Friday, October 30, 2009

Virtual Reality

Someone on a thread (I believe it was on the Offbeat forum) recently wondered aloud if any regular posters on that venue ever shared with other's in real life, the very fact that they were regular posters.

Hmm. Interesting question.

In my own case, I have told friends and family that I used to be a regular poster on Topix. I was neither proud of this nor ashamed. It was and occasionally still is, one of those things that seemed like the thing to do at the time... Tens of thousands of people do it every day. Thousands of those people also do it as dozens of other identities every day. It's very popular.

Years ago, I had a young step-brother who was heavily into Dungeons & Dragons. Evidently this was some sort of virtual reality game played by geeks. None of us in the family objected to Eddie playing this game. We only objected to him TALKING ABOUT IT! We didn't want to hear about fairies and trolls and whatever he was yammering about, seemingly ALL THE TIME!

Topix is the same way even though it's not actually a game. People have virtual friendships complete with alliance's and enemies. Sometimes virtual tea and (fat-free) cookies are served. And often, real life trial's and tribulations are shared with one's virtual friends and enemies. This is where the lines get blurred. Most everyone reaches a point where they discuss real life with imaginary people. Well, okay, that's not too weird I guess. There is an exchange of thoughts and feelings with un-seen people. It's, at times, kinda like a big ol' Dear Abby letter on steroids. It's not that bad, in that respect. You could consider it as an expanded, almost instantaneous version of pen-pals. It's basicaly harmless, new age, time-killing "fun".

But, would you tell your real life friends, family and neighbors about your time spent on Topix?

I doubt few Topix posters would. Again, I've told my people that I go there but, it's like Vegas in that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Topix most likely stays in Topix.

Would you, perhaps at an IRL family party, have this conversation with your siblings:

"So, then this troll comes on. He starts messing with Uncle Joe! And Tamora Rose steps in and she says: 'People DFTT!' And Angelique- she' so pretty!- she misses Nancy, who was like the best troll EVER! And PEllen thinks she knows who the troll is but Angela thinks it might be that Ferrerman cause he's got mad internet skills and can be anybody, anywhere, ANYTIME! E E E said so! Don't forget that he published teri@home's address, phone number, a google map to her house, her ENTIRE FAMILY HISTORY- not to mention her shoe size- which really is a very wrong thing to do! And Roo's new boyfriend turned out to be a jerk, AS ALL MEN ARE! (except rational! E say's he's "hunky"). Well, all of our reg boys are! Except maybe Edogxxx! He's a jerk! Nobody knows where Raptor is. Have you guys seen him?

I don't think so. They, like us back in the day with Eddie, would most likely reply: "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

I don't guess that virtual Topix worlds make it into too many IRL conversations. It, like masturbation, is probably best left unsaid in conversation. If you must talk about THAT, well, there is the Kittens thread...

These are grown men and women ranging in age fron 25 to 60+, discussing friends, enemies and trolls everyday. One woman recently broke up with her IRL boyfriend. I wonder if she ever shared her virtual world with this guy? She must have shown him around to her IRL family, friends and neighbors. Did she show him around her virtual world? I doubt it. There would be some explaining involved. Her virtual world knew intimate details about their relationship, like girlfriend's do IRL but, this is girlfriend's plus thousands of other people. And, true, these thousands of people don't actually know the girl or the boy and so, in that respect, it doesn't really matter. Or, does it?

In real life, would you have friends that your loved one was never to know about? Would you zealously guard these friends and keep your loved one from knowing of their existence?

Why hide an imaginary world from your loved one? Shame? Embarrassment?

Real life is hard. Real love and friendship is hard. Love comes and goes- all too often with tears and heartache.

But, virtual worlds are always there. Fantasy awaits with open arms. Imaginary people don't go away, they just change avatars.

Beats reality, I guess. Bubble tea anyone?

Friday, October 16, 2009


Well, maybe. I don't know. I don't actually know her. To me, she's just one of the dregs, one of the ninnies, who post on Topix. She has a blog which I read this morning but, evidently, it's not a Ferrerman friendly blog and I was not able to post a comment on it. (Which is interesting in itself. It seems that all these dregs who have made me their enemy have blogs and they all are deeply offended that I screen the comments made on my blog. I do this simply to weed out the riff-raff but they see it as "cowardly". Hmmm, the people that call me "cowardly" are the same people who require "invitations" simply to view their blogs. You have to be part of the gang. Well, everybody has a blog like that only they call it "e-mail". The comment feature also means that people can communicate with me without revealing their identities to others. Some members of that gang choose to agree with me about some things and they would rather not incur the wrath of the powers that be. I DO understand that. And, thanks to 3e, I do have to screen for vulgarities as well as personal info about others. I've got a folder with her comments in them called "E's rants". But, MY blog is still open to the public so, nannie-nannie boo-boo! )

But, this is about Jay_Lee's awesomeness. Kid, you might be awesome; you might not be. This is not the call of someone who has never met you, to make. If your friend's think you're awesome, and if we are talking about your in real life friends, you might be awesome. But, if it's people on the internet, you might not be awesome. If it's people who don't have living, breathing, real-life contact with you, you might not be awesome. I'll tell you why.

Haven't you noticed that all the regular's are awesome? All are beautiful or handsome? The girl's are all hot and the guy's are all hunky? See a pattern?

These are platitudes. They are given out with the regularity of bubble tea and cookies. And they have the same emotional nutritional value as internet goodies. You should give this the same weight you would if they told you that you sucked, were a loser or- oh my gosh- a troll.

It doesn't mean shit.

Remember, I was part of that happy-fun club known as the regulars. I was handsome, hunky and maybe even awesome. I was asked to come offshore before I had the vaguest notion of what that was all about. I declined. I'm like Groucho Marx in that I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member. This is not for lack of self-esteem. I'm fairly well stocked up on that. It's simply that I'm not a joiner by nature and I didn't see anything to actually join. It seemed like a relatively harmless, fun bunch of posters compared to other aspects of Topix but again, what's to join? You make a post and others either respond or they don't. It's open to the public, even Ferrermen.

Now, am I no longer handsome, hunky or even awesome? I don't think that I ever really was. I know that none of the regs- not knowing me at all- were qualified to make those calls. In real life, though not as young and pretty as I used to like to think I was, I'm still relatively handsome but, i don't think I was even hunky at 19. I've been awesome but, we shouldn't go there right now.

The point is, you should not let platitudes from strangers- no matter how well you think you know them- define you anymore than you should let the slings and arrows of other people, define you. It's indeed nice that at this period in your life when you are down, people are telling you you are awesome and that they love you but, is it helping? You are depressed. These people are telling you to cheer up. If you were a drug addict they would be like Nancy Reagan and tell you to just say "no". You already know how hard your life is. People telling you that you're awesome will not fix that. You live in the south. You know what "bless her heart..." means.

The only person that can make you happy is you. I bet you don't lie to yourself and tell you that you are awesome. You know better. You're just a person, just a woman trying to be happy in life, trying to make it. Well, welcome to the club. Except for the woman part, that's me! And everybody else in this world. We're all in this together but, when we lay down to sleep at night, we are alone no matter whom may lay beside us. The most difficult person- and the easiest- to live with is ourself. Don't fret about love. It may never happen. You already know the truest love, the best love, is your child. Your happiness lies in her happiness. Everything is just life and must be dealt with as best we can.

That's all I've got. That's all you need to know. I hope this clears that up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Edumacate me

Stever and I were taking a break when a woman approached and chatted us up on the work we were doing at the mall. She seemed to know a bit about painting, peppering her conversation with "...when we do (this and that)..." I gathered that she was an interior decorator and that she wanted to impress me with her knowledge. She told us that she had recently done a faux tin ceiling at a bank in town and that it was so good that the general contractor got up on a ladder to inspect it and make sure she hadn't actually tricked him and installed a real tin ceiling instead.

I was halfway through my smoke and too far into this conversation, I thought. But, I went ahead and asked her about it anyway. She told me couldn't tell me how to do it.

"I'm a broke-down, wore out, ol' commercial painter, ma'm but I think I can keep up with ya'"

"Let me put it this way", she said, "I WON'T tell ya how to do it."

I was taken aback. Stever, who was not one to suffer fool's gladly, walked off shaking his head.

"Well, break time's over! Very nice chatting with you!" I walked away.

I actually had been slightly curious about how to do a faux tin ceiling and, while such finishes are not part of my resume, I could be walked through such an endeavor without stumbling too much. Clearly, she was not going to walk with me/talk with me. Except for her own self aggrandizement, why had she brought it up? I was running a crew re-painting a mall. I doubt I gave the impression that I was hoping to steal her thunder and skills and repaint the mall in a faux tin motif.

Our boss, Little Jimmy, was the same way. He had me prime a steel door in a lease recently so that he could put a faux finish on it to mimic the stained Oak doors elsewhere in the lease. That I wanted to see. Little Jimmy told me to leave. He did not want me to witness the technique.

