Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s Been a Long Time

Sorry to inflict this on you

It has been a while since I last posted but this is 2020 – time has no meaning. Can you believe we’re over halfway through November?

This song seemed appropriate given the nature of this year.

I started Nanowrimo off fairly strongly but am now behind. I am only behind by 359 words so I should be back on track in a few days. The amount by which I am behind is shrinking each day.

Overall I would say I am enjoying the process. The writing has stalled now and then, and I have jumped around in a non-liner fashion, but I am at lease enjoying the process – which is, I think, the point of the exercise. Some of it maybe awful but awful can be edited – a blank page cannot.

I hope you are all doing well and I will see you soon.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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The Menagerie (Part 1) Review

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

As I go through these reviews it is my hope that each one will be better than the one before. As such I am going to take a different approach this time. I will assume that you have seen the episode in question and instead just talk in general about it.

Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

Today we might be inclined to think of this episode as a clip show. However it is not a traditional clip show. The clips, from the first pilot, had not been seen before. Oh and by ‘traditional clip show’ I mean shit – you can see Shades of Grey for an example of that – no…not that Shades of Grey!

Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

We are introduced to Captain Christopher Pike who is confined to iron lung/wheelchair and can only communicate by beeping! You have probably seen this parodied somewhere – it was done on Futurama on at least two occasions. Unfortunately this part of the story doesn’t make any sense.

Photo by Rahul from Pexels

If Pike can only beep then shouldn’t he be able to use Morse code? Even if, for some reason, it wasn’t there are other options. This was shown in an episode of The Simpsons and also in SG-1.

I could give you the Stargate SG-1 example but for some reason I feel like using The Simpson’s! In Treehouse of Horror XXII – Homer can only communicate by farting. Lisa recites the alphabet to him and he farts when he gets to the right letter. This would be easily doable for Pike – the basic method not the farting.

And yes I did just say the Simpsons did it better. Farting beats beeping.

Yet in the story they act as though the only way would be to question Pike in a Twenty Questions sort of way. All he needs to ‘say’ is that Spock is planning to take him to Talos IV. I realise that I am analysing this in a world where predictive text has been a reality for some time but even so it is hard to believe that the writers wouldn’t have spotted this.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/beach-bottle-cold-daylight-292426/

McCoy and Kirk discuss the message that the Enterprise supposedly received diverting them to the star base. The evidence points to Spock faking a message. McCoy doesn’t believe it.

Me, yes I could run off half-cock, given a good reason. So could you, but not Spock. It’s impossible.

McCoy (Star Trek: The Original Series: The Menagerie: Part 1)

I like that McCoy stands up for Spock here. They frequently have an adversarial relationship but clearly McCoy understands Spock.

Of course McCoy is wrong in this instance!

Then we get a scene which makes very little sense to me. Mendez shows Kirk the file on Talos IV. At this point in the story the Enterprise has yet to be hijacked by Spock so why is it considered significant? The only thing I can come up with is that there is evidence of some conspiracy going on and this file is a classified one that Spock and Pike know about. And the base must be relatively close to this world. It is flimsy but that is all I have got.

Photo by Dom J from Pexels

Perhaps even more bizarre the document is signed by Spock as Half-Vulcan – as if that was his rank. I also have no idea why.

Pike is beamed suddenly from his room and the Enterprise breaks orbit

Photo by Chris J Mitchell from Pexels

We are also given a nugget of information that visiting Talos IV is the only death penalty left in Federation law. I am not sure if it was called the Federation at this point (they seemed to go through a few names) but it is the one I am going with. It is this threat of death that drives the narrative but that two doesn’t really work.

I am against capital punishment anyway, and a discussion of it is beyond the scope of this review, but if you are going to have it why have it for visiting some random planet and not for a serial killer?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-space-rocket-toy-3697818/

Kirk and Mendez go after the stolen Enterprise in a shuttle.

These ‘shuttles’, they are a formidable craft?

