It's hard to believe I've been at this for nearly 15 years!
I remember the day I signed up at the original site that Matt Van Wyk setup and ran. I was working in a new job and had finally sailed a can of Copenhagen out my truck window for the very last time. I made a lot of friends that year, friends that I am proud to say that we are still friends to this day. I also remember being shaken, to the core, when Matt announced that he was shutting the site down. In that instance, I knew I had to do something. I had to keep it up and running; not just for me, but for all of those new friends who were walking this walk with me. It wasn't easy. I had to pull together $3000.00 to buy the domains and collateral from Matt. The wife wasn't too thrilled about that but she understood. We made it work. It's been a real joy and at times, a real challenge keeping this up and running. Eventually, all things must come to an end.
Over the past couple of years there have been a lot of changes in my life. New responsibilities at work, new grand kids and most recently, buying and moving out to our own little ranch. Working the ranch has been one of the most challenging and yet, rewarding opportunities of my life thus far. Cows, calfs, fences, goats, goats getting out of the fences, chickens, guineas and all sorts of little critters to deal with. Maintaining two residences, two mortgages, working full time then driving the hour to the ranch and working another 4 hours, then driving home to collapse and start all over again. It's been an amazing blessing but, it leaves me with no time to tend to this place.
This site, the forums, they are like a pepper plant you buy at the Ag show with every intention of planting and growing your own peppers. But, due to other priorities, you don't have time to feed and water it and, eventually, it dies. That's exactly what has happened here. I haven't had time to care for and nurture this site and, as a result, it's dying; withering like my non-hypothetical pepper plant. This place deserves more; YOU deserve more. I've agonized over this decision for quite some time but I'm convinced it's the right thing for me to do.
So, this is it! I'll be shutting everything down at the end of this month (or soon thereafter). If someone wants to take over, I'll gladly relinquish the reins over to you. However, count the cost! It will cost you time, it will cost you money and, it will cost you missed sleep (when it goes down and you're the only one who can save it). Hosting account, database backups, software updates, ssh and firewall rules and php development. So, if you're up for the challenge and want to take over, reach out to me via IM, on Facebook or call my cell phone (if you have my number).
* EDIT *
I wanted to let everyone know that we will keep the Facebook group up and running.