The job so far…

•June 22, 2009 • 2 Comments

Well I’ve been working at the FFA training center for about a month now and while I am still new, they will hopefully keep me around for a while.

If your wondering what exactly it is that I do well its a little bit of everything.  My duties include checking people in, checking people out, filling up water stations, unclogging toilets, setting up for meetings, working the front desk (store), filling vending machines and whatever else needs to be done.

So far the job has been enjoyable.  Sometimes it is crazy busy and sometimes it is amazingly boring.  One night working third shift there was a little incident with a room door that wouldn’t open but i think its blown over (fingers crossed). Most of my coworkers are nice but a few of them get on my nerves.  Other than that I like my job.

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Star Trek (Spoiler Alert!)

•May 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

After seeing the movie on its original release date (5/8/’09), and having some time to reflect on it, its time to write a review.

The Cast:

Kirk:  Oh captain my captain.  Chris Pine did a knock-up job taking the baton from good ol’  Shatner.  Just like the original captain Kirk, Pine displayed an array of ego, arrogance, genius, skill and womanizing.  Pine kept the same sense of rebellion but in a more modern way such as his mannerisms, his style of music and his “colorful metaphors”.

Spock:  Played by Zachary Quinto AND Leonard Nimoy.  While this movie was a rendition of the original vision of Gene Roddenberry, the most important element of original series nostalgia was Nimoy’s cameo appearance.  Zachary Quinto played the Green-Blooded Hob-Goblin just as it should have been.

McCoy:  As is the original series, McCoy is my favorite character.  Not only did Karl Urban maintain Deforest Kelly’s sarcasm but he even threw in a “I’m a doctor, not a…” statement.  The best part about this movie is that the actors used the foundational elements of the original characters while still adding unique  and new aspects.

Scotty:  Well he was cool.  Out of all the characters Scotty was my least favorite.  I’m not saying Simon Pegg did a bad job but something about the role wasn’t right.  He was extremely intelligent but at the same time he seemed kind of clumsy and ditsy.

Chekov:  He didn’t look much like the original but he certainly replaced his v’s with w’s.  Chekov was a graduate of Starfleet academy at only age 17? The original Chekov was 22 when he joined the Enterprise.  Oh well.  Anton Yelchin did a good job.

Uhura:  After 40+ years we finally learn her name.  Woot!. Zoe Saldana seemed a tad bit more sexy and outgoing than Nichelle Nichols.  The whole romance between her and Spock threw me off completely but I enjoyed the twist.  I’m glad they made this movie a little “sexier” without turning it into an American Pie in space movie.

Sulu:  Not much to say.  The fencing thing was awesome and definitely was straight from the series however, after sky-diving scene that was pretty much the end of his importance.

Nero:  Strong Villain.  Most of the actors and actresses were pretty much nobodies in this movie so its good they brought in a big name like Eric Bana.  It would have been nice to know more about these miners.  Do all miners from Romulus have tatoos? Do all Romulans from this dimension have bald heads?  Overall Nero was a strong villain.

The Enterprise:  Some shows and movies are based around an inanimate object like a car or something.  For Star Trek, the Enterprise has become a character.  This new ship was a combination of the original Enterprise and the one of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and a few more modifications.  The lines of the ship did give it a retro feel but still make it so much more modern than the old Enterprise.

Romulan Mining Vessel:  Wow! If they were looking for intimidating they were right on the money.  All of the spikes and spires just made it seem mysterious not to mention the Enterprise looked like a bug in comparison.

Overall the I thought this was the best movie I’ve seen since The Dark Knight.  The effects were great.  I have to admit that I hated Cloverfield and when i heard that JJ Abrams was directing Star Trek it scared me.  From the beginning of the movie I noticed the shaky camera but after a while I got use to it and they didn’t overdue it like they did in Cloverfield (which gave me a massive headache).  The film was fast paced, action packed and hopefully revolutionized the film industry.  One of the most shocking moments for me was the destruction of Vulcan.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Planet Vulcan has been such an important planet throughout the franchise that I just couldn’t believe it was gone.

