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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone,

After months of consideration, I have decided this was my last season of involvement in the Battle.

It’s been 10 full years helping to facilitate our addictive game, and I believe I need a change.

An inordinate amount of time, effort and commitment goes into it, and I need to focus on other ventures in my life.

I notified our administrator Michael two days ago.

I intend on making the upcoming battle – all 10 annual winners playing off (and all Beach Boys classics) – my last.

This was the first website I ever went to, the night I got the internet, the night before my first Brian Wilson concert in December 2002.

I must have liked what I saw. I’ve visited it just about every day since then.

Chris Arellano (Wow! Great Concert!) started this game in February 2010 as a means of quelling the degree of in-fighting and trolling that the original message board had sadly descended into on occasion and as a means of giving everyone an equal voice.

It’s been conducted most civilly. We’re all (virtual) friends. We’ve never dropped a week. It’s always run to time. It’s been a great pastime for all of us who’ve participated, some the full 10 years. It’s the second most frequented forum on the board after the main forum.

We should all be proud of it. I sure am. No other ‘listening party’ or album reviews on this board have lasted more than a handful of weeks before the originator disappeared without explanation. We’ve seen 10 years.

Larry commented when the question of the Battle’s future was raised back in August, “I keep thinking this season might be the last or that it should be. Ten seasons is a nice round number”. I thank him for expressing sentiments I know at least some of us share(d).

I also acknowledge Cindy’s and bonnie’s comments at the time and thank Cantina for his suggestion.

“It should be” really struck a chord with me. I’d hate to see our legacy of 10 years tarnished by a comp that continued for just a few weeks or months.

But, as I said at the time, I don't think it's up to any one individual to make a decision on whether or not this is the last season. There should probably be a group decision one way or the other, as there has been to every aspect of the Battle.

I can only make a decision on my own participation.

I sensed all year this was at least my Abbey Road here.

I don’t suppose my decision surprises anyone. My clips for Week 45 were my way of saying what I couldn’t bring myself to actually say.

I can’t speak for others, but I do sense most of us here could also do with a break. It’s been a big commitment from all of us, to participate week after week, year after year. You all deserve a huge amount of thanks. Maybe we all deserve long service leave after 10 years. I’ll let you determine that.

Helping to run this has been taxing. The last couple of years have seen it increasingly hard to find hosts.

Copyright blocking on YouTube clips has necessitated getting the green light from our international team (currently Australia, the US, the UK, Canada, NZ and Germany) each week. Thank you very much to those who have done this over the past five years or so (included our dearly departed mate, t Bedford).

I’ll always be grateful to Chris for starting this.

I very sincerely thank the great Brian Wilson for this site and Michael DeMartin for his support and particularly for this section he gave us when the board was refurbished back in 2012. The fact that everything is archived here – all the results and all the banter – is tremendous. It’s all there if anyone wants to reminisce, save for the clips that have since been taken down.

Anyway… I do feel you are owed an explanation for my leaving. And I also want to thank each and every one of you for your friendship, enthusiasm and contributions to the game.

Anyone is welcome to take up the baton if they think they can run with it. I wish them well. The rules are posted on here. (I didn’t write them. We all determined them through consensus.) If someone wants to take up the responsibility, they’re always welcome to contact me to help such a transition. Or maybe you’d like to change up a few things. As I said, I just hope you don’t stuff up the game!

Again, I invite everyone to participate in the Battle of the Decade to commemorate 10 years of the Battle. It starts this week.

Thanks. 

 

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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #2 
Darren -- Thanks for the work you've put into this enterprise and for sharing your thoughts. 

I think the most important jobs you took on were to maintain the schedule, verify each week's results, calculate playoff eligibility, host the playoffs and document everything that happened (in great detail).

The first two jobs (the schedule and the weekly results) must have been easier than the playoffs and the documentation.

Even if all of those jobs aren't performed, somebody might be willing to handle a schedule or verify weekly results.

Even if nobody did that, people could still create battles and publish results.

In fact, people could create battles and not even keep score. Or someone might create a new version of the Battle.

We might do any of this as long as the BOTB sub-forum stays up and available.


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Lisa G/TS

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Reply with quote  #3 
Darren....change is good, and "Happy Retirement". That was a heckuva load o' work you put in over the years on it! 
The legal copyright stuff regarding the song links - including testing and finding links playable in each country or continent, especially for ones that barely had 1 or 2 links available - was becoming the major migraine in hosting weeks. 

In a way, maybe it's no different than TV shows: difficult to keep fresh and as interesting after 10 years.
Did BOTB "jump the shark"? No, won't get into that...suffice to say there's no shame in getting 10 years out of it. 

Whether there's enough interest and commitment to attempt continuing it is up to the masses here. I enjoyed a lot of times participating, both as a mere participant or host of the week. Loads of fun memories and great insight both information-wise and music-wise from many here.  

We'll see what happens next...

