New Star Trek Movie bootlegged preview -revised -no longer bootlegged -official HD trailer -updated

There is no golf in science fiction that I know of. This doesn’t keep me from enjoying science fiction immensely. The new Star Trek movie is coming out and looks to be a huge bangup. Among Star Trek fans, there are two factions. Those who prefer Big Action are offered up episodes and movies involving wars with Klingons, Borgs, and Khan, and even thrown a planet eating monster that looks like a giant doobie. Those who prefer Big Ideas are given time travel stories (including one involving a sarcastic, cloacal time portal), moral dilemma recapitulating the issues of the 20th century, and anything involving empaths (people who can sense the emotional state of others -WTF!???!?!?). Then you have tribbles and fembots.

JJ Adams takes a turn at the old wheel, coming off his Cloverfield and Lost successes, and the preview shows a definite red state Big Action tilt. You see a mavericky kid and young adult Kirk speeding along in various fossil-fueled vehicles. The bi-specied Spock is seen trying to bludgeon a crewmate in this preview. (J’ever notice that Obama may actually have some Vulcan in him as well?). And that’s the thing, when the quintessential blue stater Spock is kii-yaa-ing and hacking at people, you know where the movie is going.

The Star Trek vehicle needs reinvigoration after spending many years in the Big Idea doldrums. I triedimg_26771 watching the first season of Enterprise but just couldn’t get over the show being stupefyingly boring. Reimaginations of “classic” shows inevitably have to incorporate the mood and tempo of the contemporary audiences.The remade Battlestar Galactica is the greatest television show ever, and you should have heard the shrieking about Starbuck being a girl in certain geek quarters. The best science fiction balances the Big Ideas with Big Action. Ridley Scott is a master of this with Blade Runner and Alien.

There are elements of homage in the preview. There is a Dreadnought class starship getting blown up -this is a reference from the Star Fleet technical manual. This kind of detail shows that JJ Adams and the writers are shockingly incredible Trek geeks. This would seem to me that they took their custodial duties with regard to the Star Trek canon seriously. Or it may just be a random teaser designed to draw in the middle aged Trekkies along with all the teens and twenty somethings who know nothing about Trek. I’m holding judgement and praying it’s not Star Trek Kids.

The missing Dreadnought, inspiration for many pages of spiral notebook art

The missing Dreadnought, inspiration for many pages of spiral notebook art

Addendum: The ship in the HD preview (much clearer) is clearly not a Dreadnought, but rather a some kind of modification of either the Scout or Destroyer Class starship called the USS Kelvin with a topside crew/engineering pod in the picture shown from the back below:

Warp Nacelle on Bottom?

Warp Nacelle on Bottom? or Blinding LED Rear Light

This addresses a serious problem I had with Technical Manual where there was no differentiation between the Scouts and the Destroyers (identical) and all you had was the saucer section. The topside main section appears to have the sensor array in the appropriate place.
The USS Kelvin does not show up in the Star Trek Technical Manual, which means that this production deviates from the canon by a large degree. I do know this will greatly bother many serious Trekkies who have nothing better to do than dissect blurry Youtube videos.
Interesting for local readers, Kirk (young adult) zips alongside cornfields to end up in some kind of future alien cityscape. Kirk’s backstory is that he was born and raised in Iowa  (Riverside, Iowa -see below). Problem is, I don’t see a Kum & Go anywhere, which shows again how little attention to detail was given by Team JJ Adams.
Riverside, Iowa

Riverside, Iowa

Addendum: Prequel is available on iTunes as an iPhone App. Engaging comic book about the Romulan Apocalypse and time travel. Time travel is the sci fi equivalent of the dream sequence -it’s usually a sign of unimaginative thinking. It does allow for drastic changes to canon -after all -we are on another time line. The linearity of the timeline is something established by HG Wells, who avoided the going back in time to blow up your parents conundrum. The Planet of the Apes movies dealt with a non-linear timeline, and most recently, The Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles basically acknowledges that there is a fifth dimension -a history of time -meaning that linear views of history and causality can change so that the totality and end results are different over time. Kind of like seeing a full circle on the kaleidoscope rather than just a ray on the kaleidoscope. In this kind of world, there is no canon and JJ Adams can do what he wants. This is far more pleasing than the stupid negative universe where everything is opposite.

