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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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January 11 2006

Scifi. com pulls the poll. Remember the poll on what Whedon fans wanted to see him do next? Well, it's gone.

Apparently, naughty fans "manipulated the poll" so the editors have removed it. Last seen, Spike and Serenity were riding neck and neck, the Spike fans having come out in force. So now the poll's gone, replaced with a question about Patrick Stewart playing Picard again.

Who could have anticipated fans would flock to vote, early and often? Who knew what bears do in the woods, or what faith the Pope follows?[/sarcasm mode]

So people voting was not what they wanted? I'm a little confused.
Because fans have manipulated the SCI FI Wire poll on Joss Whedon's next project, the editors have deleted it and replaced it with a new poll.

What does "manipulated" even mean? That people voted multiple times? Unless it says multiple votes are illegal (which I don't see on the site anywhere, though I suppose I could've missed it), then that's just a bunch of B.S.
I hear is part of Universal. Hmmm?

But really, their site got mucho traffic so why do they care? *shrugs*
Pretty obviously, a poll to show which project fans want next, with 2000 votes from one person to massively increase a percentage is not valid. I'm not surprised they deleted it. Inter fandom voting never works well.
If I was Joss, I'd just move on. Forget about the sequels. Why bother? Why bloody well bother. Come up with something new.
Edited to fix broken HTML.
If I was Joss, I'd sell my brain on eBay, using the money to retire in the Lake District. There's a flaw in that plan, though.
Joss could sell half his brain and still be smarter than most of us. And I think I'd pick Yorkshire.
Well, to put a positive spin on it, the poll shows that there is an active, passionate fan base out there for both of Whedon's existing universes and they want to see more. The poll had double the number votes cast in a few days, than they normally do in their other polls for a whole week! So, whether we wear a browncoat, a long black trench coat, or both - we're a passionate bunch. ;)
It's not a rigged election, it's an online poll.
Heh, exoticmushroom. killinj - I think part of the reason it had such a high number of votes is because the different factions of the fan base kept voting multiple times. What this accomplises I don't know, like - it's a pointless waste of time.
gossi Not to those who voted quite clearly, or they wouldn't have done it. What I mean is why is it a problem? It's not like it's never happened before. And I don't just mean in this fandom. Why is anyone suprised, shocked or appalled.
Sure gossi, that's what fandoms do! ;)
Surely Sci-fi are taking their poll a bit too seriously ? Aren't these things just for fun anyway ? Or do they think Joss is sitting waiting for the results so he knows what to do with his life ? I'd be pretty surprised if anyone thought they could actually rely on the information gained this way for any serious use.

That said (and for similar reasons), it's a bit sad to muck about with the poll in the first place (assuming there was actual nefariousness and not just a bunch of Spike fans voting in their own interests - which is kind of how a poll works).

[ edited by Saje on 2006-01-12 00:49 ]
Ha! The online poll fights back. They probably saw 80% of their referrals coming from Whedonesque. Heh.
I think didn't like being used in such a way. Of course it's a fun poll but when people go out of their way to vote over and over again as many times as they can for whatever reason, heck I'd pulled it.
They made a grammar typo in the new poll with "He's can still make it so." LOL. That's Sci Fi for you. Anyway, who really cares about Stewart in a Star Trek movie? He's not too old to be playing Xavier in X3, granted he gets to sit in a wheelchair the whole time. Besides, if there is another Star Trek movie I can't imagine why Picard would be in it.
Saje When they say "manipulate" I don't think they mean hacked, just multiple voting. Both sides do it and there's not point in saying they don't because we all know it happens.

Simon What used? It's an online poll, of course it's going to get used. They want people to go to their site and vote, but when they do they are "used" now? Colour me confused.
I'm still a bit unclear on what people did to manipulate the poll. Can anyone enlighten me? Anyone? Buddha?
exoticmushroom: there's a difference between wanting the people who normally go to their site and vote and wanting individuals to post multiple times because those individuals want their own particular agenda put forward.
Click-refresh-click-refresh-click-refresh-click-refresh-click-refresh-click counts as "used" in The Book of Me. It's not an effing horse race.
I know a number of LiveJournal folks were telling people to delete cookies and vote often. Presumably that's what they meant by "manipulate". I doubt if Browncoats acted differently, frankly.

Yes, it's silly to bulk vote like that. But how surprising is it, really? Whedon fans are internet-savvy? Are we astonished?
(I only voted once. For Spike.)

(Edited to correct really stupid mistake.)

[ edited by Gill on 2006-01-12 02:19 ]
Their site, their choice of course. I'd probably have let folk carry on voting while banking the advert hits (Underworld 2 and Monk when I last went) then just declared the poll void at the end of the voting period but I totally accept that they didn't want to be the staging point for some kind of fan 'holy-war' (if they could've made money from it then it's actually quite a principled decision in a way). Also, if they're only getting paid for click-thru rather than eyeball hits then too many people being served pages for no good reason would just be a waste of resources and their actions would be more understandable.

Does seem a tad naive tho' if they thought it'd be an accurate sample of anything (as has been noted, these things get fiddled all the time).
Maybe objected to the poll being manipulated in favor of Spike instead of being manipulated in favor of Serenity. No, no - that couldn't be true...
Simon I wouldn't have gone and voted if I hadn't seen the link here. And I can say hand on heart that I voted once because I didn't want to delete cookies.

People saw this link here and took it to many different boards. The fandom is large and passionate and I'm not in the least suprised that the normal amount of votes increased.

I guess Spike fans and Browncoats are just very dedicated and passionate about their fandoms. may not like that, but I bet Joss does. :0)
Oh, what a wicked web....
Well, I'm a bit floored to be honest. I agree with Simon that Scifi can pull the poll if they want, but I don't really get why they would want to. If the voting requirements were that scrupulous, the poll should be set up to ensure only one (wo)man one vote. If they're not, then they're not.

And why would Scifi care that much? Do the results have great credence outside of . . . well, anywhere? Online polls are, and always have been, a lark to be engaged in by fans that really have no relevance or bearing on the real world. It's great fun for fangroups to "get a result," but does anyone seriously think that the polls have any great objective universal meaning (e.g. My Serenity's better than your Spike, because I got X thousand votes to your Y thousand. Or vice versa.)? And that being the case, why would Scifi object to the increase in traffic on their site?

I dunno, I'm scratching my head over all of this - both the behavior of certain individuals in voting numerous times (if that's what the "manipulation" was - we're not even told) because, really, why on earth? And the behavior of the website.
Maybe objected to the poll being manipulated in favor of Spike instead of being manipulated in favor of Serenity. No, no - that couldn't be true...

Oh dear lord if only that were true. It could mean that that Universal ('s owners) were still interested in the Serenity franchise but I haven't seen much evidence of that lately.

I think there's more chance of a Spike movie happening than a Serenity sequel happening.
I only voted once on this one, but I have "manipulated" voting on online polls before (mainly, one time Rolling Stone had a poll for who should be on their next cover, so there was a tangible result).

I think anyone who puts up an online poll has to accept that this happens. Anyone remember when People Online put up a Most Beautiful Person poll, and Howard Stern fans flooded it with votes for Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf? As I recall, People Online didn't shut down the poll or exclude the votes, they just published the results, recognized Hank's win and the humor of it, and then listed the "serious" winners.

Which is to say, I think neither the people who host an online poll nor those who vote in it should take it too seriously.
Have I missed some huge rivalry between Firefly/Serenity fans and Spike fans, am I not allowed to want to see more of both?

I voted once, for Spike. It is strange that Scifi would pull a poll that will have absolutely no effect on the world, just lets people see what others most want to see at the moment. Fox aren't going to say "Well, we were drawing up this contract for a series of Spike movies, but then we saw this online poll, and we think you should go over to Universal and make more Serenity movies." And we all know that Joss is more than capable of doing two things at once.
Well, I'm a Spike fan and a Firefly/Serenity fan and I have no rivalry with myself, however my other personalities might disagree with me. ;)
Gill - browncoats, not brownshirts. There is a spot of difference between the two :)
Ouch! Zeitgeist, you're so right. And I'm so stupid...
It's totally ridiculous for them to pull it. I mean, I didn't even bother to vote, but everyone knows that's what internet polls are like. People who want to, know how to, and can be bothered to, will delete cookies & vote multiple times. That's just what happens. Surely no-one takes internet polls seriously, in part for that reason. I happened today to be having a conversation with a colleague about some young football player internet poll out at the moment, and we were talking about the same thing.

