Merry Christmas!

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Just a quick one today to wish you all a Merry Christmas. If you are celebrating today I hope you have a wonderful day. If today is just another Sunday I hope that you have a wonderful day too.

Sir, I protest, I am not a merry man!

Worf (Star Trek: The Next Generation – Qpid)

Why is Christmas always merry? I have no idea. Apparently it is though so unless you are a Klingon in Sherwood Forest I hope you have a merry day.

Having said that I am not merry either! Today I will be gathering with my family for food presents, and good company. To me that is what this Christmas is all about – my family are not Christians but we always spend the day together.

I want to close by saying a big thank you to all those people who have to work today. Whatever it is that you do thank you and I hope you will get the time to spend with your families over this period.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Arena (TOS)

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In this episode Captain Kirk fights a lizard man.

I am being flippant in that opening sentence but that is only because I do not have a lot to say about this episode. Don’t misread that. This is not a bad episode it is just that because much of it is action there isn’t much to say.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The Gorn costume doesn’t look the best. However given the limitations of the time I think they did a damn good job. And honestly, relatively speaking, it is about as good as the CGI Gorn we would later get in Enterprise. Given the story, the Gorn had to look more alien than just a human in strange clothes. Nevertheless I don’t think he needed to make quite so many noises while fighting.

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The Enterprise arrives at Cestus III. The crew are excited to take advantage of the famed hospitality of the base’s Commodore. Well not Spock. He would never stoop to expressing an emotion as base as excitement!

When they materialise on the planet they discover the base has been destroyed. I am forced to wonder why the damage was not spotted as soon as they entered orbit.

I am nitpicking again. It is a useful crutch because it is either this or think about the real world. Who wants that?

Kirk concludes that the messages that brought them here were faked. Soon the landing party comes under fire.

The battle is done well. You really feel as though the crew are in danger. Pretty soon one of the redshirts dies. That is not exactly news.

Before that though we get a rather odd line from Spock. He has picked up the Gorn (we don’t know their name yet) on his tricorder and describes them as non-human. Er Spock you aren’t human either. Nothing wrong with not being human it just seems like a strange thing for him to say.

Kirk orders the landing part beamed. Sulu is unable to do that as the Enterprise has come under fire.

This is the first time that an inability to beam through shields has been mentioned. It will continue to be an important detail throughout the francize. Except when the writers decide they don’t want it to be true this week.

Kirk is a bit of a micromanager when it comes to the battle. Since he has left Sulu in command you would think he would trust him to defend the Enterprise.

Eventually the landing party are beamed up. The Enterprise heads off in pursuit of the Gorn. Kirk concludes that the plan must have been to lure the Enterprise to Cestus III, destroy it, and thus leave the Federation open to invasion. Kirk decides that the only option is to make sure the Gorn ship never gets home. Doing this will leave the enemy in ignorance as to their strength and hopeful stop a potential invasion.

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In terms of Star Trek this seems like very militant thinking. Honestly though it is hard to argue with Kirk’s way of thinking. The Gorn are shown to be potential as powerful, or maybe more powerful, than Starfleet.

The pursuit leads them to another star system. Both ships are immobilised and hailed by the inhabitance of this system.

We are the Metrons. You are one of two crafts which have come into our space on a mission of violence. This is not permissible. Yet we have analysed you and have learned that your violent tendencies are inherent. So be it. We will control them. We will resolve your conflict in the way most suited to your limited mentalities.

It is a common in Star Trek to impose impose their will on other races. I can’t help but think that if the Metrons are so much more advanced can’t they think of a better way of doing things than a death match?

Apparently not – also I could have done without Uhura screaming when Kirk was taken.

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Kirk defeats the Gorn captain by means of a diamond firing bamboo canon – well it is not bamboo considering this is not Earth. Then we get to the crux of the story. Kirk refuses to kill. The Gorn attacked Cestus III because they saw the colony as an invasion. As such their actions were comparable to Kirk’s determination to destroy their ship.

The Metrons state that neither the Gorn ship nor the Enterprise will be destroyed. Yet they do go on to offer to destroy the Gorn. Knowing this kind of story that was probably just another layer to the test.

The meaning of this story episode is fairy obvious. Kirk’s actions show that there is hope for humans. However there is a whiff of human superiority to the story.

I have never like this aspect of science fiction. The idea that humans are better than other races. I think that this episode would have worked much better if the Gorn had also realised that the Federation need not be an enemy.

The Enterprise is flung 500 parsecs from where they were. Kirk orders them back to Cestus III.

The last few lines of the episode nicely rounds off the story. Kirk recounts his conversation with the Metoron. Who told him that there is hope for humans – although it might take a few thousand years for them to prove they are civilised.

End of episode.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Thoughts on Ukraine

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I wrote what you are about to read at the beginning of the year. It was for an article competition for which I was a runner-up. Unfortunately the war is still going on and what I wrote is still relevant.

I don’t I have anything new, clever, or insightful to say about the situation in Ukraine. I am just going to write and see what comes out.

There have been sanctions against Russia. The same did not happen when the USA and UK were the aggressive force invading Afghanistan and Iraq. I am forced to wonder why.

The word racism has been bandied about on Twitter. Is that the only reason?
When we see the streets of Ukraine being bombed and the displaced people it is heart-breaking. Yet the same thing has been happening around the world before this and the world has not given the same response.

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I think it has to do with the conceit that Europe was ‘fixed’ for want of a better term.

When we invaded the Middle East it was seen as an area that was always fighting but Europe had been at peace for a long time – except that is not entirely true either.

The hard truth is that it is easier to accept horrible things when they are not happening to us.

Maybe if we felt any loss as keenly as we felt the death of one close to us, human history would be a lot less bloody.

Commander Riker (Star trek: The Next Generation – The bonding)

Us is a broad term and I don’t think it is just racism it is any group we don’t feel like we belong to. I might be splitting hairs with that statement.

Nevertheless it is easier to accept horrible things when
we feel it is happening to ‘them.’ The other side of this is that we cannot get emotionally invested in every horrible thing happening on on this planet. If we do we end up as a barely functional shell.

I didn’t know that similarity was required for the exercise of compassion.

Ambassador Delenn (Babylon 5: Confessions and Lamentations)

Delenn is absolutely right. We should exercise compassion no matter who is hurting. The fact of the matter is though, in general, we do seem to need people to be like us. What is like us?

I have been a fan of Star Trek for as long as I can remember. The philosophy of that show is that humans came to a point where we could all work together in peace. Us was the human race and not just the human race but an alliance of other planets.

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In the original series each character came from a different place. Sulu, for instance,
represented Asia, Scotty was Europe and Uhura was Africa. They all worked for the same organisation. To reiterate in Star Trek us was the human race as one whole.

I need to talk about Chekov. Chekov was the navigator on the original Enterprise and he was Russian. This was so important at the time. His first appearance was in 1967, during the Cold War.

Roddenberry was trying to show us that things would get better and the enemy would
become a friend. We are still waiting. And now we have another conflict and another generation that will see Russians as the enemy.

Except it is not really Russians. It wasn’t then and it is not now. And that is true of every war we have ever fought. Leaders make those decisions and everyone else suffers for it.

I do not write this because I have any answers. On the surface the solution is simple. Putin needs to withdraw his forces, resign, and the process needs to be started to set Russia on a course to become a true democracy. It sounds so simple doesn’t it?

I don’t know what is going to happen. I do not know what to think. I do not know anyone in Ukraine. I have not been personally effected. And I can do nothing about it. I just have to hope that this comes to a peaceful resolution as soon as possible.

There is only one small way I have been effected. I have a friend who’s family live in that part of the world. She’s worried about the possibility of the war expanding to other countries. I hope that nothing like that happens.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has been exemplary. He is staying and fighting with his people. I wonder how many people around the world can honestly say their leader would do the same.

