Category Archives: Uncategorized

Court Martial (TOS)

Photo by Pixabay on

The Captain’s log tells us that the Enterprise has been through an ion storm and a crewman has died. Kirk has to give a deposition of exactly what happened to cause the death of said crewman. We see Kirk in the office of Commodore Stone reading over his deposition for the third time.

Kirk is clearly bothered by the death of Lieutenant Commander Finney. I like this as odd as that statement may be. People die all the time in Star Trek but it isn’t that often that we see what we see here. Not only do we see Kirk’s reaction to it but we also see Finney’s daughter – who accuses Kirk of being a murderer.

Spock brings the Enterprise’s computer report on the incident. However this report differs from Kirk’s accounting of the events. In the computer’s version of events Kirk jettisoned the ion pod, where Finney was, before the red alert. Meaning that Kirk is guilty of perjury and negligence. This presents a good hook for the episode.

When we come back from the titles Kirk is confined to the base. He meets with some fellow officers from his graduating class at the academy. Oddly they already seem to suspect that Kirk is responsible for Finney’s death. Which seems a strange conclusion for them to have drawn so soon after the events.

Kirk leaves the bar and we are introduced to Areel Shaw. McCoy flirts with her a little but we find out that she is an old friend of Kirk’s – because of course she is.

We then get the background of Kirk’s relationship to Finney. When Kirk was an Ensign he reported an error of Finney’s to the commanding officer. Finney’s error tanked his career. Finney blamed Kirk for this blot on his record.

Photo by R Khalil on

Kirk goes over the ion storm incident. Someone needs to go into the ion pod and Finney was assigned because it was his turn. This is an important factor in the incident because it would at least show that Kirk didn’t deliberately put Finney in a dangerous position. Kirk maintains his innocence, despite the computer contradicting him, and that he gave Finney as much time as he could to get out of the pod.

Commodore Stone gives Kirk the opportunity to step down but Kirk insists on his right to a court martial.

Then we find out that Areel Shaw will be the prosecution. Why Starfleet would do this is beyond me. This is a clear conflict of interest. Although, if JAG (TV show) is anything to go by, sometimes cases are assigned by what is required rather than by the feelings of the individual. Shaw does however give Kirk the name of a good attorney – Sam Cogley.

Cogley is introduced as a bit of an oddball. Insomuch as he prefers to use books rather than a computer for his work.

You have to be either an obsessive crackpot who’s escaped from his keeper or Samuel T. Cogley, attorney-at-law.

Kirk (TOS: Court Martial)

The court martial begins. After sorting out the initial business, including Kirk’s not guilty plea, the first witness are called beginning with Spock. He states that the computer is wrong despite also stating that he is unaware of any problem with the Enterprise computer.

Gentlemen, human beings have characteristics just as inanimate objects do. It is impossible for Captain Kirk to act out of panic or malice. It is not his nature.

Spock (Star Trek: TOS: Court Martial)

As an irrelevant aside we are still calling Vulcan’s “Vulcanians” at this point in TOS.

The Enterprise’s personnel officer is called to the stand. She confirms the history between Finney and Kirk. Then when McCoy is questioned he confirms that, in a hypothetical situation, Kirk could have come to hate Finney because of Finney’s hatred for him.

Photo by Pixabay on

Shaw shows the court a log of the incident. The evidence is damning as it shows Kirk pressing the eject button before the red alert was ordered.

The panel on Kirk’s chair is a little overly simplistic in this episode. Especially as I don’t believe that “eject pod” comes up ever again. That however is a pretty minor nitpick.

Of course we are getting towards a more major nitpick.

Well it wouldn’t be a Star Trek episode without Spock and McCoy sparing with each other. I love that Spock sees being called ‘cold blooded’ as a compliment.

Spock is playing chess with the computer. Oddly, from a modern perspective, this involves the computer calling out its move. It is also strange that Spock personally programmed the computer rather than it being a standard program as it would be today. This isn’t an error though. A writer in the 1960s could not have predicted the technology we have today.

Photo by Ivelin Donchev on

Since the computer cannot make a mistake and Spock is, well, Spock each match should be a draw. With something being wrong with the computer the evidence against Kirk is called into question. Apparently there are only three people who could have adjusted the computer: Kirk, Spock, and Finney. You’ll note the list doesn’t include Uhura, which seems unlikely, and not Scotty, which seems impossible.

I think this, again, comes from a 1960s perspective. Back then I am sure computers were something of a mystery. Today the average person probably owns at least two, counting a mobile, fairly powerful computers. In short the type of frame job in this episode could be done by almost anyone.