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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #4 
well..
well,
well i never.
but somebody did...
it was 'im.
'im over there,
down under.
well i never...
crickey...
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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #5 
Dear DJR,

what I'd really like to see is the Access, Oracle or even SAP database you set up for managing all this. Don't tell me you've run the Battle, statistics and playoffs especially, only by memory or by a drawer full of sheets and notes. If people asked me to walk in your shoes, I would never agree in that without receiving a data transfer of at least 10 GB. Including user guide and hotline.

Being an IT and BI guy, this is my way of expressing my huge respect and appreciation to your work. You can't handle sth like this without any devices to make it efficient, or else you'll have to quit your job to focus on this.

Just to say thank you, is not enough. Although I don't think you're the kind of guy who badly needs credit from an internet forum.

This isn't just another internet forum, by the way. This is a great (virtual) place for legal music sharing and reasonable comments and lessons on it, as well as a place for exchanging cultural and general views from all over the world. We're different, and that's good. I admit that participating in the Battle often kept me away from reading and discussing what's going on in the other sections. Seems as if I'm about to lose this excuse. :-)

And yes, I also do think this is the right point to stop it, at least in this incarnation, before it gets weaker. I'll keep lurking around, observing if a new "Scrum Of The Singers" might be raised ...

And see you all in other board sections (as well as here, for a while).

Cheers, and keep on querying ...
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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #6 
Actually*, he's kept it all in a Vana exercise book.

* might not be true
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.A.N
Actually*, he's kept it all in a Vana exercise book.

* might not be true


With notes and arrows and scribbles?

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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #8 
I've got it: his wife is like me.
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Cindy Hood

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Reply with quote  #9 
Darren, You have done such a marvelous job being our statistician for 10 long years.  You put so much into these contests and I realize how much time it takes for you to be so meticulous in keeping our weekly battles up and running.  

I hate to see it end, even though I felt it was coming to that conclusion last summer.  Participation was really dwindling and I felt that it was to a point, "Why bother putting together a battle if hardly anyone is participating"?  

I really loved our weekly Battle of The Bands contest.  It gave me something to be excited about on a Monday morning.  But, all good things must come to an end, they say.  

I don't know how we could continue on without you, but I understand you need this change in your life.  
 
You were the best, mate!
Cindy

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Cindy Hood

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Reply with quote  #10 
Maybe we could do a weekly music trivia game?  Nothing ongoing, each week a different game and winner sorta thing?

Suggestions?


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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy Hood

Suggestions?

I worked on rules this afternoon for a new battle that would require a lot less work, but would still have playoffs and a yearly winner. Still thinking about it.

PS:  Actually, I stopped thinking about it but am keeping it private for now. [smile]


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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #12 
al 
- would circles and arrows and the seeing eye dog be useful?
cue arlo guthrie  the tale of 'alice's restaurant'...
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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #13 
i want to say a mighty thankyou to you, djr
- for your unfeasible diligence and thoroughly splendid efforts
throughout the lifetime of the 'botb'
in truth, i, too, have got to the point where i endorse a dignified end
to this chapter of the board of blue.
it's proved to be a meeting place for a varied, albeit occasionally bedraggled, band of compadres,
a place where we got to know a bit about each other whilst sharing some musical tastes and ideas,
sometimes opening ears to appreciating other genres,
sometimes underlining our own prejudices and predilxxxions...
a bunch of nerds, mutually attracted by some buzz of overlapping tastes
all emanating from a true affection attraction for the music of some old geezer.
but much, much more...

i reckon it's blown its course in this format.
but,there's no other segment on this board that actively seeks contributions
that compares and shares in like fashion.
let's face it, there's not a huuuge amount of chat here in any segment.
i'd be well happy to contribute to a loose, ad hoc, series of trifles / trivia / quizzical interjections / 'everything connects' moments.
shall certainly not wander off from this place
and hope that with the pressure off, we carry on communicating, sharing..

cheers and salutations
 
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks, everyone. 

Ha! Not Stan's Vana exercise book, but pretty close.....

BOTS 10 years of work.jpg 

And any host I didn't balance with was familiar with one of my state-of-the art worksheets....

BOTS typical worksheet.jpg 

Some of the more time-consuming things came out of left field. 

I always tried to ensure there was complete integrity to the Battle, whether that was scores recorded accurately or years of release of the actual recordings presented (not always a simple case of finding it off Wikipedia; on a few occasions, necessitating even writing to the artist or producer themselves).

The bottom line for me was if I said I was going to do something, I did it.

I think the community deserved that.  



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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren J. Ray
I think the community deserved that.

What can we do with a statement like this ? Most stupid would be to beg for continuation. He has done his part, and a huge lot more. “He owes us nothing“ ... didn't I write that earlier, referring to a different person ?

More appropriate would be: appreciate what we've got, and replace it by something similar, which of course has to be much leaner. Cindy, Larry ... (and possibly others): I have read and understood your suggestions. ;-)
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