Captain’s Log: Stardate 10300.0
Wow. Looking back, it’s been quite a year on and off the Starship Enterprise. And, despite the possibility of a war in Iraq, several deaths in the DC-area sniper case and the stock market going down faster than Monica Lewinski in the oval office, this has been a good year. Since this log is being archived for historical purposes, it wouldn’t be prudent not to mention some of the year’s most memorable moments:

2002 was the year when Commander Richard tied the knot, and unlike some of his rope skills on board, it looks like he got this one right.

Also this year, Commander Dave managed to once again create a new life form with his wife Karen, proving he can spend more time in a dark hole than any Pennsylvania miner.

Lt. Commander Jory, with his perfect attendance record, now plans to take control over the foredeck as if he was the Republican party.

Lt. Laura seems to have found true love with Ronnie the Romulan and with her frequent trips to Canada, it appears she’s getting more action than a Catholic priest.

Lt. Kurt proved that you can know as much useless trivia as a Jeopardy contestant and still manage to get someone pregnant. He and his wife are expecting their second child.

2002 marked the year that Lt. Deb made Frolic’s Captain Jeff an honest man by setting a date. Their wedding will be so big that Jeff will have to rob a bank in order to buy new sails for Frolic. Psst. Jeff. The Chase on City Island opens at 8:30.

This was the year that Lt. Mitch joined the crew, bringing to us his guy-handling skills and a healthy supply of Sun Chips and sushi. What surprised me the most was when Mitch brought his wife out to meet us and she still let him sail with us afterwards.

More people have seen Ensign Brad on the water this year than have seen the new Star Trek movie. What was it Brad? Two races?

Ensign Patty is now singing a different “Tune” now that she’s being referred to as PaTune wherever she goes. As last report, she went down to meet his parents. Or were they two actors paid to claim they are his parents?

Ensign Lefty will always have 2002 remembered as the year when she choked up food, drink and Lavender Mist during the Around Long Island, significantly raising the water level of the Atlantic Ocean.

And, of course, there were events on other ships. The all-new USS Eagle carried on the tradition of its predecessor by having two accidents on the water. Although, one could argue it isn’t the ship. Short range scans show Captain Ernie putting the Frolic into a 360-degree spin during a race when Jeff wasn’t on board.

Finally, it was only a few weeks ago, when Captain Jeff of the USS Frolic explained our craziness by putting everything in perspective: We’re a bunch of people that chose the slowest mode of transportation available and then try to get it to go as fast as possible.

Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, whether you’re at a party or at home watching Dick Clark’s ball drop, we’ll all raise a glass of champagne together and drink a toast to the dear friends we have made and the adventures we have taken, along with our fondest wishes to all for a peaceful, happy and healthy 2003.

Happy New Year.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10298.6
It's Christmas time here on Earth (and in Canada too) and while piloting the new shuttlecraft through heavy interstellar shopping traffic yesterday, I noticed a lot of references to a man named Santa Claus. As legend has it, Santa Claus (also known as Chris Kringle, St. Nicholas, and that smelly guy in the mall) travels around the planet on Christmas Eve delivering toys to good boys and girls. Even in today's age of warp technology, I began to ponder to possibility of it all. Not wasting any time, I contacted the top scientific minds at Star Fleet. They came up with the following:

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical).

This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight.

On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that 'flying reindeer' (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine.

We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.> In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Oh well. Happy Holidays, anyway.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10295.9
As you can imagine, I was first in line on Friday night to see what Paramount Pictures billed as “A Generation’s Final Voyage.” That’s right. The tenth Star Trek film, “Star Trek: Nemesis” hit local theatres and I waited with baited breath, once again proving my never-ending Star Trek geekdom.

In essence, it was very similar to “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Too similar. It’s about a genetically-engineered bad man who gets upset when things don’t go his way and decides to take out his anger on the Enterprise’s captain and on all of humanity. Instead of using another Federation starship to lure his nemesis in, this guy uses an earlier version of Data nicknamed B4. Instead of the Genesis device, this guy uses a bio-matter-eating radiation. Instead of phaser fire ripping holes in engineering, this guy uses a photo torpedo to rip a hole in the main bridge. Instead of losing Spock saving the Enterprise, they lose someone else saving the Enterprise. And, finally, instead of superb villainous acting from Ricardo Montalban, we’re left with whiney kid-faced Tom Hardy. Ugh.

