Friday, September 29, 2006

Phasing and travelling

I'm off to Brisbane for ConQuest, a science fiction media convention tonight. My big speech is now in three segments, throughout the banquet on the Saturday night. Wish me luck!

I shall try to keep you posted if I find I have Internet access while I'm away! But no promises...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hugh Jackman channels Peter Allen


Saturday night's performance of the Australian Arena Spectacular version of "The Boy from Oz" at the Sydney Entertainment Centre was a triumph. I felt like I'd been in rehearsals for it all week: putting myself into bed at a reasonable hour for several nights in a row to ensure there was no possibility I'd doze off. Not after paying $250 for the ticket.

While I wasn't always believing Hugh Jackman as Peter Allen, there were certainly some times when it seemed like Mr Jackman was channeling the irrepressible spirit of Allen - particularly whenever he flirted with male audience members, or made humorous, gossipy commentary about current celebrities, and those recent celebrity events worthy of Allen's distinctively cheeky, scathing wit, had he still been among us to make comment: Keith Urban and his marriage to Nicole Kidman; Heath Ledger starring in "Brokeback Mountain"; Eric Bana; and even that Hugh Jackman guy (starring as "X-Men"'s Wolverine, and hanging out to audition for James Bond), were favourites.

It was certainly well worth the money spent. Numerous times, I found my cheeks flooding with tears. The way each song was set up to tell a particular aspect of Peter Allen's life, or that of his loved ones, was excellent. These are songs we've heard many times on the radio, and even though I knew that most of them were inspired by aspects of the songwriter's life, watching and hearing them play out in the context of a biographical work really hammers home the emotions within the words.

"When I Get My Name in Lights" is suddenly young Peter's story, as if were never also a highly recognizable Allen song. "All I Wanted was the Dream" and "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage" are the ailing Judy Garland's story. "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love" is Liza Minnelli's tearful departure. "I Honestly Love You", so identifiable over the years as an Olivia Newton-John song, suddenly becomes the final farewell from Greg Connell, Peter's dying lover. "Don't Cry Out Loud" becomes an insight into the coping strategies of Peter's mother, Marion Woolnough. "I Still Call Australia Home" brings out the patriotic spirit of the whole audience. And, of course, "Tenterfield Saddler", which turns the whole house into lip-trembling, sniffling wrecks, is a pocket biography of three generations of the Woolnough men. (I understand that the US production omitted "Tenterfield Saddler"; so hard to believe that such a beautiful ballad could be overlooked as something Americans might not understand.)

I was fascinated with the "video content" by Interactive Originals. All of the sets - the neon lights of Times Square and Broadway; the art deco country pub; fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House; the Allen Brothers performing on an ancient black and white TV console tuned to "Bandstand"; a lone Tenterfield windmill; and so on - were computer generated, and thrown up onto the huge screen behind the performers. This even included the virtual red theatre curtains, which waved ever so slightly in the virtual breeze. While I wouldn't like to see every play, musical and theatrical event having its sets created this way, the novelty certainly enhanced this show.

I had a few weird deja vu experiences watching the show:

* Chrissie Amphlett, who played Judy: when I was a little kid, my grandfather took me down to "the paperboy's house", a weatherboard cottage (in our street: Terry Street, Arncliffe), which was burning down! It was the first and only time I saw firemen wearing those old brass helmets. I'm not sure if Chrissie herself ever lived there, but supposedly her Dad did, and her brother, "the paperboy" - and there was definitely one Amphlett daughter at my school.

* Angela Toohey, who played Liza: she was once Squeaky the Robot in TV's "Johnson and Friends", a kids' show about toys who lived under a bed! I almost got to do an interview with her, and I was allowed to feature her in my old fanzine, Androidz.

* Production Designer, Brian Thomson: in 1988, Brian worked on a theatre-in-education show called Don't Tell Anyone, for which I was commissioned to write the teachers' notes. I spent several hours talking to him about how he'd designed that play's sets. At the time, I had no idea just how many amazing things he'd designed! His name pops up in credits all the time, and it always give me a buzz that I met him before I knew he was famous! :)

Yes, I'm sure this musical will live with me forever, and that's part of the magic of live performances. Owning the program, the keyring, the coffee mug and the CD soundtrack can only serve as reminders that you were once able to be completely immersed in a theatrical experience for several hours of your life.

