YOU’RE NOT A MAN, YOU’RE A CHICKEN BOO – BY TOM CURLEY

So as the surreal non-reality show called Real Life continues, I’ve been reading and hearing  all sorts of people saying variations of the same theme.


“Is this real?”

“Are we in some kind of Tom Clancy novel?”

“If you wrote this as a movie nobody would buy it. It’s too unbelievable”

“Can I actually save 15% on my car insurance?”


The idea for this blog popped into my head a couple of days ago. I thought it was a “tad out there”. Even for me. Then “Ole 45” staged a “so called “press briefing”.

reutersgettyimages.com

reutersgettyimages.com

After watching it I realized that my idea wasn’t a “tad out there” at all. (And I am rather proud that I’ve managed to use the word “tad” in two sentences). It was so crazy that even on Fox News the first thing the reporter said after it was over was. (and I’m not making this up) “Well all righty then.”

defensesystems.info

defensesystems.info

We are not living in a Tom Clancy novel. We are not living in a badly written movie.  We are living in an episode of “Chicken Boo”.

youtube.com

youtube.com

I have to assume most of you at this point are going “who”? It’s understandable. Chicken Boo was a recurring feature on a brilliantly funny cartoon show from the 1990’s called “The Animaniacs.”

You can get the whole series on Netflix. The show was written as much for the adults as for the kids. Chicken Boo was a minor feature of the show.

The premise was simple. Boo was a six-foot-tall chicken who lived on a farm. Because of this all the other chickens ran away from him because he was, well, a six-foot-tall chicken. So every episode, he would run away and try to fit in with humans by putting on a disguise.

youtube.com

youtube.com

And it always  worked!  He would become the CEO of a company, a famous actor, a politician, etc.  He never talked. He just clucked. He never acted like a person. He acted like a chicken.

imgur.com

imgur.com

People adored him, except that one person would always go “Hey! That guy’s a chicken!” And everybody would laugh at him. Then something happened that would remove the disguise, like his glasses would fall off. Everybody would look wide-eyed and scream. “That’s a CHICKEN! At this point they would all turn on him and drive him out-of-town. As he walked off into the sunset they would play the theme song.


Chicken Boo, what’s the matter with you?
You don’t act like the other chickens do.
You wear a disguise to look like human guys
But you’re not a man; you’re a chicken, Boo.


Over the last week it seems that the press, the media and most people I’ve talked to have been surprised to notice that our “so-called” President IS ACTUALLY REALLY HONEST TO GOD NUTS!

What fascinates me is the “surprise”.  It’s like they’d just seen the end of the first act of “Springtime For Hitler”.

Pelaimilie.wordpress.com

Pelaimilie.wordpress.com

It’s been right out there in the open ever since he started  running. Just like in the cartoon, lots of people adore him.  And one

Politifact.com

Politifact.com “This guy’s a chicken”.

or two

nbcnews.com

nbcnews.com “Uhhh … This guy’s a chicken”.

or a few hundred thousand people are going “Hey! That guy’s a chicken!”

cnn.com

cnn.com HEY! THAT GUY’S A CHICKEN!

I went online to look for an episode. This is the first one I found. This is an actual episode. Made over 20 years ago.

It’s amazing.! You have to watch it. It’s only a few minutes long. Yes, the wig is the disguise. If you don’t have time to watch it, here’s a quick re-cap. Boo is pretending to be a Russian Ballet star who has defected to New York to work for the New York City Ballet .  His entourage and his director gushes over him while one press reporter asks “Are you a chicken?” He goes on stage and everybody loves him until his wig falls off and everybody screams “That’s a chicken!”  The audience leaves in disgust and the director kicks him out into the street.  As he walks away you hear.


You wear a disguise to look like human guys
But you’re not a man; you’re a chicken, Boo.


Reality is now looking more and more like this cartoon. 45’s  wig has fallen off and it was concealing a pile of mixed nuts.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

I figured that I was probably the first person to make this rather obscure analogy. But then I Googled “Chicken Boo is Donald Trump.” This is what popped up.

keith-urban.leadstories.com

keith-urban.leadstories.com

Well, all righty, then.


You wear a disguise to look like a Presidential  guy
But you’re not a man; you’re a chicken, Boo.


