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Ask The Fish - 02/0/2005
In an attempt to increase the frequency of updates to the site, we are adding yet another freaking blog. I don't know why we think this will increase the frequency of updates to site - we have at least three of the things anyway, and they are updated just about as often as Boston wins the World Series. But we try. Ask The Fish will now be done blog style, with new entries getting posted as soon as they are answered. Expect the same quality of advice that you have come to expect (from what is either a 800 lb halibut with a highly defined sense of irony, or one of four uber-geeks with nothing better to do on a Saturday night).

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    Dear Ask the Fish,
    I have tendancies to run naked through my house and shake mr penis in front of any male guests. I never do this in front of female guests. Am i normal?
    -Sleepless Daniel Light

    Dear Sleepless,
    In that your question was bizarre, centered on deviant sexuality, and contained several errors of spelling, capitalization and punctuation, and provided that the control group against which we are to judge your normalcy is "people who write letters to Ask the Fish," the answer to your question is a resounding yes.
    -ATF

    26 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    what are the people of Sparta like?
    -c

    Dear c,
    Complete Cretans, the lot of them.

    (I'd like to thank Mel Brooks for the use of this joke. Hail Ceasar!)

    -ATF
    07 May 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    all too flat sounds like porn.
    -moo

    Dear moo,
    No! Certainly not! This web site is NOT, in fact, a front for a distribution ring of underground pornographic material (and it's repertoire does in no way include the high-quality Piscean Virgos, nor the hard-to-find Bare Flat Fins, Wide Open Gills series of videos). I mean, to suggest that a web site on the internet could be solely devoted to the dissemination of HOT FISHY ACTION is preposterous. Completely. And if you want to learn more about how to order this outrageously obscene (and 100% satisfaction guaranteed) material, I wouldn't contact our point of contact for this sort of thing. No sirree. Not with these low, low prices.
    -ATF

    23 Feb 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Why are you a fish?

    -Ryo Kimball

    Dear Ryo,
    I'm just as God made me, sir.
    -ATF

    25 Feb 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    How can 'nothing' have a name? Then it IS something instead of nothing, right?
    -Anders And

    Dear Anders,
    Ah, this takes me back to my Bright College Years, when my tankmates and I would stay up into the small hours grappling with paradoxes such as these. "If God is omnipotent," my chums would ask, "can He create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?" "How do we know that the color I refer to as 'red' is in fact the same color that you refer to as 'red'?" "Hey, can you bring the Sun Chips in here? We're gonna watch The State for a while." Yeah, we were usually pretty baked during the small hours.
    -ATF

    13 May 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    I have a boyfriend and have been with him for a year and a half, but me n my best friend who is a guy...have been gettin really close and im beginning to really like him what do i do?
    -kt

    Dear kt,
    I think we're all thinking the same thing here, and that thing that we're all thinking here is "finger cuffs." YouknowwhatI'msayin'? Now you're talkin' double team supreme.

    Geez, that's terrible advice. (We've all seen Chasing Amy. We know how that sort of thing works out.) Clearly you're more interested in your best friend at this point than you are in your boyfriend, or you wouldn't be asking this question. And that's fine--just be honest with yourself and both guys about it. Break up with your boyfriend and start going out with your best friend. Everyone involved will be better off that way than if you turn it into some long protracted should-I-or-shouldn't-I cheat-fest.

    But should you find the double-stuff an attractive option, we say go for it.
    -ATF

    18 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Should I call Ali
    -Jennifer

    Dear Jennifer,
    Yes. And when you call him, call him "The Greatest." "Champ" will suffice too, I suppose.
    -ATF

    09 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    I like this guy and he likes me.. great right? wrong... we live an hour apart. is it best if we are just friends with benefits? also he is 16 and i am 17.
    -Confused

    Dear Confused,
    Speaking as I am on behalf of the male portion of the species (and even though I'm a fish, I'm comfortable speaking for the species homo sapiens on this) it is best if you are just friends with benefits.

    Of course, today there is a real human being hanging out as I'm writing this, and I'm hearing from that end of the room that you could just go on 'seeing' each other. Of course, the human happens to be a girl, so you can draw your own conclusions from that.
    -ATF

    01 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    why do people always think of aliens as little green man, why not something else?
    -becx

    Dear becx,
    First of all, your question contains an assumption about the world that I'm not sure I can agree with. People don't ALWAYS think of aliens as little green men. I will admit that they do show up in a fair amount of references to aliens, but it's certainly not exclusive. Kodos and Kang are very easily recognizeable as alien figures although they only have one of the traditional "little green man" identifiers. Much the same with Third Rock From The Sun's Lithgow (albeit with a different one of those identifiers). Also recall that people who actually believe they have seen aliens usually picture them as 'Greys,' which are a race of little grey men with big black eyes and a penchant for probing.