I certainly don't see enough live theatre these days.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Starship Exeter: The Savage Empire Down Under

Yesterday I was asked to prepare a panel thingie about "Star Trek" fandom and the "Starship Exeter" fan films for presenting at the 25th annual ConQuest convention in Brisbane, Australia, on the weekend of 30 Sept/1 Oct.

They'll be dedicating an hour in the program, including my chat and a screening of "The Savage Empire", which we assume many Aussie fans have never seen.

It's also been suggested that I cut up and auction off autographed swatches of my family room curtains (as featured in the tag of SE: TSE), but no promises.

It's funny. I'd just started working in a new school, and then "The Savage Empire" premiered on the Internet in the Australian December/January school holidays. When Term 1, 2003, started back, one teacher (who had previously worked out that I was an avid Star Trek fan) raced up to me and exclaimed, "Did you see the Sydney Morning Herald article about some wacky American Star Trek fans? They spent over $20 000 of their own money to make a Star Trek episode - they wrote it, acted in it, made their own costumes, special effects - everything - then they put it up on the Internet. It was so popular it crashed the Mac web server for several days!"

"Yeah, I know," I said with a smirk. "I'm in it."

Therin's Dad, Senator Therin Sr, cameos in The Savage Empire,
the pilot episode of the Starship Exeter fan film series.

Guests-of-honour at the convention include Richard Arnold (former "Star Trek" Archivist), Katy Manning ("Doctor Who"), Gary Lockwood ("2001" and "Star Trek") and Keir Dullea ("2001"; "2010").

I hope to catch up with lots of ST and SF acquaintances.


Hokey smoke!

I was just reminded of a great story about workplace fire drills. Ironic, since recently, as the Occupational Health & Safety Officer at my school, I overhauled all the evacuation maps and escape plans in preparation for our next fire drill. (Fire drills are always fun in a primary school!)

When I was seconded to State Office in 1998, the office staff proudly presented me with a plastic hard hat, which meant, as the newest arrival, I was now Deputy Fire Drill Safety Officer! Oh well, it got me away from the desk for one day a year to undertake training.

One rather memorable round of safety officer training, held before I commenced my secondment, concerned a Very Serious Fire Drill. Although it was pronounced as successful - and everyone was congratulated - a few days later several neighbouring fire brigades arrived with their sirens blaring, responding to a supposed real emergency. But all 500+ staff members were still inside working on their computers.

The firemen ran in, axes and extinguishers in hand, totally perplexed to realise that noone had evacuated - because the fire was in the fire alarm cabinet!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hairy situations

I had a year away from reality in 1990, retraining as a teacher-librarian on a fulltime scholarship, and it was a great opportunity to do something different. So I grew a beard.


It was quite a radical thing for me to do. As a kid, and as a teen - and even as a young adult, living under my parents' roof - there were a few very strong rules, including: no facial hair, no tattoos and no motorbikes. Not that I ever wanted a tattoo or a motorbike...

A year away from school students seemed a good opportunity to try an image change without daily, wacky questions about why I did it. I then kept the beard (which received many compliments over the years - which I wasn't used to at all) until it started to go quite grey in 1997, and so I finally shaved it off.

But why am I remembering all this today? Well, as a result of several excellent critiques from friends, I finally bit the bullet and ordered tickets online to see Hugh Jackman in the Australian Arena Spectacular version of "The Boy from Oz". It will be the final performance on Saturday, and the only remaining tickets were the high-end $250 ones, but who cares? I missed the original Todd McKenney stage version of 1998, and have always regretted it, so I became determined not to allow another opportunity slip by. Hang the cost.

However, after my recent Musica Viva and Warbles experiences, my work colleagues have warned me that Mr Jackman - in character as the late Peter Allen - has a reputation for dragging up a hapless male from the audience and embarrassing him all night, so I'm not telling anyone my seat number. Hopefully I'm far enough away from the stage area.

Anyway, I've had to tell the following anecdote a few times this week: way back when the controversial musical "Hair" had its first major revival in 1992, my beard and I were sitting, nonchalant, in the front row. At the start of the show, main star Terry Serio walked out on stage, thanked the audience for coming, warned them that "Hair" has a rather revealing scene before Intermission - which he assumed most of us had turned up to gawk at - and started removing his shirt, belt and trousers.

He said, "What's the matter? Isn't this what you've come here to see? I figure, why not get the nudity over with straight away?"

