Sunday, January 01, 2006

To Eat or Not to Eat...

Chef’s log 3 February 2163.

The ritual cleansing of the galley is almost complete. The Imam has been through in his inspections with his Halal Tricorder. As he was just about to fix the halal sticker on the galley, he changed his mind because he noticed there is an entry named “Bacon and eggs” on the food synthesiser menu.

“Bacon is not halal,” he said. I explained that the food synthesiser recycle the pooh and waste of the starship. It breaks them down into molecules and rearranging it into synthesised protein, fibre and liquid. The bacon is not pork and the eggs are not actually eggs.

I also explained how synthol is made too, a synthesised form of alchohol that mimics the taste but not the alcoholic effects. Synthol is served because alcoholic beverages are not allowed on board.

“AUDHU BILLAHI MIN ASH SHAYTAN AR RAJIM. You say this thing makes alcohol too?!” he exclaimed. “Ok, I am not going to approve this ‘thing’ with the halal sticker,” he continued.

I spent another half hour trying to explain how the food synthesiser work and things that come out from the machine is not what they are supposed to be. I gave up at the end, trying to explain the science and concept behind the food synthesiser to this graduate from a religious school in Kabul...

I have to see the bigger picture in this case; the starship won’t be allowed to fly if the kitchen does not have a halal sticker on it. I compromised by removing the so-called “non-halal” items from the menu.

The Imam seems satisfied and approved my kitchen after the religious drama.

I rest my case. Chef out.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Beam Scotty up my friend...

The remains of late Star Trek actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on the show, are to be blasted into space accompanied by thousands of tributes from adoring fans.

The actor, who transported the crew of the Enterprise to and from the starship on the now immortalised command, "Beam me up, Scotty", is to go where only a few men have ever gone when his ashes are launched in orbit in December.

Doohan, who died in July at the age of 85, had asked that his ashes be launched into the final frontier following his demise.

But Space Services, a Texas-based company that rocketed the remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960s drug guru Timothy Leary into the firmament, said Doohan would be accompanied by thousands of fan letters.

The messages to the immensely popular star will be digitised and put onto a disc that will be put in the rocket's payload and accompany his remains into space, the company said.

Doohan's ashes will be fired into orbit from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 6 aboard Space Services' Falcon I rocket. A memorial service will be held at Vandenberg, north of Los Angeles, the day before.

Canadian-born Doohan played engineer Montgomery Scott in the original 1960s Star Trek television series that has spawned a decades-long cult following of the show.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Great Assembly part 3

Captain’s log stardate 20332.4.1.

After two days of waiting, the registration department finally forwarded me the list of potential crew members. Frankly speaking, I am not keen on the candidates extracted from the Unemployed Graduate Database.

It is difficult for me to comply with Admiral Abu’s request to reflect “the harmony of our society” without compromising the safety of the whole crew by having unqualified staff. However, space faring is not a simple matter, I have decided keep the “harmony” my way, for my top notch officers I don’t really care if they are Caucasian white, Sulliban green or Andorian blue. I will fill up the “quota” with the non-commissioned crewmen. Just cross my fingers and pray that they don’t visit the mess hall to have tea every 3 hours. Perhaps I should ask the chef not to program the dispenser to serve teh tarik.

Although we are not the first to venture into deep space, this will be the very first time under our own flag. No one understands the Xinjiang er… sorry KDA Mahathir like the people who built & used them. Hence we've been assigned 2Lt Daibao, a PLAAF maintenance engineer currently attached to Jiuquan spacedock. She will be joining us when we collect Mahathir there.

For my science officer, I need someone with interplanetary experience. However, we were deemed too primitive by Vulcan because we are still adhering to the Everything-shall-reflect-the-social-harmony policy. Well, what can I do? Our Prime Minister said that he is not going to make everyone colour blind. For this post, I have no choice but to get Cdr Telev though he has two little antennas on his head and he is blue, fluorescent blue. He will make a fine science officer.

Holding the helm will be SLt Takizo, half Malaysian half Vulcan, he is the only Malaysian I know who will never get a kopi license to fly a spaceship.

I would like to get Lt Mutu as the comm officer, he is the guy who can really talk cock and able to twist his tongue in any way you can think of.

For tactical and security, I will take LtCdr Adnan, he is a veteran trainer for our National Service program.

We'll asemble the crew & head out to Jiuquan in the next few days to take possession of our starship. Ali out.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Great Assembly part 2

Captain’s log supplemental.

My engineers nearly started a riot when Admiral Abu conveyed the message that we are not going to continue the build the star ship. I was pretty pissed off too after so much hard work to a space ship together…

Admiral Abu brought us the "good" news that at half of our intended budget, the Chinese are going to sell us the PLAAF Xinjiang, one of their ‘geriatric’ Dongfan class starships. At least it comes with the the latest halal-food synthesizer. Chef will be pleased. The word at HQ is that a free space tour for Admiral Abu, our dear Prime Minister and their families on board the PLAAF's latest warp 5 starship clinched the deal.

Well they could have fooled the others by using the word ‘geriatric’, but my English is not that bad. It just means ‘old’. The Dongfan class ships were the first attempt by Cherry Aeronautics when they tried to copy the NX class starships. As with all Cherry knock-offs the vessel looks authentic, but only on the outside. When it goes to warp 2, the captain’s seat fells like its attached to a blender.

What could we do? We all signed the Aku Janji agreement when we were asked to join this project. So our creaking excuse of a starship now sits in Jiuquan spacedock waiting to be brought back to Kuah Space Port in Langkawi for commissioning by the Prime Minister's wife. Fingers crossed, her bottle of grape juice won't make a dent in the hull.

My latest order from Admiral Abu is to assemble a crew to fly the geriatric Xinjiang, now renamed KDA Mahathir. He specifically asked me to make sure that the team will reflect “the harmony of our society” and the priority should be given to those who are on the Unemployed Graduate Database.

I have asked the registration department to prepare a list of possible candidates and as usual, they are not as efficient as I would expect.

Ali out.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Great Assembly part 1

Captain’s log stardate 203 er… 32.3 er… Oh. Its 20332.3.5. Hell, it is November 21, 2162.

I am still not familiar with the stardate system, a new system imposed by the Boleh Aeronautical & Space Agency a few days ago because they want to be different from other space agencies on earth.

I was asked by Admiral Abu to assemble a team and work with BASA to come with an exploration space ship that can travel faster than light. BASA was not happy when I ordered the warp 2 capable engine from Mitsubishi due to some historical event over 70 years ago. I did not give a damn because BASA gave me so little budget and that’s fastest that I could get. The BASA budget was so low until I have instruct the engineers to get some scrap alloy from the Waja junk yard to make the hull plating of the ship. For kevlar and graphite composite, we recycled the tennis racket rejects from Adidas.

For electronics and computer components, we had a great deal with Engtel. Engtel is the only Chinese company that can supply us with 100% Intel compatible processors, sub-processors and parts. For photonics, Cisico of China gave us a super saver for the the optical networks. For operating systems, we still have not decided whether we should use FreeBSD version 362, Windows XVI-P Space Edition or Mac OS XVI. So I have asked my engineer to get a few trial copies from Low Yat plaza. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.

Ali out.