Star Trek

So on May 7th I came home from work, and my wife surprised be with tickets to the 7pm showing of the new J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek (she rocks, I know).

Now like most people I thought this movie was great! It had it all, a fun story, great characters, cool special effects, and most important it was true to the source material. All this you can find in the reviews out there, and I guess I’ll leave it to the experts to discuss it’s merits as a movie. I want to touch on something I found of particular interest in the story.


So to recap, the gist of the movie is forking the Star Trek universe at the time of James T Kirks birth. In the “history” we know and love, Kirk was born to a career officer and eventually followed in his footsteps to become one of the greatest captains in the history of the Federation. In this “reboot” a Romulan from the future show up at the moment of his birth which results in the death of Kirks father. This change in the timeline leads Kirk through a rebellious and troubled childhood which turns into a rebellious and meandering adulthood. Kirk ends up enrolling in Starfleet in spite of, better yet, as a result of his rebellion. Despite his hardened and reckless attitude, he succeeds in breezing through the curriculum (passing the Kobayashi Maru in the same manner as the original timeline) and rising to the occasion; showing himself to be the capable Captain Kirk that we know from the original timeline.

What do I find so interesting? Well when we consider what makes a person, we normally look at genes and environment. The Kirk in this movie has an environment that is nearly 100% different from that of the Kirk from the original timeline. I find it hard to say that all Kirk is, his aptitude for being a hero, is in his located solely in his genes. This leaves room for two possible explanations. First, a third factor could be at work; a destiny, a fate, or maybe (divine?) providence. Second, that in all the infinite number of possible universes it just so happens that multiple environmental scenarios result in producing a person of the same stature.

Frankly, I find the second take to be very boring, basically roll the dice enough times and you’ll win big. I think it is much more interesting to look at James T Kirk as the character that would have to rise to the occasion no matter the circumstance, because that is the way the universe is supposed to be.

So internet, any thoughts? Do you believe that Kirk is always destined to be the hero, or that we now simply have the two possible universes in which he is the hero?

James Tiberious Kirk

James Tiberious Kirk

Vance's California Adventure

We are back from visiting my parents in California. Wow, what a busy trip. It was a great week with the family and we got to do lots, but of course it’s always nice to be back in the comfort of your own home.

So I’m sure curious minds want to know, what did we do? Well let me tell you.

First Mary went to The Pulse in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday. She of course picked up some new stuff for her dance classes, but also got to enjoy the city a little bit in her down time. During this time the girls and I did nothing 🙂 with my parents.

The next few days we just hung out with my Mom while Dad slaved away at work. Did a little shopping at a local mall, watched some movies, etc…

Wednesday was when the pace started to really pick up. Our tour guide (Mom) has mapped out the most complete tours possible 🙂 We went to Alcatraz and Muir Woods (my 3rd visit to both). The Rock is always neat to see, and the girls enjoyed the boat ride over. I think the real winner of the day was Muir Woods, it’s so peaceful and awesome to see those huge trees – everybody enjoyed it a lot. We ended the day by watching “Australia” which is a very long and thus very boring movie; I don’t really recommend it.

On Thursday we went south and hit up Carmel then did the 17 mile drive. It’s pretty but was a bit too much car time for the girls.

Friday was the wildcard day (Moms work was done). It started with Dad and I trying to find a frisbee golf course (that we had played at before). The failure led to a pretty cool adventure/hike at Coyote Lake. After that Mary and I went out for some wine tasting at Solis Winery which was cool, minus the pack of cougars there. Then on a whim we went down the road to Sarah’s Vineyard to pick up a particular bottle that we cannot get here in North Carolina. This little whim quickly turned awesome, since we were the only people there THE wine maker took us on a private guided tour of the winery and gave us a barrel tasting – my highest complement, freak’n awesome.

So all in all it was a great trip (minus the anal probe that is flying); but it is good to be home and now time to get back into the grind.

Danger IS my middle name

Danger IS my middle name