Category Archives: Uncategorized

Creative inspiration – Motivation to keep creating

I thought this article was very interesting and had some useful advice.

Hannes van Eeden

Does it sometimes feel like you have nothing to create or don’t know what to do? Or you do know but don’t have the motivation to do it. Call it writer’s block, creative block, photographer’s block, or whatever.

Let me reignite that flame.


View original post 670 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Freewrite#2

After the ‘excitement’ of the first Freewrite the new one has now arrived and I am typing this entry on it.

Here it is in all its dusty glory – I have the housekeeping skills of a drunk gorilla

The first Freewrite was, of course, the second as the first was actually stolen and I never saw it. The difference between the one I had before and this one is night and day. The keys just work when I tap them – that might be the bare minimum one expects from a computer but that wasn’t even happening before so progress!

When I fist turned on the one I received I thought that it was just a weird machine and it would be a bit of a learning curve. I concluded that that was why letters seemed to be taking a while to appear. As it turned out it was the beginning of the problem that killed it.

This one, in the words of the ninth doctor, is fantastic. I saw a few reviews of it before I took the plunge that said that a Freewrite was slow and rather unresponsive – not in terms of a fault but because of the nature of e-ink. I am not finding that at all. I am typing at a normal speed and the letters are coming up like normal so I don’t see that.

The big question is will this device actually help me with writing? I think it probably will. When I am working on a blog post I often get bogged down in how it looks. By the time you read this there will be a picture and a nice layout. However trying to do two things at once, getting the words right and making in look good, means that I end up doing neither very well. Separating those two facets means both are done better.

That is not all. I am bad at spelling – a constant problem – and sometimes my spelling is so bad that even a spell checker doesn’t have a clue! And thus I am distracted with the wavy red lines under the words and stop writing to go and find the correct spelling. When my spelling is just that bad I go to plan B – which is rather ridicules.

Plan B is to find a TV, or movie, script that I know contains the word. So I look it up and copy and paste the word. I know it sounds crazy but it works. Minutiae is one such word I have trouble with. (Although this time my misspelling was close enough that I could get it without plan B.) Normal I have to seek out a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine script that contains the word. (And doing this can lead to the distraction of reading the script.)

The Freewrite doesn’t have a spellchecker so no distracting lines – it is just for writing. The Freewrite doesn’t even allow for editing. Technically you can use the back arrows but they require a keyboard shortcut, no dedicated keys, but this is a feature not a bug. The whole point of the device is that you just write and that is all and that is why I wanted it.

So far I am very happy with it and I think that it is going to help. Only time will tell if I am correct in that assertion.

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.

PS. I have jumped over the festive period. So happiness to you for the coming year. May your dreams come true this year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Freewrite

Have you heard of the Freewrite TRAVELER? It is a dedicated writing machine. It uses e-ink and can do nothing more than write. I was hoping to be using it now to write this entry but I am unable to do this.

The first time I ordered one it didn’t arrive. The delivery company, who shall remain nameless, delivered an empty box. Then I got sent a replacement but the ‘e’, and a few other keys aren’t working. An ‘e’ is rather important to the English language.

So I am going to have to make a third attempt – fingers crossed!

I have thought about getting one of these devices for a while. It was the price that was stopping me. One of these is £344 which is a lot of money.

As many a reviewer points out a low end laptop can be bought for that. The question then becomes why pay more for something that does less?

What finally brought me to the decision was enforced productivity – and having a devise that is just for writing.

Will power is a good thing to have. However sometimes the best way to win is not to fight. Sun Tzu said something like that. So if you know that chocolate is too much to resist then don’t keep it in the house.

I shouldn’t keep chocolate in the house but that is a different story.

I am really bad at continuing to edit and thus never make any progress. I also get sucked into research. You know how it is. All you want to do is find the name of a city in Uzbekistan. Next thing you know you are down a rabbit hole reading about… well I am sorry I don’t know anything about the history of Uzbekistan.

