…But not as we know it!

I’ve been watching Sci-Fi shows on TV and at the cinema since I was knee-high to an Ewok. I remember hiding behind the sofa sometimes when watching the first Dr Who series as a kid – Watching replays makes me think that somehow black and white made it more scary. I fell in love with Star Trek when the original series was brought to the UK’s TV screens. Some of those stories were iconic and some remain in the back of my consciousness to this day. Others less so as they have been let down by dated scenery and effects.

Originally Star Trek was a set of stories that normally had a conclusion within the same episode. That was the format that The Next Generation followed to a large extent. Although there was the ‘Continuum’ of the characters being on a vessel that was exploring, each episode was just a snapshot in time.

The first hint that this was going to change was with Voyager. Now there were stories that continued from one episode to the next, either beneath the surface or up-front and in full technicolour. If you can take your eye off Jeri Ryan’s tight-fitting suit you will see the significant tale of 7 of 9 that grew over 100 episodes. This was so different to the past where we knew what every officer’s role was on the Enterprise and saw very little change in their status as the exploring went on.

Bring on Deep Space 9 – Now we’re in a series with a continual ongoing story. While the foreground is still episodic, there is a long growing background story that will ultimately see full blown war. So, Star Trek has evolved significantly over the years and shed its ‘good guys always win every episode’ skin. It has even accepted the possibility that the bad guys may sometimes be the good guys and vice versa – the Andorians and the Vulcans in Enterprise being a case in point.

That brings me to Picard. This new series on Amazon has had a bit of a mixed response and I must admit that on my first watch I was a bit non-plussed. It’s only when I look back at the way that the Star Trek franchise has changed that I realise that this series is the next logical growth. It has the ongoing story that Deep Space 9 had. It finds a way to involve characters from older Trek series but treats them with a level of respect that maybe the films did not – it recognises that they are older. It introduces new characters that we can love or dislike too. It benefits from all the wonders of modern CGI while capitalising on some good acting and it presents our heroes as more flawed than I think we have ever seen them before. On a second run through of the first series, I’m now fully engaged and loving it πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

If you haven’t, I’d love to recommend that you try watching Star Trek Picard too πŸ˜€

Today is a day I knew would happen
When I started writing
This sequence of poems..

I find I have nothing to add
No new verse, No new words
The pressure is on - I have deliveries..
Deliveries to do for my Community
Because my commitment
To my Trucking Friends
Pre-dates napowrimo or
glopowrimo

And yet..
Here I am writing this!..

Time to kick the tyres πŸ˜‰

…Is a question that haunts my thoughts, so I’m guessing that some of my readers may be asking the same question about a number of regular post series that seem to have disappeared over the last couple of months. It could also be a question relating to the year that is just drawing to a close – 2020 – so lets start there.

About this time last year I was looking forward to the end of 2019 and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in that – it seemed to have been a bad year and I hoped for something better in 2020. January 2020 was not a bad month. I got out and about to pursue my trainspotting and was planning to use that as a means of increasing my exercise to help with my diabetes. In relation to that, I was due to go for a blood test in late February. Then the pandemic set in and we were locked down – I didn’t get to have that test. I also, being either a good citizen or a slave to government whim (you choose which) obeyed the request to stay away from public transport – that was the end of my spotting for the year. In the lull before the current storm and new tier 4 lockdown in London, I was invited to the doc’s for my Flu-jab and then sent to the blood clinic the following Monday to have that delayed blood test. My blood pressure is a lot better although it’s still a bit up and down so we’re experimenting with taking different pills at different times of the day to smooth things out.

All of the above gives some background. Add to that the need for my Wife to shield and therefore work from home. Then send my Son home early from University for Christmas and we suddenly have extra pressure on computing at home. It’s not a broadband issue – that has plenty of capacity. The issue is a space one. When Epi is on her work laptop, she has to have privacy – so Alasdair has to move from his desk while she works. He then needs somewhere to do his online studies, so I’ve made some space on my computing desk for him and provided a LAN connection. However, that impacts on my computing activities – I don’t want to distract him. You may also recall the Windows 10 2004 update and all the disruption that caused – I put the update on indefinite hold after sending another detailed response to Microsoft regards the issues I was experiencing. Then early-November my pc told me I had an update and needed to restart – not what I was expecting. Anyway, I did the restart and everything worked fine. Microsoft have pushed me onto version 1909 instead of 2004. Hopefully, by the time 1909 becomes obsolete, there will be a new update that doesn’t have the issues of 2004.

Let me work through the various series of posts…

Photo Challenges – Apart from doing some plane photography in my back garden, I haven’t picked up a camera in months which is why I’ve missed Brian’s last photo on the card Challenge and I’ve been very sporadic in taking part in Cee’s challenges. I hate recycling old images for these. I really must try to get out with the camera more often in 2021 whatever the lockdown situation.

Watcher of the Skies – Nothing to see here… Well not for most of October and November – lots of cloudy skies reduced my activity to virtually nil. However, December has been a bit better and the 17th was my best day ever for overflies including two light aircraft in close formation just to the north of me. Christmas Day also turned up a lot of sightings including a Kalitta 747. There’s a couple of regular overflies that I keep missing due to cloud – an Antonov AN-12 and an AN-26, both from Ukraine – I’ll get them one day! Again, I need to fire up the camera and take some pictures to share in a post.

Boundary Farm and Rosland Farm – The elephant in the room for these is Truck Simulator and the amount of time spent in those games recently. There has also been a major add on and a new free dlc that brings soil testing to the game. Combined with the Seasons mod that I was gaining an understanding of, this has left me wondering what I should do. I think that I will restart Boundary Farm as a new series in 2021 utilising the Seasons mod at the recommended settings. In the interim, for one of my younger followers, here’s a real-life Kubota Tractor…

Birdshot – I’ve been experimenting with Hunting differently in The Hunter – Call of the Wild. Differently in two ways – not rushing around doing the tasks as quickly as possible and utilising all the freebie weapons that I have access to courtesy of the dlc’s I own. I think that will also see a restart. I want to get back to doing my angling in Fishing Planet too. That won’t be a restart although I will need to remind myself what baits work best in the various locations πŸ™‚

Which brings us to Trucking Digest. When I called this the elephant in the room I wasn’t kidding. The last three months have seen update upon update to mainly American truck Simulator. We’ve had another new state in Colorado and an associated community event. Then, straight from that, we moved into the annual Christmas Event. I have been doing so much driving that I have had little time for much else. In many ways this has been the game that has kept me on an even keel for most of the lockdown, so I shouldn’t and won’t complain, but the effect it has had on my other games and also on my Trucking Digest series of posts is there to see. I’ll do a ‘close out the year’ Digest before 2021 starts to bring you up to date. Then, hopefully, normal service will resume in January for all my regular series including the photo challenges πŸ™‚

Still keeping the Shiny Side Up – whatever Covid throws at us – stay safe everyone πŸ™‚