Friday, February 24, 2012

Flash Back Friday: July 29th 2009 - Day 13 of building R2-TD

Moose, Jen and I worked a little more on R2's legs. We drilled a hole and inserted a bushing for the leg pivot.

Than we cut the hole for the motor wires to go though.

Next up is making foot shells.

The rest of the night was helping everyone else. I brought Steve to his first build night. Here he's working on his legs.

We all helped Kevin start gluing his frame.

Flash Back Friday: July 26th 2009 - Day 12 of building R2-TD

Today I decided to venture out on my own with R2. I started out by myself but my friend Chris swung by and ended up helping me. I'm glad he did. It turned out I needed an extra hand holding the dome steady on some of the small cuts. I wanted to finish getting the dome all cut and made some pretty good progress for sure. All spots are cut minus the one piece broke off from an earlier mishap. I'll have the guys help me with that one later. We also has 3 "breaks" to fix at some point but overall I'm happy with the way it's turned out.

Here's Chris modeling the dome after we finished cutting it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

St. Baldricks - 3/14/2012 - Helping Kids with Cancer

I've mentioned this a few times before. I'm growing my hair out a bit for a cause. I was asked several months ago if would consider not cutting my hair and participating in the St. Baldrick's event for my friend Rob's son Ian up in Sioux Falls, SD.

MY donation Page is here if you would like to donate. R2-TD is planning on making the trip also to join the 501st at the event. Check back here later for a Before and after, as well as a full report of the event.

Monday, February 20, 2012

8th Annual Walk & Roll for Disabilities sponsored by the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities

Being associated with the Star Wars groups, Sometimes I get asked if I would be interested in various charity events and walks. One of those events popped up on Sunday. I was asked if I woud bring R2-TD out to the Westroads Mall for the 8th Annual Walk & Roll for Disabilities sponsored by the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities and troop along side the 501st. The event was a great time and raises funds to support recreational therapy programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities in the greater Omaha area. This event also helps raise awareness and support for inclusion for people with disabilities. Everything went well and everyone had a great time. Here are some photos from the event.
Members of the Central Garrison of the 501st legion and R2-TD
This little guy was our biggest fan!  He wouldn't change his shirt to the event shirt because he had on Star Wars shirt.  He than had the honor of leading the Star Wars characters around the mall during the walk.  
One of the larger fund raising groups for the day asekd us to come pose with them
Smiles were all the way around
Over all it was a thumbs up type of day

Polar Plunge 2012 for the Nebraska Special Olympics

The Polar Plunge just happened and let me answer the 2 most common questions right out the gate. Yes, I can be a bit crazy and Yes, it was COLD! :) Dawn and I arrived at Lake Cunningham about 10 am and had no idea what to expect. I had only seen videos on you tube and a couple of news stories over the year. What we came up on was a lot of people! Cars were parked all the way onto the road outside the park. I'm not sure how far that is but it was a long way.... Not everyone were plungers, many were there to support the Special Olympics, a friend or family member or just wanted to see some thrill seekers in action. We managed to invent a parking spot not to far from the lake. We went down and registered and I got my wrist band signaling I was a plunger. I also turned in my final Pledge tally... $300!

After registering, we went back to the van as we were an hour away from the plunge and I wanted to stay as warm as possible. It was a nice, clear, sunny day but the temp out was about 25 degrees. I than began tracking down the rest of the team. Beau, Jamie, Bill met up with us and we discussed how next year... were tailgating the event. Many people were doing just that. It was like a parking lot before a football game... only without the alcohol.

At a quarter to we made out way back down to the area and changed into our Plunging gear. The Special Olympics bear strolled by so we asked if we could get a picture with it.

