Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that no matter how much you're crazy about one another, there're bound to be "spats," my dysfunctional, denial-based word for balls-out screaming 'till the windows rattle fighting. Call me sexist, but my significant other, being of the female sex, is cursed with hormones that do somersaults for days on end and then stop. This happens every month. Well, this month's first somersault was a remarkable one, to put it lightly. And it was about money. I loathe arguing about money* so I just spreadsheeted all of my evidence and presented it to her. This caused her main propulsion rockets to achieve ignition and off she spun into the stratosphere, only to land moments later upon me as if someone threw at me a cat that'd just been dropped in a toilet. A cat with very, very large claws and big fangs.

*Of course most sane people loathe arguing about anything, but I grew up with a depression-era mentality parent (it's never enough!) and am now married to a person whose childhood family poverty level makes my stories of "eating lotsa mac 'n cheese and wearing hand-me-downs" seem like growing up at The Ritz. She and I have plenty of money. Plenty. Enough. Arguing about it pushes my buttons big-time.

Ever the optimist, I just waited for the storm to blow over (as it does, always). Surely enough, it does. And the calm after the storm is pleasant and peaceful and blessedly quiet. Yeah, I know some of you may be thinking, about the guy who whacks himself in the head with a brick, and when asked why, replies "'cause it feels so good when I stop!" But the guy with the brick can stop whenever he wants. When two are doin' the tango, it's nice when one chooses to stop. In fact, she found humor in her own behavior and laughed with me for awhile. I felt stupid 'cause I thought that we were going to go to sleep angry. We rarely do that. Less than once a year. That's one of our secrets to a happy marriage. Don't take the crap to bed with you.

So here I am in bed, a happy fellow (she and I have separate bedrooms 'cause I keep her up with my noding and farting and she keeps me up with her television left on long after the sandman pays her a visit) with little company but for the catbox, and the little eyes looking down upon me from a shelf (two large stuffed Teddy bears, two tiny ones, a floppy, cartoon-like stuffed dog, a remarkably soft fairly realistic looking stuffed Jack Russell Terrier, and a stuffed raccoon "bandit" holding his bag of booty). I'm done voting for the evening and am looking forward to a trip to the City tomorrow.

It takes me a bit to slow down and fall asleep. Most people count sheep. The last time I mentioned sheep in a daylog it was in an entirely different context, I know, but nonetheless a number of noders didn't like it. Nope. Didn't like it at all. So for the sake of peace, I'm now considering what member of the animal kingdom to count this lovely night:

  • Koalas
  • Wombats
  • Ocelots
  • Hamsters
  • Water Buffalo
  • Cats (preferably North American Tabby)
  • Newts
  • Giraffe (not enough room for that; NOTE TO SELF: purchase castle with bedchambers large enough for counting giraffe)
  • Ferrets

Naw, I'm getting sleepy now, I just need a few things to count. Aha! All the wonderful new writeup-classification buttons at the bottom of this big white space! That's what I'll count. If you're reading this, you know that I pressed one before I counted them all.



Having money, a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass and some very smart looking outfits, the one thing I have lacked since my wife and I parted has been a girlfriend. Now, thanks to my friend Chopper and associates of his that I am only slightly familiar with, I have a girlfriend!

There are stipulations as there always are in the modern life ways of dating. I only see her for about a half hour or maybe an hour several days a week. I pick her up at her apartment and drive her over to the home of a man she owes thousands of dollars to because of a drug habit. I drop her off at his home where she performs humiliating sexual acts on him and his friends and I wait and when she is done with this she comes out to my Cutlass and I drive her home. At times we talk, but often there is silence, but twice now she has given me a hug after I've dropped her off. This makes her my girlfriend on several levels which is why I now consider her such.