Then he pulled up his pants and started to rebutton his shirt, saying, "Actually, I can't do it. You know why? Well, you see, Mum's here..."

Suddenly, he pointed at me and proclaimed, "And that beard didn't fool me for a minute!"

Mr Serio then leapt down from the stage, grabbed me by the lapels, lifted me out of my chair, and planted a kiss right on my lips.

My father's only comment, when I later related my hair-raising adventure was, "Did he blow first - to part the feathers?"

You know, if ever I get to write up my acting resumé, I guess I can list playing Berger's mother in "Hair". (Just so long as I don't also have to add being Peter Allen's main squeeze as well.) I'll keep you all posted...

PS. Happy birthday, Dad. And I actually got your parcel to arrive on the day! Impressive!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Xena vs Eris

From the New York Times:

Our solar system's newest dwarf planet, formerly nicknamed "Xena", is now officially dubbed Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord, a source of strife and conflict. How appropriate, considering the media frenzy and public outcry over the change in poor li'l Pluto's status, and the scientists redefining of what makes a planet a planet (or, indeed, a dwarf planet). The discovery of Eris set the whole fuss in motion.

The discoverer, Dr Michael E Brown, reckons that the original nod to the Lucy Lawless television series, "Xena: Warrior Princess", remains - since Eris's moon (originally nicknamed "Gabrielle") is now officially named Dysnomia, after the Greek goddess of lawlessness.

But hey, a "Star Trek" connection is even more fun than a "Xena" connection!

ST VI: The Undiscovered Country's Vulcan turncoat, Lieutenant Valeris, was named by actress Kim Cattrall (who wanted simply Eris, after the goddess) and director Nick Meyer (who added the Val- prefix). The final shooting script for ST VI actually spells the name "Val'eris", although not the closing credits. (And the earlier draft scripts, of course, called her Saavik.)


Friday, September 15, 2006

Getting animated again

Ballantine/Del Rey's 40th anniversary reprints of Alan Dean Foster's adaptations "Star Trek: The Animated Series" (the "ST Logs") turned up in Sydney yesterday!

Filmation's animated series (affectionately known as TAS) was the first TV spin-off of the original series (affectionately known as TOS). Science fiction author James Blish had adapted TOS into short stories for Bantam Books to great success, and Alan Dean Foster was offered a similar opportunity for TAS.

Originally, the first six singly-published "Logs" contained three episode adaptations (plus expanded scenes) each, but the last four "Logs" contained just one episode in the first third of the book, plus new adventures of ADF's creation. There are five volumes in the new trade paperback collections, two "ST Logs" in each book. A different one-page introduction from the author prefaces each volume:

In "Logs One and Two", ADF discusses getting the job, his excitement about writing for ST, and the trepidation of possibly padding out 20-page scripts into 60,000 words.

In "Logs Three and Four", he mentions how some authors consider novelization assignments to be hack work, and demonstrates how "Fire photon torpedoes, Mr Sulu!" can become two paragraphs of exposition.

In "Logs Five and Six", ADF discusses Filmation's approach to animation and mentions how he recognized a friend's artwork style in a cel from TAS used on the original release of "ST Log 5".

In "Logs Seven and Eight", he talks about the day Judy-Lynn del Rey told him to start padding out each remaining script into one per book. ADF's additional Kumara the Klingon adventure in "ST Log 7" is mentioned as being ADF's rejected two-parter script pitch for the third season of TOS. He was told to resubmit for Season Four. Sigh.

In "Logs Nine and Ten", ADF discusses how he deliberately kept the two strongest SF storylines to last, then worried how Larry Niven (creator of the kzinti) would react.

Keep in mind that each new introduction is only one page long. But irresistable to me. Had all five pages been repeated in each volume, I'd have probably only have bought the one volume, because I already have these adaptations as single volumes (Ballantine) and in the Pocket International three-volume set.

If you've never read the "Logs" (or even never seen TAS), but like "Star Trek" stories of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy era, then you need to know that there are slabs of additional material grafted onto the 22 TAS stories: flashbacks (including Uhura's childhood, M'Ress's family on Cait and her early career), extra subplots, sequels to TAS episodes - and whole new adventures, including several meetings with Kumara, Kirk's feisty Klingon roommate from an Academy exchange program. ADF wrote knowing that TAS was a show airing on Saturday mornings and primarily aimed at children, but also being watched by adult TOS and science fiction fans (still mourning the loss of TOS?) the world over. I've heard of numerous fans who recall the Foster's "Logs" as one of their first ever independant novel-reading experiences as children. They come with my highest recommendation.

This set of reprints is timed to celebrate 40 years of the original "Star Trek" and the forthcoming international release of TAS as a DVD boxed set later in 2006.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"I was naked..."

Not me, of course. The line is from the opening paragraph of Call Me Abigail (Petomane Publishing, 1973), the autobiography of Abigail, the first sex siren of Australian television's "Number 96".


Today I celebrate an exciting eBay auction win! I've been searching for my own copy of Call Me Abigail (above) since at least 1978. Distributed by Gordon & Gotch, I'm sure I recall seeing copies of the book in local newsagents and bookstores in the early 70s, just as I'd seen many a copy of the infamous Number 96 Cookbook at supermarket cash register stands. But I didn't start collecting "Number 96" material until I heard a radio advertisement for a huge Angus & Robertson book sale, not long after the TV series was axed and off the air, which included the exclamation, "Number 96 paperbacks: only 10 cents each!" (Not a bad price, considering that several of those fictional, Mills & Boon-style paperbacks were originally carrying a recommended retail cover price of just "96 cents"! Tee hee! Cute marketing.)

After quite a bit of detective work, I had almost-pristine copies of seven of the (eight) remaindered Arkon novelizations of early "Number 96" episodes. (I shall list them all here and review them some day; I've never really had the room to include much about these books on my "Number 96" home page.) I found one more elusive title, years later, in a second hand bookshop, even though I'd tried to confirm with the original publishers that only seven titles had ever been published.

My first trip to the wonderful Berkelouw's Book Barn at Berrima, in the early 80s, landed me my own copy of the Number 96 Cookbook (with intact iron-on transfer of the show's logo!) for a very reasonable price. Over the years, several people finding my website have offered me their copies of the cookbook, but there was a great thrill when finding that first one.

In more recent years, I've added numerous other "Number 96" literary treasures to my collection, including an original "Number 96" novel from 1976 (set not long after the bomb episode): a book which I'd never even heard about until my appearance on "Tonight Live with Steve Vizard" in the 90s. In fact, the day Ron Shand (Herb Evans) passed away, I was in a second hand bookshop in Leichhardt searching for that darn novel. Mysteriously, I found it in the same shop just a few weeks later. (Thanks for looking out for me, Herbie-Berb! It was much appreciated.)

There are also: several non-96 thrillers by writer David Sale; a non-96 romance novel by Nancy Cash; wacky little witchcraft books by Deborah Gray (Miss Hemingway); and a TV script book called Zoom In (1977), which contains the teleplay for Episode #1000; and numerous reference books that mention the show. I also treasure my copy of Patti Crocker's Radio Days (1989), with its brief chapter about her stint as Eileen Chester in "Number 96".

But Call Me Abigail had eluded me! (Until now!) Month after month, year after year... every time I visit a second hand bookstore, especially tiny, forgotten country stores (where rare books are sometimes way underpriced), I headed straight for the Biography and Showbiz sections. But think about it: if the store alphabetises by author, then any book by someone called Abigail (no regular surname) is going to be the very first item on the shelf. Call Me Abigail no doubt catches the attention of the first casual browser to happen in after the book has been placed on the shelf. Sigh. Well, that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

In any case, I made what I thought was a reasonable bid on this book that had become such a coveted Holy Grail over the last 28 years of searching, only to see the price creep up past my original online reserve. Drat! At the last minute, I recalculated whether or not I really needed this item and boldly outbid the rest. Declared triumphant, I requested the eBay seller to quote me the extra amount required to ensure registered postal rates for my purchase. Happily, the seller agreed, making the price an extravagant - yet highly appropriate - and coincidental $96!!!! How bizarre is that? And a not-too-shabby investment on a book that had a 1973 shelf price of $1.85, and marked down to some lucky person for 95 cents.

