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Jon Maki
Leesburg, VA
Recent Activity
Update: Unfortunately, his body has been found: Missing Leesburg man drowns in drainage pond.
Not even vaguely related to the topic, but I know some of you live in the Northern VA/DC/Maryland area, so if you can help with this, a friend's son is missing in the Leesburg area: Missing and Endangered Leesburg Man Reported. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks.
My apologies if this is a duplicate comment (and TBAT can choose to remove whichever one of them they'd like if that's the case), but the other one doesn't appear to be showing up... I don't think I'm going to set foot in these waters. Been down this path before, and it doesn't lead to anything other than frustration. However, the reason I showed up in the first place, coincidentally, was to provide an update on the story of Mike Meyer, the mentally disabled fan whose collection of Superman memorabilia was stolen (and, thankfully, recovered and restored to him).
The really great thing about Mike Meyer having his collection restored to him (which is a great thing in and of itself) is that he's donating the duplicates he now has - thanks to the generosity of everyone who was following his story - to a children's hospital. Thanks for posting the link in the first place, and for posting the follow-up.
It's still a bit windy here, but it's sunny and warm. It doesn't appear that my neck of the woods suffered any ill effects, thankfully. Hopefully everyone else has fared well, too. Utterly coincident with the weather, my main computer's UPS decided to die late last night, so this morning I went out to buy a new one. I've been meaning to upgrade to a better one anyway, so this seemed like as good a time as any. Unfortunately, along with all of the other emergency shopping, people decided to stock up on battery back-ups, so my choices were limited and I ended up getting more or less the same one I already had. But, if that's all I have to complain about... @Ross: Normally, during a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm around here the power surges enough to set off alarms at various businesses and whatnot, so the fire department is constantly on the go to investigate/turn the alarms off. On a totally unrelated note, as of today I've been sober for 11 years. I mention this here, as I do every year, not because I'm seeking praise or congratulations (but thanks in advance to anyone who provides such), but rather in the hope that if there's anyone out there who needs it, reading it will provide at least some amount of hope, or inspiration, or...something. I'd be lying if I said it's easy, but it gets easier, eventually, and in time you may find that, like me, it's no longer really even muich of a consideration.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2011 on Preparing for Irene at The Slacktiverse
Northern Virginia - or at least my part of it - is wet and a bit windy, but it doesn't seem to be anything terribly remarkable. Not even as bad as a standard summer storm. I don't think I've even heard any sirens, which I would hear a lot of during a standard summer storm.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2011 on Preparing for Irene at The Slacktiverse
Deird, I'm jonpaul(dot)maki(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd definitely appreciate an invite.
@Ms. Anonymous: I don't really have anything to add, but I wanted to mention that I kind of assume that in my case the student in question probably felt safe(r) because we weren't alone. Also, I appreciate your openness. Thanks for sharing your story. If I had any point anywhere in that rambling anecdote, I suppose it was that I was bothered by my friend's reaction the next day. While I acknowledged that I had been in the wrong and engaged in poor judgment (to put it mildly), which was hardly surprising given that I was living a self-destructive life at that time* anyway, I wasn't prepared for her response. I had expected a certain amount of disappointment, and perhaps a lecture about endangering my job (and physically endangering myself, what with the aggressive boyfriend), but I hadn't expected to be treated like a predator. After all, I hadn't been plying her with drinks - I'd barely seen her that evening prior to the after party, and I barely spent any time with her at the party prior to her coming to say good night to me - and I certainly hadn't drugged her**, the fact that we were at the same party was entirely coincidental, and she had been the one to initiate and escalate the physical contact. Which isn't to say that my friend's assessment was incorrect - after all, there is such a thing as an opportunistic predator - just that, well, it bothered me to be thought of in those terms, particularly by someone whose opinion I valued. And really, that was the only reason I posted my comment in the first place (after essentially flipping a coin to decide whether or not I would post it). Reading through some of the comments here brought the memory to mind, I found it troubling even after all of these years, and I felt a need to unburden myself. I realize that this isn't my personal therapy session, but it was what I read here that triggered the memory, and I've generally found this to be a supportive community that's willing to "listen." So, again, I apologize for adding to the inexorable descent of the thread, which is not at all what I had intended to do. *FWIW, this happened over twelve years ago. Next month I'll have been sober for eleven years. So in the intervening time, my judgment has, generally, improved, and I'm not nearly so self-destructive. **Thinking about it afterwards, I realized that the guys she left with actually were plying her with drugs (weed). I don't know what, if anything, happened to her after she left with them, though she did end up dating one of the guys for a while sometime after that.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2011 on Harassment is not negotiable at The Slacktiverse
