Sal Taybrim

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Join us tomorrow for the fleetwide watch-along!

This month the chat team presents one of our yearly event chats: our fleetwide watch-a-long! Join us in the chat room for our monthly chat on Sunday, March 10 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 5pm London / 4am+1 Sydney (AUS). (Click here to see when the chat starts in your timezone, and add this chat to your calendar with a quick and easy link.)

How does a watch-along work? Simple! Log onto the chat for instructions on how to join us via Rabbit so we can all watch the episode together. A link and instructions will be posted in our fleetwide chat, so be sure to arrive a little early. Once things get started we watch a great episode of Trek while chatting about everything we love and remember about it. Or joking about it!

Our theme this year, chosen by popular vote is alternative timelines and alternative captains featuring:

  • Star Trek Voyager: S3, E2: “Flashback”
  • Star Trek the Next Generation S3, E15: “Yesterday’s Enterprise”

Episodes will start fifteen minutes past the hour, giving everyone enough time to join Rabbit and log in.

Click here to launch the chat room now: https://www.starbase118.net/chat/


Lower Decks interview: Ensign Kayla Drex, USS Eagle

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Kayla Drex playing a Human female science officer assigned to the USS Eagle.

TAYBRIM: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

DREX: I’ve lived in Virginia essentially my whole life. I’m currently in the Richmond area. I moved up here to attend Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!), where I studied history.

What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?

I’m playing a science officer. Honestly, the creation of Kayla’s character came first. Who is she and what makes her tick? What made her start ticking that way? Once I felt like I knew her, I just asked her what made most sense. IC, her father is a theoretical quantum physicist and her mother is an artist. The balance of the two grew in her an unusual lens through which she sees the world. OOC, after graduating from VCU I taught high school at a REALLY small school. They needed teachers to take on multiple subjects. I’ve always loved and had a knack for science, so I was landed with Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, World History, and US History. All that coupled with my love of creating things … yeah, I guess I’m Kayla IRL.


Dear Kr’Abby: Etiquette Questions

Dear Kr’Abby,

I have to attend a fancy dinner party with my Tellarite in-laws.  My mother-in-law is a terrible cook.  How can I argue with her to be polite without truly insulting her food.

-Disruptor Rifle Wedding

Dear DRW,

Well step number one is to visit your doctor before the visit and get a tongue-numbing agent.  Trust me, this has saved face in many inter-species dinner parties for centuries.

Second is to read up on Tellarite cuisine and learn as much as you can.  Your in-laws will be impressed by your knowledge and willingness to learn about their culture.

Third is to learn and then practice the careful art of making points about cooking without making them personal.  You can argue about the types of spices used or traditional cooking methods without directly insulting someone’s hard work.  Think of it this way – you could say ‘That dress has an asymmetrical cut that draws the eyes horizontally across the fabric creating an illusion of width.  I think it would look great on someone who was very tall and wanted the illusion of a rounder figure.”  Or you could say “You look fat in that dress.”  Which one do you think will get you punched?  Learn not to say that.

Dear Kr’Abby,

Should I headbutt my half-Klingon boyfriend to show him I like him?

-Young and Curious

Dear Young and Curious,

Absolutely.

Then make him read love poetry to you and be sure to throw some chairs at him.

Also, book an appointment to see a doctor afterwards.  It will probably get rough, but it will be oh so worth it.

Dear Kr’Abby is written by Doctor B’Rusk, the Federation’s foremost half-Klingon psychologist who specializes in tough-love advice. We take submissions from across the galaxy!

 


Awards Ceremony 2018 – Duty Post Awards and finale

Welcome to the final day of the awards ceremony. So far this week we’ve announced the recipients of the Staff, General, Length of Service and Special Awards. Today we present the duty post awards. Each award focuses on a different department from the major ones such as medical, operations or engineering to the more unique – like diplomacy, intel or marines. Even civilians have a chance to be recognized for the valuable contributions that can be made to our stories by those who prefer the path less worn.

Each of these awards recognizes a player for excellence in simming their duty post. Since only one award per duty post is given each year, only the very best are chosen and they are highly coveted awards. You’ll see from our spread of winners – who range in rank from Ensign to Captain – that every player has a chance to be considered for one of these by consistently simming to the best of their ability and striving to improve their craft.

In closing this year’s awards ceremony we’d like to thank the people who made this possible and make one final, special presentation. Our thanks and appreciation goes out to:

  • Awards facilitator Rear Admiral Renos, who is facilitating the awards ceremony for the third year running.
  • The Awards Committee, comprised or Rear Admiral Renos, Captains Brell and Sal Taybrim, Commanders Oddas Aria and Maxwell Traenor, who voted on the Duty Post and Special Awards and who volunteered to help pull materials together to help prepare the announcements. They put in a considerable amount of time and effort to help ensure everything was accurate, prepared and ready for awards day. Their help has made this the smoothest awards ceremony yet.
  • The commanding officers of the fleet, who put in a lot of time and effort to review the nominations for their ships and ensure that the right people are selected for awards.
  • The first officers of the fleet, for voting on the staff awards to provide recommendations to the EC about who they should choose to receive each award, for determining the recipient of general awards where their CO was nominated, and writing awards presentations where needed.
  • Captains Nugra and Roshanara Rahman for helping to update the wiki with this year’s recipients.
  • All of you who submit wonderful, heartfelt nominations each year!

