Monday, November 30, 2009

Starbase Indy

Once again, Thanksgiving weekend has brought a fabulous Star Trek convention to Indy.
And while I've been to SBI before, this one blew it out of the water.

As they were charging $25 for a weekend pass, I could afford to go on both Friday and Saturday (normally I attend just one day of a con).
Not only did my lovely wife go with me on both days, but my children came ALL DAY on Saturday.
Dalyn and Ireland were even in costume.
I, of course, went as a Klingon.
It was actually my first convention in full Klingon gear.
It was also Ireland and Scotland first cons ever.

Friday:
The con kicked off with a free screening of Star Trek.
My brother-in-law, Harrison, and his female companion, Steph, went with us for the free flick.

They abandoned us after the film as they hadn't registered.
We showed up a bit late, so I missed the beginning, but it was still a great film.

Before we actually entered the hotel, we ran into qurgh and his female companion.
After the movie, Dalyn and I managed to score some uniform accessories. Pretty sweet.

Prop Making:
We atteneded a really lame prop making panel. While the guys seem to know what they're doing, and they seem to have been doing it for a while, they don't seem to know how to be interesting.
It happens.

I took mental notes as I was co-hosting a Klingon Language Panel in the morning.



More Klingons showed up throughout the day, and by the time the Klingon Language Pit opened up, there was a fair amount.

Klingon Language Pit:

I got to meet several people in real life that I only knew thought the internet before. Even played a bit of Klingon scrabble (turns out it doesn't work too well on a Klin Zha board...)
Very nice.

As we had left the children at home all day, we left before the Klingon party really got started.

Saturday:

As we had gone to bed late on Friday, it was a chore to wake up early on Saturday.
But as I mentioned, I was co-hosting a panel.
Once again, I became a Klingon. So did Ireland. Dalyn once again had a last minute costume idea.
Scotland wore clothes.

Klingon Language Panel:


I arrived a bit late, but not too late.

The Klingon Language Panel was tons of fun.
An entire crowd of people were there to listen to us talk about Klingon.
People that were actually interested. Wow.

As qurgh and I didn't actually plan anything together, I just followed his lead.
I have no idea how much of his plan was actually followed.

I even got to see a hardbound copy of ghIlgameS.



The day moved on with no formal structure.
I'm sure things were happening, just nothing I cared about.

I played some Klingon scrabble with qurgh and Twisty, lots of fun.

Ireland and Scotland took turns wanting to be held, walk, and ride in the stroller.
I spent most of the day with a child in my arms, when I woke up on Sunday I was sore. Very sore. It had been a long day.

Masquerade:

That evening, they had masquerade. Some people did skits, some people just showed off their costumes. They were all impressive.

But even more impressive were the Klingons who showed up right before it started.
As I was standing outside of the main room, an entire family of Klingons came in.
It was a grand entrance indeed.
I didn't know it at the time, but it was Chancellor Krahl and his family.
I think he had five or six children around him--all Klingon. (Okay, the youngest didn't wear a prosthetic, but that's understandable.)
The younger ones were passing out flyers for The Empire (TE).
I think Ireland was overwhelmed. I remember her saying that we had "enough Klingons".


Things moved slowly after that, and I eventually took my family home.
But I returned in search of my fellow warriors.

I eventually caught on that Krahl was the Chancellor, and was even promoted to Lieutenant in TE.
Once again, this was my first time to actually hang out with other Klingons. A very nice experience indeed.

Both days:

I posed for a lot of pictures.
Like I mentioned, this was my first time as a full Klingon. I'm not used to random people requesting pictures.
And more pictures. Really.

Dealer's Room:

Smaller than previous years, the dealer room is always a fun place to check out.
Sadly, we didn't really have any money.
Luckily, I had won a contest before the con and won several $10 coupons.
There wasn't a whole lot that I was interested, but there were a few things.
I obviously had to leave the $90 Bird-of-Prey on the shelf.
The two "big items" I found were a knife, and a Klingon communicator pin.
I think I probably spent an hour and a half over the two days talking to the knife dealer. Interesting fellow.

I approached most merchants with the question, "What do you have for a Klingon?"
Sometimes they had stuff, sometimes they didn't.

The knife dealer approached me.

(I'll let my wife brag about her deals if she wishes.)

Other "characters":
As I walked the con wearing a uniform that my wife and mother-in-law spent lots of time on, and a latex forehead that my father-in-law and wife had worked on, and makeup that lots of people had worked on, I took a look at other people's costumes.
You could tell who spent some time. And you could tell who had gotten their shirt out of a cereal box.
While I realize that a lot of people enjoy being Humans, and being Starfleet officers, it seemed rather easy. (An exception goes out to Gary "Spock", his uniforms obviously took some time and money. Keep up the good work.)
I was very impressed with the Klingon uniforms that I saw. Some of them were very nice.
And then there was this Cardassian.
She had even more latex pieces than the Klingons did. And she painted all visible skin grey. A very even, natural shade of grey. Very nice indeed. Rumor has it that it took two hours to put on. (For what it's worth, I saw plenty of uneven and unmatched makeup. Makes the good jobs stand out.)

And then there was this Borg.
I don't even know what to say. He even sounded like a Borg. Impressive.



I know I'm leaving something important out. There was just too much to keep track of.
Excellent weekend. Can't wait for next year.

My Loot:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wonder World Tour




On Monday, November 16, 2009, Miley Cyrus' Wonder World Tour made a stop at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse.

As Miley's #3 fan, I bought tickets the moment they went on sale this past summer.
The tickets were listed in three price ranges, and we bought the mid-grade ones.
Sadly, they were more towards the low end of that range...