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I hope, I hesitate to say think, that Ukraine will come out of this where with their sovereignty in tact. If Ukraine falls I don’t think they will go quietly. Russia will still have a fight on their hands. I cannot help but think of G’Kar’s words when his planet was conquered.

No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever.
There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that
power tyrants and dictators cannot stand.

G’Kar (Babylon 5: The Long Twilight Struggle)

When this pandemic started I had hope. While I knew it would be awful I thought some good might come of it. That people might learn to be kinder and better. That did not happen. And now it is not even over and we have a new crisis to deal with.

Each day we seem to slip further and further away from an idea of peace and treating all
humans with respect. I leave you with the words of the Doctor.

When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who is
going to die. You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn! How
many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill
until everyone does what they were always going to have to do from the beginning.
Sit down and talk.

The Doctor (Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion)

I hope that very soon the fighting ends and the talking begins.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Squire of Gothos – TOS.

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This is one of the best episodes of TOS. I always enjoy watching it.

The Enterprise is passing through a ‘Star desert’. A vast area of nothing. Well the thing about space is that it is already mostly nothing. There are no stars, aside from the sun obviously, for around four light years – would that be considered a ‘star desert’? I don’t know I am a writer not an astrophysicist.

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Kirk and McCoy talk about deserts with an air of romanticism. Spock doesn’t understand this – despite the fact he comes from a desert world! I know. I Know. We hadn’t seen his home world yet.

It is established here that they are 900 light years from Earth. That will be important later. For now let’s get on with the story.

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As if by magic a planet appears. (You have to imagine that sentence like a Mr. Benn narration) Spock notes that it is inconceivable that the planet has gone unnoticed all this time. (Please imagine that word in the voice of Wallace Shawn!)(If you don’t know which of those words I mean go and watch The Princess Bride!)

When the planet appears Kirk and Sulu disappear. Starfleet officers are always being abducted. I always find myself wondering if this kind of stuff happens to all ships – or is the Enterprise just cursed!

A search of the planet shows there is only one small area capable of supporting human life. Spock authorises a landing party.

I made mention last time that planets in Star Trek are always conveniently available. In this episode it makes sense because Trelane wants to meet the crew. However I do question why the writers even bother with the idea that the planet is dangerous when the budget can’t run to EVA suits.

The landing party discover a castle. Inside they find a harpsichord, a salt vampire, and Kirk and Sulu frozen like waxworks. Suddenly the door shuts and a man appears from nowhere playing the harpsichord. This is Trelane. He is played wonderfully by William Campbell who would go on to play Koloth.

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Trelane has been observing Earth through a telescope. This gives us a bit of a problem. There is a bust of Napoleon in the room. Napoleon was in power from 1799 to 1804 – so that would mean that TOS was set in 2699 – which it is not.

My understanding is that Stardates were invented to hide when it was set. This would forestall questions of when a particular technology might have been invented. In a roundabout way, this episode gives us a date. Later episodes hint at TOS being in the 2160s-2190s!

DeSalle raises his weapon. There is always one! Trelane hasn’t done much that could be considered threatening yet. He did kidnap Kirk and Sulu but given the Starfleet ethos shooting him, even in this era, seems a bit premature. Trelane takes the weapon and is gleeful at its power. He also vaporises the salt vampire. It is not like it is an extinct species or anything!

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He welcomes them to Gothos and explains how he created this place by rearranging matter on the planet. Starfleet doesn’t have that technology yet, no matter what Discovery says!

Kirk sees no reason to stay but Trelane thrusts him into the true atmosphere of the planet. After a few seconds of coughing Kirk is brought back and told to behave.

What we have here is (apparently) the standard godlike beings. They appear throughout Star Trek and always seem to want to either experiment on us or to test us. Don’t they have anything better to do? To be fair we are only a few episodes in so it is not a cliché just yet.

Trelane is obsessed with war. He has the banners from various countries on his wall and and speaks of armies marching under them. Sounds almost Klingon doesn’t it?

Ba dum tish

Back on the ship Spock and Scotty figure out how to get the landing party back. There is a beep on Kirk’s communicator and they are beamed away.

