to look to next year’s production.  Well, I got up this morning and I was still not feeling great, but got going for the day anyway.  I got myself up and then got the kid and got them ready to go for the day.  I took a shower and they managed to scramble around and get themselves ready for school.  Tara is now not feeling so well and I’m wondering if she it coming down with what I have.  That would suck!  Anyway, we got out the door on time and got going for the day.

I had quite the time with my students today.  They didn’t want to do much work today and I had a lot I wanted them to get done.  But, this is to be expected with my students at school.  I had an okay day with students and wished they would have done better, but I may be asking much.  There are only three weeks till the end of the third semester and the students who know they’re failing know it and just don’t care and those close to passing are trying their hardest to stay there.  I got done with school today and went right home.  I figured today was a good day to book it home as it is the only day that I have that I don’t have something going on after school.  I got home and told Heather I would be locking myself in the basement to work on my podcast.  She told me she would call me for dinner and did when it was time.  We had a nice dinner of leftovers tonight and while Heather worked on taking down another wall in our kitchen, I finished editing my latest podcast.  I may just get the next episode of “The Jedi Council Speaks” done on time.  Only time will really tell.

I worked so hard all night tonight, that I lost track of time and when it was time to go to bed, I wasn’t even relatively prepared and found myself scrambling just to get things put away.  I tried to go to sleep tonight, but found myself in some coughing fits in bed and didn’t sleep too well.  Tomorrow was going to be an interesting day as I had school, set building and a SMASH concert all before the night was over and I had to go right from one to the other to the other.  Man, I’m going to be exhausted by the end of the weekend!
Okay, let’s talk about Part 7 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 7):  The grassers used their mid and back legs to walk through the jungle while Mace sat in the rear facing saddle and Nick sat in the forward facing saddle.  Mace understood the double meaning of not seeing ahead and only seeing where they’ve already past.  He knew this was symbolism for the war and it made his future uncertain.  He could see the akk dogs as they patrolled the perimeter of their lumborously moving team.  The three akks were bonded to Besh, Lesh, and Chalk.  Nick said he didn’t have one because he didn’t know what he could do with it in Pelek Baw.  Mace told him he was strong enough to make that connection, but Nick said he was too young and referred to it as a marriage.  Mace dozed in and out as he reflected on the massive lack of sleep he’s received over the last few days.  Horrible, vividly terrifying dreams plague him at night……

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 6)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 26, 2008 by jedicouncil

Okay, it’s Wednesday and the middle of the week.  I have to say that I’m amazed at how much work I have already gotten done this week.  I got up this morning in a little bit of a better mood than I did yesterday as I was already feeling a little better than I was yesterday.  The kids got ready for school and I got ready for work and I have to say that everything went pretty smooth.  My house looks like a disaster zone right now and I know it’s only going to get worse from this point on in this month and probably into the next month.  We are planning on moving the stairs into the basement in my house and I have to say that it will make my house very nice and accessible.  But, on the flip side of that, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make that happen.  Right now, we have four walls torn out of our house and there are others that need to be torn out as well.  Eventually it will all be fixed, but that seems so far off, I can’t even begin to explain what that feels like.

Anyway, I got the kids off to school and I got off to work.  My work day wasn’t that bad with my students.  I introduced the new song to my eighth grade students and they seemed to accept their second keyboard song with a little bit of vigor which tells me they were ready for it.  My sixth graders did okay on their recorders but were again a little obnoxious at times.   My seventh graders did okay adding some new scales into their repertoire.  Finals should be okay for most of these students.  I got done with classes today and hung out at school and did some editing of my podcast before I had to get off to SMASH tonight.  I knew I would need to be there on time, so I made sure I packed everything up and got out the door on time.

I got done and got out the door and got right over to SMASH.  I found out that Jim’s day wasn’t going any better than my own and he found out that one of the SMASH members may not be able to make the concert on Friday.  We sat down and came up with a back up plan and then found out the member will be able to make Friday.  We also found out that we had to stop early and Jim said we might as well not have practice, and pretty much cancelled practice for tonight.  So, that was actually good news for me as I got to go home and get some work done.  Jim and I did sit around and talk for a little while and discussed what was going on with the Vestal Marching Band as we haven’t been told anything yet.  We have been able to piece together that the director that we worked for is no longer the director at Vestal anymore, which means we will probably not be asked as staff members.

