Two Totally Unrelated Things

Stuck in traffic on the Major Deegan Expressway, nearing Yankee Stadium in New York City today, I was at once mesmerized and horrified at the belch of black smoke that comes out of an apartment house chimney when the furnace in the building goes on. It seemed that everyone was cold that day (although my vehicle's outdoor thermometer, when consulted, read a balmy 62 degrees).

It brought back to my memory the days when every building with a certain number of floors (I think more than ten) in New York had a trash incinerator. Instead of garbage pails stinking to high heavens, we had "ashcans;" filled with the ashes from the buildings' incinerators. We also, in those days, had to dust constantly, and were used to keeping windows closed lest the painfully visible coating of ashes on the ledge outside the sash were to appear somewhere inside the apartment.

The radio was howling about the Yankees' opener and folks were talking about "play ball" and the spectacle of it all. And hot dogs. Covered in the soot from the belching smokestacks.

Now, far be it from me to be an XP whore, but I have second thoughts about the bonus one earns when one uses up all ones votes. Yanking it and not throwing us a bone, methinks, ain't altogether fair. My answer to the whole thing came to me later after a long phone conversation with a fellow noder, who happened to call up out of the blue and ask how I'm doing and do his best to re-assure me that he's doing as alright as he can, although burdened with a monkey on his back.

I'm new here, but not so new as to chuckle a bit when a totally wet-behind-the-ears newbie proposes a change to the very structure we've all come to know and love. But here goes, shaogo's "n00b's proposal for E2 that'll make it totally, utterly, cool:"

Slightly reduce the Cream of the Cool area of the front page and somehow expose a sentence or two from the lede from each "New Writeup" on the list. This would accomplish two things: a) streamline node titles, so as to make them more to the point; and b) eliminate any problems with what folks choose to read and why. Who knows, it'd probably also hone noders' abilities to write a good lede (a skill I have yet to master).

Let it be known that I'm on the side of the raising the bar proponents. I'm also delighted to see the "New Writeups" column humming along in a fashion that I've not seen since my arrival shortly over a year ago.

On the opposite side of the raising the bar coin, my kudos to mauler and SharQ for PirateQuest 2007. It's the natural "blowing off steam" for those who'd still be steamed that the bar's been raised. So far, the participants are writing with an insane creative mastery I can only dream of rivaling. Not since this have I seen something similar. Certainly not lately. Say, I take back the part about "dreaming to rival" the Quest writeups. I'm just gonna find out where the party is and have a little of the punch. The one with the hallucinogens in it. And write while tripping.

The Everything2 Podcast, Series 2, Episode3


Thanks to some pretty nifty diplomacy between myself and the representatives of the Moloch's, today's podcast is being co-hosted by Moloch2096.


This conglomeration of the mining industry, E2 and a warped brain is brought to you by itunes or direct download at



Sit down, ladies and gents. I have a few things to say.

Ok folks. Go read the daylog by Two Sheds on March 31, 2007. I'm probably one of the few left on Hermetic's list from September 6, 2001 that have more recently written a non-daylog, non-administrative write-up, but if people think I'm not here for the writing - wow. I realize my contributions are few and far between, but there's a reason for that. It's all about ebb and flow.

Let me set the record straight - I'm ALL about the writing. Just because I don't contribute, doesn't mean I don't care about that aspect. There is just this thing where it ebbs and flows, you know? Most of us are in the ebb phase. (Some of us may never leave it.) I'm not casting any disparaging remarks against the community concept - I thoroughly enjoy that aspect of it as well. I've been an editor. I've been the newbie. I've been a mentor. I've been the seasoned vet. I've spent many, many hours in #e. I've pioneered a group and become a member of many more. I've met noders, I've touched them, I've corresponded with them, I've laughed and cried with them. I actually know some of the things that people want to know about.

