Posted in: Community Service, Conventions, Cosplay, Fan Club, Rant, Star Trek

FanX after-con report

Salt Lake Magazine interviewed me at FanX 2021
Salt Lake Magazine interviewed me at FanX 2021

FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention was held at the Salt Palace on September 16-18. In my duties as Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet, I helped man the charity booth that we were running at the con. The club was raising funds for the Best Friends Animal Society of Utah.

While I was there, I was able to get some additional photos for my online photo gallery. I was also able to obtain some new Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars autographs for my autograph collection. Spending time with Larry Nemecek and John Eaves was a highlight of the convention. I was even interviewed by Salt Lake Magazine in one of their FanX video reports. The video is posted below.

Salt Lake Magazine interview

Some of the additional good things included how most people were following the health guidelines. Watching the attendees from the booth I’d say that 99% of the people were wearing masks. Hopefully enough people will take steps to make the conventions next year a safer event. I also really loved the wider aisles that were mapped out on the vendors room floor. While the con was still crowded (I was told that more tickets were sold for 2021 than 2019) it wasn’t crazy sardine packed on the vendors floor. I really hope that FanX keeps the wider aisles for future years.

I’m going to go a little bit on a soapbox here. I really think that autograph prices are getting way too high. There were several guests that I ended up skipping because I didn’t want to pay that much for a signature on a photo. I think that managers hear the term “Comic Con” and automatically hike the prices up by 30-50%. It also bugs me that the autograph prices are not advertised before the con so I can budget ahead of time. The con website posts the photo op prices, but the autograph prices are always listed as TBA. When I show up and find out that someone wants $90 for an autograph that I didn’t plan for in advance, I turn it down. Speaking of photos, what is the deal with charging for a selfie? Yes an autograph creates a value on an item that can be resold, so I can understand a guest charging for that. But you can’t really re-sell a selfie. All of the selfie-style photos that I have posted on this website were obtained without extra payment. While they are kewl and I thank the guest for posing with me, I don’t see myself paying for a selfie. If I wanted to pay for a photo with a guest, I’d get a professional photo done. End of rant.

After not being able to attend a convention for two years, it was good to see my convention friends and geek out. There are a certain number of people that I only see at these events. It was good to see who had kept themselves safe. I hope that things will get better so we can continue to have more events and conventions. The new uniform worked great and I may pick up a few more from that manufacturer.

Here are some of the photos that were taken at the con.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: September 20-26

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of September 20th through the 26th.

September 20
“Captain, we have the right to survive.” Deela “Not by killing others.” Kirk- Wink of an Eye, Stardate: 5710.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

September 21
“You ‘improvised’ your way through an entire cheesecake as well as three servings of Ktarian chocolate puffs! Now I have to deal with the consequences.” Seven- Body and Soul, Stardate: 54238.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

September 22
“I sense you have a closed mind, Captain.  Closed minds have kept these two worlds apart for centuries.” Spock- Unification II, Stardate: 45245.8 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 23
Happy Birthday to Rosalind Chao. @rosalindchao https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Rosalind_Chao #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

“Knowledge is power.” Keiko- A Man Alone, Stardate: 46384 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

September 24
Star Trek: Discovery premieres on this date in 2017 with the episodes The Vulcan Hello and Battle at the Binary Stars. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Discovery #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

“We were biologically determined for one purpose and one purpose alone: to sense the coming of death. I sense it coming now.” Saru- The Vulcan Hello, Stardate: 1207.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

September 25
“To employ an aphorism, one cannot “cheat fate.”” Data- Time’s Arrow, Stardate: 45959.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 26
Star Trek: Enterprise premiered on this date in 2001 with the episode Broken Bow. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Enterprise #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“Do you know how to tell him to shut up?” Archer “Shut up!” Sato- Broken Bow, Date: April 15, 2151 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: September 13-19

Worf after watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of September 13th through the 19th.