The point is that distractions come in many forms. With a Freewrite the possibility of distraction is removed. I am not fighting against anything being distracted. I have no choice but to write.

That is the theory at least. When the fully functional device arrives hopefully the theory will hold.

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 Narrative

Recently I have got into Lego. Technically I have got into Lego again. I am an adult, so they tell me, therefore playing with Lego might mean something. You can call it a coping mechanism, or a midlife crises if you wish but really I think it is just harmless fun. And I am discovering that Lego is certainly not just for children anymore.

There are now sets aimed directly at adults – so be sure to duck.

I bought a set called The Bookshop. While the set looks lovely I feel it is lacking in some areas so I am going to modify it… or rather adjust it.

Saying ‘modify’ implies that I know what I am doing. I do not. So ‘adjust’ is the word I am going to go with. And this is where the crazy sets in.

I looked at the set and started to think about what I wanted to change. I can go online, money notwithstanding, and get any parts I want. But what if I saw things from the point of view of the Lego people.

Bear with me…

When writing a story it is important to have verisimilitude. That is to say believability. If your character owns a Bookshop what resources would they have? Could they afford to build an extension on their business for example?

This thought occurred to me as I was looking at the finished set. In some ways it was more interesting to me than simply making any adjustments I could imagine.

Although I did eventually demolish the whole thing!

I wonder at what age we loose our confidence in creativity.

A child will look at a pile of Lego and put them together at random. Why can’t the pirates find gold in a moon buggy? Why can’t a Bookshop deliver via helicopter? More than that though they will be much less likely to feel that what they have built is ‘wrong’.

So far I have put Hermione Granger and Harry Potter in Central Perk – and a Battle Droid is singing to them – so I am part of the way there!

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

Delete…delete…delete

Photo by Caio on Pexels.com

Unsurprisingly there is no picture of Cybermen on Pexels. However the battle cry of the Cybermen is appropriate to this post.
I want to share my pain. If you don’t want to read my pain I understand. See you next time. If not read on.

I trust people. I should have learnt by now that is a bad idea.

Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else? Shoot ’em.

Commander Susan Ivanova – Babylon 5

Not all people are untrustworthy but a bit of suspicion is good. I tend not to have that. I trust people and today I had proof that that is not always a good idea. In response I am making some adjustments to how I do things on line.

This should only effect my private web presence. I am going to be far more circumspect in who I talk to online and be more careful.

Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways. Today was the latter for me. I was a bit shaken by what happened. It was my stupidity that brought it was still another who was ultimately responsible.

I can’t say I am okay but I have deleted some internet conversations and am stopping using some apps. I will be okay.

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

Balance of Terror – TOS a Review

This is one of the best episodes of Star Trek. It is also important to the Star Trek universe as it is the introduction of the Romulans to the series.

One

The great strength of this episode is that the Romulans are complex. It would have been very easy to have had than as simple villains. That is not what we get though. The Romulan commander does not want a war but he is a man of duty and will fulfil his mission because of that.

We see the Commander and Kirk’s respect for each other. The Commander telling Kirk that under different circumstances they could have been friends is wonderful and very powerful.

Two

Naturally this episode is an allegory for a battle between a submarine and a surface ship. This works well with one exception. I refer to the silent scene. Yes there is a scene where both crews are working quietly so as to not be heard – in space?

I don’t really mind this as it is a small part of the episode. It is also possible that the sensors could detect vibrations – that’s all I’ve got.

Three

Bigotry is an important part of the episode. When Spock reveals that the Romulans look like Vulcans Stiles is immediately suspicious.

Given that Star Trek tends to say that humans are above such concepts it is an interesting addition. I did start to write a longwinded passage on this – but lets keep things simple. Bigotry is bad. Maybe not that simple. I don’t think that overcoming negative emotions is that simple.

