Volume 2, Number 8, February 19, 2002

From The Editor:
Yes, Virginia there IS an Arrow. While we're waiting for the new AIH, The Arrow will be published as usual but with a few alterations. Millard Fillmore's column will be unavailable for now, QOTW will be Post Of The Week, AIH Tips & Tricks will be substituted with Yahoo Groups Tips & Tricks. Thanks to the generosity of Sue, LANA9 and alixxs The Arrow will feature member interviews this week on their thoughts and ideas for the new AIH.

Post Of The Week:

Last week Chrysoval started an impromptu song contest she called the Goofy Contest. Members were invited to take a popular song and change the lyrics to express their feelings about the manner in which AIH was shut down. Chrysoval writes, "This has been a very tough decision. Every entry was good. Some were clever, cute, funny, all were germaine, most were complete. :o)"

It has been very difficult to judge.

Elizabeths_Mom's is 'most-clever'.
Skippymagoo is 'most apropos'.
Snotgobbler is 'cutest'.
Sskyeye is 'funniest' with his 'Get Back' entry.
But the winner has to be Queenceline, who's entry sang and made me want to
dance in my cube.
Queenceline's Rendition of We Will Survive

This is for Amy:

At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinkin' I could never live without your website by my side;
But then I read so many posts
Stating how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And so you're a bitch, we all know that
I just walked in to find us here with those confused looks upon our
I should have seen through you
I should have seen the whole truth
If I'd've known for just one second you'd try to screw us all

Go on now, go walk out the door
Just turn around now
('cause) you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt us with your lies
Did I crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not us.. we will survive
Oh as long as we all keep in touch I know I'll stay alive;
I've got other sites in mind
I've got other places to find, we will survive
We will survive. Hey hey.

It took all the strength we had not to fall apart
Kept trying' hard to mend the pieces of our broken hearts,
And we spent oh so many hours
Just reading through the posts. We used to cry
But now we're angry my oh my

And you see me somebody new
We're not those chained up little people who used to respect you
And so you feel like droppin' in
And just expect us to be free,
Now we're savin' all our time for someone who won't cheat


Dilbert's Corner:
This certainly has been a crazy week. As you are probably aware we were abandoned at the gates of the orphanage and forced to grow up on our own. This week has been spent looking at all the options and determining where we go from here. I have had so many offers of programming help, support, and several very nice offers for financial support. I have to look at all those offers and looked at what I want Ask It Here to be. I have decided that we are a community and as a community we will come out of this from within. I am going to rely on members to bring us back to where we were if not beyond.

The database is generally intact. When I last checked it looks like there has been some major deletions, but it now contains 642 members and they look to be most all of the active members. Someone has deleted the rest.  Also, in checking, I see that all the current amail is in place and all account balances appear to be fairly normal. There has been some sizeable account balance transfers that I need to take care of, but we should be able to get back online without any great loss in money or location. Anyone who has missed their birthday bonus will get it when we get back up.

I have been emotionally choked up several times this week. I have gotten too many emails to count and too many to respond to totally, but the ones that I did get makes me realize that AIH was a home to many incredibly nice people. I have got such touching emails from people that I have honestly been brought to tears several times.

With your help and patience we hope to be back online the first week in March. We will have new code that is being written in a new language. We are AIH and nothing can change that. We are a community that care about each other and we will be back stronger than ever.

John Shilling



I guess the saying ďyou never know how much you will miss something until itís goneĒ really applies to this past week and the loss of the AIH site.

With any kind of loss there is a grieving process and I have seen myself and many members begin going through that process, perhaps not even recognizing thatís what all the feelings are about. When I first saw the words ďAIH is goneĒ, I recall feeling denial, shock and disbelief. And, then as it sunk in, the anger became the prominent feeling, along with depression. All of these are difficult feelings for anyone to feel. At times, I am sure some of us have taken it out on other members. Some of us have tried laughing it off. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms at a time like this. And I think itís very important for each of us to recognize that.

In working through my own feelings, however, the days have been brightened by the voluminous e-mails I have received from the people Iíve met on AIH, who are friends. We are supporting each other and allowing for the myriad of feelings weíre experiencing, and this makes life a little less bleak. What also helps is the realization that the site may be gone, but the friendships forged have not.

