Posted in Quotes

Fan

Image result for Mila Kunis

I’m still a ‘Star Trek’ fan. You never stop being one.   Mila Kunis

Milena Markovna “Mila” Kunis (born August 14, 1983) is an American actress. In 1991, at the age of seven, she moved from Soviet Ukraine to the United States with her family. After being enrolled in acting classes as an after-school activity, she was soon discovered by an agent. She appeared in several television series and commercials, before acquiring her first significant role at age 14, playing Jackie Burkhart on the television series That ’70s Show (1998–2006). Since 1999, she has voiced Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy.

 

 

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Posted in Travel and Diversions

Star Trek Original Series Set Tour

 

I was on the 3rd day of a solo vacation, location Ticonderoga, New York located on the northern end of Lake George.  After a night at a local campground I head towards the French and Indian War fort on the southern end of Lake Champlain.  It is early, so I do what I normally do when what I am going to is not open, I  wander.  My meandering takes me to the Walmart for a few supplies and then I head downtown.  I am always looking for a comic books,  gun shops,  2nd hand stores, just kind of open to the universe and what may be around the next corner.

That is when I see some very distinct letters, gold in color on the side of building, Star Trek Original Series Set Tour, I pull in.  The building appears to have once been a store, possibly a small mom and pop grocery store in downtown Ticonderoga.   The sign on the door informs me it will not be open for a couple of hours.  I decide to stick with my original plan, see the fort first and then come back here.

The fort is very enjoyable, I  have a great talk with a reenactor who was lawyer but decided to give it up to do something he truly enjoys, that conversation lasted a  good twenty minutes while he cobbled together some hand made shoes for other reenactors.  The rest of the tour is interesting and educational, along the way I talked to a couple of people, another reenactor, the guy running the gift shop, I asked them about the Star Trek thing downtown, neither of them know much about it, except the fact that William Shatner was at it a couple of weeks ago.  Promising I think, maybe it is something more than just a few relics from the original show in glass cases with the theme music playing in the background.

I drive back downtown and park right out front.  It’s a Thursday in May, not the height of the tourist season yet so emptiness is to be expected.  I go in, pay the $22.50 for a ticket from a nice lady behind the counter and look at some items in the display cases while another tour of three people finish up.

Then it is just me and my tour guide (sorry I do not remember your name, and you never sent me an e-mail for those free download codes that I promised you.)  He is younger than me, very energetic and extremely knowledgeable.  He leads me to a double set of wooden sliding doors, I kinda feel like I am about to enter someone’s bedroom from inside of their walk in closet.  He pulls a string to open the doors and we walk in.

Do you know that feeling you get when you see that beginning credits for a long awaited Marvel movie,  or when Lucy walks thru the wardrobe and finds herself in Narnia, maybe if everything is just right on a summer day and you open a comic book after the cover has been burrowing into your mind all the way home.   That is how walking into this meticulously rebuilt set of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 made me feel, like I was transported to a place I had always dreamed about but never really believed I could get to.

I am a Trekker, I grew up on the re-runs, the adventures of Kirk, Spock and McCoy ignited my love for all things sci-fi, this was a couple of years before Luke, Han and Leia came along. (sorry George, Gene got there first.)   I daydreamed about being Captain Kirk’s nephew  at least a decade before Wesley Crusher moved onto the NCC-1701-D.

The first room on the tour is the Transporter Room, the gateway to all adventures off the ship, the place where trouble started, trouble ended, or stories took a dramatic turn.   If you were going to have a face to face with your enemies or your allies this where it happened.  By the time I got halfway thru the tour,   I admitted to the tour guide, that if I would have known how great the tour was I would have paid double.

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The rest of the tour is was as great as the first part, Kirk’s quarters, the Jeffery Tube, the Engine Room, and finally the wonderful, the fantastic, the place that every Trek fan would love to have duplicated in their own home, The Bridge.  I got to sit in Kirk’s chair, I got to look over all the buttons at Spock’s station, I got to examine Sulu’s console.  They even have the background noises playing as if operations were ongoing and the crew just stepped away for a second.

The only flaw I could see, and it is not really a flaw, is no ceiling.  This was the rebuilt set and they had to light the sets from above so that is to be excused and ignored.  Although I was told by my guide that they are thinking of putting a ceiling on the bridge because in one episode it was shown, so that is cool.

The big question you have to ask yourself when traveling, ‘would you go back again?’   This is different for different people and you have to weigh out your priorities when it comes to travel.  I love to travel and my goal is to see different things, new places,  and have diverse experiences .  Given the choice to go back and see things a second time versus seeing something I have never seen before I would most likely default to seeing the new thing.  There is something to be said to exploring a place fully of course,  I have been to Disney, Gettysburg, the Grand Canyon and Washington numerous times and I will go back to them at the drop of a tribble.  Other places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, Hershey, New York City, the Outer Banks I could go back to but it would not be high on my list.

