First-ever USS Nokomis Garden Party

The team that has brought us years of fabulous Valentine Dinners has announced a new event. The USS Nokomis Garden Party will take place on July 17th, hosted by Emma, Shannon and Harrison. As you know, they have created amazing and impressive dinners over the years for the winter event, and they will be doing the same in the summer. Space is limited, so sign up at the meeting on May 30th or contact Mary to sign up. If there are more people interested than can be accommodated, a drawing will take place as we've had for several of the Valentine Dinners.

We can't wait to see what they come up with during the summer, with its different foods and ambience!

CONvergence 2015 is Coming!

CONvergence will take place for the 17th time from July 2nd to July 5th. We have decided to do a new and unusual room this year. Our theme will be The Naked Time, based on the episode of that name. If you don't recall it, give it a watch and remember the icy walls of the space station on Psi 2000, the painted graffiti on the Enterprise walls, a sword, some tears and a dance in the bowling alley (well, actually, that never took place). How about Kevin Riley's lovely and overused rendition of I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen? Yes, these things and more will lend themselves well to our theme.

As always, we need your help. This room will not utilize the curvy beams or large walls, but it will take several hours of set-up and take-down. Please plan to help if you can on July 2nd at noon at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, and again at closing time (9am or 10am TBD) on Sunday, July 5th. We also need folks to populate the room on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, so let me know when you'd like to be there. Please know that a few "regulars" will not be there this year, so please make an extra effort to be on hand. We will start signing up at the May meeting.

Costumes for this room are as usual - Classic Trek - and you may also have some fun ideas based on the episode. However, if you don't have a costume, come anyway. It's all about the fun.

Mary

2015 Chuckwagon Fundraiser Report

The annual fundraiser, previously known as the Spaghetti Social, took on new life on April 19th. This year's Chuckwagon Dinner was a great success and we raised over $1,600 for the club's operating expenses.

The menu consisted of sloppy joes, cole slaw, calico beans, two kinds of cake, punch and other beverages and a full bar. Each menu item had a special name, like Geronimo Joes, Yosemite Slaw, Cheyenne Beans, Lakota Punch, Crazy Horse Cake and Crockett Cake, and the attendees were asked to figure out the theme. Was it western names, names from Montana, or what? Check your Starfleet history, for all of the names were ships of the line that were seen in Star Trek. How clever of us!

In addition to a great dinner, the ambience was great. Attendees sported western gear and outfits. Jim built a fabulous chuckwagon, from which some buckaroos served the food. The music took you right back to the old trail, and each table was decked out with cacti, pistols and spurs. The silent auction featured numerous wonderful items and was very popular, thanks to many generous donors (members, friends and family). One wonderful extra touch was the claw machine, donated by Anita and Todd, that kept attendees entertained for hours.

Thanks to everyone who participated, whether you donated time or auction items, culinary talents, carpentry or decorating skills, or simply attended and enjoyed the evening. Thanks also to Pam and Roxanne, who ran the planning committee. It was a very successful event for all!

Mary

Captain’s Log – May 2015

Hey folks, it's really spring! I am so happy to be looking at green buds, but sad that the school year is nearing its close. That means our two high school seniors, Shannon and Harrison, will be done soon. How did they grow up so fast?

Speaking of fast, we are fast approaching CONvergence. Information can be found elsewhere on the website and in the newsletter. Please come and join us in the fun.

Another super fun thing is coming up on May 9th after the membership meeting. Scott is hosting the Galaxy Quest Road Rally. If you haven't yet joined one of his road rallies, you are missing out! If you don't have a partner, don't worry. Just come to the meeting and we'll find one for you. We'll all go to eat after the meeting, so if one of your group wants to play and the others don't you can meet up at the end. This is one of my very favorite things we do all year, so I am really looking forward to it!

We have started to extend more invitations to the other fan clubs in town, for more of our events. If you have friends who want to come by and check us out, tell them not to be shy. We want to share our fun with everyone. There are very few events that are not open to friends and family who want to see what we're all about - if you have questions about that, let a board member know.

We'll see each other at two membership meetings in May. Make sure to come to the anniversary picnic at the end of the month for our end-of-the-year get-together. We're a bit more informal during the summer, with no meetings in July and August. However, there are lots of fun events, and we'll go over everything at the two May meetings so you know what to expect. As always, keep your eyes on the website for up-to-the-minute news that can't wait for the newsletter.

See you around the galaxy!

Mary

St. Pi’s Day Party was FUN!

On 3/14/15 we had the annual beer tasting and potluck party. This year we merged the St Patrick's Day motif (some were dressed in green) and the once-in-a-century Pi Day observance. At 9:26:53 we dropped a pie in honor of the moment (note that Pi = 3.141592653...). Not too many others can say that!

The group really outdid itself with the round food theme. We have round cheese, meat, bread, cookies, cake, appetizers, potatoes, salads and more! We actually had to start placing food on the bed because we had so many great items. Great job, everybody.

The beer tasting had lots of entrants this year and we tasted in four rounds, two semi-finals and a final round. The ultimate winner was Barb Pucel with Shiner Birthday Beer, which is brewed with chocolate malt and real cocoa. The second place prize went to Jane Dusek for her Brau Brothers Moo Joos, a classic oatmeal milk stout. It's interesting to note that this is the first year we have seen two dark beers win the prizes. They were both yummy. The coveted (or maybe not) USS Nokomis Bad Beer Board went to Joann Hall, whose beer was so yucky we can't mention the name. Congratulations to all, and see you again next year!

Mary and Jack

New Feature: The Newsletter Archive

There's a new feature on the Nokomis website - the Newsletter Archive.  Need a copy of a past Newsletter, or need the current one when you don't have your email with you?  Go to the archive.  It's under the My USSNOKOMIS button.

You'll need to be logged in to see the archive.  Each time the newsletter goes out, the site automatically puts a copy on the archive page too, so there's no delay.  If it's sent, it's in the archive.   For now it's limited to the newsletters that we've sent from the website itself, we don't have back-issues beyond 2015 posted.

Remember to log in when you visit the site - there are some events and news stories that don't show to the public.  They're the perks of membership.

Captain’s Log — Stardate 1504.05

Captain's Log

Greetings, crew! As I write this, we have gone from yesterday's 65 degrees to today's snowstorm. I love March! My family is lucky to be spending Spring Break in Texas, so we are all hauling out our summer clothes once again.

Thanks once again to those who helped at MarsCon with the blood drive, which turned into the  Leonard Nimoy Memorial Blood Drive at the very last minute. We collected 27 units of blood, which will be used to save up to 81 lives. We also collected money for the COPD Foundation, as Leonard died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Several club members added to the donations at the March meeting, too.

Check the newsletter and website to find information on multiple spring and summer events and activities. There are several fun things coming up soon that you won't want to miss, so keep checking back regularly!

See you around the galaxy,

Mary

MarsCon 2015 Report

We had a great time at the convention this year. It was much more laid-back than some, with fewer people coming through our room. To give you an idea of scope - we usually serve about 500 drinks during a MarsCon weekend and this year we served 200.

However, drinks were not a measure of our room's popularity! The new props, thanks to Mr James Kline, were absolutely Oz-some, and many people came to see. Guests loved speaking into Wizard's microphone and hearing their voices come booming from the Wizard's form. We had Dorothy, Glinda, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, munchkins, the Emerald Princess, the Wicked Witch with one of her Winkie Guard and the Wizard in his human form. We could never quite locate the Tin Woodman, but he left his oil can behind in case we needed it. The Emerald City was there in the distance, too. It was very lovely and fun, too.

Thanks to everyone who participated, helped with set-up and take-down, and visited the room.

Mary

Journey To Babble Brewery Tour Tentative Itinerary

Welcome to my tentative Nokomis Beer Crawl itinerary! Yes, we’re taking a jaunt through the Twin Cities on Saturday, May 2, 2015, to enjoy what Minnesota’s burgeoning craft beer industry has to offer.

I hope that I have put together a fun beer-tasting tour. I tried to keep this roster full of interesting, off-the-beaten-path brewers who offer something unique. On our four-stop adventure, we’ll start off at a brewpub where we can also grab a bite to eat before embarking on the rest of the tour. Beer-tasting on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea, after all.

Even if you’re not a beer drinker (like me), I believe you’ll find this daytrip interesting, at least from a beverage production perspective. In any case, I’m sure your beer-enjoying comrades wouldn’t mind having a designated driver along.

Below are 2015’s selected stops and their philosophies, all in their own words. Who better to tell their stories than the brewmasters themselves?

In the meantime, if you have any questions, be sure to let me know. Hope to see you there!

—Lynne

More inside...

Captain’s Log March 2015

Did you smell that whiff of warm air outside? Did you see the palm trees? I did – either in my dreams or on my work trip to California. Either way, they were pretty, and they reminded me that spring begins this month! Let’s get through the March snowstorms and on into the thaw.

I hope we get to see everyone at the party on the 14th. You only get one chance each century to celebrate Pi Day, so this may be your only chance!

The passing of Leonard Nimoy has affected many of us quite a bit. I have heard multiple comments like “it literally took my breath away” and “this is the big one.” It’s hard to believe that he is gone, and somehow it’s so much more impactful that other losses we have endured. Is it because this tips the scales and we have now lost so many, or that Leonard was just such a good guy? It’s probably a combination, but for me it’s the latter. Of all the stars I have worked with in my travels, he was the most………………Seriously, he was a good man and he did many things for many people. I know that we will all miss him. We all have a chance to honor him by donation of blood or money - see the article on the website/newsletter. And that's all I have to say about that.

See you around the galaxy!

Mary