September 13
“Why don’t I give you two some privacy?” Janeway “Oh, Kathy, don’t you like to watch?” Q- The Q and the Grey, Stardate: 50384.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

September 14
Happy Birthday to Walter Koenig. @GineokwKoenig https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Walter_Koenig #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

“The Garden of Eden was just outside Moscow. A very nice place. It must have made Adam and Eve very sad to leave.” Chekov- The Apple, Stardate: 3715.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

September 15
Happy Birthday to Tom Hardy. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tom_Hardy #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“Our eyes reflect our lives, don’t they? And yours, so confident!” Shinzon- Star Trek Nemesis, Stardate: 56844.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 16
Happy Birthday to Jayne Brook. @thejaynebrook https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jayne_Brook #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

“We wanted the best of Starfleet to survive. And as this conversation makes clear, that was you… and all you represent.” Cornwell “Thank you.” Pike “You’re welcome. Now, will you get off my ass so we can get back to work?” Cornwell- Project Daedalus #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery

September 17
“Captain, perhaps it would be best if we discussed this…” Picard “SHUT UP.” Riker “…I beg your pardon?” Picard “I said SHUT UP! As in close your mouth and stop talking!” Riker- Future Imperfect, Stardate: 44286.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 18
“Logic saved us, but it took us nearly fifteen hundred years to rebuild and travel to the stars. You Humans have managed to do the same in less than a century.” Soval- The Forge, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

September 19
“Wives serve, brothers inherit. Rule of Acquisition number one hundred thirty nine, if I’m not mistaken.” Odo- Necessary Evil, Stardate: 47282.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Community Service, Fan Club, Star Trek

My Star Trek Day interview on KRCL 90.9FM

The Treknologist plaque that I mentioned in the interview.

Wednesday, September 8 2021 was the 55th Anniversary of the Original Star Trek premier on NBC with the episode The Man Trap. Star Trek fans have been celebrating this date as Star Trek Day. There were several events that happened on this date including several series announcements for Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Picard (season three confirmed) and casting news for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

My friends from The Thermians from Utah Galaxy Quest fan club (hat tip to Frank and Roxanne) reached out to me to see if I wanted to be interviewed by Lara Jones the host of RadioACTive on Community Radio KRCL 90.9 FM. I had a great time talking by Zoom with Lara and we probably could have talked for several hours about Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars and Doctor Who. But unfortunately I wasn’t the only guest scheduled for the hour long program.

Here is the link to the RadioACTive September 8th show notes with a recording of the interview. There is a brief introduction about Star Trek Day at the beginning followed by an interview regarding the Utah Greek Festival. Then the section with my interview starts around the 27:39 minute mark. After the interview I realized I mistakenly stated David Allen Stiers instead of David Ogden Stiers from MASH fame (I’m horrible with names). There is a little bit of electronic garble from the zoom connection, but other than that I thought the interview went pretty well. I was able to talk about Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet, what Star Trek meant to me and why am a Treknologist and she even mentioned this blog. Playing Star Trekkin by The Firm was a nice touch to wrap up the interview.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been interviewed. Back in the early 90’s a roommate was an intern at a local talk radio station and he got me on the air with a host to talk about Star Trek. I really hope I can find the tape recording of that interview as it now contains the voice of a friend who has long pasted on. I’ve been interviewed by magazines and local newspapers. Dan Pope of KTVX Ch 4 has interviewed me at FanX and I’ve been down to the Ch 4 studios for a cosplay special.

Thank you Lara Jones and KRCL 90.9FM for the opportunity to talk about Star Trek. I hope you all had a happy Star Trek Day. Live long and prosper.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: September 6-12

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB! LITTLE LAMB! LITTLE LAMB!

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of September 6th through the 12th.

