The Message (A Short Story)

I CAN’T …

Oh, God … where do I … ?

If it wasn’t for my voice software, I wouldn’t be able to even post this. I can’t … I can’t type anymore …

All right.

Focus.

This is it.

My last blog posting.

How long has it been, now?

Is it three days?

Four?

I can’t remember.

It’s all such a blur …

I’ve been … I’ve been in a … I’ve been having this constant anxiety attack!

For three days!

Haven’t slept.

Haven’t been able to sleep!

They won’t let me!

They won’t let me do anything but get the message out!

I can’t believe that I forgot all about my own blog!

I’ve been so tired!

It’s horrible how exhausted constant panic makes you feel …

My blog …

It’s only just occurred to me!

I’ve only just remembered it!

It’s not a very big blog … it’s not very important.

Still … to the few hundred of you who visit regularly … well, I know you’re expecting me to talk about chrysanthemums or gladioli or roses …

It’s why you’re here.

But … you’re a few hundred more people I can get the message out to.

When I … when it first happened …

When it first happened, I tried posting on whatever forums I could get to. Whatever forums I could find.

I started trolling for them … on Google? Trying to find lists of forums.

I applied for membership to as many as I could … it didn’t matter what they were about, I posted the message there, anyway!

But … the forums were too slow … the constant application process … waiting for an email back before I could log on to them and post the message …

… too slow …

And then it hit me!

Email!

I mean, this all started with email, right?

So, I hit Google again and tried to scrounge up as many email addresses as I possibly could!

Oh, God … ! I just thought … !

My ISP … !

Oh, God … please let me have enough time …!

What if they cut off my access?

They must think I’m a spammer, or something! I mean, I’ve been sending thousands of the things in the last couple of days! That’s gotta be a violation of their Terms of Service, or something! If they …

There’s always the library, I suppose.

Though … not at this time of night …

What about an Internet Café? They might …

… no.

Not in my condition.

They’d want to call an ambulance and I couldn’t let them. Then they’d call the police! Then there’d be no way I could …

But I’ve got to get the message out!

What was I … ?

Oh …

Email.

It all started with email.

I looked on the Internet for email addresses and found some sites with lists! Thousands of them!

Still … even that only took me so far.

I started looking for freeware … open source … programs that would harvest email addresses for me! I had to find as many as I could!

And I did.

But … then I had …

… problems …

I tried copying and pasting this huge list of addresses en masse once I found them, but my computer seized so many times once I hit ‘send’ that I had to resort to copying an individual address and pasting it into the ‘to’ field then sending the message … copying an individual address and pasting it into the ‘to’ field then sending the message …

… copying an individual address and pasting it into the ‘to’ field then sending the message …

Three days I’ve been doing that!

I don’t know …

I don’t remember even getting up from the computer!

Not in three days!

I mean, I must’ve gotten a drink or gone to the toilet, or something. But I can’t remember …

It’s just been panic! Panic and …

… and pain …

Oh, God …

I have to get the message out!

I don’t know why I’m explaining all this … I mean, I’ve got to get the message out … but …
I guess I just thought that … well, since this is my last post …

I’ve got nothing left. No more ideas on where to post.

My blog is it!

I figure that … if … if people knew the story … the story behind the story … I guess they might find it more believable, somehow. I mean …

You’ll all find out soon enough …!

I just … I just wanted people to know that I’d done as much as I could.

I …

I don’t remember where I …

Oh …

See, I’d never tried finding masses of email addresses before! I’d never needed to! I mean, when I started having to do all this, I just tried typing random words into Google, clicking the link on whatever result came up. Then I just looked on the page for an email address! After all, searching on the page for ‘@’ was easy enough …

It … it occurred to me to try some hacking sites, too.

Surely, I thought, surely they’d have a way of harvesting email addresses! That way I could get the message out to as many people as possible!

But … I don’t know … I couldn’t figure them out.

There was mention of some programs, but I couldn’t find them. And I didn’t know how to go looking for them.

I guess I wasn’t ‘in‘ enough to the ‘culture‘, or something.

