Why I Troop

This question has come up a couple of times, and I've been thinking over the reasons for why I've been trooping for the past couple of years. To fully comprehend it, I've been trying to think about my entry to the 501st in context, which pulls into a larger arena, why I'm a geek in the first place, and how it's largely affected me over the years.Thinking quickly, it's easy to remember when I first saw the Star Wars movies, back in 1997. I think that I was aware of Star Wars, although I didn't know anything about it, but I do remember hearing the Imperial March on the radio when the announcer was talking about the release of the Special Editions. Shortly thereafter, my father took me out to see the first film. He's recounted the story so many times that I remember how it goes:

Dad: Do you think Andy will want to see Star Wars? Mom: Maybe. If he gets scared, you can always take him out.

I was excited to be going, I remember that much, and I remember walking into the theater and wanting to go see The Empire Strikes Back, but fortunately, we saw A New Hope. Scared, I was not. Dad later said that he didn't think that I blinked once during the entire movie; that I was completely drawn in by what was happening on screen. Every now and then, I remember the feeling of seeing the movie for the first time. After the film was over, we returned home, and I'm pretty sure I babbled the rest of the way home about the movie. I do, also, remember the guys in white armor, and thought that they were really cool. As the other movies came out, Dad took me, and now my brother to see both the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I was hooked.

This was probably the most memorable event, but thinking back, I know that there were some precursors to this. I remember being read the Merlin stories as a child, and when Mom drove us to school, we had an audio book of one of those stories called Merlin and the Dragons, that we listened to every day. I had a game boy with Zelda on it, and a couple of the computer games that I played early on were fantasy ones, King's Quest, and one that I cannot remember for the life of me (despite my best efforts to try and find out what it is). Because of these things, I think that I had a good foundation for which to become a geek. I read obsessively throughout most of Elementary School, mostly the Hardy Boys, but some other things, including Tom Swift.

The introduction of Star Wars gave me something of a purpose towards geekdom. They opened my imagination and helped steer me to Science Fiction and full geekdom. The Star Wars books that Del Rey and Bantam published helped - they provided an outlet for my allowance, but more importantly, steered me towards more mainstream science fiction, with such authors as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert and numerous others. I began posting on internet message forums relating to Star Wars, such as theforce.net and starwarz.com. One of the highlights was going with my friend Eric to Barnes and Noble to meet Michael A. Stackpole for a book signing. I brought along 9 books, and I don't think that we stopped pestering Mike the entire time, which I'm somewhat ashamed of doing...

I'm a self proclaimed geek, and it's funny when some people, generally those who don't know me, say something like "No you're not...". I don't see the negative connotations that seem to be typical of geeks. My high school wasn't an oppressive one that seems to be commonplace. I was never beaten up, although some people did make fun of me for what I was reading. I was never good at confrontation or was really that social, so that caused problems on its own, but for all intents and purposes, I was never ashamed of being a geek.

Working at Camp Abnaki helped as well. Throughout high school and middle school, I was very shy and withdrawn, quick to take offense and not a very social person. Camp helped teach me to be me, and introduced me to several people whom I consider friends to this day. One of them, Sam, was like me, and very into Dungeons and Dragons, and introduced me to the game, which became a dominant feature of camp life for all of us. Over that summer, I also saw Titan AE, which helped keep conversations going about all sorts of geeky things. This would continue over the 7 years that I worked there.

The 501st comes in when I reached my senior year and we played Star Wars in band. This was most likely the culmination of about 5 years of pestering Mr. Rivers to play the music, and it played off very well, and I was excited, but I wanted to make it memorable. I knew about the 501st, although I didn't know too much about them. Once we knew when the concert was happening, I contacted them through their website, and for the concert, we had a trooper come up.

I was over the moon about this. It was the first time that I had seen one of the legendary 501st members up close and in person, and I knew right then, that I wanted to get a set of the armor. The trooper, Scott Allen, TK-0413, was very helpful. For the concert, he marched down the aisle to Imperial March, bringing the crowd to an uproar. Scott told me that he would be able to get me armor, and was highly encouraging. The price was too steep at the time, but over the summer, when I got a raise of about $800 due to a clerical error (my initial contract was about $800 too low), I knew exactly where that money was going. Check was mailed off, and several weeks later, a couple days after camp was over, I received my armor.

