To Boldly Go Where Many Have Gone Before

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

And so began the seven season (178 episode) journey. I’ve started the month of September with an idea. To watch the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation, again. Why, of all the shows on my ever-growing list of catching up to do, why choose a show now thirty years old. Because, TNG was Dads and my show. We’re coming up fast on the one year mark since he passed. I thought it fitting to relive some of what we bonded over, all those years ago.

The Cubs, Computers and Star Trek

The three biggest things that bonded us together: The Cubs, computers and Star Trek. Often in that order, but not always. I can remember watching Dads collection of ST:TOS. Many episodes, more than once. Then, in 1986, my favorite Star Trek movie, The Voyage Home, premiered. 1987 brought us Captain Jean-Luc Picard and NCC-1701-D. If I wasn’t already hooked on Star Trek by that point. I definitely was after their encounter with Q. The Enterprise became our home (Far) away from home, together. Possibly, because it coincided, more or less, with the official end of my parents marriage. During our weekends together, Saturday nights became Star Trek Night. I probably asked too many questions that Dad would try his best to answer to a 9 year olds satisfaction.

Today, and for the last year, I’m overwhelmed with a mix of sadness and nostalgia. Neither one completely separate from the other. Desperately holding on to nearly 40 years of memories. All the while, praying that somewhere, out there, Dad knows how much he’s missed, how much he’s loved and how damn sorry I am that his last days were spent in pain. If I could have one more day to spend with him, I’d like to say that I’d tell him all the things I never had the chance to. When, in reality, one more Cubs game on TV followed by a Star Trek marathon would feel the most… satisfying. I can sit here and share all the thoughts and things that I should’ve said. But, if given the opportunity, with him by my side, I would rather just have a bit more fun with Dad.

To be truthful. I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone but me. I reread it and the others I’ve posted and sometimes they sound clear and others it all sounds like a jumbled mess with no real beginning, or end.

The Pain Is Real, On Both Sides

Earlier today, the world was hit with the shocking news that Chester Bennington had died. Chester was, mainly, the lead vocalist for Linkin Park, but also had his hands (and voice) in many other things. Out of High School for just a few years, when LP burst on the music scene and I’ve been a fan ever since. His voice was incredible with a range that at times, seemed off the charts. Songs that resonated with so many people, not just for the words he sang, but for the way he sang them.

Suicide Prevention LifelineAbove and beyond the wonders that were and are Chester Bennington, I’m writing because of how he died. News reports state that he hung himself in his home. Suicide. It’s heartbreaking and unfathomable to most anyone how this is the final outcome some people either prefer, or feel is their only option left in life. I know a little, because suicide took someone close to us.

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Lost in Thoughts and Memories

Getting lost in a video game, TV show or movie, is quiet easy. Lately though, I get lost in thought much easier. We’re fast approaching a year since Dad passed away and still not a day goes by where he’s not on my mind. At times, I feel sort of left out. Why? Believe what you will of life after death and things of that nature. But, a few friends of his have told me how Dad has come to them in a dream, since he passed. While I sit wondering, why not me? Selfish? I know, but he’s my dad, I’m allowed.

I ran across a story earlier that completely entranced me, A Son’s Race to Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality. It’s such an amazing creation. I’d give anything to have one more conversation with Dad. To hear one more corny joke or watch one more Cubs game together. Hell, as much as it drove me up a wall, I want to hear, “Remember, it’s only a game”, one more time, when I get pissed off at bowling not going the way I feel it should.

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I Quit Smoking and Started Vaping!

Vaping Saved My Life

A little over a year ago, my wife and I walked into a neighborhood vape shop. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. See, I’d tried many times to quit smoking. A month here, a couple of months there, and I’d be back at the gas station picking up a pack of cigarettes. All tolled, I smoked for about 20 years. About a pack a day, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

Vaping Saved My LifeThe first trip to a vape shop was enlightening. Thanks to a great shop owner who walked us through everything. He welcomed us in and  didn’t bully us into spending half a paycheck on some top of the line mod. He got us each started very simple, with a Kangertech, if I remember correctly. We sampled a bunch of different juices. I settled on a candy flavor that tasted just like Swedish Fish. Veronica ended up with something watermelon.

I’d like to say I started vaping and never looked back, but that’d be a lie. For the rest 2016, I smoked and vaped. About half a pack a day, it was an improvement. Starting this past new year, I finally gave up smoking completely. Six and a half months have passed and its the longest I’ve gone without a cigarette, by far, since I took up the habit at 15 years old. Since that very first mod, I’ve upgraded first to a iStick Pico/Aspire Cleito and more recently to the Smok Alien 220/iJoy Limitless RDTA plus. If you’re thinking of starting to vape. I can’t recommend Aspire Cleito coils, enough. I got the best life out of them, before I moved up to the rebuildable drip tank atomizer.

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