Wow. I didn't expect this to happen today, especially since I'm still averaging only five or six a day, but -- luckily for Bob, I suppose -- we had a few serious political, ethical, and scientific threads, and at least one person who called me holier-than-thou.
In a lot of ways, this is a microcosm of my time spent at Hatrack.
I've struggled for nearly a week to come up with something deep to say on this thread; a lot of people have written some very brilliant, moving, and fascinating posts for their traditional "milestone," and I couldn't think of anything to fill those shoes.
Then I realized why.
It's because I don't have anything special to say about myself; everything there is to know about me is ALREADY here, over the last four years. What more could I say, what more could I BE, than what I've been and talked about being here?
Really, the only noteworthy thing about hitting 8000 posts is that, unlike a lot of people who've been around a lot longer on forums that predated this one, I stuck around.
I don't know why so many of the others drifted away. I know some just got too busy. Others felt like they had run out of things to say, or had seen all the arguments and discussions too many times to maintain interest. Some didn't like the new format, or thought the tone of the forum changed in ways they didn't appreciate (especially compared to our idealized memories of the ones that had gone before).
But I DO know why I stayed.
I like you. I like this place.
I'm not the kind of person who dreams about Hatrackers or comes up with imaginary presents. I didn't go to EnderCon. I probably won't ever buy a Hatrack T-shirt.
But there are people here who mean the world to me, and I just wanted y'all to know that. I'm still here because, every single day, I'm reminded of how many good people there are in the world -- and grateful that so many of them are willing to get together in one place and talk about crap.
Hatrack Rules! I've always been amazed how certain communities of people form strong bonds, even though most of them have never seen each other in person. Hatrack is one of the most excellent examples of this phenomenon.
I'm another one that's glad you're still around. The things that you say, whether I agree with them or not, force me to re-examine myself, my own perceptions, and beliefs, for which I am grateful. Stick around at least until Karl and I make our 8000th posts.
Posts: 5879 | Registered: Apr 2001
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I remember the first time I learned Tom was younger than I. I was astounded -- he was so much more mature sounding, smarter... he couldn't be older than me.
I started out thinking he was the pompous ass that he has a reputation for. I don't know if he remembers when I attacked him about his Mormon bashing tendencies at ornery.org. I don't even remember what sent me over the edge, but I was definitely in a fuss.
I grew to like the guy as time went on, and have even defended him to other mormons who see him as an insufferable anti-mormon.
Tom is one of the few hatrackers who has particularly influenced me by one of their posts. One was his response to an abortion thread that was getting a lot of action a year or so ago. I won't repeat the story, but it made me understand his POV much clearer than it had before -- in fact, it made me love him for what he had been through and feel for him.
Another time was when I was taking him to task for not believing in God. I actually asked him if he had ever tried to find out if there was a God. His response was stunning to me, and made me rethink how I view those who are athiest/agnostic or whatever he is.
Anyway, he's turned into a good buddy. And he plays a mean game of mafia.
[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited October 18, 2002).]
Tom's a pillar -- the pillar -- of Hatrack and Ornery. No offense meant to anyone else, but while there are some incredible minds out there whom I like and respect, a la Moose, Storm Saxon, Belle, John, Jeni, none of you can hold a candle to this guy.
Quite often, Tom's slapping my wrists for going overboard on a topic. Though he doesn't truly rip into me, I take every criticism he gives -- no matter how mild -- to heart. I've never seen him as hateful, let alone near the extremes I, and others here, have reached.
I'm going to cut this off before it gets (more) sappy. Tom, dude, you hold a great deal of my respect and, I wish I could say, friendship. You've always been here to set Hatrack straight, and dealt with the vitrolic and soft-spoken alike with a fair tongue. You're easily the greatest mind on Hatrack, and I doubt there's anyone here who could or would disagree with me. Bravo, dude.
Congratulations Master Poster! May your fingers never tire of sharing your wit and wisdom with us here at Hatrack. May your mind remain as razor sharp as it is today. I hoist a glass of the good old stout in your honor!
So I don't actually know anything about Tom really. I know this proves I'm still a newbie but if he wants to share more about himself I'd be interested to read.
Posts: 871 | Registered: Mar 2002
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My thread wasn't posted until after Endercon. There was a response from OSC himself on it, though, and Kristine mentioned at a signing that she thought it was a great tradition. But she called Tom a peach!
Congratulations Tom! ::remembers when Tom got his 6000th post:: ::feels old:: Many thanks for: ~Always listening ~Being honest (yes, even when painfully so) ... There's a very long list of things to thank you for. For now, however, thanks for being a part of Hatrack.
Posts: 1548 | Registered: Aug 2002
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Way to go, grandpa. I've known your name for almost four years now (whether or not you've known mine). But you are far more diligent and dedicated than I may ever be to this board. You'll always be the second most popular guy at Hatrack.
Posts: 2523 | Registered: May 2000
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Now you've got me wondering patrick, how old Tom is...he definitely has that 'dad' feel to me. So PapaMoose until I saw a photo of him. Geez, next I'll be finding out that Bob's still a boyscout.
Tom is great. Even on those days when I skim threads rather than read each post carefully, I always pause when I see Tom's name.
*Grin* Of course Tom has that aura of being a dad. Along with Uncle Orson, of course, Tom is genuinely the father of the Hatrack forums as we know them. Right from the early days of the BML forums, his fairness and humour and annoying habit of finding something to say that we hadn't thought of yet but was absolutely spot-on, and his honesty with himself and others... all those things are what made Hatrack a pleasant place to come and play and learn. I've always respected you, Tom, even when we've disagreed, and so often you've said something that made me re-think my own position. I remember a very personal post that you made on the BML forums about abortion that was so powerful it made me cry. I remember many more times that you've made me laugh, and I'm so glad that you're still here.
*raises cup of coffee* From one old-timer to another, here's to Tom!
Congrats Tom! I too enjoy your insights and wisdom. I'm a little awestruck at the thought of 8000 posts... I'll never make it to that pinnacle of posting.
Posts: 1091 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!
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Hey Tom. You are one of the persons who make me (and people like me) hang around Hatrack. I don’t contribute much to this place – I usually lurk, sometimes post some fluff – but I love coming here, thanks to you and some other people. Congrats and many .
Posts: 174 | Registered: Apr 2002
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