Fiddly Administrative Post on the Next Several Weeks

But first, a milestone announcement: This is the 8,000th post on this iteration of Whatever. Go me!

Now, then: As most of you know, I have begun my book tour season, with events for the last two weekend, an event this next weekend, and then a full-fledged tour starting the weekend after that (here are the dates on all of that). This will, understandably, likely have an effect on my posting here, as will the work I need to get done between now and the formal start of my tour.

Which means: posts will tend to be shorter and (depending on how far along I am during the tour) possibly a little dazed. Don’t panic; this is all very normal. Things will likely return back to normal once I get back from the main portion of the tour, in June. In the meantime, however, don’t expect too many long, thinky pieces. You may have noticed this already the last couple of weeks.

(Or course having said that I will note that I was at the Nebulas last year when I wrote the “Straight White Male” piece, so honestly, who knows.)

It’s also possible that while I’m on tour I might do something fun (and easily programmable) on a daily basis to keep you all amused, but we’ll see how things go. It’s also possible but somewhat less likely that I may bring in (a) guest blogger(s). We’ll see how that goes, too. And before you ask, please don’t volunteer — if I decide on (a) guest blogger(s), I will ask them directly. There will be Big Idea posts through May.

Finally, I will be trying to keep on top of comments (and/or may bring someone in to help keep on top of comments), so we don’t have to worry about the site becoming a fulsome garden of trollage. That said, on the occasions when I am in one of those backwards aircraft that don’t have wifi or am busy doing an appearance (or, you know, sleeping), a troll might still wander by. Remember that the standard operating procedure is to ignore them until I or my appointed help come along with a Mallet. Please don’t feed the trolls; just let their stupidity stand as its own monument until it gets leveled.

And now you’re all caught up.

20 thoughts on “Fiddly Administrative Post on the Next Several Weeks

  1. Or course having said that I will note that I was at the Nebulas last year when I wrote the “Straight White Male” piece, so honestly, who knows.

    You mean that exposure to smart, creative people led by turns to copy from your hands that was smart and creative?

    Perish the thought!

  2. As one of the people planning to see you on tour, I’d like to thank everyone here at Whatever for their sacrifice. And, John, thank you for giving up time with your family for coming out and entertaining me (us).

  3. Fiddly Administrative Post

    As in “What John will do as Whatever burns…”

  4. But I got this here new Troll-poking stick for my birthday. I guess I’ll have to get an account on one of them there other sites to get my Troll-poking quota filled.

  5. @ Phoenician in a time of Romans

    You know, that’s actually a myth. Nero, monstrous matricidal tyrant though he was, after learning of the fire while away in Antium (modern Anzio), hurried back and made every effort to stop the fire and find temporary relief for the homeless. Doubtless he was mostly motivated by not losing the center of his empire or contending with a riot exceptional even for first-century Rome, but he most certainly wasn’t playing a stringed instrument that wouldn’t be invented for a thousand years.

  6. It’s also possible but somewhat less likely that I may bring in (a) guest blogger(s).

    Hey, you don’t know me from Adam, but could I write a guest post here, while you’re–oh, wait. Never mind.

  7. Rob, I’m sure John will give you a guest post, right after he gives me the mallet!!!

    John, there is clearly the opportunity for other FAQs here.
    I can imagine posts with titles such as::

    “Get your hands off my Mallet!”

    “No, the Mallet is not a children’s toy!” (You’re missing an excellent merchandising opportunity here…)

    “The Mallet of Loving Correction: only Equipable by Trusted Admins” (guaranteed critical strike against Trolls…)

  8. <i.You know, that’s actually a myth.

    Yeah, I read Cracked too.

    But I REFUSE to let anything as trivial as the FACTS get in the way of SNARK!!!!

  9. Remember that time you were on tour and you pulled a fan out of the audience to blog with you? And they went on to be a big star and to star in a really popular sitcom?
    Don’t do that again, OK?

