Last update: 12/31/02
11-22-02 07:56am PST update: I am so far behind that I am drowning in e-mail. I started with 200 backlogged babies this morning at 6am. I have been plowing through them here and there when I can so far today but this is a job for SUPERMAN. Or somebody. Somebody...not me! Anyways, I must attend to my day job. However, I have great plans...great plans. And they are all going to commence between now and March 2003. Call it my THREE MONTH PLAN.
On the home front, the cheap cinema in Northridge has some actually interesting movies showing this week, so perhaps I can become part of popular culture once again and become one with our American hegemonistic art form! I sure hope so. I must be going through cold turkey because I am thinking fondly upon Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.
11-13-02 01:08pm PST update: Yeah, I am behind in EVERYTHING! So there! So much to talk about...and trapped in linear time.
Movies with Ira: I am such a disappointing parent. I have not watched I Spy with the spawnal unit. The teenaged spawnal unit, who is working on his snob badge these days, read some bad reviews and decided to relegate the flick to the cheap cinema or check out the DVD from the library, whichever comes first. What a kiss of death, no? And me? How did I feel? Other than great relief? The Core, which I anticipated watching when I Spy came out apparently has been pushed to next year. NEXT YEAR! Luckily that is only a couple of months away, but still, after that there are still twelve months of next year that it could pop up in. Also, I read that the film is NOT about the Earth's core stopping to spin, but the magnetic field dying during the Earth's preparation for the great polarity switch which has been long over due for about a million or so years. Okay, THAT PLOT is more realistic than the Earth's core deciding to stop spinning. However, losing the magnetic field of the Earth will mean some rather nasty UV (ultra violet) waves getting through, a dearth of sunscreen, and most or all our satellites shorting out. Stuff like that. But I doubt earthquakes will happen and that stuff. But then who knows? But back to my monologue topic, my getting to bond with my son through modern cinema. Our next goal is to see if we can get into Harry Potter II sometime tomorrow. Yeah, we are going to rough it. No purchasing the tickets ahead of time. I want to teach my kid the magic of risk. We might see it, we might not. THE LUCK OF DRAW, so to speak. Next week is James Bond 20, "the series that will die another day". I have been trying to prepare the offspring for this momentous occasion, but he's been getting more and more bored with the James Bond series as we have been watching them chronologically. However, he did like the out of canon Casino Royale. Perhaps TOO much. I have been impressed how much the first five Connery Bond's have been so archetypal for Western Civilization. It is cliche ridden, until one realizes that when they were filmed, they were proto-cliches. Food for thought. But not too much thought, thank goodness. My current big internal debate is whether to take the child to Matrix II. He'll be 15 when it is released. I'll no doubt watch it and then make a decision. It is so difficult to raise a child when Western Civilization is in decline.
I went to see Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. I was even inspired to write a review of it for the Whoosh! review section. It was rated "R", so the child did not attend.
I am in competition for a promotion at my day job and I will be doing my interview at 7am PST on Monday 11/18/2002. If you have a chance, think nice promotion type thoughts then, okay? I have already drycleaned the suit, but I still have no idea what to do about my hair. Maybe I should just shave it all off. No, that would be kinda extreme. Oh what to do, what to do?
Do I have anything else I can complain or whine about? Well, the mind has gone blank. Oh, one thought. 2003 will see the benefits of the Whoosh! journal going bimonthly. That means I can get the episode guide, on the road, uber uber alles, and other areas into inspection order. Right now I am scrambling to get out the 74th (our last monthly monthly issue, at least for a while) and the 75th issue (fusion of both our 75th issue festivities and the annual calendar edition). But January 2nd, I will take a little break and then start thinking about getting the episode guide up to snuff. So much to do, so much genre TV!
10-25-02 12:35pm PST update: I have made a deal with my 14 year old son. I would go to a movie of his choice, if he went to a movie of my choice. That means I will probably start going to a lot more movies these days. A good thing, I hope! Of course, we will only be limited to PG-14 and under films, but it's better than nothing.
Our first "contractual" viewings will be next weekend. He wants to see "I Spy" and I want to see "The Core". Both films are problematic.
I loved the show "I Spy" as a very young child. Why am I concerned about the movie? For words: Owen Wilson & Eddie Murphy.
I used to like Eddie Murphy for some reason, but of late he's been coming out with low humor material. Owen Wilson seems to be totally in love wit himself. I have a low tolerance for people like that.
But a deal's a deal. I shall go to see "I Spy" so I can have company to see "The Core". Normally, I am quite content to see a movie by myself, but I have been so busy lately that planning to see a movie by myself basically says I am not going to go. I wanted to see "Ecks and Sever", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", and a multitude of other films, but I did not because I was going to see them by myself. Anyways, this new "contract with the spawn" might allow me to see more movies. And I need to see more movies. I am starving for big screen exposure.
Now, I am sure anyone reading this will realize that I am agreeing to go to "I Spy", a film that may be near intolerable to watch, so I can see "The Core", a film that is obviously clueless of basic physics.
