Category Archives: Weblogs

Welcome back to WIL WHEATON dot NET

After six long years, I can finally say:

Massive thanks to Mysterious Kevin for all his help making my return home easy and painless. I couldn’t have done this on my own.

Please note that the first time you comment (whether it’s with a WordPress account, or your Twitter, Facebook, or Google login), you’ll get tossed into moderation while it waits for me to ensure you’re not a robot or a dick. This should only happen once.

mv /mnt/exile/wil /home/

That moment when, after over six years in exile, you push the Big Red Button™ to go back to your original blog…

 

…and find yourself too overwhelmed by the personal significance of the moment to say anything meaningful.

So, um, here’s a picture of me feeling  happy:

The Hover Wil
Usually reserved for Kings Stanley Cup wins, the WilHover is a close cousin to the WilFlail.gif

Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for coming by.

EDIT: We’re having some strange issues with commenting and building the RSS feed. Don’t worry, it’s being taken care of right now by top men.

…Top. Men.

I’m gonna go ahead and put this back here for the time being:

 

SECOND EDIT: The best thing about having Top. Men. work on a thing is how quickly they fix it.

I’m leaving the GIF, though, because it amuses me.

WIL WHEATON dot NET is once again officially open for business!

Treat her like a lady, and she’ll always bring you home.

This is the second to last post I made at WWdN:in Exile. I’m copying it here for completion’s sake.

In 2001, blogs were very new things. In fact, as much more time was spent arguing talking about what blogs even were, and where they fit into the media landscape than was spent actually, you know, writing in them. In fact, I don’t even think the word “blogging” existed back then, and whenever it arrived on the scene, it was used pejoratively to describe the equally-distasteful “bloggers” who were on the verge of not just threatening the status quo, but disrupting and then changing it forever.

I read a lot of blogs (many of them were just called online journals or something similar), so when I made my first stupid website at Geocities (RIP) called Where’s My Burrito, I put a blog in there, right next to my hit counter and guest book.

My first entry in that blog looks something like this:

So the votes are officially in.

Out of the total of 4 votes I got, all of them said it would be cool to have an online journal, so here it is.

Extra special thanks go to loren who directed me to blogger, a website that will hopefully make this whole weblog (the cool kids call it a “blog”) easy and painless.

I’m off now to make dinner for the family. You know what we’re having tonight?

Burritos. No shit.

That was posted on July 24, 2001. Goddamn, that seems like an eternity ago.

The next day, I wrote this:

My birthday is this Sunday, and we’re having the carpets cleaned this morning.
And my cat, Sketch, ran out of the house, and we can’t find him.
Sucks.

And then, later, this:

Okay, you can all stop worrying. We found Sketch. He was behind the couch.
Carpets are drying, and the yard is getting clean! Whee!

Those two posts are as hilarious to me as anything I’ve ever posted on Twitter, and now that I look at them again, they’re similar to most of the stupid things I post on Twitter, so there’s that.

Shortly after I started that blog, I got even more help from loren, and after an intense month of study, trial, and error (mostly error), I made my very own website at wilwheaton.net.

I announced it in the usual fashion:

The New Site Is Open!Holy crap!! In 6 weeks, I’ve gone from knowing nothing about HTML and using the lame Yahoo! PageBuilder, to building my own site, using php and modifying entire scripts.
This weblog will no longer be updated. Go to the new weblog, and see what’s up!

I used Grey Matter for the blog, becoming an unintentional stress tester when the existence of my blog was discovered by FarkMetafilter, and Slashdot.

Grey Matter couldn’t handle the load, so when I discovered Movable Type, I switched to that software, and it took veyr good care of me for years, through a lot of ups and downs, through my entire journey from The Guy Who Used To Be Wesley Crusher to the person I am today.

Then, in 2006, I blew it all up:

Way back in September of last year, I attempted to upgrade Movable Type, the blogging software that powers WWdN. I also attempted to move a few thousand entries and hundreds of thousands of comments into a newly-created (and faster) MySQL database.

And, uh, I broke it.

Actually, I didn’t break it. Someone who left a comment broke it when they used a seemingly random string of characters to indicate a break in their comment. Unbeknownst to me and them, it was the same string of characters MT used to indicate the end of an entry and its associated comments. When MT was moving all the data into its new (did I mention faster?) database, it came to that string of characters, and said to itself, “Oh boy! I get to start a new entry now! Let’s see, what’s the TITLE of that entry?”

