Archive for October, 2008

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 21 (Part 1)

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

Well, it’s Friday and I have to say to everyone, Happy Halloween!!!  It was quite the day for me and honestly, it’s quite the long day for me!  I got up my usual time today and knew this day was going to be quite long.  I got the kids up and they were quite excited because it was Halloween and Tara and Austin really wanted to show off their new Star Wars costumes at school, so they were even more excited to get going for the day.  I actually had to calm them down just a little bit.  We got ourselves going for the day and the kids were off to school (almost bouncing the whole way) and I was off to work.  I got to work and it was going to be an interesting day from the start.  We started the day off by searching students’ backpacks for safety on Halloween.  It needed to be done and I thought it was unfair because it cut into my first period, but I realized that it was for the safety of everyone, so so-be-it.  I got through my day, and it was a pretty rough one, but I soon realized that I did it to myself.  I probably shouldn’t have planned on shooting music videos on the day of Halloween.  We did have a fun time at school because we had a “wear a hat for Cancer” day today.  So, I wore my “Star Wars:  Episode I” hat and the students all had on some pretty funny hats as well as teachers.  It was just fun in general.  I got done with my school day and had a ton of things to do before I even came home.  We discovered this morning that I was missing one of the gloves to my costume this morning, so I needed to find a new pair of gloves to go with my costume.  I also needed to find some make-up the girls needed and I wanted to find a cheap pair of gloves for Tara’s Jedi costume.  Well, I went to K-Mart on a whim, and found some good buys.  I found a pair of “Craftsman” work gloves that will go great with the costume, found some make-up that was marked down, and even found a camera battery for the digital camera.  I couldn’t find any gloves, but I had to get home.  I got home and the kids were hyped for Halloween, but I asked them to let me get a fifteen minute nap, and they were nice enough to do so.  I got up and Heather got us all dinner and apologized for the lateness, but she got out of work late.  One of her many complaints about the Wendy’s job and why she’s changing jobs in a few weeks.  We got done with dinner and it was time to get into costumes and while we were in the middle of all of this, my buddy Jeff called and convinced me to go to “Flashbacks” later this evening for a costume contest they are holding for a cash prize of up to $250.  Honestly, I could use the cash.  So, we got the girls changed and then got into doing their make-up and I have to say that once we got Tara done, she looked pretty gosh-darned cute!  I then got into costume and we were on our way to trick or treating.  We had a great time out on the streets and almost everywhere we went, everyone asked us to take pictures with us.  The police even begged me to get on a sidestreet because people on Chenango Street were stopping in the middle of the street and begging me to have my picture taken with them.  I obliged the police officer, and did so.  Austin managed to fall at one point and bust open his Vader candy holder, so we dumped all his candy into my backpack.  See, my backpack is heavy and functional!  We got done trick or treating and I got home and rested a little bit before I headed back out to get to “Flashbacks”.  I got to the parking garage and found out Jeff hadn’t even left his house yet, so I waited for him because I can’t get into my costume without some help.  We got into the bar and it was dead.  But about an hour after we got there, it got crazy!  Things got awesome and there was a lot of fun to be had!  I had some great fun with Jeff and his wife and we really did have a good time.  I even found a “Wookie” and arrested him and freaked a whole bunch of patrons out.  Gosh, that’s exactly what I love doing.  We even met a woman who came up to Jeff and I and said she would love to join our group as she already owns a Slave Leia costume and has been looking for a group to join.  Well, we got her email and I’ll be getting in touch with her this week.  I did make the finals in the costume contest, even made the top five till I got be out by the Jamaican Bobsled Team, The Flintstones, and Amy Winehouse.  What a crock of crap!  And to make things worse, some asshole who was pissed off that I got into the final over him turned around and kicked me in the knees and broke my knee guards.  I know Jeff wondered why I left so quickly, and if he reads this, that is why I left so quickly.  I left at about one in the morning and came home and crahsed at the house on Saturday morning.