Seriously. Do they think Browncoats/Whedonites are the only people ever to have done this sort of thing (assuming that's their problem)? Aren't those polls just a bit of fun, and aren't they taking it - and themselves - too seriously if they pull something on those grounds?
Anyway, who really cares about Stewart in a Star Trek movie? He's not too old to be playing Xavier in X3, granted he gets to sit in a wheelchair the whole time.

Patrick Stewart recently said that if another Trek movie isn't made soon then he might be too old for the role - he might be able to sit in the Captain's Chair but not get out of it to do anything. I think he was being facetious, but who can tell?

They ruined the movie franchise with the last film anyway.
No one manipulated the voting for Diana? :( What is she chopped liver?
editting out bad joke

[ edited by killinj on 2006-01-12 02:57 ]
Well it was a great bit of fun until somebody got their nose bent out of shape and went crying to Mommy.

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with SNT - if is that strict about their poll, they should make it more difficult to multi-vote.
Is Diebold involved with this? Didn't their CEO promise to deliver Sci-Fi to Spike?
Easy, people. Lets wait 'til we hear the other side of the coin. With all the noise this tidbit has generated, I expect to hear another shoe dropping soon.
YAY, I'm glad to see Whedonesque Serenity and Spike fans having a sense of humor about this silliness.. Hey, I love a good competition and we were tied before the poll went by by.. I had plans to bring out some more heavy guns and pimp it at another large LJ Spike fandom and was gone. :(
And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with SNT

Well, that's my nomination for quote of the year.
Despite how wonderfully corporate-a-licious it is to think of GE/NBC/Uni caring about the poll results (Sci Fi, though under the Uni banner, is a semi-autonomous entity, more concerned with their own programming of old episodes than with the promise of a film, which wouldn't bring them revenue directly), the answer is probably much simpler than such sinister intent (though these corps are more than capable of sinister). Most likely, they DO want the revenue from ad hits, but multiple hits from one user (or many one users) probably messes with their bandwidth and screws with accessing their site. Ultimately, this allows fewer people to access their site rather than more.

So, at the risk of having my arms torn off, the real question is: why would people spend so much time, become so invested, in a poll that affects nothing whatsoever?
As a FF/Serenity fan I have to confess I've voted multiple times in every poll out there featuring the movie. I assumed everyone else was too!

Except in this case where I voted for Spike.

At any rate, I regard these polls as just good fun and hopefully the "competition" can remain friendly.
Was I really the only one to vote for Wonder Woman???

((Well, kind of a lie. I go to that site a lot, and if I'm at a different computer, I vote all three of them actually did get one vote each. :-D But still...))
Tosses a hamhock;)
Was I really the only one to vote for Wonder Woman???
Nope. I did. It was like the "I wanna see him go down his own path" option, so I went with it.
I think I would have voted for Goners, if that had been an option.
It's also a possibility that the poll was generating enough traffic to mess up other parts of the site. Who knows what else shares database resources with the poll.
Patrick Stewart recently said that if another Trek movie isn't made soon then he might be too old for the role

Yeah Keith I also kind of meant though, that if they decided to make another Trek movie they certainly wouldn't make another TNG one.
I'm highly disappointed this didn't get fandomwanked. Highly disappointed, I tell you.

and went crying to Mommy

I suspect this has nothing to do with the poll but rather it's about rivalries that came about as a result of old feuds in the Buffyverse fandom. Bit silly really.
Internet polls always have been and always will be a source of light hearted rivalry between fandoms. I'm sure that both Browncoats and Blackcoats were having some fun with this one and that a certain amount of cookie deletion went on on both sides. I rather hope that Sci-Fi worked this out on their own
( though I'm sure they must realise that this happens in every poll where there is a passionate, dedicated fan base). Frankly if anyone from either fandom atually took the time to contact them and complain it would have been both very sad and a serious case of pot/kettle blackdom. I confess to having cast votes from home , work and the spare computer for Spike . I further confess that I may have voted more than once for Serenity as top film and for the Oscar poll. If the internet police would like to come and arrest me It's a fair cop guv'nor.
I think i voted between 10 or 15 times. I don't think i was doing anything wrong, every time i came back to the site to check the results i could vote again. Wich was strange since it usually closes after my 1 vote. I tought it was just a friendly competition between browncoats and blackcoats. And i'm very certain that both sides were multi voting. Oh well, at least it ended in a draw.
What did I miss? I thought skewing votes was a great American tradition. Isnít that how the guy usually gets into the White House?
Hey...the whole thing was just for fun, and if nothing else, it shows that the Whedon fans are hoping for more from Joss. We all have our favorites and I think thats entitled for each and every one of us. I prefer Spike above all other Whedon ventures....someone else may want Serenity...or WW or Goners...or whatever. The point is we want MORE. Maybe if we are lucky...we can have it all!
This quotation sums up my reaction -

And why would Scifi care that much? Do the results have great credence outside of . . . well, anywhere?