Well, I am not only STARVING for a cinematic experience, but I am also low on my big screen SF monthly minimum requirements. Yes, I realize "The Core" has an implausible premise. Yes, i realize it will be stupid. But hey, I went to "Eight Legged Freaks" because I needed that SF fix so bad, I was reduced to going to a horror movie dressed in faux SF clothes. And to be fair to "Eight Legged Freaks" it had some very affirming moments about it. It had a female sheriff who was believably the sheriff and, by gum it!, she acted like the sheriff of a town -- she was in control at all times and kept her authority going, and still had time to yell a few times between spidercides and get the guy in the end. I have to admit, I love this new stereotype in movies -- the young and earnest female sheriff or cop who saves the day. They even had one in the TV show that no one watches, "Push, Nevada". But that's neither here nor there. The point is that by going to some of these movies that look like a waste of time, might transcend themselves for a moment or two, and that transcendence is my kind of transcendence.
So, I am hoping to whatever supernatural being that may or may not be out there, that "The Core" will have at least one teensy weensy moment of transcendence. And who knows, maybe "I Spy" will too.
Anyways, I must go now and ponder what my next DVD purchase will be. My spawn is lobbying for "The Dish" and my spouse is for "Minority Report" (which BTW had more holes in it than "Eight Legged Freaks", but it was definitively prettier) or "The Fifth Element". And what do I want? I want the Director's Cut of Star Trek III (I am such a serious dweeb), but Deep Discount DVD does not seem to have it!!!!
10-25-02 09:11am PST update: Just a quick note. I have had time in the past week to work a little on the upcoming issue #74 and the episode guide (reorganizing the Alias and Relic Hunter areas, updating the Alias episode guide, and adding information to the Amazon High area. I am behind as always. I have over 140 votes to process for the Amazon Calendar votes (thanks all for your enthusiasm!) and a 144 e-mails to plow through. The weekend is busy but I will try to make make some more progress towards some sort of balance and harmony. I made a deal with my son that I'd go see I Spy with him if he'd see The Core with me. Yeah, yeah, I know, the The Core reeks of some fundamentally wacky physics but I am sooooo hungry for big screen SF. So hungry that I am willing to go to an Owen Wilson comedy just to have company to go to a potentially stupid SF movie. I am so pathetic. Anyways, that's next weekend, so wish me luck surviving I Spy, so I can make it to my potential ultimate disappointment with The Core. (My new mantra: 7 weeks to Star Trek: Nemesis!)
10-13-02 9:42pm PST update: Things have calmed a little bit. I had some time to clean up the Alias episode guide area. Hopefully in the next few days I will get the area caught up. On the calendar election front, we have had so far 63 votes. And I currently have 138 e-mails that I need to deal with sooner or later. But not tonight. I am going to bed...NOW! Later gaters.
10-12-02 6:00pm PST update: I cannot believe it. I am done editing, tweaking, and formatting. Now I get to start the changing of the guard process.
- Rename current whoosh.html to whoosh72.html & save in the past whoosh covers file (done 1:53pm)
- Take issue74.html and make next issue75.html file from it and upload into issue after working on (done 2:18pm)
- Add meta word keywords to index.html in /issue73 (done 2:27pm)
- Take current issue whoosh.html info and make an issue72.html for the new past issue. Check to make sure the index.html for it has the proper meta word keywords. Upload both issue72 & its index.html into /issue72 (done 3:00pm)
- Update backiss.html and upload [I would KILL for a cola right now!!!!] (done 3:06pm)
- Update ataglance7.html for previous issue and upload [I would invade Poland for a cola right now] (done 3:28pm)
- Update whoosh.html, epguide.html, date.html, and navbar.html; put in article links; put in disclaimer; upload whoosh.html page. Issue 73 officially released! [A cola! A cola! A cola for my kingdom!] (done 4:26pm)
- Check links on-line; add interviews to interview page; update whoosh.html [I need...cola...need...] (done 4:51pm)
- Do the next issue page [Hey! Complaining on-line works...someone brought me a coke! Door to door service!] (done 5:21pm)
- Update the article-readers.xls (done 5:54pm)
- Update the donate.html, which is this! Well, I did it. It took 8 hours but here we are! Now, I must do dinner. (done 6pm)
10-12-02 10:50pm PST update: I have been working on issue 73 now since 9am. The only thing holding it up is ME! I have all the articles and graphics and now I must fine tune the issue for public consumption. I am currently cleaning up the sheffield2 now that it is coded. I will check in again when that is done. See you later gater.
10-08-02 10:15pm PST update: Finished the letters and the corrections on 4 articles. Everything is ready to go except for the final coding. Once I get the coded sheffield2, then I will start changing all the pages to reflect the new issue. Whew! This has been a killer issue.
10-08-02 8:00pm PST update: Just jumped on to do the letters and see if I can make some serious headway into making this issue a reality. Stay tuned...
10-07-02 5:45pm PST update: Looks like we will not get the coding done until tomorrow night. We got all the alt tags done, though! And I still have to finish editing the letters. Slowly everything is getting done.
Personal to Daniel de Cullá: I received your postcard today. Thank you. It was very colorful and I agree totally with its sentiment. However, you did not give me either an e-mail address or mailing address on the card. To answer your question, Whoosh is only available on-line and no services exist to send it out by mail. It remains free to all though.