This was a paperless ticket concert.
In order to gain entry, one had to provide photo ID along with the card used to make the purchase.
It apparently worked as a scalper deterent, as there were still tickets availiable the day of the show.

Doors opened at 5, amd the show started at 7.
Not sure when we left for the show, but traffic was crazy once we hit downtown Indy.
And in my opinion, $10 for parking is insane.

It was a crisp night, and we made our way to the venue.
You could feel the excitment in the air.

There were several side enterances, which I'm sure helped with crowd control and lines.
We may have received an odd look upon admission due to our lack of children. Whatever.

Amazingly, we were given directions to our seats from the door.
I'm not sure how complicated of floor plan a fieldhouse has, but giving everyone directions seems like a tough job.

First thing I noticed was an arrow pointing towards Hardee's.
Yes, there was a Hardee's inside the building. Sweet!

But we wanted to find our seats first, so the Happy Star would have to wait.

Normally, I would buy a T-shirt, but at $35 I would have to do without.


In the halls:

While I went to find a certain Happy Star, Dalyn stood in line to try and win better seats.
Not sure who planned this, but they had had big screens that everyone could see while you typed in your personal information: Name, address, etc...
And a very bored photographer waiting for a winner.
They also had a few manaquins modeling Miley's latest fashions.
Since little kids kept tugging on the clothes, one of the manaquins was showing off a breast. (No, I don't have a picture for you.)

Between there and the Hardees was a photo shoot.
You could get your picture taken and have a digital image of Miley added into the shot.
And then of course printed out for you to keep. Oddly free. (No picture here, either.)

Our seats:

We sat stage right up in the balcony.
Despite the height of our seets, they were pretty good since we were right next to the stage.
I started off taking pictures and soon gave up. I don't have a zoom.

The opening act:

Metro Station. I'd actually heard of them before the concert. I'd even heard one of their songs.
Normally that would be saying a lot for the random band that you're forced to sit through to get to the real act, but the lead singer of Metro Station is Trace Cyrus, Miley's older brother.
So everyone already knew who he was.

Now I'm not quite sure what type of audience Metro Station is used to, but Trace is covered with tatooes.
Covered.
And while I'm pretty sure the band itself is all male, they had these two female dancers that went a little overboard.
Towards the end of their show, Trace had managed to become topless. The girls were going wild.
I think he shaves his pits.


Miley time!:


The roadies eventually got everything torn down and set up.

There were big screens set up around the stage.
I knew that Miley had a habit of rising up out of the stage, and so I was watching the various trapdoors.

***

The crowd:

I'm going to take a break and talk about the crowd.

Over all, the crowd was great.
They sang, they screamed, they provided camera flashes.
But the people next to us, and behind us, were kinda lame.

When I saw Green Day, we stood the entire time. We jumped, we swayed, we didn't sit.

Despite attempts from Trace and Mily to get people out of their seats, our section remained seated.
Oh, I tried to stand. But standing while the people behind you are sitting is rude. Standing while the people next to are sitting is akward.

So I sat through most of the show.
(Oh, and the people on our row got up and down way too many times.)
***

Back to Miss Miley:

The openin song was "Breakout", the title track from her first non-Hannah Montana album.
The big screens featured Earth's temperature dropping and an ice age coming about.

A big glacier rose out of the floor and Miley appeared.
On the word "breakout", she heated up the room and melted the ice.

The roller coaster had begun.


Songs:

As this was a Miley show, and not a Hannah show, there weren't many songs to choose from compared to a more established performer.
She only has two albumbs out, and this last one wasn't a full album, just an EP.
So she sang almost every one of her songs.
The big displays did a good job of showing relevant images.
And of course, I sang along to them all.

Theatrics:

I've been to a number of concerts: Green Day, Transsiberian Orchestra, Ozzfest, The Monkeys, The Go-Go's, Belinda Carlisle, and Savvy & Mandy to name a few.

I've never seen a show like this.

There were lights, and flames, confetti, the afore mentioned screens.

Miley flew over the audience not once, but twice. The second time was in a motorcycle!
She flew over the crowd on a motorcycle!


She asended through trap doors more times than I could count.
She even drove a car.


There was a lot going on.
Plus the dancing and the backup dancers.

She even brought some local cheerleaders up at one point to say thank you for whatever charitable things they had been doing.

It was non-stop.

Until it ended.
9:00 and the show was over.

Or not.

Encore.

The show went on for another 45 minutes or so.
And it somehow managed to get bigger.

Wow.

Wardrobe:

Miley apparently enjoys wardrobe changes.

I tried to watch as much of the stage as I could, which meant I wasn't really watching those big screens.
Plus we weren't right up on the stage.
While the choice in clothes seemed slightly off for such a young audience, I wasn't too bothered.

...until I saw some pics.





O_O

I had no idea what she had been wearing. Or not wearing.
Not cool, Miley. Not cool.
I've been defending Miley for a while now.
I'm not sure what type of audience she's aiming for, but the audience she has started with Hannah Montana.
The little girls that watch Disney Channel were probably expecting a wholesome Hannah concert.
Hannah's clothes are modest.
She wears pants.
I don't think that Miley wore many outfits that went past her knee (and when they did, they were split way up the side).

No wonder my wife was so offended.

The shock comes mostly from the fact that she's a role model to so many girls.
I hope the parents that were there had a talk with their daughters.

Miley seems to be rebelling against her Disney image. Her first album was "Breakout" afterall.
But she's dragging her fans with her.


