Figures

tv-shotOddly enough, I’m in a position to be the dubious viewer of satellite TV. Never had that before. Heck, the last time I actually had old-fashioned cable TV was around 20 years ago.

According to the listings, I theoretically have roughly 500 channels to choose from…

and there’s still nothing on.*


* Piranhaconda and Sharknado definitely qualify as ‘nothing.’ And I discovered that ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is a real thing. So to speak. I didn’t watch that either.

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19 thoughts on “Figures

  1. wdg3rd August 9, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Cut Comcast down to internet only after Lisa died. Only TV I watch is Youtube, Youporn and Hulu. Currently on the 9th season of Stargate SG1, which I mostly missed first time due to usually sysadmining the evening shift. Enjoying it, far as I can tell it’s the most atheist SF series I’ve ever seen.

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  2. TRX August 10, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    “500 channels and still nothing to watch.” That was Win Bear talking about the TV in his jail call in L. Neil Smith’s “The Probability Broach” circa 1979 or so…

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    • wdg3rd August 10, 2015 / 4:25 pm

      Actually, I think it was 1500 channels, Bernie Greunblum and the Freenies being in gaol at the time. Could be wrong, might be time for a reread (the hardships I deal with).

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      • Bear August 10, 2015 / 4:55 pm

        It was The Nagasaki Vector, and it was “Bernie, there are over six thousand Telecom channels in the Confederacy.” “There was something like a TV guide on the nightstand. Turned out it was only a guide to the guide.”

        Gruenblum noted, “Maybe it’s just the idea of TV: there still wasn’t anything interestin’ on.”

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        • wdg3rd August 10, 2015 / 5:36 pm

          Yeah, time for a reread. Oh, the pain.

          Once he’s back on his feet, I gotta ask Neil how Freenies wound up on the planet Majesty. Since their star blew up a couple thousand years back and as far as we know the Confederacy didn’t have solid time travel tech until a goodly while after Bernie’s visit (actually wouldn’t call it “solid” even after the events in _The Gallatin Divergence_).

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          • Bear August 10, 2015 / 5:56 pm

            ” as far as we know the Confederacy didn’t have solid time travel tech until a goodly while after”

            How can you tell just when a time machine was invented? (Which happened to be a plot point in the Stasheff Warlock series.)

            At any rate, the Confederacy had FTL travel long before the events of Divergence…and the broach. I assumed they encountered Freenies in an alternate universe where their sun hadn’t gone -pop- yet. Or they could have been time traveling refugees from Bernie’s variant future; the three ambassadors at least had decided they had to remain isolated from the Freenie gene pool. If they brought along girl/boy/it/whatsit/iterate-10-more-times-friends they could easily establish a Confederate population. Since they were aboard the Tom Edison Maru, they couldget around.

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            • wdg3rd August 10, 2015 / 6:22 pm

              Seventeen genders. That’s gotta be a hell of a prenuptial contract to put together.

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              • Bear August 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

                Freenies have the highest per capita number of lawyers in the Known Galaxy.

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                • wdg3rd August 10, 2015 / 6:43 pm

                  Carl, I was born and raised in Califnordia, I still live in Jersey just across the Hudson from Manhattan. If the Freenies had that many lawyers they would never have been able to develop a technological civilization. (Ghod nose we can’t seem to manage it any more).

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                  • Bear August 10, 2015 / 7:00 pm

                    Well, it took outside intervention and artificial (to their ecosystem) drugs to become sapient in the first place. Pre-caffeine, they were all lawyers. Dumb animals.

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      • TRX August 12, 2015 / 7:00 am

        It has been too long since I’ve read the Broach, Belt, and Vector. I never cared for the later ones.

        Interesting that so many fans of a writer almost nobody has heard of stop by here, though!

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        • wdg3rd August 12, 2015 / 8:32 am

          Well, I recall that the Liberty Round Table originally coalesced due to an item by Lobo in Neil’s Libertarian Enterprise e-zine, and original editor Yiing Boardman attended the first LRT conclave with her husband. Then Neil & family attended the second. The LRT is where Carl, Mama Liberty and I met each other and a bunch of other interesting people.

          The single biggest accomplishment of Neil’s e-zine is the publication of the article by Jason Sorens that resulted in the founding of the Free State Project. Lucky coincidence that the first Porcupine Freedom Festival was the summer after the last LRT conclave, giving me and my late Lisa a continuation of our annual escape from the slime pit that is New Jersey to hang with libertarians and anarchists.

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        • Bear August 12, 2015 / 9:44 am

          As WDG mentions, it isn’t really coincidence, since several of us are in common social circles in real life, and know Neil. When I was still out west, I used to drop by Neil’s house whenever I was passing through.

          Have you read The American Zone? Written “later,” but it falls in between TPB and TNV in Confederacy chronology. And with a lot of the original characters, it has some of the Broach flavor that TPM and the Brightsuit books didn’t have (not that those were bad, but Neil went in a different direction with ’em).

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          • wdg3rd August 12, 2015 / 2:16 pm

            TAZ also has a lot of entertaining cameos Vin’s and SEK3’s we’re especially fun. Damn, I miss convention parties with Sam. Good beer and really pissing off the anti-tobacco LINOs.

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            • Bear August 12, 2015 / 2:21 pm

              Yeah, Vin’s appearance was fun. “Put that back and get our store brand .”

              But to be honest, I was probably most tickled by my own proxy appearance. [grin]

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              • wdg3rd August 12, 2015 / 3:12 pm

                Didn’t catch yours, or I’ve forgotten it (been a couple years). Approximate chapter reference?

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                • Bear August 12, 2015 / 5:39 pm

                  Chapter 13. Page 158 in the hardback.

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                  • wdg3rd August 12, 2015 / 5:57 pm

                    Ah, I do remember the weapon. I was thinking I’d missed a thinly disguised character, like Hobbyt in the Sharp and Pointy Things store.

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                    • Bear August 12, 2015 / 10:47 pm

                      Nothing so flattering. It was a dig at… The first time we met, we compared weaponry (this is Neil after all). I pulled out a honkin’ big LAR Grizzly Mk2, .45 Win Mag. With a two inch compensator just in case it wasn’t big enough already. I think you saw it.*

                      OTOH, I made some guesstimates about that .01… Take ‘hypersonic’ literally, figure steel projectiles, assume an inch length…

                      The actual muzzle energy is scary.


                      * Just to prove I could, I could — and occasionally did — carry the Griz concealed.

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