10-06-02 10:30pm PST update: Just finished the update to the airing schedule. Took 3 hours. That might give you some insight into how much time this website takes to maintain. My right eye is running so I have decided I must be coming down with something. I just put on some herbal medicinal tea to drink about a gallon and then go to bed. I feel like I am writing notes, stuffing them in a bottle, and then throwing it out to sea, wondering if anyone out there is reading them. Heh heh. Anyways, I will have to put off working on the journal longer than I had hoped. But the good news is my coder is helping me out tomorrow, so all I have to worry about is alt tags and finishing the letters section, and of course, preparation of issue 74! It never ends, people. It...never...ends.
Yahoo Webservices is not cooperating with me at all for my stats requests. If I do not get an answer for this rash of stats requests, I will have to take a gazillion hours and phone customer service to find out what is happening.
Over the weekend I saw the movie The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood or something like that and, you know, I like a chick flick like any other chick, but that chick flick freaked me out. It was too chick-flicky even for me, a card carrying chick. Scary eh? It definitely scared me. And what was worse is that I have an unhuman capacity to tolerate bad Sandra Bullock films (I saw Speed II twice!), and that Ya-Ya movie, I wanted to run out of the theater screaming my midwestern roots head off. But I did not. I was with guests. And those guests paid my way. My sense of decorum and etiquette was greater than my gag reflex. My mama would have been proud.
10-06-02 7:30pm PST update: I was hoping to get to this sooner, but here I am. I am going to finish the letters section, update the four articles. I doubt I will have the energy to code the sheffield2. My coder got back to me and said she might be able to get to it tomorrow night. Let's hope! Two people contacted me to do the alt tags but they didn't even know what they were! I guess their browser doesn't let them see them. OKAY GUYS! I know there are people out there who love the alt tags and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. Help up out. I am going to have to do 5-6 articles. I could use some help!
I am going to pour myself a tall glass of water, update the airing schedule, and then get to the Whoosh journal stuff. Thanks for all your support and help.
10-05-02 4:15pm PST update (ZERO HOURS): I must stop now after only 7.5 hours. I am beat. As stands, i am half way through the letters editing. I shall resume tomorrow by finishing the letters and then editing the last article, adding graphics, and putting it in the alt tag queue. I desperately need help with alt tags. Please send me an e-mail saying you will help out. I'd appreciate it.
Now I must go and prepare for a barbecue. We are going to start having weekly barbecues on Friday or Saturday. My family has decided to become SOCIAL. If you live in the LA area you are invited if you are interested. Hopefully, issue 73 will be old news tomorrow. I am beat. Very very beat. See you all tomorrow.
10-05-02 2:45pm PST update (only 2.25 hours to go): Well, I can tell you know I am not going to make it today. Four of the articles are on hold while the author makes some last minute corrections. She has asked to hold them until they can be made. She hopes to make them this weekend. So, the earliest the issue will get out is Sunday night. But, until then there is still lots to do! What's the status?1. 7 articles finished (2 are on hold) 2. 4 articles needing alt tags! HELP MEEEEE! HELP MEEEEE! Just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the urls of the graphics needing alt tags. 3. I am still waiting on whether my coder can help out or not 4. I have 125 e-mails so far. 5. I have not gotten the stats report on the website yet. I am assuming it got lost in the cyberspace, so I shall re-request it. 6. In the next hour I am going to code the editorial and edit and code the letters.Tomorrow, I hope to do those corrections to the articles (God willing!) and work on the episode guide next. So much to do, so little time to do it in.
So, back to the saltmine. Later gaters. Thanks for all your help and support. It's been a wild day.
10-05-02 1:30pm PST update (only 3.50 hours to go): In an amazing last minute upset, the "hold the issue until all done" won! It was neck and neck for a while but the hold it people got the last vote in and so, I will upload the issue at 5pm today. I should have it all done by then, however, I might not have any alt tags by then. I heard back from my free lance alt tagger and she cannot do it...so I am at the mercy of anyone reading this now...can you think of witty captions for graphics? If so, have I got a job for you! Just send me an e-mail to email@example.com and I will send you the urls of the graphics needing alt tags. The need is great. The need is now! Join the Whoosh Alt-Tag S.W.A.T. Team and start alt-tagging NOW!!!
My only update is that I have added 1 more article to the "need to be alt tagged" pile. We have 3 articles needing alt tagging. If you feel generous, send me an e-mail now and help me out. Thanks!
All I have left is 1 more graphics adding (then off to alt tag land); edit the letters and code them; code the editorial; and since I have not heard from my coder, I will start coding the last article...and then add the graphics, and then throw it on the alt tag pile.
I am cutting down on the junk food intake. I might be experiencing some snack hallucinations.
Later gaters, next update perhaps in an hour?
10-05-02 12:30pm PST update (only 4.50 hours to go): Will I make it? I dunno. The clock is ticking. What's the status so far?1. I am to 135 e-mails in my "to do" pileAnd I have 4.5 hours left...will I make it? Well, I am on my 2nd soda, 3rd chip bag (lunch size -- OKAY?), and just tore off the top of a king size peanut m&m bag with my TEETH! I will either die or make the deadline, or something like that. Anyways, please send me encouragement, your votes for whether I should release the issue piecemeal starting at 1pm (voting closes in 30 minutes and the piecemeal people are in the lead, but not by much...), and news of your offerings to the web gods for a successful conclusion to EVERYTHING!
2. Still no stats report. I have no idea whether I will have data for the beginning of September. The suspense is nailbiting.