"Don't you think this is something I should know how to do for the good of the company?" I argued. He did not. "Well, suppose you went into a coma because I beat you about the head with a 2 to 4 pole 'cause you wouldn't show me how to do a door like this. How would the door get done?"

Jimmy sighed. He knew I wasn't gonna brain him. He also knew I wasn't going to go away. He showed me his big-time trick.

It isn't magic. The tips and techniques are all out there in books and on TV and the internet whether it be a door or- I guess- the most wonderful fake tin ceiling in town. (I never checked on that ceiling. It WAS probably good but i'm pretty sure the contractor was humoring her and was better at that than Stever or I) The thing is, there should be a teacher inside of all of us. Too few let that teacher out. I know more about painting than anyone who might read this will ever know, or want to know. None of this information is classified. I've yet given anyone the benefit of my knowledge and then killed them. I probably won't. The reality of it is, though it is how I pay the bills, not everyone can afford to pay someone to paint for them. They have to do it themselves and they need help and are smart enough to ask questions of the right people. On the job, various tradesmen would ask me about painting. Quid pro quo, they were always there for my questions about electrical or plumbing. It's a damn decent thing to do.

Those who can, do. Those who can, also teach.

Oh- Little Jimmy's door? This was ten years ago, it was a one time deal for me but, I'll try to walk you through it with what I recollect. With the steel door painted a beige color for a background, we them mixed up a quart of sealer and oak stain. This is all experimental but I think we wound up with a fifty/fifty mix. You then drag a brush lengthwise down the door to mimic the grain of wood. You play with it until it looks right. Nature isn't perfect and neither should you be. Randomness is the key to any faux finish. Dab the brush to imitate a knot. There's no one way of doing something like this. The glaze has a fair working time with it but, if it does set up on you, it can be wiped off with a rag soaked in thinner and you can start again. When you're done- when it looks like a wood-grained door, let it dry over-night. Then roll a coat of sealer or varnish to protect it. No big deal. Like I said, it's been ten years. If I left a step out it's because I'm old and i've lost a step or two over the years. It wasn't because I'm evil or secretive. Oh, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just a Thought

Whenever the question of the death penalty comes up, even the most liberal of people consider that it might be okay for "the really guilty one's- like Gacy or Bundy..."

Yeah, them guy's that are extra guilty and everybody knows it.

Nope. Guilty as those guy's did prove to be, they are abberations even in the world of scumbag murderers. Not everyone convicted of murder is guilty. They may have had poor legal representation. They may have had vindictive or confused eye-witnesses testifying against them. Or, like the father in Texas- since proved innocent- a bogus "expert" may have testified that they did something heinous only to later have others prove the circumstances to be tragically accidental. You can't give that man his life back. Dozen's of men have been freed in the last decade as the new evidence of DNA cleared them in rapes and murders. Life in prison, falsely convicted of a crime, sucks. Death in prison, falsely convicted of a crime, is irreversible.

The death penalty as it stands now isn't much of a deterrent to murder. People still kill spouses, gang rivals and innocent bystanders despite the possibility of capital punishment. Many people kill and don't even get life sentences. There are convicted murderers alongside us in traffic, at work, in the stores. Evidently they've been rehabilitated. Everyday that they don't kill someone is proof of that...

Despite laws, our prison's are bursting at the seams with criminals. Some people just don't get it and never will. If you've ever seen an episode of MSNBC's "LOCK UP" or The History Channel's "GANGLAND", you'll know this is true. Crime is so lucrative for some people that they don't really mind going to prison because they can still commit- and profit from- crime while locked up. The most notorious criminal organization in this country is the Mexican Mafia. A prison gang. The leaders control things from behind bars.

These people are not innocent, victims of the judicial system. They are career criminals who know and care about nothing else but commiting crime and violence. You cannot talk to them. You cannot hope to rehabilitate them. Their love for crime and the gang is inked permanently in their skin. They would as soon kill you as look at you. They just don't get it and never will. Never.

So, kill them. Take a day, round up the hardest cases in every prison in the land, and put a bullet in the head of every murderous, hard-core, gang-loving slug. Don't do this quietly. Advertise it. Let those on the streets know that there are new vacancies in the prisons. If your desire in life is to be a gang-banging thug, we can change that for you. We are open for you. We care about you. But, if you don't care about "we the people" and you show us this commitment to crime and violence even while we seperate you from society, there's a bullet with your name on it. We'll keep your cot open for the next guy. Maybe he'll get it.

