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My Biggest Mistakes of 2017 Series – I Took a Knife to an Arcade Fire Concert

I bought a little jackknife a few years ago, and I love it. It’s small enough to fit in the the little mini-pocket that many pants have, and it’s strong and sharp enough to do all sorts of cutting tasks.

After I bought it, I was constantly surprised at how often it came in handy. Now only do I have a lot of things to cut or slash at every day for some reason, but other people do too. The only problem with my knife is that it’s very small, so I lose track of it a lot. Sometimes it falls out when I take off my pants at night, and I don’t find it for months.

In the summer of 2017, I got cheap tickets to an Arcade Fire concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The concert wasn’t until November, so I didn’t think about it much. I’ve only gone to the ACC one other time for a concert, and as we were walking up to it, I realized that they might have us go through metal detectors. I felt like I had read this when I bought the tickets.

I got very worried because I had my nice little knife in my pocket. I thought about putting it inside my wallet, but then I thought that if they put wallets/etc. through an x-ray machine, it’d show up and look very suspicious. I decided to attach the knife to my keychain, thinking it would look inconspicuous, and that I could say something like “Ohh, yeah, I forgot that was there, it’s my little tiny knife and it’s not even sharp” if they even noticed it.

At the door, they had us put any metal things in little plastic bins. The guy saw my knife immediately, which surprised me. I said “Ohh, yeah, I forgot that was there, it’s my little tiny knife and it’s not even sharp” but the guy didn’t care, and said I couldn’t bring it in. I said that I couldn’t throw it away because I paid $30 for it, and wasn’t there any way I could bring it or they could hold it or something.

He said no, and that I could either throw it out, or go outside and hide it somewhere. I actually talked to him for a while about this, because it struck me as really crazy to go and hide something in one of the busiest places in a large city. He said that people did it all the time when they were in situations like mine. I asked him if it worked and they found their stuff later, and he said he had no clue, because he wasn’t around for that part. Fair enough.

He also said that there was another entrance to the ACC where you could check items. I asked “Even a knife?” and he said he didn’t know if they’d take it. I knew, but I went to that entrance anyway, just in case I was wrong.

I was not wrong, and they would not check a knife. I tried to bribe the guy who I talked to there into just letting me into the concert with the knife (I had my ticket with me still), and he paused, but said no. He paused long enough that I think if I had started talking numbers, it might have been possible to sway him, but that would only be if I really did a serious bribe. I was thinking more like $10, maybe $15 tops – just a baby bribe.

I went back outside and looked for a place to hide the knife. The Air Canada Centre seems like a nice building, but the architects didn’t seem to care about hiding knives around it at all, there was nowhere. The employee who had suggested hiding it had mentioned that people would hide stuff in the parking lot across the street, but I didn’t love the idea of crossing the street, digging a little hole, putting a knife in, and then covering it, with dozens of people loitering about outside the arena.

The only spot I could see to hide the knife was a pay phone on the side of the building. I went over and pretended to make a phone call, which, in 2017, was probably much more suspicious-looking than if I had just yelled “I’m hiding a knife over here!”

While I was pretending to make a call, I dropped the knife in the thin area where the phone was connected to the wall. I heard it fall and was instantly positive I would never see my cool, small knife again.

I went inside and tried to enjoy the concert, but the seats were terrible, so it was incredibly hard to see or hear the band clearly, and I kept thinking about how I was going to try and get the knife out from behind the pay phone, which stressed me out a bit and took away from me really getting into the show. We skipped the encore, and I went to all the concession stands inside the arena to try and get something I could stick behind the pay phone to knock my knife out. I grabbed probably 20 plastic forks and knives, and some paper towels.

Amazingly, when I stuck a couple of utensils behind the pay phone on one side, my knife popped right out the other, and fell gently into my hand. It was incredibly surprising, and I was super happy. I talked about it for about 3 days. Stuff like “I can’t believe I got my knife back” and “I still can’t believe I got my knife out of that pay phone” and things like that. Everyone I know got extremely tired of hearing about it very quickly, but I kept going – it’s my way.