While I'm still a fan, still love the music, I'm going to have to keep an eye on who she's turning into, what I'm supporting.

Can someone support two different fan bases? Can Miley the actress appeal to little kids while Miley the singer appeals to older generations?

I guess we'll see.



Images courtesty of here, here, here, and here (and of course, my Prē)
Typed on my Palm Prē

Monday, November 2, 2009

Interviews

I just got out of a very akward interview.
During the process, I realized that I don't remember the last time I had such a formal interview.

I had an interview about a month ago.
"So you work at Now?
Here's what we do...
When do you want to start?"

Basically the fact that I worked for Now Courier was all they needed to know.

Hired on the spot.


Interview for Now?
Basically I was informed of what the job was.
It's like the HR lady was trying to scare me, and the fact that I didn't run off meant that I was qualified.

FedEx?
There was no interview.
I just subbited an application and showed up for orientation.
And proved I could lift 70lbs.

Sallie Mae?
I said I worked for Citi Cards.
Manager did too.
We chatted for a bit.

Kroger?
Summer of 2007. That was the last formal interview I had. And I don't remember much about it.


Boy was I unprepared.
Not only that, but I didn't actually know what company I was going to be talking to.
I never applied.
They found my resumé on-line and contacted me.

Turns out they want insurance salesman and managers.

I am not a salseman.
It's just not my style.
I have been a manager--back in 2004/5. I managed 2-3 people.



If I'm going to get a better job, I need to learn what stupid questions are being asked.

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
5 years? I'm just trying to make it to Christmas.

"What's your dream career?"
Not selling insurance.
Do you need a translator?

"How competitive are you?"
I'm more of a laid back kinda guy.

(No, those weren't my answers.)



While I'm rambling, let's toss in some interesting interview stories.

First job ever. Cathy's Wok & Grill.
"So you friend Marc?"
"Yes."
"You Mormon?"
"Yes."
"You like Chinese food?"
"No."
"You're hired. Show up tomorrow after 6."

Yes. That's actually how it went.


Years later at Royalty Auto Care:
"So, you're a friend of Tims."
"Yes."
"And you're LDS?"
"Yes."
"Do you know anything about cars?"
"Not really."
And I got the job.


And then this one time I applied to be a banker.

"So what do you think about the phrase 'The customer is always right.'?"
*chuckle* "Well, they're not."
*shocked look*
"Let me explain.
See, in collections, we just assume that the customer is lying to us.
Like the other day, this lady called and I told her that she was 2 months past due.
She told me that she had just gotten back from outer space..."
"Outer space?" *laugh*
"Yes. And while it's possible that she works for NASA, she probably didn't leave the planet.
So I assume that she's lying, but I work with what she gave me.
'So, you've beem out of town. Now that you're back, let's get this account taken care if.'"

For the rest of the interview, the interviewer couldn't stop laughing about outer space.

I need more stories like that one.

Are you hiring?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Too old to Trick-or-Treat?

All Hallows Eve is a magical night.
You get to play dress-up with the rest of the world.
You get to go up to complete strangers and ask them for candy.

But some people think this is only for the young; and not the young of heart.

Despite the fact that I'm almost 28, I still haven't reached "too old".


I'm the oldest child in my house.
My youngest brother is 15 years younger than I am.

That means when I was 15, I was Trick or Treating with a 10yo, 5yo, and a baby.

As long as you have those younger siblings with you, people don't complain.
"Oh what a cute baby! Have some candy."

Of course the baby can't eat the candy, but that's not the point.

And when I wasn't walking around with a baby?
My youth group used to go Trick or Treating for cans.
We'd dress up and go door-to-door asking for canned goods. We'd explain that we're collecting them for the local food bank.
It works out great. People are already planning on being home, answeing their door, and giving stuff away--migt as well do it for a good cause.
And then they insist that we take some candy as well.

And latley?

My siblings have grown up, I'm not in a youth group. What now?

I have two children of my own.
I'll be taking a 1yo and an almost 3yo around the neighborhood.

Yup. I'm still going strong.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Google Voice means to Sprint users (verses everyone else)

A while back, Google realsed Google Voice. In fact, they're still releasing it.

While I admit that it looks cool, the biggest "wow" factor was having all of your phones ring at once.

For someone like my mother-in-law, who is a realestate broker, that would be fantastic.
You give out ONE number, and no matter if you're home, at the office, or at a showing, you're able to be reached.

For someone like me who has ONE phone, there's not much of a point.

Yes, yes, I know all about the e-mail voicemail. I don't get that many messages.



Even more recently, Sprint rolled out a new program: Unlimited calling to ANY mobile number (US only).

Sweet. No "top 10" or "fav 5", you can call any of the hundreds of cell phones in this country for free.

So with my 1500 minute plan, I've got to actually hunt for landlines to call.

Unless I use Google Voice.

While I haven't looked at my phone bill yet, Sprint Customer Service claims that a GV number is considered a landline.

Now let me back up.

GV works like this.
Google gives you a new phone number. When someone calls that number, you actually get a incoming call from *your GV number*.
When you make a call, you dial *your GV number*.

Your call history will to to and from the same number (as far as the phone company is concerned).


So yes, *every* call I make/receive will be to a landline, and will cost me minutes.
Suddenly that whole unlimited mobile calling seems rather lame.


What if I don't use Sprint?

Check this out.
If your wireless provider lets you select a landline in your "fav 5" or "top 10", all you have to do is include your GV number, and all of a sudden, ALL of your calls are free.
It doesn't matter who you call, as long as you call them through GV.


Pretty nifty if you ask me.

