Don’t Be A Bonehead

I’m still fighting Noah’s Boy, though actually I’m fighting the crud, which is trying to make a comeback.  Yesterday I worked full time and got 1k words between revision and writing.  For me, that’s a sign I’m running a high fever… and I was.

Before you get horribly worried, this seems to be a recursive virus, both from my friends, who keep coming down with it again and again and again, and from talking to the people at the con.  It seems to be one of those that comes back lighter and lighter, till it stops affecting us.

Some years in Colorado Springs, we get these even when the rest of the country doesn’t, though this year the rest of the country seems to be RIGHT THERE with us.  (Thanks guys, we do appreciate the solidarity.)

This time does seem to be lighter, and my guess is I wouldn’t have got it at all except for the con straining the system, and other than making me late on NB where I CAN’T afford to be later, I’m trying to take it easy.

It occurred to me that though I exercise high and low justice around here, and the privilege of the banning hammer, I never explained the rules whereof the justice comes, which is very unfair of me and also somewhat un-libertarian.  Of course, this blog is not a democratic republic, but an absolute monarchy, in that I own the space and can eject whomever I please, BUT I’d still like to have people know when they’re stepping over the line and also to do a post laying it out, so in the future, you can say to a newby “You’re being a bonehead” and link the post.

The term comes from the Baen fan/author conference, known as the bar, which Jim Baen said had only one rule “Don’t be a bonehead” – only he didn’t say BONE.

Instead of defining it clearly, Jim had moderators who had the gist of what made for a lively conference.  This is important, because in my online life I’ve seen perfectly good blogs either made unbearable or even subverted by boneheads who came in and squatted over the comments section like poisonous spiders, making life living hell for the regulars.

RES has explained this effect best when calling it “the drunken uncle at a wedding.”  I don’t know if other people have experience this.  Not everyone was blessed with my mom’s relatives, which gave me a wide panoply of life experience.  However, this was immediately understandable to me, having experienced it from about age six.

You know, everyone is having a great time and then uncle someone or other gets drunk, and starts loudly making inappropriate jokes to every female of all ages, and calling them prudish when they complain or following them when they try to move away.  Later, for added diversion and depending on how intellectual he is, he will try to argue politics with other men, and take the most extreme positions possible, and shift the goal posts all over, and preen himself on how smart he is.

No matter how much you like uncle someone or other and understand he’s been a little funny since the war/his wife left/that incident with the mating weasels, at some point you realize other people are excusing themselves, developing sudden headaches, remembering dental appointments, or whatever, and leaving a party that was otherwise great fun.

Wise hosts learned that when uncle so and so started to get what he called “fun” and “relaxed” you tried to lead him away to have a little nap, and if that were impossible, you drove him home.  And if he insisted on doing this EVERY TIME you stopped inviting him.

It took me a while to learn to do this to the drunken uncles of the blog world, because I had some odd idea that I should allow free speech.  Only, I’m NOT a public utility.  I pay for the blog.  It’s my living room.  And the regulars here have mostly become friends I don’t like seeing upset.

Mind you, I encourage and welcome newbies and first posters – as long as they aren’t boneheads.

I realize some people aren’t being boneheads on purpose.  At least one of the occasionally regular posters periodically goes off his meds and goes from helpful to “OMG, WHAT?”  Other people just have really bad social skills, particularly in the SF/F field.  So I’m going to try to give some helpful hints.


You might be acting like a bonehead if:

1 – You come in, a poster’s comment presses one of your hot buttons, and you decide whatever the comment casually referenced is the most important thing in the world.  You then proceed to:

a)      Comment on it by insulting the poster’s race/religion/sexual preference, which you can’t possibly know, but you’re SURE must be x y or z which you hate.  You do this completely unprovoked and it will seem to other commenters as though you’re coming out of the blue.  This is called “hitting.”

b)      Anyone else who comes in and even mentions this tangential point, in answer to you or not, you decide MUST be the original poster, even if they’re saying something different, so you immediately jump on it with “Ahah, I knew you’d concede.”

c)      Refuse to give up on your hobbyhorse, even when it becomes IN YOUR FACE OBVIOUS that you’re just upsetting people and not winning any converts to your cause.

d)     Refuse to give up on your hobbyhorse, even when it’s pointed out to you you’re filling the comments section with something that has nothing to do with the post and which unlike say hair dye or shoes, which have taken over comment threads before, is OFFENSIVE to a bunch of people who were enjoying themselves, and who have never done anything to you.  (I’m not saying my posts can’t offend people, nor that your comments can’t – I’m saying if it’s not related to the post and is going after people who’ve never hit you, you’re out of bounds.)

We all have hot buttons and most adults are at best walking wounded.  Most of us, though, learn not to attack total strangers who’ve never done anything to even lead us to believe they don’t like us.  The question here is “What exactly are you hoping to accomplish with this behavior?”  If you’re just making people upset – why do you want to continue?  It’s a wide and free internet.  Go somewhere else.

2 – You come in and define people’s religion/nationality/sexuality/political beliefs for them, even when they try to tell you that you’re wrong.  You then proceed to:

a)      Tell us how superior your nationality/religion/sexuality/political beliefs are to the ones expressed in the post or held by most posters. (And you often misinterpret these, or use reasons no one in his right mind would.)

b)      Tell us we’re stupid to be upset over a development in our own country, which you only know about from your country’s incredibly biased press.

c)      Act in the way my grandmother called “Having G-d in your belly” – i.e. someone gave you the sole ability to look into the hearts of everyone and you get to define everything.

Again, the question is “what do you hope to accomplish?”  If it’s to p*ss off people, don’t be astonished at the troll-hammering

3 – You come over to educate us in Marxist anything.  No.  This one doesn’t need aggravating behavior.  I don’t care what illogical beliefs you have, I had a bellyful of it and more in my schooling and I’m not going to give you a forum for a theory that has caused millions of dead and is looking to cause millions more.

An exception to this is if you are willing to listen and engage in honest discussion on why it’s wrong.

PRETENDING to engage in honest discussion and shifting goal posts brings on the troll hammer, because I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore.

4 – Another instant troll hammer is if you come in and preach at us — usually completely unprovoked — that some race/nationality/religion/sexual preference is inherently evil and needs to eliminated forthwith.

My favorite variant of these are the white supremacists, who might perhaps want to take a look at the blog owner’s photo before peddling their rotten fish.  (Some day I’ll share with you the gems in one of these blogs which I followed back, including the fact they thought Portugal had gone down the drain because the population had become “miscegenated” – to prove this, they used pictures of the Portuguese Royalty in the 18th and 19th centuries… who were, like everyone else, relatives of Queen Victoria and had nothing to do with the population in general.  If they’d gone back far enough, they’d have found Prince Henry the Navigator was swarthy and rather Jewish-looking [His mother was Phillipa of Lancaster, but his father was an illegitimate son of the king by a lady from a converso family.] and was also possibly the brightest star that Portugal has ever produced so while they can be amusing and their delusions “adorable” – I don’t have time to mock them as deserved every time and also they highjack threads.  So, instant troll hammer.)

5- Never had to use troll hammer for this, but came close to it one time – I don’t care how infelicitously someone expressed something.  Before you accuse a regular of being a troll and chase him/her all over the threads, PARTICULARLY when you’re a relative newby, kindly search for that commenter’s name and see how often they’ve commented and what kind of comments.

Persisting in harassing people who have been commenting here for years about an irrelevant point of linguistic expression AND ignoring the blog owner when she says “So and so is NOT a troll” will get you banned. (Getting offended at the owner saying “So and so is often a pain, but is not a troll” leads to self banning and puzzles the owner who thought most of the comments AIMED at being a pain — at least half the time, when it comes to odd puns and weird theories.)

Understand, I’m not saying you can’t have lively discussion or even – if you’re both regulars – tease each other.  I’m not saying even that comment threads must keep to the topic (Ah!  Like any of you could do that.)

I’m saying that unprovoked hitting – say making fun of someone’s religion which hasn’t even been mentioned before, then doubling down when the person is offended – and pursuing hobby horses that are upsetting everyone else, and making the comment thread all about your particular obsession even though EVERYONE else is getting upset at you is likely to get you banned.

In fact, think of it this way, if you’re behaving like a kindergartner and the discussion has devolved to “did not” and “did too” at some point I’ll come in and ban the one of you who is not a regular, or who has done this more than once.  (And yes, I totally know you guys are going to do this in the comments just to get my goat.  Behave.  Goat blood is a b*tch to get off the floor boards.)

Feel free to ask questions or suggest additional rules in comments.  BE AWARE that I can’t require the guys to all wear quilts and that some of the women are allergic to fishnet stockings.  I can’t enforce that kind of rule.  (Or even put the guys in fishnet stockings.)

