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Thread: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

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    Australia Moderator
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    Default A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Hey there everyone

    There is nothing like sitting around a campfire and watching it as it crackles and glows brightly.

    The moderators have all been getting to know one another and it has really felt like sitting around a campfire.

    You know how great ideas and stories flow when you are sitting there, gazing into the fire?

    As we were chatting, one of our beloved mods, Tam, came up with a lovely idea that we could perhaps extend that campfire chat to all the members so that you can get to know us all a little better.

    And so, here we are.

    You can ask us anything you like. Any question you might have related to the forum, ourselves, life...whatever it is you want.

    Ask away dear Avalonians; we are here with you, and for you.

    With much love from the entire moderator team
    Last edited by Constance; 21st July 2019 at 23:53.
    Unity within the diversity

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    Ecuador Avalon Member Rosemarie's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the mods

    Ok. Let’s get started ! I expect this will be a long campfire chat. Thank you all ! They say your choice of books says a lot about a person. I would love to know your favorite books to read and why would you recommend them ?
    "Be kind for everybody is fighting a great battle" Plato

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    UK Moderator and Librarian Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Off to a crackling start, thank you Rosemarie

    It largely depends on mood, and I have really quite a few books. However, I do enjoy plays, and Tennessee Williams is a real favourite of mine, and in particular, A Streetcar Named Desire.

    Plays are nuanced in a way that you feel immediately involved, and participating, acting in the drama. And how you can recognise moments in your life through them.

    And sometimes life is brutal.

    He was always so able to capture the human condition and its many substrates so poetically.

    [Stanley is Blanche's brother-in-law]

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One of my favourite exchanges is this:
    STANLEY: In Laurel, huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah, in Laurel, that's right. Not in my territory. Liquor goes fast in hot weather. [He holds the bottle to the light to observe its depletion.] Have a shot?

    BLANCHE: No, I--rarely touch it.

    STANLEY: Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The bottle could almost be a metaphor for a person - we use the expression "half-full or half-empty" often.

    Are we sometimes 'depleted'?

    And Streetcar, it's sexy, always but brimming with danger, brutality. Furtive flirtations, treachery, betrayal, violence, womanliness, manliness, drunken-ness, alcoholism, class-ism, and deterioration (I am also listening to 'The Cure' whilst writing this up - more than appropriate I think, and unplanned).

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BLANCHE: I cannot imagine any witch of a woman casting a spell over you.

    STANLEY: That's right.

    BLANCHE: You're simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side I should think. To interest you a woman would have to-- [She pauses with an indefinite gesture.]

    STANLEY [slowly]: Lay... her cards on the table.

    BLANCHE [smiling]: Well, I never cared for wishy-washy people. That was why, when you walked in here last night, I said to myself--"My sister has married a man!"--Of course that was all that I could tell about you.

    STANLEY [booming]: Now let's cut the re-bop?

    BLANCHE [pressing hands to her ears]: Ouuuuu!

    STELLA [calling from the steps]: Stanley! You come out here and let Blanche finish dressing!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    And here, it gets sexier, the flirting heats up - feel the frisson:
    BLANCHE: The poor little thing was out there listening to us, and I have an idea she doesn't understand you as well as I do.... All right; now, Mr. Kowalski, let us proceed without any more double-talk. I'm ready to answer all questions. I've nothing to hide. What is it?

    STANLEY: There is such a thing in this state of Louisiana as the Napoleonic code, according to which whatever belongs to my wife is also mine--and vice versa.

    BLANCHE: My, but you have an impressive judicial air! [She sprays herself with her atomizer; then playfully sprays him with it. He seizes the atomizer and slams it down on the dresser. She throws back her head and laughs.]

    STANLEY: If I didn't know that you was my wife's sister I'd get ideas about you!

    BLANCHE: Such as what!

    STANLEY: Don't play so dumb. You know what!

