User talk:ThatPeskyCommoner/Archive 15

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Archive 14 Archive 15 Archive 16

Verifiability mediation - choosing the RfC structure

Hello Pesky! You are cordially invited to a discussion at the verifiability mediation in which we will be deciding once and for all what combination of drafts and general questions we should have in the RfC. We would love to hear your input, so why not hop over and let us know your views when you next have the chance. Thanks! — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 16:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Wikipedia talk:Summary style

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Don't know what to write

I (and my family) are absolutely overwhelmed by the messages of love, sympathy, affection and everything here. It's amazing. Thank you all so much.

Here are a couple of songs which Mummy always loved; we'll be including them in her funeral music.

I hope you guys love these as much as she did, and we do. Pesky (talk) 08:25, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Prayer is not the one I thought of initially, which was 'The prayer', as known by many from the perfomance of Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. It's one of my all time favourites, and full of hope and happiness, but also yearning too.
Prayer, by Hayley Westenra is so soft, and so gentle, with a stillness and serenity more appropriate
Your mom had such good taste, I'm a cd owning fan of Haley too, Pokarekare Ana, Benedictus, the home she made was second to none ! The refuge that that these songs provide me from the troubles of the world are unparalleled. To take apart and build at the same time, the peace, the beauty and serenity of the music is something I take great comfort from when nothing else can. A beautiful comforting set of arms when there is nobody else there for me. Penyulap
  • Pesky, I'm so sorry for your loss. In my religion, it is held that to say someone's name regularly in the days after their death makes them live again - come forth by day, into the light. I guess even if you don't believe in eternal realms, to say their name and watch where their shadow fell keeps them with you. In days to come I hope you have comfort in remembering your Mum's whole life, not just these hard last times. Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:14, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh, I have so many wonderful memories of her! And of my father, too. I think of all my "lost" relatives often; we've always been a close family, and it really is, in many ways, as though they've never really left. I had a long chat with one of her old theatrical friends yesterday evening; one of those odd things – she said that she'd been thinking constantly of her over the past week or so, even though she had no idea that Mummy was so close to the end, and though they didn't talk often in recent years. We're never short of memory-jogging things; my father was a very keen photographer, and we have hundreds (possibly thousands) of family photographs as a result. Pesky (talk) 04:15, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your mother. As we both suffer thru some "afflictions", I have a feeling you mother played and even more important role in your life than most people. You have been a wonderful mother figure around here, you certainly received your training from a pro. You must have made her proud. Bgwhite (talk) 06:25, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Past price; full of love and caring, and fun and wit, and an extraordinarily talented person. Pesky (talk) 20:19, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Judging by the way you describe your mom, she lives on in you Pesky. Gandydancer (talk) 10:29, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Awww, thanks! [Pesky blushes] Pesky (talk) 08:08, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I was following the shenanigans on ANI last night and saw your post. Please accept my deepest sympathy; I lost my mother two years ago, and hope you can cherish the memories (painful though that may be now). Take care and all the best, Miniapolis (talk) 14:57, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Pesky, I just now saw your note at the verifiability mediation page, and I want to offer you my deepest best wishes and sympathy. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:26, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Verifiability mediation - to protect, or not to protect

Hello again Pesky. Do you think the upcoming verifiability RfC should use a system of protection and transclusion, as was found in the recent pending changes RfC, or should we just keep the entire RfC unprotected? There are good arguments both for and against, and at the moment we are at a stalemate. Could you give your opinion on the matter? The discussion thread is here. Best — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 14:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Thinking of you

I haven't seen you around as much lately although I fully understand as I know you have a lot on your plate right now, but you've been on my mind. Good thoughts, too, hoping that all is well enough. Hoping you find the time to get some rest, some peace of mind, quality personal time, some healing. I only know you from afar, but what I know, I like. Dennis Brown - © 21:53, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Awww, thanks! We're coping OK, though my brain seems to be spending a lot of time in some kind of limbo. For the past couple of years, when people have asked "What are you? What do you do?" I've had a ready answer: "I'm a full-time carer." If someone asked me right now, the answer would have to be along the lines of "Dunno, really." It's wrong that so much of our own perceived identity is bound up in what we do, as opposed to who we are. Does it sound bizarre that I'm not really sure what I am any more? Pesky (talk) 22:04, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
It makes complete sense if you ask me. If you devote so much time and energy to doing something for a long period of time, if you suddenly stop doing that thing it's like...well, what's my purpose now? And it's easy to feel like your full-time activities are a part of who you are. I hope you find a new rhythm to life soon. Many hugs and best wishes. - OohBunnies! Leave a message 22:26, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Difficult times let us redefine ourselves. Or force us to. We are what we do, because of what we love and who we love. This means who we are is really a moving target. I'm sure I will like who you become as much as who you've been :) Dennis Brown - © 22:43, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you!

