Captain’s Log April 2017

Greetings, crew!

We have quite a few fun times coming up in the next three or four months, so mark your calendars! To begin, we'll have a fun day at the Escape Room with those who have signed up. This is a first for us and I am very excited, as people who have done this say it's a hoot.

We also have the biggest single fundraising event on April 22nd, so please be there. The Chuckwagon is a great chance to bring friends and family along to see how much fun we can have. The food is good, the auction is fun, and we'll have games and socializing too. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, make sure to come to the April meeting or contact a board member ASAP. This is a must, since we have to plan the chili dishes and other items for the number we have coming. Don't forget the raffle. We already have hundreds of dollars in the pot, and the winner gets half. It's a really good way to make money for the club while giving the buyer good odds of winning cash. The tickets are only $5 or 3 for $10 and we have lots.

The Journey to Babble outing comes highly recommended. This day in May is fun even if you're not a big beer drinker. More information will be coming shortly. Also, our 34th anniversary picnic is on June 10th, so save that date for outdoor fun.

Finally, I hope you all have tickets for CONvergence and have started to plan your gangster costume. Listen up, Pally. It'll be fun. Right?  Right!

We have changed some of the dates on the originally-planned calendar, so here are some updates. There was a day trip proposed for July that has been scrubbed due to the number of events we have this summer. Also, we talked about another theater outing in the next few months, but nothing popped up that grabbed our interest, so we'll wait until another time for that. On the other hand, we're adding a fun thing in November. We'll be going as a group to one of the Paint and Sip venues in the Cities. If you're not familiar with the concept, you can find lots of options on the internet to see what it's all about.

I hope to see all of you soon. I've been travelling so much lately that I'm looking forward to some of those relaxing days with my friends.

See you around the galaxy!


2017 St Patrick’s Beer Tasting Party Results

Thanks to everyone who came to our party on March 18th. It was super fun. We had a great buffet of excellent food of all kinds and green decorations for all, on top of the beer competition.

There was quite a bit of room in our new venue at the DoubleTree. The hot tub was close-by and huge, but unfortunately crowded with vacationing families. Some of us had some hot, soaky fun, nonetheless. Many folks enjoyed fun and games, including St Patrick's puzzles, Cards Against Humanity and Mexican Train dominoes. Those of us that stayed overnight had an early morning hot tub and went to a great breakfast at the Original Pancake House.

Now, down to what you really want to know - who won the contest? We'll start with the highly coveted USS Nokomis Bad Beer Board. The competition was intense, with some pretty noxious brews, but the winner was Joey with his Coney Island Hard Lemon Lime Twist. Trust me when I say that this one got more sideways looks than any other, mostly because a clear liquid is not expected at a beer contest. And that was BEFORE they tasted.

The second place award - a $10 Best Buy gift card - went to Jack for his entry of Left Handed Brewery's Milk Stout. It was pretty tasty, according to the crowd. The winning brew was the real surprise, and it reinforced the reason we do a blind tasting. The winner was Jenna and Aida's Malta Goya Malt Beverage. This non-alcoholic beverage was reported to taste like molasses or raisins, depending on the person. The winners got a $20 Best Buy gift card and our congratulations.

I want to thank Emma for helping me with the bartending all night and all of the room helpers for the time spent in setting up and tearing down. It's a lot of work. Thanks again for participating, and we will plan on doing it next year, so be on the lookout for your next entry!

Mary & Jack

Scheduling Library Locations for Meetings – from the First Officer’s Desk

Greetings, Fellow Crew Members!

We’ve had inquiries recently about library locations for our monthly meetings. I thought it might be helpful to share some information about how meeting locations are scheduled.

Scheduling a Site

  • We schedule meetings at libraries in several Metro counties. Each county has its own scheduling methods, reservation deadlines and requirements.
  • We often end up competing with the libraries themselves for the room scheduling (especially during the winter months) due to library programming. (Recently, over 20 libraries were unavailable to us for scheduling of our Mar 2017 meeting, for this very reason.)
  • A new (and exciting!) requirement for meeting locations is now the meeting room size. With our happy addition of so many new members, we now take room capacity into consideration for selecting a site.


I try to schedule meeting locations on a rotating basis. We have a very diverse crew, with members living all over the Twin Cites Metro area (and some even farther out). The goal is to keep the rotation as consistent as possible. General areas include:

  • North Metro
  • Central Metro
  • South Metro locations

That’s All For Now…Trek On!

First Officer Jane Dusek

Valentine Dinner was Fabulous!

Once again, our incredible younger generation came through with flying colors! The 9th annual Valentine Dinner Fundraiser was a wonderful evening and culinary experience. Emma created a great four-course menu, and the team of Shannon, Harrison, Joey and Sofie spent hours on the project. They each have super skills, from chopping and sauteing and zizzing and mixing to serving, washing and moral support.

We started with a Pamplemousse Apertif, which accompanied the appetizer course of Chorizo-stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Crackers, Chickpea Fritters with Tzatziki, Grilled Red Curry Lime Orzo and Red Grapes. This was followed by a Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad and Baguette. The main course was Chicken Marsala, Caramelized Gnocchi with Onions, and Sauteed Zucchini. Dessert consisted of Horta Eggs (Maple, Bittersweet and Mocha), served beside a Black Pepper Raspberry Sorbet with Prosecco. After dinner, we relaxed together over coffee and conversation.

Yes, it was just as marvelous as it sounds. Plus, the event raised almost one hundred dollars for our club. Thanks once again to these incredibly talented hosts for an evening to remember.


Star Trek: Discovery – News and Watching Info

The new incarnation of our favorite franchise and life-consuming habit, Star Trek: Discovery is still forming.   The series première date isn't set, and each month we hear of a few cast members added as the production gets rolling.   The cast is already spending time together, as this Instagram photo points out - by the way, have we EVER looked that way, you know, eating and celebrating?

