Updated Itinerary

Progess is being made! I’m calling this Itinerary v0.2. It appears that the only country that will need a visa is Russia. Thus, I’m going to going to start my travels there since it will have to be the most planned part of this trip. I talked with Jeff last night, as he had traveled to Russia several years ago, and got some good information on places to go. I’m hoping to have trip start and end dates locked down and reserved by the end of March, along with all the Russian parts locked down and reserved. 

I also talked with Quinn and Charlie, both of whom have indicated they would at least be interested in doing some traveling with me as well. I have calls in to Katelyn and Erin, both of whom have been and are currently in Turkey, respecitvely.

Below is a list of places that I think I would like to visit, in roughtly the order that I would visit them. I’ve also added notes (mostly to myself) about things I’d like to do there. I think this seems like a more managable list than previously. I’m also trying to setup a framework of things to do, however still allow the trip to progress organically.

  • Day 1: 
    Seattle, Washington 
    Dulles, Washington, DC
  • Airplane/10 hrs/UA964
  • Day 2: Moscow, Russia12
    • Red Square
    • The Kremlin
    • GUM
  • Airplane/1.25 hrs/$60 USD/Rossiya – Russian Airlines3
  • Day 6: St. Petersburg, Russia45
  • Bus/6 hrs/€30 ($40 USD)/EuroLines
  • Day 10: Tallin, Estonia6
  • France:
    • Paris, France (Paris Air Show – 15 to 21 June 2009)
    • Toulouse, France7
    • La Barre, France8
    • Vélizy, France9
    • Bidos, France ((787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty))
  • Italy:
    • Rome, Italy
    • Venice, Italy
    • Grottaglie, Italy10
    • Agnone, Italy11
  • Switzerland
    • Arbon, Switzerland
    • Interlaken, Switzerland12
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
    • I’ve heard you can visit Chernobyl…could be cool.
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Germany -> Seattle (UA8718)

Alternates:

  • Sweden13
  • Denmark->Seattle (UA9394)
  • Romania
  • Macedonia

  1. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/moscow.htm 

  2. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/moscow/sights 

  3. http://www.anywayanyday.ru/en/ 

  4. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/petersbu.htm 

  5. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/st-petersburg/sights 

  6. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/scan/tallinn.htm 

  7. 787 Production Stop: Groupe Latécoère 

  8. Birthplace of Jean-Luc Picard 

  9. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  10. 787 Production Stop: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/275606_italy28.html 

  11. We visited Agnone a couple of years, it’s where my maternal great-grandfather was born, and  I’ve wanted to return here to just spend a few days hanging out 

  12. I’ve heard this is a must 

  13. 787 Production Stop: Saab 

Endgame

I finished watching the last of the Star Trek: Voyager episodes last week, which makes me 87% complete. Only 98 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and then the new movie and I’ll be done. The last episode of Voyager, Endgame, was decent. I still like “All Good Things…” (from TNG) better. However, I think that Endgame is a pretty good metaphor for my life.

I’ve been out here in Colorado for the last five years on a journey of my own, lost in the Delta quadrant you might say. The end is now clearly in sight, and I’m wondering if maybe it’s the journey that matters:

“I think it’s safe to say no one on this crew has been more… obsessed with getting home than I have. But when I think about everything we’ve been through together, maybe it’s not the destination that matters. Maybe it’s the journey, and if that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be, or any people I’d rather be with.”
– Harry Kim, to the Voyager senior staff

25 Random Things About Me

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

  1. I’m an introvert.
  2. I want to go into space (and visit the Moon, specifically), but probably won’t get the chance.
  3. I plan on getting my EMT.
  4. I plan on getting my pilots license.
  5. I plan on getting a masters degree (although I don’t know in what).
  6. I plan on getting my professional engineers license.
  7. My blood type is O+
  8. I have a website: http://andrewferguson.net
  9. I’ve been consistently blogging since 2003 (2099 posts and counting).
  10. I listen to NPR podcasts when I go to bed (Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me; This American Life; Radio Lab; Car Talk).
  11. My goal is see every single Star Trek TV show and movie, in order, before I graduate college.
  12. So far, I’ve watched 661 Star Trek episodes and movies, I have 116 left.
  13. I enjoy programming, especially in PHP.
  14. I enjoy taking photographs and I want to expand.
  15. I’m thinking about going on a mission trip this summer.
  16. I’ll be working in Seattle for Boeing after I graduate.
  17. Out of all five of the years I’ve been in college, I serously think this year has been my favorite.
  18. I think it’s been my favorite because of the amazing community I found at MERGE and The Annex.
  19. I’m worried about going back to Seattle.
  20. I used to drink rediculous amounts of Dr Pepper. Now I try to limit myself.
  21. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety.
  22. I used to have lots of panic attacks in school, all the way into high school. I do pretty well now.
  23. I turn 23 on Saturday.
  24. I share the exact same birthday as my mom…only 30 years later.
  25. I think it’s harder to be a Christian and an American than it is to be a Christian and a scientist. I struggle every day.
  26. I can’t put my contacts in using two hands, I have to do it with one hand. I blame my dad for this.

