Alone On A Planet

In one of the most memorable episodes of Star Trek TNG, The Royale, the crew of the Enterprise meets up with a lost early explorer from Earth. Or rather his remains. When the debris of a 21st century NASA space ship turns up around a planet of a previously unmapped solar system, the crew is puzzled. Initial scans of the planet show it to be quite inhospitable: Nitrogen, methane, liquid neon, surface temperature -291 degrees Celsius and wind speeds up to 312 meters per second.

They are lead to a structure that surround breathable air on the planet – even more curious. Commander Riker, Lts Data & Worf beam down to investigate and are confronted  by a revolving door that leads to a 20th century hotel & casino – The Royale. There’s tons of people there, playing cards & gambling but none of them are real. They interact with the ‘fake’ people who are intent on going about their ways. On further investigation, Data finds traces of  human dna and leads the team to one of the hotel rooms on another floor. They find a human skeleton, who had died 283 years ago, under the covers of a bed. The skeleton remains belonged to a NASA astronaut, a colonel Richley, whose crew met up with the unknown aliens who created the Royale on this planet.

Finding a diary that the colonel had maintained, the away team learns that Richey was the sole survivor of an alien contaminant that killed all the others on his ship. He then found himself in the Hotel Royale exactly as described in the novel he found in his room. He managed to survive there for 38 years, learning that the aliens created the hotel for him out of guilt using the novel on the shuttle as a guide. Unknown to the aliens, the recreation of the clichéd and shallow characters of the book only served as a hell for the colonel. He welcomed death as it would release him from it. They crew pay their last respects to the lonely explorer and leave the planet after figuring out how to leave the hotel.

Three Things I Do Everyday Without Fail

Read the papers along with my morning coffee
Despite the fact that I can get online news for free, there’s some comforting about sipping a coffee and holding the paper in your hands. I scan the front page and immediately head for the sports section at the very back. I also go through the comics – Phantom, Hi & Lois, The Lockhorns, Beatle Baily and my bald headed young friend Henry! Then it’s the world news section, some national, state and then city news. Finally it’s a check to see if there’s a good movie showing on HBO at night.

Day dream
I always find time to day dream. In the toilet, lying in my bed, on the way to work, on the way back home, sometimes at home as well. Flying in space ships, exploring the universe, fighting the bad aliens, rescuing the sexy alien chicks who wanna bed me, blowing up asteroids, making first contact with a new species and boldly going where no man has gone before. That’s right, in my dreams I am Captain Kirk!

Listen to music
I gotta play my tunes! Music is extremely important to me and I gotta get my rocks off to get by the stress of the day. Hard rock, metal, alternative, country, flamenco – anything from my vast collection. I play some songs in the morning before I take a shower and head for work and I play some songs during the late evenings until it’s bed time. I need my music, I am a music junkie. When I am at home, browsing on the net or just reading, I have music playing all the time. And I have to sing along and play air guitar at the same time!

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RIP Maury Chaykin

Veteran film & tv character actor Maury Chaykin passed away on July 27th, 2010. Born in the US he later moved to Canada and was known for portrayals of blustery supporting characters and the occasional lead, as in the character Nero Wolfe in the tv films or in Whale Music. The former role lead to a two year series in A Nero Wolfe Mystery. He was also the Mahoney in Owning Mahoney.

Maury Chaykin (July 27, 1949 – July 27, 2010)