Down the Ballot

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where to Watch Star Trek?

Some of you may be wondering how to get your Star Trek fix right now, well luckily the internets are a wonderful place to get information. Here is a quick rundown of some places you can catch one of the shows.

Memory Alpha has a full list of current airings of all the Star Trek shows on the front page of their website. For those of you that don't know Memory Alpha is the largest online Star Trek wiki. You can find all sorts of cool trek info here.

For those of us in the United States, the Syfy channel and BBC America are the only stations listed as airing Star Trek the Next Generation. If you were planning on doing any watching for the 25th Anniversary, your best bet is probably dvd or online viewing.

If you don't have the money to go out and buy all the shows on dvd, and you want to watch something other than the Original Series you need to sign up for Netflix.

Netflix offers all six Star Trek television series for instant streaming. also has them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top 10 Star Trek TNG List: Guest Stars

To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation I am going to be generating some Top 10 lists. Just some little fun for you Trekkies or for folks that are not, but would like to learn a little bit about Star Trek The Next Generation.

TNG was a show that attracted artists of all walks of life. For some it was just a job, and for some probably a thrill of a lifetime. Here are my Top 10 favorite guest stars of STTNG.

10. Mick Fleetwood
I'm a big Fleetwood Mac fan, and I didn't find out until years later that Mick Fleetwood actually guest starred early on in TNG. The Season 2 Manhunt featured a race of aliens called the Antedans, of which Fleetwood played one of the fish aliens. According to Star Trek Communicator, part of the agreement involved his accepting was his character taking the transporter in return for having to have his beard shaved off. This is a great guest star/cameo because with all the make up on Fleetwood you don't even recognize him. (Star Trek Communicator issue 152)

First Debate: A Week Away

The first of three Presidential debates will be held just one week from today on October 3rd. Romney and Obama are most likely going to be the only participants. Which is great for the campaigns, but probably not so great for a healthy discussion of public policy. I like President Obama and I'm sure Mitt Romney is ok fella, but debates are about ideas and I suspect we are more likely to see the stage used at the debate for dueling campaign commercials.

I think most Americans would welcome changes, though the problem doesn't seem to be all that pressing to them. Candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein who have qualified to be on the ballot in enough states to win the election, deserve a national audience along with Obama and Romney. I'm a Democrat and I think our current system is very undemocratic.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

National Voter Registration Day: Go Register & Vote

Regardless of political affiliations or feelings you should register. You deserve a say in how your schools are managed, your roads are built, your rivers cleaned and who your leaders are. Even if you feel there is nobody worth voting for on the ballot, that shouldn't stop you from writing in a name of someone you think ought to be there instead of the bums.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Electoral Map Monday Update 9/23/2012

Electoral Vote Table 2012
Source Obama Romney Other/Tossup 330.4 207.6 -
RCP 347 191 - 328 206 4

206 332 206

Well it is Monday morning, let us look and see how the number have changed since I posted on the 15th. I will try and post a new update every Monday morning. I decided to eliminate several of the map predictions as I feel they are not updated regularly enough. The 3 sites still being used are updated daily with new polling information. 

538 and RCP both showed a jump since last week for President Obama. While at the polling data they use has placed NH in the toss up column.

Election Entertainment: Newsradio

Due to the nature of the season, a lot of stuff on tv or online can get the typical voter and even the  seasoned politico down. You might not realize it, but there is a lot of great election themed television out there from our friends in Hollywood. From now until Election Day I'll profile some of the better election themed television and film out there to view.

The first, is perhaps one of my favorites. It comes from the NBC television show Newsradio. That aired from 1995 to 1999. This show is special for many reasons. The cast was dynamic. Dave Foley, of Kids in the Hall fame, Stephen Root (King of the Hill, Office Space, Star Trek The Next Generation....and many, many more), Maura Tierney (ER, Liar, Liar, Primary Colors), and they are rounded out by Andy Dick, Vicki Lewis, Joe Rogan and Kandi Alexander.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

5 Ideas to Rock You to Action for the APIC Part 3

This next subject can get a little prickly for some. What got me thinking about this issue was a combination of the recent membership fee increase and plea for advertisers for the Keynoter. It seems these issues are interrelated.

All non-profits go through lean times and years when money has not been an issue. Our organization is no different. I purchased last year a few old Keynoters and in the Spring 2000 issue was featured the 1999 APIC Financial Statement.  Needless to say, I was a bit astonished to find this, since having been a member off and on since 2007 I have never seen a financial statement printed in the Keynoter. It is an amazing document summary of a budget. If you have worked on non-profits you know the pains of budget preparation. I know I have. Long meetings, heated debate/arguments about where your finite resources should be allocated.

5 Ideas to Rock You to Action for the APIC Part 2

Yesterday I started a conversation about social media and embracing technology for our organization. Today, I would like to talk about embracing your membership. Members are lured to organizations all the time. Depending on the organization and its backing will determine what exactly is asked of these members once they hand over their membership fee.

2. Use them or lose them: Membership Needs to Matter

Electoral College Musings

Electoral Vote Table 2012
Source Obama Romney Other/Tossup 319.1 218.9 -
RCP 332 206 - 332 206 -
NBC 237 191 110
PBS 247 206 85
270TW 237 182 119
CNN 237 191 110
Provided above are some of the leading news sites electoral map predictions. All of these maps tell a slightly different take on a general theme of the race right now: It is President Obama's to lose. How his campaign conducts itself over the next 50 days along with his perceived responses to events will determine if he remains above 270 or fails to make 270. Don't forget those debates either. They will may or may not play a big role in shaping our perceptions of the two major campaigns.

I will note that little polling has been done to determine what role third party campaigns will play in the 2012 election. These electoral maps are not completely accurate. Also for those fans of Fox News. If you visit their site, you will that they use Real Clear Politics data.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

5 Ideas to Rock You to Action for the APIC Part 1

One of the side effects of being underemployed and back in school is you get a lot of time to sit and contemplate the realities of life. This particular night I found myself thinking about the APIC (those of us in the know, know this is the non-profit founded in 1945 dedicated to preserving America's political history). I am involved with a lot of groups, but none that hold as special of a place in my heart than this one. Like you my fellow members, your time and energy are pulled every in numerous directions and it can get a little overwhelming. We sometimes forget the groups that ask very little of us need help just as much as the larger ones that are always sending out donation requests.

So I came up with five ideas that might stir another devoted member in action and together we could help out the APIC. Only by discussing ideas can we figure out what we really want to accomplish as a group. We talk lots about our collections and getting others to collect, but I haven't noticed much outside of that and thought it would be good if we got use to bouncing ideas off each other. Here is my first idea.

1. Embrace Technology & Social Media 

Monday, September 10, 2012

SNL Season 38: Seth MacFarlane To Start the Fall Laughs

NBC has been hit or miss the last decade. While new shows come and go or only last a few seasons, we can always count on our old friend Saturday Night Live to be there when times are tough. Season 38 will see some folks leave or as the media always describes it "a time of transition of the show".

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Buttons: Trekkies for Obama

Here are some of my newest button designs.

Shut Up Williard is a hark back to the first season of Star Trek The Next Generation where everyone would say "Shut Up Wesley!"

There is a Stargate themed pin with Obama and other statewide Democratic candidates in Oregon.

Mayor Adam West even has his own pin.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Only One Speech: Lincoln Chafee Addresses the 2012 DNC

To me, the 2012 election will come down to Lincoln Chafee and the millions (and millions...sorry Rocky) of voters like him across this country. They can't be pigeonholed into 'conservative', 'liberal' 'moderate' or whatever term the media and political parties want to put on them. They're normal folks, who do that what they do to get by in the 21st Century. 

 This speech is really interesting politically. I'll blog some more on it after I watch it a few more times.