3. I have not heard from either my coder or alt tagger. If I do not hear from my alt tagger by 3pm, I will open it up to anyone out there reading this...send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to send you the urls of the graphics needing alt tags and you can submit some clever and witty ones!
4. I have thus today finished one article! Yay! 5. I am waiting on 2 articles for alt tags (then they will be done - thank goodness!) 6. I am waiting on 1 article for coding; when coded, it will need graphics and alt tags. 7. I still need to (1) add graphics to 2 articles and then send them to alt tagging land; (2) edit the letters to the editor; and (3) code the editorial.
Thanks again for your support and well wishes. I am soaking it up on marathon to whip this site back into some sort of shape. And remember...YOU ARE THERE!
10-05-02 11:15am PST update (only 5.75 hours to go): I just got done doing the post-edit on sheffield2 and formatting the sent graphics (thank you Ms. Sheffield!). I have zipped up the graphics and sent the whole package to Cynthia, the wonder coder, on the slight hope that she will be free within the next couple of hours to code, put in the graphics, and alt tag this baby. If not, then I will be doing that in a few hours! Let's hope fortune is smiling down at me today.
My next activity will be getting some peanut m&m's. Then, I will start from the top bottom. Looks like graphicizing and editing alt tags will be my project for the next hour or so. I am pushing the deadline for voting on whether to start uploading the articles or not to 1pm. That will give me time to bring some articles up to snuff.
One thing that is most annoying. Because of my preoccupation with other matters, I forgot to get a stats request on the website for the month of September. I put in a request about 15-20 minutes ago and I am wondering if I am too late. I hope not. Anyways, just more angst and stress to add to an otherwise snackapalooza day!
So, in summary, (1) please place your vote whether you want me to upload issue 73 as I get it ready or just wait until everything is done; and (2) offer something to the website gods so that Cynthia will be amenable and available to my latest round of begging and cajoling and she will be able to do the coding et. al; that I will get complete stats for the month of September; that i will not become too ill from my snack binge; and that issue 73 will be whole by 5pm PST today!!! Thanks for your support and offerings!
10-05-02 9:45am PST update: I am down to 140 e-mails. And two people so far have volunteered to help with the site since I put up my request for more volunteers. YAY!!! I am going whip this site back into shape even if it's the LAST THING I WILL EVER DO. How's that for some late-morning melodrama? The last time I did any work on the journal was 09/21/02. How embarrassing. But today, i am going to do my best to get something up by 5pm for issue #73. I have just done my assessment of where I am at for issue #73:6 articles are done (YAY!)Now, should I work from the top to bottom or bottom to top? Should I wait to upload the issue when all the articles are done OR should I upload articles as they are done? I need help people. E-mail me at email@example.com, and please...tell me what to do. The voting will end at noon. If more people say put it up piecemeal I will upload what I have at noon. If people say no, wait, then I will try to get everything done by 5pm.
1 needs alt tags
1 is waiting for alt tagging
3 needs graphics and then alt tags
1 needs coding, graphics and alt tagging
The letters need to be edited and coded
1 editorial needs to be coded.
I have broken out the cola and chips, rolled up my shirt sleeves, put a pencil behind my ear, crack my knuckles, and am ready to jump into Whooshland....without a safety net. I will work on the paper that needs to be coded first. I will prepare it for coding (what we in Whoosh editorial land call "post-edit") and then send it to Whoosh's incredibly talented coder, Cynthia Ward Cooper. I will see if she is free to do a quickie code job. If not, then I will have to do it in the early afternoon. Oooo, will she be there? Will she have time to help me in my hour of need? Nothing like throwing something like this on an old friend to see how tolerant they are of their quirky friends! And remember...you ARE THERE. My next update will be when I am done coding this paper. Later gaters. I have an appointment with some junk food and a keyboard.
10-05-02 8:50am PST update: One of my computer's problems is that the power supply blew. It's a Winbook so it has a unique size, etc. I have found a generic power supply however the input in slightly larger than needed so I am careful, it does not fall out and I can get a bit of time on the computer. Compared to the last few weeks, this is nirvana. I can access stuff and this is good. AND the even better news, this is Saturday, all pressing chores have been done, no work requires, no bills to pay or home business to attend to. It is almost 9am PST and i am ready to devote 8 unfettered hours to Whoosh!. What a treat! And worry not, I have lots treats to aid me to get through this marathon of journal production (cola, peanut m&m's, and salty potato chips!). As I start there are currently exactly 200 e-mails in my inbox. Issue 73 awaits to be produced. I have to do the letters and editorial. And if I actually release the journal by 5pm PST today, I will work a tad on the episode guide. Oh, I have plans...plans of revising the site to make it more manageable and hassle free. So, I plan on making some updates today to this area as I am working, so drop by again and experience with me the thrill and joy of creating yet another issue of Whoosh ... as it happens! YOU ARE THERE!.
Message dated: 10/04/02
When it rains it pours. Not only did I have a massive time crunch, but my computer died on me. For a week I was forced to bum time off of other people's computers. I have cobbled my computer back together, but who knows how long it will last? I sure as heck don't! Anyways, some time is looking like it will free up. My first priority will be to put together the October issue of Whoosh that was aborted mid-month in the middle of issue processing. In my speed to get it on-line, I may have to wait to put in the graphics. I have not decided whether I will put it up as the articles become formatted, or whether I will wait for everything to be done and then do it. I might have some decision by the end of the coming weekend.
