Moving House

I am currently in the process of moving house. I have found an excellent place in a great location and I can’t wait to move in. It will probably be in December or early in the new year before that can happen.

Unlike my last place this one has, so far, no compromises. Every other flat I have seen their is always something wrong. Sometimes the location sucks, sometimes the rooms are too small, and sometimes it needs far too much work doing to it.

This one will need a bit of work but I am in a wonderfully unique position.  I can move in slowly. Since the scale of my last place I have been staying with my parents. And they have said that when I move I can take my time allowing me to get rid of lots of accumulated junk.

Once the work is done I shall get a Roomba and the little robot will keep it clean. Then I’ll just need a robot for the rest of the housework. Where I can pick up a Protocol droid?

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Happy Birthday, Star Trek

Fifty years ago today Star Trek started with the episode: The Man Trap. The anniversary almost passed me by but I couldn’t very well not talk about it could I?

Star Trek, and I’m speaking about it in all incarnations, (Even Enterprise) has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I believe the first episode I ever saw was The Devil In the Dark. I have this vague recollection of walking into the living room and seeing it on our tiny TV. I must have been… I have no idea actually but maybe 5… I remember thinking it looked boring and leaving. At some point I came to really enjoy it. DS9 is my favorite of the series followed closely by TNG and TOS.

TOS looks a little silly by today’s standards. We have surpassed them in several areas of technology, there is sexism, the sets weren’t always the best, and the aliens were obvious men in suits – nevertheless none of that, except the sexism, detracts from the fact that they told some really great stories and, without too much hyperbole, inspired a generation.

Live long and prosper.

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New Star Trek (2017)

Next year there will be a new Star Trek TV series. This is about the best 30th birthday present I could imagine. What’s even better is that this will be in the prime universe rather than the Abramsverse. To me this is wonderful news as Star Trek has, in my opinion, always been better in television form. While I like a lot of the films they tend to focus on revenge and explosions. The TV shows had a much better scope of stories. It is my hope that this series will showcase the best that Star Trek has to offer.

There are a few things I’d like to see from this series.

One

Give it a name!

I didn’t think much of Star Trek (2009), I actually preferred Into Darkness, but one thing that really annoyed me was the lack of a title. When Star Trek started in 1966 it had no need of any other title, for obvious reasons, but after TNG it became known as The Original Series. What ever happens this new series needs a title.

  • Addendum: I moved house between writing this and now. This is rather later than planned we now know the name of the new series. Star Trek: Discovery.

Two

Have a gay character!

Star Trek has danced around this idea for far too long. The closest we got, in the prime universe was in Rejoined:

Kira: … why (can’t) Dax and Lenara … just pick up where they left off. I mean if they’re still in love.

In this episode Dax meets a woman who she was married to in one of her past lives. She carries a symbiont and it was formally in a man. The episode discusses why she can’t pick up the relationship and continue. The reason is that Trill society forbids new hosts from reassociating with former partners. It is described as unnatural. However the fact that they are both women is completely irrelevant and is never even mentioned.

In this new series we need to have a gay character. I think that a male gay character would be better as, in general, it is less accepted. Furthermore there is still the feeling in some places that being gay, for a man, means they are less of a man. If we had a gay man on this new ship who was a capable and strong character it would be an excellent thing to see.

Three

Female Command Staff

We’ve had female first officers, and we’ve had a female captain, but why not have both being women. This would be an excellent more for the series.

Every Star Trek series has had female characters but we have never really had two woman in charge. Picard and Riker and Spock and Kirk made excellent teams and I want to see the same with two women. It has never been done and I thing that this would be good.

  • Addendum: We now know that the main character will be a female, human, Lieutenant Commander.

Four

An Alien Captain

This in a minor point but I think it is worth mentioning. The United Federation of Planets is supposed to represent over 150 planets. Yet all the captains we see are human and from Earth.

So why not have an alien captain. My vote would be to have an Andorian or a Tellarite captain. These two races have had little exploration and it would be good to see.

Five

More Aliens

Related to the above we need more aliens in general. When the ship’s are all human crews it starts to look a little silly, the Federation is supposed to be many worlds, so more aliens, even if only in the background, would be a great thing.

Six

A well developed secondary cast

A secondary cast is one of those little things that can make a huge difference. Often times they only exist to die but even if they manage to survive they are never seen again.  It would be good for the series to have familiar faces throughout. Just a smattering of characters here and there. The other advantage is you get away from the problem of senior officers doing everything. And if a character has reoccurred throughout killing them has more impact.

Seven

Do What Only You Can Do

Of all the previous series DS9 is my favorite; followed closely by TNG and TOS. What all these series did well was take full advantage of their settings. DS9 had stories that wouldn’t have worked on the other shows, because of the stationary setting, and TNG had stories that couldn’t have been done on TOS because of social constraints. TNG could be far more direct, sometimes too direct, in its social commentary.

I feel that this was a failing of Voyager and Enterprise.

Voyager is supposed to be the story of two crews forced to work together. They have no resources to call on and have to survive alone. Yet we frequently see the ship trashed and then perfectly fine the next episode. Voyager seems to have an inexhaustible supply of shuttles and torpedoes. Furthermore the Maquis behave like everyone else, for most of the series, rather begging the question of why they were included.

