Saturday, March 31, 2007

TWQ: Useful And Useless TV Characters

TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about those supporting tv characters that appear in our favourite shows.

Can you name the most useful and useless tv characters in any programme and why? List as many as you wish.

My answers are:


Chloe O' Brien (24) : Jack Bauer may have saved the world a few times, but would he have done it without computer genius Chloe to guide him round? She could sort out any computer problems!

Chloe Sullivan (Smallville) : Would there be a Superman had not Chloe rescued him? This computer genius is the best actor in the series, and the best suited for Clark.

Penelope Garcia (Criminal Minds) : Computer experts seem to be dominating the list, but they keep the main characters going. She must have the fastest computers there are! The others get to the unsub extra fast with Penelope's help.


Lana Lang (Smallville) : It's no surprise that she tops the list, as she serves no purpose at all. Let's hope Clark tires of her really soon.

Clare (Lost) : This place would have been reserved for Shannon from the same series, but is not here for obvious reasons. All Clare does is hold baby Aaron, who will virtually never age as each week we watch is just a day on the island!

Ian (Desperate Housewives) : This boyfriend of Susan with an awful English accent surely needs to be dispatched somehow!

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Journey From Wondawowman (Part Three)

It's been hard keeping out of the way while Deanna and Bev command the ship during Queen Diana and her daughter Princess Nexa's trip from the Amazon planet of Wondawowman.

They are going to Earth to see Princess Karena get a prize from the Academy.


Well we are here now, and are about to beam down; Bev and Deanna are talking to them. The Queen looks at me then hands me her suitcase.

"You may take this down when we visit my daughter." she commands, "Don't speak unless you are spoken to."

I feel the urge to say something, but refrain.

We beam down, and are greeted by Karena and Wes; he is standing behind her as a servant.

"Greetings, mother and greetings sister." says Karena. I notice that she has a sneer in her voice when she addresses her dark-haired sibling.

"Greetings, daughter." replies Queen Diana, "Congratulations on winning your prize."

Nexa says the same, but with a total lack of sincerity, as if she were selling something. She then looks at Wes with a tasty smile.

"I see you still have Wesley Crusher with you as servant, sister." continues Nexa, "If you tire of him, you can pass him to me. Wesley, would you like to join me on Wondawowman? It would be an honour to serve a Princess there."

Wesley looks flustered. It's a relief he doesn't have a ship to save right now; in that state, he wouldn't know where the Bridge was.

"Err...umm...." he starts.

Beverly steps in between them; I hope she is not going to say anything undiplomatic here in defence of her son.

"Though it is a great honour, your Highness." she starts, "My son has vital lessons here at the Academy, and is already honoured by having to serve your sister, the Princess Karena."

Nexa looks disgusted and strides off; at least Queen Diana was happy with it.

We all hear a lot of sounds; the prizegiving is about to begin.

The Admirals gather and announce the prizes. I notice they are for Sports Day.

"We are giving this special Award to the Princess Karena" he starts, "She achieved the remarkable distinction of being First in every Event, such as the Javelin, Discus and Track and Field.. The Princess demanded to go in the male events as well to show she could win and did so. Congratulations."

Karena goes to collect her prize; her mother is pleased, while Nexa utter a few Wondawowmanian curses.

What a relief another ship is taking the Queen and Nexa back! It was a long journey with those two on board. I suspect the other ship will go at Warp Nine if the Captain has any sense.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Journey From Wondawowman (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Deanna Troi

It's hardly a fun time with Royalty on board!

Bev and I are effectively commanding the ship while escorting Queen Diana and her daughter Princess Nexa from their home planet of Wondawowman. The Queen's daughter Karena is receiving a prize at the Academy, and she wants to attend.

The Cappy has been forced to stay in the background, as the Amazons only recognise women as being in charge. That's a hoot! giggle!

The Queen has enjoyed a lot of films in the Enterprise cinema, particularly She and And God Created Woman.

Nexa has been more troublesome.

She has been practising fighting with holographic Amazons; she insists on having the Safety off; naturally, she still wins.

Nexa is a real predator; she is angry at her sister Karena for defeating her in the battle for Wesley. I hope she doesn't try and win him back.

She has looked at other crewmembers as potential mates. She was interested in Worf and Geordi, but Jadzia and Trisha made it clear they belonged to them. Though she was annoyed, imn the interests of Diplomacy, she went no further. She also actually asked me if Ro Laren had a mate.

I wonder what that meant?

I know that later on I saw Ro who was very red-faced after talking to the Princess. When I asked why, she said "Don't ask!!"

Later, Nexa walks up to Seven.

"Do you wish to be an Amazon of Wondawowman, Seven?" she asks her.

"No thank you," she replies, "The Borg will assimilate the planet, and we shall be Amazons then."

Nexa laughs.

"The Amazons shall vanquish all oppressors!" she tells Seven.

It's hard getting everyone to say the right thing; I don't always! Giggle! Bev and I keep telling them, "Don't say anything to antagonise them, don't mention Captain Picard or Commander Riker. It's a girls-only trip!"