Master Bra’tac (Stargate SG-1: The Serpents Lair)

Apparently Starbase 11 has no ships. For some reason in Trek there being no ships available is a common trope. In this case the reason, out of universe, is that the shuttle can’t catch the Enterprise so it forces Spock to reverse course and pick it up – or let Kirk die but Spock won’t go that far. There is no sensible in universe reason that I can see.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/police-fun-funny-uniform-33598/

Spock has himself confined to quarters – creating confusion for the security men since it was Spock who ordered them to the bridge in the first place!

Spock has also locked the Enterprise on course for Talos IV in such a way that the crew cannot disengage it.

Losing control of the ship, either completely or being unable to stop one particular function, happens a lot in Star Trek. Here it is perfectly justified as Spock is the XO and a computer expert. In season three hippies take over the ship but lets not dwell on that at the moment.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/ask-blackboard-chalk-board-chalkboard-356079/

Kirk calls a hearing for Spock which Spock quickly gets turned in to a general court martial. Spock waives his right to council and presents his evidence – clips from The Cage – also known as the historical documents!

If you don’t get that reference go and watch Galaxy Quest right this second!

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We see the Enterprise as it was 13 years before and it receives a distress signal from Talos IV – an M class world.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/arid-barren-clay-cracks-216692/

I have no idea what the first episode I ever saw of Star Trek was but it was almost certainly in TNG – and I had seen DS9 before this episode – so it is quite a fun fact for me that M class was something established right from the start.

Actually I tell a lie. I have this vague memory of my parents watching The Devil in the Dark when I was very little. My early memories are third person – and I have the memory of a small me, carrying my duck that I took everywhere and still own, seeing the episode on the tiny TV we used to have and leaving the room. I don’t even know if it is a real memory. However discounting that the first episode I intentionally watched would have been TNG.

So we are introduced to Dr Boyce, in the past, who brings Captain Pike a martini – then we get something odd to say the least…

Tasty alcoholic beverage in a hotel

Pike considers retiring…

Or I’d, I’d go into business on Regulus or on the Orion Colony.

You, an Orion trader, dealing in animal women slaves?

Pike and Boyce (Star Trek: The Original Series: The Menagerie)

Yes Pike considers becoming a slave trader – kind of messes up the perfect future bit doesn’t it? I really have no idea what is going on here!

Commodore Mendez tries to end the proceedings, believing the images to be fake, but Kirk and Pike vote to continue.

So we pick up with the landing party of 13 years ago as they beam down to Talos IV.

The party find the encampment with a group of old men, the scientists from the ship who’s distress signal they picked up, and in the group there is one woman – Vina.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

While the men are all odd Vina is only 18. Pike immediately takes a liking to her. Meanwhile Doctor Boyce reports that the condition of the survivors is too good for the conditions they have been living in. One of the scientists says there is a reason for this and Vina can show him.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/tunnel-with-lights-60893/

Vina leads Pike away from the group and he is soon taken captive by the Talosians.

I like the Talosian makeup. It is basic, it was the 60s after all, but it gets across very well that these are very intelligent alien beings. We see them speak in the next episode and that too makes them creepy.

The episode comes to an end with it being revealed that these transmissions have been coming from Talos IV. Mendez is ordered to take command of the Enterprise, and to stop it from reaching the plant. Kirk orders Spock locked up.

The mystery in this episode is well built up. We know the character of Spock by now and that he must have a good reason for doing what he is doing but we still don’t have an explanation of why.

As I said there are a number of logical hiccups in this story, mainly the beeping Pike, but overall I like this story. I am not sure why the beeping was necessary. Surely Pike being paralysed and speaking through a computer would still have got the point across – but that might just be the opinion of a guy born two decades after this episode aired.

This was the only two part episode for TOS and I will try to be back with the next part soon. I am still finding my way with doing these reviews.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit



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Forever

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Over several of my posts on here I have spoken about my attempts, and failures, to plan out my life. My mother observed to me, not too long ago, that I have a tendency to manage rather than live my life. There is a lot of truth to that. My main issue is is trying to come up with a plan that always works – that is impossible – especially because I work shifts.