The Star Trek Original Series Tour is a place I would go back to in a heart beat.  Probably not alone, I want to go back with my brothers who were right there with me on the floor watching that big old box set in the basement as Kirk fought the Klingons with a sword.  I want to go back with my buddy Scott who has talked to me for countless hours about science fiction and comic books.  I want to go back  with my daughter who has never watched an episode of Star Trek, but the tour brought me so much joy that she would probably enjoy it by osmosis.

The area around Lake George is gorgeous, majestic mountains and I would love to spend time on the lake, and Vermont is just a very short ferry ride away.  (Travel tip for the ferry:  If you go on a windy day, the water will be choppy and the ride across is a little rough and kind of fun.) There are countless little hotels, cabins for rent and campgrounds in the area and the summer weather is beautiful.

Oh and before I forget, they let you turn on the Red Alert from just about anywhere on the ship, I did it three times.

Posted in Quotes

History

And it seems to me important for a country, for a nation to certainly know about its glorious achievements but also to know where its ideals failed, in order to keep that from happening again.    George Takei

George Hosato Takei (born April 20, 1937) is an American actor, director, author, and activist. Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu,helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.  Takei’s involvement in social media has brought him new fame. His Facebook page currently has over 9.7 million likes since he joined in 2011, and he frequently shares photos with original humorous commentary.  He is a proponent of LGBT rights and active in state and local politics in addition to his continued acting career. He has won several awards and accolades in his work on human rights and Japanese-American relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum.

georgetakei
George with John Wanye in The Green Berets
Posted in Movie Speeches

Humans – Speech

From the show, Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi Quark tells about human beings and how they return to their base nature after a little deprivation.
QuarkDS9

Quark: Let me tell you something about Humans, Nephew. They’re a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holo-suites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people… will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don’t believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
The Youtube Clip

That is why I love science fiction, it allows us to select a point of view outside of ourselves and look towards us and point to our weaknesses and our strengths. I believe it is a true statement, take away most people’s creature comforts, our clean sheets, easy food, and put our future in jeopardy and we revert to our animalistic ways. That is why I believe in regularly putting myself in a less than pleasant situation, so that if I should truly be deprived it will not be a total shock to me.

Armin Shimerman

Played by the Armin Shimerman.

Posted in Quotes

Presist

Isaac-Asimov-007

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist. Isaac Asimov

A P.H.D. in Biochemistry, who was only accepted into graduate studies on a probationary basis. His books have been published in nine out of ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification. The Oxford English Dictionary credits his science fiction for introducing the words positronic (an entirely fictional technology, creating a artificial brain) which I have used in my own writing of the Outfitters Universe stories.

And according to Gene Roddenberry he once unknowingly ‘hushed’ Asimov when Roddenberry’s Star Trek pilot was premiering at a science fiction convention in the sixties.

Isaac_Asimov I just sent out my story Scout’s Out to Baen Publisher, will try and send it out to a different publisher every week.

Posted in Outrageous Lies and Tales

The place to go for Answers

George adjusted his chair at the reference desk just so and waited for his first patron of the day.  George loved this job helping people find things, looking up strange tidbits of information, and just increasing his own knowledge.  He had been doing this for six months and had enjoyed every day, nice people, quiet and the only unusual things that happened here were strange requests for strange information.

 

9:00 am.

The door opened and in walked a pair of gentleman, and older white man and a younger black man, nicely dressed in identical black suits,  identical white shirts and identical ties, either business men or some sort of religious thing, it really didn’t matter to George his job was to help people gather knowledge.

“Yes, gentlemen, how can I help you?”

“We are looking for a book that just arrived, from Africa, about yea big” the man motioned with his hands about two feet apart “weighing about 15 pounds, and smelling pretty badly.”

George obviously had a quizzical look on his face, and the younger of the two men started speaking.  “Sorry about my friend’s strange request, we are from Customs and the book has some very bad terminates.”

“I assure you gentleman, no book in this library has terminates, all old and rare books are quarantined before being placed on our shelves, and any suspected book is kept in a deep freeze for thirty days, to kill any biological vectors that might be present.”

By this time the older man had stepped away and was apparently talking to a set of encyclopedias.  That is when he noticed the younger man pull out a silver tube and place a pair of sunglasses on his face.

 

10:30 a.m.

George looked down at his watch, where had the morning gone, and why had he not had any patrons, granted the reference section was often slow on nice sunny days but he could not seem to recall anyone coming in yet.  The door chimed and three very nice looking young people came in, most likely high school students doing some sort of summer project, it was nice to see young people in the library, not all knowledge could be found on the computer at least not yet.   The girl spoke first.

