Whiteouts and Meetings

I had a very busy day yesterday - Up to Burlington and back, a couple trips around Central Vermont, through all types of weather.Had Math at 9 to 10 and we finally got to things that I actually understand - some geometry and things that I can remember in high school. From there, I drove up to Burlington. My friend Rachel had finished her senior thesis project up at UVM, and was presenting it before a committe of teachers there. She invited me up a couple of weeks ago. So I went up and walked around Church Street for a while, then walked up and met up with her at UVM. I didn't get lost while I was up there, which was a plus, given all the construction that they have on campus there. The presentation went over very well, I think. I'm not entirely sure if I completely understood everything that she was talking about, because it's biology, and I haven't had a bio class for years. But she got through it well enough, and we waited outside for her and the committee to talk privately, while I talked with her roommate for a while. She came out pretty happy and relieved, and we went had some refreshments. I left a little later because I was afraid of getting a ticket where I was parked, (Fortunently didn't get one) and headed home. While I passed Waterbury, I stopped off and visited Eric, who'd just gotten up. We talked for a while and decided to hang out for the afternoon. We drove off to the Berlin Mall and walked around there for a while, then got dinner, headed to Norwich for the Tactics meeting that we had. It actually went over well, with some games locked down for the future, some procedures for those games and some other things like that. Probably one of the most successful meetings that we've had in a long time, which I was really happy about. Then went over to the Library with Eric to show him the Pirates of the Caribbean 2 trailer (Now online at http://movies.yahoo.com) and then we headed home, where we hit a bit of a whiteout. Visibility went down to almost zero and we had to really show down. We got to Waterbury okay, but I ran into troubles as I got home. Backroads were okay, if slightly slippery, but the big hill a couple miles from my house was immpassble and I started spinning about halfway up and couldn't make it to the top. I had to back down a mile or so, almost going into a ditch, and turned around, went back through Montpelier and got home almost an hour later. Wee!

Random Acts

One of the things that I really like about some of my friends is the extremely random things that we do. Take my friend Eric for example- One of the many things that we completely agree with is that we should never plan anything out. A) It never works, and B) it's never any fun. I think that we both like seeing where randomness takes us.
This is about what we did today- I ran into him today when I went in to drop my sister off at her piano lesson. Eric and I decided to hang out for a while. We then decided, that after I dropped my sister off at her friend's house, we'd go up to Burlington, just for the hell of it. So we did. We stopped up at Bestbuy, where I found a copy of Amos Lee's newest Album, which is outstanding, and that Best Buy was giving out copies of HBO's newest series, Rome's pilot episode. Pretty cool. We then went up to Church Street, walked around for a while there, in Borders and Quarterstaff. Ran into Rachel and her friend Kara, talked with them for a while.
It was good to be among proper villians again- Eric and I are extremely alike, and it was great just to talk for a while about everything. We don't see each other much, so it was good to catch up again.
On the way home, I picked up a hitchhiker, dropped her off down the road. Never done that before, felt good to help someone out. She was kinda weird though. Large vocabulary for a highschool girl.

Opening Night

Never did get around to talking about opening night for Serenity. Eight of us went up from school. Me, Eric, Keelia, Kyle, Matt, Justin, Stewart and Karthik all drove up in two cars for the 6:45 showing. We got there pretty early, at 6, got our tickets, then got dinner. We ate, chatted a bit, then went to the theater and waited for the movie. Saw a LOT of people that I knew, from Harwood, Camp or Norwich. Saw Rachel, who was pretty upset over a missing cat, I'll have to remember to call her later... Brigham, from Harwood and Norwich, good to catch up with him, a couple other random people from Harwood, people who Eric and I had talked about earlier that day, talk about weird.
Eric and I had gotten together earlier that day and went up to Burlington to hit the comic shop, where I got most of the comics on that list below, except for the Iron Man one, which is beginning to look pretty lame, which is disapointing, considering that Orson Scott Card wrote it.
The thing about SciFi movies with good fan bases is that it's the waiting that counts. Being in a theater with a couple hundred other people who are looking forwards to it just as much as you are is something like nothing in this world. There's a certain energy about it that's just cool to be apart of.
This morning, Stuart and I manned the Tactics booth for Parent's Weekend, basically doing a bit of recruiting for the club. Not too many people stopped by, but some were interereded. Kind of a waste of time though. I went back to see Serenity later that afternoon for time #2. Just as good the first time.