I cannot say when I will be working in three Thursdays time. (And not just because of the pandemic uncertainties) Even if I did have a set schedule there is always the issue of unexpected things coming up – these things can derail the plan.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

I have trouble going off plan. Sometimes I see something that needs doing and I don’t do it because it wasn’t on the agenda. I know that that makes zero logical sense but it is how I my brain does things.

Photo by Rahul Shah from Pexels

I even have reading on my list as another thing to get done. It is something I enjoy but it is still something that I schedule like everything else. I would like to read one chapter a session but some books have huge chapters. I can’t sit and read for two hours straight.

The point I am lumbering towards is that it is impossible to have a plan that will always work in all situations. That may see obvious to you but I am a bear of little brain.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-bear-in-body-of-water-during-daytime-158109/

I like order (the state my kitchen is often in notwithstanding) and this knowledge is something I struggle with each and every day. If nothing else I want an end point for each task – a point where I can allow myself to stop and say I have done enough. I don’t know where that point is in life in general but for this post I think I have done enough.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Blank

It is Monday.

I am letting the words flow from me and trying to put something together here. It is funny but when I am at work ideas percolate in my mind but when I sit to type there ideas seem to evaporate.

I am always tired and a bit stiff on my days off. It is like my mind can’t relax completely and I am weighed down by my thoughts – there are just too many of them – and at the same time there are none of them!

It is now Tuesday.

So this post is late now – more that 24 hours after I planned – but how much does that matter?

Maybe a lot.

Maybe a little.

I appreciate everyone who reads this blog. Sometimes though I struggle to get content out at least to a strict weekly time line – and I am thinking would not a different approach be better?

Some people say it is better not to work to a schedule and timetable for content – rather it is better to only release content that is polished and is something to be proud of. I am thinking that that might be a better approach from now on – I can write when inspired and a new post will appear at some random time.

Maybe I am going through some stuff that I haven’t completely processed. I often feel confused in my own mind. Maybe that will be something for next time.

Thank you for reading my jumbled thoughts. I hope you are all doing well.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Crash

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Sometimes I get days where I just crash. I think a part of it is that my body knows that during the week I have to keep going – work demands nothing less – but when it comes to a day off and the stuff I am doing is just for me – well I can crash – or zonk as I prefer to call it.

The time is now 2029 and that is basically what has been happening for the last hour/hour and a half. It always seems to happen at a time that is too early to go to bed – what is more annoying I had around nine hours of sleep last night! They say sleep is magical – clearly there is not enough magic in my life.

I am doing okay at the moment. It is the only way I can describe my life. There have been some changes at my place of work that I was very much against – but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be – in fact the changes may prove to make things better – my brain just has a tendency to jump to red alert with the slightest provocation. One day I will lean that a new way of doing things isn’t bad. At least I hope I will.

Oh and this week I think I managed to wake up without an alarm each day – but I am still tired – something isn’t working is it? See you next week.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Adulthood

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It is an often repeated cliche that in adulthood our rewards to ourselves are our punishments as children. I would hazard a guess that every child has said something of this sort:

“When I grow up I am going to eat fries everyday and stay up all night!”

Then you become a grown up and what do you want? A healthy dinner and an early night. I fail on both accounts!

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I live within a literal stone’s throw from a kebab place, well maybe not me throwing since I have the athleticism of a dead weasel – certainly you wouldn’t need a trebuchet – maybe one of those dog ball things. Anyway getting that kind of food is very easy – and that is not even counting getting food delivered. Even when I cook I don’t tend to cook the food that is best for me.

And when it comes to going to bed on time… well that is bad too…

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I never go to bed at a good time. Most nights I get six hours of sleep. This morning (Saturday) I have had coffee as I am feeling so tired. When I went to bed last night there was 6 hours and 59 minutes till my alarm would beep – apparently it was not enough time!

It is funny though that to be healthy we’re supposed to spend a third of our lives unconscious! I tend to view sleep as necessary evil! Going to bed when my to-do list still has stuff on feels…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Alright it is not entirely the to-do list! What tends to happen is that I get my stuff done until I feel too tired – then I meander around on line until I end up going to bed too late!