When I was researching my social history on "Number 96", I discovered a humorous old article about two potential rivals for Call Me Abigail that never happened. Candida Raymond played Jill Sheridan in the series - and was, coincidentally, the real-life sister of Victoria Raymond, the actress who took over the part of Bev Houghton when Abigail was fired. Candy used to fib to the TV magazines that she was only in "Number 96" to research a university thesis! That was her story, anyway. In another article, she told TV Week of her plans to top Abigail's literary efforts, and to write her own racy autobiography, Call Me Candy. But my favourite story came from Pat McDonald and Bunney Brooke, who played pensioners Dorrie Evans and Flo Patterson. In the same article, they told the reporter that they were planning their own tell-all book, entitled: Call Us, Please.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Trek anniversary, or, The glommer that ate my Tribbles tape

Well, we booked the restaurant for ten people but, by the time the rainy weather, pizza deliveries, baby(!) deliveries and work committments started slashing away at our numbers, only five brave souls (and one late-comer) made it through the Sydney celebration of 40 Years of Star Trek.

I arrived - ten minutes late, a little damp and bedraggled, but proudly wearing my Captain Proton shirt - at the appointed Cohi Bar in Darling Harbour, only to find just one other of our party waiting there. I explained to Joel that my mobile had been running hot with cancellations during my trip into the city on the train, including one from our intrepid organiser, who had to visit with friends who'd just had their first child (a worthy excuse!) - and we then realized that neither of us had brought contact details for the (nameless, secret) host who was supposed to be inviting us to our all-night viewing of "Star Trek" episodes. Oh well, time to grab a light beer and wait it out.

During a quick search of the bar next door, which had been a meeting point for several other such events in recent years, I discovered SJ and the_real_adamj arriving, only to see SJ quickly set upon by the bouncer demanding to see her photo ID. That gave us a good chuckle, but then he asked Adam for his photo ID. I wasn't sure whether to be miffed that I didn't get asked, or help SJ and Adam to find the corner with the box of picture books, jigsaw puzzles and Lego blocks. Actually, the bouncer thought I was their Dad. (Sigh...) In any case, Joel was still next door, so we quickly departed and reunited with him.

Soon after, our DVD host did turn up and we began our stroll across the old Pyrmont Bridge to Cockle Bay and the Baia San Marco restaurant. Halfway across the bridge, the rain again begain to pelt down. Sydney's such a pretty city... when it's not raining. (But in these days of prolonged drought, we aren't supposed to even infer things like that.) The restaurant was busy, and the waiters were pleased that we only had half the people we anticipated, because they needed the larger table for another group. The food was excellent - we all had room for dessert - and most of the night's discussion had a fun "Star Trek" influence to it.


Finally, we were trekking back to Pyrmont for a full evening of DVD viewing, to celebrate 40 years of "Star Trek". We were joined by Nick, who'd finished delivering pizzas - and the entertainment began. There wasn't too much pre-planning or bickering about what was shown. It all sorta flowed. Here's what we managed to cram in before breakfast:

"The Man Trap" (TOS) - The very episode that launched a phenomenon in the USA. We argued a bit about the pale avocado-green coloured velour uniform shirts that have always managed to appear gold on film. (When everyone else had gone home, the host and I realized that he had both an avocado green and a gold cushion sitting right there on the lounge! They actually illustrated my point wonderfully. Ah, well. Next time...)

"In a Mirror, Darkly" (ENT two-parter) - The prequel TV series, "Enterprise", had two episodes set wholly within the Mirror Universe. The first part has a great Tholian cameo; the second has a nasty Gorn it it. Both beings are upgraded from their TOS origins with new CGI.

"Trials and Tribble-ations" (DS9) - The hilarious DS9 homage to TOS, done Forrest Gump bluescreen style!

"The Trouble With Tribbles" (TOS) - The original comedy Trek - and I spent quite some time trying to identify exactly which onscreen tribble is mine. (I own a genuine TV prop tribble from TOS. He's a bi-colour brown/brown, size medium; but then, so are hundreds of others!)

"More Tribbles, More Troubles" (TAS) - Which we didn't actually get to see last night - because the host's VHS player turned carnivorous and ate my tape! I'd be very upset, only TAS comes out on DVD verysoonnow. A shame we couldn't play the episode, because I was looking forward to SJ, Joel and Adam's reaction to seeing giant, fairyfloss pink tribbles roaming the Enterprise - and the bizarre little hungry, hungry glommer (ie. a tribble predator).

"The Tholian Web" (TOS) - Just to check out the original guest Tholian, I guess. It was funny to remember how argumentative Spock and McCoy could get with each other, especially with no Kirk around.

"Far Beyond the Stars" (DS9) - 'Cos it's always so good. And unique: Captain Sisko as 20th Century pro writer Benny Russell, creator of a set of science fiction tales called "Deep Space Nine".

"Parallels" (TNG) - 'Cos it's kinda fun seeing Worf think he's going crazy.

"The Pegasus" (TNG) - Oooh, it's been a very long time since I've seen that one - and I forgot that John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), from JJ Abram's "Lost", had been in TNG. Very cool and, of course, it now has a sequel of sorts: ENT's "These are the Voyages..." Hopefully, "The Pegasus" put us in a good frame of mind as to what JJ Abrams has planned for the eleventh "Star Trek" movie project.

"These are the Voyages..." (ENT finale, and the most recent instalment of modern Trek) - 'Cos SJ and Adam hadn't seen it yet. And because the tag at the end sums up 18 years of modern day Trek (and the 40th anniversary) perfectly, even if so few fans actually like the episode itself.

Thanks to all who organised, hosted and attended. See you for the 80th anniversary? :)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Jack Trek II: The Wrath of the Plovers

Those pesky plovers were back today! Between rain showers, Jack the Jack Russell terrier spent about 30 minutes rolling in his secret plover disguise again, and ensured that the paddock was made safe for young weekday soccer players once more.

Jack followed one scent in a meandering path that ran literally up to the beak of one mighty mad Mumma plover. They both did a hilarious, cartoon-like double-take - and then the chase was on. Jack: 2, Plovers: nil.

Friday, September 08, 2006

40 years ago today...


Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Dr McCoy - and the starship USS Enterprise - were introduced to US audiences in the first "Star Trek" episode to air on television, "The Man Trap".

Since I was born in December 1958, I am certainly old enough to have seen the first episode to air Down Under (and I certainly saw the first ever episodes of "Batman", "Captain Nice", "Mister Terrific", "Please Don't Eat the Daisies", "The Flying Nun", "Julia", and other shows of that era, on their premiere nights), but my paternal grandmother owned the household's b/w TV - and she kept it in a separate lounge room. We had to be on our best behaviour to watch TV. Unfortunately for me, Nanny wasn't interested in watching "Star Trek" that night, and the phenomenon slipped past me for almost a decade.

Here in Sydney, I believe the premiere episode was the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Although NBC in the US wanted to kick off the series with a B.E.M. ("bug-eyed monster") show, supposedly the Salt Vampire was declared too scary for the children of New South Wales. "The Man Trap" didn't end up getting aired at all in that first prime time run in Sydney - and a friend (Karen Lewis and her then-husband, John) capitalized on this a decade later by screening a 16mm colour print of "The Man Trap" to Sydney-based "Star Trek" fans, to raise funds for the running of "Aussietrek", the first big Australian "Star Trek" convention.

A few months after the premiere of "Star Trek" in Australia, everyone seemed to know that Mr Spock existed, of course. Kids at school collected the bubblegum cards, fired pretend phasers at each other in the playground - and our Year 5 teacher (in 1969) ran a "Star Trek Chart" to record our weekly dictation and spelling results with gummed paper stars. Metallic gold star = no mistakes; coloured star = one mistake.

My first strong Kirk, Spock, McCoy (and Arex) memories are of TAS - the animated version of "Star Trek" by Filmation, which aired on Saturday mornings in the 70s. And the DVDs for that show are due at the end of the year. (Not so coincidentally, TAS premiered in the USA on this same day in 1973. Although not in Los Angeles - poor ol' George Takei was running as a candidate in a local government election, and had TAS ran as the intended episode that morning, featuring the distinctive voice of Mr Sulu at the helm of the animated Enterprise, his political opponents could have demanded "equal time"!)

Tomorrow night, I'm having a small get-together with a handful of "Star Trek" friends, most met quite recently via the Internet. We'll move on from a bar in Darling Harbour, to a restaurant for dinner, and then on to one member's inner city abode to watch "Star Trek" DVDs in an all-night vigil (or until some of us end up snoring off...)

A far cry from my days with ASTREX (1980 to the early 1990s), when we could rely on many of our several hundred club members to turn up to anniversary functions.

"Happy Anniversary!" "Live long and prosper." And "Thiptho lapth!"

Friday, September 01, 2006

Spring is sprung

Wow... Today, God looked at His calendar and realized it was September 1 and therefore was supposed to be a beautiful Spring day in Sydney. And thus he made it so. I took a chance and wore short sleeves to work, and was very glad I did.