Welcome to The WatchCat
Friday, August 22 2014 @ 02:36 PM PDT

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Comments

I hate doing this but I've just been spending too much time deleting spam comments and subsequently blocking IP addresses. I've also been concerned that blocking IPs may block legitimate readers at some stage.

So, from now on, commenting on the blog requires registration. If you have any troubles registering, email me at CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET and I will be more than happy to set up a registration for you. Registration can be as basic as you want it; all the system needs is a verifiable email address and a password. And access to that info is limited to Mr. WatchCat and I, and we don't spam.

Thanks for understanding, and I'll look forward to your (registered) comments.
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User Accounts

At the moment I'm allowing anonymous comments on the blog. However, given the 50 spam comments that have shown up in the last 12 hours, I'm starting to reconsider.

I'm not changing policy just yet, but I would like to ask that if you have something to say beyond, "buy my software/viagra/SaudiPorn" etc., please create a user account here on the blog. (Lower left hand block.) Except for admins (Mr. WatchCat and I) other users will NOT have access to your personal information. If you post a comment, people will be able to click on your name and see what else you've written on the blog, and they can send you a message through our system without actually seeing your email address. That's all.

If you have any trouble, or just don't want to jump through the hoops, let me know and I can create a user account for you.

My thanks to all who have already created their accounts!
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For the record....

Thanks for the thanks, but I haven't earned it. I'm not a vet; I'm just a civilian who understands better than most. (Although I'm told that I look damn good in a uniform...long story!)

Go thank a real hero. :) Plenty of them out there!
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Roll Call 2

I want to officially say WELCOME to all the new readers who have shown up in the last few months. It's great to have you here, and I'm always happy to hear from you.

In light of this, I'd like to resurrect the "roll call" that I did a number of months back. Participation is purely up to you. But I always like to know who the friendly faces are, and I have no interest in spamming or infringing on anyone's privacy. If willing, please comment with any or all of the following information:

Name (first, full or recognizable nickname)
Email address
How you found the blog
Anything else relevant
And if you're really bold, you can share a mailing address... rumour is that that I send holiday cards to readers occasionally! ;)

I won't publish roll call comments unless specifically asked to do so. This is all voluntary; currently I have no plans to restrict blog access in any way, and if you want to stay anonymous, that's ok too. But it would be very nice to get to know you! You can also email me at CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET if you're more comfortable doing it that way.

I look forward to saying hello!
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Ye Unholy Internet

I'm trying not to write anything I shouldn't. Forgive me if I do it anyway.

I've sometimes heard it said that the behaviors and attitudes that most drive us up the wall in others are the very things we'll find within ourselves.

Yep.

I growl when people I know disappear from the web, but I rejoice now that my real-name stuff has finally disappeared. Not entirely consistent, I know.

And I disappear as fast as I can when someone seems to be searching for me, yet I do web searches for friends who would really prefer not to be found online.

Some of it is the fragmentation of the soul which has not yet entirely healed. I'm the first to admit that I have some tremendous flaws. And some of it is experience that can only be updated, never unlearned.

If you've never seen your friends impersonated, your family dragged through public mud, or your email violated by someone who wishes you ill, be very thankful indeed. And if you have, stick with me here, because I have my own explanation to make:

I never want to see it happen to anyone else.

I haven't been perfect in this respect, and I'm no stranger to having past failures used against me. Spending a couple years thinking I was CIA-bound created some kinks in my ethics, and it takes a lot of time to adjust that kind of mindset. (Although my procurement abilities do make me a hit at church potlucks.) I still haven't shaken the "need to know", and sometimes that means I have a little more information at my fingertips than some people would like. Forgive me if you've ever gotten pulled into that.

But here's what you need to know: Acquaintances get my concern, enemies get my prayers, and if you have any reason at all to believe that I consider you a friend, then not only are you safe with me; I'll watch your back too. It's pretty simple.

Most people will tell you that I'm no good at the nuts and bolts of friendship. I forget birthdays, forget to call, and I'll stay behind rather than assume I'm wanted somewhere. But they'll also tell you that if you need a rabbit pulled out of a hat or your trembling body pulled away from a ledge, I'll do it without blinking. That's how I do friendship.

The internet is an odd forum for friendship. It's not the same as face-to-face by any stretch of the imagination, but we (perhaps unwisely) often reveal more of our souls here. And as such, it's dangerous. We need friends online for many of the same reasons we need face-to-face friends: to keep us real, to challenge us, to protect us and to help us survive the storms that come into our lives.

Trust is an odd thing, and I know people have a lot of different ways of gauging a person's trustworthiness. Don't trust me to be perfect. But be assured that if you harbor no ill will for me or my loved ones, you can trust me -online and offline- to treat you as a friend.

So, let's talk. Tell me about your day, demand an explanation from me, whatever's on your mind. Email's always open (CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET) and you can always ask me to not post a comment.

Good night (ok, probably good morning for most of you) and God bless you.

And Happy Birthday, to everyone I missed! ;)
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OPSEC/ FAMSEC PROMISE

Several days after first reading it, this blog post from Castle Argghhh! still twists my heart. The core question: when the children of the fallen warriors grow up and google their parent's name, what will they see?

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The Rule of Blog

Rules of Engagement for bloggers