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CavemanJoe
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 09:52 AM UTC (Read 21943 times)  
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The Commentary system is a massive pain in the arse.
The Bio system is an even bigger pain in the arse.
Old systems in general are an enormous pain in the arse, and I'm beginning to understand why, when FaceBook brings out a new overhaul that everybody hates for two weeks and then forgets about, they don't just put in a user pref so that people can opt for the old system. It's so that they don't have to keep supporting the creaking old wreck forever.

The whole damned Commentary system needs to be burned to the ground so that we can start all over again and I can ditch the things that seemed like a good idea at the time, such as:

* Extending the stock LotGD commentary system, rather than starting with an empty file, cracking my knuckles and going "Right, time to do this properly." That's what laziness'll get ya.

* Making lots of little weapon images and then starting to do armour images and realising that there'd be no fucking way I could make it look decent at 11px tall, when armour images are really about ten times more bloody important. We still have lovely images for weapons and sod-all for armour, which makes no bleedin' sense at all.

* Adding user prefs for fucking everything. Show me people's armour. Don't show me people's armour. Show me people's avatars. Don't show me people's avatars. Not only is every single user pref another check in a loop that gets run multiple times per second (in terms of server load, the Commentary system is why we can't have nice things), it's another check that I have to hack around several bloody times elsewhere in the game. And if it weren't possible for the commentary to be displayed umpteen different ways, if it were simple, we could cache the output and have it work fast enough to bring back the bloody Who's Typing indicator.

And what's worse, adding so many userprefs made it so that adding userprefs is now the norm. When something comes up and a handful of people prefer doing it the old-fashioned way, everybody says "Well, just make it a pref! Problem solved. Smile" And why would everybody say this? Because I'm a plonker, that's why. A plonker who said, every other time something like this came up, "Yes, I will make it a pref! PREF ALL THE THINGS!" because I have all the foresight of a Wall Street banker and didn't think "If you go down this road, there will come a day when the cold hard reality of technical limitations dictates that there are Too Many Prefs, and when it becomes necessary to trim them down, your players are going to be Unimpressed." I made this a problem, and I'm kicking myself for it now.

* That eye icon. That fucking eye icon. It was ugly when I put it in. It's ugly today. Originally it was there because I couldn't figure out how to apply the mouseover to the player's name rather than an anchor that goes fucking nowhere (because HTML was crap ten years ago, and today, it's not just crap but pants-on-head-ass-backwards-stupid). But now, it's there because people have gotten used to it, and if I were to propose taking it away, people would say "Well, just make it a pref! Problem solved. Smile"

* The bio link. I shit you not, the simple act of adding a link to the player's bio is a million times more of a pain in the arse than you think it is. Bio pages take the nav system into account, so you have to pass a return link to take the player back to where they came from. And then you have to filter the return link so that it doesn't repeat stuff that the player might have just done before looking at the bio. This is so that you don't do things like toggle a lock in your Place, look at someone's bio, go back to the Place and have the lock toggle itself again. Every single thing that the player could possibly do, you have to filter for. Every single time you add something new to the game that applies in a place where there is commentary, the Bio system will make you suffer for it. I have a huge list of new things to add to the game, and only so many hours in the day to grapple with shit like this. Bios need to open in a new page outside of the nav system, like with Distractions - but Natters can't work in such an environment. I'm this close to just going "Well, Natter can piss off and sulk in the corner, then." And no, we can't make it a pref.


So. Rewriting the commentary system is now On The List. I'll get to it probably in the middle of next year, because I've got more interesting things to work on first. Until then, I will continue to grapple and swear at it.

You can probably tell I'm getting really good at giving up smoking. Smile


 
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Reverb
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 11:26 AM UTC  
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Your persistance, good sir, is awe inspiring.

I would have taken the easy way out years ago; let the whole bleeding island burn to the ground, and bugger all else.

I'd tip my hat, but it takes a pterodactyl to put it back on me head again..


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 11:37 AM UTC  
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Yay rants!

I thought to myself when I read this, I could 'quote' mr joe and give him feedback on every single point that came up in his rant, hopefully helping him feel better. And then I realized, that'd be a long list. And then more people would do that, and in the end, it would amount to people saying 'yes please change things' and 'no no no please never change anything I like my little hole!'

So instead, my contribution is simple.

