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« Vincible | Main | Contradictions »

Jan 05, 2009


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Ben Holder

I just read Roch's comments. He is on fire today!

Ed: "Publishing assumptions about a person's job without lifting a finger to ascertain the facts would make us look like irresponsible assholes."

Roch: "Don't you mean N&R editors?"

really funny! Take a bow, Roch. Classic! Really great sutff! However, it got better.

Ben:"Have I ever told you guys about the Asian Massage Parlor trial?"

Roch: "I seem to remember it had a happy ending."

Seriously, we all just need to bow down and give Roch his praise.

Ian McDowell

I've heard good things about him from a former client, who was surprised at his antics here when I linked to them. Hell, I was nonplused to learn from Facebook that he's youngish and handsome and married to an attractive woman, refuting my snarky and scurrilous supposition that he must be a Gollum-like isolato. The only thing about his profile that I can mock is his inabilty to spell the plural of "toupee," to which he'd be justified in responding that at least he, unlike me, doesn't need one.


I've heard good things about Ed from people who know him well, some of whom have told me that they are startled by his online persona.


"antics" here? You mean disagreeing with people and arguing a counterpoint is an "antic"?


Methinks it's the attempts at character assassination that register as "antics", Sam.

You're way too smart to need argumentum ad hominem to bolster your position. It's like pouring ketchup on cheesecake: there might be a few children in the restaurant that actually like it, but the rest of the patrons will poke at it some with their fork and then push the plate away in disgust.

David Hoggard

Now that everyone has strayed from the original topic...

I find that the less I blog, the more money I make. Blogging and commenting takes time away from activities that pay the bills and keep my people employed.

The way I see figure it, just by leaving this comment, I have lost $50.00.

I type slowly, however. Your results may vary.


"Methinks it's the attempts at character assassination that register as "antics", Sam."

Like suggesting I might have been disbarred, right Steve? My character has been assassinated on this blog probably more than anyone else simply for dishing back out what comes my way or daring to stray from the liberal zeitgeist. But I would be a fool to judge my "online worth" by what happens only on this particular blog and those who frequent it, so I don't.


As a one month old blogger and physician, I am finding that this shit definitely costs me time/and or money and will probably contribute to a bad patient outcome if I keep doing it. I doubt this hobby will last much longer for me and if anyone sees me here beyond daylight saving time starting, please remind me of this post.
For Sam and Ed, are your offline personnas any more compatible? I want to do lunch with Beelze, but that's under the assumption that I would like him in person.


"As a one month old blogger and physician, I am finding that this shit definitely costs me time/and or money and will probably contribute to a bad patient outcome if I keep doing it" That along with Hoggard's comments kind of support my initial questions about what Ed really does for a living.

Anyway, I have met Ed on two occasions and his offline persona is better than his online persona too.

Ed Cone

I explained my blogging prolixity long ago.

Maybe it's the nature of my profession, but reading and writing between the cracks of the workday just doesn't seem that big a deal to me. It all comes from the same place; some goes into the job file and some into the hobby file. I probably blog/write/edit faster than some people, since after 25 years of journalism and 7 years of blogging it's a fairly well-developed skillset for me. My new job may cut into my personal blogging time, because it is structured very differently from any previous job I've held.

I was raised to regard hard work as a virtue and a duty, and by my father's standards and those of my grandfathers I don't think of myself as a particularly hard worker, but I do manage to hold down a somewhat demanding job, blog, write a newspaper column, and also be a reasonably attentive husband and father and son, maintain a reasonably active social life, do some volunteer work, read books, watch sports, walk the dog, and, yes, take some time off when my kids are out of school. From where I'm sitting, it feels like a busy life, but not an overwhelming one.

As I've noted before, I think I'm more obnoxious in person than I am online.