So that was a big mistake, but it turned out well. I love that cool, small knife.

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My Eggpost Newsletter Is Now Available Only by Mail

Since maybe 1999, I’ve run an email newsletter named Eggpost. I think it topped out at about 3200 subscribers or so, but sending it became so much work – keeping the mailing list clean, trying to get mailing list software that works but isn’t expensive, etc.

I’ve decided to start writing to it regularly again, and I’ve figured out a fun way: I’m just sending it by mail. It costs money because sending letters actually costs a lot these days it seems.

You can subscribe here. The first newsletter just went out, but if you subscribe before the next one goes, I’ll send this one too. They’re a good length for a newsletter I think.

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Twitter: Still a White Supremacist Website

From what I can tell, “Krang T Nelson”, a left wing non-nazi normal person who wrote funny, obviously jokey tweets got in a fight with a racist, Daily-Stormer-quoting, muslim-hating, Sandy Hook/Heather Hayer truther lady, who got a bunch of other racists worked up, so Twitter suspended him.

Just going to dump in a bunch of screenshots. Try to imagine you’re running a 15 BILLION dollar website that’s doing terribly, and everyone keeps saying that the main problem is that it’s infested with racists and trolls. Now try to figure out which of these people seems like a problem. Now do the same thing but imagine you for some reason want to preserve and maintain a white supremacist website.



Even the people complaining about this tweet didn't think it was serious, they just pretended to be upset. The only people dumb enough to think this was serious are Twitter, the worst website on earth.
Even the people complaining about this tweet didn’t think it was serious, they just pretended to be upset. The only people dumb enough to think this was serious are Twitter, the worst website on earth.


Other person:


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Why Stephen Paddock Killed

It’s a pretty amazing thing that 3+ weeks after Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people in Las Vegas, people are still acting like it’s a big mystery. I keep expecting it to come out, and I haven’t bothered even tweeting about it, because it seems pointless, but I figured I’d get it down for the record.

I’ve read a bunch of articles about this, and the template basically seems to be: This guy was a successful real estate investor, he loved to high stakes gamble all night, he had a girlfriend, and it’s a mystery. Seems like a lot of articles say “maybe he had a mental illness, he was on some prescription drugs, it’s all very unclear”.

You read further details, and the one thing that people just sort of breeze by is this idea that he was a high stakes video poker player, betting tens of thousands of dollars every night at casinos. I think there’s some weird sort of belief out there that this is something you can just do if you’re a rich guy, and it’s fine, you can afford it. The gambling industry works very hard at keeping up a “hey some nights you win, some nights you lose” sort of narrative, and people seem to believe this, but if you gamble every night, for a prolonged period of time, you will lose all the money you gamble. If you show up to the casino with $100, and you don’t stop gambling, you will lose that $100, it’s guaranteed. Show up with $1,000,000, so you can play at higher stakes, and guess what, you’ll lose it almost as fast.

My theory is that Stephen Paddock almost certainly lost most of his money after gambling constantly for years, and then he developed some sort of psychological attitude that I’m not going to try and figure out. Bitterness, depression, hatred, I don’t know, but his life was probably a huge misery, and he probably blamed it on.. someone or other. And so he sent away his girlfriend to another country so she wouldn’t be implicated, he sent her $100,000 to buy a house (presumably this was most of the money he had left – if he knew he was going to end his life in some form or another, it makes no sense that he would just give her a small amount of his supposed fortune), and then did the murders.

This was already my theory when I read this article on about a slip-and-fall lawsuit he brought against a casino in 2013. It goes through his testimony in that case, and he says that he was gambling huge amounts of money – supposedly he cycled through a million dollars a night. You would imagine this is probably true, since the casinos involved could easily prove that he didn’t gamble that much if they wanted, all serious casino players have their activity tracked so they can get perks (which he is quoted as talking about in the embedded video).

More interesting though is that if you watch the video on that page, and look at the actual slip-and-fall that was captured on security camera, even at the horrible resolution and video quality, it looks so fake and bad. Maybe I’m just assuming it’s fake because it’s a slip-and-fall lawsuit, but it really looks bad. And to me, scammy lawsuits like that are basically the cliched thing that desperate Las Vegas losers in books do when they’re in desperation mode or something.

Anyway, so that’s all, I just want to stick this down for the record so I can act smug in 2 years when some casino’s email system is hacked and leaked, and we see a bunch of casino executives spending most of October 2017 colluding to destroy all the records that show this guy losing 95% of his net worth, which would be pretty brutal advertising for Vegas.

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Twitter Is Literally a White Supremacist Website

I know that most people understand what Twitter is at this point, but first, indulge me with a little background on the site:

Twitter is literally a white supremacist website. For its entire life, it has ignored mountains of racism (and every other form of abuse), because to kick off all the Nazis and hysterical racists would lower its engagement statistics in the short term.

They don’t just let people stay on the platform though, they verify tons of racists. The “verification system” has never really been just about verifying that people are using their real identity, but has always been about giving a special status to interesting/special people. That’s why Twitter stripped Milo Yhateverhisnameis of his verification as a punishment, and why you can’t just get verified by proving to them that you are posting under your real identity. Verified users also get special features added to their accounts.

So who do they choose to verify? People like this Youtube guy:

But weirdly enough, not just him, but even literal no-names, like this lady (username: a purposefulwife) who doesn’t have any identity listed on Twitter other than “Wife With A Purpose”. Her main claim to fame seems to be doing 5000 tweets about “preserving the white race and culture”, and also creating the white baby challenge. I don’t know what that was, I’m assuming it was like the ice bucket thing, except you poured buckets of white babies on your head.

Twitter has taken a lot of heat about all the racist (not to mention sexist, etc.) abuse on the platform. When Leslie Jones was chased off Twitter by a bunch of psychos, the site got a lot of heat, and Jack Dorsey reassured people that they were working on it.

But what can a site do to identify and remove users who constantly out-think the system and come up with tricky ways to evade even the most sophisticated early warning systems? Twitter paid $150M in 2016 to acquire an AI startup, so they’re probably at least using the machine learning experts from that company to come up with very advanced classifiers to spot even the trickiest of abusers right? After all, they must have hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of abuse reports to train a system like this with. Seems like this would be an easy fix right?

Just kidding, they haven’t tried at all, and here’s how I know: I searched “Lebron” and the n-word the day that Lebron James called Trump a bum, and there were a lot of tweets. I mean a lot. I actually took screencaps of a ton, but decided not to post them here, but I mean, how on Earth is this something Twitter hasn’t even bothered to deal with? Is it too hard to put in a small block of code saying “Ohhh hey if someone calls someone the n-word, how about uhh.. that gets maybe uhhh… flagged?”. Personally, I think every tweet like that should at least get flagged, but I’d say there’s about a 0.01% chance that a tweet with that word, and the name of a celebrity turns out to not be abusive, so uh.. Twitter has an index of celebrities, they verified them all.

I’m not really an expert on white supremacy , but I know it’s a system. As an example, my understanding is basically that if a restaurant opens up, and then half its customers are neo-Nazis, and they constantly yell the n-word at the other customers, and the restaurant refuses to do anything about it, and then also the restaurant has some sort of special status system like “best customer club” and they give that to a bunch of the neo-nazis, seems like you might actually say that was a white supremacist restaurant. Seems about right I think, right? So that’s why I say that Twitter is literally a white supremacist website, and everyone who makes any decisions there, especially Jack Dorsey, is a white supremacist. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, and I know he loves tweeting about rap music and stuff, but the way it works is that actually, he’s a huge white supremacist, because he literally controls an entire system and refuses to fix all the racist shit.

Okay, so enough about the background, back to the news: White supremacist social networking site Twitter is going to let some people do 280 character tweets.

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Does Bacon Come From a Pig?