  10. Very considerate to post this. Thank you, John.

    @ Gulliver,
    From what I remember about Nero (from books) was that his first 7 years of rule were actually pretty decent as Roman emperors go. The last 7 were the whackier years. And for all that Nero did he really doesn’t hold a candelabra to Caligula. That guy was a serious nut case.

  11. @ Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Actually, I got it from a footnote of a blog post on the history and evolution of stringed instruments. But I guess if the facts weren’t read on dead paper, they don’t mean a thing. Cracked is good too, though the first of the three Cracked articles in a Google search wrongly states that he died of natural causes. Nero slit his own throat when the Senate finally got sick enough of him to declare him an outlaw and Public Enemy #1.

    @ gleonguerrero

    I guess it depends on how you look at it. His mother had his uncle assassinated to get Nero on the throne, then used him as a puppet for the first years of his reign. Eventually, Nero, a definite product of his upbringing, paid it forward and executed his mother (and a whole lot of other people including, supposedly, the virgins he raped) to get free of her manipulation of the Imperial Court. Nice family.

  12. Gulliver:

    Ah, the Julio-Claudians… such a lovely dynasty, so good for playing Happy Families with. After all, we start with the originator of the dynasty, Julius, who was publicly assassinated due to the suspicion he might have imperial ambitions. His adopted son (and chosen successor, Augustus) was a dictator and an able administrator who ruled with an iron fist and effectively created the position of Emperor. The next in line, Tiberius, became so unpopular he spent his declining years in a completely different city to the national capital. Then came Germanicus (more commonly and popularly known by his nickname, “Caligula”) who from all reports was almost as reality-displaced as the present-day folksen behind Conservapedia. He was assassinated in a palace coup by his bodyguard (the Praetorian guard), and his uncle Claudius was picked by them as the new emperor as something of a joke. The joke turned out to be on them – Claudius was an able administrator and a good manager, who proved to be a good emperor. However, he did have some rather key disadvantages – the main one of which was his complete inability to choose a suitable wife. After his first wife (Messalina) had to be divorced for adultery with the head of the Praetorian guard – an attempt at a coup d’etat which failed – his second wife (the former wife of his cousin Germanicus) decided to poison him to get him out of the way for her eldest son, Nero.

    After Nero’s death, things fell to pieces for a while – the Year of Four Emperors – before Flavius Vespasianus pulled out the winning move in the game by basically blockading the Egyptian grain harvest in port at Alexandria until he was selected for the top job. Since this provided the commoners of Rome with their dole (and thus prevented the city from going up in flames due to food riots) he won the job. Oddly enough, the Flavians turned out to be able administrators who pulled the empire back from the brink of bankruptcy. Emperor Vespasian died in his bed of old age (only the third emperor to do so – the other two were Augustus and Tiberius) and his last words were reportedly “damn, I think I’m becoming a god”.

    (I think I may have read a little too much Lindsey Davis for my own good…)

  13. Cracked is good too, though the first of the three Cracked articles in a Google search wrongly states that he died of natural causes. Nero slit his own throat when the Senate finally got sick enough of him to declare him an outlaw and Public Enemy #1.

    I’ve been playing Crusader Kings II too long – I thought that *was* a natural cause…

  14. @Gulliver: “Yahoo and YouTube have regular pokas.”

    I had a dream once where a YouTube commenter kept calling everyone else trolls, though they weren’t. I commented, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means,” and woke up feeling rather bemused. Overall, it was a very civil and sensical YouTube thread. Only in a dream…

  15. @ Megpie71

    Sis felicior Augusto, melior Traiano.

    Oddly enough, the Flavians turned out to be able administrators who pulled the empire back from the brink of bankruptcy.

    That, and they brought back the good ol’ days of conquering new populaces from which to exact tribute. That old saying about robbing Peter to pay Paul? Imperial Rome set the standard.

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