Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Meet Ashya T’Sai.

Demotivational Poster, Vulcan HumorAs most of my regular readers can tell you, I am a widower.  My wife, Mrs. Vulcan Stev passed this past spring after a battle with breast cancer and then liver cancer.  Rather then rehash what I’ve already written just click here.

One week after I wrote the I’m not fishing post, I broached the subject with my pastor and my church.  I wanted them aware of the fact that I was not looking at leaving the church but rather looking to go to a place where single women my age attended.  I wasn’t about ready to start dating someone I didn’t know.  So in order to get to know the women when I was ready to start dating, I had to go to where they were.

The members of the church all agreed this was a reasonable thing for me to do (though there was gnashing of teeth over “It’s too soon to be dating”).

Two days after I asked for prayer that God would illuminate my path towards “Single, Ready-to-Date”, I got an e-mail from an acquaintance from High School.  She was now a single mother and her children had questions about Renaissance Faires and Role Playing Games and how both of those activities can fit into a Christian worldview.

I make no secret about the fact that I am a Christian.  I make no secret that I believe that Role Playing Games are not Satanic in nature and can be enjoyed by Christians.  With those things firmly in mind, I honestly answered her questions to the best of my ability.  I was no more thinking about my recent prayer request than I was thinking about supper two weeks from then.  Here was a friend from High School asking my opinion on a subject that I know pretty well.

One e-mail turned into two.  Two e-mails turned into many.  E-mails gave way to text messages.  Text messages gave way to phone calls (Thank God I have unlimited texting on my phone and we’re both on the same network so we’re not paying for all the additional calling and texting).

I’m not going to bore you with the all the details and some of the details are highly personal, suffice it to say that over the course of these conversations we not only renewed a friendship but we sparked something more than that.  I journeyed to the wonderful land of the Ozark mountains to meet her family this past week.  After meeting her family, asking her parents permission (I know I didn’t have to because we’re both adults but I did anyway) to date their daughter, Ashya T’Sai (vulcan for Lady Love) and I officially began dating.

What? How could you? Isn’t this too soon?

Ashya and I are friends from high school.  She and I share the same faith (not just Christianity but the same subset).  I don’t blog much about this but I work with kids in the church.  My main form of doing this is with a puppet team, Ashya and I were on the same puppet team in high school she still works with the Wednesday evening children’s stuff at her church.

My last request was that the next woman in my life should understand me.  Mrs. Vulcan Stev and I loved each other very much.  We did not share many interests and once the kids were gone from the home we were going to have to reconnect.  I did not want to start dating again at age 43 and have NOTHING in common with the woman I dated.

Ashya, not only gets my sense of humor, she’s as bad as I am with puns.  She not only likes movies but our DVD collections are nearly identical.  The only reason we don’t watch the same TV is because I have dish and she doesn’t.  The only major difference between the two of us is that she likes coffee and I have to get my caffeine cold and carbonated.

I’m not going to question God’s timing.  I asked God where the pond was and he responded with the fish.  It’s like he was telling me that I didn’t have to worry about this because he had everything under control.  I loved Mrs. Vulcan Stev and I always will.  However she is now a treasured part of my past.  Ashya and I are the future.

Just to give all my geeky buddies an idea of her geek cred, her son, PIT #4, (not sure about that nickname yet) was given a whole slew of ducklings.  I suggested that she name one of the ducks Howard.  Not only did she get the reference but she laughed for a minute or two before saying, “That’s perfect.”

Ashya and I are not playing the dating game.  We’re not in this just for fun, she still lives in the Ozarks and I live in North Central Iowa.  We’re in this for the long-haul.  She’ll be showing up in these posts, I just wanted to introduce her to everyone.

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , , | 8 Comments

I write like…

One of the things that took a big hit with the death of my wife was my writing. Now that I’ve finished up the estate, got the taxes done, and have the kids back in school, I’m dusting off some of the work that has been relegated to the back burner.

One of the things that I did was submit some of my ‘completed‘ short stories to the “I write like” website.  Imagine my surprise when my writing style came back as similar to one of my faves.

I write like
Douglas Adams

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

What really entertains me is the notion that my stories about a Vulcan who tries to experience his emotions is written in a similar style that is as much comedy as it is science fiction.  I feel somewhat honored.

Anyway, I’m getting back into the saddle.  I’ve got a really nice story in the works.  However I thought it’d be nice to provide a little bit of a Stev primer.  As well as a chronological listing of the stories I’ve finished.

Stev is a Vulcan who served in Starfleet aboard the USS Intrepid before becoming an agent of October (a loosely veiled reference to Section 31).  He has a pet tribble named Phread (rhymes with bread)

Stev has logically deduced that the complete suppression of emotions is contrary to the teachings of Surak.  He believes that Surak taught that emotions should be mastered.  Looking at the success of Spock (a Vulcan with insight into the human emotional spectrum) as Kirk’s second-in-command, Stev decided that he should experience his emotions.

Stev was then exiled by the Vulcan High Command for this “radical” belief.

