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July 19, 2006


Ivanova: Ivanova is God. And if you do not fasten, then zip, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out!

I figured this one would be easier. Loved your Monty Python references in the other thread, too.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. The answer is Garibaldi and Sinclair, the episode is "Babylon Squared", the year is 2258, the place is Babylon 5. Ivanova is God.

Monty Python makes everything better.

Goodness, no need to apologize. I put 'em up so people will guess them, after all. I guess I need to find a happy medium between obscure Family Ties and common B5, though.



Fasten zip.

Although you're ignoring the Button-Fly Corollary: Top to bottom, or bottom to top?

Tomorrow is my 15th wedding anniversary. Why am I wasting my time being angry at idiots online?

Tim: not in that name

Phil: Happy anniversary.


An excellent question. Have a wonderful anniversary.

Trying to avoid the feeling that no one gives a darn, because no one commented, since it presumably went unoticed admidst the melt-down next door, I'm personally quite distracted by the fact that I'm at least not immediately getting evicted. Half a cheer!

Meanwhile, if we're to have peace around here, clearly everyone needs to join hands and dance around each other, while chanting: "Boom shabalabalaba, boom shabalabalaba! Hey there, hey there, three bags full! You come here often? Yes, I do! Dinner, shabalabalaba! Drinks, shabalabalaba! Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss GRAB! How do you like it so far?"

"I slept with you the other night. You didn't call, you didn't write! I think you did it just for SPITE!"

"Yes! Oh, yes! Oh YES! Oh! YES! Tell me about your portfolio! Oh yes, yes, yes, yes! Lie to me about your family! Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yes! Yes, yes, yes, YEEES!"

Then we shall have sealed the deal for peace. Make it so. So say we all.

It is good to have friends, is it not, Mister Garibaldi?

Just for fun, and because it's funny and I think people could use a laugh, the entire exchange. Please note Garibaldi's final sentence in his sixth comment.

Garibaldi [bored]: This is the part I hate most --- the waiting. [Sinclair grunts in agreement. There's a pause.] Mind if I ask you a question?
Sinclair: Sure!
Garibaldi: Okay. It's morning. You're getting ready to go to work. You pull on your pants. Do you fasten and then zip, or zip and then fasten?
Sinclair: What kind of question is that?
Garibaldi: Well look, we got two hours to kill.
Sinclair: Forget it!
Garibaldi: Just a question.
Sinclair: Why do you want to know?
Garibaldi: Why do I want to know? Because I think of these things sometimes. I was getting dressed this morning, and for a second I couldn't remember which I did first! I started thinking about it. Does everybody do it the same way, is it a left-handed, right-handed thing?
Sinclair: Do you think about this stuff a lot?
Garibaldi: Yeah! Look, okay, I'm sorry I asked. And you're always so serious all the time. Not every conversation has to be the end of the world as we know it.
Sinclair: I didn't mean to...
Garibaldi: Never mind, it's okay. I'll just --- watch my console. Don't worry about it.
Sinclair [a long pause and a sigh]: Fasten, then zip. You?
Garibaldi [perking up]: Fasten, zip! [They chuckle, then another long pause.]
Sinclair: How much longer?
Garibaldi [bored again]: One hour, fifty-seven minutes. Wanna talk socks?
Sinclair: No.
Garibaldi: It's just a question.
Sinclair: I'm not having this conversation.

I'm getting into snaps. We got some onesies for rilkekind, and pulling them over his 37" noggin is stressful. We have a few outfits which snap down the center and everyone is much happier with them.

I didn't actually have the word "snap" in my clothing vocabulary until now.

My dear, good, friend, Mr. Farber. I am overjoyed at the news you will not be evicted, and I apologize for not commenting earlier. I was caught up in the general malaise and bad feelings, no doubt. I shall drink to your health this evening.

That must be 37 cm.

I just assumed he was hydrocephalic.

"I am overjoyed at the news you will not be evicted"

Well, for now, assuming he doesn't whimsically change his mind, but meanwhile he still advises me to look for another place, and very emphatically didn't make any commitments about next month, so I'm still pretty on-edge, and will continue to be. (Since you probably still can't read it, I'll e-mail you what I said.)

But, yeah, it's at least better news than that I have to leave ten days after the end of the month.

Otherwise, I wish you all joy, sir. (Have you read Patrick O'Brian? I don't recall discussing him with you; you might enjoy him.)

On other fronts, whether I snap (button), then zip, or vice versa, tends to depend on how tight or not the pants/shorts are, actually.

But what's really annoying are zippers that won't stay up; some zippers just seem to be under a zipper curse, it seems to me.

Phil--many happy returns. If you're still reading, get off-line and do something nice for your beloved spouse. (We had our 20th last January. I should probably get off and do something nice for mine, e.g. the dishes).

Gary--I really am happy the wolf is a step further away from the door. I wasn't joking about you being a beautiful dude.

Andrew--you can't believe how welcome you are around these parts. You're a real positive addition to the mix.

Gary, that's great news that you have a roof for the time being. I'm really hoping things work out for you.

These zip down, which has a number of advantages.

fasten then zip. button-fly, bottom to top.

congrats to gary and phil. (only 12 years hitched for me.)

how 'bout Andrew getting his favorite sites added to the sidebar.

frankly both regulars and backscratch could use a glean and update.

we haven't had a summertime reading thread in a while and I could use some new books (paperback only please). what's on your bedside table?

i wonder, since book threads quickly get very difficult to read, whether something like a ObWi Summer Reading Wiki could work. We could have the usual categories (current fiction, classic fiction, sf, mystery, ...) and people would add their favorite reads. someone smart and with book experience (helloooo gary) could oversee it.

Congrats, Phil!

Digressing slightly from B5, I hope everyone who is interested knows that neo-BSG Season 2.5 will be released for Region 1 (North America) on Sept. 19. Purchase a copy here at $32.49 in advance, and I'll get a few pennies, supposedly!

(Suggested retail price is $49.98.)

Special longer version of one episode, and lots of outtakes and extras.

Thanks for good wishes from folks.

Well, I've never seen B5, although one of my best friends loves that show. He said it had many good explosions (which for him is one of the strongest correlations with visual entertainment quality). The exchange does remind me of my favorite Finnish joke, however (and has a military touch, in Andrew's honor):

Pekka and Toivonen (two long-time friends) come home on furlough from the Winter War and decide to go to the sauna and drink vodka in celebration of them both surviving so far. So they hike out to the sauna, start up the fire, and after sitting there for a couple of hours, sipping vodka, Pekka says to Toivonen, "So, how's it been going?" Toivonen takes another sip of vodka but doesn't reply. After a couple more hours of sitting in the sauna and sipping vodka, Pekka decides that Toivonen must not have heard him and repeats, "So, how's it been going?" Toivonen takes another sip of vodka, and after a long pause, heaves an exasperated sigh and says to Pekka, "Look, did we come out here to babble, or did we come out here to drink?"

Andrew: if you email me a list of urls, I'll add them to the sidebar. You too, Seb.

I actually did, for the first time ever, prune some of the 'regulars', 'guests', etc., about two weeks ago; but I left up anything that either was the blog of someone I recognized from hereabouts, or had been posted to during the last six months or so.

Gary: that's great news.

And Phil: yay!

Me: fasten zip. Though in the summer, I tend to wear shorts that involve neither.

what's on your bedside table?

just finished Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicles. i enjoyed it, though I assume I missed a lot of it, not being intimately familiar with Japanese history and culture. still, since I was there earlier this year, I still have a bit of that inflated sense of familiarity one gets after having visited a foreign country, even if only for a short while.

before that, Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, which was pretty good for sci-fi. a nice easy read - would be good on a plane.

currently, Middlekauff's "The Glorious Cause", a non-fiction about the American Revolution (recommended here at ObWi). this could take a while.

after that will be Jonathan Lethem's latest. which is sitting on the stairs, still in it's cardboard Amazon package.

after that should be, Jeff VanderMeer's upcoming Shriek.

still in it's cardboard Amazon package

no apostrophe intended, of course.

I was taught to zip, fasten so as not to put undue stress on the button. But I often violate that rule, just to prove that I'm an independent thinker.

Reminds me of the furious debate about Archie and Meathead re: sock sock shoe shoe or sock shoe sock shoe. Which I guess was what Garibaldi's line was alluding to at the end, right? Can't put anything past me.

"I actually did, for the first time ever, prune some of the 'regulars', 'guests', etc., about two weeks ago"

"Calpundit," the name, not the link, is a bit dated, though perhaps it's worth keeping for nostalgia, and to confuse people.

I'd suggest that consideration might be given to requiring posters to post at least once every six months here, to keep their name on the door, unless they have a leave of absence for a trip to Antarctica, or something, but that's obviously up to you.

It's arguably a little mean to list Balloon Juice as "John Cole," given that it's not as if Tim F. just showed up last week and doesn't contribute much.

"Markkleiman.org" is, in fact, "http://www.samefacts.com/," and has been for many months.

"WarLiberal" moved more than a year ago to "http://www.bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/warliberal/"

The link to "American Footprint" is not just dead, but was never at that link, and isn't the name of the blog; it's "American Footprints" and is now at "http://americanfootprints.com/drupal/.com/"

That link for James Casey died a couple of years ago; I don't know if he wants his current non-blog given out or not, though probably. But he doesn't seem to be commenting blogs but very rarely, these days, much to my great regret; I miss him.

"Rox Populi" is listed twice, under both "Backscra" and Hilzoy's.

Incidentally "Backscra" possibly isn't so great, since it doesn't fit the sidebar, at least via my Firefox, anyway, though maybe that's just at the size I need to read at. (Hmm, interesting, but not very, the blogroll disappears entirely in preview.)

That's all just off the top of a quick glance; there are plenty of other links on yer 'roll I'm not checking.

"about" --> "between"

"before that, Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, which was pretty good for sci-fi."

Bob is an old, old, friend of mine, from the early Seventies, long before he'd sold a word of prose.

I'm sure he'd appreciate that you enjoyed the book (which I've not read yet, but have heard good things about), but kinda a back-handed compliment there, guy.

(I won't say it's sf, not "sci-fi"!; I won't!)

Gary: more TypePad stuff: you drop in the url, it comes up with the name. I tried to figure out how to change CalPundit, but apparently I didn't succeed, even with Moe's Superpowerz.

I did miss the ones that have changed urls, though -- I was looking at the sidebar thinking of things to change, and 'Mark Kleiman' didn't seem like something I wanted to change, though of course its url is. Maybe soon I will.

Zip first v. fasten first depends on how tight the pants are, and how big one's tummy is.

If they're tight, and/or one has a bit more tummy than one might wish, then fasten first; it makes zipping easier. Otherwise, the obverse is true: zipping first makes it easier to fasten.

At least, that's my experience.

Gary, I'm doing my part to help get you over the hump. Hope it helps.

To all: I plug the crap out of my band here, and I'm about to do it again, because we're finally available at iTunes. Now you can hear us for the low, low price of 99 cents per tune!

If you are in the Fredericksburg, VA area, we're playing at The Loft this Friday, 7/21 with the Wil Gravatt Band, who are hardcore Republicans. I look forward to being called a traitor at my own performance. After that, we're back in Arlington at Iota on 8/11, and in Old Town Alexandria on 8/12.

but kinda a back-handed compliment there, guy

not meant to be. i intended the emphasis on "pretty good", not the "for sci-fi". Spin is what it is: a fun story, that raises some interesting questions about humanity, told in an accessible style. i don't think it tries to be anything else.

and, yeah, it's sci-fi: aliens, time travel (kinda), future tech, etc..

i recommend it every chance i get.

what's on your bedside table?

I don't see that that's any of your concern.

Oh. You mean books. Sorry.

I'm reading Alan Furst's The Foreign Correspondent. OK, but not his best, I think.

"and, yeah, it's sci-fi: aliens, time travel (kinda), future tech, etc.."

Yeah, I'll try to give up on the point of "sf" vs. "sci-fi" and the history there. Kids!

Hilzoy, can you change the link to my journal from livejournal to greatestjournal? I am gradually migrating over there, having got disgusted at Six Apart's anti-breastfeeding thing, and if you're editing links anyway, that would be nice. Thanks.

Good for sci-fi? Gary you shouldn't think that is a back-handed compliment. Very negative attitude. Surely he meant it like "Good for Olympic level competition"?

And speaking of such things, the ComiCon is in town this weekend. Time for geeks in funny clothes, random actors, and other fun.

Not my most interesting ComiCon story, but one that comes to mind anyway:

A couple of years ago I went to the ComiCon (the pretentious call it "The Con" but pretentious just doesn't look good on geek) and the Amber Benson, the woman who played 'Tara' on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was signing autographs. On TV she looks not fat, but certainly not as thin as any of the other girls on the show. In person, I swear she was stick-like. It really drove home the "cameras adds ten pounds" saying.

I <3 the copious B5 references

"Gary, I'm doing my part to help get you over the hump. Hope it helps."

Incidentally, Phil, I tried several times to leave a comment on your blog, and every time it vanished. FYI. Thanks, and you might want to fix your software so comments work.


Conversely, you can leave the software alone and eventually Gary will ask ObWings to pick you up as a poster just so he can comment on what you say.

It didn't vanish -- comments are held for moderation, which I have unfortunately failed to note in the comment template. It was the most efficient way for me to combat comment spam.

Andrew: If people think Charles lowers the tone, I'd quickly have it gasping for breath at the bottom of the ocean.

On the pile "really read first" next to the bed I have a Dutch book with National History in 91 stories, The Dutch winner of the literature price 2006 about a guy who finds that he can literally go to the past via photo's from a specific camera, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Guantanamo by Joseph Margulies, Combined Poems of JP Rawie, Singularity Sky by Charles Stross and a Dutch literature winner of last year about a big love drifting apart because the man seeks solvace for his wounded youth in bleak calvinism and the promise of afterlife whilst she wants to live the now.
On order is a story about mr. Hamel, a Dutch VOC sailer who with a group of 13 lived in Korea for 13 years in the 16th century. That book I blame LJ for, since his HocB thread got me googling about nationalism, language, communities... and finally somehow got me onto a site about this story.

If ever I start blogging in English or ObWi starts an international section I'll send you an URL Hilzoy :)

Andrew: there should be more G'Kar...

OK, I'm off to the airport and on to a family reunion in Maine, so I don't know how much I'll be able to post for the next four days, as Maine and the Internet are not always compatible. My apologies for not getting anything out today; a touch of blogger's block.

And Dutch, rest assured there will be more G'Kar. Surely you saw my tribute to Andreas Katsulas on the sad event of his death?

Until then, the part of me that is leaving will miss the part of you that is staying.

Now I do Andrew. I very much like that first quote.

enjoy Maine, we will make do with echo's here :)

I'm off to the airport and on to a family reunion in Maine

We had ours at YMCA of the Rockies, which, despite its remote-ness-ivity is Wireless.

The cell phone reception sucks, but that can be a good thing.

for no other reason than amusing coincidence, allow me to point out that one of my favorite books by my favorite Dutch author was titled "The Maine Massacre" in English.

For anyone seeking humor. Jon Stewart on the Stem Cell Veto.

Click Here

Nothing brightens the day like a little http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/07/post911_option_.html>Post 9/11 profiteering.

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