Monday, February 28, 2011

My Dog's Favorite Pasttimes

Every so often I manage to get a video of my dog doing something funny, and I thought I would share some of the classic ones.

video
In this one Kara thought that eating dandelion fluff was a good idea.

video
In this one Kara chases leaves.

video
And in this one Kara actually is having some fun in the snow.

Hope they amused you the way they amuse me. When I bother to take more videos off my phone I'll have some more videos to share!

Friday, February 25, 2011

AMNH Dinosaur Tweetup

Today is a special day so it'll be one of those times I feel it's necessary to have more than one post a day.

I just read a post on Facebook from the American Museum of Natural History about a Dinosaur Tweetup. There's more details here (and a registration page): http://bit.ly/ibXQoA

For those wondering, what is a dinosaur tweetup? Well, the museum says that it's a chance to go to the museum after hours, see the exhibits and meet paleontologists! My inner child is crazy excited. When I was younger (oh, about 10 years ago) I swore I was going to be a paleontologist. I still have shelves of dinosaurs books at home ranging from "Walking with Dinosaurs" to other books specific to certain time periods and the dinosaurs that lived during that time. I had a kit that had a block of hard dirt with a fossil inside and I took it out onto the porch during the summer and would spend hours carefully picking it apart to get to the fossil inside, pretending that I was in some desert somewhere with a team of paleontologists discovering new dinosaur bones. Yes, I was a dork even back then.

Although I may have changed my career choice, I still find dinosaurs fascinating and every so often feel the need to watch my "Walking with Dinosaurs" BBC DVD set. Whenever I go to the American Museum of Natural History my favorite exhibits are and always be the dinosaurs. I practically lived at that museum growing up but whenever I go I still feel like I learn something new and it's always exciting to go. One of my favorite things about now living in the city is that I'm now much closer and it's easier to go to the museum. In fact, I just went there with my friend yesterday, and later this week I'll put up a post with pictures about what we did while we were there.

Anyway, back to the Dinosaur Tweetup... *crosses fingers* Here's hoping my name gets picked to go!

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Kid's Day


So this Monday I spent the day with my friend and her friends at the Rebel Legion and 501st at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum! I've never been to the Intrepid museum before but I've wanted to go for quite some time and now that I'm living most of the time here in NYC it had made it's way up my list of things I wanted to do. Fortunately for me, my friend is in the Rebel Legion and was allowed to bring one guest for free to tour the museum and hang out with all the cool people who participated in the event. Yes, it also involved free lunch which is basically a poor college student's favorite thing.

It was a whole ton of fun because we got to take plenty of silly pictures of ourselves, and for the first hour we were there no one had shown up yet, so we got to see a good majority of the museum without fighting around the tourists! I thought it would be cool to put up a few of the cooler pictures we took. If you click on them you can see the full size versions!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great Baby Names for Nerdy/Dorky Parents

I for one already know I don't plan on having kids but since I have to come up with names for my characters in the stories I write I find myself going to baby name sites in search of unique or cool sounding names for my characters. There are even a couple that if, BIG if, I were to have kids I would think about bestowing upon my offspring. I'm not talking about the super dorks out there that decide to name their kid Boba or Tiberius or Xavier. I'm talking about the names that are actually standard names for kids but also have a dorky reference to them if you're a big enough nerd to notice or the names that are obscure enough to avoid ridicule.

This child already looks tormented

 So, for those parents who actually want their kid to have a social life (something their parents might never have experienced first hand) I thought I'd compile a list of good baby boy and baby girl names that will keep said child from being teased for their entire life.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baltan Carid

What’s a hut’uun? A coward. Physical coward, moral coward, any kind of scum without the spine to stand their ground or do the right thing. We don’t have a word for hero. Being prepared to die for family and friends, or what you hold dear, is a basic requirement for a Mando, so it’s not worth a separate word. It’s only cowards we had to find a special word for.

- Baltan Carid

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force- Revelation

Karen Traviss

These quotes speak for themselves so I'll keep my commentary to a minimum. This one is one of my favorites, though.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: I Am Number Four


I'll try to keep this book review spoiler free, folks. I'm going to dive right into this one, so here we go!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Something To Look Forward To

I thought I'd take the time to go ahead and write up a more 'personal' post of the kind that I alluded to when I talked about my plan for the next few posts.

This one is (as the title suggests) something I'm looking forward to this year. I realize it's supposed to be just one thing, but there are actually a few things going on this year I'm looking forward to.


The first is the end of the Fate of the Jedi series. That's not because I'm not enjoying it, but because I am getting tired of being tortured with one book release at a time only ever few months. It's killed me ever since The New Jedi Order series because those were even more sporadic in their release, and it was painful to sit and wait for the Legacy of the Force books and by now I am so beyond being done with waiting I could punch an Ewok baby in the face. Unlike The New Jedi Order and Legacy of the Force I've been reading the Fate of the Jedi series since the first one came out, so that's made the wait doubly painful. But now the wait is almost over and it definitely tops my list of things I'm looking forward to this year! Just think, by November 22 there won't be any crazy agreements between Jedi and Sith to get along, and maybe Ben will get his crazy hormones in check and stop being dense like his father and realize that getting into Vestara's pants is a bad idea all around. We're at the home stretch with this series and it's been a great read and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

The other thing I'm looking forward to I know every other Star Wars fan is also looking forward to as well. That's right, you guessed it, the Star Wars Blu-Rays! Shocking, I know. But I've been looking forward to it since this moment:



Yeah, that's right, I slept outside overnight to wait for The Main Event. Anyway, since I was there I knew about it first (along with the other 400 people who were there too) and I've been excited ever since! I've even heard about the programs that Amazon has to trade in old DVDs to get credit for the new Blu-Rays. I think it's a great idea but still not sure I could part with my DVDs. After all, then when I get the Blu-Rays I'll have FIVE copies of the original trilogy instead of just sticking with my current four copies (VHS, packaged DVDs, then individual DVDs that also have the original theatrical versions on the bonus disc). Though, if I don't start saving up sooner and faster, I might just have to do just that. Especially since I don't even own a Blu-Ray player yet.

I think I'd have to kick myself if I neglected to mention this. Who ISN'T excited for the new ride?? The original one was corny as hell but it was a classic ride and always my favorite thing to do in MGM (yes, I refuse to call it Hollywood Studios or whatever it's called now). The mega tall AT-AT out front and the speeder bike that is the perfect picture opportunity just make everything perfect. If it's at all possible I'd love to make it to Star Wars weekends in Disney, especially since it's right around my birthday. But that takes even more saving up than the Blu-Rays! I think I'm going to have to settle for a marathon with my new Blu-Ray player and discs.

And since these are floating around on YouTube anyway I figure it's cool to put my own video up in case anyone doubts I was actually at Celebration V. Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moving to Coruscant

This week marked the start of my third full week here at the apartment in New York City. The first wasn't too bad even though my dad and I were both sleeping on air mattresses and there was basically no furniture in the entire place. It looked pretty much like this:

The living room
And this:
Door to my room/living room
So it wasn't exactly what one would consider livable. The second week was even more annoying. We were supposed to have moved in my real bed but didn't. The problem with that is that the heat turns off every night from midnight to 5am. I woke up cold at least once every night from sleeping on top of the cold air mattress. That also meant I didn't have my dog because she would have turned into a popsicle. On top of that we STILL had no internet service because the modem was having some weird problems and someone had to come look at it twice before we had working internet. It only just got fixed yesterday.

However, my room now looks like this:

complete with dog and Star Wars blanket
It promises to be an interesting week since it's my dog's first time here, and she'll have to spend a few hours alone each day in an unfamiliar place and I know it's going to be very stressful for her. I just hope it doesn't take her too long to adjust.

Also, my dad is not really a dog person. He doesn't know how to read dog body language, even really obvious ones like 'rub my belly'. I don't know how well they'll get along, but I'm not too worried about my dog with him. She'll pretty much ignore him if necessary, it's just going to be a matter of how annoyed he gets with dog toys laying all over the floor. Plus, he's used to living with another dog and know he's going to expect my dog to act like that one. Which obviously she won't. That's like expecting two different people raised in different environments to act the same way. Whatever. As long as he doesn't give me a hard time about her everything should go smoothly.

I guess next week I'll put up another update, and maybe some interesting stories about living in NYC!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mandalorians

Mandalorians are surprisingly unconcerned with biological lineage. Their definition of offspring or parent is more by relationship than birth: adoption is extremely common, and it’s not unusual for soldiers to take war orphans as their sons or daughters if they impress them with their aggression and tenacity. They also seem tolerant of marital infidelity during long separations, as long as any child resulting from it is raised by them. Mandalorians define themselves by culture and behavior alone. It is an affinity with key expressions of this culture- loyalty, strong self-identity, emphasis on physical endurance and discipline- that causes some ethnic groups such as those of Concord Dawn in particular to gravitate toward Mandalorian communities, thereby reinforcing a common set of genes derived from a wide range of populations. The instinct to be a protective parent is especially dominant. They have accidentally bred for a family-oriented warrior population, and continue to reinforce it by absorbing like-minded individuals and groups.

- Mandalorians: Identity and Its Influence on Genome published by the Galactic Institute of Anthropology

Star Wars: Republic Commando Triple Zero

Karen Traviss

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stay Together for the Kids

Its hard to wake up
When the shades have been pulled shut
This house is haunted
Its so pathetic
It makes no sense at all

I'm ripe with things to say
The words rot and fall away
What stupid poem
Could fix this home
I'd read it every day

So here's your holiday
Hope you enjoy it this time, you gave it all away
It was mine, so when you're dead and gone
Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost
It's not right

Their anger hurts my ears
Been runnin' strong for seven years
Rather then fix the problems
They never solve them
[- From :http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/blink-182-lyrics/stay-together-for-the-kids-lyrics.html -]
It makes no sense at all

I see them everyday
We get along so why can't they?
If this is what he wants
And it's what she wants
Then why's there so much pain?

So here's your holiday
Hope you enjoy it this time, you gave it all away
It was mine, so when you're dead and gone
Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost
It's not right

So here's your holiday
Hope you enjoy it this time, you gave it all away
It was mine, so when you're dead and gone
Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost
It's not right

It's not right
It's not right
It's not right

- Blink 182

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Computer Wallpaper Backgrounds

I'm a picture hoarder. There, I've said it. (Or typed it. Whatever.) Feels good to be open about it. I love collecting pictures. And not just any pictures, usually Star Wars related, though as I go through my various phases and switch my computer background it can go from Star Wars to anything like Battlestar Galactica, Mandalorians, Stargate Atlantis, Burn Notice, White Collar or even just a picture of my dog.

Usually when I want to switch my computer background I just open a new tab, hop on over to Google and do a search for what I want. Then I select large images only. After all, I want my computer background to be sharp, not pixelated. As my computer resolutions have gone higher this has gotten harder.

Hence the purpose of this post. Every so often, if I can't find what I want I go ahead and make it. Now, I don't know how to use anything fancy like photoshop (as if I could afford it), so I'm stuck using the wonderful MS Paint. I've used Paint for as long as I've had a computer that came with it. We've never been exactly friends, but we talk every so often, and over the years we've warmed up to each other.

The other day I felt in the mood so after some brief catching up with Paint (so much has changed since XP, and now that Paint is on 7 I feel like we're a little closer to being friends) I went ahead and created this:



I hope everyone likes it! Here are some others that I've created over the years. It's not all of them, not by a long shot, but these are the only ones that came to mind and that I easily found in the bowels of my computer's memory.

I made this one using still frames from the trailer for Revenge of the Sith. Also gives an indication of just how old this one is.


This one similarly used stills from the trailer.


And this one is obviously not Star Wars related. I made this one before the final season of Battlestar Galactica, just after it was revealed who the Final Four were. Again, made with Paint or else it probably would have been much nicer.

If you like them then by all means, go ahead and use them for your own computer. If you want the original images (since these sizes are way off) just let me know in the comments section and I'll send over the original image. Just please give me what little credit I deserve if you feel like using these anywhere else on the web. It's not much to ask.

Otherwise, enjoy! And maybe if I make more or find more I'll go ahead and put some more images up.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Favorite Special Star Wars Items

With the recent move I've been going through I've been forced to sort through my things and make the hard decisions about what I want to keep, what I have the room to keep, what I can afford to keep, and what I am fine with parting with. It hasn't been easy, but I've already decided that if it's Star Wars related then it absolutely is staying. I'm not sure if that will work 100%, but I'm definitely trying to hold on to as much of my Star Wars stuff as possible. But since I'm going through all my things I thought I'd share some of my favorite personal things and why they're so important to me. They probably won't mean much to anyone else, but they're important to me and that's why it warrants a blog post.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Top 5 Star Wars Books

Lately it seems that the latest Star Wars books to come out have been part of major series such as the New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force or Fate of the Jedi. I do like having larger story arcs to read about, but when I first started reading the books it seemed that the series were outnumbered by how many individual stories there were, and in a lot of ways I preferred that. It was easy to read one story, enjoy it and be done rather than wait for the next book to come out to complete the story, or deal with the awkwardness that sometimes comes along with switching authors in a series. This problem mostly went hand in hand with the New Jedi Order and they seem to be smoothing it out with Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi. But I thought I'd put up a list of stand alone books that I really enjoyed. It's really a celebration of all the really great books that are out there that don't belong in really long complicated book series. So here's my list of 5 really very good books. In no particular order. 5 was a nice small number to work with for this post, but if anyone has others that they liked, leave them in the comments!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celebration V Flashback


Is it bad to admit I'm already running out of blog post ideas? Well, good, I won't admit that then.

But I thought it might be fun to sort through my pictures from Celebration V and post up some of my favorites to share. It was four days of awesome memories and it was hard to select my favorites, but hope you enjoy the ones I did pick!