Democratic Underground

Democratic Underground

“POBs” AND OTHER EXISTENTIAL THREATS – BY TOM CURLEY

I’m sorry, but I haven’t gotten all my renewed Star Trek fever out of my system. I’m having too much fun.

So here’s another thing I’ve noticed that was popular in the original series, but not so much in the later ones.  The “POB”. Or “PESKY OMNIPOTENT BEING.”

POBs were usually alien races that were once normal biological beings. Like us. Except of course for the mandatory differences in their foreheads, ears or noses.

memory.alpha.wikia.com

memory.alpha.wikia.com

But after millions of years of evolution they no longer needed their biological forms and became pure energy. For some reason never explained, this seems to give them omnipotent powers.

memory-alpha.wiki.com

memory-alpha.wiki.com

There are two basic groups of POBs. POKs. Pesky Omnipotent Kids. And POAs. Pesky Omnipotent Assholes. The first category made sense. Omnipotent children would build their own planets, capture the Enterprise, annoy the crap out of the whole crew, break the ship and kill a few Red Shirts.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

At the last minute, the parents would show up, fix the ship, bring the Red Shirts back to life, apologize profusely and disappear in a cheap special effect. The crew would all be like WTF? And life would go on to the next episode.

granades.com

granades.com

Later shows, especially Star Trek The Next Generation featured the POA. The most popular one was “Q”.

redqueenencoder.com

redqueenencoder.com

He was part of something called “The Q Continuum.” Whatever the hell that was. For some reason, he was obsessed with screwing around with The Enterprise and Jean Luc Picard.  In some ways it sort of made sense. I mean think of it. You’re omnipotent. You’re omnipresent. You know everything. You’ve done everything. You know everything you are going to do. After a while. Say a few billion years, you’d probably get pretty bored.

“What am I going to do today? Oh who am I kidding? I already know what I’m going to do and I’ve already done it.  A TRILLION TIMES!” Looking at it in that light, I might find it fun to screw up Jean Luc Picard’s weekend too.

tonic.org.uk

tonic.org.uk

Of course if Star Trek The Next Generation was on the air today it might be just a little bit different.


POA (Star ship Enterprise): . You are now under the command and the judgement of the all-knowing, all-powerful “T” from the “TRUMP CONTINUUM”.

hinterlandgazette.com

hinterlandgazette.com

PICARD: Oh crap.

imgflip.com

imgflip.com

ENSIGN CRUSHER: Captain is this a POB? We studied them at the academy. I can’t believe I’m actually in the presence of a Pesky Omnipotent Being!

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

PICARD: No you’re not. He’s just a Trumpulan. We’ve dealt with this jerk before. His real name is Donnie. He likes to sneak up on Federation ships, beam aboard and try to convince them he’s a POB.

thedailybanter.com

thedailybanter.com

DONNIE: No I don’t.  My name is not Donnie!  I hate that name! It’s “T ! And I have no ship. I need no ship. I am all-powerful!

PICARD: Oh for God’s sake Donnie. Your ship is parked right outside. We can see it right there on the view screen.

ex-astris-sciencia.org

ex-astris-sciencia.org

DONNIE: That’s not my ship.

PICARD: Yes it is. Look, it says TRUMP in huge  letters right there on the hull.

ex-astris-scientia.org

ex-astris-scientia.org

DONNIE: No it doesn’t. You’re listening to the lying media again!

PICARD: No, we’re not. We’re looking right at the damn thing!

WORF:  Sir, I’ve locked all weapons on the ship. I can destroy it on your order.

en.wikipedia.com

en.wikipedia.com

PICARD: Don’t tempt me. Look Donnie, I  don’t have time for this. We have to start an episode. Worf, beam him back to his ship and get us out of here. Warp factor two.

DONNIE (as he fades out in a special effect):  You can’t do this! Only I can save you! I’m being treated very unfairly! SAD! Buy my daughters clothes! What a world, what a world.

PICARD:  I never thought I’d say this. But, I miss Q.

geekintoshape.com

geekintoshape.com


We all miss Q. 

