Nearly any call to 'lighten up' is appropriate, in my experience. But you have run afoul of two basic misconceptions:
- When you are asking for help, there is a certain extent to which you may be patronized, which is implicit in the very fact that you are asking for help from someone who has no obligation to help you. You'll find it helpful to have a bit of a thicker skin, and a willingness to humbly accept correction and advice. After all, you got the help you wanted, didn't you? What did it cost you?
- People who have contributed a lot to his forum (and who routinely help newbies) are often given a bit more leeway in terms of being rude or patronizing (especially if they are funny, as Fletch often is). This is particularly true when the person being 'victimized' is seen as (a) failing to put effort into the problem, (b) failing to follow prior good advice, or (c) failing to put effort into a clear and concise wording of their problem. (Note that I am not accusing you of any of those failings.) A lot of folks who wander in to the monastery offend in all three ways, which makes some folks a little trigger-happy. You will probably find (if you stick around) that people are less impatient with you once you have begun to contribute a little more, or at least demonstrate that you're not just here to get a free pony.
In such cases it is usually best to say "Thank you" and turn the other cheek. Too bad I don't always follow my own advice. :)