Star Trek Ship Diagrams

When I was in high school, I often went to Star Trek conventions with my friend. One of the things I enjoyed doing was going to the dealers’ room where I could buy a lot of different Star Trek goods. I wanted the books, mostly. On Facebook, I saw a gallery of Star Trek starship cutaways, which brought back a lot of memories.

startrektngtechnicalmanualThere are three books I bought at the conventions that have a lot of diagrams and schematics. I think the biggest and most thorough one is the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. I thought it was an incredible book. I still have it, but it’s in Canada. I’m looking forward to reading it again. I’ve even had it autographed by James Doohan. Although it’s the wrong ship, he did appear in one episode of TNG.

I have a couple other books with many diagrams. They are Jackill’s Star Fleet Reference Manual: Ships of the Fleet Volume I and Volume II. Those books are incredible, although not official. They have so many original cast movie era starships with cutaways from side and front, and many diagrams, statistics, and more. I loved those books. But you know what? Searching for these books on Amazon gave me a surprise. There’s a Volume III! I had no idea. Looks like the Excelsior class is on the cover. I must try and get this book.

Now, I have to try and make diagrams of the ships that take the colonists to Ariadne. That’ll be quite the monumental task, I think.

Four Months Until Canada

Time just keeps going by quickly. It’s only four months until we go to Canada. There’s a lot of work to do, but I’m also anticipating a lot of more exciting things.

There are things that will happen that I’ve never experienced before. First, a lot of my relatives will be meeting my daughter for the first time. My mom will get to see her for the first time in person. My dad will also see her for the first time. Another thing is that I’m going to have a car for the first time. I’m really looking forward to that.

There’s a lot of food I want to eat again:

  • Harvey’s burgers
  • Arby’s sandwiches
  • Cheese! Sure, there’s cheese in Japan, but it’s almost all processed.
  • Potato chip flavours including dill pickle, Miss Vickie’s salt and vinegar, jalapeno, and barbecue.
  • Green peas, which are so expensive in Japan.
  • Cheez Whiz
  • Nachos
  • Bacon that gets crispy when cooked

I’m also looking forward to joining the local fitness/sports centre, which also has a library. I want to go swimming and skating.

I will also finally be able to play SimCity 4 again, after I buy a new copy.

I’ll be able to watch all the Star Trek I want. And we’ll see movies occasionally.

Along with having a car, we’ll be able to take trips without having to deal with buses and trains, which can be difficult with a young child like we have.

It’ll also be nice to see the Rocky Mountains again.

There’s so much more to experience once again. It’ll also be great to see friends and family. Have I forgotten anything?

Common Mistakes I Hear While Teaching English

I’ve been teaching English in Japan for more than ten years now, and I constantly hear the same mistakes. There are certain words that are always misunderstood or misused. Some of them are so different than what they think it means, that what they say doesn’t make much sense. Let’s take a look at some.


This is what I often hear: “Nagano is very local.”

This is what they mean: “Nagano is very rural.”

This is what an English speaker thinks they mean: “Nagano is near here.”

Their mistake is thinking that local means that any town or small city is easy to get around, so it’s local. However, local merely means that it is something that is near your current location. Nagano is not local. It’s a bit too far away to be local.


This is what I often hear: “Patrick Stewart is a skinhead.”

This is what they mean: “Patrick Stewart is bald.”

This is what an English speaker thinks they mean: “Patrick Stewart is a Neo-Nazi.”

They think that skinhead is a very innocent term meaning bald. Whenever I explain to them what skinhead really means, they’re quite shocked. I would hope they don’t go up to a white guy and tell him he’s a skinhead. Yikes.

One piece

This is what I often hear: “I wore a cute one piece on my date.”

This is what they mean: “I wore a cute dress on my date.”

This is what an English speaker thinks they mean: “I wore a cute swimsuit on my date.”

Normally, we don’t say “one piece” in English, unless we couple it with “swimsuit.”  So, we have a one piece swimsuit. Rarely do we think of a dress, though.


This is what I often hear: “I love the American drama Full House.”

This is what they mean: “I love the American TV show Full House.”

This is what an English speaker thinks they mean: “I love the very serious American drama Full House.”

In Japan, drama means any kind of TV show that is fictional and has actors. It doesn’t matter what genre it is, it’s still a drama. In English, a drama is serious. They often don’t realise that we never call a sitcom a drama.

The last two are actually used in the Japanese language as loan words. Local and skinhead are just a misunderstanding. Of course, people of pretty much every country gets terms wrong for other languages. One example is that in English, people often proudly call themselves “otaku” as a kind of badge of honour. They think it means they’re just a dedicated fan of something. However, in Japan, it’s a rather insulting thing. People think otaku are outcasts, strange, and unhealthily obsessive. They’re not just fans, they’re considered extremely weird. So, anime and manga fans, don’t come to Japan and proudly tell everyone you’re an otaku. They’ll think you’re very strange.

Do you know of any words that are misunderstood or used incorrectly from one language to another?

Would You Ever Be on a Reality Show?

Reality shows are addictive. We all know they’re not reality, just tasks set up for people to do and situations people have to try to get through. I admit I watched them with curiosity about human nature. More often than not, they showed a side of human nature that we’d normally like to forget about. They become vindictive, backstabbing, and incredibly selfish.

