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September 2017

October 2017

House Hunters: Us edition

The House Hunt Continues:

We tried to buy a house in West Philadelphia this week. After nearly three years of looking and we finally found a dwelling that we both liked enough to offer vast sums of borrowed money for. But it didn’t work out. Another offer was accepted and the reason given was the terms.

Finding a house is a difficult process, even more so when one person involved doesn't really want a house.

I've lived in apartments my entire life with one exception: 2 years in an off campus house during college.

I'm familiar with apartment living. I like apartment living. I like not being responsible for the vast number of things that could go wrong with an apartment.

And, like many people, I fear the unknown. Homeownership is a big unknown for me, but over the course the last 3 years we've looked at many houses (in fact, the very first house we looked at was the only one we both liked.... until the house we saw last week) and I've come to accept that there are some upsides to homeownership.

Here's to us finding the right place!


Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

IMG_6709

TNG has impacted my life in many ways.

On my desk at work sits the mug above, waiting to be filled with the hot beverage of my choice. Usually that means hot chocolate, however, whenever I get it in my head to try to like tea I turn to... earl grey!

Thanks, Capt. Picard.

I should note, that the tea bag in this mug isn't earl grey, it is Pure Leaf Vanilla Black tea. I got it as part of a book box thing I'm a member of, and it is pretty tasty.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

The future of sitting in a chair

The above video documents something that you've probably never noticed, and yet when it is pointed out you can't unsee it.

This, my friends, is known amongst those in the know as the "Riker Maneuvuer."

Word on the Internet is that Jonathan Frakes hurt his back moving furniture so it was more comfortable for him to sit like that. I don't know if that's true, but I could watch that video for hours.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

Favorite TNG Bit Player

Motthebarber

Mot the Barber! He's everyone favorite Bolian and the best barber in StarFleet (according to Riker).

I have no idea why the Enterprise has a barbershop which employs several barbers, but I'm glad it does.

Not only does Mot suggest that Work should use conditioner, Picard poses as him to thwart some terrorists who want to steal the Enterprise.

Plus he's bald and he makes a living cutting hair.

Though it is unclear to me if Mot gets paid. The Federation is a money free society, so no one has to work. I guess Mot just really likes cutting hair?

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

Favorite TNG Movie

Quick, name all three TNG movies!

Trick question, there were four. Sadly, most of them weren't very good but First Contact is probably my second favorite Star Trek movie period (Wrath of Khan is number one, and may be my favorite movie in general).

I do have a strong memory of going to see Star Trek: Generations in the movie theater. I was in college, and excited to see the TNG crew on the big screen. The movie opens with, what soon becomes clear, a champagne bottle slowly rotating end over end as the credits roll. The bottle smashes into the Enterprise-B and that's when you see your first Star Trek character: Capt. Kirk.

WTF? This was supposed to be a TNG movie! Though I will grant them that it was fun to see Picard and Kirk together most of the stuff that happens in the Nexus is boring, and (spoilers) Kirk's second death is a bit anti-climatic.

First Contact's main titles aren't very impressive either:

However, the first scene is just a Borg punch to the eye (and the surprise in the mirror gets me every time):

This scene with Picard and Lily (Alfre Woodard) shows why this movie is so darned good:

Of course the big moments in that scene are great (Picard smashing the window, Lily telling him he wouldn't he the first man to enjoy killing, THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE!) but my favorite part is Picard's reaction to being called Capt. Ahab. Perfect.

This movie really is really about Picard (and Data, though mostly Picard) but each of the characters get a moment in the spotlight. Plus good old Reg Barkley makes a cameo. I mean really, how can you not like that?

Now, calling First Contact the best TNG movie is damning it with faint praise I will admit. And if that were the extent to which I enjoyed the film I wouldn't recommend anyone watch it. However, this movie is legitimately good and makes one wonder what happened with the two that came after it (the less said about them the better I think).

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 7 Favorite Episode

"All Good Things..." is the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation and one of my favorite episodes of the series (and without a doubt my favorite season 7 episode).

The fear was real. The fear that the final episode of TNG ever would suck. Luckily, it was a pitch perfect way to end the series, and launch the movie franchise. And that final scene with Picard joining the rest of the bridge crew at the poker table? I couldn't think of a better way to end the show if you paid me.

I've been thinking a lot about what makes Star Trek feel like "Star Trek" to me. I keep being reminded of something Marisa said to me as we were deciding if we should watch something new or continue our watching of Deep Space Nine. She said, "Is it weird that I think of watching Star Trek as spending time with my friends?" The friends, of course, being the characters in the show.

And that's what "real" Star Trek is to me. Those interactions between characters on the show that make them human. Whether it is talking about archeology to one another, or gathering around a table to play friend game of poker.

I've included the original promos for both halves of "All Good Things..." but you should also watch this trailer for the Bluray which features the remastered version:

CBS did a great job with the HD remastering of TNG (in fact, if you're watching TNG on most streaming services you'll get the HD version).

To really get a sense of the improvement check out this (probably too long) video that compares the SD vs the HD version:

Ok, now a few of my other favorite episodes of Season 7:

  • Parallels: Worf almost eats some cake!
  • Lower Decks: What if there was an episode of TNG that didn't focus on characters you knew? That's this episode!
Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 6 Favorite Episode

There! Are! Four! Lights!