Enterprise is a prequel series. As such the expectation is that it will show us what happened before Kirk. However Enterprise has: gravity plating, phasers, and a transporter. The ship looks fundamentally the same as the later ships and, in my opinion, there is little of the series that couldn’t have been done in the 24th century – with the notable exception that Picard is a competent Captain and Archer – well… A Picard speech could bring implacable enemies to the negotiation table. An Archer speech could start a fight between two pacifists.

When Star Trek: Discovery arrives it needs to do something unique. Something we haven’t seen before. Having the focus shifted to a Lieutenant Commander is a very good sign. Perhaps this will be the Star Trek we’ve been waiting for – at least those of us disappointed with the 2009 reboot.

Conclusion

I have high hopes for this series. In spite of the problems associated with prequels I think this could be a very interesting series. I can’t wait to see it.

***

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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Speechless

Found this the other day. It is still as relevant as ever.

Hideaway girl

Speechless.

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European Union

Last week the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about this.

Politics is a subject that it is often best to avoid. It can lead to heated debates and even ruin friendships. Nevertheless I’m going to stick my neck out and talk about this. Firstly I’m going to let C.G.P Grey explain what the EU is…

It is rather disturbing that people were googling ‘What is the EU?’ – after the vote – I hope that those people didn’t vote.

In an article in the Guardian David Mitchel states: ‘The EU is a matter for Parliament’ And Richard Dawkins, mentioned in the same article, says:

“It is an outrage that people as ignorant as me are being asked to vote. This is a complicated matter of economics, politics, history, and we live in a representative democracy not a plebiscite democracy. You could make a case for having plebiscites on certain issues – I could imagine somebody arguing for one on fox hunting, for example – but not on something as involved as the European Union. This should be a matter for parliament.”

I think that this is quite right. Part of the idea of Parliamentary representation is that we give others permission to act on our behalf. To understand all the details of the EU would take hours – in short the average citizen is not qualified to make such a decision.

I voted remain. I feel I have a good understanding of the issues, or at least good enough, and that that choice was the right one. According to the statistics most people around my age agree with that choice. It was the older generation that wanted us to leave and it looks like that is what will happen. It doesn’t have to happen as the referendum was only advisory and it still has to go through Parliament. Parliament could decide to ignore it – this is highly unlikely as it would be political suicide for them. Nevertheless the margin was so small I think we need continued discussion – even Farage agrees with that – at least he did when it looked like he was going to loose.

One wonderfully ironic side of this is Nigel Farage. He is calling this the UK’s independence day but the UK may not be the UK for much longer. Scotland overwhelming voted to remain and there is now talk of another Independence referendum. So it seems that Farage may face the situation of being out of the EU, which he wants, but us no longer being the UK.

I am deeply troubled by us leaving the EU. Mostly because of the way the Brexit campaign was handled. I recognise that many good people voted to leave and had good reason for doing so. Nevertheless it does seem to have opened the door to racism and xenophobia.

This continued fear regarding immigration and foreigners in general is very worrying. I may be overreacting but the general idea of putting Britain first has some disturbing historical parallels. It feels to me like the first baby steps to a very bad situation. I am just a little frighted.

…the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think…I don’t like what we have become.

[Captain Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Drumhead)]

I have never been exactly proud to be British. It is just a fact. Since the referendum though I am ashamed to be British. We seem to becoming a nation that is scared to work with others and cannot see beyond our own borders.

If this does go ahead and Trump becomes US President I think I might see if that flight to Mars has any seats left.

***

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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Happy Father’s Day

Happy father’s day to all.

Here’s a completely unrelated story…

I’ve never quite got this living alone malarkey down. It always feels like things become untidy, and messy, all by themselves. The washing up was particularly vexing. It seemed to go from just a plate or two – to a stack that nearly shattered to the floor – in very short order. Then there is mold at the bottom of some glasses and I have fruit flies… [Click to continue.]

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Rising Above the Clouds

2007-06-29_130138_29062007027 Have you ever got stuck on a computer game?

Have you been writing and had trouble visualising a scene?

When I’m in these situations I stop. In the case of the former a pen and paper can be invaluable. You can write down the riddle of the magic monkey, or whatever it may be, and work it through. Doing this with pen and paper can help a solution to form in the mind.

In the case of the latter I use action figures. Positioning them helps to get a feel for a scene – then all you have to do is write it. It also gives you a good reason to still have action figures at 28.

Sometimes though I want to do this pausing in real life. It’s like I want to have an hour or two in one moment. I want to freeze time – so that nothing is happening except for my thoughts trying to work things out.

I get stressed very easily. (Listening to Stomp (Steps) isn’t helping – Slide (Dido) much better) And basically I just want to be able to take a while to organise my life. Obviously I can do that but life is going on while doing it… then you become that person who spends all their revision time making a beautiful revision timetable – And that leads to…

I also operate under the delusion that everything will fall into place. And that when I’m old I will grab a flag pole, hear a fanfare, and will have completed life.

I must leave you now. The to-do list has more stuff. And I think gremlins, tribbles, or elves keep adding to it.

***

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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