From the April/May 2012 Commonwealth magazine:

So I’ll be playing a game on my computer and come to a puzzle or quest that I’m having trouble solving. I turn to the Internet for help. I always find my answer, but too often I have to wade through a lot of non-answers and other flotsam.

My biggest peeve: The people who engage in long, useless discussions about the way things should be, rather than just answering the bleepin’ question.

For example:

Me: “On level 16, I can’t figure out how to get the yellow bird to hit the second tower. Has anyone solved it?”

Useless person the first: “You know, they oughta have an orange bird you could click to make it fly in a circle. Then you could do it.”

Useless person the second: “Yeah, I’d like to see that. Maybe you could right-click to make him spin the other way.”

Useless person the third: “You should be able to trade in a yellow and a red bird for one orange bird.”

Useless person the first: “They should totally do that.”

Me: “So… no?”

And yet, all that said, there’s a place for simply tossing out ideas, even if you think they’ll never amount to anything.

Whether it’s discussing how they should have ended “The Sopranos” or what would make a really great spell for a level-20 sorcerer, or what really should have been included in that law — there’s a value to talking it out.

You could be surprised — you never know who’s listening and how he might help your idea bear fruit. Ideas (good ones, anyway) have a habit of being picked up and spread.

Besides, sometimes venting your frustrations is all you need. (Juliet Funt explained at the 2011 REal Show how men relieve stress with, um, exercise, and women relieve it by talking.) Writing a diatribe about something that annoys you can be a great way to blow off steam. Why do you think everyone and his mother has a blog?

And, of course, knowing you’re not alone can make the intolerable seem merely annoying. Would you rather be the one guy stuck behind a slow-moving car, or one of a long line of impatient drivers?

That was one reason we convened our first ever Housing Policy Forum — to let Realtors® from across the state get together and share their biggest concerns, frustrations, and bugaboos with some of the most recognized housing experts in the country.

If nothing else, it gave everyone a chance to be heard, and to realize that their problems are shared and they’ve got a lot of other Realtors® on their side.

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Click here to read the April/May issue of Commonwealth.