From left to right are Jason Isaacs (Discovery’s captain, Lorca), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Georgiou, whose ship is the Shenzhou), Chris Obi (the Klingon T’Kuvma, who is determined to bring together the various Klingon houses), Sonequa Martin-Green (Rainsford, also known as Number One, a lieutenant commander who serves as Discovery’s first officer and the show's main character); Kenric Green (not actually on the show, but definitely serving as Sonequa’s husband), Doug Jones (an alien science officer aboard Discovery), James Frain (the Vulcan father of Mr. Spock, Sarek), and Shazad Latif(Kol, a commanding officer of the Klingons).

Other cast members of the show not featured in this image are Terry Serpico as Starfleet Admiral Anderson, Maulik Pancholy as the Shenzhou’s chief medical officer, Nambue; Sam Vartholomeos as junior officer Connor, assigned to the Shenzhou; Mary Chieffo as L’Rell, a Klingon battle deck commander; Mary Wiseman as Starfleet cadet Tilly, who is assigned the Discovery, and Anthony Rapp as science officer Stamets.

So, when do we eat, celebrate, and watch the new show?  Right now it looks like sometime in late summer or early fall.  We've already put forth one idea: the same theater (living room) we used for November's movie night - but it's always fun to find new places.

To keep us hooked, here's a teaser:




Hey folks,

I am ready to pull the trigger on the escape room outing on April 8th, but I'm not sure of the final list! It will be at about 3pm on that day and cost between $25 and $36. Please let me know immediately if you are planning to attend. I will order the tickets on March 13th so I need to know by the 12th.


Thanks, Mary

Orchestra Hall Star Trek URGENT NOTICE

Believe it or not, there is some confusion about the outing in July!

Some of you have reached out and some have not, so here's the final request: If you are planning to come along to the Minnesota Orchestra performance of Star Trek on July 14th, please let me know at by March 12th. Keep in mind that this will be your FIRM COMMITMENT to this concert. Since we are buying a ticket for you, you will be committing to paying for a ticket or tickets even if you can not attend at the last minute. Even if you have already responded, please do so again so you are not left off the list. Sorry for the inconvenience - we just don't want to leave anyone behind!

Here are the details:

LIVE AT ORCHESTRA HALL!  Friday July 14th, 7:30 pm.  -- ticket cost: around $65. See the full film with Michael Giacchino's thrilling score played live to picture! More information is available at


Captain’s Log – March 2017

Greetings, crew!

As I'm writing this, I think I may be blown away to Oz! Crazy winds we're having, yes? Not to mention the rain, the globby sleet and the sunshine. What month are we in? Lest we get too comfortable with warmth, let's not forget that every year we have the inevitable March High School Hockey Tournament Blizzard. Beware!

We are gearing up for our biggest fundraising event of the year right now. The April 22nd Chuckwagon Social at the Dan Patch American Legion will be a whole lot of fun, and it depends on you. There are several ways to participate and I ask that everyone do at least some of them. Our ability to fund our fun activities depends on it. Plus, this one big event means we don't have to sell candy bars and find other little ways to raise funds all year, which is better for everyone. In addition to fundraising for our cost of operations, we will also make a donation to the Veterans Administration Palliative Care division in honor of our dear Lucia.

Here are the ways for to be involved. First, you can buy tickets. They're just $12 and this includes the chili dinner and dessert, silent auction, games and social. At minimum, members can buy for themselves, but we also invite to you bring anyone you like or sell to friends and family. Our guests have had fun in the past and keep returning, so we are doing something right!  Second, you can donate to the silent auction. This is much easier than it sounds. If you don't have a specific item already, stop at the thrift store and put together a basket, make a craft item, bake something, or ask others for donations. Third, buy items at the auction - there's always something fun. Fourth, there is a fun raffle this year. It's a 50/50 draw, so the cash prize will depend on the number of tickets sold. Tickets are only $5 or 3/$10, so please come to the March meeting to get some. If you need some and can't attend, let Pam know. The odds on this one will be super good, and  you can let people know that a portion of the cost will go to our chosen charity. Finally, there will be other fun and games to play at the event that will raise funds for the club. Please, everybody, find a way to participate even if you can't attend in person. Thanks so much - this is the way we can have nice things and do fun stuff!

I hope everyone is well. If you need support or more information at any time, please let a board member know. That's what we're here for.

See you around the galaxy!



March 18th is a Big Day!

Don't forget that our general membership meeting is NOT on the second Saturday of the month, as usual. It's the third Saturday - the 18th.

After the meeting, we'll be heading over to the DoubleTree Bloomington Minneapolis South at 7800 Normandale Boulevard (corner of 100 and 494). Jack and I are hosting our annual St Patrick's Party and Beer Tasting Contest in one of the large suites on the first floor, east side. We hope it's the one right by the hot tub, since you're all invited to bring suits and towels and partake of the watery warmness. Please bring potluck food to share with the group, too, plus beverages you'd like to enjoy. We'll start the evening at 5pm and the meal at 5:30pm.

The beer tasting will also start about 5:30pm, so if you have a beverage to enter please be there by that time. The entries do not have to be alcoholic. You can bring soda or another beverage if you prefer, and you should bring at least 4 bottles/cans. We'll taste in rounds and there will be a first place winner, a second place winner and the winner of the (coveted) USS Nokomis Bad Beer Board.

We usually have some games and music and green fun, but mostly it's a chance to relax and visit together. Wearing green is fun, but not required! Several members are getting rooms in the hotel. As of this writing, there are rooms available for just $89.10. Those who stay over typically find breakfast together in the morning, too.

Please join us.