Trelane is unhappy with Spock, appears on the bridge, and asks if the natives of Vulcan are ‘predatory’. Spock responds with ‘Not generally but there have been exceptions.’

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World building in TOS is interesting. I don’t think they were trying to build a cohesive universe so lines like that are thrown out. However given what we find out later this could refer to the Romulans. Although now that I think about it Spock only surmised a connection between the two races.

Back in the drawing room Trelane meets Uhura. He refers to her as a ‘Nubian prize’ and assumes she is from a conquered people. Oddly Kirk doesn’t argue with that – probably because he has had enough at this point. Also for Kirk, the idea of Uhura being anything other than a free human would seem ridicules.

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Now that Spock is here they have a much better chance of getting out of this. Saving their asses each week is almost always his job!

After some discussion they conclude that Trelane must have a device helping him. This feels like a bit of a leap of logic. After all Gary Mitchel had superpowers without any obvious external force behind it.

I should say I am looking at this episode 55 years after it was made. I am used to powerful beings in science fiction. I have seen all kinds of god like beings from Q, to the Nox, to Susan Ivanova. So maybe I am more willing to accept a being of power. Kirk’s solution to this problem is to challenge Trelane to a duel. Why? Because Kirk. If it were Sisko he would have punched Trelane in the face! Picard would have quoted Shakespeare. In any event the crew conclude that the mirror is the sauce of his power. This based on little more than the fact that he never goes too far from it.

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Captain’s Log, stardate 2126.1. Delayed report. The whole bridge crew are the unwilling guests of the creature who calls himself Trelane. We are weaponless, powerless, and our only hope of escape with the Enterprise lies in playing his games. I’ve decided to make my move with the field of honour game, and everything depends on my one chance with the ancient duelling pistol.

This log entry feels rather incongruous. It is written as if the events haven’t happened yet.

Kirk’s plan is to shoot the mirror. This is rather silly. Firstly they do not know that the mirror is important, and if it is will a facsimile of a duelling pistol have any effect? Aside from the fact that it works it seems like a big risk.

With the mirror disabled they beam back to the ship but fail to warp away from the planet. Kirk beams back down to the planet for the final showdown with Trelane.

He finds Trelane dressed as a judge and is ready to execute Kirk. However Kirk is able to talk Trelane into a duel. It is amazing how often Starfleet officers get into hand-to-hand combat.

Then we get the reveal. Trelane isn’t a great and powerful being. Trelane is a child.

Two glowing lights appear in the sky. These are Trelane’s parents and they are dissatisfied with the way he is treating his ‘pets’. He is taken away and his parents promise he will be punished. They apologise to Kirk.

Oh and by the way nobody died this week!

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Back on the Enterprise we get a bizarre coda. Teasing Spock. That isn’t the bizarre part. That happens so much. Kirk sees nothing wrong in undermining the first officer in front of the crew. No the strange part is the anachronisms in what Kirk says.

Mischievous planks, Captain?
Yes. Dipping little girls’ curles in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbours’ trees.

Spock and Kirk

According to Wikipedia ink wells were obsolete at the beginning of the 20th century! I remember old desks in school used for our exams – some of them had inkwells. Where they around 50 years old! I wonder if they’re still using them for exams.

This feels like someone from today suggesting that a co-worker might have been involved in a prank involving a quill!

Overall this is a most enjoyable episode. It does have a deus ex machina ending becaue the parents were unknown before they appeared. However in this instance I think it works as a twist and not a copout. All things considered this is a most excellent episode.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Bird Box Solution

I do not think that the idea I am about to present is new. I am sure someone else has come up with it at some point. I wish I knew its name but my Googling Skills are insufficient to the task. So without that I am just going to use my own name. I present to you ‘The Bird Box Solution’.

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Some time ago my parents were looking for a leaflet holder. They wanted something simple, probably plastic, that would sit on a counter. The type of thing that might hold the menus in a takeaway.