We are having a formal dinner before the Enterprise arrives at Earth. Queen Diana asks me a question.

"That Picard person and the bearded fellow I saw when we arrived." she starts.

"Do you wish him and Commander Riker to join us at dinner, your Majesty?" I ask.

"Certainly not!" she replies with a horrified voice, "They may serve the meal as we eat; it seemed they had good waiter potential."

I manage not to giggle until she leaves.

I'm going to have a tough time telling Will and the Cappy that they are serving!


The next morning, the two are ready to beam down; the Cappy is still in the background, his face a picture of irritation after serving the night before.

He shouldn't have accidentally tipped the soup into the Queen's lap. giggle!

To be continued...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Journey From Wondawowman (Part One)

More troublesome passengers!

Can't we ever have any easy-going people who are just pleasant?

The Enterprise will be escorting the leader of the Wondawowman Amazons, Queen Diana and her daughter Nexa to Earth. They are to witness the Queen's other daughter Karena get an Academy prize.

Karena herself is no stranger to us, as Wesley Crusher has been told by the Academy hierarchy to serve her, as she is a Princess. As a result, she is making Wesley's life a misery.

That is a good point, anyway!

We are all in the transporter room awaiting our two royal passengers. Riker and I are standing in the background, as Queen Diana does not recognise men as leaders. Instead, Deanna and Beverly, who both have Command status will greet them.

Diana and Nexa beam on. I feel the instict to walk forward and greet them, but Riker wisely puts his and out and stops me.

"Greetings, Queen Diana and Princess Nexa." states Deanna, "Welcome to the Enterprise. I am Counselor Deanna Troi and this is Doctor Beverly Crusher."

The Queen smiles and greets them, while Nexa steps forward and looks at us men in the room with contempt."

"Mother," she asks, "Why are these men in the room? They serve us no purpose."

"I am Captain Picard, Princess Xena....I mean Nexa." I tell her hurriedly, "I command this vessel."

Riker draws his breath sharply, as we both know I have said the wrong thing.

The Queen turns to Deanna with an expression as if someone has spat at her.

"You will remove these men from my sight." she says sharply, "I have no wish to see them on my journey to Earth."

We go out, and I see Beverly and Deanna trying to quickly placate the two of them. It looks like I need to stay in the background a lot in this journey.

A little later, I see Beverly, and ask her what happened.

"Everything is alright, Jean-Luc." she tells me, "Deanna and I have told her that we have given you a menial job of Instructional Pilot to the Enterprise, and that sometimes you think it more important than it is. We added that Deanna and I are the real people in charge. She was quite happy at that. Sorry, Jean-Luc."

"That's fine." I reply, "I'd better stay out of her way. You, Deanna, Jadzia, Seven, and Ro had better host things while us others keep quiet."

She smiles and gives me a peck on the cheek.

"Just because you're in charge, you can't go kissing the Instructional Pilot!" I tell her. We both laugh.

Having Queen Diana and Princess Nexa on board is not easy. We already have Seven of Nine, Ensign Britney. We just need the Borg Queen, Captain Beverly Howard and the Troi Borg Queen as well to make me head for the Escape Pods!

To be continued...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

TWQ: Favourite Years

This week, TWQ ( The Weekend Question) asks about the years you liked.

So far, what have been your favourite years, and for what reason?

My answers are:

1: 1973 - A good year at school with great music all around.

2: 1976 - The year of the great heatwave and where we visited the US for the first time.

3: 1980 - The year when I had a wonderful party for my 21st birthday.

4: 1993 - A very happy year all round.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Seven's Message To The Borg Queen

Guest Poster: Seven Of Nine

My Supreme Queen,

This is your servant Seven of Nine sending you another message from the USS Enterprise; I am updating you on the latest events that are going on.

It is a pleasure serving you as a representative, giving you an insight into human behaviour. I shall be honoured when you place me on the Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. Captain Kathryn Janeway sounds quite challenge.

The humans here forever look for something new to occupy their mundane lives; a holographic night club entertainer has been placed with them; he operates in the style they did four centuries ago. Why do they look to the past? They will find out that Borg singers are far better than holographic ones when we assimilate them all.

The Borg are supreme!

Not only that, Locutus and his crew insist on creating their own problems. A Deltan woman has been bought on the ship named Ensign Britney. She causes trouble frequently, and is often in the brig. This is what Locutus told me a few hours ago....


"I'd like to have a word with you, Seven." Locutus says quietly, and calls me into his ready room.

"What is it, Locutus?" I ask him.

He looks slightly strained when I say 'Locutus, but nevertheless carries on.

"You may be aware that we've had Ensign Britney with us a little while now." he tells me, "And despite our best efforts, she has been very troublesome; she chews gum, is disruptive and therefore is in the brig a lot. We feel she needs a firm hand to guide her and stop her straying off."

"You wish me to assimilate her, Locutus?" I ask.

He looks panic stricken, and nearly falls off his chair.

"No!" he tells me clearly, "Just keep her firm, and don't let her do anything wrong."

