More racing…and running a forum…and why I love Patrick Stewart!

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Oh my God! I’ve been waiting SO long for this cartoon!  It comes courtesy of one of my high schoolmates.

I’m not a violent person but as far as grammatical gaffes, this one is a HUGE peeve of mine.  Especially when those folks who pull this boner constantly then turn around and act all snotty towards people’s grammatical and spelling mistakes. I’m always happy to give some free advice. Fix your own grammar and spelling before you castigate others. I’ve seen entire circle jerks (sorry, brass knuckles brigade this includes you!) over grammar gaffes which well, of all the way folks can congregate and get themselves off with making others feel unwelcome in your group, this is just one of the most stupid.  Bullying’s stupid but at least if you’re going to pride yourself in doing that, pick something a little bit more meaningful than grammatical gaffes.

If your [sic] into doing that, better bring you’re [sic] “A” game.

But yeah, thank you Patrick Stewart for not just being very sexy but for performing this public service for us.  I’m so glad that most the circles I hang with have better things to talk about that then how so-and-so’s a “biotch”, then someone thanks them for saying that and the person says, “Your [sic]welcome.”  Which is different than “Your welcome is appreciated”.  Seriously I don’t waste much time playing grammar or spelling police unless I’m paid for it and I certainly wouldn’t use it as an avenue to bully someone.  It’s silly and stupid to do it period but it’s all the more so if you don’t get your own um, grammatical/spelling house in order first.

Back to more regular programming… or to ponder whether Princess Kate of Cambridge made history or not by her choice of wardrobe. Can’t answer that but it was refreshing not to see the magically disappearing waistline. Woot!  And the future King George means I won the betting pool split with three other like minded folks.

The all important stats and I’m happy with mine.  Yay!   I think considering I have NO idea what I’m doing it’s not looking too bad.

Current Season
Race Record: 21 – 7 – 5 – 6
Earnings: $250,950
Conference Rank: 96  (NA)
Win Percentage: 33.33%
Place Percentage: 85.71%
Breeder Earnings: $0

Wow my stats aren’t half bad. Whata Cool Devil was my last win in his $60k claimer.  He’s only raced twice for me after I worked in four furlongs on the turf.  He’s a miler/router but I lengthened him past a mile quite a bit and then shortened him up and that seemed to do the trick.  Wait Another Week one of my favorites long sprinted for me last time for a third but routed this time for a nice second in his race off a two week break.

I picked up Sydisco a dirt sprinter for about $5,000 and he’s just raced.  I’m going to shorten him up to 5-5 1/2 next time out. I’m still trying to figure out the breeding side of it but it’s very difficult. The bloodlines are much more versatile (and I’ve been asking questions and people don’t have contempt for new players’ ignorance here) and NO gender selection so fillies are actually not that common and are hard to pick up at sale especially for cheap as a result.  I’ve been happy with one of my few ones Betresh a turf router even though getting another win out of her will be tough.

I got some more PMs to do some writing but just haven’t had the time!  Just like everything else, the writing’s tougher too.  Not that I’m complaining because I enjoy the challenge but I’m busy revising the novel which I don’t have much time to do and even with all the changes, I still am having some trouble with it. Now I know that 90% of writing is revision and all that but it’s one thing to revise 500 or even 2000 piece articles but another to do including major cuts to 150,000 word novels.  Cutting it in half was one thing to do and I’m figuring out how to do it.   But it’s exciting.  Hopefully the next draft won’t suck either as I’m not really thrilled with the one I’m doing now.

Competing with those edits were the usual workload mostly research oriented.  HOA duties including negotiations with the city’s PU over street vaults, landscaping, sewer work. And I’ve got a forum thread to review! Two people fighting and then calling each other’s names so got to go back and help decide who gets suspended, if anyone or both or whatever.  It’ll be strictly on the words, as I don’t give a rat’s fuck who’s involved since I don’t really know anyone, care to know anyone or am anyone’s friend.  That’s not why I was asked to moderate the forum.

That makes it much easier and attaches much more credibility to the process I think if you keep your personal feelings and relationships out of it.  But reading through, I think suspensions are probably in order for both with the person who started it getting one more week (though the person who didn’t start it used more creative insults and I figure if it’s your vocation in life to insult might as well be imaginative).

This is all too stupid and I wish people would just obey like grownups instead of like wannabe gangster thugs  but it’s kind of fun to deal with it, let the bullies sit on ice for a while and not just tell those who are bullied to just go away and not participate as fully.  And don’t write off people threatening other players as being just overly passionate about an awesome game or online service.  If suspending brats is what’s necessary, I’m more than happy to do i, for some of them it could be the first time anyone taught them one of the most important words in the English language, no.  I just have to write up the explanation for the suspensions and what led to them to send to each one and then post their suspensions on the forum section which addresses discipline. I find that public outing of bad behavior is extremely effective at reducing it quite quickly.  For example,  John Smith, two weeks suspension for behaving like a bullying ass on the forum though I did change one word in that sentence.  Smith didn’t like it but he probably won’t get suspended again.

It’s hard to write without bringing up those brass knuckles. I can’t help it, whenever I think about them I just shake my head and laugh though it’s more because it’s pathetic rather than funny.   The only case I knew where a thug used them was to beat up an elderly woman in her driveway next to where I grew up when she took out her trash. It’s a perfect weapon for a bully to use against someone who’s much weaker so maybe it was the appropriate motif of choice for this particular brand of cyber bully.

If you can recall sometime at the end of 2012 according to multiple accounts, two well known players threatened to “f” up and bash a player’s with brass knuckles in the face and bash her head in the pavement, if they happened to run into her in real life. Now there are three other incidents that were mentioned where the infamous brass knuckles came up.  Yes, people actually run around saying something like that over a game.  Who’d have thought?   Is it illegal?  Most likely yes because the players doing the threatening were stupid enough to say “if I see you/run into you in real life” which would factor both in terms of determining malice/intent to commit the threatened act of violence and also possibility to the actual ability or perceived ability to carry it out.  Also given that there was allegedly moderation present at the time of an incident in late 2012 where the whole brass knuckles threat was used involving a player, that opens up the issue of civil liability as well.

Hypothetically speaking, if the person threatened were to discover evidence that they were threatened to be “f”ed up or bashed with brass knuckles, and if moderation was present and did nothing to stop it or encouraged it in any way and that existed within the evidence, then the only thing that one could say is that the moderation/site owner just handed the targeted party a blank check.  All the more for each and every incident of harassment against that player that can be documented.  A train wreck waiting to happen and seriously, I didn’t know how much time I wanted to invest in being a “success” on a site that’s one screenshot in the wrong person’s hands away from struggling just to exist. It’s not like I’ve never seen that happen before unfortunately. But the way I look at it, if you’re stupid enough to let it happen by a failure to act when the problems are small, you got no one to blame but yourself.

See, that’s one reason why I’ll never have a game of any form certainly not as a business because the sociopaths who might show up can wind up costing you a lot of money.  I think about this and other documented incidents in the last game a lot mainly because as a moderator myself of social arenas on two sites I have to think about the pitfalls of NOT taking appropriate action and responsibility on sites before it gets to the point of players threatening other players with bodily harm.  That’s one of the reasons why if you’re smart, you make sure you’re prepared for these types of situations before they happen.

This incident barring all identifying information including screen shots relating to a similar incident but not the brass knuckles ones are being used as training tools for forum/Chat moderation at a site by a friend of mine that was launched. Everybody’s got a moniker and a descriptor explaining whether they’re a bully, an enabler, a crowd pleaser, someone who goes along to get along to avoid being a target, or someone who’s bullied.  It’s been very useful in helping people learn what can happen if they don’t know when moderation is not given the attention it deserves.  A lesson that should be learned before the FBI shows up to issue subpoenas because A complained that B threatened to harm them and presents a screen shot proving it which in the above case could easily happen.

brassTwo SIM players threatened to “f” up a player and bash her face in with these simply for existing.  But seriously brass knuckles, didn’t they go out in the Sixties?

Mercifully, no brass knuckles (!) comments in this forum thread, thank goodness or I’d have to ban someone for just being so stupid. It’s just mostly immature posturing likely by people who can’t “win” at anything in real life so they fight meaningless battles on the internet. The most difficult part of moderating online is the realization that Chats/forums don’t necessarily attract the most socially adept or healthy people. I can’t tell you how many times in the game I read folks write, well I make all my friends online or I don’t have (m)any friends in real life.  After watching several of them over time,  I don’t have any difficulty believing that because people for the most part aren’t attracted to that kind of behavior. Personally, I don’t go online to make friends. I might socialize but I feel much more comfortable with people I already know off-line. I’m fortunate to have plenty of friends so while I enjoy making new ones,  I just mostly do that off the net.  I think most people are that way though I’ve met people online I’d like to meet in real life.  Others, I’d much rather not.

As far as the forum stuff, I just read through it, say I have no time for this shit and just suspend. So far no one complains about it.  To me, a more successful site is one where the most people can fully participate not just a few punks.  At least when I “grief” the complainant is not a stranger to me while the offender is someone who invited me to her wedding or their birthday party. That wouldn’t be me, because 1) I don’t tend to be friends with folks who are internet bullies in the first place and 2) even if I slipped and #1 didn’t happen, I’d withdraw from the griefing process citing a conflict and hand it off to someone else. It’s important to do that because there’s two instance when conflict of interest comes into play. The first is actual conflict of interest, the second is the nearly as important appearance of conflict of interest. Face it, if you’ve got one or the other to deal with, your credibility in the process of griefing complaints and issuing discipline goes way down because it only works if people trust it even those griefed against.

I do talk to people and answer questions but keep my friends offline.   Life’s just much easier that way.

But since some Chat folks who were suspended will be coming back after a week, it remains to be seen if that’ll have an effect. I’m all for what’s called “progressive discipline” if it works.  If it doesn’t, then that’s were a permanent ban comes into play.

Enough on that, said players were given suspensions, explanations of how they got there, how I got there and why and the reiteration of the rules. Fortunately, before I got into this, I picked the brains of many moderators which really has helped so much.

It’s been a good day. I had measurements taken in PT and the therapist did them and then called another one over to make sure she read them right because they were so good.  But now I’m sore in all the muscles that still have scar tissue pulling on the healthy muscle so that’s what heat packs are for.  Good time to provide feedback on work submitted by a couple of writers.  Not much to do, both are pretty good and their stories are good at drawing readers in and keeping them interested.  I’ve enjoyed working with newer writers when I edited opinion pages back in school.  Had some staff members twice win the top op-ed article in the state colleges level which was cool to see.  Much, much better and much more effective than attempts to bully or shame better writing into people.   I saw that happen and I was just like, god how miserable these people must be.  They have to try their damnest to pack up to make someone else as miserable as they do every day.

I guess I feel lucky in that I’m really not miserable in my life. I’ve been dealt with some tough blows lately but that’s just what happens. Something bad happens, you just deal with it. You have a choice, you can deal with it positively and with good spirit or you can  be negative or miserable. There’s some things you really can’t change…but you can change the way you react or pro-act to them.  And I don’t choose to spend my time trying to make other people feel miserable in order to feel better.

dontworry

Fun site! Includes a link to come up with an alias.

Best sign so far in Texas (Thanks Larry H.) where the new restrictive legislation is being debated.  Much of my training in anger management came from doing clinic defense in the 1980s.  People piss you off but you don’t respond back and that’s not easy to do.  Most of the time the people mostly women that you’re shielding from some rabid religious folks are going in to get BC or Pap smears or just their first gynecological exams which are traumatic enough without having someone try to pray you don’t go to hell and shove pamphlets at you.  You see the same battlelines get drawn, gynecologists go to work at their clinics on planes wearing bullet proof vests, the hideous smell of butyric acid and think that you’re getting too old for this shit.

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Just working on cleaning up this photo…just a typical interview session with then State Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Trying to break The Major Project into manageable parts so it’s less intimidating.

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And this one too…beginning with rotating it!  Yes that is Johnny Cochran before he passed.

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I didn’t take enough photos for said Big Project  so I’m tracking down some friends who were photographers for AP and the local media including where I worked.  There’s this one guy that took some photo of me at some MLK walkathon that turned into a protest and I was suffering from a sinus infection complete with the green snot and poofed up eyes. Somehow I wound up in one of his photos probably because I saw the camera and wasn’t in the best of moods.  So later on, since he was an AP stringer gone freelance, I asked him if he sold the photo to anyone like months later and he said, yes but he couldn’t say what media outlet bought it.

Fast forward a couple months and I’m eating my dinner and picked up a magazine, saw the article in the table of contents and when I turned to the page, saw the photo including the poofed up eyes and well, I had a sinus infection.  It was a weekly cultural magazine with over 5 million readers beginning with a “P” plus one new one that week who happened to be my mum.  Good lesson learned, never leave the house looking less than perfect.

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Sooooo….this above photo is my response back and yes, it’s going in the Big Project in its not so cropped form. He’s napping borrowing my sleeping bag for an all night cause I had to give a speech on the court house steps at 3 a.m.  Four hours before I was asked by a reporter what I thought of the opening of a P/P investigation by the DOJ into the city and gave a semi-lucid comment.

This photo was taken after someone noticed the little critter behind the porta potty!  Fortunately before someone used it.

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Ready for some summer training. Just get your rings and not your bracelets this season!

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Metrolink Train outside of Jurupa Valley struck and killed an unidentified man on his bike. I took a class recently for the fun of it and someone in my class worked for Metrolink and his primary responsibility was working at scenes where there were incidents or accidents where someone died. Either getting struck by a train (real common in my city where trains block the 28 crossings for a total of six hours a day) or in an accident, the worst being the Simi Valley train that killed 25 people after it collided head on with a freight train b/c the Metrolink engineer was texting at the time and missed two red light signals.  A couple people on it that were killed had survived an earlier fatal Metrolink accident on the same line.  Having family and friends in the S.V. area, including some who took those trains to L.A. and back, it was a very hard day watching hours of rescue on TV.

 

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About Butterfly Collective

I'm just an ordinary person doing ordinary things in a not so ordinary world
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