Stev served onboard the USS Intrepid for a number of years before a mission that brought him to the attention of October (Section 31).  While on board the USS Intrepid he met and fell in love with T’Aiya Llire, a Vulcan/Romulan/Antosian.  The two were bonded and served aboard the Intrepid until Stev left to become an Agent of Section 31.

T’Aiya underwent mental conditioning to believe that Stev had died.  She suffered some severe emotional problems due to the unexpected depth of their bond.

Stev and his tribble underwent some genetic modifications.  Phread was given some technological improvements and during the procedure it was discovered that tribbles are sentient creatures.  Phread is now able to communicate using a computer interface.

After 10 years, one of Stev’s missions ended badly.  His superior officer broke protocol and ordered the USS Thunderchild into the area to rescue his officer. Unknown to the Section Chief of Station, T’Aiya was now serving aboard the Thunderchild.

Unwilling to put his wife through the pain and suffering of leaving her again, Stev worked out a compromise with his superiors.  Stev now serves both the Thunderchild as one of her intelligence officers and uses the ship as a base for his continued activities as an agent of Section 31.

Completed Steve stories: (in chronological order)

Return to Glory: Stev meets for the first time the officer who will later recruit him as a Section 31 agent

Shore Leave: Stev proposes to T’Aiya

The Stitch: Stev undertakes a mission into the past to clean up someone else’s mess.  This story introduces Stev’s protege

Found!: Stev is rescued by the USS Thunderchild

Blindsided: Just as Stev begins to settle into his new life, the Breen attack

Down Time: While the Thunderchild is docked at Starbase Earhart, Stev remembers his ‘shuttle accident’

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, RPG, Star Trek, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Secret: Why I haven’t been updating this summer

Please pardon me in advance if I ramble through this post.  My thoughts are jumbled and I’m trying to make some coherent sense of everything that is running through my brain.

My wife of twenty-years passed away in May.  I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of her passing.  Paying off the debts left by her passing, coming to terms with being a single parent, and realizing just how big a gaping hole in my life was left by her passing.

I went back to work two-weeks after her passing.  The small-town paper where I work was entering its busy season with local fairs, the local high school softball team winning a second-straight state championship.  Needless to say I was running into a lot of working late.

With PIT #3 playing summer baseball, my schedule was even more fragmented.  I finally got the last bill related to Virginia paid off in late July.  I began to work on my 2009 taxes.  All this while I began to realize that my social circle did not include any single females that I might consider dating once I was ready to start dating again.  I’ve covered this all in my I’m not fishing post, so I won’t rehash that all here.

I began asking God where I should go to find single women who shared my faith and my call.  Two days after I began praying in earnest about what to do, a friend of long acquaintance sent me an e-mail.  We graduated from the same high school and went to the same church 25 years ago.

She had a question about my involvement in Role Playing Games and Renaissance Faires.  At this point I was thinking all about answering her questions as honestly and openly as I could.  I was not thinking about my recent prayer request.  After 200+ text messages, 50+ e-mails, and a phone call or two, I began thinking about my recent prayer request.  Sometime into our fourth or fifth day of talking with each other we began to realize just how similar our faith, calls, and geeky interests were.

I have promised her that I will not change my facebook status, or mention her name until I have met her parents and informed them of my intention to date their daughter.  Am I old-fashioned? yes.  Am I being a gentlemen?  yes.  Does she appreciate this aspect of my personality? in her own words, yes.  Are there other reasons for this requirement? yes, but I’m not at liberty to spill those beans.

So to sum up, spring and early summer were spent working and dealing with Virginia’s estate, mid-summer I spent finishing up my 2009 taxes, late summer through now I have been communicating with my girlfriend.  I have been living life and accomplishing things that need to be done.

Will I be introducing her to my friends and readers here.  Yes but, I need to introduce myself to her parents.

She’s been teasing me because I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time.  Every time I sit to write I get writer’s block because all I can think about is her.  I’m heading to her part of the country over Labor Day weekend to introduce myself to her family

I’ve got more original demotivational posters in the works, some rpg related posts, and some movie stuff that I haven’t been able to wrap my brain around.  Now that work is back to normal, I’ve finished off taxes and the estate, and the PITs are back in school, I should be getting some writing done.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, News, Reviews and Culture, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , | 3 Comments

I’m not fishing yet.

Chilly WillyRegular readers of this blog are aware of the fact that two months ago my wife passed after an extended battle with breast cancer.  I’ve been coping with the aftermath of her passing (paying off her debts, hospital bills, incurred expenses, etc.).  While I’ve been doing this, I’ve also been back at work during one of the busiest points of the year.

Because I’m back at work I’m left with one day during the work week to get the 9-5 M-F stuff done.  Yes my boss would gladly give me some extra time to accomplish these things, but I’m the ad man for a small town Iowa paper.  I have deadlines to meet and if I don’t get my job done the paper has no advertising.

In the past two months, I have been coming to grips with the fact that  my wife is not coming back home.  She has been healed of pain and has finished her fight.  As much as I’d like to pretend she’s away at a conference and will be coming back, she’s not going to walk through the door.