A small cup of coffee.JPG For the wonderful Pesky. Come chat on IRC! Pine 06:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Oooh! Man bearing caffeine! [Pesky schlurps] Just what I needed! Pesky (talk) 19:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

They Bake Themselves

Hahaha! Buster, thanks for the koekje, which has been involuntarily donated to Darwinbish! Those Nice biscuits always make me smile – my brother used to hate them, and I used to tease him by trying to force him to eat them, saying: "But it's a Nice biscuit, it even says so!" Of course, that was in the days when he was a scrubby little urchin, as opposed to now, when he's the CEO of a major offshore financial institution ... I still find it hard to fathom how he managed the transformation! Pesky (talk) 19:31, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Did you say "offshore financial institution"? What a coincidence. I just happen to be looking for a finacial backer for a fantastic idea. Imagine this...a bridge across Lake Michigan!!!!! All we need is about $3 billion for the preliminary studies. If this scheme idea works I'll send you a Nice cookie every day. My email is Busters_Big_Ideas@BrooklynBridge.easymoney. ```Buster Seven Talk 21:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
[snorting coffee out of nose...] Wow! Yes, that's ... quite some idea! Pesky (talk) 21:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Signpost/2012-06-18/Investigative report

Checking the history of the above it looks as though my edit removed your previous edit. Perhaps an edit conflict, I am not sure, but apologies anyway if I was the cause - not in any way intended.  Velella  Velella Talk   09:37, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

No probs! I hate edit conflicts, especially on busy pages. I often find it easier just to copy my comment, go back to the page and re-edit, rather than trying to find the right place in the edit conflict window to put it ... by which time, of course, someone else has got tied up in the conflict too! Pesky (talk) 09:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Wikipedia talk:User access levels

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hi Auntie

WikiProject Penyulap, some guideance would be lovely. Penyulap 01:52, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)


Congrats on the recent promotion of your first FA!!! Here's hoping there will be lots more of them in the future :) Let me know if there is anything I can take a look at, if you have a plan for what you want to take on next. Dana boomer (talk) 23:49, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Yay! I hadn't actually looked at the page yet this morning! My next one to work up will be Exmoor pony (I haven't got around to checking what you put there recently, yet). Then History of the horse in Britain (which Nortonius has been doing quite a bit on, so I expect we'll co-nom it). Might try for the Meermin slave mutiny, as well. And then all the other British Mountain and Moorland pony breeds .... Pesky (talk) 05:47, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Congrats! Precious! (like the gemThis star symbolizes the featured content on Wikipedia., see?) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:54, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
It's my first FA, so I'm pleased that it made it OK. And ... OMG! I was supposed to be creating a map or two for the Yogo gulch! It fell out of my memory! Pesky (talk) 06:04, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
You really had more important things to think about! - I enjoy revisiting the Rlevse page ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:19, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
You could always aim for a good/featured topic: Mountain and moorland pony breeds as the lead :) Dana boomer (talk) 10:44, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Congrats Pesky! Great jobPumpkinSky talk 11:03, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, —MistyMorn (talk) 11:34, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks, guys :D I had a lot of assistance through it; my mother's death interfered a bit with my ability to keep on top of the review at times! Much appreciation for all those who chipped in and helped out.

Oooooooh! "Featured topic", eh?! Now that sounds challenging and fun ;P I'll have to work-up all those mountain and moorland articles. Pesky (talk) 13:36, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Congrats from me too, the first one is always the hardest. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:33, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Hooray! Hooray for Pesky! Montanabw(talk) 17:00, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Verifiability RfC - final call for alterations

Hello again Pesky. This is to let you know that I have made a final call for alterations to the verifiability RfC draft. Unless there is a very good reason for it not to, the RfC will be going live around 10.00 am (UTC) on Thursday June 28. Even if you would not like to see any further changes to the RfC draft, it would be a great help if you could check over the draft page and make sure everything is working properly. Thanks for your continued patience with this. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 14:18, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Dumping ground for horsey research material

At the moment I'm looking mostly for anything UK-related, but any kewl horsey tidbits are welcome here. Pesky (talk) 19:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Someone who could use some help

Could I get you to have a look at User:One21dot216dot, who has been having a lot of trouble recently. But perhaps more pertinently, could you suggest ways for me to improve my communication with him. I think he has the wrong end of the stick on a recent Australian political controversy, but I really don't know how to set him straight without causing him genuine distress. I've read your essay - for which many thanks - but I'm still floundering. The editor has shown that he is capable of immense and dedicated effort, and we need people like him, but he's being treated very poorly by some. --Pete (talk) 23:34, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Aaah, poor guy! It may be that it simply isn't possible for you, personally, to put him straight on something – especially if you've been having problems communicating with him already. Bog-standard dispute resolution may be the best way to get him to understand some things; provided that he understands that you're not "doing it to hurt him", etc. I'll drop an invite to him to come over to may talk page; I have a heap of lovely stalkers over here who may also be able to help him and possibly provide some moral support to deal with any angst he may have been getting. Pesky (talk) 06:23, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I want everybody to end up smiling, and I think he regards me as out to make him cry. My problem, I guess, is that I don't like to spell things out, I like to have people take the next step in a logical argument themselves so as to get that "Aha!" resonating moment, and as you say, this is like deliberately hiding information. By the time I began to suspect what sort of person I was dealing with, it was too late. Thank goodness Wikipedia has rules for everything and easy ways to get more eyes on a problem. Any help, any advice - to both of us - gratefully appreciated. --Pete (talk) 06:28, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey Pete! Y'know that phrase "Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!" ? [Granny Pesky has been doin' some homework, lol!] ...

I think you've probably got a big part of the problem when you say My problem, I guess, is that I don't like to spell things out, I like to have people take the next step in a logical argument themselves... That certainly doesn't work well with quite a big range of people; we must all always remember that other people's thought processes aren't necessarily the same as our own, whether they / we are Autism-spectrum or not. It's one of those things which can be very hard to "get", as the only thought-processes which we know intimately are our own, and it's all too easy to assume that just because we think in a particular way, which is "normal" (to us!), then everyone else thinks through the same mechanisms too – we have two ears and one mouth, therefore everyone else is likely to, is a reasonable assumption. But when it comes to the hardware and software of brains, it doesn't apply the same way at all. So, yes, in future, be very careful to spell thing out in the least-ambiguous possible way. It's a wise move to try and avoid the use of idioms, as well; idioms fail us when dealing with either Autism-spectrum people or with people who don't use English as their first language. English is a bugger of a language!

Your other major challenge, from my research into your talk contributions, is that though you often have very good points, they are frequently totally overshadowed by the way in which you make them. You appear to have a tendency to descend into snark too often and too readily, and people almost-inevitably react to the snark rather than taking on board the underlying point. That's something which you really need to address. You have a tendency to reach for the war-axe rather than the shared beer, and it's not helping you.

Alternative solutions:

  1. Take whatever you own personal preferred chill-pill equivalent is before walking into any area in which you're likely to become (or have become) un-chilled (or too heated, lol!)
  2. Avoid those areas entirely until you've developed the habit of being more gentle and clear to the point where that is what comes naturally to you
  3. Be very ready to apologise if you've snarked anyone, and let people know that you can see you sometimes have a problem, and are working on improvement; and ask people if they can kindly help you to work out where problems are, and kindly help you with your personal-improvement campaign.

    I hope my thoughts here are helpful to you. Pesky (talk) 08:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Very helpful, and I am grateful for your advice. That's a couple of people now, with no axe to grind, who have called me snarky. Honestly, I can't see it myself. Maybe some of my jokes didn't come off? I'm not aiming to be offensive. Maybe it's the way I like to play with words. Maybe I should take some time to read and re-read before hitting "Save". But I take your point - if others are seeing it and I'm not, the problem is mine. --Pete (talk) 09:11, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm truly glad you've found that helpful :D Humour is a very tricky thing to handle here; for starters, we're entirely devoid of the little clues in body language (the grin, the wink, the twinkle in the eye, and so on) and tone of voice which we have access to in Real Life™ ; next, we have a huge cultural difference challenge, with so many people from so many different backgrounds (which leads to things which are perfectly OK in some cultures being massively offensive in others); thirdly, some people (and all people, on some of their days) just have a sense-of-humour deficiency. That's less common, of course, but we have to make at least some allowances for it. I suppose I can sum your best approach up thus: be gentle. Tread lightly. Lead rather than lecture, and use far more carrot than stick in your dealings with everyone. Pesky (talk) 10:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Many thanks. i might pause to reflect on what you say before posting, think about wording. I know it's just plain common sense, but I'm often blind to it in myself. Thinking back, yeah, there have been a few moments. Not intended to be snarky or sarcastic, just to nudge a little bit. Thanks for the guidance. --Pete (talk) 10:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Don't feel bad, Pete, people sometimes have called me snarky too. At the same time, I have also been REALLY wounded by other people's snark; my take is that it really IS kind of hard to see one's own snark. It's an art form to be consistently worked upon. Montanabw(talk) 16:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've always found you to be one of the best editors to work with ... but then we have a fair few things in common! Pesky (talk) 15:42, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Hey there Auntie


I should help you pimp your page or something as an award, I need direction I figure. Penyulap 16:28, 26 Jun 2012 (UTC)

What a super graphic! That's really touching :o)

If you really need direction, how about some nice gnoming; with this in your armoury? Pesky (talk) 16:36, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

penyulap ? references ? that's like a fish with a bicycle :) I technically may have trouble denying that I know anything at all about references (curses to article histories) but I would say my motto is "bare URL's put out fires" and then move on :)
I had been thinking along the lines of artistic direction, but that's all sorted now, as I found another brand new wiki with that brand new wiki smell about it, and the wide open argument-free and idiot-free pastures of green in the afternoon sunshine, Ahhhh, those 'good old days' that I have heard so much about. Wow, euphoria, usually, the initial reaction to a new wiki is like, this place is so pitiful, but after you edit the main page, insert a few pics, that feeling kind of passes. :) (big smile) Penyulap 18:29, 26 Jun 2012 (UTC)
A robotic gnome army would be ok, that's dragonish
I'm too much of a dramaqueen to be a gnome, what can I do, it's Dragon edits or it's back to the dragon cave. :( Penyulap 19:36, 26 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Might creating strikingly effective graphics that are genuinely useful to Wikipedia be sufficiently dragonish? Just a thought, —MistyMorn (talk) 08:53, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Been there, done that, common-sense left the building. Made a pic for the chinese space station which people like but it doesn't address the underlying issue of whether any of it is necessary. So I'm like, I'll put it on some other site, because I know what annoys artists and media outlets, so if we drew our own pics of the css, then nobody would sue us, but if people want to use non-free images I'll go along with it anyday, I just shy away from uploading them myself. That said, I do have my whoops moments (but that is poorly documented and unlikely to upset anyone). So about only a quarter of my userspace creations get deleted, it's the wrong quarter but it's a smaller portion than my article space creations maybe. I do like the hard requests at the photography workshop, especially if other artists are whining that it can't be done, or just arguing with the requester that it shouldn't be done (because they don't want to admit they can't do it) that inspires me. I hate shops and departments and so on, where people (and this happens in some countries more than others) say it cannot be done, when what they mean is, "I don't know how" but prefer to mislead by telling lies rather than admit they don't know something. Penyulap 16:23, 27 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Fun new article, take a peek

See horse burial. May want to add stuff on the UK. Montanabw(talk) 18:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I shall take a look! Pesky (talk) 19:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Interesting article. AFAIK we don;t have much (discovered) in the way of horse burials per se, although I do seem to recall reading up on a whole load of horse bones discovered in a well at an archaeological dig somewhere. Possibly East Anglia area. I don't s'pose that counts, though! Pesky (talk) 06:27, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Is this two cheeky ?

Do you think I'm out of line here too much, not enough, or about my usual ? Penyulap 05:33, 29 Jun 2012 (UTC)

"Two-cheeky", lol! Stop mooning around, midear! Assume the position while I go and find my whip ... Pesky (talk) 06:25, 30 June 2012 (UTC)


... is a good day, hope for you too ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:02, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

It's been OK so far ... but it's early yet! I hope everyone has a good day today. Pesky (talk) 07:13, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, not sure what to do here

Well, someone at wikiproject penyulap has made some observations and it's rather delicate. You see, as we both know my bot gets up to far too much mischief, and as I am somehow supposed to be held responsible for his numerous misdeeds, bad acting on the pesky express come to mind and so on, his antics at wikiproject penyulap have consisted exclusively of suggesting that they need a catchy slogan while waving the no penyulap placard, and making what some might misconstrue as a death threat. Thing is, someone is suggesting his observations match their own, so there are many dilemmas here. I don't on one hand want to cause embarrassment by suggesting the observations of that observer may not be as observant as they could be, and while I do take the blame for that little %*#& PALZ9000 causing trouble, there is the flipside that if he is causing trouble by making inappropriate remarks which confuse people into thinking he's not a bot, then if they are agreeing I should be, well, you know, that would sortof suggest they're not in fact confused by him because they haven't noticed anything beyond cut'n'pasting his name that they could actually lay claim to. Unless it was the slogan, which is fair enough, every such endeavor needs a slogan and I would really hate for it to be three words long starting with burn and ending with witch, I'd rather something modern, upbeat, catchy, so really for the trouble that bot causes, the little bugger has a point there. Modern, catchy, I like that. What rhymes with blow him out of the hatch ? and how would you reduce 'isolate the ISS talkpage from the rest of the wikiproject and depressurize it while Penyulap's in there' down to something easier to work with ? I don't want to leave everything to PALZ, his skills in poetry leave much to be desired, though I dare say he does have some nice dreams.

Anyhow, like I was trying to convince Acadēmica Orientālis‎, not every comment should have a response, sometimes it's better to say nothing at all. Certainly I wouldn't want anyone subjected to an angry Auntie twice in a row, I can imagine how overly chastised that would make me feel. Naught but a sideways glance from you has more effect on me than, well, anything else.

The waltzing is something I'd love to address really, I am accused of waltzing in a displeasing manner, and it seems to make someone mope about and I would love to have them enthusiastic about sprucing up an article instead. Hmm. Penyulap 05:39, 2 Jul 2012 (UTC)

I'm not at all up to speed on whatever has been going on, but I took a read through bit5s of your talk page, the place where I commented on earlier, & etc., just to see if I could get a handle on anything.

You really do seem to be not entirely in a good place; you're a touch more heated in places than is entirely good for you. It's "coming across" as the kind of irritability that people / animals get with chronic pain, or chronic itchiness. I think possibly the most important thing for you to remember is that the vast majority of people just can't help not being able to process such a huge amount of information at the speeds which you are capable of; they just can't help not seeing things with the lightning-clarity that you frequently do, any more than they can help what colour eyes they were born with. So you need to be very patient with them (like you would be (hopefully!) if you were dealing with a puppy or a toddler).

The other side of the autie coin (as always!) is that you often just can't help not immediately seeing some of the stuff that's clear to neurotypicals. But this one you can change; take some time to try and think like a neurotypical, especially take some time to try and think like the ones you have most of your challenges with. In many instances neither side is seeing the other side's true colours. Be a tad more giving with your love and understanding, be a little more gentle and perceptive of what's going on in other people's minds; you have the brain to be able to accomplish this. The onus is on you to make allowances for others more than it is on others to make allowances for you, the same way the onus is on me to learn the "language" of the animals I deal with, rather than expecting them to be able to learn English!

I sup[pose, ultimately, the key is this: when you're working entirely on your own, you can go at whatever warp-speed and wormhole-leaps you like. But whenever you're working with a team, the mark of true leadership is the ability to pace yourself to the abilities of the slowest / weakest / least able, etc. Instead of having the autie-typical "How can I get over this obstacle", you need to change to the principle-centred-leadership "How can we get over this obstacle. All of us. Not leaving anyone behind or damaged." Pesky (talk) 07:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


Hi Pesky! I just had a thought - how about moving User:ThatPeskyCommoner/Autism-spectrum and Aspergers editors into Wikipedia space? I think it is mature enough to make a good Wikipedia-space essay, and I can't foresee any problems with doing so. Let me know whether you think this is a good idea or not. — Mr. Stradivarius on tour (have a chat) 06:01, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, Granny Pesky's talk page plug might help fill that caring gap for you. To avoid personalising the WP essay, might it perhaps be better to separate the Granny Pesky bit somehow from the main text? Just a thought, —MistyMorn (talk) 08:48, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Good point. I'm not sure what the best way would be to separate it, though. Maybe we could do something clever with footnotes, or a "see also" section? Before deciding anything like that, though, we should wait and see whether Pesky wants the essay to be moved or not. We shouldn't move the essay if Pesky isn't ok with it. :) — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 10:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Sure. Some sort of a footnote was actually the sort of solution I was thinking of too, but obviously that's Pesky's call. —MistyMorn (talk) 10:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll be quite happy with anything you two agree on :o) Be bold! Pesky (talk) 15:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok, it's moved! Its new home is Wikipedia:Autism-spectrum and Aspergers editors. I put the stuff about your talk page in the "see also" section with a footnote. It's a little less conspicuous, but still nicely visible, so hopefully people should still notice it. Have a look and see if you like the way I did it. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 09:51, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
That's great :D Hugz. Pesky (talk) 10:28, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

New Project?

Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but I saw it while talk page browsing and thought you might be interested. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Editor_Retention Intothatdarkness (talk) 16:31, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Aaahhh, yes; editor-retention has always been one of my pet interests. I haven't been actively involved with the project (at least, as far as I recall!) Thanks for pointing that out to me; I'll take a look through at some point. Busy redecorating my son's flat at the moment (which is why I've been away quite a bit). Pesky (talk) 07:06, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
This one's new as far as I can tell. Dennis Brown is behind it. Intothatdarkness (talk) 13:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Aah, that bodes well! If it's a "Dennis-baby", it's likely to be soundly thought through. Pesky (talk) 15:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Can't say I'm encouraged by the flurry of blocks (KW and Pen...oddly enough Hipocrite seems to be defending KW for the same thing he blocked Pen for...). I'm all for Dennis' project, but there's a part of me that really wonders if it has a chance in this culture. Intothatdarkness (talk) 15:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
We certainly need to be a bit more flexible in our approach, as a community, with some editors. There's a big difference between a responsible, sensibly-policed community and an oppressive one backed up with martial law. We need more carrot and less stick in some cases. Back in the day, here in the UK we transported people for the equivalent of shoplifting as well as for far more serious crimes. This wasn't a good thing. We need to appreciate more shades of grey and learn better ways of dealing with them. Fair enough, you can;t make an omelette without breaking eggs. But it's just as true that, if you use a sledgehammer to break the eggs, it's still bloody hard to make the omelette. Pesky (talk) 15:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
And I think it's that very thought of flexibility that scares some people. Bundle that in with some of the issues surrounding adminship and you have a real dog's breakfast. There are editors and admins both who are simply wonderful when it comes to dealing with people and others who really shouldn't have contact with humans unless absolutely necessary. What seems to happen in too many cases, though, is that those who shouldn't deal with people do...with very predictable results. Between that inevitable conflict and what seems to be a reluctance to deal with the passive/aggressive bullying that goes on it's a difficult problem. Intothatdarkness (talk) 15:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
One of the things that gets to me is when people start making mass generalisations about certain other groups of people. Nobody in particular, (and definitely not you!) and not specifically current, but (for example) that it's not worth trying to get on with auties; or auties are "just plain difficult", or (worse still) "shouldn't be on the 'pedia". Grrr. I don't seem to have much trouble getting on with most people, most of the time – and I'm an autie, too. It shouldn't be up to the auties to adapt enough to get on with the non-auties, really; both types should work just as hard as each other at getting on with the other type. Well, all types should etc. But I really hate this undercurrent of ... can't think of the word ... but it's people who I wouldn't ever want to see becoming admins, because they seem to have a thing about wanting to punish people, to blatt people; people who seem to have a vengeful, vindictive, punitive personality. I know everyone has the odd snarl day when they get like that a bit, but some people seem to spend much of their time in bite mode; spiteful, retaliatory, wossname. Yuk. And they seem to be increasing in numbers (either that or I'm just unlucky and looking at the wrong pages.) Is something that we're doing in here encouraging the zap-happies? Pesky (talk) 21:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Part of it may have something to do with the lack of clear, concise policies. I've been a message board admin, and in that environment (for the most part) you had very clear guidelines and policies to follow. What was acceptable and what wasn't.'s all shades of gray. My take is that the VVPs you mention above are attracted to that grayness and slide into positions where they can (consciously or not) take advantage of it to simply be themselves without threat of sanction. I've been following the KW saga off and on today, and some of the comments being made by the blocking admin make me shake my head. But nothing will happen to him/her. And that disparity, I think, helps attract the VVPs. If they're careful, and only provoke through persistence, they know they can succeed. Sooner or later they'll provoke the thinkers who just can't keep quiet, and then they take down another one. I should admit that if we're classifying types here, I'm most likely a deletionist. But I can understand the position of those who take the opposing view and simply let them be. Same goes for the people usually grouped as "disruptive." Some can be hopeless (mainly due to personal problems, I suspect, or simply trying to see what they can break), but the people who really want to see things change for the better that get classed as "disruptive"...that bothers me. Intothatdarkness (talk) 21:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if this germaine or not, but I was at a deaf clinic with my wife earlier today (she's the deaf one, not me), and while I was waiting for her to be seen I was reading through the leaflets on display. Several of the points they made seemed quite relevant to Wikipedia:

Don't be embarrassed to let people know you're deaf
If you can't understand something ask the person to say it again in a different way
If you're talking to a deaf person make sure to introduce the subject right at the start, then they have some context for what you're talking about

... and lots more like that. I guess the point I'm making is that unless we know something about each other we can have no way of knowing how best to communicate with each other. Insisting on a standardised WikiSpeak is not the way forward. Malleus Fatuorum 21:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

And just to elaborate on that, I couldn't give a monkey's arse about being called a fucking cunt by someone I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire, but I do understand that others may not take such a robust view. That's partly why I'm always a little uncomfortable when I don't know the gender of the editor I'm talking to, as there are things that even I would hesitate to say to a woman that I would have no compunction in saying to a man. Not sure where this is going ... time for a beer. Malleus Fatuorum 21:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

(ec)I don't know the way forward, and certainly don't pretend to. But after seeing what seems to be acceptable communication here I feel very weary... Intothatdarkness (talk) 21:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
You are all raising concerns shared by many others. WP has been something of an anarchy, may need to put into place something more approaching a formal rule of law, lest we have Lord of the Flies. Not sure. Montanabw(talk) 03:56, 4 July 2012 (UTC))
A lot of wisdom here, as I'd expect :o) Malleus, that literature you mentioned sounds really good – it applies to so many things, not just deafness. We all so need to be more flexible, more tolerant. There's only a tiny proportion of genuinely disruptive, trolling, abusive editors who appear, and so many people who get labelled the wrong way, dealt with the wrong way, who are not that type. They may have a few glitches. Yup, that's called "being human". We all have glitches. But, speaking as someone who's done an awful lot of animal-behaviour-rehab work with animals who have definitely more than "a few glitches", the route to success does not consist of beating the crap out of them. Pesky (talk) 04:56, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
If we all "talked" to the fellow editor as if it were our Mother, the chances of us calling her "a fucking cunt" may be lessened.```Buster Seven Talk 05:21, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Possibly, not sure, have to think about that one. Malleus Fatuorum 05:29, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't. Over the years we've taken on many ferrets (yes, I did say ferrets) that were given up because their owners were basically frightened of them. But believe it or not, despite their reputation, ferrets are really affectionate and playful animals. Their play can sometimes be a little bit rough though, so they have to be taught how much is enough. Many owners have been told that the way to deal with a ferret that bites, and let's face it, all animals bite, is to flick it hard on the nose, but all that does is to inflame the little buggers and make them more determined to get you the next time. (One thing you have to admire about ferrets is that they're absolutely fearless, to the point of stupidity.) The way to handle a difficult ferret is very simple; let it know that it's hurting you, by making the same noise it would make if it was being hurt by another ferret. It's all about communication and knowing your audience, not some shrink-wrapped one solution fits all approach so typical of Wikipedia. Malleus Fatuorum 05:29, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
This is true. (And I like ferrets, too :o) ) I don't approve of name-calling, anyways, but I can understand that some kinds of provocation can make some kinds of people do that. It's part of the species-normal range of human behaviours. But I also disapprove (strongly) of the kind of folks who jump into the pile-on when they see someone getting spanked, despite never having had any interactions with them in the past. It reminds me of a dog I once rehabbed who only had to see a fight in the distance to get an overwhelming urge to join in. The civility policy can be summed up in just three words: "Don't hurt people." Pesky (talk) 05:32, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Close, but no cigar. What might hurt you may not hurt me, and vice versa. I'd say it could be summed up in four words: "Don't try to hurt people". Malleus Fatuorum 06:04, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely. Anyone, however well-meaning, can cause accidental hurt. But hurt with malice aforethought is a very different thing. Pesky (talk) 06:36, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Here's a horsey one: two of the most useful bits of horse body language I ever learned (which humans can effectively reproduce) were the one for "You're pushing the boundaries too much" and the one which means "Fuck off out of my space!" They work – especially used sequentially. ;P (Adding: they are also very important ones to recognise when the horse uses them ... half a ton of enraged equine when you've failed to understand what it sees as the most basic communication is not to be taken lightly ...) Pesky (talk) 05:35, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. We had a cat, a lovely black cat that I loved to bits, and she loved me too, but she was an absolute bitch with pretty much everyone else. We used to warn people who came to the house not to try and pet her, as she'd bite them. But pretty much everyone would say, "Aw, I like cats and they like me", and try stroking her anyway. After about two seconds her tail would start swishing and I'd say "Time to stop now, she's going to bite you", and invariably she did. Body language can tell you so much. Malleus Fatuorum 05:49, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, understanding their body language is vital in dealing with animals. And looking for the little nuances (even of violent language) which give you clues. We have two ponies (both out running the Forest; they're happiest out there) who have superficially similar body language if you try to do anything close to their heads. One will flatten and fold her ears and really threaten to bite you when you need to give her a wormer, simply because she doesn;t like being messed about by humans and would much rather be left alone, thank you very much. The other one is a different ballgame altogether; we don;t know what happened, but at some point in her life it's clear that something really traumatic happened around her head, and she escaped from the situation by using the level of violence which could have endangered her own life. The first one we just get on with the job and make sure that our arms are out of reach of her teeth. The second one ... extreme caution and patience required. If you hit the panic button on her, she will kill you to try and escape. Pesky (talk) 06:08, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
What I find fascinating is that body language transcends species; it allows us to communicate with other mammals, and them with us. Malleus Fatuorum 06:20, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
So true! In fact, it was only after I'd become pretty fluent in other species' body language that I was able to "learn" human body language reasonably well! And it's not restricted to mammals, either – I have an eight-foot long boa constrictor who has some "little behavioural issues", but you can see at a (perceptive) glance just what she's thinking(?) and likely to do next. Pesky (talk) 06:34, 4 July 2012 (UTC)


I liked and agreed with your comments at that AC page .. the comic strip is at: User:Geogre/Comic btw. Have a great day. — Ched :  ?  12:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

"They come not single spies ...

... but in battalions."

Never bloody ends! My younger son has just been diagnosed with a PE, and will now be on Warfarin for at least six months. We're keeping him at home, under my eye, until his breathing has settled down a bit. Poor kid has had so much shite to handle over the past few years. Pesky (talk) 07:29, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Oh my .. that does tend to put things into perspective. You and he do have my best thoughts and prayers Pesky. — Ched :  ?  13:05, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to see this. Please accept my best wishes and hopes for his recovery. Intothatdarkness 16:45, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Bad news. Sorry to hear that Pesky. My thoughts are with you and your family. OohBunnies! (talk) 16:50, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Hope all goes well. Good meds out there for this these days. Montanabw(talk) 20:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Goodness. :-( Best wishes from me too for a full and speedy recovery. Carcharoth (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Thinking of you and your son, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, guys :o) I've passed on your thoughts / best wishes etc. to him; he says thanks, too. My biggest challenge is to make him listen to his body and do what it says; he's the sort that will try and "work through" illness, but I've explained some possible consequences to him, and he seems to have taken it on board! Pesky (talk) 03:57, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Pesky, I know we've only crossed paths a couple times, but you and your son are in my thoughts. I hope dearly that his recovery is smooth and speedy. Best wishes, Keilana|Parlez ici 04:48, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Chances are that it will be; on the whole, he's young, fit and strong (he's 23). But ... there's always that chance of complications, and we don't even know why he got it. No clear and obvious culprit. My suspicion is that it may be linked to a relatively trivial accident he had many months ago; he fell and landed on his bunch of keys, one of which stabbed deeply into his arm, and the wound got infected. Initial infection responded well to treatment ... but it was a septic deep penetrating injury, and he may well have developed a clot in an arm vein as a result. These things can lie still for a long time before something breaks off. They're also testing him for TB, just in case. Pesky (talk) 05:04, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
My thoughts are with you both, I'm sure that the situation will fix itself, young, fit and strong is a great trio to work with. Penyulap 06:10, 7 Jul 2012 (UTC)
On the whole, young, fit and strong is good. But young, fit, strong and male can be allied to a greater propensity for risk-taking behaviour ;P – so that's what we need to keep an eye on! Pesky (talk) 06:15, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Best Pesky, —MistyMorn (talk) 10:14, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Add thesaurus here

Good thought. For thesaurus, see [1]. bishzilla ROARR!! 21:44, 6 July 2012 (UTC).

Hugz to little 'zilla; I have bookmarked that very useful site! Pesky (talk) 06:41, 7 July 2012 (UTC)


What did I hear?

So much for equality. Pesky (talk) 07:34, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Cats are incredible creatures

I often wonder just what their thinking processes are – and it's becoming increasingly clear that we're not just talking about wired-in instinctive behaviour.

When one (or more) of the cats began to drag poop-scoop bags into the kitty litter tray in their "burying" mode, I was quite prepared to accept that as pure coincidence, as the bags were close to the tray. But the bags have been moved out of reach. And on quite a few occasions I've discovered the kitty-litter scooper in the tray (possibly as a gentle hint to The Staff that something needs to be done?)

But, this morning, I actually saw Bryn get out of the litter tray, pick up the scooper, drop it into the tray and try digging / hauling it around. Hmmmm. Is there some kind of thought-process here which suggests Magical Items which can clear the tray far better than feline ingenuity and skill can hope to achieve? Which not just buries the crap, but makes it magically disappear altogether? What exactly is he thinking here? Could this be where the concept of gods originated? Pesky (talk) 04:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

You might ask Koko for a fun answer, but she's not into philosophy. You can 'go there' with some considerable training (for most people) to quiet the 'inner voice' and then experience life without the language (seriously cool, calm, quite). But I think Jane Goodall had the very best interactions and chatted about it. For the ordering of animals, humans are not even on the top of the scale, although cats are yes, way way below, elephants are far beyond us, believe it or not. Then there is the Australian Wombat which doesn't bother arguing with wikipedians on a computer, he looks to the BIG PICTURE, basically, he eats roots, shoots, and leaves. Not much of a life, but meh. Penyulap 04:49, 5 Jul 2012 (UTC)
I'm very familiar with communications in several species (usually about 20% vocalised to 80% body language), but trying to work out a thought process behind a non-natural action, particularly one involving possible tool use, is a whole different ball game. Pesky (talk) 05:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
It's becoming very clear that many other animals "think" in just the same way that we do. I was very struck by a chimpanzee I saw on TV who'd been taught to communicate by pointing to ideograms presented on a large board. When the TV crew turned up he pointed to the female presenter and said that he wanted her to come into his enclosure and play chase and tickling. (I could see where he was coming from there, I wouldn't have minded a bit of ... never mind, I digress.) He then asked to to go for a ride around the zoo in a car, and went off and got the collar he knew he'd need if he was let out. We have far too high an opinion of ourselves. Malleus Fatuorum 05:56, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Hehe! Yes, sometimes we can most definitely see where they're coming from. I remember several instances of seeing mares looking at a range of stallions (at shows, usually), and noticing a big proportion of them eyeing up a particular stallion with an "Oooh, he's gorgeous!" expression on their faces (whether in season or not)! My question about Bryn's thought process is not "What does he think it does?" (that's obvious; he knows it cleans the litter tray), but more "How does he think it does it?" and whether he wonders at all why it works for me, but not for him. Snakes are interesting; I don;t know much about the venomous ones, but the constrictors only seem to have four (or possibly five) classifications into which everything in their world fits. Prey, predators, potential mates / accepted living companions, and "geography". Geography has a subset of "water". On that note, water is an interesting one. I've never yet met a species in which attempting to lay claim to water seems to be socially acceptable. It seems that water belongs to everyone; you can't "own" water or the access to it. Pesky (talk) 06:10, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I think I mentioned ferrets to you recently, but they're an interesting case. They're carnivores, and behind dogs and cats the third-most popular carnivorous pet. But they're usually not very vocal; they never purr, they very rarely wag their tails, they never bark or growl, although they do have a range of vocalisations ranging from screaming to a kind of chittering noise many call "dooking". So what you have to do with them is to learn and to watch their body language. Malleus Fatuorum 06:24, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Have you discussed the idea that you can't own water with United Utilities? Malleus Fatuorum 06:28, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