Oh, and just to clarify, I mentioned the Mayor et al. drinking to excess in the same bar not as a way of saying, "So that makes me doing it okay," but simply to illustrate that public drunkenness - even in the presence of students when you worked at a college - was seldom viewed as grounds for termination. Also, there was no specific policy at the college - at least none that was presented to me - against fraternizing with students; it was more of an unwritten rule, that boiled down to "The President really, really doesn't like it." And, once again, I freely admit to being in the wrong in that situation, despite the prevalent culture and the lack of official guidelines.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2011 on Harassment is not negotiable at The Slacktiverse
@hapax: Omigosh! I remember Freddy / Rick Bauer -- he suddenly grew up to become best friends with, umm, Philip (?) Spaulding, who played alongside one of Kevin Bacon's first big roles. Yep. Kevin Bacon played Tim (or TJ, I think) IIRC. Philip was one of the worst instances of rapid aging I'd ever encountered at that point. I remember when he was born, yet at some point he went from being a toddler to being 18. I was probably 8 or so when he was born, and yet when I was 12 suddenly he was older than I was. Of course, comic books are just as guilty* of a lot of those things, which is why, despite the fact that I no longer watch soaps (and haven't for decades), I can't really bring myself to rag on them. *When Kitty Pryde debuted in X-Men, she was six and a half years older than I was at the time. Now I'm eighteen years older than she is at present. And how many decades has Franklin Richards been 4 1/2 in order to allow for the gag variation on the FF costumes?
@Mmy: I apologize for posting something that has that effect. That certainly wasn't my intent, though I have spent enough time here to realize that my intent is not relevant. And yes, by my own admission, I was wrong, and eventually, as mentioned, I did get fired not long after that, in large part due to my drinking, though more specifically due to the impact my drinking had on the quality of my work. It's worth noting, however, that the local culture there is very much centered around drinking, and frequent binge drinking is the norm, for pretty much all age groups. The Mayor, City Manager, and assorted City Council members could be found falling-down drunk in that very same bar just as often as I could (as could several other members of the college's faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees). In any case, if you and the other Slackmods (I know you weren't wearing your mod hat in your post) find my post sufficiently troubling, I will not object if you choose to delete it, or simply cut it down to this part in which I affirmed my agreement with Izzy's post: Yes, there's the whole “it's (usually) more complicated than that” aspect, but honestly, specifically relating to Izzy's post, it isn't more complicated than that, and no one can be expected to account for every possibility and permutation of a given scenario anyway. In theory, at least, we're all adults and we're responsible for our own actions – and reactions – regarding the situations we encounter in life, and it's kind of pointless to play the “What if?” game.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2011 on Harassment is not negotiable at The Slacktiverse
What follows is not intended to be evidence of anything, but merely an anecdote detailing an experience I had, the memory of which has been prompted by some of the discussion going on here. I'm not arguing with anything Izzy said in her post, because there's no reason to argue. Yes, there's the whole “it's (usually) more complicated than that” aspect, but honestly, specifically relating to Izzy's post, it isn't more complicated than that, and no one can be expected to account for every possibility and permutation of a given scenario anyway. In theory, at least, we're all adults and we're responsible for our own actions – and reactions – regarding the situations we encounter in life, and it's kind of pointless to play the “What if?” game. So, with that being said, years ago, when I was firmly ensconced in my alcoholism, I worked at a small private college (I worked in the Public Relations department*), and I did most of my drinking at a nearby bar where I was one of the “regulars.” There was a young woman in my extended circle of friends at the bar who was a student at the college. While I found her attractive, I didn't have enough interest to try to pursue anything beyond friendship with her, given that she had a boyfriend, most of my energies in that regard were focused elsewhere at the time, and because, while I wasn't a member of the faculty and didn't have any sort of direct authority over students, becoming sexually involved with a student would have been frowned upon (to say the least). My friends at the bar were “huggers,” so every night at closing time the boozy farewells involved a lot of hugging. On one particular evening, the student was giving me a good night hug and in the course of the hug she started nuzzling and kissing my neck** in a way that was definitely provoking a physical and emotional reaction on my part. After all, at that point, it had