ALMOST STAR TREK: STERLING BRONSON RETURNS – BY TOM CURLEY

Several of my recent blogs here have been about Star Trek and all of its various iterations.

nerdist.com

nerdist.com

It’s apparently sparked a bit of a trip down memory lane because Marilyn just posted a funny (and true) blog about Star Trek called Ten, Nine, Eight… (Shut Up Spock).

It seems we have inadvertently (or advertently?) begun to write new mini-episodes of an old radio show we did a long time ago in a galaxy not that far away — and that Marilyn wrote what was probably the first parody of Star Trek.

When the original Star Trek went into syndication in the early 1970s, Marilyn and I (and many others of our tribe) watched them. Constantly.  Repeatedly. Usually under the influence of Romulan Ale.

giantbomb.com

giantbomb.com

I’m just kidding. It was usually Acapulco Gold.

barneysfarm.com

barneysfarm.com

We all loved all of them. Back then I was doing a one hour weekly radio show called “Fulton’s Folly” at WVHC. Our college radio station. (Note: Our alma mater is on Fulton Street, hence … )

youtube.com

youtube.com

It was a sketch comedy show.  Most of it was pretty dumb, but sometimes it was truly funny. One of our most popular recurring skits was the  previously mentioned Star Trek parody. Marilyn and a friend of hers had the idea, and called it “Sterling Bronson, Space Engineer.”

Why? First, it was an inside joke about the radio station’s real chief engineer. Second, we figured if we called it anything with “Star Trek” in it, we’d probably get sued.  Looking back “Star Trek, Oh God Not Another Generation!” would have been cool. The episodes recounted the adventures of the merry band of miscreants who flew a United Federation Organization Star Ship, the UFO Sloth.

Its crew consisted of:

  • Captain James P. Clerk,
  • Science Officer Mr. Spook,
  • Chief Engineer Sterling “Scotty” Bronson,
  • Chief Medical Officer Dr. Femur,
  • Communications Officer Lt. O’Hara
  • Helm Officers Ensign Tolstoy & Lt. Guru
  • Nurse Temple.

They were not the sharpest pencils in the Star Fleet box.

clipartkid.com

clipartkid.com

Hell, they spent the first 6 episodes just trying to get out of the transporter room and beam down to a planet. Marilyn and her friend wrote the first dozen episodes.

Our listeners really liked them. After a while a young aspiring writer who worked at the radio station began writing longer, more complex episodes.  One story is was a humorous send up of “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.”  The young writer went on to become a successful science fiction and fantasy writer. His name is Simon Hawke.

amazon.com

amazon.com

He wrote one of my all-time favorite book series called “Time Wars,” available on Amazon.

A few years later I wrote and produced a full length one hour episode of the series. It was called “Sterling Bronson, Space Engineer.” Original, right? It’s online and you can hear it here.

It was serialized on another show I did later called A Half Hour Radio Show.

half-hour-radio-show

If I can ever find the tapes of the original series Marilyn wrote, I will put them online too. They are in my basement somewhere. I found them once. Damn it, I’ll find them again.

Years and years ago, I wrote the beginning of a Sterling Bronson episode that I never finished. I found the script a while back. It was printed on old dot-matrix computer track paper.

nearbycafe.com

nearbycafe.com

(Yeah, it’s that old). I’ve always regretted having not having finished it. What cracked me up is that it’s based on the same point that Marilyn’s blog made. That being how Spock has an annoying habit of constantly counting things down.

All of our recent Star Trek blogs have made references to,  our “So Called President”.

mobile.twitter.comn

mobile.twitter.comn

In that light I’ve updated the episode. A smidgen. Here it is: the “Lost Sterling Bronson Episode”. It’s supposed to take place in real time. (“24” ripped me off!).


ENSIGN TOLSTOY: Captain! A Trumpulan ship has De-cloaked and is arming its weapons!

CAPTAIN CLERK: Trumpulans? Who the hell are they?

MR SPOOK:  A recently discovered species sir. They are an off-shoot of the human race. Apparently, hundreds of years ago a small group of humans left Earth and colonized a remote planet. They worshiped some long-forgotten despot they referred to only as “The Donald”. They are known for their lack of attention span, their rejection of anything factual and their tradition of wearing dead animals on their heads. They are easily offended and will attack anything that does not worship them.

debatepolitics.com

debatepolitics.com

CAPTAIN CLERK: Great. A bunch of narcissistic alien assholes. God, I miss the old days when we just had to deal with Klingons.