Although I'm also slightly alarmed at people voting hundreds of times in it, given the above. I hadn't voted yet, because i couldn't decide between more Spike or more Serenity, but I'd only have voted once. As said above, it's not as if Joss is going to base his decisions on this poll, so I can't see the point of flooding the site with votes.
"I suspect this has nothing to do with the poll but rather it's about rivalries that came about as a result of old feuds in the Buffyverse fandom. Bit silly really.
Simon | January 12, 09:24 CET"

I can't reconcile that at all. Why would "old feuds" within one fandom effect two seperate fandoms. Unless you mean that allFF/Serenity fans hate Spike, which I know isn't true as there are many on CDS that love both. *is confused*

"It's also a possibility that the poll was generating enough traffic to mess up other parts of the site. Who knows what else shares database resources with the poll.
herb | January 12, 05:43 CET"

I don't think that can be it. There was a previous poll that also had in excess of 20,000 votes and that one wasn't pulled. That too involved Serenity. Though not Spike that time.
exoticmushroom: you and I both know that in the dark places that exist in the fringes of the fandom, there are people who hate Spike and Serenity.

They developed their hatred of Spike back in the golden era of the Buffy fandom. They thought Joss and Mutant Enemy were paying far too much attention to Spike at the expense of their favourite characters and their plot arcs. And so tensions flared.

Then came Firefly and later on Serenity. And of course, they hated those cause Joss had seemingly abandoned the Buffyverse. And they cheered when Firefly got axed and dubbed it "Fireflop".

Getting back to present day. Along comes up a poll which offers people a choice between Serenity and Spike. Now I suspect that these people (oh lets call them "The Others") have greater loathing for Spike than Serenity. Old hatreds run deeper. They see a sudden increase in the voting for Spike and get angry as a result. Because who knows, maybe a TV exec will take it seriously and that their precious characters will not get a look in. So what do they do? They tell that the poll is being manipulated. And the rest is history.
Well, personally i know i only voted twice, and the second time was only because i needed to empty my internet cache anyway. Probably wouldn't have bothered just for the sake of this poll.

Having said that i was under absolutely no impression that this poll was in any way accurate. As i said in the other thread on this topic, the number of votes was three times that of the average Sci Fi Wire poll, no way was that a result of one vote per fan. Even before the Spike fans began to even out the result there was clearly a lot of fan manipulation going on due to the large number of votes given to Serenity. Obviously the Browncoats had been made aware of the poll long before the pro-Spike brigade got onboard.

Ultimately though, does it matter? We all know that what we get next will be the result of what is possible, rather than what either we or Joss necessarily wants to do. Most likely there will be a Spike project long before the crew of the Serenity are seen onscreen again but it won't be as a result of how this poll came out.

As far as i'm concerned i think it's a good thing that both Serenity and Spike have a strong and dedicated core fanbase. With my busy life i'm afraid i don't have the time or energy to sit around at my computer, deleting cookies so that i can vote a few hundred times to make a point, but i'm not going to condemn those who do. In this day and age that is needed if a character or concept is going to survive the triggerhappy world of television. Maybe the poll wasn't an accurate representation of numbers but it sure did show that the fans are there and truly dedicated to seeing more from their heroes.

Ultimately it certainly didn't hurt anyone and it was all in good fun. It maybe even helped show some exec at the Sci Fi Channel just how much the fans want more from both of Whedon's worlds. Honestly, where is the harm in it?

EDIT: Simon, couldn't agree more about the problems with the rivalry between fans. However, in this case i don't see that is was necessarily anything more than the Serenity and Spike centred fandoms having a little fun at each others expenses. Things have been known to get nasty here on the internet but in this case i really do think it was all done in fun and support. Hey, just call me Mr Brightside! :)

[ edited by Vampire With A Gun on 2006-01-12 16:30 ]
Simon - You may be right. Someone got an email back from Sci Fi when they asked why the poll was pulled. Besides the obvious upsurge in the number of votes, part of the answer was that several people had emailed that the Spike fans were stuffing the ballot. One would assume that it was some Browncoats who tattled, but as far as I know there's never been any animosity between Spike and Serenity fans. But there are "the others" who have demostrated in the past that their dislike of Spike knows no bounds.

Edited to fix shoddy grammar.

[ edited by killinj on 2006-01-12 16:56 ]
Dislike Spike ... dislike Spike ... dislike Spike ... disl ...

Nope, doesn't matter how many times i say it. Can't get my head around the concept,hehe!
Obviously the Browncoats had been made aware of the poll long before the pro-Spike brigade got onboard.

I don't believe so. I hadn't seen this poll mentioned online before it appeared on Whedonesque. There was a mention of it on the 9th on it turns out, but nobody really commented on that topic until the 11th.

I have seen multiple people mentioning it was all over the Firefly/Serenity boards, but I've not seen any evidence of that.

Either way, I don't really care, but I do think it's not great to assign 'blame' on Serenity folk for it being pulled.
Well, i wasn't blaming either group, to be honest, gossi.

As i said, i've no problem with the more determined Serenity or Spike fans using this kind of poll to try and promote their particular wishes, as long as it is all done in fun and it doesn't turn to anything nasty. Like i said above, what harm does it really do?

What i meant by the comment you quoted was simply that even before the Spike fanbase started trying to even up the poll there was already an extremely large number of votes, larger than usual for one of these Sci Fi polls, being cast in favour of Serenity. Much more than could realistically be accounted for by casual Sci Fi Wire readers voting as they normally would do. Therefore i think it's fair to assume that there must have been some manipulation of the poll, even before it ended up here on Whedonesque.

Like i said though, no blame being assigned here, just an observation.

Sorry to shout, but I couldn't resist. BTW, what's a 'blackcoat'? Did I miss another 'verse meeting?
Madhatter, Blackcoats are to Spike what Browncoats are to Serenity.

Well, they are since this poll began anyway. Not certain that the term existed beforehand, hehe!
Maybe the Blackcoats and the Browncoats should get together and hold another charity event where we donate winter coats to the needy. It would be nice if we could turn this into something positive and create a more unified fandom.
Simon It's a nice theory, but I disagree. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

It seems fairly clear, from the e-mail response from SciFi, that they knew people were multiple voting for Serenity. Of course then Spike fans started to do the same. This and the oh so secret mention of how to delete cookies on public boards was e-mailed to SciFi complaining about the Spike fans multiple voting. The poll was pulled.

SciFi I feel have made themselves look silly. They have all but stated that they turned a blind eye to Serenity multiple voting, but wouldn't or couldn't when pointed out that Spike fans were doing the same. Very silly.

Anyhoo, it's just a kerfuffle in a teacup. And quite funny too. :0)
* Steps away from the keyboard with hands in the air*

I don't think that there's any animosity between Browncoats and Blackcoats, after all many of us are both ( sort of bicoloured coats?) It was a silly online poll , it was fun while it lasted and it seems a shame that someone should spoil the party, whatever their motivation.

Ah well, there will be other polls to play with ( strictly in accordance with the rules of course) and hopefully in the long run we'll get continuations of both verses and we'll all win.

But in the great scheme of things it matters little.
I was gonna say that I'm a Josscoat but the connotations are a little too disturbing :)
Brackcoats ? Blowncoats ? I also consider myself both. Tempest in a teacup, if ever there was one.
BTW, what's a 'blackcoat'? Did I miss another 'verse meeting?

Obviously. *swishes black coat cooly* Next meeting - TBA.

And Simon may be right, there are still a few lunatic fringe antiSpikes out there willing to do anything to put a stop to our fun.

Edited for 'lowsy speling'

[ edited by anindoorkitty on 2006-01-12 19:56 ]
I admit, I am very guilty of pimping this poll on James/SPike LJ sites and messageboards. (When you mention Spike movie, they will come..)

Hey, I love a good competition and it appears that the SERENITY fans finally have met their match when it comes to passion and adoration..
Y'know, something just occured to me. I think that i was the one who may have started the whole blackcoat thing, or at least got the ball rolling, when i came up with a makeshift name to use for Spike's fans in a post in the other thread on this topic:

Okay, still a decent majority for Serenity and the Browncoats but it's nice to see we Blackleathercoats aren't going to go out without a fight! :D
[ edit ] Vampire With A Gun | January 10, 02:34 CET

Does anyone here know if this is a term that has commonly been used before? Because if not, and the name suddenly comes into common usage for Spike fans on the internet, then i might be responsible for the creation of a whole new Whedonverse term!

You can all thank me later! :p
it appears that the SERENITY fans finally have met their match when it comes to passion and adoration

Probably the other way round seeing as the Spike fans were there first.
And the question remains: why does this matter? It's an online poll. It could be four fans of Serenity voting 5,000 times each, or twenty fans of Spike voting 1,000 times each - but does it really make a difference to anyone or anything?

Should we be more secure in our own fandom because some online poll declares some results that may or may not have been "manipulated" (and I still think that word does not mean what they think it means)? Geez.

If, hypothetically of course, SMG fails to win the online sexiest vampire slayer poll, is my love admiration for her ruined in some way? Why do we need such affirmation? (And how many more rhetorical whatsits can I squeeze into this comment?)

Just enough already.
I wouldn't worry SoddingNancyTribe. I once wrote a solution that everyone will agree on. Probably. Still can't believe some people thought it actually was going to happen at the time.
Hear frickin' hear. Glad to see this one drop off.
Vampire With A Gun, I see no harm in it. And yeah, think you created that term. Add another to the jossverse's dictionary.
Ah, I'd forgotten about that lovely epilogue of yours, Simon. :)

And that way, we could have the JM fans posting about "how much better" Serenity/Firefly is with him on board, a la Smallville.

I'm sorry - just couldn't resist. ;)
I wouldn't be surprised if there were actual fanfic out there based on that idea Simon.
What?! You mean James as Capt tightpants?! Now I'd pay to see that ;)

Sorry you've found this thread so tiresome, Willowy. I guess we can't all be cool.
Simon, nice closing:)
anindoorkitty, that snippiness was completely uncalled for.
anindoorkitty, yes, you're absolutely right.
Genuine question here. When a Mod has spoken isn't that meant to be the end of the matter? Is it normal for others to stick their bib in? I mean, can I?

Serious question btw. I've noticed a pattern and was curious is all. :0)
exoticmushroom, you can comment on the story posted or someone else's comment within, as long you're respectful and stay on topic. That's my impression ever since I started visiting Whedonesque. It just seems that this story is a sensitive subject.
exoticmushroom, on site rules related matters it is generally accepted that once the mods step in, you let the matter go. If it is just a mod's opinion on the thread topic itself then you can disagree all you want. Generally speaking, anyway.
I'm not sure which comment you're referring to in talking about "the end of the matter," exoticmushroom. One of mine? Simon's?

Yes, typically when an admin or mod asks folks to stay off a certain topic or line of argument, that should be the end of on-site discussion on that issue. I didn't see an admin or mod specifically asking that discussion stop on an issue here - I mean, I bemoaned the importance we were all ascribing to this poll, but that wasn't really a request that everyone stop talking about it, just my own two cents really. And as VWAG suggests, everyone can disagree with such opinions.

I'm not sure what "pattern" you're obliquely referring to (although I've discerned "patterns" myself, which is par for the course for any discussion board really). If you want to raise an issue directly with me or another mod, feel free to e-mail me. And now I am requesting that this particular sub-discussion end. Thanks all.
Simon, you are right. We've really never had our boy pitted all alone against another TV show/film. Why must it be either/or? Why can't we have both?
/agree spikeylover. I want more of both, please!

ETA - not necessarily at the same time, mind. To put it another way, no Mal/Spike slash for me :)
Well spikeylover way I see it is as follows. Last year was the year of Serenity. I think this year could be the year of Spike. And next year? The year of Wonder Woman and Goners. After that I think Joss should have a nice wee holiday.
Gosh, Simon, I sure hope you're right, since last year certainly was Serenity's.

It does have a nice ring to it - 'the year of Spike' :)
Thanks for the replies everyone. SNT Thank you also. It wasn't to do with this thread in particular. Just something I noticed after your last post, the one before I asked the question that is. Cheers! :0)
I don't think that there's any animosity between Browncoats and Blackcoats, after all many of us are both ( sort of bicoloured coats?)

What is the colour when dogs/horses/cattle are brown and black? "brindlecoats"? hmmm...

And welcome to all the new people who turned up while some of us were internetless on summer holidays :)

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