Okay, so enough of my Halloween, let’s talk about Part 1 of Chapter 21 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….. Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 20 (Part 8)

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

Thursday.  Man, I can’t believe this week is flying by as fast as it is!  It’s hard to believe how much time is flying by!  I got up this morning and got my kids going for the day today.  We had a pretty good morning this morning with minimal issues.  For once, even Tara had her act together, although she still can’t seem to find her brush which she lost over two weeks ago.  We got ourselves going for the day and the kids were off to school while I was off to work.  My work day wasn’t too hard.  My eighth graders watched their last segment of the Ken Burns’ “Jazz” series while answering questions on the history of jazz and my seventh and sixth graders finished up their work on music history and did some things to get ready for the final exam.  I made it through my work day and was happy I was in one piece when it was all said and done.  Then we had our PLG this afternoon and ran out of time for some of the things we needed to talk about, but got some information in on important things that need to be discussed.  We used a protocol today that I knew wouldn’t be too popular.  It was silent and called “Chalk Talk” and I know teachers often talk because most of the day we like to talk.  I made it through that meeting and then went home as soon as the day was done.  I got home and got to work right away again.  This time, I took a quick power nap and then got onto recording for the podcast of “Hovering Rocks”.  I didn’t quite finish with the notes, so my time before dinner was spent finishing up the notes.  After dinner I went downstairs and recorded for most of the evening.  When I got done recording, Heather and I watched our usual T.V. shows together – “Survivor” and “C.S.I.” and then we went to bed early because we knew tomorrow was going to be a long day and the weekend was going to demand all of our attention.

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 8 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….. Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 20 (Part 7)

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

Well, it was Wednesday today and you think I’d be happy that the middle of the week is gone and that I’m going into the end of the week.  But in all reality, I’m not.  I feel like time is flying by and somehow I’m jsut standing still.  Anyone that has kids knows what I’m talking about and they know that feeling this way is a horrible feeling.  I got up this morning and really hit the ground running.  Heather was home again this morning, so it was nice to have another adult to give me a swift kick to get my rear end moving for the day.  While I took a shower, Heather cooked me some ham and eggs which I got to eat for breakfast, which was a nice change of pace.  It was nice because instead of having scrambled eggs (which I’m actually getting tired of), I got to have some nice fried eggs, which was okay by me.  The kids got off to school on time and I got off to work on time.  Work was going to be interesting as we were having our book club luncheon today and Heather said she would bring in the dish (I had the main dish, as I had picked the book – “Star Wars:  Republic Commandos – Hard Contact”) around eleven o’clock, but I reminded her I had a class then.  So, I had to get in and ask Deb if I could use her room to heat up my dish until it was tiime for lunch.  I then went to the main office to pick up my mail and found out from one of my friends that another friend of mine’s wife died.  His name is Merv and I hope you all pray for Merv in some way.  His wife has been battling Cancer for about a year now, maybe more, and she died recently and I feel bad as Merv has always been a great friend and I hope all is well with him.  So, needless to say, I started my day out on a fairly somber note.  I got into my school day with my students and Heather showed up with the dish on time and we put it in Deb’s oven to warm it up as Heather had just made the dish and it was still pretty warm.  She was even sweet enough to bring in some pot-holders and a spoon for the dish.  I then went upstairs and taught my fifth period class and went and got the dish for the book club luncheon.  When I got to the luncheon, there were not a lot of people there!  I was a little shocked, but didn’t take it personally.  There’s just been a lot of things going on and I think everyone was busy.  But we had our book club anyway and Merv was there.  It was nice to see him and it was nice to see he was okay.  We got done with book club and I finished up with my day with my students and then had to have a discussion with a fellow teacher about something that happened earlier in the day.  The last period of the day, I was debriefed about a grant the library has received and ways I can help and it appears that I may be able to find a summer job through that grant for this summer.  We’ll have to see, but it may be a cool job to have this summer.  I got done with school and talked some politics with some friends and got out the door late.  I got home and again was working like mad.  I finished the tentacles for Tara’s Twileek outfit and then I was onto making the headband and the intersection for the tentacles, which took me most of the night as I hand sewed that all together.  I even got graced by the presence of Ian who brought over an awesome gift of a “Bounty Hunter Parking Only” sign.  I’ll have to take a picture of it and post it here:

After my visit with Ian I continued working and then put together the notes for my podcast that I planned on recording tomorrow night.  There’s a lot to get done before the weekend and before Halloween, so I pretty much worked all night and didn’t pay close attention to the T.V.  I got done with all of that and it was time to go to bed.