Note: I’m posting this on my blog, which is then sucked into my Facebook Notes.

CSO Goes to the Movies – Trek: The Concert

One of the great things about going to the Colorado School of Mines is that we get $5 tickets to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Which, if I can manage to get a good seat, is a 93% discount. CSO posted their 08/09 schedule over the summer and I took a gander at. One concert immediately caught my attention: Trek: The Concert. I put it on my schedule at least four months ago and this last weekend the moment finally came!

I headed down to the Denver Performing Arts Complex and met Smiley and his girlfriend there. We got front row seats and proceeded to enjoy the music of Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Leonard Rosenman, Cliff Eidelman, and Dennis McCarthy.

Between each piece, John de Lancie (Q) and Marina Sirtis Robert Picardo (The Doctor) delivered comedic anecdotes about Star Trek and lore thereof.

I hung around for a while afterward, hoping to catch a glimpse and maybe even a photograph or autograph of de Lancie or Picardo. However, surmise they took the back exit.

I did manage to get my picture taken with some Klingons though!
IMG_0297

What You Leave Behind

It’s taken about seven months to get here, but 7,920 minutes later, I’ve finished watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It’s kind of bitter sweet, really. DS9 was a great series. But I must press on.

Latest Details of The Star Trek Project:
Minutes Seen: 21370
Minutes Left: 11976
Episodes Seen: 466
Episodes Left: 271
% Complete: 64.09%
% Left: 35.91%

I’ll be starting Star Trek: Voyager, which I hope to finish sometime early next semester. Then it’s on to Star Trek: Enterprise which I hope to complete before I’m done with school. Finally, Star Trek comes out on May 8th, which is the day I graduate. Coincidence? I think not. I’m planning on going to the midnight showing of that to complete my Tour de Force.

Crisis of Plan

I think there’s a misconception floating around that everyone things I know exactly what I want to do in life. This is a myth, kind of: if right now was 1959, I’d be working for the McDonnell Aircraft Company building the capsules for Project Mercury. I’d later work on Project Gemini, Apollo, and SkyLab programs before helping design the Space Transport System. If I was lucky, I’d even get to ride up into space to do a stint on the International Space Station.

For the longest time, I thought programs like those still existed. Over the years, I’ve found that the “glory day of engineering” jobs don’t really exist anymore and working at Boeing has proven a big eye-opener to that fact. I think I also romanticized the idea of being an engineer working on the space program.

These two issues put me in what I’ll call my crisis of plan. You see, I had the future mapped out. Not in step by step detail, but more or less what type of job I wanted to do. To discover that I was a half-century too late was heartbreaking. I happened to come across something that I think captures my feelings pretty accurately, on the topic of Engineer at Uncyclopedia:
From uncyclopedia.org:

Star Trek is famous for its unrealistic, but very exciting, portrayal of engineers. In fact, nearly 83% of engineering students claim that they chose to pursue their specialty with the assumption that after passing their PE exam, they’d be assigned to a starship (NCC class or higher) and would spend their remaining days reporting warp core status to smooth, attractive captains or having sex with a diverse array of alien life forms. These engineers are incredibly disappointed to learn that their “captains” are mediocre managers who were promoted so the company wouldn’t have to clean up their engineering.

So where does that leave me now? Well, the search is on. I think I’m in a better position now then I was – even a year ago – to understand how engineering is done. I still want to work on space programs and that’s what I’m going to pursue because that’s what I love, even if it’s not the romanticized engineering I dream of.

I’m still holding out hope, though, that there I’ll be able to find my Shangri-La. I’m confident it still exists somewhere, it’s just not where I expected it to be.

Image caption: An engineer at the Instrumentation Laboratory inspects a mockup of the guidance and navigation system that will be used aboard NASA’s Project APOLLO spacecraft. The spacecraft will carry three U.S. astronauts to the moon and back. Instrumentation Laboratory, together with several participating contractors, is designing and developing the guidance and navigation system.
Image credit: MIT Office of Public Relations, undated MIT Photo

Andrew Ferguson: The Final Frontier

My friend Ben and Mike took a film studies class this past semester for their final LAIS (Language Arts and International Studies) class. Part of the goal of the class was to make an actual film and Ben and Mike wanted to make one about me.

Being the general good sport that I am and also my somewhat long love affair I have with film (and being creative in general), I was more then happy to have them make a mocumentry about me.

Now, I feel the need to point out that while the film is based on me, it is still very mockumentry in nature. In short, they’ve taken little bits of my life and blown them waaaay out of proportion. Some parts are also made up and don’t have any truth to them at all. I really can’t emphasize this enough.

Also, I’m only an actor (and technical consultant). I didn’t write the script, I didn’t film it, I didn’t edit it. Please, have a good laugh. I certainly did. But remember that it’s still a mockumentry and should be treated as such. (Note: the only reason I bring this point up is that I think people who don’t actually know me will get the wrong impression. I’m more then happy to poke fun at myself, as long as others realize it’s all in good fun.)

Enjoy – Andrew Ferguson: The Final Frontier: