Increasing demands on my time have are forcing me to adopt a less-open system for joining the forum. If you would like an account (and you must have an account to post or reply to posts) please send an e-mail to bill at edgefieldsheep dot com. In your e-mail, include the following information.
1.) your real name
2.) the username you would like to use
3.) why you'd like to join the forum
Send it from an e-mail account that you check regularly; further instructions will be sent there.
The purpose of this is not to exclude anyone other than would-be spammers. When I allow open registration, I receive over 500 requests for accounts every day, and 99.99 percent of them are from "bots" looking to post irrelevant and offensive material. I have very little information on which to base a judgment about who is a real person and who is not, and as a result I have ended up rejecting registration requests from legitimate people, which makes this forum poorer.
While this system is cumbersome and slow, it will ensure that no one who asks for an account is rejected simply because I have misidentified them. Except under unusual circumstances I set up accounts within 24 hours of the request.