Destination Star Trek 3

First off let me apologize for getting this review up a little late, but as i picked up an eye infection and for the past week I have been doing Gremlin impressions i.e. “Bright light, bright light”. I figure i have a valid excuse, so to the subject at hand.

After a brief trip across the channel to Germany for 2013, Destination Star Trek returned to London and again the venue of choice was the Excel near Victoria Docks. This time they had arranged even more Star Trek stars and most of the cast of “TNG” descended onto London, with the exception of Jonathan Frakes who alas had to pull out of the event. Much to the commiseration of various fans who wanted to see the famous Riker maneuver first hand, how robbed we where of the that moment. In addition to the TNG cast of course there was a host of other stars there for our pleasure. From “TOS” we had William Shanter and the lovely Nichelle Nichols, With a wonderful video link conference with Leonard Nimoy. The latter went down very well with fans, as we all know Mr Nimoy is quite Ill at the moment and so for him to not only agree to the conference but to also take the time and effort to do so was very much appreciated by all.

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But Destination Star Trek also covered the other franchises, so from Voyager we had,Jeri Ryan, Tim Russ,Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo ( who was great fun and i had a nice chat with him at his signing table). DS9 was represented by  Colm Meaney but Alexander Siddig alas had to cancel such is the nature of conventions. Enterprise had  Anthony Montgomery while Bruce Greenwood and Karl Urban made appearances representing the new movies. There was also Casey Biggs, Suzie Plakson, Vaughn Armstrong, Hana Hatae, Steve Rankin, Daniel Stewart, Nicholas Meyer, Larry Nemecek, Richard Arnold and a host of others there from all the different incarnations of the franchise. The Line up was very impressive to say the least. But there is more to a con than the stars,although obviously they are the  main draw.

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On the sidelines of the con you have the vendors, refreshment stalls and exhibits. This year they did away with the Federation eating area and opted to just have the “Klingon Zone”. This consisted of various drinks,a selection of sandwiches, some pies/pasties and a small selection of cakes. The prices for these items where seriously hiked up a small bottle of Pepsi was £2 and a small bottle of beer (trust me it was small) was about £5.

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Outside of the venue which you could easily leave as long as you got your hand stamped with the return pass, there was a variety of places to eat. To those not used to London or even convention prices these seemed, and in some cases where, very expensive. We opted to eat a chicken meal at one of these and to be honest i was disgusted. For £20 we had a meal that was dry, lacking in taste and frankly not something i would recommend to anyone.But do bear in mind these are places that reside in the venue and so are in no way associated with the convention themselves. If you do take in the con or any con at Excel i would recommend walking slighty off and you can find “The Crown” pub which is far cheaper for both beer,drinks and food.

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So to the Vendors and the exhibits. The first thing you are greeted with as you enter the con is a tunnel on the sides of which are pictures of the Enterprise illuminated by purple lights. Many people where having photos took in just this part and they had not even got into the con yet!, thats how impressive it looked. You enter the con to be greeted by the vendor stalls, these consisted of T Shirt Vendors,Models,books,bagdes,cups and so on. there was some serious comparison to be made between the vendors. some had gone to great lengths to maximise profits by over inflating prices to the nth degree,(the Ferengi would be proud). While others had took the path of selling T shirts and so on with out packing or even a carrier bag to put them in. An example would be a Enterprise shaped bottle opener the price variance between stalls was as much as £10. So it payed to shop around from stall to stall. In fact at one stall which was particuarly busy they where selling the Federation ring at £30 while at another stall it was £20. A gentleman raised this with one of the stall staff to be told, ” well buy it at the other stall then”. Charming i’m sure.

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THe Exhibits included Costumes and props from the show,although they made a faux par with Kirks Uniform as it had the  rank of commander not Captain or Admiral. The was also Star Trek online,Sid meier’s civilization and Star Trek Timelines (http://www.disruptorbeam.com/games/star-trek-timelines) covering the gaming genre. The Exhibition of props and uniforms was popular as was the Klingon zone being as it was the only place inside the con where you could sit down. Plus if the above mentioned games get only a small percentage of people signing up as there was at the respective stands then they are going to quite happy as well.