The court reconvenes and Cogley submits to the court that Lieutenant Commander Finney is not actually dead. The Enterprise is a big ship and even if the whole crew is looking for him it would have been possible for him to evade such a search. This is a bit of a headscratcher as Finney’s location was known wasn’t it?

So it is a matter of finding Finney.

Gentlemen, this computer has an auditory sensor. It can, in effect, hear sounds. By installing a booster, we can increase that capability on the order of one to the fourth power. The computer should bring us every sound occurring on the ship.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek: TOS: Court Martial)

Of course the answer to 1 to the fourth power is still one! I say ‘of course’ but I am terrible at maths. I would not have spotted the error if I was the writer either.

Photo by Luan Rezende on

They listen to all the heartbeats on the ship and discover that Lieutenant Commander Finney is indeed alive. He faked his death to frame Kirk as revenge for Kirk tanking his career.

Then the usual end of episode shenanigans happen. Owing to Finney’s sabotage the Enterprise is going to crash into the planet. However Cogley has brought Finney’s daughter aboard. This is enough to get Finney to explain how he sabotaged the ship.

Kirk saves the day, the sabotage is undone, the Enterprise returns to a stable orbit, Kirk kisses Shaw, and we are out of here.

I like this episode. It gives us some good backstory to Kirk and that is always a welcome thing. It also shows the trust the crew has in Kirk. I especially like Spock’s absolute certainty that Kirk would never act with malice. I could have done without the prior relationship between Kirk and Shaw.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Plan B

Colonel Reynolds : Not much faith in Plan A?

Colonel Jack O’Neill : Since when has Plan A ever worked?

Stargate SG-1 (Evolution Part 1)

Calling this blog post plan B is such a misrepresentation of the truth I could run for Parliament. In fact when it comes to my plans for productivity I must have run off the end of the alphabet by now.

I should talk about something else here but I keep going over the same ground. I spoke before about how to call it a day with a task and that is still something I am struggling with. It is stupid since only I care if these things are done or not. This post already has three drafts and who knows when this will see the light of day.

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez on

This post is also being written in little pieces. So, for example for this session the only thing that is going to be written is this paragraph. Maybe next time this comes up on my list more will be written or maybe it will just be one paragraph again. And there is a reason for this way of doing things. I work shifts.

For this paragraph it is a new day. The time is 1013 and I am on a late shift. The fact that I work shifts is very significant to the way I operate. I cannot say that, for instance, Thursday is the day I work on my blog. Thursday could be an early shift, a late shift, or a day off.

Arthur Dent could never get the hang of Thursdays. I can never get the hang of any day!

I have recently started using Google Calendar. It is not perfect to my needs but it is close enough for the time being until I can think of a better way but I have been trying to think of a better way for so long.

I have watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to get things done. However they tend to be made by self-employed people – or at least people on more regular schedules.

There is a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. I have not read it however it, along with so many other books, is on my list. Nevertheless I have seen it recommended in so many places I believe I know the central theme of the work.

The primary focus seems to be that tiny progress is better than no progress at all. Aiming to write one paragraph a day and sticking to it is better than aiming for 2000 words and always failing. So this is now what I am trying to do. When something comes up on the list and I do not feel like doing it very much I can just do the bare minimum – one paragraph, read one page, wash one plate – whatever it might be and very slowly I will edge closer to my goal.

All this I know and yet it can still feel like my goals are just a little beyond my reach. All we can do is keep trying and do our best.

I have no idea how many days have passed since I started this post.

Since I have started this post I have changed things yet again. Now I no longer schedule anything for the weekend. The idea being that by doing that I can spend longer on a few things rather than snippets of many things. Who knows if it will work?

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

When Can I Say I am Done?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

I could not find a good stock image for this post. So I am going to go with a confused man as I am confused much of the time. I only say much of the time so as to be nice to myself.

I have mentioned on this site many times how I struggle with productivity. I have watched many YouTube videos talking of various techniques for being more productive. I have tried to implement some of them. However I keep coming back to the same problem. When am I done?

I have a big list of things I want to do. The joy of making a to do list is ticking things off. The problem is what is it that defines an item as done?

Reading is an item on my list. I can’t say something as simple as ‘Read a chapter’ as chapters vary wildly in size. The same is true of all things on the list. Do I strive for inbox zero? Can I say I am “done” with just deleting a couple of emails. As long as I work from the bottom to the top it will all get done sooner or later.