I've even been the fled noder in a manner of speaking, with all but one write-up deleted - believe it or not, they were NOT for the typical "Asamothian" taking-my-ball-home type reasons. There are people on this site that know exactly why it happened, and I don't feel that I have to explain myself to any of you on that point. Eventually I realized that the reason for my taking all those words away didn't make a lick of difference to my situation at the time, I returned them to their rightful place.

Go read my log on October 24, 2002. Go on then. I'll still be here when you're done.

Done? Good. See that list? Since its conception, the members that should belong to it has increased, exponentially. Unfortunately, a lot of people or write-ups on that original list are gone, or their names have changed, or their agendas have changed, but what hasn't changed is that once upon a time they gave us both their best and worst, and we loved them for it. I personally love them still.

My first write-up is dead and gone. It was crap, and I know it was crap, and I'm ok with that. I would be lying if I said E2 didn't help me become a better writer - oh good gravy did it ever. It had nothing to do with "raising the bar", or whatever you crazy kids want to call it.

It had to do with a lot of the people on my list. We would feed each other lines, seed each other's minds with thoughts and build, expand, grow and grow. But we all start at the beginning, and the beginning is not so good, but it's where you have to be initially. The trouble I'm seeing is - there is no room for a "beginning" stage here. It is almost expected that your first write-up be stellar, or so help you God and Sunny Jesus.

Where do you grow from that? If you start at the top, sometimes the only the only way left to go is down.

This has nothing to do with the "pretention" of newer noders, or the "donkey-braying stubbornness" of the older ones. Change happens, and it happens gradually. Walter hit the head of the nail on that point. panamaus wasn't lighting the match to the fire - the fire had already burned, and more severely than this, long ago. He might have been blowing at the embers a little, but let me tell you something - I'm glad he did. He raised some good points, and acted as a catalyst to more discussion, and pumped a little more blood into this place.

I'm not naive. I know (don't we all know it!) that E2 will never be what it was, and several years from now if it's still around it will change yet again. There is not one single thing that can be done about that. Life isn't static, and the internet most assuredly isn't. But there's nothing wrong with nostalgia, no more than there is anything wrong with the desire for change.

In October I will have been coming to this site for 7 years. That is equivalent to a million when you are on the internet. In seven years I've seen this grow into something much bigger than all of us, and the people working on reigning in that chaos have my respect if not love. Just so long as they understand - when you reign in a wild horse, it's going to buck at you. It's going to chomp at the bit and spit at you and bray and stomp. It will fight you to the bitter end until you finally break it.

What you then have is a broken thing. If you want to gain that wild thing's love and understanding, you need to handle it with caution. Otherwise - the first chance that shows up, your wild horse will stray, or just stop working altogether, and allow its heart to gradually slow to apace until it's barely breathing.

You get what you give. I've given more of myself to this place than to anything else. I've gained a lot more in return than I am able to articulate. I'm not about to judge anyone or how they choose to contribute, or not contribute. I just wanted to get those few things out of my brain, clear the cobwebs, and prepare for the next literary adventure.

Edit: look. I'm not writing this to complain about the current state or the way that the power structure runs things here. I think I was pretty clear about the fact that I love and/or respect the people in charge for what they do. I understand it's easy to indicate what is right or wrong, and harder to provide solutions. That's not the true intent of this, and never was. Apologies if that is how it seems.

In response to the ed log by Wiccan piper I wrote the following: I thank you for your response, and realize that what I wrote could be construed that way. That's the trouble with me and journal-posting - I let it freefall out of me and almost immediately regret it afterward. There's no point in recanting, as you've quoted me quite elegantly here. It isn't something I concretely believe per se. It was just part of the letting it all out of my brain process. I still don't know what I think on the matter. What I do know, and what I was trying to point out is, I loved the site. I love it still. I love and/or respect what the administration has done here. Also, for the record, the daylog isn't the first thing I've posted to "join the fun again". I have indeed been posting all along, albeit sporadically.

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