It’s tough.  I don’t have anyone to snuggle up against at night.  I don’t have anyone to sit listen to how good or bad my day at work was.  Yes I’ve still got my boys at home, however there’s a very large difference between one’s partner and one’s offspring.

I’m only 43.  I have to realize that PIT #2 is closer to leaving home than I care to admit.  PIT #3 will be home for a while longer but eventually (despite his protests to the contrary) he’ll go off to college, find a girl, and settle down somewhere (hopefully) other than Daddy’s house.  Even if both of my boys decide to attend local college and live at home during that time, they’ll still be gone before I’m 60.  I’m not spending the rest of my life alone.

This brings me to the title of this post.  I took stock of the number of (known) single women in my life.  Including my writing partner and baby sister, I came up with five.  As I said, one of those is my sister, that leaves four.  My writing partner lives in California and has made it clear she’s not leaving the state of the Governator, down to three.  One of these is a co-worker and good friend.  Aside from the fact that she has a boyfriend moving to Iowa later this year, we are neither’s particular cup-of-tea. Two.

The other two are nice enough but after talking with both of them and going on a few dates, it’s quite clear that there is no future for me and either of them.  One of them keeps bringing up a past boyfriend in EVERY conversation and makes it quite clear that he holds the strings to her heart.  The other expressed an interest in pursuing a relationship but since that pronouncement, she has hooked up with not one, but two different guys.  OK, I’m not stupid.  I don’t need to have it spelled out for me.  That leaves me at zero.

Now, I have a lot of meatspace acquaintances.  They are all either married, children, or well past retirement age.  In my social circle, aside from the previously mentioned women, there are no adult single females in my life.  Four months ago that wasn’t a problem.  It’s still not a problem but left untouched it will be.

I’m looking for some specific traits that the next Mrs. Nibbelink should have.  She should share my faith.  She should like children as my puppet team and volunteer work deal primarily with children.  She should also understand my geek factor.  I’m not saying she has to like the same movies, TV shows, gaming choices, or even like going to Renaissance Faires (those would be a nice bonus but the first two are the deal breakers).

So where do I go to find said person?  The local bar? no not if the first two are my primary conditions?  A singles club? possibly but there aren’t any locally and I still have my boys to look after.  A church that shares my faith? well yes that’d be the first place to start looking.

Therein lies my problem.  My current church has NO singles group.  So I need to find a church that has what I’m looking for.  I’ve been asking around, checking out local church websites and basically shopping for another church to attend.

Oh my.  You’d think I announced the apocalypse.  This is causing more furor than my looking into getting a tatoo.  I’m getting lambasted from all sides for everything from disrespecting my wife’s memory to leaving a church home for no good reason to being in mourning long enough.  *sigh*

To put it into the metaphor.  Just because I’m trying to find the pond where the fish are does not mean I’m planning the fish fry for this weekend.  I’m not ready to go window shopping yet, I just want to know where the mall is located.  I’m not ready to start dating, but when I am I need to know where to go looking for single females that meet at least the first two conditions.

Gals, I’m not yet ready for any sort of a serious relationship as I’m still grieving my departed wife.  I am lonely and I am looking to meet some new people.

Thanks for listening.

July 25, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , | 7 Comments

Staring at a blank screen: Random thoughts.

Today is Sunday June 13.  The past three Sundays, I’ve been doing the weekly laundry while watching the NASCAR race.  This week I decided to take a laundry break and work on my semi-neglected blog.  I’ve been staring at the screen for the better part of 45 minutes and find I have nothing worth writing a column about…  I have plenty of random thoughts but nothing worthy of 500+ words.

Completely random thoughts

Boys left to their own devices do NOT pick things up.

Without a female influence in my home, we eat out more frequently.

It’s easy to get lost in a queen bed.

I don’t watch as much TV while I’m dealing with Virginia’s estate.

I can tell you who my real friends are.

I find myself still feeling guilty for noticing women.

Some people need to be visited by a goon squad.

The old adage of you don’t truly appreciate the small things until they’re gone is completely true.

Teenagers seem to think my house is cool hang-out.

Facebook games are addictive.

Many of my real friends have never met me face-to-face.

Some people have wa-a-a-ay too much time on their hands (apparently because they have enough time  to tell me how I’m doing everything wrong).

Hong Kong Phooey is a sadly neglected Hanna Barbera property.

Most comedys from my youth aren’t nearly as funny now that I’m an adult.

June 13, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Vulcan Stev | | 4 Comments

Thoughts as I enter my 43rd year as a widower.

It’s 12:30 in the morning on the 14th.  I have been 43 years old for thirty minutes now.  In another fifty minutes I’ll have been a widower/single parent for exactly forty-eight hours.  My brain is mush but I can’t sleep.

I’m writing this mainly to try to make some sense of things.

