IMHO: 11 May 2003
It's been a while, I know. Trouble is, I have a life.
I have been accused, on occasion, of needing one. And indeed there was a time years ago when this was true. Being unemployed really has only one possible benefit: extra spare time. Nearly all of which was spent on this site. The irony is that I nearly had to shut it down for lack of funds to keep it running. But I just managed to squeak through (although unemployment helped to ruin my marriage and brought me to within inches of personal bankruptcy).
Those dark days are thankfully long past, and I now have a marvelous job writing web applications for a pharmaceutical giant. So there goes about 45 to 50 hours of my week. A substantial chunk of the remainder is spent creating and maintaining commercial websites for clients large and small; together with The Avengers eStore, my second job subsidizes TheAvengers.TV, which is now of a size that it takes a fair bit of change to keep the lights on.
Oh, yeah. Keeping the lights on can take more than cash, too—it can often take... wait for it... time. Recently the site had to endure a forced move to a new server. The move was anything but smooth, and an enormous effort was required to keep everything running (regulars of the Forum noticed a brief outage when nothing was running.) And in a month or so the site will be moving again as I look for roomier quarters, since we are currently maxed out. It is going to take another Herculean effort to make the move, but hopefully it will be the last for a good long while.
Then, there are no end of "real life" issues that pile on top. Some people are lucky enough to approach the half-century mark with few if any health problems. I am not one of the lucky ones, and an increasing percentage of my time and income is being spent at the doctor's office. Having parents headed for the century mark gives me a glimpse of my future—and also divides my attention still further.
The remaining slice of my time constitutes my personal life. For some time this site has been benefiting from one of the obvious advantages of being single: a bit more spare time than usual. But I have no intention of spending the remainder of my life alone, and so I am once more being social, which can consume a considerable amount of the personal time and finance budgets.
If that isn't enough, I'm also preparing to move out of my current home, which requires fairly substantial renovations to ready it for sale. Can you guess what renovations take? Ten points if you answered "time." Twenty points if you added, "and a lot of money, too." When it comes time to make the move, you can bet that website updates will come to a halt.
The Avengers Forever is a hobby, although at times it seems as if I've created a monster. While it is sincerely rewarding to have a large and enthusiastic fan base, I've occasionally been made to feel as if I'm neglecting my "duties" in keeping the site updated. Worse, lately I've been leaving many emails unanswered; if you've written and are feeling neglected, please accept my humble apologies. It is not deliberate.
Make no mistake, I am committed to keeping TAF as alive and fresh as is feasible. But I am entering a period in my life when the time available for hobbies grows ever more precious. Not to mention that I have other hobbies as well, none of which I have pursued for many months now, and I miss them. Maybe when I retire...
In the meantime, please be patient. I'm still here.
David K. Smith, 11 May 2003
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