Join us on July 2nd at 12:00 PM ET (-4) / 5:00 PM BST (+1) in the fleet watch party channel of our Discord server. We’ll be announcing the newest members of the Hall of Fame, drawing names from among our monthly award winners over the last year for some real-world prizes, and we may also have a surprise or two.
Wordle. I don’t need to say much more as you’ve almost certainly heard of it. You’ve probably even played it! But on the outside chance that you don’t know anything about it, I’ll quote from Wikipedia:
“Wordle is a web-based word game created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, and owned and published by The New York Times Company since 2022. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback given for each guess in the form of colored tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.”
-Wikipedia entry for Wordle
I also happened to stumble upon this website that allows you to create your own Wordle games. So why not create a few for Independence Fleet? Well, here they are, 10 Wordles on words or topics related to Independence Fleet:
I’ve also created a similar article for the intersimming organization Ongoing Worlds if you’re interested. Warning: words #6 through #10 are the same on both lists. Regardless, enjoy! Or go create your own Wordle puzzles.
It’s been 20 months since we last presented individual major awards. In that time, our fleet has seen a lot of growth and set the bar high in a number of areas. It’s also been just over two years since we launched our new website and URL. Bottom line, it’s high time to recognize a few of the individuals who helped make all of this happen.
I’m also very proud to announce the creation of the Special Commendation Medal, which will be awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level. With that in mind, I hereby issue the following seven citations:
Special Commendation Medal
Awarded to Lieutenant Aurora Vali of the USS Sunfire for outstanding role playing. She is the epitome of the quiet, reliable, and drama free achiever. A true team player, she is considerate of others, puts forth great ideas to the command, and introduces excellent plot twists for others to use–she does all the little things that others often don’t see.
Awarded to Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell of the USS Sunfire for outstanding writing. A role playing force of nature, she’s already second all-time with 20.43 total awards and one of the greatest simmers in IDF’s history. Durnell continues to produce posts of such high quality that one could mistake them for production level Trek.
Awarded to Commander Jonathan Grayson of the USS Washington for outstanding role playing leadership. He’s been the Executive Officer of the Washington for several years now, understanding the nuances of the Captain’s guidance and balancing it with a great pulse on the crew. He’s an excellent mentor, coordinator, and writer to boot.
Command Excellence Medal
Awarded to Captain Dick Sprague for commanding 10 different IDF sims, including the USS Chuck Norris and USS Albion. Sprague not only holds the record for most commands, but also the most Genesis Awards (11). In addition, he ranks third all-time among sim COs for total posts (3,198). A thoroughly unconventional CO, his sims are always unique.
Awarded to Captain Rhenora Kaylan for commanding the USS Sunfire and USS Liberty. Arguably the greatest sim Commanding Officer in IDF history, her outstanding games have garnered community wide recognition, including the 2010 Simming Prize. Incredibly, she also ranks first all-time among COs in both total posts (8,195) and posting titles (39).
Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded to Rear Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh for serving as Director of Personnel from February 2020 through today. He has efficiently ensured that IDF regularly recognizes its crewmembers for their excellence in role playing, a feature not seen in many other fleets. He is always fair and his efforts showcase the best IDF has to offer.
Awarded to Admiral Ken Gillis for serving as Chief of Technology and Fleet Executive Officer from July 2020 through today. Not only does he expertly manage the fleet’s entire technology stack, but his wisdom and guidance in other areas of fleet operations have proven invaluable. He is the best fleet XO in simming, hands down.
Much is being made about today. After all, it is 2-22-22. Or 22-2-22, depending on where you’re from. To top it all, it’s even a Tuesday! If you’ve been around IDF long enough, you know we also like neat dates. Here are just a few that come to mind:
The previous USS Sunfire launched on 10/10/10
The second USS Pioneer launched on 2/14/11 (Valentine’s Day): The original Pioneer was known as “The Love Boat” due to its relationship centered posts & stories
Captain Emmalyn Marcus has resigned as Commanding Officer of the USS Montana and will be replaced by Captain Jackson Adams. We thank Captain Marcus for all of the hard work and great simming since April 2021.
As a result, Captain Adams’s other character, Captain John Wells, will be resigning as Commanding Officer of the USS Eminence and will be replaced by Captain Alex Shepard. We thank Captain Wells for all the hard work and great simming since June 2021.
Captain Adams and Captain Shepard will both assume command on February 1st. Congratulations and best of luck, Captains!
Not only is this the latest edition of My Favorite Trek, but it’s also announcement time: Commodore Heather Meadows hereby joins us today as our new Director of Media. Her main responsibilities will be My Favorite Trek interviews and other blog & media content. She has a long and distinguished simming career, frequently filling roles similar to this, that goes back two decades now. Without any further ado, let’s meet Commodore Heather Meadows…
Name: Heather Meadows Rank: Commodore Sim: N/A Position: Director of Media Other Characters: Lieutenant Tosh Tarkin of the USS Eminence
Favorite Star Trek episode? It is incredibly difficult to narrow Star Trek down to one favorite episode. However, I will go with “Measure of a Man” from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season. Why? The writer of this episode is Melinda Snodgrass, an accomplished science fiction author, but has a background in law. She earned her Juris Doctor from University of Mexico School of Law. Snodgrass’ knowledge of law applied to the science fiction setting of Gene Rodenberry’s 24th century brings about a thorough discussion of morality, ethics, and what constitutes sentient life. Favorite Star Trek series? Alas, a continuation of a predicament that places a fan in a tug-of-war within a wonderful franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation has the best cast, but my personal favorite is Star Trek: Voyager. Why? When measuring each series and comparing/contrasting them, Star Trek: Voyager edges out the others for me on a personal level because the premise was good, the pilot was interesting, and the first season was solid. Where other series needed time to grow and develop (surpassing Voyager even), Voyager as a series did not need to go through the same growing pains. Favorite Star Trek film? This would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home for me. Why? This is probably one of the more divisive films because of the plot and humor. I, however, greatly enjoy both the plot and the infusion of humor throughout the movie. The 1980s was a quirky time and having Kirk and the crew travel back to this period of time in Earth’s history worked out well because the actors were contemporary during the time. This made for sharper writing than having them sent back to say the 1880s. Environmental conversation is also something that is very important to me, and that is essentially at the core of this film. Favorite Star Trek Captain? Most people have the ongoing battle of Kirk or Picard, but mine is actually a struggle between Picard or Janeway. Any given day, it could go either way for me, but I will go with Captain Kathryn Janeway. She adjusted to the situation that she found herself in, and part of that adjustment meant being more than just the Captain – Janeway had to become softer and more integrated with her crew, especially because there’s a huge difference between a Galaxy class starship and an Intrepid class.
What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2002 which does indeed feel like a million years ago because things were different back then.
What sim was it? It was Dowding Station, a space station sim and it was not part of a fleet. I actually spent about eight or nine years, strictly on the independent scene before setting foot in a fleet.
What keeps you simming today? I actually don’t write (simming) as much these days, but I do keep involved with the simming community. I stay involved because I like being a mentor and helping new COs (Game Managers) find their confidence and get into their groove.
Favorite non-simming hobby? I actually am a bit Neelix myself. I enjoy cooking and baking (hate the cleaning) and experimenting with recipes.
Favorite non-Trek series? That would probably be Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s a relatively timeless piece that has embedded itself into pop culture, and it is a series that any writer, director, or producer could learn a lot from.
Favorite non-Trek film?North by Northwest because I love James Bond, and though this is not a ‘Bond Film’ it still has the feel of one, and it is a well written film. It certainly is rightfully a classic.
Favorite book (fiction or non)?I’m going to give a quick shoutout to Nightshade, a Star Trek novel by Laurell K. Hamilton because Star Trek books do not get enough attention. However, because I am a literary geek, Frankenstein by Marry Shelly is my favorite book.
Favorite video game? I really don’t do gamming aside from auto racing games and such. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Uncharted series and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
Favorite musician or band?The Cranberries (Yes, the band known for “Linger” and “Zombie”) as I loved the Singer (she passed away a few years ago) and the band had a lot of gems of songs that weren’t hits or singles.
Favorite superhero? Nightcrawler from the X-Men.
If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would take telepathy though it would literally be a headache. The ability to know what people are truly thinking is alluring as you’d get them in their truest form.
Favorite sport? I’m an auto racing and motorsports person. Be that Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR.
Favorite team? Team Penske
Favorite food? Pretty much all of it though I am fond of Tacos, Pide, and Malai Kofta.
Coke or Pepsi? I reject your binary cola thinking and insert my own. Royal Crown (RC Cola). However, I am less of a ‘cola’ person and more of a: Moxie, Dr. Pepper, birch beer, root beer, sarsaparilla, and cream soda person.
Lennon or McCartney? Let’s just say I am not a Beatles person.
Jordan or LeBron? Basketball – Nope.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek because it was less action and more philosophical.
Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. VOY / TNG / DSN / ENT / TOS / PIC / DSC Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH / FC / TUC / TWOK / I / G / TSFS / N / TFF / ID / B / TMP / ST (2009) Was this too many questions? Not at all. It was a nice opportunity for people to get dome insight into me from a Trek perspective. I welcome any questions they may have.
Ten years ago today, our very own USS Chuck Norris launched. That makes it the longest continuously running IDF sim in its current form: Despite two URLs and two Novas, it’s still Defiant class and NCC-4005. And as far as I know, no other ship in Star Trek simming has anything like the USS Chuck Norris facts!
Through four Captains (Dick Sprague, Shane Youngblood, Grover vonMcCormick & Aurther Winters), dozens of crewmembers, and many zany adventures, the Chuck has seen it all. Beyond the story, it’s also been quite the historical sim. It sponsored the 2012 Simulation Cup (aka Tournament of Simulations), the only game ever to do so. It later won its own award at the 2014 competition, the last IDF sim to win until the 2020 tournament.
Let’s also not forget perhaps the Chuck Norris’s biggest contribution: When IDF’s old website went offline in early 2019, the Chuck kept simming over email to keep our legacy alive. Without that effort, there would be no Independence Fleet today. Like so many other fleets, IDF would already belong to the ages.
But we are here today. So let’s all write a post in honor of the USS Chuck Norris!
The fourth amendment to the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame here hereby approved after a vote of 10 ballots for, 0 against, and 2 abstentions. The main change is reducing the maximum number of annual inductions from the standard process from five to three, and from the Veterans Committee from three to two. It also clarifies that future amendments can’t be voted on during May, June, or July so as to not interfere with the election process. These changes were primary driven by feedback from the voters this past year.
I don’t anticipate this resulting in any major changes practically, but it should help us focus our efforts moving forward. Speaking of forward, I’m already looking toward inducting a new group of outstanding individuals next year on our 21st anniversary to join the current 33 inductees.