been nearly four years since I'd engaged in any sort of physical intimacy with a woman (beyond a friendly hug), I was several sheets to the wind, and she was very attractive. However, drunk as I was, I still had the wherewithal to ask her to stop, which she did. The next weekend I was at an after party and the student was there as well. She was getting ready to leave at one point, and came over to say good night and give me a hug. While she was at it, she gave me a friendly kiss. And then another one. And then another one. Then she said, “I wish I could kiss you the way I want to kiss you.” At this point, I was considerably drunker than I had been the week before, and I had been going through one of what I call my “Pon Farr Cycles,” and so I said, “Who's stopping you?” And with that, we were off. For a period of about an hour, we alternated between making out, her saying that she had to leave (with a couple of other guys for the purposes of getting some weed), me asking her to come home with me, her starting to leave, changing her mind, and starting the whole cycle up again. All of this was happening in full view of several of our friends (and some strangers), by the way, which is an indication of how utterly shattered my inhibitions were at that point. Eventually she did finally leave with the other guys, and I went home alone. In the sober light of day, of course, I had my “Aw crap,” moment, as I considered the possibility of her (aggressive, muscular) boyfriend and/or someone from the college finding out about it. I told a friend about the whole thing, and her response was that if I had successfully talked the student into going home with me I would have been a horrible person for taking advantage of that, in her words, poor girl. (I'm not saying that dismissively; she really did refer to her as "that poor girl." In addition to using the word "horrible," she also used the word "monster.") I have to confess that I was bothered by the fact that my friend viewed the student's behavior as being above reproach and excused by the fact that she was drunk, whereas the fact that I was just as drunk (and lonely, and desperate, and caught in a deep depression) left her unmoved (to put it mildly). But, again, I'm not trying to argue for or against anything here, I'm simply relating an experience. Nor am I denying that I did anything wrong. I did a lot of wrong things in those days. For the curious among you, who have made it through this wall o' text, the student and I remained friends, resolved to never talk about that night again, proceeded to get drunk and make out (though with less intensity than that first time) a few more times, and might have ended up becoming romantically involved sometime later*** (I'd long since gotten fired from the college for unrelated issues) if I hadn't gotten arrested for drunk driving and ended up in jail and then rehab. She was actually one of the few people from my drinking days I still saw regularly after I got out of rehab, as she had started working at the grocery store I worked at before I moved to Tucson. We didn't keep in touch after that. Anyway, I apologize for the length of this comment, and for sharing a mostly pointless story, but this seemed like an appropriate place to tell it. *I actually was the entire Public Relations department there. It was a very high-stress job. Being a depressed alcoholic certainly didn't help matters on that score. Nor did being relatively young and inexperienced. It was, after all, my first professional job, and I was the youngest employee at the college – by a wide margin; the median age of employees there was twice my age when I started. **Owing to that experience and others like it, and things that women (and some men) have said to me, I've learned that I apparently have a very sexy neck. I've never really figured out a way to capitalize on that, unfortunately. ***The night I got arrested followed on the heels of basically spending the entire weekend with her. Shortly before she left the bar that night, she had flashed me her breasts when no one was looking.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2011 on Harassment is not negotiable at The Slacktiverse
@Jason: I kind of grew up watching soap operas. For the first five years of my life, it was just me and my mom at home during the day when school was in session, so the soaps were always on. After that, it was a matter of only getting one channel on TV (no cable), so if I was home and bored... In any case, the scenario you describe is pretty common, but there have been instances in which something that's not exactly the opposite, but near enough, has happened. Essentially, they've kind of held a character's age in stasis until the moment is right. That is, there's a teen/pre-teen character, who isn't often seen on-camera, and when the summer rolls around (which is when they typically, for obvious reasons, start focusing on teen characters), they'll have him/her be the same age as the other teen characters they've introduced. The main example that springs to mind is Freddy Bauer on The Guiding Light. He was permanently 11 or 12 for several years, and mostly only appeared around Christmas time, being away at boarding school or somesuch the rest of the time. Then one year they introduced a bunch of teen characters, let Freddy reach what the age he should have been at by then, and integrated him into the teen storyline. They also sort of reinvented him as "Rick" (from "Fredrick.") and made him, well, a bit less dorky. (Though he remained kind of dorky). At the same time they accelerated the aging of another character and made him and Rick the same age (and best friends).
