Monday, December 31, 2012

In the Hands of the Prophets


Well goodbye 2012 and hello 2013! Another year has come and gone but I’m still here, albeit less of me than there was in January. The year as a whole was pretty good and I honestly can’t complain about where things are at right now.  I very much look forward to what the new year has to offer and bring my way. I am pledging that I will be open to whatever the universe brings my way.

In The Hands Of The Prophets
In the middle of a lesson on the wormhole Mrs. O’Brien’s classroom is paid a visit by Vedek Winn, a high level Bajoran spiritual leader. Winn has a major problem with Mrs. O’Brien not teaching the religious beliefs that surround the wormhole and celestial temple and basically lays down a pretty big religious threat against the school. Meanwhile an officer has gone missing and was found dead in a Jeffries tube. Tensions on the station continue to mount as the school is causing a rift between the Bajorans and Federation staff and civilian populations. Winn continues to preach about the prophets and even Kira professes to agree with her on the school. Sisko goes to Bajor to seek help from a less orthodox Vedek, Vedek Bareil. Bareil claims that he can’t help because he is trying to vai for the position of Kai and doesn’t want to alienate any of the religious orders on Bajor. Soon after he returns to the station Sisko must rush to the school because there has been an explosion. Luckily no one was hurt in the process but this heightens the tensions. There is another mysterious finding in the murder case where a runabout has been tampered with to be used as a getaway vehicle. We learn that Winn and a bajoran technician named Neela are working together on a plot. Bareil makes a surprise visit to the station to help comfort and calm the tensions. During this talk O’Brien, Sisko and Dax foil an assassination attempt on Bareil. Kira confronts Winn, knowing that she is behind the attempt as a way to secure her position as Kai. In the end tensions settle and Kira and Sisko get back to work.

This show features the first appearance of Louise Fletcher, the Oscar winning actress from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as Vedek Winn. Fletcher is a powerhouse actress who never really got a ton of respect or a mainstream job even after her Oscar win. She was type cast in the evil villain role which led to her taking a lot of science fiction parts. She is wonderful and makes a total of 14 appearances over the next six seasons. The show deals with a heavy issue… religion in the classroom and it is handled beautifully. 



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Duet


What a wonderful day spent relaxing on the couch and watching TV. I really didn’t do a whole lot today except workout and each Chinese food this afternoon. It was actually a nice day looking after my little kitten that was just neutered and declawed on Friday. The young man is a bit calmer than he was before hand and I hope that trend continues forever. I have made one New Year’s resolution already and that is to attend a Star Trek convention this year and I think my destination will be the Convention in Chicago this summer. I have not been to a convention in 20 years and that was with my grandmother, I was ten at the time.

Elliptical Machine: Miles- 3.91, Calories- 629

Duet
A freighter has contacted DS9 because they have a passenger on board who needs medical assistance because he has Kalla-Nohra. Kira goes to the infirmary to visit this passenger because Kalla-Nohra is an illness that only people who were at the Gallitep Labor Camp have contracted. She goes assuming that she will be talking to a Bajoran survivor of the camp but is shocked to find a Cardassian in the infirmary. She immediately calls for security to arrest this man and he is taken into a holding cell. She charges him with committing atrocities against the Bajoran people at the forced labor camp.  The man claims to be Aamin Marritza, a file clerk at the Gallitep facility who doesn’t seem to have any real idea of what happened at the camp. Kira is very upset as she was hoping to have captured a real criminal and she begins dealing with feelings of revenge and hatred all over again. Kira, it is revealed, has a very personal connection to Gallitep as she was one of the Bajoran resistance fighters who helped to liberate the camp about 12 years prior. The Cardassians send a picture of Gallitep and this man does not look like Aamin Marritza but instead is the spitting image of Gul Darhe’el. Darhe’el was the administrator of the camp and know as “The Butcher of Gallitep”. Communication is set up with Cardassia again and it is discovered that Darhe’el died nearly six years ago so this cannot be him. During her interrogations with Marritza, Kira develops a strange connection of hatred but understanding of some sort. When she revealed that it was confirmed he was not Darhe’el he breaks down and confesses that he is Marritza but that he felt some justice needed to be paid to restore Cardassia to glory. He was trying to do the right thing and felt bad about his small part in occupation of Bajor. In the end while being escorted to a shuttle a stray drunk Bajoran kills him with a knife. The show ends with Kira holding this Cardassian man in tears.

This show is a very solid and engrossing hour of television anchored by extremely strong performances from Nana Visitor and Harris Yulin (marritza). It is a real shame that neither received any recognition from the TV academy for their performances, just another example of Sci-Fi not getting any credit with voters. The show also confirms the Bajoran Occupation as an allegory for the genocide and internment of Jews during Nazi Germany in the 30’s and 40’s. Of additional not e is that the interrogation scenes between Marritza and Kira are very similar to the interrogation scenes between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. This episode helped to give hope that Deep Space Nine really had a lot to say and was a unique voice within the Star Trek world. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

Dramatis Personae


I have joined a gym for the second time in my life but this time I am going to make something come of it! My plans are to continue this blog three to four times per week and then lift the other three days out of the week. I went to the gym for the first time yesterday and went through a total body routine I found online at bodybuilding.com. The workout seemed pretty straight forward and I actually felt pretty successful afterwards. The routine took about a total for 45 minutes which I’m sure took so long because I had to read the directions on each machine to make sure I did it correctly. Later yesterday I went downhill skiing for the first time in about 18 years. The last time I was in 6th grade and well let’s just say I never made it off the bunny hill. I am happy to say that this time I made it off of the bunny hill with the help of two of my best friends giving me guidance and amazing support and well to be honest a couple of drinks to “loosen me up”. Today has been busy as well as I dropped off the kitten to get neutered and declawed so basically it has been quiet around my house today. All in all it has been a great few days and I am making my way back down the scale after the holiday foods took a little toll on me.

Elliptical Machine: Calories- 639, Miles- 3.97

Dramatis Personae
Kira comes to Sisko about a Valerian ship that she suspects is carrying weapons grade dolomite and Kira wants him to detain the ship. Sisko declines to detain the ship but allows her to investigate as rapidly as she can to find information linking the Valerians to weapons trading. While having a heated debate about the Valerian ship a Klingon science vessel comes through the wormhole and explodes but a single member of the crew beams over to the station. The klingon dies shortly after but utters one word… Victory. Soon after Odo is in Quark’s trying to get some information on the Klingon ship and Odo has a meltdown. Literally his face melts and reforms and he faints. While Bashir is talking to him in the infirmary he expresses concerns about Sisko and Kira’s fight. At the same time Kira and Sisko start vying  for the loyalty of the other senior officers. O’Brien and Bashir have aligned themselves with Sisko and Dax has seemingly aligned herself with Kira. The two factions start to fight more and more. Meanwhile Odo has taken the time to examine to klingon’s personal logs and it seems that they encountered an energy force and with Bashir’s help they figure out a way to get this alien telepathic matrix out of the crew’s heads. In the end all returns to normal with Kira and Sisko agreeing to put the incident in the past. 


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Forsaken


So this happened yesterday and today was busy doing errands and finishing up holiday shopping so I didn't have time to write up this post.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 647, Miles: 4.10

The Forsaken
The station is playing host to four Federation ambassadors and Bashir has been assigned “babysitting” duty as he is the lowest ranking senior officer. He only has to take care of three of the ambassadors because one of them is the headstrong and independent Lwaxana Troi, but the other three prove to be pains in the ass! Lwaxana after a minor incident at Quarks takes a shine to Odo and begins pursuing his affections to almost no avail. Meanwhile a strange probe has come through the wormhole and it has downloaded its memories into the file system of the station and starts causing problem after problem. O’Brien seems to think that the probe has become attached to him somehow so they try to get the program off the station but it only serves to anger the program even more. It shuts down power to nearly the whole station. During this time Lwaxana has forced her way into observing an upper pylon inspection and the two are trapped in an elevator together. Lwaxana and Odo begin to form a bond which is solidified when he is forced to revert to his original form and be held in a puddle in her skirt. O’Brien manages to isolate the program into a specific area of the computer and all returns to normal. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

If Wishes Were Horses


Today I had to say goodbye to my Johnnie Cake, my puppy of the last 13 years. It was a decision made to put her out of her misery due to her declining health and physical status. I got Johnnie when I was in 10th grade and though I was away at college and living here at my house for most of that time she was always my dog and brightened up when I came home. I truly miss her and can’t believe that she is gone. The shitty part is that my mom had to put down her dog Marcie, Johnnie’s full sister at the same time for similar health concerns. Each time the family looses a pet it is just a reminder that these creatures that we welcome into our homes become family members that impact our lives forever! I will miss my Johnnie Cake a lot but I have to remember that it is for the best.

Elliptical Machine: Miles- 4.01, Calories- 655

If Wishes Were Horses
O’Brien is playing the part of a good family man and reading Rumplestiltskin to his young daughter. After she is supposed to be in bed Molly O’Brien rushes out because Rumplestiltskin is in her bedroom. To everyone’s shock he really is on board the station, along with an old Earth baseball player Buck Bokai, and a really submissive version of Dax. Each of these characters has come out of the imaginations of a different crew member. Bashir is mortified that Dax came out of his mind and it seems everyone else is getting a kick out of this, even the real Dax. The rest of the station is experiencing odd figments of their imagination from snow on the promenade to Quark dreaming up a pair of nasty harlots. Soon after a subspace rift is discovered that is threatening to destroy the station and the entire Bajoran system. The crew works tirelessly to figure out the problem while the figments continue to provide distractions on board the station. Seconds before it is too late Sisko figures it out that the whole thing is a figment of the station’s imagination and by believing that nothing is there all is fixed and back to normal. The figments reveal themselves to be a race of exploring aliens who came through the wormhole. The aliens just wanted to observe and learn but didn't know they would put everyone in danger, or were they in real danger to begin with?  


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Progress


I am officially taking applications for a husband! As cliché as that must sound it is the truth, I am kinda sick of being single at the moment. Though I am fine being alone I would like to be with someone and develop a relationship. I’d like to also throw this out there but if you are reading this blog Darren Criss you can move to the front of the line because I do believe I love you! LOL how sad is that but I am not afraid to admit to having a crush on a celebrity and the best thing is that he sings, dances, plays the guitar and piano and is cute and basically adorable. Now I have not met Darren Criss so maybe he is a douche but I choose to believe he is just like his character Blaine on Glee! Like anyone else I guess I am looking for someone to share the stupid moments in life with and celebrate the good times and survive the bad ones with. I can sum it up a bunch of different ways but I’m looking for my Karaoke Partner in Crime.

Elliptical Machine: Calories- 617, Miles: 3.92

Progress
Deep Space Nine is helping Bajor tap the core of one of its moons so that it can provide much needed power to many of the planets residents. A problem comes about when three life forms are discovered on the moon. Kira goes to investigate and discovers two mute bajorans and their friend Mullibok, an old man who came to the moon 40 years ago when escaped the Cardassians. Kira gets talked into dinner with Mullibok which turns into a three hour ordeal which even further turns into a good deal of bonding between Kira and Mullibok. They are in a sense kindred spirits still getting over the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. Kira returns to the station to share the bad news about Mullibok refusing to leave the moon. It is decided that he must leave and Kira is once again sent out to get him off the surface but this time it gets botched when a guard shoots Mullibok with a phaser. Kira stays on to help him heal and Sisko pays a special visit to remind Kira of her duties. In the end Kira burns down Mullibok’s home and he must go with her back to Bajor. Kira feels like shit but knows in her heart that she is doing what is best for her and for Mullibok. While all of this is happening Jake and Nog are trying to make a profit by selling Cardassian yammok sauce which then turns into self-sealing stem bolts which then turns into a piece of land on Bajor and finally some money from Quark. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Storyteller


I have sadly gone up a few pounds over the last few weeks and I am in that terrible struggle to loose them! My mind says to me “what kind of quick fix solution can we do” but my logical brain is saying “Paul stick to your guns and follow the program it has worked thus far”.

Today I went to a middle school band concert and really had a great time! I was thoroughly impressed by the performance of the students at my school and how well they played! The teachers stood up in front of the crowd and talked about Performance Etiquette and it got me thinking how nice it would be if we could just give out life etiquette lessons to people all the time in such a direct fashion. That could really make life much easier couldn’t it? For example if someone is asking you out on a date how nice would it be if you could just prep them with a nice little instruction sheet with the do’s and don’ts of how to win you over.

The Storyteller
This episode consists of two very different stories that don’t really have anything to do with each other so I will just talk about each one separately.

Chief O’Brien and Dr. Bashir have been called to a small village on Bajor that claims to be on the verge of total destruction. When they arrive it appears that the village’s Sirah or storyteller. The storyteller is responsible for helping the village beat the Dal’Rok for five days in a row each year and it is day four of the ritual. The Sirah names O’Brien as his successor and he must defeat the Dal’Rok but he has no clue what he is supposed to do. Bashir and O’Brien search for the Dal’Rok’s origin and discover that it is an artificial creation. The Sirah’s estranged apprentice attempts to kill O’Brien because of his jealousy over being usurped in his position. The three then work together to get O’Brien out of  the job and the apprentice back into the job.

Meanwhile back on the station Sisko is playing host to a negotiation between two warring groups on Bajor. The Paqu and Navot both send delegates to the station but the leader of the Paqu ends up being a 14 year old girl who is head strong and stuck in her ways. She ends up meeting Jake and Nog, the preteen welcome crew, and they help to cheer her up a little it along the way. Nog provides a little advice from the Rules of Acquisition about compromising and Jake gives her some insight into his father so that she can trust him. In the end the Paqu and Navot come to and agreement and all works out well.  

This episode is maybe one of the first true duds of the Deep Space Nine series.  It is just a bit odd and the plot holes are a bit too much to handle. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Battle Lines


Well I am now officially 30 years old and I don’t feel any different than I did a few days ago when I was a mere spring chicken of 29 years old.  The funny thing about birthdays is that they really do make you reflect and think about what you have going on in your life and what isn’t happening. All in all I am pretty pleased with how things have been going. I have lost a significant amount of weight and I am doing pretty well in my promise to stick to it and not gain the weight back. I have a job that I love even if it has been driving me crazy this year with an incredibly high caseload. At the end of the day though I love my students and I love what I do. I am even getting ready to take on a student intern for ten weeks so I will have the opportunity to “pay it forward” as it were.  I have a house an amazing family and group of friends. My dad is alive and doing well and the future looks bright in that respect. The only thing that is not in my life is a relationship and really is that a big deal? I would ideally like to meet my future husband in the near future but for now I am ok just being me at the moment.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 600, Miles: 3.70
Weigh-In: 197 pounds

Battle Lines
Kai Opaka turns up on the station apparently taking Sisko up on an invitation for a tour of the station. The Kai wishes to see the wormhole but since there is not scheduled departures He, Kira and Bashir take her through the wormhole on a runabout. Before the departure the Kai is acting strangely and even gives a necklace to O’Brien for his young daughter, whom she has never met.  While on the other side of the wormhole a transmission is picked up and the Kai persuades them investigate. The transmission is coming from a small moon and the planet’s surrounding satellite network attacks the ship. Once the runabout crash-lands everyone is fine except the Kai who has died. Sisko, Kira and Bashir now find themselves at the mercy of a group called the Ennis who are at war with another faction called the Nol-Ennis. The two groups have been at war for centuries and we soon learn that they have also been on this planet for hundreds of years and are implanted with devices that keep them alive. These devices not only keep them alive but prevent death. The Kai now re-enters the picture and seems find with her fate and is determined to help the inhabitants to find peace. Along the way she even helps Kira to come to terms with her violent past. These two groups continue their fight even after Sisko offers to help the hatred between them has become to deep. Meanwhile O’Brien and Dax have located them and develop a way to beam the crash survivors to safety. The Kai must stay on the planet and again seems satisfied with her decision yes somehow weary of the struggle ahead of her.

This episode sets up the ongoing struggle on Bajor to elect a new Kai. The Kai is their people’s spiritual leader and really the center of their religious lives, much like the Pope to the Roman Catholic faith. 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Vortex


Sometimes a day starts out well enough and turns into shit! That was my day today though it truly started out well, for a Monday that is. The day at work went well but a few bombshells were dropped here and there and then had an awful therapy session with a student with ended with a few objects being thrown at my head. When you wake up and are having a bad day from the get go people say that you have “woken up on the wrong side of the bed” what is it called, other than just a bad day, when your day turns to shit after a few hours. I have tried to make an effort not to go to bed on the wrong side of the bed though so I worked out. It has helped a little but I’m still a little irked but oh well that is life I guess.

Vortex
The station is playing host to a man named Croden, who recently came aboard after being found by a Klingon trade ship in the Gamma quadrant. At the same time Quark is playing host to a pair of Miradorn twins looking to sell a valuable item. During the sale Croden bursts in and kills one of the twins leaving the other one pissed off because Miradorn twins are like one being in two bodies. The living twins pledges to kill Croden before he dies himself. Meanwhile there is to be a trial but in order to make good relationships with a new planet Sisko and Dax go to his world to see if they would like him back. As it turns out Croden is wanted for a lot of crimes and they want him back so Sisko agrees to return him there within two days. During this time Odo and Croden have had several conversations mostly centered on Croden’s apparent knowledge of other changelings. In order to get Croden home and past the Miradorn Raider they use a cargo ship to mask the runabout, once in the Gamma Quadrant Odo is quickly discovered and under attack. Croden convinces Odo to go to a moon where he met a few Changelings. Odo relents but the real reason for their landing is so Croden can rescue his daughter from a stasis chamber in order to save her life. They narrowly escape the Miradorn and Odo manages to get Croden and his daughter on board a ship headed for Vulcan. Odo heads back to DS9 pensive about who he is and where his people come from. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Nagus


Does it have to be Monday tomorrow???? That is really all I have for right now, sorry folks. 

The Nagus
Quark is paid a surprise visit by Zek, The Grand Nagus. The Grand Nagus is the head of the Ferengi government and business community. He also happens to be a dirty old man, but aren’t all Ferengi in all honesty. Zek asks Quark to play host to a large meeting of Ferengi business leaders and he of course agrees because everyone lives in fear of the Nagus. During a dinner with Quark, Rom, Nog and the Nagus it is revealed that Nog goes to a human school and he is ordered to quit attending the school immediately. Jake and Nog also have a hard time as both of their parents do not wish them to be friends with the other. Jake and Nog work things out in the end an Jake actually tries to teach Nog how to read! Heart Warming! Meanwhile at the large business meeting the Nagus wants to move Ferengi business into the Gamma Quadrant and he also names Quark the new Grand Nagus. Quark takes over and now at the center of a lot of controversy and death threats and a lot of questions. Essentially he is the new “godfather” of the Ferengi mob and it couldn’t be more hilarious because he reveals himself to be a bumbling idiot. After the death threat Odo gets involved and tries to help Quark but he refuses. In a secret meeting Rom and Krax ( the Nagus’ son) plot to kill Quark so that Rom gets the bar and Krax gets to be the new Nagus. Odo and Bashir suspect that Maihar’du, the Nagus’ aid to be the culprit but it turns out not to be as the Nagus is still alive. Odo saves Quark only seconds before he is blown out an airlock much to the dismay of Krax and Rom. All is forgiven with Quark and Rom and the Nagus reveals that this was all a test for Krax. Krax of course has failed the test and the Nagus keeps his job. 

The show features a fabulous guest role from Wallace Shawn who plays the Nagus. His performance as an aging, dirty-minded, horny, money grubbing old Ferengi leader is so fun to watch and something that we get to see more of because the Nagus pops up pretty frequently in the rest of the show. 


Move Along Home


I got just a little too busy the last few days to do a post after my workouts! I had intended to write up this post on Friday when it happened but feel asleep while writing it and the computer died. Any genius that may have come out of my half awake/half asleep mind is now lost forever. Oh well I’m sure it wasn’t anything worth while so no big loss for the world there.

Forgot to write down the stats as well so this post is really a total fail on my behalf!

Move Along Home
The station is playing host to the Wadi and they have the distinction of making first contact with a new race from the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko, Kira, Bashir, and Dax attempt to make first contact and do the formal thing but the Wadi seem to be more interested in finding a place to play games and have oddly enough already heard of Quark’s Bar. While playing at the bar one of the Wadi, Falow, catches Quark cheating and so they challenge him to a new game of their world. Soon after Sisko, Kira, Bashir and Dax find themselves in surrealistic world full of challenges. The first challenge is to find each other and move along to the next area. They then are confronted with a barraced and must imitate a little girl playing hopscotch to get through. Next a room full of people who are having a good time and the crew must drink the drink so the gas doesn’t kill them. It is about this time that Odo and the rest of the crew find out that the others are missing and they put two and two and two together and figure out that the game pieces are indeed the missing crew members. Odo now has the job of making sure that Quark plays safely so crew doesn’t die. Quark chooses the danger and they all nearly die in a cave but as they are falling from a ledge they magically appear in Quark’s. The whole thing was just a game and Wadi move along home while Kira, Sisko, Dax and Bashir are just a little pissed at the Wadi and more so at Quark. 


Friday, November 30, 2012

The Passenger


A week ago I never knew what a Kiki was and now thanks to Glee I want a Kiki more than anything else right now. For those of you not in the know “A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves, We're spilling tea, and dishing just desserts one may deserve, And though the sun is rising, few may choose to leave, So shade that lid and we'll all bid adieu to your ennui”

The Passenger

The runabout Rio Grande is making its way back to DS9 after Kira and Bashir were engaged in some type of medical rescue operation. While en route home they intercept a distress call from a Kobliad vessel that is apparently carrying a deadly criminal who has been wanted for years. The only other person alive on the ship is Kajada, a security guard who has been pursuing the criminal on board, Vantika, for the better part of 20 years. Kajada is paranoid that Vantika is still alive as he has alluded being captured more times than she can recall in the past few years. Things on the station start happening and there is no one to blame for these system failures. Kajada again tries to do some investigation but ends up mysteriously falling from the second floor at Quarks and nearly dies. Dax figures out that Vantika uses sometype of transfer device to send his consciousness to another person’s brain. Since Sisko and crew thought it was Kajada they are not worried something is going to happen. There is a shipment of  a preciaous metal on its way to the station and Bashir (now Vantika) tries to hijack a ship and steal the shipment. Luckily everyone puts things together and all is set well with Kajada eventually killing the storage device that holds Vantika.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dax


I spent maybe 12 hours at work today and It was very productive and wonderful and all that jazz. I want to make an official plug here for The New Normal! I watched the show tonight and it was great and whoever the little girl on the show is she is wonderful. She did maybe one of the best Cher impressions I have ever seen, even better than Jack Macfarland on Will & Grace! I love the show so everyone needs to start watching it asap!

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 595, Miles: 3.53

Dax
Dax and Bashir are having a quaint lunch when Dax decides to go to her quarter for some relaxation time. On her way she is attacked by three strangers who later reveal that they are there to bring her back to Klaesron IV where Dax is wanted for murder. They attempt to kidnap Dax and somehow get through every security screen but the crew outwits them and tractor beams the ship back to the station. Dax is accused of murdering a Klaesronian legend, the war hero Tandro who united the people during a civil war. Sisko gets the Bajoran government involved and the extradition is put on hold and a hearing is arranged to determine Dax’s status. Meanwhile Odo is sent to Klaesron IV to investigate. The investigation is underway and both sides have good arguments. Sisko argues that the Dax who is implicated in this murder (Curzon Dax) is dead and cannot be accused of this crime. The young Tandro believes that symbiont Dax is the primary being and therefore the host body is a superfluous feature.  The arguments seem to be at a standstill and even Dax refuses to say anything to help herself as she is holding some secret for Tandro’s widow. The standstill seems to continue until Odo shows up with Tandro’s widow who drops the bomb that the night Curzon Dax allegedly sent the transmission that killed Tandro he was in bed with her. Neither of them wanted to ruin the legacy of the war hero and even though the truth is out the reputations were not ruined! Dax is allowed to live and she makes a promise to the widow to live her life to the fullest from this moment forward.

The episode features a wonderful supporting cast including Fionnula Flanagan as Tandro’s widow and Anne Haney as the judge, both of whom made multiple appearances on different series of Star Trek. The show manages to be an exciting courtroom drama which is always a hard task to accomplish. 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Q-Less


My elliptical machine has finally been fixed and it is running smooth and silently! I am so excited for a multitude of reasons. One of course is that the machine has been repaired and works well just like the day I bought it! The second reason is that I don’t have to deal with the repairman anymore. He is the nicest guy but tends to talk and talk about things that I really don’t care about. In that past it has been everything from tech issues to his love of heavy women and today I heard about waterfalls vidoegraphy. So yes I’m just a little grateful for a repaired elliptical machine!

Elliptical Machine: Calories- 575, Miles- 3.53

Weigh In: 198 (up a few… damn thanksgiving)

Q-Less
A runabout has returned from the Gamma Quadrant but the power failed and O’Brien, Sisko, Kira and Bashir frantically get the crew out. Dax and the other Starfleet officer are fine and there is a third person, Vash. Vash you remember as Captain Picard’s one time girlfriend who last time we saw her went off with Q seeking adventure. She is now on board DS9 hoping to sell artifacts from the Gamma Quadrant instead of giving them to a museum. The station is also having some minor power failures which are causing no more than minor annoyances but are keeping the whole crew on their toes. Q appears and it seems he is trying to convince Vash to stay with him even after he abandoned her alone in the far off land. Q finds Bashir hitting on Vash so he convinces him to fall asleep for the rest of the episode. O’Brien sees Q and reports the new problem to Sisko, who now believes that it is Q causing all of the problems. Vash places her items up for auction with the help of Quark, and they include one very special looking item that is shrouded in mystery. The stations problems continue to get worse and now the station is being pulled to the wormhole and Q insists that it is not his actions at the center of the problem. Dax and O’Briend localize the power drain and disturbance to Quarks. The mysterious item up for auction is the cause and when it is beamed out to space it transforms into a space creatures and goes home through the wormhole. Vash ends up leaving with Q again and the station returns to normal. 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Captive Pursuit


Happy Thanksgiving Y’all (for those reading in the USA that is). I spent the day doing work outside this morning at my parent’s house and enjoyed a wonderful light meal of lasagna, bread and salad. I am sore as all get out thought tonight and I really just powered through this workout hardcore! I need to pop a few pain pills and get my ass to bed because tomorrow is the big Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family. YEAH!

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 610, Miles: 3.78
Weigh-in: 194!!

Captive Pursuit
A damaged ship comes through wormhole and on board is a single humanoid life form, it agrees to have his ship docked for repairs. O’Brien is sent alone to repair the ship when encounters a lizard-like humanoid creature who has the ability to disappear and calls himself Tosk. Tosk is given quarters on the station until his ship is repaired. He seems nervous and very secretive which puts everyone on edge. Tosk continues to be secretive to the crew but starts to look at layouts of the ship and weapons facilities. Tosk is apprehended by Odo when he is attempting to access a weapons locker. Tosk refuses to share any information with Sisko or O’Brien on what is going on but says that he is Tosk and he can’t say anything. O’Brien feels badly for Tosk as they have become friends in a fashion. Soon after Tosk was apprehended another ship comes through the wormhole and three men board the station and make their way right to Tosk’s holding cell. They demand the creature be released as he is their prey in a structured hunt that is part of their culture. They bred the Tosk to be hunted for sport and he was created to be cunning and smart to make the hunt as interesting as possible. Sisko does not like their society’s agreement but he is bound by the rules of the Federation. O’Brien tries to get Tosk to ask for asylum but he refuses. As Tosk is being escorted to the hunter’s ship O’Brien sabotaged the security fields so that Tosk can escape. Tosk and O’Brien make their way to his shuttle and eventually Tosk escapes to live another day on the hunt. Sisko is upset but also quite happy with O’Brien’s actions. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Babel


I have gotten my haircut… finally! And I decided to do something a little more bold than usual. I got a faux hawk style cut that I can either do spiked up or lay flat to the side or even slick back were I inclined to do so. I blame this desire for a new hairstyle on the fact that the 30th birthday is looming in the near future. But oh well I have made the new decision not to care about my birthday because as I am always reminded it is just a number. What matters most is that I feel young and I’m happy with where I am at in my life.

Elliptical Machine- Calories:607, Miles: 3.83

Babel
There are tech issues galore aboard Deep Space Nine and O’Brien is running himself ragged trying to fix everything for everyone. While he is fixing a food replicator a mysterious device activates without his knowledge. Shortly after the Chief starts talking nonsense and so do several other crewmembers and civilians. The station is now on a red alert to find a cure for this disease. Bashir labels this as an aphasia virus, a virus that impacts the semantic pathways of the brain. The virus is discovered to be a food born virus that is found in the replicators. This shouldn’t be a problem but it seems that Quark has hijacked a few of the replicators and fed hundreds of people on the station. The virus is now discovered to have mutated into an airborne pathogen and Bashir estimates that they have 12 hours before people start dying. Bashir also determines that this virus was created by the Bajorans and set as a bobby trap to affect the Cardassians. Kira now struggles to find the creator of the virus but only manages to locate a man who assisted in the creation of the virus. She leaves the station to kidnap him and force him to help the station. Odo and Sisko are left in opps to run the station, and they face a challenge of an angry ship captain attempting to break quarunteen. Sisko is affected by the virus and Quark comes to Odo’s aid to fix the situation with the ship. Kira returns with the scientist and he finds a cure for the aphasia virus and the station gets back to normal.

Wow talk about Star Trek hitting a bit close to home what with my dad recently having a stroke and having mild aphasia symptoms. So if you are reading this please take a few minutes and go to www.aphasia.org


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Man Alone


I firmly believe that Thai food was sent to this planet by aliens! It is just that good and that soothing that it cannot be of this world. Of course if you subscribe to the findings of certain cheesy science fiction films, well Alien vs. Predator, it probably was created by a race of superior alien beings. While on the subject I pretty much believe that there are aliens walking amongst us in some fashion or another. This universe is far too big for there to be just us and for us humans to be the smartest thing on the block. Not to down talk the human race but I’m pretty sure we are the trailer trash of the universe, I mean just look at nascar, honey boo boo, and televangelists. I am thinking of making Thai food a bi-weekly tradition if not weekly. I may just have to make it a goal to eat my way through the entire menu at the local Thai place in Rogers.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 534, Miles: 3.85

A Man Alone
While having a peaceful conversation at Quark’s, Quark and Odo oversee the O’Briens having a little argument. Apparently she is not too happy about his transfer to the station as there is nothing for her to on board and it is not the ideal place for raising a family. Soon after Odo notices a man at Quarks whom he wants out of there immediately but Sisko breaks up a fight between Odo and the man. Odo reveals him to be Ibudan a former black market dealer who made money of the plight of his fellow Bajorans. Odo put him in jail a few years ago but the new government has released him. Shortly after Ibudan is found dead in a holosuite at Quarks and it appears that no one entered the room after it was sealed. This places Odo as one of the only possible murders. As the investigation moves forward the Bajorans on the station begin to become more vocal against Odo and he is relieved from duty temporarily. Bashir finds some interesting organic samples on Ibudan’s ship and begins to grow them in stasis. Things on the promenade become more hostile and a mob begins to stalk Odo and they trap him in his office. Bashir interrupts the scene and informs Sisko that Ibudan killed his own clone to frame Odo for murder, apparently in revenge for the past events. Odo apprehends the real Ibudan on board his ship and all is settled. Also while all of this is going on Keiko O’Brien has determined she will open a school and Jake Sisko and Nog (Quark’s nephew) will be a few of the first students.  


Monday, November 19, 2012

Past Prologue


I am in total denial that Thanksgiving is this week! I cannot believe it to be honest it seems like just yesterday was Halloween but time flies I guess when your family is in crisis. I just got back from Atlanta (and boy are my arms tired) and it was a wonderful convention and learning experience. Yeah!

Elliptical Machine: Calories- 581, Miles- 3.23
Weigh-In: 197

Past Prologue
Our good Dr. Bashir is minding his own business enjoying some tea on the promenade when he is made with a surprise visit from Garak. Garak has the dubious title of the only Cardassian left on board the station after the occupation ended. Garak assures Bashir that he is only a simple and honest tailor but of course Bashir doesn’t quite believe him and nor does anyone else on the station. Shortly after a Bajoran ship is picked up on emergency channels because it is being pursued by a Cardassian warship. The pilot of the ship is beamed onto the station and asks for the political asylum. The man is Tahna Los, a Bajoran freedom fighter and member of the Kohn-Ma. The Kohn-Ma is one of the most violent resistence groups that is still fighting the Cardassians and other Bajorans under the anthem “Bajor for Bajorans.” Kira tries to get Sisko to grant asylum to Tahna but he is unsure but eventually agrees to the deal. Soon after the Duras sisters show their faces around DS9 and surprise surprise they are making contact with Tahna about a business deal. Odo uses his powers of shapeshifting to spy on the two and learn that they are hoping to trade a weapon for some latinum which they need to rebuild their military forces. The Duras sisters also stop by Garak’s shop to see if the Cardassians want Tahna after they get their gold. Garak has been clever and of course enlisted Bashir to listen in on the conversation. Now the rest of the senior staff knows exactly what the plan is, only Kira needs convincing of what is the right thing to do. She is torn between betraying Tahna and betraying her government. She makes the correct choice and in the end she betrays Tahna and he is eventually handed over and his plot to destroy the wormhole is foiled. Kira and Sisko end the show with a little more of an understanding for each other. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Emissary


 My father continues to make improvements and the road that once looked dim is now looking much brighter! I am in transit today to Atlanta, GA for a convention and though I do wish it were a Star Trek convention it is maybe the second best thing, a speech/language pathology convention. I have three jam packed days of learning in front of me and I could not be more excited. I am feeling much better about leaving home too since my dad is doing much better. It is my intention to work out three days over the next few days off but realistically it may just be twice. I’m going to try though!

Today marks the beginning of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and I couldn’t be more excited. I love this series so much and that is possibly because it is so different from the other Star Trek incarnations from the 24th century timeframe. I love The Next Generation, it was the first of the new era and it was an amazingly well done show. It stuck true to the vision of Star Trek. I find Voyager to be an ok Star Trek show, very true to the vision and filled with unique characters but it never really hit home with me. Deep Space Nine, on the other hand strayed so far from the traditional Star Trek vision. It was a show that had character conflicts at the heart of its storyline; it had deep political and religious issues at the very core of its story. The biggest change though was that it was a really a Soap Opera and you really needed to keep involved to understand where the story had been and was going.

Emissary
The show opens with the battle at Wolf 359, where Picard as Locutus of Borg led an attack against a Federation fleet. On board the USS Saratoga Lt. Commander Benjamin Sisko, the first officer, is trying to flee his nearly demolished ship. While trying to escape with his son and wife his wife is killed by falling equipment. He is forced to grab his young son Jake and get out in an escape pod. Three years later the pair are still trying to come to terms with the loss of Jennifer Sisko but they are distracted with a reassignment to space station Deep Space Nine. DS9 is an old Cardassian station that was abandoned when the Cardassians left Bajor after occupying it for more than 60 years. The station is a wreck but Starfleet has been called in to help the Bajoran provisional government. Commander Sisko begins meeting his new staff including his fiery Bajoran first officer, Major Kira. Kira was a former freedom fighter on Bajor and is not a member of the militia. She is a strong willed woman and tough as nail. While talking about a few issues they are interrupted by a security breach on the promenade. While responding Sisko meets Odo the shape-shifting chief of security who also was the chief of security for the Cardassians. Oddly enough no one seems bothered by this at the moment. A young Ferengi boy named Nog is taken into custody and thrown in the brig. Sisko convinces his uncle Quark, the owner of the local bar to stay on the station and become a community leader. 

Soon after the new Doctor, Dr. Bashir , and science officer Lt. Dax arrive. Dax is a trill and her former host was an old dear friend of Sisko’s. Along with Chief O’Brien of the Enterprise the crew of this station is complete. Soon after Sisko is urged to visit Opaka, the spiritual leader of the bajorans, who informs him that he is to be some sort of Emissary from the prophets to the Bajoran people. She urges him to locate the Celestial Temple before the Cardassians. The Cardassians are looking for this mythical temple in hopes to basically crush the collective spirits of the entire Bajoran race. This is the futuristic equivalent of egging a house and then leaving a burning bag of dog shit on the doorstep. Soon after Gul Dukat, the former prefect of Bajor stops by to visit and warn Sisko that the Cardassians aren’t going to give up that easily.

Dax and Sisko find what they believe to be the Celestial Temple, which ends up being a wormhole that is connected to the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko is kept inside and he meets the “wormhole aliens” who are a group of nonlinear non-corporeal beings who basically are the Bajoran’s Prophets. While inside Dax is returned to the station and once again the Cardassians show up to cause trouble because Gul Dukat’s ship has disappeared in the wormhole and they want answers. Kira, Dax and O’Brien find a way to move the station to mouth of the wormhole thus claiming it as Bajor’s territory. The Cardassians begin attacking the station but Sisko comes back just in time in the runabout towing Dukat’s ship and gets them to leave. The show ends with Sisko agreeing to stay on at Deep Space Nine. Things are starting to look civilized on the station and they are open for business at the mouth of the most important wormhole in the galaxy.

The show has an ok series premiere. It does a very nice job of introducing everyone and providing a lot of back story and history, something that we never really got out of TNG right away. The show is somewhat bogged down by the sequences inside the wormhole as Sisko is doing a lot of talking and explaining that doesn’t really impact the future of the show a whole lot. It was about as good an opening as Encounter at Farpoint really so there can be no complaining. An interesting note here about the Major Kira character is that it was originally going to be Ro Laren as the first officer of the Station but that idea was scrapped. In Kira we see some of the same traits but the character is much more well rounded than Ro. 



Sunday, November 11, 2012

All Good Things...


Sometimes life is good, sometimes life is shitty and then sometimes if you are really lucky life gets shittier! This would be one of those weeks where we went from shit to shitty to shittier, to maybe the shittiest week of the year. On Halloween night my dad suffered what was in hindsight a mild stroke and he spent a week in the hospital came home and was doing very well. After a few days he became sick and was hard to wake up and then we took him back in for some help. He had a massive hemorrhage on his brain and so he had emergency brain surgery to evacuate the blood.  My family and I have spent the last few days at the hospital supporting him in his recovery. Like I said SHIT! But it looks like things are getting better.

An event of this nature truly makes me thankful for what I have and makes remember how precious everything thing in my life is to me, especially my father, mother, sister and the rest of my family and friends. It makes me thankful for modern medicine. It also reminds me just how good of a decision it was to start the process of becoming a healthier person. After watching 12 seasons of Star Trek I have lost nearly 80 pounds and my blood levels and general health stats have improved significantly. I have moved from a size 40 pants to a 32/33 pants and from a 2XL shirt to a M/L shirt size now.

Weigh-in: 196 pounds

I am going to preface this by saying this one thing. This is a terrific episode and it is extremely complicated to explain and based on my shitty week here my explanation is going to suck and it may just be a little on the short side. Please forgive me readers!

All Good Things…
Picard interrupts a date between Worf and Troi complaining of an odd experience of moving through time.  Picard shifts throughout the first part of the episode from the present day, 30 years into the future and the past. The past is specifically the days and minutes before the Farpoint mission. Picard has visions of angry people who are taunting him. In each timeline to there is also a Starfleet issue going on in the Devron system. While shifting from place to place Picard begins to wonder if Q is involved especially because of the events surrounding the Farpoint mission.  Halfway through the show Q reveals that he is once again testing humanity and specifically Picard because his actions are causing the end of humanity as a whole. Picard works through each timeframe to get to the Devron system where he finds an explosion of ‘anti-time’ and works with different crews in each place to figure it out. He eventually corrects the problem and humanity is saved. Q informs him that once again humanity has passed his little test. The show ends with Picard joining the rest of the senior staff for a poker game in Riker’s quarters, as he has never done over the past seven years.

This is a fantastic episode of Star Trek TNG and it is a real shame that this was not the script for the first movie instead of the shit storm called Star Trek Generations that we got a mere 5 months later. But oh well what can you do. 

Here is a fun look at the cast over the years: 

Season 1: 1987-1988

 Season 2: 1988-1989

Season 3: 1989-1990

Season 4: 1990-1991

Season 5: 1991-1992

Season 6: 1992-1993

Season 7: 1993-1994


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Preemptive Strike


Well it looks like Obama has won the presidency and I am very happy that we are on the side of forward movement and equality in this country. The opposition did not seem to be a big fan of minorities and women and well that is not what this country was based upon. It was based upon equal rights for all and all means ALL! I am still waiting nervously for the final vote on the marriage amendment issue here in Minnesota. I am hopeful that the population of Minnesota is  about moving forward and respecting  the rights of all of its citizens. I am also keeping an eye on the 6th district house race because well I HATE MICHELE BACHMAN! She is an embarrassment to this state and to the country as a whole.

Speaking of voting I had the privilege of helping my dad get his vote into the county office. He is still in the hospital but voting has been his main concern since about Sunday.  He is an inspiration and I was touched when he made a big deal about having to vote no.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 610, Miles: 3.83

Preemptive Strike
Ro Laren is back on board the Enterprise after she was away at a special Starfleet tactical training program for two years. She is of course as always uneasy about being in Starfleet but she seems hopeful. Picard confronts Ro with an assignment that she has been handpicked to complete. Starfleet command wants her to infiltrate a group of Maquis fighters in the new demilitarized zone. Ro infiltrates a group who recently attacked a Cardassian vessel and publicly took responsibility for. Ro gets involved with this specific Maquis cell and makes a good impression quickly. She is then given a mission to get medical supplies and she intends to steal them from the Enterprise, which of course she pulls off very easily. After this coupe she makes a rendezvous with Picard and he informs her that she must bate them to attack so that the Enterprise can eliminate the Maquis fighters. Ro is reluctant but of course agrees to take on this new assignment that is until a few Cardassians sneak into the Maquis cell and start shooting people. An old man with whom Ro has become close with is shot and killed and Ro clearly now doesn’t know where her loyalty lies. She meets Picard and tries to get the mission cancelled but he refuses to let her cancel it reminding her what will happen if she messes things up. The Maquis go ahead with an attack on a few transport ships but Ro alerts them to the presence of a Federation fleet. The show ends with Ro joining the Maquis and Picard feeling let down. 


Emergence


See the Blog post entitled “Preemptive Strike” for today’s post. It was a two workout day :)

Emergence
Data and Picard are on the holodeck rehearsing a scene from The Tempest when all of the sudden a train runs through the island setting. The two don’t think a whole lot of the event but they decide to run a total diagnostic of the holodeck just to be safe. Once they are back on the bridge the ship suddenly takes off at warp 7 and on further investigation it seems they narrowly avoided a total disaster with a warp field outside of the ship.  There are now systems going crazy all over the building and Data and LaForge find a strange new connection in one terminal and there are more popping up around the rest of the ship. The holodeck is still running and it seems to be a center of  a lot of action. Upon entering Riker, Data and Worf see a mish mash of different programs all working at the same time. They are trying to turn off the program but the characters of the holodeck stop them and kick them off the train on board. Troi decides to go into the holodeck with Worf and Data to try and see what the hell is happening.  She, Worf and Data end up following a gangster around who has a brick that is obviously for something more important. Meanwhile things are getting weird on the Enteprise and there is a thing forming in one cargo bay. They try to get rid of it but they can’t. The Gangster puts the brick in the wall and soon everyone figures out that the Enterprise is becoming a self-aware artificial intelligence. The crew of the Enterprise cooperates with the holodeck creatures and the new life form is delivered to a safe haven in space. The ship basically became self-aware so that it could get this new life form to its new home. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bloodlines


I am so incredibly thankful for the marvels of modern medical technology that I can’t even begin to put it into words. My father had a stroke last week and he is making a very good recovery at this time. It was a minor stroke but still scary and truly makes you grateful for what you have and the time you still have with people. That happened Wednesday and truly a lot has happened since then so I’m going to give a quick summary…
  1. Why the hell do parents not muzzle little kids in restaurants? No one wants to hear your child scream like a banshee
  2. VOTE NO! simple and to the point and enough said
  3. If you VOTE YES… you are a bigot and there is nothing you can do to convince me otherwise
  4. Wii just dance is really fricking hard
  5. I think I want another kitten
  6. I bought a few Marimo balls this weekend and they are really just green tribbles I’m sure
  7. Boys are complicated to figure out and so is the universe
  8. So grateful my dad is doing well though I’m still worried about him
  9. I am also thinking of my mom who has been incredibly strong throughout the whole thing
  10. I think a 22inch TV in the basement is too small



Elliptical Machine- I didn’t track my calories today

Bloodlines
The Enterprise encounters a probe that holds a message for Captain Picard specifically. The message is from Damon Bok, who is seeking revenge for the death of his son. Damon Bok informs Picard that he intends to Kill Picard’s son. The real confusion is that of course Picard doesn’t have a son, or at least not that he knows about. Bok ends the transmission by stating that Jason Vigo is a dead man and there is nothing Picard can do about it. Picard and Data work together to locate Jason who is the son of a woman that Picard used to date. Jason is located and he doesn’t know about Picard and the two have a very tense beginning but it is revealed that they are indeed father and son. Jason tries to get acclimated to the ship and even hits on Troi but he continues to be tense. Jason, as it turns out, has quite the past and Picard feels guilty that he wasn’t around to mold the boy into a good man but wants to be there in the future. Damon Bok turns up around the Enterprise a few different time and it is revealed that Bok is using a subspace transmitter so they start trying to locate him. Crusher examines Jason after he passes out and lets Picard know that he is not actually his son. At this time Bok kidnaps Jason right off the ship and holds him until Picard beams aboard. Picard shares with the crew that Bok was stripped of his rank and is on some crazy revenge mission. Bok is taken into custody and Jason is returned to safely to the Enterprise and cured. In the end Picard offers to stay in touch with Jason though things are left up in the air between the two men. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Firstborn


I do believe that a five year old called me a faggot today! Now it was not in those exact words but the message was very clear. In talking with my neighbor in the street a kid came and said, “hey that kid calls you Mr. Fancy Pants!” To which the other kids says something to likes of “my parents call you Fancy Pants”. I think the kid is simply repeating what his parents say and apparently one of my neighbors has a problem with me. I hardly talk to anyone in my development so of course this is based upon seeing me and not knowing me. Hooray for stereotyping and homophobia. The suburbs and really northern ring suburbs are a scary place for us gay men out here. I think it takes a special kind of gay man or woman to live out here and deal with the tolerance and change minds. As much as I would like to think the incident this afternoon was that I need to move and soon.  I will stick it out for now and maybe change a few minds. For the time being though I am feeling spicy and may just live up to my new sobriquet by wearing my bright red pants tomorrow.

I would like to take this time to say a big ole SHAME ON YOU to the small-minded parents in our world who teach hate to their children. You truly do not deserve the children you have been blessed with if you cannot teach them love and respect for all people.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 617, Miles: 3.83

Firstborn
Worf is planning for a major milestone in his young son Alexander’s life. He is about to reach the age ascension where he begins the journey of becoming a man and a warrior. Alexander must participate in these rituals if he wants to become a warrior, the only problem is that Alexander does not want to be a warrior. While on a break for a few days Picard suggests that the ship divert to a Klingon outpost where Alexander can observe some of the Klingon heritage and energize him to become a warrior. While on the planet three Klingons try to murder Worf, but a man named K’mtar who is the chief advisor to the house of Mogh saves him. Mogh explains that he is there to help Worf and to solve the mystery of the attempted murder. He believes that is an attempt from the Duras family to gain more power in the Klingon empire. The investigation leads them to Quark on DS9 who dealt with the Duras sisters earlier that year and he leads them to a mining operation. On the mining planet they are then lead to a freighter making a mining deal. They of course locate the sisters but when shown the weapon they are confused because it contains a sister from Lursa’s baby, who is yet to be born.  Worf then goes to talk to K’mtar who is holding a gun up to Alexander about to kill him. When Worf attacks him K’mtar reveals that he really is Alexander come back in time to try to set something right that went wrong. In the future Alexander becomes a diplomat and watches his father die because he doesn’t know how to engage in combat. Worf then makes the decision to let Alexander follow whatever path he wants in his life.