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 7 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….. Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 20 (Part 6)

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

Well, it was Tuesday and this day started off with a bang!  It was freezing cold outside today and I can’t believe they are talking about snow before the end of the day!  It’s not even Halloween yet!  All I can say is that Al Gore better visit Binghamton, NY and other places around the area the next time he wants to talk about Global Warming!  Global warming my fat white rear end!  It’s freakin freezing out there!  Anyway, we got ourselves up and going today and I have to say that I’m still exhausted from Monday morning and I did not want to get up this morning and get going.  But, I have a job and it must get done!  So, I got myself ready for work and the kids got themselves ready for school.  Of course, Tara decided to pour on the drama just before our babysitter was supposed to come over and watch her.  I swear she can be very manipulative when she wants to be.  I left for work and the kids were off to school.  It was still unbelievable how cold it was today!  I got to school and got things ready for my school day and soon realized that I had a LOT to get done before the end of the week and I’m not sure how I’m going to get it all done.  I made it through the course of my day and was shocked that the day went by as fast as it did.  I got to about fourth period today and looked outside and it was a dreary, rainy day all day today.  I wondered if the temperature was going to drop today to make things worse, so I checked out weatherchannel.com and they said it would.  I called Jim and we decided to pre-emptively cancel SMASH rehearsal today and beat the school to the punch.  But, I forgot that the football team was practicing today, so the likely hood of them cancelling after-school activities was zero!  So, we cancelled SMASH and I was able to go home as soon as school was done.  I got home and graded paper after paper and while I was grading, I started to get exhausted, so I took a brief nap and the kids came downstairs and got me for dinner.  We ate dinner together and I went out to the garage as soon as dinner was over and continued to paint Austin’s rocket launcher and Tara’s headpiece for being a Twileek.  I got done with that and then went downstairs and continued to grade papers.  It took me most of the night to get that done and then I was on to getting notes done for my next episode of “Hovering Rocks” and then I blogged a little bit while I watched “Fringe”.  Not long after that, I went to bed.

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 6 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….. Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chaper 20 (Part 5)

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

Well, it’s Monday and it felt like a Monday.  Well, sort of.  I got up this morning and didn’t want to get up because my wife had a terrible time this morning and last night.  She didn’t sleep very well and I think it’s because she knew she had to face her boss this morning and give him her two weeks notice.  She got up really early this morning and headed over to Wendy’s at about four-thirty this morning.  She figured she could talk to him with no one else around and try to explain her thought process behind everything.  Well, she got up and headed over there and when she went to talk to her boss, he started snapping at her about how she owed him more than this!  He demanded three weeks since his vacation was in three weeks!  I was proud of Heather because she stuck to her guns and said no, this was a two week notice, not a three week notice.  He was upset with her and said this is not fair to him or the company and then spouted about how he has fought for her over the years and about how she has misunderstood everything that has gone on over the past year.  Basically, he gave my wife a guilt complex for even thinking of going to another job.  So, as I stated last night would happen, it did not go over well.  Heather came back this morning upset at five o’clock and we were talking in bed and I was basically up at five this morning.  So, as you can see, I was not wanting to get out of bed so fast.  I basically only got about five hours of sleep!  The good news was that Heather was with me this morning.  She was feeling like total crap because of what was happening this morning and I reminded her that no matter what, she was quitting a job and that quitting a job was not all going to be roses and fun!  She said, “yeah”, but I don’t think it really sunk in that no matter what she did, her boss was going to be upset.  We managed to get the kids going for the day and she managed to see what it was like to have Tara as a holy terror in the morning and she agreed that something needed to be done, but she wasn’t sure what.  The kids got off to school on time and I was off to work on time.  It was an interesting day to say the least.  My morning went okay, but my students are starting to fight me about doing any work in class.  I think they have simply lost all motivation and I can’t seem to motivate them at all!  Of course, for many of them, they are failing many subjects, so failing music is just another bad grade on an already bad report card.  I managed to make my way through the work day and have to say that I was relieved when the day was over.