I’ve had folks who have told me that they were praying for Virginia’s healing and that they were so sorry that God chose not to heal her.  Stop right there.  God has healed my wife.  She is in a place where the cancer is no longer part of her.  She is once again whole.  She has been healed just not in the way we might have expected or wanted for that matter.  I have been told by every doctor we talked to that liver cancer is one of the more painful cancers a person can endure.  If that is true than I am thankful that Virginia did not have to suffer long.  I miss her but we’ll have very few memories of Virginia’s shell, unlike my Grandmother Nibbelink who spent most of my life confined to a couch and barely able to move.

Would Grandma N. say that her life was wasted just because she spent the better part of two decades unable to breathe without oxygen or unable to walk more than the few steps from her bedroom to her bathroom and back?  No, she’d be the first to tell you that she lots of time to spend talking to God.  However her children and (most of) her grandchildren have plenty of memories of Grandma at her most vibrant.

I am very thankful that P.I.T. #3 (Chris) does not carry the burden of most of his “Mommy Memories” being of her as an invalid in a bed or on a couch.

Pvt. Black Spartan (Janae) has matured in the year that she has been in Uncle Sam’s (that would be the army and not Virginia’s brother) care and tutelage.  She has stepped in and taken some of the burden of dealing with life off of her father’s shoulders.  I thank God for my baby girl.

PIT #2 (Gerrit) has been somewhat of an enigma during this time.  I can tell he’s hurting but he’s got his father’s mis-guided notion that “Men Aren’t Supposed to CRY”.  I know my son and can tell when he’s not happy, right now he’s not.  I haven’t seen him cry yet but then he  probably is thinking “Dad is falling apart and I need to be strong for him”

Most of the immediate family from both sides are in town.  My brother will get here tomorrow and Virginia’s brother Sam finally got here today, in his haste he mis-booked a flight and was stuck in Denver for a couple of hours.

The boys and I have taken a pledge to keep the house from looking like it was the sole domain of three bachelors.  I don’t know how we’re gonna pull that off.  We’ve had friends (thank you) over helping us make it look nice now.

I honestly cannot comprehend the outpouring of love and generosity from all walks of our lives.  PIT #3’s school has taken it upon themselves to make sure that not only are me and the kids fed during this time but my parent and siblings and Virginia’s parents and siblings as well.  Thank you to TCS

Churches that we have attended in the past are taking up collections to help with funeral expenses.  The RPG community has set up a fund for donations (Dudes and Dudettes, I’m touched).  Each of the schools that Virginia interpreted for is getting unsolicited donations from their students.  I don’t know if I’ll EVER be able to thank every one individually for all they have done, are doing, and have pledged to do.   Each of those donations will be a very big help as Virginia missed the last month of her contract and I’ve basically taken a two-week unpaid vacation.  I’m overwhelmed and humbled, may God bless each and every one of you.

We found out that Virginia did have a life insurance policy.  Enough that once it comes through some of the larger recent expenditures (medical, funeral, etc.) can be paid off without my having to sell myself and the boys into slavery.  We might even have enough to take a vacation with Pvt Black Spartan to a gaming con (any suggestions?)

I’m still not excited about raising two boys by myself.  I’m not excited at all about the loneliness at night.  I’m realizing just how much of a rock Virginia was in my life and I don’t look forward to the future months once the flush of her passing has been forgotten.

I do not expect, nor do I want meals to continued to be provided for us, our home cleaned by others, the laundry done….  Eventually the extended family needs to return to their lives.  Gerrit, Chris and I will need to learn to get by on our own.  I’m not looking forward to that either.

So here I sit in (now 1:00 am) my chair.  My kids are taking me to see Iron Man 2 for my birthday.  I need my sleep for today will be busy.  I don’t want to go to bed because I’m getting lost in the queen sized area without my partner to snuggle against.  I’m trying to make myself sleepy enough now so I can go to bed without having to read one of my comic books to wind down.  (I ruined a Batman graphic novel because I wound down enough I fell asleep in it and drooled).

I miss my wife.

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , | 12 Comments

Cancer Crisis: Her Journey is Over… and ours has just begun.

Good Morning World.  It is 11:00 am Wednesday May 12.  I wake up this morning as a single father.  I am simply overwhelmed by the support, love, and friendship… (how do you translate tears all over the keyboard and screen?)

Virginia took her last breath at 1:2o this morning.  I stayed around doing the normal paperwork shuffle until about 3:15 this morning.  I got home at about 3:45 and shut off the phone, the alarms and went to bed.  I woke this morning to a very wet pillow and an empty bed.

Virginia’s folks and sister made it to Iowa in time to see her.  Pvt Black Spartan (Janae) made it home in time to see Mommy.  We had a ad-hoc family reunion in Virginia’s hospice room as we all shared stories of our favorite Virginia memories.

The family (especially PIT #3) started to get tired about 10:30.  11:00 I wrote the “Counting down the hours” post and read each of the 113 e-mails.  I hope everyone will forgive me for not replying personally. 😎

Pastor Ken of my church and Pastor Troy (not my Pastor but I’ve worked with him on a number of occasions) sat with me and talked from 11:00 – 12:30.  I shared with them stories of Virginia and I.  We watched Virginia’s breathing get shallower and further apart as I held her hand.  Pastor Troy left at 12:30 and Pastor Ken sat with me.

At 1:20 this morning Virginia breathed her last.  My wife is now healed.  Praise God!  The shell she lived in on this earth is at rest.

I’ll probably be saying this a lot in the next few days.  THANK YOU!  I don’t remember who started it but the Vulcan Stev family fund is appreciated.  I never would have asked, but I’m man enough to admit we need it and I certainly won’t turn down the assistance.  Posting the link here seems a little self-serving to me (besides in all honesty I’m not sure I remember who started it or what the link is)  Again thank you.

Virginia Nibbelink is at peace.  She has fought the good fight.  She has finished her race.  The Cancer Crisis is over.

Right now plans are for her memorial service to be held Sunday morning at New Hope Fellowship in Holland, Iowa.  You are all certainly welcome to attend.

I plan to write up a post (when I’m feeling more articulate) about what Virginia meant/means to me.

I have had a number of folks tell me that my posts about the battle have been a source of inspiration (Berin, I think I understand a little how you feel).  Towards that end, I will also probably blog about how the family is coping with the transition.  I figure if what I wrote has helped folks going through similar experiences with cancer then what I write might help folks who have lost someone.

I apologize if this has been rambling.  I’m still coming to grips with the fact that Virginia isn’t coming back to this house.  She has gone home.

Virginia Nibbelink b. October 25, 1963.  Born into Eternity May 12, 2010.  Godspeed my love

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The View from My Chair: Klingon Ridges and continuity

My Buddy Berin Kinsman recently had a question about Klingon head ridges.  For the uninitiated, in the original series Klingons had no head ridges.  Star Trek: The Motion Picture showed minor head ridges on the Klingons.  The Klingon make-up evolved throughout the movies and TNG until we have the bumpy heads we’re familiar with today.

The real world reason for this apparent discrepancy is the fact that budgets for make-up during the original series run was miniscule.  Make-up budgets for the movies was a lot higher.  Make-up techniques and budgets had improved enough by the 1980’s that a weekly TV show could afford what a cash-strapped TV show in 60’s could not.  When a TV show as long-lived and as successful as Star Trek is internally inconsistent it can drive fans of the show just a tick crazy.

Trekkers have often wondered about the visual discrepancy between Klingons as depicted in the 60s, the 70s, and the 80s as these differences were never addressed on-screen.  Theories abounded that there were two main races of Klingons, bumpy and non-bumpy headed.  Other theories stated that Klingons had themselves surgically altered themselves so they could better infiltrate the dominate facial structure found in the Alpha Quadrant.  Gene Roddenberry himself stated that Klingons “always” had head bumps, it was just the there wasn’t enough resolution in the cameras of the 1960s to capture the details.

Roddenberry’s theory seemed to be borne out in the Deep Space Nine episode “Blood Oath”.  In this episode the three main Klingons from the original series; Kang, Kor, and Koloth (Kor is shown above in bumps and no bumps) show up on DS9 in full modern Klingon makeup.  The theory of there being two different races of Klingons was shot down with this episode giving the edge to Roddenberry’s explanation.

The producers of DS9 thought about keeping the actors in the makeup they used in TOS but decided not to so as not to “confuse the audience”.  Micheal Ansara (Kang) asked why his (and the others) makeup was different then it had been in the 60s.  He was told that Klingons were very long-lived and the head ridges were a natural part of the Klingon aging process.  Nice theory, except that Worf’s son, Alexander was shown with ridges.

Up until this point there was nothing that required a convoluted explanation.  Roddenberry’s theory is still the best.

Now, in the name of showing something cool, Star Trek producers start digging a hole for themselves regarding the Klingon ridges.  In honor of Trek’s 30th Anniversary, Deep Space Nine decides to visit the classic episode, ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.  ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ sends the crew of DS9 back in time to the actual events of the classic episodes.  Was this cool?  Yes.  Did I enjoy the episode? Yes.  Did it complicate matters for the Klingon ridges?  Yes.

O’Brien, Bashir, Worf, and Odo are sitting in the bar looking at all the Klingons.  The waitress mentions the Klingons.  Odo, Bashir and O’Brien ask, “What Klingons?” and then look at Worf.  Worf explains that Klingons do not talk about the changes in appearance from the 23rd to the 24th century.  Roddenberry’s theory of camera resolution is dealt a fatal blow as the characters themselves bring up the difference in appearance.

OK what we are now left with (if we are assuming that the Trek universe is internally consistent) is a single genetic appearance for Klingons.  This single appearance changed at some point between 2268 (Trouble with Tribbles) and 2273 (ST:TMP).  Worf states that the Klingons hunted down and eradicated the tribbles as a species.  Tribbles do not like Klingons.   Worf emphasizes that Klingons considered tribbles an ecological menace.  Could the Klingon ridges be the result of a genetic mutation caused by Scotty’s disposal of the tribbles to the Klingon ship at the end of the episode?  Speculation across the internet at the time favored this theory.  The theory fit the facts as known at the time.  Fans were happy.

Once again, continuity raised its ugly head.