What they found was that these things are rather expensive. This is probably a consequence of a rather limited market. So they decided to think outside the box – ironically that was a box.

They bought a bird box, more square than then one in the picture, took the top off and had the perfect place for leaflets to sit in.

This happened a few years ago but recently it got me thinking about how we approach problems. Sometimes we have to come at things from a new angle. Our resources, money, time, or manpower might not allow for doing things in the most obvious way.

When you need a hammer and you don’t have one, use a pipe!”

Kira Nerys (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Return to Grace)

So I ask you what problem are you trying to resolve in your life at the moment? Could it be resolved by looking at it in a different way?

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Ironically things have changed since I began writing this post.

When I started I thought I had found a ‘birdbox solution’ to my productivity woes. (Again, again…)

This solution was to use an app designed for tracking housework to track all my to-do list stuff. It seemed to work for a while but then I became disheartened with it!

I bought a diary instead, a paper diary, which might help.

Nevertheless I still stand by the idea presented here. One thing I still want is a standing desk but I have never found one that is quite right for me. Maybe I just need a table at the right height!

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Title Loading…

It is interesting to me, and probably no one else, that a title is the first thing I need. Writing is funny that way. You open a document, or start a blog post, and sometimes you have no idea where it is going to go. It is interesting. It is frustrating.

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For a few years now I have been writing morning pages. The idea is to dump all your morning thoughts to clear your mind. I tend to get caught up in making it a diary. This is not so good as I often don’t have much to say.

I have heard it said that morning pages is best done longhand. While I certainly understand the reasoning behind that I use my iPad. Why? Because my handwriting is probably outmatched by the average four year old!

I am listening to music while writing this. The tune that just came on is the music from The Battle of Wolf 359. So it is making it seem like the Federation is at stake if I do not finish this entry.

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I listen to music a lot during the day. There are times I wonder if I am afraid of silence. Actually I think it is fear of silences and overstimulated by music. So a feeling of uncertainly either way.

Stupid brain.

Recently I bought a lock box with a timer. The idea was that at the end of the day I would lock my phone away. That way I am not distracted and get to bed earlier. So far I have not managed to do that – although the phone is locked away now.

It feels like we, I am assuming it is not just me, need so much to function these days. It is probably because so much can distract us. Back in the days of dialup internet and text messages it was harder to be distracted.

Now that I sound completely like an old man I will say goodbye. Thanks for reading my ramble.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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I have many drafts on this blog which may never see the light of day.

I have an idea, start to write, and then, because of loss of confidence or time I stop. Then when I come back to it it is no longer relevant.

I had a post about Eurovision. I was going to post it a week after the contest. However it has now been a month! Did I have anything ground-breaking to say? No. Not as such. That is not the point.

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The point is I have always had trouble dealing with all the things I want to do. I have a list but somethings seem to come up again and again while others seem not to get a look in.

I have talked about this previously. The question is how to know when something is enough.

Take reading for example. I could set the target of reading one chapter a day. However a chapter can take anywhere from 5-50 minutes to read. Five feels like too little and fifty would dominate the day and not much else would get done.

That might be okay though. On the next day I might not read at all. Then something else would be the focus point of the day.

Then there is another problem. When can I say I have been productive enough? When can I relax?

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I am not good at relaxing. Firstly I am not even sure what I want to do when it is time to unwind and secondly I feel guilty as there is always more to do.

I have been struggling with this for so long. Honestly it is exhausting.

I am sure to many this seems stupid. Aside from household chores my life would not be adversely effected if I didn’t do any of this.

I could burn my to-do list diary, destroy my computer, and just spend my evenings going through various TV shows and films. I could give up on everything. My life could just be work, chores, films and food.

That life would not be that interesting to live though. At least not for me. And please I am not making a value judgement. If you want nothing more than just to watch TV in your free time then that is great.

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I have said this before. I want that flagpole feeling. You know when Mario completes a level? He jumps on the pole and there are fireworks. I want that feeling. Not literal fireworks but the feeling that it is enough. That the level (day) is completed.

I want to give myself permission to stop but, after about ten or more years of trying, this is something I just cannot get my head around.

I don’t come here today in the hopes of finding solutions. I am not sure that anything will satisfy me. I am just tired. Tired of trying to make my life work. Tired of never feeling good enough. And just tired in general.

See even now I am wondering if I have been working on this for too long. Should I be moving on to the next thing on the list? Can that thing wait till tomorrow? Can it wait till later in the week? The answer is that none of this needs to be done. They are deadlines created by me for me. And yet I can’t let go and say: ‘I don’t care. I am just going to go for a walk today. To hell with the list.’ I can’t do it!

So do I set a time target? It can work but if, for example, words don’t flow it doesn’t feel like I am done. I could use a word target but, again, 500 words can be done in 30 minutes or it might take hours.

Sometimes I feel I am just on the cusp of figuring this out. However it is just out of reach.

The torment of Tantalus.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Don’t Tell Me…Tuesday

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I recently bought a personalised notebook. I have been trying to find such a thing for a long time.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that note books and diaries can be found anywhere. And you would be right – not to mention the option of apps or even just a computer document.

However when browsing shops I never found one that was just right. I am using the notebook kind of like a diary but not really – and as I work shifts I cannot have the same personal schedule all the time.

I got this from a website called ‘So Typical Me‘. You can choose from a notebook or a diary and build it from the ground up. It is a wonderful way for me to organise myself and try and keep track of the myriad of things that I want to do. (I believe I am supposed to say here that this is not sponsored – is that just a YouTube thing?)

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When browsing through the options at my local notebook shop none of them were quite right. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I would know it when I saw it. Do you know what I mean?

Well I didn’t see it. So to the internet I went – well actually I saw an advert.

Some of my pages are trackers. There are 31 little circles and a place to write what is being tracked. This could be used for something that needs to be done daily – that is not how I am using it.

There are so many things I want to do. In an ideal world I would do them all each day.

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Actually in an ideal world I would go traveling and not worry about anything! Who am I kidding? I am always worrying about something.

I do not have the time to do that. So instead I use the trackers to make a record of what I did last so that, in theory, over time everything gets done.

To keep track of stuff I am using stickers.

Yes this whole post is leading to talking about the acquisition of stickers.

I ordered some off the internet two days ago (Friday) and they are going to arrive on Tuesday. That feels like a long time.

I remember when six-eight weeks was a standard waiting time for a delivery. Today things can be delivered by the end of the day – or even within the hour!

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To be clear I am not actually complaining. I am not exactly ordering something of vital – and the note book did come with stickers. It just struck me how much things have change just in the course of my lifetime.

How might stuff change in the future?

Baring the invention of the teleporter I can’t see delivery getting any faster than that.

Imagine someone in the late 22nd century being annoyed because the product they ordered was going to take longer than 47 seconds to be beamed to them.

It may sound ridiculous to us now but looking across time so much seems ridiculous. Remember ordering pizza in the 90s? You would use a phone and actually have to speak to a human! And then that human would have to find your address on a map and bring it to you. Compared to asking Google to direct you that seems like magic to me – just as Google would have seemed magical back then.

Incidentally I try to avoid activities that require talking to humans!

What changes make you feel amazed?

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Galileo Seven – TOS a Review

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One thing that comes up for me again and again while watching TOS is the general disrespect Spock receives. He is the executive officer of the ship and yet the crew do not treat him as they should.

Before that though we are introduced to Galactic High Commissioner Ferris – he will be our obstinate bureaucrat for the episode. For those that don’t not know the obstinate bureaucrat is it is a character who seems to exist purely for the purposes of standing in the way of the other characters.

In this case Kirk has stopped to investigate Murasaki 312 – and the commissioner is here to remind him of the ticking clock of the episode. The Enterprise has a deadline – the delivery of medical supplies. So rather than warping away, making their deliver, and coming back Kirk decides to stop for a scientific study.

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A shuttle with seven people on board is drawn into the phenomenon and before you can say whoopsie doodle the shuttle loses contact with the Enterprise and crashes.

