In Which I Am Very Petty About The Suez Canal


Yes, I understand that everyone is intrigued by that ship that’s blocked up the Suez Canal and messing up the weeks of so many logistics people. It’s all good harmless fun until it turns out everything you need is going across Antarctica by sled horse because that’s the least-bad alternative remaining. But this has got everybody going out and learning about containerized cargo and, dang it, I’ve been the nerd who knows things about Panamax and Malaccamax and all that.

Photograph of the front cover of Brian J Cudahy's _Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World_. It shows a container ship with stacks of boxes atop it, sitting in a harbor.
And, again, this is not my only book about containerized cargo. It’s just the only one I can get without having to stand up and walk to another room.

It’s not fair to have a bunch of johnny-come-latelies rushing in on my turf. If only there were some way to block them up somehow or delay their talking about TEUs and other intermodal transport terms.

Photograph of the back cover of Brian J Cudahy's _Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World_. It's full of the sort of cover press one might expect. It also has the price label from Borders Book Store, US$29.95.
And just to show you I’m completely in earnest, here’s the back cover of my personal copy of Brian J Cuday’s Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World. Yes, that is a price sticker from Borders Books, thank you, so you know I didn’t just grab this book off eBay twenty minutes ago, thank you.

From The June 2016 Scraps File: Unused Text For You


Text and other stuff, like spaces in-between text, that I didn’t make use of in June 2016. Please feel free to take what you can use if you know a better home for it. If you know a worse home, don’t tell me about that, it’s depressing and wasn’t June enough of a problem?

we all want to go viral while staying the unique special discovery of our readers — cut from my open letter to every social media ever. It’s a pretty snappy line and fits with so much of the flow of that. But I thought of it in the shower the morning I had that essay scheduled to post. I made sure to remember to add it in. I swore to myself I was going to add it in the moment I got on my computer. I next thought of it the Sunday afterward while driving to a competitive pinball event in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I do not blame Grand Rapids for this. Also I was right by where the alleged rather large piece of coal was yesterday and I didn’t think to go exploring.

Not yet! — cut from my response to the little girl from a couple houses down that just moved in the neighborhood. She’s nice and friendly and asked if I lived in the house I was always hanging around which is a fair enough question. And I mentioned I’d moved in just four years ago that Tuesday and she was awestruck and asked me if I was old. And I cut that from my answer because I didn’t think of it until like two days later. I suppose I could just tell people that’s what I answered and that would do for most anecdote purposes but then what if someone asked me how she answered? The lie would be exposed for what it was and I’d look terrible. But this is probably usable by someone who’s writing a wholly fictional anecdote could use this after all.

Ghostbusters became a thoroughly enjoyed icon of pop culture despite the warning that it was a years-in-development labor of love by Dan Aykroyd. — yeah, I pulled it back out of April’s scraps file because thought I could do something with it. And no, it’s not working. But I did get to digging around some old Starlog magazines from archive.org. I found some fascinating trivia about the making of Nothing But Trouble‘s production. Also I have to visit 1990 and punch some entitled nerds, mercifully none of them me.

and you betray what you spent ten years telling me were your most cherished ideals with your faithful re-creation of every bullying dynamic that made middle school a festering boil of agony and cruelty — yeah, so that reconciliation letter isn’t really getting any better. I don’t even know anymore. I’m sure there must be some value in writing it since otherwise I waste the four hours each night I spend staring at the dark ceiling composing fresh drafts, right?

but any reasonable person would agree the experience of the Majel Barrett “Number One” casting myth and the mutations in the famous Nichelle-Nicols/Martin-Luther-King-Junior story justify my asking how exactly we are supposed to know what the common lore tells us — cut from a TrekBBS forum thread arguing about whether the space shuttle Enterprise really had been slated to be named Constitution before the Trekkies put in a letter-writing campaign. I am confident the official story that the orbiter was to be named in honor of the US Constitution’s bicentennial is so obviously wrong that Bugs Meany wouldn’t try to pass it off. And furthermore I’m sure the preponderance of evidence is that NASA had no plans to name any orbiters before the Trimble/Hoagland campaign. But dear lord I am arguing when exactly NASA had the idea to name a space shuttle ‘Enterprise’ and complaining about the shortage of primary documentation on the subject in a Star Trek forum what is wrong with me?. Also I haven’t been back since. But I’ve been busy.

whatever happened to that book about competitive fox-hurtling — cut because I lost the name of it so now I just sound like I’m making up stuff by asking.

