Out ’til 7/13

The project I’m working on has gotten to the “damn it I just want this thing done” phase, which in this case is nicely and thankfully coinciding with the “hey, now I know where I’m going with all this and I just need to type it up” phase. So I’m leaving you all, the better to finish it this week. I’m scheduling this week to be away, although I’ll be back early if it takes less time (which is possible), or back late if it takes more (which is also possible).

If you absolutely can’t live without me for a week, first, seek therapy, but second, I’ll mostly likely continue to update my Twitter feed during this time, because (no offense, Twitter) it doesn’t really involve actual thought. So now’s a fine time to get on the Twitter thing if you’ve not done so already. I’ll also be updating the Whateverettes over there in the sidebar.

While I’m gone you can of course continue to blather on in the comment threads; you don’t really need me here for that. Also, feel free to consider this an “open thread” post — go ahead and chat amongst yourselves, I don’t mind. Just be nice to each other and don’t break anything (I’m probably not going to be posting comments but I will moderate — I’m busy, not dead).

If you need to reach me for some reason, go ahead and do it by e-mail, but be aware I’m likely to respond only to urgent mail (urgent defined by me, as opposed to by others) until the project is finished.

See you all in a week (more or less).

94 Comments on “Out ’til 7/13”

  1. Ok im off to seek therapy now… :)
    Just kidding …I’m a Scalzi fan . Obviously I’ve been in therapy for years.

  2. I have prep work for readercon anyhow, so less time spent on Whatever, fun that it is, is more time for prep.

    Anyone else around here going to readercon?

  3. Ok, I’ll start the pool

    John will be back on Wednesday with a photoshopped picture of his daughter.

  4. Whoa ha ha ha! I just broke Scalzi’s favorite coffee mug. Oops! I just the “i” key on his keyboard. Snap! Snap! Snap! Three penc/ls . . . broken l/ke cheap Ch/nese matchsti/cks. He shouldn’t have left me alone /n h/s . . . Huh!? Er, / . . .

  5. Pencil King, John doesn’t drink coffee at his desk. He drinks Coke Zero. Like, duh! Kind of like you just went from HERO to ZERO.

  6. Prediction: Three days from now, the cat pictures will trickle in. One a day, then two by late in the week.

    Then them that want this project out of John will be frantically emailing him, saying, “OK! OK! Chang is happy with the Ghlaghghee pictures! Now just finish the damn project!”

    You know it’s coming. If he gets twitchy enough, there may even be a Kodi photo.

    Such is the natural order of things in the Scalzi universe.

  7. *gasp!*
    No Whatever for a week! I shall struggle through. Maybe by reading my copy of Agent To The Stars that I finally found in my local store? Good plan.

    And good luck on said project, Scalzi. Here’s wishing it turns out as well as you hope.

  8. Patrick@8,

    It depends on what he’s fishing for- that bait looks suspiciously like BACON to me.

  9. @12 don’t you mean Scalziverse (I mean if Whedon can have a Whedonverse …)

  10. Will he come in early with a picture of the daughter, or one of the cats, or the daughter holding a cat? A cat holding the daughter would be funnier, but is probably too much to hope for. (for which to hope?)

  11. Can I use open thread as pimp thread?

    If not, how about a pimp thread until you come back?

  12. JJS, ‘too much to hope for’ is better English. ‘Too much for which to hope’ is the kind of pedantic asshattery up with which no sane, competent speaker of the English language, much less the noble wielders of the pens (and keyboards) of wit such as those who here comment, or even Scalzi himself (I daresay, though he may smite me with the Mallet of Loving Correction if I overstep) will (or should) put.

    And the above is a good example of why not.

  13. This being an “open” thread.

    1) Is there ever anybody else on here that is from British Columbia?

    2) How many people here have taped bacon to their cats? Be honest.

  14. AJ—Ohhhh! Is that what the BC stands for?!?!?! I thought it was…well, never mind. Let’s just say it seemed to make sense.

    Just in case anyone on here is deeply humo(u)r-impaired: I AM ONLY TEASING.