    BLANCHE [she puts the atomizer on the table]: All right. Cards on the table. That suits me. [She turns to Stanley.] I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is fifty percent illusion, but when a thing is important I tell the truth, and this is the truth: I haven't cheated my sister or you or anyone else as long as I have lived.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I may have to step back from extracting special parts (for me) in this play, as it'll start to resemble a reprint

    This astonishingly beautiful work can be seen here as a pdf
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the mods

    Quote Posted by Rosemarie (here)
    Ok. Let’s get started ! I expect this will be a long campfire chat. Thank you all ! They say your choice of books says a lot about a person. I would love to know your favorite books to read and why would you recommend them ?
    Such a great question, Rosemarie!!

    I agree completely. Whenever I visit someone for the first time, I am always immediately drawn to look at the books they have either laying around or on shelves. I think it does provide great insight into a person's soul. And I must admit, it makes me a little leery when there are no books to see..

    I have always been a voracious reader and was started on that path as a very young child, when my mother or father would read to us every night
    The Winnie the Pooh books, Mary Poppins, The Narnia series, the Doctor Doolittle books, the Wizard of Oz series..

    Later, as a child and young teenager, The Phantom Tollbooth, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time series, many of Ray Bradbury's works including, most importantly, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. So many more but these were all eye opening and consciousness expanding reads for a young person.

    As an adult, almost any of Peter Matthiessen's books.. The Snow Leopard; At play in the Fields of the Lord; Far Tortuga; In the Spirit of Crazy Horse; The Cloud Forest. A magnificent writer, Matthiessen has a way of exploring both the inner and outer world in a deep, insightful, and sometimes transformative way. The Snow Leopard was one of several important triggers over a number of years that finally propelled me off on my journey to Nepal in 1991.

    Charles Dickens.. Great Expectations; A Tale of Two Cities. Hemingway.. For Whom the Bell Tolls; A Farewell to Arms. I think both Dickens and Hemingway are masters when it comes to examining the human condition. Revelations regarding why people do the things they do. What motivates them. Morals.. what is moral? What is immoral?

    Lawrence Durrell.. The Alexandria Quartet. These four works are some of the most deeply romantic and evocative works of the 20th century.

    All of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's books because they are absolutely magical!

    Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past series. A beautiful examination of the human mind.. and memory.

    W. Somerset Maugham.. The Razor's Edge. A great classic about a young man traumatized by war, who embarks on a journey of discovery, a journey in search of himself and what is truly meaningful.

    All of these were so important in my development as a journeyer, seeker, learner.

    More modern page-turners include The Beach; Sex Lives of Cannibals (awesome book!); The White Tiger; The Death of Vishnu; Wolf Hall; The God of Small Things; The Rule of the Bone. All because they are just phenomenal reads!

    Of course all things Fortean!!! I have almost every book ever written about Bigfoot. UFOs, ETs, all forms of High Strangeness, parallel dimensions, the multiverse..

    Reading The Holographic Universe and Gifts of Unknown Things can be a wonderful and paradigm shifting experience for some.

    So many more!!! I'm sure I'll want to add many more as I remember them!

    Last edited by Ken; 13th July 2019 at 00:57.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    United States Moderator Tam's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    I used to read a lot more than I do now.

    I'll name some books I've particularly appreciated off of the top of my head:

    - The Stranger by Albert Camus
    - Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    - The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry
    - The Last Hour of Gann, a self-published masterpiece by a Kindle author with the pen name R. Lee Smith. She labeled her book as sci-fi erotica to get a wider audience, I think, but it's so much more than that. Most erotica is basically just another form of p*rn, but this one is nothing like that. It's VERY gritty and dark, be warned, but it's very, very good. If you have a Kindle or a phone to get the app on, it's only 5 bucks and well worth it.

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Describe a perfect day you have not yet had?

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    I would love chatting with many in this forum, but every time I visit Chat I am the only person. I do see others having come and gone, but how is it that our Chat is so dead?
    I completely understand the shortcomings of chat and understand that lack of time is the enemy of a good and well composed discourse.

    Should our chat be eliminated or perhaps be used to post hangouts links for those who want to host and invite others?

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Maybe a somution would be to have some sort of "indication" who is online at a particular moment. That message could be put on the opening page of the website maybe? Or somewhere else, but very easy to spot. That way more people would - possibly - visit the Chat, when they can see who is online.

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Good question Rosemarie! Ok..books...

