Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

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Deb Suran
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Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Deb Suran »

This is my farewell and rather lengthy thank you. The new forum has been cleaned of all the testing discussions, and WE HAVE CLOSED THE OLD FORUM TO NEW DISCUSSIONS. If you are participating in a discussion at the old forum, please wrap up whatever you want to say by Monday the 6th. That way the discussion will be complete when it goes into the library. We'll leave the old forum read-only for another week after that. All new discussions should be posted here.

*******************************

The MIMForum has been a *huge* part of my life for over 15 years, since a day in the fall of 1996, the early days of the World Wide Web, when Nick von Robison and I had the idea to start a web-based forum for instrument makers. We registered the mimf.com domain name on February 13th, 1997, and opened the forum on July 5th. The rest is history. Now my part in this history it is coming to an end, but I'm more pleased than I can say that we have built a community strong enough to continue without me.

Thinking back on the past 15 years, it's amazing to remember just how limited technology was when we first went online compared to what we take for granted today. Just one example, digital cameras. Ubiquitous now, almost non-existent then. How things have changed! To say nothing of Google.

The MIMForum has been an invaluable resource to many instrument builders, from newbies to professionals. Even so, I've said this before and I'll repeat it one last time: of all the things we've accomplished, the work of which I am most proud is what we did in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and again helping Clint and Alicia Searcy after the Cumberland River flood in 2010. This represents our best efforts as an organization, and as a community. We probably raised a total of $35,000 or more in cash after those two disasters and the Southeast Asian tsunami, plus the value of the time donated by Amy Hopkins and her groups of volunteers in helping to rebuild four houses, including the home of two of our own. Well done, everyone!

We have seen many volunteers come and go, and I would like to acknowledge them all, starting with MIMF co-founder Nick von Robinson. He was our first webmaster, while I ran the technical side of the server and forum software. Our original plan was to try out this project for just two years. Nick left after six months, with health problems that I did not find out were mental health problems until after he took his own life two and a half years later. I'm sorry he never got to share in the long-term success of the MIMForum.

A roll-call of our staff members and other volunteers of note over the years will introduce new names to many of you. They all deserve a lot of credit for what the MIMForum has become. The list is very long. Please join me in giving all of them a round of applause. The date is the year they joined the staff, to the best of my recollection.

Tom Bailey - 1997 - our first ever staff member. It was exciting to realize we'd reached the point where two people were not enough!
Henry Boucher - 1998 - our first international staff member (Quebec, Canada), and the only one I knew personally (from many folk festivals) before he joined the staff. I still miss his delightful way with the English language, and his gentle sense of humor.
Mirjan Milovanovic - 1998 - our second international and first European staff member (the former Yugoslavia). I would not hesitate to call him an electronics genius. Look up some of his discussions in the Library.
Jason Lollar - 1998 - he of "Basic Pickup Winding and Complete Guide to Making Your Own Pickup Winder" book fame. He also donated the use of his Tele plans for us to sell, his plans might have been the very first.
Hal Laurent - 1998 - Hal started out as a volunteer in our Library, and remained on board until the move to the new forum. Our most senior staff member, he is retiring from the staff as of the move.
Tim Brown - 1999 - Another MIMForum Library staffer, Tim was a fellow orchardist with whom I often discussed fruit trees. An accident left him unable to build, and he never returned to the Forum or the staff.
Larry Clinton - 1999 - Larry was unfailingly cheerful, and it was great fun watching him work through the building process of the acoustic guitar he made while reviewing Frank Finocchio's "How To Build" *video cassettes* back in the Stone Age (2001). The review is here: http://www.mimf.com/articles/finocchio/
Dale Belcher - 1999 - You could always count on Dale for help if you couldn't find what you were looking for. He always seemed to know how to find just about anything.
Julian Barton - 1999 - our only-ever staff band instrument specialist, he was a professional band instrument repair technician for the US Army, and freelance professional woodwind player. He also contributed two of the plans that we sold.
Aubrey Spurlock - 1999 - Another professional repair tech, Aubrey was a great resource for our members who needed stringed instrument repair advice or help with electronics.
Mike Dotson - 1999 - the only staff member who ever left us for a car. Damn you, Cobra! Mike was a huge help in our fundraising efforts by printing our MIMF T-shirts and sweatshirts, and selling them to us at cost.
Jim McConkey - 1999 - our next most senior current staff member, Jim needs no introduction. He will be the longest-serving volunteer at MIMF: TNG.
Chuck Kish - 2000 - as a Library volunteer, Chuck worked mostly behind the scenes. He deserves a lot of credit for the old library.
Charlie Falco - 2000 - former host of Electronics, Charlie faded from sight after the start of the Great Recession but never formally retired. Maybe we'll see him around again some day.
Mario Proulx - 2000 - a former staffer and our second Canadian, Mario has recently returned as a MIMF participant after a year-long hiatus.
Stuart Ketchin - 2000 - Stuart really grew as a builder during his tenure here, it was a pleasure to see. Our first staff member from the UK.
Amy Hopkins - 2000 - MIMF's own Poet Laureate, not only was she invaluable in the Repair section as a professional repair tech, and in our online courses where she taught folks how to inlay, she also deserves all the credit for our involvement in rebuilding trips to New Orleans and Tennessee. It was her idea after Hurricane Katrina, and talk about follow-up! Amy left the staff with little fanfare, we always hope we'll see her poetry and her posts on the MIMForum again.
Mark Swanson - 2000 - another current staff member who needs no introduction, his Fat Boy and L-00 plans helped fund the forum for many years, and his advice continues to help members improve their work.
Tucker Amidon - 2001 - MIMF grammar guru, Tucker left the staff to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies.
Barry Daniels - 2001 - Barry is our resident scientist. He's a professional environmental engineer, and when he tells you about the safety hazards of chemicals or other substances, you'd better listen!
Ellie Erickson - 2001 - Ellie was our first extraterrestrial staff member, and her unique instruments were a reflection of her other-worldly outlook on life, the universe, and everything. She returned to the mothership about a year ago, but still pops in for a transdimentional visit every once in a while.
Andy Barth - 2001 - Andy hasn't posted any of his carved solidbody instruments in quite a while. Although a native Canadian and Earthling, he and Ellie are distantly related. You can tell by looking at his instruments.
Clint Searcy - 2005 - Clint hasn't had much time to volunteer since the flood, and tendered his official resignation a few weeks ago. He was a great resource for those of you with questions about electronics. We wish him and Alicia the best of luck getting their lives back together after such a major upheaval.

We had many other volunteers who were not what we'll now be calling "Moderators." They include:
Phil Joines - for about three years Phil printed the plans we sold. He found us while looking for help building an instrument for wife, who had lost the use of one hand in an accident.
Ian Alexander - Ian contributed the two "V" plans, and did a lot of work converting plans for us after we bought our first plotter, as well as helping me learn elementary CAD.
Dan Sharp - the artist who did our current MIMF banner logo, Dan also designed our MIMFwear for the first clothing fundraiser, and for the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser as well. Here's the Katrina design: http://www.mimf.com/mimfwear2.jpg
Bill Brothers - Bill wrote our first library conversion program, and also offered considerable assistance to me with our first plotter.
Cliff Kachinske - Cliff is working on the current Library-to-static-HTML conversion.
Other members of our Library staff over the years included: Philip Risacher, John Simpson, Greg Van Nest, Terry Heatlie, Scott Mckee, Anthony Setchell, Alex Watson, Dave Donaldson, and Dave Ackley. And perhaps more that I've forgotten, and for which I apologize.
The many, many people who donated auction items over the years, waaay too many to name. I appreciate each and every one of you.

And the teachers of our online courses:
Bill Moll - Bill taught five online courses, and contributed three of the plans we used to sell. He was a huge presence on the MIMForum until he left to head up A.S.I.A.
Michael Lewis - a longtime MIMForum member, active since at least September of 1997(!), he co-taught our mandolin course with help from Mario Proulx.
Craig S. Tucker - he taught a bow-rehairing course.
Stephen Bacon - with help from Dana Emery, Stephen taught our recorder-making course

And last, but absolutely not least: Charlie Schultz - our new sysop/admin.

Did I forget you? Please feel free to remind me in this discussion!

In addition to thanking our volunteers, I want to thank everyone who has participated in the MIMForum over these last 15 years. Without you, there would be no forum today.

And I thank everyone who has wished me well over the past couple of months since I announced I would be leaving the MIMForum. To answer the question I've received most often: I am starting a commercial organic micro-farm. As the climate here is too cold for cacao trees, I will be growing less than an acre of specialty garlic under a canopy of fruit trees in the existing orchard. My immediate future involves moving tons of manure, straw, seaweed, loam, and wood chips, one wheelbarrow load at a time, to prepare for the fall garlic planting season.

That's all from me. I will be around occasionally until the old discussions have been processed into whatever form the library takes.

Live long, and prosper.

--
Deb Suran, former sysop
The Musical Instrument Makers Forum

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Mark Swanson »

That's good Deb! Waaaa! it's sad too!
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

Deb Suran
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Deb Suran »

Yeah, I admit to shedding a few tears while writing it.

Dave Ross
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Dave Ross »

Thanks Deb for the history, and best success in your new ventures.
Closet Luthier

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David Schwab
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by David Schwab »

Good luck with everything Deb! Sad to see you go, but have fun in whatever you do!

Douglas Ingram
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Douglas Ingram »

I will throw in my wishes for a positive future, Deb! Your efforts have been Herculean over the years.

But, I have to ask, whom now will provide the "Whap!"?
I may be crazy...but I'm not insane.

Tristan Williams
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Tristan Williams »

Thanks so much for all your years of hard work Deb! I'm but a fledgling instrument builder, but the MIMF has been over the years such a fantastic place to learn from the folks who know their stuff. Good luck with your new ventures!

Out of interest, what exactly does "specialty garlic" mean?

John Rice
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by John Rice »

I would like to say Thank you Deb and all the members who have made this forum the great resource it is,it has changed my life more than I could believe since I discovered it. I love Garlic so Good luck with that. LoL :cry:

Deb Suran
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Deb Suran »

whom now will provide the "Whap!"?
Charlie is getting <whap!> training, but it will take some practice before he masters this particular skill. So y'all had better behave! <g>

Out of interest, what exactly does "specialty garlic" mean?
The garlic sold in stores is softneck garlic - it stores better, but is not as flavorful as hardneck garlic. I'll be growing at least two dozen varieties of hardneck garlic, at least to start with. For more information, http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=39&gs_i ... 24&bih=599

Rick Stewart
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Rick Stewart »

I'm sad. This forum changed the direction of my life. Thank you Deb.

Bill Raymond
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Bill Raymond »

I can't add much to what has been already said above, but neither can I let this opportunity to give you a big "thank you for everything and best of luck in your new venture" pass by. We'll all miss you, don't you know, and will be ever thankful for all you have contributed to making the MIMF a success.

Chris Vallillo
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Chris Vallillo »

Thank you for all your years of hard work. Like many others, this forum has been a great resource and has improved my life and skills! Best of luck as you move forward and remember, there's no such thing as too much garlic!

Arnt Rian
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Arnt Rian »

I joined MIMF in 2000 I think, about the same time I built my first guitar (a real clunker). You guys taught me how to build a better one, but more importantly (like Rick said) changed the direction of my life. I've even had the pleasure of meeting a few of staffers and long time members in person, as well as online almost daily, from halfway around the world or so, and I'm very proud to call you my friends.

Thank you Deb, and I wish you good luck in your new endeavors!

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Bob Gramann »

Thank you, Deb, for all of the years you helped us. I hope that you get enough pleasure from the garlic that you won't miss the whapping.

Michael Lewis
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Michael Lewis »

Deb, you have made a difference in the world by creating this forum, and especially the way you ran it. I know I will miss your presence, though I'm sure Charlie and crew will carry on in a good and proper manner, it just won't be the same. Don't be a stranger, we will always look forward to hearing from you and your ventures. Chocolate recipes in the Jam Session could be a start. Best regards.

Deb Suran
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Deb Suran »

Chocolate recipes in the Jam Session could be a start.
Michael, your wish is my command:
http://www.tngforum.mimf.com/phpbb/view ... f=16&t=195

Jim Ashby
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Jim Ashby »

Truly sorry to see you go Deb. I may be a lurker who still hasn't finally taken the plunge and started butchering poor innocent wood (yet) but the MIMF is the first place I go when I log in every day. The vast store of knowledge and experience from world-renowned luthiers is an invaluable resource, I'm so glad it hasn't been lost. I hope you'll still come and chat, drop recipes, growing tips and pics and help to keep us in line.
Many heartfelt thanks from this side of the pond for a great website.

Jim

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Tom Owen
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Tom Owen »

Aloha Deb... all the best for the future

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Jon Whitney
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Jon Whitney »

Thank you Deb, for all you have done over the years. Like Jim, this is (generally) the first site I go to every day. Best of luck with the garlic. I've had chocolate with bacon, are there any chocolate with garlic recipes?

And a big "Thank You" to Charlie, too, for taking over!

Dan Sharp
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Re: Last MIMF Newsletter from Deb: So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya!

Post by Dan Sharp »

Thanks for everything Deb! This site has been a great place, a fantastic resource. You ran it well. Best wishes.

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