Please do what makes you happy. We want you happy. We love you and adore you and want the Island to run better and not only be a place to play and romp but a place where you are actually GLAD you are working on it.

We...well. At least ME, wants the Joe happy.

If Joe needs to rehaul the eye and tell the natters to piss off and dance on their grave, so be it.

LOVE ALL THE JOES.

*tap dances away*


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Zolotisty
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 12:29 PM UTC  
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Take the eye icon away, and I'll deal with the complaints.

Please.

Please.

Please, I have hated it since it was implemented.


BARK BARK BARK.
 
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dizzyizzy
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 01:07 PM UTC  
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I've always had the eye icon, it's been in place since I started playing.

I've always hated the icon. Kill it!


As to prefs, well. I prefer a lot of prefs over Who's Typing. Customization is fantastic. The more of it, the better.


I'm not a particularly nattery individual, but you're probably going to meet fierce resistance if you take those away. For some reason, people like airing out their personal lives by natter instead of keeping it nice and clean and in distracts.

(There are some good natterers, too! Johnson and Kestrel come to mind. It's like christmas when I discover one of them's been through a bio page.)


 
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LydiaDefountain
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 02:06 PM UTC  
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well the greatest thing about natter vs distracts is while your rping you tend to be at the bottom of the screen... with auto update you don't have to refresh as often so you don't see the top of your screen for a decent bit sometimes.

With natters you can notice the (1 unread natter) while rping easily, because it's right there at the bottom of the screen, and I think that's why it's favored by some to distracts.

I'm not sure what the best solution might be butI do know that I rather trade im's then rely on someone seeing my distract sooner rather then later.


 
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Matthew
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 04:13 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

when armour images are really about ten times more bloody important.


I have to wonder: why are either important?

Also, I would so not mind the ugly eye icon going away. I doubt many people would mind.
Quote by: LydiaDefountain

well the greatest thing about natter vs distracts is while your rping you tend to be at the bottom of the screen... with auto update you don't have to refresh as often so you don't see the top of your screen for a decent bit sometimes.


I dunno how possible it would be, but maybe a solution could be to make the "MoTD | Distractions etc" bar at the top its own little frame that's locked and moves with you as you scroll? If Natters really are a horrible monster, I wouldn't mind them going away so much.

Edit: also! Do whatever you feel needs to be done to make the site's back-end less of a horrible tower of wobbling code, and the rest of us will deal with it, I'm sure. I actually wouldn't care so much about prefs like 'don't show other people's race' or whatever going away, but I do use 'don't show MY race' etc quite a bit.


 
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Trowa
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 04:47 PM UTC  
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Since we're ranting about things like pref's, let me throw in a few of my own grumblings I've had since I started this game! I've been too chicken to bring them up until now, but since we're just shooting the breeze, I don't expect this to get too much attention. Big Grin Feel free to ignore me!

My biggest grumbling is with the double-negatives:

"Don't jump to comment areas after refreshing or posting a comment?" Yes/No - I'm sure this is new-ish, so probably a result of the "make it a pref so we can keep the old system!" argument, but...still... double-negative... ::twitch::

"Your name will be shown next to the Donations button if you give money to Improbable Island. Unless you'd like to remain anonymous?" Yes/No - This one really confused the heck outta me! No, I do get shown, or No, I would like to remain anonymous? Not to mention this pref is now obsolete...

"You are safe from the effects of Outpost invasions until you pass level ten in your first Drive Kill. Would you like to opt-in anyway?" Yes/No - Opt-in to breaches? Or opt-in to being immune to breaches? This confused me for awhile as a noob until someone explained it in Banter, but even then I noticed it didn't seem to work. I remember going to 404 for the Museum quest during a breach at a low level (under 10, I remember clearly checking because of this pref!) and getting boated by Cyrano DeBergerac. I've not seen that monster ever again. Truly horrifying! Smile (I think this pref was fixed awhile ago, though...?) And why is it under the Equipment Display options, anyway?


And then the Marriage prefs are really confusing!

Show spouse in Bios? Yes/No - Okay, prettty straightforward sounding, BUT, selecting No still leaves a "Spouse" heading in your bio, but it's shown as "Secret!" So really quite pointless if you're trying to prevent your character from looking married (because, hey, let's admit it, some of us just wanted the buff!) And besides that, you still show up in the Newly Weds list in the Common Grounds.