This is a bit of a cheat, but my favorite episode in season 6 has got to be Chain of Command (Part 1 and Part 2, though I think Part 2 might edge it out if I had to pick one. Good thing I am making the rules for this series!).

Picard and Dr. Crusher (for some reason) are sent off on a secret mission. Whilst Picard is away a new captain appears on the ship and shakes things up (and makes Troi put on a regular uniform to boot).

The mission goes poorly and bad things happen to Picard. Plus there are Cardassians (which might be the best new enemy race TNG created).

Other good episodes include:

  • Relics - Scotty and a Dyson Sphere? I'm in.
  • Timescape - Romulans!
  • Tapestry - Another interesting Picard episode, and a very good Q one too.
Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 5 Favorite Episode

Season 5 is another season chockfull of great TNG episodes. In fact, it has what many consider to the best episode of TNG ever: Darmok.

I really like Darmok, but it isn't even my favorite episode of season 5. That honor goes to The Inner Light.

Man, what an episode and what a concept. An alien probe causes Picard to live an entire lifetime in the matter of hours just so he can understand their long dead civilization. That's some pretty heady stuff.

And it is one of the rare episodes that echoes throughout the rest of the series. Picard learns to play a flute in this "lifetime" he lives and that shows up in subsequent episodes as a sort of short hand for the impact of the experience on him as a character.

Another favorite episode is Cause and Effect which features a very Star Trek twist.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 4 Favorite episode

Remember Me has a lot going for it as a Star Trek episode. This is one of the rare Dr. Crusher centric episodes, and I enjoy that. It also involves a lot of technobabble (warp bubbles and what have you), a mysterious alien (The Traveler) and something that I really enjoy: uncanniness.

Over the course of the episode the Enterprise, a place familiar to everyone who is watching the show, is slowly transformed into an unfamiliar landscape. People are disappearing, and no one but Dr. Crusher seems to care.

And it is the episode with this quote, "If there's nothing wrong with me maybe there's something wrong with the Universe."

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 3 Favorite episode

Season 3 is when TNG really gets cooking. Given the large number of good episodes this season you'd think I would have trouble picking my favorite, but the choice is clear: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1."

How could it not be? Picard is assimilated into the Borg? WHAT?! And even better, the writers didn't think they were coming back for the 4th season, so they set up this crazy cliffhanger and didn't have a clue how to resolve it. They figured, "let the suckers who replace us figure it out!"

Joke was on them, since they had to figure it out

Some of my other favs include:

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

TNG Season 2 Favorite Episode

Man, season 1 of TNG is not so good. Season 2 is an improvement. In fact, I actually had to pick my favorite from a handful of episodes.

But without a doubt The Measure of a Man has got to be my favorite season 2 episode, and I honestly think it is a good episode of Star Trek in general.

There's conflict between crewmembers, something that just didn't happen in season 1. Sure, it is a setup but Riker has to do his best to prove that his friend is just a piece of equipment. Not only that, but that Starfleet can just rip apart Data and study him in any way that they want.


Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.


TNG Season 1 Favorite Episode

I figured an easy 7 posts for this series would be to name my favorite episode from each season of TNG. Seems like a great idea, right?

Well, I forgot about season 1. It is not so good. I mean, it really isn't good. I have no idea how TNG managed to get another season, but I'm glad it did.

For my season 1 favorite I have to pick a pretty ridiculous episode: Justice.

Why Justice? This is the one where the TNG crew beam down to Planet Jazzercise. Everyone wears very, very little. And you can't just *walk* from place to place on Planet Jazzercise. No, one must jog!

Plus there's a deep voiced glittering orb. How can you not like a glittering orb?

Oh, and Wesley is sentenced to death for crashing into a garden plot. Stupid Wesley.

Now, to be clear this isn't a good episode of TNG. But I enjoy the fact that it is pretty crazy pants (despite the fact that no one on Planet Jazzercise wears pants).

You can watch the whole thing in 10 minutes, if you must.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.

31 posts for TNG’s 30th

On Random Trek I always ask my guests what their favorite Star Trek series is, which seems like a good way to kick off a conversation about Star Trek.

Often, the guest will answer and then ask me the same question. This is when I talk about the difference between by favorite series and the series I think is the best Trek series.

Without a doubt my favorite Star Trek series is The Next Generation. When I close my eyes and think about Star Trek, which is something I do more often than you would think, the first images that pop into my mind come from TNG. The Enterprise D is my Enterprise, and Picard will always be my captain.

To celebrate the 30th anniversay of a show that has had a large impact on my life I’m going to write a TNG related blog post every day this month. Why? Why not!

I don’t really have any particular topics in mind at the moment, so if you’d like to sugesst something sound off in the comments or on twitter (I’m @blankbaby).

I should mention that this whole idea was inspired by this great TNG 30th podcast over at The Incomparable. I was almost on this episode myself but I talk about Star Trek enough that I bowed out to let some other people talk Trek for a change.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is 30 years old. Scott is celebrating by writing a TNG related blog post every day for the entire month of October.

Find the rest of the posts in this series here.