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    Dear users,

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    Your Ikariam Team

    • Greetings Ika player, and welcome to my intro thread, as promised ...

      I'm a human male, and I suspect, one of the older Ikariam players. Anybody that wants to should be able to easily find out much more about me ... probably more than I'm comfortable with. The Internet never forgets. And, there are a lot of online databases too.

      Anyway, here are some things to get you started:

      I really do work at Google, and it's great! I’m often asked about the perks,especially if there are catered lunches. That happens. And, sometimes it's weird. I’ve variously been served yak tails, boiled giant squid eyes, genetically recovered dodo eggs, and raw snail soup. (OK, those dishes are mostly made up. Except for the yak tails, which was true. And, not very tasty. :wacko: )

      A picture of me at Google, and the doc it came from.

      Soon after I started working at Google, people began asking about my plans for after we took over the world. I've previously written about those here.

      My first degree was in Forestry. I've cruised timber from Statenville to Fargo, Georgia. I've walked in the Okefenokee Swamp, where the ground moves like a water-bed and the trees dance around you. I've fought forest fires. I've eaten lunch in the midst of wild boar and alligators (but not at the same time). I've been chased by a water moccasin; stepped on more than one rattlesnake (but never been bit); stung by bees, wasps, hornets, and a group of Io caterpillars (those last put me on the ground!); removed ticks and leeches, been bit by more mosquitoes than I'd want to count; and I've run through so many briars my arms are covered by a network of scars. (Forestry, not for the frail!)

      I've also lived in Crosby, Mississippi, and cruised timber from there to McComb to Hazelhurst.

      Some other things about me.
      • I'm a co-developer of the pastime of stump-riding.
      • The first car I bought was a 1974 CJ-5 Renegade Jeep, with a manual shift. I learned to drive it on the way home. I was stopped by the police. I also got a ticket with it, for turning donuts on Daytona Beach. Who knew that was illegal? ... and that the police there drove unmarked white pickup trucks?
      • I have a US software patent (5,719,795) issued in my name, but it's since expired. When the company spun off a subsidiary, the patent was transferred, for a price. So, I found out what it was worth: $1!
      Turning to Ikariam:
      I've been playing on Eta, at least since March 14, 2008, near the time it started up. And, that's the only server I play on.

      I'm a part of The NightHawks alliance, of which I've variously been a Member, Leader, General, Interior Secretary, and Diplomat. Both of my sons became interested in Ikariam after they saw me playing, so I set it up an alliance so we could play together. At that time, there was no way to invite people to play near you. We weren't smart enough to think of building a new colony on the other side of the world, and then destroying the original town. As a result, there are NightHawks in multiple places on Eta. We've had a number of players pass through The NightHawks over the years. As they get a higher score, some of them choose to move to a larger alliance. ex-NightHawk players are seeded in some of the other alliances. I like to think that we've maintained good relations with all.

      It's difficult to say exactly when The NightHawks was formed. Another player was the Leader of The NightHawks for a while, but he quit playing. At that time, there was no way to have another player take over an alliance when the Leader quit. (There is now, in part thanks to us ...) I had to ask the mods to remove The NightHawks alliance, and then I had to reform it. I am pleased to say that every member who wanted to, transferred over without a problem.

      I mentioned earlier that I've only played on Eta. However, I have been in more than one alliance. Shortly after the first purge of all the inactive players, I noticed that things weren't going well. Players had gotten too used to simply pillaging the inactive towns, rather than trading.

      So, I created a shadow alliance, of which I was the only member: the HOOT alliance - ostensibly composed of 16 Hooter Girls, working their way through university. (In my mind, it was The University of Florida, in Gainesville.) This is the picture I used as reference. I also had a spreadsheet I used to track information: name, area of interest, island locations, town names, next buildings, future plans, ....

      I was using different accounts, and different computers at home, work, and school. Eventually, I was able to get many players all over Eta eager to trade again.

      I also received many excited(!) requests to join the HOOT alliance. I politely, but uniformly turned turned all of those down. (As a side note, HOOT member towns were only pillaged a few times, and each time it was by a player professing to be female. Make of that what you will.)

      Unfortunately, after a couple of months, I must have messed up somewhere, and was banned for multi-accounting (not fleet contact!). I checked with the mods, and was told the bans were associated with the accounts and not the "players." So, I started back up, and was eventually able to rejoin The NightHawks.

