Weeknotes 014 - A Week of Near Perfect Pissballs

Good morning from the Shire. I'm a little bit ashamed that after Martin kindly linked to my weeknotes is his "Friday Readings", and now I've just started posting links to these posts on Twitter & Facebook, that this week's notes are going to be about piss and filth.

But onwards from me, and the lady from Primark.

Oh, I take it back, I had a nice #mirrorproject selfie, but upon finishing this blog post, I've decided I probably don't want the photo to come up based on specific search terms.

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Part of the morning routine involves waking the cat up, giving her some food, then cleaning out her kitty-litter. This used to be a grim job until we switched to the World's Best Cat Litter. That isn't a judgement, that is literally what's it's called: "World's Best Cat Litter." While I don't know if that's true, it's certainly better than the last lot.

Sometimes she manages to pee outside of the litter tray (bad), most of the time she pees in the corner of the tray (good), which then involves some digging around with the scoop to get it all out.

However, occasionally she pees in a way that soaks into the litter in such a fashion to create an almost completely spherical ball of piss (great). Formed just below the surface, waiting to be excavated like one of those dinosaur-dig "science" toy/kits you can buy for kids.

I find this surprisingly satisfying, no mopping up cold cat wee, no digging around in corners, oh no! For today, I think to myself, is a near-perfect pissball day.

I like to think of it as an omen, a link back to a more traditional past where signs and portents littered the day. And I haven't just been blessed with a day or two of geometrically pleasing cat piss, because this week, has been a ...

Good Pissball Week; a week of near-perfect pissballs.

Turns out, though, the down side is when people ask, "Hey, how's it going?" I have to try very hard not to say "It's a great pissball day today" because that's the phrase that's stuck in my head.

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Which reminds me of the other "don't say out loud" moments I have.

I'm not sure if this is a fear shared by content moderators, those people who get exposed to the slight underbelly of the internet, but I suspect it is. The fear that when we get old, we'll become one of those ancient people, brain not 100%, shouting out various inappropriate phrases while out in public, as our relatives' apologise to anyone in earshot; "I'm sorry, but they used to filter inappropriate content on the internet".

I wasn't a content moderator, thank goodness, but during my time working at Flickr sometimes we'd all have to pitch in with getting the moderation queue down. Particularly after we introduced the Safety Levels: Safe, Moderate, and Restricted.

There was a sizable community who liked to use Flickr's at the time rather splendid sorting, tagging, and groups facilities to help share photos of a somewhat "homemade" nature. A smaller subset of those people, through no real malicious intent, weren't really aware of the new safety levels when they were introduced. And so there was a spike in reported photos that should have been "restricted" rather than the default "safe". Which in turn lead to a few bursts of all hands on decks stomping through the reported queue quickly trying to recategorise photos correctly. I was one of those hands.

An even smaller subset of the people mislabeling their photos also had a knack for somewhat salacious titles for their photos, and of course, those are the ones that come to mind.

And when I say "come to mind" I mean, while just walking down the street, while out shopping, driving, cooking some food and so on. Not all the time, only occasionally, when you're least expecting it.

Heading to the shops, that'll be a "Pummel my gonads with your sizeable pillows, my brazen hussies," or a "The joy monster lurks excitedly in the shadows, can you see?"


"My breathlessly bouncing breasts, diaphanously draped, dance daintily downwards."

Don't say out loud, don't say out loud, don't say out loud.

Then, of course, there was "The Crusher" who specialised in building miniature cityscapes of cardboard and polystyrene, only to sit on them, rendered dramatic with low angle shots and a "Here comes the Crusher, destroyer of mankind, flee in terror" title.

I can't tell you how many times "Here comes the Crusher" pops into my head.

The happy ending to the crusher story is when from across the internet and the Flickr tagging system a fellow crusher was found. In return she built cities, and her giant ass would descend to wreak havoc on the defenceless citizens below.

One of my favourite Flickr romance stories as it happens.

Needless to say, I have already written letters of apologies to my kids, which they are to open when the dementia kicks in and I first burst forth about Penis Dragon Boats riding storms in the Ocean of the Moon.

I'm so sorry.

Also, the google searches on this page are going to be fucked, yo.

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