ENSIGN TOLSTOY: Sir, the Trumpulan ship is firing!

MR SPOOK: Shields are down to 90 percent. At this rate we will lose shields in 75.1243575789

CAPTAIN CLERK: ROUND IT OFF SPOOK!

MR SPOOK: A couple of minutes Jim.

CAPTAIN CLERK:  Arm photon torpedoes! Lock all phasers on that ship! Ensign Guru, FIRE!

ENSIGN GURU: But sir, if we fire on them, then they will fire on us. And we will fire on them. We will just be creating very bad karma.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Damn it Guru, I know you’re from the planet Gandhi Five but I don’t have time for your left-wing peace and granola  crap right now. If you don’t fire the phasers, we are all going to die!

MR SPOOK: In 69.268 seconds captain.

ENSIGN GURU: I’m sorry sir. It is against my beliefs to attack anyone.  Even if they are narcissistic alien assholes.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Then why the hell are you the Weapons Officer?? Never mind!  I’ll fire them myself.

LT O’HARA: Now old on sir. You can’t fire those phasers. You’re not in the union. You’re senior management.

CAPTAIN CLERK: WHAT? Are you serious?

LT O’HARA: Yes sir. Article 15, section 5 of the contract states …

CAPTAIN CLERK: OK. Fine. Whatever!  Then you do it!

LT O’HARA:  I Can’t sir.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Why not??

LT O’HARA: I’m in a different union.

CAPTAIN CLERK:  I don’t believe this! There must be something I can do!

MR SPOOK: There is sir. But I suggest you hurry. Shields will be down in 51.7865 seconds.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Stop telling me the time and tell me what the hell I can do!

MR SPOOK: I believe you might be able to get something called “A Waiver”. It would allow you to fire the weapons systems on a provisional  “one time” basis.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Great! Get me one of those!

MR SPOOK: I’m sorry sir. You would need to get that from the ship’s shop steward.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Shop steward! Who the hell is that?

MR SPOOK: Chief Engineer Bronson.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Attention Chief Engineer Bronson. This is the captain. I need to get a waiver to fire the phasers immediately! If I don’t we are all going to die!

MR SPOOK: In 52.7685

CAPTAIN CLERK: Shut up Spook! Can you do it Scotty?

SCOTTY:  I can sir, but I’ll need more time! There’s a lot of paper work involved. I get can get it for you in about a week.

CAPTAIN CLERK: We don’t have a week!

MR SPOOK: We have 41.3454

CAPTAIN CLERK: SHUT UP SPOOK! OK, listen Guru, how about this. We don’t shoot the Trumpulan ship. We just “wing it”.

LT GURU:  Wing it?

CAPTAIN CLERK: Yeah! We “wing it”! Just like they did in those old holographic 20th century Westerns you love to watch. We just target the weapons systems. We “shoot the guns out of their hands”!

LT GURU: Hmmm. That sounds reasonable.

SFX: Phasers being fired.

MR SPOOK: Direct hit on all weapons systems sir. And I might add with 1.209384765 seconds to spare.

LT O’HARA: Incoming message from the Trumpulan ship sir.

CAPTAIN CLERK: Put it on speaker.

LT O’HARA: It’s an old-fashioned text message sir.

CAPTAIN CLERK: OK, put it on the screen

trump-tweet


I miss Klingons too.

THE KILLING FIELDS OF EASTON – BY TOM CURLEY

WARNING: The images in this post are graphic! They may be disturbing to … well … everybody.

I didn’t want to write this blog. But last week Garry posted MASSACRE AT FURRY TOY PASS.   It made me realize if he was brave enough to tell the truth, I guess I should do the same.

Dogs are Man’s Best Friends. We all know that. We love them. They love us back.

They help the blind.

wisegeek.org

wisegeek.org

They serve in the military.

americanthinker.com

americanthinker.com

They rescue us in times of disaster.

manchester.fire.uk.gov

manchester.fire.uk.gov

And they’re just so damn cute!

inspirationseek.com

inspirationseek.com

But there’s another side to this story. A dark side.  A side seen only by the victims. Yes, dogs are man’s best friend. But what if you’re not a man? What if you’re… a dog toy?

everafterguide.com

everafterguide.com

Our oldest dog, Lexi, has dozens of toys.

