Frequently Asked Questions / Frequently Ignored Answers

Are you guys still writing funny text files? When are you going to update [file]?

     Mushy likes to say that R.A.T. is still active in the textphile realm, but you wouldn't know it by actions. It used to be that Chrome and Mush would get together and eventually one would say "Hey, we should work on ADRAT.TXT - Advanced Reality Avoidance Therapy!" Then the urge would pass and they'd release the magic smoke from an 8-bit computer (or a 286, same thing essentially). They did actually make some headway on that text in the mid-1990's then somehow lost the file. Nowadays Mush occasionally thinks of adding to THOTZ.TXT (the random thoughts catch-all file) or continuing with the revamp of DEFINE.TXT (introducing the Internet into a text from the BBS days), but he keeps those desires to himself. It's tough to convince Chrome to write a Daybook entry, let alone work on a textphile. Emmer hasn't been consulted about creating texts, and unlike the other two she has a life. But thanks for asking.

You mentioned [person] in an entry; do you talk to them?

     Go by context as to whether we've had contact with someone who has been mentioned by name. There are a few BBS'rs from Yakima who we know the whereabouts of, Mush only talks to a handful of people he went to school with and only maybe one who was in his class plus the occasional camper who chimes in after seeing their name here :), and beyond that it's almost all reminiscing. One interesting thing about the Internet, social media, and good search engines is that if you drop names, you get hits eventually because of them, even if the references don't say anything useful other than "I remember them." And no, while R.A.T. wonders what ever happened to Trent Ocobock, we don't actually care to find out. (Selling dope in Bellingham, last #2 saw him in Seattle circa 1993.) Died of homicide in a family argument a few years ago... I got that from his exwife. R.A.T. has a sad about that. But thanks for asking.

How come you don't update the Daybook on a set day every week or the Rant every month?

     That would require time, effort, and brain cells. As the sign says, "Choose Two." Mush would love to be so proficient and efficient, honestly. He sees bloggers like James Lileks and a flock of lesser-knowns who write quality stuff every day and admires them. He also sees really crappy bloggers who write something lame every day, or several times a day if they're using LiveJournal, and thinks once a week year... or two... or three... is less than what he'd like to produce but beats nothing at all. Or usually. If you need more regular action, R.A.T. #2 (Mushy) has Flickr photos periodically which normally aren't Reality Avoidance Therapy – see the front page for links if you're still interested. But thanks for asking.

Is this a blog?

     Bite your tongue. It's a website that contains a Daybook which is theoretically updated weekly (and truly is updated weakly) and a Rotating Rant every month (when there's something to complain about). Blogging is overrated, and the main reasons why material gets posted at all are to keep the site from being mistaken for a static page or to let the fans/families/you who be squinting to read the purple typewriter text against the plum background right this moment know what we're up to. Also, blogs have reply links and we don't; if you have reply-like comments, email us at the address on the main page. The Guestbook Thingie™ is just that: a guestbook thingie and hasn't worked in years. The Daybook isn't so different from a blog (yet it isn't one) except it most often tells what happened in the past, not the present, and none of us here share bad poetry (except those at the end of the R.A.T. phile list) or regale you with what we had for lunch. But thanks for asking.

What occupies R.A.T.'s time? What do y'all do?

     While the actual details are subject to various variables, the general statements: Chrome #1 is a computer specialist who may or may not have a job in the field but is very busy. There's some law of physics that says that any project will expand to fill the amount of time available to do it. Mushroom #2 is a tech support guy who probably isn't in the field anymore, usually a long drive away from work with months of unemployment at times, and prefers to sleep until 11 a.m. then stay up all night enjoying the Internet. This schedule doesn't leave a lot of daylight or pre-other-people's-bedtime hours to get things accomplished, but R.A.T.s are nocturnal afterall. Emmer #3 works in a white coat (she's the resident Lab R.A.T.) and has very seldom stood still since junior high, so she's one you do have to pretty much leave your name and a message to so she can get back to you eventually. She won't change your grade or help you get unprescribed meds, be aware. She also the only R.A.T. that has reproduced so that takes up even more of her time and effort. We all have hobbies and favorite media which we engage in if we want to fill our slack time with something other than what we need to be doing. Updating the website is an afterthought. But thanks for asking.

Can you fix my computer/phone/doohicky?

     No. Ahem. If you're a stranger, yes, if you pay us the going rate up-front. If you're a friend, maybe, if we like you and you have some favor or food to barter. If you're family... oh Diety, please don't ask us, though we admit we'd rather you call us before you contract with some schmuck who's only going to screw up your machine further since we're going to have to come fix it afterwards anyway. And a word to the wise: if we do deign to help you, be grateful because we will get it right the first time, and pay attention when we tell you how to do something because we don't want to do it a second time. But thanks for asking.

Are any of you gay? Are any of you available?

     Sorry, can't help you on the former, we're straight but not narrow. As for the latter: Ladies, send your résumés to Chrome, and IQ does matter... a lot. Mushroom is willing to help review Chrome's candidate application materials (especially the "look smart while naked" photos), but Mushy himself shouldn't be trying to find a date. Gentlemen, you're too late for Emmer, she's happily married. But please bathe anyway and thanks for asking.

Several months / a whole year passed since your last Daybook! Have you abandoned this?

     Not officially. It's just laziness on R.A.T. #2's part, and he feels sheepish about the fact he paid for the domain name for a year that he never posted anything on this site. Not to mention screwed up on the date on the front page when he did post and only Chrome ever noticed it. But the Spackle page does get its monthly updates still so it hasn't been money wasted. Things will be happening; for years Mushy has been talking about updating the Bill Ding page with an interview of Bill's former keeper and some more ad images. He'll do it! There's only one person who has said something about how there are no updates to the Daybook, but he knows where to find us if he needs updated info. So the answer is "meh" but thanks for asking.

Where'd this here page get its stupid name?

     Credit goes to Tech Support Comedy member Concept14 for saying on 9/14/05 that while many sites have FAQs most of them need FIAs. A tip of the hat is extended to Jordon Cooper's FIA page for being the only thing listed in Google when searching for "frequently ignored answers" as our FAQ/FIA was being created (and it's a pretty good read). It may sound like a strange notion but if you've ever had to help someone who didn't RTFM, or you've ever been asked "Where's ____?" when they're standing next to the sign, or anyone has ever contacted you for the same issue you walked them through solving more than twice, you know what a frequently ignored answer is. But thanks for asking.

Is that all there is to this FAQ/FIA?

     No, but this will suffice for now. It's the closest thing to a R.A.T. document we've written in years. There'll be more. But thanks for asking.