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The not-quite-Friday Five - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
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March 18th, 2009
12:54 am
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The not-quite-Friday Five
From eredien:

Comment to this post, and I will list five things I associate with you. They might make sense or they might be totally random. You're encouraged to post that list, with your commentary on each item, to your lj (or just add a reply back at me).

Extra Baxilian addition: If you have a mental association with me that nobody has mentioned yet, add it to your five-things request and I'll write some bonus commentary. (N.b.: I'm preemptively calling mulligan on "draconity" just because it's so blindingly obvious.)

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Hiking -- The vast majority of you have were already following my journal in summer 2006, when I plowed through nearly 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. So I have little to add. Except: In an odd bit of coincidence, I finally gave in earlier this month and posted one of my THGGTPCT episodes to YouTube, where it's just a click away instead of a two-minute weird-format movie download. Go see!

Hawks -- This also goes back to the PCT trip (aka "BaxWalk 2006"). My trail name was "Redtail," which ironically didn't actually refer to the bird. I once scripted (but never actually drew) a guest strip for Theri There that used this fact as the punchline: "So you changed your self-image from a flying creature to another flying creature for a 2600-mile walk?" "Yeah, well." I've still got that script, fallen off the stove*, and regret not illustrating it, though I doubt that's likely to ever change.

Running a Web Forum -- Once upon a time, I was the Herder of Cats and official administrator of "BaxTalk," a set of discussion forums at Tomorrowlands. There were many topics based loosely around my old journal, along with a draconity board, a TTU board, and plenty of marginalia. It was pretty famous for the quality of its users and discussions, and somehow cohered and stayed awesome despite having a userbase of half dragons and half random-people-that-knew-me-from-other-venues.

Entropy caught up to it, unavoidably, as its old PERL back-end bogged down, and then the phpBB resurrection died in the Great Server Crash of 2004. More broadly, it was a victim both of Web 2.0 and of my own reluctance to put in the administrative time it would have needed to continue. By then, I had already moved to Livejournal, and the comments section here scratched most of the itches that the old fora fulfilled for me.

The big question always was, and remains: What went right? How did it maintain its quality? To that, I can only say: A lot of luck, a little clarity on what the acceptable behavioral standards were, a little drama avoidance, and a LOT of "like attracts like." Awesomeness wants to self-propagate.

Evolving Spiritually -- If eredien wants to expand on this one, I'll yield the floor. I actually honestly don't see myself as having changed very dramatically in spiritual belief during my adult life. Maybe some of the things I see as subtle refinements -- tone shifts, as it were -- strike chords in others, or maybe I've just got a dragon-sized blind spot here.

Incidentally, dragonzuela cited my essay on quantum theism recently, which I penned over seven years ago. I still am proud to have written it and stand by its spiritual sentiments (if not its exact percentages).

Puns -- Okay, I admit it: I'm often accused of littering my posts with wordplay. Clearly the accusation is rearing its head again. It's time to put it down once and for all.

I thought of a dozen witty ways to respond to this. Two of them were unsuitable for publication in an all-ages venue. I examined the others to see if any met the standard of quality you have come to expect from my dragon drops.

...

... No pun in ten did.

(*runs away quickly*)

--
* Baxilian argot time! Fallen Off The Stove, adj.: An important project that has been back-burnered too far. It remains in your mindspace and resources for it are still at hand, but you don't want to do anything about it until all of the (more recent) front-burnered and back-burnered projects are resolved or set aside, so it lives on in a messy state of limbo.

Current Location: ~/Brainstorm
Current Music: Brian Eno, "Deep Blue Day," Trainspotting OST
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(30 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:eredien
Date:March 18th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
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Re: pun - Wow.

Thanks!

I was sort of hoping you'd talk about small shifts, but it's your space and time to do with as you like.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 18th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
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I'll set that to simmer, then, and see if I can get around to a separate post on it; or at least enough to drop in a few rambling paragraphs. It'll take me some time to step into the mental framework where I can talk about me in meta.

Since you commented, your five (and of course you've done the meme, so you don't have to commentary these if you don't want to):
Literature
Dichotomy
Anna Ahkmatova
Gay Marriage*
And ... um ... Evolving Spirituality, back at you. ;-)

--
* Partially because I first met you and Rax in San Francisco, and my other major association with that city is going with kadyg to pass out flowers and chocolates to newlyweds on Valentine's Day 2004.
[User Picture]
From:natetg
Date:March 18th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)

Impuned Humor and Just Rewords.

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One of the (more random) things that people associate with you is fast reaction times.

[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 18th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Impuned Humor and Just Rewords.

(Link)
I've got an interesting dichotomy going with that, honestly. I'm an infamous -- infamous, I tell you! -- waffler; I hate making decisions or saying things until I've had a chance to overthink them. By default, I live a highly considered life.

But at times, when I've internalized permission to be spontaneous, when I'm not being seized by brainlock ... yeah, I can be pretty speedy.

This is one of the reasons I love writing. It plays to my strengths.
[User Picture]
From:dancinglights
Date:March 18th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
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i'll likely just repost here, but now i'm curious
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 18th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)

Words failed on #5

(Link)
AD&D
glittergoth
alt.fan.dragons
thresholds
<< [a tree growing out of the rubble of an abandoned building] >>
[User Picture]
From:baronlaw
Date:March 18th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
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Curious.
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From:baxil
Date:March 18th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
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Half Dome
Zen
Spaaaarrrrttaaaaa!
Pixie rivalry
LARPing
[User Picture]
From:soreth
Date:March 18th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
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I'll nibble - I'm curious what you'll have to say. :)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 18th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Colors
The Uncomic
Anagrams
Goatee
Draconity*


* Okay, this one's a gimme, but I'm curious to read your commentary about it.
From:drake [begriffli.ch]
Date:March 18th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
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I'll pull the Lever of Doom, why not.

I'm also going to steal "fallen off the stove", but my impression is really more of an infinitely extensible stove that has stronger time dilation effects the farther back you go.

[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 19th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
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Alright. :) I'm afraid these might be somewhat pedestrian -- we haven't talked in much depth since the end of the Tomorrowlands Forums, my social memory is pretty poor, and my usual memory aids (friends' journals and website depths) aren't helping me out here.

Draconity
PERL
Open Source
Physics
Myst
[User Picture]
From:dragonzuela
Date:March 18th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
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In addition to using that essay to explain my philosophy to someone who thinks that belief systems other than his are wrong because they make mutually exclusive claims, I also sent it a few months ago to my spirituality discussion group listserve. I did that in part because it reflects the feelings of the group pretty well and I thought they'd like it, but also because I was hoping to gauge their reaction to the concept of draconity. Of course, one person said that she really liked the essay and was forwarding it to friends, and no one said anything about your claim of being a dragon.

Even if you're not evolving spiritually, you're probably helping others to.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 19th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm glad others are finding it useful, even outside the dragon niche; one of the best ways to be subversive is to come up with good ideas that incidentally bring people outside their boundaries.

Five:

Blackberries
Evangelism*
Community moderation
Knitting
Lake Tahoe

--
* More in the sense of something you deal with than in the sense of something you do, but given current events you can take this either way.
[User Picture]
From:siege
Date:March 18th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
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I associate your name with bauxite, even though it's pronounced differently.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 19th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)

Name similarity

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Not long after I started joining Internet dragon groups in my college days, I discovered that Chris Rowley had published Bazil Broketail (about a combat dragon and his boy) and gotten some modest press. I spent a year or two worrying that people were going to assume I had stolen the name rather than independently come up with it. (In fact, there was a "Bazil" in alt.fan.dragons for a short time, named after the book, and people did confuse us. There's also a Byzil floating around dragon circles these days, though I haven't met or talked with xir.)

I didn't have it nearly as bad as Dragonheart, whose nom de draque predated the movie by years but who nevertheless fended off accusations of plagiarism pretty much continuously thereafter.

As for other uses of my name: I seem to have picked one that's remarkably resistant to reuse. Within the last ~10 years, the drug Baxil was developed, though it's by no means a household name and in fact my crappy website still out-PageRanks it. There are a few pets named Baxil out there, at least one of which I've confirmed was named after me ("because the name sounded cool"). BAX Global is a moving company, but I don't think they have a specific Illinois (or Israel) branch. And there's a Baxil Hall at a campus in Pennsylvania, which appears to be completely unrelated to anything else I can Google.

Anyway! Your five, which are colored a bit by the brevity of our acquaintance:

Citrine
Tarot
Self-actualization
LOLcats
... and, running short on ideas, I think I'm going to go with "Siege" the word, because I'm curious to hear the etymology of your name/handle.
[User Picture]
From:packbat
Date:March 18th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
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To deliver the traditional response to an exemplary pun: *groans* (:

(I much like the vocab moment, too!)

(Also, I've been passing up the five-associations meme just because too many flistians have been in on it; I think this bonus-commentary is exactly what I need! Sign me up!)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 19th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
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One minor pet peeve I have about memes is that, while many people are aware of the notion of memes as living things, few people bother to take the next logical step: if memes are alive, memes must evolve. If you have an adaptation to contribute to it to make it survive better in the environment of your friends list, add it in! The next generation will benefit from your induced mutation. (I don't always do this, but the few that I have problems with and pass on unaltered are because I feel more like mocking it than helping it.)

Your five:
Swing Sets
Atheism
Magic: The Gathering
Writer's Block*
Nomic

--
* The LJ thought-prompter, not the creative affliction.
[User Picture]
From:kadyg
Date:March 19th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)

And one from the wife

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My word: Spork.

(Deal with that one, why don't you)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:March 20th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)

Re: And one from the wife

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Ah yes: the spork. The TITANIUM spork. The titanium spork OF DESTINY.

I only have one spork. It's enough. Even one TSOD is too much spork for most people. This is because TSODs are condensed AWESOME, in a portable and utilitarian form.

Even one spork is too much awesome for Johnny Law. It's too much awesome for the frame backpack that carried it on the PCT. If I continue to keep that spork, someday it will be too much awesome for the local spacetime continuum, and the earth will EXPLODE with awesome, and when it does, I will kiss my spork goodbye with salty bittersweet tears running down my face, sad to see it go but knowing that I got to spend my brief and fleeting life in the presence of such glory, and IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.

*ahem*

Your five, picked arbitrarily because there were so many good ones:
Gay marriage
Twine
Llamas
Covered bridges
Toques
[User Picture]
From:wy
Date:March 19th, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
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Heh, wish you could have made it all the way up to the Cascades, I would have walked a bit with you.
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