If you want to see something new and different this is the movie for you.  Star Trek has brought a new spark of life to the franchise but at the same time honored the original very well.


New Star Trek Sound Track

•May 7, 2009 • 1 Comment

May 5, 2009 marked the release of the Motion Picture Soundtrack for the new Paramount Pictures Summer Blockbuster: Star Trek.

The soundtrack was released for download on Amazon.com as well as the itunes Store by Varese Sarabande.

This new movie has quite a bit of expectations to live up to in relation to past Star Trek movie and television scores.  The main Star Trek fanfare debut in 1966 by Alexander courage has been one of the most recognized music clips of the century.

In 1979 Jerry Goldsmith took the helm for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Jerry Goldsmith created an entire new theme that really gave the Enterprise a majestic induction for its refit.  This theme was used for The Final Frontier, the last three Next Generation movies, and an altered version for the entire Next Generation series.

Star Trek traditionally has used very classical/orchestral type scores which seemed like it would be out of character for Michael Giacchino who in the past has written very Jazzy sounding scores (Mission Impossible III, Incredibles).  This however was not the case.  Giacchino did a great job sticking to the tradition.

What most people don’t understand, is that this is not just a recreation of the original Star Trek series.  JJ Abrams is a storyteller and this movie is his rendition of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.  If your a fan looking for the original Star Trek themes to be heard throughout the movie than you will be disappointed.  Don’t be upset.  Giacchino created an entirely original score but for the end credits he did honor the original series by including a new arrangement of Alexander Courage’s original fanfare and theme.

Overall the soundtrack was great.  The action sequences were extremely suspenseful as well as the work done with the low brass.  Having not seen the movie its hard to be 100% sure about how all of the music fits into place.  Giacchino has composed a very heroic theme that is placed throughout the score and from what I understand this is the theme for Jim Kirk.

The strings seem to be very dominant in this score although he brings out the low brass which is not typical for most movie scores.  The end credits really give the trumpets and horns a chance to belt out the Courage theme.

I had high expectations for the score for this movie in light of the past composers.  Michael Giacchino has pleased my ear by not deviating too much from traditional Star Trek scores.  I’m sure when I see the movie tomorrow my mind will be focused on the story line and special effects but it will be interesting to see how the music blends with the film.

Reflection noitcelfeR

•May 1, 2009 • 2 Comments

Today marked the end of my 2009 Spring semester at Warner.  I just wanted to take some time to reflect on the school year.

I started the fall semester thinking that I was gonna be getting a job at the mall so I decided not to do Collegiate Chorale.  Well my hopes were up for nothing which means I didn’t get the job and I ended up in Chorale anyways.  About 2 weeks later Dr. Dizzle approached me about joining Young Americans (sorry i dont publish real professor names but im sure you know who it is).

If you don’t know what Young Americans is, then I must explain.  10 singers wearing silly costumes singing old silly songs in front of old people for four months out of the year.  Those of you who know me also know that this would seem very out of character for me and they would be right.  With much reluctance Dr. Dizzle really needed a bass singer and I needed more money so I said yes.  Let me just say that it has been an amazing experience and I am much more comfortable in front of people. Everything in my life I told myself I wouldn’t   do I end up doing anyways.  God knows how to humble the heart.

I have come to be much closer to all my fellow singers in both groups, most of which I consider among my best friends.

My class load was pretty heavy along with the extra curricular activites.  Digital photography was a lot of fun and I am so upset that digital photo 2 wont fit into the schedule for next semester :(.  Publishing Design was awesome as well.  I felt that the class would be an opportunity for me to apply some things from class to my church.  So far I am working on designing the church new visitor brochures, a custom church logo and a newsletter.

Webcast Media Writing was another story.  At first I really didn’t know what to think about the class.  It just didn’t make sense to me as to its importance.  After being in the class for a while and learning what is going on with the newspaper industry I now understand why webcast writing is important.  The internet is the newspaper now.  It ended up being a great class too.

