Pacman comes to life ...

Reminds me of the Larry Niven/Steven Barnes "Dreampark" series of SF novels. In some of them they use a VR headset to play a real life version of Dungeons & Dragons.
Just in for a short bit unfortunately. A bunch of things (both good and bad) came to a head, and I just didn't have the energy (or interest) to get on any boards. A very long story.

Back when I lived in MD, I was very active in public service events as an amateur radio operator. Parades, civil defense, charity events (AIDS walk, MS Bike tour, etc), and other activities. I've been one of the people who coordinates the medical/health/safety radio communications system for the Marine Corp Marathon for around the past 10 years. When I moved to VA, I wanted to continue doing this, only to find that the local clubs were not as active in public service as the ones in the DC metro area.

I also realized that living in the boondocks does NOT help one develop a thriving social life. I was spending W-A-A-Y too much time alone on the computer. I got diagnosed with clinical depression several years ago, and I know that spending excessive time alone does not help things. Combined with the fallout from me being downsized (Gordon can probably write you a book about the joys of that subject), and things were just not heading in the right direction. I mentioned to E last year that I was having trouble getting work done on the glossary, but I didn't tell him that the reason was that the depression was absolutely killing me.

End result was that I joined the local volunteer rescue squad to fill some of the voids. I love it, but it is very time consuming. A full member needs to do 7 duty shifts a month, including at least 4 night or weekend shifts. These requirements mean that you end up doing a minimum of 39 hours of duty per month, not including training. I've been putting in around double that so that I can get some experience under my belt while my work schedule is (unfortunately) still pretty empty. After getting home at midnight after a 6 PM - 11 PM shift, or worse, getting in at 6 AM from a 11 PM - 5 AM shift, getting on the computer is just not very high on the list of priorities. That assumes that you actually get off at the scheduled time, a very dangerous assumption. Just like the fact that the only time that your HA setup doesn't work is when you are giving a demonstration, emergency calls tend to come in 20 minutes before the shift ends. With the extended transport times we have, it's not uncommon for a call to take 1-2 hours. :D

The other thing that has screwed everything to he** recently is that my father died. We knew that his health was going downhill and had reconciled ourselves to having him in a nursing home for extended period, only to have him drop dead in my mom's arms from a stroke. After 54 years of marriage, my mom was/is obviously pretty broken up. I'm an only child, and my father had no living relatives, so I've had to spend a considerable time in MD with my mom.

In any case, I don't expect to be very active on the board for another month or two, until we get most of his estate taken care of, and things get back into something resembling a normal pattern. I used to think that taxes were the worst thing around, but all the paperwork associated with a death in the family runs a very close second. We're up to 19 copies of the death certificate and counting. :)

Oh well, enough of the soap opera. We now return you to your normally scheduled argument about the best (elk M1) alarm (elk M1) system (elk m1) to buy (elk M1).
I had the feeling something was wrong! Well here is hoping all turns out OK and you get through these tough times. You always have concerned friends here so visit as often as you can and best of luck for your future!
Hey don't worry about the boards, that would be the last thing on my mind as well, we all need a break sometimes. I am sorry to hear about your father, as BSR mentioned, there are plenty of people here who care, so we do appreciate the update! Take care!
I am sorry to hear about your Dad and other issues. Just know that you always have friends here or on the chat, if there is anything we can do to help.