    Fiction:
    1)'Journey To The End Of The Night' by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
    2)'Down And Out In London And Paris' by George Orwell
    3)'Ask The Dust' by John Fante
    4) 'Post Office' by Charles Bukowski

    The Paranormal/Spiritual/Cosmic
    1) 'The Mothman Prophecies' by John Keel
    2) ..the first 3 Castaneda books (the rest are mostly sh!t imo)
    3) 'The Master Game' by Robert DeRopp
    4)..basically anything weird and disturbing and highly strange
    5) oh! almost forgot... 'Chameleo' by Robert Guffy

    God I could go on forever. I've been very lazy with my reading lately, but I still revisit these books now and again, even if it's just to read a passage or 2. All great books and great writers. But I have to be honest..I think I prefer myself.


    Intranuclear: the chat option just never took off. It's curious. Not sure why. You'd think it would be thriving. I'd completely forgotten about it until now actually. In all my time here I think I've been in there 2 or 3 times. Just a matter of getting a little momentum, I think

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Keyholder (here)
    Maybe a somution would be to have some sort of "indication" who is online at a particular moment. That message could be put on the opening page of the website maybe? Or somewhere else, but very easy to spot. That way more people would - possibly - visit the Chat, when they can see who is online.
    Hey Keyholder!

    Nice to meet you

    If you click on "Forum" in the upper left quadrant of your screen and then scroll down, you will find a list of everyone currently online. Below that is a list of everyone who has posted today! Is this what you meant?

    Best,

    Ken
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Intranuclear (here)
    I would love chatting with many in this forum, but every time I visit Chat I am the only person. I do see others having come and gone, but how is it that our Chat is so dead?
    I completely understand the shortcomings of chat and understand that lack of time is the enemy of a good and well composed discourse.

    Should our chat be eliminated or perhaps be used to post hangouts links for those who want to host and invite others?
    Hey Intranuclear!

    I think maybe it's just a matter of momentum, or lack thereof, as Mike suggested. Maybe it would help if whoever wanted to chat started a thread with a proposed time and date? Just see who shows up?

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by samildamach (here)
    Describe a perfect day you have not yet had?
    Hey Samildamach!

    Great question!! I'm going to ponder that and reply later. Some of the mods are great at coming up with brilliant and concisely constructed posts off the cuff. Me.. not so much!

    I usually have to sit and think for a while. The equivalent of coming up with a fabulous retort a couple hours after a conversation during which a remark is made requiring a brilliant response. Happens to me all the time
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Good question Rosemarie!
    The Paranormal/Spiritual/Cosmic
    1) 'The Mothman Prophecies' by John Keel
    2) ..the first 3 Castaneda books (the rest are mostly sh!t imo)
    3) 'The Master Game' by Robert DeRopp
    4)..basically anything weird and disturbing and highly strange
    5) oh! almost forgot... 'Chameleo' by Robert Guffy
    I liked the Castaneda books as well as the 'Chameleo' book I also like to explore weird, disturbing and highly strange things such as what is going on in the Skinwalker Ranch. I think Stargate is real, is probably deeply dark special projects. It would be great if Stargate were disclosed so that we can teleport instantly around the world, across the solar systems and to other areas of the cosmos.

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Ken (here)
    Quote Posted by Intranuclear (here)
    I would love chatting with many in this forum, but every time I visit Chat I am the only person. I do see others having come and gone, but how is it that our Chat is so dead?
    I completely understand the shortcomings of chat and understand that lack of time is the enemy of a good and well composed discourse.

    Should our chat be eliminated or perhaps be used to post hangouts links for those who want to host and invite others?
    Hey Intranuclear!

    I think maybe it's just a matter of momentum, or lack thereof, as Mike suggested. Maybe it would help if whoever wanted to chat started a thread with a proposed time and date? Just see who shows up?

    Very good idea.

    Oh, questions, right: What is yall's favorite meal and what is yall's favorite movie? You can only choose 1. Cruel I know, I'm sorry, but it's the rules.
    Last edited by Strat; 11th July 2019 at 23:25.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    You can ask us anything you like. Any question you might have related to the forum, ourselves, life...whatever it is you want.

