126: Ask A Moderator March 2, 2017 12:51 PM   Subscribe

In a big break in format, Jessamyn and I spend the entire show doing nothing but answering your questions! For over two hours; it's an epic. Featuring few bonus voicemail answers from Eyebrows McGee and write-ins from other mods on a couple things. Thanks everybody for calling in, that was a lot of fun!


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We got a bunch of great questions and answered as many as we could; we ended up having to skip a few because of repeat questions (y'all like recipes I guess!) and unworkable audio (google voicemail remains an enigma at times), so if we missed you this time around we'll try and get you during the next one. Big thanks to everyone who dialed in.

There was soooo much to chatter about (and/or me a Jess are soooo incapable of shutting up) that there was no time for normal podcast stuff, so we'll get back to site-rundown stuff next month. Of which, we're doing another Women's March post-a-thon all month this month, so if you've been thinking about posting now's a great time to jump into the pool!

Anyway, here's a few links that came up as we were talking:

- EatMe: food threads on the wiki (could use some updating!)
- a pair of old fashioneds
- shrim++p by cortex
- the old Ask activity view
- A moment of mod appreciation by potrzebie
- on yearly hangouts by Fizz
- Adrienne Shelly
- Notes from the Metafilter research panel at AoIR's 12th conference
- lewistate's dissertation on community ethos
- WHAT THE FUCK MATT origin
- this good good broccoli recipe via hermitosis

Also, I tossed in a few musical breaks, all snippets from umbú's delightful Bach vs. Wurlitzer jazz riffing on the classic Bourrée.

Thanks again, everybody!
posted by cortex to MeFi Podcast at 12:51 PM (70 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Also on relistening I have a working theory on who Sock Guy is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:59 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I need jessamyn's recipe, we were listening in the car and my kids want to try it!

And yeah, I have a small glass of Chardonnay when I post metatalktails usually. But yeah half a glass because I never know when I may have to run off to deal with a sick child or whatever. I'm super paranoid about child safety emergencies, so I never let my gas fall below half in case I have to rush to the hospital. And I'm 100% convinced the evening I had two glasses of wine would be the evening someone came down with croup or a 104 fever and I'd be like "shiiiiiiiiit."

Otherwise, enough Diet Coke that I will probably die of whatever you get from drinking 6 diet sodas per day. Also I like to snack on frozen grapes while I mod.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:40 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


I need jessamyn's recipe

I have emailed it to you.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:57 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


March won(1).
posted by Stanczyk at 2:16 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I just assumed there was some sort of mixed drink called a cruller.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:24 PM on March 2


Also I like to snack on frozen grapes while I mod.

I am imagining a ceramic bowl that is occasionally jostled aside, spilling frozen grapes across your desk, as a shouty political thread gets going and your typewriter keys bang out a steady hammering rhythm.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:41 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the splendid answers to my question; most kind.
posted by Wordshore at 3:42 PM on March 2


I just assumed there was some sort of mixed drink called a cruller.

Pretty much:

Ingredients:
1 cruller
1 cup of coffee

Method:
Dunk cruller in coffee and mix. Bite off dunked portion. Repeat until cruller and coffee are gone.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:43 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I'm not the one who favorited shrim++p, but I ran across the original post for the first time in the past week through this comment on MetaTalk. Bet I'm not the only one who spent a week or two sifting through the delightful side of Metafilter!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:47 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Not plums?
posted by ODiV at 4:08 PM on March 2




i forgot to ask my question before so i will ask it now

which mod is the best at qwop
posted by poffin boffin at 5:31 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


pls show all work
posted by poffin boffin at 5:31 PM on March 2


JESSAMYN GETS MY SHRIMP PROBLEM.

WAIT THERE IS POOP IN SHRIMP???? VINDICATED.

I honestly did not know that and now may vomit the next time I see shrimp.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:54 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, the "vein".