Only one is shown here

Only one is shown here

She’s had them for years. Then, about two months ago, we got Remy.

remy

Remy

One of the first things she noticed was the big pile of doggie toys in the family room.

toys

She took each one out and threw it in the air and chased after it.

She did this all day until they’d all been thrown and chased. They were all over the room. At the end of her first day she fell asleep surrounded by all of her new friends.

day-one

New friends

It was so damn cute.day-one-one

But then the next day came. I thought I’d heard odd sounds throughout the night. Ripping sounds. Tearing sounds. I assumed I was just imaging things. But then I went downstairs, there it was. The carnage!

Carnage!

Carnage!

They were everywhere. Strewn all over the floor.

More Carnage!

More Carnage!

Eviscerated husks lying there in limp testimony to an indifferent world, an uncaring universe. Victims of a monster who seems to take joy in vivisecting “animals of cloth”.

Carnage Close Up Shot

Carnage Close Up Shot

And the stuffing! God the stuffing! It was everywhere! The floor.

The Stuffing

The Stuffing

The couch.

the-couch

More Stuffing

And places that made no sense!

???

???

How the hell did it get in the microwave? I put in a cup of coffee!

cup

Ellin and I both tried to deny it. Ignore it. Pretend it didn’t happen. But like I said. It was everywhere!

close-up-hands-stuffing

In the end we had to face the horror.

In retrospect we should have seen it coming. Lexie left most of the toys alone except for one. Blue Dog.

bluedog-5

It was her first toy and she took it with her everywhere. But as the months and years went by Blue Dog would lose a leg, or two legs. Or a nose.

enablers

Ellin would patiently sew them back on. We thought it an act of kindness. Looking back, maybe we were enablers.

Strangely, the massacre only lasted a couple of days. Then it stopped. I don’t know why. Maybe they realized what they had done. What the cost was to them and to humanity.

no-remorse

What Have I Done?

Who am I kidding? It’s probably because we haven’t bought them any new toys. We shouldn’t. They’re monsters. Slayers.

so-damn-cute

But they’re just so damn cute.

WE HAVE TO GET AHEAD OF THIS GUY – BY TOM CURLEY

In almost all TV cop shows and movies, the bad guy, usually a mad psychotic, a mad genius or a mad psychotic genius, is always one step ahead of the good guys.

sdsouthard.com

sdsouthard.com

For at least the first half of the show, the good guys keep getting caught in the bad guy’s traps.

fantendo.wikia.com

fantendo.wikia.com

Or (and?) the bad guy keeps escaping at the last minute.

imgur.com

imgur.com

Inevitably, at some point (usually about half way through the show) the chief good guy says: “We’re constantly playing catch up. We gotta get ahead of this guy.”

This is when someone on the team, usually the brilliant but nerdy computer expert, will find a tidbit of information which leads the good guys to finally capture or kill the bad guy. The end. Stay tuned after the break for scenes from next week’s episode.

After two weeks of #45’s rule … it seems impossible, but it has really been two weeks!

countercurrentnews.com

countercurrentnews.com

We’ve learned a few things.

  1. As bad as we all thought #45 would be, it’s a hundred times worse.
  2. #45 is not going to “pivot” or become “Presidential”. He is actually doing every crazy thing he said he was going to do during the campaign. No matter how stupid, counter-productive, or dangerous.
  3. We have learned who the current President actually is. Steve Bannon.
    thevilliagesuntimes.com

    thevilliagesuntimes.com

    He is the one writing all these insane executive orders. The guy running the country (this week at least) is an avowed White Supremacist who has stated that he wants to blow up the government. He wants a world-wide “Crusade” against Muslims and he considers himself “The Thomas Cromwell to the court of the Tudors”.

    bbc.co.uk

    bbc.co.uk

    Yeah, he really said that. I’m surprised he knows who Thomas Cromwell is. I wonder if he knows what happened to Mr. Cromwell.

    tudors.wikia.com

    tudors.wikia.com

  4. The government has been turned into a very, very bad reality show.
  5. The press has been declared to be “The Opposition Party”. The enemy of the state. Fake News. Or as I think they are going to become, “The Good Guys”.