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This leaves us with a few other things we will start with the talks. As always these are entertaining and the stars go to great lengths to answer as many questions as they can while sprinkling in a few anecdotes. there was a wide variety of talks, far to many to go into here, but i would like to single out two. Colm Meaney was brilliant and Patrick Stewart and his son Daniel was exceptional. Daniel seemed to take great fun in putting his dad on the spot with questions such as “How many episodes could you name” 5 if your curious, although he did list some good ones. The only complaint that i heard of and in fact experienced was the lack of chairs in the talks. In more than one talk people queued up for the talk only to get into it and find it was standing room only. i heard a few people complain about this saying that if they are going to sell “X” amount of tickets for the talk then they should provide “X” amount of seats. It wasn’t that there was not enough space for the seats, it was simply the fact that they where not provided. This certainly needs addressing, as to have to queue for 20-30 minutes then stand for about an hour is not fair or acceptable for something that you have payed for. One other highlight was Leonard Nimoy via video link. This was very very popular, we all know he is ill so for him to take the time and effort to do so was much appreciated and hats off to Destination for making it happen.

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The hall where the main con was had a far better layout his time. the three stages took up different sites around the hall with the vendors and exhibitions in between. The autograph queues where along a far wall so as not to block up any of the con save for a few exceptions which i will come to in a moment. This again allowed a much better flow of movement around the con. The Galaxy class bridge set, Borg chamber and stages where very good. The photo area was much better run after the fiasco of last time, but there was a fly in the ointment. With the autographs the stars worked on time slots. in case of some this wasn’t a problem but when it came to the big stars it became one. I was prevented from photographing the actual queues by security (i was not trying to photograph the stars and in fact i was facing away from them) but i was approached by two security and told no photos. I replied,”of the Queue?” and was told “yes.” this i thought very strange. But i guess they don’t want it getting out how big the queues where. Some of the people in the queue had been waiting half and hour and as they knew the stars worked on a time slot they was naturally concerned about getting to meet there idol. This in turn lead to the security being a bit over zealous with the fans, in some cases moving them on very quickly and also being a bit over the top in to preventing some fans from taking a quick selfie with a star. I would like to add at this point that i got a Vulcan sign from Robert Picardo who clearly did not share this view on pictures.

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So still some lessons to be learned there, but overall some major improvements on last time.

As regard the press we had a lovely room overlooking the main stage the staff where helpful and friendly and we had no problems moving around the various areas. I would like raise one point which was brought to my attention. The actual staff knew little or nothing about Star Trek, it may be an idea for cons to hire some people who know about the subject matter and disperse them amongst the other staff. This will make a world of difference in relation to the information given to fans. For instance at the Colm Meany talk i heard one of the Staff answer,
when an enquiry was made about who was doing this talk, ” some guy called Colin or column Mean.”

Still a much better con than last time and i would like to thanks the Destination Star Trek Twitter account and Emma for sorting out my press pass. Yes it was sorted last minute as my emails seemed to have got lost in the ether, but none the less they was great and so thank you.
And for me this lady gave me the biggest laugh.

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Competition

How would you like to win a VIP room for six (including signing passes) for Sci-Fi Weekender 5?

Now in its fifth cycle, The Sci-fi Weekender continues to promise the ultimate Sci-Fi experience. Quite simply it’s a festival of fun and activities for people who love science fiction and fantasy.

SFW5 will be packed with activities for fans: big-name guests, interviews, Q&A sessions, movie screenings, comic workshops, video gaming, music, book readings and plenty more. It’s all about bringing like-minded people together for a weekend structured around a core 5 pillars…. the entertaining Imaginarium, the sweeping Masquerade Ball, the Multiple zone culture, featuring, Gaming, Comic, Author, Screening as well as the fiendish Sci Fi London quiz nights.

The Sci-fi Weekender attendees will get the chance to fully immerse themselves in a sci-fi & fantasy culture. Fans can discover how comics are made, discuss burning issues with their favourite author, or be among the first to see exclusive screenings of films and TV shows. There are also many autograph opportunities: the full line-up will be revealed over the coming months…although expect some hot news shortly. Above all, though, it’s a chance to hang out with like-minded people and enjoy a few drinks in a cool environment with other fans from around the planet.

It will be taking place 6th-9th March and the guests already announced are:

Rene Auberjonois
Ethan Phillips
Robert Rankin
Darth Elvis & The Imperials , a Star Wars themed Elvis tribute band from Viva Mos Eisley
Simon Fisher-Becker aka Doctor Who’s Dorium Maldovar
Stephen Greif
To enter the competition all you need to do is answer the following question:

Which Dwarf does Graham McTavish play in the Hobbit?

A. Dwalin
B. Balin
C. Bombur

To enter all you need to do is to email your:

mobile number, postcode and answer to info@scifiweekender.com

Terms and Conditions:

Prizes are claimed online (There is an online booking fee of £10 to claim prizes).
Entrants must be 18 or over on the date of entry to entrance tickets.
A winner will be chosen at random and contacted by telephone or email.
Prizes: 1st Prize – Accommodation and passes for 6 people. Runners up prize – 6 one day passes to the event.
Prize does not include transportation.
Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable.
Chic Festivals SL reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time.
On claiming the prize SFW terms and conditions will also apply https://www.scifiweekender.com/passes/tc.html
Full Sci Fi Weekender info can be found on http://www.scifiweekender.com
You can follow Sci-Fi weekender on Twitter: @scifiweekender

Good Luck!The Above competition has been extended to November the 2nd
SFW5-Competition 2nd nov

so you still have a chance to enter

Deck Eight 16

Deck eight 16

(Colin) now before we get into the news we have some changes to announce which i hope will enhance and freshen up your listening experience, we are going to shake up and over haul the show so you’ll be hearing a few more voices but you will also be getting a new feel from us.
So to the changes first off the news;
Let me introduce two familar voices to you first off Tom from Whales (Tom intro).
Next up another familiar voice Dee from England ( dee intro)

From next week Dee and Tom will be doing the news segment on there own, so any news items that we come across will be brought to you by Dee and Tom.

Next up allow me introduce Shervin (Shervin intro) and welcome back to the show Aaron (Aaron intro) now these two will bring you mission reviews be it foundry and holodeck based. They will run the mission either together solo or with friends and then report back with there thoughts, feelings and a score from 1-10 on the mission. We hope to bring you at least one review a week. This may involve either player or both, hopefully we can also give you some tips along the way.

Finally we will be adding the “Deck Eight help box”. Seeing as Cryptic is loaded up with boxes we will add our own. In this section I will bring you feedback on ships,weapons,accolades,consoles,fleets basically lots of different game facets.

So that’ll be the new line up, we would appreciate any and all feedback via twitter or email or the website and here us all the contact detail for the team( play new contact details)

So just this week we will get into the news and discuss it before the change next week.

( Dee) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=738741
First up From today until server maintenance during the morning (Pacific time) of Thursday, November 15, 2012, every Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack you open will also include either 10 Lobi Crystals or a Jem’Hadar Attack Ship!, If you missed unlocking one of these vessels during last year’s Winter Event or the previous Duty Officer promotion, here’s your chance at owning one of the most sought-after ships.The odds of winning the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship are rare but have been normalized based on the price of the Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack (275 ZEN) when compared to the Winter Packages (125 ZEN)
(Tom)
Each Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack will include:

4 Common or Better Duty Officers
2 Uncommon or Better Duty Officers
1 Rare or Better Duty Officer
A Bonus Item!*
In addition to any Duty Officers you receive, you will also get one (1) of the following special bonus prizes:

A stack of Gamma Quadrant commodities
A stack of Gamma Quadrant consumable devices
An Alien Artifact (available in both “Powered” and “Unpowered” versions)
A random Mk XII Very Rare Console
or the jackpot prize… a Tuffli Class Freighter Ship Pack
NOTE: With the above promotion running, it is possible to win the Tuffli and the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship from the same pack

(Colin)
Jem’Hadar Attack Ship Details

The Jem’Hadar Attack Ship is a small starship, similar to an Escort or Destroyer. The staple ship of the Dominion fleet, these ships were used with deadly effect during the Dominion War. Small, fast and maneuverable, the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship packs a punch that is larger than expected for a ship of its size.

Requires: Vice Admiral or Lt. General rank
Hull Strength: 34,500
Shield Modifier: 1
Crew: 50
Weapons: 4 Fore, 3 Aft
Device Slots: 2
Bridge Officer Stations: 1 Lieutenant Commander Tactical, 1 Commander Tactical, 1 Ensign Engineering, 2 Lieutenant Universal
Console Modifications: 5 Tactical, 4 Engineering, 1 Science
Base Turn Rate: 20 degrees per second
Impulse Modifier: 0.22
+15 Power to Weapons
Can Load Cannons

State of the game http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=739981

(Colin) now Dstahl has released the latest state of the game and there is a segment I wanted to highlight

“Designed for max-level captains of both the Federation or Klingon Empire
Zone challenges balanced for captains plus one away team member
Earn Reputation tier to unlock full away-team missions to help uncover the planet’s troubled past
Area events provide quick Reputation gains for cooperative groups
Obtain new special rewards and gear sets as a benefit for aiding the people of New Romulus
Whether captains help out on the planet surface or in the surrounding sector, many new repeatable missions will allow captains to gain favor with the people of New Romulus and tactical advantages their friendship would provide.

This represents the largest planetary zone the STO team has ever built and introduces open questing where all positive actions taken in the zone increase favor gained with the area’s quest giver. This allows for repeatable missions where captains can decide how they want to help instead of traditional “kill 10” or “collect 100” quests. This new type of open mission applies both to the planet as well as the surrounding sector.

We wanted the Romulans to be the focus of this season because New Romulus will also play an important role in Season 8. Perceptive captains may even notice the city begin to grow and take shape over the course of the season. It is important that captains participate in all the challenges that exist on New Romulus and take an active role in discovering the history of this planet. By doing so, they will unravel a mystery that will advance the story of STO to the next chapter and set the stage for a future Feature Episode series and future seasons.”

Discuss
(Dee) also in this post DSthal highlighted that ” Coming up in December, Q will be reintroducing the Winter Event with some new rewards and activities that he’s cooked up for captains. As we move into the New Year, we will start to give some sneak-peeks related to our 3rd Anniversary Event scheduled to launch in early February. As an early teaser, this year’s anniversary will have its own special Feature Episode and reward, so stay tuned for more info on that.

After the big event in February, we will begin to share some of the exciting details about Season 8 and how it will begin to resolve some of the long standing issues surrounding the two factions within the game.”

( Tom) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=738521

The next special feature for your Starbase is, “Welcome Guests”. Fleet starbases are just as much important hubs for official matters as they are social centers where fellow fleetmates can unwind from their daily duties. Federation and Klingon fleet starbases have also been receiving special visitors who have taken interest in the relaxing atmosphere and the entertainment opportunities.

Upon completion of this special project, your starbase’s interior will see increased population. Klingons will get a visit from Morn and dancing girls, while members of Starfleet will be visited by Morn and Latinum traders. This special project will be available around 10AM PDT on November 1, 2012, until around 10AM PDT on November 15, 2012.

(Dee) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=731371

Salt vampires are here! From TOS to Startrek online they have arrived so stock up on salt cubes and head down to the new mission.
In the 20-captain Mine Trap event, players will team up and attempt to save a Romulan mining colony from its impending annihilation. To do so, they must neutralize the threat, save as much of the colony as possible, and evacuate its civilians. Any Vice Admiral or Lieutenant General can participate in this cross-faction event and rewards are based on how many objectives are completed, including how much of the colony and population is saved.

Along with earning Fleet Marks, players will also be awarded with Romulan Marks – these are used in the Reputation System that we provided an overview for in this Dev Blog.

To participate, use the PvE Queue to join either a public or private queue. Mine Trap is a ground event that is always available, but if you play during certain hourly events (calendar updates to be announced at a later date), you will earn even more rewards.

(Colin) wrap up and finish

Well it’s been a few weeks since Star Trek London finished,so people have post con blues still, others a hankering to go to Vegas next year and some crossing fingers and toes and hoping Startrek London returns. But how many will go back?.
The biggest gripe was the much touted but non existent virtual queuing system, plus the fact that the merchandise prices where severely overpriced. If they can sort out them two little details it may make a massive difference. That said the very fact it left a sour note with some people may make them think twice.
The other overriding factor is the guests. This year we had five captains and some stellar stars to boot. Next year will they be able to repeat the same?
I for one would love to see Robert Picardo, Robert Duncan McNiell and Linda Park to name a few.
Other people will obviously have favourites or just people they want to see. I do know from a personal view point I won’t buy a Gold ticket again, the perks it garnered where insufficient and the goodie bag dire.
So thoughts turn to Vegas for some and what lies in store over there. You hear good and bad things from both sides. Some think creation has to much control , the con is to sterile and so on. Others think that it’s a wonderfully well run con and everything is very well organised, I guess only time will tell.
Those that went to London will have a nice comparison if they also go to Vegas .
For now I return to my world of podcasting knowing that I have made new friends,new contacts and who knows what the future will bring. I do know I have some good memories, shame it rained most of the weekend though, but hey it is Britain .

Deck Eight ep16

Deck eight 16

(Colin) now before we get into the news we have some changes to announce which i hope will enhance and freshen up your listening experience, we are going to shake up and over haul the show so you’ll be hearing a few more voices but you will also be getting a new feel from us.
So to the changes first off the news;
Let me introduce two familar voices to you first off Tom from Whales (Tom intro).
Next up another familiar voice Dee from England ( dee intro)

From next week Dee and Tom will be doing the news segment on there own, so any news items that we come across will be brought to you by Dee and Tom.

Next up allow me introduce Shervin (Shervin intro) and welcome back to the show Aaron (Aaron intro) now these two will bring you mission reviews be it foundry and holodeck based. They will run the mission either together solo or with friends and then report back with there thoughts, feelings and a score from 1-10 on the mission. We hope to bring you at least one review a week. This may involve either player or both, hopefully we can also give you some tips along the way.

Finally we will be adding the “Deck Eight help box”. Seeing as Cryptic is loaded up with boxes we will add our own. In this section I will bring you feedback on ships,weapons,accolades,consoles,fleets basically lots of different game facets.

So that’ll be the new line up, we would appreciate any and all feedback via twitter or email or the website and here us all the contact detail for the team( play new contact details)

So just this week we will get into the news and discuss it before the change next week.

( Dee) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=738741
First up From today until server maintenance during the morning (Pacific time) of Thursday, November 15, 2012, every Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack you open will also include either 10 Lobi Crystals or a Jem’Hadar Attack Ship!, If you missed unlocking one of these vessels during last year’s Winter Event or the previous Duty Officer promotion, here’s your chance at owning one of the most sought-after ships.The odds of winning the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship are rare but have been normalized based on the price of the Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack (275 ZEN) when compared to the Winter Packages (125 ZEN)
(Tom)
Each Reinforcements Duty Officer Pack will include:

4 Common or Better Duty Officers
2 Uncommon or Better Duty Officers
1 Rare or Better Duty Officer
A Bonus Item!*
In addition to any Duty Officers you receive, you will also get one (1) of the following special bonus prizes:

A stack of Gamma Quadrant commodities
A stack of Gamma Quadrant consumable devices
An Alien Artifact (available in both “Powered” and “Unpowered” versions)
A random Mk XII Very Rare Console
or the jackpot prize… a Tuffli Class Freighter Ship Pack
NOTE: With the above promotion running, it is possible to win the Tuffli and the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship from the same pack

(Colin)
Jem’Hadar Attack Ship Details

The Jem’Hadar Attack Ship is a small starship, similar to an Escort or Destroyer. The staple ship of the Dominion fleet, these ships were used with deadly effect during the Dominion War. Small, fast and maneuverable, the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship packs a punch that is larger than expected for a ship of its size.

