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Future of VapingBlips

Discussion in 'Purely Social' started by InMyImage, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. InMyImage

    InMyImage Geeky blip :) Staff Member

    Hi everyone, the last time I popped my head in was over a year and a half ago when the site ran out of funding and I was looking at shutting it down and that time is upon us again...

    The funding collected at the time was only enough to cover a couple of months but my financial situation enabled me to cover the costs since the funding ran out, unfortunately my financial situation has changed dramatically because of Covid. My wife worked as a caregiver for elderly clients and because our son can't communicate how he is feeling or what symptoms he may be having in addition to the fact that coughing is murderous to me thanks to my spinal cord injury she was forced to quit her job since Covid was rampaging through nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly.

    Unfortunately this resulted in us selling our home and most of our belongings given that we couldn't afford our mortgage. Because of my spine we haven't been able to take a vacation in years because most hotel beds simply aren't supportive enough, flying just isn't possible and long drives result in me being pretty much unconscious on meds recovering. We ended up putting a positive spin on the situation as we had been talking about getting an RV and traveling the country with a bed that we know works for me and the ability to rest as needed. We discovered a company that is essentially a timeshare for campgrounds and were able to join at a membership level that lets us stay in a campground in their network for 2-3 weeks and go immediately to another campground so even if I need to recover for days after traveling from campground to campground or after a day of going out with the family it lets me do something with them at least once a week and they can either do activities without me or just live like they would in a house given that we ended up buying one of the biggest trailers on the market with a separate bedroom for Ethan who is almost 18 now and definitely needs his own space.

    The last year has been nice but recently we had an accident, everyone is okay and no other people were injured but we have some massive out of pocket expenses coming due soon.

    Over the course of the last year I've been covering the expenses of the site to the tune of about $680 out of pocket and I simply can't afford to continue being the site's benefactor.

    At this time I've turned off new user registration for now and I'm going to be working on shrinking the site to something that will most likely be only for all of the actively posting users to continue using this as a social place with the ability to look at old info and continue to share new info.

    Unfortunately as we quickly discovered the site can't function on a cheap server plan, but given the fact that the active posting user base has shrunk over recent time, I'm pretty sure I can shrink it to both fit on a less expensive plan than it currently is on as well as maintain a reasonably responsive system.

    Right now, all of you need to make a decision on the future of the site as a group by donating to keep it going. The cost of the minimum hosting plan to maintain the site is $180 for one year or $312 for two years. The site will not fit on a plan cheaper than that without deleting a significant amount of older images and/or videos.

    I'm sure some of you see the ads on the site and wonder how much they bring in, they are all affiliate links and they effectively bring in nothing, I've just not bothered to remove them. All ads will disappear during this process unless a vendor that actively posts in the Vendor section steps forward to keep their ability to post in the Vendor section and also decides to buy any advertising space on the site otherwise all ads will disappear soon.

    I need to have any funds donated to support the site by September 7th so I can determine how much work I need to do to shrink the site to fit into a smaller plan if insufficient funds are raised to get the plan we need to remain in it's current state and also work on the migration from our current server to a new server.

    In the event that enough funds are not raised to work with any plan, then any donations made will be refunded minus any PayPal charges that are not refundable unless there is a note to apply any unused funds to the costs I've incurred over the past year.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
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  2. daleron

    daleron Just a lurking Blip

    Sorry to hear about the accident and costs incurred Bill :(
    You shouldn’t have to be paying for the site yourself anyway.
     
  3. Glam

    Glam Technically challenged beach blip.

    Yes....so sorry to read about the bad luck you have had over the last year. Damn Covid...has hurt so many! Looks like some things did work out....some good news sprinkled in here and there.:thumb:

    Appears there are about 10 active members on here....and it looks to be quite a bit cheaper to pay for 2 years versus one year. I will donate my share of $312....or $32. Or $18 if you all just want to go one year. Would like input from the rest of you regarding what you all want.
     
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  4. tgcrna

    tgcrna Be good to yourself and kind to others...

    I feel that $32 per active member is a very reasonable expectation to keep this place going. I will certainly contribute if everyone else is on board.
     
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  5. Blue1

    Blue1 Blip Charm

    Bill I wish you had let us know when the payment was due... but I understand with the lifestyle you are living now how complicated it can be....I admire what you are doing for your family...
    I must agree... I can find $32 somewhere.....
    I hope everyone else will agree....
     
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  6. muth

    muth More than a poop!

    @InMyImage I was so surprised and happy to see you posting again. I do miss having you here. You have always been a wonderful contributor to Blips.

    I'm sorry how this pandemic has played out for you but living the RV life sounds intriguing and one I've given thought to myself. I hope it continues to work out for you and the family. Have there been any pandemic relief programs you could take advantage of? I was fortunate that my unemployment checks were larger than my usual income and was able to continue mortgage payments. But I've been hired back only part time for now and partial UI will soon end. Who knows after that, nothing is stable right now.

    I am willing to pay for Blips and wished you had told us sooner so we could have made those payments. I hope you know we're all willing to help out.

    ETA: I would love to see a photo of Ethan. You might remember that I work with special needs individuals and my niece, Winnie, who just graduated high school is on the spectrum. Same age as Ethan.
     
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  7. muth

    muth More than a poop!

    @InMyImage Would you please let us know if we are reaching our goal by Sept. 7? If we fall short we can make it up rather than lose it all.

    If you let us know sooner rather than later we can also send money to compensate you. It's easier to make smaller payments before they accumulate. I am willing to compensate if I can make manageable payments. Thx.

    Also, is it better to send directly to your personal paypal account as a friend rather than a forum donation from the above button?
     
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  8. MRSpivey

    MRSpivey Faith, Hope, & Love...

    Same


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. jj2

    jj2 Tiggergirl A blip in the Deplorable Basket Contest Organizer

    I'm in!

    Sorry to hear about your life being turned upside down. :(
     
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  10. dubya

    dubya Blissfully bewildered billet box blip

    I am falling behind on all my reading, but yes, definitely in. @InMyImage , I would like to contribute more than my $32. If the cost is covered, I would like the rest to go to you, not left in for future funding please. Sorry to hear about the bad luck, but sounds like you guys are making the best out of it, and I wish you all the best with the RV and travels.
     
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  11. Blue1

    Blue1 Blip Charm

    The link above is free for both to send it... since it is a donation.....
     
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  12. muth

    muth More than a poop!

    I wasn't sure because @InMyImage mentioned fees. So.......but he hasn't responded to my question about payment method so I used the above button to get it in tout de suite:)
     
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  13. Blue1

    Blue1 Blip Charm

    The only fees I am aware of will be if he takes the money out of Paypal.....
     
  14. MRSpivey

    MRSpivey Faith, Hope, & Love...

    You can send F&F via PayPal and not be charged a fee if your PayPal is linked to one of your bank accounts.
     
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  15. MRSpivey

    MRSpivey Faith, Hope, & Love...

    I don’t think any member expects anyone to be a benefactor. But it certainly would help if someone would communicate the financial status to folks… before it becomes a “crisis.” Last time there was a crisis I kicked in money but we never received feedback (that I can remember) on how much was received and when we would need to do additional funding.
     
  16. muth

    muth More than a poop!

  17. muth

    muth More than a poop!

    I totally agree and this was my contention from the last time this happened. I don't want to hear from @InMyImage that he shelled out $600+ to keep the forum afloat while we sit here unaware. That's why I want to tally up the pledges now so we'll know what and when to give next year at this time. Does that sound reasonable or do you have another idea/solution?
     
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  18. MRSpivey

    MRSpivey Faith, Hope, & Love...

    Works for me. But it will only work if communication is open and everyone is willing to disclose. I hope we can get enough for two years on the more economical level.
     
  19. InMyImage

    InMyImage Geeky blip :) Staff Member

    I want to thank everyone who donated. We raised enough to fully fund the hosting for the 2 years plus about $100 to help with costs I covered over the last year.