      As part of The NightHawks alliance, I also participated in both World Wars ... Go ELoA! While we were (and still are) a small alliance, we just made the cutoff for the top 10 alliances at that time, which is what that war was limited to. There is an fun history there. I'd like to see it written one day. I know Robert Marino started doing that, but I can no longer locate what he wrote.

      I also mentioned earlier that I have two sons. I've already posted some things about them. Here's another one. I gave them a couple of science fair project ideas, but they rejected them. So, I decided to do one of them myself: Which Cats Make the Best Violin Strings? And, I still plan on doing Which Concrete Makes the Best Overshoes? We've already got a fishtank and the LEGO people ...

      So, that's a little bit about me, and my history with Ikariam.

      Ask questions, and I'll try to answer. But, if it looks like you've just copied over a huge list and not read the questions, :cursing: I reserve the right to simply copy someone else's answers or make up random responses.

      Some things to get you started:
      • Favorite color - blue, a vibrant, dive-in blue: #0000CD
      • Favorite movies - many, but they include The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! (that's my Black Lectroid name above my avatar) and Monty Python's Holy Grail (well, all Monty Python actually, since I like silliness); I have a longer list that I'm trying to get my boys to watch.
      • Despite being in a church choir when I was younger, I don't like to sing.
      • I'm not musical, but I like to listen to music - mostly raucous rock-n-roll, but I invariably keep my music devices set to "random."
      • I don't like opera. X(
      • I'm multi-lingual: 'merican, Pig Latin, English, and I retain a little French*. Also, Fortran, COBOL, Basic, PL/1, Pascal, Prolog, FP, C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, Python, and many other computer languages.
      • I'm a local Pokemon League Leader.
      • I also like comic books, Legos, hiking, birding, camping, ... holding hands, and long walks on the beach. :P
      p.s. Almost forgot to mention my singular achievement.
      p.p.s. I'm a proponent of brevity. I've written about that extensively elsewhere.

      * Those silent letters kill me. I joked with my boys that the reason the French hate the English is they stole all their letters to add them to their words: humour, colour, analogue, encyclopaedia, moustache, neurone, manoeuvre, cheque
    • Thanks! Before I started at Google, I worked in a local hospital's data center. They had 300 servers, and I thought that was large. My mind was blown the first day I walked on this Google data center floor, and when I stop and consider, it still is. I go to work with a grin.
      FWIW, we're hiring ... by Location or by Job

      Mirarik wrote:

      The work you do at Google sounds seriously cool. *totally jealous *
    • Not on purpose. It was my first response. I didn't realize I couldn't post back-to-back within the thread. Now, I know to batch my responses.

      Rain Maker wrote:

      Notice how my questions were just ignore

      Rain Maker wrote:

      Never thought I see this day come

      I can finally ask my fruity questions. XD
      Do you like grapes?
      It depends on the variety, of which there are many. In general, I like white (Thompson seedless) grapes, and red/purple Concord-like grapes. Scuppernog and Muscadine grapes, not so much.

      Do you like grape juice?
      Again, depends on the variety. I like white grape juice and purple grape juice. I also like grape jam & jelly (especially when it's inside a donut!).

      Do you like wine?
      Once more, depends on the variety, even more so than the previous questions. I usually gravitate towards a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir.

      Bonus Questions
      Do I like raisins? - Yes, very much so. They pack well when hiking or camping, and make oatmeal taste much better.

      Do I like whine? - No.
    • Nemenku. Might I just take the time to say - well done! You have made the mostof your life, and I wish to take inspiration from your honest and thoughtful introduction - what a true intro thread should be like. Kudos to your, sir. :thumbsup:
    • Oh... :rolleyes:

      Do you believe in magic?
      Are you pro-choice?
      Are you into politics?
      Which do you think the world will end in fire or ice?
      Can you name a famous poem by Robert Frost on the top of your head?
      Do you bite your nails?
      Can you dance?
      What is your darkest secret?
      Do you have any fears?
      Do you have a religion?
      Embrace your inner demons.
    • Do you believe in magic? - No

      Are you pro-choice? - Yes

      Are you into politics? - Not really.
      My attention waxes & wanes, and moves among a local, state, regional, national, and world focus. Actually, there's a little supra-world attention in there too: LEO satellites, Interplanetary Internet, asteroid mining, claims to the Moon and Mars (w/farming). And, what to do about Chairface Chippendale? (full episode)

      Which do you think the world will end in fire or ice? - ... a whimper.
      Scientific theory is that Sol will eventually nova (not supernova). Earth's atmosphere and ocean will be boiled away. The time frame on this is billions of years, but still before the heat death of the universe. And whether that is high or low temperature depends on whether we're in an open or closed universe.

      Can you name a famous poem by Robert Frost on the top of your head? - Sure, three: Mending Wall, The Road Not Taken, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

      Do you bite your nails? - I used to, but I've mostly broken that habit.

      Can you dance? - I used to, but I've mostly broken that habit.

      What is your darkest secret? - No, Who is my darkest secret. (And, on first ...)

      Do you have any fears? - Yes

      Do you have a religion? - Yes
    • So you do not believe in magic...
      I debated that myself from time to time. >.>
      if I had magical abilities I think it would be great :P

      Do you believe in fate?
      What exactly do you do when you work for google?
      What board games do you like?
      Are you competitive?
      Do you like ice cream?
      Do you know how to cook?
      What is one essential skill you learned in your life?
      Can you give three of your favorite quotes?
      How quickly can you find out where this quote came from?
      ( “Though why should I whine, / Whine that the crime was other than mine)
      Embrace your inner demons.
    • Do you believe in fate? - no

      What exactly do you do when you work for Google? - I'm the Data Security Lead for Hardware Operations at the Data Center. I help protect customer data and Google's intellectual property.

      What board games do you like? - Stratego, chess (I'm not very good, but I have fun), Monopoly (which I've written about here , Dots & Boxes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Power, and Batman: Gotham City Mystery (I was usually the villain. And, it lead to some early discussions of binary coding and encryption, which we all still have an interest in.) I'd like to play Kill Dr. Lucky, but no one else seems to want to.

      Are you competitive? - no
      And, I'll beat up anyone who says I am!
      Not really. It's true, I like to win, but more than that, I like to ensure that everyone has a fun time.

      Do you like ice cream? - no
      I love it! Especially chocolate, with chocolate syrup, lots of whipped cream, and a cherry - yum!
      (In the past, my boys would say, "Well, why don't you marry it?" My answer was, "If I could, I would.")

      Do you know how to cook? - yes
      One of my earlier jobs was as a cook at a Scrafft's Restaurant in northern New Jersey: lots of London Broil, cheesecake, shrimp cocktail, ...

      What is one essential skill you learned in your life? - not sure it's essential, but axe-throwing

      Can you give three of your favorite quotes?
      "I love you Daddy."
      -- both of my boys

      "No matter where you go, there you are."
      -- Buckaroo Banzai, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"

      - what Google stock closed at today

      How quickly can you find out where this quote came from? - ~20 seconds
      (“Though why should I whine, / Whine that the crime was other than mine")

      It's from "The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks
      (about 5 seconds to copy/paste the text into the Google Omnibox, get the results, and select the second one, which looked promising.
      About 15 seconds to scroll through the doc to find the text, and read the context.
      I probably could have reduced this time by using 'Find' but I wasn't racing.) :P
    • It took me less time. But probably cause that is my favorite line of the poem. :P
      I almost memorize the poem. >.>

      What are four of your favorite poems?
      Do you think it is acceptable to "blanket train" a child?
      Would you jump put a plane? (with a parachute?)
      Do you like burning things?
      What was the last idiotic thing you did?
      Embrace your inner demons.
    • What are four of your favorite poems?
      These are not my only favorites, I have others.
      And ... a second helping of Poe - The Raven

      Do you think it is acceptable to "blanket train" a child? - not for me
      Although, I don't see it being too much different from putting a baby in a play-pen for a while. I do think that a toddler doesn't necessarily have the reasoning skills to understand. Punishment and negative reinforcement may often produce quicker results, but I think positive reinforcement is more enjoyable for both parties, and the results can be longer-lasting.

      I also think that the stimulii are significantly reduced when comparing blanket-training to a playpen, as one offers a small area with a perhaps a single toy, while the other can be larger, even allowing for multiple babies, with multiple objects. A playpen can even offer a limited sense of security, since some outside actors (such as a dog) cannot get in.

      Would you jump put a plane? (with a parachute?) - yes
      I'd even jump out of one without a parachute. If it was on the ground, and the door wasn't too high up (so, not from a Boeing 747).

      Do you like burning things? - oh, yes!
      Both ways actually: setting things on fire, and also watching them burn. I like a good campfire.

      What was the last idiotic thing you did? - I hope it's not answer all of these questions.
      But, maybe there's an undergrad student somewhere who has decided to psychoanalyze me based on my responses, and I'll get a new syndrome named after me.