Do you know what the funny thing is? I am the only one who cares. I could delete my email address, sign off social media, abandon reading, writing, and spend all my free time watching TV. I don’t want to do that. I could though.

Trying to be productive is like wading through syrup. I have tried various apps, and good old fashioned paper. Each one has its pros and cons but none of them are perfect.

I know I have spoken about this before. I may even be saying some of the very same things here again. What I am doing for now is listing my tasks on Google Calendar. I avoided doing it this way before because my computer was very slow. Now I have a nippy Chromebook.

Will this work? Have I finally come up with the perfect way to be productive? Probably not. I work shifts so I cannot commit to one pattern of working or another. I cannot say “Saturday is my day off. I will work on my novel.” In the end all we can do is do our best. Which is kind of lame but it also happens to be true.

The great thing about the internet is the wealth of knowledge we can get. The bad thing about the internet is the wealth of confusion we can get. If you watch 10 different videos on productivity you are bound to get contradictory information. Which means that anything you do is probably okay on some level.

I do not know if this blog post is done. However I do seem to have reached a natural stopping point and maybe that is enough. 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tomorrow is Yesterday (TOS)

Photo by Sharefaith on

The episode starts at a present day, in this case in the 1960s, detecting an unknown object. As the teaser ends we see that that object is the Enterprise. We are off to a strong start that is a good teaser.

Given that the Enterprise is nearly 300 meters long, not to mention not remotely aerodynamic, it should really raise a few more eyebrows. Nevertheless a fighter is sent up to investigate.

When we see the Enterprise Kirk informs us how this happened but it is also revealed that they do not yet know when (sic) they are. Incidentally I am not going to bother telling you the technobabble. The result is more important than the babble.

It isn’t long before they detect the fighter. They are lucky the pilot didn’t notice the English letters on the hull.

Kirk orders a tractor beam to hold the fighter in place. Unfortunately the beam is too strong and the craft is destroyed.

I like this scene very much. Firstly they acknowledge that the fighter’s weapons could still be a threat. Secondly to Kirk the tractor beam is harmless but to the old fighter, so much less advanced, it is an effective weapon.

Photo by Tony Schnagl on

Before the fighter is destroyed they beam the pilot aboard. His name is Captain John Christopher. It is noted that Kirk is speaking English.

I would like to take a detour for a moment.

Language in science fiction is always a bit problematic and, broadly speaking there a three approaches:

The most basic is that characters simply learn each other’s languages. This is how Babylon 5 handles things. There is some technological assistance used too. In one episode Sheridan mentions that it took hours to translate a particular alien’s language during first contact.

Star Trek has the universal translator. This device is basically magic. Not as much in TOS but later it is able to translate from the first word an alien says.

Then there are other shows that ignore the language issue completely. This is done in Stargate SG-1. Everyone is able to speak English as soon as they meet people from Earth. However in one episode in particular it is observed by Jonas Quinn that he would be ‘very surprised’ if a woman from 50 million years ago understood English. What is hilarious about that statement is that Jonas himself should not have been able to speak English when the team first met him.

I mention this here because while Kirk does speak English he would speak a future version of English – you only have to have studied Shakespeare to know how much language changes. I know that is the most nitpicking statement I could make but I just don’t have much to say about this episode.

We get a brief moment of Captain Christopher noticing a female crewman. I tried to google the history of women in the American armed forces but, to be honest, it seems a tad confusing. It looks like women were permitting in the US Navy in the 1940s but were not on combat ships till much later. It doesn’t really matter for the purpose of this episode but I find Captain Christopher’s double take interesting.

I am not sure why Kirk thinks it is a good idea to show this man from the past around the ship! Then again I am not a Starfleet officer so what the hell do I know! Maybe Kirk has realised what Spock soon tells him – that they cannot send Captain Christopher back because of his knowledge of the future.

This doesn’t seem like a solid reason. Yes he has seen the Enterprise but that doesn’t translate into being able to build a transporter or something else. He could start writing a science fiction TV show though.

Interestingly in this episode Kirk refers to the Enterprise as belonging to the United Earth Space Probe Agency. To the best of my knowledge this is the only time that is mentioned. It seems a bit of an odd name for manned missions.

In a rather, to my mind, interesting bit of world building we find out that the Enterprise computer now has a personality. And it might even have some level of sentience. The computer calls Kirk ‘Dear’ The reason given is that the computer was overhaled by a planet dominated by women.

Then we get the main dilemma of the episode. Spock discovers that Captain Christopher is going to have a son and because of his significant role in history the Captain has to be returned.