    I didn’t mind paying the fees as long as I could because I know that a couple of the active members are challenged financially and with Covid ravaging the county last year I didn’t want anyone to feel obligated to contribute even though it might have been a hardship for the to do so. I was a Senior Software Engineer for IBM and knew my disability retirement wasn’t in danger of suddenly disappearing and it is high enough that up until recently it definitely had an impact but was manageable.

    I do apologize for the lack of communication but unfortunately one of my disabilities is cognitive and memory is a significant issue and my concept of time is affected. My wife tells me that at times I’m similar to the advanced Alzheimer’s clients she worked with. When there were more active members of the site it was pretty easy to hide this because the flow of posts meant lots of other people would trigger my thoughts although I did use the search function pretty heavily. As the group shrank it got more and more difficult for me which was discouraging enough to make me start avoiding things until I discover it’s been a year or more between visits.

    As for the change to the full-time RV lifestyle, we do think it’s been a positive change even though our home is about 10% the size of our old house. I’ve always enjoyed being out in nature so even if I’m not able to do everything that the family does, I’m happy and going a bit stir crazy given that we’ve been without the trailer for 2.5 months now.

    Fortunately there are enough free things to do in this counter and the National Park Service gives lifetime access passes to the disabled so Ethan and I both have passes. The passes give us free entry to all National Parks. With us both having passes it means everyone can get in even if I can’t go. Shelly worries about me falling on a trail and he not being able to help me up since she is so much smaller than me so I’m hunting for an extra large service dog, but there isn’t any organization that trains giant breeds so I’m searching for a young Greater Swiss Mountain dog or Great Pyrenees to train. Britt has a friend from college who helps people train their own service dogs and he has offered to help which will be a big help, if anyone knows someone that breeds either breed or has one around a round old that they are looking to rehouse, let me know.

    My dad is in the end stages of Dementia and Brittany was very close to him and he and Ethan always had a close unspoken connection. Because I haven’t been able to handle the travel nor could we afford to have the whole family go visit the change in lifestyle allowed to go spend time with him for about a month during Britt’s summer vacation. He generally couldn’t remember us but there were glimmers of recognition and the more we saw him the more he seemed to be happy to see us. The man was a bonafide genius so it was difficult to see him like this but we were grateful to be able to spend so much time with him. That alone made the change worth it.

    @muth Ethan has been talking more in simple but fairly complete sentences. He still responds to simple yes/no type questions unless it a question of food, he really is a teenager LOL. Because of Covid all his therapy moved to virtual so he’s been able to continue therapy on the road, makes behavioral therapy more difficult but music works really well.

    Here are a couple pics for you.

    Ethan, Brittany, Shelly and I at the Golden State Bridge

    56B762F1-FD8A-4D99-BC3C-AF8A6FB030E0.jpeg

    Tybee Island in Georgia

    ACDA9968-94C6-45C3-A2D1-15421BBDF83C.jpeg


    3151AAFE-A880-4BD6-9192-C78B65113615.jpeg

    Grand Canyon

    46AAC0FA-0646-4B00-9925-3133F70DA377.jpeg

    Parked overnight at a winery in Tennessee

    51C4B511-16A7-4E15-97D8-43FD8FDEDDEF.jpeg

    Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Ethan went through a brief stage when he wanted to take anime characters with him always so he’s holding one up here.

    AEC34B0C-2EF0-4F4D-AA10-11376F22014A.jpeg

    Making marshmallow torches, he rarely eats one but he gets a kick out of seeing them burn.

    ED280A69-AE3E-4995-B9FC-6AEF0779569A.jpeg

    Picking up our new home

    33EBD6BB-745A-46F8-B45E-26EB1D35460F.jpeg
     
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  20. MRSpivey

    MRSpivey Faith, Hope, & Love...

    @InMyImage nice rig! Are you using Starlink for internet access? Since I’ve been telecommuting for work nearly two years now we’ve considered selling everything and going full time RV. The only things holding us back are providing care for the grandkids (while their parents are at work) and the potential that wife may want to kill me (being cooped up in that tight of space). LOL, the latter was more of a funny but was mentioned by her that it could pose a challenge.

    Great to hear from you! Near the end of the year I plan on doing another contribution to help pay you back some more.
     
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