Vegiman, a Researcher with a dream and the imagination to see it through.
Vegiman is among the older researchers. He was born in Gravesend Kent in 1947 (work the age out for yourself). The place has quite a history and he tells me that he may write an entry on it some day, it is the place where Pocohontas was buried and sits on the opposite side of the River Thames to Tilbury. He now resides in Maidstone with his second wife Margaret.
Vegiman left the Gordon School (General Gordon) at the tender age of 16 with no qualifications or certificates to join a family printing business... being slightly dyslexic made things very difficult because he had to learn every aspect of the trade... Vegiman's favourite part was hand book binding. Not the mass production methods of today but starting with just pieces of card and paper, leather and rexine cloth and ending up with finished books. Hand tooled gold finishing etc. He absolutely loved it.
Although he loved his father very much, he found that he just couldn't work with him, so after 16 years he left to become 'The Man From The Pru'. This he did for six years, until the break-up of his first marriage when he became a single parent family. Vegiman has a son and a daughter, his son Ian has two boys now and daughter Emma has a boy and a girl. So he is what the youngsters of today call a Grindley (a word that he believes comes from the words Granddad and crinkley).
At that time he worked part time as an Insurance/Assurance Consultant for a local broker. It was around this era that he met the lady who was to become his wife and Best Friend, Margaret. She encouraged his hobby of being interested in what makes people tick and by her suggestion he began training as an Analytical Hypno-Therapist and now has the letters Dhp after his name. The KC Stress Therapy Centre was Vegiman's next and most successful venture. For him, it was great helping others to come to terms with their inner selves and he had under gone very vigorous therapy himself to clear him of his inner anxieties. There must have been a few left un-cleared, for he found that he was being affected by his clients. Not wanting to end up as a kind of mad professor like many therapists do, Vegiman decided for this and for personal reasons that the centre should be closed. He then started a Mail Order Computer Company, which sold computer parts, software etc. This was to the Atari and Amiga market but although he made a living the Atari and Amiga lost favour and he was not in a position to expand into the PC Market.
His son, Ian, had been training as a stone mason when the company he worked for closed down - this left him out of work and not old enough by the new law to claim benefits. He got a part time job working on a fruit and vegetable stall in the local market and with Vegiman's encouragement started to sell nectarines door to door and did very well at it. He wanted to employ other teenagers of the same age to do the same thing - another company was born called JUNiORS for obvious reasons. With his Computer skills and his ability as a salesman, working together, they set out to sell fruit and vegetables door to door using a pre-printed list from which the customers could choose their produce. After a few years Ian left for the very same reasons Vegiman left his father - Talk about history repeating itself. - Well there are few bits left out but now we are up to the present day and after 10 years, JUNiORS is still going. A Web Site is being created for him, vegiman.co.uk, by a fellow researcher and hopefully later this year a new web venture will be launched which is still under wraps and will be a money making site with a difference. Vegiman already has two partners in this but there is a space for a graphic artist (send applications to [email protected]). Don't try and click on highlighted.co.uk yet - there is nothing there, getting the vegiman site up and running has a higher priority for him at this time.
As for the h2g2 site and how Vegiman found his way here, he told me that he was always interested in new things and is a fan of Tomorrow's World - Like many early Researchers in the UK, this was the place he first heard of h2g2. There was DNA telling of his dream, which is now becoming a reality and he found that he liked the idea. Vegiman grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down the web address. Leaving it for a week or so, because he thought it might get a bit cramped on site with many people trying to login at the same time. Like many at the time, he was confused as to how to react to postings and the kind of thing he should write. It was, and still is, a fun site, but was it meant to be serious or frivolous. On reading some of the entries by the h2g2 team - it seemed they wanted frivolous writing without much foundation or truth behind them - just opinions written in the funniest way possible. Oh how things have changed since those early days.
Vegiman finds himself at times missing the early days when Jim Lynn, Ant and others just popped into your forum and had their say on any given subject - it was a laugh. One of Vegiman's first postings was to the article on Parsnips and he claimed to be from the planet vegetaria and was disgusted at the way humans eat his relations (blush). It should still be there on the forum titled DISGUSTED AND IMMORAL'. In Vegiman's opinion h2g2 is now heading in the right direction - he had his say in the way we would like to see it progress like many early researchers. Vegiman does not think he would like to change anything now, all the people he meets are friendly but it would be nice to get a message from some of the oldies who do not get into h2g2 as much these days.
Vegiman is well known by many on h2g2 as an innovator of ideas for the h2g2 realm - he figures it is because he likes to move on to new ideas all the time, kind of a restless soul. All of you know of the h2g2 POST - you must do as you are reading it now. The idea of having more than one researcher being able to login on one site was not even thought of but now he sees others are using it including Pastey, using the same technique for his Chess program. Jim Lynn wasn't overwhelmed by the idea at the time but gave the go ahead anyway. He thinks he thought it would be a mass of pages with links and didn't expect it to be as professional as it is.
Many would have heard of the Fun Run which Vegiman is sorry to say he has sadly been unable to maintain of late but he is getting ready to give it a big re-launch soon. That started as an offshoot to the Critique Idea as did the POST but the POST went on to be something totally different. There are many other ideas floating around h2g2 which were his, where he asked other researchers to start them - many still going strong but the POST remains very much his favourite.
The POST was born because Vegiman was trying to encourage the Critique Idea which was formulated by the great h2g2 innovator Zachsmind. At the time no one was really interested in joining a group of Critique/proof readers, so Vegiman put his thinking cap on and came up with the idea of a newspaper, which could encompass the critique idea. It started off that way but the more researchers he approached to join the more the idea grew until Pastey put the icing on the cake by finding and programming our own website just to back up the POST page... Jim Lynn informed him that the POST will be moving over to h2g2 servers as soon as possible after Easter and the one year celebrations. - This event will make Vegiman's dream of where the Post should go become a reality. It should still be around in a hundred years time but it will have different researchers heading the team... Vegiman doesn't think he will be around to see it but perhaps the ghost of Vegiman could be around and proudly read the latest issue.
Vegiman feels that the Post is doing good with all the effort POST researchers put into it - it should be drawing a larger readership. He feels that with a little more help from the Towers it could achieve much more. The link to the POST is tucked away right at the bottom of the front page, but Peta and the Aces do a great job promoting it and he would like to take this opportunity to thank them. Thank You.
When it comes to future ideas of things Vegiman would like to see, he had thought of starting a magazine to go along side the POST but as Pastey once pointed out the POST is sort of half way between a newspaper and Magazine already. To get new ideas is really not as hard as it seems but you need inspiration, which normally comes from talking to others. Something said by another can spark a new idea, so really, its not your idea but someone else who never gets the credit who should be getting the praise - very much like this column which Vegiman called 121. It is now me (Monsy) who everyone thinks of, because I have come in and made it my own by stamping my individuality on it. I have pushed his original idea and made it what it is today. Vegiman states that he can't say that any idea is really his own but he always tries to get a good team behind him and they do all the hard work - so they should get all the credit. Vegiman gives a big well done to all of you and a thank you h2g2 for making this a great site.