/shudder
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:51 PM on March 2


Y'all remove the shrimp intestine before eating, right?
posted by Atrahasis at 6:53 PM on March 2


This sounds fun, thanks for making it. Cruller talk upthread reminds me of the $3 cronut I saw at Whole Foods. Is it worth 3 bucks, is what I'm asking..?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:17 PM on March 2


Yes, it was totally a set-up. And it could be argued that Emma Peel was also a Mod.
sorry...not sorry
posted by Stanczyk at 7:30 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I was at my favorite large Mexican market. Because of Lent there are tables of things I don't usually see. There is a ton of one quart plastic containers of shrimp powder, and quart containers of dried shrimp.

Sock guy, Thomas Pynchon.
posted by Oyéah at 7:50 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Okay I finished listening! Thoughts:

My new favorite tradition is metatalktails! And yesssssss that it's Jessamyn's favorite new tradition too!

Phrases from metafilter that I use in real life: beanplating. I'll be like "nnnnnggg I am totally beanplating this problem" and someone will be like, "Uh, beanplating?" "Oh, sorry, it's internet for overthinking."

"Is this your full-time job?" So I find it very difficult to explain to people what my job is. Since I live in the Midwest, there's not a huge techie community and being downstate a lot of my friends work for Caterpillar or John Deere or ADM or State Farm or Sears or Dow Chemical, so there's like less awareness of the tech economy in general because people with computer science or engineering degrees are with these big industrial concerns. On the other hand, people 100% believe that in the magic land of the West Coast, there is an absurd amount of money sloshing around opaque internet sites. So what I've started telling people I do is that, "I work as a moderator for a small social media website out of Portland, and basically I'm the mom for a website. I hang out supervising interactions, I solve minor problems, answer questions, adjudicate disputes, intervene in problems before they escalate, and put people on time-out when they misbehave." The two magic parts of this formulation are "out of Portland" because Portland is part of the MAGIC WEST COAST INTERNET WORLD and everyone accepts that I am paid real money for strange activities that involve using a computer while sitting on my couch, and people totally get what being a mom of a website would entail.

Which also answers what I use from metafilter in real life ... I am constantly metafilter modding my children, and constantly parenting metafilter!

My five-year-old tells people I work for Amazon, because he knows two websites: Netflix, and Amazon, and I don't work for the one that streams movies, so obviously Amazon. (Although, really, small person, we stream at Amazon too ...) At parent night I am always having to tell people, No, I don't work for Amazon, I work for a website but probably not one you've heard of ...

My seven-year-old sort-of gets what MetaFilter is and he's a fantastic reader for his age, so he often reads my screen over my shoulder, and the other day he was like "WHAT IS A LOBSTERMITTEN?" and I was like "That's my co-worker, we all have nicknames," and he was just completely charmed by this and I told the staff and they were like "He should pick his nickname!" So he thought SUPER HARD about what he would pick as HIS internet nickname and he finally picked
HIGH SPEED LOVER
because he likes high-speed trains. Mr. McGee and I are still giggling two days later.

(Today he told me it'd be okay if I kept calling him Mini McGee, but LATER ON he's going to be High Speed Lover.)

On work/life balance, I should have said, my personal problem is I have too much life, not enough work, so MetaFilter is always exciting for me because I get to talk about adult stuff with other adults. My kids are great, they're hilarious, and I'm the sort of person who has always enjoyed being with kids, even when I was a kid myself, I wanted to be in charge of my younger cousins and I started baby sitting early, etc etc etc. ON THE OTHER HAND, my boys spent almost all of today putting "fart" in place of every single noun and it's like OKAY I GET IT MOVE ON TO A NEW JOKE. So like it's good that I leave the house and stuff to do kiddie things like science fairs. But it's even more good that I leave KID WORLD to visit the internet to do things like argue about Jeff Sessions with adults who have coherent thoughts.

The baby has just learned how to play games with me, though, and I could do that just about forever. I take her toy frog and I make it go "hop hop hop, hop hop hop" around and she tenses all up with excitement because she knows something fun is coming, and eventually it hops up to her face and gives her kisses. So I got distracted by a phone call and put the frog down and she picked it up and started making it hop hop hop around and then attack my face with kissy sounds and I was like I AM GOING TO HAVE TO EAT YOU ALL UP AND ENGAGE IN THIS ACTIVITY AND ONLY THIS ACTIVITY FOR THE ENTIRE REST OF MY LIFE. And since she's a baby she's clumsy at grabbing it, and clumsy at making it hop, and clumsy at smashing it into my face, and terrible at making kissing sounds, so it's basically the best game ever.

