Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Odds 'n sods on a Tuesday night

I’ve been unmotivated, uninspired and in a funk for the last two weeks – the reason I haven’t posted anything recently. During this time, I’ve stopped and started several bits of writing, only getting a couple hundred words out before abandoning them. There are at least twenty of these files. I guess I’ll keep them on my hard drive along with all my other bits and pieces in hopes of being newly inspired at a later date.

A new discussion forum:
About a week ago, I signed up for a new discussion forum. It’s a spin-off from another board I visit. The original board doesn’t allow discussion of politics and religion and has a very specific focus. A valid and personal choice by the admin there.

The admin of the New Board is trying an experiment of sorts. His stated goal is to see if an ‘anything-goes’ board with few rules and minimal moderation that discusses politics, religion and whatever else the membership comes up with can survive without things ending in chaos and acrimony. His contention is that reasonable adults should be able to discuss things openly and intelligently on a discussion forum without resorting to heavy-handed moderation and censorship of certain topics. I suppose there is an implicit message that the original board IS heavy-handed – but, as I mentioned, the focus of the two boards is different. I don’t believe there is any intention of taking members away from the original board and there is the potential of many cross-over members and happy co-existence.

When he initially told me his plans, I asked him if he was ready for the aggravation and stress, then wished him luck.

Well, he’s had aggravation aplenty. Things started out fairly well – some serious threads, some not-so-serious threads, some silliness and banter. On the whole, the atmosphere was good-natured and friendly. Who knew things could change so abruptly.

For reasons he alone knows, a certain member from the original site signed up and decided (putting it mildly), to crap all over the new board. He has taken issue with the new board’s admin – a carry-over from disagreements on the former board, I suppose. He’s posted in almost every available thread, insulting everyone, posting obnoxious graphics and detritus worthy of a bathroom-humour-obsessed thirteen year-old. In a bizarre twist of goodness knows what kind of rationale, he did a complete turnaround and made a few intelligent and coherent posts, only to go back to posting insults. I think everyone has whiplash from the abrupt mood changes. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he has a personality disorder and forgot his meds - either that or he has an evil twin posting with his password.

This sort of spam posting goes on all the time on various message boards, so I’m neither shocked nor surprised by the content. What I’m surprised at is that it’s coming from this particular person. It’s puzzling. This same person, on the original discussion forum, comes across as mature and reasonably intelligent. So how can a previously mature adult be so incensed/angry/annoyed/ that he becomes all but irrational and juvenile in another forum? Maybe I’m mistaken and have it backwards. Perhaps the irrational juvenile is the real person and the mature adult is the fake persona.

Further thoughts on doing Dan’s x 365:
I’m finding it not only gratifying, but therapeutic. The trip down memory lane has brought back fond memories as well as some painful ones. I’ve realized that in the recollection of the not so pleasant ones, I can track my progression as a human being. I think we need the unpleasant encounters as much as (if not more than) the pleasant ones to grow.

Notes on another birthday:
Another year older – maybe wiser.

I’m more patient and tolerant of human foibles. I can shrug my shoulders at behaviour borne of youthful ignorance. I can accept that a bad choice or decision doesn’t necessarily make someone a bad person. At the same time, I’m less patient and less tolerant of injustice, cruelty and bigotry.

It’s somewhat disconcerting that my children worry about my health and safety as much as I worry about theirs. I hear the admonition of “be careful mom” when I climb a ladder, go out late at night or have to drive in bad weather. When did this happen? I’m not ready to give up the reins yet.

What’s with that teacher who wants to claim the Tim Horton’s “Roll up the rim to win” RAV4?
For those of you not in Canada; “Roll up the rim to win” is a promotion being run by Tim Horton’s, a fast-food coffee and donut chain. Each take-out coffee cup has a rim that you “roll up” (by unrolling the edge) to reveal various prizes ranging from a free donut to free coffee to cash to a RAV4 truck to the ubiquitous “please play again”.

In this particular story, a teacher threw away his cup in the garbage without first checking to see if he’d won anything. An enterprising ten year-old found the cup in the garbage and tried to unroll the rim and see if there was a prize. He had difficulty, so asked a twelve year-old to help him unroll it. Well, you guessed it – they found a prize. It was a Toyota RAV4. That’s when the fun began.

The ten year-old ran home to tell his parents that he’d won a new car. The twelve year-old told his parents what happened and they decided that he should have the RAV4 since he was the one who physically unrolled the rim. The teacher got wind of it and claimed it was his cup, so the RAV4 should be his! It became a circus of greed. The teacher went so far as to go to court and demand a DNA test to prove that the cup was his.

As far as I’m concerned, the truck belongs to the ten year-old who found the cup in the garbage. If he’s generous, he'll share it with the twelve year-old. The teacher has no claim whatsoever. Sorry, buddy. You threw it away as garbage. No longer yours. It’s your own fault you didn’t roll up the rim.


Anonymous said...

I used to host a message board and I know that spam posters can be easily blocked. I am surprised the admin of the mentioned board hasn't taken this action on this known offender.

I have heard about the Tim Horton's mess.. too bad the two kids can't sell the RAV4 and split the cash to use for their future education. The teacher now trying to grab the action is a joke.

Anonymous said...

I can't open the link to x365 by that guy who started it. I tried from your blog as well as brainbubbles. That's an intriguing idea that I might do, too. I wish she wouldn't delete her blog. I hadn't read it before but got caught up in it when I went there at your suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Hey...I'm getting press... :)

Fortunately things (he) has settled down and/or disappeared. I'm left as confused as anyone else, but I'm certainly relieved there's a calm spot now.

Hope you come back often, and feel free to promote the place if you'd like.

I have a spot for provding links to blogs and such if you'd like to post this wonderful place there.

Says "The Eye"

Thanks for your support as always.

Anonymous said...

I almost missed the birthday announcement, it was so nestled into the rest. I hope it was a happy one.