    I have never owned a cat, therefore the question of whether I have taped bacon to mine is not only unanswerable but fundamentally meaningless. Especially since I have not touched bacon in some decades, nor allowed it to enter my house, nor do I see any reasonable chance of any of these circumstances changing (as a cat-allergic vegetarian for nearly 50 and over 30 years respectively).

    I suppose as a sort of Zen exercise I might attempt to tape nonexistent bacon to my nonexistent cat, presumably with nonexistent tape, but I would also simultaneously refrain from making such an attempt; and do both; and do neither. In such a context your question is unanswerably vague.

  15. I always wanted to start a limerick with “There once was a maid from Saskatchewan,” but the rhymes are a bit difficult. One attempt ended with “…which she’d catch you on,” but was otherwise lame. gigi, do you know any such limericks?

  16. @24 gigi
    Saskatchewan is fine. :)

    @23 Xopher
    I’m betting there are times that Scalzi wished he had never posted pictures of bacon taped to a cat.

  17. Sorry Xopher,

    I know of no such limericks and you’re right, it’s probably because it is hard to find words that rhyme with Saskatchewan! (finn, gin, Kin, sin hmm … yes, all those words would do).

    You have got me thinking though. If I come up with something this week I’ll post it.

  18. Look ma, my first Limerick;

    For AJ@22 and Xopher @ 23!

    “There once was a maid from Saskatchewan,
    She was no longer young; a stranger to sin,
    She thought her life was over,
    From now on, there would be no romps in the clover,
    That is until she met an unforgettable, unforgivable Finn.”

    Okay, the meter is probably off…
    But Damn…my first Limerick.

  19. If I may attempt an edit?

    There once was a maid from Saskatchewan
    Whose youth was long over and full of sin.
    She said “Life is over!
    “No more romps in the clover!”
    But then she met up with a wicked Finn.

    Still not perfect, but getting there.

  20. Nekussa, checked the link, looks like a lot of fun :) Too bad I’m on the wrong side of the country!

    1. nope, not BC, but at least on the same side of the continent :)

    2. No way would I tape bacon to my cats. Firstly, I LOVE bacon, and could never bring myself to waste it on the ungrateful furballs, and if, by some strange reason I did get the urge, I still wouldn’t – I can’t make the cats that big a target to our dogs. They’re Siberians with waaaay to high a prey drive, and I think the temptation would simply be too much: cat + bacon = dinner tiiiiiiime!

  21. I always thought the last syllable of Saskatchewan rhymed with prawn. Not so?

    Xopher, I know about the desirability of clear prose vs following an arbitrary, invented, invalid rule. I only use that construct in at attempt to be funny. Sometimes, it works.

  22. Go, John, go! I am looking forward to learning more about this mystery project, and as always I find any blog post by a writer who is getting off the intarwebs to do more werks inspires me to do the same.

  23. Yes. Chruchhill indeed ;)

    And for lack of something constructive to say, allow me to warn of you of the armor-plated silverfish scuttling across the ceiling just above your head…

  24. And you know what’s worse? You don’t know if that was singular…. or plural.

  25. AJ:
    1. Yes – Metro Vancouver, even.
    2. No – both my kittens are rescue semi-ferals and would surely panic if I even attempted such a thing. Plus, being vegetarian myself, it would be a strange day indeed for me to have bacon in the house.

  26. AJ:

    Does north of Seattle count? If it doesn’t it should, we’re closer to Vancouver than folks in Saskatchewan and we like Hockey. (Everett Silvertips) Honorary maybe?

    I’m working on a Limerick but I’m having trouble keeping it appropriately worded for this site. Who am I kidding, I don’t like to use foul language unless provoked and writing a limerick doesn’t make the grade.

  27. JJS, it occurred to me that might be the case, but I saw an opportunity for humor and took it.

    Jeff S…*pokes you with a limerick stick*

    *does it again*

    *repeats poking until irritation is sufficient to use limerick-appropriate language, or you club me to death with an electric violin, whichever comes first*

  28. John, could you do a post for a geek discussion on your thoughts about faster than light travel?

    I just read Anathem, which you know when into depth about the infinite number of universes created by quantum mechanics, and how this creates the idea of two entire universes identical except for one thing. The idea is that you could then create the perception that you changed that one thing in your universe when really you just hopped into that other universe.