September 6
Happy Birthday to Idris Elba. @idriselba https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Idris_Elba #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet

“Without struggle, you would never know who you truly are.” Krall- Star Trek Beyond #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet

September 7
“The question is, who will take the initiative? Who will make the first gesture of trust? The answer is, I will.” Picard- The Enemy, Stardate: 43349.2 #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 8
Star Trek premieres on this date in 1966 with the episode The Man Trap. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

“One of the missions of the Enterprise is to protect human life in places like this.” Kirk- The Man Trap, Stardate: 1513.1 #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Star Trek The Animated Series premieres on this date in 1973 with the episode Beyond the Farthest Star. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Animated_Series #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet

“It’s beautiful. What kind of people could have built it, to touch even a starship with grace and beauty?” Uhura- Beyond the Farthest Star, Stardate: 5221.3 #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

September 9
Happy Birthday to Jeffrey Combs. @jeffreycombs https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jeffrey_Combs #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“Don’t you think resolving family squabbles can wait until after we’ve won the war?… Weak eyes, good ears.” Weyoun- Favor the Bold, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

September 10
Happy Birthday to Harry Treadaway. @TreadawayHaz https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Harry_Treadaway #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

“Everyone is hiding something. Whether they know it or not.” Narek- The Impossible Box, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

September 11
Happy Birthday to Roxann Dawson. @roxdaws https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Roxann_Dawson #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“I don’t run to sickbay every time I stub my toe.” Torres- Extreme Risk, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

September 12
“I guess even Vulcan can fall prey to temptation.”  Archer- The Seventh, Date: Unknown #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: August 30-September 5

Dax has her cosplay ready for the con.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of August 30th through September 5th.

August 30
“Everyone is trying to look out for us… protect us from ourselves. But in the end… all that matters is how we feel and what we do about it.” Dax- Rejoined, Stardate: 49195.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

August 31
“You have never seen death? Then look… and always remember.” Worf- Reunion, Stardate: 44246.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 1
Problem. Earth technology & science have progressed faster than political and social knowledge. Purpose of mission. To prevent Earth’s civilization from destroying itself before it can mature into a peaceful society. Seven- Assignment: Earth #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

September 2
“Forgive me, Tuvok, but it seems barbaric.” Nimira “If all species were as enlightened as yours and mine, there would be no need for prisons.” Tuvok- Random Thoughts, Stardate: 51367.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

September 3
“There are those who would avenge my death…and some of them are Vulcans.” Mirror Spock- Mirror, Mirror, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

September 4
“You’re not supposed to do anything. That’s what “relieved of duty” means.” Guinan- Rascals, Stardate: 46235.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

September 5
“I’ve been thinking – perfecting Humanity… may not be possible. Cybernetics… artificial lifeforms… I doubt I’ll finish the work myself… might take a generation or two…” Soong- The Augments, Date: May 27, 2154 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars

#RPGaDay2021 Day 29: System

Day 29: System

So when it comes to selecting a role playing system to play, which is better? Learning something new or going with a system you are already familiar with that has been adapted for the universe you want to play in?

For me, it’s sixes. Recently I had the option to play in an online game and the game master gave us the option of a D20 system (Starfinder) or something else. I don’t even really recall what the second option was because I was more worried about trying to learn how to use the online virtual table top application (another post for another day). While I was happy for the easy of the D20 system, I also discovered that Starfinder (and I later found out that Pathfinder was the same way) was just a little too crunchy for me. It seems like it has taken the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 book and added way to many additional rules to the system.

On the other hand, the D20 based Star Wars RPG released in the early 2000’s didn’t really attract me at the time. I’m a big Star Wars fan, but I remember thinking that “Seeing Luke and company with D&D stats just seemed off.” I don’t know if it’s because of all the D6 Star Wars games that I had played, or that I just didn’t have the money at the time to buy another set of books. So I never got into the game at the time it was being published. If someone were to invite me to a game now, I’d take them up on the offer.