Most of all, “Khan” was about a new beginnings. “Nemesis,” on the other hand, is about endings. It’s over. Patrick Stewart’s been going on talk show after talk show stating that if this one makes money, he’s sure they’ll find a way to get him back on board. Sorry Patrick. In your opening weekend, Trek 10 made under 19 million dollars and finished behind Jennifer Lopez in “Maid in Manhattan.” (Then again, I don’t know many people who wouldn’t have enjoyed being behind Jennifer Lopez at one point or another.)

Not to say the film doesn’t have some real good high points. It definitely worth a little under two hours of your time and a welcome escape from cold weather, holiday shopping and news reports of a transit strike.

Will there be any more Treks on the silver screen? Of course there will be. There are three more crews to write for (four, if you count ours,) Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine) and Robert Beltran (Chakotay on Voyager) are less expensive to hire than Patrick Stewart and LeVar Burton, and, after all, box office dollars is the final frontier.

Officer's Log: Supplemental
Lt. Commander Jory Stark reporting
Damsels in distress. That was the dire message relayed to Lt. Mitch over his communicator by his wife. The fact that it was our own Lt. Laura and Ensign Patty who were in trouble only made the situation more urgent.

It turned out that Laura, with her customary zeal, had gotten not one, but two flat tires. With anyone else, that would have been unbelievable. It is a testament to our Canadian friends though, that Mitch and I never doubted the veracity of the report.

(Captain's note: It appears that the two flats were not caused by accident but instead were slashed. There are many theories as to who would perform such an act of sabotage against our resident Canadian, however the list of jilted ex's, their respective girlfriends, or wives, or those sending a message about staying in New York is far too many to warrant any further investigation.)

Upon returning to City Island, we agreed that Laura would leave her shuttlecraft at the space station where it was parked, and she and Patty would come with us. That was the easy part.

The hard part was rearranging everything in the back of Mitch's shuttlecraft after Patty stated that Ensign Scott of the USS Hub Bub needed a ride to Park Slope. While this proved to be untrue, it would be unfair to lay the blame for this solely on Patty's shoulders. Instead, let the Log reflect it as just one more example of Americans and Canadians failing to communicate. (See Captain's Log on Stardate 10237.8.)

The confusion over as to who actually needed a ride being cleared up, we finally got going, and the remainder of the trip passed uneventfully. At least while I was aboard . . .

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10294.0
Last night, an Enterprise landing party consisting of myself, Lt. Commander Jory, Lt. Mitch, Lt. Laura, Lt. Kurt and Ensign Patty beamed down to Harlem Yacht Club for the EBYRA Awards Dinner.

Ensign Lefty was supposed to come to the dinner, but canceled because she thought it would be a dinner. (That’s not a typo. Clearly Lefty is a few emitters short of a phaser bank.)

Also present was USS Frolic’s Captain Jeff and his bride-to-be Debra, who was sporting a rock on her finger that could put Big Tom to shame. As I mentioned at our table, I’m very proud of Jeff for proving an old saying wrong. You can buy the cow.

The food was great, but not as much as seeing the crew again after what seemed like an eternity. Laura was showing off her resume making it more apparent than ever that she will be leaving. And, Kurt, in a Cliff Clavin-esque moment, tried to convince Mitch that with the right tools, men can lactate (There’s just some stuff even I can’t make up.)

The awards ceremony went quickly, and the Enterprise took home a Third Place trophy for our performance (above water) at the Fall Series. Most everyone rushed home afterwards to catch the season finale of The Sopranos, which would have been better off airing on Lifetime than on HBO. (For those who missed it, Carmella finally stood up to Tony and kicked him out of the house. So, it looks like the only whacking next season will be by Tony in a hotel room to pay-per-view porn.)

Hopefully some of the crew will be able to come down to Atlantic City next month for the boat show and the Boatless Distance Race.