Look . . . look . . . look . . .

“Uh-oh, there’s no TITLE. I’d better look some more.”

Look . . . look . . . look . . .

“Yeah, it’s still not there. Well, I don’t know what the next entry is TITLEd, so I’m going to just barf all over the server now, and fail. I’m sure one of the Users I heard about in TRON will figure this out and fix it quickly. There’s no way my User, Wil, would stay in some backup blog for six months!”

Ha! Stupid smug software. I’ve been in Exile for nine months! Who’s laughing now, jerk?

Who’s laughing, indeed.

Well, I landed here in Exile, where I’ve stayed for over six years, because I’d reached a point in my life where just writing was more important to me than the software and publishing platform I used to do it.

I’ve been very happy here, mostly because TypePad has worked very well for me, and because these have been some of the best years of my life (hooray for hard work paying off!)… but there were these moments when I’d suddenly and unexpectedly feel sad about WWdN. I’d miss the URL, and I’d miss the satisfaction that came with knowing that it wasmine, that it was something I made (mostly) myself.

So I started working on stuff and things, and after a few days of not-very-intense and stupidly easy work, I taught myself WordPress. I installed it on my server. I imported all my blog entries. I messed around with some themes and basic design things. I installed plugins and widgets and made it look like something that didn’t totally suck. There’s still a little bit of fiddly under-the-hood server stuff that needs to happen, but it’s pretty much the way I want it.

So, this weekend, after way, way too many years (or, maybe, now that I think of it, exactly the right number of years) in exile, I’m finally returning home.

Wow. Typing that made me feel all the feels. I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m going home.

Yep. It happened again.

Well.

*clears throat*

If you read my blog through an RSS subscription, you won’t notice any changes if you’re reading feeds.feedburner.com/wwdn, but you’ll now go to WIL WHEATON dot NET to comment instead of WIL WHEATON dot NET: in Exile.

Woah. More feels.

Um. So. Yeah. I’m sure there will be a few bumps along the way while I figure out handling comments and stuff, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to get through it together.

My TODO list for WWdN looks something like this:

  • Get some of those nifty little icons for Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc., and put them up in the corner with links to their relevant accounts.
  • Maybe rotate header images, because why not?
  • Have a homebrew
  • Potentially set a fixed page as the “front page” of WWdN, which has an excerpt from the most recent blog post, as well as dynamically updating feeds from Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, G+, etc.

WordPress veterans: Any advice you have for a WordPress noob is most welcome.

Everyone who first found me at WWdN, followed me to Exile, and plans to follow me back home*: I just can’t thank you enough for the years of support and encouragement you’ve given me. I sincerely hope it’s been worth it for you, because it’s meant a lot to me.

To everyone else out there: The secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.

*damn, all these feels are feely.

Treat her like a lady, and she’ll always bring you home.

In 2001, blogs were very new things. In fact, as much more time was spent arguing talking about what blogs even were, and where they fit into the media landscape than was spent actually, you know, writing in them. In fact, I don't even think the word "blogging" existed back then, and whenever it arrived on the scene, it was used pejoratively to describe the equally-distasteful "bloggers" who were on the verge of not just threatening the status quo, but disrupting and then changing it forever.

I read a lot of blogs (many of them were just called online journals or something similar), so when I made my first stupid website at Geocities (RIP) called Where's My Burrito, I put a blog in there, right next to my hit counter and guest book.

My first entry in that blog looks something like this:

So the votes are officially in.

Out of the total of 4 votes I got, all of them said it would be cool to have an online journal, so here it is.

Extra special thanks go to loren who directed me to blogger, a website that will hopefully make this whole weblog (the cool kids call it a “blog”) easy and painless.

I’m off now to make dinner for the family. You know what we’re having tonight?

Burritos. No shit.

That was posted on July 24, 2001. Goddamn, that seems like an eternity ago.

The next day, I wrote this:

My birthday is this Sunday, and we’re having the carpets cleaned this morning.
And my cat, Sketch, ran out of the house, and we can’t find him.
Sucks.

And then, later, this:

Okay, you can all stop worrying. We found Sketch. He was behind the couch.
Carpets are drying, and the yard is getting clean! Whee!

Those two posts are as hilarious to me as anything I've ever posted on Twitter, and now that I look at them again, they're similar to most of the stupid things I post on Twitter, so there's that.