And now excuse me, I have a novel to finish.

513 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Bonehead

  1. Mallet space is invaluable for holding the biggest Troll Hammer possible.
    I hope yours is bigger than most and sorry if in the future (or past, as the case may be) I get close to deserving it myself (I can be a touch grumpy from time to time … okay … always)(~_^)

              1. Well, I wouldn’t recommend that for a fish that’s been out in the sun for several weeks. :p

                I guess I was wondering if Sarah was going to be throwing fresh dead fish, or spoiled ones.

                    1. One of my best friends is from Mexico and she knows the best Mexican places (little shacks on the outskirts of town) that have cooks who use family recipes. The other stuff is faux-Mexican (like those chain joints)– and don’t taste very good.

                    2. The funniest tasting Mexican food was this little restaurant outside of Ramstein AFB (outside Kaiserslautern, Germany). The cooks were Chinese and the food tasted like Mexican-Asian cuisine.

                    3. There’s a relatively new place in Reno called Los Quatros Vientos, and they serve primarily Guadalajaran food. They also have a salsa bar, that jumps from a mild cucumber salsa to scorching verdes y rojos. Their goat tacos are to die for. It’s near where Plumb crosses Virginia, for those in the area. For those not, you have my pity.

                    4. Dave– I’m in Carson City– Sounds like you are in Reno– (or Sparks)– I go up there for my doctor visits about four (more sometimes) a year.

                    5. Sure am. On the mainland for a few weeks while Mrs. Dave trains in the Bavarian Alps. *grouchyface* I’m enjoying the cool weather, general aridity and exercising my constitutional rights. And writing, which I have not done enough of today. Fiction, at least.

                    6. As for funny tasting mexican food, when we were last in the Czech Republic the food fad there was at the time was their version of Mexican … Czech Mex.
                      For someone like me raised in California, that was a nightmare.

                    7. “Depends. I DESPISE Mexican food.” Sarah Hoyt

                      You just caused my opinion of the value of your opinion, to drop several notches 😦

                      Cyn, I actually like Tex-Mex or the ‘faux Mexican’ food better than the traditional Mexican myself, but it takes a talented cook to ruin Mexican food IMO.

                    8. I can’t stand cumin and it’s larded through everything Mexican. Also I don’t like avocado. And these days I can’t eat almost anything in a Mexican restaurant without the eczema kicking up because of excess carbs.

                      For a while there was a restaurant in town called Mazatlan which had fairly decent “home cooking” and I liked that.

                    9. When I refused to eat a food after the mandatory tastes Daddy would remove it from my plate with a happy cry of, ‘O boy, more for me!’ So you can dislike cumin and avocado all you want, that leaves, ‘O boy, more for me!’

                      I had thought that Mexican would be an issue for you with the carbs.

                    10. Bearcat– I have found that traditional food is best (usually — I like qualifiers) when it is cooked by a traditional cook except when I was Japan and had Chinese and Curry by Japanese cooks. On the other hand except for ramen, I really didn’t care much for Japanese food. I will eat it… 🙂

                      If I had a choice between steak & potatoes or Tex-Mex, I would go for the steak & potatoes. Next on my list is combination rice (just put everything in it plus the kitchen sink) Thai style, next is Italian with real Italians ;-). So sorry to be a disappointment– The worst food I ever tasted (bland, bland, bland) was Panamanian food. They like to boil the plantain and give it to you like that with no spices or even grilling.

                      I grew up on potatoes and I have a taste for them. I can tell the difference between russett, yellow, or reds. My mother is from Idaho–

                    11. On potatoes: I recently read an article on the history of potatoes (it was in Smithsonian magazine, while I was waiting for my wife to get done with PT), which also mentioned that any one farmer in the Andes mountains in South America may very easily have more varieties of potatoes planted than are available in all of the U.S. It claimed there were over 5000 varieties.

                    12. I’d believe it– but, having grown up around ag, I wouldn’t needfully call it a good thing.

                      If I remember right, before Europeans started selective breeding processes the potatoes had to freeze, be stomped so the dangerous levels of starch could run out, and then they could be gathered for eating.

                      Taking those and crossing them with the cultivated types will get a lot of varieties… most of which aren’t very good potatoes. Valuable for the future, because you never know when this crossed with that crossed with a third will be awesome, but more isn’t needfully better!

                      (also, if it was an older article, it won’t account for the intense breeding that’s been going on lately; they’ve even managed to get goldens that travel well! Not AS well as the old russets, but pretty good.)

                    13. Actually, the article talked about how potatoes originally were toxic with alkaloids, and that people learned to eat them by watching wildlife, which would lick clay before eating the potatoes. The clay absorbed the toxins.

                      Freezing and squeezing was a storage technique developed long before Europeans came here. The lower moisture content would allow the potato to keep longer. And finally, the varieties were due to different strains growing better at different altitudes. The said the Andean farmers would sneer at our potatoes as tasteless and boring.

                    14. My older son is allergic to fructose. We didn’t know this because the boy for whom Thai Hot is “mildly spicy” THOUGHT everyone tasted fruit (And chocolate, and anything with corn syrup) as hot.

                    15. My hubby overtastes chlorophyll, so he hates most vegetables. I on the other hand, after many years of taking meds, and a consequent extreme case of GERD, can’t have anything spicy. On bad days I can’t eat ketchup. So I am fond of bland, especially sweet. Most days I’m okay with mild condiments such as dill, dried onion and salt.

                    16. I can’t eat potatoes — too much carbs for my system.

                      I do find steak a delicious flavoring agent for peppers and onions, especially with fajita seasoning or ginger & garlic. And hot peppers of any sort are always tasty.

                    17. I am not much into ginger— but ummmmmmmmm garlic- Watch out vampires. I give hot peppers to the hubby (I am trying to call him love muffin.)

                    18. There’s a Mexican restaurant in Littleton called “Tortilla Flats” (I think it’s still there — the city and county have both been trying to throw them out for decades) that has authentic, high-quality Mexican food. The family that owns it used to have a ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico, where they grew their own ingredients. I’m not sure if they still do, with all the drug problems down there. A couple of the guys (from the family) worked with my father-in-law at Martin in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He used to insist we go there every time I came to Denver on leave.

                      The WORST Mexican food I’ve ever eaten was in Enid, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960’s. Jean was pregnant, and craved tacos. We ended up driving to Oklahoma City for tacos, because the two restaurants in Enid made such poor ones.

                    19. I have always found traditional Mexican food to be too bland (of course I consider pickled jalepenos an excellent snack food) while Tex-Mex has more flavor to it. I like most Oriental food as long as it doesn’t have cilantro, I despise cilantro (and those that put it in Mexican food out to be drawn and quartered), my complaint with Oriental food is it never has enough meat in it.

                      Steak and potatoes I have all the time (quick and easy to fix) if I am going to a restaurant to buy a meal it is going to be something that I don’t have at home four or five nights a week.

                  1. Are you thinking of three-month fish, or lutefisk, or something along those lines?

                    I’ve heard three-month fish takes some getting used to, but is incomparable if you like the taste.

                    1. Um… lutefisk is different. It involves soaking in lye, and the texture (just from the description) would seem to be scary. Basically, it’s like fermented fish jelly.

                    2. But if you gab a piece before it’s had the lye washed off, and hit someone in the eye, it’s gonna hurt.

                    3. My question is if someone went to Denmark and was taken to an old-style buffet, would lutefisk be a part of the buffet? If so, I might have tasted it. If so, I might have a taste for it. If so, it was my first time. 😉 If not, well– it doesn’t sound very good. lol

                    4. …and you have a perfect assault weapon

                      No, no, no. Everbody knows that assault weapons have a forward pistol grip, are painted black, have high capacity … um, fishy thingies, and a shoulder thing that goes up. Until it has all of those, it’s stricly a fish used for legitimate hunting purposes, like the 2nd Amendment calls for.
                      *looks left*
                      *looks right*

                    5. “My fear is that they are talking about garum.”

                      What? That’s the stuff of dreams. OK, nightmares.

                      Actually, I’ve tried a modern Italian recipe that uses colatura, the modern garum, and it wasn’t bad.

          1. And it is a cute cat at that. (OK, ok, just about every cat is cute…it is a cute picture of a cat…is that put better?)

          2. The cats would like the fish. The now far older loon in the gravitar is known as (Animalus Insanius) Annie The Insane Animal. She acquired me by making a racket at the front door and my third try to see what was going on ran into the house. I’ve another I rescued from a tree and she has earned the name of Isabeau The Clumsy (and constantly demonstrates how she got stuck in that spot). She is a Tabby pointed Siamese mix.