I got done with work, packed things up and went home.  I got home and tried to check on the TFN boards for Binghamton to see if the header had changed and nothing happened yet.  Then I found a PM from the Regional Commander telling me who I had to email to get the header submitted, so I sent the email to the person with all the images in the email.  You know, I’m beginning to wonder if all that work on Friday night is going to pay off or not.  It seems to take an awfully long time to get things done for the TFN forums and I’m hoping we get to see the new banner before the end of the week.  I got done dinking around upstairs on the computer and then set things up downstairs.  I had lots of plans for the evening, and like most nights, my best laid plans did not happen quite like I wanted them to.  I went outside and spray painted Austin’s rocket launcher and Tara’s Twilek headpiece for their costumes.  That took a little while and I came back inside and by the time I finished with all of this, it was time for dinner.  I sat down with the family and ate some dinner before I got into all the other things I needed to get done for the evening.  I then went downstairs and finished painting the “Family Guy” monkey plaque the student teacher at school made for me and then started to work on getting things together to clean up my shop.  But, before I could start with that, Heather had asked if she could leave for the evening and go to a Pampered Chef party and I said sure.  She doesn’t get a chance to go out often and I felt bad because she has been stressed lately and she needed the relief from everything.  So, after she left, Austin started to play trumpet, and I heard him making some mistakes.  Now, I’m all for him making some mistakes, but I wanted to make sure he understood where he was going wrong.  So, I helped him out for a little while and then went downstairs and started to continue to work on some projects I needed to finish up this weekend.  Including making some of the Mandaloian Mercs convention tags for Ad’Caurd Falco and Kal Falco to use this weekend at the Syracuse Heroes Expo.  I then organized some things in the basement as well and finished with painting and working on the rest of my projects.  I then blogged for a little while and read some of my book while watching “Heroes” because everything else tonight was all reruns.  I have so much more to do before the end of the week and Halloween and I just don’t know how I’m going to get it all done!  Heather and I went to bed together.  The temperatures have started to drop and I was shocked to find out that they are talking about snow tomorrow!

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 5 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover….. Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 20 (Part 4)

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

Sunday and a fun-filled Sunday it was.  We got up this morning and got ourselves and the kids going for the day.  Heather got extremely angry at Ruth beause she bought “High School Musical” cereal for all the kids and Ruth told the others that the cereal was only for her.  As Heather said, she was being selfish.  She then told Ruth that she was not going to go see “High School Musical 3” today as promised, but I reminded Heather that if she punished Ruth, she was also punishing Austin and Tara and that’s not fair to the two kids who weren’t in trouble.  We also had a small tiff over MP3 Players.  I want to get Ruth one for Christmas (say a “High School Musical” themed one) and Heather thinks she’s too young.  But, I keep reminding Heather that her “young” older daughter ain’t so young anymore.  She’s in sixth grade and almost a teenager.  Then I went for the “kill” and asked Heather when she got her first walkman and she agreed it was around sixth or seventh grade.  My point was made.

We headed off to church and I helped with sound again today and observed how to run the computer for the screen for praise and worship team and for the scripture verses.  It looks confusing, but really isn’t that hard to do.  They basically run a dual monitor set up with one of the monitors actually being the screen for the showing of the text or the words for the song.  It wasn’t too bad, but I did manage to get a feel for a service.  We got done with church and I talked with Rodney for a little bit and suggested that not next Sunday, but the Sunday after that I come in and run a service to get an ideas what it’s like to run a service with Rodney behind me to help guide me.  He agreed so it looks like that’s going to happen.  I then talked to the choral conductor and thought I would discuss a best time to play trumpet with them and it looks like I’ll have my premier with this church on November 16th.  Cool!  We got done with all of that and then it was time for Heather and I to leave.  We went to Radio Shack to pick up a headset for my meeting tonight, but Radio Shack wasn’t open, so we headed to Staples and found a nice set for only about twenty dollars.  I also found some nice headphones that I told Heather that I would like to buy later for the podcast.  You know, when we have money (like that’s EVER going to happen!).  We got done and game home and Heather had her leg attacked by fleas again, so she was furious and vowed to destroy all fleas in the house today.  We then discussed the issue with Ruth and agreed she needed to be punished in some way, so I came up with the idea that if she wanted to go see “High School Musical 3”, then she needed to give up her five dollars she just got from grammy and papa as punishment.  She agreed and that was the punishment set in place.  Heather then left and went to the pet store to get flea bombs, spray, and “Frontline” for the dog.  She picked up the kids on the way back to the house.  I, in turn, went downstairs, watched some of the football pre-game and graded papers.  The kids got home and we tore apart and bombed the house.  When we left, we left Clifford on the tether outside the house and went to get lunch and watch “High School Musical 3”.  We got a quick bite to eat at Arby’s and then got popcorn at the theater.  The movie, honestly, was touching and not half bad.  The songs weren’t annoying like “Mama Mia” and I found the plot kind of fun and even inspiring.  I even saw things within the movie that I could use to teach in my classroom for lessons later on.  We got done with the movie and came home as it was now about four o’clock or so.  We got home and I went downstairs and continued to grade papers while watching T.V. and finding out that the Rams lost – AGAIN!  Really, their season has just gone right down the toilet!  While I watched T.V., I continued to work on things including trying to get caught up on little things like paperwork and what-not around the house.  I even managed to clean off the computer desk upstairs.  I didn’t eat any dinner and while I was watching football, I got dressed up in my costume and took a new avatar picture for the mando Mercs and then took four full complete pictures of Austin in full gear to hopefully make him an offical member of the Mercs now.  I posted them on the Mando Mercs board and then it was time for the meeting.  I didn’t see the power of the use of Skype before, but now I do!  It was a blast having a Skype meeting for the Mercs and it was amazing how much we all agreed about what needed to be done at the meeting.  We got done with everything and it was late at night.  I had managed to miss my usual T.V. shows (“Amazing Race”) so Heather taped them for me to watch later.  While I downloaded the “High School Musical 3” Soundtrack for Ruth, Heather and I watched “The Unit” and then headed to bed.  She was not looking forward to tomorrow morning as she was going to be handing in her two-weeks notice to Wendy’s and she thinks it’s going to go fine.  I think it’s going to be a complete disaster!

