Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Set a course, Mr. Data...

"Two tickets for Star Trek," I said to the teenager behind the counter, trying to conceal my excitement. "Next Thursday, please." She punched a few buttons on her computer, looked at a co-worker for reassurance, and went back to managing the screen. I thought it might take a little while, but the sun was just beginning to set, the weather was warm, and my wife and I didn't have much else to do, so we waited patiently.

"Do you want the seven or ten o'clock show?" the ticket girl asked.

"Seven," I said, smiling at my wife.

"Twenty dollars," she replied. I was a bit shocked, since we had seen the tickets online the night before for half that price, plus a one-dollar "service fee," which is how we ended up at the theatre in person. I was a bit surprised, since I agreed to forgo an opening-day showing at the IMAX on the south side of the Cities mostly because they wanted a hefty $15 per ticket.

"Are you sure?" I asked, thinking back to the opening night of Star Trek: Nemesis, and wondering if the new revival of the Star Trek franchise was really worth a $20 gamble. I'm hoping it will be, but still, if the tickets are supposed to be $5 each, well, it never hurts to ask, right?

"I think there might be a problem with the computer," she said with a slight bit of empathy. "I'll check with my manager." A few minutes, and several garbled syllables by way of a walkie-talkie later, she found a way to sell us seats for the $5 price we had seen online. "You'll be in theatre 10, which is a little smaller..."

Red Alert. Prepare for saucer separation, number one! "Smaller? But...it's Star Trek!" I widened my eyes just a little, trying to appeal to her good nature and what I hoped was a sympathy for the endangered species she was encountering first-hand: the walking anachronism that is the modern-day Star Trek fan, firmly clinging to memories of The Voyage Home and The Inner Light, hoping his faith in the once-great series would soon be redeemed. Sure enough, it worked, and a few more minutes of screen-tapping later, she landed us seats in the Big Auditorium for the same $5 price.

And so we walked away, hoping J.J. Abrams' interpretation of Gene Roddenberry's grand vision for humanity will live up to the hype. I guess we'll find out in a week!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Breathing Room

I don't like to do nothing. It's kind of a bad habit I have, actually, because it's hard for me to just sit and relax. Even playing video games or watching movies is a little difficult, because after 30 minutes or so (if I'm by myself, anyway) I'll have to get up and clean something, fix something, or tweak some odd project on the computer. I don't even like to sleep more than 8 hours, even if I have nothing to actually *do* when I get up. I think I get it from my dad, who gets up around 6am every day for work, but is out in the garage putzing around on things on Saturday mornings nonetheless. Last weekend was kind of a good example of this: I had Thursday, Friday, and Monday off work, but did I sleep in? Nooo. I could have, I guess, but instead I dutifully set my alarm so I would get no more than eight hours of rest, woke up, and started editing video footage or cleaning the kitchen. In fact, I didn't touch my Nintendo DS (halfway through Chrono trigger, baby!) or Nintendo Wii the whole weekend. I probably should have, though, because the next few days were kind of a blur. We're right at the end of Play Season, as I call it, so we were in high gear with rehearsals and whatnot. It's going to be a good show, though, even though I won't be there for this weekend's debut performances.

As I write this, I'm back in my parents' dining room in Lincoln. My wife and I got in super late last night (or super early this morning) and the next few hours are the calm before the storm, as my little brother Tom's wedding festivities will begin shortly and not let up until sometime Sunday afternoon. It's going to be a whirlwind of Ringsmuths and other friends and family around here for the next few days, but it should be a good time for all involved. It usually is when we all get together for something like this. Last Sunday, for instance, a bunch of us were at my uncle Tony's house for some Easter celebrations including Croquet, cards, board games, and of course, way too much food.

Anyway, it's nice to have a break this morning, and it was really nice to get Valentino's take-out for lunch. Mmmm...Val's lasagna...

Sunday, April 05, 2009


One of the reasons I purchased Sony HC96 camcorders when I started filming weddings two years ago was because they could convert analog signals to digital. I mean, the HC96 is a really good camera on its own, but this added bonus would probably come in handy at some point. And recently, it has. I've been using the "analog pass-through" quite extensively in the past week or so to do some work for a friend, and aside from some odd Mac OSX permissions quirks with Final Cut Express, it's been going very well. I guess the lesson here is to be prepared, I think. And speaking of which, I ordered a bunch of video stuff yesterday that should keep us going for the rest of the year, if not into next year. DVDs, cases, tapes, plastic sleeves...all the things that we will need for the projects we have lined up so far, and enough for some unforeseen work too. Even if I don't get a job right away when we move to Oklahoma this summer, I should be able to do enough of this video work to keep busy and get some income while the job search progresses.

It's snowing outside, by the way, which still weirds me out just a little. Usually in April we get rain, not snow, but such is the way of things in Minnesota. Last night I went to pick up my wife from the airport and was pleasantly surprised to find myself making the half-hour drive in a nice rainshower. Ever since I was a kid I have enjoyed driving in the rain (or, in the case of my younger counterpart, being driven around in the rain). It's soothing, I guess. I can't quite put my finger on exactly why, but I just know it's pretty cool.

Next week is Easter, which means not only a celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but as part of such a celebration, the Ringsmuths will descent en masse on my uncle Tony's house for the afternoon. And as these gatherings typically go, I'm sure there will be cards, games, and even some croquet if it's nice outside. And food, too. Lots of food. Good times will be had by all. :)

Time to get out of these PJs and head for church. Today's Sunday School lesson is on Zacchaeus. It's kind of weird how I heard all these lessons when I was a kid, but now that I'm teaching them I see them in a whole different light. God's Word is like that, you know. The more you study it, the more there is to learn. Anyway, time to bust outta here. Peace.

ps. Before I sign off, I need to send out a massive Thank You to Ron, who let me use his garage again to change the oil in our car. Thank, Ron! And thanks for pizza too! Sarah, your dad is the coolest. :)