In our new, very bad Reality Show, we’re early in the first half of the show. The media are constantly playing catch up. They have to react to every insane tweet. Every blatant lie. Every horrific executive order. Before they can fully expose how crazy the last tweet or lie is, another one comes out.

This is not the way to handle these chuckle heads. The press has to get ahead of these guys. And we don’t need a brilliant but nerdy computer genius to do it. The press hasn’t caught on yet, but they are the people driving this administration.  It’s been reported extensively that #45 has the attention span of a puppy.

dogtime.com

dogtime.com

He obsessively watches cable news.  He then goes off on a twitter rant over whatever it is that he sees.


This is how you get ahead of him. Don’t react to the latest tweet with hours of dissection.  Report it and keep going back to a single narrative, a single point. And that point is: “Is The President of the United States Mentally Ill?”

It’s a question being raised more and more all over the world.

“There’s something wrong with this guy.”

“This is not normal.”

“This guy is nuts.”

brietbart.com

brietbart.com

This is a valid question and the kind of thing cable news is really good at. Cable news spends much more time putting pundits and “experts” on the air to blather over the latest tweet or the last lie than actually doing investigative reporting. Let’s start getting experts and pundits talking about this for real.

The current resident of the Oval Office is a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder (yes, you can have multiple personality disorders at the same time).

kathyescobar.com

kathyescobar.com

This is something both my wife and I are intimately familiar with. Both of our exes suffered from the former. Here is a test sample question from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM-V.

DSM-V

Any of that sound familiar?

Now, when the press starts asking these questions, the blowback from the administration will be intense. Which is great. Why are they so defensive? Does the President have something to hide? I personally don’t know, but I hear lots of people saying  that the President is loony as a tick. (See, we can do that trick too). But in this case

IT’S A VALID QUESTION!!

The President has to have an annual physical exam — which he never did, by the way — so. why not a psychological exam?  This needs to become the narrative of the day. Every day. From now on. No matter what “President Bannon” orders. Whatever Cheesy McCheese Head tweets, we have to keep coming back to this topic.

IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES MENTALLY ILL?

It’ll work. We gotta get ahead of this guy.

SPEAK OUT | DISCOVER CHALLENGE

WE NEED TO RUN A LEVEL FIVE DIAGNOSTIC! – BY TOM CURLEY


Warning: If you are not a Star Trek fan this will probably make no sense to you. Or not …


I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek lately. Not just the original. But most of the other ones too. Star Trek Next Generation, Star Trek Voyager, and Star Trek Deep Space Nine.

screenrant.com

screenrant.com

It’s addicting! I just keep watching. One right after the other. I admit I remember all the episodes from the original Star Trek. I’ve seen them all at least a hundred times and that’s no exaggeration. As for the other shows, I’ve found that some,  I remember. Others, I’ve forgotten. BBC America  will run an episode of the original Star Trek followed by Star Trek Voyager, then a Star Trek Next Generation episode.  I’ve never watched them all intermixed like that.

That’s probably why I never noticed there is one thing that all Star Trek episodes have in common. Something that they all do in all the episodes all the time. EVERY EPISODE! EVERY SINGLE ONE! I’m betting even the most ardent ” Trekker/Trekkie” has never noticed it!

What is it?

They run a diagnostic. At least one, often more. Any time anything goes wrong on or off the ship, they run a diagnostic. It’s the go-to solution for absolutely everything.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

THE DIALOGUE:

Ensign: Captain, the  warp drive just went down!

Captain: Run a Level Two Diagnostic. Advise me when it’s done.

Chief Engineer: Captain! The Di-lithium crystals are absorbing too much anti-matter!

Captain: Send down a Level Four Diagnostic Team and advise me when it’s done.

memory-alpha.wikia.com

memory-alpha.wikia.com

Chief Engineer: We can’t do that Captain!

Captain: Why not?

Chief Engineer: We only have three Level Four Diagnostic Teams sir and they’re all busy.

Captain: Doing what?

Chief Engineer: Well, Team One is doing a diagnostic on the subspace communications array. Team Two is scanning the inertial dampers. And Team Three is running a diagnostic on why all the food replicators on deck three are putting “American Cheese” on everything it replicates.

americaomg.com

americaomg.com

Captain: I see. So what do we do?