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 4 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…… Continue reading

‘Star Wars: Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel’ – Chapter 20 (Part 3)

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

Well, it was Saturday and a weekend where I don’t have anything Star Wars related planned.  At least not as far as an event is concerned.  Since I got to bed late this morning trying to resolve the issue with my podcast, I thought now was the time to sleep in a little, so I did.  My kids didn’t mind so much as they had a chance to relax and watch some cartoons this morning which was kind of nice for all of us.  So, Heather and I got up around ten o’clock this morning.  She headed off to the post office and I got up and headed right downstairs and continued to work putting the podcast from last night together.  It was a long and gruelling process.  I had to put it together based on the segments that got split up from when Audacity crashed.  Basically, each little segment was about ten seconds  of the podcast.  You would be amazed at how long it takes to put together thirty minutes of talking at ten second intervals.  I did manage to find a new cool feature on my T.V. this morning though.  I turned to “Fantastic Four:  Rise of the Silver Surfer” with about fifteen minutes to go in the movie and my Time Warner box said I could hit “Select” to repeat the show.  I thought this was cool and decided to do it, and voila, I had a TIVo feature on my T.V. now and the movie started from the beginning.   It was totally cool and I hope I get to keep this feature now!  While I watched the movie I continued to work on my podcast from last night.  Heather, in the meantime, went to Aldi’s and apparently Wal Mart.  Austin was outside raking leaves to make up for the backpack incident earlier in the week and to pay for a new band book.  I got done working on the podcast around noon and offered to tape “Flip This House” for Heather while she was out.  She got back and I got to work on my big project for the day that I had planned.  Heather got me tights in Tara’s size and some spray foam, and it was time to put together Tara’s Aayla Secura tentacles.  I tried one technique I read about on the Internet and that didn’t work.  So, I went with my own technique and that seemed to work better.  The bad news was that I got spray foam all over myself and Heather and we weren’t very happy because the stuff sticks and then rips your skin off as it comes off.  Needless to say, I had spray foam everywhere till I mastered the technique down.  As I finished with that, I painted a plaque the student teacher from technology gave me and I organized my comics and pulled out a few that were written by Rodger Stern as he is going to be at the Syracuse Heroes Expo next weekend and I want him to sign those comics, including one of my favorite “Captain America” comics which will be cool.  I got done with that and Heather called everyone together for dinner.  Man, time flew this afternoon and I didn’t feel like I got a lot done.  I ate dinner with the family and then headed back to our bedroom and proceeded to organize our bedroom.  I hadn’t done that since early March of last year and needless to say it was a disaster zone and needed to be done.  I got done with that and went back downstairs and did the other half of the foam for the tentacles.  I got done with that and went and debugged the problems I was having with Skype from earlier in the afternoon.  I was about to give up tonight, when I think I finally got it to work and managed to call Novall on Skype successfully.  I got that done and went to take off the headphones and the ear pad disintegrated as I went to take them off.  Heather said we could get a new headset tomorrow as I had a Skype meeting for the Mercs tomorrow night and I’m looking forward to it now as I can now participate.  I got done with that and Heather and I talked about tomorrow and all that was going to be happening then.  It was quite the busy day and I didn’t get done what I really wanted to get done, which was recording the next segment for “Hovering Rocks”, but I figure I can do that tomorrow.

Okay, so let’s talk about Part 3 of Chapter 20 of “Star Wars:  Shatterpoint, A Clone Wars Novel” by Matthew Woodring Stover…… Continue reading