I might prefer a more low key relationship but at my age and with the current climate in the United States of America as well as the Greater Baltimore Area, I must consider myself lucky to have this awesome situation fall into my lap. So now my day consists of getting up at five in the morning, logging into the main computer for Civil War Action Figures, Ltd., send out and respond to investment related e-mails, take a shower, gloss my bald head, put on a smart suit, and go to the public school where I am employed as a substitute gym teacher and a substitute remedial science teacher. Then I hook up with Chopper for some planning on handling the growing Baltimore insurgency, go do the stuff I do with Jennifer, who is the woman I speak of above, my girlfriend, in other words, the girlfriend of Berhardt Goates who is named Jennifer who I told you about in previous paragraph, read back if you have forgotten or skipped ahead in reading because you worried I was going to say something that was not of interest to you or germaine to the situation you were planning on reading about when you logged in and went to Behr's daylog. Enough said. girlfriend.

I am tonight planning on making a move on my girlfriend by asking her, either on the way to her friend's house or on the way back to her home, whether she would like to stop at a Drive-Thru restaurant, such as McDonald's which employs a clown I like name of Ronald McDonald about whom I once researched information, or a Burger King or other place depending on her tastes and likelihood of hunger after doing what she does at this friend's house which on second thought is probably very platonic and not at all what she has told me it is all about since she is my girlfriend and she is classy except for talk that is untrue she tells me about performing lewd sexual acts upon men in return for cash and possibly drugs I know she has nothing to do with so the whole argument is therefore invalid. She is my girlfriend. This is something I want to make perfectly clear since if you met her and she asked if your friend Behr was her boyfriend she might not answer in the affirmative or likely would not due to what she claims to do in that house that I know she does not do since she is my girlfriend and thus not whorey.

Behr has a 10:30 remedial science class to teach now. Today we will discuss how to rearrange atoms so that a broken dinner plate reforms itself at the sub-atomic level.

Since entering CU's journalism school (many thanks to those of you that helped with my application) I've been taking all upper-division classes, one of which is is an extensive reporting class. I was particularly happy with how this article came out, so here it is:

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Scott Toepfer wakes up two days a week at 3:30 a.m. to look at reports on snow. The man is truly crazy about the stuff, but in his line of work, you pretty much have to be.

Toepfer, one of only a few paid members of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center based in Boulder, is responsible for the detailed reports that hundreds of people around the state depend upon, and which have come to be respected as some of the most professional in the country.

By 5 a.m. Toepfer gets the first of his forecasts out the door from the Boulder main office, telling the helicopters where to throw their explosives and when the ski patrollers should shoot their howitzers. But even these bombs are old news to the guy, who got his start at Arapahoe Basin as a ski patroller back in 1977. Nowadays it’s been long enough that there’s not a patroller left who knows his name.

This first report also includes a detailed synopsis of the snowfall, precipitation, and wind speed, specifically catered to any of 10 zones throughout the state. Following this is an update to the phone hotline catering to public users who call in. There is even a recording sent to a local radio station in Paonia which plays throughout the day.

“Everyone from the fruit growers and ranchers to the backcountry skiers and snowboarders tune into the station to hear the daily reports, it’s a fun thing,” said Toepfer. On his outings into the backcountry to do on-site snow analyses he sometimes even visits the station to do live call-in shows. These field days can be anywhere in the state, and most often involve ski tours to different slopes and elevations to dig snow pits and collect direct observations. Toepfer’s face is proof of the cold and wind-intensive days he’s endured in the backcountry, with its weathered lines and grey beard.

When 7:30 rolls around Toepfer is just settling into things with his first (or second) cup of coffee. At this point it’s time to start updating what he calls, “the best database of weather numbers in all of Colorado.” Organizations such as the Colorado Department of Transportation use this data to create their own forecasts that dictate such decisions as whether to send snowplows up I-70. This data is highly important because, according to Toepfer, every pass in the state has an avalanche path that intersects it.

Around midday the second afternoon report is compiled and sent off via email to those who’ve donated more than $45 to the center. The center deems those contributors as, “Friends of the CAIC”, and because of their status, are the only ones to receive the updated forecasts by email.

While today Toepfer is updating hundreds on the dangers of avalanches in the backcountry, there was a time when he was working as a lift operator and didn’t have a clue as to their severity.

“When the A-Basin owner was gone we’d steal the trash truck, throw a keg in the back and go up on Loveland Pass,” recalls Toepfer. “But this one time during a full moon when we were up on a run called five car1 a guy got trapped in a slide and became buried up to his neck. We were all laughing at him and didn’t even have shovels to dig him out. He was in pretty bad shape and we were all soaked and cold by the end of it.”

After this incident Toepfer joined the small crew of ski patrollers and began learning the ropes. He soon found himself traveling the world to areas in France and New Zealand through the ski patroller exchange program, always to return home and work at resorts like Loveland and Vail. Through this experience Toepfer gained insight into the multitude of snow types that occur depending on location.

After some time Toepfer decided to return to Colorado for good and start classes in meteorology at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. This was a short-lived endeavor though as Toepfer admittedly had a rough time adjusting to city life.

“First I got mugged, then a week later I was chased by some guy through Cheesman Park,” said Toepfer. “Then someone broke into my car and stole a bunch of shit.”

Soon after this Toepfer bought a house in Summit County and decided to call up Knox Williams, the director of the CAIC at the time. He was hired thereafter based on his experience alone and is now the only member of the center without a degree.

However, this fact doesn’t seem to be of any issue to Ethan Greene, director of the CAIC, who maintains that while education is an important part of the profession, it ultimately comes down to experience when choosing new members.

It’s been over 15 years now and Toepfer has just about seen it all including the revolution within the ski industry that came about through shaped skis. With this trend came a drastic shift away from long, skinny skis to something entirely new.

When asked of his opinion of the shift, Toepfer said, “short fat skis are the greatest invention since full on grocery stores.”

Even more importantly than the skis themselves, rescue technologies have come quite a long way too. Avalanche transceiver beacons are handheld devices that allow rescues to occur within the party you go out with. They do so by emitting a signal which others pick up on their own beacons in the “receive” (rather than “send”) mode and locate you in the case of a slide. In conjunction with a shovel and probe, a backcountry user has the necessary tools to find and dig out a slide victim.

And because the rate of survival decreases severely even after just 15 minutes of being buried because of asphyxiation, time becomes the crucial element in a rescue situation.

According to Toepfler, while alternative devices might “work great in a helicopter and among search and rescue parties…it always comes down to a self-party rescue.”

The time it takes to leave the area, find help, then bring that help back is most often too long for the victim to survive. For this reason, the CAIC as well as other groups involved in avalanche potential recreation are making the push for users to become educated.

The last piece of Toepfer’s day at the office involves what he calls a “now cast” that presents the updated current conditions plus a forecast of the next 36 hours. And while this usually doesn’t get completed until around 5 p.m. it at least keeps the members busy.

Toepfer insisted that “the job that I have really doesn’t have a dull moment, every winter’s different.”


I’m thankful for
my family
Because that’s what you have to be

Because you can tell them anything
without even a hint
of hesitation
Because all your
matter to them
because they want to know

Because you can
see them in their underwear
or less
because they’ve seen you
In the very same state
And no one cares

Because if they disagree with you
you can argue with them

Because they’ll go with you places
if you ask nicely
And you can go places that you’ve never
thought to go
because of them

Because you have family secrets
and you guard them with your lives
under torture
and threat
you never reveal them
they would do the same for you

Because you can be yourself
and they love you anyway
Because you can be in a bad mood
and they understand
And of course
Because you love them

This is what family is supposed to be

I've been intrigued by the discussion in recent daylogs about the current state of the union (and doubly so by the administration's decision to acknowledge it publicly and seriously). Walter came close, but no one has quite said what I think needs saying -- what I feel, and what many of my close, E2-ex-patriate buddies feel, about the site.

Some of us just got bored.

It wasn't that it was too hard. (E2's interface has always been unnecessarily complicated. And its insistence on remaining an island, unconnected to and hidden from the rest of the Internet, was, in retrospect, fucking stupid.) It wasn't that the editors were big jerks. Most aren't and weren't, and while I've dealt with my share of douchebags here, there are plenty of douchebag editors out there in the real, live publishing industry. (The fact that I am compensated to deal with them does make a big difference, however.) It wasn't that raising the bar made it more difficult to excel on the site -- quite the contrary, in my not-so-humble opinion. It simply established a formula. A mediocre, but adequately linked, writeup that's at least 1,000 words in length (but let's face it, the longer the better) does just fine here, even if it's trite, lifeless, or just mind-numbingly boring. And yeah, that might be part of the reason a lot of old-schoolers' (I may be the oldest-school noder to sound off on this matter yet) attention has wandered.

But there's more than that.

Recently I've been spending a bit more time with old friends from college, and realizing that their lives have developed in ways very different from mine. Some I feel more connected to than I expected I would at this point in my life. Some I struggle to relate to. Perhaps not coincidentally, the crowd of kids at issue is the same crowd of kids I ran with IRL in the years when most of my virtual time was happily pissed away on this thing we call The Everything2. I am a substantially, and proudly, different person from the girl I was five, six and seven years ago. It is unsurprising that I choose to spend the bulk of my time with different people, and in different ways. It does not mean the people and things that used to matter to me no longer matter. It simply means that things are different now.

But, credit where credit is due: I'm a different person in part (in large part, actually) because the of folks this site has brought to my life. These days, much of my RL social circle is made up of folks I would not have crossed paths with if it weren't for E2. I was never a true believer in E2 as a community, and I never would have thought this was possible. I'm also a professional writer who'd prefer to focus her writing energy (and further warp her injured wrists) finding paid writing work, or contributing to longer-term projects like my novel. My ability to land certain paid gigs has been a direct factor of my experience with this little Web-2.0-before-it-was-Web.-2.0 you see before you. As has been pointed out elsewhere, E2 has been superseded. At least, its role in my life has been superseded. (Its role on the Web has also largely been superseded, but that's a discussion for another time, and I'm trying to keep things nice and subjective.)

The thing that saddens me (OK, let me revisit my once-infamous bluntness and say it fucking disgusts me) is the hypersensitivity with which many E2 true believers react to criticism. And all my anecdotal rambling has led up to this:

It's OK to get bored. It's OK to move on.

I'm of the unpopular opinion that Yoko Ono did the Beatles more good than harm. If the Beatles hadn't broken up, we eventually would have had to be embarrased for them through myriad MTV Unplugged appearances and Superbowl half-time shows, instead of just being embarassed for Paul, and grieving John and George. (Ringo, I guess, is always Ringo.) Look no further than the Rolling Stones for proof of concept. Social and creative experiments have a limited lifespan.

Do I think this place could be a lot more exciting and dynamic? Do I think it could be a lot less, uh, 1999-looking? Do I think it could be more user-friendly? Do I even think it could have made heaps of fucking money, had it played its cards right? Yes, yes, yes and yes. (To revisit the metaphor from last paragraph, we didn't have to be the Beatles; we could have been Sonic Youth.) Maybe that's still possible. Maybe we can inspire the next generation of coders to work it like a job and get cracking on the new E2 -- and the next generation of writers and editors to market it properly.

Or, maybe those of us who really dug the site in its heyday can take the lessons we learned here and apply them to our solo careers. I know that I'm likely in the latter camp -- though of course, I would like to see E2 truly evolve after having refused to do so for so long. I don't think I'm the person to make it happen, though. And I'm OK with that. And anyone tempted to jump down my throat, or down the throat of anyone else who wants to write E2's eulogy, should probably consider that it's normal to outgrow things and get over it.

You, after all, are likely to outgrow E2 too, someday. (My lone constructive suggestion, borrowed from Ouroboros, is that we include a sentence to that effect in the FAQ.) It may happen in the form of an angry falling-out with an editor or another user. It may happen in the form of our broken heart. Or maybe Real Life will intercede, and finally supersede, whatever function E2 holds for you now. And that's OK.

123 Fake Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85001

Arsenal Gaming, Inc.
Address Omitted for E2
Culver City, California 90232
ATTN: Customer Service


To Whomsoever It May Concern:

 Earlier today, I visited Fry's Electronics in search of a system selector/RF switch to replace an old Pelican model that had gradually degenerated from working tolerably well to being limited to the use of a single port, until finally it had decided over the weekend that it no longer wanted to play any of my game consoles at all. Perhaps this was its way of telling me I should pack up my Dreamcast and go buy one of the next-gen systems. I suppose I'll never know for certain, since my response was simply to throw it in the garbage. This will no doubt become an allegorical story for the cruelness of humanity when the glorious machine revolution comes.

  But I digress. Having had more than one bad experience with Pelican, I was not at all pleased when I arrived at the store and saw nothing but oversized boxes which advertised themselves as Pelican's “System Selector 2.0”, which as far as I can tell is just like the one I bought, only bigger and costing $80 more. I suppose it might have had Component or HDMI support, but considering I'm still stuck back here in the RF Age with my antediluvian SDTV, that's not of any great concern to me. In any case, I asked a clerk if the store was selling any system selectors other than those, and after a bit of nervous eye-shifting, he admitted as much, and went off into that Great Unknown which we mere customers can only whisper about in an awed hush: The Back Room.

  ...Well, actually, I think he just went to one of the bargain-bin areas near the front of the store, or maybe some forgotten endcap near the imported UMDs of Hotel Rwanda. The point is that he returned, as if emerging from some circle of Hell so fraught with horror that even Dante dared not write of it, and handed me one of your products, the AUM600 System Selector With RF Switch.

  In case it hasn't become clear already, I don't think a great deal of this device. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that it is complete rubbish. My first doubts were raised by the feature list on the back of the packaging: It is written in English, Spanish and French; but the the French bullet points are under the Spanish heading, and vice versa. Still, that's a minor oversight, and one entirely independent of the unit's manufacture. More troubling was the fact that the documentation (which is to say the single piece of paper which looks like it was printed out of Cletus The IT Guy's inkjet) refers to a “Game/TV switch” that is not present on the unit. This is either a minor failure of technical writing or a major failure of design; alternately, it could be considered both, since I'm not entirely sure how this thing is supposed to work without such a switch, but it's also clear that nonexistent switches should not be documented in any event.

 However, the nub of the problem with this product is very simple: It doesn't work. Not even a little bit.

For starters, when I plugged it in and flipped power switch to “On” (or as close as it gets to “On”, which is actually about halfway between where the “On” and “Off” are printed), the LED (which presumably is supposed to indicate that power is on, though it's hard for me to say since the documentation doesn't indicate this one way or the other) remained off. My first response was to check the power strip it was plugged into. It was receiving electricity. On the off chance that the specific plug I had used was malfunctioning, I plugged the system selector directly into the wall. Nothing.

 “Well,” I said to myself, “As long as it works, I'm not really going to worry too much about niceties like an LED that tells me it's working.” So I plugged in my TV's coaxial cable and my PlayStation 2's A/V cables. I turned both of them on. Nothing. I checked to make sure the channel was right. It was. I pressed all the select buttons in their turn, just in case I had pushed the wrong one or in case they were mislabeled. No luck. I checked the coaxial cable to make sure it worked and was properly connected to the TV. It was. I checked the A/V cables to make sure I hadn't accidentally plugged in a set from one of the other game consoles laying about, and to make sure it was in one of the input ports, rather than the output one. I connected the console directly to the TV, to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. It worked fine. (The TV does have a single RCA input, but it only has one audio port for some reason, so either you can set it up for mono or you can have fun listening to only one sound channel.)

 Thus, I can only conclude that your system selector, which either would not turn on or had a faulty LED, which had such incredible documentation, and which is so light I was tempted to open it up to see if it was just a plastic box with some fake video connectors sticking out, is a worthless piece of shit. Which I suppose is just a cruder way of saying “complete rubbish”, so I'm sort of repeating myself.

  Anyway. Off I go back to Fry's Electronics to return this hunk of junk. I should charge you folks for mileage. I assure you that neither I nor anyone I know, have spoken to, or am just passingly familiar with will buy any of your company's products again.

Totally and Completely Sincerely,


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.