It is difficult to see this episode on its own. A shuttle crashing becomes a staple of Trek later on. In Star Trek: Voyager so many were lost. However this episode is the first shuttle crash.

I find myself agreeing with the High Commissioner. Kirk shouldn’t have sent out the shuttle party with such a small amount of time available.

Nevertheless the stakes are well established. Much of the Enterprise’s equipment will not function meaning that they will have to come within visual range of their people.

Made me think of this immediately!

The shuttle crew find a planet to set down. In Star Trek there is always a convenient planet! And not just a planet but one with a breathable atmosphere.

We immediately set up the theme for the episode. Spock is logical.

Also McCoy is emotional since we are stating the obvious.

Spock tries the communication system. Scotty questions this as the system is unlikely to work.

 I expect nothing, Mister Scott. It is merely logical to try all the alternatives.

Spock (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

Meanwhile on the Enterprise another shuttle is launched as the transporters don’t work. This is not so good. Because, unfortunately, the shuttles are not exactly a formidable craft. Sorry, Master Bra’tak.

The Galileo doesn’t have enough fuel to reach escape velocity. They are 500 pounds over weight. Which is 226 kilograms. I don’t know why Starfleet is using pounds!

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Since the shuttle has very little in excess weight the only option maybe for someone, or several someones, to stay behind. Either that or start running around the planet to lose weight!

To Spock the idea that someone may have to stay is treated as a logical reality of their situation. The crew respond calling Spock heartless.

The thing is these are military personal. I know Starfleet is not supposed to be a military but if it looks like a duck… so shouldn’t the idea of sacrifice have entered there minds? Do they not cover that in Starfleet training?

Spock is logical which means he would choose himself to die if that was the best chance for all the others.

If any minor damage was overlooked, it was when they put his head together.

Not his head, Mister Boma, his heart. His heart.

Boma and McCoy (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

The the inevitable happens. Someone dies. I bet you didn’t see that coming did you? To be fair that particular trope hadn’t really become so much of a cliché yet – also the dead guy wasn’t in red.

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Here is where I do want to levy some criticism at Spock. His obliviousness. When he sees that Latimer has been killed by one of the natives he focuses on the weapon used rather than the fact that someone is dead.

While Spock may not experience emotion he should surely understand them. To be clear I am not saying this is bad writing. On the contrary a character having a flaw is very welcome indeed.

There is a brief scene on the Enterprise but all that happens is we find out they are having no luck and Ferris reminds Kirk of the ticking clock.

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On the planet the landing party are arguing. Mr Boma wants to have a service for Latimer. Spock feels it is a waste of time. On this one I have to side with Spock.

They are in a dangerous situation here. The focus needs to be on the still living crew members. I am reminded of Q Who from TNG. Eighteen crewmembers are killed in that episode and Geordi has to remind Ensign Gomez that right now the shields need to be their focus and they can grieve later.

Right now getting off this rock is there top priority. If they don’t get off this rock in a timely fashion they are all going to die. A service for Latimer can be done later. This would be different if there was no hurry but there is a hurry and they have other priorities. The humans support a violent response.

I am frequently appalled by the low regard you Earthmen have for life

Spock (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

This is a rather odd statement given that they do have stun weapons. However it could be argued that since they know so little about these people that maybe it would be difficult to judge what setting to use. Gaetano and Boma’s insubordination is grating. It is not so much what they are saying as how they are saying it. I have been watching Stargate SG-1 recently and there are times when Carter or O’Neill disagree with orders but, on the whole, they are able to express their displeasure in constructive ways.

Meanwhile Scotty has a plan. Who else where you expecting to get them out of this mess? He will drain the phasers to use as a power sauce. The problem is that they are also their only defence against the natives but with no other choice that plan is a go.

And then… another one bites the dust…

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Gaetano is presumed dead. And then confirmed dead. Spock picks up his body to return to the shuttle.

I think here he is showing a sign of beginning to understand. Taking the body back is illogical but he knows that it is what the humans will want.