    That seems very similar to the idea you threw out there in Ghost Brigades about faster than light travel, where the ship hopped into another identical universe where the ship happened to be at the destination point of the jump.

    As a SF fan and author, I’m sure you’ve put lots of thought into that popular SF discussion topic. I’d like to hear you elaborate on it sum and compare it to the Stephenson multi-cosmos idea. That basic line of thought seems to pop up alot – so much that it gets one hoping that the future might open up possibilities of applying that type of philosphy/physics to travel one day.

  29. Xopher:

    Stop… Please stop, Dammit, you better stop. OK, now you’re going to get it.

    “picks up Electric Violin and decides it’s too light for the job, throws it down and picks up the E flat Sousaphone and starts to beat Xopher about the head and shoulders”

    Take that you &#@^^$%@## and that **&%^@%#$^.

    Wow, I’m starting to channel Yosemite Sam and feel like working on a limerick, Thanks Xopher.

    Oh stop groaning, I didn’t hit you that hard, the Sousaphone only weighs 45 pounds.

  30. There once was a boy from Saskatchewan
    Who sailed to the equator on a swan.
    It wasn’t a bird
    As anyone had heard.
    More like an airship with Jay Lake at the helm.

  31. @31- sleeplessinoregon
    Oregon is good. Dog / cat+bacon combo, is however, very bad. :)

    Hello! I’m in Courtenay.

    @39-Jeff S.
    Hello N of Seattle !

  32. Okay. Since conversation is almost dead around here, it is time for a new round of questions.

    1) What is your name?

    2) What is your quest?

    3) What is your favorite color?

    4) What is the capital of Assyria?

    5) What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  33. 1. it’s a secret!
    2. to get an associates in accounting
    3. Purple :)
    4. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur (Akkadian: Aššur; Arabic: أشور Aššûr; Hebrew: אַשּׁוּר Aššûr, Aramaic: ܐܫܘܪ Ašur, ܐܬܘܪ Atur). (direct quote from wikipedia
    5. “What do you mean? African or European swallow?”

    And it wasn’t until I found the air-speed velocity question in the wikipedia listing for monty python that I realized why these questions were vaguely familiar…….

  34. *must come up with more obscure questions*

    Good job sleeplessinoregon.

    “O, Knights of Nee, we have brought you your shrubbery. May we go now?”

  35. 1) What is your name?

    Jim. My name is Jim.

    2) What is your quest?

    Really good coffee.

    3) What is your favorite color?


    4) What is the capital of Assyria?

    There is none. They went out of business long before Cyrus the Great. Now if you asked “What WAS the capital…” Well, you didn’t, so no Wikipedia for you!

    5) What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    Wouldn’t know. I’m not a king. You don’t have to know these things when you’re in tech support.

  36. Jim – Local freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee is the only way to go.

  37. ntsc @54

    Same thing essentially, shaped like a regular marching band Sousaphone, but smaller and still worn around the body.

    By the way, I thought Xopher would have come out of it by now. Are you OK man?

    In modest payment, here is my contribution:

    There once was a maid from Saskatchewan
    who looked for a man to get her groove on
    she said “there’s just one thing,
    can’t do it with out a ring
    So I’ll have to make do with my hands on”

    Groans fully appreciated, but I still didn’t swear, sorry Xopher

  38. Totally irrelevant but I had to say it: I read somewhere that Alan Dean Foster has written a novelisation of the new Transformers movie. I can only stand amazed at the gentleman’s ability to extract a story from that monstrosity, let alone create a credible novel from it. An amazing display of literary courage.

  39. *waves hand, transforming Jeff’s e-flat Sousaphone into a brass-armored boa constrictor, which doesn’t actually require a lot of mana*

    Swear, damn you! Swear! Hurry and do it while my serpent still lets you breathe!

  40. I took the point from J.S.’s post upthread that this is not the place for pimping.

    So just let me say that if one were to go to eBay and search “Scalzi” — or more to the point “Questions For A Soldier” — one might find that a nice signed chapbook from Scalzi/Subterranean is up for auction. It closes in about ten hours.

    These are extremely hard to find on the secondary market. Needless to say they are quite sought after by the likes of us, his fans.