Yesterday, I did an Instagram story for my online store. At one point, for no real reason, I put a pack of bacon in front of the camera, and I said “I don’t know if I should eat this bacon, it was 3 packs for $7, which seems too cheap, but I mean, it all comes from the same cows, how bad can it be”. I didn’t even realize that I said cow, and then 2 people messaged me saying something like “Bacon comes from a pig right?”

I thought something like: Wow, what kind of weirdos are these guys, they don’t know where bacon comes from? But then I thought “Ohhh wait.. maybe they’re from some country where nobody eats bacon or something like that, I better be polite to them”. So I sent both of them messages where I was trying to be really nice, and explain what bacon is, but I also didn’t want to be too verbose, since I figured they might not be great at English. So my messages back to them were basically “Yes, that’s right, bacon comes from a pig! It’s very popular where I live. I love the taste!” Unsure whether I’m going to receive any orders from these guys.

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The Three Times I Was on TV

Paul Ford just wrote a very good guide to being interview in the media. He makes some excellent, excellent points, it’s really amazing how much of it hits home for me. It got me thinking about mistakes I made long ago when dealing with media stuff.

I started 2 blog-hosting sites, and, in 1999 and they got big quite fast, because this was the time blogs started exploding, so I wound up getting approached by the media a fair amount for at least a year or two. One thing that’s really amazing about how reporters work, that I didn’t realize until I saw it in action, was that I could go for 2 months with no stories mentioning me or my sites, but as soon as one was published, I would invariably get a bunch of reporters phoning/emailing me immediately, to be interviewed for some extremely similar story they just decided to write.

Anyway, every time I showed up in a print story, they misquoted at least 1 thing I said, and quite often it was the dumbest, most pointless misquote possible. In these cases, the misquote wouldn’t change any part of the story, but would just irritate me, like I’d think “Why did they say Italian restaurant when I clearly told them Mexican?” or something (not a real example). One time the Globe and Mail did an article about a certain Pitas blog on their front page and they called it a chatroom, after I had quite clearly explained to the reporter how a blog is not anything like a chatroom (and this was way past the point where anyone should have made this mistake).

I wound up on TV three times, and they were all huge disasters. I’m going to write them out in what I think the actual order was. I’m not 100% sure on this, but it doesn’t really matter much.


There was a Canadian show called Shift TV that I think was based on a sort of WIRED-like magazine called Shift. I think I was interviewed for the magazine over the phone with someone, and then some time later, I wound up on this show. I was living in a basement apartment in Toronto at the time, which constantly looked an absolute fucking slob and spaz lived there (not sure why), and I remember that when they contacted me and said they would come to interview me where I live, I just said “okay sure”. It didn’t even occur to me that I should remove the 20 empty pop bottles that were all over the counter and the top of the fridge, or replace the lightbulb in the bedroom that burned out about 1 month after I moved in and I never fixed.

The crew was supposed to come over at 11 in the morning, or something like that, but they phoned a couple of hours early and asked if they could just come right over, and I said “okay sure” and hopped in the shower. This is why I think Paul’s article is so good, because it tells people “hey take a second to give the media an answer, and you’re allowed to say no”. I was never intimidated by the media, but I’m just the kind of guy who generally goes “Oh sure, whatever works man”, and I also don’t really think about long-term like “Hmm, what if I wind up being interviewed with soaking wet hair that needs to be cut, looking pale as hell, in a weirdly lit shithole apartment and then they for some reason replay this show 3 times a week for SO LONG”.

I guess these days maybe people are smarter, and not just big idiots like me who go “Oh uh TV crew coming over whatever” but anyway I will say this: Thank god Youtube wasn’t around and that show seems to have shuffled off into obscurity.


There was some Canadian TV channel called.. I think TALK TV maybe? It was around for a couple of years, and there was a very nice lady on it who was a Pitas user, and she hosted an hour-long (if I recall) show where people sat around on couches and talked about the Internet (sidenote: She went on to be a Muchmusic personality and then I think politician??). So anyway, someone from her show invited me to come on and talk about blogs.

The line-up was the host, me and some Toronto lady who had a blog (and I want to say maaaaybe there was a fourth person but probably not so I’m going to go ahead and write as if there wasn’t.) I remember that the other guest had already been on the show, or maybe some other show on the same channel, and after the show, I saw her trying to kind of work one of the producers and get them to feature her down the road on future shows.

This show was live, and there were some bullet point topics, and one of them was about some lady who had just been caught in what may have been the very first “I have a kid with cancer” hoax in the blog world (here’s the Wikipedia for it). I had followed along with the story a bit as the hoax was unraveled, but I wasn’t very interested, and I kind of felt like the blog had been suspect from the start. The host and the other guest, however, had apparently been die-hard readers, and during the show, they talked about it in detail.

I want to add that when I’m just sort of sitting around in a group discussion, I think I tend to smile and look cheerful, especially if I happen to be mentally zoning out of the conversation. It’s kind of a conscious thing so that I don’t appear hard-faced while I’m losing interest. (I want to add I also smile and look cheerful when I’m part of a good conversation, so if you’re talking to me and you see me smiling, don’t worry, you are interesting as hell and I would never tune out).

So long story short, my only remaining memory of this whole show was watching a repeat of it on TV later, and right at the part where the two ladies were talking about how devastated when the blogger’s (fake) kid had died of (fake) leukemia, and how much they had cried, the camera cut to me, zoned out, face covered in a big old shit-eating grin, for no reason. Good stuff!


This was a 1 or 2 minute taped human interest piece on Global News, a traditional nightly 6:00PM broadcast. I don’t even remember where they interviewed me (probably my crappy basement apartment), or what I said, but I do remember that I looked really terrible (as always), and that after the piece finished, they cut back to the anchors, and the lady (I forget her name, she was the anchor for years and years on there) made a really nasty comment like “Wow a bunch of people sitting around on their computers writing about their lives, sounds like they need to get a life”. I’m not getting the exact wording right, but also not really exaggerating, it really was about as nasty as that. I actually am 99% positive she said “sounds like they need to get a life”. It was bad enough that as someone who would make fun of bloggers regularly, I was still like “wow what the fuck”.


A friend’s parents videotaped this broadcast for me, and when I saw them after it aired, they just looked at me and didn’t say anything, kind of like “oh shit what do we say to this guy in this situation, he just got humiliated on Global TV” hjahaha.

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Eating in Nashville

I just wrote this blog post title, and then I realized it sounds like that song “Walking in Memphis”. Then I wanted to change it to “Eating in Memphis? Hell No, More Like Eating in Nashville!”, but I feel like people won’t find that as funny as I do.

I also realized this story happens 45 minutes south of Nashville, but now that I’m singing “Eating in Nashville” in my head, to the tune of “Walking in Memphis”, I’m not changing it. It’s called integrity, look it up on sometime why don’t you. Anyway back to the story.

When I was a kid, our family went to Tennessee, and we ate at a place called Miss Mary Bobo’s, which is an old, historic boarding house in Lynchburg, TN, right beside the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. I went back to Nashville in 2016 with my family, and I said hey, we should eat there, it’s cool.

I checked and it was still open (although now it’s owned by the Jack Daniels company). At one point, I checked to see how far it was from Nashville, and I made the rookie non-American mistake of typing “Lynchburg” into Google Maps. Turns out, that term is not even close to specific enough, there are something like 7 towns called that.

I made an appointment (you pretty much have to) and a couple of months later, we wound up at the restaurant. The way Miss Mary Bobo’s works is that when you go, you’re seated at a communal table that seats maybe 10 or 12 people. There is a set selection of food that is brought to the table, and everyone passes it around, as if you were at a family dinner. The meals vary depending on the day, so once you get there you might find out you’re having ribs, fried chicken, pork, etc. They have southern side dishes that also vary, and I think that every meal has a serving of fried okra and whiskey-infused baked apples. The food is amazing, I love it so much. They have this fudge pie for dessert some of the time that I still think about.

