Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Space ... the final frontier ...

Today's date in history is now even more significant - especially for Star Trek fans. Today the ashes of Gene Roddenberry and his wife, Majel, were launched into space. Majel died just about 6 weeks ago of complications from leukemia. (I just love the name Majel; that's my grandma's name, my dad's mom, who died a long, long time ago. She didn't have her ashes launched into space though.)

Also on this date in 1967: the Outer Space Treaty was signed into law. That popped up on one of my iGoogle widgets and I was intrigued enough to look into it a little further to find out what exactly that entailed. Come to find out it was signed in 1967 by our country, the U.K., and the Soviet Union and this treaty "forms the basis of international space law". Eventually many, many more countries signed it since then; since January 2007 98 countries became "states-parties" to the treaty and another 27 are awaiting ratification.

After reading that I wondered about the exact date the original Star Trek series debuted, so off I went to imdb.com. I fully expected to find that the TV show followed behind the Treaty being signed. Nope - in fact the show launched over a year before the Treaty entered into force! That surprised me, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Anyway, on Star Trek's imdb.com entry was the news item about it's creator's ashes being launched into space today.

So why is all of this so interesting to me? Because I am a HUGE fan of the Stargate TV series, both SG-1 and now Atlantis, although I like SG-1 best. From the original movie starring James Spader all the way through 10 seasons of SG-1, 2 made for DVD movies after that, (Continuum and Ark of Truth) and now the Atlantis installment ... my love of sci-fi television really had it's start with Star Trek: The Next Generation which many people I've talked to feel was the best Star Trek of all. But I'm not trying to start an argument here: since TNG I've gotten into Voyager, but when we ran out of Voyager episodes to watch and we were shopping around for a new TV series to get into, that's when I discovered Stargate: SG-1. That captured my imagination in a way a TV show period hasn't done in a long, long time. I mean, I ate up Voyager - I was really surprised, because I remember when it came out and I couldn't have been less interested in it. But when I sat down to watch it about a year and a half ago ... I couldn't believe I ever passed it up. Captain Janeway became one of my favoritest and most memorable heroes.

Stargate however ... Stargate's appeal is in how much closer to our present day and age it is set. The military representation is one everyone can relate to because it's current. And if you didn't have any respect for the USAF before, you will after watching Stargate SG-1. I got really sucked into it and now I'm not afraid to admit that part of me believes something like that really, truly exists in an underground military station somewhere in Colorado. The idea behind Stargate is nothing short of brilliant - that the ancient Egyptian gods were in fact aliens from outer space who came here to take over our planet. Even in spite of the goofy costumes the actors wore in the early episodes of Stargate, I find that to be plausible. As soon as I got done reading about that Treaty on The Free Dictionary I immediately thought of the episode on Stargate SG-1 where all the world leaders convened to talk about what to do with the business of commanding the SGC. The episode was called "Disclosure" and was from Season 6. Now the premise of that episode was not to sign a Treaty ... but then you have to wonder how much the architects of that episode pulled from our own history, from our own lawbooks ...

At the same time I also believe that I might be wrong. The fact that I believe it might be true simply points to my unyielding hope in what might be "out there" ... or I just have an overactive imagination.

In any event, finding out about that Outer Space Treaty really surprised me. I never knew that existed, not that it was supposed to be a big secret. One thing that isn't secret is all the new technology that gets released to the general consumer public AFTER it gets tested by the United States military and/or NASA.

One really has to wonder. Or at least, I'm wondering ...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I hate my job

What a dilemma: the economy is terrible right now. I can't just quit my job and go out and expect to get another job working somewhere else in my line of work. Or somewhere related to my line of work ... it's not that I'm not grateful for my job; I certainly am. It's just that with every passing day I am reminded more and more that my usefulness here has long passed, especially since they don't value my length of service in this job, they don't appreciate my level of experience. They pretty much let the newbie kids run the show, and it really rankles my chains!

It doesn't help that I keep making mistakes of the "senior" variety also. Last night's show was pretty horrible. Thank GOD above that all that happened on a Saturday night. And nobody's going to look at the fact that despite our maladies last night, we all showed up to do our job, and we felt our mistakes deeply ... I could go on and on.

And that's just it, I don't want to go on and on anymore! I'm happy to pass the torch, I have no more use for this business myself, I just can't figure out where I'm supposed to go next.

Actually I do know what I'm supposed to do, I just don't have the guts to take the plunge ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Party like it's 1829

I am pretty sure Obama's inauguration as President of the United States is going to be an affair the likes of which hasn't been seen since Andrew Jackson's inauguration.

Nearly 200 years earlier, the first territorial governor of Florida, Andrew Jackson, had his own mind for change:

Jackson resigned from the Senate in October 1825, but continued his quest for the Presidency. The Tennessee legislature again nominated Jackson for President. Jackson attracted Vice President John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, and Thomas Ritchie into his camp (the latter two previous supporters of Crawford). Van Buren, with help from his friends in Philadelphia and Richmond, revived the old Republican Party, gave it a new name as the Democratic Party, "restored party rivalries", and forged a national organization of durability.[16] The Jackson coalition handily defeated Adams in 1828.

During the election, Jackson's opponents referred to him as a "jackass." Jackson liked the name and used the jackass as a symbol for a while, but it died out. However, it later became the symbol for the Democratic Party when cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized it.[17]

The campaign was very much a personal one. Although neither candidate personally campaigned, their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press, which reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy. Though the accusation was true, as were most personal attacks leveled against him during the campaign, it was based on events that occurred many years prior (1791 to 1794). Jackson said he would forgive those who insulted him, but he would never forgive the ones who attacked his wife. Rachel died suddenly on December 22, 1828, prior to his inauguration, and was buried on Christmas Eve.

Jackson was the first President to invite the public to attend the White House ball honoring his first inauguration. Many poor people came to the inaugural ball in their homemade clothes. The crowd became so large that Jackson's guards could not hold them out of the White House. The White House became so crowded with people that dishes and decorative pieces in the White House began to break. Some people stood on good chairs in muddied boots just to get a look at the President. The crowd had become so wild that the attendants poured punch in tubs and put it on the White House lawn to lure people out of the White House. Jackson’s raucous populism earned him the nickname King Mob.
From, Wikipedia.

Of course, as many of us know Andrew Jackson went on to commit some of the most horrible atrocities against human life, tantamount to the Holocaust: he is the one responsible for banishing Native Americans living in Georgia to their death, on what came to be known as the Trail of Tears. I'm pretty sure Obama is far more even-keeled a personality than that ... but one never knows. The future is rich with potential; hopefully that future is in good hands with Obama, but only time will tell ...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I *totally* disagree with you, and I think you suck as a producer. I think your news judgment is flawed and you have no business producing newscasts.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mystic Tan

For whatever reason, I found myself looking at a local tan salon's Mystic Tan web page. I don't know about you but I cannot think about Mystic Tan without being reminded of that episode of Friends where Ross goes to get one of these for the first time.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The irony of commitment

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

--Anne Morriss, Starbucks customer, "The Way I See It" #76