The Well #63: cookie

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cookie

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"A stranger is being shown around a village that he has just become part of. He is shown a well and his guide says "On any day except Tuesday, you can shout any question down that well and you'll be told the answer." The man seems pretty impressed, and so he shouts down, "Why not on Tuesday?" A voice from in the well shouts back, "Because on Tuesday, it's your day in the well."

the well that was so popular they had to make a sequel, and like all good sequels this will probably have nothing to do with the original (because it was 10 years ago and I have changed a lot since then) and possibly even retcon it (because if i deleted it it's probably because i wrote a bunch of cringey things in it)

so yeah, a few things about me to get the ball rolling:
1. i'm a software developer - specifically SDET.
2. i am obsessed with bouldering. While the climbing walls were open I was going up to three times a week.
2a. Other things I'm interested in: plants, cooking, and uh *checks tinder profile* travelling. Oh and I take a passing interest in science/technology. Currently reading about electric vehicles, but to give you an idea of the stuff I'm into based on youtube channels I follow (which is currently how I kill a lot of my time):
PBS Spacetime
Binging with Babish
Guga Foods
Kraut
Ashens
Real Vision Finance
Pikasprey
3. born and raised in london, currently residing there and will most likely die here too. If you were born in the best city in the world why move?
4. early thirties
5. my involvement in pokemon these days is limited to gen1/3 randbats and lurking ruins of alph.
6. Generally quite interested in satire. I wrote The Oddish - a Smogon-centric equivalent of the onion, and a while ago had a blog where I wrote a bunch of satire articles (some of which are linked in the editions of the oddish). I don't do much writing any more, though. It goes without saying that I'm a massive fan of The Onion, as well as the works of Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci (oh and Charlie Brooker but I liked him before all the normies jumped on the Black Mirror bandwagon)

Smogon-related stuff:
for some of the younguns who only joined after my heyday here I started off moderating firebot, then a forum, then become social forums leader + smod, then I think back to firebot/cong once I retired. I honestly did not expect to be here for 15 years, but here I am.


So there you go. Welcome to my well, make yourselves comfortable and fire away.
 
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First Blood

1. What do you do as a software developer?
2. The heck is bouldering?
3. Any previous jobs?
4. Favorite Mon?
5. How well do you think your well will be compared to Theorymon's?
 

Plague von Karma

Ennill y rhyfel, hawlio'r goron!
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Kraut and Pikasprey? Nice, nice.

So some q's;
  • Any old users you'd love to see back on the forums?
  • Interesting stories from your time moderating the social forums?
  • Any particular favourite old threads?
  • Favourite Pokemon to see in a Gen 1 Random Battle?
  • How does it feel finally getting a Well after your old one was lost to the ages?
  • Give us a wacky Londoner story!
 

Sijih

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What do you think about comedy writing as a whole, beyond just satire? And what are your thoughts on writing that doesn't really come in the form of just an article?

Basically I'm asking you to give your thoughts/comments on this

also shoutout to the VGC 2009 juniors champion shade's mum
did you ever exact retribution for this this joke
 
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biggie

champ
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what is your favorite episode of BWB?

if you had to cook a meal to impress someone with no dietary restrictions, what would you make?

do you have any actual resemblance to your avatar? (because that's how i picture you)

who is your favorite user who no longer frequents this site?

what is your most 'WTF?' smogon moment?
 

cookie

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First Blood
HEAD SHOT
1. What do you do as a software developer?
I mostly take care of my product's test automation capabilities - test coverage and the tooling to run it locally and in continuous integration pipelines. The product is a web extension academics use to access PDFs on article pages. It's pretty cool. Since it's web-based most of the tests use Selenium.
2. The heck is bouldering?
It's basically climbing on rocks, or man-made walls with rock-like things bolted to them. Either way the goal is to get to the top. Technically, bouldering means climbing without a harness, and as such there's a limit to the height of whatever you're climbing - about 4.5m or so. Essentially as high as you can get before you risk doing serious damage if gravity wins and you fall at the top.
3. Any previous jobs?
I've had a couple jobs as a software dev beforehand. Please check my LinkedIn profile for further details.

Before that I faffed around for about a year tutoring science and maths to rich kids until I decided I wanted a real job. Not that tutoring isn't a real job but it's seasonal and you gotta put in a lot more effort to make it a regular thing, which I wasn't prepared to do. At the time I'd just left university and living rent-free in the suburbs of London so the "beer money" of tutoring was alright for a while.
4. Favorite Mon?
wargreymon obviously. Scizor/Steelix/Cloyster come a close second place. Steelix/Scizor are just kinda badass, and Cloyster has all sorts of things going for it: my first game was Gold and it was my white whale because I knew Shellder evolved into it but had no idea how to make it happen. Plus it has all those spikes around it.

Outside of gen 1/2 which for nostalgic reasons I'm biased towards, honourable mentions go to Metagross (see Steelix for explanation) and Wurmple for Gamefreak hitting it out the park again making a caterpillar cute.
5. How well do you think your well will be compared to Theorymon's?
The people have shown their good judgement recently so I completely trust their judgement on my well.
 
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cookie

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what grade do you climb at?
probably between v3 and v4? hard to say exactly since the problems are labelled with wide grades, so the yellows at the wall I frequent go from v3 to v4. That said, within that range there are yellows I can flash, some which take me 3-4 sessions to send and some which I'm completely hopeless on. And it's rare I can't send anything in the groupings below. Before lockdown I had just started on v4-v5s but haven't gotten back to those yet

fav programming language?
pls dont double post (python but tbh I've only ever used three languages: python, java and javascript. Java gives me nightmares from all the environment set up required in pre-docker days, the rigidity of a statically typed language and generally the ridiculous amount of boiler plate code that ultimately stands between my ideas and executing them in code. Python is great because I can get something to work quickly and worry about writing it correctly later, and the features of the language do allow you to do that. I've never used Javascript for long enough for any of it to stick, which creates a vicious cycle where if I want to start a new project I go with what I know best, because learning a new language doesn't particularly interest me)
 

cookie

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Kraut and Pikasprey? Nice, nice.

So some q's;
  • Any old users you'd love to see back on the forums?
vader was fun to have around, especially when he had a free run of the forums as a supermod with extra privileges. I enjoyed small firebot and the bitchass notice, among other things.
i'd also like to see doommullet to come back to wave his stick at all the younguns and tell them what's what
oh and keloggsequent/big bayou/dr heartbreak, the trifecta of posters who'd swoop in every once in a while with some truly amazing posts, and then not post much for a while

  • Interesting stories from your time moderating the social forums?
back in the days of IRC you could lock a channel with a passphrase, and the #insidescoop channel was locked (with the passphrase visible in Inside Scoop). Except, EeveeTrainer somehow kept finding his way in by "guessing" the passphrase. Then one day someone noticed on his profile that he was checking the thread containing the passphrase - someone had given him view access and forgot about it.

a story that's more related to moderating the social forums was when firebot was lacking in moderators (I can't remember if I had become a supermod yet), so chaos modded faint, rodan (and I think tik) on a whim based on someone telling him they're cool. when he went back on that decision rodan was pretty pissed off with me because it was me went to chaos and was basically "yo you can't just randomly mod people in MY forum". anyway people actually listened to what i had to say back then despite being pretty terrible at pokemon

oh and there was this one time the nudes of a user named sprinkles spread around the internet and another user named sheep found his dad on facebook and told him his son was posting his dick online.

  • Any particular favourite old threads?
good threads generally come in three categories: those where it's all the OP and everything else is just congratulatory noise; those where everyone is posting a variation of some sort of template; and a third which is just a bunch of good posts that in a thread that feels more like an chat on IRC/discord. The one I'm gonna link is none of those, and is instead the time the whole community came together under one cause - to bait LonelyNess into seeing a picture of a horse: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/horsin-around.3489975/

  • Favourite Pokemon to see in a Gen 1 Random Battle?
starmie, without a doubt. You can't play defense, because it hits everything bar Chansey super hard. And you can't just chuck stuff at it like with other threats because of Recover, so you have to think carefully and make sure your damage sticks. It's one of those mons in randbats that are so threatening that it makes a lot of noobs just shit themselves and do stupid things before they get their head together 5 turns later when it's already 6-4 to your advantage. Which goes a long way to help avoid getting luckfucked.

  • How does it feel finally getting a Well after your old one was lost to the ages?
i reckon i can actually do it justice now, feelsgoodman.jpg

  • Give us a wacky Londoner story!
hmm, good question. this one* time i paid £5** for a pint. i was pretty pissed***.
* happened more than once
** it was actually £6
*** synonym for drunk. Sadly £6 for a pint in london is not the head-turner it used to be.

ooh actually yeah this one. Last year during the merrineum I saw someone who was mentally ill escape a care home, and his wrangler grabbed him by his jacket. I assume he had chased him and was in the process of bringing him back but needed some help so I did the sensible thing and called 999 for him.
 
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cookie

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What's your favorite Type in all of Pokemon and why?
uh I guess fire because i usually carry burn heal with me
Favorite Team Archetype
my knowledge of pokemon predates an abstraction of team types beyond "offense" and "stall". I gotta say I prefer stall because you play for so many turns that the effect of luck averages out, where in other styles you've got to have several battles to bring down the variance in outcome. So I can think strategically within a single game and have the satisfaction of my strategy being rewarded definitively within that game.
What's it's like living in the UK? Asking as an American.
summers are lovely and mild with long evenings; winters are horrible if you're an outdoors person but quite nice in london where there's tons to do indoors

london is super busy all the time, full of people waiting for you to make the first move (because they're all too busy doing other things or with their own friends). Introverts would struggle more here than in the USA. Between that and the dazzling array of things you can eat/do it's much like any other major city I reckon, except turned up to 11.

Pubs are a great part of British culture, A++ recommend. Multi-purpose: meet your colleagues after work, meet your friends, take a girl on a date, see your parents (though not all at the same time). And a constant. If you want to hang out, just go to a pub. problem solved. Don't drink? Plenty of non-alcoholic options available.

oh and london is huge. So your experience will vary WILDLY depending on whether you live in the suburbs or somewhere more central.
 

cookie

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I will have more questions at a later date

What do you think about comedy writing as a whole, beyond just satire? And what are your thoughts on writing that doesn't really come in the form of just an article?

Basically I'm asking you to give your thoughts/comments on this
clickhole is top notch. I freely admit I don't get what their angle is some of the time - they do a lot more than just satirise buzzfeed etc.

re. comedy writing, I guess...the great thing about a single article is that you don't have to worry about plot/character development much. It's mostly a pure vehicle for punchlines. Because in a sense all comedy writing is just filling the gap between punchlines.
also shoutout to the VGC 2009 juniors champion shade's mum
did you ever exact retribution for this this joke
unfortunately as shade is the merk master and being a hard northerner i, a soft southern boy, cannot hope to out-par him
 
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