User talk:Valfontis

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Your warning regarding edit-warring[edit]

Re: Big Cat Rescue

I disagree with your notion of me engaging in an edit-war. Both Tedder and you reverted my edits several times with insufficient explanations. Both of you demand from me to discuss it on the talk page, while not doing the same yourself and preferring to immediately revert my edits instead. Several of the edits I made initially reverted by you or Tedder eventually remained in the article even after your major revision. --Serval5412 (talk) 18:51, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I'd be more amenable to discussing this with you if I thought you were here to improve the encyclopedia in general and not simply a single-purpose account with a POV. Please take it to the article's talk page, where I have started a discussion. Valfontis (talk) 19:00, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Please accept my sincere apology[edit]

... for editing your post at WP:Categories for discussion/Log/2015 October 24 § Streams, and thank you for AGF when you reverted it. I had thought it would be helpful and that you might accept it as such, but I was wrong, and it was presumptuous of me. At the very least, I should have asked permission before editing your post. YBG (talk) 05:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

And thank you for correcting your username ... had I clicked through, I would have seen the redirect.
So I'm wondering, how did you find those old discussions? It is truly phenomenal! Thanks again! YBG (talk) 06:36, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry about it, I thought it over and it felt like it didn't really represent my writing style or something, kind of like putting words in my mouth. But I turned around and did the same thing to you, re: my username, so thanks for understanding. And yes it's confusing as I've tried to distance myself from my old user name, but lots of talk pages have my old user name and it would impossible to fix them all. But that is indeed me! Re: finding the old discussions, mostly I looked at "what links here" for Category:Streams of Oregon. I also have amazing "Google fu"! But "what links here" + redlinks is one of my favorite tools. I'm glad we are having a thoughtful category discussion (categories usually give me a headache!). Valfontis (talk) 10:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

User talk:Wangenra (was "WTF?")[edit]

what exactly is disruptive about making a very short term test edit to help instruct kids in a classroom? This is ludicrous. Please reconsider. See the talk section above it. John from Idegon (talk) 22:39, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I saw it. I replied, and I stand by my block. We have rules about doing test edits, and she stated the intention of doing so again. She hasn't done any legitimate editing in years. There are other ways to discourage students from using Wikipedia. I'm not really interested in discouraging students from using Wikipedia. Feel free to ask another admin to review my actions, such as at WP:ANI. I'll defer to their judgement. Thanks for trying to encourage her to find other ways to get her students to interact with Wikipedia. Valfontis (talk) 22:46, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
For what its worth, what is described above is IMHO clearly disruptive. And alternatives exist!
  1. Conduct test edits in the sandbox
  2. Do some real constructive edits in article space.
With these alternatives there is absolutely no educational benefit in test edits in article space. And it gives the impression that it is OK to ignore community standards. YBG (talk) 18:05, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Posted it myself at ANI. Valfontis (talk) 22:58, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

@John from Idegon: have I been uncivil? I'm confused because I'm feeling a lot of anger and hostility from you and a few other people regarding the block I did that I brought to the community for discussion, which to be clear I am perfectly OK with someone reverting. Am I misinterpreting the anger and hostility? What's up? By doing what may have been an unwarranted action and possibly not assuming good faith on the part of the teacher, did I forfeit my right to WP:AFG in turn? As a fellow member of WikiProject Oregon I hope we can collaborate calmly in the future. Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 17:17, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Just so we're literally on the same page[edit]

Context: People talking about the situation and asking SlimVirgin to unblock on her talk page.