The announcements began promptly at 11 am which was the scheduled start time. Montez from Channel 94.1 and Mayor Suttle begin talking. We couldn't really make out what was being told to us but got the jist really quick. They had to cut through the ice to prep the lake. A dive team of paramedics are in the water with you and no running or diving. The plunging order was set by the amount of money a team raised. Larger corporations, school and Greek organizations took to the water. We were hanging out next to a changing tent so we got to see the reactions of the plungers as they came out of the water. Some people smiling having a great time, others looked really really cold, shivering and dripping wet. Some had steam pouring off their body. Many went all in... head under water and all. (That was not a requirement)

After about 45 minutes, it was about out teams turn. 'Geek on Ice' was on deck.... We had already been dressed and ready so we took our spot in line. The gal making sure everyone was there asked us about name. "So you guys geeks huh... you work on Computers?" I reply we like Comic books, Beau replies we like Star Wars and Jamie and Bill looked lost. We than get into a rather in-depth conversation on Star Wars. She claimed she had never seen the movies but I think she lied... she knew a lot of details.... :) This was also not the conversation I expected to be having before going in the water.

Montez comments on our name but again, I cant really make out a word he's saying. All I heard was the "No Running, No Diving" reminder and "GGGOOOOOO!!" We make the trek forward... no turning back now. The goal is to go all the way to a manikin in water, touch it and go back. At this point, Even I think we and the hundreds of people who went before us, are all really, really crazy.

Initially, my first thought was Wow, this isn't bad. Its not that cold. By the time I got Chest deep in the water... I changed my mind! It was cold. At that point It was just plain time to get out of the water. We get out, dash to the changing tent and get on some dry clothes. I learned one very important lesson and will share with first time plungers.... do not wear socks with your shoes (shoes were suggested). The ice water was trapped in my socks and I had a very hard time getting them off in the tent. My feet felt like a block of ice and actually were the only part of me really cold.

Beau had a really good idea and brought some Hot Cocoa with him. We all poured a glass and began the reminiscing. Was it fun... Would we do again... Absolutely! We instantly began planning next years Plunge. There was a costume / team theme part of it all we didn't really do. I also heard form a bunch of friends that they want to do it next year. So it's safe to say... We will have a another team again next year and it most likely will be bigger and better.

KETV was on hand and wrote the following story which shows some of the actual plunge. We tried getting our own video but had a small mishap with the camea so all we got were a few of the still shots. Next year... we'll document the entire thing and have it all here for you. Anyways the link to the KETV story is HERE!!!!

"2012 Polar Plunge" Fundraiser Great Success - Video - KETV Omaha

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flash Back Friday: July 21st 2009 - Day 11 of building R2-TD

R2 has legs! Moose and Jen helped me cut the final holes in the legs and frame so we could get the legs on. Heres some pics of the the process.

Flash Back Friday: July 17th 2009 - Day 10 of building R2-TD

OSFest is just one day away and all of us builders are running around like crazy tring to get everything done. My goal was to have my legs done and mounted to the frame. Didn't quite make it. I did however get the Rocker Bearing for the dome in the mail today. I got it mounted to the frame. I also got the inside hoop in the inter part of the inter dome so the dome will sit nicely on the frame and it spins! As for the legs, Moose helped me get a few of the piece together. I have the center pipe that holds the legs together cut. Only a few steps are left and the legs can be mounted.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Star Wars Episode 1 in 3-D, 2-10-12, Aksarben Cinema, Omaha NE

Friday Night, R2-TD went out to Movies and joined the 501st Central Garrison and the Rebel Legion Central Base for a troop to see Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It was a short troop where we posed for photos and met the crowd on the "Red Carpet" before the show.

After the Meet and Greet, we watched the film. This was a special one for me because it was the only movie from the prequels I hadn't trooped among many friends. I was really excited to see the 3-D. The first 20 to 30 minutes were awesome. After that, the effect wore off and wasn't really all that special. I expected more from some of the amazing scenes like the pod race and the epic light saber battle between Darth Maul and the Jedi. Don't get wrong, I'm excited to see the movies again on the big screen and will go see the other 5 regardless. I just hope some improvements in the 3-D technology come first.

After the movie, we all met up for an after troop dinner at "Old Chicago". It was great to see everyone and get the old gang back together again. Many of us have families now and it gets harder and harder to get everyone together.

