Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Brother's Wedding and dogsitting

For the last couple of days I have been involved in activities involving my brother's wedding. The first of the activities involved readying my gift to my brother and his bride, music to them from me.
I performed on my clarinet and saxophone. Originally I was going to perform three pieces, but I trimmed it down to two pieces which worked out wonderfully. The pieces I performed solo, with backing tracks were, Endless Love on the clarinet, and Misty on Alto Saxophone. Gathering the backing tracks for these pieces was an interesting and strung out process, but I finally accomplished it, and ended up purchasing the backing track for Misty to find one that was just right, and it proved to be the right decision, as out of the two it was most liked.
For the actual wedding, I was an usher. Being an usher involved going the day before, and practicing with others in the wedding party, learning how to carry out my part, after many changes we came to a final plan and were ready for the next day.
On the wedding day everything went very smoothly, and proved that the great amount of practice, and planning were essential, and paid off. The groom and bride looked great, and the wedding was great, and the reception was good, with very nice food, especially the vanilla and chocolate-covered, fresh strawberries. During the reception, I was even coaxed into dancing with the bride, and dancing is something I rarely if ever partake in.
After the wedding I promised to dog/cat sit for my brother and his bride. From Saturday (the wedding day), until Monday afternoon I watched their two dogs, and one kitten. The dogs behaved pretty well and the kitty also, except for one instance, the first night when it woke me at 3 a.m. In that instance I gave it a late night (morning) snack, and it went back to sleep. The Wedding week is now over, after the flurry of activity during that week, most weeks will now seem dull.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Trek

Since I have been a small child I have always enjoyed Science Fiction, which of course includes the Star Trek franchise. I was born around the time that Star Trek: The Next Generation began, which became my favoire Star Trek tv series.
I have seen every Star Trek movie, though not exactly in order, as I saw most of the movies with the TNG crew before I saw all of the movies with the TOS crew. This weekend I went to see Star Trek in theaters, which I believe is the first time I have gone to see a Star Trek movie in theaters.
I was frightened that the movie would be ruined by Abrams, and that he would suck the spirit from the franchise, this did not occur however. [spoilers ahead] Abrams effectively used alternate realities and time travel to make sure he had suffiecient artistic license to tell a story that was bothh interesting and loyal to the franchise. You should not attend this movie expecting a typical Star Trek movie, it is very different. If you see the movie with an open mind, however, y0u will greatly enjoy it, as I did.

My First Road Trip of the Summer

Last week from Sunday to Friday afternoon I went with my stepfather on semi truck. I have done this during previous summers, but did not journey last summer. We started off going to Memphis.
Memphis brings back memories of my school's jazz band, and our trip to the city to perform at the area schools. During that trip I had a great time, and got a small taste (a very very small taste) of what it was like to travel and perform in a jazz ensemble). Since then I have not traveled anywhere but the Roland Hayes Conert Hall in any ensemble except Marching Band, which is a completely different experience. (That was a lengthy tangent, and now I wll return to my summer road trip)
After Memphis, and marveling at the effeciency of the Fedex hub, which is where all Fedex packages are sent and sorted, and effeciently shipped out, We journeyed on. After this we had various stops in Tennessee, followed by stops in Ohio.
Before going to Ohio though, in my home state of Tennessee I suprisingly saw one of the highlights of the trip. The highlight was a monument at a rest area. The monument was in the shape of an arc, and shaped like a leaning sun dial. on the "dial" were individual stones with the names of all the counties of Tennessee on them.

The stones seemed to be of proportional size to the area of the counties, a very interesting monument indeed.
In Ohio we had an extended stop in a repair shop, as the truck had trouble supplying compressed air. Compressed air is used for many things, most important though is to supply air to the pulled trailers, this is why a semi driver must connect and disconnect airlines to a each trailer his connects and disconnects from his tractor.
The stay in the repair shop was about five hours, which when looking back was not so terrible, but at the time seemed like an eternity. There was a Driver's lounge, which had a television and magazines, but the TV had only about three channels, one of which had The Ellen Show and Soaps and the others what seemed like enless news broadcasts. The magazines were of course all trucker magazines, and were not very interesting to me, although I still looked through them pretty thoroughly. This time would seem to be the best time to read my book 'Ringworld', which I did some, but being in a Driver's Lounge, next to a worker's mess area and the workshop distracted me, especially at their intermiitent break times, of which they had two while I was there.

I was only able to read about a chapter of 'Ringworld while at the shop.
After getting out of the shop and what seemed like an eternity we left, and traveled through Cincinatti that night. The truck functioned pretty good for the rest of the trip, filling trailer's with air in record time. In my trip through Cincinnatti, I was able to see multiple buildings and the bridge from the old TV show 'WKRP In Cincinnatti'. Seeing the landmarks from that show proved to be a pretty interesting experience, and it was also pretty cool seeing the Cincinnatti Red's baseball stadium.

The rest of the trip involved going to North Carolina, and then to South Carolina and then back to Tennessee. We listened to an audiobook during this leg of the trip. The audiobook was very intersting, and almost as good as reading a book. On the final leg of the journey, we encountered a monstrous flash flood near Knoxville, which meant very slow moving traffic.
As this has been a long entry, and the last section of the trip was not particularly exciting, I have abridged this section. The trip was interesting, and for the most part it was enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beginning of Summer Break

I have long since moved out of my dorm, and have been adjusting to
life away from school again.
Last week I stayed with dad and helped him go through his VHS tapes. We took these tapes to McKay's, a book store.
At McKay's I found some interesting books including Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time', and Larry Niven's 'Ringworld among others.
Ringworld, which helped inspire the Halos in the Halo series seems to be an interesting book so far. I believe I will surely enjoy this book.