Ed and Sam are both very likable in person. I agree with Roch that they're probably more alike than they'd want to admit. Roch is cool, too. Ben is the funniest guy you'll ever meet. He makes me laugh until I'm crying. (That is, when he's not making me so mad I'm yelling at him. But I laugh more than yell, so it's OK.) And he likes homeless people, too. But he will totally deny that if you ask him. Most all the bloggers who comment here get along just fine in real life. But for some odd reason, they love to engage in keyboard wars. I don't get it. But then again, I pretty much like everybody and I think blogfighting is a mindless time waste. And for the record, I hope that Wray vs. Mitch goes to court. I'm going to sit in the courtroom and do a daily blog report on which one of them has better hair that day. For me, that will really determine the winner.

Ian McDowell

Sam, you do realize that you often post more words in Ed's blog than Ed does? And that's not including your word count in your own, in Roch's, in Ben's, and in blogs I don't read such as Bubba's. This is one of the habits that led me and even less charitable people like Timbo and Sean Coon to speculate so negatively about your own work ethic and professional success, for which Roch rightly took us to task.

Ian McDowell

For instance, Sam, in this thread alone you've posted almost over 1,200 words, whereas Ed has posted about 1,100 and he's responding more frequently and at more length than he usually does (plus, IT'S HIS BLOG, I point I can't really emphasize enough). If we add what you've posted in the past few days in your own blog and in others, we get a word count to equal the current YES! Weekly cover story and the articles that begin on the front page of the Rhino.

Well, and good, that's your business. But you can't make the argument that Ed's alleged prolixity is possible only because he's a trust fund baby who doesn't have to work for a living while insisting that you're a hardworking professional with a thriving practice, not while being just (and sometimes even more) prolix yourself.


Of the various frustrating traits I’ve attributed to you in the past couple of months (and you to me), until now, making an unsolicited blatantly clueless statement has not been one of them.

“Maybe it's the nature of my profession, but reading and writing between the cracks of the workday just doesn't seem that big a deal to me.”

That’s largely because reading and writing IS your workday, which you can interrupt any time you darn well please. You can make the cracks as wide as you want. If you want to roll up your sleeves and take the time to really elaborate your position in a thread, something I’ve seldom seen you do, it just means delaying the start of the next one for a couple of hours.

Not to sound like Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” but the competency with which Sam and I (and countless others) perform our jobs affects peoples’ lives. With possibly a few contrived exceptions that I’m sure you will come up with, I’m not sure that is typically true for bloggers and opinion writers.

The real cracks of my day are usually spent driving between my office, two hospitals and a surgery center, and I’m generally 15 minutes behind. As you can perhaps imagine it’s been a bit more lately. I doubt I’ve eaten lunch at restaurant on a weekday in five years. Every minute I spend blogging, at least during the workday, has a direct measurable cost for me in either time or money, not to mention the effects of not being fully focused on my job, and the consequences that could have. I also take weekend and night call.

Now, you think it’s no major task to be an effective writer, between the cracks of those cracks? You must not have much regard for the skill required to perform your own “profession”. I have no desire to place my job or the hours I spend at it on a pedestal or to denigrate yours, but the cluelessness and insularity of your statement practically forces me to. You just completely melted away the brief sympathy I was feeling toward you after the Spag duel last night.

I will go ahead and supply your most logical response for you. "If blogging is so unimportant and causing you so much hardship, why are you doing it?"

I'm still trying to figure that one out but ultimately I don't think it's going to be sustainable, by my definition of the word.

Ed Cone

CP, You restate the point I was trying to make about the connection between my job and blogging as if it was news to me. Perhaps I did not express it clearly.

In any case, when I said, "Maybe it's the nature of my profession, but reading and writing between the cracks of the workday just doesn't seem that big a deal to me," I was speaking about myself, not people in other professions.

I'm a journalist, I read and write and report all day, so it's no great gear-shift to do so in one place or another. I don't expect that's true of many other jobs. It may not be true for some other journalists. I was merely saying that it's true for me.

My day job is not blogger or opinion writer, but I make no claims for its life-saving or earth-shaking qualities.

My schedule is not quite as flexible as you imagine it, but I'd guess it's a lot more flexible than yours.

You might have more time to think and write if you spent less time looking for reasons to be offended.


"You might have more time to think and write if you spent less time looking for reasons to be offended."