(All Photos provided by and used with permission from Denman Freeman, Falcon-One-Photo... Thanks Denny!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Flash back Friday: July 15th 2009 - Day 9 of build R2-TD

(with seeing the Movie tonight, I'm a bit late getting this out on 'Friday')

R2-TD's frame is complete. The last of the glue is drying as I type.

The legs are almost complete also. Moose, Denny and I made a trip to the hardware store and picked up all the materials to assemble the legs to the frame. Than Jason, Moose and I put the pieces together. This rod will connect both legs inside the frame.

Here a picture of all the parts I hope to have assembled this week.

We finished the evening with a group shot of most of the builders.

Overall, it was another productive night. We glues Jasons Frame together, LC worked on his dome, we got some more mold done on the skirt and we even got some work in on KITT.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Some investing opportunities

Do you know Diddley Sqot? Would you like to visit a film location of one of the greatest movies of all time? Just a couple of questions asked to me recently.

Diddley Sqot is "The creation of alien character Diddley Sqot using new hybrid animation/puppetry technique QZimation" and is being brought to you from Mike Quinn. Mike is well know for working with people like Jim Henson and George Lucas doing animation, puppets, acting, director and producer of many shows and movies you likely have seen. Take a look HERE at his impressive resume. Mike is working on a new technology called QZimation and is about to change the way we see characters such as Diddely. He is using an indiegogo page to raise funds this project and has just over a week to meet his goal. He's asked for our help with this unique opportunity and it comes weith some very unique perks. You can hear Mike talk about QZimation and the read more about the project HERE.

The second project brought to my attention is a book which is being fan made and needs backers. Its a book of the Star Wars Film Locations of the United States and is using Kickstarter for funding HERE. They have a little over 2 weeks left on this project and its one I would love to see come to light. This project also come with some perks if you interested. I have some friends who have traveled the world and see some of the film sites and I was very jealous of them. They got to stand in the same spots and pose for pictures. This might be the only way I will ever get to visit some locations of some of my favorite films. I hope they make it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Maybe Im kicking a dead horse... more UFL news

Heard this from the Sacramento Mountain Lions Fan club President:

From Joe Wagoner, Mountain Lions Senior Vice President:

"I wanted to take a moment to let you know that I am leaving my position with the Sacramento Mountain Lions Football team. My last day with the team will be next Friday, February 10. I have accepted an offer to be the CEO of the start-up San Francisco Bulls Hockey Team of the ECHL. The ECHL is an electrifying league with a rich 24-year history. I am very excited to be a part of their new organization.

I have enjoyed my two years with the Mountain Lions immensely. The journey from being the first Mountain Lions employee to witnessing a 20,000-fan home-opener was the most fulfilling accomplishment of my professional career. I’d like to thank team ownership, Paul Pelosi, Angelo Tsakopoulos and David Lucchetti for allowing me this incredible experience. Additionally, I want to thank the members of the front office for their tireless effort, the corporate partners for their unwavering support, the fans for sticking with us amongst all the uncertainty in the world of the UFL and my wife for basically managing our entire life while I was at the office for two straight years.

Rachel and I are very happy to have planted our roots in Sacramento and are looking forward to raising our family here. So we have decided that I will commute to San Francisco. We hope to see everybody around town.

Thanks again for everything and GO MOUNTAIN LIONS!!!


Also according to the Story here from Sacramento Business Journals,"Russ Edmonson, the Mountain Lions’ spokesman, said he is resigning from the team as of the end of Tuesday"

Still zero news on the Omaha Nighthawks future. An announcement is suppose to be coming in March.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flash Back Friday: July 12th 2009 - Day 8 of building R2-TD

Saturday was another day we got together at Brad's to work on our R2's. Moose, Dawn and I glued most of my frame together. Thanks to LC for letting me use his skins to hold everything to place while the first glue takes hold.

Than we worked some more on gluing a few of the last pieces on the legs.

I also cut some more on the dome.

I found out just how fragile R2 can be. I had a total of 3 breaks in it along the bottum where I was cutting. One was from picking it up wrong and had to much pressure on a weak spot and the other 2 happened when the table got bumped and it fell. The guys tell me it can be repaired but I may save my pennies and just order a pre-cut one to save a lot of headaches.