We also find out that Scotty has repaired the ship. Of course they have nowhere to go in the 1960s. How will the Enterprise get back to is own time?

In the meantime they need to reduce the amount of harm done to the timeline. The air force has records of the Enterprise. Kirk and Sulu beam down to destroy those records.

I like that when they get to Earth Sulu is interested in something as mundane as a notice board. It is a nice way to illustrate how different Earth of the past is.

I do however have to question why they beamed into a corridor and not directly into the room they wanted.

Photo by Pixabay on

While the landing party is down on Earth we get a nice scene in the transporter room. Spock and McCoy are present and waiting for the landing party to return.

McCoy is worried about the landing party. Spock is calm. Which is a Tuesday on the Enterprise. The scene ends with McCoy pestering Spock that he should be working on his time warp calculations. Spock responds: ‘I am’.

As someone who struggles with basic maths this is so impressive. Although trying to live up to be like Spock is a pretty tall order.

Kirk and Sulu are discovered. Spock signals at that moment and the Air Force man is accidentally beamed aboard. It is okay though the music tells us that this is a funny situation not a dangerous one.

The Air force Man is practically frozen in place. Is Spock really that scary? I kid of cause. After all the Air Force man has probably never seen Star Trek!

The episode is good at building up the problems. We have the inciting incident of the Enterprise being stuck in the past, then Captain Christopher, and now not only do we have a second invited guest but the landing party is stuck on Earth.

(Incidentally it is a shame they didn’t know to pick up a couple of whales.)

More air force people arrive. Kirk puts up a good fight, because Kirk, but he is subdued meanwhile Sulu is able to make it back to the ship with the tapes.

I liked that during Kirk’s interrogation he tells the truth – at least in a manner of speaking.

Photo by Jimmy Chan on

FELLINI: I am going to lock you up for two hundred years.
KIRK: That ought to be just about right.

Fellini and Kirk (Star Trek: TOS – Tomorrow is yesterday)

As I said previously this is yet another indication that the original series is set in the 22nd century.

A rescue mission is put together consisting of Spock, Sulu, and Captain Christopher. Christopher accompanied them as he knows the layout of the base.

At least that is the theory. Captain Christopher wants to remain and manages to get the drop on the landing party. Kirk informs him that he will go home but in their way. This is not enough for the Captain but fortunately Spock was prepared for this and is able to nerve pinch him.

Then we come to then end of the episode. To the best of my knowledge this is the only time in Star Trek that time travel is employed in this manner. The Enterprise is able to travel back in time and beam their two guests back to before they were beamed up. Therefore there is no worry about contamination of the timeline because it never happened.

Wibbly wooberly timey wimy is the only explanation.

After travelling back in time, and returning their visitors, the Enterprise is then shot forward in time. The usual Trek stuff happens the shaking of the ship and what not. Then the Enterprise returns to its own time.

I am not really rating these episodes out of ten. When I get to the end of TOS I am planning to rank all the episodes from best to worst. So where does this episode lie? It is average. It is not an episode I would recommend if someone asked me about the best of Trek but it is also by no means bad.

The episode is entertaining, it has some good humour, and it holds your interest. However for me it doesn’t have that extra oomph that makes it great.

That is all for this review.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Merry Christmas!

Photo by Brett Sayles on

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Arena (TOS)

Photo by Egor Kamelev on

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.

Photo by Mikhail Volkov on

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.

Photo by Rick Josey on

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.

Photo by Andre Moura on

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.

I have signed up to Buy Me a Coffee. If you like what you see please consider supporting my Blog:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thoughts on Ukraine

Photo by Mathias Reding on

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.

Photo by Maria-Theodora Andrikopoulou on

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.

Photo by Pixabay on

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.

Photo by Liliu0101na Legzdiu0146a on

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Squire of Gothos – TOS.

Photo by Hristo Fidanov on

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.

Photo by Walid Ahmad on

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.

Photo by Julio Perez on

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.

Photo by Dmitrii Fursov on

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!

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on

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.’

Photo by Gareth Davies on

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.

Photo by Pixabay on

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.

Photo by Mikey Dabro on

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!

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

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.

I have signed up to Buy Me a Coffee. If you like what you see please consider supporting my Blog:


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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’.

Photo by Luca Dross on

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?

Photo by MOHI SYED on

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.

I have signed up to Buy Me a Coffee. If you like what you see please consider supporting my Blog:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Photo by Pixabay on

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.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

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.

I have signed up to Buy Me a Coffee. If you like what you see please consider supporting my Blog:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized