Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

It’s a Boy!

Posted by heymoe on 10th November 2008

The McAleer Family

Awwww, Isn’t he cute!

Congratulations go out to Justin and Kelly McAleer on the arrival of Liam David McAleer who was born on Friday November 7th at 8:23pm Eastern or as Justin put it: when Liam’s reign of terror began. Justin shouldn’t have any problem remembering this birthday since Liam and Kelly now share it. Funny how that worked out or was it just part of Justin’s master plan 🙂 hehe..

It looks like Justin is actually going to have to start making use of their website. I’m sure there are a lot of family and friends wanting to see how Liam’s reign of terror over Justin and Kelly is going.

Any ways, rest up Justin and Kelly, you’re both going to need it.

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Skydiving: I’m Alive!

Posted by heymoe on 14th July 2008

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Almost 3 months after our first attempt, Casey and I successfully jumped from a perfectly good airplane and landed safely.

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This time around the weather was great other then it being hot (in the 90s). We also had a larger cheering section in the form of Casey and Lindsay’s parents, Casey’s sister, aunt and uncle. My attempts to talk our other friends, who shall be unnamed (you know who you are 🙂 hehe), to come out and watch failed.

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Our jump was scheduled for 12pm (noon) but we did not actually get into the air until about 1:10pm. As a refresher, both Casey and I went through the level 1 tandem jump class again and about 10 minutes later we were called into the prep room to get geared up. 20 minutes after that it was time to board the plane, a CASA 212 Aviocar.

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Casey and I along with our tandem jump masters (Dave was mine, I’m not sure who Casey’s was) were the first to board the plane since we are going to be the last to leave the plane. The plane was packed with other jumper and everyone was in good spirits and excited. At around 6000 feet, our jump masters started to double check our harnesses and connecting us to their harness / parachute. Casey actually had to get up and sit in his jump master’s lap due to the tight quarters. As we climbed in altitude, the temperature was going down and made me wish it felt that good on the ground.

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Once we were at altitude and over the drop zone the pilot turned on the green light and the other jumpers started to exit the plane. When it was our turn we made our way to the rear of the plane which was awkward due to Dave being shorter then me. I kept reaching out with my right hand to help keep my balance but Dave kept making me put my arm down for some reason. I was able to hold onto the static line cable with my left hand which I guess was OK. Casey, his jump master and his videographer were the first to leave the plane and then Dave and I moved into position. Once in position I once again reached up for a handle on the ceiling to balance myself but had my hand swatted again but I think I know why that time. Looking down at the ground below seemed unrear and before I knew it my arms were crossed and my head was back as we exited the plane doing a back-flip, or at least I think it was a back flip.

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During the free-fall I don’t really remember to much visually, most likely due to the adrenaline rush and concentrating what we were told to do in class. The lack of any visual reference that we are used to on the ground (IE: driving by stationary objects in a car) seemed to cancel out the fact that we were falling at 120MPH. The only real sign of speed was the sound of the wind going by which was quite loud. I remember making sure I had my body arched and arms crossed as instructed until Dave tapped me on my shoulder letting me know it was time to un-cross my arms and hold them in front of me. We performed some left and right turns but I don’t know how many degrees we turned. After that I got tapped on the shoulders again letting me know it was time to re-cross my arms and prepare for the parachute deployment.

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Once the parachute deployed everything went silent and things started to slow down to a more relaxed pace. Dave did the post deployment checks and loosened up the straps on my harness some to try and make things a little more comfortable. He then handed me the parachute controls and we did a practice landing flare and then did some left and right turns. We also did a double turn to demonstrate how the turns get faster the longer you hold it. Dave pointed out where the landing site was and we even saw Casey in the distance below us and the jump plane coming in for a landing. At this point my arms started to get numb so Dave said to put my arms down. I think there was a strap or two still too tight and and was cutting off circulation, oh well.. it happens. Any ways, as we got closer to the ground I could see the cheering squad waving and taking pictures. Our butt first landing was uneventful and it was nice get disconnected and having the blood flowing again.

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After that Casey and I posed for some pictures with our jump masters and then walked back to the cheering squad and posed for even more pictures. We got out of our jump gear and got our logbooks filled out and signed as well as our first jump certificate. We all then headed out to grab some late lunch.

Now the question is should I go for the certification or is one jump enough for me? The experience was great but I kind of wish I remember I remember more of the free fall portion and for that I think more jumps will be required. In theory I could do the level 2 jump and not have to worry about maintaining currency from a training point of view. After level 2 you’ll have to schedule you jumps so that you don’t exceed 30 days or more between. If you do you’ll end of spending more money in the long term since you will most likely have to repeat previous levels before you’re allowed to move on to the next. Hopefully Casey will be interest in getting certified so we and do it together, if not I’ll most likely do it any ways. I highly recommend everyone jump at least once.

Note: Casey is under the white, yellow and blue parachute and I’m under the black and blue one. I also want to thank Casey’s uncle Dayle for taking the pictures of Casey and I making our way back down to Terra Firma.

: ::Update:: :
Lindsay has posted some pictures of Casey’s jump and posted an entry on their blog.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Animazement 2008 – Update

Posted by heymoe on 29th May 2008

Animazement 2008

I think I have finally fully recovered from this past weekend and what a weekend it was. Animazement pulled in a new attendance record of 5,374 this year which I believe is a 19% increase from the previous year. I would like to congradulate all the staff and guests that made this year such a success.

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The weather this year was just about as perfect as one could hope for. With the exception of some early morning rain on one day, it was sunny and cool which allowed for the attendees mingle outside in the lawn and take part in large games of duck-duck-goose and red-rover. I think this year was the first time in the eight years that Animazement has been held at the Sheraton Imperial that the lawn was utilized to such an extent. Previous year it was either to hot and muggy or wet / rainy to stay outside. Reading the forums, it sounds like a lot of the attendees really enjoyed using the lawn this year and are hoping for something similar next year.

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Speaking of next year, Animazement will be moving to the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) due to outgrowing the available space at the Sheraton Imperial. The RCC is several times larger then the Sheraton Imperial so it should take Animazement awhile to grow out of it. None the less, next year is going to be a very interesting and exciting time.

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This year one of my jobs was being one of the convention’s photographers which was really great. I did not have my camera last year and it really sucked not being able to photograph all the cosplayers in their elaborate costumes. I did a lot of indoor flash photography, which I think I still need more practice at. I got to experiment with using the manual settings of the camera for long exposure during the dances including the use of rear curtain flash sync to stop the motion of the dancers before the long exposure ended. I was also a video camera operator during some of the panels which was something new for me to do as well.

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I missed watching the Cosplay contest this year since I was taking photos of the groups before then went on stage so that the judges could use them to help them decided on the winners. It did sound like there were some really good ones this year so I hope to be able to see them at some point. Animazement also appeared in the local Herald-Sun newspaper on Monday. You can also read the article online (Registration required to read the whole thing: See my previous post about Mailinator).

Even though I only got around 3 hours of sleep each night, seeing how much fun all the attendees were having and even having some of them come up to members of the staff and thanking them for all their hard work to make it such an enjoyable event seem to make it all worth while. I look forward to helping out next year. See you all there!

Links to more photos in my gallery:
General (PicLens PicLens Button)
Cosplay Contest (PicLens PicLens Button)
Craftsmanship Contest (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Animazement 2008

Posted by heymoe on 22nd May 2008

Animazement 2008

Just a reminder that Animazement 2008 starts tomorrow. So if you like Anime or interested in Japanese culture, check it out this weekend. For more information on the schedule, pricing, etc.. check out their web site. I’ll be there pretty much all weekend helping out and taking pictures so stay tuned for my post-convention update. C’yas.

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Wine, Skydiving and Barbers: Oh My!

Posted by heymoe on 20th April 2008

Phew! The weekend is over.. Finally.. Saturday was the annual Uncork the Fun wine festival in Cary and since I forgot to buy tickets advance, I got up early so I could get there when the gates open to beat the lines. Getting their early also had the benefit of not having to deal with the lines at each of the wineries’ tents which allowed me to take my time while sampling their selections without feeling rushed by the line of people behind you. This year several wineries put out wines made wholly from strawberries or as a blend with traditional wine grapes. The strawberry concoctions typically ranged from semi-sweet to OMG sweet. I bought one of these concoctions that had a semi-sweet to sweet start and finished with an interesting “kick” that caught my attention vs. the others I sampled. Any ways, sometime between getting there and around 1pm, when I took a break for lunch, I started to feel really “happy” after all the tasting and Casey has the voice mail to prove it 🙂 hehe..

