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Old 2008-08-12, 15:56   #1
Xyzzy
 
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Exclamation Resident forum assistants, past and present

We have been unforgivably negligent in informing you all about our resident task force of highly motivated assistants who help, behind the scenes, to make this forum run smoothly.

So with that said, here we go!

Cat1 - Cat1 arrived somewhat unexpectedly and left his mark in a fashion that won't soon be forgotten. He is a brilliant mathematician but suffers from a terrible addiction to nepetalactone. His forte was answering the forum's crank email. He'd string the unsuspecting crank along for weeks, offering tidbits of encouragement and mathematical assistance, and then tell the crank to report his findings to George and/or the Prime email list. We occasionally suspect that some of the more recent eccentric threads in the forum may be started by him. We did not plan on letting him go, but the trolls were very allergic to his fur and it was affecting their health. He also spent a disproportionate amount of time sitting in front of the gerbil aquarium, which caused the gerbils to get a little nervous. He now lives across town with a little old lady who has AOL dialup Internet and no rodents. We suspect this displeases him but she has a large stash of nepetalactone so we figure he doesn't really care any more.

Snake1 - Snake1 is a relatively recent addition to our staff. He arrived here in very poor physical health but has since nearly doubled his weight to a healthy 300 grams. He initially showed very little interest in the workings of the forum but he is now getting more involved. His preferred programming language, Python, is of very little use to us, but he is slowly learning PHP. He has also picked up answering crank emails although he isn't nearly as clever with his replies as Cat1 was. Avatar selection and assignment is also now his job. Despite his shortcomings we expect him to be up to speed in a year or two. Snakes live pretty long so the investment is worth it in the long haul. The only odd characteristic we have noticed about Snake1 is that his job performance is directly affected by the temperature of his aquarium. If his aquarium drops below 75°F, he gets sluggish and forgetful, like George. If the aquarium gets warmer than 75°F, he gets jittery and unpredictable, like Ernst.

Gerbil1 and Gerbil2 - There is no way to describe the gerbils individually, since they were psychologically Siamese twins. Frequently one would finish the sentence that the other was speaking, and the result made sense. They were very hard workers and were the prime architects of most of the customizations that make our forum so unique. Gerbil2 was a bit shy so when Gerbil1 would post a small comment in a thread he'd just add in a "Yeah!". Gerbil2 was also a brilliant avatar selection and assignment wizard. He had a unique ability to find a picture to match a personality. Both gerbils were fluent in PHP and MYSQL. Unfortunately, both have passed on due to old age, and as a result, forum tinkering has come to a near standstill. They never commented their code so delving into their work is like listening to an "Alvin and the Chipmunks" record, backwards. Their insatiable appetite for Helianthus annuus seeds may have been a contributing factor in their brief life, as both were quite portly. At no time was Snake1 a threat to them and we suspect Snake1 might have been intimidated by them due to their size, spastic tag-team abilities and psychic connection. We knew instinctively when Gerbil2 passed on that Gerbil1 would follow shortly. They will be greatly missed.

Troll1, Troll2, Troll3 and Troll4 - Yes, we have four trolls. Most people think we have just two, but there are two troll children in the family. We cannot remember when the trolls came to work but it certainly was back when the forum ran on PHPBB. The trolls are tasked with keeping our search engine optimized and with running our FreeBSD server. Our uptime is always above three nines so they are doing an excellent job. We communicate with them via pictographs as their native tongue is guttural and unpleasant to hear, almost like German. Troll1 is our primary point of contact and he is known for his temper. If we ask a question that we have not thoroughly researched beforehand he gets very upset and rants/grunts for a few minutes and then utters the only English word he knows, "Goog", which we assume means "Google". Troll2 is much easier to talk to but he is very shy. Troll1 and Troll2 are married. We learned last year that they are both male. (It is hard to tell just by looking at them!) Apparently, same-sex marriage among trolls is very common. The children were adopted from Troll2's sister, who was horribly maimed by the wheel of a shopping cart. The picture of the trolls you see when you search for new posts, and there aren't any to display, is their wedding photograph. Trolls usually live a very long time and only celebrate birthdays on leap years. Even though their actual birthday might be in September or December, they celebrate it on February 29th. If we lose something we know to ask the trolls if they have "found" it. The troll children are home schooled and are currently learning 6809 assembly language. We have no idea why, but at least our Color Computer 3 is getting some use. We actually received a package (eBay?) in the mail with an "EDTASM+" cartridge inside, which they snatched up.