This is the first time I have experienced this type of loss; for many of you itís not. I have heard many utter the words that they will never trust in another Q & A site. I am sure experiencing something like this multiple times is very disheartening. In trying to shield yourself from this loss, it is easier to remember the bad times more than the good times. But I am going to issue a challenge. What I am going to challenge each one of us to think about are the good times we have shared together on AIH. I am going to challenge you one more time to have faith in Dilbertís dream. He was not the one who let us down, and I believe he is the one who can bring the dream of AIH back to life. I am challenging each one of us to take any negativity we feel and turn it into two goals - to remain bonded with those who truly are AIH, and to put every ounce of positive energy towards supporting Dilbert in his efforts to restore the AIH site. I have thought many times this past week how it must be for him to read some of the negative posts while he is trying to put his all into restoring the site. Positive support goes a long way when someone has been working as hard as he has been doing so. I really believe if we can begin to focus on the positives, we will all find that the anger and disagreements will diminish greatly. I am applying this same challenge to myself, and I hope you will all join me.



Sue Intervies Sandra:

How do you see the new AIH progressing, and are you pleased with the work so far? (ie. Yahoo group, updates from Dilbert, suggested timeframe, and your feelings on chance of success).

Sandra: I think Dilbert and god are working very hard to get AIH back. I appreciate how hard they are
working...it's really boring without AIH! The Yahoo group is great, it keeps everybody informed and I'm
glad it's there. I hope that when AIH comes back, it's better than ever!

What would you like to see included in the new AIH? And what could be skipped?

Sandra: The new AIH? My own personal Pug Avatar. :) But seriously, I wouldn't mind seeing less
censorship...not that I post "bad" things, but I think it's all about open opinions, if you don't like what
people are saying, there is a wonderful thing called the block feature. :)

Do you have any suggestions for themes, names of residences, types of questions categories, etc?

Sandra: SandraLand? Oh wouldn't that be nice!! :) Actually, I think there should be an "Opinion" catagory...

Do you have any words of encouragement that you would like to share with your AIH friends?

Sandra: We can do it!!! Just hold in there...I'm studing psychology, if you need to lay down on the couch and
tell me how you're "feeling" about the temporary loss of AIH, my ears/eyes are wide open!! lol

Yahoo Groups Tips&Tricks:

Are you missing a special picture or image you had posted on your Profile page? Post it on Yahoo! Click 'Photos'  on the left of your screen. Then click 'Add Photo' at the top of the next window. You''l have to search for it on your harddrive. Once you've located your image, click 'Uplaod' at the bottom of that screen. We may as well share our images while we're here!


Alixxs Interviews MDKilmer:

How do you see the new AIH progressing, and are you pleased with the work so far?  (ie. Yahoo group, updates from Dilbert, suggested timeframe, and your feelings on chance of success).

MDK: I'm not sure how long it'll be before it's back up, but I hope it's soon.... I've already got the shakes, DTs, and whatnot.  I NEED MY AIH "FIX".!  Do you realize that it's been days since I've been able to
properly pick on Alixx.... or AussieMike.... or juliebelle.... or god....or....  I like the updates on the Ask-it-here.com website-- it's another reminder that Dilbert et al really do care about the site.  It'll be back
up-- later than we all want, but sooner than never.  Think about it-- AIH was specifically created to replace WH & KP-- as long as Dilbert stays confident, it'll live.  (On that subject: John, have I told you lately how much I appreciate the efforts of you and your team?  I do.  Hang in there, big guy.  You and your team are the best.)  In the meanwhile, Gossy's new BrainFuse looks really sharp.

On Amy: Too bad.  She seemed like a good person.  I wish her well in her future career, and I hope that someone smacks her with a 2x4 for the way that she handled this whole affair.  I'm curious about a lot of legal issues like:  1. If she was using the site as a "demo", then didn't that constitute "payment" for her work?  2. If Brian pulls a "Microsoft"; i.e. simply changes the variables so that the code isn't EXACTLY the same, wouldn't that work?  Microsoft has gotten away with it for years.  Just curious.

On "sour grapers": I've seen a few posts like "Ha, ha. The site was mean and deserved to go down."  Hey, people.  If you don't like a website, DON'T GO THERE!  There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

What would you like to see included in the new AIH?  And what could be skipped?

