August 22, 2011
A Visit with "20mm"
by Erik "EinsteinEP" Pierce
Since I live in the same town as Tom, I was able to meet up with him recently and see how his recovery was going. He was happy, cheerful, in good spirits. Maybe it was because of the great weather we've been enjoying in Tucson the last few weeks. Maybe it was the idea of meeting up with a fellow SimHQ staff member. Or maybe it was because I was bringing a sackful of cheeseburgers and french fries!
After lunch, Tom and I retired to his Man Cave where the first thing to catch my eye was a fantastically gorgeous model of an A-10 Warthog, loaded for bear (bears in T-72s, that is). Not one of those plastic snap-to-fit jobs or those out-of-the-box-and-it's-close-enough models, this one oozed authenticity and detail. There were several posters on the wall, too: a couple more A-10s, some F/A-18s, all aviation stuff.
A shoe box was near the desk that I later learned contained all the get-well cards that you all have sent him. The main attraction was, of course, the wood computer desk with the Logitech G25 racing wheel, a Fighterstick Pro joystick, and a CH Pro Throttle on the desktop and a set of CH Pro pedals sitting next to the G25 pedals underneath. A silky black computer case sat to the side with trunks of cables streaming to the desk screaming performance. Any gamer's dream set up.
Now for the sad part: Tom had just gotten this new computer rig before he fell ill and hasn't felt up to restoring it back to working condition during his recovery. I took a stab at it but wasn't able to get it all in working order during my short visit. There is still a fair bit of troubleshooting to do — something with USB drivers, I'm sure, possibly even a bad USB port or hub somewhere — but in its current condition, he won't be able to race or fly with the rest of us. Given the recovery path that Tom is on, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to put him into the middle of a 15 car pile up in rFactor or trying to relearn the DMS / TMS / CMS / Coolie / Boat / China switchology in DCS: A-10C Warthog anyhow. Step-by-step, inch-by-inch, as the saying goes.
All in all, Tom is doing well, but still on a long recovery path. While it is sad to know that he's not at 100%, his recovery is headed in the right direction. It may be a few months yet before we start seeing him on the raceway or in the virtual skies, but given his positive attitude and determination, I don't doubt that that day will come.
Ms 20mm would like for me to pass along to all SimHQ members how much it means to Tom and to her seeing all the concerned posts online and the cards that have been sent wishing him a get well.
Please mail your Get Well card to:
20mm c/o SimHQ
PO Box 1478,
Richmond, Texas 77469
Both Tom and his wife were touched by the outflow of support from the SimHQ community. Tom kept expressing surprise that folks even noticed he was missing from the SimHQ scene and didn't believe me when I told him about the threads and threads of folks asking about how he's doing. The cards you send and the posts you make do make a difference: as Tom reads them he smiles, laughs, remembers the good times, and feels loved and missed. Please continue to keep Tom and his wife in your thoughts (and prayers, if you pray) as he continues along his long and uncertain recovery path.
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