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The E2 Quest Lost Gems of Yesteryear has now been up and running sufficiently long enough for the Google bots to crawl all over it. This has caused a great deal of concern to some who've discovered my choice of nodes to support by doing web searches.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children, that bastion of political correctness, sent the following letter:

Dear Mr. Lewis:

We are particularly troubled by your acts condoning the works of actor Boris Karloff.

Our Bureau of Internet Appropriateness has discovered that you've made many efforts to promote viewing of his work. In particular, one troubling message which we construe as a threat of violence against animals aids and abets your cause. We have sent communication to the ASPCA to that effect and they have agreed to investigate.

How can you, in good conscience, condone web content which views the career of a man who made his fortune frightening small children (as well as adults) in a good light? Heaven forbid a small child reads the piece about Mr. Karloff and then searches further, only to cast his/her eyes on the awful visage of Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster! A child could be scarred for life; or at the very least suffer troubling nightmares after exposure to such material.

We insist, therefore, that you cease and desist the promotion of such material or we will have no choice but to have our lawyers intervene on our behalf.

Additionally, we suggest you remove your own piece about actress Margaret Hamilton as she, of course, portrayed a witch in a very popular yet no longer appropriately viable movie which we are petitioning to have removed from the shelves, as it too poses a threat to the mental well-being of children.

Sincerely,

(Name withheld)

Now, if you are one of the legions of supporters of the NAEYC, I respect that. However, in the name of freedom of speech I impel you not to let that influence any voting or C!ing of the writeup mentioned hereinabove. In fact, your votes for that writeup (and this one, in fact) are votes for our rights under The Constitution of the United States of America! So I hereby implore you, vote for free speech, mother, apple pie and all things right and good about our country. And, if you're not a U.S. citizen, certainly vote if only to support freedom of the arts, and Mr. Karloff's many contributions thereto.
 

The nice, Christian people over at Conservapedia ("the trustworthy encyclopedia") — the place to go for wholesome, family values-rich definitions of English words — also were at issue with one of my choices:

Dear Mr. Lewis:

We at Conservapedia are outraged by your promotional efforts on behalf of an article, "Normal is just a setting on a washing machine," written by one who is without a doubt a true heathen. Indeed, there is no definition for the word "normal" in our site as we are an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. However, it must be assumed that the word "normal" be construed the way it is in the Bible; e.g., normal marriage (in distinct contrast to the efforts of the doomed-to-burn-in-hell homosexual population to sanctify marriage between persons of the same gender). 

The flippant suggestion that the importance of normalcy (e.g., a good Christian lifestyle) be lowered in such a way as to suggest that one's lifestyle decision is as simple as deciding whether one is washing cottons or permanent press is one we find troubling, at least. You, Mr. Lewis, can only be described as one of those Pagan miscreants whose sole mission on earth is to accelerate the moral decay of life as we know it. But be forewarned, such actions will not be taken lightly by us, as we are already in communication with our attorneys, who are soon to send you a cease and desist notice. Further, we warn you now, that by going against all that God has deemed good and right you will be doomed upon your death to spend an eternity in Hell, with a lake of fire burning your skin off again and again for evermore.

Mr. Lewis, why not save yourself while you can? Remove your unwholesome writings. Additionally, we can lead you toward a lifestyle which ensures that upon your demise, you'll gain entrance to Heaven and all the glories which abound there. For a donation of only $19.95, we will send you informational pamphlets and your choice of a VHS video tape or DVD of some of our favorite discussions on the topic of becoming a good, moral Christian. Send check or money order to (address deleted for privacy) or call 1-800-555-1212 and have your credit card number handy.

May Jesus be with you,

(Name withheld)


The real surprise came when a local mental health organization called me on the telephone and asked if I was the one who was suggesting that people love their enemies. I asked the caller if they had indeed read the article and they said, no, they had not.

They then quickly went on to ask if I had ideations of harming myself or others, to which I responded "no."

Despite my protestations that the phrase is more of a moral metaphor, they insisted upon explaining that the concept of loving one's enemies could potentially cause them to do me harm. Then to my utter astonishment, four nice gentlemen walked into my office and strapped me down on a gurney, re-assuring me that everything would be alright as soon as I stopped spouting lunacy from my keyboard. (I'm typing this from the P.C. in an office I broke into at the hospital). Oh, I hear someone approaching... gotta go,

Love,

Shaogo

With just over two days left to vote on writeups entered in Lost Gems of Yesteryear, I'd like to thank everyone who has read and voted on the writeups so far. I'd also like to encourage everyone to browse the list and to vote a bit more. Here's another update on the race....

Since my last report, 99 total new votes (+92 / 7-) have been cast on the writeups submitted to the Quest. The top gainer in net reputation this week was the late entry I suggest you dance. If you need a reason, I'm sorry. Also picking up some positive rep were Run like you are six, A message from sensei, The Society for the Abolition of Privacy, and lateral fricative (yay!). 25 writeups got no new votes this week, and only one writeup lost ground from last week.

Overall gainers during the Quest are now led by lateral fricative, followed closely by Panama hat, Twenty-three good things about pickles and dirt, When life gives you lemons, grab it by the throat and demand better, and Love your enemies.

The overall change in reputation looks like this (two symbols per writeup (><) to make it look nice):

13|><
12|><><><
11|><
10|
 9|><><><><><><
 8|><><><><><><
 7|><><><><><><><><><
 6|><><><
 5|><><><><><><><><><><
 4|><><><><><><><><><><><
 3|><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
 2|><><><><><><
 1|><><><><
 0|><><><
-1|
  +----------------------------------
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
                      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Where the Y axis is net reputation change , and the X axis is number of writeups at that value. As a table:
Δ rep		# writeups
  0		    3
  1		    4 
  2		    6
  3		   17
  4		   11
  5		   10
  6		    3
  7		    9
  8		    6
  9		    6
 10		    0
 11		    1
 12		    3
 13		    1

In the somewhat incidental race for top promoter, Junkill has taken over the lead, with myself in second and shaogo now running third.

"He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse any thing, which he condescended to ask."

Once upon a time, a Quest was born. One it seems I was practically made for. I beamed with glee when I caught wind of it. I immediately built up lists, and lists of lists, and then scratched things out, and then started a new list. I'm telling you, I combed through this site like you wouldn't believe. I tried to find things that I enjoyed, but felt got little in the way of attention lately.

Unfortunately, I feel that I have neglected my entries into this competition. It is an inevitable truth, that life happens when you have other plans. Weddings and births and deaths and other things have had to come first, pushing this delightful thing on the back burner.

However, I am of the "better late than never" mindset, and so I now take it upon myself to shed some light onto those glittering jewels I wished to polish and bring into the fore. I have to tell you - it was very difficult to choose among all those I love - I could no sooner choose my favorite star in the sky. But I managed, and here they are. Love them, care for them, they are but a few examples of what keeps me coming here.

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her by Pocket Mouse
No matter where I was, whisps of you haunted my thoughts by pukesick
To her secret heart by minisecret

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