Star Trek: Delayed?

I’ve waited this long, so I guess I can wait a while longer.

Seems like CBS All Access is preparing fans for another delay in the upcoming incarnation of “Star Trek.” The following link includes a statement from CBS and some casting news.

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Delayed Again, Casts James Frain

If my wife reads this, she will probably sigh heavily – not because she’s looking forward to the new series, but over the fact that I actually thought the show important enough to post about it.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I am the only “Star Trek” fan at my house. I’ve tried to interest my wife over the years, and frankly, the kids have been a disappointment.

Our big dog Rodney doesn’t even show the proper enthusiasm.

And the cats? They’d sooner whine about the food than be caught watching “Star Trek” with me.

I have no one to talk to but you, so tell me what you think about the likely delay in the comments.


On our son’s high school graduation and Starfleet Academy

The first teaser trailer for the new “Star Trek” TV series that’s supposed to come out next year was released this week. It didn’t reveal much – just the new logo and beauty shots of space – but it did remind me that I haven’t made a “Star Trek” reference lately.

And, since that’s an eye-rolling part of my shtick, you’re just going to have to bear with me as I engage in it.

Our kids are now at the age when the milestones are coming so fast it’s as if their lives have kicked into warp drive.

For example, our daughter is now a confirmed member of our church.

I took last Sunday off from work so I could be there as she stood in front of the congregation with a couple other church kids. They were confirmed on Pentecost, so they all wore red, matching the pastor’s vestments and the flowers behind the alter.


The kids participated in the service. One was responsible for the processional cross, another read the day’s Bible verses, and our daughter helped serve communion.

I was happily enjoying the moment when our pastor brought me up short. He told the congregation that, at least in the eyes of the church, our daughter is now an adult.


The church may consider her grown up, but she hasn’t yet turned 15. I’m allowed to  indulge in a few more years of denial where she is concerned.

Her older brother’s progress, however, is harder to stave off. He turned 18 this spring and voted for the first time last month.

He also had his first car accident. He backed his mother’s car into our driveway basketball pole a couple of weeks ago.

The car wasn’t damaged, but shooting hoops at our house is no longer an option – the pole isn’t there anymore. Apparently (here comes another “Star Trek” reference), the base of it was so eaten up by rust a starship gently traveling at nothing more than impulse speed could have knocked it over.


It’s probably just as well that it’s been put out of commission. Playing driveway basketball was never much of a priority at our house. For more than ten years, that pole had nothing better to do than preside unnoticed and unappreciated over our comings and goings. It was a vestige of the previous owners. Now, it exists only in memory and in the background of family pictures.

At some family gathering years from now, I can see us going through our old pics and somebody will say, “Man, I forgot all about that basketball pole. What happened to it?” At which point I will merely give our son the sort of disapproving look that says “you still haven’t lived that down.”

But that’s in a future glimpsed only in my mind’s eye. Right now, a more immediate milestone is nearly upon us.

Our son is graduating from high school. Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Monday evening, and it won’t be long before we pack him off to college.

I’d send to him Starfleet Academy (another “Star Trek” reference!) but since it doesn’t exist (yet) a more practical post-secondary education seems more appropriate to our timeline.

College brings with it its own set of hurdles. And while our son is likely to remain true to form and give his mother and me heartburn, he will likely clear them and move on with his life.

Otherwise, I might have to get Enterprise’s captain to start opening the bar in Ten-Forward a little early.

Notes from the commute

Scored a nerdy commuter’s double today.

When I got into the car to make the long drive back home from my job in Washington, DC, “Star Trek” actor George Takei was just being introduced on “The Diane Rehm Show,” WAMU Public Radio’s popular call-in program.

I spent the next hour listening to him talk about “Allegiance,” the musical based on his family’s experience during the Japanese-American internment during World War Two.

Of course, “Star Trek” also came up.

How could it not?

When Takei’s interview was over, I switched universes. I took my car out of warp and jumped it into hyperspace.

Okay. Fine. My car is not the Millennium Falcon. It’s much closer to a simple landspeeder with too many miles on it.

Instead of actually entering hyperspace, I did the next best thing outside of seeing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in the theater, again. I booted up the “Star Wars” audiobook I downloaded last week.

Yes, I actually downloaded the book based on “The Force Awakens.”

Stop judging me.


How I work around my TV addiction

I can’t blame you for thinking I must be addicted to TV.

I’ve been writing so much about my viewing habits lately it must seem as though I only have time for refrigerator runs and bathroom breaks.

For example, I’ve been shameless about my affinity for “Star Trek.” I’ve mentioned it here so often my wife is beginning to get embarrassed for me and maybe even a bit disgusted. She helps edit my columns and as she was trying to make sense of one a few weeks ago, she told me “it’s getting old.”

She probably sighed heavily and put her head in her hands when this popped up on her computer screen.