Star Trek Enterprise bursts into millions of homes.  The setting is the 22nd century.  The first image we see is a bumpy headed Klingon running through a cornfield in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  “What th****?” millions of Trek fans ask.  Why does the Klingon have bumps?  Braga, the man who hates continuity and Trek fans, and doesn’t give rats patoot about maintaining an internal consistency mandates that Klingons on Enterprise will HAVE bumps.  Why? because he assumes the audience will be confused by smooth headed Klingons.

The theory that Klingons got the bumps from Tribbles has now been discredited.  What the producers (ie Devil-man Braga) have forced on the fanbase is a race of aliens with a single defining characteristic.  This characteristic is lost at some point before 2268 and it starts to re-emerge in the early 2270s.  Braga wasn’t going to debase himself to those he despised and explain it.  He left it to someone else to clean up his convoluted mess.  When Manny Coto took Enterprise’s reins during season four we finally got an explanation.  It took an episode arc that tied the whole business into the eugenics wars.
Something that could have been explained away easily got convoluted because the producers A: thought the audience was not smart enough to handle the differences and B: some producers didn’t care about the continuity.

What does this mean?  If you’re going to produce a continuity heavy TV show, never assume your audience is stupid.  Also if you’re going to be the executive producer of said series, don’t hire a day-to-day producer that despises your fanbase.

As my fellow Klingons would probably say, “Continuity, pfah.  Let us do battle.”

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Star Trek, Vulcan Stev | , , , , | 12 Comments

Ask me Anything: Dreams, Favorites, & Cancer

Questions Asked, Questions answered.  Ask me anything, seriously.

Q. Have you ever dreamed of flying? Having your teeth crumble or fall out? Taking a test at school…and realizing you haven’t studied or even attended class? That you can’t fit in your car comfortably, or suddenly can’t see through the windshield?
A. You just described last night’s dream.

Q. Can you describe three ways to measure the height of a building with a barometer? If so, what are they?
A.It’s been 25 years since High School… How about this; climb to the top of the building. Tie a very long string to the barometer. Throw the barometer off the side of the building. When the string stops moving measure the string.

Q. John de Lancie or Desmond Llewelyn?
A. Q vs Q? Two completely different alphabets so to speak. I’d rather have Desmond’s Q on my side. But I wouldn’t want to do anything to pop on John Q’s radar.

Q. Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day or Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanes, spout?
A. 
Is there a level beyond “Blow winds…?”  I have ALWAYS loved storms.  The more thunder and lightning the better.

Q. Embarrassed I even know my sign or I’ll get back to you after I check my horoscope?
A. I was born under the sign ‘Hospital’

Q. Complete the following phrase: “It’s all in the…” 1.) way you make me feel; 2.) wrist; 3.) Game; 4.) reflexes.
A. reflexes – Jack Burton

Q. Ambiguous questions?
A. purple onions

Q. What would be a good name for a band?
A. Anxiety in the Hallway

Q. Do you have a stupid joke that never gets old?
A. Why did the man put the car in the oven? No it’s not because he wanted a hot rod it’s because the cake was in the garage. That’s for all the Floppy fans out there.

Q. When’s the last time you visited a museum, and which one? What’s your favorite museum?
A. Don’t know the last time I actually visited a museum, but my favorite is a toss-up between the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and Living History Farm in Des Moines

Q. Sushi y/depends/no way!?
A. If it’s part of a buffet then maybe… but I don’t go somewhere just to eat sushi

Q. What is your wife sick with? Sorry if this brings up pain.
A. Last year my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a complete mastectomy and months of chemotherapy she was declared cancer free and taken off the chemo. Now 8 months later we have been informed that the cancer has returned and overwhelmed the liver. Doc says it is both incurable and inoperable. No worries about the pain, I’m still in shock.   The complete chronicle of blog posts is here.

Q. Ok, so it’s Pizza. What toppings?
A. I used to work in a Pizzeria. I came up with a pizza I named the Cannonball “Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Black Olives, Mushrooms, and Onions.

Q. You have the opportunity to build (or re-build) your house. What type (and size) structure do you opt for?
A. Something roomy enough for the family and occasional gaming group but small enough to easily keep clean

Q. Funniest show you ever saw?
A. M*A*S*H

Q. A stranger walks up an offers you a briefcase containing $10 million, no strings attached. Would you accept? What would it depend on?
A. Right now? no strings attached? Yes! I’ve got medical bills to pay.

Q. Favorite cheesy movie?
A. It depends on your definition of cheesy, but “Big Trouble in Little China” would probably be at the top.

Q. Three Stooges: classic comedy, they have their moments, or people who find this funny have something wrong with them?
A. Classic comedy nyuck nyuck nyuck

Q. Do you enjoy any weird combinations of food (not just exotic for your locale)?
A. Green olives in cottage cheese

Q. What kind of music do you listen to most frequently? What’s your favorite kind of music (if different)?
A. I listen to Christian Pop most frequently. My favorite style is classic 1950s Rock-n-Roll.

