1. What is your name?

Ken Howells

2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?

Middle-aged white male, 'Merican, divorced, overweight, well-read, half-educated. I've been flying hang gliders for 26 years and I've worked for a small company that is the biggest hang glider manufacturer for most of that time. In the sit-com of life, I'm the wacky neighbor. A catchy tag line, topical non sequiturs, the occasional "Very Special Episode". The pilot for the spin-off didn't make it past the focus group.

3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?

(Interviewer Note: maxClimb originally joined E2 as Captain Wings. After he changed his account name, his "User Since" date got reset to the time he changed his name. I don't know how that happened. Stop looking at me that way.)

I was looking up a term with Google in early January 2001 and found an enlightening answer on Everything2. I followed some links and liked the mix of fact, opinion, and quirky writing styles - it was an encyclopedia with attitude. I wondered who these people were; figured they all knew each other, some clique at a college somewhere. As the webmaster of a business website I was intrigued by the notion of a website that consisted primarily of user-contributed content. I found myself roaming the site for a while every evening for about two weeks and decided to submit a review of Cadillac Desert, which I'd just read. My writeup was cooled (by Gritchka no less) and I was hooked. I posted a lot of items related to hang gliding at first.

4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?

I like my Up With People writeup - I saw the show as a 5 or 6 year-old and listened to the record over and over and over; my understanding of it changed as I grew, even as I rejected parts and reconciled later. Researching and writing it up changed my understanding. Naked Launch sprouted from the germ of an idea I'd nurtured for a long time and it was really fun to ride the wave of the actual writing. I'm similarly happy with a few of my poems, though they were complete within hours of the inspiration.

How to cook the perfect steak by sensei comes to mind, though I'm a grill man through and through. I'm a big fan of factuals and teh funny. Getting to know you noders fucking sucked is just astonshingly brilliant. I don't seek out nodes to reread them very often but I'm delighted when I come across favorites again.

5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?

Some of the quests have been very entertaining, though I rarely participate. Gone in Sixty Seconds 2006 - A Theatre Quest was really a goldmine of creativity; such diverse approaches to the problem. That my entry actually got performed was just icing on the cake.

I wouldn't call it a 'favorite' memory, but in the days after 9/11 I found much... I don't know, comfort? diversion? whatever, in reading the daylogs and watching the catbox. My meatspace circle was pretty homogenous then and it was helpful to read thoughts from such a wide range of people and places. Social networking on the web barely existed at that time, at least for me.

The whole ush thing was a real drag. The Raising the Bar changes of several years ago seemed to quash participation for a while, as I expected when they were in development.

6. What keeps you coming back?

I drop by more than I hang out. I scan new writeups for interesting titles and noders I like, also to hear new voices and watch (or even help) their development. The catbox is usually good for a laugh. I've only met one noder but I've been Facebook friends with a number of them for a couple of years and seeing them on FB and E2 is richer than either alone.

7. What do you hope for E2's future?

I hope E2 keeps on keepin' on. Increased participation and more new, active users would be great. Some enhancement of linking within the nodegel, maybe semi-automated, would help with discovering hidden gems. I'd like to see creative formatting made easier. Sometimes I think that and incorporating other media would help growth, but I think the consequent emphasis on how things look and sound would detract from the writing and would especially disadvantage all of the legacy content.

8. What does E2 mean to you?

E2 to me is a refuge from all the half-witted half-assed half-propaganda content that clamors for attention on the 'net. Here I can find well-constructed thoughtful writing on current topics, timeless topics, frivolous topics, all with respect for spelling and grammar and punctuation and style and details like avoiding hackneyed phrases like the plague and letting the tempest out of the teapot and especially run-on sentences.

9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?

iceowl, The Custodian, Noung, Scaevola, sneff, Oolong, BookReader, lizardinlaw (et al), the aforementioned Gritchka - all have many great writeups. I remember when Jet-Poop was Team Jet-Poop. There are many others I'm forgetting; I'm crap with names. I was active when JessicaJ started and we /msg'd about nodes and noding, so seeing her writing develop has been sorta special, whether I care for a specific topic or not. Some noders I like more for their catbox banter. And even Simulacron3.

10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?

William H. Macy or Jack Black

11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."

Chino Hills State Park

12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?

Is your "I Got a Ching!" dance best performed in private?

Everything2 Decaversary Interviews

If you have questions or comments, please contact maxClimb or Jet-Poop.

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