I thought there’d just be some easy links, you know … ?

I remember this massive panic attack just hitting me, though, because I suddenly thought, ‘Oh, God … what if I pick up a virus from one of these sites?’

What if it ruined my computer?

I couldn’t afford that!

I had to get the message out!

I went … I mean, initially … I tried ringing the media!

But none of them were interested!

Can you believe it?

Not talkback radio, not the TV stations … the newspapers wouldn’t even put me through to someone to talk to! Just the secretary, or whatever, on the front desk!

I even tried some of the magazines that would have been used to this kind of stuff, but even they weren’t interested! I thought sure the conspiracy one would be, but the guy I talked to treated me like I was a lunatic!

Can you believe that I actually tried calling the police?

They just told me to stop wasting their time!

Fine, I thought …

I’ve got the Internet.

This all started with the Internet.

That’s the way I’ll do it …

That didn’t make sense … I’m sorry.

I’m just … it’s just … I’m so tired!

But, God … my heart’s racing, I haven’t stopped sweating … and I can’t slow down my breathing! Three days …

And then there’s the … the r-reason I … the reason I cuh-can’t … tuh-type …

And the …

… the other stuff …

Sorry … I just …

Sorry.

It’s just …

… the pain …

They contacted me, you see?

know …

I sound like a lunatic …

But it’s true!

I don’t know why it was me! Don’t have any idea!

I mean, I’m not important! I’m just an ordinary guy! No wife … no girlfriend, for that matter. No kids. I live alone! I mean, I only even know a handful of people … and I don’t even talk to them all that often.

I’m … quiet!

I’m a clerk, for crying out loud!

I don’t know why they contacted me …

But they did.

And the way they did it … !

I don’t know how …

Hang on …

I’ve gotta calm down. I sound like …

God … I just thought …

How can people believe me if I don’t have some sort of … of evidence …

This isn’t making sense.

And it won’t make any sense!

have no evidence!

Well … aside from what’s …

… what’s happened to …

… muh … me …

I can’t show the original emails.

I can’t show the original emails because they deleted them!

They’re gone!

There’s no trace that they were ever there!

I mean, I’ve gone and looked! Each time, it was just there long enough for me to read it, then …

… gone!

And why do they want us to know, anyway? What kind of sadists let us know they’re coming and don’t care because they know we can’t stop them?!

God …

So tired …

Aaahhhh!!!

Oh, God …

God …

That hurt so much …

I shouldn’t have done that …

But …

… it woke me up …

I just pushed my fingers … clawed my face with my fingers …

I figured the pain would wake me up …

I never knew there could be such pain from having no fingernails …

God … I have to tell …

Okay, then.

Okay …

From the beginning …

It was … it must’ve been …

It must’ve been about three days ago …

I was … contacted.

By computer …

It was an email … an email where the ‘From’ field was blank …

I remember wondering why my anti-spam program hadn’t picked it up – hadn’t filtered it – until I took a closer look at it.

Of course it wouldn’t pick it up.

Like I said, the ‘From’ field was blank.

There was nothing in the ‘Subject’ field, either.

Without anything in either field, my spam-blocker probably couldn’t have registered that there was even an email on my system.

But … it was there.

The date and time were clear as a bell.

Even though the message is gone now – even if I don’t remember exactly when all this started … I do remember that the date and the time were there …

I remember thinking, ‘How could anyone send an email without a return address, let alone anything in the subject line?’ Because there was no return address, either. I mean, didn’t email programs disallow that kind of thing?

I don’t know.

How would I know?

I’d never even tried sending an email with a blank subject line, let alone tried figuring out how I could mask my return address.

I figured it was just some new way the spammers had figured out of getting around spam-blockers, or something.

Anyway …

I opened it …

Now, I’ve gotten some spam in my time. I mean, who hasn’t? And most of ’em were the same kind of thing. Porn. Drugs. Finance tips.

The usual crap.

But I’ve also gotten ones that had nothing but weird text in ’em. Just words strung together. The words were recognizable enough, but they didn’t make any sense. They weren’t a coherent sentence.