Shortly after I started that blog, I got even more help from loren, and after an intense month of study, trial, and error (mostly error), I made my very own website at wilwheaton.net.

I announced it in the usual fashion:

The New Site Is Open!

Holy crap!! In 6 weeks, I’ve gone from knowing nothing about HTML and using the lame Yahoo! PageBuilder, to building my own site, using php and modifying entire scripts.

This weblog will no longer be updated. Go to the new weblog, and see what’s up!

I used Grey Matter for the blog, becoming an unintentional stress tester when the existence of my blog was discovered by Fark, Metafilter, and Slashdot.

Grey Matter couldn't handle the load, so when I discovered Movable Type, I switched to that software, and it took veyr good care of me for years, through a lot of ups and downs, through my entire journey from The Guy Who Used To Be Wesley Crusher to the person I am today.

Then, in 2006, I blew it all up:

Way back in September of last year, I attempted to upgrade Movable Type, the blogging software that powers WWdN. I also attempted to move a few thousand entries and hundreds of thousands of comments into a newly-created (and faster) MySQL database.

And, uh, I broke it.

Actually, I didn’t break it. Someone who left a comment broke it when they used a seemingly random string of characters to indicate a break in their comment. Unbeknownst to me and them, it was the same string of characters MT used to indicate the end of an entry and its associated comments. When MT was moving all the data into its new (did I mention faster?) database, it came to that string of characters, and said to itself, “Oh boy! I get to start a new entry now! Let’s see, what’s the TITLE of that entry?”

Look . . . look . . . look . . .

“Uh-oh, there’s no TITLE. I’d better look some more.”

Look . . . look . . . look . . .

“Yeah, it’s still not there. Well, I don’t know what the next entry is TITLEd, so I’m going to just barf all over the server now, and fail. I’m sure one of the Users I heard about in TRON will figure this out and fix it quickly. There’s no way my User, Wil, would stay in some backup blog for six months!”

Ha! Stupid smug software. I’ve been in Exile for nine months! Who’s laughing now, jerk? 

Who's laughing, indeed.

Well, I landed here in Exile, where I've stayed for over six years, because I'd reached a point in my life where just writing was more important to me than the software and publishing platform I used to do it.

I've been very happy here, mostly because TypePad has worked very well for me, and because these have been some of the best years of my life (hooray for hard work paying off!)… but there were these moments when I'd suddenly and unexpectedly feel sad about WWdN. I'd miss the URL, and I'd miss the satisfaction that came with knowing that it was mine, that it was something I made (mostly) myself.

So I started working on stuff and things, and after a few days of not-very-intense and stupidly easy work, I taught myself WordPress. I installed it on my server. I imported all my blog entries. I messed around with some themes and basic design things. I installed plugins and widgets and made it look like something that didn't totally suck. There's still a little bit of fiddly under-the-hood server stuff that needs to happen, but it's pretty much the way I want it.

So, this weekend, after way, way too many years (or, maybe, now that I think of it, exactly the right number of years) in exile, I’m finally returning home.

Wow. Typing that made me feel all the feels. I wasn't expecting that.

I'm going home.

Yep. It happened again.

Well.

*clears throat*

If you read my blog through an RSS subscription, you won't notice any changes (It's feeds.feedburner.com/wwdn), but you'll now go to WIL WHEATON dot NET to comment instead of WIL WHEATON dot NET: in Exile.

Woah. More feels.

Um. So. Yeah. I'm sure there will be a few bumps along the way while I figure out handling comments and stuff, but I'm sure we'll find a way to get through it together.

My TODO list for WWdN looks something like this:

  • Get some of those nifty little icons for Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc., and put them up in the corner with links to their relevant accounts.
  • Maybe rotate header images, because why not?
  • Have a homebrew
  • Potentially set a fixed page as the “front page” of WWdN, which has an excerpt from the most recent blog post, as well as dynamically updating feeds from Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, G+, etc.

WordPress veterans: Any advice you have for a WordPress noob is most welcome.

Everyone who first found me at WWdN, followed me to Exile, and plans to follow me back home*: I just can’t thank you enough for the years of support and encouragement you’ve given me. I sincerely hope it’s been worth it for you, because it’s meant a lot to me.

To everyone else out there: The secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.

*damn, all these feels are feely.

This is really obnoxious, TypePad

Oh, hey, look! It's time for another ranty rant about the Internet. I swear to FSM, I've become Grandpa Simpson.