While you eat, there’s a host who sits with you and tells historical stories about Lynchburg, Jack Daniels, the boarding house, etc. This part is good, and it’s fun to sit with strangers (usually in groups I assume) from different places, and have a chat.

I’ve gone twice as an adult now, and the second time, we sat with a group of 5 older people who were on a months-long trip together. There were four siblings from one family: 2 women (one of which who had her husband with her), and 2 twin brothers, who happened to have a birthday the day we were there.

One of the twins found a way to mention several times that he had had a good life and was more than happy to die anytime. He seemed fairly healthy for his age, didn’t seem very overweight, sick or weak, but he did talk a little quietly, and boy was he eager to pop off. The others kept reminding him that he had to live at least long enough to see his youngest granddaughter graduate from high school and he grumblingly agreed, kind of “Oh yeah, okay okay”.

The first time I visited as an adult, we sat with four extremely fun, older black businessmen. They were joking around with each other and making the occasional reference to how drunk one of them was going to get later that night in Nashville, and how he had a girlfriend there. This part of the story actually really, really frustrates me, because I remember I made a really good joke to them about how drunk this guy was going to be, and how he was going to get lucky, but I can’t for the life of me remember it. I really want to repeat the joke and brag about it, because I was super happy about it, and I never make good jokes. I also want to brag because it also got a huge laugh from these guys, probably because up until that point I think most of my conversation had been stuff like “So how far was your drive to Memphis?”

Anyway one fun part of the meal was when one of the guys asked the host “So how did this town get called Lynchburg?” and she sort of froze, then went “Oh hmm, good question, um you know what, I just don’t know!”

Then there was about 30 seconds of silence, and she added “Actually, I do know there was a very prominent family in the early days of the town who were named Lynch, I wonder if that had anything to do with it”. Everyone kind of nodded, but I am positive every single adult at that table was thinking that this lady was making this up. I assume the kids were still trying to figure out my joke about the drunk guy getting lucky. To be fair, it’s a believable cover story, but she played it too dumb by acting like she wasn’t sure if those pieces fit together.

I just Googled it and found a couple of interesting web pages, and of the 7 towns named Lynchburg, 5 of them are either like “Uhh we don’t know” or “Oh yeah, guy named Lynch, it was totally because of a guy named Lynch”, and only Lynchburg, Missouri flat out says it was obviously named after the many lynchings there.

When you look into it some more, Lynchburg, Tennessee has a few possibilities of how it got its name:

  • Named after a “Judge Lynch” who ran a vigilante squad.
  • Named after a “small, weakly” man who administered punishments at the town whipping post.
  • Named after a different Lynchburg.

First of all, the first two of those are a bit better than “there were a lot of lynchings”, but not really admirable. I do kind of admire the strategy of saying “Ohh uhhh… yes we had a whipping post and public whippings but umm.. the punishment guy was small and weakly? Does that help???” The third possibility just sounds like a line from the Simpsons or something to me.

But if you do find yourself anywhere near Lynchburg, TN, I do highly recommend checking out Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House. Really, really good food, and quite a unique atmosphere. Tell them I sent you. They won’t know what you’re talking about, they serve something like 150 people a day.

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Youtube Idea

I don’t think I’ll ever get around to doing this, so I guess I’ll just write it here: You know how Youtube channels sometimes have celebration videos like “woo we got 5000 followers, wow!” and whatnot – I think it’d be funny to create a channel, and make the first video one of those, pretending to have gotten 500 subscribers. A week later, do one for 2000, then a week later, another for 10,000. Keep doing for this for a few months, then upload a video saying “I’m so sorry about what I said in my last video, it was so far over the line, and I’ve been advised by the authorities that I need to take it down, and any other videos where I said similar things. I know a lot of people unsubscribed, but I want to apologize to all my fans and let them know I’m seeking counselling, both legal and spiritual.”

Or whatever, something like that. The important thing just being that there’s a channel with all these videos celebrating all their subscribers, but then it looks like almost all of them unsubscribed.