Category Archives: Life

Honor and Sacrifice

It’s sad sometimes that in a fair plurality of the conversations I have with friends and acquaintances how often the subject of honor and integrity pops up, the tenets and personal code that people possess and are guided by. What’s sad is how many of these same people I talk to have to sacrifice their honor and integrity to keep their jobs. Oftentimes they feel they cannot say what they truly think or feel. 

The Knights of Solamnia are a fictional organization in the fantasy world of Dragonlance whose motto is: My Honor is my Life. Perhaps it’s only in fantasy worlds where one can say and do what’s true in your heart and mind. Perhaps it’s just a sad statement of the current trends in societal interaction. Perhaps I’ve not had my cup of coffee yet and am just rambling. 

May we all be like the Knights of Solamnia!

The Re-Examined Life

Lots of interesting philosophical discussions and thoughts have happened today, and in the preceding weeks. What about? Veganism. Yes, I have given serious thought to living a vegan lifestyle. Based on my eating habits alone, I and my wife would say I’m 90% there. More thinking on the matter is needed.

To commemorate my first post in a LONG time, here’s the Starfleet Ambassador-class Yamaguchi refit, in a new and shiny format. Enjoy!

The Examined Life

It’s been a long and eventful summer. My wife and I have spent quite a lot of time together this summer, getting to know one another even more, falling deeper into love. I know my life is better because of her presence in my life. She started a new job three months ago that is a lot closer to home, so she’s enjoying the flex time that affords her and us. We’ve gone on two vacations, one with family, and one just by ourselves for our 3rd wedding anniversary. Our beloved dog-child, Lina, passed away at the beginning of summer, and we miss her dearly. I am going out of my own comfort zone and will be teaching English Language Arts in addition to Social Studies.

Some of these changes have filled me with great joy (my wife), some with great sadness (our dog), and others with trepidation (teaching ELA). At times I have wished I could emulate Vulcans in their cool emotion-less logic, and feel detached from events. Other times I desire anything but. As the Vulcans would say, humans are not logical. It’s good to reflect, examine, and reassess our own lives, for as Socrates would say, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

In honor of the purplexed Vulcans and reexamining past endeavors, here’s an updated Vulcan Suurok-class starship.

Star Trek: Attack Wing

The Rav Laerst Breen battle cruiser

The Rav Laerst Breen battle cruiser .. on my kitchen counter

So here I sit in the latest Snowpocalypse to hit the southeastern United States. As my wife and I gaze through the winter wonderland that now paints our neighborhood and many other neighborhoods I can’t help but think of the icy-dwelling Breen of Star Trek.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, mainly due to being busy with friends and family and work, but now that things have effectively been shut down by the snow, I have time to post again!

So my wonderful sister-in-law gifted me with the Star Trek Attack Wing: Starter Set by Wizkids and I have just been in absolute love with this game! I mentioned previously the Star Trek Fleet Captains game (also by Wizkids) and Attack Wing complements, rather than supplants the former. Both games do a damn good job of capturing the feel of Trek while still being fun and relatively balanced. While Fleet Captains is a board game, Attack Wing is a minis game. Both games are immensely fun, and the easiest analogy to make to understand the two games is that Fleet Captains is like an entire season of a Star Trek series, while playing Attack Wing is like a single episode (complete with missions!)

I’d say more, and I will later, but my wife is calling for more together time, so I bid you all a safe and warm winter night (or day)!

Below is a link to my very first youtube video on Attack Wing, and anything, for that matter. Enjoy, and please comment either here or there!

The Rav Laerst

 

The Earth-Romulan War, Part 2

The 1st refit of the NX-class.

The 1st refit of the NX-class.

In a prior post, many months ago, I discussed the Earth-Romulan War. In that first interstellar conflict between Earth and Romulus, humanity found itself at a decided disadvantage against a mysterious and hostile species bent on humanity’s destruction. In the various Star Trek television and movie series, this event was always just a backdrop. However, pocket books released two novels in the Romulan War series that detailed the war in depth, heavily featuring the United Earth NX-class refit. All well and good, but the recent reference book, the Federation – The First 150 years, further muddies the matter by contradicting events in the Romulan War series. Both of these sources are contradicted by the Star Trek: Legacy computer game!

All of this to say, that there are things in life that are perhaps best left as purely backdrop elements, memories not to be forgotten, but also not the focus or constantly at the forefront of people’s minds. Perhaps we’d have less conflict in our world today if people left the muddied past where it belongs, in the past, and instead focused on the here and now.

Tinker Gnomes: Obsessed with technology

Gnome

A male tinker gnome

I don’t often post about fantasy, particularly Dragonlance’s  tinker gnomes, but several observations/encounters prompted this post. In the Dragonlance world, tinker gnomes are unlike the gnomes of other fantasy series because they are neither interested or capable in wielding magic. The sole focus of every tinker gnome is to tinker with gadgets, with technology. In fact, tinkers are so obsessed with technology that they will find a technological solution to a problem even when there is a much more logical and efficient non-technological solution. e.g. A tinker gnome will build a mechanical steam-powered machine to take sensor readings of the ambient light levels outside coupled to a facts machine that will then write out its findings and have said finding mechanically delivered to the machine’s operator … or you could just look out a window and see how much light there is.

Let me preface by saying that I love smartphones. The touchscreens, the convenience, the digital power, it’s all quite intoxicating. There comes a point though, when even love crosses over into unhealthy obsession. My wife and I have encountered various instances of this kind of obsession. Incident example one: A man walking his dog is so busy looking at his smartphone that he almost collides with my wife on a wide sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon. Incident example two: A woman is so busy looking at her smartphone she collides (at under 10 mph) with a car at the stoplight she is sitting at. Incident example three: many people sitting around a table in a restaurant waiting for their food and instead of talking to their table-mates are instead messing with their smartphones (tweeting about their food?).

We have become Tinker Gnomes!

Time Enough …

aeon1

The Timeship Aeon.

One of the more recurring themes in science fiction, particularly Star Trek, is that of time travel. In the distant future of this futuristic series, the human-created Federation Starfleet has evolved into something more. Instead of just exploring space with its Starfleet, the Federation now explores time as well as space with its Timefleet.

I love work, but with all the various pushes and pulls of life, I find like I’m sure many of you find, that there is just not enough time in the day to do ALL the things we want, or even need. I find myself craving more time to do everything! I find myself planning ahead, sometimes obsessively, so that I can maximize my time. How glorious would that be to use a timeship (like the Starfleet Epoch-class) to extend your day, and do a month’s worth of work in just 24 hours? Heck, why stop there, perhaps do a year’s worth of work in 1 hour! Or a lifetime in 1 second?

There I think is the danger in delving too deep thoughts of the future (ironic eh?) Occasional excursions are grand, frequent excursions just take away too much of the little time we do have in the here and now. Sometimes we just need to live in the here and now and do what we can. As my wise wife always says, “Live in the moment.”