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My Favorite Trek: Dean House

In our continued series of My Favorite Trek, I have had the delight of interviewing Dean House of the USS Sunfire. Let’s have a look at the starship Sunfire’s Chief Tactical Officer, currently Acting Executive Officer.

Name: Dean House (aka Angelus)
Rank: Commander
Sim: USS Sunfire
Position: Chief Tactical Officer
Other Characters: N/A

Favorite Star Trek episode? “Lower Decks” Star Trek: The Next Generation. Season 7, Episode 15
Why? It’s something that always hit just right. We always know, any of the shows have the main characters and most of the time show cases them. Even though there’s always extras. However, that episode was something that was needed. While the ending was definitely sad. The writing as excellent. Show casing what the ones that actually keep things going do. Their internal struggles, their insecurities. What they want to strive to be. It was a hard choice between this one or “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” but “Lower Decks” wins hands down.
Favorite Star Trek series? Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Why? While I was introduced to TOS in syndicate by my mother, and grandmother. TNG was really more of what I came into when I was a little older and it definitely helped me to work through awkwardness in middle school. Associating more with Wesley Crusher than the other characters. Or maybe Data a little. I’m aware that he gets a bad rap but that’s not really the characters fault really.
Favorite Star Trek film? Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Why? There’s a lot of controversy over this one. It doesn’t have the greatest writing. The directing was okay. Nothing to write home about. The best thing about it I look at is its underlying message trying to be relayed. Or at least in my opinion. It’s not about Sybok trying to find Sha’kar’ri(or God.) I mean yes, that’s part of the plot. I always have believed it’s all about family. The relationships, the turmoil that they’ve all endured. Life, death, life. How through no matter what, they are always a family and always will be. Family isn’t about blood. Even when Bones always gets mad at Spock and says “You green blooded…in human…(enter explicative here.) We don’t choose our family; we are brought together. That’s the real premise of the movie. In my opinion.
Favorite Star Trek Captain? Always and will always be Kirk.

  • What year did you start simming? 1995.
  • What sim was it? USS Cortez, Email based in UCIP.
  • What keeps you simming today? Stories, the people, the relationships formed between strangers with a common love for a genre. Seeing what else people come up with.
  • Favorite non-simming hobby? [I]Have to go with Video Games. Though I’d love to get back into modeling (plastic ships and the like.)
  • Favorite non-Trek series? Supernatural.
  • Favorite non-Trek film? I have to go with Evolution (2001, David Duchovny) because it was the last movie that I got to go to an actual theatre to with my grandmother and she absolutely loved it, and so do I.
  • Favorite book (fiction or non)? Both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Favorite video game? [The] Final Fantasy Series and Resident Evil Series
  • Favorite musician or band? Non-committal.
  • Favorite superhero? Superman.
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Telepathy.
  • Favorite sport? [I’m] not big into sports, but I guess….Hockey.
  • Favorite team? The Dallas Cowboys.
  • Favorite food? My Deanwiches.
  • Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi.
  • Lennon or McCartney? [I] Don’t particularly care either way
  • Favorite James Bond actor? Sir Sean Connery.
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Both, for different reasons. Star Trek has more of the base of equality and what this world, universe should be. While Star Wars has lightsabers and I love flying and space combat (lol).

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. TNG / TOS / ENT / DSN / VOY / PIC / DSC
Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TFF / TWOK / TVH / TUC / TSFS / FC / G / N / I / TMP / ST (2009) / ID / B
Was this too many questions? No.

Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to get to know you better. We now have a nice insight into the sort of Star Trek that you like. Good luck and safe voyages with the USS Sunfire.

Monthly Awards: December 2021

Happy new year! As we close out 2021, I think of all the many great things that happened in this fleet over the last 12 months. There’s not enough room here for it all! But we do have room for our final batch of 2021 award winners…

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Puzzle Pieces”

Lt. Kato wins for an incredible third month in a row with an excellent character introspective that distills information into direction for the rest of the crew. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CC / XO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “Late night visitor”

A gripping read with Callie under mind control, but trying desperately to break free. Excellent!


Funniest Post

 Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CMO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “The Morning After the Night Before”

Oh boy, things got complicated!


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Commander Jenna Ramthorne
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Sunfire

Cmdr. Ramthorne returns to action! She’s a brilliant writer and an incredible asset to the ship and fleet, always willing to lend a hand or an ear to whoever needs it.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 22 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Brakon Ryal
Executive Officer
USS Eminence

Lt. Ryal really stepped up his game, driving the story forward and helping organize posts.


Rookie of the Month

Ensign Zack Ravencroft
Security Officer
USS Washington

The W’s new security officer jumped aboard with phasers blazing. He showed an ability to adapt quickly and push the story forward, all while developing his own character and working with others.


Recruitment

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who was immediately able to jump into the game and is already simming like a veteran. Recruitment is the key to success!


Congratulations to our December award winners. Here’s to many more great things in 2022!

My Favorite Trek: Heather Meadows

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.

Let’s all give Commodore Meadows a warm welcome!

USS Chuck Norris: 10 Years

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!

USS Chuck NorrisNCC-4005
Format: Prose & ScriptEra: TNG/DSN/VOY
Type: OpenClass: Defiant
CO: Captain Aurther WintersJoin!

Monthly Awards: November 2021

On this Christmas Eve, in addition to presenting our November awards, we wish everyone a festivus holiday season and a happy new year!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Unintended Consequences Part 3”

Lt. Kato wins for the second month in a row with a cool post about what it’s like to have extra sensory perceptions. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Finchley Kerr & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt. JG Avarak & Harper McGinnis
CSS / CO / CSOO / XO / CEO / CTO / CC / CSO / Chef
USS Sunfire

For “Moving Out”

I’m a sucker for a well written bridge scene. This post does it right.


Funniest Post

Lieutenant Dean House
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Not Everything is Black and White”

Fun and heartwarming, with a little humor thrown in.


Genesis

 Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “Righting Wrongs”

Gets the story going and leaves many openings for other players to take the story in different directions, everything a Genesis post should be.


MVP

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s Counselor has really came into her own, crafting in-depth posts that moved the story, included much of the crew, and created lots of personal development for both herself and others.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Commander Finchley Kerr
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sunfire

Finchley stepped up big by driving the plot forward, offering many valuable suggestions, and creating opportunities to engage the rest of the crew.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Congratulations to our award winners. I’ll see you again in 2022!

Monthly Awards: October 2021

Awards time, October style!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Through the Looking Glass of Time”

Very well written bit of backstory, with a great perspective established in the “Previously On” section.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Cmdr. Trevor Andrews & Capt. John Wells & Cmdr. Yadira Tristan House Kilrah & Lt. Cmdr. Timber Wolf & Lt. Nerex & Lt. JG Hank Solomon & MCPO Alake Van Der Luan
ACEO / CO / CEO / XO / FCC / CSO / MaA
USS Eminence

For “The Lionheart (Part One)”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good old fashioned time travel post, and this one didn’t disappoint. Great character interactions, and the authors didn’t skip over the gravity of someone discovering they’re out of tine. Kudos also for the transporter room scene. Well done!


Funniest Post

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “Steady as She Goes”

LOL. I can almost hear the funny light music in the background on this one. Very Orville-esque. Love it!


Genesis

Captain Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “Consult the Anomaly”

As is typical for the Albion, the odd title is indicative of the goofy mission to follow, with plenty of opportunities to be taken in many directions.


MVP

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

What more can I say about this powerhouse simmer? A rock-solid team-first player and sounding bound for the Captain, there’s nothing Durnell can’t and doesn’t do.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Harper McGinnis
Chef
USS Sunfire

The Sunfire’s new Chef joined in October, showed exceptional improvement over the course of the month, and blended in nicely with the experienced crew.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s new Counselor immediately brought excitement and creativity to the sim, and has been a joy to the rest of the crew.


Recruitment

Commander Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who turned out to be a game changer.


Congratulations to everyone who took home hardware this month. I’ll see you in November!

Hall of Fame Amendment IV

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.

You can see more about the Hall of Fame here or read the updated HoF Charter here.

Happy Halloween!

It’s worth no money and its creator is indifferent, but the participants find it invaluable.

  1. My name was changed at the 11th hour.
  2. I’m not a Titan.
  3. I immediately traveled through three in three.
  4. The first here was not actually the original.
  5. I’m a person, not a place.
  6. No, you don’t get a clue.
  7. My initial class was Bedford.
  8. I’m famous from Lower Decks.
  9. I’m the only one of my generation.
  10. A reference to my joining.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monthly Awards: September 2021

Congratulations to all of our award winners for September:

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Through The Looking Glass”

Some feel a vision from the prophets is a tired old hat, but this was nicely written an left me wanting more. Great work!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Aiko Kato & Ens. James Phoenix
CMO / XO / FCO / TO
USS Washington

For “To Go Forth….Again”

Good writing from a team that is used to working together getting it done. Not all Trek posts need action sequences to be good, and this one hits the mark with the threat of violence without actually getting into it. Had me on the edge of my seat!


Funniest Post

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

For “Back on the Command Track, Well Sorta Pt.1”

Lol, he was made a Yeoman? So awesome.


Genesis

Lieutenant JG Djon Zyngh & Captain Aurther Winters
CSO / CO
USS Chuck Norris

For “Death’s Triangle”

Nice intro and good tags all around on this one. Well done!


MVP

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

What a player! From creating well crafted posts to encouraging engaging joint efforts, Durnell also acts as the Captain’s counsel to bounce suggestions and ideas off of.


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For writing 15 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s young pilot really worked to get involved with the crew and to become more integrated, creating some excellent contributions along the way.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Trevor Andrews
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer
USS Eminence

Don’t let the rank fool you, Andrews arrived on the Eminence and hit the ground running. A great addition to the sim!


Recruitment

None this month. Get recruiting!


It’s been a while since we’ve had 5 sims represented within the awards in a single month, well done! Keep all the great posts coming, and maybe we’ll see a few more next month.

October News Updates

Three quick news items for everyone:

  • Rear Admiral Bolak has resigned his position as IDF’s Director of Media due to time constraints. His last official day will be October 31st. I would like to personally thank Bolak for all of his hard work and the many contributions he has made to the fleet, especially the My Favorite Trek and Captain’s Chair interviews.
  • This year’s Simming Fall Festival will happen on November 13th. It will be hosted by our friends over at 5th Fleet. As always, we look forward to supporting 5th Fleet and engaging with the rest of the simming community at FallFest.
  • As everyone knows, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary earlier this year. What you might not know is that several other fleets also marked significant anniversary milestones in 2021. You can read more about a few of them over on the Ongoing Worlds Blog. Speaking of milestones, yesterday was the 11-year anniversary of the launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire-D.