Sorry I haven't been around- between the triumph of the Star Wars "Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit here in L.A. and the tragedy of my brother Tom's murder last week, I just haven't had time for much elife. Add my computer rebuild of the past month, and it's like a forced vacation...
But I'll post a review of the exhibit Gala event shortly. I probably won't feel too motivated until after Tom's funeral, though.
Greetings, all! I hope that the New Year is finding you well!
Many of you know of my long association with Lucasfilm through various children's charities, specifically as an officer in the 501st Stormtrooper Legion and a member of the Rebel Legion costuming group. As a thank you for our years of service on the behalf of so many philanthropic fronts, Rose Parade Grand Marshal George Lucas has selected many of us to participate in the parade. I am marching tomorrow, New Year's Day, and thought I would just post an FYI now that I know what my Rose Parade assignment is- watch for me and cheer us on!
I live for the opportunity to perform the occasional voiceover, and take a certain delight in mimicry and vocal sound effects. The song in my heart often rises to the surface and becomes the tune on my lips, be it Bono or Bing.
I find an unbridled joy in this ad from the UK, extolling the virtues of the Honda motorcar using a soundtrack of voices in the acoustically marvelous venue of a parking garage. Garrison Keillor, appropriately, does the spoken introduction.
The H-Wing is mostly restored -and back on the charity-event circuit- thanks to the folks that have helped with equipment and time. We've now had the car for 6 years (5 in H-Wing mufti), and put 90,000 miles on her.
Still to do: Fixes: Repaint the hood. Touch up paint- entire car. Repair/replace seats. Repair/replace antenna. Replace vinyl graphics Fix the aux lights, either with lights or PA speakers, but plug up the holes.
Install: Install fog lamps. Install the gun tip strobes. Procure and install lights, automation circuit and sound effects for R2. Procure and install sound effects for car. Procure and install power supply for computer.
Recently completed: Alarm installed. Interior panels reuphulstered. Nurnies/rivets repaired. Brakes done. Wheels aligned. Front control arms fixed.
Whilst driving to Griffith Observatory via the 10 freeway last week, some kids took advantage of the tragically slow traffic to examine the H-Wing. They were aboard what we call "the short bus", those tiny transports usually reserved for tots political correctness has dubbed "developmentally disabled"; we used to call them "retarded". At the charity events I do, they are called "differently-abled".
Most of the kids were excited to see the car, waving and calling out the windows. Their speech difficulties identified them pretty solidly in the "differently-abled" category. But they were having a great time, yelling at R2 and generally upsetting their bus driver.
As traffic began to speed up, and I finally passed the front of the bus, I heard the following from the window just behind the driver's seat:
"DUDE! Your car is totally retarded!"
It was called out with the slurred voice of authority, and I got the feeling that I had just been dissed by the coolest kid on the short bus, who won a bloodless coup and showed how much cooler he was than I amongst his peers.
I had a smile on my face all day knowing that, among the short bus crowd, I was in the short car.
The H-Wing has returned home. It still needs an awful lot of work, and
I have more questions the more I poke around.
On the plus side, after a lot of pressure from folks I put a "donation"
button up at www.h-wing.com, and people are actually helping out! I
must say it's heartwarming and humbling. The only tangible feedback on
the car I usually get (aside from the occasional note under the
wiperblades) is hate mail, so it's really a shock to see people give
praise with their pocketbooks. Thanks to those that have helped out- I'll send something more personal directly to you.
I've received so many questions of late, many due to rumor
and misinformation, so I've decided to send out an FAQ. Sorry if you know this
already, or if you're hearing this for the first time. ____________________________________________