2000 Cochabamba protests Penyulap 06:38, 5 Jul 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm. Yes, we humans take things a stage further. Of course, we're the only species (AFAIK) which has members whose livelihoods depend on the treatment and purification of water, so we're a bit different there. Ferrets are cool; the minutiae of their gestures and postures is fascinating. And they vocalise with different grades of sniffs, if you listen carefully, too. With such a difference of scale, they can understand us best when we just get a hand to mimic their own body language, whereas cats, dogs, farmy-type livestock and so on seem to have little difficulty understanding whole-body communication, even when we're on two legs and they're on four. Pesky (talk) 06:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
The whole cross-species body language stuff is a fascinating area. If I've remembered it right, if you're confronted by a black bear you should never run away, but you should if it's a grizzly. And from personal experience I can state with some confidence that you should be exceedingly careful when presented by a ferret that's hissing at you. Malleus Fatuorum 06:56, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
An irritated ferret is, in my experience, the hardest thing on Earth to give a pill to ... cats don't even come close! Have you noticed the slight bug-eye and pointed-forwards whiskers thing that ferrets do? It's a good early-warning system for the hissing stage. Pesky (talk) 07:03, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
In my experience cats are far, far harder to get pills down than ferrets are. It's hard to describe exactly but with a ferret there's a definite "I'm seriously pissed now, fuck off" vibe you get. Not because they're making a noise, just because of their posture and the way they look at you. Malleus Fatuorum 07:13, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've never had a problem with giving pills to cats. The sniff-thing with ferrets is interesting; you know the nature of the smell-sniff response tells you what the ferret thinks about what it's smelling? (like that little curl-nosed "huff!" they do when they really don;t like a scent?) They seem to use an exaggerated version of "I don't like that smell", combined with the physical "Alert!" stance, to mean something along the lines of "Attention! I can smell something I don't like!", which is definite interactive communication rather than just a personal expression of distaste. Pesky (talk) 07:29, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Bears attacks

Came here to post about something else, but this discussion was far more interesting. What Malleus posted above ("The whole cross-species body language stuff is a fascinating area. If I've remembered it right, if you're confronted by a black bear you should never run away, but you should if it's a grizzly.") prompted me to go look up what I read in Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (Stephen Herrero, revised 2002 edition, 282pp) while touring Yellowstone Park last year (in a coach, so I didn't really need to read it, but still). It essentially said the best way to avoid bear attacks is to not put yourself in a situation where a bear might encounter you let alone attack you (seems obvious, but you know what they say about an ounce of prevention). The thing with black bears, apparently, is to work out whether they are defending themselves or looking for food. The advice was if they start trying to eat you, then fight back, but otherwise stay still (play dead) and wait for them to leave. It also depends largely on the situation (is the bear defending cubs, or a recent kill, have you surprised them, things like that). It can also be difficult to distinguish a grizzly and a black bear. The thing about grizzlies, apparently, is that if they are bold enough to approach you, they have likely been habituated to humans (and associate them with food) and will try and eat you regardless, so you need to fight back and/or run, though again it does depend on the circumstances. There is a fascinating chapter ('Characteristics of Bears') where the author tries to help the reader think and feel like a bear, though he does quote Wittgenstein in saying "If a lion could talk, we could not understand him" (i.e. lions, bears, and indeed ferrets, see the world differently to us and their behaviour and instincts come from their adaptations to the environments they evolved in, as indeed do ours). Carcharoth (talk) 21:12, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this is the key to working with any animal successfully. You have to know why they think, feel, react in certain ways. You have to learn to "be a horse", in your mind, to rehab a horse. You have to do a lot of study into the social hierarchies, interactions, and etiquette of the species you're working with. And, ideally, into the wild form of it, too; domestication pastes a thin veneer of other interactions over the top, but the real nitty-gritty underneath is whatever spent x-million years evolving before they encountered us. Did you know that all canid species play "the trophy game"? The one where someone picks up a trophy, and the other(s) have to chase to get it? Often used in the hunt-training of pups / cubs. My (getting elderly) mostly-German Shepherd bitch will try to get babies and toddlers (and cats) to play the trophy game with her, but she doesn't do so with adults. Pesky (talk) 03:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
In Griz country, Carcharoth, we say that playing dead with a Griz (the last resort, but beats running, given that they can sprint faster than any human) is "curl up and kiss your ass goodbye!' LOL! Best advice: Don't eat bacon in your tent but do bring pepper spray. Second best advice: Remember: Black bears can climb trees, but Griz can't. Third: Hike with a friend who runs slower than you! Montanabw(talk) 01:08, 8 July 2012 (UTC)