    That is all. Thank you.

  41. @61/Xopher… should you really be waving your ‘serpent’ around on other peoples’ blogs?

  42. Hi all Scalzi fans…hopefully this kind of note is OK. I’d like to wish Robert A. Heinlein fans a happy 102nd Anniversary of his birth. If you were able to attend the Heinlein Centennial and liked the idea, there’s a new website for Heinlein fans at http://www.heinleinnexus.org .

    No profit in it for me, I’m just spreading the word to places that might like to know. Whatever is one of the few blogs I read and I also participate at the Nexus.

  43. Any ideas on how the City of L.A. can recoup the $4 mil outlay for the “Gloved One”s memorial? This should be good!

  44. 1) What is your name?

    2) What is your quest?
    My quest is short, but my tribe is legion.

    3) What is your favorite color?
    Sunrise orange

    4) What is the capital of Assyria?

    5) What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    Approximately equal to the inverse square of the cubic yards of ground a groudhog could grind if a groundhog could grind ground.

  45. First of all it comes as no surprise that Xopher has big brass ones.

    I did swear when I beat you with the Sousaphone. Don’t you remember? If you don’t it went something like #@&**$&#^ rassefrassen rabbit.

    The Boa seems to have made friends with my fireplace wyvern, Asher, so I’ll send him back home in the morning. They’re having dinner at the moment. Curried chicken with a side of green chiles.

    Have a good night my friends, see you tomorrow
    Jeff S.

  46. My name is Mick.
    To be a coffee connoisseur, open a used ssf bookstore with an industrial espresso machine at the door.
    Coffee brown.
    Don’t care. I’m an American.
    Python says, “Er . . .!?” Before being crushed by the three ton trojan rabbit.

  47. “Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'”

  48. 1) What is your name? Wendy

    2) What is your quest? Grande Mocha with whip, and to have time to do more quilting

    3) What is your favorite color? Royal Purple

    4) What is the capital of Assyria? Who’s she?

    5) What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    It’s relative to if it is pursuing prey for its own dinner or being pursued by a hawk for its dinner.

  49. 1) What is your name? Bev
    2) What is your quest? Oh man, if you saw my domicile and garage post-move, you wouldn’t need to ask. But since you asked, to find my stuff, get my stuff organized, and to de-stuffify.
    3) What is your favorite color? Royal Blue.
    4) Waht is the capital of Assyria? – i can’t think of a good joke here, which is, possibly, a good joke.
    5. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? I dunno, they fly pretty fast, whether African, European or American…

    And no, I have never taped bacon to any of my cats, or anybody else’s cats, for that matter. My cats sleep with me. I don’t want them getting any funny ideas about things to do while *I’m* asleep.

    Well, technically, the anglicized version is Joshua, but my friends call me JC, and my mother, when upset, calls me “Jesus Harold!” (Now you know what the H stands for.)


    A really good mocha frap.


    Well, it’s not within the mortal visual spectrum, so I’m going to pass on this one. Sorry, guys.


    Ashur. Nice place. Dad liked to hang out there a lot. Put it in his book, even.


    Fast. You have to know these things when your King of Kings.

  51. A restaurateur in Saskatchewan
    Overseasons with pepper from Sichuan;
    Although the food’s numbing,
    The diners keep coming —
    But they need twenty napkins to “achoo!” on.

  52. 1) What is your name?

    I am number six. Who is number one?

    2) What is your quest?

    world peace, rule of law, and fried dough with sugar and cinnamon

    3) What is your favorite color?


    4) What is the capital of Assyria?

    Heh, you said ass.

    5) What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    velocity is a vector with magnitude and direction. Speed is just magnitude. I can’t work under these conditions. AAAAAHAHAHHAHAHHH!!!

  53. Loving the Limericks. Thanks.

    Xopher @29- great edit.

    JJS @32- good but wrong rhyme.
    McIsik @46- lovely but again wrong rhyme.
    Same with Jeff S @57 and Theophylact @74…

    Sorry, I lived in Saskatchewan all my life and it rhymes with kin etc. Only Outsiders rhyme us with swan, etc. Crazy aliens ;-) Cute but crazy!

