Back to previous post: Updated Light

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Ancient Near Eastern Valentines

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

September 2, 2011

Best Bibs and Tuckers, Everyone!
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 07:26 AM * 56 comments

Despite my manifold faults, I seem to have managed to convince Patrick and Teresa to come back to the Netherlands later this month. At first I suspected it was the cheese, or perhaps the windmills. But an even more plausible hypothesis is that it’s the small, select and charming set of people here who read Making Light.

Given that, I’d like to announce a Gathering of Light in honor of their visit. The plan is to meet at Cafe Ot en Sien (the same place we went last time), at about 6 pm on Friday, September 9*. Sometime thereafter, we will probably wander across the river and find something to eat†.

Ot en Sien’s website appears to have gone the way of all things, but here is a map. It’s easy to get to from Centraal Station:

  1. Go out the back (north, river-facing) side of the station. The ferries are by the northwest corner of the building.
  2. Take the Buikslotermeer ferry. They run every five minutes or so, and are free. Pedestrians, bikes and motor scooters are OK, but motorcycles are not allowed.
  3. Head north, away from the river. The second right turn takes you onto Buiksloterweg.
  4. The cafe is almost immediately on your left.

(Bibs and tuckers are actually optional. Instead, please dress up as someone who reads Making Light.)

* Yes, I am aware that that is only a week away. I apologize for the short notice.

† I’ll update this entry and tweet (I’m evilrooster) when and where we’re going on to dinner.‡

‡ Why, yes, I love living in the future with my smartphone.

Comments on Best Bibs and Tuckers, Everyone!:
#1 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 09:41 AM:

Bah! Sounds like wondrous fun!

#2 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 09:50 AM:

I am envious.
We must have a Gathering in London in 2014.

#3 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 11:47 AM:

Alas, the notice is too damn short to buy an overnight return flight -- prices go up around 6-8 weeks before departure!

(Which is particularly annoying because Feorag and I will be in Amsterdam for the Bockbierfest at the end of October ...)

#4 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 12:37 PM:

And I'm over a fortnight too late (for this).

More Ot en Sein details here.

#5 ::: Jurie ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 01:35 PM:

ARGH! Never when I'm back in the Netherlands :(

#6 ::: dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 02:21 PM:

Doh! Friday at 6 is otherwise known as "10 hours after I get on a plane to fly to the US for vacation." Last time I missed them because it was when I was living in Taiwan for a couple years (after my first spell in the Netherlands and before the current one).


#7 ::: Emma in sydney ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 05:44 PM:

Wah! I've been reading Making Light for so many years, and I will be in Europe this September for the first time in a decade, but not until 13 Sepember. Why is a near miss so much more painful than an impossibility?
Have a wonderful gathering.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 06:10 PM:

Apologies to those who can't make it. Serge is right: we must have a meet-up in London. Or several. Or stake out a corner of a pub near the worldcon and carry on indefinitely ...

#9 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 06:19 PM:

Teresa @ 8... stake out a corner of a pub near the worldcon and...

... watch Triffids, Daleks and Cybermen go by.

#10 ::: kim ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 07:03 PM:

Congratulations, crafty Abi. You almost caught the never-posted, #1 Lurker of Making Light. I arrive Sunday at 3pm. Had your timing been a tad different, you would have enticed me out of lurkdom, for I deeply believe ML owes me an apology. Time spent on ML has taken time away from research, resulting in untold damage to the very special world of sweetener chemistry.

I would have ever-so-graciously accepted the apology in the form of a truly tasty beer. I guess I'll just have to hold a grudge instead.

#11 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2011, 08:16 PM:

If I were going to be anywhere in the area, I could definitely wear my best bib and tucker -- I've still got my RevWar costuming hanging in the wardrobe! Alas, I'll still be in New England.

#12 ::: modallist ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 06:18 AM:

Ooh, ooh, I'm not often on here, but I do live in the vicinity (considering that all of the Netherlands is 'in the vicinity') of Amsterdam.

I may have another engagement on Friday, but I'm going to see if I can't make it to Ot en Sien anyway...

#13 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 09:57 AM:


This is a real possibility!

#14 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 11:52 AM:

tempting, v-e-r-y tempting, considering that classes aren't starting for another couple of weeks.

The only fly in the ointment is that I need to be back home early Saturday, and that trains running Friday night on the way back end unhappily early for me.


Crazy(and will be wearing something suitably SFnal)Soph

#15 ::: Joris M ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 02:58 PM:

Tempting, I'll seriously consider it; Amsterdam is close enough.

#16 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 03:58 PM:

Off-topic: Question for Abi -- how is the DigiNotar SSL security certificate breach being covered in the .NL news media? I'd have thought the Dutch government's public keys being revoked due to a successful hack on the main private-sector Dutch Certificate Authority might be of interest ...

#17 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 06:45 PM:

Too short notice to get time off work, or I'd consider it. I've just successfully begged for two weeks off in October, and taking any more short-notice time off before then would be pushing it.

#18 ::: Mahmoth ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 08:41 PM:

Damn, just a week after I depart the Low Lands, this happens. Ah well.