“Hello, we are looking for a book, a very old book; we have been to every book dealer in the city and just cannot seem to locate it.”  She stated this with a very nice British accent.

“Well you have come to the right place; if I cannot help you then I am not sure who can.”  George said smiling.  “Now then what book are you looking for?”

The red-headed boy spoke now.  “It is called “Ridiculous Enchantments, but I am sure you will not be able to tell us anything about it.”

A nice British aceent, must be here on some sort of summer school trip. George shook his head initially “You are correct I don’t know anything about it, but let me ask you a question or two before I begin searching, is it an English language book?

The red head nodded.

“And is it fiction or non-fiction?

This seemed to stump the children.  “Fiction or non-fiction?”  The third boy finally spoke up that is when George noticed a particular scar on his forehead, right above his glasses.

“Yes, is it a true story, or does it puropte itself to be a true account of something.

The girl spoke up.  “I am not sure what you would classify it as, but I think most people would believe it to be untrue. “

The red head mumbled something under his breath.  “At least to struggles, it would be untrue.”  At least that is what George thought he said.

After a few more questions, about the author, or who published it, or where it was printed, all of which the kids could not answer, George tried to search by book title in the computer and in the card catalog, both of which resulted in no findings.  The girl was the most helpful but the boys stayed off by themselves talking in low tones.  After George explained to the kids the difficulty in the search and if he had more information he might be able to help them more, the red-headed boy nodded to the boy with the glasses who said.  “Sorry about this but it is for your protection,”, and pulled out a stick, waved it and said “Obilivate”.

 

12:00 Lunchtime.

George ate his tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread, and read this month’s addition of Reader’s Digest alone in the break room.   He found the note Mary left for him, ‘Love you hope you had a good morning.’   The note gave him time to pause for a second.  Did he have a good morning?   Then he went back to Humor in Uniform.

 

1:00 p.m.

He had back at his desk for a half an hour now and looked around, everything was in place, nothing needed to be shelved and nothing needed to be put away, which was strange, usually by this time everyday things were getting a bit disorderly.   A low hum and a strange light caught his peripheral vision and he looked up and there were two gentlemen standing in front of him, he had not even heard the chime on the door announcing their presence in the reference room.

“Yes, may I help you?”   He addressed them, the one in a yellow velour shirt stepped forward and the one in the blue velour shirt pulled out some sort of computer strapped around his neck.

“Yes, we need some help” and he gestured with his hands towards George, pausing with the gesture “we need to find some information on whales” again the thing with the hands, and the pausing.  George guessed English might not be his first language.  “

“Okay, what type of whales or just whales in general?”

The one in the yellow shirt nodded to the one in the blue and he came forward. “Specifically we are looking for mammals of the family Balaenoteridae, species: Megaptera Novaeangliae or commonly referred as the humpback whales, more importantly their soundings, the noises they create under water commonly referred to as songs and what those songs may communicate.”

“I see.”  George replied. “Okay let us begin with a computer search.”  And George motioned towards the machine.

“I see, and this computer will have all the information we seek?”  The gentleman in blue questioned.

“Well it should be a good start.”

The one in yellow turned to the one in blue and stated.  “Since we have access to this machine now, and we do not want to interrupt the time stream any further, perhaps it would be best if you corrected his memory.” He said nodding in George’s direction.

“Of course Captain.”  That is when the tall thin man in blue reached across the desk with his fingers spread apart and put his hands up to George’s face.

 

4:00 p.m.

Where had the day gone, it was almost quitting time and the day had just flown by.  Ah here was a customer an older man in a robe and a teenager, almost a man dressed in what looked could be called a tunic.   George had the weirdest sense of déjà vu that some other strange religious people had been around earlier today but he could not place them.

“Yes gentleman can I help you?

“Yes,” the young man replied.  “We are looking for a way to leave the planet.”

“Something that would avoid any imperial entanglements.” The older man added.

“Hmmm, private space travel, now that is an interesting topic, as for imperial I did read where the royal Saudi family is looking into space travel.  I think I saw something about in an article about Lloyds of London doing the insurance policy.”

“Lloyds is not what we are looking for.”

“Lloyds is not what you looking for.”

 

George arrived home at promptly six o’clock and Mary had dinner waiting for him.  George kissed her on the cheek and then took off his jacket and hung it up in the hall closet.  They sat down to eat and she asked him the same question she asked him every night.  “How was work today?” And at this point he would talk about the college student he had helped with a term paper, or about the little old lady looking up her Scottish roots or whatever thing had happened today.  It was at that point, George had to ask himself, how was work today, he stopped himself, and looked at the mash potato spoon in his hand.

“What is wrong dear, something bad happen at work today?”

            “I honestly don’t know I am drawing a complete blank.”

 

This story came about from a conversation I had at Disney World, more specifically Disney Studios with my daughters friend, MB.  Good trip.