Conversely, I consider the actual freezing temperature - O C, 32F?, the temperature at which one should quite literally be justified in saying 'it's freezing out there' - to be 'nippy'. Yep. Back in early November I was home in the UP while my mother was in the hospital. It had snowed before I got there, and snowed a couple of times while I was there. One day while I was out smoking a cigarette - which took me a considerable distance from the hospital's smoke-free campus - I was caught in 30 mile-an-hour winds, and the temperature was 18F. I looked at my phone and saw that the current temperature back in Virginia was 50F, and I knew that, at that very moment, there were people outside in the smoking area back at work complaining about how it was "freezing" out in the comparatively balmy temperatures...
Hmm, if I'm limited to only one thing, I guess I'd have to go with traffic lights. Specifically, I'd like to see some intelligence behind them, both in terms of the initial planning and placement, and in terms of their actual operation. They ought to be able adapt to current traffic conditions. There is, after all, no reason to be stuck at a red light on a high-traffic road, during rush hour, for an extended period of time - with more traffic backing up all the while - in order for the side street, which has little or no traffic on it, to have a green light. Further, there is little that's more annoying than having a green light but still not being able to move because traffic is backed up all the way from the red light two miles down the road. And with intelligent planning and operation, it seems to me that those situations could at least be ameliorated, if not eliminated entirely (the human factor would prevent them from being eliminated entirely).
I take it you don't watch much TV in the dead-people-every-week genres. I don't - not of the CSI variety, at any rate - but the comic was from 1981 anyway, so that particular TV genre didn't exist in quite the form that it does now. Either way, something like that wouldn't pack as much punch for 39 year-old Jon as it did for 8 or 9 year-old Jon.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2011 on Open-thread Friday, June 17 2011 at The Slacktiverse
...and now that I've thought about it, I realize that you may have been attributing that attitude to the people at the CCA, and not necessarily to the author (or the story itself), in which case, I don't disagree at all.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2011 on Open-thread Friday, June 17 2011 at The Slacktiverse
but the wench got what she deserved for living an immoral life so that's OK. That wasn't really the moral, if it could be said to have one, that the story presented. It was clear that the readers' sympathies were intended to be directed entirely towards her, and it was the cad of a mercenary who ended up getting what he deserved. I mean, sure, there was something along the lines of "girls, it'll ruin your life if you give away your virtue," but the story wasn't overtly didactic in that regard. Certainly, she wasn't presented as being "bad" or deserving of her fate. And I only mentioned that it was a Code-approved book because, as is in keeping with the topic, that indicates that the stoy was ostenbisbly geared towards children, or was, at the very least, deemed as being suitable for children.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2011 on Open-thread Friday, June 17 2011 at The Slacktiverse
An issue of the DC Comics series "Ghosts," an anthology book featuring supernatural stories - most of which, not surprisingly, involved ghosts - had a story about a beautiful young peasant woman in a village in Italy (IIRC) in the 19th Century who gave her virtue to a mercenary soldier who had promised to marry her. On the day their wedding was supposed to take place, he revealed that he had no intention of marrying her, and that he was leaving town. She jumped off a cliff to her death, and there was a panel featuring her mangled corpse at the bottom. The thing that made it so very creepy, and made it stand out in my memory for decades, was that the artist drew her broken, bloody body in such a way that she still looked rather pretty. This horrifying image was followed up by an even worse one in the story's conclusion. Years later, the mercenary returned to the village, having managed to land himself a wealthy wife. The younger brother of the jilted woman, now a man, shows up and tries to kill the mercenary in defense of his sister's honor (as he had vowed to do after her death). The mercenary stabs him, and the brother apologizes to his sister for failing in his oath. As the brother dies, an earthquake strikes the village, the house they're in catches fire, and the mercenary and his bride flee for their lives. Their flight takes them through the cemetery, where another quake causes the ground to open up as they're standing before the poor dead woman's grave, and the mercenary falls into the waiting, skeletal arms of the woman whose life he had ruined years before. Another quake seals him in, and he's trapped there, screaming, locked in an eternal embrace with the woman who continued waiting for him even after death. The image of that skeleton - buried in her tattered wedding gown - eagerly awaiting her lover...yeah. This was a book that was approved by the Comics Code Authority.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2011 on Open-thread Friday, June 17 2011 at The Slacktiverse
Interesting coincidence that The Slacktiverse has a post titled "How Not To Argue," and then Fred posts "How Not To Do Evangelism," especially given that part of his point was that, when it comes to evangelism, it's best not to argue at all. (I'm not suggesting that there's any sort of connection between the two posts, I just found the coincidence interesting/amusing, because that's how my brain works.)
