Toonbots message board: Threaded rods

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Michael Wed Sep 26 13:51:57 2001
Threaded rods

Connectivity to Internet: $14.95 a month

Time to build Toonbots and message board to get to know mouse: months

Outlay for four threaded rods and eight nuts and washers: $10.04

Knowledge that basement steps won't collapse any more: PRICELESS!

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 13:59:28 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> Time to build Toonbots and message board to get to know mouse: months

Humph. So becoming acquainted with the rest of us and suddenly discovering that a Jihad had formed around your strip was entirely negligible, humph (then again, you already knew most of the other Jihad members from BoxJam and Lee's boards, anyway.)

> Outlay for four threaded rods and eight nuts and washers: $10.04

One advantage to having a father who's an electrical contrator is spare nuts and washers are easy to come by (and can usually be found simply by checking the pencil cups or Dad's trouser pockets.)

> Knowledge that basement steps won't collapse any more: PRICELESS!

YAY!

mouse Wed Sep 26 14:13:14 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> Humph. So becoming acquainted with the rest of us and suddenly discovering
> that a Jihad had formed around your strip was entirely negligible, humph
> (then again, you already knew most of the other Jihad members from BoxJam
> and Lee's boards, anyway.)

*titter*

actually, i suspect it to be the sheer giddiness induced by successfully completing a home maintenance project -- personally, i was dancing around for _days_ after i got the fluorescent lights changed.

doubtless, when he calms down, the metacartoonist will once again be rejoicing in the benefits of having his own jihad.

Michael Wed Sep 26 14:15:45 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> doubtless, when he calms down, the metacartoonist will once again be
> rejoicing in the benefits of having his own jihad.

I like having a Jihad. I was exercising artistic license.

mouse Wed Sep 26 14:26:22 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> I like having a Jihad. I was exercising artistic license.

wait - does this mean i'm _not_ the culmination of the message board? you realize, this destroys my entire world view.

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 14:29:40 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> wait - does this mean i'm _not_ the culmination of the message board? you
> realize, this destroys my entire world view.

Or rather, *defenestrates* your entire world-view.

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 14:34:18 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> I like having a Jihad. I was exercising artistic license.

As well as a certain amount of maniacally surly humour (which has been increasing all too steadily of late, and has begun to scare Napoleon, as well as the wolverines.)

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 14:21:28 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> *titter*

*coughing chortle*

mouse Wed Sep 26 14:01:42 2001
Re: Threaded rods

always glad to be of help.

boy, this home maintenance stuff is really making me feel essential to the universe - first i find out that cosmic rays are powering my fluorescent lights, and now i seem to be somehow the culmination of the toonbots message board. i may actually have to _learn_ something about it.

mouse Wed Sep 26 14:21:03 2001
Re: Threaded rods

although, not to sound ungrateful or anything -- but if i'm the culmination of the board and everything, how come i keep making 4 posts a day, and my post count is stuck at 96?

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 14:28:02 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> although, not to sound ungrateful or anything -- but if i'm the
> culmination of the board and everything, how come i keep making 4 posts a
> day, and my post count is stuck at 96?

You're forgetting about the Grim Thread Reaper (which has been functioning at a much slower rate lately.) Really, Michael's original aim was to try, by archiving threads, not to keep more than 252 messages active. Presumably due to other concerns, he's fallen behind in that.

mouse Wed Sep 26 15:20:20 2001
Re: Threaded rods

256, actually, and i am not forgetting the gtr at all -- i am just highly suspicious of the exactitude of the gtr deleting just _exactly_ the same number of posts as i make. it's a conspiracy, i know it.

also, as i recall, the poor thing only gets to delete one thread a day, whichever one's last post is the oldest - it's probably just overwhelmed with all these long convoluted threads.

mouse Wed Sep 26 15:25:33 2001
um, ignore this one here^

... thought i stopped it before it got posted - it wasn't quite done yet.

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 20:09:02 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^

> ... thought i stopped it before it got posted - it wasn't quite done yet.

Too late. Maybe gopher was right, and being a rodent does tend to foster tendencies towarsd rapid posting and occaional spamming.

Eric Schissel Wed Sep 26 20:35:18 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^

> Too late. Maybe gopher was right, and being a rodent does tend to foster
> tendencies towarsd rapid posting and occaional spamming.

Viewing the Keen* boards recently I took note how many people had managed to make upwards of 1500 posts this year in -rather- less than the time it had taken me, last year, to post 2000 (which I in turn did far, far too quickly *sigh*...)