MDK: Do away with some of the Residences between the Ghetto and Grey's North Country.  Add a couple before Heaven.  We could use a couple more stepping stones.  Honestly, I think that we could do without the Bank.  I see that BF has icons posted with questions.  I like that.  Newbies could have a default "happy face" or somesuch.  Yeah, I know, it takes up room on the website's space.   I also see that the "Answer space" is at the right rather than below the question.  I like that, too.  I think that the Membership Committee should change its name to "Problem-Solvers".  It more accurately describes its function and, if you're angry at them, saying
"those PSers" or "those PSheads" has a certain ring to it.  *grin*  Could we do away with the "reptile care" category, and add one just for posting jokes?  And could we change the "number of times that you've answered the question" to the category?

Do you have any words of encouragement that you would like to share with your AIH friends?

MDK: The Pittsburgh International Gathering (P.I.G.)-- and all the others-- had better still go on.  I'd like to see it grow into something like a Science-Fiction Convention.  We could have parties, discussions, parties, meet people, parties, guest speakers (Dilbert, Gossy, Oded, and R. James come to mind), and parties.

As for me, I'm keeping busy.  I know w-a-a-a-y-y-y too much about how to get into trouble rebuilding computers for my own good.  Unfortunately, I'm learning a lot about how to fix hardware/software problems that I've
caused.  What'd I do?  I swapped some cards with my main computer to rebuild an old HP computer for my brother.  I got the HP Vectra running just fine.  However, the legacy soundblaster card that I took from there
and put in mine changed a lot of configurations.  In the process of changing them back so that Windows would run properly, I intelligently(!) deleted all videocard drivers (there were a mess of them).  Ever try to run Windows with NO video drivers?  Three days, a lot of profanity, and a re-installation of Windows 98 later, I'm now using my computer to write this.  Hey, I'm blond, OK?

Hang in there, everybody.  We'll all live through this.  At least I had the time to pun more names.

marvin (user mdkilmer)

The Target:
                                                This week's Targets are IslandWoman and snowdemon  



What is the one thing you do better than anyone else you know?
I make chicken soup better than any other that I've tasted. I visited my doctor one day and asked how he was. He said that he was "miserable with a cold." I said, "Too bad, doc, I have a fresh pot of chicken soup on the stove. When I saw that gleam in his eye, I told him I would bring some by later that day. I gave it to the receptionist, told her to give it to Doctor B with the instructions to "take two asprins and call me in the morning." I got the nicest letter from him -- handwritten and legible.

What was the happiest moment in your life?
The happiest moment in my life was the day I married IslandMan. I've never regretted the decision and love him more every day. Boy, that's enough even to make me gag.

What is your ultimate job, and what is the worst job you've ever done?
I am now doing my ultimate job, and that's nothing. I call myself a beachcomber. It is the ultimate job here in the tropics. The worst job was working a government job with a boss that was a manic-depressive type. He would only give performance reports if and when someone screwed up. After 9-years, he said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and I quit on the spot. I laugh each month when my pension check comes in. He was demoted after I left and finally fired.

What accomplishment in your life are you the most proud of?
If anything, it would have been my writing. I got my first by-line on the front page of a paper at age 17 and spent most of my working years writing.

Do you have a 'most embarrassing moment'?
When I was a cute young thing, I went on a double date with my roommate and two very wealthy guys. She told me to leave my glasses at home. I thought I was way cool eating dinner at a fancy Manhattan restaurant when my date told me I was flicking my ashes in the sugar bowl. I replied, "Oh, I know." He never asked me out again and I never went anywhere without my glasses. No, I didn't know it was the sugar bowl.

What's your specialty in the kitchen?
Besides the chicken soup, I make a mean pot roast. I'm a fairly adept home cooking kind of cook.

What is you motto?
Never buy snow skis from a one-legged ski salesperson.

Do you know your next-door neighbours' names?
Yes, I do know my neighbours' names and I'm even friends with some of them.

What is the most important thing you've learned so far?
The secret of a long life is to keep breathing. The rest is merely incidental.

What's the last non-fiction book you read?
"To the Pacific with Lewis and Clark" by Ralph K. Andrist was the last non-fiction that I've read. It is an old book that I found at one of our book trading spots. I don't think it was the best rendition of this historic trip that I've ever read.

Name a random act of kindness you did for someone (that they never found out about).
I slipped some money in someone's pocket unnoticed. The person really needed it and thought they were just getting a hug.

Your favorite sport: Would you rather A.) Play it. B) Watch it on TV. C) Be a spectator with great seats.
Football is my number one all American sport. I'd much rather watch it on TV than any other option. I have had bad luck with trying to participate in any sport -- some disasterous.

A man has just been rescued after 30 years on a deserted island where he has had absolutely no contact with the outside world. You can tell him one thing. What would you tell him?
"This way to the boat!"

Happiness is-------------.
Happiness is a purring cat on my lap.

Do you have any hidden talents?
If I have any hidden talents, they are well hidden. I don't even know about them.

Describe your ideal vacation.
My ideal vacation is going to the United States and going to a shopping mall by myself with a pocket full of money. We're so limited here -- all the fashionable women here dress in K-Mart's finest.

What kind of museums do you like?
What kind of museum don't I like would be an easier question. I love all types of art museums, natural history museums, planetariums, photography, and even children's museums. I've enjoyed small local museums and very large ones that it takes weeks to properly visit. I am a museum freak of the first order.

What is it you would still like to accomplish in life?
I would like to learn to be organized, but I'm afraid I've about given up.

What is your favourite part of AIH? Your least favourite part?
My favorite part of AIH is the sense of community. My least favorite part is the bitching (can I say that?) whining and moaning and insensitivity that some folks show.

What would you like to see included in The Arrow?
The Arrow is perfect just the way it is.



So what's it like in a Snowdemon's world? Well, I'm twenty-five years old and I live in London with my wonderful boyfriend of seven years (Zerogravity on AIH) and a small, demented black and white cat. I work in a reference library, which satisfies my natural curiosity if not my desire for riches beyond measure. I'm leaving that to the boyfriend, who's a drummer in a rather good up-and-coming rock band. I am also working my way through a distance learning degree in Information Studies, which is much harder work than I thought it would be and much more time-consuming than anything ought to be. Still, after working in libraries for eight years, it seemed about time to get a proper qualification under my belt.

Everyone has their obsessions, and my all-consuming passions are snowsports, motorbikes, fast cars and travel. My addiction to skiing, snowboarding and snowblading is very frustrating, as there's not a lot of snow in England. My addiction to motorbikes makes aDaisy475 want to catch me and wrap me in cotton wool in case I get knocked off my bike again. I'm actually part of the way through my training for an unrestricted bike licence at the moment, so I fully expect her to chain me to a bedpost if I pass the test.

Anything else about me you ought to know? Well, I lived in Canada for a year when I was younger, and one of my ambitions is for us to make it back there once I've got my degree. I think Vancouver is the greatest city on earth, and I could happily sit all day and stare at the mountains and be perfectly content. London depresses me, but it's a necessary evil at the moment. I'd still rather be here than the town where I grew up, which is a nowhere place in the south-west of England. Living in London makes you realise how pointless and soul-destroying anger and hatred are; they thrive on the streets here like rats on the underground. But you have to learn to be a fighter to make it in this town, and that's not such a bad skill to have. I'm an atheist; I never have and never will believe in a higher power or organised religion. I prefer to take responsibility for my own life. I love wild and empty places, and am at my happiest in the mountains or by the sea.

My connection with question and answer sites goes back to the days of WHquestion, passes briefly through Knowpost and Pointask, and settles firmly in AIH. I think the sense of community on the site is wonderful, and I'll forever be greatful to it for introducing me to so many excellent and entertaining people. I love it for those moments when you read something and realise that suddenly you've been presented with a point of view you could never have thought of by yourself and which you would never have encountered in your own little sphere. There are some amazing people out there, and AIH is a great connection to them.

And if there's anything else you want to know...well, you know where to find me!


Sue Interviews Arabella Lou Smith (A.K.A. Flogo):

How do you see the new AIH progressing, and are you pleased with the work so far?  (ie. Yahoo group, updates from Dilbert, suggested timeframe, and your feelings on chance of success).

ALS: Ever'body knoz that I cain't do much with these dern computers but sinse you ast I'll answer your questions.  First off, I got a feelin' that this here AIH that we useter have was purty dern good and it's gonna take a heap of work to make up a new one. Ah understands that there is a god somewhar in the bushes just wheelin' and dealin' with little numbers and letters and is abaht reddy to turn loose his
creation on us. Acourse he has to git ol' Dilbert to approve of it all and ol' Dilbert is up to his chin in paper 'n paste 'n his trusty ol' screwdriver a fixin' ever'thin in sight. I caint rightly say jest what those 2 are
doin' 'cept there's lots of strange noises and muffled sounds comin' outa that old barn they call a publishin' house.  I slipt over and peakt thru the window and I seen them two readin', ritin' and drinkin' Pepsi, so I guess ahm pleased with the work so far.  They set us up with a Yahoo landin' spot and ever onct in awhile ol' Dilbert sends out a update message and everone just whoops and hollers about how great things are acomin along.

What would you like to see included in the new AIH?  And what could be skipped?

ALS: What wood I like to see in the new AIH?  What I'd like to see is nekkid - -no, that's a different what you call site.  Or sight - hehe.    I guess it wood be good to have all the ol' feachers ceptin' maybe the one that keeps arguing 'bout marmite or sum such as.  Me, I favor BBQ saus on ever'thin'. What about themes, names of residences, categories and all that there. Well, only themes I no about is theme parks lak Disneyworld.  Twould probly be allright to use some themes hereabouts like maybe Life in the Ghetto or the Hitchhikers Guide to Camelot, or a hole issue of the Arrow paper aimed at My Dog and Cat and How to Fight on 4 legs.   Then there's names of those places you live like that Ghetto or Dogwood Country.  Might make a new one
named after us HillBillies or Rednecks. Could be that one of those could be just for humor and practical jokes and wood only cost a entrance fee of 5 good jokes or $2.98 Abucks. Or name one place Marmite Haven with a slack-jawed barkeep to hide the beer from that ol' Moose, Bob.

Cood add some new categories, maybe. Fer those with some educacionum they might like geography, travelin', the Theory of Relativity (I got lots of those relatives to talk abot.)  Maybe sumpin about Collections, or Tips on saving money (you know, like using bear grease instead of costly Crisco and lettin' the dog clean your plates sted of using soap and water.)

Do you have any words of encouragement that you would like to share with your AIH friends?

ALS: As fer encouragin' this bunch of AIHers, well, gollee, they don't need no encouragement.  They all got sumpin to say and most of them ain't bashful neither.  If we can all stick together in the future lak we done in the past, we gonna come out on top.  You betcha. 

Like my ol' pappy useter say, "If'n you see sumpin' needs doin,' well, jump right in and git it done. You uns git the job done an' quitcher fussin' and purty soon that ol' AIH will be back bigger and better-n-ever."

Sue Interviews psykomom:

How do you see the new AIH progressing, and are you pleased with the work so far?  (ie. Yahoo group, updates from Dilbert, suggested timeframe, and your feelings on chance of success).

psykomom: I think AIH is progressing well.  We are being kept updated and I really do appreciate that. I have faith that it will be back soon.

What would you like to see included in the new AIH?  And what could be skipped?

psykomom: I haven't got any ideas yet of what needs to be included or skipped.  I think they need to just get us back first and then discuss additions or removals.  Hmmm.......names.........Floville, Sue's Zoo, Minnie and Mickey Land, Texas Heights or Texas Acres, Castles by the Sea. I would like to see us get our abucks and residences back on the new AIH.

Do you have any words of encouragement that you would like to share with your AIH friends?


I just want to let them know I think they are doing a great job and I have complete faith in them.

 Great Quotes?  Who uttered this week's Great Quote? Answer at the bottom of this newsletter.

"Most guys seem to like boobs - wonder why?"

"They are twins and they are fun.  That's why."

Useful Freebie by SamHill:

Howdy, friends and neighbors! Since I have a little extra time this week I've decided to do a little housecleaning on the old PC. My current tool of choice is a handy little suite from Jouni Vourio called  jv16 PowerTools. The name is appropriate. This package comes with a registry cleaner, a startup program manager, a file tool for locating zero-length and duplicate files, a temp file manager, an LAN manager and a whole lot more. Backups are automated and easy to restore just in case you get carried away with the Delete button. This is a very complete and comprehensive utility that has proven itself to me, I give it three stars. Until next time, take care and be good to each other. Sam

RG Sickels
UpStreme Artists group
another half-baked idea from
Samuel Clemens Hill, proprietor

                                                          See you next week. Sincerely, The Editorial Staff of AIH's The Arrow.

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 LANA9 asked and Silverback answered this week's Great Quote!