Chief Engineer: Well, we do have a Level Two Diagnostic Team free.

Captain: Great! Send two Level Two Diagnostic teams. That would be the same as a Level Four Diagnostic Team. Right?

Chief Engineer:  Hmm. Never thought of it that way before, but yes I guess that would work. The  problem is we only have one Level Two Diagnostic Team available sir. The other one is examining the warp core.

Captain: Oh. …  OK. How many Level One Diagnostic Teams do we have?

Chief Engineer: Three sir. But one is busy.

Captain: Yes but we still have two Level One Teams free! Send in one Level Two team and two Level One Teams.  That will give us a Level Four Diagnostic!

Chief Engineer: Brilliant sir! Why didn’t I think of that?

Captain: That’s why I’m the captain.

I’d pay money to see that episode.


Here’s the thing. My Star Trek binge started right after the election.

thecollegefix.com

thecollegefix.com

Every day, I bounce from immersing myself in the whole” Star Trek Universe” and jolt back to this one. The real world. The. Real. World.

abc7news.com

abc7news.com

I think we need to run a Level Five Diagnostic on this episode of life. Something’s terribly wrong.

Oh yeah. And, if you are a Star Trek Fan, from now on, you will notice this “diagnostic thing” every time you watch an episode of any version of Star Trek.

A VERY HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY, AUNT HELEN! BY TOM CURLEY

I have a wonderful family. Most of them live in Minnesota. Oddly, we don’t talk much. It’s not that we don’t like each other. It’s not that we’re mad at each other. We all get along just fine. We just don’t. Talk.

Maybe it’s because we’re WASPs. (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) We tend to talk to each other when we need to. Don’t ask me why. I guess it’s a WASP thing. (I’m sure I’ll be getting angry emails from WASPs who do talk all the time. Sorry.) Maybe we forget because life tends to keep us occupied. We do all get together, but very rarely. Usually it’s because someone dies. We all got together for my Uncle’s funeral, my Mom’s funeral, and my Dad’s funeral.

Last weekend Ellin and I flew out to Minnesota for another big get together. The only difference was this time it wasn’t for a funeral. It was for a birthday. My Aunt Helen’s birthday.

My Favorite Aunt

My Favorite Aunt

My Aunt Helen’s 100th birthday! My younger brother Todd from upstate NY came as well as my older brother Roger from Ohio. Helen’s two children were there along with their children and their children’s children. She knew there was going to be a party and that the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were going to be there.

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Four generations

But they didn’t tell her about me and my two brothers. That was the surprise. My Aunt Helen and my parents had this odd thing about surprises. When we were growing up, the only place we ever went to on vacation was out to Minnesota to visit my aunt and my uncle. More often than not, we just showed up unannounced. Surprise! We’re here for a week! Now, my cousins and I have always thought this to be really strange. If you show up unannounced most people will not only be surprised, but also more than a little annoyed.

But not my parents or my aunt and uncle. They loved it. It was their thing. So that’s what we did. And she loved it.  The look on her face when her three nephews walked out to say happy birthday was worth the trip.

Surprise!

Surprise!

She’s gotten pretty frail and her voice is very soft and sometimes the words she wants to say have a hard time coming out. After getting over the shock of seeing us the first thing she said was. “I never thought I’d see the kids again”.

The Kids

The Kids

The kids are 62, 64, 65, 69 and 74. The next day there was an official party for her at the home where she lives. All sorts of friends showed up as well as four generations of family.

All the kids

All the kids

The secret to her longevity? I don’t know. She’s a tough old bird. Maybe it’s because her granddaughter Erica told her years ago when she was a child “Grandma, you have to live to be 100”.

You did it Grandma

You did it Grandma

Maybe it’s because she has at least one beer every day.

Cheers

Cheers

Maybe it’s because she always said it was her goal to make it to 100. When we reminded her of that she said. “I guess I have to come up with another goal. Do you think 105 is unreasonable?”

Hell no Aunt Helen. It’s not unreasonable at all.

See Ellin’s view of this celebration: IT REALLY DOES TAKE A VILLAGE BY ELLIN CURLEY