In DS9 Captain Sisko (as a Commander) says that it is easy to be a saint in paradise. This line pretty much sums up DS9 but it is important for this episode too. Sometimes we don’t experience the dark side of our nature until we are tested.

Stiles is admonished by Kirk, and rightfully so, and told to remember that the war is over. A very important lesson. Without learning that a new war can start taking revenge on the grandchildren for what their grandparents did.

Four

It is rather silly that the Romulan war was fought without visual communication. However it is necessary to the plot. Given the secretive nature of the Romulans it does fit it just seems unlikely. That however is coming from a 21st century perspective.

Five

The interactions between the Romulan officers and crew is well done. The Centurion and the Commander talk about other campaigns they have fought together. I find myself wondering who they were fighting. It is never said and I doubt that it was ever worked out. My guess is the Breen. Although they weren’t invented till TNG.

Six

The neutral zone doesn’t make a lot of sense. In fact boarders in three dimensions are problematic at best. Again for the same of the story, any story, things have to slide.

Seven

The episode ends poignant. There will be no new war but the Enterprise lost a member of the crew. Unlike other episode the death of this redshirt (he wears gold so I am being figurative) matters.

Over all this is a fantastic episode. It deals with its heavy themes well and we are left with a classic 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It Has Been a Long Time…

Sorry about the title – I hope it hasn’t started you singing – unless you like that song – I actually don’t mind it. I am rambling now. You don’t know what I am talking about do you?

In 2001 Enterprise (later Star Trek: Enterprise) was first broadcast. It was rather a shock to some that it had a theme song – and the song began in the way of the title of this post – which has nothing to do with anything it has just been a long time since I have posted here.

I cannot tell you that I have been working on some great project. I have simply been trying to live and deal with the demons in my head. Is that too much hyperbole? It might be. Sometimes I wish they were actual demons at least then I could learn martial arts and beat them up – maybe.

This post is going into strange places.

One thing I have done is create a shinny new spreadsheet! I know. I know. Some people create beautiful art.

Can I make a spreadsheet exciting to you? Probably not, but it is what is on my mind.

The spreadsheet is for tracking what I am doing day-to-day. I have tried various apps and so many different ways it has driven me crazy but doing it myself might actually work.

Productivity is something I have always struggled with. If I am doing one thing I am worried I am not doing another thing. Isn’t that kind of crazy?

For me the key to being productive is to engineer the feeling of achievement. Having a spreadsheet tell me that the job is done is as good a way as any. And a spreadsheet doesn’t have notifications all the time.

How do you get your stuff done?

My parents have said that me having this issue is good. Why? Because it means that there are things I want. There are things I can strive for and that is always a good thing. (Even if starting is so much easier than finishing)

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

Birds

Wales is known for its rain. It was raining when I started writing this post. Now it is a bright morning and aside from a siren in the distance, and the hum of the computer, it is quiet.

When I come to write these posts I want them to be accurate. You as the reader do not get to see when I wrote them. I could be writing this from years ago – nevertheless I like it to be true. So I started writing this when it was raining and now it is not so I have changed the tense.

Now I am in my kitchen area. I am by a window blocked by a tree. The kitchen may seem like an odd place to be to write but here I can stand to write and I prefer that to being seated.

Before, when the day was overcast, and raining, there was a good thing about it. I could have the curtains open when I chose to sit to use my computer at the dining table. On a bright day the sun renders the screen unusable.

The window looks out at the bird table. Unfortunately when it is raining the birds don’t seem to want to be out any more than humans do.

The bird table seems to have become very popular. When I was first writing this there were six of them. Now there is one – I guess that undermines my statement about the birds not liking the rain.

Photo by Joseph Yu from Pexels

As the birds eat they drop some of the seeds. This attracts other animals we have had a squirrel, a hedgehog, and a rat. The squirrels chase each other – although when we had cats the squirrels used to chase them. Apparently the cats didn’t understand there place in the food chain – not that I was wishing to see the cats eat one.