-----------------
As of this morning, I am able to make my Prē send all TXTs and calls through GV by default.
As far as the user (that's me) is concerned, I'm using my phone like normal. All of the work is in the background.
As neat as that is, I'll have to pass for now.
 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I need your help!




I need y'all's help winning a contest.

If you have a MySpace account, I need you to request to be friends with the band Savvy & Mandy.
If you don't have a MySpace account, you should sign-up for one.

When (not if) you make the request, I need you to put "referred by naHQun http://www.myspace.com/naHQun" in the 'send message' section.
This will help them keep track of the referrals.

Once I refer the most people between now and the 31st, I'll WIN!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kellogs Star Trek Promotion Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 (http://nahqun.blogspot.com/2009/08/kellogs-star-trek-promotion-part-1.html), I ordered (well, Dalyn ordered) every promotional item available from the Kellog's/Star Trek catalog.
Sadly, not much more has shown up since the last post.

A few weeks ago, or maybe it's been a month now, I got a postcard from Kellog's. Basically is says that they sold out of T-shirts, but they're ordering more and I should expect my shirt in November.
And while I hate to wait, I'm surprised that they're doing this.
Accorsing to the rules (which are standard), they have the right to substitute a different item.
They could pretty much send me anything in their wharehouse that has the same value. Anything.
But instead, they're actually having a second run of shirts made.

Amazing.

A week later, Dalyn got a similar notice.
But her's offered her a chance at a refund.

A refund? Really? Also against insustry standards.

I'm quite proud of Kellog's for handing this so well.
Not only are they spending money to keep us all informed, but they're making sure we have the chance to get the right item, or a refund.

And then not too long after that, Dalyn got two letters from Kellog's.
It ended up being the one free item we ordered--the movie tickets.

Not only do we get to see a movie for free (well, for the price of a stamp), but it claims to work on "no pass" shows too.

DATE NIGHT!!!

We'll see how late into November we have to wait.

And then there's the USB drive and waffle plate..

----
Lack of pictures due to blogging on the go, and the fact that they'd be boring anyway.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What the heck are you listening to?

As some of you may have noticed, my status updates have been filled
with song quotes and references to what I'm listening to.
Even back on Wednesday when all of my updates where in Klingon, I was
playfully translating lyrics.

But what in the world am I listening to?

Way back in the day, Dad and I downloaded a whole lot of .mp3s onto
the family PC.

A lot. Trust me.

So many, in fact, that we crashed it. (Well there were DS9 episodes too...)

So My Mother bought some blank CD-Rs and burnt all of the .mp3s to disk.
That's right, not as music CDs, but as straight .mp3 files.

I happened to get my hands on these CDs the other day, and as my car
CD player accepts .mp3s, I've been listening to them.
I'd say there's between 145 and 200 songs on each disk. And there are
at least 20 disks.

That's at least 2,900 songs. (yes, I did pull out the calculator...)

Now, like I said, there were two people involved in the downloads.
(which were perfectly legal at the time, thank you very much).
So I've been skipping the weird stuff that my dad listens to, and
focusing on my music.

Now, the files were burnt mostly in alphabetical order by file name.
So, we have 3,000 songs mostly listed alphabetically by artist
spanning over SEVERAL decades.
That makes for some funny transitions.

Rob Zombie and Rod Stewart for example.
Godsmack to God's Army Soundtrack.

and so on...


And I'll go back to my eclectic music collection now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I don't want to pay for your 800 number.



According to dictionary.com,


“800” number –noun any toll-free telephone number, usually with a 3-digit code of 800, established, as by a business, so that people from widespread areas can call for merchandise, information, or services.


Like it says, 800 numbers are useful for calling what would otherwise be a long-distance number.Who wants to pay to call their credit card company?

Not me.

And so companies establish these "toll-free" numbers.

But they're not really toll-free. The company has to pay for it. And guess what, they pass the bill along to you, their customer. So you really are paying for that phone call. Hopefully, you're still saving though.

So what about cell phones?

Yes, cell phones don't have "long-distance". I can call anyone in the 50 states for the same price.

Wait, you can call anyone for one rate?

Yep.

So, you could say... call your credit card company in Dallas.

Yes, if my credit card company was located in Dallas, it would be the same as calling a local number here in Indy.

Sweet.

I know.

So why are you calling an 800 number from your cell?

That's a good question. I'm using my minutes to make the call. And they're using their 800 number. So we're being charged on both ends of the call. And then part of my payment is going towards that 800 number. I'm being charged TWICE for one call. I need to find a local number for my credit card company.

It's on your bill.

It is?

Yeah. It's labeled "collect". If you need to call them collect, they list a local number for that purpose. The number works whether the call is collect or not. Just don't dial from your land-line.

Sweet.

So why do companies still have 800 numbers then?

A couple of reasons:

  • Habit. They've always had one, why wouldn't they?
  • Not everyone has a cell phone. Some people still need it.
  • Mindset. You feel comfortable dialing an 800 number.But chances are, you don't need them.

A while back, I signed up for Vonage. Any VOIP provider that offers "unlimited nationwide calling" has no reason for an 800 number for their customers to call.Sure, have one for your potential customers, but when I call to ask a question, why waste the money?

Y'all've been asking for my opinion, so here it is.



So all y'all watched the Teen Choice Awards the other day, right?

Don't worry, I didn't either. But boy did I hear about them!

Mostly, I heard that Miley Cyrus performed a pole dance and stripped. I also heard people calling her not-so-nice names.