    Thank you all for participating.

  54. gigi

    I’m kinda digging that I’m an outsider and alien.
    Point of view changes how we perceive reality doesn’t it.

    So its pronounced; saascatchewin? Sorry, my phonetic spell checker is on the fritz.
    Not making fun, just trying to find out so the next time I travel up that way I miss being the ugly uninformed American.
    Ok, probably only uninformed but still…

  55. Jeff @78.

    Yes, that’s how me, my family and friends pronounce it. But everyone’s accents are different and it only really matters when you’re trying to rhyme it. :-)

  56. There once was a maid from Saskatchewan
    Whose long pinky fingers the cats chew on
    They nibbled them down
    And caused her to frown
    And later that night put a cat stew on

    (with apologies to the cats)

    (and, actually, everyone)

    Incidentally, I too am from BC! (originally Maple Ridge, later Surrey, currently Vancouver)

  57. There once was a maid from Saskatchewan
    Whose hair was compared to a rosy dawn
    A mere glipse of her breast
    Made strong men clutch their chest
    But they could not convince her to get it on

  58. New Full Unique sequel to Old Man’s Way?

    Is the rumor true Scalzi’s next piece is a far in the future sequel to Old Man’s War titled “Young Man’s Peace”? You see, this is how wild rumors get started – leave some comment space open and it’s a free-for-all. If it’s as good as the original I hope I get credit for coming up with the title – unless of course it stars his cat, then list the credit to Palin.

    Trust everyone is having a great day – hope to see Scalzi posting again soon – and that he has a fun trip.

  59. July must be a really popular month for The Writers to write:

    Wil Wheaton is busy writing (and not updating his blog).

    Neil Gaiman is busy writing (and not updating his blog).

    John Scalzi is busy writing (and not updating his blog).

    (see a trend?)

    ‘Course, we loves to read what The Writers write, my precious. I’m not at all sorry for all the ‘not updating their blog’ stuff going on, since it means there will be new stuff coming from Writers I enjoy reading.

    I also bet The Writers enjoy the end effect of writing – having told a good story, putting food on the table, and a paying the mortgage.

    It must be tough to stay inside and write, when it is so nice outside – mother nature’s siren call – come outside and play! – must be hard to ignore. Maybe that’s why I’m not a writer, and am only a reader.

  60. I knew a fish from saskatchewan
    who drank Blue Balls from morning to dawn.
    From a rusty bassoon he drank
    Til his mouth was pasty and dank,
    Inebriated, swam to Taiwan.

  61. People! Everybody!

    John still hasn’t posted anything! Remember Cassie up at #3 who thought John would crack by now? Everybody thought the same. Yet here it is, Day 4 of the Great Scalzi Blackout and no further posts.

    What has happened to Scalzi? Has he fallen down a well again? Has Krissy institutionalized him because of his Whatever withdrawal symptoms (insomnia, night sweats, tremors, agitation) became too severe?

    Has he emigrated to Saskatchewan?

    Any thoughts?

  62. BeVibe@72
    “2) What is your quest? Oh man, if you saw my domicile and garage post-move, you wouldn’t need to ask. But since you asked, to find my stuff, get my stuff organized, and to de-stuffify.”

    You know it’s easier if you the the de-stuffify part BEFORE the move? Less to move, less to find after the move, less to organize, etc.

    Just sayin’

  63. Morlane – man, from your lips to God’s ears.

    Unfortunately, the stuff has been in storage for about 2 years (i know, i know). And, actually, I *DID* de-stuffify 2 years ago (some, of course not enough…)

    And the (dead, dried) mouse infestation we discovered meant some real IMMEDIATE de-suffification into a dumpster. Now there is going thru, dumping, cleaning, sorting, keeping and donating going on.

    Most of this needs to be done before my vacation which begins August 1st, when I travel to western PA to camp with 10,000 of my closest friends.

  64. Since nobody else has answered (on this thread anyway), Matthew @42: have you ever looked at the relatively long monograph of some consequences of that form of FTL published by Kris Straub, in webcomic form? It’s available at http://www.starslip.com . (The ship and crew are no longer using that form of FTL, because of side effects… but they’re also not where they started off, universe-wise.)


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