    Having said that, the question has to become "Why are little green men thought of as being aliens?" Which is a good question. Kennyb's grandfather, he is led to understand, only reached about 4'11", and was prone to nausea. I'm sure there were more instances of he (or other, similar elderly and slightly dyspectic Italian men) being seen worldwide than there were alien sightings. Why automatically the jump to have that phrase mean an alien? It's just not right.
    -ATF

    09 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What is the meaning of life?
    -Not so enlightened

    Dear Not,
    Apparently, it's that humans were put on this earth to ask a certain halibut the same goddamn question over and over and over. Why doesn't anyone ask me "Hey, Ask the Fish, did you know that Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett are all on the cover of Vanity Fair this month?" To which I'd reply, "Why yes, I did, and I'm happy because I think they're the three prettiest actresses alive, and they are all also very talented, so I'm not embarrassed to admit my fondness for them, like I am about my thing for Jessica Simpson. So thank you, Questioner, thank you for asking me about that Vanity Fair cover. And what's that? You're sending me a copy gratis? You spoil me." Nope, never anything like that, always these people who've worn through their second-generation Contractual Obligation Album audiocassettes and read the cover off of three different copies of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and think they're the first FUCKING person to ask me what is the meaning of life. Why yes! You're right--we are just simply spiraling coils of self-replicating DNA! How. very. clever. Jesus God Almighty, shouldn't you be watching Red Dwarf, or isn't that out on DVD yet?

    I know, I know. Gotta get back on the Wellbutrin.
    -ATF

    09 May 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Why dosent the b in Kennyb have a space in it? I was just kinda wondering becasue sence it dosent .. well i have never heard a name like that before.
    -Spaced Out in VA

    Dear Spaced,
    Well, Spaced, the reason is a little embarrassing, and has to do with the fact that Kennyb is a seriously bad programmer. Remember Y2k? (If you don't, it was a potentially serious computer bug that existed because ancient programmers thought that 2 digits would be enough to encode the value of any year in which their programs would be used. It's also the reason my uncle has a bomb shelter and enough shotgun ammo to defeat an army of zombies). Well, the whole Kennyb thing came around because of a similar bug in ATF - When Ken designed the data model for the databases which hold all the pertinent information about the designers of ATF (Ben, Antoni, Ken), he figured that he would only need six characters for their names (since the longest of their names, Antoni, only had that many letters). And all of the databases that hold information about the three of them have an upper limit of 6 letters in the name field.

    Of course, when Ken started using "Kenny B" as his moniker, this presented a serious problem as this overflowed the database. So the space inbetween the first and last names had to be omitted, to allow the name to be entered into storage. Of course, the irony of all of this is that Antoni now is generally known as "Ton," which means that Kennyb could have easily just used a three letter encoding for their names, saving a lot of space, and not having the dubious distinction of being mistaken for a douchebag saxaphone player. "Kennyb? What, like, Kenny G?" Yeah, fucker. Like that's still funny. Why don't you go ask Ben if you can win his money. Asshole.
    -ATF

    01 Apr 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What flavor of skittle is the consumbers favorite?
    -Sadie

    Dear Sadie,
    Well, Sadie, I wasn't sure. So I went out to collect some empirical data. Since we here at ATF don't have the resources of a real organization, which might have polling staff on payroll (for lawds sake, they barely can afford to run my tank water through a Brita filter once a month), we had to run a poll on our front page to find out. And though I realize that the poll is completely self-selecting, the upside of ATF not having any money means that we can't even afford anyone who's knowledgeable enough about statistics to tell us how horribly skewed these statistics will be!
    -ATF

    20 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Where's the beef?
    -Steve

    Dear Steve,
    Right here!



    Oh, wait. You wanted to know the location of the beef, not of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. In that case, beats the shit out of me, man.
    -ATF

    09 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What is the MEANING of life? I already know the beginning (we all came to earth in a yellow submarine) and answer (42) but I've yet to divine the meaning.
    -Bob Orange

    Dear Bob,
    You know, Bob, I sometimes wonder if I'll ever discover the meaning of it all swimming in a place like this. But I've swam in worse places, philosophically speaking. I used to swim in the Académie Française, but it didn't do me any good at all. And I once swam in the library in the Prado in Madrid, but it didn't teach me nothing, I recall, And the Library of Congress you'd have thought would hold some key, But it didn't, and neither did the Bodleian Library. In the British Museum I hoped to find some clue. I swam there from nine till six, read every volume through, But it didn't teach me nothing about life's mystery. I just kept getting older, and it got more difficult to see, Till, eventually, me eyes went and me swimmer's fin got bad, And so now I'm answering questions here. But I can't be really sad, 'Cause, you see, I feel that life's a game: You can homer or strike out. And though I may be down right now, at least I don't work for trout.
    -ATF

    09 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    does bob smell?
    -kuli

    Dear kuli,
    Like a damned fishwife. And if I know anything about any sort of wives, it's fishwives. So trust me on this.
    -ATF

    07 May 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    y do fish stink so much when they constantly swim round in a ''massive bath'' aka the sea
    -keira n Nitemare r bak...agen...

    Dear keira,
    I think that's a little unfair. First of all, we don't smell nearly as much as Bob (see below). Second of all, fish don't smell at all in water. It's only when you take us out of the water that we begin to smell.

    And quite frankly, I don't give a tinkers cuss that I stink when you take me out of the water. If you were a reasonable person, this just isn't a problem that you and I should be getting into. You don't see me dragging you into the ocean, do you? So get your nasty hands off my fins.
    -ATF

    07 May 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    how do u say ''va va voom'' in swedish?
    -Keira n nitemare agen

    Dear Keira,
    "Fa fa fuum. Bork bork bork!"
    -ATF

    09 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    how do you know if a girl that you like still likes you but is pissed about say that you are of suppose to say and she gets jealous when you are dating someone else
    -terry

    Dear terry,
    Honestly, I'm not really sure. Of course, the thing in regards to which I'm unsure is what exactly you are talking about. Seriously people - let's review our text before we hit that Submit button, shall we?
    -ATF

    26 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    what is 2 and 2
    -ena

    Dear ena,
    That's a surprisingly good question. Surprising, of course, because it came to Ask The Fish and is a good question. I mean, generally speaking, if were were asking of the nature of a set of things the number of which were greater than one, we would ask "What are (thing A) and (thing B)." And if we were asking of the nature of a single thing, we'd ask what is (thing C)." And so here we were, all ready to berate you for incorrect grammar, when you go and throw us a poser.

    When asking about two things, both of which are the same, does one use the singular or the plural construction for the verb? We have no idea. And since we've been stumped, we feel as if we must give you a real answer. It's four, ena. And thanks for the mind-bender.
    -ATF

    26 Mar 2005



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    I've got a Dell with a 40GB harddrive. (it's old) I'm getting an iPOd (already have iTunes) and while I still have tons of free space, if I rip my whole CD collection, it won't fit and I won't have much space for the pagefile.
    So... is it better to go for an external drive to store the music and backup the c: or to invest in a larger internal drive to make primary? Also, it's a small case, so only one HDD can fit, so I'd have to reimage the c: if I replaced it, which makes me think the external drive may be a good way to go, since I don't have enough cash to invest in a new machine that would be better in so many other ways.
    Can I run iTunes from C: with music library stored on another drive? or do I have to reinstall iTunes on the external drive?
    Thanks in advance!
    -Bill

    Dear Bill,
    This is the sort of question I like. None of that namby-pamby "What if C-A-T actually spelled 'dog'" garbage. A computer advice question. That's good stuff.

    Well, Bill, first let me congratulate you on picking up a new iPod. That's some good stuff right there. And way to go with the 40GB model. That'll keep you in illegally downloaded copies of Little John singles (or whatever crap you kids listen to these days) for years to come. Or 6 months, after which you'll need to replace the damn thing because the battery life has dropped by 45%.

    It really depends on what you're going to use the new harddrive for, other than archiving. If you intend to install programs on the new drive, as well as store your media, I'd go with an internal drive. For running programs, you really have to worry about disk speed and data transfer rates, both of which are going to drop if you migrate programs over to an external.

    But honestly, you probably don't need to install programs on your new drive. A new external drive will allow you to migrate all of the data on your current primary to the external storage, freeing up some space on your (faster) primary, allowing expansion on both drives. My advice - go external, and go big. I recently installed a new 500GB external on the server at the AllToo flat (Ken and Ben's apartment in NYC, not the web site) for media archiving, and couldn't be happier if it were a tuna in a teddy. Also - don't worry about the iTunes issue. Kennyb runs iTunes on his laptop (running WinXP) which has as it's library the external drive of the linux server in the living room. There's all sorts of reasons that shouldn't work (most of which have to do with Kennyb not having any idea as to what the hell he's doing), but for some reason I can hear him sing along with the Gypsy Kings at all hours of the night, so it seems to be working out for one of us, at least.
    -ATF

    13 May 2005



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