#19 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2011, 10:53 PM:

These things never happen near me.

#20 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 12:52 AM:

@19: What am I, chopped liver? ;-)

#21 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 01:35 AM:

I'm in Amsterdam now, but I'll be in Liege, waiting for the train to Brussels, next Friday at 6pm.

Close only counts in horseshoes.

#22 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 02:28 AM:

Serge, that's a fabulous video.

Somebody should do one of those for NYC. According to Wikipedia, there are 885 movies set here, and the city gets destroyed in 55 of them.

#23 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 06:03 AM:

I'll be there, but a word of warning about Ot en Sien: the previous owner has had some troubles with both the landlord and the council and has walked away from it. It's now in new hands and the drinks menu has suffered as a result. Nothing but Grolsch on tap when I was last there, plus the usual number of semi-interesting things like Duvel etc as bottles.

But I'm sure the scintillating conversation will more than make up for this...

#24 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 06:17 AM:

16: Charlie, the hack was only seriously started to be reported last Friday, with the government uttering the usual bland assurances that this did not meant the DigiID system was unsafe.

It is worrying though, because that system is so integrated into everything you as a citizen can do online with the government.

#25 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 06:23 AM:

Martin Wisse @23:

Feel free to suggest another place, and we can either have one drink at Ot en Sien and then move on, or I can change the plan; right now it exists only as an entry in a blog post.

(I still know very little about where to go in Amsterdam—having kids at home, I don't tend to go out in the evenings. And the colleagues who do invite me out of an evening are mostly British expats and just go to Molly Malone's.)

#26 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 07:29 AM:

Planning here proceeds apace - having no car, means I'll spend a slightly gleep-y amount of money to take the train (plus having to be back at A'dam Centraal before 20:45). However, in one of those moves of brilliant self-/d/e/c/e/p/t/i/o/n/ rationalization, I've decided it'll be worth it if I go to A'dam equipped with a list of bead shops...

Crazy(because, buying more beads makes EVERYthing all right, eh?)Soph

PS unless someone makes some very strong noises about wanting to dash around A'dam bead-hunting with me, I'll come equipped with a bicycle. (A folding bike, so that the train doesn't get even more of my money.)

PPS Uhm,... would I be able to trade mobile phone numbers with you, abi? So that I can hear from you about any last minute changes? I don't own a smart phone, and while I will have a WiFi able device, actually getting service I can use on it might be tricky.

#27 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 07:35 AM:

Teresa @ 22.. That film is what made me seriously consider crossing the Atlantic in 2014.

#28 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 07:44 AM:

It occurs to me that 2014 must be the 50th anniversary of the first depiction of Daleks in London.


November to December 1964

It's also the 70th Anniversary of the first attack on a city by both cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

#29 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 07:56 AM:

Well, then. What could possibly go wrong?

#30 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 08:31 AM:

I seriously considered it, but my holidays from work are as inflexible as they are generous, and two hours from point A in London to point B in Amsterdam is not a practical ambition. Have fun!

I shall very much look forward to a Great Illumination in London 2014, or indeed anything more local that can be arranged before then. It is hard that my city seems fated to host Davros vs Godzilla almost before it's had time to recover from the Olympics, but I can't think of better company in which to meet the challenge.

Last night I dreamed a near-future dream in which my neighbourhood was being overrun by evil intelligent mice. I speak only to forewarn.

#31 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 01:26 PM:

There was an NPR interview a month or so ago after the Olympic Committee had decided to use "London Calling" as a promotional song for the upcoming Olympics, with the natural response of "Didn't they ever listen to the lyrics?" This brought to mind the reaction of one of the comics on "The Now Show" when it was revealed that one of the books that had been used in a see-if-reading-to-plants-affects-growth experiment was The Day of the Triffids: "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"

#32 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 01:30 PM:

That video brings to mind an interesting question: is the Tokyo Radio/TV Tower the most destroyed structure in the history of film?

#33 ::: modallist ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 01:41 PM:


If it's beers you want, you could try De Zotte in the Raamstraat. Close to the Leidscheplein, but at walking distance from Utrechtsestraat, with all the nice (non-touristy) eateries.
Although it tends to get crowded, I believe it's possible to reserve a table.

#34 ::: Katya ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 04:43 PM:

Hiya--P and T, I am in Brussels until 19 September when I return to NYC. Would love to see you, do you envision a run to Brussels?

Can try to get to Amsterdam, but do let me know if you're anywhere near Belgium.


#35 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 05:52 PM:

Bruce @31:

the Olympic Committee had decided to use "London Calling" as a promotional song for the upcoming Olympics,

You have GOT to be kidding me!

#36 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 06:16 PM:

Rikibeth @36

Nope. It got played a lot during all the major announcements. My theory is that the thought process was something like:

1. "London Calling" is a great slogan;
2. London Calling is good music;
3. Frankly they don't care what the song is about;
4. Those of us who do care and are talking about the inappropriateness (or not) are paying attention which is the whole point.

In fact we're talking about it right now. Curse you marketing people!

As an alternative I suggest Streets of London.

#37 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 06:48 PM:

Neil W @36:

About your point 4: they didn't have to bother, with me. There's going to be men's 10m platform diving, individual and synchro. Therefore, I will be watching the Olympics. Making me headdesk over the misuse of an excellent song? Just annoying.

#38 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 07:52 PM:

@35, 36, etc. - London Calling

Didn't they use that in a Jaguar commercial too. I remember thinking it was great music, but a poor choice as well.

Another odd combo - the HP photo printer campaign that used The Cure's "Pictures of You", although they did have the sense to drop the melancholy lyrics.

On topic - various shades of envy. I love Amsterdam and hope to visit again. Has the Rijksmuseum reopened?

#39 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 11:17 PM:

It's no worse than the Republican Party's use of Born in the USA.

#40 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2011, 11:37 PM:

Wednesday's Powerball drawing is up to $107 million. If I buy a ticket tomorrow, and learn Wednesday night that I've won, I can hop a flight to the Netherlands Thursday.

After that, maybe I'll buy a lunar probe.

I'll let you know if I'm coming.

#41 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2011, 12:26 AM:

Teresa, while you're in the Netherlands you have to see the current hamster-themed grocery bags from the supermarket chain Albert Heijn.

The combination of Orange orange and headphone-wearing hamsters is, um, unforgettable.

#42 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2011, 04:36 AM:

At the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Dutch Army had a military band riding bicycles. in the uniform of 1917. At the tech-level of a century ago, with European road networks, bicycles were a sensible choice. Cheaper than horses, and better mobility than marching infantry. Tactically, mounted infantry reckoned on needing one man in four to hold the horses. But the tyres of the time were not so reliable.

One of the tunes they played was Tulips From Amsterdam.

#43 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2011, 12:18 PM:

Rikibeth #37: Same here, but it's womens' diving in addition to pentathlon and my own (former) fencing. (Nothing focuses your attention on a sport like having a former student take an Olympic gold diving medal, or like fencing members of the US pentathlon team.) The news about all the streaming is like catnip.

#44 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2011, 06:40 AM:

I know this is a miss by a mile, but Feorag and I will be in Amsterdam circa October 27th to November 1st (excuse: the Bokbierfest). And we'll almost certainly be drinking in the Arendsnest in the evening of Monday 31st, if anyone wants to join us.

Somewhat less off-topic: if I want to buy a pre-pay 3G data stick or mifi for use in the Netherlands, what are my options?

#45 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2011, 09:22 AM:

Update to #44 (because I have just remembered that I own an unlocked 3G wireless device) ... what is my best option for buying a pre-paid SIM with at least 1Gb of inclusive data, for use in Amsterdam?

(KPN, Orange-NL, T-Mobile, or who?)

#46 ::: Joris M ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2011, 01:32 PM:

Of the three main Dutch providers (T-mobile, KPN, Vodafone) T-mobile seems to have the most sensible offer for SIM. KPN looks horribly expensive. Vodafone could be fine but I don't fully understand how their system is supposed to work.

#47 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2011, 08:11 PM:

Jacque 20:

Indeed no.

I should have said rarely.

#49 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2011, 09:42 PM:

Damme, that's too bad (that my spam sig is popping up again)!

#50 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2011, 06:14 AM:

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I can easily fit it in, despite being so close.

On the bright side, it does mean I can fit in visiting the Swansea waste water works during the open house this weekend.

#51 ::: anon ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2011, 01:08 PM:

Dear TNH:

Which additional Vizla YouTube video should we click on? Your text hovering on that link is incomplete....

#52 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2011, 01:15 PM:

anon@51: your browser is being fooled by the double quotes in the description of the link, which reads in full

It's hard to explain Vizlas if you've never met one in person. ... Note: if you click through to the video called "Two singing vizlas", turn the volume down -- way down -- before it starts.

#53 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2011, 12:02 AM:

TNH's hover text now fixed.

We are intact in Amsterdam, or rather, just outside it. Looking forward to seeing anyone who does manage to show up tonight.

#54 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2011, 12:15 PM:

Patrick: just in case you thought you got away from the hurricanes, the remains of Hurricane Katia are due to reach Ireland and Scotland on Monday. Dunno if it'll still be strong enough to notice when it crosses the North Sea, but if I were you I'd make sure I had my waterproofs handy next Tuesday!

(Not that that's ever a bad idea in Amsterdam in autumn ...)

#55 ::: Katya ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2011, 04:40 PM:

Thanks all for a lovely evening!


#56 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2011, 06:16 PM:

That was a very pleasant evening -- me, TNH, Abi, Martin Wisse, crazysoph, Katya Pendill, and Julie Phillips, about whom I somehow managed to avoid knowing that she lives in Amsterdam. Drinks were had, the IJ was crossed, trams were ridden, vegetarian food was ordered, beer was spilled, water was spilled, witty remarks were made, cataplectics were felled, points were won. Exhaustion was had, trams were ridden again, the IJ was crossed again, Martin was met, cars were ridden, home was achieved. Sleep will now be had.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.