Thursday, August 03, 2017

Once Upon a Trek Time Slip

Began the morning with more Betty Boop. She's wondering "Is My Palm Read?" when she goes to her dog boyfriend Bimbo's tent. He predicts that she'll be stranded on a desert island and rescued by none other than him. Betty doesn't mind the trick...until a group of ghosts from his "vision" appear and chase them. She's "Betty In Blunderland" when she dreams herself into an Alice In Wonderland puzzle. It's all music and dancing, until the Jabberwocky appears and takes her away. "Wiffle Piffle: The Hot Air Salesman" is almost as annoying as the Gadget fellow on Danger Mouse, and not nearly as useful. He tries selling Betty a vacuum cleaner, but all it does is destroy the furniture.

Did some writing for a while. When the Imperial Gang arrives, they discover that the residents of the Cottages By the Sea are more ready for their invasion than they thought. Vader tries to break down the door of the first house he sees, but first Ezra won't let him in, claiming he's not supposed to talk to strangers, then Sabine spray paints him. Kanan tells him not to curse around his kids, and Ezra shuts the back window on his fingers.

The rest of the gang's not doing much better. One was attacked by the lobster who got away after the Rogues' party a few weeks before. Three more were caught in a net. Chirrut and Baze from Rogue One, who own a Chinese restaurant here, actually invite them in to test their newest creation...a very spicy Szechuan sauce.

Broke around 1 for lunch and to get ready for work. Did a few more Betty Boop and Popeye shorts. "Judge for a Day" may be my favorite public domain Betty short. Legal stenographer Betty is fed up with people who read over her shoulder, let their second-hand smoke choke her, and splash mud all over her. She imagines what she'd do if she could pass sentence on all these rude pests. (Having dealt with many of these pests myself, I can certainly relate to her sentiments!) Betty insists that Pudgy go out and socialize in "Making Friends," but she didn't expect him to bring half the wild animals in the woods home to play.

Popeye and his friends go on a bigger adventure in "Popeye Meets Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," the second of three 20-minute Popeye "featurettes." Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Wimpy are in North Africa, going after Ali Baba (Bluto) and his famous thieves for the Coast Guard. They crash-land in the desert and get lost, finally ending up in the very town Ali Baba is about to raid. After he takes off with Olive, Wimpy, and half the town's valuables, Popeye follows the thieves to their cave hideout to rescue them.

It was sunny, hot, and humid when I headed out for work. This time, the weather wasn't the problem. I wasn't even half-way to work when the chain came off my bike. I had no time to call for a ride or go back to fix it. I half-ran, half-walked fast and just made it in on time at the last second.

After all that, work was steady, fairly busy for a Thursday, actually, probably thanks to this being the beginning of the month. Though I briefly gathered baskets and trash and did a small cart of returns, I was mainly outside, rounding up carts. It was supposed to have rained around four. Though dark clouds did amass on the horizon, the rains never came. It was still just cloudy, windy, and cooler when I headed home.

I had just rounded onto Kendall when I encountered a father and his three children, a baby in a stroller, and two older kids on scooters. The father kindly offered to fix my chain for me. It held up well enough for me to get home.

When I finally got in, I changed, then rested and read over some fairy tale books. Made scrambled eggs with vegetables for dinner while watching Star Trek: Generations. The Star Trek: The Next Generations cast is introduced in the seventh film in the series (and the last I'll be doing). The now-retired Captain James Kirk (William Shatner) is overseeing the maiden voyage of the new Enterprise when they receive a distress call from two ships caught in a band of energy. Though they are able to rescue some of the crew, Kirk is presumed dead after saving most of the Enterprise. Skip ahead over 70 years, and we're now on the Enterprise-D with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew. Data, an android (Brent Spiner) and Georgi, the ship's engineer, discover an unusual metal in the observatory of a ship that belongs to Soran (Malcom McDowell), a scientist they rescued. But Soran has more nefarious plans for the ship than previously believed, involving an exploding star, the band of energy called "The Nexus," and a lot of time traveling.

Maybe it's because I never got into Next Generation, but I was totally at sea here (pardon the pun, given the sequence with the Enterprise as a sailing ship). There was way too much story, too much science talk I didn't understand a word of, and just too much going on. The much-vaunted meeting between Enterprise captains lasted 20 minutes and mostly featured Kirk going at Soran. I had more fun with a subplot that involved Data learning about emotions than any of Soran's convoluted plot.

One thing that did improve between movies - the special effects. The computer effects used for the Nexus are especially well-done, as are some of the practical effects with the ship battles.

If you're a fan of Next Generation, you may get far more out of this than I did. Don't come within a hundred miles of here unless you've seen that show and possibly Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock.

(Incidentally, Undiscovered Country is now my favorite of the Star Trek films by a wide county mile. Wrath of Khan is the only one that comes close, though Search for Spock and Voyage Home are unique changes of pace. This series is still too science-oriented to be a favorite of mine, but I think I can appreciate it a little bit more now that I've seen all of the original films.)

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