Reading minds and motives behind others' comments is another undesirable trait that I had not previously attributed to you.


I make big Bu$hdollars blogging from my home. Ask me how.

Tony Wilkins

CP, two things:
1)Be on the look out for a nurse named Susie Barnes. Do not try to detain her without help.
2)I also wanted to meet the unique and knowledgeable Beelzebubba until I read this on urbandictionary.com:
Beelzebubba, A satanic hillbilly, or hellbilly.
Stay away from Beelzebubba, or your cornhole will smell like brimstone for weeks.

I'm not making it up. It really says that. I chose to just continue an online correspondence.


Dollars and cornhole, an alluring combination. But does he have a purdy mouth?

Ian McDowell

This isn't a very original observation and adds more heat than light, but I can't help but notice how people seem to have different standards of outrage depending on whom they're dealing with. Dr. Mary coos fondly at her pal Fec even after he calls David Wray's supporters racists over on his own blog, but pauses from proclaiming her perpetual victimhood to chastise Ed for being befuddled by Wray's legal tactics. Spag bristles at anything negative that Ed or anyone else here might say about Bush, but keeps silent when Ben calls our soon to be former Chief Executive an idiot (admittedly, this may be because he fears that, if they got into a tussle, the scrappy and pugnacious Holder might supplex him and mess up that impressive coiffure, whereas Ed is a hippie hard to provoke into physical violence).

To which some will probably respond that it's as much a matter of personality as opinions that sets them off. I have some sympathy for that argument. It's why Dr. Wharton's postings are a pleasure to read and Spag's are not, despite sympatico politics and a shared willingness to take Ed to task.

Jeffrey Sykes

It really sucks having to page scroll to get the the third page of this thread.


I agree but I think this is a good natural brake for a thread going on ad infinitum

Ed Cone

I hate the page break. Have complained to TypePad and asked them to bring back the old endless scroll. This works better for them, so they keep it.

CP, you had a hissy fit after misreading my comment, complete with breast-beating about your sacrifices and my trivial job, all of it based on your inability to read a simple paragraph.

You moved past my explanation into another little huff without so much as an "oops." Can I take that to mean the previous issues have been resolved to your satisfaction?


Ian, does it occur to you that often times there are days, even weeks when I don't comment here at all? Do you count everyone elses words and the frequency of their posts? Further, why is it that Ed can state "Maybe it's the nature of my profession, but reading and writing between the cracks of the workday just doesn't seem that big a deal to me. It all comes from the same place; some goes into the job file and some into the hobby file. I probably blog/write/edit faster than some people, since after 25 years of journalism and 7 years of blogging it's a fairly well-developed skillset for me" but in the past when I have made similar statements in response to claims like yours that I am somehow obsessed or can't possibly work if I am commenting so much on Ed's blog, I get no leeway?

Your logic is also faulty. I either agree with Ben that Bush is an idiot or I am a hypocrite for ever defending Bush against something Ed wrote/linked to while not taking Ben to task. There is no in between. You know, I wasn't even aware that Ben called Bush an idiot. Why argue that? That is an opinion about Bush personally. I never argue with Ed about such things, rather I do argue with him and others over opinions about what Bush DOES as opposed to what he IS or ISN'T. I have also been quite critical of Bush on a number of issues, but you somehow miss that.

You don't like my style because I refuse to bend over in a confrontation or dare to be confrontational on an issue at all that isn't popular here. Comparing me to "nicer" conservatives like Dr. Wharton has no effect on me whatsoever. My advice: screw you, I don't care.

As for Ed, I am satisfied with his answers. The jabs about his "real" job are half-rooted in a joke and half out of curiosity because I never really did know what Ed actually does on a daily basis. He told me. That won't stop me from making the occasional jab about leisure time and trust funds, but at least I know now that he really does have a regular job.

Now wasn't someone saying something about David Wray? Jeez, you make one comment...


Ed , when you make your trademark guarded, dispassionate, economically worded points, then punctuate them with your trademark squirt of piss to the face, it is the squirt of piss that leaves the last taste in the listener's mouth and will most likely be the subject of his response. One little huff begets another.

That it is no big deal for a writer to write during his workday goes without saying. What prompted you to state the obvious then? I thought maybe the significance would be found in the link, but that just showed a picture of a dog at a computer.

It was the context of the previous posts about the drain of these discussions on work productivity among those of us with jobs outside of journalism (David Hoggard, Spag and myself) that made it sound like you were saying,” if it’s no big deal for me, why are you guys whining about it?) If that was an idiotic interpretation, I welcome anyone’s feedback to that affect, but independently of that I will give you the benefit of the doubt that I misinterpreted the meaning of the offending sentence and apologize for the similarly misguided response.

Ian McDowell

Spag, of course you didn't notice that Ben once called Bush an idiot. You never notice much beyond your own creepy hard-on for Ed. I wouldn't mind so much if your blogosphere persona were merely an obnoxious prick, like me or Jeff Sykes; it's the whiny bitchiness and the lack of wit and nuance that makes me want to kick it, not the meanness per se.

In the real world, you appear to be a much better man than Mitch or Nelson Johnson and you've done some very good things to oppose the former and his cronies, which ultimately makes your online behavior a trivial flaw in comparison to your real world virtues. Still, when you put on your Ed-stalking hat and act the virtual loon, I find myself disliking you almost as much as I dislike them.

Ian McDowell

Cheripickr, I'm strongly prejudiced against the practice of posting under a pseudonym; hence my frequent jibes about "anonymice." I've even razzed my close friend Timbo about this, and if I didn't know and love the big bastard in the real world, I would have called him a wuss for not signing his real name when he attacks Spag.

Which is why, when you first began posting here, I was disposed to dislike you. But I don't, mainly because, unlike Spag, you write smart and well, and although I disagree with your criticisms of Ed's blogging style, they don't strike me as whiny or creepily obsessive.

I do think you highly over-reacted to Ed's innocent offhand remark. Admittedly, his ability to combine dispassionate economy with the occasional piss-squirt is why I consider him the best blogger in the state (I'm a tedious bloviator too much of the time, and would benefit from his talent for concision), so mileage varies.

(And Spag would do well to heed what you say about the impact of blogging on one's professional life. But of course he won't.)


As to whether blogging takes up too much time, or uses energies that would be better directed elsewhere, keep in mind that we do it because we like it. And we may not even be aware of the reasons why we like it, or what benefits it provides.

The process of collecting our thoughts and composing them into the written word is an incredibly complex and healthy act. Creativity is not a hobby or a luxury that we engage in out of selfishness or narcissism, it's an integral function of a healthy brain. We like it because we need it.

It may take up some time. Time that we may regret losing. But it is by no means a waste of time.


Ian, get over yourself.

The whole "Ed stalking" theme went out of fashion about a year and a half ago when most people realized that a good lie has to have some basis in reality. You post here as much as anyone else and probably more than I do these days. Guess that makes you a stalker with a hard on for Ed.

Your badly mistaken caricatures of nearly everyone who posts here says more about you than them. You are wasting your talent.


Three cheers for scharrison -- and it makes you smarter.


Re: comment pagination.

It wouldn't be so bad if clicking on a comment link took one to the actual comment. What sucks is that, after 50 comments, a click takes one to the first page of comments, leaving the user on their own to find the actual comment from there.

I can think of two possible approaches to hacking this. Do you have access to the source files for your blog, Ed?


Ian, Scharrison (and Ed),
My name is John Hayes (and I’m a blogoholic). There is a story behind the “cheripicker” moniker, but I don’t think it would be cool to share it without Ed’s desire. I’m ready to man up and drop it, if someone will show me how. I do like Ed’s shortening it to “CP” and wish he would add a ‘3’ to it (I’m a big Chris Paul fan).

Your candid take on my “blowup” is appreciated, and every similar opinion to that effect boosts the sincerity of my initially lukewarm apology to Ed.
If I may wax philosophical, that misunderstanding is a good example of why I am pondering the usefulness of carrying on keyboard conversations with people I don’t know and can’t see. I think it’s safe to say that it can both expand our horizons and bring out the worst in all of us. I do think it has improved my vocabulary and writing skills and I appreciate your compliment on that but I need to work on the endless run-on sentences and multiple embedded parentheses. It does make one admire Ed’s brevity, to a degree. On the other hand, it sometimes makes me feel like a sanctimonious prick.

Lately I've wondered if it would be even more healthy and productive for us to have an old-fashioned supper club where we would rotate one guy picking a topic and another the restaurant, but that would of course, limit it to the GSO contingency and I have no idea who's local and who isn't. One day I will make my conclusions on the overall cost/benefit of all this and if/when I decide the delusional sense of self-importance and general pissiness exceeds the educational value, I will REQUEST that Ed impose the death penalty and pull my plug, Bubba style, because I’m not very good at kicking my own bad habits.


Brevity can be a very good thing. It can also often produce an overly simplistic analysis of complex issues and arguments.


sounds like we're getting closer to a group hug. you know how happy that makes me. and Jesus.


another thing that makes me happy (and is kind of more on the actual subject of ed's post), the officers i know, both white, black (including some of the 39) and hispanic, seem to be working well together and don't seem to be all that affected by the lawsuit craziness. from what i see and hear, the "process" is separate from the job. and that's good news for the citizens.


cheri, i think exposure to different models is important to people on the fence or people who cannot define their models. Humans are reluctant to change their model and will change or destroy data that doesn't fit their model before they will alter their model. We understand or misunderstand the world and events by the models we have constructed. Your ideas validate the models of some and challenge the models of others. This is the best thing for civilization to progress. Ideas seem to work better from a text than from a stump. Shorter sentences than I have seen in here have caused paradigm shifts. I see the 54 fallacies i was taught in jr hi forensics used in here(and defended) every week. I detected a slant of juris naturalis and Karl Popper in your disguise. Patrick Henry was said to have been capable of exposing a flawed model simply by clearing his throat. You're not there, yet, but you make running in the maze more fun.


"One day I will make my conclusions on the overall cost/benefit of all this and if/when I decide the delusional sense of self-importance and general pissiness exceeds the educational value"

Just keep in mind that you may not be able to adequately assess that. Roch is right; engaging in written communications makes you smarter. Not only do you learn things from others that you didn't know, you learn things about yourself as well.

Improving the mechanics of your writing does more than just bring structure to your written communications; it actually forces you to structure your mental processes too. When you properly "present" (expose) your subject, you're forced to more deeply analyze what you're trying to impart, and you pay more attention to the word usage needed to do that. Not only does your writing become more powerful and persuasive, it also gives you to the ability to better comprehend what others have written, and focus on what they've tried to impart.

That's a little more "Reading Rainbow"-ish than I had originally intended, but what're you gonna do.

Ben Holder

"Ben once called Bush an idiot"



I 've never even heard of Karl Popper and I imagine there might be a semicompliment in there, or at least that the shoe fits, but I'm too dense to even understand wiki's definition of his philosophy. I'll study up on it from the comfort of my recliner. I know my desperate attempts to sound smart while playing the stupid card when it's convenient is probably wearing thin in here.


Popper's biggest contribution to science and thinking was identifying the problem that humans have with causality, or the problem of inference-the human problem of forming a conclusion with only the information you have on hand. An example: the Muslim ghetto riots in France. The French have an interesting problem; none of their national heros are French. Napolean was Corsican, DeGaulle was Alsacian and Charlemagne was from Belgium. With this dialectic tormenting them, Frenchmen forgot to impose the rituals of bathing, shaving and using toilet paper on French women. When the Muslims found this out the hard way, they became outraged and the results were seen all over the world, but totally misunderstood by people who never studied French history or lived among them. This is Popper's contribution and my contribution to the seriousness of this matter.


@ Beelze

I've read the Wiki/Popper link - again - and will have to read it again to really get it.

54 fallacies i was taught in jr hi forensics

I'd really like to get a better handle on that. Is this a clue ?

Do you have any additional clues for the clueless ?

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