Due to life, persistent depression, work, and sundry other matters, my posting rate there has tapered a little this year; and the type of posts are different in many different ways here, it seems to *this* particular newcomer (who's still counting the days before he's decelerating rapidly with a broken -fenetre- above rather than standing on solid, albeit wolverine-encircled, ground...) than on those boards, which in turn, encourages a different sort of posting... but still...

As usual, I don't suppose I have a point. And I can't say it "comes of having a well-rounded education," either... not that I've sworn off puns or anything... I meant to say that there are perils of succumbing to the KeenBoard Disease (or postitis as they lovingly call it in those parts) but that wasn't exactly what I wanted to say and that's already been said anyallrighthow

Hrm... Thoughts on a rainy (or soon-to-be-rainy) evening tend to have a certain tone to them, and I never do know how I'm coming across even on those rare occasions (this not being one of them) when I am making sense.

Michael Wed Sep 26 22:25:44 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^


> Hrm... Thoughts on a rainy (or soon-to-be-rainy) evening tend to have a
> certain tone to them, and I never do know how I'm coming across even on
> those rare occasions (this not being one of them) when I am making sense.

Ha.

Keen boards *do* have a lot of useless posts, don't they? Occasionally things get a little out of hand here, too, and I enjoy that -- but when the online post count goes up towards 500 I get nervous about overhead on my pore ole creaky server. (This code is *not* efficiently written, unlike the UBB code, which really isn't bad if you can ignore the occasional irritating crash.)

For what it's worth, the Grim Thread Reaper *has* been ticking along perfectly well, but its (normally) single thread a day just wasn't keeping up with the multiplicity of posts in August, which is why I took matters into my own hands. The threads it was reaping were back in March or so and were rather short, so the Jihad, on balance, was gaining.

And Emsworth, I think mouse is just having some fun "complaining" about post counts. I didn't really mean to complain that you weren't posting. I'd much rather you preserved your scholarship. We'll still be here when you have time, after all. And if I really miss you, I'll put you in the toon. MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, and mouse -- the summarizer is just LYING about your post counts! Here at Toonbots, I rule all! I may just give Emsworth a 30-post bonus just because I feel like it! AAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Drunk on power, the metacartoonist quickly alienates those few of his fanbase he still has left. Hey! What are you doing here?!? I'm everywhere, and nowhere. Ha! Loser.

mouse Thu Sep 27 00:26:57 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^


> And Emsworth, I think mouse is just having some fun
> "complaining" about post counts. I didn't really mean to
> complain that you weren't posting. I'd much rather you preserved your
> scholarship. We'll still be here when you have time, after all. And if I
> really miss you, I'll put you in the toon. MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!

oh, great - _now_ you speak up, after i've spent two mortal hours biting Emsworth's head off. and on top of everything else, i've missed _another_ episode of 'evolution', and my dinner is cold. *sulk*

still, it's nice to see that _someone_ around here refuses to take me seriously.

> Oh, and mouse -- the summarizer is just LYING about your post counts!

pig - i knew it all along.

Michael Thu Sep 27 02:02:29 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^

> episode of 'evolution', and my dinner is cold. *sulk*

Sorry about the two mortal hours -- but that was really rather inspired prose there. I liked it. What I'm concerned about is ... "episode" of Evolution? What's that. (Also, don't you have a microwave? Or kids? If you have kids, then you're used to eating cold food, but if you have a microwave, you shouldn't have cold food anyway.)

> still, it's nice to see that _someone_ around here refuses to take me
> seriously.

I take nothing seriously. Unless it interferes with my God-given right to do whatever the heck I choose to do.

> pig - i knew it all along.

HAHAHAHA! Your phones are tapped by the Interzonic Spy Network.

mouse Thu Sep 27 14:08:49 2001
Re: um, ignore this one here^

> Sorry about the two mortal hours -- but that was really rather inspired
> prose there. I liked it.

thanks -- i really do like the kid, but he worries me when he talks like that...but your way was a nicer way to say it.

> What I'm concerned about is ...
> "episode" of Evolution? What's that.

it's a short-run (8 hr/4 nights) series on PBS -- science stuff, about (what else?) evolution. and last night covered the eternal questions 'Why sex?' and 'What are males for, anyway?' oh well- think there's a late night repeat.

>(Also, don't you have a microwave?

yeah, but i was eating shrimp - the microwave gets it all rubber when you reheat it. i have a cat -- and she was actually pretty happy about the whole thing. she usually goes out and does her cat thing while i eat dinner; last night she got back in time to make serious inroads into my shrimp. AND she beat me to the couch afterwards.

> I take nothing seriously.

to quote the immortal Walt Kelly - "Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't no-how permanent" -- it's really the only philosophy of value.

