500 Words Per Day

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

No Post

This is a post to say there's no post. I would write something that's worth reading if my head didn't feel so heavy and if I didn't feel so useless.

Regular posting madness will resume next week. Or not.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Got Flame?

I'm not much of an Internet forum type of person. I've registered with a half dozen different places and a truckload of various job sites that maintain their own message boards over the years. Even with that, I don't consider myself an active contributor and usually visit them purely as emergency sources of information.

I see a lot of immature behaviour, petty squabbling and pointless flame wars. Not that I'm above all of that (the immature part), but I don't like to get sucked into that sort of crap if I can help it.

Well a few weeks ago I registered to a large DJ/music community, introduced myself and within a few days, had received my first flame ever. First? Oh I don't know, I've probably been flamed before, but never like this. Totally unprovoked, a long-time forum member stormed into my innocent, peaceful thread, conveniently misunderstood everything I had previously written, gladly took offense to it and proceeded to insult my integrity, intelligence, abilities and overall goodness of being. I was actually absent from the forum for over a week (twas during Christmas) when it happened and in the intervening days I had a couple more twats take my attacker's side and a few sensible individuals rush to my defense. One of my allies could have been a moderator... at least he had a few billion stars next to his name, meaning he's either a mod or maybe a senior member that joined back when the Internet was invented.

When I finally returned to the forum, I was surprised to see my thread ballooning into two pages. What was all that activity, I wondered. Then I read the flame. What can I say? It's just words on a screen, written by some twit I've never even met, but the insults still hit you in the gut. My jaw may have dropped open a bit at that point. My heart began to beat faster. Hmm, this must be that fight or flight response that I always read about. Except there's nothing to fight or run away from.

I reread the fucktard's message. Wow. I've always prided myself on keeping these kind of conflicts at arm's length. If I find a flame war erupting on one of my forums, I either ignore it or try to be the one sane voice admist the madness and battling egos. I was the target this time. Someone had locked their sights on me and decided to take a shot. Ooooooh babeeeey. The stage was definitely set for me to fire back, and fire back big.

A dozen witty barbs flashed into my brain. Did I really want to get down and dirty? I was completely new to the forum and had every intention of making a positive impression on people. Granted, a big part of joining in the first place was to present myself in a professional manner and to promote my side business. I quickly lost my grasp on all those juicy comebacks begging me to type them into my reply. No, I wouldn't jump into the mud with this guy... yet.

I tapped out a short reply that was more of a knowing nudge and wink than a full-on retaliation. I couldn't resist to slip in a little sarcasm and humour to lighten the mood. I made no apologies but I definitely pulled my punches.

In the end, I felt better about being the "better man". Frankly, I would LOVE for this guy to take issue with my tame response and drag on the point. I would love him to give me an excuse to really take the kid gloves off. I'm reminded of a funny site a friend once sent me that categorizes in great detail all the different types of personalities you'll find on an Internet forum. I'm not quite sure which archetype I'd fit into but I'm pretty sure it's the pacifist dude. Or the guy who barely gives a shit. Check it out here

If the flaming continues, I'll be sure to post up some updates in the future.

Wash Your Hands

As a counterpoint to my previous "crappy" post about toilet-use techniques, I want to voice my concern about the many random patrons of public washrooms that I routinely catch bolting out of the men's room without washing their hands.

Please, are we still in kindergarten here? You know this joe, who just grasped at his filthy dong and pubic hairs, is gonna waltz back to his table and shake a business partner's hand, caress his girlfriend's face or use his grimy paws to pass some bread to the fool sitting three seats over. I have yet to see someone brazen enough to take a dump without first making a pitstop at the sinks. I don't know what I'd do if caught them making a beeline for the door. Probably tackle them and rub their face into the urine-soaked floor.

I'm no paragon of hygeine. I'm no Mr. Clean. But I have my limits of decency. If I see this happen once in any given day, then you know it's happened a hundred times over in public restrooms across the city. Please, for the love of all that is holy, at least dab a thimble of soap on your fingertips and rinse it off in some cold water. I know there must be some guys there that think their private bits are the cleanest in the land. I'm here to tell them they're not. Sorry. Hell, if us guys are so pristine why don't we all just eat our dinners in the john while we're at it? So you think you're clean, okay. What about the 50 guys that used that urinal before you did. Would you place your tongue on the flushing lever? I bet that's pretty clean.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Scatalogically Speaking

I once read a tip on the Internet about laying down a strip or two of toilet paper along the inside slope of a toilet bowl right before a bowel movement. The purpose of this, you ask? To prevent splash back, of course!

I've found this to be a great thing to do, although I don't practice it quite as often as I should. Part of this inconsistency is tied directly to, well, the inconsistency of my shits. We've all had the soft kind where it all just seems to slide smoothly into the bowl, like an anaconda slithering lazily into a shallow river. And we've all had the other kind, when it feels like we're pushing an avalanche of boulders off a cliff into the ocean. A lot of dramatic, messy displacement of water ensues.

Laying down a landing strip of two-ply works wonders to combat any splash damage. The only instance where I've found it ineffective, ironically, is with certain public toilets. I mean, where more would you need a method to stay clean than in a public washroom? Anyway, there are certain bowls out there that just don't have that all-important slope in the bowl that you need for the landing strip to work. The angle of descent is either way too steep or the bowl is filled to the brim in water, to the point where using the ascribed method above would create a soggy carpet rather than an effective landing strip. Plus when you sit down you're damn near close to dipping your balls into some putrid toilet water.

So here's a call to oall you toilet designers and engineers: people want their poops to have a safe, smooth landing. Let's be aware of bowl slopeage and water levels, okay?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Time Management: -7

Once I'm off work, I feel like an unemployed person again: lazing around, playing vids and generally managing my time very poorly.

I glanced over my retrospective again tonight and became tired at the thought of distilling my ramblings over to the blog. My friend found it strange that I keep a mammoth journal to myself, which is strange in itself when you consider diaries and journals were actually private possessions before the advent of Blogger. Yes, you heard it here first. Shocking.

What this means is the mini-retrospective is coming but I'm in no rush to post it, since I'd be leaving out loads of personal details and what you'd probably end up readaing is endless paragraphs filled with vague, trivial events.

2006 is upon us and it sort of came around with a murmur instead of a bang. I guess that's what happens when you don't tie a few on the night before or run out for the polar bear swim out in English Bay.

The new year started with me watching a spate of movies on DVD. Last Sunday I finally watched What the *Bleep* Do We Know?, which I scammed from my boss' online DVD rental business. I think this movie deserves a post all to itself. It's basically about quantum physics as it applies to humans and why they do what they do. Don't be fooled: this ain't no dry science lesson. The concepts are definitely Quantum Physics Lite and the movie's unique format pairs a unending series of scientific talking heads with a rough narrative about a few days in the life of a mute photographer. Yeah, it's a bit unorthodox, but it works amazingly well.

Stick around for my semi-full review and capsule reviews of the other crap I've watched in the last couple of days.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006 has a lot to live up to

I finally finished writing my 2005 retrospective. I had written the whole thing over 3 days, there was so much to include and I wasn't about to leave anything out.

2005 has been a weird, wild and eventful year of learning and growth. My personal retrospective is rather exhaustive and runs off on more than a few tangents but I'd like to come back here maybe tomorrow and run down all the major events that mattered to me in the past 12 months.