Those familiar with the ways of the atmosphere say that the three-week winter grind, the longest and flattest pit of the season that I can remember, is just about over. Why, it’s even supposed to be above
freezing next week. The foot and then some of lovely snow could be headed for liquidation. Good riddance. Winter wonderland is a thing for December, not February.
Despite my minor illness, I managed to watch all of the miniseries version of Battlestar Galactica, and I’m duly impressed. TV science fiction with some brains. Much has been made of the show’s depth of characters, and that’s generally true, but it had some swell battle sequences too, so what else do you need in space opera?
My favorite detail, among many good ones: the crew of the Galatica uses paper. The computers spit out slips of paper and the characters read them (and in one case that I noticed, disposed of it into a memory hole). I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a retro feature of the ship, since it was supposed to be an older vessel, but still. Makes perfect sense to me. The facile thinking that informs much speculative fiction on this point is that somehow paper and that excellent future (or alternate world, in this case) in which people can build fantastic spaceships are incompatible. But why? Because it’s just not futuristic, that’s why.
I doubt that the series will ever be quite so realistic, however, that the ship’s pursuer will warn Commander Adama that their paper supplies are running dangerously low, and that something will have to be done about it, such as raiding a forested planet for wood pulp. Which infests the ship with extraterrestrial termites – and the people on board too, making some them aggressively homicidal – and so on.
I’m glad it’s a SciFi Channel production and not, say, HBO. The BSG miniseries had a bit of (arguably) gratuitous fornication, but not all that much. No doubt there will be more in the rest of the series. Still, in HBO’s hands, there probably would have been a couple of scenes of hot lesbian Cylon action just in that first three hours.
Got a letter from the Behemoth Insurance Co., which insures a couple of aspects of my life. The blarney was thicker than usual: “Behemoth values your business and also values your opinions. In order to better serve and understand what’s important to customers like you, we are asking you to complete the enclosed one-page survey…”
To which I say, “Dear Behemoth, If you want me to do your research for you, consider offering a small discount on my premiums.” Which, of course, isn’t in the offing.
I’ve read most of The Five Weeks of Giuseppe Zangara, by Blaise Picchi, in recent days, an interesting work on a specialized subject: how one Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian bricklayer who became a US citizen in 1929, came to fire five shots at Franklin Roosevelt in early 1933 and nearly kill him just before he was to become president. History is full of what-ifs, and this is certainly one of them. Instead of FDR, of course, he killed Mayor Anton Cermack of Chicago, who for the trouble of dying in office at least got a major east-west road named after him (almost: Cermark is also sometimes known by its previous name, 22nd Ave.). That’s more than Big Bill Thompson ever got posthumously.
Ann’s now calling me “daddykins” sometimes. I like that a lot. I asked Lilly if she’d heard some character or another on TV use that term recently, but she said no.