Survivor is probably the most famous. Put a group of people in a remote location, give them tasks to do and watch the relationships form, grow, and break. It’s fascinating at times. I was interested in this show because we did a similar activity in junior high school, but without actually going to a deserted island. And we later read Lord of the Flies, which I found quite interesting. But would I be on Survivor? No way!

Big Brother is Survivor, but like everyone is under house arrest. It’s pure drama. No thanks.

Fear Factor is more like a game show. Three tasks related to common fears are set up and you have to pass one to go to the next. There were disgusting tasks, like sitting in a tub of cockroaches, tasks related to the fear of heights, and one forced the contestants to walk on a catwalk fully nude. I would not do this show.

The Amazing Race is a race with tasks you have to pass before going on to the next one. It’s a race around the world. Now this is something I really enjoyed watching. I love fantasy stories, and these often involve traveling and exploring. That’s what this is like. Would I do it? Maybe, if I had an adventurous partner.

Would you go on a reality show? Which would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

Week in Review – November 28, 2015

It’s been the week of languages. I got started with my test drives. This is definitely going to be interesting as I go through the languages, and I’m looking forward to getting to Russian. Let’s take a look at the week.

This week’s posts

I started the week off with comics. I asked my readers Do You Read Comics? I got plenty of good responses.

Just four months until we move to Canada, and it had me thinking about something. Check it out: From Japan to Canada – Changing My License. It’s not so difficult, but a little traveling is required.

Moving on from comics, I talked about cartoons. We had a big discussion on Childhood Cartoons. I loved Saturday morning! Join the discussion.

Cartoons were great, but the evening had some good shows, too. We talked about Sitcoms of the 70s and 80s, and found out what we watched. There were some great ones!

Got a moment? Help me out by voting for your favourite photos! See Choose My Best Instagram Photos – Round 1, Group 23. I’d love your opinions.

Maybe this is a little premature, but I think we already have 2015’s Biggest Science Story. See what I think, and share your opinion.

More votes, please! I want to find out what you think I should read. Which Fantasy Series Should I Try? I’d like more votes.

I then moved on to some politics. The Republican side of politics in the US is a mess. It’s insane. So, Please Explain Donald Trump and Ben Carson. At least they’re both becoming less popular.

Finally, it has begun! Earlier in the week, I posted Duolingo Language Test Drive to Begin. Well, it has already begun. But check out the order I’m doing the languages.

A quick look at palaeontology, it turns out Dimetrodon Is Canadian! It’s not a dinosaur, though. It’s more closely related to mammals.

Authors Answer 56 – Our Other Creative Endeavours talks about how creative we are and whether we do other kinds of art. We’re an artistic bunch! Check it out.

And so it really did begin. I gave my first language a try in Test Driving Languages – Irish. Wow, difficult!

More Shannara! The TV series is coming in the new year, and this time, MTV has given us a look at the opening title sequence. Check out The Shannara Chronicles Opening Sequence.


I’ve only read one book this week, and that’s The Dragon Reborn. I’m now nearly half way finished! At 44%.

Language Learning

French is still at level 8, but should go up soon.I made it to level 6 in Spanish, and German is also unchanged. The biggest change is Irish reaching level 2.

Thanks for reading this week. The next week, includes the beginning of December, and probably a book review. I’ve already started writing it, so I should finish quickly.

The Shannara Chronicles Opening Sequence

The Shannara Chronicles is coming. MTV released the opening title sequence of the upcoming TV series based on Terry Brooks’ Shannara series of novels. I’ll say this before you see the video: It’s a fantasy novel series, but…

Interesting, isn’t it? They’re really pushing the post-apocalyptic part of the story. Throughout The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara (the first season of the TV series is based on Elfstones), we get small glimpses of current day Earth, but it’s never outright shown that it is Earth. The Wishsong of Shannara is much more explicit in this, though. And there are several novels that span from The Word & Void to The Genesis of Shannara and Legends of Shannara that actually show the world changing into the fantasy world. Is this a spoiler? Not really, it’s actually widely known, and you can guess as much just by reading the back covers of the books. Regardless, I’m pretty excited about this TV series. I can’t watch it in Japan, but should be able to see it in other ways in the future.

What did you think of the opening sequence?

Test Driving Languages – Irish

Flag_of_Ireland.svgI’ve begun my test drive of all the languages on Duolingo. And the first is Irish. Irish is the native language of Ireland, but is only spoken as a first language by around 80,000 people in Ireland. The country is dominated by English now. But there are more than a million people studying Irish on Duolingo.

Is fear mé.

— I am a man.


This is easy. It’s the same as English, so you don’t need to learn anything. There are some vowels with accents on them, and those alter the pronunciation.


Wow. Difficult! It’s very difficult for a native English speaker to understand how to pronounce the words, as they just don’t seem to follow English rules. This will take a lot of getting used to. The word “fear” is pronounced “far” and it means “man” in English.


Completely different than English. English is Subject-Verb-Object. Irish is Verb-Subject-Object. It takes time to get used to. Also, the thing I find very difficult is verb conjugation.

Overall Impression

Irish is difficult! I went through the first few lessons without reviewing, and I retained very little. I had to keep checking to see what the words meant. The language is so foreign to me, that it’s not at all easy to pick up. This is a language that will take considerable time and dedication to learn. But I’ll do it!

Are you interested in studying it? Or can you speak it? Let me know in the comments below.