I was slowly exposed to everyone's opinions.
The people I follow on Twitter were defending Miley (in fact, #WeLoveYouMiley was one of the most popular topics on Twitter for TWO DAYS STRAIGHT!).
My wife said something about needing to wear more clothes.
A Nurse I talk to said her 30+ year-old husband enjoyed it. She thought it was alright.

I happened to come across a recording on YouTube. By "happen to come across", I mean that a friend tweet™ed a link.


video


And?


Sweet niblets like to complain!

Really? Isn't that what one expects from a female performer at an awards show?
She sang, she danced, she performed. I think dancing and performing are actually the same thing in this case.


Now, before anyone starts panicking (like my wife...), let me move on.

While that's the type of dance I would expect from say... Brittany Spears, that doesn't make it right.


This isn't just any awards ceremony, it the Teen Choice Awards. For teens. People 13-19 or so. Probably younger. Not so much the 19 year-olds.
And it's someone else's show. When invited to perform at an event, you should try to err on the side of caution. You're representing them too.

If it's your concert, you can do whatever you want. It's YOURS. An awards show, or a Super Bowl half-time show, is not the place to try something new.


  • Stripping

She stripped? Okay, at the very beginning she took off a boa? a scarf? a something. She removed one article of superfluous clothing. I wouldn't call that stripping.
It's like taking off a jacket.
Although, I will admit that she was more modest before that thing came off.


  • The pole.

Even if she just touched the pole with her finger, people would have freaked.
In our society, if you're dancing, and you have a pole, you're pole dancing and a stripper. Period.
The pole is considered a sex symbol of sorts. It comes with its own luggage.
There is no way to tastefully pull off a dance with a pole.
That being said, she wasn't pole dancing. Besides that one little dip, she basically just stood there. But that one little dip is why mothers across America are in an uproar.

But don't just blame her. You don't manage to get on national TV and perform on stage on your own.

This would have taken months of practice and planning and approval. Tons of people would have been involved in selecting, creating, training, and approving the dance.

Not only that, but it had a TWENTY-FOUR HOUR delay. After the half-time show problem years ago, NBC has added a five second delay to all live broadcasts. This show had an entire day.
If the show's producers had a problem with it, they had plenty of time to just cut it out.

Miley's dad didn't have a problem with it either:
“You know what? I just think that Miley loves entertaining people. She loves singing [and] songwriting. I always tell her to love what you’re doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion. I give my kids a lot of freedom to make the art they wanna make, and make it in their own voice. I think it’s important.”
The Disney Channel however, said this:
“Disney Channel won’t be commenting on that performance, although parents can rest assured that all content presented on the Disney Channel is age-appropriate for our audience — kids 6-14 — and consistent with what our brand values are.”

Well then.


So no, I don't think that a pole should have been anywhere near that stage. And yes, I feel like that skirt should've been longer, and yes, I feel like she shouldn't be showing off her bra straps.

But if you're going to yell at someone, yell at a bunch of someones. A whole lot of people (I'm going to assume that they're adults. Maybe even "corporate males") would have had several opportunities to keep the dance we saw go out on national TV. Yell at them.

Kellog's Star Trek Promotion Part 1

So over the summer, Kellog's had several promotions going on involving the new Star Trek movie.
Some of you may have seen the large quantities of cereal and pop-tarts that my wife purchased.
If memory serves, they were offering 3 differnt uniform shirts, an USB drive, Eggo plates, movie tickets, and beam-up badges.

Only the beam-up badges came in the boxes.

It just so happens that we sent in for EVERYTHING else. (We eat a lot of cereal, might as well get the free stuff...)

And so one morning I placed several envelopes into a mailbox.

Viewing the picture on my phone, I wasn't able to account for the final envelope. This caused some concern when weeks later, all but one of the checks cleared the bank.
Our minds were put at ease when the final check cleared.

And then we waited.

And then the first package arrived!

Dalyn opened it and pulled out a red shirt.

"Is that Scotland's shirt‽"
Ireland replied "NO! It's Scotty's shirt!".

She's a very clever little girl.

We were *very* impressed with the quality of the shirt. If you can't tell, it's not a T-shirt, it's a jersey.


It's been at least a month since that first package arrived. So, where are the other four?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So, what language do you speak? #tlh

So six days ago, tweeting from the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, @startrekconv09 posted the following:


After @tlhIngan re-posted (and sadly shortened) the tweet, @darinarrick replied.



I was going to jump on in, but other things got in my way. I also had more to say than could fit in a 140 character message. So here we are.

Yes, in "The Trouble With Tribbles" (TOS) Korax boasts that "half the quadrant is learning Klingonese". Impressive.

That word in not heard again until Quark uses it in "Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" (DS9).

The in-universe novel "The Final Reflection" by John M. Ford refers to the language as "Klingonaase", giving "Klingonese" as a Human mispronunciation.

All other on-screen references to the language simply call it "Klingon". And why not? Star Trek is very good at reuseing the same name as often as possible. Spock is a Vulcan. He was born on Vulcan. He speaks Vulcan.

And then came Marc Okrand. (Well, "then" is a relative term timeline wise...). The language that he created is called tlhIngan Hol. It simply means "Klingon language" in Klingon. And in his book "The Klingon Dictionary" the language is referred to as "Klingon".

So even though the actors seem to be using "Klingonese", the fans and the creator of the language himself, refer to it as "Klingon".

And given the similarities between "Klingonese" and "Klingonaase", especially in the way they're pronounced, I'm more likely to merge them into the same thing. I only use the term to refer to the language as used in "The Final Reflection".

I'll use tlhIngan Hol to distinguish between "Klingonese" and "Paramount Hol" (the language as mis-used by the TV writers).