Addendum 5/14/2009: I saw it last weekend, took my seven year old and wife on Mother’s Day. The movie knocked my socks off. Everything makes intrinsic sense now. They needed to fluff up the old shaggy franchise, and they hit it out of the park. It was very entertaining. Iowa is elevated to the status of planet with cut scenes between Vulcan and Iowa. Also, it is clear to me that the canyon seen in the trailer is in fact a quarry used to deliver matter to be transformed Trek-style into starship plating. The Enterprise is made of Iowa dirt! Watching the movie in a theater in Des Moines was very special. My son who had been watching classic trek on the iPod Touch now thinks Star Trek is almost as good as his Clone Wars.

The Sugar People

Jean Harlow, Sugar Baby

Jean Harlow, Sugar Baby

The NY Times Sunday Magazine featured an article (link) which I’m sure raised eyebrows throughout married households on East Coast. Or at least I thought it would. I tried to bring it up with my long-suffering wife, J, this past weekend. Trying to stir outrage, I asked, “Did you read that article in the Times about the website young, attractive women can go to sign up as sugar babies?”

Refusing to rise to the bait, she clacked away at her keyboard of her Macbook. I pressed, “I read this and think, why didn’t I come up with that?” I think I was meaning to say, “why didn’t I come up with that?”

Click, clack, Facebook post, clickety-clack, email, clickety clack, google search -“getting rid of pests.” No joy for me.

In medieval times, there was a spectator sport called bear baiting where you put a bear in the pit of a theater, and audience participants would jump in and poke the bear with a stick.

I poked, “Women can sign up for free and they get matched with a sugar daddy. It strips dating to its essentials.”

Every once in a while, I play this potentially fatal game of bear…I mean wife-baiting. It lets me push boundaries, probe for any weaknesses (absolutely none found so far, 15 years in May!), and bargain for man-stuff. Motives for this Sunday afternoon shenanigan?

  • Boredom from lack of golf
  • Desire to show that 15 years of marriage has not left me slowly turning gay (okay, so I use moisturizer, exfoliate, and watch What the Buck on YouTube -but it’s manly now because Esquire and Dr. Oz say so…….okay – show tunes are not gay).
  • Create an alibi for leaving on my browser history
  • Final push for my next toy acquisition
  • Because I love her

I decide to invade Poland, “It’s outrageous! What do these guys think they’re doing, purchasing the attention, conversation, and comfort, of attractive young college-age women? It’s a terrible thing to see, America being turned socioeconomically into a third world country where middle-aged men with money can take advantage of women in need of college tuition (and Fendi purses).”

Clickety, clackety, click. The focus of this woman, my lovely wife, is mind-bending. I give up. She wins. Love, set, match – Sugar Mommy. I go to play with my son and his Lego Star Wars models.

Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

flowersSpring approaches and the sap rises from the root. The days are noticeably longer, and golf approaches. I feel ready this year, more than any other year. Two things are different -I have practiced through the winter and my swing is groovy when I keep my head down. The other is my mental outlook is different. I am dreading the putter far less this year than any other year because I am approaching it no differently than any other club in my bag. 

My experience on Sunday is illustrative of both my past and hopefully my future with the putter. On more than a few occasions, I got on in regulation at the tough Redstone course, site of the Shell-Houston Open Tournament in a few weeks. I three putted, but the reason I missed was mostly because of distance errors and not complete misreads, hurried slapdash efforts at shoving the ball in. The proof was in several putts made from over ten feet, and many 4-5 footers were made as well. 

The real secret sauce though was a mental trick picked up from Chopra’s book. It is based on yoga, and brings about the stillness that you need to execute shots. Good golf to all -I am vacationing in a secret location this coming week, but hopefully will be able to squeeze in a round if weather permits. 

PS -We saw several snakes during the round at Redstone including a poisonous water mocassin. I think that these fellows will likely come into play in the marginal areas around the water hazards. The course has few OB’s but is ringed in red hazards.

The Exhibitionist

img_1488I love Natural History Museums -the image above is from the Smithsonian from a trip last year. Their dioramas bring out clinical details that are missing in zoos. Because of the artifice of stuffing animals and posing them in au naturale, these collections hark back to menageries and freak shows. The animals we choose to display and how they are displayed reflect a lot about ourselves, and I find it no different to walk through a Natural History museum (or the Evolution Museum as Tina Fey’s Palin quipped) than it is to peruse a Damien Hirst exhibit. damien-hirst

Harvard’s collection is a must see, especially if they are exhibiting the glass flowers. New York’s will always hold a place in my heart because it captures that 19th century optimism and obsessive compulsion for collecting (killing) ever rarer and more difficult to obtain specimen. It also does not shy away from displaying people, although they are mannequins and not stuffed (I think).

I would volunteer in a heartbeat (when it comes my time) to be stuffed and displayed in my white oxford button down shirt, khaki’s, and loafers with a plaque Homo sapiens sapiens korean-americanus nerdificissimus maximus et bellygazingus. Put me next to the chimps.