There are generic systems out there. I had played GURPS back in the early 90’s. It seemed ok at the time, but a lot of math. So it’s not one of my first choices. I just received Dune: Adventures in the Imperium for a birthday gift which is a 2d20 system like Star Trek Adventures. It’s been interesting to see the tweaks between the two rulebooks. (again another blog post will go into further details on this) The D6 system that was used in the WEG Star Wars system has been ported over to a series of generic RPG books. I could see myself using the D6 system for a classic Battlestar Galactica game.

I haven’t even scratched the surface on which systems have stood out to me or failed to grab my attention. There are just way to many out there. But I have tried a few. When I was going through my three-ringed binder of old characters, I noticed I had sheets for some games that I don’t even remember playing. I must not have been very impressed with the system if I can’t remember them now.

Final Thoughts:

All of the remaining dates in the challenge only have one suggestion for each day. It almost seemed like the list just sputtered out of ideas.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Role Playing Games, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 27: Group

Day 27: Group

Getting together with a group of friends is the biggest reason I play role playing games. These games are a social activity. Those who show up early can chat about how things are going before the game starts. A good game usually results in members of the group talking with each other between sessions.

I recall one campaign with the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game where the session had ended on a cliffhanger. We were trapped on a starship with several enemy torpedoes heading directly towards us. This was in the days before texting and emails. So phone call by phone call the different players called each other with different ideas of what we could do. Which idea was the best? Which idea would actually work? There was a problem and we were going to solve it.

When it came time for the next session, the GM picked up from where we left off. As the torpedoes hit, the power suddenly went out on the ship. A voice called out “OK, open it up” and the simulator wall holding the viewscreen slid open a la Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. An instructor walked through checking off a box on a clipboard stating “Well you messed that one up, didn’t you?” We don’t know if the GM planned to make this a simulation or it was his idea to get himself out of a painted corner. I just remember that one player screamed. The GM quickly gulped and ran out the door. When he dodged the player chasing him and ran back in to the house, he had discovered that we had a belt converted into a hangman’s noose. While we were upset about our ideas being thrown out the window, we were not really going to hang him… or were we?

I’ve made many different friends in different gaming groups. Some of them I haven’t talked to in years. Others I am still in contact with today. One lives so close I could hit his house with a well thrown rock. It is still my opinion that gaming in person with the group was much better than gaming over an online platform. Yes, the online options have allowed games to continue while we work our way through recent challenges. But I want to see the body language expressing secret messages via glances, I want to hear the groans as I let loose a joke (If I could make the DM laugh during a session he’d give me extra experience points), I want to hear about how my friends are doing.

Having re-read a lot of my gaming books or checking out new systems I want to get a group of friends together just to try a system. While we may not make a campaign out of the game, we would at least try out the system and see if it worked. I just wish that we could actually get together. Not just health wise, but trying to arrange scheduled (the same old story). But we would to it together as a group.

Final Thoughts:

I had a hard time with this set of suggestions. “Fraction”? It was my understand that there would be no math. “Kindle”? I guess I could have talked about reading books on a kindle. “Practice” You want me to blog about practice?

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Collecting, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Star Trek, Top Secret

#RPGaDay2021 Day 25: Box

Day 25: Box

I have loved boxed sets for different role playing games. Besides the various books, sometimes there are extras that are included in the box. Dice, maps, character sheets, player aids and (one of my favorites) catalogs. I also think that the boxes look better than some of the books when I’m taking a shelfie (a picture of books on a shelf) of my role playing game collection.

The bad thing about the boxes is that they are made out of a type of cardboard. This cardboard can be easily crushed or damaged at the corners. Games that have been kept in temporary storage boxes (more cardboard that can easily be crushed), over stuffing the box with more than it’s capable of holding, moved from place to play by friends who don’t know what’s inside, constant opening, etc. can take a toll on some of these boxes.

Here are some photos of some of the boxes that I have in my collection that are in need of repair.

