General: October 2005 Archives

Link blog

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My blogging has slowed down considerably of late -- busy with work, home improvements, and family -- and I'm feeling the need to reserve what little creativity remains for the weekly column. When I do surf the web, I find plenty of noteworthy stuff, but I don't necessarily want to write a dozen entries that say little more than "hey, this was interesting." So partly to address that, but mostly to gain some hands-on AMP (Apache/MySQL/PHP) experience, I've put together a linkblog -- a list of recent links of interest, with just a timestamp, a title, and a URL, plus maybe a one-sentence comment. You will see the most recent 10 links below the masthead on the homepage. It should be operational within a few hours, and it'll give you a reason to stop back by more often.



I noticed I had double-posted a couple of entries, which sometimes happens with Movable Type, and in my zeal to fix the problem I deleted the copies that had comments attached. If I can recover the comments, I will. My apologies.

UPDATE: Comments rescued.

A word about blog comments

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Before you read any of the rest of this, I want you all to know that I appreciate those who take the time to comment here and via e-mail. I'm grateful for your feedback, both positive and negative.

Still, comments here aren't a free for all, and I want you to know why.

For the first year and a half of BatesLine's existence I didn't have comments enabled. I encouraged readers to drop me an email if they had something to say, or to participate in the forums at or In explaining why, back in December 2003, I echoed the reasons of group-law-blogger Eugene Volokh, and added that I'd rather encourage participation in established forums about Tulsa politics rather than dilute the discussion further. Volokh's concerns about reputation and time resonated with me. I don't have time to play comment cop, and yet I can't simply allow comments to become an open forum. Comment spam is too prevalent, and while I don't mind polite disagreement, there are some comments that I just don't want using my bandwidth.

I first enabled comments following the Whirled's legal threats against me back in February. At various times I've required all commenters to be registered with TypeKey, allowed everyone to post immediately, or combined TypeKey with moderation, which is where things stand now. If you have and use a free TypeKey login, your comment is online automatically after you post it; otherwise, it's held for my decision to "approve" it for posting or not.

I put "approve" in quotes because I don't necessarily approve of the sentiments expressed in the comments that I allow to appear.

My criteria for choosing which comments will appear and which won't are entirely arbitrary and capricious. I observed one blogger attempt to establish an objective basis for editing or deleting comments or banning commenters, and she seemed to spend a lot of time defending her decisions. I'm not going to go down that road. If you feel unjustly censored, you are free to start your own blog.

If you don't see a comment of yours appear, it may be that I haven't seen it yet, as I only check a few times a day. It may also be that I saw it and decided not to publish it. If that happens, it doesn't mean that I won't publish another comment of yours, or that I'm upset with you; I just decided not to post that one.

I am unlikely to publish a comment if it is wildly off-topic, is inflammatory in tone, uses vulgar or profane language, or is a personal attack on me or my friends and allies. If I think a comment is going to cause things to get ugly -- even if the commenter had no such intention -- I will probably not publish it.

So far I have been pretty liberal in allowing straying from the topic of the original post -- no longer. If there's a subject you think I ought to address, instead of posting an off-topic comment, drop me a line at blog -AT- batesline -DOT- com. I may or may not respond -- don't take it personally if I don't -- and I may or may not get around to addressing that topic. This is my personal blog, not a forum or message board. There are some good message boards and forums out there which provide for more interactive discussion and the opportunity to raise whatever topic you please, and the best thing about them from my perspective is that someone else is responsible for moderating them.

Other bloggers are much tougher on this issue than I am. My friend Scott Sala of Slant Point became fed up with spam and has disabled comments and trackbacks completely. Phillip Johnson has some characteristically blunt comment rules. My favorite is rule no. 1:

Don't expect me to reply to your comments. If I feel strongly, I might reply in a blog entry. If I have time to waste, I could even post a comment of my own every now and then. (No promises on that.) But don't look for me to mud-wrestle with critics in my own blog-comments.

Rule no. 4 should be heeded, too:

Don't feed the trolls.

I don't intend to preach about this often, but I thought it would be useful to let you know my perspective on comments. Again, I do appreciate those who comment here, as well as those who just read.

Where'd I go?


Blogging has suffered as I've been busy with my job and, at home, sanding floors and painting walls. I will be on in the morning at 6:10 on 1170 KFAQ with Michael DelGiorno and Gwen Freeman, talking about the proposal to restructure the Council with three at-large councilors and Tulsa County's history of sole source contracts, which was the subject of my column in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly.

My colleagues at have been keeping up with issues around town, and fellow Okie bloggers from down the turnpike -- Charles, Dwayne, Jan, Dan and Angi, and Mike of Okiedoke -- always have something worth reading.

Dwayne's got some great sign photos from OKC, and Route 66 in Tulsa, and Signs of Tulsa has some new entries, too.

If that isn't enough, there's a big ol' blogroll on the right side of the page for you to explore. Have at it!

Bleg: Carpet hauling

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If someone in the Tulsa area with a pickup wants to make a few bucks, we have a carpet that needs hauling off.

We're pulling the carpet out of the kids' rooms. We donated the carpet and pad from one room to Habitat for Humanity's ReSTORE. It was in pretty good shape -- no pets or smokers in our house -- and we'd planned to do the same with the carpet from the second, bigger room, but we don't have anything big enough to haul it in. Habitat can pick it up -- on November 12th. We called the H.O.W. Foundation. They'll do the job, for pay -- on November 1st.

If you can bring the truck, we can help you load the truck and will lead you over to the ReSTORE, just a few miles from our house, to help unload it. We'd like to get this done today before 4, if possible, otherwise we have to wait until Wednesday when the ReSTORE is open again.

The carpet is rolled and tied up, 13' 3" long, and about 18" in diameter.

Feel free to post a bid in a comment, or e-mail me at blog at batesline dot com, if you want the job. If you've got an alternative suggestion for disposing of the carpet, that would be welcome, too. (Polite suggestions only, please.)

UPDATE: Someone doing tree work across the street had a big trailer and was able to take the carpet for us.

If you're looking for an excuse to keep your kid off an amusement park ride: is the world's single most comprehensive, detailed, updated, accurate, and complete source of amusement ride accident reports and related news. The site includes a record of fatal amusement ride accidents in the United States since 1972, and, for the past six years, has recorded all types of accidents, including many from outside the United States. The number of injuries and fatalities recorded at this site does not reflect the total number of injuries and deaths that have occurred as a result of amusement ride accidents.

There's a special section on carnival workers and background checks.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General category from October 2005.

General: September 2005 is the previous archive.

General: November 2005 is the next archive.

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