On another note, does anyone have anything by Zero 7? Great British band with some cool stuff. Looking for recommendations.

Post-Camp Recuperation

I always hate the transition to real-life after camp. My sleep schedule is still out of whack, as is my food intake and daily schedule. It's tough trying to find ways to occupy my time. At camp, there are over a hundred people in fairly close proximety, where I'm able to talk with someone about something. Not so much here. However, I've been doing okay to be occupied. I took a good walk in the woods the other day, got some thinking cleared in my head and was treated to a beautiful view of the forest and a rain storm. It was refreashing. Went out with Blackwell, Sam and Eric last night to Pizza Putt, a pizza joint with miniature golf and lazer tag in the building. Together, Sam, Blackwell and I are known as the Geek Squad on camp. Eric is our off site member, and we all got together before we all go off to college for the year. Blackwell's leaving today and I'm off next week, as is Sam. Eric's going to work as a working stiff. (Sucker:-p ) . We ended up playing against another team of four guys who were there. We really screwed up the first time that we played, but did slightly better the second time around. I rode home with Eric, and we did some catching up on everything that happened over the summer.
I'm now working on an essay for Lexia, a study abroad option that my school is offering. I'm seriously thinking of studying in London, England for the Spring semester, if my finances allow for it. Let's hope...

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.

New York Geology and Spies

Got back late last night from New York, where we spent the entire day looking at rocks covering the Precambrian Age to the Devonian. We started by leaving at 4:30 am, and hit our first stop at about 6:00 am over near White Hall. From there, we went to a place called Lester's Garden, which featured Stromatolites, near the base of the Cambrian. From there, we went to a site with black shales, then up the column to more Cambrian, Ordivician, Silurian and Devonian, seeing various fossiliferous limestones, shales, and sand stones. We found a lot of fossils in some sites. One of them was essentially an entire reef, entirely made up of fossils. I collected some great samples of coral and crinoids. We ended our trip over near the Adirondacks and Catskills. There's something great about New York, at least the area that I've been in. We used to have a lake house in the Adirondacks, which we sold several years ago. The terrain is very different from Vermont in some ways. There's no large mountains like Vermont has, in some areas, with smaller hills and lower areas. The way that houses and fields are arranged, it's got a very cool feel to it. Maybe I'll return someday.

Spring is officially here. The snow is finally melting off of our lawn, and the Corps of Cadets have changed into their Summer Bees, which are short sleeve White top uniforms with blue trousers, a change from the long sleeve blue tops and trousers. The snow's gone down there as well, as well as everywhere else that I've gone. There's still some snow in banks in the shadows, but now that the temperature is getting higher and the days are getting longer. It's great to be able to go outside in a tee shirt, even though it's about fifty degrees. Still
better than sub zero temps. It also means that the road is full of mud and ruts, which makes me hate the road more than ever, just because it's a pain to drive on, all the time. Hopefully, it's on the way out soon.

I've been recently watching a show called Alias, created by JJ Abrams, who also did LOST, another show that I've been watching. This guy has talant, and he's really going to be going places. The show's pretty good, although I think that I like Lost a little more, although this one certainly makes up for it in action and a highly structured storyline. Abrams is going to be directing Mission Impossible 3, and given some of the material that I've seen him direct, I think that he'll be good for it. I've also been thinking: He should direct the third Bourne movie. That would be awesome.

For a little while now, I've been noticing how out of shape that I'm getting. The Grand Canyon trip was pretty brutal at times, going down and up, but I've also gained a little weight, and while that's not a bad thing, I'm not terribly happy about it. So I need to get out more. The Norwich Climbing Club is not really meeting anymore since on of the leaders has been kicked out, and I haven't been climbing in a while. I went for a run this morning, no more than a mile, probably a little more and I got out of breath pretty badly on the way back. I'm going to try and do that more now. I think that it's a little much to hope that I'll run in the mornings, but I'm going to see if I can do that. Maybe talk with a friend or two of mine, and find out when they're working out in the gym.

Just got really good news, my friend Eric's coming over for a bit. Haven't seen him in forever.