Otherwise, I'll simply say "Klingon".

----------------
If I were to list the language on an application, I would write "tlhIngan Hol".
  is how it looks in the native Klingon writing system of pIqaD.
Doing a Google search on "xifan hol" will pull up results on tlhIngan Hol.
The HTML language code for Klingon is tlh.

My Life According to Miley Cyrus

(Figured I'd post this facebook note as a blog which will forward to
fb anyway. Share it with my blog readers too)

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.
Pass it on to 25 people you like and include me (presuming I'm someone
you like).
You can't use the band I used.
Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!
Repost as "my life according to (band name)"

Follow these simple instructions: Go to "notes" under tabs on your
profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type
your title as "My life according to (band name), erase my songs &
enter your answers, tag 25 people including me (tagging is done in the
right hand corner of the app) then click publish.


Pick your Artist:
Miley Cyrus

Are you a male or female?
"He Could be the One"

Describe yourself:
"Fly on the Wall"


How do you feel:
"Beautiful"

Describe where you currently live:
"These Four Walls"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
"You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home"

Your favorite form of transportation:
"Butterfly Fly Away"

Your best friend?
"True Friend"

You and your best friend are:
"The Best of Both Worlds"

What is the weather:
"Before the Storm"

Favorite time of day:
"You and Me Together"

If your life was a TV show what would it be called:
"Crazy"

What is life to you:
"Fairytale"

Your relationship:
"It's All Right Here"

Your fear:
"The Bottom of the Ocean"

What is the best advice you have to give:
"Send It On"

Thought for the Day:
"Nobody's Perfect"

My soul's present condition:
"Peace"

My motto:
"Life's What You Make It"

The 3's of Me

Facebook note posted as a blog (which forwards to fb) to spread the
love to my blog readers. I'm nice like that.
Or too lazy to figure out facebook...


You've been tagged. You are supposed to write a note with the 3's of
YOU. At the end, choose 20 people to be tagged.
You have to tag me so really you just need 19 more people.
If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not
in a creepy stalker kind of way.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, copy then
paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 3's of Me,
tag 20 people - in the right hand corner of the app - then click
publish.)

Three names I go by:
1.  (naHQun)
2. roneyii
3. Drug Guy

Three Jobs I have had in my life
1. Drug Runner
2. Professional Klingon Translator
3. Box Folderer (guy who folds boxes)

Three Places I have lived
1. San Jose, CA
2. Plano, TX
3. San Diego, CA


Three Favorite drinks
1. Dr Pepper
2. Slurpee
3. Fruit Punch

Three TV Shows that I watch
1. Hannah Montana
2. The Wizards of Waverly Place
3. Star Trek

Three places I have been
1. North/South Continental Divide
2. The Temple
3. Here

People that text me regularly
1. Connie
2. A little bird ;-)
3. Dalyn

Three of my favorite foods
1. Milk
2. Chocolate
3. Peanut Butter Sandwhiches

Three friends I think will respond
1. You
2. Not Connie, she started this
3. I think I summed it up in number 1

Three Things I am looking forward to
1. Finish Moving
2. Translating Time
3. Miley Cyrus concert in November

Three Wishes
1. Less Debt
2. more Unicode support for pIqaD (You can't read that ---->  can you?)
3. World Peace (I was really at a loss)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can you let in ONE member of an angry mob? [MATURE CONTENT WARNING: READER DISCRESSION IS ADVISED]

There's an angry mob outside your door. They're trying to break it down.
There's no way they'll do it on their own, your door is pretty tough.
Regardless of your defences, you're responsible for everyone's safety,
and so you stand guard.

You can hear the crys and shouts from the mob.
One of the voices begins to stand out. He's able to shout louder and
you begin to listen. You start to feel sorry for him, being stuck
outside with the mob. His words make sense. You may not see
eye-to-eye, but he has good reasons for entering through the door.

You want to let him in. Should you?

Your answer may have been "Of course not! The mob will pour in unstoppable."

Or it may have been "The safety of that one man is worth the risk of
everyone inside, let's get him in. Somehow."

At the moment, there are several groups trying to redefine both
marriage, and what is sexually acceptable in society.

Don't start screaming at me yet, hear me out. You really don't know
what's coming next.

Now regardless of which group you belong to, you have your own set of
moral standards. There are things that *you* consider to be "wrong" or
"going too far".


Several states here in the US have legalized same-sex marriage.
Several have tried and failed.
But this is just the beginning.

They're represented by that guy you wanted to let in. But there's
still a mob outside your door. They want in too.
They also feel that they need to be legally represented and protected.
Right or wrong, they want it.

Once you decide that marriage is NOT between "one man and one woman",
you have to decide what it is.

So, what is it?

The biggest voice seems to be saying that it's between "two people".
But that's rather vauge.

And why just two?

There are people out there that want to leagalize triads.

The term was new to me too. A triad is a loving relationship between
THREE partners of ANY gender combination who love each of the other
two partners equally.

What do they want? To have legal marriages. If for nothing else, the
legal benefits would be nice.

But why bother writing the word "three" into the lawbooks? We'll just
have to go back and legalize four in a few years anyway.

So we'll just leave that open.

Marriage is now a loving relationship/commitment between people.

This will more than likley legalize "traditional" plural marriage in
the process.

Everyone is happy now, right?

Almost.

You say your uncle wanys to marry his goat?
I'm only slightly joking.
One of the benefits of marriage is sex. Even without marriage, people
have sex. But "marriage" is the term being redefined at the moment, so
we'll jump onto that bandwagon.