This was also around the same time that I started working for a website, The Unofficial Clone Wars Site, which helped me get in touch with numerous authors and artists, as well as giving me an outlet to write about Star Wars and the Clone Wars. To some extent, it was a prominent place in the Star Wars fan community, which was interesting, and my interviews (without trying to sound arrogant about this) helped put the site on the map. I 'met' Karen Traviss, Aaron Allston, Troy Denning, Jan Duursema, John Ostrander, Matthew Stover, and numerous other authors and artists during this time.

For me, this was a kid in the candy store. Building the armor was a little daunting, but I don't think that I slept at all that night, and by the morning, it was fully assembled. Looking back, I should have spend more time on this, actually gone out and bought new Velcro, sanded the seams, etc. But at that point, it didn't matter, because I was a storm trooper - it was a dream that I'd had for years, and it had come to life. Right away, I signed up for the 501st, and was accepted in late 2003 or early 2004. I can't remember exactly, but it was after Halloween.

Because of my location, I had a hard time getting to events, and my first troop was in may of 2005, where I attended Celebration 3. I was in armor each day for the long weekend, and met a lot of 501st members while I was there, as well as some other people whom I still keep in touch with. It made me excited about Star Wars, and the upcoming movie, and shortly thereafter, I trooped the Revenge of the Sith opening in armor, which was exciting, even though I was the only trooper there. I even made the front page.

After that, I took a break. College took up much of my time, and looking back, there were some tensions in my garrison, and it wasn't anything I could do anything about, so I essentially went on inactive status, checking in every now and again. During college, I wore my armor a couple of times, at camp and on campus, but I'm sad to say that I almost lost interest in the 501st. I had some other things to occupy my time, and being in Vermont, it was hard to stay involved, especially without money and without a car. I read and breathed Science Fiction though, through books and movies.

I got back into the fold at the end of 2007 with the Woburn Parade, and that's when everything really clicked. Up until that point, I didn't really comprehend the 501st - to me, I was part of it, but isolated. Now, however, I could become involved. At C3, I picked up on some of this. Here, outside of a geeky environment, I could see how kids lit up when they saw a bunch of Storm Troopers and a Vader. And at Woburn, I rejoined the garrison, and was welcomed back, which was a really great thing, because I'd been away for so long.

Since then, I've remained involved and really gotten into trooping. This brings me full circle to why I troop, and why I am a geek. I do it because of the community of like minded people around me, and because it's the perfect outlet to make a different. When I put my helmet on, I become a storm trooper, and to children, who need this sort of inspiration and entertainment, love being able to see something that they've seen on the screen in real life. I can't begin to imagine the number of times I've seen a child's face light up with wonder and excitement when I've come out and given them a high five or shook their hand. It's those small things that really can lift my day and remind me why I keep doing this.

Beyond that, I like the group of people that I've found with the 501st. Generally, we're an accepting, friendly bunch of people who share a number of common interests, and who I can rely on when I have problems or something along those lines. Among my travels to Utah, New York City and Connecticut, where I met up with other troopers from other garrisons, I've met some of the most incredible people. I'm regretting that I never looked up anyone while I was in London, because it would have been really helped at times. Next time, I guess.

The moment that I really remember was on the last day of Celebration 3. I was walking along a hallway, when I came across a young mother with a 3 or 4 year old daughter. The girl was sleeping, but the woman came up to me and asked: "Can my daughter shoot you?" Odd request, but I stopped, and the mother gave her daughter a hasboro E-11 that was almost as big as she was. He aimed it at me and had a huge smile on her face. I could tell that for a second, she was princess Leia in the movie, and I just know I made her day.

Winding Down

Finally, I just had my last two geology classes of the semester. It's such a relief to have finally finished. I like geology, but these two classes have been extremely discouraging at times, enough to make me rethink being a geology major.

