January 30, 2007

BSG 3.13: "Taking a Break from All Your Worries"

Filed under: Battlestar Galactica, Not Tech, TV — Chris @ 3:18 pm

Yeah, this episode reminded me of “Cheers.”

Despite its use of one of my great filmic pet peeves, the revelatory dream sequence, this was one of my favorite episodes in a long time. I have little patience for the “mythological” elements of the show (e.g., the Arrow of Apollo, the Eye of Jupiter, and the Quest for Earth) and this season has been thick with them. Consequently, there have been episodes this season (particularly 3.5, “Torn,” the episode that took us inside a Cylon basestar for the first time, alongside Baltar) that bored me senseless. I think the show is strongest when it’s dealing with the grim reality of its characters’ situation, sucking in the bleakest realities of our modern age and remixing/re-contextualizing them in surprising and insightful ways. We got a bit of that this week, a little canon of coercive interrogation with an unexpected hint of MK-ULTRA, and the promise of more to come (does anybody think the trial of Gaius Baltar may contain a dash or two of Saddam Hussein?).

Query the First: Given that BSG has a habit of omitting key events in character’s relationships until they become dramatically useful (e.g., the tryst between Apollo and Starbuck that occurred half a season before we got a hint of it) and given the odd and inappropriate snuggling between Laura Roslin and Admiral Adama in this and previous episodes (see 3.9, “Unfinished Business”), may I assume their relationship is sexual in nature?

Query the Second: In this season, we have: Helo sabotaging a plan that could have ended the human/Cylon war forever (3.7, “A Measure of Salvation”); Helo “delivering” Sharon to the Cylons, to whom she may have provided sensitive intelligence (3.11, “Rapture); and Gaeta stabbing a high-value detainee in the neck. Again, I ask: is there anything a person can do to get court-martialled on this ship?

Query the Third: Is it “court-martialled” or “court-martialed”? Google is inconclusive. Blogger doesn’t like me verbing “martial”.


Fun at the Post Office

Filed under: Not Tech — Chris @ 2:52 pm

The post office has some odd rules that seem crudely designed to discourage people from mailing bombs or anthrax. For instance, you probably know that a return address is now required for all mail, lest if be delayed as “suspicious.” A related rule is that a package may not display any “advertisements” (i.e., names or logos) for any company that is not the sender. It is not enough to scribble out a logo with a marker; one must cover it with brown paper-backed packing tape. Postal employees make compliance with this rule especially pleasant by being both inconsistent and snide about it.

A rule which is new to me is, I think, as follows: if a package weighs more than a pound and the postage is affixed in the form of stamps, then the package must be presented in person to a post office employee. This means: don’t put it in the automated service kiosk and don’t hand it to the guy in your office mail room. H tried to send a package to her cousin last week and decided to use some very old stamps I’ve had since five first-class postage rates ago (they were very nice “collectible” stamps that were given to me as a gift and I want to “ruin” them by using them for postage… because I’m a friggin’ idiot). The package was actually delivered back to us, with several bright green stickers explaining why a piece of mail with adequate postage would not be forwarded to its recipient. (One nice thing is that they didn’t cancel the postage.)

The box is now sitting in the living room, waiting for one of us to face the living death that is standing in line at the post office. Be warned.

UPDATE: That’s weird. I just had my all-time least aggravating trip to the post office.

(Actual) Fun at the Post Office

Filed under: Not Tech — Chris @ 11:36 am

After my griping of this morning, it’s only fair that I report on my trip to hand H’s mysterious package to a postal employee in person. Before I had even gotten in line, a man magically appeared from the back room of the post office and asked me if my package had correct postage pre-applied. I told him it did and pointed to the admonitory stickers affixed. He took the package from me and disappeared into the back room, almost before I could thank him. I was in the post office for less than two minutes.

Now I only hope we don’t get it back with more stickers.

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