Not Your Father’s Star Trek

Although my passion for the subject has waned, I’ve always been a big Star Trek fan. You know those kids in the 1970’s who made Star Trek, well, “STAR TREK”?  I was one of them. I watched the show on TV in the afternoons. I watched the animated series. And every day when I was in third grade we played “Star Trek” on the playground. Each kid had their part. Mark was always Captain Kirk. Ariel was always Mr. Spock. Greg was Scotty. Me? I played the alien who would stand behind a tree until the gang “beamed down to the planet.” Then I’d jump out from behind the tree and scream and yell before being blasted in a haze of phaser fire.

Yep, that was me. I was Mugatu 25 years before Will Ferrell made the role famous for avid Trekker Ben Stiller.

Of course I have seen all the movies. But, importantly, I’ve seen them all on opening day. Which means that you get to see the movies with all the rest of the hardcore “Trekkies” (my preferred term). It’s a streak I’ve kept alive since the first film in 1979 and continued to the last one in 2002 or whatever year it was (can you tell when my interest in the franchise waned?). It was good for Star Trek to take a break. But I’m glad it’s back.

Cut to the best TV ad I’ve ever seen for a movie.


Not. Your Father’s. Star Trek.


Of course, I’m keen to see the new Star Trek movie and it looks great. And I’ll be there on the first day.

It just so happened that I’ve started to rewatch some of the old movies, including Star Trek: The Motion Picture that I haven’t seen since it first came out in 1979. Not a great movie, and I was watching the updated DVD version with improved special effects. 

So, here’s my list of the best Star Trek movies:

  1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – anyone who says this isn’t the best Star Trek movie is a Star Wars fan
  2. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – (yes, the one with the whales)
  4. Star Trek: First Contact – best “Next Generation” movie (and, yes, an “even numbered” Trek film)
  5. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  6. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – not as bad as it’s rep, and would be really good if they could redo the effects in act three.
  7. Free Enterprise – the comedy film about two Trek fans who befriend “Bill Shatner”. Way more of a “Star Trek” film than many real Star Trek films
  8. Star Trek: Generations
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection
  10. Star Trek: Nemesis
  11. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  12. Trekkies – lots of fun

We’ll see where this year’s Star Trek film fits in when it opens on May 7th.

Update: I’ve rewatched Nemesis and TMP and have switched their positions in the list.

My New Car*: Honda Insight

My 2002 Honda Accord recently went over 100,000 miles and while it’s still going strong it is certainly time to start thinking about the inevitable time when the fourth Kevdo-Mobile is put out to pasture and I end up with a new car. I’ve been thinking about it and I think I’ve settled on a primary candidate.

I’ve been a big fan of gas mileage for a long time. The first new car I ever bought was a 1993 Honda Civic VX. This car got 45 mpg city and 54 highway.  No, that’s not a misprint (or is it mis-type?). Yes, Honda made a car that got over 45 miles per hour. In 1993!  That car was great, even though (as they say) my mileage did vary. But I did consistently get over 45 mpg combined.

High mileage hasn’t been the priority with our last few vehicle purchases, though for example the Accord is way better than average for it’s size. Nonetheless, I really want to focus on mileage and carbon footprint and all that. 

The Prius is an interesting car but I’ve driven in a couple and I’ve got to say it’s a weird experience. I’m sure some of that would be something you could get used to but I guess I want my hybrid technology in a car that, well, feels like a car. Enter the Honda Insight 2010!


Honda Insight 2010
Honda Insight 2010


If the Prius and the old Honda CRX had a baby this is what it would look like. The gunmetal gray is the color that I’m most fond of. It’s a hybrid like the Prius but all the car magazines say it drives like a real car. 40+ mpg is better than nearly every one of today’s cars (though, still lags the almost 20 year-old Civic VX…). Plus, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Prius and most importantly it’s a Honda.

I sat in one the other day and it feels good. When the time comes to actually buy a new car in a couple year I’ll obviously need to test drive this thing, but so far so good. I feel good about waiting a year or two anyway, since I always try to avoid buying cars in their first model year (let someone else work out the manufacturing kinks!). 

I’m really excited to see more electric and hybrid cars entering the market. Who knows what the market will look like down the line, but if my car was totaled today and I had to buy a new car… it’d be the Honda Insight.



* circa 2012