Thursday, February 24, 2005

Here's more proof of just how much a Get A Life Trek fan I am no matter how hard I may (or may not) try to hide it. A friend of mine and I were talking today about the impending release of Star Wars Episode III. There is a co-worker who is getting married that week and we joked about him explaining to his new bride that they have to go to a movie theater during their honeymoon. Which brought back a vivid memory.

I was married the first time in April 1988 when Next Generation was in it's first run. The wedding was on a Saturday. After the reception my bride and I stopped at the house to get a few things and count out booty in wedding gifts. As I was counting the cash I turned on the TV and there was that week's episode.

"Come on, Jack, we have to get going." The new Mrs. Eaton said.

"Well.........can't we wait till this episode's over?"

And that marriage didn't is that possible?!

Here's a punchline only those who know the the former wife and are Trek fans will truly appreciate. The episode that day was "Skin of Evil". Somewhat ironic, isn't it?!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My little boy is growing up!

John took his first commute from Broward County to the northern most stop on Tri-rail solo this weekend. Actually he took it with his older brother Jim, but it was completely without adult supervision. The ironic thing is; when I was married to the Ex and Jim went for his first day of school, his mother was a pool of tears. In my most male of moments was smiling and waving happily at the bus and laughing at her saying, "We'll probably have to sedate you when he goes off to college!" Now, I was the one standing on a train platform tearing up over a simple commuter train ride.

We had a good weekend as usual. I bought a couch from a co-worker and they helped move that on Saturday. We mostly hung out watching the Omen trilogy and playing a Star Wars role playing card game. Sunday was the Trident 10th anniversary cookout. I taught John how to make my Redneck Caviar.

My van is still limping along but for Friday, to get the boys from the Tri-rail station, I had rented a car. It ended up being the last time I would rent from Enterprise. Apparently they have taken a big hit from people using debit cards linked to bogus accounts; people would end up stealing the cars and there would be no account to which any changes could be applied. So, here I am, picking up my car during a half-hour lunch break and they hand me a piece of paper asking for all kinds of information and references. When I returned the car the next day (and YES, I drove it like a rental!) I informed then that they could cancel my next rental. I told them that I felt insulted, as a repeat and regular customer, to have to fill out the required paperwork. I can understand for someone fresh off the street who had no relationship. They tried their hardest to keep my business. One phone call to another company who also had a bsuiness discount with ym comapny and I had found anew car rental company.

Years ago, I was never one to send food back at a restaurant or pay whatever extra fees were added on to a bill. Now all it takes is one little slip of paper to piss me off.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

I had the opportunity to get even with one of those who were in on my "pink slip" a few months ago. Very innocently, the Human Resources person, who sprung that gem of a practical joke on me, told me last week that her 40th birthday was coming up and she was dreading it. Another person who was there said my eyes immediately glassed over as my mind began racing through any and all possibilities on what I could do to her.

A friend of mine is the manager of a local supermarket and helped out by supplying a few dozen old flowers destined for the dumpster. I had a large cardboard box on its way out and salvaged it to be transformed into a gravestone. With some grey and black spray paint this three foot tall box began looking like a block of granite. On the front I placed a piece of parchment showing this was the resting place of my target's youth; 1965-2005...RIP. Another can of black spray paint turned the wilting flowers into a monotone death shroud of blossoms for the top of the monument.

The HR office is right next to the time clocks as every ones comes if the front door so there were few who missed this edifice placed right next to her office door. It was perfect. For some reason, she immediately came to me. I don't know where I get this reputation?!

She has a great sense of humor and loved it. The punch line to the whole thing is that she lied about her age; she is actually 44! I turned this around for myself by telling her that meant I got her two presents for her birthday; the flowers....and now everyone thinks she's younger!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

While Rick Berman is the anti-Christ of Star Trek, Ron Moore is John the Baptist. He has just posted the perfect view point on the cancellation of "Enterprise" on his weekly "Battlestar Galactica" blog.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A year ago today I was in deep shit at work and I made a gesture to mend some personal wounds over it.

At the time I was under a lot of pressure as a Team Leader with a very rough group of employees. I would swear that my team had the highest number of problems in the course of a single day. Made for some very interesting days. There was some incidence, and now I can't even remember what it was, that spilled over into the working relationships between myself, a supervisor and at least one other employee. Being as emotional a person as I am, it affected me. So much so that I decided to take some sick time and get away from work. Stress relief. And for me my greatest form of stress release is the movies.

I was without my own transportation at the time and had to rely on a "friend" for transportation back and forth to work. This person lived right around the corner and was not out of this person's way to bring me along. I offered money for gas but was rebuffed a number of times. A friend doing a friend a favor. Our friendship included helping out during a rough personal time with this person. As always I opened myself up to this person. Sometimes it comes back to bite you in the gonads.

As I readied myself to leave work I made plans with this person to pick me up on the way home; my movie would be getting out just as the work day ended. I would get away from my stress, I would get home with no problem and I would not inconvenience this "friend". This person was completely supportive of my decision, "I don't blame you. I'd do the same thing. No problem, I'll see you after 5."

However, soon after I left work this "friend" went to management complaining. As I waited for my ride to get me the top two members of management came riding up asking me how the movie was. Busted! I ended up in the most monumental of shit storms being accused to misuse of sick time, creating a hostile work environment by expecting a favor from a subordinate and saying insulting things about a friend supervisor. That last one was the one that put it over the top for me. I could have cared less about the job; the fact I was being accused to saying horrible things about a friend of mine to other employees was sickening. Lies were being thrown at me to break me. But I didn't break.

I used my sick time as stress relief because the situation at the time was so bad I was ill. My stomach hurt and my hands shook. I stood by that and refused to sign the disciplinary action paperwork. Mincemeat knew they wouldn't be able to make it stick; what I did with my time once I left the building was my own business and the reasons for leaving were of a health related nature.

To hear these other accusations being leveled at me was like a punch to the gut. My supervisor friend went along with this witch hunt. Today we finally buried the hatchet over this for good. In recent months we have been talking and joking like before and it seems to be water under the bridge. I had to let this person know though that the accusations against me were false. From talking with my friend I did learn that the accusations and how she handled it were all a part of office politics which she had no choice but to follow from higher ups.

closure is a good thing. I will admit, at least in this work environment, I am looking at some friendships through a different shaded eyeglass but I still try to hold on to the benefit of doubt when it comes to friends. Like Mary Richards said in the final episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show; "The people you work with are not just the people you work with."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Go Pats!

I am happy over the outcome of this year's superbly. The game was good and most of the ads during the show were entertaining. The Quizno's, Visa Checkcard, Diamond Nut and Ameriquest were my favorites. The Superbowl flavored commercial for "Robots" was cool as were the ones for "Batman Begins" and "War of the Worlds".

The one thing which gave me pause during the game was the half time show with Paul McCartney. It made me miss John more. This was strongest during "Get Back" when someone else was there with Paul playing the guitar licks created by Lennon. He would have been 66 this past October. So much has been written about what he would have or might have done if he had not been murdered. Paul's appearance shows part of what that might have been.

I got chills listening to the crowded stadium singing along with "Hey, Jude". No goddamned lip synching. Evidence of how powerful Beatles music is 40 years afterwards. How many people will be packing stadiums to sing along with "Pop it Like it's Hot" in 2046?!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I guess turnabout is fair play. I had to cancel the previous weekend with my son so he returned the favor this weekend because of a friend's birthday party and the Superbowl. I ended up working overtime today and tomorrow looks like a day filled with laundry, movies and Superbowl.

I was a little torn about how to handle his wanting to cancel. One of the reasons I gave him the calendar with our weekends marked off was so that this kind of thing didn't happen. At the same time he is a teenager and is bound to be less and less interested in spending time with the old fart. His mother and I actually talked it over a little; debating the difference between teenager freedom and teaching lessons about responsibility.


Do you hear that?!

That sound is my parents laughing from their graves at the thought of me having a debate about responsibility!

The Ex thinks he may simply be trying to shy away from using public transit to make the trip here. I have been trying for the longest time to get him to use the light rail system between his neighborhood and West Palm Beach for almost a year now. We have taken one trip together and in recent months he's used the local buses in his county to get to and from the mall; so the idea is not foreign to him. When I was his age I took a Greyhound from Rhode Island to Texas by myself; I think he can handle 90 miles on a train.

My father always said, at the time, that they chose to send me on that trip by bus for financial reasons but I swear to God he was getting even with me for something! To a 13 year old that was a grand adventure. My favorite part of the trip was a layover in New York City; my first time there. I drove through 18 states on that trip. I sat next to a nun from Connecticut to Ohio. Almost lost my tickets on Oklahoma. In a wonderful moment of karma got to squeeze in a seat next to a very fat gentleman for a couple of states. Got hit on by a panhandler in Arkansas. Suffered through an asthma attack on the return trip from Louisiana to North Carolina. I must have really pissed him off somehow!