It's nice to end the semester on a couple of classes that you're somewhat interested in (Political Science and History)

I really miss C3 :(

Music & Celebration 3 Pictures

Something that I picked up from a friend's weblog: 01) Total volume of music files on my computer? Currently: 1539 Songs, 4.4 Days at 5.73 gigs. And growing. At a quick pace. Currently, I have 372 songs that I have not yet listened to, although in some, if not most cases, I listened to most of it then passed over to the next one just before it ended. In any case, that's 24% of all the music that I have that I really haven't listened to. 1.1 days. Yikes. More statistics:

Albums: 197Artists: 219 Genres: [Genre, (Song Count)] 33: Acoustic (1), Alternative (50), Alternative & Punk (47), Bluegrass (1), Blues (2), Classic Rock (13), Classical (2), Country (11), Electronic (2), Electronica (2), Film Soundtrack (3), Folk (21), General Rock (1), Hard Rock (27), Humor (26), Jazz (75), Jazz/R&B (20), Light Rock (41), Metal (10), New Age (31), Other (6), Podcast (5), Pop (50), Rock (548), Rock/Pop (11), Salsa (1), Soundtrack (495), Spoken Word (2), Techno (2), Unclassifiable (2), Vocal (1) and World (1). Now, I don't know why some of these are here, like Electronic, Electronica and Techno, aren't they the same thing? Ditto for soundtracks. A couple others, I think that I'd reclassify, because iTunes tells me what everything is, including the genre.

02) The last CD I bought was...The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy soundtrack. Really enjoyed the music set to this, having fun listening to it, listened to that a couple times. I think that my favorites thus far are So Long and Thanks for all the Fish, and Journey of the Sorcerer, which is a weird title.

03a) The last song I listened to before writing this was... Life Less Ordinary, by Carbon Leaf. Outstanding band from Virginia, have some great CDs.

03b) Song playing right now is... Stay (Wasting Time), Dave Matthew's Band. That's really just a coincidence.

04) Five albums I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me...This is going to be difficult: a) Indian Summer, Carbon Leaf. Even though I just found these guys, I must say that their music is very relatable to many things in my life. Life Less Ordinary, This is My Song, Changeless and What About Everything are my favorites off of that album. b) Garden State Soundtrack, Various. This is an incredible CD with a really cool mix of music from a really good movie. Favorite tracks off of there is the Winding Road, Don't Panic, Caring is Creepy, New Sland and Let Go. c) Moonlight Dancers, Sara Wheeler. New England singer, I don't think that I've ever gotten tired of her music. d) Yourself or Someone Like You, Matchbox 20. I think that this was one of the first rock CDs that I got. Love every song on that one. e) Under the Table and Dreaming, Dave Matthew's Band. First CD from these guys, probably their best CD and one that I constently listen to. Runners up: Rush of Blood to the Head, (Coldplay), One, (Beatles) Crash (Dave Matthew's Band), Silent Steeples (Dispatch), Cracked Rearview (Hootie and the Blowfish), Room for Squares (John Mayer), Inarticulate Nature Boy (Josh Clayton-Felt), Ex-Girlfriends (Low Millions), Star Wars (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi- John Williams), The Italian Job/Bourne Supremacy Soundtracks (John Powell)

5) 5 People to pass the baton to and why: Anyone really. It's always interesting to see what other people like for music.

My cold's almost gone. I just love how something can make you completely miserable for a straight week then just up and vanish. I've spend the last two days going through about two boxes of kleenex and now hoping that whenever I blow my nose, I'm not also going to make it start gushing blood.

Alrighty, start the countdown. 10 more days until exams are over. 16 more days until Revenge of the Sith is out in theaters. I should look into getting advance tickets. You know something, I've never, ever been to a Star Wars movie on opening night. Never. When Attack of the Clones was released, I was working that night as was Eric, so we went the next day, and when the Phantom Menace was out, I can't remember why I didn't go the opening night, but just that I was annoyed that some people that I knew had. And the special editions, it was some time after they had been released.

And finally, I've gotten my Celebration 3 pictures up online!

Here's some highlights:


Me and Brian Gates, my "Boss"

Me, Cathy from DelRey Audio and Donovan

Donovan and I

Me and Matthew Stover

Jan Duursema and I

Alpha and... Beta?


Me and Timothy Zahn

The New England Garrison

Karen Traviss and I

Me and Troy Denning

I guess we found out what happened to Jar Jar...

R2-D1 and R2-D2

Aaron Allston and I

The George Lucas talk

//photos.pe.facebook.com/v12/236/6/70000497/n70000497_30000306_874.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Sarah, one of the very cool people that I met.

That's all for now. The rest of the images can be found here.

