Zarquon, f1r3br4nd, are you the only one left? I was sufferring from router dropout error messages, and scrambled and generally inaccessible net all day Thursday but I figured it was a snarl at my provider's end. I was without news, TV, mail, or even terrestrial phone access (yeah, I'm retro) until Friday, when I got bored, coded a pathfinder agent and injected it into ja.net2 to look for a route to some - any - info on the outage.

I live in the UK, currently unwittingly about three days away from contamination; the kind of heads-up I saw on CDDU, broadcast nationally, would have torn the country to shreds like it looks like it has yours - I guess that's why the nets are almost totally down pretty much globally. Obviously the next thing I did after that was try to get into E - I had to check up on friends and loved ones, as you can imagine. Well, the less said about Quexo's server, the better; it's extremely poorly connected - that is to say, right now, not at all - and even fumbling for the old UMich mirror was NIGHTMARISH. You're lucky to be close enough to UMich that you could punch a message through, f1r3br4nd. The connection I ended up using had about a hundred jumps, at least two of which were cellular and three IR. I couldn't get a cookie sent but I managed Guest access and saw what you've been seeing all weekend - nobody able to get to E, no news, no nothing, and only two new writeups in the last few days, both yours. I was scared.

That was Friday. This is Monday.

I've already picked up YellowOstrich and gravy202 and we're now halfway up the M1044, en route to Birmingham Major to find gravy's girlfriend, 1=1=1 (her name is Sarah, I think). Os is a bit sl1ck3r than me, he managed to get a cookie going so I could post this writeup - looks like I just missed you. Hope you enjoyed the upvotes. Once we pick Sarah up we're going to keep heading north. I've got a couple more addresses that we can check out which I picked up during Reading '07 and those people will have more themselves, I'm pretty sure. Os reckons he might be able to worm self-relaying messages through to a cellular phone or two by the end of the day, maybe get some people to meet us on the way to the Scottish border. To any other Britnoders reading this: find us. Come with us. Bring a sleeping bag, bring camping gear - anything that's useful.

As I briefly mentioned, the news still hasn't officially broken on this side of the Atlantic, but rumours are spreading and, judging by the fleet of 2-lane military KCKATs heading past us on the road south, GovCentral are going to announce something tomorrow. So we have three days' head start on the virus and maybe one day's freedom before all hell breaks loose. I reckon that's enough time to collect Sarah and make it most of the way to Edinburgh - or wherever we wind up - before the roads become impassable.

gravy - currently driving, and I don't think I'll ever be able to think of her as anybody other than "gravy" - is the one who suggested heading north. She says the bug originated in equatorial regions which means it's probably averse to cold, which sounds sane enough for me. Maybe we can get on a boat to somewhere isolated like the Shetlands. Maybe Iceland. Maybe Norway. Failing that, plan B is to find a hill, find some alcohol, and enjoy the world and each other while we and it still exist.

Should I feel more scared than I do right now? Should I feel sad? Idk if it's because I'm tired, fuzzed or what but I've never felt so exhilarated. I've left behind my job, my home and a whole load of things I never really cared about and now we're cruising north through twilit England listening to Floyd and Ros. It's gonna be the party at the end of the world. Is it right that I should feel happier about the party than I feel sad about the end of the world?

You left footprints, f1r3br4nd, we can and we will track your location. As long as you're alive, keep transmitting. If we make it through, and you do too, then we'll try to find you. You and everybody else. KOKO.

My mother has emerged from her broken hip incident with a remarkably new outlook on life. Therefore, thankfully, one of the more intense stressors in my life is gone. Karma to the rescue!

We closed on our new house (the one I wanted to have a nodermeet in; but the look of sheer terror on my wife's face when I mentioned having 5-10 out-of-towners painting and partying and singing and eating etc. cooled me to that idea.) Y'all can still come by anytime but it'll be restaurant, sightseeing and an all-suites hotel for everyone (on my dime).

I thought I was getting Park Place but it turned out to be Baltic Avenue...