Anyway, point of story, moderating is rescuing me from my children, because I spend an inordinate amount of time cutting other people's fingernails, except the baby, who now knows how to make a frog hop and that is much more interesting than any of your cool discussions about adult things.

Surprising things about starting to mod, which I feel compelled to answer as the newest mod: Something that surprised me about myself, actually -- I didn't realize how indirect I am in minor social confrontations. Which is very midwestern of me; like my strongest statement of disapproval is something like, "I think that's maybe not your BEST idea" which basically means "you will definitely lose an arm and spend six months in the hospital if you do that." So when I first started I would write e-mails to users with this very indirect phrasing about what they were doing wrong, where I was trying to draw a line saying "cut it out" but I would end up with a gentle suggestion that maybe they should rephrase. I tripped myself up a couple of times with that, and I spent quite a while having to go back over all my e-mails and make them more direct and clear, because that works in the Midwest, but it doesn't work elsewhere in the US, let alone when I'm talking to someone on the other side of the world whose first language isn't English. So that was a big adjustment and I still screw that up from time to time and remind myself to be regular assertive, not midwestern assertive.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:18 PM on March 2 [25 favorites]


It's not PROPERLY pronounced "Chri - sos - tom", but it's how I pronounce it here.

I think, if you're talking about, for example Saint John Chrysostom, it's pronounced "Criz OSS tom."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:25 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


On the first of the month, I pick up my grandson at school, and we go for shrimp tostadas and tacos, at a Mariscos van, behind the place I buy my cat food. That is how I found this taco van, which is the best stuff, I have come across off the blue, for a while. They make a coconut volcano full of oysters, shrimp and other sea foods, that has red sauce drizzling down the sides, and umbrellas in the top. It runs $20, and I watch people take those out of there in a constant stream. We eat out under the covered patio to the side. Best shrimp ever. This coconut I speak of is a coconut shell with some of the husk still on, it has the look of machete work. Big slices of avocado all over the place, swimming in fresh tomato juice. Afterwards we go to a Tasty Freeze for chocolate dipped cones, I have been eating those since 1956, my parents used to spring for them, riding about in our robin's egg blue, Studebaker Starlight Coupe. That car, once when I was 6 my dad picked me up from dance lessons, the passenger door flew open, and I rolled out into the intersection, in my leotard. He seemed genuinely concerned at the time. It was in that year or thereabouts, I won the barbecue grill, by sneakily filling out the entry form at a grocery store, while mom was checking out. We got a call a couple of weeks later, to come pick it up. They were like, "What, uh, did you enter a contest?" We used that until we shipped out to Europe, in the early sixties, wait, this is about shrimp, I was a little shrimp then.
posted by Oyéah at 8:59 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Oh, I meant to say, "Nice to hear the Mefite voices."
posted by Oyéah at 9:04 PM on March 2


The gentleman from Estonia raised a question with a subtext you may have missed, but I supposed you must have considered in the past. Are they in the same timezone as Frimble?

I note this because I was asked to moderate a contentious political chatroom late in the last decade. Specifically because I'm Australian, and what was happening was trolls would wait until the American moderators were asleep to flood the room with bullshit.

It was somewhat cathartic to stop a troll spamming when they'd obviously waited until 3am. Sorry, it's a sunny afternoon here and I'm wide awake and I see what you're doing...

I wonder how you manage the nightshift at Mefi?

It is grand to hear Mefite's voices. Just narrate this comment in the voice of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. That's what I'm told I sound like.
posted by adept256 at 9:52 PM on March 2


"I wonder how you manage the nightshift at Mefi?"