Q. Godzilla or Gamera
A. Godzilla all the way.

Q. What was the answer to all math questions at in school?
A. 42

Q. Happiest memory?
A. January 21, 1989 Virginia said, “I do!”

Q. Marx Bros.: the funniest thing ever, the pinnacle of human civilization, or I wouldn’t know I don’t have a sense of humor?
A. I’m actually not to familiar with the Marx Brothers. What little I’ve seen is pretty funny.

Q. How many languages do you speak?
A. English and ASL

Q. Gadget you can’t do without?
A. My Laptop.

Q. Book that makes you happy whenever you read it?
A. The Starrigger trilogy.

Q. Favorite Star Trek series and episode?
A. TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever TNG: The Inner Light DS9: Far Beyond the Stars VOY: The Killing Game 1&2 ENT: In a Mirror Darkly 1

Q. What kind of computer(s) do you use?
A. At work I use a Mac G4 at home I run a Dell laptop with Windows Vista.

Q. What is the next cartoon to live action movie you’d like to see?
A. M.A.S.K (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)

Q. You’ve been given the opportunity to design fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons what do you do?
A. I make character generation as easy as Savage Worlds. I add the Role Playing aspect back into the game. Then I make it easier to play… Oh wait Shaintar already did all that.

Q. Drink of choice, if any?
A. Soft drink – Cherry Coke 0. Alcohol – Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Q. All things in moderation, or nothing succeeds like excess?
A. Too much of ANYTHING is bad for you.

Q. Do you commit art?
A. Commit Art? like graffiti? no. But I have taken up sketching again.

Q. Smart phone, dumb phone, land-line only, or how barbaric, I write letters…longhand.
A. If I could get net access at home without the land-line, I’d get rid of that. But I don’t want a phone that thinks it knows more than I do.

Q. Food that you could eat every day and not tire of? (Not necessarily exclusively)
A. Pizza. I actually do tend to eat that more four times a week. Such is the nature of living with teenage boys.

Q. Is there a character you’d like to be, assuming the world would cooperate?
A. I’ve been attempting to answer this all morning. I’ve tried cute, trite, whimsical… Anyway, I enjoy MY existence to much to trade it in on something else.

Q. Is there a fictional character that you emulate, intentionally or not?
A. Peter Parker, no matter what goes right in my life something bad usually negates it.

Q. Are you more like Batman (I have a plan for every contingency, and three back-up plans), MacGuyver (I’ll improvise) or Gladstone Gander (Nothing bad ever happens to me)?
A. McGyver, Life happens to fast to plan for contingencies.

Q. Do you have pets?
A. Me personally? Not currently. I used to have a hamster named Tribble. However living in my house is one dog named Blacktop, one cat named O’Malley, and a parakeet.

Q. Who’s your favorite character actor?
A. It’s a toss-up between Vincent Schiavelli or William H. Macy

Q. Now that we’re 10 years into the 21st Century, what innovation would you like to see come to fruition in the next decade?
A. I want flying cars. According to Back to the Future they should be here soon.

Q. Do you cook?
A. No.

Q. What’s your favorite restaurant?
A. Great Tastes Buffet in Waterloo, Iowa

Q. Weekend: Woohoo!, Awww, Meh, or What, already?
A. WooHoo! already?

Q. How do you take your coffee or tea? Or, if you don’t, what do you drink in the morning?
A. I usually need my caffeine cold and carbonated. Cherry Coke 0 when I need something in the morning.

Q. Do you buy yourself birthday presents?
A. Usually and Christmas as well. However, because of my short-term memory problems, I usually forget about them and my children give them to me. I am usually surprised by what I get.

Q. Who was the all-time villain you loved to hate in an RPG? In other words, who was Moriarity to your Holmes?
A. Azmodius. He breaks out into cold sweats at the mere mention of my character.

Q. Are there any holidays or celebrations that you really can’t stand?
A. I no longer see the need to stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. It’ll still be there in the morning.

Q. What do you have for breakfast?
A. 2 Sausage/egg croissants and a bottle of orange juice.

Q. Right here, right now, is there any other place you’d rather be?
A. Let’s see I’m taking care of this before I clock in at work… Only in as much as someone would rather be at home instead of at work.

Q. Do you do karaoke?
A. No, fortunately for the rest of civilized society.

Q. How many years have you been playing RPGs?
A. 1983-1987 (long hiatus) 2005-2010 8 years

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ask Me Anything: Snippets from my Formspring.me page

I’m enjoying this little website.  It’s like Twitter but less demanding.  It doesn’t require you to sign up for anything to ask me a question.  Just click here and go Ask Me Anything

Q. Hollywood is giving away classic film and television automobiles. Which one do you claim as yours for everyday driving?
A. Just one? I’ll take Ecto 1.

Q. Imagine, if you will, you’re in a dimension not of sight, or of sound, but of mind…what do you look like?
A. Brilliant neon green. A pulsating orb of energy.


Q. How are y’all today?
A. Still numb.

Q. Do you have an accent (as reckoned by your friends and co-workers)? What kind?
A. Nope. Midwesterners are pretty accent free (until we travel to other parts of the country).