I hear news stories. Not often as I avoid the news, but they're there;
people and animals.

So we now omit the word "people" from our definition.

That is one loose definition, but it should cover everyone.


Oh, but there's that unwritten part.
The part covered by other laws and sublaws.

Age.

If that guys uncle can marry his goat, why can't this guy's uncle
marry that little girl?
Heck, why can't he marry his niece?


And on it goes.

No matter how many people you let in that door, there's always going
to be somebody else trying to get in.

Once you unlock it, how do you choose who to let in?

Where do you draw the line?


I didn't call anyone right or wrong, I just said that they want to be
called "right". And the more you say "yes", the harder it will be to
say "no".

Monday, August 10, 2009

How hard can it be to buy a charger for an @Palm #Prē?

So back on July 15th, I was at work.

Wait, let me back up.

The third Wednesday of every month, is  (wejDIch) Wednesday.
On this day all of my updates on Twitter (which are then forwarded to Facebook) are in Klingon.

ALL OF THEM.

So, on this third Wednesday of the month, I'm about to go and start my route for the evening, and I notice that my phone needs charged.
No big deal, I have my charger with me.

Or so I thought.

You see, normally I take my wall charger with me in the car, and via an adapter, I charge my phone through the cigarette lighter.

It just so happens that I forgot it. Again.

Hey! There's a Sprint store between me and my first stop. Two actually. I'll just pop in, buy a charger, and pop out. It'll be easy.

Or at least it should've been.

I show up at what used to be a Tony Romans restaurant, and go inside. The door clearly shows that I'm inside normal business hours.

I find my way to the little sign-in place to wait my turn to be helped.

A Sprint rep pops up at the desk and says "How can I help you?"


"I need a charger" I say while lifting up my phone.


I'm then informed that they're "too busy" to help me. I can't buy a charger.

"But I really need to buy a charger."

"My phone is going to die."

"My phone will NOT last through my shift. I NEED a charger."


Not only is this guy not selling me a charger, but he continues to get rudder and rudder and then flat out refuses to sell me a charger and practically kicks me out of the store.

He says they have too many customers to get to me. That there's a line and they just don't have time for me.


What‽

You're "too busy" and have "too many customers" to help me? You are *refusing* me service?

I was NOT happy. I was SO not happy that I tweeted about it. IN ENGLISH.

Yes, I broke my 24 hour Klingon-only tweeting and yelled at Sprint.

I'm sure this shocked my followers.



The next day, I stopped at the Sprint store where I bought my phone in the first place.

They were 10 minutes away from closing, had 1 rep and 1 customer.

Great.

Before I'm even through the door, I'm greeted by name.

It's made clear that he'll be glad to help me, but he's with someone else.


I let the rep know that I'm there for a *second* charger. That I keep forgetting my charger at home, and need an additional one.

"So you need a charger for your office"


Sure. No point bringing up that my office is my car. I'm cool with a car charger or the Touchstone.

The Touchstone is this really cool charger that charges 40%? faster than the wall charger and it charges via magnetic induction. You just set your phone on the hockey puck looking thing and it charges like magic.

For $75.

I don't have much of a choice as Walmart clearly doesn't carry any other options.

So I buy it and go to work.

Two hours later, I decide to play with my new toy.

I open the box, pull out the disk, and look for the cord. And look for the cord. And wonder where the cord is.

There's no cord.

Huh?

I read the box.

It requires the cord from my wall charger that came with my phone. This is clearly a problem.

This is NOT a *second* charger. It's a charger ACCESSORY.

IT'S AN ACCESSORY TO AN ACCESSORY!!!

It is useless for my needs.

I don't have $75 to just toss around for a cool disk. A cool disk that requires me to continue moving my charger back and forth from house to car and back again.

The next day I have my wife return the charger. I've had enough of this.

I haven't bought a new charger yet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Xx

"X" is often overlooked as a letter. It's almost at the end of the alphabet, and it doesn't start many common words.

In fact, the only thing that x "is for" would be "xylophone" and "X-ray". And I don't remember the last xylophone I saw, let alone played.

But as ignored as it is, we sure do use it a lot.

X can mean "kiss"

X is the number 10

X marks the spot

X is one of two choices in tic-tac-to

X is where you sign your name

Heck, "X" could be how you sign your name

X can replace parts of words (x-ing)

XXX means porn

XXX is also the name of an action-packed movie.

The X Games

Xtra

Xtreame

Make a mistake? X is out.

Have a choice to make? X marks the one you want.

An X with a skull on top can mean "pirate" or "poison"



Yes, it's small, it's simple. But boy is it powerful and diverse. And it's worth 8 points in Scrabble

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Florida High School Refuses to Retract Child Pornography

Early one morning 17-yearold high school student Jane Doe (names of minors are protected under the law) got dressed for school. It wasn't just *any* day, it was yearbook picture day. She had planned ahead and knew just the skirt to wear. She also planned not to wear anything underneath.

She decided that the best way to avoid her panty line showing was to just go without. Noone would notice.
But when it cane time for her club picture, she was placed in the front row. Sitting down.

She did her best to keep her legs together, but when she got ahold of her yearbook, she noticed something: you could tell.

Yes, according to Jane Doe and her mother, you can see Janes private parts in the yearbook. Other students tend to agree.

Jane has stopped going to school out of embarasment.

Jane and Mrs. Doe have asked (demanded?) that the school collect all of the yearbooks, stop giving yearbooks out, and republish sans the offending picture.

Seems reasonable.

The schoolboard has refuesed.