Until next time,
Message dated 09/29/02
Addendum for 09/29/02: There is no way possible I am going to make any deadline before next week. This might be a swansong for the site right as we have known it now. We have the articles to publish, but the pipeline to get them ready for publication is being stressed beyond its current capabilities. I cannot alone keep up a site like this. I can do some of it. But not all of it. We are already maxxing out our other volunteers. Over the next few months I will be restructuring the site and making it manageable with the staff that we have and the levels that they can give, including me. It is not going away, it just needs to downscale some, more in terms of calendar time than physical size. Currently I am sitting on about 150 e-mails that I have no idea when I get to. Priority are those dealing with the October issue, and then I work from there. Of course, this amount may grow since I receive about 200 e-mails per day that I have to plow through as well. I am getting more e-mails than I can process at this time and it is growing at a pace of about 3-5 in the remainder pool per day. Two weeks ago the pool was under 100. Hopefully, in October I will be able to do a lot of catching up.
Message dated 09/27/02
This has not been a good month timewise for me. Because of a massive time crunch, I am anticipating that October's issue will be late (this will be a first in 6 years -- and sadly I am announcing it on Whoosh's 6th anniversary -- the first issue of Whoosh went on-line Sept. 26, 1996). Hopefully not by too much time. However, I am in need of volunteers to help me get future issues out. We need coders, editors, and quick studies. If I cannot find the volunteer help I nee,d I will have to cut down on the size of the monthly journal. Also, I have had no time to update the episode guide. Again, I need volunteer editors and coders and reviewers and synopsis writers to help out with that.
Rest assured it will be released, but I have no idea when at this point. Hopefully sometime before Sept. 7th.
Until next time,
Message dated 08-31-02
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
I just uploaded issue 72, the Aphrodite Issue. Next month we have the All Theatre Issue where we will re-live Xena Live 2 - The Musical and Renee O'Connor's recent turn as Lady Macbeth. Then we will have a mini-Kevin Smith themed issue. After that issues 75 and the 76 (the Calendar Issue) are not far behind.
The other competitors for time in my life are making quite a fuss these days. I am not able to update the site and get the refurb project as much as I would like. But that is what manana is for! I have added a few of the previous calendar issues due to popular demand. However, we are getting up to the space limit, and I want to make sure everything has been properly reduced and restored before deciding to buy more server space. The next issue on the list of refurb is ossie #10. I also have to reduce the graphics for the On the Road section. I am sure I will be able to recover megs of space by just cleaning up the area. Also, with our new editor, I am looking forward to having the holes filled and future conventions covered by the area. The On the Road section is one of the hidden treasures of Whoosh. There is a lot of historic and unique information stored in that area. It's a fun place to lose yourself for a few hours on a rainy day.
The episode guide. Eek. I am mega-behind on that. But I will plow ahead nonetheless. When I get a chance, I will jump in the deep end and code away.
Something big is coming up...I am in the midst of working out a major expansion of the Website, adding a new and exciting dimension to an area of the site. I am excited by it. It will add to our staff in a big way and also add to the services that we offer. When the deal is finalized, I will announce it with all the pomp and circumstance it deserves.
I have recently received a very generous donation that will cover the website, as it is, through the next few months. It was a godsend and I thank the party again. Had I not received this kind and generous donation before the expansion mentioned above was offered to Whoosh, I probably would have declined the offer. However, that donation gave us the ability to plan on an expansion. Providence is wonderful!
As always, thanks to all you wonderful people who visit our site and read our wares, to all those incredibly generous people who contribute articles, reviews, coding skills, editing skills, etc. to keep this website organic, and finally to all those who have given monetary contributions for this site. Whoosh is a monument to fandom and also a refuge where their voice can be heard, whether it's gushy, controversial, grouchy, effusive, brainy, thoughtful, or just plain dumb. I was hoping we'd be able to segue into other fandoms, but it looks like the Xena fandom is not quite ready to roll over and move on. And that's fine with me. We have some very clever, thoughtful, sensitive, and generous people out there, and as long as Whoosh is around, they will have a home away from home here at Whoosh.
Until next time,
Message dated 08-17-02
We are currently at issue #71. Issues 72 & 73 are in full swing production. We will make #75 no problem. The calendar issue (#76) looks like a winner. We are still getting submissions and hits on the website. As long as we continue doing that, we know we are doing a good job. A job, by the way, that would not be possible without so many donors of hard American cash. It has helped immensely. I know I am behind in updating the donor list, but I want to revamp it. I will be contacting all donors to confirm how they want their donation listed.
I am starting the refurb of issue #9 today. This is the issue by issue re-make that I am doing at glacial speeds. In the interim of the refurb, I have restored a few issues with their graphics and some of the fun multimedia files we used to have. However, I am getting close to the limit of space that I have at my current account. When I started getting donations I expanded the website by 500 megs. We are getting very close to our new capacity. Hopefully, I will be able to reduce some of the size through the refurb and give us more bang for our buck. We have also been getting, up until now, a rather regular stream of donations. We have received enough for me to maintain the previous level through the end of the year. However, I added that extra 500 megs in the expectation that I would be able to maintain them through donations. Unfortunately, at this rate, we will run out of donated funds at the end of September (I will have $1.20 leftover!). If no more donations come in I will personally cover the costs for one more month. Then, if no more donations are received, I will have to temporarily cut 500 megs from the site until the donations are up again. I can easily do that by getting rid of the graphics for most the issues, removing any multimedia, and cutting other sections of the site. The articles shall always remain along with the episode guide.
