Thursday, June 25, 2009

Live Long And Prosper

When temps around here get hot and humidity is through the roof, it is not unusual for me stay indoors, or head somewhere else that is indoors. So, after a quick breakfast in Wyandottte, we beamed over to the Star Trek exhibit at the Detroit Science Center.

Spanning over 40 years, 10 movies, and five television series, it was a real treat. Sitting on the mock-up of the Enterprise's bridge (from the original series) was pretty cool really. The captain's chair was every bit as uncomfortable as you would expect. (I refused to pay the technician $20 to get my picture sitting in it.) The corridor from the Enterprise (the Next Generation) was awesome. It was straight out of the movie/series. Very well done. Oh, and don't forget the Borg Cube.

Getting a good impression of how Gene Roddenberry was such a visionary was so cool. Not only did he tackle race relations, but he really ran with his visions of technology. What we use today as flip phones, those annoying blue-tooth head piece things, and Palm pilots were seen by Roddenberry decades ago as communicators, Uhura's earpiece, and those...those thingies that look like big Palm Pilots. Incredible guy.

The coolest part of the exhibit was a neat piece of trivia I had never heard. No, not the Star-Trek-fans-wrote-NASA-so-the-first-shuttle-can-be-the-Enterprise story (everybody knows that one). It turns out James Doohan (Scotty) was a veteran of D-Day. He stormed Normandy (Juno Beach)! During the invasion he was shot multiple times by a nervous sentry and ultimately lost the middle finger on his right hand. He made every effort to conceal the missing digit but in some scenes here and there, you can see he only has nine fingers. Looks like he literally, and figuratively, gave the Nazis the finger.

Some parts of the exhibit were a disappointment. Why do I really want to see a reproduction of movie prop from the 1960's. A reproduction of a prop? Come on.

Some other aspects of the exhibit were hugely silly. Sorry folks, but the transporter room "beaming thing" is really quite dumb. (Okay, maybe if you are 10, watching yourself getting beamed is pretty cool. But, after walking around for a few minutes, I felt like I was at least 11, so I didn't think it was so cool. ) Anyhow, after I entered the transporter room, I was asked if I wanted to beamed somewhere.
"Would you like to beamed somewhere?"
"Uhhhhhhh.............okay, I guess........"
"Okay. How about Jupiter?"
Jupiter? Everybody knows that transporters where only capable of ship-to-ship or ship-to-planet travel! A transporter could NOT transport me 365 million miles away! How insulting. Unfortunately, I left my phaser at home so I couldn't drop her like sack of potatoes and throw her in the brig. People can die when transporter technicians are incompetent. Jupiter......give me a break......

In hindsight, I wished we had asked to be transported to the brewery. It was a few blocks to walk and it was quite hot. It was easily within range.

So, what was at the Detroit Beer Company? Romulan Ale? No. Ale. Specifically, the Baseball Beer (#585). It was just like the bartender said - a mild India Pale Ale that would be ideal for people transitioning from junk beer to craft beers. Everything about it was a step back from what I would expect. The hops were certainly there, but much more toned down. It was more like a nibble than a bite. Even with the step down, everything maintained a good balance. A good beer! 4 out of 5! (They have a killer spinach and artichoke dip, by the way!)

After dinner, we simply parked ourselves (our bottoms actually) on West Jefferson in downtown Detroit for the fireworks. It was simply the best fireworks show I have ever seen. Non-stop fireworks for half an hour. Big ones. Little ones. The kind you feel (you know the kind where the explosion is huge and you know it is going to be loud but you have to wait for it.......then BAM!!!! ) I love those kind! They even managed to design some that exploded into little hearts. I have never seen such a thing!

Unfortunately, it took almost 2 hours to get home. With I-75 totally ripped out (Romulan terrorists), traffic that normally flows slow was even slower. If only we had taken my Klingon Bird-of-Prey instead of a Saturn Aura. We would have been home faster than you can say 'IqnaH Qad. (That apparently means "dried mucus" in Klingon. I'm not kidding.....)

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