            Man..I wander off to work and when I get back this convo went some odd places (okay, not so odd considering me and some of this group … errr … well … all of this group actually)

            1. Cute cats to chinese food? That is a perfectly logical course, especially if someone is missing a cat.

              1. I used to have a cat who got stuck with the name Tahvo. Now that is kinda legitimate Finnish male name, except it’s not used nowadays much since it has at some point also acquired the slang meaning ‘stupid’. The cat was female but Tahvo just fit her. I had four at the time, and she was the one all the others picked on, with some peeing issues possibly due to the fact that she was perhaps a bit scared of using the boxes as the others sometimes bullied her when she did so she would occasionally pee in the corners, or on all of my clothes which ended up on the floor (and she would drop them herself at times if I left them somewhere where she could easily pull them down) and all plastic bags which spend even little time on the floor. And she would periodically have to be rescued from on top of the book cases or my two clothes cupboards. Once she fell on top of my head from one of them, as I was putting something in. Managed to get a good grip of my scalp, hang there for a second or two and then jumped or fell the rest of the way – I’m afraid I wasn’t paying much attention to her at that point, beyond trying to get her off.

                1. She sounds like Euclid. And LOL Tavo is my nephew Gustavo’s nickname. Pronounced like Tahvo. He is actually a genius, but (I know from #2 son) this often presents as “too dumb to live’ in everyday life.

                  1. Heh. Perhaps you should forewarn him so he’ll know why his nickname might get some grins if he ever deals with Finns.

                    I just posted the hiisi painting. I’ve been practicing with acrylics for a while now and I think I’m starting to get the hang of them. I’m getting better anyway.

                    1. I just looked at your picture and I think you have a future in book covers… 😉 At least I really really liked it. I can see a story in your pictures.

    1. … the biggest Troll Hammer possible.

      The picture that came into my head when I tried to imagine this was as follows:

      Imagine a croquet game. And no, that’s not a flamingo in your hand, it’s a real hammer. But now look down at the ball at your feet. It’s blue with white swirls, right? Look closer. See the brown-and-green bits hidden beneath the white? See how as you stare at them, they’re starting to look familiar — Europe, Africa, North America? Now look at the hammer you’re holding, and its size relative to that blue globe.

      … Yeah. That’s the size of Troll Hammer I was picturing. And sure, bigger hammers could conceivably exist — anything is possible once you crank the Improbability Drive up high enough — but heck, this one’s large enough to swat any trolls I’ve ever seen.

      1. My only concern with your Hammer is the targeting assist. It’s awfully difficult to pound a solitary troll with something that size. I’m picturing most of the head and all of the shaft as being a moly/atacirc processing amplifier for the AI that provides phase-shift capabilities during the swing. Sort of a super-smart weapon: swing at world, only hit a singular troll. Of course, just our luck, the AI has a speaker (or limited telepathic projection) with which to bombard the swinger of said Hammer with snarky comments.

  2. Nit, I don’t equate “bonehead” and “butthead” (what Jim Baen said). “Bonehead” IMO just implies stupidity while “butthead” IMO implies something more than just stupidity.

    Of course, at times I’ve been a “bonehead” as well as a “butthead”. [Sad Smile]

      1. “Being Polite”? There are times when I don’t know the meaning of that. [Sad Smile]

          1. Seriously? I’m having trouble with the math. Teens who read this blog have parents who…? The lackaclue… The mind boggles. I am in a state of flabbergastion. It is too a word.

        1. Momma said she liked the word pebble. Some word are just fun to say. (Is this a good example of going off topic?)

            1. I’ve seen “doofi” but that was on a South African expat’s blog, so Queen’s English may vary from US English. Sort like arguments over “Priuses” or “Prii.”

                1. Fie, fie on thee vile doofi?

                  I think not; perhaps doofini, with its suggestion of doofus termination. Although I am now swerving hard into Ahnuld Schwarzenneger-ville with images of a doofus terminator.

                    1. You could probably create an entire extended family of Doof terminology. Doofini, young male version? Doofette, young female version? Doofetta, female version? Of course, this exercise might have people determine that we are qualified to join the clan.

                    2. “My name is Doof, and you’ll do what I say! Whoop! Whoop!”

                      On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > accordingtohoyt commented: “and then we could use the verb Doofinar. > “Did you hear what Mike did yesterday? He went Doofinarying around Mary’s > house…” ” >

                    3. and then we could use the verb Doofinar. “Did you hear what Mike did yesterday? He went Doofinarying around Mary’s house…”

                      I din’t do it, you can’t prove it, and if my wife caught me doin somethin like that, I’d be a dead doof, so it warn’t me. Maybe the Other Mike…

                  1. The Fifth Declension led to a professor and I debating how one would decline “Prius.” The other grad students stared at us like we were out of our ever-loving minds, except for the grad student who’d been an altar boy at a Catholic church that used the Tridentine Mass. He just muttered something in Iraqi Arabic about pedants (or so he later swore).

                2. No, no. I learned early on that the plural of a word ending in us is i. It’s from the Latin. (Preens at how learn’ed she sounds.)

                  Has anyone mentioned that the ultra-correct plural of Octopus is Octopodes, since it’s Greek or something?

                  …it’s all greek to me, anyway.

                  (nd then there’s Seraph/Seraphim, Cherub/Cherubim, Ofanite/Ofanim… *beth inserts an in-joke only she will likely understand, and runs.*)

                    1. WF stands for Witchfinder. A serialized novel which Sarah has been posting in such a manner as to keep us on the edge of our seats. (If we had been holding our breaths we would all be more than just emotionally blue.) It is presently coming to its exciting conclusion, with everyone left at risk. It is also on hold as Sarah recovers from various health attacks and finishes work that pays the bills.

                  1. You can always tell a ESL speaker, they expect English to obey the rules. The English language is like an anarchist, it believes every rule is made to be broken.

                    /runs and ducks while holding a fishnet over his head/

                    1. One thing I liked about German is their frugal habit of pronouncing ALL the letters in a word, unlike certain other European countries who seem to insert useless and silent letters into their words as traps for the unwary.

                    2. However, as I used to do scientific translation from German — meaning I’d spend the afternoon slogging through five hundred ingredients or test cases or whatever and had to wait for the last word of a page-long sentence to determine whether you cooked it all, froze it all or threw it all away — I p**d myself laughing when I read Mark Twain’s comment in Connecticut Yankee “And I realized I was in the godawful presence of the mother of the German language, who could submerge into the Atlantic at the beginning of a sentence, and emerge on the other continent with the verb in her mouth.” 🙂

                    3. In defense of the language, you do find out who did it and to whom it was done, you just have to read to the end of the book to find out what it was that was done.

                      One reason I have never been able to read Hemingway is that my first attempt at him was after four semesters of German; I got a few paragraphs in and decided if I was going to put up with German sentences I would do it in German.

                      OTOH, I greatly enjoyed Drei Kameraden in its original language and there were a few terrific short stories in our reader. Done lost all that lingo now.

                  2. the plural of cherub is cherubim because it’s hebrew and –im is a common plural ending.

                1. Bilge Expressed with a suitable Charles Laughtonian lip curl.

                  SF fans should freely employ Felgercarb, and I confess to a fondness for codswallop.

                  I have over time noticed that a great many drivers around me appear to be mucking forons.

                  1. I take it Felgercarb has some source other than the “Exclamations!” song from the Brobdingnagian Bards?

                2. But you can’t have poppycock. All that sugar coated popcorn would reak havoc on your diet. Oh, I see, that is why it constitutes a cuss. Nevermind.

                  1. I used to like poppycock until I learned where the cus-word came from. Darn you, etymology hobby, darn you to heck!

          1. Bubbles. I like the word bubbles and the word iridescent. Yeah, you go of topic, but it’s not like you’re saying anyone who uses the word iridescent is a poopy head. Now, people who write iridescent vampires have issues, poor things, but…

              1. This sounds like an excellent book for children of the age where the chewiness of the book’s corners is as important as the pictures on the pages.

                1. er… uh… Robert… cut his teeth on Gibbons’ Rise and Fall. I mean that QUITE LITERALLY. He also tore, ate and otherwise mutilated his way through my Agatha Christie collection. When I told Mrs. Heinlein about this, she said something or other about a Dalai Lama test. She never explained. I got nothing.

                  1. Possibly anyone who has their book collection mutilated in such a horrible fashion yet doesn’t retaliate is a candidate to be the Dalai Lama?

                    1. It is part of the evolutionarily induced insanity of parenthood that such efforts more generally evoke the reaction: Well, at least he isn’t consuming trashy books.

                    2. No, I suspect it was not a suggestion because the parent did not take revenge for the book mutilation (shiver), but rather looking at the boy because of the quality of his choice in reading matter to gum/munch upon as a tiny teething tot.

                      (Was Robert ever tiny?)

            1. The Daughter has a theory that iridescent vampires was originally an adaption meant to attract food. The problem is now any self-respecting vampire (and most of those who have sunk quite low) would rather starve than sup on the quality of person that is attracted to the sparkle.

              1. The Daughter has a theory that iridescent vampires was originally an adaption meant to attract food

                That IS actually the way Twilight described it. The last part didn’t seem to matter to them.

                1. The Daughter has refused to read Twilight or to see the movies. She was an early adopter of the Vampires Don’t Sparkle movement. Smolder maybe, sparkle never.

                  1. I read the first one, just because younger son had it in the house. It was marginally painful, but I’ve read worse.

                    1. My husband keeps buying them (used) because he “feels he should read them” since they were mega bestsellers. Then he doesn’t get around to it and loses them…

                    2. The films are excellent fodder for a group MST3K/Rifftrax party. It can require a goodly amount of social lubricant, but sitting around making fun of sparkly vampires and too-pretty teens can make for a pleasant evening.

                  2. I read one of them because I used to live in Forks. I was actually impressed with the quality of the authors research, I could tell where the characters were at any point in the book by the landmarks described, and never found any described inaccurately. The quality of writing was pretty good, the plot just wasn’t my cup of tea.

    1. “Butthead” has the benefit of seeming a contraction of “butting heads” and accurately describes the boneheads doing their best effort to imitate rams in rut.

      In this case, that would be in rut to being hammered.

  3. I have to say, during those times you were unable to ban, this crowd does a wonderfully entertaining job of going after trolls. ^_^

  4. Some years ago on Baen’s Bar newbies were off times greeted with the admonition, “this isn’t the internet, we expect a modicum of civility” or words to that effect. All enforced by Jim Baen’s iron fist inside a velvet glove, that glove occasionally worn quite thin by the more persistent trollish types.
    Gods I miss him!
    The Bar FAQ section has a whole series of Newbie FAQs that go into considerable detail on precisely what gets one labeled a &*%$head, at least in Bar territory, and IMHO works pretty darned well when applied to social interactions in general.

    1. I miss him too. Particularly the very odd emails that started with “This is your publisher’s voice from the ceiling” and usually asked me if I’d considered writing something or other because he’d read a thread in the diner… Those didn’t lead to stories (though they might have in time) but lead to VERY fun meandering email exchanges.

  5. It’s probably a measure of you fame and excellence in blogging that the troll-hammer-fodder come here in seeming droves. That doesn’t make it a bit easier to take. *hugs*

    Finish Noah’s Boy and then you’ll be able to rest better 🙂

    I am, however, a trifle bewildered by how you were able to share the Con Crud with me, when I didn’t get to the Con this year… Is it possible that Fastness Hoyt has perfected a matter transference device, but it only works on the bacterial level? /running away and giggling

    1. It’s my revenge for you sending someone else with your hair, build and in kitty ears to sit with her back to me, so I’d hug her and make everyone think I was nuts…

      1. You know I only did that because you said to stop with the penguin jokes in the Diner the other day.

        Oh, and because you said something about getting your goat. 😉

              1. There’s a goat mastercriminal in Cuticle Detective Inaba, this year. Pretty much the only good thing about the show. Anyway, they make full use of the goat pupil thing.

                  1. Satyrs– I thought were hybrids actually– very different from someone who changes from one to another– Though a satyr romance would turn into erotica… I think.

                    1. Well, the White Wolf gaming company had a game about werewolves, which had 3 forms: full human, full wolf, and in-between Wolfman. Later, Soulless, by Carriger (…I probably misspelled that) added something similar for her werewolves, where alpha wolves were the only ones able to do the Anubis form. There are undoubtedly other examples. So if you had weregoats, it would not be out of character to have them have multiple forms, and include Satyr/Faun as one of them!

                      (Do I enable plot bunnies? …whenever I get a chance, yes.)

                    2. LOL– oh mine don’t do the half-man shape– I think it is a great plot– but– after knowing a few satyrs in man form in my day– I would rather NOT write about them *snort

                    1. The goatshifter romance wasn’t bad, but a sheep romance? That just brings to many poor taste sheepherder and Scots jokes to mind.

                    2. And now I shall be haunted by the image of poor despondent degenerate Gene Wilder with his bottle of Woolite…

                    3. Remember Gene Wilder? Honey, i own a copy of Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx! I saw Start the Revolution Without Me in theatre! I stayed up late to catch The Producers (okay, back in those days a lot of people did that.)

                      Sadly, the two Cash Carter mysteries he did for A&E (remember when A&E stood for Arts & Entertainment? Sigh.) are ridiculously over-priced on DVD. TCM had a very enjoyable hour-long interview with Wilder a few years back, done by Alec Baldwin: Role Model: Gene Wilder , that is worth watching if you get the chance.

                    4. If you ever get the chance, do watch Thursday’s Game, featuring Wilder & Bob Newhart. A sweet little movie of the sort that they don’t do any more, made between Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

                    5. oops– I thought he was dead– my bad– guess he is still around… And he was very funny on Young Frankenstein– and wasn’t he in Blazing Saddles

                    6. He may be, actually… although I don’t remember the lamentations that I would expect. Looked like crud last time I saw a picture, but he’s never been the healthiest looking guy.

                      And yes, he was in Blazing Saddles.

                    7. It looks like he is still alive and kicking… interesting, but he was born the same year as my dad in 1933. So he would look old 😉 They are turning 80 this year.

                    8. It is thought by many (mostly me and Beloved Spouse) that it was his writing contributions that made those two the best of Mel Brooks’ films.

                      Okay – Richard Pryor had a little something to do with Blazing Saddles‘ success. (Pryor was supposed to play the Bart ((Cleavon Little)) role but the studio’s insurers wouldn’t underwrite the film because of Pryor’s well-known drug habits. Film-goers eventually got to see the pair team-up in one of the greatest Hitchcock parodies, Silver Streak.)

                    9. Blazing Saddles is my fav. Mel Brooks’ film. I did hear that Gene did help with the screenplay. Also, Gene took over the role of alkie when the guy that had the part went to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

              1. Hey– I like goats– We had a herd when I was growing up. One of the male goats butted my sister in her stomach and threw her about six feet (maybe more). The goats were never mean to me. I wondered if my sister used to taunt them or something.

                  1. I know … one who qualifies. The rest have retired, or turned political. Fortunately, the discerning sailor can still learn from the decayed form of chiefly life.

      2. But what about the penguins evil plan to conquer the world and make us build statues to them? What kind of a world is it when the world’s evil penguin conspiracy stops us from talking about them?

        I’ll tell you what kind – an oppressive state! Power to the people! 😀

        1. It would be wiser just to build the statues now. Not only it is obviously oppressive to omit them, it deprives us of the solace and delight of the statues.

    1. That reminds me of a nice conversation I had once, with Burgess Meredith, sitting in a diner on Highway 1 in Malibu around ’90 …

      1. I first discovered Burgess Meredith as the penguin, only later to learn of his ability to delight as an actor, whether in tandem with Lon Chaney, Jr. or in harness with Fred Astaire & Paulette Goddard.

        And of course, his delightful Twilight Zone performance enacting the worst nightmare of everyone here.

        1. Wait, the Penguin was that poor little dweeb?!?!?

          That’s as odd as realizing that Columbo was the Grandfather in Princess Bride!

  6. I TRY to be civil, even to trolls. Sometimes, though, it’s just too hard. I usually come here because I’m not feeling well enough to write, and that, too, makes me cranky. I don’t think I’ve EVER gone “off the tracks”, but I know I can, and I know it upsets people, so I try not to do it. Like you said, this is YOUR living room, you set the rules (also the tone!).

    1. I end up here a lot on lunch, when i’m trying to recover sanity in thirty minutes around food. I’m a little surprised I manage enough coherency that you don’t find me on the floor, conversing with the cats.

  7. Hmm. Let’s see…
    -You’re all wrong.
    -The voices in my head told me so.
    -And you can’t argue back because I’m a persecuted minority of one and had to live in Maine for a year when I am violently allergic to lobster (that bit is true, anyway) and I SUFFERED. Like, pain and stuff.
    -I SAID, you can’t argue back. Listen to the voices, they’ll tell you.
    -I’ve always been suspicious of penguins. They have shifty eyes. And who wears a tux these days?

    Now, kids, watch to see at which point the banhammer deploys, and you’ll have a useful value to paint the red line on the gauge!

    As bribe to Sarah to avoid actual banhammer, I *just* finished my WIP, and I have a few surviving braincells. Use them freely! (hands over neurons)

    1. You forget. You are an established regular who has heretofore shown excellent posting manners and therefore have to meet a higher threshold of insanity? Inanity? Whatever… before it is concluded that you have gone off your rocker, have become the blog equivalent of a rabid animal and the hammer falls.

      1. Rats. Back to the Cunning Plan whiteboard… and yes, my insanity is of a particularly high quality. The bespoke, single-malt kind. It runs in the family.

      2. Oh, you’ve also been following that saga over at [otherblog]? Although in that case it was excess consumption of fermented grain products that turned an established regular into someone under permanent ban.

      3. And the first thing we tell her is that she should check the dosage on her meds or consider meds. Except not in this case. (Looks knowing.) She’s just hoping for a nice dead sole.

    2. Pfui. I’ll argue with you and the voices at the same time.

      What? Schizophrenic, you say? We have no idea what you’re talking about.

        1. Pfagh – I am perfectly sane, possibly the only sane person left. Why, just the other day I looked in my dictionary for the definition of “sane” and all it had was a picture of me!

          Oddly, I have found the same definition when attempting to look up sarcasm.

          No, you may not have a peek inside my dictionary, it is mine, mine, all mine!

          1. We know it’s yours RES. You wrote it with crayon on butcher paper. What worries us is those unexplained reddish brown stains in the paper. You never DID explain them.

              1. I am not allowed crayons. You do NOT want to know why this is so. Let’s just say I kicked MacGyver’s ass, his dog and his neon tetra … but not his cat — I do not kick cats (see professional courtesy, reciprocal obligations.)

                  1. Unhhh … have you seen HIS penguin? Nobody kicks his penguin! Walrusses sidle out of the saloon when MacGyver’s penguin strides in!

      1. Working on a short with zombies, but older style, where the focus wasn’t on brains. Trying to use that as practice after starting on Swain’s book you recommended.

    3. “As bribe to Sarah to avoid actual banhammer, I *just* finished my WIP, and I have a few surviving braincells”

      Cool, it wouldn’t happen to be a sequel to Firehearted, would it? If not I would like to politely put in a request for one 🙂

        1. When will it be up on Smashwords? I’ll have to wander over and look for it. (Once again you are all VERY bad for my wallet.)

  8. Back when L.G.F. was still fun, the owner updated the comments section and added an exclamation mark to the options. This led to much discussion as to whether the gizmo was the ban hammer or the clue bat. IIRC it was actually to notify the moderator and/or owner so they could check the post for questionable content.

    Not that flagging things for questionable content would do any good here . . . *runs off to drown her frustration at a communication failure*

      1. Oh yeah, the blog wars. If people got medals for injured feelings, there’d be some bloggers and commenters who clattered like Heroes of the Soviet Union. 🙂

        “There we were, at the Gates of Vien . . .”

        1. Indeed we were. 😉

          I think good Ol’ Charlie got gassed… Some of the hot air (not the blog) went up into his brain and did things. Too bad. I used to like it there.

          1. Yeah, Ol’ Charlie did a fair amount of Good Work back in the early days. It was a fun place to hang out, before the vapors got to him. (And he started having said vapors.)

              1. When the gang gets together, the guesses as to what happened go:
                Cherchez la femme
                Did I mention possession

                I’ll quote grandma: May G-d keep us in our wits until the hour of our death.

                1. I still think ego is the primary problem. It all went to his head, and he hasn’t come back to reality yet… and may never, as long as he has at least one sycophant to tell him that he’s still the greatest blogger EVAR! (Which I think Professor Reynolds might argue if he wasn’t so modest.)

    1. What, you don’t think having every post flagged would be that productive?

      A ban hammer is used on those that don’t respond to a clue-by-four upside the head.

      1. Kilts? Fishnets?

        I’d be willing to attempt the fishnets with a kilt, but only if they’re handknit of Scottish wool. I’m told I have excellent legs, though I’m not shaving, so that might spoil the image . . .

        1. Yes, but the fifth of what? I have some EXCELLENT Glenlivet of legal age downstairs waiting for me. Since you can’t have any, being in what grandma called a delicate condition, I’ll have yours too.

          1. My wife found me some single malt that’s almost as old as I am. I don’t get to sample it until she returns from the Continent, however. In the meantime, I’m making do with bourbon. Though I may require a requisition run in the nearish future…

            1. I’m almost moved to hope for a little TrueBlue, just so folks will stop telling me how much I want a boy instead of another girl, but yes! About Easter time. (Good holiday to aim for; good season, but moves around so you don’t always get the Party Blahs.)

                    1. Two, so far, and they are blue. One like robin’s eggs, one like the sky in eclipse. (“Blue hazel” just doesn’t quite cut it– not just a proud momma speaking, it’s the first thing folks comment on.)

                      Both with long lashes, just rather attention-getting.

                    2. Invest in adolescent male repellant while you have the opportunity. One of the first things I plan to do with any potential suitor is take the young man (here I’m using the term rather advisedly) shooting. Just a friendly hanging out between two individuals of the male persuasion, doing things males like to do. Things I happen to be rather good at . . .

                    3. Ah, reminds me of the time a friend of mine and I had his Garand disassembled on the living room table when his daughter came home with a date.
                      Boy, did we catch hell.

                  1. my sons at this moment claim they’ll never get married (school, work, etc.) HOWEVER my younger son, I suspect girls will try to get to even if we hide him under a slab of concrete, particularly after he loses the baby fat. Which is likely since he and his brother are starting a fencing club at college.

                    1. Fencing is a wonderful sport, physically and mentally demanding and very therapeutic. After a hard class pounding the calculus there is nothing quite like running somebody through with a yard of steel.

                      OTOH, spending a day on the strip wearing canvas and mesh can get more than a little exhausting, so it encourages good conditioning (nothing encourages maintaining good conditioning quite like the threat of getting run through with a yard of steel.)

                    2. It’s a good mindset, that’s what got me hitched. Much easier to fall in love with a friend and marry than go looking for love.

                    3. Personally I found catching myself on barbwire, digging postholes in rocky ground, and hitting my thumb with a hammer to be boring, unsporting, and not at all therapeutic. It can be physically demanding however, one out of four isn’t bad.

              1. The rats! They conga for you! Seriously, cheers you very much! Easter is good. I’m an Epiphany baby, my ownself. Multifarious blessings upon you and your spawn! So let it be written, etc.

                Mrs. Dave and I have to wait until this tour is over to begin the Great Kilted Social Experiment, as her near-to-PCS-status would get completely kyboshed by the proverbial bun-inna-oven (VERY different than sausage-inna-bun). But once we move to the East Part in April, we’ll stop practicing and start procreating.

                    1. Took us six years for kid one. Kid two was a surprise four years later. We looked at each other and went “Now we’ll have one a year” — never happened again. (Sigh.)

                    2. We have no reason to think there are infertile tendencies at work, but one never knows. Well, One does, but He’s not sharing. Yet. On the other hand, multiples run on both sides of the family. In fact, my parents each have a twin sister, though I understand that usually only means something in the (prospective) mother’s genetic heritage. Mrs. Dave wants five at this point, though I’ve made it clear that she has the option to change her mind at any time. We’ll see.

              2. …man, I stop paying attention for a day or 2 and I miss all the good news! Congratulations, Foxfier!

            1. I can drink Port in satisfyingly small portions to avoid setting off my red wine migraines … and even if they do come to visit, Port is worth the pain.

              1. I was given a small portion and then told that I couldn’t get it here.

                It was a very cruel trick, I must say.

                1. Beloved Spouse grumbles about how I detest travel, especially overnight. Twelve years working as a hotel night auditor while acquiring two Bachelor’s degrees has left me incapable of shaking the conviction that whenever I stay overnight in a hotel they should pay me.

                  Beloved Spouse likes travel. Given Beloved Spouse claims to like me I am loath to inquire too deeply into what other perversions my Beloved Spouse entertains, but the possibility of travelling overnight for, say, Libertycon, is not wholly repugnant; we could get there without overnight stay en route and without rude inspection by the TSA.

                  Now, if you ever get to Stellarcon, or even ConCarolinas …

                  Given that those twelve years working all night have left me so out of practice at drinking that one glass of Port puts me asleep, it is not much of an inducement, white or red. I am reaching a point where I even kinda sorta prefer conversing via keyboard … although I am nowhere near one-seventh of a ton, abhor yellow shirts and socks and am no gourmand … there is something to be said for maintaining a mysterious mien …

                    1. Boys, boys – there is plenty for all, but if you’re gonna fight jus’ let me hold the bottle while you take it outside so there’s no risk of spilling … Port. Or of spilling blood inter the port.

                    2. Now if you just offer chicks wrestling in baby oil, you’ll attract the modern masculinists, then they can get heated arguements with the modern feminists who came for the baby oiled guys, and you can get your exercise swinging a hammer.

              1. Trust the Portuguese lady to have Port. 😉

                So is a singular Portuguese lady a Portugoose? Are little ones Portugoslings? (I can’t take credit — or blame — for those, I heard Victor Borge use those terms years ago.)

              2. He also didn’t mention: he is not a hortoculturalist inclinded towards the family orchidaceae either. And he doesn’t make large sums solving crimes. And I am not a bad memory left back in the old country, and for that I am thankful.

                    1. Oh I’m sure there must be one or two, it’s just the ADD/OCD replies to them that cause them to look insane.

                  1. His palate would drive Fritz up the wall. The man, among things, eats his Thai food Thai-hot. And I am sure that the need for carb counting wouldn’t be endear him, either.

                    1. My hubby was in Thailand after Vietnam for over three years. He eats his Thai food Thai-hot especially when he can find a good Thai cook. 😉 I just hand him the spices after I make it to my taste. LOL He goes through hot sauce and pepper sauce faster than anyone I know.

                    2. Actually my taste in mysteries is a bit all over the board. Most recently I discovered the first Holmes pastiche that I would ever recommend to others. Holmes meets science fiction meets the modern world. I picked it up with some trepidation, but it came with recommendations of worthiness from people I have come to trust. At any rate, if you get a chance you might enjoy Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective series. It isn’t cannon, but it is fun.

                    3. This is thoroughly understood. Last year I had grand plans to use my free reading time to work my way through Pratchett in order of publication. I had never read Pyramids before and now I think it is one of my favorites. I like the world’s greatest mathematician. But then it came to an end. Instead I had a rather delightful time reading the works of several of the authors who are connected (more or less) to this blog. I have hopes to get back to Pratchett soon.

                    4. Oh Lord. I once worked with a guy like that, only his order was always “Thai hot PLUS”. Thanks to him, I now have a very clear idea what it’s like to be pepper sprayed. If the peppers were fresh enough, the steam could clear a table.

      2. On the Bar-proper, The Lady Hoyt infamously committed an error concerning my gender which I hadn’t needed to deal with since second grade*; since then, there have been occasional jokes concerning guys wearing skirts in the Diner (Her Ladyship can explain the rest 😉 ). Fortunately, we now have a kilt-wearing raccoon to take up the slack.

        [*: Due to character-number limits in the software my school district used to create class roll-sheets, my first name was always rendered “Christophe” rather than “Christopher”; for some reason, this caused every teacher who didn’t already know who I was by reputation ( >;) ) to assume I was female. If you wonder at my open contempt for teachers — esp. substitute teachers — there you go.]

        1. Had I seen the name Christophe on a class list, I would have assumed that you were 1) male, and 2) French. Or at least that your family was from France.

          1. Knowing the quality of public sector workers I would have just assumed Christopher and a typo.

        2. My son Christopher, besides having the same problem with name boxes on some forms, has long curly blonde hair. At his high school graduation, someone sitting behind my wife asked, “Who is that really tall girl?” (He’s 6’4″) She turned around and told them, “That’s my son.” Apparently they had a satisfyingly shocked look on their face. 🙂

        3. I know a girl named Christopher who had the opposite problem. Mind you, she came to the same open contempt for teachers.

      1. I think it works either way, honestly, and I got a great giggle out of picturing guys wrapped up in big fluffy patchworks……

        1. Oh dear and I saw the skirts from the snow bound sequence from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and thought what a waste of good bedding.

      2. How do you distinguish between quilted kilts and kilted quilts? And are suspenders allowed under them, or are we dependent on the socks clinging (now there is a reason to not shave the legs!)?

      3. One of the staff at Nekocon regularly wears clan Ninja…

        It is rather strange, here we have a Japanese culture thing and a number of the guys wear kilts.

      4. Let’s have it for quilled kilts! That would be both fitting of my personal ancestry, and amusing to see. Have to leave the back plain, or it would rapidly become a pain… (ducks and runs for the exits).

  9. I just lost my internet connect and did some swearing that reminded me of my Navy days. Turns out– No one knows why we lost the connect although I suspect that since it was only ten minutes down that someone reset a card in the switch. (My background) So what are we talking about now?

      1. Umm– I guess I am Odd in that I am not enamored of those two things. –Cats and bare legs, I guess. Plus let’s not talk about waxing.

        1. “Plus let’s not talk about waxing.”

          Yes let’s not, come at me with hot wax and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

                  1. Bill always did have a way with words.

                    And he’s succinct, which the incumbent most assuredly is not. I swear, it takes that man 45 minutes and a TelePrompTer to say that he wants bacon in his omelet today.

                    1. Well, don’t leave us in suspense, David (nice name, BTW… except that there’s an awful lot of us around, as I’m sure you’ve noticed)… tell us what you’d have The Obama proclaiming if you had control of the TelePrompTer!

                    2. Affirming the 2nd Amendment in a clearly pro-gun way; bowing to the rights of individuals (to include those who choose to not offer contraceptives in health benefits); deregulating small businesses, eliminating the DHS, the TSA, and the IRS; rechartering the ATF in such a way that they facilitate the production of those very substances; altering the DoJ to provide its namesake; cleaning house in the State Dept, to include charges against all those responsible for the death of American citizens overseas; ceasing drone strikes on civilian targets (yes, I understand that there are groups who use civilians as shields, but that doesn’t make it right to strike, wait until rescuers have arrived, and then strike again). I – I mean, he’d reduce the reach and power of the FDA and USDA, limit the reach of unions, most especially to include federal workers unions. I could go on, I suppose.

                    3. I think it’d be more fun to have him say things that make him look like he’s insane, like saying we need a strong NASA so that the invaders from Venus can’t take over our planet.

                    4. The problem with that plan is that Biden’s being doing that sort of thing on his own for years, and no one seems to notice.

                    5. we need a stronger NASA so that the invaders from Venus can’t take over our planet

                      But, but I agree with that one . . .

                      Dave, Dave, Dave… it’s not the Venusians we need to worry about, it’s the Plutonians, who are angry that we unilaterally declared that Pluto isn’t really a planet. They want revenge for that!

    1. Insanity. How it’s contagious, and you catch it from weblogs. Also from SF/F featuring trolls or similar creatures, especially if you write the stuff.

      We’re forming a club. If you’re as insane as the rest of us, we welcome you!

      1. Oh Mike– I have been here awhile– and I do write the stuff mostly fantasy… I am still trying to come up with an organic spaceship still. It will probably end up being YA. It has that feel in my head.

        1. I remember a dream I had many, many years ago, where all the houses were organic, and some of the business addresses. All highways were grass, and all the vehicles were air cushion. It was originally going to be YA, but I couldn’t keep up the plot and dropped it. You’re welcome to it, if you want. Oh, and the houses were actually sentient, and talked about “their” humans and their follies through their roots, which were all intertwined.

          1. Pretty cool– I am thinking it will be a boy’s adventure– some space ship that lost his people (they were killed by viruses) land in a boy’s yard. The space ship needs people to keep its internal organs going– and the people have a symbiotic relationship to the ship. Of course I need to figure out how to tell the boy that if he becomes part of the ship that he will never leave–

            1. Cyn, there’s a filk song called “Don’t Push that Button,” by Duane Elms, that ends along those lines.

        2. Organic makes me imagine a spaceship which might eat its crew. Or ooze some disgusting… stuff from the walls. I guess I like non-organic when it comes to them.

          Off topic – could anybody suggest a monster you might find in a winter forest? Smallish, there isn’t much space for it if I want the warrior to be visible in the picture too (I went for a walk yesterday, which led to a spontaneous case of painting). Should have a scary looking silhouette, and be crouched close to the ground.

            1. Maybe… if I give it something which makes it look very nonhuman (they will be both mostly seen as silhouettes, I’m trying for after sunset or before sunrise light). Big ears and long claws might work.

            2. Anything furry, bestial, with bigsharpnastypointy teeth. You don’t even have to do more than give a little glow to its eyes, gleam to its teeth and a bit of a shadowed outline. I’m thinking something that resembles a dwarf (three feet) tall version of the classic wolf-man hybrid.

              1. Okay, I think something like hiisi might be good for this. Finnish mythology, can mean several things, but one would be a smallish goblinlike creature, possibly something that might look like a cross between a wolfman, a goat (horns – although they can be antlers too) and a dwarf. Jumps it’s victims from behind, but if you turn and face it fully it will probably retreat.


          1. I am thinking in my case that organic in a symbiotic case would be that the spaceship would supply the water and food (could get disgusting if you wanted to get to the digestion– don’t want to) and the poop and urine from the person would give the ship the nutrients to continue on– I want a good spaceship who likes adventure and travel. 😉

                1. Really, it’s kinda old hat. Tin Man in Star Trek: Next Gen was a living craft, the Mimbari and a lot of other races on Babylon 5 had organic craft, LEXX was a living ship, and the ships on Farscape were organic. In fact, the ones on Farscape mated to reproduce.

                  1. Well– I was in Japan, Panama, and Germany during most of the Next Generation stuff so I didn’t see most of it. Dang– Fifteen years traveling around and then ten years being ill so most of this stuff is in my head. Plus I haven’t been one for TV and movies. I read a lot. But yes, I was thinking of mating starships. In my world though– the people are like the bacteria in our stomachs. If they leave the spaceship too long then they will die. Geez– so I have been having the dreams– and someone has been writing them. *snort

                2. Not that there’s anything wrong with following others down he same road, and doing your own wheelies.

                3. Thousand of years ago it was written that there is ‘nothing new under the sun.’ It is not whether or not the idea is going around, it is what you do with the idea.

                  1. True 😉 Well– I was hoping that I had something a little newer than most. AWK as the ravens say in my area. So I will use a little mischief instead. 😉

                    1. Bunnicula was indeed the singular! …it was a middle-school book, long ago. I forget most of it, or maybe I never actually got to read it. 😦

                    2. I read it standing up in a Charlotte bookstore at 23, in awe at the sheer inanity. Years later I bought it for the kids.

                      If you haven’t read it, do. It’s one of those kids books adults love.

                    3. I loved that series!

                      There was a “smart” cat, and a sweet but “dumb” dog, and a vampire bunny that would drain veggies so they were white, and sleep all day, and had a fur pattern with a little widow’s peak and “cape”…. the cat was careful to stake all the veggies with toothpicks. Some color commentary from the mostly off-screen humans mentioned that they went through a LOT of them, a few books in.

                      The humans would give Bunnicula V8 juice and kept offering him veggies, even though they “wilted” over night.

                      If I remember the author’s note right, the idea came up when his daughter first met a California rabbit. (Freaky red eyes.)

                    4. I did read it, but don’t remember much about it other than it was I believe the cat that was attempting to drive a steak through bunnicula’s heart to kill him.

                    5. There are a number of ‘white’ vegetables that you can grow in the garden. I used to muse at growing white tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, luna pumpkins, etc. – as well as ones obtained by blanching ones like asparagus — and keeping an arrangement of them in a bowl on the dining room table to see if anyone ‘got’ it.

                    6. I think it was a T-bone, in the little pen-drawing on the page.

                      Picture a fluffy little bunny,on his back, covered up to his chin in a lovely T-bone steak, with a cat drawn as close as possible to the classic “staking a vampire” pose and a sheep-dog off to one side looking worried.

          2. The first thing that came to my mind for monsters in the winter woods was a wolverine. Natural animals can be quite frightening indeed.

              1. I first explained them to my husband as “When you see a moose – and everything else, clearing an area in that I’m-not-triggering-chase-instinct high speed walk, and through the aspen you see something that looks like a discarded roll of shag carpeting come to life and flopping across the ground… it’s already too late, but try to see which way the wolverine’s going and GTFO some other direction.”

                He looked a little puzzled, looked at a picture of one, and then his face cleared up in a sort of smile twisted by personally unpleasant memories. “Oh! It is a cousin of the ratel!” And then showed me videos of a honey badger making a lion’s life very miserable, and recounted a few tales of the bush.

          3. Snow Leopard Dragon. Same mottled coat, fur from behind the wings to the beginning of the tail, fur across the top of the muzzle and down alongside the chops, but scales down the side of the muzzle and along the neck, plus a scaly tail with a hard point. How’s that?

        3. An organic spaceship still? Are you distilling spaceships, or trying to distill organically while in a spaceship?

      2. I’m in, then. After twice having escaped the clutches of academia, I’m currently trying to claw my way back in. I must be nuts.

        1. Hi, my name is Dave, and I’m an Odd. I’ve been an Odd for more than three decades now, but I spent some time trying to Fit In. It took me a few years to realize what a waste of my energy that was, and I’ve been gleefully Misfitting for the last several years.

  10. Good rules, Miss Sarah. Bonehead works well for most folks. I tend to use much worse labels for people who troll, not language to be used in mixed company or around kids. Although, most teens today use much worse language. However, were I to replace bonehead with another word, it would be “asshat” or, if I were trying to be pithy, “buffoon.”

    @Dave, Odd is a good place to be. Better than average, normal, or boring by a long shot.

  11. I’m giggling a little to myself and assume that you knew you’d invited the madness in this post…

    I think I’ve only toed the line once on the, “Careful now…” bits, so that is reassuring. Everything (including the bit I toed the line on) is common sense, though, imho. But many people don’t seem to have that.

  12. This comment is for newbies to this blog or others:

    Note how the regulars act, and be more polite than them. At least on this blog reasoned arguements are fine (I don’t believe the no Marxism rule violates this, because there is no way to make a reasoned pro-Marxist arguement). The regulars have disagreements, but they tend to be friendly arguements or at worst civil. Calling someone an anachronistic, supersticious jackass because they don’t agree with you is generally not acceptable, and also fails the reasoned arguement rule.

    Argueing with or ignoring the Queen when she tells you to knock it off should bring down the hammer.

    If stating something controversial as fact, provide proof, or state that it is your opinion. Repeatedly stating something that a multitude of others believe is false as a fact, and ignoring requests for proof or references also could bring down the hammer (I don’t think it should on the first offense, but posters who ignore all dissenting arguements or requests for proof, while regurgitating the same claims repeatedly, really irritate me.)

  13. Monarchy, Dictatorship, whatever you want to call it, it is a necessity.

    It is amazing the total and utter weirdos you run into (and yes, this is me saying this). One pleasant chap sent me an email wishing that I would “Die of Cancer” for blocking his comment attacking someone else. Another threatened to attack me physically (actually I kind of wish he had to guts to try – I may be old, but I’m a mean bastard, and I was furious at the time).

    Then of course there’s the spammers. Spamming is the only crime that should carry the Death Penalty in my opinion.


    1. I have a particular dislike of spam. I delete ten spams (more or less) from my blogspot a day. I started doing comment moderation a few years ago because it was so heavy. It less now (still ten spams a day), but still laborious do nothing work. UGH

  14. I barely have enough time to be a regular reader(which is a must in my week, even if I have to catch up and read a week’s worth in one evening/morning), and am only sporadically comment. I never have enough time to read everything else people wrote, so never have any clue if I’m being redundant, or restarting someone else’s already disproved point. Hope that isn’t rude. I’ll try not to be rude otherwise. Promise. Emphasis on try.

    1. Don’t worry, this wasn’t directed specifically at you. It was mostly caused by the guy Sarah just banned, who kept on hammering away at the same trivially disprovable point despite people repeatedly telling him it was wrong. (No, “straight” did NOT have the connotation of “heterosexual” when the Boy Scout oath was written in 1911.) Throw in some gratuitous attacks on religion, AND an IP address that looked suspiciously similar to a known (and previously banned) troll’s IP address, and the banhammer came down.

      Repeating, in ignorance, a point someone else had already made and/or refuted? That’ll rise to a level of “mildly annoying” at best; don’t worry too much about it. Though I’d encourage you to find the time to read the comments as well; the pun wars are usually awful, sometimes hilarious, and often both at once. 🙂

      1. Don’t worry, I know him, and I’m reasonably sure that he wasn’t taking the post personally. 🙂

        On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:09 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > Robin Munn commented: “Don’t worry, this wasn’t directed specifically > at you. It was mostly caused by the guy Sarah just banned, who kept on > hammering away at the same trivially disprovable point despite people > repeatedly telling him it was wrong. (No, “straight” did NOT have t” >

        1. Yes, as the beautiful Jasini said, I wasn’t taking the post personally. I was just using it as my own way to let everyone know I only deep read the blogs, and skim the comments, So my comments may be way out of context and off point (though I gather they get way off point without me).

    1. YOu want to come up and plow mine (what I have to do as soon as I drag myself away from here), no ice, just close to a foot of snow that it is currently raining in.

      1. It’s not scary! It’s a picture of a Noise Marine, a worshiper of the Chaos god Slaanesh, the prince of Pleasure, harbinger of twisted and perverted beauty and evil…. okay, it might be a little scary.

        1. The thing about the worship of Slaanesh is that you exhaust your pleasures very quickly and are always searching for new ones. When you run out. . . .

    1. It is all on account of Global Warming. We have new and better technologies for defeating the flu but because of AGW the Flu Season arrives earlier, before the antiviral weapons are fully deployed.

      At least, that is what the headline and lede said — I saw no reason to read the actual article.

  15. OK, I have gone through just about the entire line and I have a question regarding all this talk about Troll bashing. This is a fictio-speciesist attitude if ever I saw one. Has no one ever thought were so many of our traditional stories would be without trolls? What would be the charm of Three Billy Goats Gruff? And poor old Detritus, what did he ever do to you?

    1. Without trolls, Bilbo Baggins would not have acquired Sting in The Hobbit and consequently would almost surely been killed and eaten by Gollum, who would then have reclaimed his ring and remained hidden in his underground grotto, granting Sauron more time to consolidate his position, overwhelming Gondor and undermining Rohan, plunging Middle Earth into a disaster that would have rendered all into the Evil One’s hands.

      1. You saw what happened to the trolls in both The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Lord of the Rings, right?

        1. I blame bad environment and lack of opportunity due to anti-troll bigotry. There need to be affirmative action efforts to make trolls a valued and appreciated member of society. As it now stands they are relegated to low-status positions as union organizers and picketers and Democratic Party activists. Even former employent fields, such as strike-breakers and shoulder-strikers have been reduced, causing much job loss in the Trollish-American community.

            1. YOu would think will all the troll job loss there would be a larger employment pool to pick from and they would be able to come up with a better quality troll, wouldn’t you? Wait, I forgot, SEIU stands for job security irregardless of job competence, nevermind.

          1. Trolls turn ANY work environment into a hostile work environment. That’s why they’re only hired by the government to handle sensitive personnel documents. “You plan to start drawing social security next month? Our records show you’re only 29.”

    2. Of all trolls, you ask of the good Sergeant? Detritus needs no defense. He’s been getting his own back for several books now, and raising the presumed worth of many a carbo-silicate lifeform in and about the environs of the greater Ankh-Morpork metropolitan area with his unique approach to maintaining the King’s peace. And what of Melvin, who – as chronicled by Larry Correia – was discovered to be a literal internet troll? He spends his days pushing spam, virii and infuriating madness. Is this behavior to defend? As to the Gruffs, anyone who would take on those brothers deserves what he gets. Greater fae are nothing at which to sneeze. Or blink, for that matter.

      1. I “loved” the Eldest Gruff. Anybody that Harry Dresden doesn’t even consider fighting has to be one tough dude even if he is shorter than the prior Gruff. [Wink]

        1. Oh man, the bit with the doughnut* was hilarious!

          * Am I making this up, or was this really in the book? I’m not telling, except to say that the hilarity is real, and to explain how it really happened would probably ruin the effect. You’ll have to read Small Favor to find out how it actually went down.

        2. I thought it was a heck of a complement to Harry’s ability to be a twit that the Eldest Gruff went along with the wish, without even twitching it.

          He is such a goat that the goatiest-Gruff of all was impressed.

          Much love!

    3. Pretty sure that if Detritus had done anything to us, we wouldn’t be typing….

      That said, back when I was a Troll Priest in WoW I could calmly explain to people it was just a bad pun– we shouldn’t hold it against the humans that their language was so limited that “troller” as in “fisher” sounded and was spelled the same as their word for a clearly superior race.

      1. This is just an example of how the prejudice against trolls go. Yes, Detritus is cute and lovable, a tame, if you would have it, a house troll, the ‘Step and Fetch It’ of trolldom. Therefore he becomes acceptable and we can point to this acceptance to assuage our guilt at our prejudice at trolls.

        Not one of you came up with a single other socially acceptable troll. Not one. No only your so-called terrible troglodyte trolls who suffered defeat at hands of cleaver creatures who then stole their hard won possessions and carried it off without the slightest bit of regret. Thou shalt not steal, except when it comes to trolls.

        OK, so you played a troll, went troll-face. Made jokes and thought it was funny didn’t you? Did you ever think about how the young trolls on line feel about such, did you?

        I bet none of you would let your daughters date one. And I am sure that none of you want one moving in next door. Oh yes, take their teeth and make pretty sparklies for you women folk, sure. But spend a night camping on one? Never!

        1. I just remembered, there’s also Gruesome, from Stasheff’s Witch Doctor. He started out as a murderous mountain of granite, but he wound up being dedicated to Saul, and came in very useful.

        2. Well, I wouldn’t call Detritus cute, though he is lovable; Ruby might hurt me.
          I would most assuredly not insult Chrysophase or any of the other Breccia, even more than most trolls, but that’s…not the biggest argument for them being socially acceptable. (He tried to bribe Vimes!) Many other trolls suffer from simply not being socially acceptable. If you kill people and take their stuff, especially if you chew on them in the process, it makes folks angry.

          I’d worry if my daughters wanted to date, say, Brick– but that’s because Detritus can run mental rings around him, and I’d be worried they’d get hurt defending him, plus we know he has such a big problem with reality that Detritus is his anti-drug. If they could find a nice Warcraft troll who wasn’t involved in the Assassin’s Guild, had no cannibalistic relatives or close friends– basic risk management stuff– and who didn’t mind the girls’ dad being a half-elf and their mom obviously having some Hobbit ancestry, no problem.

          1. If I had a doctor I’d totally let her date Mr. Shine. Okay, so I’m ambitious. Deal.

            Actually given the obvious fact that any physical stuff is impossible, I’d let one of my boys date Mr. Shine. Him diamond.

            1. “If I had a doctor I’d totally let her date Mr. Shine. Okay, so I’m ambitious. Deal.”

              Your doctor allows you to choose who they can date?

                1. As I initiated the rant and asked the question, ‘Would you let your daughter date one?’ I think you have not need to apologize. You made no mistake. (And as one who is mother to The Daughter, let me say that my only problem with this rather bizarre cross species romance is that our house is already over weighted with paper and any major silicon based life form entering it would probably bring it down on our heads.)

        3. I’d also like to point out that Vol’jin deserves much praise for being the only leader in Azeroth that hasn’t been hit on the head so much that they do totally moronic things, like 1) ignore the brat Orc leader murdering the head of another Horde faction and acting like a demon-tainted Orc with no excuse, or 2) unaccountably act like he’s a minor lieutenant in a supposedly equal alliance. Every. Single. Other. Leader– except Thrall, who did an quickie marriage to someone who appeared in a known demon-infested place claiming to be a member of a group that had not existed, or the place wouldn’t be demon infested and torn to shreds. Looks like some MAJOR old-god interference on a very deep level, and yet somehow Vol’jin escaped it.

          1. (To folks going “what?”– this is an attempt to make really, really bad writing on part of game designers make sense; they dumped “plot” for “ooh, that looks AWESOME!”)

          2. Sigh. How can I troll if you will take me seriously?

            The Spouse suggested it should be pretend to take me seriously…either way my new career is now in tatters.

            1. Well CACS, you’re too nice of person to be a true internet troll. [Smile]

              On the other hand, while you did a fair job imitating a PC type who had “taken the side of the fantasy/folklore troll”, there is a valid point about *fantasy* characters who are “evil because of their species”.

              I’ve heard that Tolkien wished that he had left open the possibility of redemption for his Orcs.

              David Weber based his Hradani on fantasy Orcs (even though they’re better looking than most Orcs) but also made them able to become good guys. Mind you, the Hradani reputation was partially earned.

              Perhaps some author could do the same with Trolls (without making them PC victims).

              1. Arguably Tom Kratman did much the same with John Ringo’s Posleen: going inside the “villain’s” culture and finding the way out to a common ground with men.

                1. Another good example is what David Weber did with the hradani in the Bahzell books, although that was magic rather than tech.

                  1. While I find strip-mining another author’s work, Gregory Maguire has done an apparently successful inversion of this sort in his Oz books, most notably Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

              2. David Weber based his Hradani on fantasy Orcs (even though they’re better looking than most Orcs) but also made them able to become good guys. Mind you, the Hradani reputation was partially earned.

                LOVE that!

                Especially since the way he did it is rather like a thousand years after the Lord of the Rings. Not a lot of attention is paid to the way that the Orcs were twisted elves– his theology is much different, but I don’t see why Tolkien couldn’t have had the damage done to the Orcs slowly changed over untold generations, if he’d ever had the idea.

                Dear Husband had an idea for a fantasy series where 1) everybody reincarnates, and 2) the “always evil” guys were races where their very…soul-material interaction matrix had been twisted by the evil gods who were the primary enemy. They were evil because they had been caused to be defective. (Came up with it after listening to some Fulton Sheen talks on youtube with me, IIRC; it’s a form of the “sin causes you to be isolated from God” idea.)

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