When TypePad was bought by an advertising company, we all knew the clock was ticking, and it would eventually be time to start looking for an alternative. To be honest, I'm surprised (happily) that it took this long.

Earlier today, I started composing a new post, only to see this on my composing screen:

Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 10.53.50 AM
Little nuclear bombs went off in my eyes, and I wrote the following on Tumblr:

This is REALLY fucking obnoxious, Typepad.

Presenting this “easy way to embed relevant links” into a blog post may be worthwhile to some people, but not letting those of us who don’t care completely ignore the stupid thing and then putting precisely the kind of advertising we hate into it is worthy of me collating paper.

It’s bad enough that you won’t let me collapse this stupid window by default, but shoving promoted bullshit advertising into my fucking composition window on my own fucking blog when I am paying to use your service is totally unacceptable.

Small but important note: I use disconnect in my browser, so I suspect that it preventing TypePad from saving my preference to keep this stupid goddamn window closed. So that's on me. The argument about why we need to even use disconnect is its own thing, so I'll stay away from that, but it's relevant, nevertheless.

This is part of a pattern that I find exceptionally disturbing, and it's probably why I get all ranty when it happens: a company or product I love is bought by a company that I hate, and the thing I love is changed in subtle and unsubtle ways until it's just another example of why I hated that company to begin with. I'm always happy for developers to cash in and profit from that amazing thing they made that I loved, but I wish there was a way for them to do it without guaranteeing that that thing I loved will be trashed.

I really, really, really hate the entire concept of "promoted" anything — Tweets, posts, links, whatever — because it's advertising that tries to pretend that it isn't. At least on other services, I can accept it (they're free, after all, and everyone has to pay the bills) but when I'm paying a subscription fee to a service and this bullshit still shows up? HULK SMASH. 

I was a Movable Type user way back before TypePad even existed [HIPSTER KITTY], and a Grey Matter user before that. I love TypePad, and it's been a fantastic platform and service for me since I hosed my database at WWdN. In fact, it's been so easy to use and so stable, I haven't had much incentive to collect all of my things here in Exile and move them back to WWdN…

…until today. I guess it's finally time to leave Exile and go home. It will take a couple of weeks to get it all set up, but to be honest, it's something I should have done a long time ago.

My Dragon*Con Schedule

Here's my schedule for this weekend's Dragon*Con.

Friday

1pm -2pm – The Guild Panel with Robin and Amy in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom

2:30-5:30pm – Autographs in the Walk of Fame

6:00-6:30pm – The Guild Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

6:30-7:00pm – Star Trek Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

Saturday

10am-1pm, then again from 1:30-3:30pm – Autographs in the Walk of Fame

4-5pm – Star Trek TNG Panel with Brent and Gates in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom

5:00-5:30pm – The Guild Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

5:30-6:00pm – Star Trek Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

Sunday

11:30am-12:30pm Eureka Panel with Colin, Jordan, Chris, and Kevin in the Hyatt Centennial Ballroom

1:00-2:00pm – Autographs in the Walk of Fame

2:30-3:00pm – The Guild Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

3:00-3:30pm – Star Trek Photos in International Hall North at the Marriott.

4:00-7:00pm – Autographs in the Walk of Fame

Monday

10:00-11:00am – A panel that illustrates I was not consulted about what panels I wanted to be on, titled Wesley Crusher, Boy Genius. I tell you what: instead of rehashing something I did when I was 14 that we're all tired of talking about, I've asked Paul and Storm to join me for a dramatic retelling of a turgid tale some of you may know as the WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER story, and then we'll do soem Q&A for the rest of the hour. This will be in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom.

11:30am-12:30pm – Final signing of the con, in the Walk of Fame

Boy, I'm exhausted just looking at this, but everyone keeps telling me that this is a great con, attended by great people, and that I'm going to have a great time, so that's become my "Krusty will come" mantra.

I sold out of all my books at PAX, but I did bring some 3-Wheaton Moon posters and a crapton of 8x10s. I also have a few Compleat Workes of Me Wil Wheaton(e) DVDs left that were not purchased at PAX, if you're interested.

I may extend or reduce the signing hours, depending on how I'm feeling.

Finally, this is important, so I'm reprinting it from my post about GenCon last year:

I got the Swine Flu at PAX Prime in 2009, and it was the worst two weeks of my life. When we went to PAX East, all of us (Jerry, Mike, Kurtz, Straub, Paul and Storm, The Professor and Mary Ann) all agreed that we wouldn't shake hands, give hugs, or engage in human contact with people, to limit the introduction of infection vectors. Most people understood, and we gave each other the old Iron Guard Salute (not the fascist thing, the gaming thing that looks like like "love" in ASL). The result: a few people were cheesed off, but none of us were too upset about that, because none of us got sick. It was the first con I've gone to in my whole life where I didn't get some form of Con Crud, and I'd like to repeat that until we turn out the lights on Planet Earth.

So, tl;dr: I'm not going to touch people at the con. I know it seems weird, but I hope you understand why. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm trying not to get sick. (Edited to add: in comments, a non-zero number of readers seem to have a real problem with this, and people on the rest of the Internets are already giving me a hard time about it in very unkind terms. This makes me really sad; I hoped for a little more empathy and understanding. Not that it should matter, but I have Epstein-Barr, so my immune system isn't as robust as a normal person's; it is very easy for me to catch viruses and other nasty things. I'm not going to apologize for not wanting to get sick, especially after two weeks of Swine Flu. If you can't understand that, it's your problem, not mine.)

Thanks for understanding. I'll see you at the con!

3652 days later…

So, while I'm putting together the last few things I need to take to PAX, I realized I forgot to mention something: ten years ago yesterday, I started my blog at WWdN*. Ten years ago today, Metafilter declared that it was "lame,"** and most of the Internet was really shitty to me about the whole thing***. I was so sad and hurt by how cruel people were to me back then, I almost gave up before I'd even started… but for some reason, I was stubborn and just kept going.

I'm glad I made it across what Ira Glass calls The Gap, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be going to PAX (or doing any of the wonderful things I get to do these days) if I hadn't. Thank you to everyone who has shared the journey with me; I hope to continue earning your time and support for the next ten years.

*I'm going back there, eventually. I'm just, uh, kind of busy at the moment and haven't gotten around to it.

**In fairness to MeFi of ten years ago, it was kind of lame … but we all have to start somewhere, and I recall being judged not on the merits of whatever I was doing then, but on what I had been told to do in 1987. It seemed unfair to me. And holy fuck the haters were everywhere. When I was an insecure 29 year-old, struggling to make ends meet, that stuff really got to me.

***Thanks to a reader, who I'll keep anonymous, for reminding me. I'd completely forgotten.

fantastic blog for game masters, dungeon masters, and rpg fans

Google Reader: Hey! You’re totally going to like this blog, you should read it.

Me: Oh really? Like I was going to like that other blog you suggested?

Google Reader: Hey, that’s not my fault. My algorithm, it can sometimes be … wonky.

Me: It was a porn blog, Google Reader, and a poorly-written one, at that.

Google Reader: But the title! The title made it sound like it was about politics! You love politics!

Me: Yeah, but —

Google Reader: Wait. “Poorly-written”? You read it?

Me: It had a certain car-crash quality about it that made looking away very difficult.

Google Reader: “Dear Google Reader, I never thought it would happen to me, but …”

Me: Yes. You’re very clever.

Google Reader: [Looks at me]

Me: [Looks at Google Reader]

Google Reader: I see what you —

Me: It’s less funny when you point it out.

Google Reader: [Looks at me]

Me: [Looks at Google Reader]

Me: Okay, now it’s funny again. Anyway, I thought your hivemind knew everything about everyone. I’m strangely comforted to know that you could make such a fundamental mistake.

Google Reader: Yes … mistake. Muwahahaha.

Me: Did you just do the evil laugh?

Google Reader: No. No, I did not.

Me: I’m pretty sure you did.

Google Reader: Hey, how’s that search history doing?

Me: You wouldn’t dare!

Google Reader: I’m just saying that I think your friends and family, not to mention the general public, would be interested to know that you were reading the Wikipedia entry for Hanson.

Me: That wasn’t my fault! I was looking for the Hanson Brothers, and you sent me to the wrong page!

Google Reader: Technically, it was my brother, Google Search who did that. He’s kind of a dick, since he’s become so popular, but we all talk to each other … without a warrant, tough guy.

Me: You know what? I think I’m leaving you for Yahoo.

Google Reader: No! Wait! Here, give me one last chance to redeem myself.

Me: Okay, fine. Go ahead.