"Very well, Locutus" I tell him, and go to find Britney, who is in Engineering.

She appears to be wrecking an ancient method of transport with a strange device. I approach her.

"Please refrain from doing that, Ensign Britney" I tell her, and remove the device from her hands, "I wish to be your friend."

"But you're a Borg drone!" she exclains, "The only friend I had was Cadet Lindsay, and she's still in the Academy."

"You miss her?" I ask.

"Yeah." she tells me.

I walk up to her and whisper in her ear.

"If the Borg assimilate you and we do the same with Lindsay" I tell her, "You can be friends for a very long'll have billions of friends."

She looks panic stricken.

"Oh sure, you can be my friend" she says quickly, "I'm sure we will get on well on the Enterprise."


And that's how it ended, my Queen. One thing, I must say. When we come to assimilate the Enterprise, I recommend we leave Ensign Britney out. Having her thoughts in the Hive Mind could well destroy the fabric of Borg society.

Until my next message, my Queen,

I leave you, your dutiful servant,

Seven of Nine

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ten Forward & The Sands

Guest Poster: Guinan

I'm getting a little worried about business here in Ten Forward. Over the last couple of days, the place has become very quiet. It used to be a very active place, but now it's more like people were expecting Data to give a poetry recital.

That's not it, of course; the real reason is Vic Fontaine and the Sands nightclub.

Ever since that continually running program was installed in Holodeck 6, people have flocked to see Fontaine and his nightly shows. As a result, Ten Forward is very empty.

It's no use going to Jean-Luc. He will just say that the crew need a place to relax and enjoy when their shift is over. They have a choice of where to go.

Besides that, he and Beverly go and get the best seats in The Sands every night.

The only way to tackle this is to talk to Fontaine himself.


As I step in, Fontaine and his band have just finished rehearsing a number. He sees me, smiles and walks over.

"Guinan!" he says with a smile, as he takes me hand and kisses it, "I've heard so much about you; I had no idea you were so beautiful."

This sure disarms someone who was about to complain about their business being taken away!

"Look, Mr Fontaine..." I start, "I need to talk to you about.."

"Call me Vic, I insist." he replies, "Come over here and we'll chat for a while." He calls to his band that they should take a break for ten minutes.

I tell Vic about the problem I am having, and he looks very apologetic.

"Guinan." he tells me, "I had no idea this situation would occur; if I knew, I would have set up another arrangement. Perhaps we can work together at this."

"How do you mean?"

"Well." he replies, "How would you like to be co-owner of the Sands as well as Ten Forward?"

I smile; Vic is a shrewd businessman. He would have done well in the 20th century; better than that guy named Gates.

"I like how you think, Vic." I tell him, "We could promote each other's business."

"Exactly!" Vic says with a smile, "The holographic bands could guest in Ten Forward, and any solid artists could come to The Sands."

"Quid Pro Quo." we say together, and seal the deal with a kiss.

"Careful." I say, "I am well over 500 years old."

"...and I'm a hologram!" Vic replies, "There are some unusual couples in the universe."

Vic goes up to the band, tells them something and they start singing.

That old black magic has me in its spell
That old black magic that you weave so well
Icy fingers up
and down my spine
The same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine

The same old tingle that I feel
When that elevator starts its ride
Down and down I go, round and round I go
Like a leaf that's
caught in the tide

I should stay away but what can I do
I hear your name, and I'm aflame
Aflame with
such a burning desire
That only your kiss can put out the fire

You are the lover that I've waited for

The mate that fate had me created for
And every time your lips meet mine....

I smile, and leave the club. Even a 500 year old can still charm them!

This visit of complaint didn't turn out too bad after all!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vic Fontaine

On a recent visit to Deep Space Nine, I was very impressed with the self-aware holographic lounge singer Vic Fontaine that they have there. I asked Captain Sisko if he could send us a copy of his program so we could install him om one of our holodecks.


Geordi and Data have been working on the installation and we are ready to go.

"Well, Captain." says Geordi, "As you know, Vic will be aware he's a hologram, like the EMH Doctor."

Fortunately, Vic won't have the annoying mannerisms of the EMH, but instead will be able to sing a lot better.

"Perhaps I'll be able to play my trombone in the band?" suggests Riker.

I hope not; that will empty the nightclub faster than a fire alarm or the sound of General Quarters.

The program is activated, and a holographic nightclub comes to life; the flashing sign, 'The Sands' is above, and characters are watching the stage. The band is playing and Vic is at the front.

He looks over to us.

"Hi fellas!" he calls out, "Glad to be playing for a season on the Enterprise. Here's an opening number for you."

Come fly with me, let’s fly let’s fly away
If you can use, some exotic booze
There’s a bar in far Bombay
Come fly with me, we’ll fly we’ll fly away

Come fly with me, let’s float down to Peru
In llama land, there’s a one man band
And he’ll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, we’ll float down in the blue

Once I get you up there, where the air is rarefied
We’ll just glide, starry eyed
Once I get you up there, I’ll be holding you so near
You may here, angels cheer - because were together

Weather wise it’s such a lovely day
You just say the words, and we’ll beat the birds
Down to acapulco bay
It’s perfect, for a flying honeymoon - they say
Come fly with me, we’ll fly we’ll fly away

Worf looks slightly annoyed.

"Is this holographic character going to do this every time we switch the program on, sir" he complains.

"Mr Worf." I tell him, "Vic will know how to run this program himself. Holodeck 6 will now bcome known as 'The Sands', and crew will be able to drop in whenever they are off duty to listen to Vic and his band play."

"It is no good for discipline." he comments to himself.

"Don't be a downer, Worfie." chides Jadzia, giving him a playful slap on the arm, which he appears to like, "It is good for the morale of the crew to have somewhere else to relax besides Ten Forward."

Vic tells the band to take five; this phrase leaves Data somewhat confused for a moment until he seaches his memory files. Then he gives an odd laugh.

"Hi everybody." says Vic, "Glad to meet you all. Don't forget, if there's any numbers you want me to do for you, just holler and the band will play them for you."

Deanna names a weird Betazoid song that no one has ever heard of; Vic looks puzzled.

"That's a tough one, Miss Troi." he says, "Still if Geordi puts it into my programming, the band and I will do it without a problem."

"How about 'Torn Between Two Lovers' instead?" comments Worf, with a sarcastic tone, "I'm sure that would be more appropriate."

"What's that supposed to mean?" shouts Deanna.

"Yes Worf." adds Riker, "I think that was uncalled for."

Worf and Jadzia leave with smiles on their faces.

I hope we're not going to have too much trouble at The Sands; people are supposed to relax, not open up old wounds!

Beverly reminds me to get a good seat at The Sands tonight.

"Bev" I tell her, "I think as Captain, I will always somehow manage to get a good seat!"

Saturday, March 17, 2007

TWQ: Google Namesakes

TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks you to to look and find out more about people who have your name.

Have you tried to find out if there are any other people with your name and what they do? Use the Google link (below), type in your name and list what they do.


My answers are:

* The Group Financing Director of a Consulting Firm.

* A Conservative political Education supremo whose wife left him and who pleaded guilty to drunken driving, and a member of the Freemasons secret society.

* A tax specialist on the council.

* An Alfa Romeo racing driver.

* The estates manager of a hospital building.

Now it's over to you....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Deanna & Riker Take Over (Part Three)

Guest Poster: The Doctor

Why I end up having to fix everything for Picard and other other solids is beyond me. It just goes to show that us holograms are valued far more than they would have us believe.

As Commander Riker and Counselor Troi have been hypnotised with a sleeper code used by Sloan of the subversive Starfleet organisation Section 31, they have taken over the ship and locked everone away. They are taking the ship to a rendevous point where the Enterprise will be fitting with a cloaking device so it can do lots of evil things.

Picard has already told me that anaesthetic gas cannot be filtered through to the Bridge as that has been circumvented by the computer. I am the only way of sorting things usual!

Beverly Crusher wishes me the best of luck; that's a first. Usually she assumes complete control in the Sickbay and only calls on me as a last resort. My superior talents are never called for.

Come to think of it, I was never invited to the Enterprise Quiz that was in Ten Forward. I would have done well in the 'opera' category.

Still, back to the present.

I walk through the door; as there are holoprojectors around, I can walk around the ship at will. Crusher only usually lets me do that in the night shift when she is asleep and the crew want me to give them a band aid or something trivial.

There is no one around, as the crew are in their quarters; I need to get to the Bridge and access the 'release' button for the doors that will get the crew out, and also to switch Data on.

I'm up to the Bridge door; this is it. I put my head in and take a peek; I want to be sure they don't catch and disconnect me. I'm writing a guide about opera this week, and don't want to lose it all.

Riker is in the Captain's seat, and Troi is with him.

"How are we going, imzadi?" she asks him in a purring voice.

"Almost two hours to rendezvous, Deanna" replies Riker, who leans over to kiss her; they embrace.

This is my chance; I sneak in and reprogram the computer; all the crew's doors are released. I then rush over and switch Commander Data on.

Before they know what is going on, Riker and Deanna are swiftly caught by Data and the rush of Worf's security guards that come in.

"Well done, Doctor." says Picard, "You've saved the Enterprise. We are indebted to you."

I'll get switched off again soon enough, I imagine.


A few hours later, I talk to the Captain.

"What will happen to Commander Riker and Deanna?" I ask, "And the Section 31 people at the rendezvous point?".

"Somehow, it seems the Section 31 people know everything." he replied, "They had intercepted my message to Starfleet as to the events that happened, and had fled from the point the Enterprise was programmed to go. As for Deanna and Riker, they will undergo deprogramming by Doctor Crusher and Commander Data. They should be fine soon. Let's hope no one reads out Dante's Divine Comedy for a while."

Beverly Crusher enters the room. She talks to the Captain quietly about a date at the Enterprise cinema. Saw XXXIX is on. She then turns to me.