We have 24/7 coverage in 3 8-hour shifts! Plus since Baby McGee is still nursing at all hours you may get bonus Eyebrows if you hit the contact form in the middle of the (American) night. Generally taz and gnfti are on the "American overnight" which for them is daytime.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:18 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


March fo(u)rth.
posted by reventlov at 10:30 PM on March 2


ON THE OTHER HAND, my boys spent almost all of today putting "fart" in place of every single noun and it's like OKAY I GET IT MOVE ON TO A NEW JOKE.

And then she gets to work and has to deal with me!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:56 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]


#teamyesshrimp

Also, thanks for answering my question! I was just about asleep when I heard myself talking and woke up just now.
posted by limeonaire at 11:38 PM on March 2


Ah yes, the "vein".

A cookery show I watch refers to it as "the poop chute" which has the benefit of sounding cuter even if it doesn't change the reality of being able to see the shit inside the thing you're about to eat. I always take it out and it gives me the heebies when I can see it, especially if it's served in a restaurant. In supermarket packed cooked prawns I'll let them away with the odd miss, because the people packing it are cutting the poop out of prawns all day on minimum wage and I get how hateful that would be. But in a restaurant I'm like you are way overcharging me for this meal as it is so the least you can do is literally cut the crap.
posted by billiebee at 12:37 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


HIGH SPEED LOVER

Ok so I read this, chortled and moved on. About 90 seconds later water exploded out of my nose and I started cough laughing hard enough to wake up the kids. I don't know why the delayed reaction, but wow, I needed that.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:39 AM on March 3 [5 favorites]


"the poop chute"

One remains (un)quietly proud of this AskMe as the most satisfying thing I've written on MetaFilter. Also as satisfying as ... I won't go there. I am a thirteen year old boy. Mod reaction in the associated podcast was, however, somewhat divided. Cortex and Matt are also thirteen year old boys.
posted by Wordshore at 6:27 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Thanks for answering my shrimp question, Eyebrows. I only asked it because in the first thread you said you wanted to answer a question so I went to your profile to figure out what to ask you and... holy shit you've never eaten a shrimp!

Your answer was perfectly acceptable and I know trying to convince you to eat a shrimp is like trying to convince someone to listen to and enjoy a 45 minute Phish jam so I won't bother only to say that properly cooked shrimp is one of the best things ever. Shrimp is one of those things that doesn't have a whole lot of flavor on it's own (no, Jessamyn, it does NOT taste like fish) but it picks up all the flavors of whatever it's cooked in. So if you grill it over wood you've got a nice smokey flavor, etc. It also has a nice texture as well, with a good bite to it.

I found if you go down South they tend to not devein their shrimp but up here in New England it's usually deveined unless you go to Chinatown in which case they serve the whole thing, heads, legs and all and eating the entire thing is sort of the ultimate test for a shrimp lover.

Deveining a whole bunch of raw shrimp isn't the most pleasant job but it's worth it for the end result.

I don't think I started eating shellfish myself until I was in my 20s but now shellfish is just about my favorite thing in the world and I'll pretty much eat anything that comes from the sea except for octopus because that's like eating E.T. or something. I have eaten it, but have decided not to eat it again since I found out how amazing they are. But shrimp and lobster are dumb, so gimmie gimmie.

In conclusion, #teamshrimp.
posted by bondcliff at 6:44 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


HIGH SPEED LOVER

Ha! 5-year-olds, am I right?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:07 AM on March 3


no, Jessamyn, it does NOT taste like fish

Unlike Eyebrows I have actually eaten shrimp. They are gross (to me) and I do not like them and they are specifically gross in that seafood-y way that maybe is not gross and same-y tasting if you actually like seafood and appreciate its subtleties which I, unfortunately, do not. People say the same thing about tofu ("It just tastes like what it's cooked in!") and I have, personally, not found that to be the case. I'm definitely of the "Try it cooked a few different ways before you write it off forever, and even then, sample some every few year after that" school, in case there's been some sort of improvement in shrimp or tofu technology, but so far it's just not my jam.

MetaFilter: you may get bonus eyebrows
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:17 AM on March 3 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think a big part of my lack of desire to learn to eat shellfish is that I grew up in a community where so many people kept kosher, so I seem to have socially caught the meme, I guess, that shellfish is taboo. It's not even that I think it would taste bad, since I know it can taste very good; it just triggers a strong "nope" reaction in me that I swear is the same as my ACTUAL religious prohibitions. I'm sure someone has done a study about out-group members picking up in-group taboos as children and sticking with them for life.

But yeah we go to a restaurant a lot where a shrimp appetizer comes with every meal and everyone wants to sit next to me so they can snag my shrimp. (Apparently it's very good.) So really I'm providing a service for the world's shrimp lovers!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:22 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Awww, you guys, answering my moderator super-power question. I enjoyed your answers. A no-bullshit/lying insta-knowledge would be quite powerful.

Oh and I'm not sure that I'm good at life, but I'm constantly trying to be. I absolutely love the idea of doing this a couple times a year, by the way, a quarterly thing. I said it during the New Year's podcast episode, I enjoy placing users and voices together. I love all of you. MetaFilter is a great place. A great episode.
posted by Fizz at 7:24 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I thought about appending ‘…and who would you cast as mathowie?’ to my Metafilter-the-Movie question, so I’m glad that was also discussed. Zachary Quinto! - consider that ‘marked as best answer’!
posted by misteraitch at 8:02 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Crap, I totally forgot to call in my question. Haven't gotten to listen to it yet. Did anyone ask when Cortex is opening is menger-sponge-only art gallery?
posted by noneuclidean at 8:25 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Y'all have a rough job sometimes. Thanks for handling Metafilter so well. The mods and the mod policies are what have kept me coming back for the past 11 years.

On a personal note: Shout out to user capnsue who was the inspiration behind my call. And at least I was the FIRST person to use the "this is more of a statement than a question" tactic.

Pioneer71!!!
posted by josher71 at 9:12 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I was almost hoping that the computer|uter|uter moment would be followed with the rest of the podcast slowly descending into sonic chaos.
posted by Jpfed at 12:18 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I'm only partway through this, but since admitting you pay far too much attention to your favorite count seems to be a theme, I'd like to mention that I recently hit 10000 favorites.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:04 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I loathe the sound of my recorded voice so I'll chip in some answers in text:

Drinking: As with my colleagues, there is No Drinking and Modding (with exactly the same "occasionally weekend night shifts are done in company with maybe one glass of something" caveat.) I'm a very occasional social drinker as it is, my wife doesn't drink at all so I really never drink at home anyway. My fun exception is that sometimes I have to take either pain meds (loopy vagueness) or a course of prednisone (irrational rage) and get my altered-state modding that way.

Modding affecting enjoyment: Well, yeah, it's not a dynamic that you can pick up and put down (and still be effective.) And fuck, man, election years. And their sequelae.

Favorites: I check my Recent Favorites every time I check Recent Activity, it's muscle memory. I started doing it back when I pretty much only commented in AskMe and found them a moderately useful way to see if my answers were on-target (with some very clear failure modes.) That doesn't work all that well any more, but it is interesting to see which mod comments get a whole bunch of favorites and which ones get few/none. I don't, like, aim my mod comments to get favorites, but it's the only easy metachannel people have to agree with mod direction, so I keep track of it. (Also I'm always fascinated when years-old answers pick up favorites and it's a fun game to try and figure out why.)

Shrimp: I was one of the Jews Eyebrows grew up next to and I love shrimp, bring 'em on. I'm with her on pork hot dogs, though, that shit is gross.

Working from home: I am a massive introvert and my wife is mostly home these days, and I still have to be pretty careful not to fall into a hermit-hole. Having gym buddies again is IMMENSE. (I had a three-day-a-week date with a friend when I was in Austin, but spent two years in California without. Now that I'm in MA, I have buddies again and it's great. I actually work out *and* I get low-stress social contact with a human I'm not married to.) Likewise having planned social events once or twice a month is a good idea. I sort of lost the trick of dealing with people after a year or two of not enough contact, and spent most of the busy large-group events I had last summer (my wedding! A friend's wedding! Several conventions!) on the verge of a panic attack. Do Not Recommend.

Otherwise, Mefi is shift work, more or less, so the big thing is making myself *not* work when I'm not on the schedule. I read the site, sure, but I don't keep up with politics threads and I process email as minimally as I can.

Man, this is a long podcast. I'll come back to the second half!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:45 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Shrimp: I was one of the Jews Eyebrows grew up next to and I love shrimp, bring 'em on.

I'm pretty sure Chaim Potok wrote a novel about this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:04 PM on March 3 [5 favorites]


I was almost hoping that the computer|uter|uter moment would be followed with the rest of the podcast slowly descending into sonic chaos.

It's the Metafilter podcast but every time somebody says "computer" it gets 15% faster.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:18 PM on March 3 [6 favorites]






The socks are puppets now.
posted by ckape at 12:24 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


The real sock puppet:

http://shrinp.com/sock
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:41 AM on March 4


Thanks for A-ing my Q!

So the puter-puter-puter moment, was it like that in the recording, or just a Skype thingy that only jessamyn heard and cortex had to recreate? Apologies if the answer is given later in the podcast—I haven't listened to the whole thing yet.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:04 AM on March 4


I'm still wondering what 60s British subculture restless_nomad, taz, LobsterMitten, goodnewsfortheinsane, and Eyebrows McGee most identify with, but I have long lived with uncertainty.
posted by Stanczyk at 11:48 AM on March 4


So the puter-puter-puter moment, was it like that in the recording, or just a Skype thingy that only jessamyn heard and cortex had to recreate? Apologies if the answer is given later in the podcast—I haven't listened to the whole thing yet.

Probably just on Jessamyn's end, though I didn't hit that particular moment in the recording while I was doing my (hateful, hateful, god smite it from this earth) editing work.

What usually is going on with the robot thing is the person A is talking over skype with person B, and something goes wrong with skype's attempt to take A's audio and deliver it to B. You end up with some weird buffering issue briefly, basically, and that I think turns into a looping/stuttering "robotic" noise on B's end.

But since we also record a local copy of our audio on each end, A's copy is fine because it's coming more or less straight off their microphone and onto their local HD without having to travel over the internet and experience possible buffering type issues.

So Jess hears me go robotic, but my local copy is fine. In theory. In practice someone who actually listens to the podcast should let me know!

(We used to have enormous problems now and then with first Matt and later me going call-ruiningly bad, robot style, which we eventually pinned down to some sort of issue with skype, the hand-me-down iMac I've been using that Matt used to use, and having an iphone charging from the computer during the skype call. Took forever to be sure about that, but now I just never charge my phone during a podcast and it never seems to happen anymore.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on March 4


Yeah the puter-puter-puter moment is on the podcast. I thought it was a glitch on my end until jessamyn said about it.

Also thanks for answering my question and I am crossing my fingers for jessamyn's list subsite. I love me a list.
posted by billiebee at 12:25 PM on March 4


Thanks for including my track on the podcast, cortex!
posted by umbú at 2:35 PM on March 4


I just made the good, good broccoli recipe with romanescu instead of broccoli. There are no leftovers.
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:30 AM on March 5


Huh; I had a load of broccoli in the fridge so gave the recipe a go too. And it was pretty easy to make (being ancient I do not have the life-time or willpower to spend following elaborate recipes) and pretty good. I like broccoli anyway, always have, but will do this one again.

Contemplating whether broccoli can be added to guacamole now, on reflection.
posted by Wordshore at 2:56 AM on March 5


Yeah the puter-puter-puter moment is on the podcast.

Heh, cool. Sounds like the delivery hiccup there started in skype on my end then!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:40 AM on March 5


This was my favorite podcast episode ever! Thanks for not editing it down. Or if you did, thanks for recording way more than two hours of material.
posted by michaelh at 2:47 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Crouton petter!

A very useful phrase and concept I got from Metafilter and use in my everyday life.

Thank you for the podcast!
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:51 PM on March 7


Oh yes, and sea food smells and tastes terrible to me and I don't eat any of those things that live in water except canned tuna made into tuna salad to my own specifications and I'm so happy I'm not alone.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:53 PM on March 7


I am the same right down to the tuna salad.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:59 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: The same right down to the tuna salad.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:39 PM on March 7


Canned Tuna was invented by people who hate fish to try and convince all right-handed individuals that they are wrong. In a horrible twist, the fish-haters then fell in love with their own nightmare creation.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:09 PM on March 7


Since I didn't manage to find time to sit down and record myself in time (a 2-year-old takes up about 14 hours of my day, every day), I'll do what restless_nomad did and offer answers to the questions that I can in text form:

What's your favorite food or drink that you consume to get you through your shift?

I usually end up working after I cook supper, which is after the child goes to bed, so I'm usually not eating while working, but am drinking several glasses of mineral water.

What's your favorite recipe you've ever cooked from MetaFilter?

Infini's veg chop. Which amazes Austrians, because they're stunned that you can schnitzel a beet, and further stunned that no Austrian thought to do it.

Do you try to make posts on the blue and green during your off-time so you're not tempted to moderate your own post? If you do post on duty, do you find taht your own content requires greater restraint on your part so you don't overly moderate it?

Doesn't really affect me, of course, but the one time I did post while working, the next thing that I did took the site down for about an hour, so I'll take that as an omen.

How much alcohol do you consume during a regular shift?

I'll add my voice to the chorus of 'none's. At most, I've had a beer after I was sure that what I was doing was done, but I was keeping half an eye on a MetaTalk thread just in case someone chimed in with something I'd completely missed. But for Reasons, I'm not much of a drinker and decidedly below the Austrian average.

Do you feel like being [on staff] hinders your enjoyment of MetaFilter as just kind of a normal user?

A complicated 'yes'. I don't have to focus all my attention on trouble spots. However, I definitely know where they are and pay a little attention to them because they're affecting the work lives and stress levels of my co-workers.

Every once in a while, though, I catch myself thinking, 'hmm. This would be a nice feature, even if my idea about it is a bit half-baked. Maybe I should make a MetaTalk post about it and discuss it...' before catching myself and remembering that the fully-baking is now my job, and not something that I can hope that someone else does for me.

Do you check your favorites? If so, how often? Or are you above it all and you just consider them all bookmarks?

If I make a joke, I check favourites religiously to see if the joke landed. Chances are, it didn't.

The shrimp thing

Eyebrows has, remarkably, eaten fewer shrimp than I have: I've eaten them exactly six times in my life. The sixth time, the symptoms that I hadn't recognised until then moved on to full throat-closing-up anaphylaxis. They were also basically the last animal that I ate: no real reason for that, other than that they were the last animal that I found tasty.

Working from home: how do you manage work life balance, work from home stuff, and not sort of disappearing up your own ass doing a job like this?

That's a good question, and one that I at least had a year to think about before I started here: when I moved from Germany to Austria, I kept my old job, but telecommuted in. So, I was working 08:00 to 17:00 from home, for a company that had never had someone doing that before. It went poorly, but I was at least able to discuss, as early as my interview with cortex, communication strategies.

At the moment, my work-life balance is a bit out of whack, because see above: 2-year-old. I try to work during the few moments a day where he doesn't want my constant full attention, and try to make sure that if my name is mentioned on Slack, I reply ASAP. On the other hand, the rest of the staff are aware of that, and no one expects me to drop everything for anything but a proper emergency, which has happened all of twice.

He starts Kindergarten (en: preschool) next week, so at some point shortly after that, I'll no longer be working during the moments of the day when I'm the most exhausted. Other than that as a future help, I'm involved with Vienna Roller Derby and do a bunch with them, as well as occasionally travelling to neighbouring countries for a day or so (AmE: going upstate/downstate, CanE: going to the next town over) to work at bouts there.

What surprised you about working at MetaFilter compared to your expectations about the job when you took it on?

