Captain's Log: Stardate 10914.2
This weekend marked the first annual Enterprise Ski Weekend - where several members of the Enterprise crew headed north to The Berkshires to ski Catamount. Aside from the several who didn't RSVP at all, Lt. Commander Mitch was a no-show due to a bout with the flu and Ensign Kenny also didn't come because he has - and the CDC is now on full alert status - the "sniffles".

We all stayed at the Days Inn in Great Barrington, where I was shocked at the amount of similarities it had with the previous hotel I stayed at just a couple of weeks prior: The Bellagio in Las Vegas. After all, the Bellagio has a fountain outside and the Days Inn had ice in the parking lot. The Bellagio offered fine cuisine and the Days Inn offered imported coffee called "Casa del Maxwell."

The day of skiing (we left Sunday because a storm was hitting) was probably the best ever. Sunny skies, mid 30's and, partially thanks to the economic meltdown, not too crowded. Perfect conditions for me to try to get rid of the image of Lt. Jonathan trying to get in Lt. Ellen's pants the night before.

Jonathan spent most of his time standing still posing for photos:



(Notice how the hills LOOK steeper because the person holding the camera tilted the horizon?)

Lt. Zoraida spent most of her time learning to snowboard, but I think she was just trying to get closer to Mother Earth:



But it was I, the clearly most talented and fastest skier of the bunch, who immediately took to the speedier slopes, moving on to break a wide-range of National and Olympic speed records:



Unfortunately, in the interests of full disclosure, Starfleet Command has ordered me to show the entire photo:



What can I say? I'm into sailing. After 12 knots, things start getting scary.

We skied for several hours, ending the day up on the porch of the lodge watching Zoriada's niece, Elana, continue trying to snowboard all while comparing it the to famous "agony of defeat" moment in the beginning of ABC's Wide World of Sports. Meanwhile, it appears that Jonathan's 8 year-old son, Ray, found the lyrics to our new theme song "I'm on a Boat" and couldn't wait to tell his mother about it.



We ended the day with dinner at a fantastic restaurant called Route 7 Grill, complete with a waitress who, when asked, thought that each item on the menu was "awesome," but got a little creeped-out when Zoraida brought out her gift muppet, nicknamed "Little Z", which quickly started to molest Zoriada's boyfriend Steve.



Jonathan politely waited his turn, then proceeded to fist the muppet, unbutton her shirt and make enough remarks to make a porn star blush. This was, of course, until his Cantor showed up at the table (no joke) and that muppet was off his hand at warp speed.

I wasn't able to witness what transpired the rest of the evening (way too tired and Live Free or Die Hard was coming on HBO,) but I hear it involved vodka, an ultra-competitive game of UNO and Zoraida giving the muppet to Jonathan asking him to please show them where the priest (or Cantor?) touched him.

I'm just happy I didn't have to bail anyone out of jail.

All in all, an AMAZING trip. A new tradition is born. We must do this again at least once next year.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10912.6
For more than a decade, quite a few members of the Enterprise crew have suggested that we come up with a theme song for the ship to either play or sing as the boat approaches a starting area for a Wednesday Night or weekend race.

There was even a point in time where we had an actual professional composer on board, Ensign Andy Brick, known for his work on video games and Disney video releases. Yet, the only artistic lyrics we received from Andy was during a 98-degree August day when the head overflowed on the Enterprise-A. He rose from the cabin after several minutes down below searching for inspiration and said, "Man, it sucks down there." We never got music though and Andy left the Enterprise a few weeks after.

For years, I have tried to find some score of music that would be a moving combination of Alexander Courage from Star Trek: The Original Series, Jerry Goldsmith from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as even Dennis McCarthy, the composer from Star Trek: Generations - the only film to actually have footage of the Enterprise-B. But, since my musical talents didn't go beyond three months of piano lessons, I always knew this project wouldn't go far.

Even for the past two years, with Lt. Jonathan Flaks on board, keyboardist and vocalist for "One Dog Man", "CC and Company" and the Grateful Dead tribute band "Not Dead Yet", the best we've been able to come up with so far is a screamingly off-key version of Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" recorded in New Jersey where Lt. Ellen could not stop laughing and Lt. Zoraida got a handful of harmonica-saliva.

But, I'm proud to report that, thanks to last week's Saturday Night Live Digital Short featuring Andy Samberg's band "The Lonely Island" and a single off their album "Incredibad", we have found our theme!

In a time where century-old yacht clubs are shutting down and the boating industry is facing its worst times ever, we should be reminded of just how great it is to be on a boat. I'm asking all crew to spend the next few months learning this song.



I think Lt. Commander Mitch should do the part of T-Pain, top hat, sunglasses and all.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10908.8
Last night, several members of the crew of the Enterprise beamed over to Starfleet Headquarters (my apartment) for the Second Annual Starship Super Bowl Spectacular to feast on junk food and watch the big game on a HD screen so large that if Captain Kirk had one in the 80s, he would have seen Khan coming from miles away.

Most of the food, except for a delivered pizza and buffalo wings, and a wondrous supply of beef ribs provided by Zoraida's boyfriend Steve, came as leftovers from the Nathan Flaks Bar Mitzvah. Which was fine with me, as long as it didn't come with an 18-hour candle-lighting ceremony beforehand.

It looked like it was going to be a fun game. That is, until Madden started talking, blurting out the most inane obvious commentary that made us all feel like football scholars.

But things got really weird when Madden, who apparently has been spending way too much time on his bus (no car could fit him,) started going on and on about tight ends, wide receivers ending with a five-time repetition of, and I shit you not, "penetration, penetration, penetration, penetration, penetration." That was all followed by commentary about the end zone and the word "burst." Most of us were appalled, but we did see Lt. Jonathan run off to another room to call his, um, how do I put this, chiropractor.

Lt. June arrived early, grabbing up some of the best seats in the house, and proceeded to root for the Cardinals, much to the dismay of practically everyone else in the room. At one point, when the Cards took a short-lived lead, she cheered so loud that Dave warned her of a demotion to bilge duty.

The big surprise of the night, aside from the game -- one of the most exciting Super Bowls in the history of Super Bowls, was the appearance by Lt. Kurt! On a weekend! With the wife and kids at home! Captain Dave asked him how he did it, how he was able to get away, most likely expecting an elaborate story of how he used an old spoon to chisel away at the wall for the last several months, climbed over drainage pipes, scaled 40-foot walls while evading guard dogs, and a life-size paper and plaster replica of himself placed in his bed. But, Kurt simply noted that his wife "owed him" so he was able to get away for a few hours without penalty.

Everyone took off right after the game, leaving me with enough food to keep me out of the A&P for the next year and a half and enough beer and wine to make the Enterprise a very happy ship for the season to come.

The Enterprise Ski Weekend is next -- and then, after March and April, we will continue our voyages through the final frontier.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10908.5
Last evening, Lt. Ellen and I were fortunate enough to be invited to witness the Bar Mitzvah of Lt. Jonathan's son, Nathan Flaks, at the Chapel in the Woods at the Kol Ami Temple in frigid White Plains.

One thing was for sure, this was not your father's Bar Mitzvah. There were keyboards, guitars, a reportedly gay rabbi and a cantor that looked like he was auditioning for American Idol.

Nathan (apparently named after a hot dog) did a great job during the service, which included a performance of a piano solo the he wrote after a few moments of quiet prayer.

Things were so lively, far different from any service I attended as a child. And it was probably because of that, that I took an interest in the prayerbook that was given to each attendee. Flipping through the pages, I was shocked to see the following passage:

"Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha'olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Shabbat."

Which, in Hebrew, means, "Blessed are you, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us by your commandments and instructed us to kindle the Sabbath lights."

But the surprising part was that in Klingon it also means, "Be warned, captain, our disruptors are locked on your bridge. We instruct you: No tricks. Prepare to surrender."

The event concluded with a walk across the frozen tundra (also known as the parking lot) for a reception and dinner featuring a magician with card tricks, an Italian/Asian fusion of food choices and a disc jockey whose record collection consisted of no music prior to 2007.

Right before dinner, however, we did see Lt. Jonathan go into the dining room with another man wearing a yellow tie. My new Apple iPhone communicator was able to grab this sensor image:



Jonathan swore, repeatedly, that it was his chiropractor doing an adjustment. Um, OK.

We all sat for dinner where young Nathan took a good 45 minutes calling up each member of his family and friends to light a candle. The most interesting, I believe it was candle number 593, was for his brother Ray (apparently named after a pizza). You see, when each person or couple was called up, the disc jockey would play specialized music for them. But, when Ray stepped up, we heard Ozzy Osbourne yell out "All Aboard!" followed by the signature baseline of "Crazy Train." Which, of course, led me to wonder, can you really play music by Black Sabbath in a synagogue?Fortunately, the universe did not collapse onto itself.

Sitting next to me was Dennis, Jonathan's diving buddy who takes him on these excursions to Aruba and other locales sans wife and kids. For the benefit of the married men on the crew, I questioned, maybe more like interrogated, Dennis on how he is able to leave his wife for a week at a time and go to places like Aruba. And, how he was able to get Jonathan to do the same. Dennis, unfortunately, reported that he has been married for over 35 years and that his wife practically pushes him out the door. Sorry guys, no help there.

Preparations are now under way for the Starship Super Bowl Spectacular, kicking off in, yikes, just six hours from now. I better run...