Requires: Vice Admiral or Lt. General rank
Hull Strength: 34,500
Shield Modifier: 1
Crew: 50
Weapons: 4 Fore, 3 Aft
Device Slots: 2
Bridge Officer Stations: 1 Lieutenant Commander Tactical, 1 Commander Tactical, 1 Ensign Engineering, 2 Lieutenant Universal
Console Modifications: 5 Tactical, 4 Engineering, 1 Science
Base Turn Rate: 20 degrees per second
Impulse Modifier: 0.22
+15 Power to Weapons
Can Load Cannons

State of the game http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=739981

(Colin) now Dstahl has released the latest state of the game and there is a segment I wanted to highlight

“Designed for max-level captains of both the Federation or Klingon Empire
Zone challenges balanced for captains plus one away team member
Earn Reputation tier to unlock full away-team missions to help uncover the planet’s troubled past
Area events provide quick Reputation gains for cooperative groups
Obtain new special rewards and gear sets as a benefit for aiding the people of New Romulus
Whether captains help out on the planet surface or in the surrounding sector, many new repeatable missions will allow captains to gain favor with the people of New Romulus and tactical advantages their friendship would provide.

This represents the largest planetary zone the STO team has ever built and introduces open questing where all positive actions taken in the zone increase favor gained with the area’s quest giver. This allows for repeatable missions where captains can decide how they want to help instead of traditional “kill 10” or “collect 100” quests. This new type of open mission applies both to the planet as well as the surrounding sector.

We wanted the Romulans to be the focus of this season because New Romulus will also play an important role in Season 8. Perceptive captains may even notice the city begin to grow and take shape over the course of the season. It is important that captains participate in all the challenges that exist on New Romulus and take an active role in discovering the history of this planet. By doing so, they will unravel a mystery that will advance the story of STO to the next chapter and set the stage for a future Feature Episode series and future seasons.”

Discuss
(Dee) also in this post DSthal highlighted that ” Coming up in December, Q will be reintroducing the Winter Event with some new rewards and activities that he’s cooked up for captains. As we move into the New Year, we will start to give some sneak-peeks related to our 3rd Anniversary Event scheduled to launch in early February. As an early teaser, this year’s anniversary will have its own special Feature Episode and reward, so stay tuned for more info on that.

After the big event in February, we will begin to share some of the exciting details about Season 8 and how it will begin to resolve some of the long standing issues surrounding the two factions within the game.”

( Tom) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=738521

The next special feature for your Starbase is, “Welcome Guests”. Fleet starbases are just as much important hubs for official matters as they are social centers where fellow fleetmates can unwind from their daily duties. Federation and Klingon fleet starbases have also been receiving special visitors who have taken interest in the relaxing atmosphere and the entertainment opportunities.

Upon completion of this special project, your starbase’s interior will see increased population. Klingons will get a visit from Morn and dancing girls, while members of Starfleet will be visited by Morn and Latinum traders. This special project will be available around 10AM PDT on November 1, 2012, until around 10AM PDT on November 15, 2012.

(Dee) http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=731371

Salt vampires are here! From TOS to Startrek online they have arrived so stock up on salt cubes and head down to the new mission.
In the 20-captain Mine Trap event, players will team up and attempt to save a Romulan mining colony from its impending annihilation. To do so, they must neutralize the threat, save as much of the colony as possible, and evacuate its civilians. Any Vice Admiral or Lieutenant General can participate in this cross-faction event and rewards are based on how many objectives are completed, including how much of the colony and population is saved.

Along with earning Fleet Marks, players will also be awarded with Romulan Marks – these are used in the Reputation System that we provided an overview for in this Dev Blog.

To participate, use the PvE Queue to join either a public or private queue. Mine Trap is a ground event that is always available, but if you play during certain hourly events (calendar updates to be announced at a later date), you will earn even more rewards.

(Colin) wrap up and finish