Celebration 3: Day 4

The last day was pretty sad. I had to leave, and I wasn't looking forwards to it. Over the past couple of days, I had met many interesting people, and I'd call some of them my friends. I met people who were professionals, who were there to work, and I met people who were just there to have some fun. Overall, I think that everyone had a lot of fun over the days. I got up at 7, fixed up my armor and went out to find the 501st, who were doing a picture. I found out that I just missed them, for they were doing a parade around the convention Center, and I sprinted around the building a couple of times before I found them. I also had to go back to my hotel room to get my volunteer pass, which I forgot. Thinking that I missed the picture, I walked to the room, hoping to find some people. To my surprise, they hadn't taken it yet, and I was able to get in. (It's up online at www.501st.com- bonus points if you can pick me out of the group.) After that, I got some pictures with people from the New England Garrison, and got out of armor, which I put away and sealed up. I then set about saying goodbyes to the various authors, artists and professionals that I had met, as well as friends that I found along the way. I got a quick lunch, tried in vain to find Linh and Sarah, turned in my badge and hours, said yet some more goodbyes, and left. I left a note at Sarah/Linh's room, which they didn't follow up on. :p I got a taxi back to the airport, and waited for my flight. I talked with a couple of people from the convention, including the graphic novel's writer, who was on the same flight, and waited while learning that the flight was delayed pending a couple of people dropping out of the flight to make room. I ran into Randy Stradley and Jeremy Barlow, who nearly killed me when I told them that I was Darth Nuke, a particularly annoying forum member at Dark Horse. (I'm really not) Boarded the flight to New York, waited around there for a little while, got dinner, waited for yet another person to drop out of the flight, then boarded that one. I changed seats with a woman wanting to sit with her family, and sat next to a girl, Lindsay, who happened to be a UVM student. We talked for most of the flight home, working on a crossword puzzle, which made the flight go by very quickly. I gave her my AIM SN, although I have yet to hear back from her. Waiting at the airport was my brother, and we drove home. It was over. And that's that. I'd do it again in a heart beat. It passed as fast.

Next up: Pictures!

Here's one:

The Convention Part 2

Day Three of the convention was the one that a lot of people were looking forwards to. George Lucas was in for the morning to make his first convention appearence in nearly twenty years. People knew it too, and began lining up early. From the reports that I heard, people started lining up at midnight for the 8 am show. On top of that, it was about forty degrees, lightly raining and windy. Not really the most receptive place for a line. I awoke at about 4 am to get ready to help with the lines. It was already several blocks long, wraping around my hotel. Crazy, and people were getting annoyed, because we had to move them around a little bit. I didn't have armor on, and by 7 am, we started moving them into the building. I had to lead a couple of bitchy people around then went back outside and to my room, got my armor on. I then was asked to man the ground floors to help get people out of the building. I was given a pass to get into the second Lucas showing of the morning, and I went up to go see him. It was quite a while before I got in, as we took a while to move nearly three thousand people into the room. We didn't fill it with the people supposed to be in the next showing, so we started filling people from thethird showing. Then we went in, and for the first time in my life, I saw the person who's really changed my life by introducing Star Wars to me and countless others. For a half hour, probably twenty or so people got up and asked questions of the flanneled one. There were the general questions, like what's coming up next (Two Star Wars TV series, a possible Willow TV series, a couple movies that might be in the works.) What did he think of the fans, and some things like that. It was a quick, but very good talk, and he was very appreciative of the fans, and the 501st. He pointed right at me, or my section when someone asked about the Five-Oh-First. "Well, seeing how they're all pointing guns at me..." The entire trooper line cheered. It was great to hear him say that. After that, we cleared the room and got out, and went on to our other assignments. My armor was really starting to fall apart and I got out of it, and worked at Del Rey for a little while, then wandered around for a little while inbetween signings. I talked with Randy Stradley and Jeremy Barlow from Darkhorse comics, whom I'd met the day before. I won a t-shirt from Lucas Arts, talked to Ken, one of the guys who was on the production team for some of the Star Wars games that I made friends with. I saw Battlefront II being played for a bit, which was a really cool looking game that I'm certainly going to upgrade my computer for. It was amazing. Can't wait to see it in it's entirety. I went back and helped with another couple signings, and talked with Matthew Stover, then met Timothy Zahn for the first time. I also went to the Star Wars Spectacular, which was 8 mindblowing minutes of finished Episode III footage. It was absolutely amazing. All of the major fights, and even then some other footage, it was just amazing. Simply amazing. I talked to several people about it and got dinner, tried to get into the panel on the new 9 book series, but the guys wouldn't let me in. Gr... But I found out anyway, which is good. I got Aaron Allston to sign my books, got images from Karen Traviss, Troy Denning and talked with them for a little bit. I got dinner, talked to the artists again and went and walked around at the convention center then went back to the hotel room for a while. I told Sara and Lihn to stop by, but they never did, and I called Eric, who was just on his way into class. I went to bed early. It was almost over.