Dead X-mas Trees

treeturnercopy1We used to get “real” Christmas trees when we were living in New York, but it was the disposal of the trees that made me sad. There is something definitely pagan about sacrificing a a living being for holiday purposes. 

An old Christmas tree and an unwanted corpse share many features. They have overstayed their welcome. They shed. They smell funny. You have to hack off limbs if you want it to fit in the garbage. They are best dumped in state parks off hiking trails –I recommend transporting in a black Lincoln Town Car which is virtually invisible in town, roomy trunk. Even better if you have a wood chipper.

Now, we stick to a plastic tree. 

Central Asian Chant Ringtone




I composed this last night with Garageband using vocal tracks and a Blue Snowflake USB microphone. The twanging sound is from the antique Jew’s Harp. The throat singing is me recorded in two different tracks with vocal settings on “Deep Male Voice” and “Helium” which helps accentuate the overtones (or at least gives the impression that I can produce overtones). I’ve been practicing for years in the shower trying to get the nasal whistling overtones, but this has eluded me. The deeper resonant sounds are easier for me. The chant is a Korean Buddhist prayer for intercession of mercy on the world.

It was inspired by the movie Mongol. The movie and this chant compel me to a desire for riding on the Central Asian steppes in full medieval Mongol warrior regalia at the head of a horde charge. I think Mongol should take Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars if it doesn’t get run over by that Indian movie. The trailer attached below I think is in Russian -and shows mostly the battle scenes. The movie is meant to be a first chapter in a trilogy. It shows Genghis Khan in his youth and his relationship with his long-suffering wife. 

The Altruist

Stand by your man

Stand by your man

Golf is a self indulgence if it isn’t used to for active self improvement. Hence, golfism.

My time away from non-Golf Hut golf has given me time to ponder about many important issues like the loneliness of unmarried women. Polygamy has ever been on my mind as a reasonable strategy for getting through tough economic times. There are so many young single working women who face a life of perpetual economic struggle without finding a partner. I feel poorly for them. I want to help and offer my support and advice. To turn their lives around would be great service to this nation. It has always been my aspiration to be a life coach to 20-30 year old women in need of a man. My house has enough space for several of these gals.

My wife is always complaining about needing help around the house -with a second or third wife, or fourth!, there would be help all the time! Child care could be performed in shifts. Time could be taken off for work or school without headaches. Cooking can be done by the person in the mood to cook rather than one person who always has to cook. We could grow our own food and live off-grid as a large extended family. There is enough of me that I want to give it away for the good of the world. I could grow a crazy long beard and still be revered.

It would be a return to a classical, Old Testament pattern of life. I could have seven sons, and favor one to motivate the other six. It would be a community of many hands working and building a better future for themselves. How could that be wrong? How could something that could feel so good be so bad? Stress disappears when you can delegate, I would tell her. The government could give me a tax break for this. Spread the wealth, and me, around!

I’ll get back to you after I ask my wife what she thinks. It has to be better than her response to my suggestion about outsourcing some of her chores. This time, I am thinking about her and everyone who would benefit from my proposed sacrifice. And not so much me -and isn’t that what the holidays are all about. Sacrifice.

Happy Thanksgiving!


PS -not being conspiracy oriented, don’t  you think it was odd that Texas decided to go after the FLDS at the same time Mitt Romney was struggling to make his run?

Movies not to watch with your kids -DVD’s for a long golf-poor winter

cookthiefThis movie has it all -ultraviolence, haute-cuisine, a hot Helen Mirren, and cannibalism. It most closely matches (especially visually) the tenor and mood of my nightmares (see earlier posts about the golfing revelations). It is an allegory about how we treat the earth and ourselves. The final scene is so unpleasant that you will never look at glazed ham the same way again. Makes you think about the cannibalism in your life.

mongolMongol which was released last year is available on iTunes, and is a beautiful movie about one of my personal heroes, Genghis Khan. Filmed and produced in Kazakhstan, one of the countries peopled by Genghis Khan’s descendants (along with most of Central Asia), it has eye popping battle scenes filmed with thousands of real extras with no use of CGI. It also is a domestic movie about Genghis’ home life -you have to watch the movie to believe what his poor wife has to go through to keep the family together -it is a pretty decent date movie compared to the Lord of the Ring movies. 






Twelve Monkeys is a genius movie of frightening possibilities. The natural end of the green point of view is that people are the problem, and environmentalism is at its heart anti-people-ism. 

There, three movies to ponder this winter of golf discontent.