Statistics Saturday: Count Of Words And Non-Words Appearing In Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode Titles


Count of Words Appearing In Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode Titles

Word Count
the 48
of 25
part 15
a 10
man 4
Q 4
time/time’s 2
command 3
Data/Data’s/Datas 3
matter 3
arrow 2
best 2
birthright 2
both 2
chain 2
child 2
descent 2
enemy 2
ensign/ensigns 2
eye 2
factor 2
first 2
gambit 2
ground 2
has 2
honor 2
in 2
life 2
mind/mind’s 2
one 2
redemption 2
unification 2
where 2
who 2
worlds 2
age 1
all 1
allegiance 1
always 1
among 1
and 1
angel 1
aquiel 1
arsenal 1
as 1
at 1
attached 1
avatar 1
battle 1
before 1
beholder 1
big 1
bloodlines 1
bonding 1
booby 1
Borg 1
bottle 1
bough 1
breaks 1
brothers 1
captain’s 1
cause 1
chances 1
chase 1
clues 1
code 1
coming 1
conspiracy 1
contact 1
contagion 1
conundrum 1
cost 1
crisis 1
dark 1
Darmok 1
Datalore 1
dauphin 1
day 1
dear 1
decks 1
defector 1
degree 1
déjà 1
devil’s 1
disaster 1
drumhead 1
due 1
duty 1
effect 1
elementary 1
emergence 1
emissary 1
encounter 1
end 1
Enterprise 1
ethics 1
evil 1
evolution 1
face 1
family 1
farpoint 1
father 1
fear 1
final 1
firstborn 1
fistful 1
force 1
frame 1
freedom 1
friend 1
future 1
galaxy’s 1
game 1
Genesis 1
glory 1
gone 1
good 1
goodbye 1
gray 1
half 1
have 1
haven 1
heart 1
heir 1
hero 1
hide 1
high 1
holiday 1
hollow 1
home 1
homeward 1
host 1
human 1
hunted 1
I 1
Icarus 1
identity 1
imaginary 1
imperfect 1
inheritance 1
inner 1
interface 1
journey’s 1
justice 1
ladder 1
last 1
lease 1
legacy 1
lessons 1
liaisons 1
light 1
living 1
lonely 1
long 1
loss 1
loud 1
lower 1
manhunt 1
masks 1
masterpiece 1
mate 1
me 1
measure 1
ménage 1
mine 1
mission 1
most 1
naked 1
nature 1
neutral 1
new 1
next 1
night 1
no 1
now 1
nth 1
offspring 1
Okona 1
outcast 1
outpost 1
outrageous 1
own 1
page 1
pals 1
parallels 1
Paris 1
peak 1
Pegasus 1
pen 1
people 1
perfect 1
performance 1
perspective 1
phantasms 1
phase 1
play 1
power 1
preemptive 1
price 1
pursuits 1
Qpid 1
quality 1
rascals 1
realm 1
relics 1
remember 1
reunion 1
rightful 1
Ro 1
rosa 1
Royale 1
samaritan 1
Sarek 1
schisms 1
schizoid 1
season 1
second 1
selection 1
self 1
shades 1
ship 1
short 1
silence 1
silicon 1
sins 1
skin 1
snare 1
society 1
soil 1
squared 1
starship 1
strike 1
sub 1
suddenly 1
survivors 1
suspicions 1
symbiosis 1
tapestry 1
terrors 1
theory 1
thine 1
things 1
timescape 1
tin 1
too 1
toys 1
transfigurations 1
trap 1
Troi 1
true 1
unnatural 1
up 1
us 1
vengeance 1
violations 1
watchers 1
watches 1
we’ll 1
when 1
whisper 1
worship 1
wounded 1
yesterday’s 1
zone 1

Count of Non-Words Appearing In Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode Titles

Non-Word Count
2 8
1 7
& 1
11001001 1

Note: Two-part episode titles are based on the episode’s original appearance. For example, “Gambit, Part 1” and “Gambit, Part 2” increase the count for “gambit” by two. “Encounter at Farpoint” and “All Good Things”, airing initially as single, two-hour, episodes, increase the count for the words in their titles by only one.

Note: Episode 139 is titled Time Squared and the title is written that way on-screen. Many sources list it as Time2 and I admit I’d have sworn it was written that way when the episode first aired but you can’t argue with the screen captions even though Time2 is so obviously the title it should have had.

Note: One occurrence of “a” is actually “à”.

Note: You know, considering Troi was a central character for all seven years of the show and kept popping up in other Treks whether she belonged there or not it’s surprising we never learned anything about what her home planet of Betazed was like, other than they get married naked.