It Happened to Me

Lost Conversations #5: Quick Boys Revisited

Lost Conversations is the title of a series of blog entries that have

been sitting in draft form for too long; it’s my attempt to do some

“spring cleaning”. This is the fifth in a series — the other three are:

I started this post near the beginning of August.

I was away for the long weekend (the first Monday of August is “Civic

Holiday” in Canada), so I didn’t get a change to respond to any of the

comments to the Quick Boys story posted last Friday. Of all the

comments, one in particular stands out. If you’ve read them all, I

don’t even need to tell you which one, but for the purposes of this

article, let me reprint it below:

Re: At Last, My Blog Lands Me in Hot Water!

by Anonymous on 2005.07.29 06:00AM EDT


You are getting married soon and you have your whole life ahead of you.

Why mess around with a bunch of Eastern European thugs like this?

When a person’s livlihood is messed with, they can get really nasty. I

think the last thing you should do is expand the story. Think of you

fiance, your future children, and yourself.

Expanding the story is only going to mess up their google search even more and enrage them further.

Forget all this macho stuff and be a real man.

You may not know this, but in the control panel of the

blogging application I use — Tucows’ own Blogware — the IP (Internet

Protocol) address of the machine used by the commenter is reported.

This particular comment was submitted from a machine whose IP address

was A cursory reverse DNS lookup identifies this address as “”, a server that belongs to True Internet, an internet service provider that is — as you might have guessed from the top-level-domain — in Thailand. (“TH” is the ISO two-letter country code for Thailand, and “.th” is its country code top level domain.)

I have made the assumption that the commenter is not

remotely accessing a machine in Thailand in order to obscure its

origin, but actually using a Thai ISP. This would confirm my belief

that the comment was a critique of my ability to assess risk and not a veiled

threat. Hello, my reader in Thailand!

After doing the reverse DNS search, I was reminded of the last time I

received unusual comments from someone in Thailand: on July 28th, for this blog entry. All the comments posted on the 28th come from the 203.144.160 block of addresses, which leads me to believe that the commenter is the same.

There are two ways to interpret the comment:

  1. Concern for my safety and a

    probable investor in the company for which I work? This person can’t

    be too bad — s/he’s already scored two points in my good books.

  2. “Dude! You’re one of the highest-profile employees of the

    company I’m investing in! Please don’t get yourself killed — well, at least not until it’s

    trading at $2.50!”

I’m a nice guy. I’ll go with interpretation 1.

As for Quick Boys, the most threatening thing they’ve done is play the

“we’ll sic our lawyers on you” card. It’s a far cry from sending a goon

squad my way. It’s also bit of a leap from having an Eastern Euro

accent to being cosy with the Russian mob.

[Additional note, August 29th, 2005: I have never heard from Quick Boys since their two phone calls at the end of July.]

I would hardly characterize myself as “macho”. In fact, people who know

me will say that I’m a pretty easygoing laid-back kind of guy who’d

sooner negotiate a solution than resort to fisticuffs. However,

I refuse to be an easily-bullied pushover.

After contributing to the development of software that routes around Chinese censorship

and expecting people inside China to risk arrest and torture by Chinese

authorities by using it, it would be hypocritical and just plain wrong

of me to take down comments I believe to be true just because a moving

company nastygrammed me. At their core, most bullies are craven cowards

who attack only when the odds are clearly and overwhelmingly stacked in

their favour. The world would be a better place if more people called

their bluffs and stood up to them.

I’ll close with something I wrote a couple of years back:

The other thing to keep in mind is that life, as The Stranglers

song goes, shows no mercy. Sooner or later, you’re going to be sitting

in the back of the Metaphorical Pickup Truck of Life and realize that

there’s a guy in a Pikachu costume smoking crystal meth in the driver’s

seat. His foot is jammed hard on the accelerator pedal, he’s drenched

in sweat, he has the look of death in his soulless eyes, he’s slashing

his own leg with a stilletto knife and screaming “PAIN WILL BRING ME


Lesser people — those who can only thrive when the cards are dealt

in their favour — will curl up in a ball and wait for the truck to

eventually go off a cliff or slam into a bus of orphans and puppies and

explode John Woo-style.

Those who know that winning isn’t in the cards you’re dealt, but how

you play them, would hop over the cab and onto the hood, Indiana

Jones/T.J. Hooker style, smash through the windshield, pummel the

driver into submission and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. And

then take everyone out for ice cream afterwards.

I hope to be one of those people.

7 replies on “Lost Conversations #5: Quick Boys Revisited”

I didn’t know you took my posts so seriously. I am the guy in Thailand. I interpret your blog as a form of entertainment and my post about being “macho” was all in fun. Your blog got some good press over the moving story and my macho comment added a nice flare.

Of course, you can see who I am through my IP address. I am not that naive.

I am a writer and teacher. My book was named a best seller with Amazon Japan in 2001.

Frankly speaking, I don’t think it is very blog friendly to expose people who choose to post anonymously on your blog. I mean, if my IP placed me in Toronto, and these moving guys had really come after you, then heck yeah, I should have been looked into and so should have everyone else who posted on your blog. But honestly, I prefer to be left alone here in my comfortable world and I really don’t want my identity exposed.

I thought you would be thankful. I mean, my post added to the drama. It made it seem like someone was telling you to lay off , but now that the story is blown, it takes away from it all. However, I guess it doesn�t matter now that your moving nightmare was already picked up by many other blogs and the story is essentially dead. So was it time to try and dig up the popular story again by exposing a person who lives on the other side of the earth and who obviously has absolutely nothing to do with these moving bloaks?

A mere spoof from some ex-pat in Thailand who spends his days watching palm trees grow was worth going to all this trouble?

I like your blog and I like having fun with it but maybe I have missed the boat and my 12 years in Asia have put me out of touch with the West. So maybe George Bush is right and we need more things like the Patriot Act to hold people accountable for their actions.

Maybe we need an Internet Patriot Blog Act that empowers blog administrators to reveal personal details of anonymous posters at anytime they wish.

No offense was taken from the original comment, and none meant in in the response entry.

I wasn’t trying to expose you in my article; rather I felt that I was simply pointing out that “anonymous person X who posted in article Y” is the same one who posted in article Z. I never revealed who you are, for two reasons: one, I have no desire to, and two, I don’t know who you are. I have only a vague idea of your preferences.

Spam commenters aside, I don’t particularly worry about who my anonymous commenters are. That’s why I risk comment spam and allow anonymous commenters in this blog. I was just running a test application that I’m writing for Blogware that “screen scrapes” the Blogware control panel to get data when I stumbled across the connection.

If the entry makes you uncomfortable and singled out, I’ll glady excise the parts that refer directly to you as well as this conversation we’re having in these comments. I’d rather lose a story than hurt a reader.

“PAIN WILL BRING ME CLOSER TO FATHER!” HAHAHA! how many times have I heard you use that metaphor? It’s fucking funny everytime!

It is ok. Keep it posted. I thought you were angry. The only “spamming” I did or kind of did was with the Tucows stock posts. However, certainly those had a purpose and were directed at IR. Please understand, I have a lot of my life savings invested in Tucows. At this point, I think the investors are very pleased with Tucows. Cuban stepped up to buy more shares and Ramius Capital also bought Tucows in the offering. By the way, Ramius also owns so it looks like something is possibly in the oven.

I read your blog for Tucows company information and just out of sheer boredom at work. They don’t monitor my activities at work on the computer and that accounts for the other Thailand IP you came up with.

I guess I’ll sign up for an ID before I post again.

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