I'm writing this a couple hours ahead of time. Before too much longer we're gathering for spaceroo's Bachelor Party. This isn't intended to be the sort of wild, insane, free-ranging bacchanal that ends up with him waking up tomorrow morning somewhere in Michoud, Louisiana, wearing only a sock on his left ear and a Space Shuttle Mission STS-121 patch, but we'll see just what does turn up. What we intend is a more low-key thing involving food, bundles of odd entertainment, and quite probably a gang of his friends talking so much we never hear any of what the nominal entertainment is. The principal object, per the groom's request, is showing the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode number 612, The Starfighters. That movie is a lot like the Charles Bronson/Mary Tyler Moore movie X-15, only without any interesting features, and more F-104 footage.
Spaceroo saw the episode when he was over at my place last year, and became obsessed with one of the host segments -- Cowboy Mike's Bold Barbecue Sauce -- which he has been quoting at random for nearly a year now to the bemusement, fascination, or horror of many people. Spaceroo tends to capture many odd pop cultural things in long-term memory and to deploy them to people's bemusement, fascination, and horror, so this is relatively normal for him. We just want to let other people in on the joke, and really, isn't that what a Bachelor's Party is all about?
Today's other great challenge was practicing tying the bow ties. I'd like to be able to tie one, given the sense of class they've picked up from their association with Fred Allen and Charlie Osgood and such. Unfortunately tie-tying instructions are written by people who were fired from jobs as computer manual writers for being too obscure. They all start out well, explaining to call one end ``A'' and one end ``B'' and giving helpful tips to identify which one is the longer of the two, and they will give precise instructions to how to loop it around your neck. But when it gets to the part where it turns from a ribbon of fabric into a tied knot, the instructions degenerate into (I'm quoting one directly) ``hold everything in place, pulling end `A' behind the tie from below (photo 6), then folding it in half to create the other side of the bow. Poke this loop through the space behind loop `B','' and the card you picked was the seven of spades, see? You could try to type a whole text on how terribly the tying of ties is taught, but who would read it?
Trivia: William Herschel, initially thinking Uranus was a comet, reported its diameter increasing steadily shortly after its discovery. In fact, it was slightly decreasing. Source: Planets and Perception, William Sheehan.
Currently Reading: Earth's Last Citadel, CL Moore, Henry Kuttner.