[conspire] A word about household standards

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Apr 22 04:08:23 PDT 2007

I need some help, going forward, from the regulars who attend the
twice-monthly CABAL meetings.  This is on a matter I've spoken to some
of you about, but I need to stress that I'm quite serious about it.

CABAL meets in my home.  The old address (2033 Sharon Road) was my home,
too, but not really the way this (the Altschul place) is.  This place is
where I was raised, where there's a 150 ft. tall redwood tree that was
planted the day I was born, where every brick and every plant remind me
of my mother and father's building the house, raising me there, and
of their last years together.

Suffice it to say, it's a place I care about.  And it's my home.  You
are all, when you visit, guests in my _home_.

It's not a public meeting hall.  It's not a restaurant.  You're here
courtesy of my hospitality.  Inside my home.

Which means there are certain standards:

o  In my home, guests eat food only over plates.
o  In my home, guests don't put cold drink glasses directly onto my wooden
   furniture.  They use coasters.
o  In my home, guests do not slide computer cases (that may have sharp 
   screws, etc.) across the beautiful hardwood dining room table.  Those
   go onto the floor.
o  Into my home's yard, guests do not throw their cigarette butts onto my
   backyard and into my bushes.

A number of you regulars keep doing those things.  Some of you have been 
carelessly risking leaving "rings" on my tables for years:  I spot you
doing it, bring you a drink coaster, and give you a steely glance that
translates to:  "I'm not going to embarrass you by calling you out on
this, but stop doing this.  And were you _raised in a barn_, or what?
Have you no manners?"

Or I see you droping pizza toppings onto my floor, bring you a plate,
and pointedly tell you to keep your food on it, starting immediately.
That doesn't mean I adore bringing people plates.  That means:  "You
should have done this yourself, and I don't want to humiliate a guest by
making an issue of it, but what were you thinking?"

Much worse, and most of all, I have repeatedly asked a number of you, for
years, to help me in maintaining these standards -- and you have failed.
Specifically, I've asked you to please speak up and intervene, if you
see, e.g., a newcomer about to slide his metal PC case across the dining
room table.  But you don't.

That table, which is Deirdre's, not mine, _was_ a really nice hardwood
table, by the way.  It's been utterly ruined, specifically by CABAL
people -- often newcomers who I know created their hideous gouges across
the surface _right in front_ of CABAL regulars, who ignored my request
for help (of the "no, please put that _under_ the table" variety) and
said nothing.

The table was already a write-off, even before we moved, having multiple
deep gouges across its surface, every one of them created by CABAL
people's PCs.  It cannot be repaired.  I'm embarrassed in front of my
wife, by this, and I'm often tempted to think that my inviting the lot
of you into my home may have been a serious mistake.

So, since I've raised this matter to a number of you in person, and it
hasn't worked, I'm putting it very bluntly to you in public:  Act like
you're a guest inside a nice house, where you'd like to be welcome in
the future.  And _please_ help make sure that newcomers don't mess up,

Thank you.

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