“You do understand that we cook most of our foods…” La Forge “Ah yes, I was told to prepare for that. I shall try some of your burned replicated bird meat.” Kurn- Sins of the Father, Stardate: 43685.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
December 5 “I swear this oath by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius, by Health and by all the gods and goddesses: In whatsoever place that I enter I will enter to help the sick and heal the injured, and I will do no harm.” The Doctor- Darkling, Stardate: 50693.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“I weep for V’ger as I would for a brother. As I was when I came aboard, so is V’ger now. Empty. Incomplete. Searching. Logic and knowledge are not enough.” Spock- Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Stardate: 7412.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
December 8 “Perhaps we are letting our imaginations run away with us. I should never have let Mister Tucker talk me into watching The Exorcist last week.” Dr. Phlox- Doctor’s Orders, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Very good, Ensign. You have passed the challenge.” Worf “What? By taking off the blindfold?” Sito “It takes courage to say the test is unfair.” Worf- Lower Decks, Stardate: 47566.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Are you sure about that?” Dr. Jurati “What did you do? Where is it? You…” Borg Queen “Stole it. Computer, dictate the file logged, ‘Shit I stole from the Borg Queen.'” Dr. Jurati- Assimilation, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“And once, there was a transporter accident. Neelix and Commander Tuvok got combined… to make a completely different person!” Naomi Wildman “Really?” Brax “You don’t think I could make up a story like that, do you?” Naomi Wildman- Homestead, Stardate: 54868.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 29 “We faced a similar crisis in our early nuclear age. We found the wisdom not to destroy ourselves.” Kirk- Return to Tomorrow, Stardate: 4768.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 30 “To many humans a mystery is irresistible. It must be solved.” Picard- Clues, Stardate: 44502.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
December 1 “The ball’s in your court now.” Archer “It’s a Human expression – it means the next move is yours.” T’Pol- Cease Fire, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
December 2 “Herbert! Herbert! Herbert!” Adam “Herbert! Herbert! Herbert! Herbert! Herbert! Herbert!” Hippies- The Way to Eden, Stardate: 5832.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
December 3 “Our ancestors learned the hard way that what you don’t know might kill you. They wouldn’t have survived if they hadn’t jumped back when they encountered a snake coiled in the muck. And now millions of years later, that instinct is still there.” Quark- Chimera, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
I came across a good video from the two guys (Matt and Eric) at The Goblin’s Corner. They talked about what they had in their convention survival backpacks. I had made a comment on their Discord server about the video, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to actually share what was usually in my convention backpack. If you haven’t seen the video, the link is posted above.
Now I’m not certain I’d call it a survival backpack, it’s just a backpack that I’ve used to make my life easier. Not just at conventions but for quick trips as well. Over the summer I had a chance for a quick day-trip on the train to see some family and this was the first thing I grabbed since I wanted to travel light. I also use this backpack to transport my laptop to and from USS Ticonderoga Star Trek Club meetings since I conduct the video conferencing for the remote attendees.
Matt and Eric had their listing broken down into several categories. I’ll be following it roughly (I don’t have some of the items that they included on their list). This includes the bag itself and several categories of what it contains.
So after looking over several different options for a laptop backpack, I selected the Matein Travel Laptop Backpack. I’ve had this for a year now and I’ve found it very durable. Besides protecting the laptop with padding, it also protected me by having some good pads on the lower back and shoulders. The top handle and shoulder straps are also very well padded. At one SaltCON I had several hours between games so I put on the backpack and hiked a mile to a nearby mall to meet the family and friends for lunch. Even with all of the items in the backpack it was comfortable to walk in. This backpack also had lots of internal and external pockets. One of these internal pockets was for a cell phone charger that you could connect to an external port on the backpack itself. Allowing me to run a charging cord to this port to power up my phone or tablet.
Out of all of the colors that was available, I selected the grey covering. This gave me an opportunity to allow my geek flag to fly. On the backpack I was able to add several geek pins. These included a Star Trek: The Next Generation combadge that I had retired from cosplay use, a D-20 pin to show off my RPG side, a TARDIS pin for my Doctor Who fandom, a Red Dwarf pin (those were hard to find) and a stylized Boba Fett pin that I had purchased from an artist at a convention. I still have room for another pin or two if I happen to come across any good ones.
Now one point from The Goblin’s Corner video that I’d like to re-state here. You don’t need to fill your bag up all the way. It would be best to limit this to 1/3 full so you have a place to put in your purchases and SWAG. Even when I stuffed in my light jacket into my bag, I could tell the difference.
First Aid and Health Items:
Some of these items I picked up online, other items just came from a local store. Hand sanitizer is a must, and in the small bottles, can be easily stored. When I’ve finished using a bottle filed with prescription medication, I’ve saved the bottle to use for travel/convention purposes. The bottle in the image contains the standard ibuprofen, but I’ve had others that contained my daily allotment of pills and vitamins. A pack of travel tissues has come in handy on several occasions. While I haven’t needed to use it yet, I’m very grateful that the emergency rain poncho is very compact to keep in the backpack. Another compact item is several KN-95 masks. You can use them yourself if you find out that someone is sick at a convention (convention crud is something I’ve had to deal with in the past) plus you can offer one if you have several available.
One of the items that I did add after watching Matt and Eric’s video was a small First Aid kit. I didn’t really have one before but thought it would be a good idea. I selected a small one that was compact enough to slip into the health portion of my backpack.
Snacks and Water:
The water bottle that I use is in the previous picture because I wanted to show it next to the side mesh pouch on the backpack. I didn’t want one that was bigger than the pouch, but sturdy enough to be knocked about on the outside of my backpack. Most convention centers now have water refilling stations. With the smaller bottle, it also wouldn’t add too much weight when it was full.
I only show some of the granola bars that I had readily available. But I would also include items like nuts and other high protein snacks. These would usually be something that would tide me over until I was able to get to a proper meal. Plus with them being factory sealed, I could offer it to someone without them worrying about what was in it.
Entertainment, Electronics and other items:
I love living in a modern world with some of the technological advances available right now. When I’m going to a convention I leave my laptop at home, but I bring my Kindle tablet (with the special carrying case that has a Bluetooth keyboard). On this tablet I have loaded the rule-books for the games that I have signed up for and several other reading items that I can use.
I do carry a wall charger for my electronic devices and a Bluetooth headset for phone calls or music. One of the pet peeves that I’ve developed is when people walk around holding their phone in front of them like they are going to take a bite. Talking with the person by speaker phone out in public just bugs me. I really don’t want to hear your conversation.
I mentioned above that the backpack has an internal pocket for a rechargeable battery that can be hooked to an external port. The battery I selected was the RETSMR power bank. It was a little more expensive than the smaller rechargeable batteries that you can find, but it recharged my phone just as fast as it was plugged into a wall outlet. I found that the smaller rechargeable batteries would just barely charge my devices keeping them alive until I could get to a wall outlet.
The grey item next to the power bank is the special cover to my Rocketbook Core Reusable Notebook. I could use a special pen to write down my ideas or notes, and then using the app, scan these notes into a PDF format to send to my cloud storage. With just a spray of water and a cloth, the pages could then be wiped clean. It gave me the benefit of writing things down (and allowing me to remember it better) and having it at my fingertips online. I’ve had this for a year and will probably dedicate an entire blog post to it’s uses. For writing on the character sheets that are given to me at a game, I do carry several mechanical pencils.
Other items in the photo include my big dice bag (not always carried) and the small North-to-South Gaming set that I reviewed in 2022. The 20-in-One Card Deck has also come in handy for a variety of reasons (dice, card games, etc.) Most conventions will sell badge holders that you can re-use at other events. These are handy to also hold business cards you pick up before you can scan them. And the last item you see is a glasses emergency repair kit that I got with my last pair of glasses. You never know when you might need them.
Differences in my bag compared to Matt and Eric’s:
So Matt and Eric mentioned several different items that I don’t find necessary, or perhaps I need to consider. At gaming conventions I’m not really cosplaying so I don’t carry a cosplay repair kit. At the conventions I am cosplaying at, I usually have a special bag with those items in it.
While I have partaken of alcohol at past conventions, it is not the primary reason I attend a con. However I will say that I really appreciated some of the safety points that they brought up in the discussion of alcohol and other chemical items.
This last item I’m still thinking about. Spare clothing. The gaming convention I primarily attend is nearby and I could easily run back home if needed. But that may not always be the case. Even just a spare shirt, socks and underwear take up a little bit of room (if my jacket experience has taught me anything). Especially if I have a backpack full of purchased books. The backpack should contain items I may immediately need (like the headache medicine or snacks). Clothing could easily be stored in my car or hotel room. Perhaps an experiment at an upcoming convention is in order.
So there is a look into my convention backpack. Part of my convention ritual is making sure that I have everything packed up (and electronic devices properly charged) before the convention. I write a to-do list in my Rocketbook. Did I miss something that should be in my backpack? Is there something I should take out? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.
November 20 “I can’t help wondering whether I could have fought harder.” Kes “It was your absolute refusal to surrender which defeated him. You cannot ask more of yourself than that.” Tuvok- Warlord, Stardate: 50348.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” Borg- Star Trek: First Contact, Stardate: 50893.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 23 “Liam Brennan asks ‘what do you eat?’ For the most part, the same things you eat at home. Our Chef can make anything from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to turkey with all the trimmings.” Archer- Breaking the Ice, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“I’m familiar with the blueprints and specifications, but this will be my first time aboard.” Picard “Well then, if I may be so bold, sir, you’re in for a treat. The Enterprise is quite a ship.” Yar- All Good Things…, Stardate: 47988.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“You have a tendency to express ideas in military terms, Mister Khan. This is a social occasion.” Kirk “It has been said that social occasions are only warfare concealed. Many prefer it more honest, more open.” Khan- Space Seed, Stardate: 3141.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
OK, first an apology. Recent health issues have prevented me from posting as much as I would have liked on this site. I’m not going to go into details because I know that everyone has been dealing with health and real-world issues. But I will say that I’ve been following my doctor’s orders and I’m getting better. Many thanks to those who have already reached out to me. I really appreciate it.
Now down to business. I have noticed the traffic hitting the Character Creation Challenge page. I am hoping that it is from participants wondering if I’ll be coordinating a 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge. I am very happy to say the answer is YES!!!!!!
I’ve already moved my 2023 entries and links to their own page, clearing the way for the 2024 links and entries. So if it looks a little blank, send me links to your blog or site if you are planning to participate. Feel free to let me know of other sites and message boards. Last year I was introduced to a couple of message boards that had participants posting entries. The links for the 2021 and 2022 challenges also have their own pages. You can find the official RPG.net forum for the 2024 Challenge here.
For those of you learning about this for the first time, the Character Creation Challenge is for fans of various role playing games. You may have looked into a game or collected the books with the intention to play but never have. Or perhaps you have a favorite system that you always turn to for RPG sessions. Well the Character Creation Challenge is an event to create a new RPG character for each day in January (running parallel to the “new year, new you” theme) from what ever system(s) you choose. Once you have the character ready to play, post it on a website, blog, social media (use the hashtag #CharacterCreationChallenge) or online message boards. The forums at RPG.net was a popular forum where a lot of participants had posted their completed characters.
In 2023, I’ve had the chance to attend three different gaming conventions. In the dealers room and at the swap meet I’ve been able to pick up a few cheap RPG books. I am also hopeful that a few RPG Kickstarter goodies will be delivered in time so I can use them in the challenge. And I’ve also been able to pick up quite a few PDF games at DriveThruRPG. So I’ve got a good selection to choose from. Plus I may revisit some favorites just because I want to. That is the beauty of the challenge. You can select the theme you want. I’ve heard of some GMs using this opportunity to create NPCs for their games. Some forever GMs use this as a challenge to create a character like they were actually going to just play. There are a few other themes posted on the main Character Creation Challenge page. Remember, this is for fun, so have fun with it.
If you would like to participate, email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com, post on the TardisCaptain.com Discord Channel or find me on social media/message boards and let me know where you will be posting your challenge characters at. If you are posting them on a website, I’ll add the link to my Character Creation Challenge page.
“My name is Guinan, I tend bar and I listen.” Guinan- Ensign Ro, Stardate: 45076.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 14 “What is it?” Tomar “It’s…uh, well…it’s green!” Scotty- By Any Other Name, Stardate: 4657.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 15 “Went to a spa once in Mexico. The most relaxing place I’ve ever been, but it doesn’t compare to this. Oh, it certainly feels nice to be clean again.” Reed- Sleeping Dogs, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 16 “For the good of the ship we have to loosen up.” Boimler “Loosen up? But then we’re back to buffer time.” Freeman “Yes, when people do what they had to to get the job done. You’re a great captain. Let them be a great crew.” Boimler- Temporal Edict, Stardate: 57501.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 17 “Hours can be centuries, just as words can be lies.” Vanna- The Cloud Minders, Stardate: 5818.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“He bathed. Now he’s roaming the ship. He must be the only engineer in Starfleet who doesn’t go to engineering!” B’Etor- Star Trek Generations, Stardate: 48650.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Now, you are my children as I raise this family to greatness! Do not refer to me as chancellor, for I deserve a fiercer title. From this point forth, you may call me… Mother.” L’Rell- Point of Light, Stardate: 1029.46 #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 8 “Well, this is an Enterprise first. Doctor McCoy, Mister Spock and Engineer Scott find themselves in complete agreement. Can I stand the strain?” Kirk- The Lights of Zetar, Stardate: 5725.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“I see fear in your eyes, Human.” T’Greth “The only Klingon I’m afraid of is my wife after she’s worked a double shift.” Paris- Prophecy, Stardate:54518.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 10 “Sometimes the moral obligations of command are less than clear. I have to weigh the good of the many against the needs of the individual and try to balance them as realistically as possible.” Picard- The Enemy, Stardate: 43349.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 11 “You all right?” Hernandez “I’m not even sure what all right means anymore.” Archer “Want to talk about it? There’s an old code among climbers. Anything that happens on the mountain stays there.” Hernandez- Home, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“You picked me for your successor. Surely you must have some advice?” Quark “To survive, you must surround yourself with loyal men.” Zek- The Nagus, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“We’re going to fight back in the only way we can. We’re going to form a… a…” Rom “A what?” Frool “We’re going to form… a union.” Rom- Bar Association, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Are you challenging me to a duel?” Trelane “If you have the courage.” Kirk “Oh, this is better than I’d planned. I shall not shirk an affair of honor.” Trelane- The Squire of Gothos, Stardate: 2124.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
October 31 “Spirits? Ghosts? But you’re a man who would never believe in ghosts, Picard. Isn’t that true?” Troi (possessed)- Power Play, Stardate: 45571.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 1 “Individuality has its limits. Especially on a starship, where there’s a command structure.” Janeway- Prey, Stardate: 51652.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 2 “Are you afraid of cars?” Kirk “Not at all, Captain. It’s your driving that alarms me.” Spock- A Piece of the Action, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 3 “There’s no way the computer can compensate for the human factor—the intuition, the experience.” LaForge- Booby Trap, Stardate: 43205.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
November 4 “Schematics for Enterprise. You said you like to look at starships. This one’ll knock your socks off.” Tucker- Marauders, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“What about Kozak’s family? What if they come here for revenge?” Rom “I’ll stand up, look them straight in the eye and offer them a bribe.” Quark- House of Quark, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
As I’ve mentioned several times previously on my blog, I’ve been a big fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever since I first discovered it in the 90’s. When the season 13 crowdfunding campaign was announced, my wife and I donated so that we could see more MST3K.
Well, the bots are at it again. This time crowdfunding for a season 14 of new episodes, shorts and something called “surgically enhanced” episodes. These appear to be re-masters of older MST3K episodes that looked too grainy. This video explains a lot.
So the goal is to reach $7.4 million by November 24th. Joel and the gang have moved to a new crowdfunding platform. From what I understand, this new platform won’t be taking as much of the cut as other platforms. Yes there will be both digital and physical perks. I loved getting my season 13 perks just recently and I’m really tempted by the magnets on this round. You can donate at https://showmaker.mst3k.com/
The social media hashtags used to promote this campaign are #MakeMoreMST3K (as used in previous campaigns) and #MST3KShowmaker. This is also a special event because this is the 35th Anniversary of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I wonder what movies they will use for season 14? What movies would you recommend? What are some of your favorite MST3K episodes? Let’s talk about it on my Discord server. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
October 23 “Haven’t you ever gone camping?” Archer “In a manner of speaking. I once participated in the kahswan ritual. I was taken to the desert and left to survive for ten days.” T’Pol- The Catwalk, Date: September 18, 2152 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Federation support, Federation procedures, Federation rules. Look in the mirror, Admiral. The Federation is old.” Ru’afo- Star Trek: Insurrection, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
October 25 “Doctor, I am chasing Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Uhura, and Ensign Chekov, not some wild aquatic fowl.” Spock- The Gamesters of Triskelion, Stardate: 3259.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Tilly… trust the math. And more importantly, trust yourself. I wouldn’t let just anyone beam me in and out of time.” Stamets- Light and Shadows, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Captain Janeway has made me realize that I must function as more than an emergency medical replacement. I must think of myself as a… member of the crew.” The Doctor- Eye of the Needle, Stardate: 48579.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Did someone ask for help? I am Hologram Janeway, your training advisor for exploring the greater galaxy. On behalf of Starfleet, welcome aboard. How can I be of assistance?” Hologram Janeway- Lost and Found, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekProdigy #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
October 29 “He wanted to protect the innocent and separate the darkness from the light. But he didn’t realize the light only shines in the dark and sometimes innocence is just an excuse for the guilty.” Kira- The Darkness and the Light, Stardate: 50416.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet