heavy stuff from Jim S

12:13 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I've been in touch with the "moderators" of this group concerning my sudden departure recently after a few expletives. Maybe some of you didn't notice. I know that sometimes the things I say are challenging, but I mean no harm and the only person I would ever insult is Bill S, and thats because hes my friend, for some strange reason, and hes responsible for me breaking my leg, but we love each other doncha know. (:->)

Its not easy to communicate in a rough and tumble manner without being able to grin - like having emoticons. I know that I have upset some people and I am apologizing if I have hurt anyone's feelings. (:->)

Anyway the bottom line is this - I come here for fun - and to offer help to those who ask for it, BUT I'm not real politically correct and "polite" probably just wasn't on the menu in say "camp 4". I enjoy "robust" discussions, sort of campfire type stuff, other wise why bother? I can always call my mother when I want to be correct and non-challenging, thats not why I come here.

Moderators and owners, please keep up the good work. Try to give us a an easy way to communicate and we will help create an interesting and valuable place for people to come and visit. I tried to put this into the first forum but I have not the authorisation to start a thread there.

The real topic here is "is this forum changing in a way that makes it more enjoyable to the members?" and "am I the only one feeling sort of like this has become more of a business and less of a real hot camping conversation?" Please help the moderators know how you feel about the group as my perceptions can get kinda twisted sometimes. Lets help them make this a more fun place to be a member of. (:->) [thats a big grin BTW]

Also is there a way to get something to show where new traffic has popped up since our last visit?

Jim S

4:00 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I would like to see one of those 'new posts today' things as well.

As for your comments last week, I thought they were funny and didn't agree with the over-moderation, though I had to read your posts twice to see the ironic gloss.

I think if we had a 'farting around the campfire' forum, it could be less heavily moderated (for example, you could use mildly offensive language and talk critically in a friendly way) as long as there was a warning before the click.

Then again, it could turn into the wild west, so I don't really know.

I don't feel it is 'more of a business' than democratic discussion, yet I know what you mean. I can only compare it to the UK fora, most of which seem designed to stimulate the inner gear freak, attract the outer gear freak, and have everyone producing/buying more crap which people don't need. I don't know how one would go about resisting the 'Press Release' image, though it is worth doing IMO if it can be done.

What upsets me most, however, is the amount of nudity on Trailspace. There just isn't enough.

10:18 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I personally don't object to people stating their opinions flat out with no sugar coating, other people may not feel that way viewing the same discussion as having a lack of decorum.

I have two military types I backpack with who are decent, outstanding, and intelligent guys, but will debate to the death. I find this to be stimulating conversation, forces me to think on my feet, and makes me think before I open my mouth. We have even had 'heated debate', 10 minutes later we're all best buddies again. The difference for us is that we know the difference between passion, and anger.

I have other friends who are easily angered (maybe frustrated is a better word) if you do not agree with, or challenge them. I accept that as a condition of their friendship, I simply stay away from any controversial topics.

I'm sure the personalities and experiences of each individual play a large role in what they are comfortable with, and it's darn near impossible to please everyone all the time, so while moderation is in order, so is tolerance.

I would say that name calling, foul language, rudeness just because you can't make an intelligent case for your position, or any other form of childishness is never good for an open forum.

Case in point: On another forum, in a stove discussion, I stated that I felt like white gas stoves were a better choice vs. alcohol stoves for most deep winter trips. I own both, and based that on my experiences, plus feedback from people whose opinions I trust to be objective.

Well wouldn't you know that I was called stupid, arrogant, ignorant, biased, and lots of other things by the alcohol groupies on that forum. There was no substantive, or credible arguments made for the most part against my position. A couple guys did argue intelligently, to their credit, that it was possible to set an alcohol stove up to operate in frigid temps.

I only said I felt like white gas was a 'better choice', for that I was verbally assaulted.

All in all, Trailspace does an excellent job, I have never been called stupid, or been cussed out here. I'm fine with people disagreeing with me, there is no way I'm right all the time, I just enjoy discussing things related to backpacking and camping a lot.

I think the rules in place cover the more egregious things that cause problems for other forums, the rest is a matter of moderation, and the understanding that some people may be a little rough around the edges, but that is the way many highly skilled outdoors people tend to be. If you need to be carried around on a feather pillow, backpacking may not be the best activity for you.

10:19 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Jim, thanks for starting this discussion. I'm excited to hear everyone's thoughts.

I like the 'new posts today' idea; I'll see what we can come up with along those lines.

10:24 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I like the straight forward approach myself. Whats the point of beating around the bush? Keep it simple and just say what ya gotta say and be done w/it. Humor is good for the sole though.

10:40 a.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Humor is good for the sole though.

I have always believed it was good for the soul, though I am not sure how it benefits the sole (either the fish or the bottom of the shoe).

12:49 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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... the only person I would ever insult is Bill S, and thats because hes my friend, for some strange reason, and hes responsible for me breaking my leg, but we love each other doncha know. (:->)

Sigh... I guess I better explain about how Jim the Klutz disregarded all advice to the contrary and really broke his leg, before too many more people get the idea that I actually had anything to do with it.

First ya gotta know that this wasn't Jimmy's first broken bone - he had a couple breaks from climbing falls.

After a couple backpacks and other wandering the woods, including an attempt to teach Jim how to build a snow shelter (that collapsed when one of the students in the winter camping course I used to direct leaned on Jim's engineering marvel of snow blocks), I suggested that he would have fun orienteering, plus potentially learn something about wilderness navigation. Orienteering, if you don't know, is a map and compass competitive event in which the "elite" runners (mostly Scandinavians) run the course at a 5 minute mile pace (off-trail, crosscountry, leaping over boulders and through tangled brush), while reading the map and figuring out the best route to take - maps for orienteering competitions are detailed down to where all the boulders and fallen logs are, plus having large green patches signifying (in California) where all the poison oak is, usually located on the shortest route between control points). So Jim came out to an event in Big Basin State Park, a park noted for its giant redwoods. Now Big Basin, like all state parks in California, does not allow any logging or removal of dead trees that fall over, and fires are agressively suppressed (a major departure from pre-European times, when lightning-caused and Ohlone Indian intentional fires were allowed to burn until they burned themselves out - the Costanoan practice of intentional fires has a purpose which you can read about elsewhere).

Since Jim is an experienced wilderness navigator, I suggested he do a Yellow course to get used to the special features of orienteering maps (Yellow is "intermediate" level). I strongly urged him to proceed slowly, so he would maximize the learning and for safety. But no, Jim is actually very competitive. So he left the start slowly enough. I don't recall for sure, but I think he went to the first control, punched his score card, then set off for the second control. He got to where he spotted the control bag (an orange and white triangular "box") and got "control fever" (related to "summit fever"). He took off at a run, leaping over giant redwood logs and managed to come down between a couple logs, falling and breaking his leg in multiple places. The park rangers had to come up an access road to ferry him out to the ambulance. Barb had not yet started her course (you go out one at a time at about 1 or 2 minute intervals, no mass starts), and did talk to him at the ranger's truck. I was well out on my course (a Green course, which is an advanced-level course), so didn't find out about the accident until I got back to the Finish. Jim had multiple pins, rods, and screws in his leg, which took a long time to heal. If I recall correctly, it wasn't done right the first time, so had to be rebroken and re-set.

So, as you see, Jim blames me for convincing him to try orienteering, even though he disregarded the advice on being careful and going slowly and safely. His wife forbad him from ever going orienteering again.

I should also note that Big Basin forbids orienteering events in the park these days. No, that isn't Jim's fault. It seems that there are certain agricultural activities going on in various off-trail sections of the park (as in most state parks and National Forests in California), carefully guarded by persons carrying heavy armament. All orienteering courses above the Beginner (White) level involve some or most of the course being off-trail and cross-country. Thus orienteers would encounter the heavy armament and booby traps (IEDs?) around the "farms".

12:56 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Jim, I am glad you haven't left for good, as it appeared might have been the case after on of your last posts.

I do not mind a no BS approach, nor a good challenge to my own opinion. One of my brothers is a lawyer, and we can get *very* heated in our debates and conversations, but he is probably one of the closest friends I have now or will ever have. Literally seconds after our debates we are "best bud's" so to speak. I have found that the percentage of people who can engage in such a forthright debate without taking intellectual opposition as a personal affront to be unfortunately low.

I have "butted heads" on various topics with you, Jim, here on trailspace, but I have never left those exchanges offended or feeling like I had been disrespectful. Part of that was just becoming familiar with your personality and reading between the lines to see what was being said that wasn't included in the verbage itself.

I try to always make sure I express my positions, no matter how firmly held, as my own opinion in which I could be wrong. I know that there are times when I could have avoided an angered conflict by communicating in a way that my audience can better understand, such as by disclosing if I am about to speak as "the devil's advocate," or by altering my tenor so that the other person can relate.

All this to say that I do not want things to be overly moderated or healthy debate to be limited, yet it is inportant to realize that how each of us approach a challenging debate makes all the difference.