Spock’s plan relies on his interpretation of what the natives will do. He predicts that the natives will be scared off by their superior fire power. Instead they attack.

They were perfectly predictable to anyone with feeling. You might as well admit it, Mister Spock, your precious logic brought them down on us.

Doctor McCoy (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

The landing party continue to argue. This seems to be a constant theme of TOS – yelling at each other in times of crisis. Spock is different. He experiences the world in a way foreign to others. I am reminded of a line from Blake’s 7.

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.

Avon (Blake’s 7: Duel)

That is a very Spock line. I think it explains perfectly the way Spock sees things.

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Spock does care about the crew. However, as I said before, he will do what is best for the most people. As he will say later it is the needs of the many that are important. Spock would pull the lever in the trolley problem.

In regards to the the argument about the service of the dead. Spock is right. Such a thing is a luxury that they do not have time for. It wouldn’t exactly be good if they all died because they were having a funeral?

I do like that McCoy and Scotty eventually call Mr Boma out on his attitude.

Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, one of the search parties returns to the ship with one dead. And the Enterprise is forced to leave. Kirk being Kirk he does this as slow as possible to give the shuttle crew every last second.

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The shuttle manages to lift off. Since they cannot maintain the orbit for long, nor live on the planet, Spock detonates their fuel – this is essentially like sending up a flair.

The Enterprise sees it, obviously, and the survivors are rescued.

The episode ends with making fun of Spock for the, in the minds of the humans, emotional decision. In other words it is very light-hearted. Only three men are dead?

In conclusion I am not completely sure what to make of this episode. It certainly has its moments and the logic versus emotion is interesting. However I could have done without the ticking clock element to the story. I really don’t feel it adds anything – and it is rather silly that Kirk sends his people into danger with so little time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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I am writing this in a coffee shop about 3 miles from home. (He said not being 100% sure how far.) Actually 4.4 kilometres which is actually 2.73 miles.

I walked here, in lieu of joining a gym, so as to get some exercise in my life. I keep coming back to that idea of joining a gym and then veering away from it again. Why would I want to join a gym? Well to try and make myself look…better. Honestly I do not find them especially fun places. They are loud and everyone else is always prettier than me!

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Walking here for a hot chocolate seems better. Even if that, and the food I had rather negates the effect of the exercise.

The point of the Freewrite was to not be distracted. So how is that going? Well I am distracted a bit. There is still my phone next to me. Aside from checking that distance information I am managing to stay away from it. There is the music my phone identifies as Mr Big Stuff (woops distracted again).

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Across from me is a woman with purple hair. She has her computer with her. It has a stylised cat on the top. You know the type pointed ears and intricate patterns for the fur.

I find myself wondering what she might be writing. Is it a university project? Is it a novel? Is it a poem? She could be self-employed and doing her taxes for all I know.

There are two women sitting across from each other reading. Together but separate. Enjoying each other’s company but also their own individual book.

At the table next to me are two women with laptops. If had to guess I would say all five are at university and have come here to study.

Do you ever people watch? It can be fascinating.

There is also an older couple in the far corner and a middle aged man on his own with a book.

I like using the Freewrite here. I think it is better than a full laptop. And I am not sitting around my usual home clutter.

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I am for sure making a few errors but that what editing is for.

Now that it is a week later and I am editing I can tell you there are many errors.

Writing about what I am writing is probably one of the sillier things I could be writing but it is all I have got.

The other day I wrote a piece for an article competition. I cannot share it with you here for that reason. I used the Freewrite and after a few false starts, because the competition could be on any subject, I got it done.

A new plan is emerging in my mind for this blog. 500 words a pieces. seems like a good amount.

I do actually have a couple of things I could be doing while I am here in town. The time is 1352 and I think I just hit the after noon slump.

I have so far walked 10,928 steps. I haven’t decided if I will walk home or not. The weather might decide that one for me.

(Spoiler alert: I did not walk home)

Well that is 500 words. So see you next time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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