Photo by Nick Bondarev from Pexels

Of course sometimes the human body doesn’t know what it wants. On these days of six hours of sleep it is clear it is not enough – but then when I don’t have an alarm set I still tend to wake up after that amount of time! As happened today. (It is now Sunday.)

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

The key is self discipline, well duh, and being able to switch off and unplug. Which is always a hard thing to do. I think that living alone makes it harder. If you are sitting with a partner or housemate and both yawning one of you might suggest it is time for sleep. However sitting alone at the computer it is all too easy just to watch one more video…

I think too that there is something in the silence that is scary – which is odd because I also feel overwhelmed on the phone all day. So that is my challenge to try and switch off – I do not have high hopes. See you next week.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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A Bat is not a Rodent

Taxonomic nomenclature can be an interesting topic. I always assumed that a bat was was a rodent. After all they are small fury creatures and, aside from the wings, they do look kind of like mice. Now that I have started this blog post with that assertion I feel a bit silly making it in the first place but this is the one I am going with.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-3-capybara-standing-near-wooden-branch-and-grass-160583/

In one of my myriad of ideas, that may not pan out, was of a Rodent Federation. All these species are there and they perform various functions. Phillip Pullman had armoured bears – I want armoured Capybara!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-hamster-eating-a-green-leaf-50572/

The idea started life with a young woman discovering her pet guinea pig can talk. The guinea pig becomes her go between to a magical world. This was an idea that came to me when I was…younger. I say it that way because I honestly don’t remember how young.

Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

If I ever finish that novel the guinea pig, Lenonn, will no longer feature – and yes he was named after a rather minor Babylon 5 character! That plot point didn’t really work for me. That sentence would be far more convincing if the novel in question was done – but no it is caught up in endless redrafting.

Nevertheless with writing very little is wasted. Ideas that can’t be used in one place can be slotted into another – and when researching you can find that the assumption you though you knew was wrong – so no bats are not rodents – the next question is what distinguishes a rodent from other mammals?

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Draft

There are some draft blog posts here that may never see the light of day. They are ideas that might never pan out. That is a consequence of writing.

In the past a discarded draft might be a piece of paper tossed on the fire. Now it is on the computer for ever!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bonfire-burning-burnt-campfire-266604/

I was going to tell you about a strange thing that happened to me this week – and then I wasn’t sure if I should tell you – or if I did what words to use. Maybe I will just say the tantalising headline: I was accused of cheating by a woman I wasn’t dating. That’s a new kind of weird!

Drafts are a part of the writing life and it can get so confusing. Sometimes I know I have written a particular part of the story but I don’t remember which draft it is in – and finding it takes longer than a simple rewrite would!

And in the age of the internet there is always the distraction of the phone. My phone is in front of me now. I keep checking it even though I know I don’t need to check it that often but I do. Turning off the tech is hard – we are always afraid of missing something – even if it will be missed only for a moment.

Is the lonely silence the reason for checking? I live alone and at the back of a house. I can’t even hear the road at the moment. So does the checking of messages make us feel less lonely? That could be it.

I have sometimes imagined that if I were to have a relationship my phone would be off – if the most important person is with you then who else do you need to talk to?

Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to spend money on a takeaway – even though I had pizza Friday night!

I will cook one of these days…honest.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Beginning

It is 0611 on Monday as I begin this post. Today is my day off but I woke up at 0500 and decided to just wake up. That is perhaps weird of me but I very rarely like the idea of having a lie in.

Photo by nappy from Pexels

Monday is often seen as the beginning of the week, in my head it is the beginning of the week – my place of work says otherwise! As such it can feel like new possibilities can start. I can throw off the mistakes and the bad feelings of last week and begin again.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-eating-using-chopsticks-33162/

On my yesterday, and hopefully not on your yesterday, I had a takeaway (again) it was delicious but that isn’t the point. The point is that there is plenty of food in my fridge so why then would I eat out?

