Star Trek Day 2021

Today is Star Trek Day. Which means 55 years ago- the iconic space opera debuted on tv. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.

I’ve watched all of the movies and majority of the shows. I’m still more of a Star Wars fan, but I do have a soft spot for Star Trek. At age 13, The Next Generation debuted and I fanboyed over it. I’m fact, my first nerd convention was a Star Trek Convention in Vancouver back in 1987. This was a whole new experience that I had no idea I was going to dive into later on in life.

I rejuvenated my love of Star Trek in 2012 when we attended our first big Comic-Con in Calgary. It was here that I saw the entire main cast of ST:TNG on stage sharing stories of yore. It brought me back to my teenage years and the nerdy boy who loved science fiction.

A few years later in Calgary I took the opportunity to meet Wil Wheaton and thanked him for being such a huge part of my youth. I’m sure he has heard that a million times before. On that date, I didn’t have any cosplay on, nor did I stand out much more than a tall adult. His response was a simple, “yeah, cool.” and brushed me off. Like they say- you should never meet your heroes.

But I still hold Start Trek in high esteem. It helped pave the way for science and technology advancements. I seriously feel as if we are halfway between science fiction and science fact when you look at the world around us. Plus Star Trek inspired numerous people to Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before. Pushing the limitations of man and human rights in this day and age.

On today of all days I say, “Live long and prosper.”

SVCC 2.0 17 Panels

This is one of the few conventions that I really get out there and sit in on panels. At most cons, it’s usually actors telling a quip or story and laughing with the panel host. It often seems rehearsed, repetitive and fake.

But this convention was different. The people speaking at the panels were passionate and knowledgeable. Especially in their areas of expertise. It all began last night.

The first panel I went to was hosted by Seth Shostak of SETI. He was memorable and amusing in how he explained his vision for how we look for extraterrestrial life.  I learned a lot about where mankind has gone wrong (lack of funding much?) and where we should be looking to the skies in the future.

The second panel I went to was earlier today. It was about emerging technology. What was neat about this panel was the fact that it seemed like four friends were on stage. There was a venture capitalist, a board memeber at Spacex/Tesla, a member of NASA, and Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry (son of some guy who created that sci-fi series that wasn’t Star Wars…) The discussions were about the technology advancements and speculation on where mankind will go in our search into the stars.

The last panel I attended was titled “Droids and Death Stars: The Science of Star Wars”. It involved a panel of a founding member of the 501st Legion from California, a lady who is a psychologist that deals with PTSD victims, and another female panelist from NASA who also loves Star Wars. The two ladies in the panel surprised me in many ways.  First- the comparison of PTSD of the Star Wars universe that is often overlooked.  (Chewie needs a hug after his loss in the last film…) And the other lady was being a realist about how the spacecrafts really wouldn’t work well.  Even though she is a fan, she also has a better scientific grasp on how things should work.

There was far too much knowledge shared in the past 24 hours for me to write about.  But now I have some topics that I can discuss with my other nerd friends when we return home.

DOS Grampa.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would be doing “Short Story Saturday” on my blog.  This is my first short story.  Please enjoy.

Looking over his shoulder I said, “Next type in the command line RT 90 FD 20 RT 90 FD 20 RT 90 FD 20 RT 90 FD 20.”  A moment after he typed in the keystrokes, a small green square appeared on the monitor.  He glanced up at me with bemusement.

“When did you learn this?”

“Back in 1982- I was about six years old when I was taught the basics of DOS and how to use the turtle to draw images and shapes.  Most of the computer monitors were either black and green or black and orange in color.”

Leaning in, I typed a few more commands and more images took shape on the old monitor.  I straightened up and went on to tell more of my youth, “Even the early computer games were all text based and had limited commands that they could understand.  The Internet was but the dreams of science fiction.”

Looking down at him, I could see in his eyes that he had more questions than I would have answers.  Feeling a tap on my shoulder, my wife spoke that dinner was ready.  “Time to put it away.” I said, “dinner time.”

“Thanks Grandpa.  Same time tomorrow?”  I smiled and nodded, rustling his hair.

I removed my VR headset, put down my gloves and wandered over to the dining room where dinner waited on the table.  My wife turned to me asking, “Did you have a nice visit with your grandson?”

Six months earlier, our ten year old grandson had visited.  He and his father had set up the VR gear in our living room in order to keep in touch while they went traveling.  “It was great. He’s growing up so quickly.  It’s nice to know that I can still teach him a thing or two.”

My wife smiled.  It was a smile that I programmed in from both old pictures and my memory of her.  She was a never-aging replica of the woman I once loved.  As real as this one seemed, I could never forget who she was when she was alive.