9:18 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Jim

I have no idea who you are, but I think your post are down to earth, experienced, polite and well....... funny too! Thanks!


Cheers :)

10:25 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
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I asked Bill the week before the orienteering meet, "Should I wear spiked shoes or something? It seems dangerous to be running around in forests".

"Oh no he says, not at the level you will be competing". Seems that the real guys wear spikes...

So Bill S is one of the only brilliant friends that I have who often wins scientific arguments with me. But I only argue to exchange ideas and make people think out of the box, or in the box, and it makes no matter to me whether people agree with me, in fact you'd have be crazy to agree with me. (:->)

Jim S

2:34 p.m. on April 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Lol. My spelling was a lil off huh?

8:26 p.m. on April 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Jim, that's a heck of a story about breaking your leg, but what are good friends for if not to blame stuff on?

9:23 p.m. on April 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Jim S, I like having you around, this place wouldn't be the same without you my friend. You're very intelligent, have a great approach to backcountry living, and give a unique perspective and approach. Maybe the boss could give you a subtitle GOB or ASOB so the more sensitive posters won't get their synthetic boxers/panties in a bunch over an otherwise innocent wise crack, nor a direct challenge to inspire one to think. Sometimes I tend to think it's more difficult to read sarcastic ribbing than if it was spoken face to face.

Hay, I'm callous, sarcastic and completely full of sh.... if you ask any of my close friends. And with my buddies, I enjoy that role. So it is safe to assume that I can read between the lines and get over some cracks thrown my way. Plus, dealing with people acting in a way that can only be described as boring, mundane and over politically correct all week makes me want to vomit. I also have a 4 year old, so I'm constantly being called poopiehead, meannie, and bad guy. Jim S, I'm glad you are staying on board.

Just wanted to let you know my thoughts you miserable sob ;-).

12:05 a.m. on April 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Gee its nice to be loved... I'd take all of you sickos camping with me. (:->) and leave you out there if you couldn't find yer own way back... giggle

Trout, can I ask which bunch trashed you over alcohol stoves?

Jim S

3:40 p.m. on April 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Don't answer that, Trout. I know the group you mean. I signed on when the name led me to believe it was about Backpacking Stoves in general, and maybe had a historical bent to discuss old stoves. I soon discovered that the only thing discusses was ways to make and modify beer and soda cans to make alcohol stoves, except for a group that was machining alcohol stoves from raw materials (brass and aluminum tubing, with all sorts of airflow controls to boost the heat output). I, too, made a couple comments about what stoves are more suitable for which purposes, and got some nasty replies. I have a collection of stoves that includes commercially made alcohol stoves, wood-burning stoves for backpacking, white gas, kerosene (including a kerosene lantern, oh, and an antique whale-oil lamp as well), compressed and liquified petroleum gas, some home made, some commercial.

If you name them here, we are likely to get some of the fanatics and crazies posting and condemning us quasi-rational types who use what works, not what is the latest fad. None of us here, of course, are nutballs.

6:44 p.m. on April 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey, you've insulted me a couple of times too, don't forget. I am not "frail," I have a slender build, so there. :)

7:20 p.m. on April 5, 2010 (EDT)
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I think Bill & I are talking about the same forum, I went there to learn about stoves, especially older stoves. Instead I leaned a thing or two about elite-ism.

The last thing I would want to do is drag that element over here to Trailspace, so maybe Bill offers good advise.

I do like alcohol stoves, they also make a good backup stove for longer trips since they weigh practically nothing, but they have their limits.

I'm glad the people here on Trailspace demonstrate the ability to use logic concerning their gear!

7:30 p.m. on April 5, 2010 (EDT)
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trout,

To confirm, that group went through a long series of discussions a few months back about sources and types of alcohol to substitute for Marine Stove Fuel (the alcohol variety). They got into a long series of exchanges on fermenting your own beverages and distilling them (as well as the ever-popular "Clear"). There was a small amount of discussion of federal self-brewing and self-distilling regulations, which seemed to end with the vehement "I will distill my own in any amount I please, ATF or no ATF."

7:50 p.m. on April 5, 2010 (EDT)
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Yep.

Making your own stove fuel.

Edit: You know, you can boil water in a Styrofoan cup over a lit stick of Brut deodorant, but that doesn't make it practical.

3:34 a.m. on April 26, 2010 (EDT)
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Those alci-stove boys would probably come to blows with me on a trip. I don’t pack alcohol all the way up a frigging mountain to burn it in a stove. What are they thinking?

Hey, now that the air is clear, time for a group hug?
Ed

October 31, 2014
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