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I've made a lot of long-winded posts that contained stupid, irrelevant content. To rectify things, I've trying to go back and condense them. But I want to ensure anyone can easily access my original posts. So here they are.

USS Voyager article Edit

The following was originally posted here (my reply – the third post – to DistantlyCharmed's response to my initial post).

Hi, Distantlycharmed! Glad to see a dialogue form on a talk page. Cool. (Though I didn't realize my initial post was 20k! I need to learn how to check post size. Certainly the following response will be longer, for I wish the chance to clarify things.)

Unfortunately, based on your comments, if appears I misrepresented myself. I'll try again:

My intent was to state I had no problems with your edits and took nothing personally. I actually expected someone to change things sooner. That's why I repeatedly said here to feel free to make any changes, even a complete revert. In fact, Sulfur made two changes immediately after my initial upload, and I actually thanked him for doing so. (They were helpful corrections.)

I think we simply employ differing writing styles: I come from an approach informed by writing/publishing scholarly scientific articles – and reading hundreds of others! That's tended to make my style a little different/atypical (and not necessarily better!).

I don't see a problem; I just am not desirous to edit back and forth over ultimately trivial prose matters (the significant adjusting of which was really the only thing that interested me). It's definitely not "my" article at all. If anything, I'd defer to you and Nero210, for you've been working on this page a lot longer and with more thought than I've even looked at it!

You're right about my health issues (which are very serious and debilitating) sapping my time and energy. I will say, however, that some of your predictions and accusations about my reasons for not wanting to continue the rather laborious task of rewriting the rest were both inaccurate and a little hurtful. Also, my health issues are not related to stress, and I think it is a little presumptuous to link my health with my stress.

Again, I'm actually weary now anyway and just don't feel like doing that much work after a truly horrific medical crisis early yesterday morning. And as I stated originally, I had no problem with your changes. I'm not sure what I said in my brief comment caused you to write such negative things about me. :(

I really do wish you and Nero210 the best WRT this article. Perhaps another time, when  I'm feeling better, I can try again. But yesterday morning's crisis, which I had not previously mentioned, caused me to realize I could not expend the energy to engage in a massive rewrite anyway. Besides, the fact that you're interested in continuing to make prose adjustments helped confirm that the article will be taken care of, and I needn't worry about doing it myself. :)

I've not had problems with people undoing or changing my edits (see Doctor, PhD, and especially Fourier analysis and Borg philosophy, etc.) for examples where I had things changed and didn't fall apart or "demand an apology". What's bothered me so far is the thought that I make logistical/technical errors that create extra work for admins to correct. I don't want to keep editing if all I do is create more work for others!

I hope that clarifies things and removes any confusion I created in my first comment after your edits. I can see how misunderstanding could arise. Whoops.

Finally, please don't hesitate to make further changes to what I did. I rather hoped someone would, even if I disagreed. It actually pleases me someone actually carefully read what I'd done, and changing things makes it clear you, at least, did!

I'll be busy with PET scans, CT scans, biopsies, and radiologist, urologist, pulmonologist, gastroenterologist, internist, and endocrinologist visits, and other medical stuff. I'm just hoping I can keep out of the ER and hospital for a while (five times in a couple weeks is not fun – or cheap). So any more edits I make will be sporadic (and probably minor), especially if there are more unplanned medical emergencies as there was yesterday.

One day I would like to revisit things on this daunting article but not now. And it's neither personal nor involves hurt feelings (on my part, at least). I hope I haven't hurt yours! I'd like to have some fun and stick to making odd little edits and testing with my mobile CSS skin.

Yes, this response was a little long, as you correctly anticipated. My last post was rather short, so I just wanted to ensure I was clearer this time. Let me know if I wasn't.

Lastly, I freely admit I tend to compose over-long messages. It's a fault IRL of mine, too.

--Cepstrum (talk) 12:44, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

PS FYI: just a heads-up that I'll be asking 31dot to take a look at my two posts here. He's willing to help me along as I edit here and post on talk pages to ensure I'm doing things properly and point out where I err. (It's not about you – it's me ;) ). I'm not "reporting" you or anything. It's just my first encounter with causing a significant misunderstanding between a fellow (though more veteran than I) editor – not an admin – and I wish to solicit his feedback on how I handled my first mundane edit-based "crisis", heh heh.

If you have more personal feedback for me, please leave it on talk page. I welcome any constructive criticism, but I don't think we should continue discussing my faults on this talk page.

User talk: 31dot Edit

"Request for advice" Edit

(Note: I replaced the following with a condensed version.) Here is the original:

Ok, thank you for the info. I actually did post to DC's page, seeking to reconcile, saying she was not in error, that my initial post was obviously not good. The only responses I received were the one on the article's talk page (which really through me off-balance and surprised me) and a post on my talk page saying to never post anything (even an apology) on her talk page again.

I feel so bad, especially given what OuroborosCobra, Cid, and you think of me. (My fault, of course). I knew I had problems with brevity, but I never imagined I'd be told by three admins and an editor that I was engaged in "complaining" etc. and to "cut it" I honestly neither knew nor intended to violate any policies or least of all, hurt another editor's feelings and earn the enmity of three admins whom I deeply respect (and have acknowledged by name on my user page). The only one left to harm is Shran!

I wish I could make it all go away: it's like a nightmare. That's why I asked if the whole thing could be moved to my talk page, to at the least spare the article's talk page from my stupid, irrelevant, untoward behavior. It's impossible to describe how crestfallen I am. I would gladly trade this for having every last edit I've made on MA reverted.

I was hoping MA could be a place for fun, but now that I've earned the ire of three prominent admins (and an editor), I think I've pretty much ruined my chance to become a part of the community. If only I had gone to you for advice first......  Rats. :(

As I mentioned, I should probably be blocked or even banned. This has really been the last straw; I don't think I can fairly expect you, OC, or Cid to tolerate me anymore.

Thank you anyways for at least trying to help me earlier.

Bye. :(

--Cepstrum (talk) 14:27, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

PS Just to be clear, I really don't mind having my edits reverted anymore. I understand how things work wrt that. I just fear I have no one left to talk to or expect to assume good faith on my part. I've been warned about making long posts. I've violated that prescription. So I wish you and all others the best. You tried going out of your way to help me, and I want this (likely last) edit to express my apologies to you. It's ironic: I've become precisely the sort of disruptive editor I did not wish to be.

User talk: OuroborosCobra Edit

Re: your reprimand/warning to me Edit

(Note: the following is the original, long-winded post of mine on OuroborosCobra's talk page, in this section.) --Cepstrum (talk) 15:41, November 17, 2010 (UTC)


(I hope this isn't inappropriate; I'm still unskilled at MA, despite reading the guidelines and help pages.)

On the USS Voyager talk page, you reprimanded me for a "Homeric-length" etc. post that fueled an (inadvertent) debate with Distantlycharmed. I now see you were right: I made a huge mess. I am sorry. I'm such an idiot. 

I've (justly) earned the enmity of three admins I greatly respect – you, Cid, 31dot – and a fellow editor, DC. Frustratingly,, I've become the archetype of the of editor I intended not to be (I wanted just to have fun cooperating here, not mess things.) :(

Perhaps it would be good for everyone if I were blocked or banned. And/or have all the mayhem moved to my talk page. I might be in error even posting here, soliciting your advice. I just don't know. If you are willing, can you aid me or point me to whom or where I should go for assistance? In the meantime, I'm apologizing and appealing to all.

(Please feel free to delete this or remove it to my talk page.)

--Cepstrum (talk) 13:41, November 15, 2010 (UTC)

My apologies Edit

(Note: I moved the following from this section on OuroborosCobra's talk page to ameliorate cluttering his talk page with unnecessary, rambling posts by me.) --Cepstrum (talk) 17:43, November 17, 2010 (UTC)

Dear OuroborosCobra,

It's been brought to my attention that I made a not inconsequential gaffe/error/mistake with respect to something that involves you. On the talk page of the quantum stasis field article, I added a comment to a "dead" discussion you had with another back in 2007. See, at another time, I made the opposite mistake in believing that, just because a discussion had been dormant since 2007, I was in error to restart the discussion elsewhere. I guess I "hypercorrected"! I am sorry for involving you in a policy error/reprimand (though it was, of course, I who received the reprimand, not you.) I certainly did not intend to mess up like this, and I especially regret – albeit tangentially and inadvertently – involving you.

So let me apologize and give you my best regards (after all, I am still learning the ropes here: I can use all the help I can get. I very much want to be a useful MA contributor!)

--Cepstrum (talk) 14:25, November 5, 2010 (UTC)

User talk: Defiant Edit

Special characters vs HTML entities Edit

(The following was posted (stupidly enough) here, on poor Defiant's talk page! I left his response but removed the following, leaving a note and a link to my post below. Thus, if Defiant's response seems strange, that's why. Sorry, Defiant! --Cepstrum (talk) 13:31, November 22, 2010 (UTC))

Hi, Sulfur.

I think my question to you on your talk page is related to this very issue, and I'm hoping you can help provide me with an answer. As we've discussed, you've been deleting every instance of the word "however" I use, describing it in your edit summaries as a "lazy word". I understand you and I have a difference of opinion regarding prose and the appropriate and judicious use of that particular word (I'm used to writing from the POV of scholarly scientific journal articles and conference papers and find "however" to be a useful tool to, on occasion, enhance the prose by offsetting a phrase that I want the reader to pay heed to), and you're used to dealing with its misuse (and overuse) at MA, something I don't like either – it is too often used improperly as a conjunction or to begin a sentence. My remaining question, which has yet to be addressed, is what am I to do when you delete it, and yet I truly believe it's the best way to phrase something without a massive rewrite of the surrounding text. I feel I can't (or shouldn't) add it back in lest it appear as though I'm trying to start an edit war. OTOH, I work hard at rewriting the phrases in question and believe the removal of the "howevers" somewhat ruins the prose (and dismissing them as "lazy words" is a little discouraging). Do I re-add it? Defer to your judgment/leave it as-is? Attempt to rewrite the paragraph?

I feel somewhat in the same position as Defiant and the endashes thing/edit-reversion conflict, except I am unwilling (for I'm not a fellow admin or even long-time contributor!) to undo an edit of yours unless I know it's not going to cause a problem (the last thing I wish to do; I'm desperate for positive feedback as well as becoming a useful member of MA, which I feel I've failed utterly in so far. :( )

So because I've been unable to get an answer from you on your talk page, and because this seems to relate to the issue here, I'm hoping it's ok if I try asking you again here. If this was yet another error/gaffe on my part, I apologize. I really want to do the right thing. I am trying, just without much success I'm afraid!

Last thing: I know it's hard in exclusively written verbal communication to gauge the other party's inflection/"mood". Please know I'm quite sincere and indeed grateful for you following me around and within minutes reverting/undoing my all-to-often ill-advised edits, admonishing/reprimanding me for goofs such as using article talk pages incorrectly. I think it shows you truly care about MA and are trying to allow me to be a part of it even though it seems I consistently do more harm than good. I hope I soon learn the ropes well enough to stop causing you extra work! *_*

And Defiant, as another admin, I'd welcome any feedback/help you can give me. As I wrote in the relevant section on Sulfur's talk page, I'm going through an unbelievable amount of life-threatening and life-altering health problems. Many hospitalizations, trips to the ER, immobility, incredible pain, etc., all within the last few weeks. I'm forced to use an iPod touch for all Internet stuff, and I'm facing a very long and difficult road to a just a possible recovery. So I'm a little down right now, but I'm trying to take advantage of being stuck in bed to learn to contribute to MA.

best regards to you both. I hope to hear from you as soon as it's convenient. --Cepstrum (talk) 16:28, November 6, 2010 (UTC)

But wait: it gets worse. After Defiant posted a rather perplexed (but kind) reply, I compounded the problem by ***adding a ridiculously long apology***. Goodness! Here is my dumb response: (--Cepstrum (talk))

Defiant I'm really sorry; I was afraid I was doing it wrong. I have checked out the etiquette and talk page guidelines multiple times, but clearly I don't yet possess the proper intuition to make such judgment calls (but I'm very willing to learn!). Given that, may I have permission to remove my above, ill-advised abuse of your talk page? I've read about the propriety of deleting one's own talk page comments, but I'm still unclear (I did get the point about "when in doubt – don't!") And, of course, it's your talk page after all. Regardless, I do apologize. --Cepstrum (talk) 17:38, November 7, 2010 (UTC)

PS I really appreciated the message you left on my talk page. I'll respond there.

PPS Where (or to whom) do you suggest I go to if I have a concern regarding an admin who isn't technically violating things per se or harassing me (and, in fact, I believe is acting in good faith to correct things) but nonetheless is making it difficult for me and seldom responds to my requests to simply have a dialogue about reverting my edits on the article's talk page, especially when they seem to be subjective rather than rule-based. I know I need to employ a thicker skin, but the tone seems a little imbalanced, despite my attempts to reach out and express gratitude. I believe it'd be very helpful to me if I had a third party to call on to help me distinguish when things are fine/normal vs when things warrant the need for me to try to ask the (possibly) "offending" party to please be more courteous and engage me in a fruitful discussion (and if that doesn't work, what I should next do.). I think I just need someone I can go to for advice about understanding the differences between the inevitable personal disappointments/discouragements attendant to projects like MA and times when I'm (possibly) being treated in a manner that needlessly makes me feel useless/depressed.

I know Sulfur is only trying to improve things and even improve me, but my inexperience combined with my tendency towards self-loathing (certainly not his fault!) has left me far more hesitant than I believe should be necessary. If I could just talk to someone to allay my concerns, I think I could gain that crucial thick skin, as well as make things easier for poor Sulfur (who must be awfully weary of me!).

So if you can offer any suggestions or point me to someone you think might be willing to give me a little initial guidance, I could avoid such problems in the future (such as messing up your talk page!).

Regards and many thanks, Defiant, --Cepstrum (talk) 17:38, November 7, 2010 (UTC)

User talk: Distantlycharmed Edit

Voyager edits (2) Edit

(Note: the following is the original version of the post, which I condensed here.)


(First, may I call you "DC" for short?)

I know I got off to a very poor start with you, and the statements you made about me were, unfortunately, all-too accurate. :(

Setting that aside, I wanted to let you know I uploaded my first (and possibly last, based on feedback) significant revision of the USS Voyager article. It goes up through the end of the Kazon Conflict section. My changes were not rearranging things or drastically altering content; rather, I made many fixes to grammar, typos, facts, and style/prose. I believe it reads much clearer, but you (and others) can judge for yourself and change anything back, of course!

Just a heads-up.

--Cepstrum (talk) 15:10, November 10, 2010 (UTC)

Misunderstanding? Edit

Hi again.

I think I miscommunicated on the USS Voyager talk page. Your edits are fine and don't bother me; trying to get you involved is in fact why I apprised you of the changes I made and invited you to change anything back (see above).

I have different reasons for not wanting to continue editing that enourmous page. Under normal circumstances, I'd enjoy cooperatively editing with you to try to improve things. I posted a longer, (what I hope is a) clearer representation of my position. I certainly had no intention to give you the impression your edits were unwelcome or improper, or offended me in any way.

You did make it clear you want none of my apologies, so I'll refrain. Nonetheless, I want neither to hurt you nor earn your enmity.

Please continue to keep up the good work you've done on that page. I can now see how it was insensitive of me to just waltz in, state the prose was in "poor shape", and make wholesale, unilateral changes!

Anyway, I just want to try to keep on good terms with you. MA is supposed to be fun, after all!

Please let me know of any corrective action I can take.

--Cepstrum (talk) 14:40, November 13, 2010 (UTC)  

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