We got done and I headed home and did some last portions of the recording that I needed to get done for my next podcast.  Now there is MASSIVE amounts of editing that need to be finished.  I got done recording and ate dinner on the fly, so I started to get into the massive editing phase.  It took me most of the night and tomorrow I’ll have to work on it as well.  If I have any hope of getting this podcast out on time, I will have to make sure it’s done by Friday, as I know I won’t have any time this weekend to finish any of it up.
Okay, let’s talk about Part 6 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….

Chapter 4 (Part 6):  Their water came from funnel plants that would trap rain water.  Often after they ate, Lesh would offer some soft thyssel bark for all to partake, but Mace and Nick would always refuse. This raw bark would have an intoxicating drug effect.  Mace learned about the Korunnai and the ULF in these times in camp.  Nick led this group , but not by rank but by wit.  Mace noted that there didn’t seem to be any ranks.  Nick claimed his mission in life was to be a mercenary and was in this war only for the money.  Nick tried to pretend as though he didn’t care, but Mace knew he cared all too much!  Lesh and Besh were involved over sheer hatred as Besh had been kidnapped earlier in his life and had some of his fingers removed during this time,, by the Balawai.  The reason Besh never spoke because the Balawai had cut out his tongue.  He communicated using hand signals and The Force to represent his feelings.  Chalk had joined the ULF for even other reasons.  She had been molested as a child but found some members of the ghosh and they hunted down her attackers and gave the the five militia men the “jungle justice”.  Jungle justice consisted of releasing the men in the middle of the jungle, naked, and without anything.  Chalk said she fights so that this won’t happen to other girls.  Mace told her he was impressed with how she moved through the jungle and masked her tracks.  Mace told her that it was an interesting way to use The Force.  He asked her if she was always able to do this, but in the back of his mind, Mace wondered if Depa had taught her.  Chalk said that we don’t use pelekotan (The Force), but pelekotan uses you.  Mace recalled that pelekotan was a literal translation to jungle mind as he replayed what Depa said about being the darkness in the jungle in his mind……

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 4: The Summertime War (Part 5)

Posted in IIC - Star Wars: Shatterpoint (9) with tags on March 25, 2008 by jedicouncil

Tuesday, the day after break.  I woke up this morning and still felt horrible!  I was not looking forward to this day of work with the kids.  I was hacking and coughing all morning long and even Ruth suggested I not go to work today and I have to say I was tempted to not go to work, but I decided I really needed to go to work and get things done.  Any teacher will tell you that being out of work creates more work than if you were actually there.  So, I got up and got the kids up and pretty much hacked up a lung in the shower.  The kids helped me get things together for school and I have to say I was not looking forward to the rest of this week.  I had a lot of things to do and very little time under which to get them done.  I got myself going for the day and got myself into school for the first day of the week.

I asked my students to do some music theory work today and you would have thought that I asked them for a left lung or something.  It wasn’t easy at all and I have to say that they really were making me stressed out about not wanting to work.  I wished they would just stop fighting me on all of this and would just do the work I asked.  But, then again, I may be living in a dream world if that’s where I’m living.  I fought with my students most of the day today, but did manage to get quite a bit of work done with them.  For most of my students it was a day to get a lot of make-up work done before we moved on with our final push before the finals two weeks from now.

I got done with my day and headed home and told Heather I had a TON of work to do for my podcast and she was very understanding considering it all.  She let me go downstairs and work right away and she decided to do a pulled pork dinner using the left over pork from our pork roast from Easter.  I have to say, that was an awesome dinner and it tasted great!  We got done with dinner and the kids took care of the dishes while I worked on podcasting and Heather worked on sewing.  The good news is that I’m almost done with the recording side of the podcast and may be looking at very little to get done for the show.  I got done with most of my work and Heather and I intermittently talked with each other while we watched T.V. and worked on our projects (me podcasting and her sewing).  We went to bed a little early again as I was still exhausted from this cold/flu that I have now.  I wish I weren’t so rundown all the time.  It’s really getting old!
Okay, let’s talk about Part 5 of Chapter 4 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…..

Chapter 4 (Part 5):  They made a cold camp each night as the akk dogs provided protection and Nick told Mace that if they make a fire, they’re visible from space and the Balawai could drop a DOKAW on you.  DOKAWs, or De-Orbiting Kinetic Anti-emplacement Weapons were sent into orbit and could easily act as an orbiting missile to attack any visible encampment from space.  The Korunnai had learned to live without fire.  The vines managed to glow a phoshorescent glow that seemed to light up the night anyway.  Mace used a wallet tent while the Korunnai used bed rolls and the grassers slept standing up.  They ate food stolen from their dead assailants.  When that ran out, they ate smoked grasser meat and cheese made from raw grasser milk…..