They claim that every picture goes through an approval process before inclusion in the yearbook and that you can not see Jane's privates in the picture.

"It's a shadow."

They seem to be very strongly convinced that they are in the right, and the yearbooks will remain unchanged. They're even trying to tell the local media to drop the story--because there isn't one.

Jane and mom are still upset.



I can see both parties points of view.

Jane knows that she "went commando" to school that day. Therefore she probably looked a little harded at the picture. She feels, and therefore her mother feels, that she has been exposed and embarresed in front of the entire school.

Having naked pictures of yourself floating around is never good.



The school knows that it will be *VERY* expensive to collect and republish the yearbooks all because one girl made a blunder. Of course they don't /want/ to do it.

The shadow? The moment they admit that Jane is right, and that her vagina is showing, they *MUST* remove the pic.
If Jane is right, then the school has published indecent pictures of a minor. The school is guilty of selling and distributing child pornography to minors and adults.

I wouldn't want to be on that school board.

It would cost A LOT to ensure that EVERY yearbook was collected and destroyed. Find the negatives and destroy them.

And what happens when someone refuses?


The safest course for the school is to deny that a problem exists. Meanwhile, hundreds of students have access to one very embarasing and highly illeagal picture.

Anyone of them could be charged with posetion. All it takes is one call...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Klingons weren't in the new Star Trek, but no one told the sponsors.

Fans around the world cried out in shock when it was announced that an entire Klingon sub-plot had been removed from the new Trek movie.
There were to be NO Klingons in the film.


“We actually had a sequence that ended up getting cut from the movie that took place on Rura Penthe, in a Klingon prison,” co-writer Alex Kurtzman told SCI FI Wire, explaining the deletion. “And there was definitely Klingon spoken in the movie, and it ended up getting cut.”



WHAT?!


Klingons have been in EVERY Star Trek movie! All 10 of them!
But sadly, after viewing the movie twice, no actual Klingons show up on the big screen.
The most we get is a simulated attack by three Klingon ships during Kirk's Kobiashi Maru. Which happens to be what we got in Star Trek II.


We've been informed that the Klingons will be available as a deleted scene on the DVD.

But did Klingon fans miss out entirely?

We didn't.


It seems the Klingons were cut at the last minute. Therefore, all of the marketing (official and otherwise) assumed the presence of Klingons.



Kellogg's

It started with Kellogg's cereal.

Inside select boxes of Kellogg's cereal were "beam up badges". Three Starfleet badges, one Romulan, and our favorite, Klingon.
As you can tell, it looks like a Klingon communicator, and it lights up.
It looks SO much cooler than the Romulan badge.

















Burger King


We shall now move onto my friends over at Burger King.
Burger King went all out this year. They filmed their commercials on the actual Star Trek sets and they even revamped their mascot, The King.

Behold, the Kingons! (Get it? King-ons.)



Yes. According to Burger King, "Kingons" may be the product of a 'special moment' between The King and a female Klingon.

Burger King even set up a special site Kingon Defense Academy.
On this site you can complete your training to protect your BK glasses from Kingons.
After you complete your training, it allows you to print out a diploma and rank badge.
It even comes with a Kingon mask for your friend to wear while he attacks you.

Yes, Burger King put A LOT of effort into this.



But that's not all!
Besides having Kingons, they also had toys!
Yes toys.
And if you were lucky, you scored a Kingon Warbird.
































Scene It?


>

Like all of you, I bought Star Trek Scene It? when it came out a few months ago.
And of course all of the tokens (game pieces) were Federation ships. Big deal.
But wait! At Best Buy, and Best Buy only, you can get your very own Klingon Bird-of-Prey token!
All you have to do is buy Star Trek on a fancy blue disc.
Or pay for it.



Yes, now you can challenge your friends to the ultimate test of Star Trek trivia, and show of your Klingon pride!




Ultralingua


Ultralingua has come out with their Regulation Starfleet Klingon Language Suite for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Now you too can learn the warrior's tongue. And on the go!
Their Klingon -English dictionary is also available for Windows.

I'm currently downloading the free trial, so I don't know too much about it. But I've heard from people who have the suite that if you don't have an iPhone/iPod, you'll want one now.


Trek Phrase


In competition with the official Ultralinga app, Trek Phrase has released their own Klingon language app for the iPhone.
It's not currently available, so I haven't heard any reviews. It's also not "official", unlike the Ultralingua app that's made in cooperation with Simon & Schuster. So we'll see if they even get approved to sell their app. I hope they do.









Sophos Klingon Anti-Virus


And now my personal favorite, a Klingon language anti-virus! Translated by me!!!
Okay, I'll admit that I'd rather play with a Warbird than scan my laptop for viruses. But I'm still excited about having this big translation project under my belt.
There's not much else to say about this one. It's a Klingon version of thier Anti-Virus scan. That I translated! Download it!










So, with all of the media attention on the Klingons this year, hopefully CBS Paramount will take a hint and include them in the next film.




Honorable Mention


Movie or not, Diamond Select Toys released this Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Worf/Gowron 2-pack. This is another one that I haven't been able to acquire, but it's on my list.







Sadly, there were two not connected to the recent film that also got cut.

Kruge-and Maltz from Star Trek III had their own 2-pack planned.
Reports from DST indicate a lack of Internet pre-orders, therefore not warranting production.
This had been my one "must have" item of the year.
Star Trek III is a GREAT film. It's the reason we have the Klingon language that we have today.
It's the reason that the Klingons STILL have the ridges that they have today.
And Maltz is the Klingon informant that Marc Okrand gets all of our new Klingon words from.

This picture is as close as we're going to get.