Photo by Rafel AL Saadi from Pexels

Well it is always more exciting isn’t it? Maybe I am just lazy – or perhaps after I had cleaned the kitchen I didn’t feel like messing it up again!

Photo by Samuel joos from Pexels

Ostensibly I am supposed to be dieting. That is obviously not working out – I am so frequently over my calories – why is it that the nicest foods are also the most unhealthy?

Photo by Amr Miqdadi from Pexels

It is probably evolution’s fault isn’t it!

I eat sometimes because of tumultuous emotions. Unfortunately eating poorly makes me bigger, which makes me unhappy, which means I eat more – you can see the problem.

I think that bad feelings do have a way of fuelling themselves.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/car-refill-transportation-gas-9796/

It is now (checking phone) Wednesday and I have about fifteen minutes before I should think about stopping doing stuff and getting ready for work! So I suppose I should come to the point.

Monday being the beginning of the week means, in the eyes of many, it is a good time to start a new thing. Oh course something new can start any day but human nature would suggest that Thursday, for example, would be an odd day for the start – I think of Thursday’s like Arthur Dent does.

The new thing I have begun is writing everyday – which is an ironic thing to say as I didn’t know that at 0611 when I started writing. Let me explain…

It is now Saturday. This post has obviously been written in little chunks but hopefully I will be able to wrestle it into some sort of order where was I? Ah yes writing…

Writing is very important to me. However I am not completely sold on the idea of calling it fun. I know I would greatly miss it if I didn’t do it – actually scratch that I cannot imagine not doing it – but it still has a vague ‘work’ feel to it.

Sometimes I don’t get around to it in a day. I get other stuff done instead, like housework, but the new plan is simple write first. Well almost first since my computer, Majal, takes a bit of time to boot so I have to at least wait for that.

My parents made me realise how important the slow build is. 500 words a day is all that is needed – I was wanting to do more and ended up doing less – little and often is the way of the future and I should have known that – and now I do.

And then it was Sunday….

Unfortunately I am less good at the ‘little’ part of that when it comes to food. Food is always tempting… he said as he grabbed a second bar of chocolate…oh well.

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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Order

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In the television series Babylon 5 the major conflict is between order and chaos. I think that describes me to a tee – although I don’t blow up planets when things aren’t working out – not until the death ray is completed anyway.

If I am disordered I don’t know what I need to do. If I am too ordered there is little room for life.

Order has two meanings for me. The first is being controlled – having homes for everything and trying to make the place look like something other than a pigsty. Most people, I would imagine, still have a draw of chaos – I am just trying not to have a flat of chaos.

The other type of order is the order in which we do things. For example when getting home from work what is the first thing you do?

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Do you make dinner first? Do you do some house work? Do you get on with your current project?

That project could be anything from working on a novel, practising the theremin, reading a book (not really a project but let’s go with it), knitting a scarf, painting the spare room or literally anything else in someway creative.

Odds are when you get home from work you are tired – so food might be in order – on the other hand if you get stuff done first then maybe dinner will taste all the nicer knowing that the evening is yours!

I wish I could sit here and give you a one size fits all solution. I want to tell you a way to be a productivity master!

There is no such animal.

I know, deep in my brain, that all we can do is our best. Unfortunately that doesn’t help me to say well done (to myself) and try to reassure myself I have done enough. I am never that kind to myself.

I am writing this at 1752 and I am yawing – since it is my day off I could stop doing stuff now and relax but that isn’t going to happen.

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This whole thing of organisation is very well trodden ground on this blog. My head is in a spin always trying to be better. I don’t know that I will ever find that way.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

I went to the bad place yesterday. I ordered fish and chips – despite the fact that I wasn’t all that hungry and I had already used my calories. And I don’t know what annoys me more – the fact that I did it or the fact that it helped and I felt better after some comfort food. In any event I have to make sure that that doesn’t become a regular thing. The next question is what is tonight’s dinner going to be?

I hope you are all doing well. If you are troubled with hard emotions I wish you all the best with the battle! 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.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

Leave a comment

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