"Err, Doctor." she starts, "Will you mind doing the night shift five hours earlier tonight? I've got an umm.... appointment elsewhere."

I grudgingly accept; sooner or later, these solids will know how important I am!


Charmed And Dangerous (Dari) has tagged me to ask which five bloggers I would take along on a desert island to stay there for one year.

This isn't easy.

I'll go for Ciera as she would be a good companion as she thinks like me. Nic is a great friend with a practical resolve. Miss Cellania is good person that would keep spirits up. Nurse Ratched would help with any medical problems and Secret Squirrel would keep everything in order to stop us going into a panic.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deanna & Riker Take Over (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Beverly Crusher

As Jean-Luc is thrown in to the Sickbay by Deanna and Riker, they smile at me.

"You two lovebirds can stay imprisoned in here, while we pilot the ship." says Deanna, "You ought to thank us for keeping you together."

"You'll never get away with it!" I tell them, "Starfleet will soon be on your trail; don't you realise that Sloan hypnotised you with that sleeper message. You are acting under his willpower."

They both give a typically evil laugh, like the villains that they've been turned into.

"On the contrary, Beverly." Riker answers, "He has opened our eyes to the truth. The crew are all locked in their quarters, and the Enterprise can be run on autopilot. When we get to the rendevous point with Sloan and the rest of Section 31, they will fit a cloaking mechanism to the ship."

"That's illegal" pipes up Jean-Luc, "The Treaty of Algeron strictly prohibits the use of cloaks on Federation vessels."

"That is true, Picard." answers Riker, "But Section 31 isn't a group that follows things by the book; besides, technically, they don't exist. The group will be able to carry a few subversive attacks on groups we don't particularly like, and none will be any the wider. Sloan tells me we have quite a few to get through!"

They both do another evil laugh and leave.

"Well, what do we do now, Jean-Luc?" I ask as we assess the situation, "We've got to regain control of the ship."

He thinks for a moment; I'm not sure if his expression reads 'I've got an idea' or 'I haven't a clue'. Unfortunally, they look very alike.

"Perhaps we could contact Seven?" he suggests, "Where is she now?"

"I thought of that." I tell him, "According to the computer, she is regenerating in her alcove, and they have circumvented the controls so her auto alarm clock has been switched off."

Then a thought occurs to me; we might have the answer right here.

"What about the EMH Doctor?" I suggest, "Since we've had holographic projectors fitted throughout the ship, he should be able to go through the ship and sabotage what they do."

"Well done, Bev!" exclaims Jean-Luc, and kisses me.

I ought to try and get a few more good idea in the future!

I activate the EMH.

"What is the nature of your medical emergency" he exclaims, then looks disappointed when he sees it is only us.

We explain the situation to him, then the Doctor smiles.

"Oh, I see all too clear." he tells us, "You keep me switched off and only activate me when there is something you can't handle. Once it's done, you switch me off again until the next time, or when you want the Sickbay sweeping up; I tell you this, it might be to my advantage Riker and Troi taking over. Perhaps Section 31 will treat me with a little more respect than you do and.."

"Look!" exclaims Jean-Luc, "What also may happen is that Section 31 might reprogram you, remove the holoprojectors or delete your program."

The Doctor pauses for a moment to weigh up the situation.

"Very well." he says, "I'll do it."

To be continued...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Deanna & Riker Take Over (Part One)

Everything is running smoothly on the Enterprise right now, which is a sure sign that something nasty is about to happen.

"Incoming transmission, Captain." states Data.

"Who from?"

"I am unaware." he replies, "The signal from from a source that is encrypted. Shall we put it on the viewer?"

"Yes, Mr Data." I tell him, "What harm can it do?"

Sometimes I ought to remember these lines I write and never say them again. There is never an instance when 'what harm can it do?' applies.

A familiar figure appears.

Luther Sloan, leader of the subversive part of Starfleet named Section 31.

"Hello Captain Picard." he says, "It is good to see you again. I am especially pleased to see Commander Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi sitting with you."

I remember the two of them meeting him when they went undercover last December . Unfortunately Sloan escaped. I knew he'd turn up again, like a bad Credit.

"I'd like to read you a little poetry, If I may, Captain." Sloan continues, "I'm sure you won't mind."

All of the Bridge crew look puzzled. What is this? Poetry night? The only time we usually have poetry on the Enterprise is when Data has to read one of his awful compositions, like 'Ode To Spot.' which drags on for 132 stanzas.

"I hope it's not 'Ode To Spot'" whispers Riker to me. Beverly says the same thing in my other ear.

Sloan begins reading.....

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear

I recognise it as the opening six lines of Dante's Divine Comedy, from the Longfellow Translation. What is going on here? He's not going to read the whole of Dante is he?

"I'll see you soon, Commander." says Sloan, and his image disappears from the screen.

I turn to Riker.

"What is Sloan doing, Number One?" I ask.

Suddenly I notice that his chair is empty; for a second I think he has gone to get some donuts for himself from Ten Forward. Then I turn to my left; Deanna has vanished as well.

Two seconds later, I notice that Data has been switched off by Deanna, and behind me Riker has stunned other members of the Bridge. I'm the only one still up.

"What are you doing, Number One?" I ask.

"Taking over the ship, Picard." Riker replies insolently, "Deanna and I are running things from now on. We are taking the Enterprise to a meeting point where members of our Section 31 group can use it from now on. Other members of this crew have been locked in ther quarters. We shall order the others to do so that are currently in the corridors."

It all becomes clear. Riker said when he got back from the undercover mission that he and Deanna were subjected to some flashing lights in December that Sloan called Truth Lights. I think it must have embedded a sleeper in their minds that would change them when the verse was uttered.

I wish Sloan had recited 'Ode To Spot' instead.

"Come on, Picard." Deanna tells me, "You can be imprisoned in the SickBay. I guess you'll like that; At least you'll be with Beverly while we start running things from now on."

Why is it I can't exactly thank them for that right now?

To be continued...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

TWQ: Hotel Stories

As many of you start looking at where you'll be going for your vacations this year, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about your previous experiences in the hotels you've stayed at.

What awful, weird and unusual experiences have you had in hotels you've been in over the years? Any really top ones that stood out?

My answers are:

A few times I've stayed in a hotel that is nothing like the internet picture; the wallpaper is peeling off and it is covered in dust.

In a European hotel, the toilet was in a separate room, about 10 feet from the door, which unfortunately had no key! Discreet coughing was needed!

An old Soviet boat (if you can call it a hotel) while in Russia was the worst I had been in. The food was uneatable, with porridge that had to be sliced and other food that made people physically ill!

The Hyatt Regency that I stayed in was one of the best; I stayed there free as it was part of a party I went to as a gift from doing so many years service at the company I work with.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Boothby: The Early Years

Guest Poster: Boothby

A lot of the Cadets round here at the Academy ask me questions like, "What was it like in the Dark Ages" or "What did dinosaurs actually look like?"

Whippersnappers they all are! I give them a heavy clip round the ear and tell them not to bother me while I'm cultivating my plants.

Still what they don't know how tough it was. I wasn't always a gardener and groundskeeper. Some of the Cadets think I maintained the Garden of Eden!

Years ago, I was in the Earth Navy. We cruised the seven seas in the ships we had.

Actually, I had quite a singing voice then, as did my fellow sailors on the ES Pacifica.

Ah, those were the days, we would sing about dames, and how there were nothing like them...We've got sunlight on the sand. We've got moonlight on the sea. We've got mangos and bananas we can pick right off the trees. We've got volleyball and ping-pong and a lot of dandy games. What ain't we got? We ain't got dames! We get packages from home. We get movies. We get shows. We get speeches from our skipper and advice from Tokyo Rose. We get letters doused with perfume. We get dizzy from the smell. What ain't we got? You know (bad word) well. We've got nothing to put on a clean white suit for. What we need is what there ain't no subsitute for. There is nothing like a dame. Nothing in the world. There is nothing you can name that is anything like a dame. We feel restless. We feel blue. We feel hungry and in need. We feel every kind of feeling but the feeling never leaves. We feel hungry as the wolf felt when he met Red Riding Hood. What don't we feel? We don't feel good. Lots of things in life are beautiful but, brother, there is one particular thing that is in no way, shape, or form like any other. There is nothing like a dame. Nothing in the world. There is nothing you can name that is anything like a dame. There are drinks like a dame. And no books like a dame. And nothing looks like a dame. And nothing acts like a dame. Or attracts like a dame. There ain't a thing that's wrong with any man here that can't be cure by (don't know what they say). A girly female feminine dame.

What? Oh, sorry, I was getting carried away.

I've lost my train of thought; where was I?

Oh yes; when I left the Navy, I went into galactic telecasting. There was this new science-fiction story. I played a spaceman who explored Earth.

I told the producer at the time that it would be a disaster.

"I look a stereotype!" I told him, "Why do I have to wear these crazy antennas?"

He didn't listen; the young whippersnapper was only just starting in telecasting.

I tell you, it set Federation/Darlean diplomatic relations back for years. When they saw the show they were livid and broke off communications.

Darleans have antennas on their heads. The Andorans wern't too happy either. If I had blue skin in the show, they would declared war.

Where was I?

Right; after that show, no one wanted me in tv and I went back to the Navy.

I suppose the other sailors thought I was some grizzled old crone; I always challenged the Captain. He thought my pipe contravened his 'no smoking policy'. He never listened to me; I didn't light it, and only had it there for effect.

Anyway, I saw a lot of gardens around the world, and went to Starfleet and applied for the position of Groundskeeper.

I got the job without question, as I knew so much about plants and flowers, and also that the Admiral who interviewed me had two mistresses hidden away.

So I've been here ever since; I've seen a few Cadets like Picard turn into a Captain. Janeway was another; I wonder what happened to her? She could never find her way around the Academy.

I'll have to go now; these flowers need attending.