> HAHAHAHA! Your phones are tapped by the Interzonic Spy Network.

*damn* - _knew_ that thing was gonna get me in trouble.

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 19:41:51 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> also, as i recall, the poor thing only gets to delete one thread a day,
> whichever one's last post is the oldest - it's probably just overwhelmed
> with all these long convoluted threads.

No, that can have little to do with it. There have been threads of equal length or considerably longer before, after all, prior to your arrival, my dear rodent (one in particular lingered on for several months, until it formed a rather odd shape, like crooked claw.) Not sure how the supposedly automatic-updator whatsit works myself, but I'm not sure that thread length can be that significant a factor. May be a glitch, for all we know.

mouse Wed Sep 26 15:23:23 2001
Re: Threaded rods

256, actually, and i am not forgetting the gtr at all -- i am just highly suspicious of the exactitude of the gtr deleting just _exactly_ the same number of posts as i make. and how did _your_ posts go up by 10 when i only counted 9, huh? what's saving _you_ from the gtr? it's a conspiracy, i know it. and after i tried to be nice to the wolverines, and _everything_ *sob!*

also, as i recall, the poor thing only gets to delete one thread a day, whichever one's last post is the oldest - it's probably just overwhelmed with all these long convoluted threads.

Brother Emsworth Wed Sep 26 19:55:45 2001
Re: Threaded rods

> 256, actually, and i am not forgetting the gtr at all -- i am just highly
> suspicious of the exactitude of the gtr deleting just _exactly_ the same
> number of posts as i make. and how did _your_ posts go up by 10 when i
> only counted 9, huh? what's saving _you_ from the gtr? it's a conspiracy,
> i know it. and after i tried to be nice to the wolverines, and
> _everything_ *sob!*

For the record, you tried to *usurp* the wolverines (and neither they nor I and Napoleon were especially gruntled by that act.) As I recall, I think my post count yesterday was closer to 77, actually, though I may be wrong. Plus, it depends entirely on which threads are archived off, and how many messages each person posted to that thread.

Finally, though I realize you're being tongue in cheek, the point of the PAFTWJ is not supposed to be post counts alone. The only reason I'm trying to keep up with you (and it's become increasingly stressful and less than enjoyable, frankly) is to restore the wolverines' honour, after which I'll probably ease up for awhile, since I really can't keep up with you the way you're going. I've always posted as Jihad something to say or to respond to, and mostly in regard to Toonbots itself, when I can (though lately, I admit I've been relaxing my policy.) However, I never really set a goal of, say, 4 posts a day. (Plus I'm practically the only Jihad member who tried to participate in the wolverine campaign, which I'll probably give up on soon, as only Chris added to it.)

Lately, I've been posting more simply to keep up with you, and you can make fun of other pressures if you like, but I can't afford to risk losing my scholarship from spending too much time online (and again, it's not as much fun at th emoment, it's work.) The point of the Jihad is not to see who can amass the highest post counts (and such competitions are usually only enjoyable when they're not taken too seriously, and especially when more than one person is posting.) I hope none of this is taken the wrong way, as I don't wish to give offense (and that Michael doesn't start yelling at me again in a brusque and surly manner), but I've had a long day, and am feeling somewhat distraught and hig strung, and I don't relish trying to catch up with you, frankly (and I confess, I was initially mildly annoyed at seeing complaints about post counts.)

mouse Thu Sep 27 00:16:31 2001
offense taken

> Lately, I've been posting more simply to keep up with you, and you can
> make fun of other pressures if you like, but I can't afford to risk losing
> my scholarship from spending too much time online (and again, it's not as
> much fun at th emoment, it's work.)

Then, with all due respect, why do you do it?

Seriously, why would you risk something as important as your college education on something as stupid as keeping up a post count? And most important of all, why would you spend _any_ time doing something so trivial if it isn't enjoyable? Life is _way_ to short to waste any more of it than you have to on things that make you miserable.

Yes, I actually am intelligent and _adult_ enough to realize that the post count is _not_ the point of the forum, and obviously any competition, no matter how silly, is only fun if there is someone to compete with. Why do you think it bothered me that no one else was posting? If I seem overly concerned with numbers to you, it's probably because as a statistical analyst, numbers are my thing -- and I admit to a certain human fascination with the nice round ones. I picked numbers to go with that -- I have no idea how many posts I do in a day, and certainly no targets. I respond to what interests or amuses me, I'm certainly not posting to run you ragged trying to catch up with me. I was rather pleased to see your increased posting; I had hoped that meant your stress levels were down, and you finally had some free time.