I also took a Bible class called Literary Acts in the Gospel of John or something like that.  This class was awesome.  My previous Bible courses at Warner left something to be desired but this class made me want to read the Bible more.  It gave an in depth study of the whole book and I learned a whole lot.

It was a great school year.  Hopefully I will be graduating on time which will be almost exactly a year from now.  Hopefully this job at Masterpiece Gardens will come through and I can get a new computer.  This one is about to eat itself.

How Not To Procrastinate In The Fall

•April 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever been given an assignment at the beginning of the semester that was due at the end and you didn’t start it until the night before?  These tips will not only help you pass your classes but help you to succeed in them.  Here are a few tips that will help to keep you from procrastinating so badly.

1.  Buy a planner – Go through your syllabus at the beginning of the semester and write down the dates that everything is due.  Make a habit to look at it at least once a day so you don’t lose track of assignments.  Many people procrastinate because they simply forget about it.

2.  Make your own “due date” – If you know your assignment isn’t due for a while make a date that is at least a week before the actual due date and “due” it then.  This will also give you some extra time to tweak it and turn in the best possible work.

3.  Find a quiet place – Don’t do your work around friends or in your room where you know there are distractions.  Instead go to one of those back tables in the library where you can be alone with your assignment.  Leave your phone and your ipod in your room unless you work better listening to music.

4.  Plan early with groups – Group projects can be easy because everybody is doing different elements of the project but sometimes they can be a hassle.  Meet with your group ASAP because group procrastination is even more difficult to manage than individual procrastination.

5.  Dispense your studying – Make yourself read one chapter a week the whole semester.  This will keep you up to date on what you are learning and will help you remember when it comes time for the final exam.  Even if the teacher doesn’t require that you read the textbook, it can help reinforce things to make more sense.

Another Summer

•April 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Almost every student in college has plans of getting a job over the summer.  Some of them actually have something lined up while its only wishful thinking for others. Back in the day almost anybody could find a job working part time over the summer.  Unfortunately in this economy most of us don’t have that luxury.  Since there is not much work, what do I do for three months?

Everybody wants to go to fun places over the summer like amusement parks and shows but in this economy it is important to keep recreational costs to a minimum.  Here are some productive activities to do over the summer that will make the fall come quicker.

1. Find Your Textbooks Online – It will save you money but cost you time which is what you want during the summer.     Take your time looking for the lowest price.  E-mail your professors and ask them the name of the book, the edition, authors and other publication info.  This could be an opportunity to sell your old textbooks as well.

2.  Get Involved in Your Church – Besides attending a regular church service, there are other things to do that will  result in self gratification as well as serving God.  Volunteer to help with the children’s programs or helping the grounds keeper.  Your pastor might even let you go with him on a trip to visit sick people in the hospital.  In Florida there are many retired folks and they all like to see young people.

3.  When in Doubt, Throw it Out! – It’s good to have sentimental objects but if you have too many it isn’t special anymore and the person that gave it to you will probably never know.  This is a perfect time to only keep the things you need especially if you are going to be getting your own place.  Use this time to go through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need.  Ask yourself: Am I ever going to use/wear this again? Do I know somebody that would? Can I get any money for it?

4.  Prepare for Your Career – If you plan on getting a good job after graduation its a good time to tweak your portfolios, update your resumes and begin researching for your future.  This can be an opportunity to be creative and productive at the same time even if your not graduating for a few years.

5.  If You Do Have A Job… – And you like spending money, try setting spending goals.  Allow a certain amount of money for tithing, saving and spending.  Instead of spending money on a bazillion little things, save your money and buy something that could help your future.  For example: A new computer (Mac hopefully), a new camera, new software or maybe even a new car.

Commercials

•April 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

There are some people who watch the Superbowl just for all the funny commercials.  One of this years favorites was also the winner of the Doritos commercial contest.  “Free Doritos” won the million dollar prize as well as an advertisement spot during the Superbowl.  Here is a commercial created for Lance Crackers by some of your fellow students.