To all our resident forum assistants, past and present:

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Old 2008-12-02, 20:55   #2
10metreh
 
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You say that the gerbils have died, but when you receive a private message email, it is still from "The Gerbils". Could you update this?
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Old 2008-12-02, 21:15   #3
bsquared
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10metreh View Post
You say that the gerbils have died, but when you receive a private message email, it is still from "The Gerbils". Could you update this?
You don't quite seem to understand that this forum has a personality. Please try to.

p.s. The Gerbils are with us in spirit.
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Old 2008-12-03, 03:48   #4
philmoore
 
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Thanks for posting in this thread. I was busy watching meteors at the time of xyzzy's post, and had missed this true gem of his original post!

Long live the gerbils! May they rest in peace!
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Old 2010-04-01, 04:46   #5
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Snake1, AKA El Gordo, now weighs in at ~700g.

All of the trolls are accounted for.

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Old 2010-10-16, 00:26   #6
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Fish1 has been in quarantine for the the last week. We will allocate some of the workload around here to him after he is relocated to his awesome one gallon Betta aquarium in a few days.

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Old 2010-11-05, 14:23   #7
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Fish1 has survived his quarantine ordeal and is now beginning to learn how to do the monthly forum backups. It is a relatively easy job and a very necessary one.

(The fact that we only do monthly backups is kind of scary. If we had an "issue" we'd lose quite a bit of data, but the process takes a very long time because of the amount of data being processed.)

We have placed Fish1's palace next to Snake1's aquarium so hopefully they are getting aquainted. Snake1 seems especially friendly right now.

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Old 2010-11-05, 23:51   #8
mdettweiler
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Just curious...why did Fish1 need to have a quarantine in the first place? (I've never had fish myself, so pardon me if the answer to this would otherwise be rather obvious. )
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Old 2010-11-06, 00:51   #9
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Quote:
Just curious...why did Fish1 need to have a quarantine in the first place?
Typically you quarantine new fish destined to join a group of established fish, to prevent the new fish from passing an illness to the group. In Fish1's case, we figured if he survived a few weeks then we would put him in the fancy little aquarium. If we had put him in the fancy little aquarium and he got sick and died, we would have to do a lot of work to make the tank safe again.

Fish1: Ubj qb V glcr urer? Qbrf guvf guvat jbex?
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Old 2010-11-06, 01:25   #10
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
Typically you quarantine new fish destined to join a group of established fish, to prevent the new fish from passing an illness to the group. In Fish1's case, we figured if he survived a few weeks then we would put him in the fancy little aquarium. If we had put him in the fancy little aquarium and he got sick and died, we would have to do a lot of work to make the tank safe again.

Fish1: Ubj qb V glcr urer? Qbrf guvf guvat jbex?
Ah, makes sense. I had considered the possibility of preventing spread of illness to other fish, but since this one is Fish1, I ruled that out...hadn't considered the possibility of lingering infection.
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Old 2011-12-26, 22:15   #11
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Dog1 joined our team last week. He is very friendly and surprisingly quiet.

We found him at the local animal shelter. He has a permanently broken rear femur but he gets about with no troubles. The shelter considered amputating his leg but he is still able to use it a little and it does not hurt him. His medical record, which the shelter gave to us, is more thorough and comprehensive than our own medical record.

We have not yet figured what job he will be tasked with. For now we are just letting him settle in and get comfortable.

Troll1 seems a bit concerned with Dog1. We are not sure what Troll1 is trying to tell us but he appears to be making burrowing gestures or something.

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