This post started in a different place to where it is now.

There is something special about watching birds fly back and forth from the seed perches. Perhaps it is the random nature of their movements that I like.

That is an odd thing for me to say as I do not like random stuff. I follow my to do list so strictly that I get stressed out when I don’t manage to do stuff that only I care if it is, or isn’t, done! So maybe there is a lesson in that somewhere. What do I know I am just… well me… I didn’t have an end for that sentence.

I’ll be back some time in the future for another Star Trek review. In the meantime have a wonderful day, week, month, year (?) – yeah probably not that last one.

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

To help with the quotes used in this review I used: http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Conscience of the King (TOS) (Review)

Photo by Bia Sousa from Pexels

The episode starts with a dagger being dramatically raised. Kirk is watching a production of Macbeth. Star Trek references Shakespeare on many occasions – and here is where it started. I have a complicated relationship with Shakespeare – I really want to like his plays but half the the time I understand where Blackadder was coming from when he decks the bard!

Maybe I am just an uncultured so-and-so.

Captain Kirk is watching the play with Dr Thomas Leighton. Leighton is convinced that the man playing Macbeth, Anton Karidian, is Kodos the Executioner. We have no context for who that is but we have a possible secret identify and with this, and a name like Kodos the Executioner, the episode demands to be watched.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

After the credits we learn that Leighton has a disfigurement. Half his face is covered in what looks to be a stiff fabric. I am unclear what it is supposed to be. My guess is it is some sort of bandage or reconstructive surgery – this is a 1960s show it isn’t going to look perfect. Kodos is implied to have done this to him.

Here is the summery from Memory Alpha:

Kodos is notorious because he seized control of the doomed Earth Colony Tarsus IV in 2246 and ordered the execution of half its population of 8,000. Of the 4,000 survivors, only nine, including the young Kirk and Leighton, ever saw the face of the revolutionary governor.

Here is where we get into a bit of problem. Kirk is able to compare Kodos to Karidian via photograph. The whole plot hinges on so few people being able to identify him but this scene shows that anyone could do it. I am willing to overlook this though. The rest of the episode is well done and little plot holes are understandable. That said the plot could have been adjusted to them being witness and not corroborating identity. These days we would talk about DNA too but that kind of testing wasn’t around in the 1960s. (At least that is what I can glean from a 30 second Googling!)

Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels

Kirk attends a cocktail party at Leighton’s home and we meet Anton Karidian’s daughter, Lenore, who is named after a fabric softener for some reason.

Kirk talks to her because…well he is Kirk… but also he wishes to use her to learn about her father. The two of them go for a walk, almost kiss, and discover a dead body. These are all normal events in the life of Captain Kirk.

The body is that of Leighton. This begins to convince Kirk, and Leighton’s wife, that there might be something to his suspicions.

Kirk arranges for the Astral Queen to not pick up the Karidian players. This has the effect he hoped for – it manoeuvres Lenore into requesting a lift which Kirk grants.

Meanwhile Kirk discovers out that Lieutenant Kevin Riley was also one of the people able to identify Kodos. Kirk has Riley sent back to engineering. This is apparently a demotion. Kirk’s reasoning seems to be that if Riley is on the lower decks he is safe from Karidian (Kodos).

Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

Spock begins to have suspicions and so goes to see McCoy. This may not be the best idea. McCoy is drinking in sickbay – it is possibly the middle of the day and he might be on duty. Spock doesn’t say anything about it. There is also a weird line in this scene referring to Vulcan having been conquered – it is an evolving show so who can say – but McCoy could also be drunk and Spock doesn’t care enough to correct him.

More weird 1960s references to women comes into play when McCoy refers to Lenore as ‘a pretty exciting creature’ – Spock dismisses Lenore as the cause of Kirk’s odd behaviour. And Spock is right. Kirk would not risk his command for something that trivial.

Photo by Jill Burrow from Pexels

Meanwhile Kirk is with Lenore on the observation deck to share some weird dialogue.

Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate, but a woman always remains a woman.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series – The Conscience of the King)

Lenore also compares the power of the Enterprise to Kirk himself – since she uses the word throbbing in that qustion I would rather not think about it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Someone attempts to poison Riley. Fortunately he was listing to Uhura sing over the com so he is rushed to sickbay. Spock and McCoy go to confront Kirk about Kodos.

I don’t like anyone meddling in my private affairs, not even my second in command.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series: The Conscious of the King)

What I like about this scene is that McCoy comes to Spock’s defence. The trio is what makes TOS work. Spock is logical, McCoy is emotional and Kirk has to find his way between the two extremes.

Photo by Benjamin Lehman from Pexels

An awkward scene break and it is just Spock and Kirk. They hear the low hum of a phaser on overload. They find it behind the plastic of the red alert light. Kirk sends it down a disposal shoot, the ship shakes, but no serious damage is sustained.

Enough is enough for Kirk. He goes to confront Koridian to make absolutely certain that he is Kodos. He takes with him a copy of the speech Kodos gave before the executions.

The revolution is successful, but survival depends on drastic measures. Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. (stops looking at the paper) Your lives means slow death to the more valued members of the colony. Therefore I have no alternative but to sentence you to death. Your execution is so ordered. Signed, Kodos, governor of Tarsus Four.

Koridian (Kodos) (Star Trek: The original Series: The Conscious of the King)

Koridian hardly glancing at the paper convinces Kirk he is Kodos.

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

So we come to the final curtain. Please forgive the cliché but in this case there is a literal curtain. The performance is going ahead.

Meanwhile McCoy shows us why dictating a log might not be the best idea. He mentions Kodos within earshot of Riley – who takes a phaser and heads for the theatre.

Photo by Ahmed Adly from Pexels

Kirk convinces Riley to return to the sickbay. What is strange about this ending is that there still seems to be doubt whether or not Kordian is Kodos – even though we saw photographic evidence at the start of the show and Spock said as much – frankly if Spock is certain that is surely good enough for an arrest.

And here we get the big reveal. It isn’t Koridian who has been killing the nine witnesses but Lenore. She grabs a phaser from one of the guards and fires at Kirk. Koridian gets in the way and she kills him instead.

We can argue stun settings but Koridian may have had a heart condition for all we know. I have been watching Bones lately and one thing that comes up again and again is how easy death can happen – even if a weapon is supposed to be non-lethal.

One final quote from Hamlet, curtesy of Lenore over her father’s body, and we get to the end of the episode.

Lenore remembers nothing and is institutionalised. Kirk refuses to answer the question of whether or not he really cared for her.

The Enterprise heads off for its next assignment.

This is one of the best episodes of the original series. As mentioned the plot does have a bit of a hole in it but that is a small quibble as the rest of it is so well done. We get a good look into Kirk’s character as he tries to balance his need for vengeance and his need for justice.

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

To help with the quotes used in this review I used: http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Indestructible

Photo by Thea Ancheta from Pexels

Few things in this world are considered indestructible – that includes this world. Only two things come to mind as indestructible – Captain Scarlet and the above phone.

The Nokia 3310 was legendary. By today’s standards this phone cannot do much but its durablity cannot be argued with.

Like everyone else I now have a smart phone. I dropped mine a couple of weeks back. Instantly the touch screen wasn’t working – then a purple something started to spread across it and by the next morning the screen was completely blank.

Meanwhile the 3310 can still function from being dropped from 300 meters up! A distance that would never happen!

Phones these days are shinny and slippery – they look nice but they are so easily dropped. I have got a new phone now with a robust case. As I said when I got it: “I want this thing to withstand a direct hit from a photon torpedo.”

I sound like an old curmudgeon with writing this don’t I?

Apropos of nothing at all here is something I found that made me laugh. I hope it will make you laugh too.

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

Filed under Uncategorized