Just last week, she was forced to appear in public after I wrote about our 17-year-old son caustically accusing me of hitting “the trifecta of teenage girl fandom.” In other words, I watch “Supernatural,” “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.”

Teenage boy contempt – that’s what I get for (a) attempting to find common ground with his younger sister who would otherwise prefer I remain off the radar unless, of course, she wants something and (b) allowing myself to get even more caught up in her shows than she is.

It doesn’t stop at our daughter’s dramas or “Star Trek,” either. If anything, my viewing schedule is expanding despite being under doctor’s orders to get more exercise. “Game of Thrones” is back on HBO and the Revolutionary War spy drama “Turn” is back on AMC. And while the new “Star Wars” trailer is not technically TV, I’ve watched it more times than I should admit.

The key to indulging such a heavy viewing habit is having an accommodating work schedule. I work nights and weekends, so I probably have more time alone during the day than most people.

The last thing you want, however, is to get caught living up to your reputation. That’s why I watch my shows in fits and starts.

Just the other morning, I came home from taking the kids to school and (a) got the dishwasher going (b) started a load of laundry and (c) vacuumed the carpets all before streaming the first 20 minutes or so of “Turn’s” season premiere. Then I got the wood glue and clamps out to put a fake door back in its place beneath our kitchen cooktop before returning to the TV. The door had fallen out earlier that week.

But when I sat back down to reward myself with another 20 minutes, I got busted.

My wife came home unexpectedly. It was in the middle of the morning. She had apparently forgotten something and only briefly breezed home. But it was enough to make me feel guilty.

That’s why I spent the rest of the day cleaning the bathrooms, mowing the lawn, walking our big dog Rodney, picking up the kids at school, making sure they got something eat, taking our daughter to dance class, going to the grocery store and then picking up our daughter from dance class before returning home late that evening to find my wife exhausted from work but ready for the mindless guilty pleasure we watch together.

After a long day, I was ready, too. But since TV gets me into enough trouble without outing my wife, that show is going to remain between us.

Exercising would be easier if the starship “Enterprise” had a different paint job

My doctor seemed to have an epiphany last week.

It happened during my most recent visit to his office. I had scheduled an appointment because I had questions stemming from all the tests I underwent last month.

I thought we were going to talk about putting an end to my penchant for kicking back in my favorite chair and streaming “Star Trek” on Netflix while my wife is at work and the kids are in school.

To my way of thinking, it was a pretty safe assumption. After all, between all the poking and prodding and general anesthetics that rendered me happily oblivious to the more intrusive poking and prodding, he discovered my liver was slightly out-of-whack.

His almost off-hand comment about my liver spurred me to do some intense research.

On my laptop.

While reclining in my chair.

With one of my favorite “Star Trek” episodes streaming on our flat screen TV.

A Google search indicated the best treatment option doesn’t involve any special medication or surgery. Instead, all the websites I looked at suggested I get out of my chair for longer than it takes to get to the refrigerator.  And, if I somehow find myself reaching for our son’s stash of frozen Hot Pockets, to choose fresh fruits and veggies, instead.

But rather than put my treatment plan in the hands of the internet, I showed up at my doctor’s office because I wanted to hear it from him.

Our discussion, however, took an unexpected turn. He almost immediately asked if I was still having pain on the right side of my upper abdomen, just below my rib cage.

When I said yes, he looked at the results of the scans a previous doctor had me undergo some two-and-a-half years ago and asked if I still had my gall bladder. He said the scans suggested it be removed.

I replied that, indeed, I did, but not for lack of trying to get rid of it. Not just one, but two previous doctors dismissed the idea. I began seeing my current doctor, a digestive specialist, because the pain has refused to leave me in peace.

Now, just when I thought my liver was the source of all my trouble, a bad gall bladder diagnosis seems to be back on the table.

I left my doctor’s office that day with yet another test scheduled. If it confirms what he suspects, then I will have a decision to make – namely, whether to continue living with the pain or to have one of my original parts removed.

Generally speaking, when things break they must either be fixed or discarded.

Take our old crock pot, for instance. Last week, I had to throw it in the corner of the basement where we keep the rest of our broken junk. It had developed a crack in its stoneware.

I don’t remember when that old crock pot showed up in our kitchen. We’ve had it for years, but I’m surprisingly unsentimental about it. Probably because it made the chili I like to make this time of year look uncomfortable. It was white with swirling lavender flowers stamped around its base.

We have a new crock pot now. I picked it out myself. It’s jet black with silver trim like the muscle car one of my friends used to drive back in high school. I don’t know that my chili will cook any better in it, but it should at least look better than ever the next time I decide to rev up a batch. That crock pot is sleek.

The thing is, it might be a while before I can enjoy a bowl of chili without any second thoughts. I’ve been staying away from red meat as much as possible. It seems to be one of the foods that triggers my pain.

Assuming my doctor is right about my gall bladder, though, I could eventually be able to eat what I want with no thought to the immediate digestive consequences.

But getting rid of it is a decision for another day. Right now, I’ve got tear myself away from the television and go for a walk – a task that would be easier if the starship “Enterprise” had a floral paint job.

Why “Star Trek” is going to have to take a back seat

At the risk of sounding like a tedious old bore who can’t stop talking about his aches and pains, I feel like I should revisit them, anyway – mostly because I’ve been making such a big deal about all the medical tests I’ve had to endure.

In any case, I have to find a new audience for my complaints. My colleagues at work are starting to give each other that “there he goes again” look every time I get wound up.

I started confiding in them to give my family a break. My wife has been giving me that same look when I seek sympathy, and I think our kids have started finding excuses to leave the room when I broach the subject.

I’ve been so desperate to find somebody to listen to me whine that I tried confiding in our cats.

They ignored me.

I probably should have expected that. Cats are nothing if not haughty.

Our dog Rodney has been a good sport. But he IS a dog. And dogs are easily bribed.

When he looks at me as if to say “please stop whining”  when we are out for a walk, I throw him a bacon-flavored treat and go on complaining about the pain I’ve been having on the right side of my rib cage.

Tasty dog treats only go so far, though. When we arrive back at the house, he stops begging for the next morsel entirely and starts straining on the leash, presumably to get away.

I tell myself he just wants to get back to annoying our cats. But the truth is, he’s probably had enough of me.

Basically, it comes down to this –  it seems that I can no longer rely on youth to maintain the good health I’ve always taken for granted. The tests that were performed this month indicate that I have a slightly overweight liver.

In hindsight, I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. It seems my liver  is just taking cues from the rest of the overweight me.

I’ve yet to get specifics from my doctor on what to do about it. That comes next week. But if the internet is to be believed, I’m not going to be streaming old “Star Trek” shows on Netflix quite as often.

A Google search suggests that I get off my rump rather than spend leisurely afternoons exploring strange, new worlds while the kids are in school and my wife is at work.

In fact, I’ve already started. The walks I take with Rodney are more frequent and brisker. I’ve also joined the stair-walking club at work.

I’m also trying to watch what I eat more carefully, which should please my wife. She’s been after me for years to take better care of myself.

But if she thinks I’m going to stop whining, she’s got another thing coming – especially if my doctor bans “Star Trek” from my daily routine.

Why I’ve been remiss

I’ve been more distracted than usual lately. That may not seem particularly remarkable. According to my wife, my focus on day-to-day tasks has never been stellar. But even I have noticed a turn for the worse. I’ve let deadlines slip and my “honey-do” list seems to be getting longer and longer and longer.

I could blame the arrival of 2015. The year isn’t even a month old and I’m pretty sure I’ve already reached my medical deductible, not to mention the limit of my dental insurance.

I showed up at the dentist’s office at the beginning of January, got comfortable in his chair and then had the uncomfortable experience of watching bits of a bad tooth come flying out of my mouth. My dentist had to grind that tooth down to a nub in preparation for a crown. It was like watching sparks shooting from a metal grinder. If you ask me, my dentist seemed a little too enthusiastic.

But that experience was just the beginning.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been compelled to undergo a series of medical tests that seem designed to shred my dignity.

I’ve been obliged to drink foul substances and required to recline in various positions at the hospital, where I’ve been irradiated and poked and prodded with various instruments. And that was when I was awake. I don’t want to know what happened while I was happily unconscious.

I should know in the next couple of weeks whether my condition warrants more poking and prodding and general anesthetics.

If all that weren’t enough, my eye doctor has been calling. Apparently, I’m overdue for my annual exam.

It’s as if 2015 is saying, “Welcome to your 50s, Mr. Snyder,” as it giggles behind its hand.

I know I should just be thankful I’ve made it this far, that I have the privilege of sitting around at work commiserating about various aches and pains with the other guys my age and boring the pants off considerably younger colleagues.

But the truth is, the complaints associated with getting older aren’t the real reason why I haven’t given my obligations the attention they deserve.

That honor belongs to Netflix. The streaming video service is giving me the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite old TV shows.

Specifically, Netflix is indulging my obsession with “Star Trek”. I’ve been re-watching all of the old shows from “The Next Generation” to “Enterprise”, leaving my wife dumbfounded. I’m sure she thought she was out of the woods when the final series went off the air ten years ago this spring. But she didn’t count on Netflix.

She will soon have reason to celebrate, though. I only have one more season of “Deep Space Nine” to watch and then my “Star Trek” binge will be over and I will have run out of excuses for not attending to my rapidly expanding “honey do” list.

Unless, of course, I find something else to binge watch.

Come to think of it, the new season of “Game of Thrones” begins this spring. Now is probably a good time to refresh my memory.

I could use a little more distraction between all those trips to the doctor.