The Convention: Part 1

I knew that the convention would be really fast, but man, it blew by. I had an outstanding time while I was there and met some very cool people, as well as some weird ones. I didn't get around to writing things down like I did for Arizona. I was busy. Literally, I got up earlier than I thought that I would and got in later than usual, usually pretty tired. To start, I got on the plane and headed out to Indy, making a layover at Philly, where I met a girl named Lynn, who was also headed to the convention. She was reading the same book that I was, Republic Commando, and struck up converstation, and shared a taxi to the hotels that we were staying at. When I got there, I signed in, got my volunteer badge and walked around the center for a while. (It wasn't open yet) I met the Del Rey people, Shelly and Colleen, who said that they'd need a bit of work later on during the event. They had a nice schedule lined up for signings. Matthew Stover, Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, Troy Dennings and Karen Traviss were the big ones, and there were a couple others. From there, I wandered around for a while, running back into Linh, who was on her way to meet a friend, Sarah, at the bus station. We met her, then I went off to go do some work, having nothing to do. I ended up manning a door and directing people to the proper entrance. The next day was the big event. I got up at about 7, got my armor on and headed down. There was already a huge line forming, and people were getting excited seeing the number of Storm Troopers, Snow Troopers and pretty much every other costume around. The 501st troopers lined up and we marched to the state house, where we got our photos taken. My armor kept coming apart, and I later patched it up with some tape that I found. From the march, I went to work over in the store, which was a complete disaster all weekend, with people waiting in line for upwards of 7 hours. Insane. With some time off, I wandered over to the Fan Room, which had several fan booths and a life sized X-Wing fighter. I ran into Karen Traviss, who wrote Republic Commando. Her thoughts on the convention are in her blog on the right. She is a wonderful woman and I really enjoyed meeting her. I was then drafted into the Storm Trooper Olympics, which has been covered in this story. (There's a picture of all of us.) From there, I went to the DelRey booth, where I helped manage the line for Matthew Stover and Karen Traviss. The lines grew quickly, and I talked to a number of fans of the books and EU. That evening was the opening Ceremonies, which I am kicking myself for not going in armor to. The 501st did a march to Imperial March, which was awesome, and the 2 hour event was just fun. A Jazz band played, people talked about a number of things, and we saw several live performances, including a great rendition of The Saga Begins and of the Revenge of the Sith Trailer, brought to us by the SW in 30 people. Funny stuff. We also got to see some of the music videos featured in the next soundtrack, which looks amazing. Finally, all of the VIPs in attendance were brought on stage, which was cool to see. After that, I left and ended up wandering around the convention hall for a while before patching up my armor and heading off to bed. Day Two of the convention was much like Day One, except that I didn't work the store. Instead, I worked at Del Rey for the entire day, meeting several authors and having some great chats with them. I also met Jan Duursema and a number of artists whom I'd talked to, as well as several people from Lucasarts, who invited me to take a look at their projects. Great people. That evening, I went to a 501st party to raise money for Katie Johnson (More information at the banner at the bottom of the page- not the Serenity one) and I met a number of people from the New England Garrison. More great people in that group.

I'll get back to days Three and Four later, but I have class in a little while.

However, before I go, excellent news: Tomorrow, the first official trailer for Serenity will be released on the internet, and will be hitting theaters this Friday. KICK ASS.

I'm Back

Man, oh man, Celebration 3 was an awesome time. I'm pretty tired now, getting off of the plane just an hour ago, but here's a couple things and thoughts:

  • I met and got pictures with Dan Wallace, Matthew Stover, Timothy Zahn, Troy Dennings, Aaron Allston and Karen Traviss. Also, Jan Duursema, Joe Corroney, Steven Anderson, Tommy Lee Edwards and Tom Hodges. Also, Several higher ups at Del Rey and Dark Horse
  • Authors/Artists/Higherups = Awesome.
  • The looks on kids faces when they finally saw a Storm Trooper or Darth Vader. The looks on their faces when they got to hold a Storm Trooper Helmet.
  • Lines = Long Wait
  • Volunteering for Conventions = Awesome.
  • Random Girls I meet on Airplanes are cool.
  • George Lucas talk was amazing.
  • Meeting people from the JC and TUCWS was awesome.
  • Getting in at 11:38 means sleep.

I'll have more tomorrow.


Okay, I'm headed out to Celebration 3. I'm very excited, hopefully meeting some people for the first time face to face. If anyone who reads this is going, search me out, I'll be volunteering, and I've got images of myself and the badge that I'll be wearing on theforce.net message boards in Lit and C3. I'll also be in armor, the helmet has two black stripes on the back. If you see me, give a shout.

Have a good rest of the week everyone.

The Night Of...

Wow, time really flies. I'm always amazed at how it does that. It's the eve of Celebration 3. Man, I have been waiting for an entire year for this, ever since it was first announced, and I promised myself that I'll be headed out to it. It's too big of a thing to miss, and I absolutely cannot wait to get there. My flights are perfect. I'm flying out of Burlington at 0710 tomorrow morning, getting to Philadelphia at 0830, arriving in Indianapolis at around 1203, according to my eTicket. The way out, I have an afternoon flight and will be getting home at around 2200 hrs. My dad was saying that the next couple days are just going to fly by, and that's slightly unfortunent.
I started signing up for shifts to work on, and I'll post those later tonight for anyone who's going. I'm going to try and change a couple around, because I accidently signed my self up for a couple of six hour stretches, which might get a little too annoying and a REALLY long time while in armor.
The armor is all packed, primary pack in the car, carryon packed up with various things to be signed, as well as the CDs, book and other things that I'm bringing onto the Airplane to keep myself occupied. I also stuck the digital camera that I borrowed in, as well as a notebook with various addresses and things of that nature. I've packed all of my Jan Duursema comics, for she's coming in and told me to bring things in to get signed. Pens are numerous. Money as well, for the hotel and the things that might catch my eye. I'm thinking a t-shirt or two, maybe a figure or something or a photo with someone.
Drove into Montpelier with Hilary earlier to pick up money. We were talking about how annoyed everyone is on campus at being stuck there for Junior Ring Ball, (The school is restricting Corps Freshmen and Sophtomores to campus for the Junior Ring celebration this weekend.) so I offered her a ride in to get off campus. I picked up a a CD by Carbon Leaf, Indian Summer, which is outstanding. They have some tracks streaming on their website here. I'd highly recommend it. Great band. Hopefully I'll have enough money after this to go see them when the play up here this week. I think that I should. Ben & Jerry's had their free cone day and about a hundred people were in line to get free ice cream. Crazy, and I get to laugh at my brother, who works at the main B&J plant over in Waterbury. I heard that it was swamped.
What else... I stuck a new site tracker on this. I had a counter before, and reached somewhere around 4000 or so, but that's all that it does. This new one tells where the computer is (Just the server, such as a school or AOL) and the country. Apparently, people from Canada, France, Spain, Germany, the UK and Iceland all visit. That's a cool thing to learn. Don't worry, I'm not going to use that info for anything, it's just a curiosity.

Current Music: Life Less Ordinary, Carbon Leaf

That's Crazy Talk

I tried updating last night, but Blogger was being annoying and didn't post.
It's been a couple of days since I've posted, mainly due to work. One geology teacher seems to think that we really like lots of work. We've been getting tons of various things just piled on to our already large workload. The other geo professor likes to give us work over and over again, shit that I don't understand. Political Science is boring as fuck and History is just plain awesome. Doesn't quite balance things out the whole way, but it's just frustrating. And tomorrow, I have to get up really early to go on a field trip to New York State, in the Adirondacks, to look at some rocks. We're going to be out for a long time. It was intended to be a two day trip, but we were able to talk it down to a single day, by talking to the Geology department chair. I don't think Prof was happy.

I attended the Colby Military Writer's Conference yesterday. It was the tenth one that they've done. It's basically a group of military historians, writers and former/military personnel, and they generally talk about current events, or something that's relevant to today's world somehow. This year's topic was torture, how it should be used, if it should be used and how the military should generally handle gathering intelligence. They also touched on procedures for asymetric warefare. Overall, it was a really good talk. They went over a couple of things in a really good fashion, better than last year's talk, which I thought was a biased argument for the war against the War on Iraq. This time, the talk was mainly for and against limited torture. Putting prisoners in uncomfortable postisions, and most psychological stress doesn't constitute torture, but things suck as physical harm, dismemberment and physical pain do constitute torture. We had people advovcating finger cutting and other similar methods to be used in an urgent situation, which really had some military people pissed off, which surprised me. Somewhat Ironically, it was a holocaust survivor, a 2 star general who headed the Special Forces branch of the military. I talked to him today, and told him that while I didn't agree with everything that he and others said, and did for other things, I really enjoyed the talk and debate.
The entire thing comes at an interesting time, with some things in SciFi really pulling at the human rights ideas, mainly a Galactica, Firefly episode and a novel called City of Pearl. I'm planning on writing an essay on this issue, but not now.

Found some excellent news today:

"Prior to going up in theaters, the trailer will make an online debut. Where and when will be posted on the Browncoats site close to the time of the online debut, so you will all be able to see it BEFORE it is in theaters."
That's regarding the Serentiy trailer, which is supposed to be released with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Apparently, it's being released online first, which is outstanding. When it's released, I'll be posting up a detailed summary of it. I don't have a release date yet, but it'll probably be closer to the 29th. With my luck, it'll probably be while I'm at Celebration 3.

Which, by the way, it's going to be in less than two weeks. I can't wait!

Stormtrooper Activities

The things that you never see Storm Troopers do: Cleaning their uniforms. That's what I got to doing today. With Celebration 3 coming up fast, I've been meaning to getting my armor in shape for the Convention. in the year or so that I've had it, it's gone through a bit of use, and it's in need of repairs. The joints are held together by velcro, which makes it easy to assemble, but after a while, the adhesive degrades and falls off, which is a pain when it's being worn, and it'd be annoying to deal with during the Convention. So, I spent several hours scrapping off the goo left behind by the velcro, sanded down the areas, now I'd like to rip all of it off and superglue it down to the armor. That'd be the optimal solution, I just need to find some... 25 more days until the convention.
Really need to get working on my Stratigraphy project, maybe I'll completely finish my map and start working on the cores. I also need to pick up an article from the library, which I ordered through Interlibrary loan earlier this week for a project that I'll be working on next semester.
I'll pick it up when I go over to Upper Harmon to watch SciFi's movie of the week, which is starring Bruce Campbell. While I'm not expecting anything for quality (Although surprises do happen) I think this will be a funny one to watch. The Chin himself killing green aliens. Hopefully he'll have a shotgun with him.
Back to scraping...

Indianapolis Bound

I just booked my flight and return flight to Indianapolis. So it's official, I'm going to celebration 3! I'm pretty excited, and I can't wait to go. I know that my mom reads this from time to time, and I'd just like to say that she's great, and a huge thanks goes to her for helping me plan this. So I next need to figure out how to get my
armor over there, after I fix it up a little bit.
And now, for homework.
Wash: Work, work, work...~Firefly

And speaking of Firefly, I found this interesting bit of news from MSNBC regarding the comic series:

Serenity By Joss Whedon
The "Buffy" creator got his fangs in this new series. Out in July. A prequel to the upcoming movie based on the canceled TV show "Firefly"—set 500 years from now. Are you lost yet?

Nice to see that Joss is writing them, and that we now have a rough release date. I can't wait to start picking these up.

Celebration 3

Well, it looks like I'm going to Celebration 3 this spring. Celebration 3 is the official Star Wars Convention, held in Indianapolis around the time of each movie. Better yet, I'm a member of the 501st Storm Trooper Division, and will be volunteering for a portion of the time, something that I'm really looking forwards to. It's got quite a few perks that are handy, and working something like this is always fun. Signing up and getting information have been a bit of a pain though, and while I have my ticket, I need to get the hotel reservation. I believe that there are still rooms left for the Volunteers, so I guess that we'll see with that. I can't wait to go, even if this trip is costing quite a bit. I believe that there are quite a few TFN Forum members going, and the rest of the CloneWarsEU site will be going as well, which will be fun. None of us have met each other yet, just talked over e-mail or AIM. Indianapolis will be my second trip this year, after Arizona.
Is anyone else who reads this going?

Also, I just read on the SciFi bboard that there will be an announcement very soon about a second season of Battlestar Galactica. I'm a little skeptical, because anyone can say anything online, but I'm really hoping it's true.