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At around 2:30pm I decided I tasted all that I could and it was getting crowded so I hit the road and headed to Carolina Sky Sports in Franklinton NC. to check out their facilities and to get more information on jumping out of an airplane. Getting there was pretty easy and the drive down Highway 56 was scenic. Being that this is the first drop zone I’ve been to, I have no reference on how good or bad it is compared to others but I liked what I saw and everyone I talked to were really nice and were more then happy to answer any questions I had.

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There was a large observation deck out back and I was able to take some photos of some skydivers making their way back to Terra Firma. Well, after talking and watching for a bit, I decided I really wanted to jump from an airplane so I went and asked about scheduling a jump. They told me that due to the 4 straight weekends of rain they had a back log of people already scheduled but they did have spots for one or two people tomorrow (Sunday). At this point I gave Casey a call again, this time not so “happy”, to see if he was up for a jump and he was, so I scheduled us for the 2pm class and headed home.

To end my Saturday I watched Sweeney Todd on DVD. I was not sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. I thought Johnny Depp and Helena Carter did a great job playing Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett as was their singing.

On Sunday, Casey, Lindsay and I met up at Carolina Sky Sports for our 2pm class and the first line of business was to watch a short video explaining the dangers of skydiving. It was hosted by a guy who looked like he was a member of ZZ Top which was amusing. Next we had to sign away our ability to sue pretty much anyone that we, our family, our next of kin, etc could sue in the case we are injured or die from skydiving. Then we paid for the jump and moved to the training room were an instructor ran through the gear used and the process of the first Tandem jump. During this time we could hear a down pour of rain going on which caused a weather delay for the three groups ahead of us which means our jump also got pushed back. The weather delay was lifted not long after we got out of training and the weather was looking good… so we thought. When the third group was on their way up, Casey and I were called into to staging room where we were given a jump suite to squeeze into. Lindsay came in and took pictures of Casey and I in our jump suites and we all chatted with the other two guys and their family who were in our group. Our jump masters came in about 20 mins later after completing their jump with the previous group and attached the tandem harness to Casey and I. So at this point we were ready to go but another storm front moved in and we were grounded. We waited for a while hopping for it to clear but when it got to be around 6pm it was decided to call it a day so Casey, Lindsay and I spent 4 hours at Carolina Sky Sports and all we had to show for it was a rain check to try again later.

Weather 1, Skydiving 0.

We all agreed that the next time we make our attempt that we would try to talk two other friends to jump with us or at least have them come out and be our cheering squad as we fall from the sky (hopefully cheering for our safe decent 🙂 hehe). Lindsay has update their blog with her account of our skydiving adventure including the pictures she took so check them out.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Famous Rabbits

Posted by heymoe on 16th December 2007

Lindsay’s rabbits, Moose and Tuscan, are famous for disapproving. Check it out here. It looks like Moose and Tuscan are riding on Lindsay’s coattails from her TV debut.

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Birthday Pictures

Posted by heymoe on 28th August 2007

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I’ve uploaded the pictures I took at Justin’s 30th Birthday Party. Enjoy!

more pictures

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Justin’s 30th Birthday

Posted by heymoe on 26th August 2007

The party was yesterday but his birthday is today. Happy Birthday old man.. 😛

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Congratulations to Animazement

Posted by heymoe on 28th May 2007

Animazement 2007

Just wanted to congratulate everyone at Animazement for doing a great job in making their 10th year a great success. If I remember right, they had around 4,500 people attend this years convention up from 3,200 last year. They were only projecting 3,500 – 3,600 people this year. I was on-site helping out Saturday and Sunday and thanks to Bex, I got a good workout Sunday with all the work he had me do 🙂 hehe.. There were some really great costumes this year as well as some really scary ones. I heard someone say that one of the rules to picking a CosPlay costume is to pick something that is the complete opposite of your body type.. Any ways. Congratulations once again, See you all next year.

Here are some YouTube videos I found to give you an idea of what you would have seen at Animazement (AZ-X). If you’re lucky you might see me in one.

More Videos

http://www.animazement.org/

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Animazement 2007

Posted by heymoe on 25th May 2007

Animazement 2007

If you’re into Japanese Animation (Anime) and/or Manga, be sure to visit Animazement 2007 in Durham, NC. this weekend. A friend of mine heads up this convention and I lend a hand during the weekend if they need it.

http://www.animazement.org/

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