At first, I thought this was one of those …

I skimmed over it. I remember wondering what the hell it was all about. I remember thinking that it wasn’t one of those ‘weird text’ messages, after all. There were sentences, but what they were saying was just …

Anyway … I deleted it.

Whatever it was, I wanted to make sure it was gone, so I clicked on my ‘Trash’ folder and emptied that.

It’s funny … although I can’t remember exactly how long ago this all started (three days or four), I do remember all these little details.

I remember swearing because I emptied my trash before I’d had the presence of mind to see if there was anything in the email I could have used to add to my spam filter.

Still … too late.

It was gone.

I was all set to go back to what I was doing (updating my blog), when I heard the chime again.

New email.

And there it was again …

The same message.

The same lack of ‘Subject’ or ‘From’.

Okay … so … I knew there was a message there. And this time I decided to add it to my spam filter.

But the computer wouldn’t let me.

It kept asking me to ‘Please Select a Message’.

I remember getting a little annoyed at it all. I mean, it was taking me away from updating my blog. I’d spent the week in the library studying up on the latest in valid propagation techniques for chrysanthemums and was all set to write it up and post it. Whatever this email business was, it was stopping me from doing that.

Then I thought about my spam filter’s blacklist. I figured, ‘If I can’t automatically add it to my filter … I’ll manually add it’.

But that didn’t work, either.

I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Then it occurred to me that I might have a virus. I mean, my computer was acting weird. Emails with nothing in the ‘From’ or ‘Subject’ fields. The same email popping back up after I’d deleted it. I’d knew enough about computers to know that if my machine was acting weird, then it could be a virus.

So I looked on Google.

But, no matter how many search terms I typed in, though, no matter what pages they took me to, I just couldn’t find anything even remotely similar to the email I’d received.

There was no mention of it on virus alert Websites, nothing in hoax alert Websites …

… just … nothing.

I’d finally gotten curious enough about it all that I decided to forego my blog entry for a while. I mean, this email business was annoying, sure. But it was also intriguing … in an annoying sort of way.

So … I looked on Google to try and see if I could figure out how to determine where an email came from.

I found some interesting articles about ‘spam headers’. Apparently, spammers can fake ‘From’ addresses, so that people can’t track them down (which is actually pretty gutless).

I learned that I could get my email program to display the message headers of an email. I mean, I’d probably know that already if I’d bothered to read the manual.

But I hadn’t.

Anyway, I clicked around a bit and my email program was now showing headers.

I learned that – apparently – the ‘Received’ lines could tell me where a message came from.

‘Apparently’ being the operative word, because there was nothing in the ‘Received’ lines.

My own email address was in the ‘To’ section, but there was absolutely nothing in any line underneath that. All that was there was ‘Received’ … and the rest was a blank. Not even any information about what ‘routers’ the email may have passed through (whatever they were).

Just a blank.

And … when I looked a little closer … even most of the sections after that were all blank.

The ‘Message ID’.

The ‘X-Mailer’.

The ‘Date’ was correct.

And so was the ‘Time’.

But the ‘From’ section was (of course) empty.

The ‘To’ section had my email address (like I said) … but the ‘Subject’ line was blank.

There was information in the ‘Type’ section, but this looked to me like nothing more than information to the computer on how to display the message, because it had the word ‘text’ buried among everything else there.

And I didn’t even know what ‘Content-Transfer-Encoding’ was all about.

I remember getting tired of the whole thing, then. Curious or not, I really just wanted to work on my blog entry.

So (once again) I deleted the message and emptied the trash.

I decided to run a virus scan, too. And I figured I could do that while I went down the road to get some tea.

When I got back, the test had finished.

No Virus Has Been Detected.

‘Good’, I thought, and sat back down to get to work.

And the email was back.

growled at it and deleted it, same as before.

emptied the trash and sat back to look at the screen …

… and it returned.

So I deleted it again.

Then emptied the trash.

Again.

And again the chime informed me that I had email!

‘God’, I thought.

‘Fine … I’ll just print the thing out and show it to the tech guys at work. See what they think of it’.

Which was good in theory, except for the fact that nothing printed.

The computer said it was printing the message. And I looked in the ‘Printer Properties’ information, which told me that there was a document printing …

… but nothing was coming through the printer but blank paper.

‘Fine’, I thought.

‘I’ll reply‘.

Now, all the Websites I’d looked at about spam and emails and such said to never reply to spam, because it only lets the spammer know that your email address is active. But this was really starting to annoy me, and a sarcastic reply to whoever it was might just make me feel better. If nothing else.

Of course, I didn’t think that it would send (what, with no return address and suchlike).

Still, I fired off a quick, sarcastic reply, and was surprised when the computer told me that it had been sent successfully!

Nevertheless, I expected to later get an email back from my ISP’s mail ‘daemon’ saying that the mail could not be delivered.

In any case, I felt a little better because of my act of petty revenge.

Even if it probably wouldn’t work.

And then …

… and then the fish happened …

That doesn’t make sense …

What happened was …

I remember this sound …

This small hissing noise.

I was trying to work out where it was coming from …

It was only this small hissing noise … but it was getting louder.

And then there were these … bubbling sounds.

Just a few at first, but then really getting going. Like water boiling in a saucepan … but louder …

… like more water than would fit in a saucepan …

Then the smell hit me …

I knew then that it was something to do with the fish tank. It was this smell of … of salt, somehow (even though it wasn’t a saltwater tank) … of boiled plant-matter and rocks …

… and something else.

I got up and went into the lounge room, but I stopped before I managed to get too near the fish tank …

There was no reason for it … there was no heater in the tank (goldfish don’t really need one).

But still …

… my goldfish was being boiled alive right in front of me.

I didn’t relate the two events – the spam and my goldfish being boiled alive – until later.

My feet started shuffling forward again, even though I could see just fine what was happening without the need to get any closer, really. The water was outright boiling in front of me as I approached, and I knew that it wasn’t some sort of malfunction with the air stone (not that that could account for the mass of bubbles in the tank), because I could feel the heat growing as I moved closer.

When I’d nearly reached the tank, the boiling suddenly stopped. Not petered out. Just stopped. As though someone had lifted a pot of boiling water from the stove.

The water was full of … particulate matter … whirling about in the eddies caused by the boiling. But through it I could see something else …

Scales floating around the tank and sinking …

… and what was left of my goldfish.

Waterlogged flesh that seemed somehow whiter than before.

I recognized cooked fish when I saw it.

I was reasonably upset. I mean, Rex was just a goldfish, but I’d had him for nearly ten years.

Gingerly, I reached down to poke at Rex’s remains, but I stopped just before I could touch the still-steaming water.

Thinking there had been some sort of electrical problem with the light above the tank somehow, I turned it off at the wall.

There was this huge bang as the tank cracked with the heat all of a sudden and boiling water, the remains of Rex, cooked aquarium plants and hot sand all burst onto the floor, sending this steaming wave of heat and smell throughout the house.

If I hadn’t been off to the side turning off the switch at the wall …

For … I don’t know … half a minute, or something … I just stood there, looking at it all. The heat and the smell and the humidity all pushed up at me. My eyes were watering from it. But also because I was looking at this little boiled lump on the carpet that used to be Rex.

And then I heard the computer.

The chime again.

More email.

But this one was different.

Oh … same lack of information about who it was from …

… but the content was different.

Do as we say.

“I’ve got neither the time nor the inclination to deal with this crap”, I told the sender (well, the computer screen, anyway), and turned around to head back into the lounge to see what I could do about cleaning up …

… see what I could do about figuring out just why it happened, too. How …

I hadn’t gone more than two steps when the computer chimed again.

The water was an example.

Do as we say.

Spread the message.

Of course, now I saw a connection. I didn’t understand it, but I saw a connection. Somehow, the email and what had just happened with Rex …

I felt the first twinge of fear …

But I felt angry, too. Was this some sort of some sort of hoax?

But … how could anyone do that? How could anyone …

It was like one of those movies where there’s a person on the phone and he knows what the girl in the house is doing because he’s in there with her …

I started looking through my house …

The lounge and dining room and kitchen are all open plan, so it was easy to see there was nobody there. I looked in one bedroom, then the other, then the laundry and the bathroom. Then the toilet.

Nothing.

My only clue was the email …

The water was an example.

Do as we say.

Spread the message.

I got a response before, despite the fact that there was no return address. So I send a reply back again. And this time, my language was a bit more … colourful.

I don’t normally use such heavy language, but I was beginning to feel a bit stressed.

Almost instantly, whoever it was sent a reply back …

Spread the message!

I replied with two words that weren’t very nice …

… and every houseplant I owned burst into flame.

I don’t know how it happened, but I had more than a few, in most of the rooms in the house. Fortunately, I’ve also got a fire extinguisher, and I grabbed it and ran around madly putting them all out.

With smoke and steam and clouds of foam or dust or whatever from the extinguisher all over the place, I stood there wondering just what the hell was happening.

It wasn’t some sort of electrical fault. It wasn’t some sort of spontaneous combustion. I mean, I’ve heard of potting mix that can do that, but I didn’t use that kind. There simply wasn’t any logical reason why every single plant I owned would just …

An email chime …

Spread the message.

I dropped the extinguisher and stepped over to the computer. I’d read descriptions in novels before about people walking with ‘wooden steps’ because they were afraid.

Now I knew what the writers had meant.

I reached over and started tapping the keys with shaking hands.

“Please … who is this?”

I hit send.

You have been toldOur message must be sent out.

I spoke at the monitor, then – at the computer.

Of course, I didn’t expect an answer …

… but I got one.

“But … why pick me? Why … “

And I felt … I felt my insides heat up …

The pain …

I’d never felt anything like it.

I fell on the floor and just shook with the pain. I was convulsingFrothy spit was throwing itself out of my mouth.

I couldn’t even scream.

And then …

… just as suddenly as it had happened …

… it stopped.

Now, this was all happening so fast – everything was such a blur – that I was … well, I was overwhelmed.

But I’m not a fool.

I could see the connection for sure now. The connection between … between the … the worsening events …and the demand for me to get their message out.

So …

… I tried to leave.

Dreading another attack of whatever it was that had caused that agony, I shuffled over to the front door.

I reached out …

… and the door handle melted just as my hand touched it.

I can’t describe just how much …

… just how much it hurt …

In a panic – without knowing what I was doing – I headed for the front window, looking as I did so at the bubbling globs of flesh being flung from my hand to the carpet by the shaking of my hand that the pain caused.

With my other hand, I tried to open the window …

… but the lock didn’t seem to work.

I didn’t know what I was doing – I was moving on autopilot – as I picked up the small side-table near my recliner in one hand and tried to smash the window with it.

The table bounced off the window and smashed me right in the mouth, instead.

And there was nothing – not so much as a mark – on the window.

It wasn’t ‘special’ glass. I knew that. I’d paid for it.

It was just glass.

It should have broken and I should have been able to get out.

But it hadn’t …

… and I couldn’t.

The police …

I tried to call the police.

When I picked up the phone, there was a normal dial tone once I’d held the receiver up to my ear …

… for about a second and a half.

Then the most ear-splitting (I realize how that sounds but it’s true) sound I’d ever heard came through the line.

I fell to the floor, shaking.

What was happening?!

My ear felt wet.

With the hand that wasn’t burned, I reached up to my ear …

My fingers came away covered with blood.

I wasn’t game to use my mobile.

But I did know that I could send out a call for help with email …

I ran over to the computer and typed as fast as the pain would let me …

As soon as I touched the mouse to hit ‘send’ I found myself flat on my back.

I’d felt jolts of electricity before. In school there was some sort of generator that you could wind that produced electricity. I’d also touched an electric fence (for cattle) back when I was young and stupid.

knew what electricity felt like.

I remember I just lay there, whimpering. I was looking around wildly …

… waiting for something else to happen.

I was racked with more pain than I’d ever known, and it had come in less that two or three minutes …!

But I noticed above it all the aches in my fingers …

And in my mouth.

With the hand that wasn’t burnt, I dry washed my face, running it up into my hair in fear and exasperation …

… and pulled out some clumps.

It was while I was looking at these that I noticed my fingernails …

They were coming off.

When I started to speak – to say, “What the … ?” – I could feel …

… I could feel a looseness in my mouth …

Wisps of bloody hair between my shaking fingers, fingernails dropping off before my eyes, I nevertheless reached up to my mouth …

… and when I pushed against it …

… I felt some of my teeth plop back onto my tongue.

I opened my mouth to scream …

… but all that came out was a wheeze …

… and blood …

… and teeth.

I don’t remember standing up and running to the bathroom, but I do remember suddenly seeing myself in the mirror.

Blood was coming from my mouth, my ears, my nose.

From the corners of my eyes.

Instinctively, I reached out to turn on the tap. Somehow, some part of me figured that water would cool the pain …

… but all I got for my trouble was another email chime.

Spread the message.

Or it will grow worse for you.

Worse?”, I screamed at the computer. “How can it possible get any worse?!”

And it answered me … by email … without me having sent a reply email.

Truly scared now in the face of the unknown – more frightened that I’d ever felt in my life, actually – like a robot, I sat at the computer …

and did as they told me to.

And now – three days later … three days of mopping blood from every orifice when I had to go to the toilet – three days of swallowing blood along with the few sips of water I’d somehow managed to keep down – three days of vomiting blood, losing all my hair, feeling blood cake on me, watching my fingernails completely drop off and the remainder of my teeth fall out – three days of panic and terror and anxiety and fear and desperation and …

I came to the last thing I could think of to do …

My blog.

And now … now I can barely speak, my throat’s so raw.

Now … now I’m having trouble even seeing the screen …

Now … I’m having trouble even breathing …

The message:

They said that they were the original creators of humanity.

That mankind began as an experiment.

But enough time had gone by.

And now the experiment was over.

And it was time to collect the results.

They’d arrive in a little over three days, they said, to collect such specimens of humanity as they deemed fit.

Thousands – perhaps millions – would be collected from all over the planet for vivisection.

There would be no pattern to the collections – mothers would be taken from children, husbands from wives, sisters from brothers, children from parents – at random – from all corners of the globe.

Those chosen would simply appear to disappear.

I don’t know why they told me to spread the message. I don’t know why they decided to even send a message in the first place. I don’t even know who they are.

But I do know that they must be more sadistic that I can possibly imagine …

… and more powerful.

They’re telling us this … they’re letting us know …

… and they don’t care if we’re prepared for them or not …

… because they know that nothing we can do will stop them.

God …

I’m amazed that I can still think now … now that my body – my mind – is failing me … like it’s been steadily doing – I realize now – since I’d received the first email …

Nevertheless, now that the message is finally out …

… I can try and figure out just how long it’s been since everything started …

… but …

… but now I can hear …

… distantly …

… through my impossibly unbreakable windows and my inexplicably sealed doors …

… the screaming begin outside.

Copyright © 2007 by David Scott Aubrey
All Rights Reserved
5,336 Words

This short story is a work of fiction. Any and all names, characters and/or incidents are either products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Where any such resemblance may exist to actual persons (living or dead), actual events or locales, it is purely coincidental.

Please don’t assume that my characters speak for me or carry my own opinions on various matters in any way, shape or form (though some might … you never can tell).

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Somewhere Only We Know

Note: Originally (obviously) posted on my old My.Opera blog, hence the comments about WordPress being ‘over there’ and ‘my blog here’.  Just thought I’d point that out.

Over the last couple of weeks, there’s been a fair bit of talk throughout the Opera Community about the possibility of Opera being sold to Facebook.

Although this now doesn’t look very likely, it seems to have been the final straw for quite a few folks, who are now looking for somewhere else to blog.

Although not unexpected in a site this large, there are many errors, difficulties, problems and hassles that people are having with the site. And the recent DDoS attack (though obviously not the fault of the code monkeys behind the scenes at Opera) hasn’t helped matters.

So … people are looking to leave.

And fair enough, too.  When you put as much thought, effort, care and energy into your posts as so many of the people at My.Opera do, it’s frustrating and disheartening for them when the platform they’re using doesn’t work for them, whatever the reason.

WordPress seems to be the generally-decided-upon platform folks are looking to migrate to, based on what I’ve been reading here and there, which is understandable, given that it’s probably the most popular blogging platform on Earth.  I’ve played around with it a bit in the past, and found it to be both frustrating as shit … and really cool.  Nevertheless, although I haven’t looked into installing the software on my computer at the moment, I’ve got a blog there, though – save for a dodgy ‘Under Construction’ picture (you’ve been warned) – no content on it at present …

… and that’s because I’ve been a bit reticent to dump everything Opera and go over there.  Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, since (aside from the difficulties caused by the DDoS attack) I haven’t had too many problems here.  In fact, looking at a pros/cons list (which will be different for everyone, since everyone browses via different devices, with different browsers, through different ISPs, has different content, expectations and styles), things are weighing quite heavily in Opera’s favour.

The browser is kinda shitting me at the moment (can’t log in to Twitter from it, it hangs badly quite often, as random/memory and CPU use shoots up into the stratosphere) … but the site is doing well by me.

I kind of feel a bit of loyalty to the old beasts.  Without the Browser I wouldn’t have discovered the Community.  And without the Community, I wouldn’t have you ‘orrible lot as friends. 😉  Without going all sappy, I might not communicate with you every day, I might never meet you in person, but the friends I have here I consider actual friends (as opposed to online acquaintances).  I care about what’s going on in your lives, your opinions, things you find interesting, etc.  Which is saying something, since I’m somewhat misanthropic.

I was gonna do up a big list of pros and cons here, going into great detail about things I like (and don’t like) about WordPress, compared to things I like (and don’t like) about Opera.  Below is just a sample:

  • I’m familiar with Opera.  I like change about as much as the notion of colonic irrigation!
  • I kind of know bbCode well enough to easily write up an Opera blog post the way I want it (though I’m familiar enough with html to do the same.  CSS kinda messes with me a bit, but it’s not that difficult to pound out, really).
  • I’ve got a few templates for posts already saved; moving from Opera would mean I’d have to change ’em from bbCode to html and CSS (I know, I know! 🙄 )
  • I’d have to go through each post and convert all the bbCode to html/css (not to mention re-uploading photos, fixing broken links, etc).
  • Blogging is free here; seems I have to pay money on a yearly basis at WordPress for a tool to so much as configure my CSS (though I could be wrong about that, I haven’t looked into it that deeply yet). ಠ_ಠ
  • General configuration (polls, theme, files, etc) is simple here, though it’s probably just the same dance to a different tune over on WordPress.
  • Porting across without comments doesn’t sit too well; people put effort and time and care into those comments (for the most part 😉 ).
  • The whole Facebook/privacy thing doesn’t worry me too much.  If it happens, I can simply use things like AdBlock, NoScript and/or Ghostery if I feel like it, to disable Facebook’s ability to dig through my stuff.

The thing is, though, making a massive list doesn’t really matter.  My perspective on the situation can be summed up by the following:

I’m obviously going to make the effort to keep in touch with my friends, regardless of what platform they’re blogging on (hence why I’ve set up a blog over there … AFAIK I need an account to interact with people) …because they’re worth it.

And … I really can’t be arsed moving things and changing bbCode to html on hundreds of different posts.

So there you have it.  Unless something catastrophic happens, Opera is stuck with me.  But so are my friends … 😈 😆

The title of this post came from here:

I was definitely trying to be a little too ‘clever’ by using it, but I was looking for something to symbolize moving and change and suchlike, and it was one of the first results in Google. 😕 😆

Obviously it’s not the end of the world because some folks are moving their blogs to a different platform … but I was feeling a little bit ‘naff, because I don’t like change. 😥

The alternative was to GIMP up a picture from X-Men 3, overlaying profile pics of some of you lot onto the characters and calling it Opera: The Last Stand … but that would’ve been silly! 🙄 😆