Procedural Notes, 2/1/10

Couple of things:

1. Today’s traffic is the highest it’s been since I moved Whatever to the WordPress VIP backend, and it’s not quite yet 2pm. Damn, y’all. However, Ghlaghghee partisans will be glad to know Bacon Cat is still the highest visit day ever. Because how can you beat bacon on a cat? You can’t. You just can’t.

2. As you might expect, since Friday I’ve gotten what I believe the technical term is “a metric buttload” of e-mail re: the Amazon/Macmillan fracas on top of the usual metric buttload of e-mail I get, so I’m a bit behind on it all. I’m trying to process it all as quickly as possible. So if you’re waiting for an e-mail response from me: Patience, please, and thanks.

35 Comments on “Procedural Notes, 2/1/10”

  1. “Because how can you beat bacon on a cat? You can’t. You just can’t.”

    Confidence, Man. A topper will come to you.

    What you need is a 4 yr. old around the house. Mine just asked me why squirrels don’t like bowling. I’m trying to figure out how he knows they don’t like it, but doesn’t know why.

  2. Ghlaghghee partisans

    I believe the term of art is “Members of the Ghlaghghee fan club.”

    I suspect some are partisans less of Ghlaghghee than of chang, although not of chang.

  3. Let me take a whack at summarizing your mail backlog filtered on “Amazon” for you:

    16% “You just don’t understand how the internet breaks copyright” (Nevermind that this isn’t about either per se)

    20% “You can’t be objective. You belong to your publisher” (*No one* is objective – and you don’t)

    12% “Why is your opinion so important?” (Umm… AUTHOR! & the soap box belongs to you)

    50% “You’re absolutely right, oh Mighty Scalzi!” (Kissing up isn’t the same as support. (n.b. I love following a lower-case I with an exclaimation point. (and nested parentheticals)))


    Now for the right price, I’ll rent you my proprietary Bayesian filter to find the last amid the dross.

  4. Oops! Accidentally used brackets for the 2% item. Shoulda read:

    2% *Valid points you hadn’t considered yet*

  5. Sorry, I don’t understand a “metric buttload” can you convert that to an american unit a measurement?

    @1 My 3yr old told me last week that dolphins don’t like doughnuts. So maybe he a little muze running around the house. You should get to work on that!

  6. DP @1:

    If squirrels liked bowling, everybody would know about it.

    Because where would they do it, trees? Heck no. They’d do it in those crawlspaces above our beds.

    Of course.

  7. Not sure if this has been said in all the bruhaha of the weekend but you can still buy new copies from the Canadian Amazon(…Hmmm
    I guess the fight has not spilled over the border.

  8. is a metric buttload measured by volume or weight? on second thought i dont want to know :)

  9. I believe the conversion factor is 1 buttload = .74326 buttloads avoidupois = .533333… of the old Imperial butteloades, if I recall correctly. Google doesn’t seem to want to do the conversion.

  10. Considering that a metric buttload of e-mail has no mass to speak of, I don’t see what the holdup is, John. It’s not like you’re shoveling manure. Or rather, if you are, it’s virtual manure, which also has no mass.

  11. Did Amazon blow it? Yes! Are you overreacting? Probably…
    but have you gone back to Macmillan and asked for a bigger royalty check since they’re getting more for your e-books (at least will in the next 24 hours) and if you haven’t, what are the chances they’d grant and increase? Have you ever withheld a chapter to renegotiate with the publisher mid-project? That’s called extortion in most places. Is What Macmillan did that different?
    Should Amazon have warned the public about this move; well what do the contracts say? Maybe Amazon is playing it the way they must to keep legal and ethical.

  12. Yeah, sorry about that. Bit of cheese stuck under the F5 key on my keyboard and I was on the other machine.

    Ahaha. Gh0d, I’m so funny. I should write books. On funny.

  13. See? Amazon really did have your best interests in mind all along – they wanted to drive a ton of traffic to Whatever.

  14. I just got my email from Amazon telling me my books are on their way. It’s the little things in life.

  15. I could have sworn the imperial unit that is analogous to the metric buttload is the asston.

  16. Oops, something went wrong, and that last comment of mine posted before I was finished. Let’s try that again.

    Yes, you can top the photo of bacon taped to your cat. Tape bacon to TWO of your cats — or better yet, ALL of them. Throw the dog in for good measure. That will top the Bacon Cat photo.

    Incidentally, I enjoyed the interview with you in the STARGATE magazine. They did mention Bacon Cat in a sidebar, but I was disappointed that they didn’t include the photo.

  17. @Sarcastro:
    I believe that the unit in question is indeed referred to by some authors as the Asston, after Asston B. L. O’Witacherass who studied expansion of hot gasses under James Watt. The unit in question, and there has been a considerable amount of hot air produced in the literature on this notion, may possibly be traced back to Chaucer’s day; some some claim he makes oblique reference in his Miller’s Tale.

  18. I believe it was decided on another site that the conversion is:

    1 metric buttload =
    0.566 Imperial arseloads =
    0.7 American assloads.

  19. @12: While e-mail has no mass, it might contain information. So John Scalzi has to sort the information-containing e-mails from the information-empty e-mails.

  20. .566? Guess I mis-remembered it the conversion. That said, it took many centuries for it to be standardized, and like many archaic units it is believed to have been based upon physical characteristics of the reigning monarch. So a Tudor arseload could vary considerably from a Wessex one.

  21. I guess this was a good topic to practice with. I think this sort of fun conversation is similar to that found in the SFWA. Good times.

  22. @DP I have confirmation that squirrels do indeed enjoy bowling. Considering the noises I heard in an old townhouse, when the squirrels moved in to the area above the bedroom ceiling, I’m pretty sure it sounded like bowling. Oh wait, maybe they were doing something else from 2 to 4 AM every night.

  23. Mycroft W: That can’t be right. The US assload has to be larger than the Imperial arseload. We have the fattest asses in the world.

  24. @Damon: I think the distribution is more like – 80%: You are absolutely right Mr. Scalzi!
    20%: You are absolutely right Mr. Scalzi! Can you read my manuscript?

    $500/month for hosting??? I can’t even begin to wrap my arms around the level of traffic that would give me that “problem?”

  25. I’m not sure it’s a great idea to tape bacon to the cats and dog. The dog might chase the cats and the cats might take a swipe at the dog for wanting the bacon. It might not turn out so well in the end. Might make for good pics though!

    Metric buttload? I’ve heard assload, but not that expression. I know I can always come over here and learn new terms.

  26. @DP31 – I never thought to ask the trappers if the squirrels left any issues of Auto Trader behind, Field and Stream, sure, but not Auto Trader.

    After further thought, my guess is that the squirrels were enacting certain letters to Pethouse.

  27. The American assload was established in the days of President Grant not long after the Teapot Dome scandal, when Old Ironsides demanded “an assload of whiskey” be delivered to the White House. Presumeably this quantity was limited by the President’s own liver. The quantity became an established weekly order, and the U.S. customary volume was codified in the days of Jackson.

    Whereas the imperial arseload was the result of back-and-forth discussion (with accompanying gestures) between the administrations of Disraeli and Gladstone in Parliament. They had grown frustrated that they could not be concise when discussing just how full of crap each thought the other to be, and so they eventually agreed on a standard measure. Parliamentary backlogs were swiftly removed by this simple act. As it happens, the official standard for the Imperial arseload was held in a backroom of the Weights and Measures Office. No one ever asked to see it.

  28. well, poop, I used a Harding administration scandal. I meant to cite the Salary Grab scandal, of course.

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