Thursday, April 24, 2014

Battlestar Galactica at the Seattle Cinerama

The Cinerama—a gigantic theater in downtown Seattle—will be hosting a Battlestar Galactica event this Saturday. After a screening of a fan-chosen episode, Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) and Tricia Helfer (Number 6) will be on hand for a Q&A session and autographs.

public domain 

I won’t be able to attend, but fans in the area should look into attending the “So Say We All Frak’n Day” at Seattle Cinerama.

Here’s a fun connection: a previous post of mine showed both Number 6’s dress and Starbuck’s flight jumpsuit, when they were displayed at a local museum. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lunar Eclipse, Good Book on Writing

Happy Good Friday

On Monday, I tried to see the total lunar eclipse. Alas, since I live in the Seattle area, the moon looked fuzzy early on, then the clouds began to noticeably obscure it during the 9:00 hour. By 10:40, it was covered. It was not worth staying up any later to glimpse the eclipse.

But M. Pax shot some good pictures, posted on her blog.

M. Pax also writes science fiction and fantasy. She gave some valuable advice when she recommended Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft by Brooks Landon. After you get past elementary books on grammar and style, this is what will make your writing worth reading.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Star Trek bloopers

These are from the first year of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Denise Crosby, who played Lieutenant Yar, is my favorite in these.

At one point, it sounds like she’s swearing when her phaser doesn’t work. She actually says, “What’s happening to this puppy?” 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


A family member passed away recently. Since we’re Japanese, members of the extended family gave us koden—gifts of money to help with the cost of the funeral.

An excellent article on how this is practiced in Japan is in this blog post I happened to find.

The ritual practices described in that post are not really done here in America. Surprisingly, stamps are involved.

Not really the stamp that was used, but I like it

Here in America, relatives use normal sympathy cards, and we prepare very ordinary-looking thank you cards in return. As was noted in the post linked to above, a small gift is given in return for the koden. This accidentally led to an argument over the phone.

ME: We’ll need X amount of stamps for the thank you cards.

OTHER PERSON: Okay, I’ll get X books of stamps.

ME: No, just X amount of stamps.

OTHER PERSON: So I’ll get X books of stamps from the post office.

ME: Why would you get entire books of stamps? You just need X stamps to mail out the cards!

This went on for a while. Then, because of my limited knowledge of koden, I was able to make a guess. 

ME: You mean you give out a book of stamps to each person who gave koden?

OTHER PERSON: Yes. Some people give half a book of stamps. I give a whole book.  

So apparently giving out a book of stamps (or half a book) is a normal gift in return for koden money among Japanese-Americans. I’m not sure to what extent the koden tradition will continue in my generation, but the gifts back will be equally American in nature. 


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