Mailbox Special: Your questions… answered

I’m back! Thank you, Cat Flaggers, for responding to my anniversary post, either to ask a question or just to wish me congratulations. I really appreciate you all! This post is for you.

Now, to answer those questions…

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Hiking, hands down.

I love walking, getting fresh air, enjoying the scenery around me. The exercise is also healthy for me. I sometimes go on walks just for the heck of it, but I really love going to a park or nature preserve and hiking the trails. I’m so lucky to live in a place that has all kinds of state parks and forests full of trails. It’s beautiful out here, and it makes for some exciting hikes. My dad is a birdwatcher, and we often hike together, though he will sometimes stop suddenly to look at a bird he just heard, when all I want to do is charge ahead.

I guess running would be my second choice, though I am not in as good a shape as I was when I ran for my high school cross-country team, and all of my running shoes have been worn out.

Who would win? Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Trek, hands down. Here’s why.

In Star Wars, much of the fighting is done by tiny fighters with tiny ray guns that wouldn’t even scratch the Enterprise’s shields. Although there are several references in Star Wars to “deflector shields”, they seem to be almost an afterthought and have next to no stopping power. In A New Hope, the X-Wings are able to just buzz right through it, and throughout the battle sequences there is much more stuff blowing up than stuff dissipating around the ship.

A demonstration of Star Trek's shields when hit.

The Death Star would be a legitimate threat, to be sure. But do you think the Enterprise’s scanners that can pick up small life forms from orbit around a planet wouldn’t pick up a small exhaust port?

The only place where Star Wars has a clear advantage is in hand-to-hand combat. Because Star Wars fight scenes look like this:

And Star Trek’s like this:

Yeah, if it were a hand-to-hand fight, then Star Wars would mop the floor with Star Trek. But otherwise, Star Trek would win.

You did a great job on Homeless in Paradise. Do you have any plans for another documentary?

You are not the first person to ask that. I haven’t ruled out making another documentary, but so far I just haven’t come up with a subject to make one on. Plus, as working on Homeless in Paradise taught me, documentary film-making requires lots of planning ahead, because calling people, setting up interviews, filming, catching sound bites, getting all the permissions you need, and editing are all serious time-consumers. I would probably be working on such a project for about three weeks to a month, and I would have to find a subject I’m really passionate about to dedicate that kind of time. If I do end up making another documentary, I will be sure to let you all know.

Were you aware of the “other” Cat Flag phenomenon?

Yes. I am aware that there is someone who made a T-shirt saying “Cat Flag”, as well as a number of variants. The creator of that line contacted me some time ago on Twitter, and has commented on my blog. I guess sometimes different people just spontaneously come up with similar ideas. Great minds really do think alike!

What are your goals for Cat Flag in your second year of writing it?

Well, I haven’t really thought about that too much recently. Then again, I really want to start posting more news stories that I’ve investigated and reported on myself. I haven’t really done that in a long time, and I think it’s high time I bust out my camera and notepad again. I have one story idea in mind, that I expect to be able to cover fairly soon… stay tuned!

Another goal is to cut back on preachy-sounding editorials. I’ve done far too many of those recently. And I want to do more movie reviews… I’ve recently become a n00b movie buff, and this year is looking like it will be a bumper year for good films! Maybe movie reviews might become a regular feature, you never know.

Thanks to Ramona, Zachary, bluemoonsailor and AuntLessie for your questions! And thanks to all of you Cat Flaggers for your support!

Before I go: Mike Wallace, the famous news reporter who was the long-standing face of 60 Minutes, died Saturday at the age of 93. Wallace was famous for his intense on-air interrogations of anyone and everyone, including Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. Rising from being laid off at ABC, he joined CBS’s news team and after spending time in Vietnam and in morning news ended up making 60 Minutes a household name. Mr. Wallace leaves behind a wife, a son, a stepdaughter, two stepsons, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The journalism world will miss him.