I told wifey that we'd need to capitalize our new real estate venture with at least $50,000. Come to find out, we're broke (on paper). I don't wanna sell securities that've just split and are doing really well. So as repugnant as I find the idea we're gonna engage in the good ole American Way of Credit. I'll still be making more money leaving the money we have in investments where it is, to make money, and borrowing at 5.95%. It makes me really nervous though, carrying so many liabilities. Income ain't that great either because no fewer than 4 other restaurants similar to ours have opened in our area and the fickle public wants to check 'em out.

Well, it took loquacious shaogo three paragraphs to get where I wanted to go. The second season of the Orgy of Eating and Buying is now long past and you know what? It made it okay just knowing that my Dad was looking down and enjoying the usual mayhem vicariously. My struggle with depression intensified early in December but I'm now happy to say it's gone and I'm back to rockin' and rollin' like my usual self.

You know Paul, you can really be a dick sometimes!

Allow me to offer an apology to anyone who caught me in a bad mood last month; I *know* I behaved like a dick to a couple of folks here and have made individual apologies but who knows, my moods tend to overflow onto other people and I'm awfully myopic about where my vitriol overflows.

Finally, I really don't care to post editor logs unless I see a trend or feel it necessary. So here's a mini-ed-log: I am just amazed at the quality and quantity of new users that're coming online. I'm working with 2 of them so that means between writing and reading every writeup my sessions on E2 are becoming 2-3 hour affairs. What do I care? I wouldn't like to be anywhere else in cyber-space. (Oh, if someone wants to loan me their time-share in St. Maarten, I'll bring the laptop there. But that ain't cyber-space!)

I ain't a fabulous writer. One of my biggest failings is that I don't even scribble down an outline; thus you get my "conversational tone" which is oft downvoted because when folks want an essay, dammit, they want an essay! So working with others on the very basics (even proper use of apostrophes) is as helpful to me as it is to them.

It's been a "bumpy evening" to quote Bette Davis but it's so refreshing to now draw back the dark curtains and look out at the clouds lit by sunshine!



”And do you know the surest way to go broke?... Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market….Down the tubes, slow but sure.”

”You know, at one time...there must have been dozens of companies making buggy whips…. And I’ll bet that last company was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw.”

”Now, how would have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?”

That little gem was from Danny Devito in a scene from a movie called “Other People’s Money”.

Maybe that quote explains the logic surrounding my recent decision to step down from the admin group. Maybe, through a series of miscalculations and good intentions the staff here has promised more than it can deliver. As for me, I was just getting tired of explaining ourselves to individual noders who actually believed what I outlined in my July 2007 editor log and that was further documented in News for Noders.

I was tired of the recent spate of server errors, lag time and slow page loads. I was tired of being told to “be nice” to certain individuals who seemed to have claimed the c-box as their own personal playground.

I was tired of the endless streams of nodes about noding, the merit system, xp and so on and so on. I was tired of the squabbles both big and small regarding the conduct of certain users and how they should best be dealt with. I was tired because if votes are any indication, it gets a bit discouraging to pour yourself into a write up only to discover that only about thirty other people might read it.

I was tired because over the years I had invested on awful lot of myself into this place in the hopes that one day it would pay off and we would be the envy of the internet.

I consider myself a passionate person. I work hard, play hard and throw myself headfirst into things I have no business getting into. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve decided to step down.

See, in my twisted mind, I’m doing so because I care too much about this place and can’t justify myself or my place in it anymore.

I feel a little bit like Janis singing (make that "belting out") the lyrics to "Piece of My Heart".

It fuckin’ hurts.

To use a sports analogy, I feel like the aging veteran who gets to sit on the sidelines while his understudies are out on the playing field. Who knows, maybe I still have it in me to come off the bench and make a play every now and then? Some of them might even be good and some will probably suck but that’s okay. I’ve heard the cheers and faced the boos before and I’m sure I can do it again. In the end though, we’re all forced to retire.

Unlike the athlete that’s past his or her prime and winds up embarrassing themselves in front of their peers, I’m choosing to go out while there’s still some time left on the clock.

All the best,


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