I'm not sure I should be the poster child for self-righteous assholes everywhere, but if I am, please calmly discuss how you would like me to act in the future. Further discussions about "good block", "bad block" etc. should be kept on the ANI section I started. Thanks! Valfontis (talk) 18:51, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi Valfontis, thanks for opening this discussion. Had I seen those edits, I'd have ignored them, for the following reasons:
the edits were were doing no harm (it was not a BLP or similar, and the edits weren't insulting or similarly problematic); there had been only four in 18 months; the teacher explained what she was doing; she had discussed them with the principal; it's a good lesson in critical thinking; doing them live, rather than in a sandbox, is more powerful; and another editor, John from Idegon, was already advising her. The only thing I might have done is put the page on my watchlist.
Had I decided to act for some reason, I would have left her a note explaining:
that the article has hundreds of readers a month; that as volunteers we're obliged to keep the article as accurate as possible; and that edits like these risk causing confusion even when reverted immediately. I would have acknowledged that she intended to do the same thing the following Wednesday, as she explained, but I would have asked her to end the test edits after that. I would have explained that she could use a draft/sandbox page instead, and I'd have shown her how to do that. I might also have directed her to the Teahouse.
I hope this helps to explain how I view it. Sarah (talk) 19:11, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Valfontis, as I said on the ANI page, I don't see where you have done anything "wrong". You did what seemed to make sense to you at the time but were perfectly willing to ask for input and change your mind if need be. It was the input from some of the others that disturbed me so much. Gandydancer (talk) 19:26, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. Obviously the whole issue touched a nerve. It was hard for me to separate the opinions about my behavior from the opinions about the blocked user's behavior from the whole issue about why we are here and what we are doing and what we can do to encourage other editors to stick around and and and, etc. Whew. I'll not say much here since my actions are under scrutiny and my thoughts should be confined to the ANI page until that discussion is closed. But if we're talking about editor retention, the tone of the discussion at ANI isn't going to win us any converts! Scary stuff, but it is Halloween, after all. Boo. Valfontis (talk) 20:11, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
I take issue with the block, but you already know that. IMO, your note to Gandydancer on the blocked editor's talk aggravated an already unfortunate incident. As an adminstrator, you are charged with doing what is best for the encyclopedia. Your comment to Gandy showed no view of the encyclopedia whatsoever. It was solely about you. You truly did do nothing "wrong". On that we are in agreement. Even your comment to Gandy was technically correct. But it, like the block, did nothing to further the long term health and welfare of the 'pedia. There are much better ways to handle some issues than the ultimate punishment. My hope would be that going forward from this would be that, one, you come to an understanding that there are degrees of disruption and many are better handled with words than buttons; and two, that as an adminstrator, your actions require a long view, with weight given to the long term, as well as the immediate consequences of your action vs the problem at hand. I don't hold grudges, and I am impressed by your willingness to seek review. Just remember, like any group evaluation, there is something to learn from both whatever side rules the day, and the opposition. John from Idegon (talk) 20:40, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Thank you for your calm reply. I think Gandydancer's comment was undermining to an admin decision, as I assumed the "way too seriously" comment could have been directed at me and not to the discussion in general. It's also bringing up a topic I'm pretty sure the the teacher has no interest in--editor retention. I'd be curious to see what @Gandydancer: has to say about that. Your comment "apparently someone should worry a bit more about what they should have learned in high school and less about how you are teaching" seems unnecessarily snarky (as was starting your conversation with me with "WTF?"). I'm a bit mystified why a blocked editor needs all this sympathy and support, maybe someone can explain that to me. I take it this all touches on larger issues such as "admin abuse"? Valfontis (talk) 20:58, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

An apology is in order: the hasty initial phrasing we're collectively a bunch of self righteous assholes (emphasis added) was intended to convey I was more dismayed at the overall tone -- especially all the folks saying "good block!!" It was as much about ANI as this particular block -- see Wikipedia:Not Colosseum, written last March. Of course I shouldn't have said it at all, which is why striking that portion was my first edit this morning (my time zone) [1]. NE Ent 20:48, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. @Winkelvi: also used the "asshole" phrase. So I figured there was a consensus of at least two that it was my block, and not the general discussion that was characteristic of being an asshole. I apologize if I am being touchy but I have to admit the initial contact about the block got my hackles up. Valfontis (talk) 21:02, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
In the context of the moment, my use of "bad block" was as much counterpoint to all the "good block" comments as anything else. Wikipedia:: is gray, not black and white. It was not a "bad block" in any sense that you were involved, or that you don't understand policy (test edits are not, in fact, allowed) -- it just wasn't a great block in that it doesn't seem like less punitive measures had been involved. We serialize our warning templates e.g. {{uw-test1}}, {{uw-test2}}, {{uw-test3}} specifically because blocking should be a last option, and the personal touch -- such as that John from Idegon used and Sarah suggests above -- often work better than templated messages. NE Ent 21:19, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