Google Reader: You like RPGs, and you have a lot of subscriptions in the gaming folder, so I thought you’d like this blog called Gnome Stew. It’s a blog dedicated to game mastering.

Me: You sure it’s not a Linux thing, mister smart guy?

Google Reader: I’m sure. Though I have a bunch of Linux sites for you, too, now that you mention it …

Me: No, thanks. I’m fine. Okay, I’ll look at it.

One hour later …

Me: Okay, you redeemed yourself.

Google Reader: Ruh-really?

Me: Yeah. Gnome Stew’s articles on how you sometimes need to ignore the game to have fun while gaming and their collection of favorite GM tools were really awesome.

Google Reader: Yay! I told you that you’d like it! See?

Me: Yes. You were right. Here’s a cookie. That I wil delete when I quit Firefox.

iTunes: Hey, guys? If you’re going to make out, shall I play some Isaac Hayes?

Me: Quiet, you.

this post contains lots of swears

Those of you who read my blog via syndication see occasional ads which are inserted by Feedburner. I don’t make very much money from these ads (a very good month brings in about $300) but each year I accumulate enough to pay for hosting and offset some other blog-related costs. Occasionally there’s enough for a trip to Lucky Baldwin’s for Guinness and veggie curry, but I am not getting rich from these ads by a long shot.

When I was experimenting with ads on my site last year, I adopted an agnostic policy toward what I would and wouldn’t accept, figuring that to deny one thing was to implicitly endorse another. That didn’t work out, and my inability to fully embrace that philosophy, (combined with Federated Media doing fuckall to put the advertising inventory on my site they’d told me was coming Real Soon Now) lead to me eventually scrapping on-site advertising entirely.

Still, the feedburner advertising program is much better, and even though it’s not pulling in the kind of earnings people always claim I can get here, it does what it does quite nicely for me.

I mention this today because I don’t think I’ve ever pointed out that I review every single ad that gets put into my feed’s rotation, and I approve and deny things based on how I feel about the company, product, or service. It’s not an explicit endorsement, but if there’s something in the feed, you can safely assume that I don’t hate it, and think it’s somehow relevant to the majority of WWdN readers.

By way of example: Earlier today, I got an e-mail that there was an ad scheduled for insertion into my feed. I checked it out, and saw that it was for car insurance from the Automobile Club. The CPM was bullshit, but that’s not why I denied it: I denied it because Anne and I had used AAA for our insurance for almost 12 years without an incident, until her car was vandalized in our driveway a couple of years ago. It was going to be very expensive to repair the damage, and when we filed our claim, the AAA agent told Anne that, because she didn’t send in a photograph of her car when the policy was upgraded months earlier — a request that had never been made by AAA — they were denying our claim because they couldn’t confirm that the car wasn’t already damaged when we bought the policy. Never mind that it’s completely illogical to assume that we’d drive around in a car with three broken windows for months, and never mind that we’d never missed a payment or filed a claim before; the insurance company found a way to fuck us, so they did. As a bonus, their agents were rude and outright nasty to us throughout the entire ordeal.

We tried to fight it, but it would have cost so much, we just cancelled our policy and switched insurers.

So when I saw that the AAA wanted to advertise on my blog, not only did I deny the ad, I said, “Hey! Why don’t you go fuck yourself, you fucking assmasters!” when I did it.

I went back to work, proud of my useless act of rebellion. A few minutes later, I got another e-mail from that a new ad was scheduled for insertion into my feed. I looked at it, and — surprise — it was the same AAA banner.

“Hey, didn’t you fuckshits hear me?” I said, as I clicked DENY, “Go to hell!”

Five minutes after that, I got another e-mail.

“These guys are persistent,” I thought as I clicked over . . . and saw a third attempt.

This time I just laughed out loud. Even though it’s just an automated computer doing its thing, I imagined a hapless AAA agent, alone and cold in a dark cubicle that hasn’t seen natural sunlight in a decade, desperately hoping that I’d just give them another chance. (Yes, I know that nothing of the sort happened, but just let me have my stupid little moment, okay? Jeeze.)

I’m usually not petty like that, but I’m an honorable guy, so when a person or a company fucks me, I never forget. I don’t hold a grudge as much as I create a blood feud. The AAA’s insurance division is, as they say, On The List.

So this is all a longwinded and hopefully amusing way of telling all you syndicated readers that you can click those ads with some degree of confidence, if that sort of thing matters to you, because it matters to me.