Things should be back to normal by our next weekend, which is a three day weekend which will make up for some of the loss of time together.

Friday, February 04, 2005

OK, I did find one reason to mourn the demise of "Enterprise"

Linda Park.

She plays Hoshi Sato and may be one of the less esoteric reasons I have stayed with watching the series since the premiere. Add to that her sister Grace playing Boomer on "Battlestar Galactica". They have got some phenomenial genetics going in the Park family. Watching the both of them on TV has fueled some wonderful Olsen Twin style fantasies.

OK, I'm a pig. So?!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Star Trek is dead.

Thank God!

Well, it's in a coma, at least. "Enterprise" has been cancelled. This show is, in this lowly fan's opinion, a show which should not have been in the first place. At a tme when the producers of the franchise cried out that they wanted to listen to the fan's wishes and the fans were crying out just as loud for a return to the flavoe of the original series, the producers turned a deaf ear and went with something only they had in mind.

OK, so I have a personal interest in the idea of "Star Trek: Excelsior". It would have been nice to have been able to visit the set with a simple telephone call. George Takei could have carried that show; I believe he still could.

On of the worst things about the whole "Enterprise" situation is that they had one of the best collections of actors but they were simply haded a stinker of a series. There was one bright spot. I don't remember the name of the episode, it was the Tripp cloning episode. This episode was a morality play which was written with nuance and allowed the actors to strut their stuff. We got deeper into the psyche of the Tripp character and it focused more on the characters that the setting in which they were in. Gee, sorta like the original series.

I sincerely hope Rick Berman, the Anti-Christ, loses his job much like Harve Bennett did after screwing the Star Trek pooch after letting Shatner direct. Ironic thing is that both of these dopes were trying to get an "Academy" theme series off the ground. Let's hope Berman's idea gets him as far as Bennett's did him.

The last month of being on the same night as "Galactica" only highlighted the differences between the two shows and how foolish Paramount was in letting Ron Moore get away from them.

Yes, I continues to watch "Enterprise" since it premiered. It turned into the same kind of thing as those who listen to Howard Stern even though they hate his show. They want to see what he'll say next. I kept watching to see how bad they were going to screw with the franchise.

Star Trek may be down but I do not believe it is out. Berman is the only one who seems to want to keep the franchise going. He is the one who brought on this situation by over saturating us with Trek since the last season of "The Next Generation" and he is still trying to come up with the next Trek incarnation before the ink is dry on the "Vacant Set" sign.

Years ago, before "The Dark Time".....before Braga and Berman....when it was a big deal when there was something new with the name Star Trek on it. When you now have the choice of two different networks carrying different Trek series, there are videos available in the mail, online and at the local video store, you can catch Trek any darn time you wanted. We need a break. Like any good relationship, we need a little space.

In a few years some one will come up with the next great Trek idea and all will be right in the universe. Until then we will have to hold on to out memories and wait for the next rumor. Just like we did back in the 70's.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

OK, OK it's been a while. I've been busy.

This weekend was Fleet Day at Kennedy Space Center. We had 13 members of Starfleet International show up to lay a wreath at the Astronaut Memorial Wall. Some of us were in Starfleet and chapter t-shirts and a few of us were in full uniform. Your geek of a blogger was one of them. It was a fun day, which lasted much, linger than I ever thought it would. It was great to hang with friends like that.

It was also another "after surgery victory". The last time I was there in 2000 I was not able to walk out to the memorial wall due to my weight. This time, I hardly stopped the entire time! It felt great.We had a beautiful 2 foot diameter wreath of read and white carnations with a blue ribbon, which we placed at the wall. The memorial is impressive. I wish more people could see it. When the general public thinks of astronauts dying in the line of duty the first ones they think of are Grissom, White and Chaffee. It's a shame that more people don't know of the sacrifice of men like.

It now appears as if I'll have to be buying a new car sooner than I thought. A few weeks ago I had the radiator problem, which turned into a gasket problem. Now the transmission has started slipping and my mechanic informs me that repair wold cost more than the van is worth. I had been hoping to be able to wait until next year and use my "Santa phone call money" to buy a new van. What I'll probably end up doing is start financing now and then pay it off early next December. I went looking at the dealer where I bought the Areostar and am looking at a Dodge Caravan. I'd really like a conversion van; so the hunt continues.