Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Equinox On Your Door

Happy Mabon, kids! Here we sit again, on a hinge of the year, a balancing point before the weather lets go of the summer swelter and tips over into the creeping cool of fall. I'm ready for it - this summer wasn't bad, but I've lost most of my tolerance for days that climb up into the high 90s and sit there, petulantly refusing to come down. The equinox means we start watching the dwindling hours of light, but I tend to also mark time in how much of the day I can leave the windows open at home, and when it gets too hot during the day or too chilly at night to have outside air drifting through the house.

My personal Wheel of the Year has some modern day additions; we're close to hitting the time of year I call Flannel Jommer Pants Season, which overlaps with Homemade Soup & Hot Cocoa Season. These two encompass F%$#@ It's Cold Season and The Time Of The 24/7 Cheesy Christmas Music, in which my otherwise well-behaved radio becomes That Which Must Not Be Spoken Of (except for NPR, bless them).

I'm looking forward to ( I hope) going up to Grandfather Mountain with Miles (he's never been), showing him the view from the top with the leaves in color, and letting him meet some of Mildred's grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beyonce & Taylor, 4; West, 0

Short and to the point, just cuz I feel like mentioning it:

Serious props to Beyonce for being a Class A Class Act, and to Taylor Swift for grace under pressure. May it come back to you both. (bows)

Will be mailing an STFU Rock to the awards' organizers, with instructions on implementation for next year's show, if they're stupid enough to let West back in the door.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Anniversaries

Labor Day weekends have been good things.

On Labor Day weekend, 10 years ago, I went to a herp show and came home with a White's tree frog who would henceforth be called by the August and Noble name "Lumpy".

Lumpy in 2001

The Lumper took up residence in Frogworld, a little 55 gallon rainforest with a barking tree frog and a green hyla, and has been with me through five moves, three hurricane evacs, various winter power outages, and two times venturing out into the big world only to get attacked by a cat (Gods bless the creator of Neosporin!) .

Whites can live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity. I don't know for certain how old she is; she was full size when I got her. I figure it's she - the dweeb I bought her from said it was male, but she's never vocalized to my knowledge.

Frogs Got Talent - Wide Mouth Bass impersonation (that golf ball with legs in the back is Edmund the Asian painted frog, another denizen of Frogworld)

On another Labor Day weekend, four years ago, we reversed: I came home with a lovely Brit, and took him to the same annual herp show where I got Lumpy as a birthday prezzie.

Wunnerfully, Miles also thinks spending the day messing with reptiles, amphibians, rodents, and other exotics is a great date! I keep telling him he's perfect . . . I hope to get to keep him longer than 15 - 20 years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anti- Troll Ritual

The recent discussion on The Grove about moderating new memberships, hit & run email farming, and Trolls was the result of Miles' concerns that moderating people's participation is akin to passing judgement, and that telling someone to STFU is a violation of their right to free speech.

What about my right to choose to not listen? Tony Brown, serving HP of NC Piedmont Church of Wicca, uses this brilliant quote that sums it up nicely to me: "Your right to swing your fist ends at my face". BTW, if somebody knows who came up with that, holler, will ya?

If you tell a troll (both the wild internet variety and the domesticated Real Life breed) to go away and leave you alone if they can't play nice (or at least fair), seems like the first ideological bugaboo they whip out is the "you're limiting my freedom" ploy, or it's close relative, the "you're
disrespecting my beliefs/culture/ethnicity" card.

Have seen the latter option used even if whatever group appears to have a population of one, the Troll itself. It's just a lame attempt to deflect criticism of bad behavior back onto the person who objected to said behavior in the first place, a bratty effort to play "you're a bad person, so your complaint must be invalid" games. It's almost as dim as the clueless, irresponsible parent who shrieks that you hate children because you had a problem with their 5 year old drawing on your coffee table with a Sharpie.

I have no problem banishing a troll from my personal space, or the electronic clubhouse we gather in. If Carolina Grove's purpose was to be a political or other debate floor, it would be different. We go there in order to enjoy hanging out for awhile with people who (ideally) don't value vicious attacks and passive/aggressive strife-mongering as a form of social interaction. People are free to go to forums that exist for cutthroat verbal bloodletting; other people should be equally free to have places that do not.

Came up with this last fall, after a huge insurgence of asshatness and widespread troll dung (I found out that Mercury had, in fact, subbed out his retrograde to Mars, a disgruntled DMV Enforcement employee, and a pack of rabid mandrills on bad acid). It's been tweaked a bit:

Snooze's Anti-Troll Ritual

Spell To Guard Against Trolls and Banish Troll Dung Odors

Hear the words of the Gods and Goddesses, who are tired of petty
malice and socially stunted, bored morons:

When the Trolls have rampaged, and defiled the sacred glades and
groves (and internet sites) with icky smelly poopyness, gather thee all together, for
together thou art powerful (and loud). As a sign that thou art free of
Asshatness, ye shall be clothed in the Regalia Of Humor - t-shirts
with giggleworthy smartass slogans, and possibly also funny hats, and
adore the spirit of we who are King and Queen of the Wise-ass But Generally Not

Cast the circle with salt and chocolate chips, to repel all negativity

Call The Quarters:

(East) We call upon the Spirit of Intelligence, that we may do our
homework and always use our brains! Hail and welcome!

(South) We call upon the Spirit of Humor, that we may laugh a whole
lot and never take ourselves too seriously! Hail and welcome!

(West) We call upon the Spirit of Compassion, that our hearts may pour
out love that does not contain high fructose corn syrup! Hail and welcome!

(North) We call upon the Spirit of Maturity, That we may never fall
into Stupid Drama! Hail and welcome!

Invoke the Deities:

Bright, Intelligent Lord, who teaches us to play well with others, we
welcome you into our circle!

Loving, Laughing Lady, who teaches us to care about each other and
look on the bright side without the falseness of Hallmark Card
Fluffyness, we welcome you into our circle!

Hereby dance, sing, discuss quantum physics or Aristotle or how to get
your cat to quit peeing on things, for all acts of goodly interaction
are our rituals and will cleanse any place of the pollution of Trolls
and other evils.

As sign that you are family, thou shalt share cakes and ale (or big,
gooey fresh cookies and homemade mead if you've got it), saying to
each other in turn, "May you never be bummed by stupid bastards", and
replying to each other, "Thou art cool".

Release and thank Lord and Lady and the Quarters, saying "Ya'll drive
careful now", and open the circle, taking the magic out into the world
with you.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!

Nov 2008 posted on Carolina Grove Yahoo Group message #7423
revised Apr 2009