I don’t want to grow up…

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Since my childhood, a part of me was always a Toys R’ US kid.

Then, the realities of adulthood will constantly break in to that innocent little world many of us keep inside. It’s a world of cool little action figures, cartoon nostalgia, board games, brick building, weird collectible nonsense. But, we grow up whether we like it or not, and now the best toy store chain ever has been eaten alive by vulture capitalists.

So goes the final end of Toys R’ Us retail stores over the weekend, in the United States (In Canada, I hear some will remain open), an excited place for kids since 1957. No more rows of tall aisles of childish joy, filled with colorful products with silly gimmicks meant to amuse and sometimes educate. There was odd feeling of privacy one can feel, in browsing the shelves of the large spaces of Toys R’ Us. The connection to that customer service, smiling and sometimes sharing in the simple joy of new toy product trends, is treasured. We can gawk and admire the great craftsmanship of classic Saturday morning commercialism. So much, left to memories now…

I brought myself to the Bellevue, Washington location last week to pay my final respects to the great toy store era now gone. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of the stripped down walls of a once great world of Geoffrey Giraffe. So, I share the pic above of a time earlier this year of a better time for such nostalgic joy.

I recently discovered this fun video of Toy’s R Us ads over the years of its long life. Here, exhibits a showing of the variety and odd ways the store helped develop our youth and still appeals to our inner child…

Forward, I move on to more growing up. Yet, I think I will always be a Toys R Us kid.

– Orion T

Reflecting on Star Trek: The Next Generation, 30th Anniversary…

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30 years ago on this day, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered with its two-part pilot episode, “Encounter At Farpoint.” And ever since, the show has had a profound effect on my journey through life.

I was lucky enough to catch it on its premiere night, not quite as eager in the beginning. But something drew me, being a mixed cast of characters on a big starship, seeking out new life, new civilizations, and boldly going…. On this new starship, the NCC-1701 Enterprise D, held an android seeking humanity in itself, a mighty alien warrior eager for new challenges, a blind engineer expanding his self in science and technological advancement, a ship doctor balancing her work with the challenges of single motherhood, a ship counselor with empathic abilities often not very helpful, a charming first officer, and a captain who seeks the peaceful, diplomatic, humanitarian solutions to every problem.

This would go on for seven years, and four movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation became a show I grew up with, identifying with much of the crew on their journeys and moral dilemmas. To me, the show was about finding self in seeing what’s out there. For the crew and the journey, establishing humanity’s place in the Alpha Quadrant as a member of the Federation; ever-exploring and spreading peace along the way while interacting with new alien species. Each crew member had an ongoing quest to reaffirm their place on the bridge as an individual and team. Through them as inspiration and admiration, I often dealt better with relatable challenges in school, social explorations, and direction in life.

So, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation. Here are my top five favorite episodes in no particular order:

  • Darmok – Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien with a very complex language system. The challenge puts Picard’s communication skills to a great test, with the solution being finding common ground and learning about each other.
  • Q Who – The omnipotent Q throws the Enterprise into a distant uncharted space, where they meet the Borg. The experience is a lesson in humility for humanity, with new and iconic challenges to come.
  • Yesterday’s Enterprise – An awesome episode with much of everything packed in; time travel, an alternate reality, epic ship on ship battles, revealing history connecting the classic series with the new, crew members put in new roles, moral dilemmas, high stakes.
  • Chain of Command Part II – a gut-wrenching episode where Picard is held prisoner and tortured, physically and mentally. The acting between Picard and his Cardassian captor is intense, with an unforgettable ending. How many lights are there?
  • “The Offspring” – Data creates an android daughter for him, in a continual effort to be “human.” This raises dilemmas and challenges on multiple levels, in a new role he must take on as a father and protector. A mix of emotions results with twists and turns, leaving me as a viewer feeling sad in the end for a fictional character whose existence didn’t last.

Overall, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation for what it was to myself, and what it gave to its growing audience – a vision of the future for a possible destiny in the stars, where the exploring and bonding with the universe and ourselves will never stop. With that, I best recall that epic last line of Captain Picard from its very first episode, that still remains a most important marker for us all…

– Orion T

Picture of Today 11/28/16, Seasonal Greetings…

Just the late night here, of the first Monday of the holiday shopping season, after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All is quiet for the line tree standing in Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. There shall be more busy days ahead, of dazzling lights and people scurrying about, shopping for gifts and getting into the spirit. I might be asleep, procrastinating through much of it…


– Orion T

Goodbye Spring…

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And finally the curtain closes, and the end of another long season is at hand…

What a memorable play thus far! Allow for a brief intermission, while we ponder the events of the past few months. Presidential primaries, transgender bathroom debate, tragic deaths, overhyped movies, unpredictable weather, TV season finales, the rise of VR tech, adult coloring books being a thing, and much more.

There is much to leave behind, as we look to the next act of this 2016 theater. I am on the edge of my seat!!

– Orion T

(Picture of above is from yesterday, from Edmonds (an hour north of Seattle), overlooking the Puget Sound waters.)

Picture of Today 1/1/2016, New World, this 2016

 

Today, I looked to a whole new world for this New Year..

Not so much West Vancouver BC, the city pictured above beneath what I think is Cypress Mountian. The perspective is afar using a 300mm zoom lens giving a sort of optical trick. The vision, is from Stanley Park in Vancouver BC, Canada; while passing through on a long five hour walk around and through the large wooded area.

Pictures will be later, of which there are many.

But today, this picture is a good representation of why I am here. This place being part of a spontaneous trip outside of Seattle; the city I live and now working excessively in. While I have a lot less time for far-out adventures, it’s important to remember the crazy new worlds that are still within a day’s drive or bus ride on the road. 

I know absolutely nothing about this huge city outside of the samewhat familiar perimeters of Central Vancouver. Is it the same or different? How are the people? Are there cool, unique small shops I can browse through and find fantastic treasure? Are there exclusive cultures or secret societies, to which I can break into? How about the food? New friends maybe? 

Not that the place is of any particular fascination, right now. It bears about the same as North Vancouver, a similar land to the east if there. There’s also the rest of Canada. Someday, I wish as I am very curious and life is short. I just want to start this new year right with the reminder and push of what I should strive for; tending to my thrill of discovery and adventuring.

2016, looking forward to what is “over there.”

Golden Noir Nights in Rain City..

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Sometimes, I feel like a bystander in the first chapter of some long mystery. Especially, when the rain happens through the night.

The rain does this sometimes, because nights like this are best described in long opening descriptions, establishing mood and environment. I love this kind of rain, not dense or rough enough to have myself rushing to the next bus; but to casually stroll through and let the wetness sink in (and take pictures). The wet sprinkles are enough to appreciate my surroundings, and think of what has not changed since the noir days of old fashioned city life. This being, how we all become a part of our environments, yet don’t know it. The rain in this city can places between between reflections, making new shadows of us dwelling through. We are all getting by, to become new stories or develop that next chapter.

Just be careful out there.

Shots above and below are of the Westlake Center area of Downtown Seattle; a place that is best in after hours, and in the rain. Also, I really like these shots. I will be coming more of this in the near future.

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