I felt very badly after reading your post #2442; I was deeply saddened to realize that so many people in such a small group were going through difficult times. I do realize that other people have calls on their time (believe it or not, this is actually not the most important thing in _my_ life either), but I had hoped their distractions were of a more every-day kind. I should have expressed my sympathy to all at the time, but I really didn't know what to say. I was also hit by your comment on 'the old days'. I realize that you have been participating in this forum for most of it's existance, and that these people are your friends, and for that reason, you felt their absence acutely; I know also that you don't particularly like change. I felt that I had unwittingly increased your pain, when I, who you so clearly view as an outsider, pointed out that the people you like seem to be leaving, and that things were changing. Frankly, you made me feel that I would be presumptuous to express concern for people I know less well than you. I also realize that, with the events of the last couple weeks, _everyone's_ stress levels have inevitable risen; I truly have no wish to increase yours or anyone else's in any way. For this reason, I had resolved to keep down my posts, since clearly you are so irritated by the fact I post at all. I did fall out of that today, because I was home sick, and frankly I was bored.

But you know, I think I was wrong to even consider changing my behavior because of you. I have news for you, my young friend -- the world changes, whether you want it to or not. People move on, for happy reasons and sad, but new people come to take their places -- and believe it or not, some of those new people will be as funny and interesting and worthwhile in their own way as the old ones were -- if you give them a chance. I actually rather like you; I like reading your posts. I am always interested in people with a passion for something (as you clearly have for old cartoons and the like); I admire your ability with Channisms; I am happy to find someone who clearly loves and respects the English language, as I do myself (despite my usual lack of capitals); I was charmed to learn that you possess such a delightfully frivolous skill as the making of balloon animals; I think your sense of humor is much better than you give yourself credit for. And I like your critiques of Toonbots, and your willingness to openly express praise and approval. This is a skill I lack; for some reason, it is very difficult for me to praise someone directly and seriously, and so I fall back on just making a joke; well, you can add that to my long list of faults.

I regard this forum as a conversation, and I keep coming back because I enjoy the converstation, and I enjoy being part of it. Yes, I do post to Toonbots about other things than the strip itself, and wolverines, and the Jihad. I would posit that I am not the first, nor the only, poster to do so. No doubt the fact that the Jihad is such a small group encourages me; it feels more like a dinner with friends, than some huge mixer where you can barely catch what the other person says, let alone actually spend some time with them. This is why I really don't bother with crowded places like the Keenspot boards. I like having a place where I can just be silly, and find people like Eric who will be silly with me. And I like arguing politics with Michael; I gather you particularly disapprove of this, but allow me to point out that it is Michael's forum, and he seems to enjoy it.

I'm sorry my posts irritate you, but you are after all under no obligation to read them. I am sorry that you percieve me as someone who is just trying to get some sort of bizarre fame as top poster, rather than as someone who is actually trying to contribute to the discussion; if you like, I will ask Michael to drop my name from the post list, so that can become a non-issue. But I am going to keep reading the forum, and posting to it.

I don't know what way you intended your post to be taken, but I have to tell you, in my experience, people who keep saying 'No offense' really are trying to offend. That being said, I think I'm really more hurt than offended. Well, that's _my_ problem.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your studies, and with your life. I hope that you will feel happier soon, and that you will have the time to spend on all the parts of college that can make it such a great life experience, and an education in so many other things than books. And seriously, if you don't read any other word from me, please, please listen to this, from the core of my heart: don't do things that truly make you unhappy - not a job, not a relationship, not even posting on a forum. If you can't find some core of joy in it, even the joy of combat, then walk away from it, because otherwise you are just killing yourself, piece by piece. I hope that any unhappiness you feel posting here is just temporary, because I will miss you if you leave -- but you should be working on making your life better, not worse.

Michael Thu Sep 27 01:58:56 2001
Now just a minnit!


> (believe it or not, this is actually not the most important thing in _my_
> life either)

Now wait. This is GOING TOO FAR!

> you should be
> working on making your life better, not worse.

Ha! Hear, hear. Emsworth, listen to mouse. She's smart. (She can help us go.) She even gave me the crucial idea for fixing my stairway -- I hadn't even thought of threaded rods. Nails, cables, glue, screws, I'd considered all these technologies, only to reject each. But threaded rods -- that was sheer genius.

I'm obsessing again, aren't I?

mouse Thu Sep 27 13:56:27 2001
Re: Now just a minnit!

> I'm obsessing again, aren't I?

just a little, dear, but you're cute when you do it.

and thanks for not reducing me to a small pile of ash 'cause of the post

Michael Thu Sep 27 19:21:15 2001
Re: Now just a minnit!


> and thanks for not reducing me to a small pile of ash 'cause of the post

I can hardly blame people for ranting. What the heck is the Internet *for*, if not being curmudgeonly? Besides, it was a fine rant. I'm proud to have it on my board.

mouse Thu Sep 27 19:29:27 2001
Re: Now just a minnit!

> What the heck is the Internet
> *for*, if not being curmudgeonly?

oh, is _that_ what it's for?

my goal in life is to become one of those crotchety old ladies who tells everyone _exactly_ what she thinks, and prods them with her cane while she does it.

Michael Thu Sep 27 19:34:48 2001
Re: Now just a minnit!

> my goal in life is to become one of those crotchety old ladies who tells
> everyone _exactly_ what she thinks, and prods them with her cane while she
> does it.

Yeah, I'm shooting for being my grandfather, easily the most curmudgeonly person I have ever had the pleasure to have known. I was terrified of him as a child. Later I realized that I'm a lot like him -- none of us Robertses has much use for people. Heinleinian to the core.

Jenn Fri Sep 28 10:26:06 2001
Curmudgeony Old Ladies

Cool. We should all live on the same block.

/My/ aspiration is to be the Crazy Cat Lady. With 300 cats all living in my house, and who eventually dies and is eaten by them. I have two cats thus far, but my husband is thwarting my dreams by refusing to let me get another one. Not even a /small/ one.

Eventually, I hope to start talking to myself (or maybe ghost cats) and buying nothing at the grocery store but 700 cans of cat food. And every day wearing the same sweatshirt with the cats walking toward you on the front, and then the cat butts on the back walking away from you.

Michael Fri Sep 28 11:07:10 2001
Re: Curmudgeony Old Ladies

> Cool. We should all live on the same block.

It might be best for the fabric of reality if we *avoid* all living on the same block. In fact, legislation should probably be enacted to make that a felony.

Jenn Fri Sep 28 11:53:03 2001
Re: Curmudgeony Old Ladies

> It might be best for the fabric of reality if we *avoid* all living on the
> same block. In fact, legislation should probably be enacted to make that a
> felony.

Awww, quit being such a chicken! Think of the block parties! I make one heck of a jello mold, a fact which I think has already been established on the forum. I'll even toss in little mandarin oranges.

mouse Fri Sep 28 14:20:52 2001
Re: Curmudgeony Old Ladies

> Eventually, I hope to start talking to myself (or maybe ghost cats)

talk to the _real_ cats, that's what i do. as a fellow equal being, of course, _never_ that silly baby talk stuff. (isn't that right, snoogums, mousie would never ever talk baby talk to oo, would her? no her wouldn't, not to her widdle sugar lumpkin)

personally i think i'm aging quite gracefully.

Brother Emsworth Thu Sep 27 11:26:15 2001
Sincere Apologies

>Then, with all due respect, why do you do it?

Iím honestly not quite sure, which adds to my confusion, but I guess part of it is because itís become a habit, and the feeling that itís my own fault for feeling this way and perhaps an irrational thought that if I kept it up the sentiments might go away (when Iím really just digging myself in deeper and worsening my situation, really.) I did the wolverine campaign because Michael asked me too, but I wound up feeling disappointed and upset by it to a proabbly irrational degree (and that may have been affecting my posts to this forum.)

>Yes, I actually am intelligent and _adult_ enough to realize that the post >count is
>_not_ the point of the forum, and obviously any competition, no matter how >silly, is only fun if there is someone to compete with. Why do you think it >bothered me that no one else was posting?

I was never trying to suggest anything about your intelligence and maturity, honestly! Perhaps itís because Iíve seen too many people on other forums obsess and rant and boast about such things (or even in one case, complain that their post count was so low and that was why nobody liked him, or something like that), in a manner which often seems uncomfortably serious to me. I was honestly just trying to explain why no one else was posting, and that it had little to do with what we were saying. Then again, this may be part of the reason for this present conversation, like when time I home-schooled during my sophomore year of high school. My mother and I have usually managed to get along rather well, but as saw each other most of the day. every day, and with no one else to talk to, it put a certain strain on our relationship. I honestly havenít been trying to be hostile, but it seems Iíve been inadvertently doing the same (and I honestly had missed the defenestration talk.)

>I was also hit by your comment on 'the old days'.

I apologize, again, this wasn't aimed at you, just irrational wistfullness, I suppose (felt the same about other forum communities that I frequented for considerable time, but gradually felt different or more lonely as old freinds left or became silent.)

>I felt that I had unwittingly increased your pain, when I, who you so clearly view
>as an outsider, pointed out that the people you like seem to be leaving, and that
>things were changing.

Again, I apologize. Weíve only been posting to the same forum for a few weeks, so I donít know you all that well yet, just as you donít know me very well (in as much as one can manage to get to know a person through the Internet, anyway), but Iíve been trying to get to know you. I confess that sue to the simple fact that I didnít know you and that you left no e-mail address (coupled with irrational residual paranoia from certain stressful incidents on another forum caused by new arrivals who started off harmlessly and then became increasingly belligerent or vulgar over things, causing all sorts of unpleasantness). I admit to that, and that it was irrational, but I'm over it, and I honestly haven't been trying to treat you as an outsider, especially lately (most of my talk about the PAFTWJ and wolverines can be taken as tongue in cheek.) I apologized about the capitals (which I honestly was trying to mention in a tactful way), but it was not related to you as a person, but on any forum or medium, such things do tend to confuse me. Iíve tried to get to know you, and Iíve been trying to be nice and tactful with you, and really have been gradually getting to like you. I genuinely enjoyed our conversations about Pogo (and even the [insert blank] thread), and hoped you felt the same way, and frankly was disappointed when both fizzled out (though that does happen to all threads, I know.)

>Frankly, you made me feel that I would be presumptuous to express concern for >people I know less well than you. I also realize that, with the events of the >last
>couple weeks, _everyone's_ stress levels have inevitable risen; I truly have >no wish to increase yours or anyone else's in any way.
>For this reason, I had resolved to keep down my posts, since clearly you are >so irritated by the fact I post at all.

Iím not trying to prevent you from posting, really, or trying to make you feel presumptuous (almost all of us appreciate a sympathetic word, even if we don't know that person well, though often I have refrained from expressing sympathy when I don't feel that I know certain people that well myself, yes, but I wasn't trying to make you feel that way.) Iíve quite enjoyed several of your posts, and honestly have not been trying to sound hostile or anything towards you (even very early on when I had the paranoid fear that you were a ďtrollĒ). I may have sometimes wondered briefly about certain aspects of the way you've been posting at one point or so, but do not resent your presence or company, if that's what you've been thinking (though yes, seeing a good many posts at once from almost any person anywhere unsettles me at first.) Part of itís just that I was surprised that you could keep it up so long. Iím not trying to belittle you or anything, though again, I really should have worded that last post a bit differently (or not posted it at all). I guess my judgement and sensitivities were a little off, really, and that often I do prefer a slower pace. I do recall one time back in January when Napoleon and I were on the forum at the same time, replying to each other, and while it wasnít planned, we just kept on posting to each otherís messages for a couple of hours, causing others to complain about the sudden massive increase in posts, and I see my comments (though again, I honestly havenít been trying to be harsh about them) have been uncomfortably similar, and again, I apologize.

>I have news for you, my young friend -- the world changes, whether you want it >to or not.

I know, I'm all too keenly aware of that. Anything that occurs in this existence, such as it is, is only temporal, I have had long-term difficulty dealing with that, I know, amongst many other things, and Iím sorry. I went off and ranted a little, but I wasnít aiming at you so much as typing pent-up feelings (which I shouldnít have done, I know. Iíve often read posts by certain people on other forums and felt that they should have tried to be more careful about what they said, and not posted while upset, but I apparently was out of it more than I thought yesterday, and I honestly apologize. I donít like to upset people or make enemies, honestly.)

>People move on, for happy reasons and sad, but new people come to take their >places -- and believe it or not, some of those new people will be as funny and >interesting and worthwhile in their own way as the old ones were -- if you >give them a chance.

Please, again, I thought our recent exchanges until now were improving, and I've been trying to get to know you, and really do wnat to be friends with you, and not belittle you or anything, and I apologize if it seems like I've talked too much about "the old days" or anything. I had been trying to give you a chance, honest! I guess I really should have just stopped trying to force myself, though, and dropped out earlier when I knew I needed to.

>I regard this forum as a conversation, and I keep coming back because I enjoy >the converstation, and I enjoy being part of it.

>Yes, I do post to Toonbots about other things than the strip itself, and >wolverines, and the Jihad. I would posit that I am not the first, nor the >only,
>poster to do so.

Again, most of that post was me going off about thoughts, but not aimed towards you. I was trying to clarify my own position, and thatís due largely to my own personal comfort level and whatnot (and perhaps explain more clearly why I didnít or couldnít always comment on your posts, which is partially why I was trying to make more of an effort to respond and keep up, and perhaps I was merely frustrated by that.)

>And I like arguing politics with Michael; I gather you particularly disapprove >of this, but allow me to point out that it is Michael's forum, and he seems to >enjoy it.

Again, that's not what I've been trying to express. Reading political rants and pessimism, tend to upset and depress me, especially lately when it seems to be everywhere and hard to avoid, even in a place I used to go to to avoid such things, that's all, but I haven't been trying to express active "disapproval," and i realize it's Michael's forum and he has a right to post as he likes (whether it's political ranting or making fun of his fans, even if some of it does become a bit upsetting every once in awhile.)

>I'm sorry my posts irritate you, but you are after all under no obligation to >read them.

Again, I may hve felt irritated with the lack of capitals for the moment or the rapid rate, but I've never stated that you irritate me, please believe me.

>I'm sorry that you percieve me as someone who is just trying to get some sort >of bizarre fame as top poster, rather than as someone who is actually trying >to contribute to the discussion...

Again, I apologize. For the most part, I don't see you that way, but I took certain recent comments on post numbers and "foe" and "dominating the forum" and whatnot far too seriously,and it just sort of upset and scared me a little at the time.

>I don't know what way you intended your post to be taken, but I have to tell you, >in my experience, people who keep saying 'No offense' really are trying to >offend. That being said, I think I'm really more hurt than offended.

I apologize. I honestly try my best not to upset or offend people. I should have spent more time rewording that message, or better yet, kept quiet and not posted it. But please believe me, Iím not trying to provoke you or anything. I guess I was taking your comments about ranks (especially the talk of specific post numbers) and references to other posters as the ďfoeĒ and whatnot far too seriously (it just made me feel a tad uncomfortable.) I tend to be rather literal-minded at times, and for the most part, do tend to take things seriously, I know, and I apologize.

>I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your studies, and with your life. I >hope that you will feel happier soon, and that you will have the time to spend >on all the parts of college that can make it such a great life experience, and >an education in so many other things than books.

Well, time and circumstances are such that that is the primary focus of college life right now (apart from being able to talk with professors and classmates, and library resoures; I live at home with my parents and depend on Dad for transportation, which means he sometimes drops me off at 5 am or picks me up at 5 pm, according to his own schedule.)

>I hope that any unhappiness you feel posting here is just temporary, because I >will miss you if you leave -- but you should be working on making your life >better, not worse.

I guess I didnít make it very clear (and frankly, though I seem to have slipped lately, I usually try not to express too much about my personal worries or concerns in public), but the problems and distress Iím having have more to deal with outside occurrences, slight illness and fatigue, or internal feelings and fears, but perhaps because of it, posting seems to just be adding more pressure and stress rather than alleviating it.

Honestly, one of the things Iíve long liked about this forum is the comparatively quiet, pleasant atmosphere, free from hostility and flames and whatnot. I honestly didnít mean to come across as hostile or spark off any unpleasantness, please believe me.

I had been meaning to take a break from online activity for awhile, anyway, and when Iím getting myself so worked up over forums, obviously I need to get away for awhile. I apologize for upsetting anyone, honestly will try to take your advice, and hopefully weíll all feel a bit better and things will look brighter before long. Please, mouse, no hard feelings. I have not been trying to attack you or aggravate you, honestly. Please, letís shake, and I apologize again.

Sincerely, Andrew Leal/Emsworth

(apologies for typos or babling and length and repetition; must rush to class now.)

mouse Thu Sep 27 13:51:40 2001
apologies humbly accepted

And _I_ apologize; I am a bit overly sensitive myself. I _would_ like to be friends; I hope nothing I said adds any roadblocks to that.

Most of our exchanges have been fun or enlightening or both; this is part of what confused me - I wasn't sure exactly what you thought. I guess what set me off is, just as it seemed we were hitting it off well, you jumped on me (or so I thought).

Again, I don't post on other forums, so I don't know too much about how they tend to run, but one hears rumors of flame wars and the like. That is why I post anonymously -- it's not that I distrust _you_ specifically, just the world at large. (and as you say, sometimes it takes a while to find out who exactly you are talking to). I too have no interest in rude, cruel or just plain nasty discussions, and I am very sorry for going a bit over the edge.

I react so strongly to your fear of change because I personally hate change as well -- but I'm coping better with it as I get older, and I'm sure you will too. As to other things -- the world always seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, but somehow it never exactly gets there. Politics frankly scare _me_ right now (and some of Michael's thoughts _terrify_ me) - because things do seem so totally beyond my control -- and I guess ranting about it is a way to pretend I _can_ do something. Soon enough, though, things will settle down, and politicians will go back to being things to be more ridiculed than feared (and we will always have Michael, pushing as hard as he can to get things there)

In the meantime, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Seriously. What's that old song - "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don't mess with Mr. In-Between". I mean, it sounds trite -- but speaking as someone who spent _way_ too much time making herself miserable, it really does help. (It's even good for the immune system.) Hey, even at 5 am, there must be someone you can drink coffee with -- or even just lovely quiet places to study. So concentrate on the important stuff and don't worry about us, we will be here when you get back (or at least some of us will -- haven't read Michael's post yet, I may be about to turn into a small charred lump)

Take care --

Martha White/mouse

oh yeah - and i promise not to take you too seriously, if you promise not to take me seriously.

oh, and uh --"troll"? -- i mean, i'm no beauty queen, but.......

Michael Thu Sep 27 19:32:11 2001
Re: apologies humbly accepted

> but one hears rumors of flame wars and the like.

In case you're wondering, *this* is not a flame war. No, no, flame wars are much nastier than you people. I like flame wars; they're very therapeutic -- I grew up in a very dysfunctional (alcoholism and co-dependency) family, and at some point it dawned on me that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" -- and so I practice on flame wars. Hee.

> and some of Michael's thoughts
> _terrify_ me

Um. Sorry.

I'm just relatively paralyzed with fear for my business. Which, of course, is stupid -- there's a boatload of things I do which people do just as much or more in recessions. But it's just the way things are.

I had an epiphany this morning. Remember back in 1989 or so, people were saying, "the 90's are going to make the 60's look like the 50's"? And of course, they were dead wrong. My epiphany was this: the 90's were the 50's. NOW we're entering the 60's! And suddenly everything just ... made sense. I can handle the 60's. It's the threat of all those damned fascist-Amerika science fiction novels I've read that have had me tied up in knots the past two weeks.

The world's not going to hell in a handbasket. Not yet. There are just too many smart people saying smart things the past week or so, and the Internet *is making a difference*. Small voices can be heard! People can organize! Democracy is inevitable!

I'm upbeat again.

> (and we will always have
> Michael, pushing as hard as he can to get things there)

I am sure trying.

> oh, and uh --"troll"? -- i mean, i'm no beauty queen, but.......

Trolling for flames = troll. Someone who says something deliberately inflammatory on a message board/forum/newsgroup in order to start a nice juicy flame war.

mouse Thu Sep 27 19:55:59 2001
Re: apologies humbly accepted

> "sticks
> and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me"

well, stupid screaming and ranting don't (once you learn there is so often just a hollow place behind them) - but something cool and highly reasoned can be devastating - which is why it took me two hours; i wanted to be sure i didn't leave the place covered in glass shards (and i'm afraid i may have missed a few)

-- and so
> I practice on flame wars. Hee.

ok - now i'm _really_ terrified.

> It's the threat of all those
> damned fascist-Amerika science fiction novels I've read that have had me
> tied up in knots the past two weeks.

_those_ are the ones that scare me -- because they paint the picture that we most fear, the loss of the freedoms and opportunities that are the basis of our whole way of life. but despite my fears, i truly believe that things are really not going that way. some of that literature has roots in McCarthyism and the like - but that didn't turn us into a regimented society of robots. (and communism really never had a chance here after the Depression). some of it was from the rioting (on all sides) in the 60's - everything from the klan to the SDS -- but we survived all that, too, and made some improvements. people will surprise you.

> The world's not going to hell in a handbasket. Not yet. There are just too
> many smart people saying smart things the past week or so, and the
> Internet *is making a difference*. Small voices can be heard! People can
> organize! Democracy is inevitable!

right on, brother! -- and never forget, there is always that deep wellspring of sheer stupidity, flowing through every bureaucracy and drilling wormholes from within every conspiracy, and thus protecting us all.

> I'm upbeat again.

i'd noticed that, actually - glad to hear it.

Eric Schissel Thu Sep 27 20:10:47 2001
Re: apologies humbly accepted

> Trolling for flames = troll. Someone who says something deliberately
> inflammatory on a message board/forum/newsgroup in order to start a nice
> juicy flame war.

Said to originate in an analogous fishing (fish fishing, not fishing-expedition fishing or anything like that) expression, if memory serves... let's see if I can find on google... yep, that's how it's listed in the Jargon Dictionary ( info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/t/troll.html) - to quote- "comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite."

mouse Fri Sep 28 14:26:14 2001
Re: apologies humbly accepted

all right then - my delicate female ego is assuaged.

(i figured it has something to do with starting flame wars, but thought it might mean someone lying in wait, and leaping out to wreak havoc, as standard fairy-tale type trolls are said to infest bridges. interesting etymology - and a whole different mental picture. thanks for the info, all)






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