As I sit in this darkened room
The night about to end
I pass my time with strangers
But this code's my only friend

I logged in to see if there was anything I might find interesting, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw this on my profile:

User since:Apr 09, 2001 at 03:59 CDT (18 years ago)
Last here:Apr 09, 2019 at 00:52 CDT (1 second ago)

Eighteen years a PerlMonk.

It doesn't feel that long ago that I created an account and asked how to light individual pixels on a Tk Canvas. Well, in ways it does but in ways it doesn't. Back then I was playing with a pet project, a crude visual simulation. Being only a few years out of a C.S. program at the time, that was truly an ugly bit of code (at the time, I didn't even know about perl hashes-it used strings of concatenated sets of coordinates/vectors, and housed those strings in an array to act as a queue to be processed). Yes, I admit I knew much less than I thought I did about the language at the time. (I still find myself learning things about the language to this day.) Quite frankly, that code is my nemesis-maybe once or twice a year or so I pull that script out, run it (it runs, but terribly slowly), start to re-write it based on what I know now, and fail after maybe a week or two of tinkering in my off time. Yes, that I freely admit that whatever I thought of my code at the time, it was crap code. It may have worked at the time, but it was still crap code. Today, I admit there is still a high likelihood that my code is crap, but hopefully I am starting to show a little improvement. (Maybe if I am here that many years hence I'll be able to say that I've gotten to be almost somewhat okay.)

In the mean time, I want to say a deeply heart-felt "thank you" to all those who have given of their time and patience with my questions and responses. What improvement I have shown in this time is due in large part to you, my fellow Monks. (I'll take the credit blame for the bugs that remain.) I hope I didn't, but if I neglected to say it at the time, I will now-it has been greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading this far. I'll wrap this up with this. I have met a few of my fellow Monks in the big blue room (with the really bright light), but most of you have been at the other end of a post, comment, or CB response. I hope I have remembered that you were human too, and, if not I could not be positive, at least I hope I kept any negative comments aimed only at the code. I hope I have been more help than a cause of confusion or error. And, remembering those who were, those who are, those who will be, and those who are no longer with us (whether due to the ebb and flow of life, or to "going beyond the rim"), here is to you-thank you, one and all.

(With apologies to Richard Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi, for "Never Say Goodbye", and to Rachel Southworth and Michael David for "18 and Life".)