Finally, while we’re all rockin’ them feels for all the awesome fun and friendship we’ve got going on here for a crack-a-lackin’ 24 years the awards facilitator, Rear Admiral Renos, would like to give a special shout out to the community’s founder, Fleet Admiral Wolf.

It’s not always easy to see just how much Fleet Admiral Wolf pours into this community because a lot of his tireless work is done in the background. Whether he’s working with the website, forums, WordPress, wiki or other resources we have, he makes sure everyone has accounts, and troubleshoots issues ensuring we can all enjoy everything the community has to offer all of the time. His inbox is always open to everyone, whether you’ve been working as a staff member for years or you’re a brand new ensign. His passion, drive and determination keep this community thriving and going strong in an age where there are more real life pressures, more options for entertainment than ever before. On behalf of the whole community I want to take a moment just to that him for everything he continues to do for us.

Find out who this year’s duty post super stars are first by heading down to the forums today where you can read about and congratulate our talented award recipients. The full awards ceremony is now available, in full, on the wiki.


Awards Ceremony 2018 – Length of Service and Special Awards

Welcome to day three of the annual awards ceremony! Yesterday we announced the recipients of the staff and general awards. Today we’re proud to present the Length of Service and Special Awards.

Our Length of Service Awards recognize folks who’ve hit one of our membership tiers in the last year: 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, and now 15-year and 20-year! Special Awards is a catch-all category for awards that don’t fit elsewhere, but mostly entail OOC community innovation and dedication.

Just like with the staff and duty post awards, only one of each award is given each year, with one notable exception: The Xalor Clan Xifilis award, given to any player who has overcome any sort of disadvantage while simming. We don’t compare and weigh one person’s struggles against another but rather award this to all eligible and deserving candidates who are nominated for it.

Head to the forums now to see who received each of the Length of Service and Special Awards from each ship across the fleet, and be sure to congratulate the winners!


The 2018 Awards Ceremony starts today!

While our group was founded in 1994, our first ceremony was held in 1996, bringing together the whole fleet for an in character celebration. Since then, we’ve seen the addition of dozens of new awards, a transition to out of character presentations, and a move from the traditional December presentation to June, to coincide with the yearly anniversary of our founding.

Over the course of four days, we’ll present to the fleet five categories of awards:

  • Duty Post: Honoring the best simmer from each duty post
  • Special: Honoring specific aspects of simming or OOC work
  • Length of Service: Honoring members who have been with us for a year, all the way up to 10 years and more
  • Staff: Honoring the work of our fleet’s staff members
  • General: Honoring the members who’ve won this year’s General, or ship-based awards

Today we’re very excited to present the General and Staff Awards.

The Staff awards are only for those members who have achieved the rank of commander or higher. These awards recognize the hard work of our staff, who do the behind-the-scenes work required to keep the engine of our community running, and smoothly at that! They help foster the fun simming environment we all enjoy.

The General (Ship) Awards, have been presented by each captain to their crew. The winners this year, as in previous years, were chosen by the fleet’s commanding officers (or in cases where the commanding officer was also nominated, the first officer was called in to decide) from the nominations made by you! This is your chance to see how each of the other ships did and see who picked up what award.

Find out who won each of the nine staff awards and the general awards by heading to the forums, where you can read about and congratulate our talented award recipients.


Join us for the Fleetwide Watch-a-Long Chat

Join us next Sunday for our theme of “Descendants” where we watch two great episodes of Star Trek at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am Sydney (AUS). (Click here to see your timezone and add this chat to your calendar.)

How does a watch-along work? Simple! Grab yourself a copy of the episode in any format you like and log onto the chat. Get there a little early if you can to say hi and get all your stuff ready. Then, when the hour rolls around everyone present presses play and we watch a great episode of Trek while chatting about everything we love and remember about it. Or joking about it!

The episodes we will be viewing are:

Star Trek: DS9 S5 E22  – Children of Time, and Star Trek: Enterprise S3 E21 – E2. Children of Time starts at 10:05am (Or :05 past your starting time), and we’ll start E2 one hour later. The first episode is 50 minutes long, so that gives everyone some time for a bathroom break in between. You can show up for one episode or both. And if you can’t find a copy of the episode, you’re still welcome to hang out with us!

The episodes are available on Netflix or Hulu if you have a subscription, as well as pay-per-view on Amazon.

To participate, simply head to our Discord channel, at: https://www.starbase118.net/chat


Dear Kr’Abby: Pets

Dear Kr’Abby,

I am a Science Officer aboard a Starfleet vessel. Recently, I faced a disciplinary panel which concluded I should run all future and existing scientific projects by my superior officers before continuing. This is highly disagreeable. My question is, do bacteria count as a science project, or a pet? As long as the tank remains sealed, I do not believe anyone is in danger of contracting antibiotic-resistant necrotising fascilitis.

-I’m Not Mad, I’m a Scientist

Dear Mad Scientist,

It strikes me that even in this very question you are trying to find ways to skirt the rules.  Honest, I dislike rules as much as the next person, but you are a Starfleet Officer and Starfleet loves rules.  I am guessing that disciplinary panel you faced involved bending rules.  So I looked up the Starfleet rule regarding pets on Starfleet vessels:

Book 27, Section 386, Paragraph 8: All pets onboard a Starfleet vessel are subject to approval by the Chief Security Officer and the Chief Medical Officer to determine the appropriate safety levels of housing the pet on the vessel.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to allow officers and crew in single quarters or family quarters to keep a pet in those quarters and still maintain the safety of the crew at large.  Crew residing in double or bunk accommodations must have the permission of all bunk mates to keep the pet, or the pet must be easily contained in a manner that is both safe for others and humane for the pet.

I think the key words here are ‘reasonable accommodations’ and ‘easily contained’ which it appears your bacteria are.  That said it gives you a choice of running the bacterial experiment past your senior officers vs. running the bacterial pet past your chief of security and medicine.  Honestly if you are extremely committed to your experimentation you might be better served as an independent researcher, but if you are a committed Starfleet officer I expect your superiors will continue to tighten the rules until you are comfortable conforming to them or find a different venue to experiment in.

 

Dear Kr’Abby,

My daughter is obsessed with tribbles and wants to get one as a pet.  I don’t like tribbles.  What should I do?

-Starfleet Dad

Dear Starfleet Dad,

Threaten to eat the tribble, say no and get your daughter a cat instead.

I’m serious, tribbles are a menace to society.  Cats are nice.

Dear Kr’Abby is written by Doctor B’Rusk, the Federation’s foremost half-Klingon psychologist who specializes in tough-love advice. We take submissions from across the galaxy!


Witty Wordsmith: 5 Questions for Better Backstories

You’ve done it!  You have just graduated from the academy with a shiny new ensign!  Or maybe you just put yourself forward to play a pivotal new mission NPC.  Now you’re sitting with a blank wiki page and wondering how to flesh out a good character backstory that will make you and your fellow players want to read about and care about this character for months if not years to come.

1: Where does your character come from?

This is such an important question in defining a character’s backstory that frequently gets overlooked.  Say you want to play a human, but you want to make your human officer unique from other human officers on the ship.  Think of how different your character would be if they were born and grew up on a harsh colony world instead of Earth.  Or if they are a proud Lunar citizen and have a bunch of quirks that mark them as one.  Or maybe they grew up on a starship.  All of these locations turn a simple concept in a complex and interesting character.

Also consider – did your character grow up with lots of other species, or was everyone of the same species?  Or were you one of the only humans (or Vulcans or…) living in a very different culture.  Pick a location and build your character’s outlook, culture and quirks from that foundation.


Dear Kr’Abby: Coming of Age

Dear Kr’Abby,

May parents won’t let me leave the planet I live on.  All they do is nag me about how dangerous it is out there in the galaxy.  How do I get them to get off my back?
–Frustrated and Young

Dear Frustrated and Young,

The simple answer is: do your parents realize that it’s equally dangerous anywhere?  One cannot control chaos, it will strike whenever and wherever it pleases, even on the most pastoral of planets.  However, I imagine you have already pointed this out to your parents and have not gotten a positive response.  So let me address the two issues I see in this situation: the desire for freedom, and nagging.

You desire freedom, but have you thought it through?  Do you have employment available for you?  Shelter?  Friends or family who will support you in your travels?  A safe way to travel?  If you have not thought any of this through, your parents may be making valid points and you may need to put more time and effort into considering your adventures before you embark upon them.

Conversely, if you have put thought and effort into these issues and you are still being nagged, then nagging is a sign that your parents feel powerless and are trying to assert power over you.  It may be time for a discussion with them on why they feel the need to control your destiny.  They may have issues that they require counseling on.

Of course if you have prepared your trip well, talked to your parents and they still will not allow you your freedom, a great many adventures have come from a brave person who runs away from home.  Just make sure you have a job or family member waiting for you in the cosmos before you set off.

Dear Kr’Abby,

Girls think I smell bad, what should I do?
–Really not that smelly

Dear Really,

Well, do you smell bad?  That’s a loaded question as many species smell differently and many species have different olfactory senses to recognize good and bad smells.  So, please try this simple three step process:

  1. Are you fulfilling hygiene requirements for a young member of your species?  If not, do so!  Hygiene is not just for Vulcan scholars and teenage Terran girls, but for everyone!  If so, then go to step two.
  2. Is your species known for a pungent smell?  If not, please see a health professional and get a routine examination.  A foul smell can be a sign of a medical condition.  If not, continue to step three.
  3. If you are healthy and hygienic, tell the girls to kiss your targ.

Everyone will smell differently, and some people just need to learn to adapt to everything that living in a multi-species galaxy brings, including many new smells.

Dear Kr’Abby is written by Doctor B’Rusk, the Federation’s foremost half-Klingon psychologist who specializes in tough-love advice. We take submissions from across the galaxy!


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