Show your spouse under your Character stats? Yes/No - Wait, what? How is that different from my bio? Is that the stuff in the Raven Inn? This pref doesn't seem to affect anything.

Would you like to prevent all flirting? Yes/No This is only needed if the Love Shack is available. - Huh? Love Shack? Another dated and obsolete system I don't know about?

Would you like to prevent marriage proposals? Yes/No This is only needed if the Love Shack is NOT available. - Soooo, I suppose this is about the Bluerock Chapel, then?

/pointless_rant Mr. Green

::pushes his index fingers together:: Uhm... I like what the eye icon does... but I don't mind if something better comes along... Oops!


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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KimmyMonstah
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 05:01 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Trowa


/pointless_rant Mr. Green

::pushes his index fingers together:: Uhm... I like what the eye icon does... but I don't mind if something better comes along... Oops!



THANK YOU FOR YOUR RANT. I SPEAK IN ALL CAPITALS BECAUSE I'M GLAD SOMEONE FINALLY SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THAT STUFF.
/allcapsexcitement
I bet someone else mentioned them somewhere too, but I'm only noticing this one cause I'm only lurking on here right now. -selective lurker-


Yeah, okay, the eye-con was a funny pun when it first came out and all. Now it's...pretty fugly.
Yes. We've all established that.

I don't really care what it looks like, I still like what it does.
Most people use them to practically skim-read a character. Lots of characters have big fat long bios explaining lots of things.
Big long bios are good! That means that person really has put a lot of thought into them.
But some of us are just lazy or don't have the time.
I feel that's why the Mousers [i've been nicknaming them mousers :I for like. since they came out or so] were implemented.
Keeping them around I think would be best, but in a different form would be fine.

As for them popping out over the name, it sounds AWESOME, but poses a question:
Wouldn't it be kinda hard to then actually get to a character's real bio if that Mouser kept popping up? ._.

Granted I don't know fuck all about...well, anything, but it does make me wonder.

So what if they were kept, weren't put on the names, and their form was changed?
What would they turn into?
That's another question. :I





As for the prefs on things, they're annoying to code in, but it just means you're more dedicated to your people. Wink
Fairly certain they appreciate that sort of freedom you give'em.



edit: oh mah gah 300th post? i feel...happy? well yes but. that also means i've posted 300 really pointless things.


 
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Sonny
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 05:45 PM UTC  
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What they said!

Do whatever makes you happy and your work easier!

Ditch the Natter! Make the bio a new page! Combine some userprefs like armour and weapon into one pref, delete other prefs without use! Burn it! Tear it down! Build it anew and let it rise again like a Phoenix out of the ashes. Better, sleeker, faster! Without the eye!
Big Grin


 
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Hairy Mary
 Monday, November 14 2011 @ 09:10 PM UTC  
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Actually I quite liked the eye icon, perhaps you could make it a pref...

Quote by: Zolotisty

Take the eye icon away, and I'll deal with the complaints.


*gulp*

No, no, no; no complaints here.

Seriously though, yeah do whatever makes you happiest, that will lead to better code and a better game. Quite frankly, once I'd got used to a new way of doing things I'll probably enjoy it more than if I'd got what I thought that I wanted.


 
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Awesome Fred
 Tuesday, November 15 2011 @ 03:37 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe


* Making lots of little weapon images and then starting to do armour images and realising that there'd be no fucking way I could make it look decent at 11px tall, when armour images are really about ten times more bloody important. We still have lovely images for weapons and sod-all for armour, which makes no bleedin' sense at all.



Sorry, but I don't understand why we need images of the weapons or armor. So long as those items are not proper IItems that show up in the Inventory, we don't really need loads of chainsaws in everybody's mouse-overs. The images are good for at-a-glance recognition of your inventory stock, who cares about split-second weapon recognition for other players?

* Adding user prefs for fucking everything. Show me people's armour. Don't show me people's armour. Show me people's avatars. Don't show me people's avatars. Not only is every single user pref another check in a loop that gets run multiple times per second (in terms of server load, the Commentary system is why we can't have nice things), it's another check that I have to hack around several bloody times elsewhere in the game. And if it weren't possible for the commentary to be displayed umpteen different ways, if it were simple, we could cache the output and have it work fast enough to bring back the bloody Who's Typing indicator.

And what's worse, adding so many userprefs made it so that adding userprefs is now the norm. When something comes up and a handful of people prefer doing it the old-fashioned way, everybody says "Well, just make it a pref! Problem solved. Smile" And why would everybody say this? Because I'm a plonker, that's why. A plonker who said, every other time something like this came up, "Yes, I will make it a pref! PREF ALL THE THINGS!" because I have all the foresight of a Wall Street banker and didn't think "If you go down this road, there will come a day when the cold hard reality of technical limitations dictates that there are Too Many Prefs, and when it becomes necessary to trim them down, your players are going to be Unimpressed." I made this a problem, and I'm kicking myself for it now.


I had no idea that prefs were so taxing. If it's the case, prune where needed. Get rid of weapons and armor in the commentary, put it in the bio. I imagine bios are accessed less than the commentary, which auto-loads on every page it's available.

* That eye icon. That fucking eye icon. It was ugly when I put it in. It's ugly today. Originally it was there because I couldn't figure out how to apply the mouseover to the player's name rather than an anchor that goes fucking nowhere (because HTML was crap ten years ago, and today, it's not just crap but pants-on-head-ass-backwards-stupid). But now, it's there because people have gotten used to it, and if I were to propose taking it away, people would say "Well, just make it a pref! Problem solved. Smile"


...I think you overestimate people's attachment to the eye icon. I think everybody hates it. Give it the axe, go for it!

* The bio link. I shit you not, the simple act of adding a link to the player's bio is a million times more of a pain in the arse than you think it is. Bio pages take the nav system into account, so you have to pass a return link to take the player back to where they came from. And then you have to filter the return link so that it doesn't repeat stuff that the player might have just done before looking at the bio. This is so that you don't do things like toggle a lock in your Place, look at someone's bio, go back to the Place and have the lock toggle itself again. Every single thing that the player could possibly do, you have to filter for. Every single time you add something new to the game that applies in a place where there is commentary, the Bio system will make you suffer for it. I have a huge list of new things to add to the game, and only so many hours in the day to grapple with shit like this. Bios need to open in a new page outside of the nav system, like with Distractions - but Natters can't work in such an environment. I'm this close to just going "Well, Natter can piss off and sulk in the corner, then." And no, we can't make it a pref.


Frown I love the natter. It makes me a happy bear when I get one. Still, I get what you're saying about the filtering and how awfully expensive it must be. As you say, it's fixed if bios open a new page, but if Natters combust because of it...

Well, what if we did some sort of silly "bio hub" page. Instead of clicking for a specific person's bio, in the left sidebar there's just a "Character Bios" link. When you click it, you load a page that simply lists the names of everyone who has posted in the last week on the page you were just at (which had the commentary) and lets you click their names to go into their bio.

...or, if it was some sneaky thing, where the system is as it is now, but when you click for a bio page, it quickly loads an identical dummy page, then automatically loads the bio from there, so that when you return, it's actually accessing the dummy page that executes no action? (If this sounds reeeeeeeally stupid, I guess you can see how little web programming I know).

Or maybe we could make it a pref. *ducks*


So. Rewriting the commentary system is now On The List. I'll get to it probably in the middle of next year, because I've got more interesting things to work on first. Until then, I will continue to grapple and swear at it.

You can probably tell I'm getting really good at giving up smoking. Smile


Keep it up, CavemanBro. Big Grin


 
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Harris
 Tuesday, November 15 2011 @ 06:04 PM UTC  
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Quote by: KimmyMonstah

As for them popping out over the name, it sounds AWESOME, but poses a question:
Wouldn't it be kinda hard to then actually get to a character's real bio if that Mouser kept popping up? ._.



No, clicking on the character's name would still take you to their Bio, just like now.


Another Quote by: KimmyMonstah

As for the prefs on things, they're annoying to code in, but it just means you're more dedicated to your people. Wink
Fairly certain they appreciate that sort of freedom you give'em.


True- but if they're worse than an annoyance, and coding them is bogging down the game- is keeping them (or keeping all of them) worth not getting more quests, more places features, more game features in general?

The Eye-con: meh. It serves no purpose. Kill it. Do the name mouseover thing!

Natter: I can see the social merits of it, I really can (also tosses a thumbs up Johnson's way), but I think that removing it would encourage us to do silly things like, oh...post in people's places more often, post in Banter more often, use Distractions more often... Really, we're spoiled for socialization both in and out of game as it is. Especially considering how easy it is to get someone's e-mail by asking them for it if you want to swap regular messages in a way that doesn'tkeep CMJ from improving dozens of other aspects of the game.

As far as I can see, we don't really need Natter AND Distractions, so I pose the question: Which do we use more- Natter, or Distraction?


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Obsidia Black
 Tuesday, November 15 2011 @ 10:13 PM UTC  
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Eh, I would have to say that I use both Natter and Distracts. Distracts for me are for the really big amount of texts; people sending room descriptions, explaining backstory, yadda yadda yadda, whereas Natter's good for poking in, saying hi, and asking if the recipient's up for an RP or whatnot. And honestly, I notice my Natter a lot more than distracts. Natter, you scroll down to post in Story or Banter, and bam, you see it right there below the text box. Distracts, for me at least, looks like a little line that's way too easy to miss, and I cannot tell you how many times I've missed that I've gotten new ones until someone pokes with a, "Hey dude, didn't you see my Distract?"

If one or the other has to go, *sigh* then let it be Natter, if it helps make the game run smoother. But at least put the distracts button somewhere where it's much easier to see. *pleading look*


 
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Trowa
 Tuesday, November 15 2011 @ 10:34 PM UTC  
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For me, it's the exact opposite at Omega's plight. I notice Distracts a lot sooner because I have them sent to my e-mail, and I keep both my e-mail and GTalk open. As for Natters, they can be a little bit of a nuisance if I'm RP'ing in a Place for a long while and the game day has rolled over without my noticing it; entering my bio triggers it. Also terrible if I've been building away with a Builder's Brew and didn't notice the changeover. >.<


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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dizzyizzy
 Tuesday, November 15 2011 @ 10:39 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Obsidia+Black

Eh, I would have to say that I use both Natter and Distracts. Distracts for me are for the really big amount of texts; people sending room descriptions, explaining backstory, yadda yadda yadda, whereas Natter's good for poking in, saying hi, and asking if the recipient's up for an RP or whatnot. And honestly, I notice my Natter a lot more than distracts. Natter, you scroll down to post in Story or Banter, and bam, you see it right there below the text box. Distracts, for me at least, looks like a little line that's way too easy to miss, and I cannot tell you how many times I've missed that I've gotten new ones until someone pokes with a, "Hey dude, didn't you see my Distract?"

If one or the other has to go, *sigh* then let it be Natter, if it helps make the game run smoother. But at least put the distracts button somewhere where it's much easier to see. *pleading look*



Right here, Obsidia, is a pretty sweet mail checker Tahvohck made.


Personally, I rely pretty heavy on distracts for hunting down errant PRATs. At least with distracts, there's a chance they've got it linked to their mail. With Natter, there is not.


 
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Albert Wesker
 Thursday, November 17 2011 @ 06:30 AM UTC  
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You know, I never paid much attention to the eye-con until now. And now, oh good god, I can't stop looking at it.
It stares into my soul.


 
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KimmyMonstah
 Thursday, November 17 2011 @ 07:11 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Albert+Wesker

You know, I never paid much attention to the eye-con until now. And now, oh good god, I can't stop looking at it.
It stares into my soul.



It's just begging for attention, now that we can put colors in it. Big Grin


 
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, November 18 2011 @ 06:53 AM UTC  
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WELL HEY GUESS WHAT GANG YOU KNOW HOW I SAID I'D DO THAT IN LIKE SIX MONTHS WELL ABOUT THAT...

So, Improbable Chat is coming, built completely from scratch, and so far it's working literally ten times faster than the old version. Looks a damned sight cleaner too - fewer icons, and more emphasis on text, since, y'know, it's a text-based game. I'll keep you updated.


 
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Docenspiel
 Friday, November 18 2011 @ 07:33 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

WELL HEY GUESS WHAT GANG YOU KNOW HOW I SAID I'D DO THAT IN LIKE SIX MONTHS WELL ABOUT THAT...



Your future self made a time machine and gave you the chat design, didn't he? You should be careful with timestream manipulating, don't want to end up having the world ruled by cats.


For rent: one skull, in serious need of dusting.
 
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