I expected the site's codebase to be a lot harder to read and understand than it was. There is a lot of stuff that's built up over the years, but having worked with a lot of legacy sites, I can say that pb put several fucktonnes of effort into making my job easier.

When the MetaFilter movie gets made, who do you want to play you? Big name actor, CGI, muppet?

Joe Cocker of Pulp. We look very little alike, but have the same mannerisms and gestures to the point where I find their music videos creepy.

What phrases from MetaFilter comments have crept into your regular vocab?

'Use your words.' 'That's not really a great thing to do.' 'I feel you, but...'

But that may just be 'having a toddler'. More seriously, my partner and I have tried for a while now to discuss things in terms of 'emotional labour'.

Which 60s British subculture do you guys most identify with?

The short answer would be 'none'. The longer answer would be, at a stretch, identifying with the 'freakbeat' subculture within mod culture because that's the cleanest line (for better or for worse) that I can trace from the 60s to 80s post-punk and through that to goth culture.

But since these days, my sartorial choices are bending slowly toward, 'What would a Hungarian grandfather wear,' I'm probably safer with 'none' as my answer.

Do you people have jobs or do you just moderate MetaFilter?

This actually gets complicated! In the eyes of the Austrian government, I'm actually employed by the Verein (loosely: club) Eltern für Kinder Österreich (Parents of Children: Austria) as a full-time parent. I have a contract with them, health insurance through them and actual job duties including ongoing training and regular meetings, and receive a monthly stipend from them on top of the normal family money.

Thus, in the eyes of the government, this "MetaFilter" thing is a silly side job that I do when not parenting. The reason for doing it this way is that it makes someone else responsible for dealing with the bureaucracy and paperwork associated with employment and insurance, and the stuff required to declare yourself a neue Selbständiger (en: New-school self-employed person, approximately someone who is self-employed, but not in a traditional trade) is pretty complicated, at least partly to avoid an employer getting direct employees to declare themselves self-employed in order to avoid paying their otherwise-mandatory benefits.

I think that I'm also in a union, but I'm not 100% sure. Definitely a member of the Arbeiterkammer (en: Workers' Council? It's like the Chamber of Commerce, only from the proletariat side and with a more run-down headquarters), though.

What's your favorite MetaFilter tradition?

Listening to Mathowie's Community Blog on American Thanksgiving.
posted by frimble (staff) at 7:02 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Just getting around to listening to the podcast and, in a weird turn for me, the thing that's driving me nuts is the "casting the metafilter movie" bit.

I think it should have it's own fanfare entry.

Aaannywhooo ... not that I know you at all cortex but listening to the podcast and reading the moderation comments I kinda think of Steve Buscemi as he played Donny from the Big Lebowski. Y'know - the guy who actually did 'abide' despite all the shit he took from Walter. I wonder what shooting' the shit at the bar with that guy might be like.
posted by mce at 2:28 PM on March 8


Oh damnit. Jarvis Cocker. I meant Jarvis Cocker.
posted by frimble (staff) at 4:06 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I don't know what you fixed with the sound, but I can now hear almost everything that both Jessamyn and Cortex are saying! And I can even hear the phone calls. This makes me very happy. Thanks! And whatever you're doing, keep doing it, I think it made a huge difference to the clarity of the podcast.

And if you didn't do anything... pretend you did and get the credit?

Jessamyn said something along the lines of if you think about an email for 2 hours and then spend 45 minutes writing it that means that you've spent 2 hours and 45 minutes dealing with it, and this crystallized something I've kind of been noodling on for a while now. So thanks!
posted by Vatnesine at 7:58 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Ooh, the user participation heatmap is an idea I had! I tossed it into the "another thing only I'm interested in" bucket. Maybe I'll pull it back out in a couple of months.
posted by ignignokt at 6:40 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I don't remember which caller asked about work/life balance re: working from home, but there's a pretty good FPP on this matter happening right now that would be of interest to them.
posted by hippybear at 1:20 PM on March 9


Metafilter: Your sister is crying because you put catsup on a hotdog.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:25 PM on March 12


Actually, she's crying because you spelled it "catsup."
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


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