Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thoughts On... Further Training

At the end of my training, and assuming I pass the exams, I will have two of the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications. Namely:

70-515 - MCTS: .NET 4 Web Application Development
70-516 - MCTS: .NET 4 Data Access

This will put me at 50% completion for the next level up in certification, the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD, no cop jokes, please!). Specifically the web programming cert, MCPD: Web Developer 4. The Web Developer 4 certification requires the following MCTS training to be completed:

70-513 - MCTS: .NET 4, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Development
70-515 - MCTS: .NET 4, Web Application Development
70-516 - MCTS: .NET 4, Data Access
70-519 - PRO:    .NET 4, Designing & Developing Web Apps using .NET 4

Now, there are TONS of .NET web developers out there. And it's entirely possible that I will be able to get a position as a Web Developer with no issue. But the success of any job search is in making yourself stand out from the pack as much as possible, which makes the other option a bit more attractive. The other option being, Windows Developer 4, which requires the following MCTS training to be completed:

70-511 - MCTS: .NET 4, Windows Application Development
70-513 - MCTS: .NET 4, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Development
70-516 - MCTS: .NET 4, Data Access
70-518 - PRO:    .NET 4, Designing & Developing Windows Apps using .NET 4

Logically, the next course I have to take is the 70-513 WCF Development. Assuming I can get the money to pay for the course. My state funding ends with the training I have now. Either way, I'm going to have to make due with what I'll have by the end of my training. But the question I have is what direction I should go in to get the MCPD certification? Either way I want to get the MCPD, but which one?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on... Romantic Insanity

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were talking about the side effects of love. You know, the crazy shit that you are suddenly capable of doing because you are attracted to someone. She told me this story of braving a major snowstorm to be with the one she loved. It was a harrowing journey, but she said being with her loved one made all the problems, fear, and nearly dying on the icy, snowy roads completely worth it. Listening to the story, at the time, was horrifying. I mean how in the hell would anyone with a sense of self-preservation even CONSIDER a trip that could potentially KILL them just to be in the presence of someone? Even if it's someone you care about! No matter what she told me, it just didn't seem real to me. It was just pure insanity! And then there was watching her tell the story. The far away look in her eyes as she told me about all the near misses she had with other cars and how she almost drove off the road into a ditch. I was in total shock. I simply was incapable of understanding why she would do that! That is until this past weekend. 

This past weekend, I came a little closer to understanding where she was coming from. See, recently, I found myself attracted to someone. And this past weekend, I had a possible opportunity to spend some time with her. There was just one problem. The place we were supposed to meet was a half hour drive from me and I didn't have enough gas in the car to make it there and back AND be able to drive to my classes the next week. For a moment, I bowed down to reality and decided not to go. I even went so far as to tell her that it wasn't going to happen. Then, something clicked in my head and I had this intense desire to just drive to see her. My head kept saying, "Just GO!!" After several hours of trying to be reasonable, I just did it. I let her know that I was going anyway and just drove down there. It was completely insane. I could have been stranded far away from home, and missed my job training. The safe play was to just stay home and re-schedule for another night. But, I was COMPELLED to go and see her.

And for the few minutes we were together, it was actually really fun! She looked amazing! And being in her presence was simply.... intoxicating. It wasn't for as long as I'd hoped because something came up and she had to leave, but it was awesome for as long as it was. And completely worth the risk of being stranded and/or missing my classes and being kicked out of the training.

Only now, at the end,  do I finally understand what my friend had been saying all those years ago. But I still think that driving into a NEW ENGLAND snow storm was completely insane, and even now I still wouldn't do it. But I can follow the motivation that drove her to taking that trip.

What about you, my dear readers, what have craziness have you done for the one to whom you are attracted?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 10... Sci-Fi "Yo Mama" Jokes

For those of my dear readers who are too young to remember, back in the day, we had a quirky phenomenon in comedy for those of lower income. We couldn't afford the stuff that the "rich kids" had, and we often lamented our sorrows to each other. Inevitably, somewhere this started a competition over who was worse off. Then during this battle, someone's mom called them in for dinner or something. And th kids were having such a good time, they started grumbling about the kid's mom who called him away. The kid hearing this of course wanting to defend his mom started firing back with his own insults. Then it became a battle of who can come up with the most insulting comment. Something SO BAD, it would just shut the other kid up. Battles would go on for hours!! And the one rule, you could NOT repeat a joke! This is what started the whole bunch of jokes along the lines of:

Yo' Mama is so STUPID, she jumped out a window and went UP!!

To which people responded with "oooooh" and then the person you were battling came up with their own retort.

Yo' Mama is so FAT, she irons her clothes in the DRIVEWAY!!

Today, I found a video of Sci-Fi based Yo Mama jokes!!! To view the video you can click here. The audio is kind of shabby so I wrote out the list below. Check 'em out!!

10) Yo Mama is SO fat, the Enterprise's 5 year mission was to get around her!
09) Yo Mama got so many reverse polarity muon fluxes, she needs a re-calibrated reverberating
hydrospanner just to avoid the particle acceleration side effects!!
08) Yo Mama is so dumb, she thinks S-Y-F-Y is the right way to spell Sci-Fi!
07) Yo Mama is so ugly, SkyNet sent a Terminator back in time to smack her PARENTS!
06) Yo Mama is so fat, they had to beam her down is separate pieces!
05) Yo Mama is so dumb, she likes Star Trek Nemesis!
04) Yo Mama is so old, Cthulu signed her yearbook!
03) Yo Mama is so fat, I ate the SPICE and I STILL can't see the end of her butt!
02) Yo Mama is so fat, Jabba said, "DAMN!!"
01) Yo Mama is so fat, it takes TWO rings to bind her!