How about this: someone unblocks Wangenra (I don't care whether its you or Sarah or someone else) and collectively Gandydancer, John from Idegon and you all agree we can simply remove User_talk:Wangenra#Sorry... from the talk page? NE Ent 21:25, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

I'm not going to unblock until we hear from them (and unfortunately it looks like they don't have e-mail set up and many not even log in again until next week), but anyone else is of course free to do so and I will abide by the decision. The suggestion of removing the "Sorry" thread is a lovely one. And I'm really sorry I stomped on John's efforts to talk to the person, that would have made me upset too. I usually do try to engage people with more than templates. Unfortunately, I know from my years of experience, it's more often than not nothing more than practice for my writing skills and doesn't really lead to folks sticking around to edit. But I don't wish to interfere in anyone else's efforts in this direction. Valfontis (talk) 21:30, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

To be clear, Valfontis, my repeat of the "asshole" sentiment was not directed at you. -- WV 21:36, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

I would be happy with NEs idea. The blocked editors RL identity is clear and she has an email account on the school's server, FYI. John from Idegon (talk) 21:41, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, there is so much here but I am short on time right now and I don't want to say even more that I will regret... I will say this much: Val said: "It's also bringing up a topic I'm pretty sure the the teacher has no interest in--editor retention. I'd be curious to see what @Gandydancer: has to say about that." I'll agree with her here. I had no reason at all to pull editor retention into the discussion. It was a very poor move for me to add to the ongoing disagreement with even more disruptive material. I had that feeling right after I did it but I was so "flabbergasted" at the reactions of some editors that I acted out of an emotional place rather than first considering my words. I don't usually do that but something pushed me over the edge. More later... Gandydancer (talk) 22:51, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

@John from Idegon: are you suggesting someone (me?) e-mail the teacher? Which one of us is going to best represent the community? Perhaps that is a discussion for the ANI thread? Valfontis (talk) 13:26, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

For the sake of clarity -- unless you count "being nagged" as a sanction, there is no serious thought of admin sanctions happening here. The admin standard is rightly WP:NOTPERFECT: the fact that some of us disagree with your particular approach to dealing with a particular legitimate issue -- no one is arguing the test edits can be allowed to continue -- does not mean you're not valued as an editor and an administrator. My goal here and on ANI is simply to get the editor unblocked (and the "sorry" section removed, because we really do want to send a coherent firm message). NE Ent 13:28, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. And yes, the point that we need a "coherent message" is an excellent one, that's kind of what I was getting at with some of the stuff we are discussing above (the "Sorry" thread that has been removed from the user's talk page). People are continuing to post messages of sympathy on the user's talk page, which I find a bit odd, and again I would love to have someone explain that to me. You mentioned gray areas, and yes, hopefully we can find a middle ground to communicate as a community that falls between, "big bad admin abuse of power block" and "terrible unrepentant vandal must pay" because there certainly is one. Valfontis (talk) 13:39, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
The removal of the section was predicated on the editor being unblocked. NE Ent 14:33, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh. I misunderstood. I thought we agreed it was disruptive, so I removed it. Feel free to replace it but I think the section doesn't really shed light on the unblocking issue. Valfontis (talk) 14:49, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
@Gandydancer: I know you're busy but since the section has been restored you might want to revisit the user's talk page again. Valfontis (talk) 16:09, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) OK, I'll mention some of my thoughts on this incident. I'm sorry that I brought the editor retention issue into the conversation. It was extremely poor judgement for me to further stir the pot, and especially so on the teacher's page. On the other hand, I do not see it as uncivil on my part. I suppose we all judge civility differently and if there was an uncivil post, I'd have to say that the "don't stick beans up your nose" was pretty poor judgement as well.
As for removing the entire "I'm sorry..." conversation from the teacher's page, I would not have agreed to that and did not mean to suggest that I did when I said I was sorry that I mentioned the editor retention issue. From my POV, if the teacher read my words and then they suddenly disappeared without explanation, she might think that I changed my mind about the block. But what's done is done and I won't argue it. I'd still like to say something on her talk page re my feelings about the block, but at this point it's probably best that I stay out of it unless she makes any comments.
As for any mention of Wikipedia editors as a bunch of assholes too full of themselves, I was so happy to see those edits because they exactly expressed what I felt (but saved me of having to be so blunt :D)
Oh! I was pinged as I am writing this...I will post this much for now. Gandydancer (talk) 16:17, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
It really bothers me that I seem to come across as very critical of Val. I'm not and I can totally relate to her sense of feeling defensive re this whole affair. I'd feel the same way. I find Val to be very easy to work with at a time that must be difficult for her. Gandydancer (talk) 16:25, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

(I don't like being called "Val" ::smile::) I've unblocked and would like to move on. Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 16:29, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Me too! BTW, it only now, when I read the returned posts, did it come to me why you felt I was uncivil - of course you would since my edit seemed to be directed at you. So much of the difficulties in this (sometimes god-awful) place would not happen if we could speak and reply directly rather than all this endless typing... Well, hopefully all's well that ends well. Best, Gandy Gandydancer (talk) 17:12, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
@Gandydancer: Thanks for your thoughtfulness! Sorry it turned into such a mess, that was certainly not my intention. Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 16:20, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
You certainly have proved to me how worthy you are of your position. I wish someone would write an article in praise of editors rather than such negative stuff as we have seen of late. All things considered, it's nothing short of a modern day miracle that an encyclopedia written by volunteers using the consensus form of leadership and anonymous editors who have never spoken face to face to boot, has done so well. And actually, as far as consensus goes, I have taught the class myself and it was never meant to be able to work without an experienced moderator. Pretty amazing feat. Gandydancer (talk) 15:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Aww, you are too kind. It (the project) *is* kind of a miracle! I've moderated consensus discussions as well, I think that's why I called for a wrapup at the ANI thread. It was getting off-topic, personal, and circular. Oh, like most discussions there. *sigh* Imagine how much more we could get done (and maybe retain editors, who mostly I think throw up their hands in disgust at the !anarchy) if we all had consensus training! Valfontis (talk) 16:46, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


...for unblocking the teacher. It was the right thing to do. BMK (talk) 07:27, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

You're welcome. Honestly, I was just tired of seeing the worst of Wikipedia. Thanks for being human! Valfontis (talk) 14:09, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I think if the first person to approach me hadn't been so hostile, +the subsequent pile on, I would have reconsidered sooner. Even though the colosseum was mostly "thumbs up". Hasty actions bring hasty reactions, alas. Back to content creation. Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 14:15, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Made Reddit[edit]

Awesome. I'm going to write an autobio now. Valfontis (talk) 07:48, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 04 November 2015[edit]

A Dobos torte for you![edit]

Dobos cake (Gerbeaud Confectionery Budapest Hungary).jpg 7&6=thirteen () has given you a Dobos Torte to enjoy! Seven layers of fun because you deserve it.

To give a Dobos Torte and spread the WikiLove, just place {{subst:Dobos Torte}} on someone else's talkpage, whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or a good friend.

7&6=thirteen () 23:04, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 11 November 2015[edit]

Pier 126 Heliport[edit]

FYI... you created a redirect to itself. Bgwhite (talk) 07:30, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Yikes, sorry, I figured I had done that but I got sidetracked and forgot to go back and fix it. Good catch! Valfontis (talk) 14:57, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


I've completed work on that list of creeks you posted to my talk page. That was fun. If you have more, I'd be glad to work on them too. Meanwhile, I see a lot of redlinked streams in the List of rivers of Oregon that should keep me occupied. Finetooth (talk) 20:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

I saw. You are awesome! And the redlinks too! (I've got a book on slavery in Oregon so I can probably add to the Louis Southworth article eventually.) Also did you see I fixed up Walden, Oregon a bit? Lots going on down on Mosby Creek! I don't know if there are more creek articles like those but I will let you know. Brice Creek (or is it Bryce Creek?) might be a good one to write about. Cheers! Valfontis (talk) 20:40, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

Thank you for helping me to understand the difference between the state of Washington and Washington! You were nice about fixing my embarrassing edit. It's nice to meet another editor with a kind sense of humor. The Very Best of Regards,

Barbara (WVS) (talk) 04:33, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Ha, thanks for not thinking I was too snarky! Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 05:34, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 18 November 2015[edit]

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)