I'm not saying that we need to give up on people. We shouldn't stop trying to educate and rehabilitate those who got off to a bad start in life. We just need to realize that it's necessary to thin the herd a bit, that some just ain't gonna get it, no matter our best intentions. I'm not talking about cutting off a thief's hand. There's no need for such brutality. I'm talking about the un-apologetic scumbags repeatedly found guilty of violent crimes who refuse to see the error of their ways even while incarcerated. Let them be an example for those in society who might think that violence is a good way of living one's life. If you see on the news that tens of thousands of vicious criminals were executed and you STILL want to beat a man for his wallet, well, there's a cot and a second chance for you. It might even be a good second chance with the prison predators out of the way.

Just a thought.

Real People

It seems I hardly even have to tweak the dregs any more. They are so busying fighting amongst themselves and hating the kid from Morris that they don't need me to raise their ire. "Introverts" eh? I guess in the way that wild dogs are introverted.

For example, one of them leaves the pack after his wife's blog is invaded by a miscreant. And the leader of this pack see's fit to publicly link the blog in the threads! As if this family hadn't already suffered enough grief, she tries ensure that more is possible by posting a link to a blog that nobody even knew existed!

And yours truly, who is STILL getting chastised for "posting someone's personal info" -something I did not even come CLOSE to doing- see's where their clueless leader has no problem regularly posting the real first name of one of her gang. Really now, is that necessary? True, he has a common first name but, I get raked over the coals for juxtaposing a few letters in what anybody would see as an run-of-the-mill post and then the dregs CALL ATTENTION TO IT THEMSELVES effectively begging people to unscramble the letters and - I don't know- unleash the hounds of Hell? Puh-leez! And, new members of the gang, at orientation I suppose, are taught that _I_ am evil? How long before these knuckleheads are told to strap explosives to themselves? How long before they DO IT? Take one for the team...virtual BJ's await you in the hereafter...just pull the cord when you get into this thread, scream ANGELIQUE AKBAR!'ll be fine...bubble tea?

I wish I could make these people up. But, like fearless leader once said: "Must kill moose and squirrel".

Oops! Wrong fearless leader! This one says: "These stories write themselves!"

And, they do. "Real" people from the threads, submitted for your approval...

I'm off to tend my garden now.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

High Plains Ferrerman

It was a dark and stormy night when the High Plains Ferrerman rode into Topix Town. Somewhere outside, a dog was barking.

and Hell followed with him...

He set into the AmyAbbyville section of Topix Town, a little enclave that had seen better days. It had been a thriving community full of lively conversation, controversy and even humor until one day the newspaper pulled up stakes, leaving the denizens of the town high, dry and devoid of topics to discuss. With the newspaper gone, hundreds of people left overnight for parts unknown. AmyAbbyville had just about become a ghost town with just a few "regulars" and some folks who had aimlessly drifted into town and clung to the "regs" for protection from trolls.

The "Regulars" had always thought they had run AmyAbbyville. Now it appeared they did. There wasn't much to run though. It seemed that most of the citizens stood around discussing social issues of the day until they tired of that and the conversation turned to sexual prowess. Several of the ladies were actresses, he gathered, because they were always talking about performing fellatio. However, they all loved and revered their boyfriends, each of which was named Bob. There were some dudes in AmyAbbyville. Ferrerman didn't care. They seemed like Bob's too.

AmyAbbyville was ruled by an unseen force known only by a set of numbers. "770" sat behind a curtain day and night, writing and re-writing the rules of the town. Her decrees were enforced by a large, fierce woman of three letters. Conversation was controlled by her. 770 would decide where and when politics would be discussed and the 3 lettered girl would stand guard. Though sex talk was frowned upon by 770, she allowed the 3 lettered girl much lee-way over that because it appealed to the prurient senses of the masses and she got vicarious kicks from the sexual urges of plain folk and their common, orgasmic ways. It never snowed down south but, things were a little frosty just the same.

Ferrerman made the aquaintance of a dancehall gal, known as "amc". A comely lass with the heart of a heart of gold. amc schooled him on the ways and means of AmyAbbyville. Much of it was mean. The regs had been mean to an old man who shouted when he spoke. 770 herself had run out of town a man and his young daughter when the man dared to be proud of his girl's scholarly acumen. There were more crimes, most too hideous to mention. Even a jaded Ferrerman was shocked. He asked if anyone had ever taken up for these people- stood up to the bullies.

There was a man, she said. His name was "ex-ferrer". He was an infrancinanophile.

"He's the reason this town's afeared a strangers!"

And what had happened to this man? She didn't want to talk about it...her thoughts seemed to drift off...she flashed back to a night of whips...frightened, laughing towns people...

Oops! That was just a typical fantasy of 770. She was kinda freaky that way. The ex-ferrer had just left town one day. Probably off on one of his forays into Guntown or Obamaburg. Who knows? So many had left AmyAbbyville never to be heard from again. She was fittin' to leave herself. The town was just too mean. She left the next day.

Ferrerman knew what to do. He ordered 300 gallons of red paint. He left it in the middle of town. The regs, drunk on an elixar known as "bubble tea" (secret ingredient: crack) poured the paint all over the town. Maniacal laughter filled the air. The frenzy lasted all night into the wee hours of the morn. Ferrerman watched, shaking his head at the sight. The fools! They just didn't know that red cannot cover itself. You need at least a white background but a blueish/gray primer is best. But, they sure looked comical. When sober, they would be back to their mean ways. The paint would wear thin and become a pinkish hue that would flatter the ladies and dudes alike. Rather fitting for a town without pity.

Ferrerman rode slowly out of town pausing to erect a sign on the outskirts. The three lettered girl cried out: "Come back, Ferrerman! 770 loves you! I love you!"

The three lettered girl then looked at the sign. She looked at Ferrerman riding away. "A mighty impressive erection" she said.

Wasn't much of a sign though. It simply said: "Hell".

And Hell fell behind him as he rode north...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Olympic Nightmares

When George W. Bush was president, I used to tease republican friends (and foes) with this question: "Do you think that if anything ever happens to Dick Cheney, George Bush would make a good president?"

People don't always listen and some answered the query as they expected it to be asked (the other way around) and some scowled at my skewed perspective. I imagine they wrote it off as the sour grapes of the losing "side".

Well, the Bush/Cheney era was the other way around and history will see it as such. George W. Bush was the titular head of the United States of America for eight years. Cheney ran the country. This didn't work out very well except for the very small percentage of people who were already filthy rich but who became filthier and richer under the Cheney administration. And it didn't work out well at all for the tens of thousands of men, women and children who have died in Iraq and for our soldiers and Marines who have perished as well. But Cheney and his pals got theirs. And they had and will continue to have, the love and support of all true Americans.

Why does FOXNEWS hate America? Is it because America elected a (colored) president who hates white people? Is it because this (colored) president is a socialist/marxist/communist/messiah/anti-christ?

No. FOXNEWS LOVES America because of this man, Obama. They show their love for America 24/7 by condemning Obama for everything he does.

Everything. If he were a real president, he would have not gone to Copenhagen to stump for the Olympics to be held in America. He would have been here, in America, solving the many problems we have in this country, while he cleared brush on his ranch in Texas.

Oh, but he doesn't have a ranch in Texas!. That's right. He has a home in Chicago! Where he wanted the Olympics to be he could rent out his house for big bucks in 2016...

You haven't heard that yet? You might not. That conspiracy bone doesn't even have enough meat on it even for the rat bastards at FOX to gnaw on. Maybe someone in a birther thread on Topix might run with it. Glen Beck won't shed any tears over this morsel. I imagine the big rancid meat of politics is to be found on the bone that is that a President of the United States would care that ANY city in America might host the Olympics. Clearly Obama meant to profit from Chicago getting the Olympics because THAT is the "Chicago way" (repeat: " al" and then gnash some biblical teeth here).

And, ya know, a real President wouldn't bother with this black thing or be half-white. A REAL president would be ALL white just like every president we had before. And he wouldn't be so ostentatious as to be President. He'd be vice-president. He'd let some knucklehead put up the front of presidency while he quietly ran things from the sanctity of his bunker. Goddamn it- that's the way the last guy did it and things were great back then, last year before ACORN stole the election from Palin/McCain...

Ah but I sound bitter. I guess that's just the sour grapes whine of all us anti-Americans who went against the status quo and elected a man to un-intercourse the carnage of the last eight years when we had a perfectly suitable ball o' fluff and her grandad to continue the wonder years of this generation.

Chicago didn't lose the Olympics- America did. Evidently, "real" Americans are happy about that.

We won't need the Olympics until Palin/Fill N Theblank get's elected in, oh, maybe 2016. THEN, it will be a priority and probably brought to you by your friends at FOX. They'll be the same folks who brought you that ticket. Everything they say and do now is for your future, America. Gosh, I don't think anyone has loved this country so much since Adolf Hitler and friends...