1. A link I found at Enter The Jabberwock - where I would go to read dissections of Chick Tracts - in which he mentioned Fred's ongoing dissection of Left Behind. I was always interested in the Left Behind phenomenon, based on the sort of horrified fascination (which is what draws me to Chick Tracts in the first place) I have with what I now refer to as RTC culture, but was never willing to make the leap to actually reading the books, so this site was ideal. Over a weekend at work, I got up-to-date on all of the LB posts, and then started reading some of Fred's other posts and diving into the comments. I've pretty much made my way through all of the archived posts - even the ones back on Blogger - and most of the archived comments. 2. It's still a little early in the history of The Slacktiverse as it exists today to have a favorite type of post, I think (though if we go back to the "before time," obviously the LB posts were my favorite, and still are over at the other site), so I can't really say that I have one at this point. As for comments...hmm, I like the general geekiness, and obviously am partial to any comics-related comments. Not a gamer or a fan of Dr. Who, though, so my eyes kind of glaze over on those particular comments. To get back to posts, I do rather like the Blogaround. I am not at all a fan of flamewars. 3. I am a reclusive comic book geek and amateur artist who seldom smiles but can almost always find a reason to laugh. Alternate answer to 3, using a description provided by my niece: I'm really smart with computers and stuff; it's ridiculous.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2011 on Monday Meet and Greet at The Slacktiverse
We seem to get it on TV here in Canada as it airs, so it's been available to me. I have nothing to add when it comes to Dr. Who, but this did remind me of something with regards to watching Canadian TV when I lived in the UP: the Canadian stations had a lot of the same programming as some of the US networks and aired them before they aired in the US. The primary example that comes to mind was whatever movie was airing on CBS here in the US on, say, Wednesday, would be on CTV on the preceding Monday. Also, The Young & The Restless was always a day ahead of the US. (Apparently that also happens with some shows that run on Cartoon Network in the US. Sometimes they air months in advance in Canada.) I'm sure it's just a distribution rights thing or somesuch, but as a kid it was always kind of odd, like looking into the future*. *Also, I was ahead of the curve as far as most US kids when it came to "You Can't Do That On Television," which I was familiar with long before it showed up on Nickelodeon, or, indeed, before there was such a thing as Nickelodeon.
@Dash: I can actually properly say about (and house, and out, etc.) in a Canadian fashion (much more accurately than the people who do it by saying "aboot," at any rate), but have never been able to find a way to describe it in writing. You provide an interesting take on it. Also, just noticed that I got a little carried away when typing "pronunciation" earlier. Maybe it can be a new word... Prononunciation - The mispronunciation of a word when attempting to explain how to pronounce a word. Ex: Saying "aboot" to describe the way a Canadian pronounces "about."
Also, there are people in areas of Michigan who speak with a very similar accent. That has been said of Yoopers by people who aren't Yoopers (or Canadians, for that matter), but while there are definite similarities - particularly in the use of "Eh?" though, to my ears, most Yoopers often say "Hey?" even if they don't realize it - they are rather distinct*. Or perhaps you mean the people who live near the Windsor area? I can't speak for the Trolls. Or really for the people in the Eastern end of the UP, which pretty much is Canada. I agree with you aboot about no one saying "aboot," however. The distinctive Canadian prononunciation is not at all an "oo" sound. To my ears, it's a little closer to "aboat," but that isn't it either. Really, it's just "about," there's just...a different emphasis? It's difficult to explain, or to put into writing. *I grew up close enough to Canada that we were able to pull in Canadian TV stations on the antenna, so for most of my life I was regularly exposed to a lot of Canadian accents and, of course, Yooper accents ofent enough to appreciate the sometimes subtle, but still significant, differences between them. For one thing, a typical Yooper accent is considerably more guttural, particularly in the areas with a strong Finnish heritage. It's just generally more coarse and rough around the edges than a typical Canadian accent.
I would go with more of a Star Trek pronounciation, like T'Pol, or T'Pau. Hmm...T'Bat, our wise Vulcan elders?