Q. Would you rather be right, or be happy? No weaseling by claiming they are always compatible, please.
A. I’d rather be right. But I’m not going to fight someone over it. I’ll let them wallow in their ignorance.


Q. What do you sleep in?
A. in bed with my wife.

Q. Why where there no sheets on the bed in TOS?
A. Sophisticated room sensors provide maximum comfort without needing to drape the body.

Q. Would you rather be really hot or really cold?
A. Cold. You can always add another blanket or layer of clothes. There’s a limit to how much you can strip off.

Q. What is the RPG or RPG product you where most disappointed by?
A.The Car Warriors comic book series produced by Marvel Comics about the Car Wars line.


Q. All-time favorite screen villain?
A. Colonel Stuart from Die Hard 2.


Q. Banjo or bagpipes?
A. How about Banjopipes.


Q. Borg or Klingon?
A. As to which would I rather be? Klingon. Most fearsome threat? Borg


Q. If you roleplay, do you speak in character? Do you use funny voices?
A. Absolutely. Among my other talents, I’m a puppeteer. Funny voices come second nature to me.


Q. What is your all-time most favored character that you have played in an RPG?
A. A Gnome Cleric by the name of Nevets Belin.


Q. What’s the best place near you to get a drink?
A. The Boss’ fridge.


Q. What’s your favorite sport?
A. NASCAR


Q.  Are you a gamer? I mean an old school one, none of these newfangled computer things.
A. My interest in computer games ended when the old Atari 2600 joystick became obsolete. Yes I am an old-school gamer.


Q. Flight or super-speed?
A. Flight. Do you know how much money I’d save on gas for the morning commute?


Q. Super-strength or Super-speed?
A. As long as it was controllable, Super-speed


 

Q. Revenge is a dish best served _____?
A. Cold. It is very cold in space. (ancient Klingon proverb)

Q. What is your favorite cartoon character?
A. Bugs Bunny

Q. What did you eat for breakfast today?
A. Waffles made by the best cook in the world (as attested to by my growing waistline).


A. Do you dwell on things or let them go?
Q. Unfortunately I dwell on things. It took me nearly 17 years to pick up a pencil again after an off-hand comment by an Art Teacher in high school.


Q. What’s your favorite type of character to play (or read about if you don’t play RPGs)?
A. I like Gnomes and I like Elves.


Q. Have you ever written fiction not as a school assignment? Longer than a short story? Published it yourself? Been published by somebody else? Made a living at it?
A. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and No. I’ve written the adventures of Stev the Vulcan for the better part of 20 years. Older stories were published by the club I joined at the beginning. I’ve re-published some of these over at Fan Fiction.net


Q. If you could change the ending of one movie, which one and how?
A. Just one? Right now I’ve plenty of bad movies running through my head and not one of the stands out as being repairable by changing the ending. You have given me an idea for Database post.


Q. What do all your friends love that you just don’t get?
A. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Q. Do you have any fantasy jobs? (Like a dream job, except you know you’d hate the non-idealized real-life version of it.)
A. Actually being able to support the family with my puppeteering.


Q. Suppose you lived in an ideal world, with no war, crime, poverty, disease, etc. Would your current job still exist?
A. I’m an ad man for a local paper. No poverty? My job would probably be more in demand.

Q. “X, why did it have to be X?” For you, what is X?
A. Needles… brrrr

Q. “What is best in life?” If I’m following you, you probably know Conan’s answer. What is yours?
A. My wife’s cooking, as evidenced by my larger waistline after I married her.


Q. What fictional universe would you most want to live in?
A. Star trek universe. I’ll be in Montana in 2063 anyone care to join me?

Q. If you could have lunch with any one in the world who would it be and why?
A. Weird Al Yankovich, I’ve always had an affinity for his music, fashion sense, and rather bizarre outlook. The way his character ran Channel 62 (UHF) would be awfully similar to the type of shows I’d come with.

Q. What was your favorite Robert Culp role?
A. Demon with a Glass Hand from the Outer Limits


Q. If you could have a sexual and/or romantic encounter with a fictional character who would it be?
A. Dream dates? Discretion, not to mention my wife (whom I love desperately) require me to abstain on this answer.

Q. What one book do you think everybody reading this should read?
A. Whether you believe it or not, The Bible, at least once. It was a very important book to our founding fathers. It is revered as Holy by the three top religions of this planet.

Q. Who should I follow on Formspring?
A. Besides me? VulcanStev – cleireac, Canageek, trollgodfather, UncleDark, BerinKinsman, CydoniaRaven, geweller, WyattSalazar, NewbieDM, cartoonlad, Voyage2k, Viriatha, StargazersWorld, drcheckmate, nevermetpress

Q. What one thing would you tell your younger self if you could?
A. Wait until I was sure what I wanted to do with my life before going to college.

Q. Have you broken any bones? If so, how?
A. I broke the bones in one of my toes. I kicked an exposed water pipe full force.

Q. If you suddenly inherited an Ice Cream parlor, which flavor would you be constantly out of, because you’re dipping into the stock?
A. Cookies -n- Cream

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Star Trek, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment