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DCMerlin of the Guide
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18th-Apr-2016 12:02 am - Weekly-Geekly Information Page
Head Flash
I hold weekly social gatherings in a different restaurant each week. These are social gatherings. This is not a swinger, hookup, or dating club. My club is strictly social. We engage in playful intelligent conversation with such topics as humor, books, movies, technology, sex, TWSS, philosophy, medicine, health, LINUX, psychology, OKCupid, and KITTENS!

From the many corners of my complicated life, I have assembled a collection of smart, thoughtful, funny, geeky people.

Some member statistics: Weekly turnout size averages 8, rarely drops below 4, and has never exceeded 16, thankfully, considering the total membership now exceeds 100. Of the total about 80% of the total membership is bi, about 4% is gay, about 80% is female, about 10% identifies as gender-queer, or intergender. Outside of generalized percentages there are about 5 Transgender members and 3 Intersex members that I know of. The percentage of members claiming to be Polyamorous appears to hover around 30%, but I continue to insist this is not actually a Poly Club, even if it is true that Poly people seem very happy here.

There are no limits on age, only on interpersonal behavior. Those who show up on a regular basis tend to range in age from 25-65. It is difficult to generalize us, except to say that Conservatives have not shown any interest in us. ;-)

Locations and scheduling are revealed selectively on a personal basis. No strangers! Once I've met someone, and provided they seem like someone who would enjoy such events and not upset other members, I may choose to take their email address and subscribe them to monthly calendars of events. That's called being a member. There are no dues. You are only required to pay for your own meals at the restaurants where we meet.

Lest you fear that some creepy person you've met on OKCupid is likely to show up and make you miserable, fear not, stalkerish behavior is prohibited. I don't necessarily remove anyone on the first complaint. I talk to them first. If the behavior continues, they are unceremoniously removed. I regret to say I've had to do this a few times since the club began in 2005. Stalker aversion was built into the club model since day 1. I'll not make the Titanic mistake of calling the club unstalkerable, but it is certainly stalker resistant.

Meetings take place in restaurants primarily in the regions of Gaithersburg MD, Rockville MD, Laurel MD, DC, and Herndon VA. It continues to surprise me how many people are willing to drive an hour or two for these 2-4 hour events. I guess my club is even cooler than I think. ;-)

Most events fall on Thursdays, and begin about 7 or 8pm. About once a month I schedule an event on a Tuesday.

Those who join are not expected to appear every week, if they did, roughly 135 people would descend on every restaurant, violating all kinds of safety regulations. We have members who receive the monthly events calendars and appear only once every couple of years. Hopefully this explanation will entice a few people who only ever come to DC for inaugurations or to visit relatives.

Once you are a member you can invite others. You are responsible for anyone you invite. Until they become members, you must either precede or accompany them to and from events. You are responsible for ushering them out if they become unruly. Sorry if I sound like a dictator there, but I've seen some pretty sketchy people with some very strange ideas about how to behave in public.

Because you're special!

Okay, that was cute but no. The real, actual, original reason I started this club was to appease a dear friend who, like so many of us, finds the societally accepted, rowdy behavior of most 'normal' people distressing. Through much discussion and analysis, together we set out to design a fun, free, borderline utopian social order where people like us could have a good time without anyone's feelings getting hurt. I set out on this journey without very high expectations and was pleasantly surprised to discover that our social ideals were appreciated by far more people than I ever would have expected.

When I began this club, I didn't honestly believe it would garner more than 35 total members, and here we are at about 135 at last count. I also never anticipated that I would receive nearly as much appreciation for having begun and maintained it all these years. It has been extremely satisfying and fun. If you reading this and like what you see, please let me know and I will get back to you and try to arrange a time you can join our group and see if it seems to be a good fit.

Contact Me:
As my OKC inbox is constantly nearing full, receiving mail there is far from optimal. It would be much more efficient for both of us if you would please direct your message to my alternate email account; DCMerlin@gmail.com

(That's the same address I request that readers of my Guide To Okcupid use to alert me to errors in the guide.)
Head Flash
WHATEVER YOU DO, _DO_NOT_ DELETE YOUR OKCUPID ACCOUNT. New accounts will never have the same features your current account has. At least, that's how it looks right now!

Just a few days ago, July 2014, I received an email from a fan of my guide. He didn't say how he'd come to discover my guide, only that the person he'd spoken to shortly before discovering my guide was an OKCupid staffer, hinting the staffer might have directed him to it, which would be flattering if true.

This guide fan who almost certainly wishes not to be identified, discovered the unpleasant changes befalling OKCupid when he broke the official rules and created a new account under a different name, believing, as I already had, that it was impossible to change your user name. It seems that is the one pleasant upgrade to OKCupid, in so much as now you can change your user name.

The following paragraphs, visible behind the following cut, outline the recent changes to the site which have been observed by this guide fan or by myself. I expect to write back to this guide fan and attempt to find out more about what changes he has already experienced and what changes he understands are coming in the future. Read more...Collapse )
Head Flash
Please sign this petition. I signed with this comment, "Throughout history, there have been many such occurrences individuals without formal legal training could recognize an obvious miscarriage of justice, often only formally recognizing the error years after its victim had passed on. It is only because of the internet that we can expose such errors to sufficient numbers of people to avert the mistake before it goes very far. I'm not saying that all occurrences of hackery should go unpunished, but when a much more serious crime has been committed, and the purpose of the hacker is merely to gather evidence against the guilty, then the law should offer such good samaritans some reasonable legal protections."
Head Flash
Only one day ago, this Catholic Supreme Court Justice directly contradicted known history as recorded by the Catholic church by falsely stating Gay Marriage is newer than Cell Phones or the Internet, Gah!

He was very specific, not merely saying that gay marriage was new to the US or new in his lifetime, but new compared to traditional marriage which had been around for
"thousands of years".

Catholic records show that a gay couple, married under Roman law, was sentenced to death, not for being gay, but for refusing to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. They are recorded as Martyrs. Read more...Collapse )
Head Flash
You may have even read the screen shot of their hate speech on their facebook blog, which apparently they posted in anger having been derided for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple.

After reading literally HUNDREDS of YELP reviews of that shop, both positive and negative, most posted by people who had never entered the shop, I posted an entertainingly "moderate" opinion. One you can find here. I was very sleepy when I did it, and might not have even remembered doing so today had others not sent me compliments for it. Read more...Collapse )
Head Flash
I think it is every bit as unreasonable to expect dating sites to do background checks on their applicants as it is to ask bars and restaurants to do background checks on their customers.  

I seem to recall that a study was done showing that on average more people connect while grocery shopping than in any other type of venue.  I can think of several reasons this might be, not the least of which is that shopping for food is rather like shopping for a date, but I digress.  Should grocery stores be required to operate as a membership club with background checks?  No!  That's ridiculous.  

The bottom line is that everyone has to be careful in every aspect of life.  Who you rent a room with, who you get rides from.  Who you let into your home.  Who you hire to move your furniture.  I cannot list every possible situation, but if you want a dating service that provides background checks, and I'm sure such a service must exist, then you need to first find such a service, and then you need to pay their naturally higher rates!

Head Flash
It seems to me that if women don't rise up and demand their rights, they are essentially accepting their role as SLAVES in our society!

Only last week I posted that one county, not mine, in my home state of Maryland was teaching Ignorance-Only Sex-Ed.  Today I've learned that Maryland is one of those horrible states that permits RAPISTS to sue for CUSTODY & VISITATION RIGHTS!!!  I've still not sent my letter to the governor about the previous issue.  I admit, I really believed Maryland was better than that, and that's going to be the point of my letter.

Head Flash
Most plants, and certainly most plants that we, as humans, need for sustenance are pollinated by bees.  Bees are not just for Honey.  If we lose the bees we face world-wide famine and death.  It is essential that we ban the pesticide that has been revealed to be killing the bees.  We cannot wait until the bees are gone to say "oops".  The oops must come NOW.  Please forward this to your friends and sign this petition now!

Head Flash
Signing this petition is the least you can do.  Personally, I feel that voting machines even partly owned by either one of the candidates or one of the parties, is reason enough not to use them at all.  I personally think that voting with ATMs would be more traceable and reliable that hackable voting machines.

How is it even remotely possible that it never occurred to Mitt that family ownership of any company even remotely associated with voting machines could lead to conflict of interest questions when running for national office?  I believe this is a conflict of interest that must be decided right now, before the election, and not  left for weeks of indecision after the election.  This is an intolerable situation, and they very least we can ask for is a paper record which should ideally be presented to each voter for verification to make sure it actually records their actual vote.
Head Flash
Many otherwise-educated Republicans don't truly understand the role of president, as was demonstrated this morning on NPR by a prochoice college student for Romney. She expressed two dangerous misconceptions.

1) "The president cannot make abortion illegal"
Many Republican Pro-Choicers share this misconception that just because a President cannot individually overturn an existing law such as the Roe v. Wade decision (ensuring all women the right to a safe and legal abortion), that the president cannot effectively do so as early as his first month in office, and he can do so without the approval of the Supreme Court. Read more...Collapse )

2) "Romney is a successful businessman and knows how to make a profit"
While I agree that Mitt Romney produced billions of "Profit" at Bain, what he did there was not what informed people call running a business. He leveraged worth out of successful businesses including "KB Toys" driving them into bankruptcy and making thousands unemployed in the process. Read more...Collapse )
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