We have restored the On the Road section and got a new editor for it. They are working on bringing the site up to date. I am going to integrate it more with the journal and episode guide. It is a wonderful resource.
A quick glance at updates shows us at issue 9 in the journal and episode 106 in the Young Hercules episode guide area (I had someone complain about how I was ignoring poor lil' Herk -- you see, the squeaky wheel gets the grease around here!), and I am trying to clean up the Sheena and Relic Hunter guides for closing, and maintaining the Alias, Witchblade, and whatever else we are following now. The Buffy addition to the episode guide is on hold because I never got enough interest from the Buffy fans to contribute any reviews or commentary.
It looks like Whoosh's journal will continue to past issue 80. As long as the submissions and contributions continue, we will probably be hear until issue 100. After #100, though, I may consider retiring!
Anyways, thanks to all you wonderful people who visit our site and read our wares, to all those incredibly generous people who contribute articles, reviews, coding skills, editing skills, etc. to keep this website organic, and finally to all those who have given monetary contributions for this site. Whoosh is a monument to fandom and also a refuge where their voice can be heard, whether it's gushy, controversial, grouchy, effusive, brainy, thoughtful, or just plain dumb. I was hoping we'd be able to segue into other fandoms, but it looks like the Xena fandom is not quite ready to roll over and move on. And that's fine with me. We have some very clever, thoughtful, sensitive, and generous people out there, and as long as Whoosh is around, they will have a home away from home here at Whoosh.
Until next time,
Message dated 06-30-02
It has been quite a busy month for me and it looks like July will be just as busy. I will be in Cincinnati for the week of July 8th, and I hope to use my downtime there trying to get the Young Hercules episode guide caught up to date. Ryan Gosling is starting to attract attention and interest in his past works have become the center of more interest. Whoosh is one of the few on-line depositories of Young Hercules information.
I just got yet another issue of Whoosh on-line tonight. Number 70. Yup, SEVENTY. That's a lot of Whoosh.
Until next time,
Message dated 06-01-02
A short update on your donation dollars at work!
Today is my 44th birthday. I started this Xena-thang back when I was just a babe of 38. Eek. Time flies when you are obsessed.
Work and community demands continue to compete with my Whoosh time, but I am still dedicated to cleaning the site up and to continuing it as long as I can. The back issue clean-up is through to issue 7. I am also working on the episode guide clean-up as well. I have started work on the Young Hercules area, along with keeping Alias, Relic Hunter, and Witchblade current. The Xena area needs a lot of work as well. We have some new volunteers assisting me on these projects.
We have already made enough in donations to cover our January level of 100 megs. The good news is even with the expansion, the donations are making a major supplement to my budget. This means that if the levels cannot be maintained, although we will have to momentarily cut back, we will nonetheless have enough to keep the fundamental part of the website going even if I totally run out of money. This heartens me quite a bit. No matter what my economic foretunes may bring, the website will stay up for a long time.
Until next time,
Message dated 04/12/02
I have cleaned up back issues 4 and 5, and recovered over 1.1 meg of space from removing duplicates and unnecesary files. I have also updated it so that you can access the issues from a sub-website by typing in the issue number in this pattern: http://whoosh.org/issue??, with the "??" being the issue number. For example, going to http://whoosh.org/issue5 will bring up the Issue 5 sub-site. Now, all I have to do is to clean up 62 more issues!
I added to the airing schedule Buffy The Vampire Slayer, season 5; and Dark Angel, season 2. I have put out a call for writers & reviewers to contribute to the episode guide for these episodes. I hope to add the historic airing schedules later this month along with La Femme Nikita. I am going to try to hoodwink Bat "Josh Whedon is God" Morda into writing some of the reviews for Buffy. Wish me luck!
AND, we matched an anonymous contribution that will allow us to have the Whoosh Forum (message board) ad-free for 6 months. It might take a couple of days to get it ad-less, but feel free to check out the new ad-free environment at http://pub94.ezboard.com/bwhoosh. Drop by and say hi.
Until next time,
Message dated 04/05/02
To date we have received enough to cover a third of the current expenses for the website. Nonetheless, we are going ahead with some expansions and further development. In the issue graphics return area, we are already through issue 3 in the update project. We are going to go issue by issue by issue and clean it up. This project will be slow at first, since the first 10-15 issues are really is a bad state of disorder. However, once we get to the first make-over, the return of the graphics should go faster. Due to popular demand, we are also going to eventually start offering text file versions of the Journal again.
I am thinking of offering the text file versions by e-mail subscription the donors of the site first. Then after a month or so, offer them on the website. That way we can offer the donors a little extra something, but not deny our loyal visitors as well. As for premiums for the donors, I am also thinking of issuing a private newsletter which will go to all the donors. However, that is for a bit more into future. I have been heartened by the wonderful show of support from the fans, but I am still only one person.
I am planning expanding our staff and taking on the long task of training people to work on the site. I am also thinking of contacting some colleges and see if we can get some interns to help us. Basically we get free quality help and the interns get training and credit. Something to think about!
We are in the process of adding Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Dark Angel to the airing schedule and eventually episode guide. Also, when we have time, we will had a historical airing schedule and episode guide for La Femme Nikita. YES! Whoosh! is expanding its coverage to all action/adventure shows helmed by womenfolk, past and present. If you have a show that you feel must be included in the Whoosh! expansion, let me know at Editor@whoosh.org. Thanks in advance.
The journal still has issues to churn out over the next few months, but we are still accepting papers, and not just about Xena, but all action/adventure chicks and the fans they conjure up.
I am behind in uploading the "On the Road" section. I am getting there, but not quite there. I regret there are only so many minutes in every hour, you know?
Due to popular demand, I have set up a way to accept donations to the website that will by-pass PayPal...and that is BY CHECK! If you want to make a donation and do not want to use PayPal, then please send a check or money-order to Kym Taborn, P.O. Box 445, Malibu, CA 90265. Please put "Whoosh" in the notes area of the check or postal order.
As always, I cannot thank everyone enough. The website has been reinvigorated and is dedicated to expanding and meeting as many needs and interests of its community. There are so many more great papers and commentaries out there, and Whoosh! is going to try its darndest to be there so they will have a place to live so that fans of all ilks will have a free and accessible place to read them.
Until next time,
Message dated 03/31/02
To date we have received enough donations to cover the expenses of the Whoosh 2002 budget to the end of June 2002. Not bad. With that much charity among the users, I have decided to go ahead and order 50 more megs of website space. I plan on doing several things simultaneous with the site over the next few months. First, I am returning all graphics to the journal articles. This will take a few months to do because I am going through each issue to streamline it, to delete duplicates, and to reduce it in size where I can. I am grateful for the visitors' donations and I want to squeeze as much space from their generosity as I can. I have already fixed up issues 1 and 2. You can check out their new look and usability by going to http://whoosh.org/issue1 and http://whoosh.org/issue2. If you get a chance, look them over. I am proud of them. Feel free to drop a line to let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, I plan on returning the un-updated "On the Road" section in April. Over the next 6 months, I am planning on bringing it up to date and making it more user friendly and navigable.
Third, I have a subcommittee working on a medium redesign for the site. We are thinking of some new graphics, some new areas, and other fun stuff for 2002 and 2003.
Fourth, I hope to get "Uber uber Alles" back on-line either in April or the next batch of 50 megs that we buy. Our limit at Yahoo is 300 megs. When we get around 230 megs in size, I will start looking for an ISP to move to. When that is will depend on the donations. If we have to wait for me to come up wth the bucks, it will be probably a year or two to get to that stage. However, I am working on getting promoted and my partner promoted as well. AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I am going to do whatever I reasonably and legally can to keep this website going.
Fifth, I have committed myself to go to 80 issues before reviewing the feasibility of keeping the website going. Nevertheless, we have started sone long term plans looking towards hitting that 100 issue mark.
Finally, I cannot thank all the visitors and friends of this site enough. Your submissions keep us going. Your cash keeps us going. And your love and enthusiasm, not to mention generosity and kindness to your fellow fans keeps us going. I am awed and amazed by the fandom supporting Whoosh! I know we are going to make it through any problems with support and fellowship like that.
Until next time,
Message dated 03/22/02
THE STORY SO FAR
When Yahoo decided to change Whoosh's low cost unlimited plan ($19.95/month) to their "50 megs for $5" plan ($100/month for 850 megs), I thought the gig was up. I was devastated and disheartened, and wondered how I could keep the site going. I had been dedicating most of my free time to this project for over five years. It felt so frustrating to have to have it end this way. Luckily, my friends and fellow fans encouraged me to keep my towel in.
I had to pare the site to under 100 megs, a slow and painful process. Some of the peripheral areas of the website (The Palace, Xenanight, Katrina's fan fiction site) moved to other places. I had to remove the On the Road (convention reports) and Uber uber Alles (fan fiction index) areas, as well as all the multimedia that we had amassed. There were some wonderful bits of Xena fan history there, which could not be found anywhere else on the Web.
Even after all this, I still needed more room. Someone suggested that we remove the graphics to some of the older issues, which would allow the text of the journal to stay intact. We did that. Currently, about half of the back issues have no graphics. We made it. It came in to just under 96 megs. That left some room to grow, but not much. (In fact, this next issue will probably surpass the 100 meg limit (we are now at a little over 98.5 megs before uploading issue #67), so we may have to remove graphics from other back issues.)
When they heard about the problem, people began to write in and offer money. I was still in shock and had no plan, so I acknowledged those e-mails I could, and stored the others. During that time I was dealing with a 500% rise in my usual e-mail quantity. I was spending hours just sorting e-mails, let alone answering them all.
When Whoosh started, we were a subdirectory on the website of someone who was kind enough to let us slum there. In February 1997, we became whoosh.org. From that point forward, I took over all the expense of running the website-and it was expensive. At the height of the website, I was paying about $70 a month for server space and support services. Because of massive paring, I am now paying a little over $50 a month. Next month I hope to lower that to $36. Because of the current state of my finances, even that amount will be a sacrifice.
I eventually want to build the site back up to what it once was, allow it to develop, grow, and be free to explore what it may in the future. However, if I continue to depend totally on my ability to finance the project, it may take years to get back to the full industrial strength.
I know that getting financial support will help hasten the return of the website to what it once was, and to continue on to what it is to be. However, I feel awkward just taking people's money. It feels unprofessional, and not very respectful. I also do not want to take on paid advertising, which many did suggest. Once one starts taking money for advertisements, one's status as an objective forum is tainted, and we do not want that for Whoosh. However, someone did suggest cybertyping, which seemed a reasonable compromise.
I looked into it, and found a good plan through PayPal. I have set up a donation area on Whoosh. It is there so that people who want to contribute a dollar or two for whatever reason can do so. I will use the money to subsidize my plan for getting Whoosh back to what it once was, and to feel secure enough to let it grow in a natural and responsive way to its audience.
My plan is to add 150-200 megs to the current site as soon as possible. That will bring only the monthly cost for hosting Whoosh to $30-35 a month, which means we can return the past graphics and bring back some of the removed areas and allow for more growth over the next 6 months. Concurrently, we will be going through a redesign to make the site more efficient and less of a meg hog. We are also going to go through the website as time permits and make the graphics smaller in size where we can, locate and remove duplications, and create a new look for the website that will reinvigorate the website. We also want to make the menu functions and areas easier to use and navigate. However, those things, of course, take time and more space to work in.
After that phase, I plan to look for a new host. The biggest problem with Whoosh, believe it or not, is not the space that it occupies--which can be massive at full strength--but the bandwidth. Whoosh contniues to be a very popular site that gets a lot of traffic. In January, many many kind people sent in suggestions for new hosts. I checked out most of them, only to find that they almost all only offered bandwidth a quarter to a third of what we needed. The space was very reasonable, but the bandwidth would blow them out of the water. The best thing about Yahoo is they are currently offering us unlimited bandwidth with each of our "50 megs for $5" deal. However, once we start paying $35 a month for only 300 megs of space, we will have to start shopping around for a place which can handle our bandwidth and offer us at least 1 gig of space to work with. That is my ultimate goal.
Have no doubt; we will get there one way or another. Whether or not I receive financial assistance, Whoosh will continue, in one form or another. I promise you that we will not only get back to where we once were, but we will exceed that, and keep this little community we have created going and going and going, until we literally can go no more.
The best way you can help us out is to just visit the site when you can and enjoy all the work that other fans have contributed. It is quite a monument to the goodwill and charity of fans. If you want to give a little more, write an article, episode guide submission, or whatnot. We always need content. If you do not want to do that but still feel the urge to do something, you can volunteer to help run the site. We are continually in desperate need of coders, editors, managers, etc. If that does not do it for you, and you have a buck or two in your pocket just burning a hole, then please feel free to click on that donation area. We have a sponsor area for people who do contribute. You can be listed under your name or anonymously. You can be a brick in the construction and maintenance of Whoosh.
I am thankful to all of you than I can adequately express. I felt really down and out in January, but I was heartened by the selfless and generous kindness and fellowship offered by so many of the visitors to Whoosh. I shall never forget it. Thank you.
Message dated 03/21/02
THE STORY SO FAR
In January 2002, our server changed our contract, making it impossible for us to support Whoosh! to the level in which our readers had grown accustomed. The site was forced to shrink from 700 megs to under 100 megs. Whoosh! has always prided itself on two things: (1) we were the result of a lot of volunteer help (and still are--we could not function without the help of our selfless volunteer staff), and (2) we did not charge for access or allow paid advertisements on the site.
We are still operating with this mandate; however, to bring this site under the 100 meg ceiling, we have had to cut some large sections of our old site. Some have found new homes; others (On the Road, Uber uber Alles, etc.) have been placed in purgatory. We have also had to remove all multimedia and about 50% of the graphics used in the monthly journal (that's 30-plus issues!). As of March 19, 2002, Whoosh! is using 98.03 megs. The next issue will probably go over the allotted amount, requiring the removal of more graphics from back issues. Our aim is to expand the size of the site at least by 150-200 megs, and to eventually find a different server. However, we need money to do this.
When the problem arose in January, many kind people offered to donate a buck here and a buck there. I did not take them up on it at the time, because I wanted a system in place, some sense of professionality. When it was brought to our attention that PayPal offers a donation system which allows visitors to donate money to this site, we signed up for the program.
For those of you who have always wanted to be a part of Whoosh!, but for some reason or another could not code, edit, or whatever else we have our volunteers do--you can help out by joining the team as a sponsor. If you wish to donate, tell me if you'd like your name mentioned. If so, I shall gladly list it here.
If you want to help, and you do not have any money, then help us out the old-fashioned way--feel free to volunteer! We are always in need of coders and editors, and there are small jobs that need doing all the time. If you don't want to pay or volunteer for whatever reason, no problem. The site will continue to be free, and we will stick with our no-commercial advertising policy.
We intend to do more than merely keep the site going; we want to allow it to grow and adapt to the new world around it. Although Xena: Warrior Princess is no more, the site is still attracting new visitors and keeping them all the time. While we intend to keep our Xena material online as a permanent archive and invite new Xena material, we also want to expand the site to cover other shows and popular culture topics which would interest the type of visitor that Whoosh! has been attracting over the past five and a half years. With your help, we can do that. Thank you!
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