The Doctor Who RPG boxed set by FASA.
The Doctor Who RPG boxed set by FASA.
Several boxed sets for the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game.
Several boxed sets for the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game.
Boxed Romulan supplement for the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games.
Boxed Romulan supplement for the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games.
Damaged corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Damaged corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Split corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Split corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
A split corner on the Top Secret boxed set by TSR.
A split corner on the Top Secret boxed set by TSR.

As you can see, some of these boxes are so damaged that I don’t even want to move them on the shelves. This is not good. I’ve been researching how to repair these boxes without damaging them further. I really don’t want to tape up the box as the tape will eventually fade and fail (I’ve got one book that I did this to in the 90’s and I wish I had done something differently now). One site suggested getting candy boxes with thin cardboard and cut them for use in the corners of the box that you wish to reinforce. I’d have to make sure the box is free of any food particles before I do that.

I think the first thing I’m going to do is buy some used board games at a thrift store that come in boxes with similar thickness. Toss the game contents and then use the boxes as my test platforms. I can experiment with different glues and repair styles. This way if I mess up, I’m not further damaging a collectable. I don’t know if I want to go all the way in my restoration project to make the game like mint. Sometimes having a little bit of wear and tear shows the love for the game. But I’d like to be able to pull my Star Trek RPG box out without praying that the entire box doesn’t disintegrate on me.

I’ll make a future blog post with details when I take this project on.

Final Thoughts:

“Welcome” could easily be a post about how to make sure that all players feel welcomed at your gaming table. “Tradition” could be a host of things, none that are coming to me currently. “Fresh” could be a post on how to keep your game from becoming stale and stagnant. I could see some possibilities in today’s recommendations.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 24: Translate

Day 24: Translate

There are a lot of languages that can be used within different role playing games. Spies in a modern day espionage game may have to deal with the dialect of different nations. Races in both fantasy and science fiction genres have their own language. In some fantasy games, certain classes/occupations have their own languages such as Thieves’ Cant.

Most games state that there is a common language that everyone speaks as a first or second language. According to StatisticsAndData.org the number of people on Earth that speak English is 1.2 billion. The population of the planet is 7.8 billion. It would make sense that there would be different dialects even in a fantasy world or science fiction universe.

So how do Game Masters handle a language barrier? There are two different ways. Keep the difference in languages there as a possible role playing opportunity or introduce a translator option.

The language barrier can make for some interesting drama. Can you get American secret agent the message over to the Italian police officer that there really is a bomb in the van he’s been chasing? Some RPGs have language skill ratings, this could be a time to use it. If PCs and NPCs are talking in a language that other PCs don’t know, I’d recommend using notes to pass between the players that understand the language (as well as the GM). I understand one of the online virtual table top systems will allow you to type a message in English and have it translated into the language selected. Only those who have that language listed as a skill can read the text. There are different ways that this can be incorporated.

The automatic translator is also another option. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has the Babel Fish. The Farscape TV series uses translator microbes that are injected into the body which conducts the translations. While Star Trek introduced the translator as a piece of equipment in the 1960’s, a modern day version has already been developed. In Doctor Who, the TARDIS translates for the occupants. In one of the early episodes of season eleven, the Human companions were placed in medical pods. When the pod discovered that the occupants didn’t have a translator circuit installed, one was inserted into them. Several fantasy games have the equivalent of a “translate languages” spell, or one could be created very easily. Plus a translator could be hired by the party when entering a foreign land. This also creates another role playing opportunity.

Even if direct translations could be provided, there is still the issue with slang and metaphors. The Next Generation fifth season episode, Darmok, highlighted this challenge very well.

Just as the weather will always be spring like and sunny, different languages can be used to spice up a role playing game.

Final Thoughts:

Not really a bad crop of suggestions for the day. However I didn’t decide upon a topic until just before I started creating the blog post. “Ancient” could have talked about ancient civilizations in an exploring game. “Solve” could talk about different types of puzzles. I had nothing for “Share”.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart