Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dealing With Forum Morons

As many of you know, I’m highly active on forums and Internet boards. These are generally thematic (welding, Jeeps, writing, chess, woodworking, BMX, hot rods, etcetera) places we can go on the Web in order to share and gather information with others who have like interests.

The problem is, everyone is allowed on the Internet. There are going to be a few asshats on every board. It’s completely unavoidable. The questions is what to do with these idiots. Well, I can tell you that the thing *not* to do is go to war with them. You simply cannot reason with a chump who already knows it all.

On the writing forum, there are folks who have never completed a single story, and yet they are the ones who’ll tell you how to get published. It’s maddening. On the chess forums, there are total newbies who will be the first to explain exactly how to become a grandmaster. Equally maddening. On the Jeep forums, there are slow-bos who have never driven a trail, and yet they are the utmost authority on everything off-road. It gets real, real old.

Even the strongest of people have their bad days. On mine, I lose all patience with the people who are wasting bandwidth and talking nonsense, and I go after them with reason, logic, and experience. Big mistake. They simply will not listen, and will make up arguments out of thin air, most of which have nothing at all to do with the subject at hand. Why I bother with them at all is beyond me. I usually don’t, in fact, but like I said, a bad day can happen to any of us.

I actually, literally, have a list of folks written on a piece of paper and taped to my office wall whom I have vowed never to respond to again. I must be strong. I have no time for anyone who is brand new to a subject and happens to know all about said subject. I really don’t. Neither does anyone else, for that matter.

I have been in an administrative position on a chess site for years, and so I know all about helping people who are new. In fact, I love to do so. But when you get the unreasonable mook who argues for the sake of arguing, my hands are tied. If you are going to ask questions or advice on a forum, at least take the time to learn and process what the experts are telling you before disagreeing with them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adult Language on TV and Radio

This post was inspired by my Facebook friend, Angie Rayfield. She posted the other day that she had heard the line, “...pussy bitch” on a TV program. Nothing new there, right? Gangsters and thugs say that stuff all the time on TV. But then, in the same show, “...suck my [bleep]” was heard. The interesting point that “pussy” was allowed, but “dick” wasn’t, was brought up by Angie.

And, let’s face it, it *is* interesting. In the above example, it’s the meaning behind the words, I feel, that kept one out but allowed the other in. “Pussy” was said in lieu of “sissy”. “Dick” however, would have meant the man’s penis, and that’s just not accepted in our society – yet.

I have heard phrases like, “That car is tits!” on several shows, but you won’t hear a man saying, “Look at those tits!” on the same shows. The connotation makes a big difference, but why? It’s the same word! It seems quite silly to me, really.

When I was young, if you wanted to hear the really bad curses, you had to have a movie channel, and then stay up late enough to catch Eddie Murphy, or George Carlin, or someone of their ilk. “Damn” was still real iffy on basic cable, and it caught your attention when it was said. Today, obviously, those lines have moved, or have been eradicated altogether.

The same thing can be said about radio play. The things they choose to let air vs. the things they choose to bleep out are amazing to me, sometimes. There are certain songs out today that aren’t even enjoyable to listen to on the radio, because it sounds like a heart monitor with a beat thrown in. Just constant bleeps with the occasional instrumental break. What good is that?

I wonder where this is all heading. How long before there are *no* lines to cross? How long before Disney characters are swearing at each other, or fornicating? How long before the average sitcom is allowed to contain any and all words? Or, maybe, we’ll go backward and try to clean things up. What do you think? Should progress necessarily mean total freedom of language on the airwaves?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Morning Routine

I was wondering what to write about on this fine Saturday, when I figured I’d share how my mornings work with you all. They probably aren’t unlike your own mornings, but the specifics are bound to be vastly different.

First, I get up and brew coffee. I’m Hypoglycemic and so I shouldn’t do that, but I really enjoy the extra kick in the morning. I almost always limit myself to two cups although some mornings, three is necessary. Once that’s brewing I head to the old laptop and get started.

First, I check my stats out on http://www.bio-chart.com/. I won’t go into how I learned about this stuff, or why I believe it, but suffice it to say that the information is *always* eerily correct. It’s a very good indicator of how my day is going to go, and knowledge is power and all that. Some have horoscopes, I have science.

Then, I check my Gmail account, which is never empty when I get up. I make 100% of my income online and I’m very active on social sites, so my inbox gets dominated quite a bit. I kinda like it. I never know what’s going to be in there. It’s like winning a grab-bag at a party: Sometimes, it’s full of boring things that you cannot possibly use but other times, you get some really cool stuff.

After that, I head over to Craigslist to check what’s for sale. Right now, I’m looking at old Dodge trucks, bands seeking drummers, camp trailers, and BMX stuff. Always BMX stuff. I also keep my eyes open for local yard sales, because I’m a sucker for a good deal.

From there, I cruise over to the Jeep Cherokee club at http://www.naxja.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=31 and see what’s new there. Our chapter has been rather slow lately, but it usually picks up a bit in winter. Muddy trails and cool weather does something to off-road enthusiasts. At least it does to me.

From there I hit the chess. I first get my news at http://www.chessbase.com/index.asp and http://gameknot.com/ before moving over to the social chess sites at http://www.chessforums.org/ and http://www.chess.com/forum/new_posts.html. Anyone who knows me knows how addicted to chess I am. I love it. On almost every forum I’m on, chess or not, my handle is Skwerly. Keep an eye out for me!

Once I’m done there, I hit the BMX forum at http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/search.php?action=show_new, and then I head over to http://www.horrorexpress.com/forum/ for my daily dose of scary. It’s a cool little horror forum, but I wish it were more active. If it were smokebud.com instead, there would be hundreds of posts every hour. Sigh...

After that, I do my catching up on Facebook and Zombie Lane. The Facebook takes a little while because I network there as well as keep up with local friends and family. I really like it, but the site does take its toll on my morning.

Finally, I visit http://accentuatewriters.com/today.php to see what all my writer friends are up to, and to make a daily writing prompt. While I am a member of a few other writing forums, I very rarely even check in; I get tired of posts like “What are you listening to?” going hundreds of pages long, but actual writing inquiries remain largely ignored. That doesn’t happen at Accentuate, so I stay there. It’s my writing home-base.

I’m a member of *several* other forums, including more BMX ones, a few welding ones, a few writing contest ones, a drummer one, a few gun ones, MOPAR-related ones, etcetera. I usually stop into at least one of those each week to catch up on the happenings, but the ones listed are my main, daily sites.

Once I’m done with all that, I hit the writing, usually, either doing articles for AC, a blog entry, or penning some fiction. I love my life and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m totally free to do what I want, and yet I still make enough to pay my bills and have a little fun. Who could ask for more?

Friday, October 21, 2011

So, I'm Tweeting Now

hate to think of myself as one of those “resistance to change” folks, but I suppose I am, at least to some extent. It took me years to get on Facebook, and a couple more to finally create a twitter account. Better late than never?

So far, I’ve found some really cool and interesting accounts to follow. I must admit, I like the idea of following famous people who actually Tweet their own updates. That’s pretty cool. Almost like sitting in their living room, drinking their tea and laughing with them. Almost.

Just like Facebook, I’m sure that eventually I’ll think of a zillion things to follow, and my feed will be so cluttered with traffic that I’ll just give up. But I’m going to give it a try. Why not, right? Not much to lose but a few more moments of my life that I’d likely be wasting on something else, anyway.

At any rate, I’m at http://twitter.com/#!/DCOdom if you would like to follow me, for whatever reason. I can’t guarantee that every post will be witty and wonderful. Okay, I can, but some more than others. Let’s Twitter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Almost done with Facebook

At one time, I *loved* Facebook. I loved networking, I loved meeting interesting new people, and I loved sharing my statuses.

Lately, however, there has been an influx of stupid on the site, and I just can’t take it. Yes, I’m a writer, and so misspellings, bad grammar, and horrible structure may bug me more than some people, but come *on*.

These new “image messages” people insist on putting up once every two minutes are really bugging me. One of my favorites starts out, “When a women says...” No, no, see, women is PLURAL. Woman is singular. Of course, there are a hundred other examples, but you see what I mean.

I’m getting tired of cutesie, misspelled messages and the morons who post them. Does the fact that the stupid sign is misspelled in the first place tick me off? Nope. I couldn't care less. It’s that not one, or five, or twenty, but hundreds of people just don’t give a shit, and share them anyway. I’m positive that SOME of you see the misspelling; it just doesn’t matter to you. That’s what ticks me off.

It’s gotten to where I scroll through my Facebook feed at Mach 1, stopping only at actual pictures or posts from people I know personally, or that have an I.Q. greater than 77. Other than the occasional “share” and keeping in touch with long lost friends, I’m not seeing a point to hanging around much longer. It's either I largely ignore it, or get real, real happy with the "hide posts from..." option.

The place is a minefield of stupidity. It used to be that learning what folks were having for dinner, and how their kids were doing in school bugged me; now, those are a treat. At least they are the thoughts of the poster, and not some circulated message launched by a total moron.

Sigh, I dunno. Maybe it’s just one of those days. :D