    Ask away dear Avalonians; we are here with you, and for you.
    What a great idea!


    My idea of get to know/ask the mods differs from the current trend. Rather then ask about a favorite book, what your sign is or who was your favorite teacher in school kind of question, i would like to go a little more meat and potatos.

    I see being a freshly branded mod similar to how i see a young person getting a badge, and a gun, stepping up to be an officer of the peace in that role society needs. Its a lot of responsibility to take on and, it probably also tweaks the way general society/membership is looked at from said person, especially as time goes on and that thin blue line outlook is forged.

    How do you mods, both new and seasoned, see this forum differently than when you were a regular member, and, how do you weigh your responsibility of when to use force to keep the peace, and when to use deescalation skills to keep the peace?


    New mods how much have you thought about this when you were a member putting your self in a mods shoes, vs. how it looks now sporting that badge and a gun? Does the landscape look different now?

    And older mods, how was the same with you from the regular member perspective, to being modded, and then becoming seasoned in this much needed authoritve roll?


    Thanx so much i love this lil fireside chat!

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Ken (here)
    Quote Posted by Intranuclear (here)
    I would love chatting with many in this forum, but every time I visit Chat I am the only person. I do see others having come and gone, but how is it that our Chat is so dead?
    I completely understand the shortcomings of chat and understand that lack of time is the enemy of a good and well composed discourse.

    Should our chat be eliminated or perhaps be used to post hangouts links for those who want to host and invite others?
    Hey Intranuclear!

    I think maybe it's just a matter of momentum, or lack thereof, as Mike suggested. Maybe it would help if whoever wanted to chat started a thread with a proposed time and date? Just see who shows up?

    Another solution is to put the current number of people in parenthesis like: Chat (4) so there is visual indication at least.

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  33. Link to Post #17
    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Gracy May (here)
    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    You can ask us anything you like. Any question you might have related to the forum, ourselves, life...whatever it is you want.

    Ask away dear Avalonians; we are here with you, and for you.
    What a great idea!


    My idea of get to know/ask the mods differs from the current trend. Rather then ask about a favorite book, what your sign is or who was your favorite teacher in school kind of question, i would like to go a little more meat and potatos.

    I see being a freshly branded mod similar to how i see a young person getting a badge, and a gun, stepping up to be an officer of the peace in that role society needs. Its a lot of responsibility to take on and, it probably also tweaks the way general society/membership is looked at from said person, especially as time goes on and that thin blue line outlook is forged.

    How do you mods, both new and seasoned, see this forum differently than when you were a regular member, and, how do you weigh your responsibility of when to use force to keep the peace, and when to use deescalation skills to keep the peace?


    New mods how much have you thought about this when you were a member putting your self in a mods shoes, vs. how it looks now sporting that badge and a gun? Does the landscape look different now?

    And older mods, how was the same with you from the regular member perspective, to being modded, and then becoming seasoned in this much needed authoritve roll?


    Thanx so much i love this lil fireside chat!
    WOW, Gracy May!

    Those are really great questions!! I will have to think about that and respond later. But thank you. Very thought provoking..

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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  35. Link to Post #18
    Canada Avalon Member
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Intranuclear (here)
    I would love chatting with many in this forum, but every time I visit Chat I am the only person. I do see others having come and gone, but how is it that our Chat is so dead?
    I completely understand the shortcomings of chat and understand that lack of time is the enemy of a good and well composed discourse.

    Should our chat be eliminated or perhaps be used to post hangouts links for those who want to host and invite others?
    I think PA could eliminate the text chat room (it's crappy, and somewhat of a liability), and instead have a voice chat room. Not necessarily open 24/7, and not necessarily just for mods.

    You could use Ventrilo or something similar. I was in a few gaming guilds in the past which used that. Even when we were not doing things as a group, people could hang out and chat. It saves time too

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  37. Link to Post #19
    UK Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    One question I have if I may. Where is Joe From the Carolinas? Not seen him for quite a while. Is everything Ok with him?
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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  39. Link to Post #20
    Avalon Member avid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Hey Joe - a wee post now and again would be appreciated, especially for those who need gardening advice, propagation, storage etc.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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