Image update posted

I've just uploaded another image update (I think about 800 pictures). I was going to write a Memorial Day related article to go with the cover photo, but to be honest, I didn't want to come off the wrong way on it so I'm saving that article for Independence Day which is more up my alley anyway. Thanks to everyone who helped out on this update, and remember, old sailors never die… they just get a little dinghy.

Other than that Phil and I headed down to the FAME Fitness and Model Expo (don't laugh, we saw more hardcore body modification there than I've seen at the average BME BBQ). My brother is there helping promote arm wrestling and I got introduced to so many people who've held the world championship! We also bumped into my “godsister in law” (Nefarious's godmother's sister in law) and hair guru, and then on our way out bumped into the foks from Dr. Pierce who make an ear piercing gun.

No, we didn't get into a fight. To be honest, after looking over their product it really seems like they've done their research and it addresses the vast majority of the problems inherent in “automatic piercing tools”. I definitely do not support it, because I think socially it has the potential to do real damage to this community. But piercers, pay attention to this trend! Piercing guns are getting better and better, and they are expanding the number of procedures they can safely do.

John Henry told his captain
"A man ain't nothin' but a man
But before I let your steam drill beat me down
I'll die with a hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord!
I'll die with a hammer in my hand."

Those who forget history (folklore?) are destined to repeat it.

If there's an interest, I can pick up a few of these devices from them and do breakdown and review of them. Phil's volunteered to take a few shots for the team so we can learn about the enemy.

Also, since people are asking me about it, I'll answer the three main questions related to IRC/LiveChat transition and the changes that are ongoing (and will be for at least a week or two as the puzzle pieces all get painted and assembled).

1. Petitions to go back to DigiChat

I am not going back to DigiChat, and it's not up for debate. I'm phasing out the server that it's being hosted on because I don't want to spend the $295 a month. I also don't want to pay the $500 to $1000 required to upgrade the software to the current version. I just didn't feel it made financial sense to throw that much money at this, when I could be donating it to suspsension groups and so on instead.

That said, DigiChat does offer hosted solutions starting at about $500 a year that would probably meet the needs. If someone wants to take the initiative and pay for that and host it, I'm certainly happy to link to it for those who are vehemently opposed to IRC… but so far IRC seems to be really making more people happy.

I should also note that there will be a web-based (ie. browser plugin) version of this (IRC) chat as soon as we've had a chance to test and play with a few and see which one we'd like to recommend. So if your problem is more “I can't figure out IRC”, it's just a matter of being patient for a few more days.

2. TOS issues, Ops, etc.

This chat is an extension of IAM and BME. It is there to provide a social and support outlet for people who might not find it elsewhere. So yes, that means that the rules of IAM on the whole do apply there quite literally. We're not aggressively moderating it because there's a two-day log being kept and ultimately if people don't want to use it in a civil manner, it'll be treated the same as a fight in a forum here.

Again, I'm not interested in fighting about this. If you don't like that philosophy, don't use the chat. #bmezine is usually on public channels and I'm sure it's a free for all where you can complain about me being gay or whatever else the current complaints are. But BME is here to help people, that is and always will be its core goal.

BME is supposed to be a safe place where a very diverse group of people can get together and interact in a secure and protected environment. Yes, I know that IRC is all about flamewars and trying to hurt other people, but that is not what BME is here for, and I'd very much appreciate it if you don't feel you can separate your desire to make people unhappy from IRC, that you choose an IRC that isn't linked to BME.

That said, don't be a baby about it or treat it like some kind of zero-tolerance police state. People do occasionally argue and fight, especially in an online live chat environment. The real test of character is if you can still be friends at the end of it.

3. You're just in it for the money! Wah!

Well, given that the new chat is free (the minimum amount of access time from a tongue piercing photo is 13 months — 1 month of original access, and then a full year after the initial account expires), I'll repeat what I told the first person to make the complaint:

“I'm going to go buy an invisible Ferrari now with the imaginary money I'm making from the free chat. TTYL, dude.”

In any case, I hope that helped explain my position on these issues a bit.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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