Farewell Spock, farewell Leonard Nimoy

“I have been — and always will be — your friend… Live long, and prosper.”

Those words were spoken by Leonard Nimoy’s character, Spock, in Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan, as he lay dying in the dilithium chamber after saving the Enterprise from certain destruction. Today Leonard Nimoy crossed the ultimate boundary into eternity, passing away at the age of 83. When I heard the news I was shocked and then deeply saddened.

For you see, I’m a Trekkie, having watched every series of Star Trek since I was a year old. It was back in 1965 that I came into the world and the year after, Star Trek first aired on NBC. Based on what my parents told me, my Dad would sit me down next to him on the sofa and we’d watch Star Trek together. Being only a year old, I don’t remember much about that. But I do remember a little of watching the final year of Star Trek in 1969 when I was four. Regardless, I was a Star Trek fan from that moment. My favorite character was Spock. I was fascinated by the fact he was an alien, was able suppress his emotions and had pointed ears. Needless to say I watched every episode I could watch, watched the Animated Series in the early 70’s and ultimately went on to watch Star Trek : The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.

I went to the movie theater every time a new Star Trek movie came out. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’d have to say my absolute favorite Star Trek film was Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country.

As an adult, my Dad and I would watch Star Trek : The Next Generation together, renewing the tradition started way back in 1966. He was a big Star Trek fan too and we both enjoyed watching new episodes as they aired back in the late 1980s.

But today is not about favorite films or how much of a Star Trek fan I am or memories of my Dad and I. It’s about Leonard Nimoy. I know that all Star Trek fans everywhere are mourning his death. He was a very talented and creative individual with an awesome sense of humor. And his incredible acting skills don’t just grace the Star Trek set. He has appeared in many other films and television shows. I think one of the best, and least known, is his role as the prophet Samuel in the made for TV movie: David, which aired in 1997. His most recent movie was in Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.

I’m sure everyone has fond memories of Leonard Nimoy, whether they watched him from behind the tube of a television set or met him in person at one of the multitudes of conventions he attended. And it is memories that Leonard Nimoy mentioned in his final tweet on February 23rd which really sums up what life is all about…

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Live Long and Prosper.

God speed Leonard, may you live long and prosper throughout eternity.

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World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Blackrock Mountain

Blackrock Mountain is actually a volcano that was created at the end of the War of the Three Hammers when the Dark Iron dwarf Lord, Thaurissan, accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord from his prison beneath the earth. The power unleashed by his “rebirth” was so massive it shattered a large section of the Redridge Mountains creating the areas now known as the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes. Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Iron dwarf clan, and they have dug many tunnels and created a huge underground city in the depths of the mountain. Dwarves would later name this mountain Blackrock Spire. The name Blackrock Mountain and Blackrock Spire predates the coming of the orcs. Blackrock Spire is the part of Blackrock Mountain that is above ground, and Blackrock Depths is the parts underneath the mountain.

You can view and download the full resolution image here.

Oh what a beautiful (winter) morning!

It was 6 degrees this morning when I woke up, with -15 wind chills. I am really enjoying this weather (no sarcasm). In fact, I enjoyed this morning so much I threw this together…

OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL (WINTER) MORNING
Lyrics by Kevin Harris

Sung to the tune of “Oh what a beautiful morning” from
Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

There’s a bright frozen glaze on the meadow,
There’s a bright frozen glaze on the meadow,
The snow is as high as an elephant’s eye,
An’ it looks like its climbin’ clear up to the sky.

Chorus:
Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
Winter is going my way.

All the snowmen are standing like statues,
All the snowmen are standing like statues,
They don’t turn their heads as they see me walk by.
It’s such a beautiful sight, it brings a tear to my eye.

Repeat chorus

The cold wind is wickedly bitter,
The cold wind is wickedly bitter,
The breeze is so busy it don’t miss a tree,
I just love winter so much can’t ya see?

Repeat chorus

The temperatures are well below zero,
The temperatures are well below zero,
I can’t get enough, no I can’t get enough of this season,
I’m friggin happy and a cold winter’s the reason.

Repeat chorus

There’s a frosty cold snap to the air,
There’s a frosty cold snap to the air,
I roll in the snow and into snow banks I dive,
Nothing else in this world makes me feel so alive.

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Coldarra

Coldarra is an island just off the coast of the Borean Tundra in Northrend. It is made of ice, great jagged peaks that rise from the cold ocean like pale blue fangs. Some of those peaks rise high enough that one can see all the way to Crystalsong Forest and even to the Dragonblight. Coldarra is a large island — at least relative to the Northrend mainland. It is roughly a third as long as the mainland, though only as wide as the tip of the Borean Tundra or the Howling Fjord. Coldarra has no beaches and no gentle shore — its edges rear up as cliffs from the surrounding water. Most of the island is rock covered by thick ice, though here and there enough dirt has gathered to produce tough grass or small bushes.

It is also the home of the Dragon Aspect of Magic — Malygos. He is known to gather relics of great power, keeping them locked away from mortals in his lair, the Nexus. The only access point is the bridge (Frostbridge) across the Westrift, requiring permission of the blue dragons guarding it to gain access. No one sets foot on Coldarra unannounced or uninvited.

You can view and download this week’s shot in its full resolution here!

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Stormwind

Stormwind City, located north of Elwynn Forest on Azeroth’s northwest coast, is the capital city of the kingdom of Stormwind and the largest human city of Azeroth. After the Third War, it has become one of the last great human cities.

No city better demonstrates human determination than Stormwind. Destroyed during the Horde’s initial invasion of Azeroth, Stormwind was painstakingly reconstructed by the Stonemasons’ Guild after the Second War. Parts of the city were razed again when Deathwing, the corrupted black Dragon Aspect, brutally attacked Stormwind, but the other undamaged districts are more beautiful than ever thanks to their hardworking inhabitants. From the magnificent Cathedral of Light, which serves as a major spiritual hub, to the awe-inspiring Valley of Heroes, which commemorates the sacrifices of Stormwind’s loyal champions, the city truly represents the courageous heart of humanity.

You can view and download the full resolution version here.

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Highmaul Coliseum

This week’s shot is of the Highmaul Coliseum, the first part of the Highmaul raid experience. This week’s panorama is a full 360 degrees.

Highmaul is a raid instance introduced in Warlords of Draenor and opened on December 2, 2014. It features 7 bosses, and serves as the first raid of the expansion.

Highmaul is the seat of power for the Gorian Empire, the ogre civilization that ruled Draenor for generations, until the arrival of the draenei. A massive city that belies the ogre reputation for brutish stupidity, Highmaul is full of bustling markets, wealthy nobles, and the roar of the Coliseum crowd echoing through the streets of the slums. Visible from everywhere within the city’s walls, Imperator Mar’gok’s citadel casts a long shadow, a reminder of his watchful eye and iron grip.

You can view and download the full resolution version of this week’s shot here!