Oh, Susan wanted Picard to list six weird things about him; as I'm writing this here Journal, she'll have to settle for me:

1: I love to sing 'There Is Nothing Like A Dame' while attending my plants.

2: Anybody walking on the Academy grass qualifies for a clip on the ear from me.

3: That includes the Admirals.

4: I have given lectures on plant life.

5: I recommend to Admirals those Cadets who I think might make it.

6: I've invented a new wasp repellent that has earned me pots of money; the Academy dont't know about it!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

To Be Or Not To Be?

I'm talking with Admiral Lancaster, head of Starfleet Media Group.

"I can't believe what you just told me, Admiral." I say despairingly.

"Look, Captain, Picard." he replies, "There's nothing to it, the production team want you to appear on the children's telecast show Sesame Planet."

I know I'm not going to be able to get out of this, but I protest anyway, hoping that Lancaster will be able to see reason.

"I'm not really very good with children." I tell him, "Perhaps Counselor Troi would be better suited for the role?"

"Sorry, Captain." Lancaster informs me, "The producers told me they wanted the Captain of the Enterprise on this. You're quite a hero to children; did you know that? Captain Picard dolls sell tenfold over the others in the shops. A child can press a button and the doll says "Make it so." or "Engage" when they do."

To think I'm a doll in a toyshop. The indignity of it.

At least they sell more than a Riker doll.

"All right." I tell him, "I'll go down and do it."


A few hours later, I'm in the Sesame Planet studio; I'm introduced to a man named Howard. He wears glasses and carries a clipboard. He looks at me.

"You must be today's guest, Lieutenant Pyecard." he tells me.

"Actually, it's Captain Jean-Luc Picard." I tell him in a correcting manner.

"Is it?" Howard looks baffled, "Communications are useless in this place. Alright, Captain. Davinia over there has got a yellow monkey suit over there. Put it on and we'll be ready to go."

"Excuse me?" I tell him indignantly.

"Just put the yellow monkey suit on and you can join the others in the studio jungle."

"I'm not doing that!" I shout, "I'm the Captain of a galaxy-class Starfleet vessel, and am not going to be reduced to wearing a monkey suit for the benefit of children!"

Howard starts looking extremely stressed, and says a few things to himself.

"I want to speak to the director, Howard!" I tell him.

"Johnny!" Howard shouts into a microphone, "The guest is not going along with the script, and wants to talk to you."

A man comes down; he looks as stressed as Howard.

"Look, Captain." he pleads, "I'm Johnny the director. Can't you go along with this?"

"No, Johnny." I tell him, "It's not the sort of thing a Starfleet Officer should do. Can't I teach them some Shakespeare?"

Johhny and Howard groan.

"Captain, these are little children." Johnny comments, "Shakespeare is hardly for them."

"I think I can make it suitable." I say with a smile, "Let me get my Hamlet costume from the Enterprise Theatrical Department."


A few minutes later, I am back wearing my costume.

"Let's make it so."

At least I have a little dignity there.

"That was great, Captain." says Howard, "Although I still think you would have done well in the yellow monkey suit."


Authors Note: I am indebted to Jaime for coming up with the film. Apologies that the quality is not 100%. It did come from the 24th Century!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Party Guidelines

I gather the senior staff together for a meeting.

Beverly soon notices that I am wearing my tuxedo.

"What's the occasion, Jean-Luc?" she whispers, "Are we going for a date after the meeting? I'll get my ballgown and we can go for a dance in the holodeck."

"Sorry, Beverly." I reply, "This is business; our date will have to wait for a later time; you can keep that ballgown ready till then, though."

She smiles and sits down with the other staff.

"I want to announce that the Enterprise may be having a few visitors over the next few days." I tell them, a Galactic Event, named The Ultimate Blog Party is taking place this week, and we have to be on hand to greet anyone that passes through."

Ultimate Blog Party

"Security will have to be tight." comments Worf, "There may well be people who are trying to take over the Enterprise."

I roll my eyes and sigh.

"Now that's just what we don't want, Mr Worf." I reply, "These people won't have visited a starship before and some may be a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. I want the atmosphere to be relaxed and friendly."

"Don't you think Worf might scare them off?" says Riker with a slight laugh.

"Are you saying my Worfie can't be friendly?" retorts Jadzia, "I can assure you he is kind, generous and can be very sociable."

"I know that." comments Deanna with a sly smile.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Jadzia answers back.

I can see how this is going to go if we are not careful.

"Let's all calm down a little." I tell them, "Remember you are all supposed to act as host to any visitors that come on board."

"As long as we don't get any Cardassians." comments Ro Laren, "I'm not going to talk to them; let Data look after them."

Data looks a little puzzled.

"Ensign." I say with a sigh, "I don't think there are any Cardassians at the party."

Why do these issues keep coming up. I'm glad I put some stress pills in my tuxedo.

What about Ensign Britney?" asks Geordi, "She could pose a problem and leave visitors with a bad impression of the Enterprise. I found some of her chewing gum on my computer terminal yesterday."

"Maybe we could put her back in the brig until the party is over?" suggests Worf.