My personal favorite is #7. I've also been working on a few of my own:
**) Yo Mama is so ugly, after busting out a guy's chest & seeing her, the baby Alien went BACK IN!
**) Yo Mama is so nasty, they named her fart the Death Star!
**) Yo Mama is so dumb, when she heard "Tardis" she got feathers to go with it!!
**) Yo Mama is so ugly, not even Captain KIRK would hit that!!
**) Yo Mama is so old, she makes the Emperor look like a teenager!
**) Yo Mama is so dumb, when she heard "lightsaber" she thought it had less calories!!

What about YOU, my dear readers? Give me some of your best Sci-Fi Yo Mama jokes!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prometheus Has Landed... A Movie Review

When I first heard about Prometheus, I remember the director, Ridley Scott, vehemently stating that the movie was NOT a prequel of Alien series. He kept the story going for awhile, but then finally relented and admitted that it was a prequel. But, after watching the movie, I can understand his point of view. A prequel, in the most basic sense of the word, is just a story that hits the necessary bullet points to allow the starting situations of a previously published story. The best prequels are usually very engaging, but they still only bring about what's necessary. In that sense, Prometheus is not a prequel. The events in the movie do allow for the the rest of the films in the series to come into fruition, but they also build an entirely NEW storyline. The way the movie plays out, it is entirely possible to create Prometheus 2, have it connected strongly with Prometheus and have NOTHING ELSE to do with the Alien film franchise AT ALL.

And I know that's what Ridley Scott was going for because of the reactions I've read online to Prometheus. People walked in with a specific expectation of what was going to happen, and were given something else entirely. Without ruining the film, I can't go into specific issues, but in general the consensus on the complaints people have is that the movie leaves too many questions unanswered. And that is essentially the point. Ridley Scott created a brand new film that is strongly tied to the Alien franchise, but can AND DOES stand on its own. This is why there are so many unanswered questions. Prometheus is the start of Alien AND SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY that just happens to take place in the same conceptual universe.

Speaking of concepts, let's talk about the story of Prometheus. No, I'm not going to ruin it for you. But the broad strokes of the plot are simple to map out. After some bizarre discoveries on earth, a scientific research mission is dispatched to explore a planetary system that could be the home of the creators of humanity. And, of course, when they get there, bad things start happening. The interesting part of the story for me, is the return to the core concepts of Alien. Things like the issues with overly optimistic science, the problems with scientific research without morality, and the dangers of operating with no caution or respect for safety in an entirely foreign environment. Although, I really enjoyed the evolutionary themes presented in the film and the many touches upon the religious aspects of the events of the film. 

To bring this story to life, Ridley Scott assembled a masterful cast. The whole cast was top notch, but my personal favorite had to be Michael Fassbender as the artificial life form (aka android), David. Fassbender's most powerful gift in his acting is the subtle changes he can make in his face and posture which adds whole volumes to his performance. Little flickers of disappointment and disillusionment, minor points of fascination and wonder, turned what would have been a stoic, cold performance to something much more compelling to watch. (I also LOVED the viral videos!!)Knowing the Alien universe, I knew walking in certain things were going to happen regarding David, so the disturbing nature of his performance was to be expected. But having that knowledge just made me enjoy Fassbender's portrayal all that much more!

The real surprise for me, in terms of casting, was Noomi Rapace, who plays Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. I was unfamiliar with her before this film. I had heard that she was the original Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish "Girl With Dragon Tattoo" series. (But I'm not Swedish, so I didn't see them.) She did have a part in the Sherlock Holmes sequel, A Game of Shadows, but she wasn't really showcased in that film, so I really had no idea of what she could do. After watching her in Prometheus, I can safely say that she is a truly amazing actress. In my opinion, she had the hardest role to portray in the film as her character had to journey from the traditional idealistic scientist to hardened survivalist scientist. Portraying someone who's world falls apart JUST as she seemingly is getting everything she wants is a very complex task and Noomi Rapace handles it effortlessly. It was truly epic to watch.

Rounding out the cast were Charlize Theron, who brought what's becoming her trademark intensity to her role as Meredith Vickers, corporate head honcho of the mission; and the always amazing Idris Elba who plays the captain of the Prometheus, Janek. While his part was a small one in the film, he did bring the "every day working stiff" mentality to the film which served to ground the story by showing that effect the search for truth has on the everyday workers.

In end, the thing that I enjoyed most was that Prometheus wasn't a horror film. Like his original foray in this universe, Ridley Scott made Prometheus a suspense thriller, and then added a mystery movie booster. Prometheus is a movie that truly plays with the expectations you walk in with, and holds you at the edge of your seat while making you think that you're going to get what you want, and instead offers you an entirely new product to enjoy.

If you're looking for an intense ride, even if you have NEVER seen any of the Alien films, I would definitely recommend Prometheus. It is an Oscar Calibur film!