"We can't put her there everytime people come to the ship." replies Deanna, "Already she's spent more time in the brig than she has in her quarters!"

"That's true." I say, "Mr LaForge, can you find her something to do in a classified part of the ship?"

"I guess I can." Geordi replies.

"What about Seven?" Riker asks me, "She might scare a few first time visitors as well."

"What are you saying?" snaps Seven. "The Borg are supreme; we can be the perfect hosts. Anyone who fails to get along will be assimilated."

"Seven!" I say despairingly, "What have I told you? No assimilating will take place by you on this ship. Just say a friendly 'Hello, welcome to the Enterprise." Do not mention assimilation, Borg supremacy, resistance is futile or anything like that."

"Very well, Locutus." she says.

"And DO NOT call me Locutus!"

I sigh, and know I'm not going to get any further; I'll have to get Beverly to give me some more stress pills this week.

"Meeting over." I tell them, "Don't forget to smile and welcome them."

What the new visitors are going to make of all these I dread to think.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

TWQ: Catchy Tunes & Ultimate Blog Party

TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about those tunes you keep humming:

What tunes have you heard took ages to get out of your head as you found you were humming them constantly?

My answer is:

Recently, I found this favourite of mine again on YouTube. As a result, it's been in my head ever since. It's Space singing 'Female Of The Species'

Another favourite has always been Don McLean's version of 'American Pie'.

Now it's over to you...

But before you go...

Ultimate Blog Party

Take a look at the 'Ultimate Blog Party' (see sidebar) that is being run from the 2nd until the 9th March. It's a massive party with many, many people attending. There are prizes galore at the end of it all. The event is being organised by 5 Minutes For Mom. Though mainly women are there, I've been informed that all are welcome. As a result, I have my tuxedo on, and am going to do a lot of circulating. Perhaps I should bring a bottle of Klingon bloodwine?

A very warm welcome to all my new visitors from the party. Pull up a seat. Data will serve you. I've told Seven of Nine you are not to be assimilated.

Get yourself along there, sign the Mr Linky and help make it even bigger!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Omega Dimension (Part Two)

In the late 20th Century, today would have been described as a bad hair day. However, if I said that phrase to Beverly, she'd have a good laugh, and Ensign Britney would probably yell abuse at me.

A Borg Cube has appeared and the Queen told me that we all were to be assimilated; she would be collecting her for a mission in the Delta Quadrant.

If that were not bad enough, a hole has ripped open in space. We can see into another dimension, which sensors show is poisonous fluidic space.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Both ships are being dragged in to oblivion by the dimension's gravitational pull.


The videoscreen comes on; the Borg Cube is hailing us.

"What can we do, Locutus." asks the Borg Queen in a slightly desperate voice, "Both our ships are doomed unless we can come up something."

The nerve of her!

"A short while ago, you wanted to turn us all into Borg drones!" I retort, "Now you're asking for our help."

"Oh, never mind about that, Locutus!" she dismisses, "This is a lot more important; we need to pool our resources and get out of this problem."

Reluctantly, I agree with her, and talk to Data about what we can do.

"The Borg Cube has powerful weapons and a tractor beam that is stronger than anything we have." he states.

"That is true." concurs the Queen, "It is why the Borg are supreme."

I mumble a few words that I won't repeat here, and ask Data to explain what he is thinking of.

"The rim of the rift is very unstable, Captain." he continues, "It could close at any moment. A large explosion should be enough to seal it. A Borg pulse phaser and a starship quantum torpedo would work well. A tractor beam would hold both weapons until it reached the rim."

"Or blow it wide open!" Riker tells him, "That is a risky venture, Data."

"I agree." says Data, "There is a high element of danger involved."

It's all to complex for me to work out; the sort of problem that gives me a headache. Worf agrees that it is possible, as does the Borg Queen. Eventually, we decide to go through with it. Leave it to the others to sort out.

The quantum torpedo is dispatched, at the same time as the Borg pulse phaser; the tractor beam holds them then it is swicted off just as it gets to the rim. Everything explodes, and we are thrown all across the Bridge.

That's my cup of Earl Grey gone. I need a new Bridge carpet.

The sensors are checked and we find the rift has been sealed. The videoscreen comes on again.

"Well done, Locutus!" says the Borg Queen, "Your android Data has rescued both ships from destruction."

"Now about that assimilation...." I ask.

"Oh, I'll overlook that for a while, Locutus." she smiles, "As a little reward for saving us; Seven can stay on the Enterprise. We will come and assimilate you another time. I must say, your Lieutenant Commander Data fascinates me a lot. I shall be interested in knowing more about him later."

With that, the videoscreen switches off and the Borg ship vanishes.

"It seems you have an admirer, Data." laughs Deanna.

Data looks puzzled.

"The Borg Queen will dissect you herself!" states Seven with her usual non-warmness."

"I think my girlfriernd Jennifer Baxter may take exception to that, Seven." replies Data.

I'm not sure with Data whether he ever tries to be funny or makes a serious statement.