It is with shock and grief that I report the sudden passing of Eileen Tuuri, also known as ET PbD, veteran of the Newshounds community. We remember her best as moderator and hearbeat the Off-Topic Forum, helping to inspire its transition from just one more group of people posting on the internet, to a close-knit community of the crazy, funny, outspoken and creative, bound together not only by common interest but by true and lasting friendship. Some of us were fortunate enough to meet her in person (as I did at the 2008 Hartford OffTopiCon) but even those who didn't are grieving for her as a much-loved friend.
ET not only moderated the Forum: she meticulously compiled all its shenanigans into the Off-Topic Lore thread, to help newcomers find out what they were getting into. She created the annual Christmas Carol thread and filled it with her own witty lyrics. She piled all the Forum posters into a snakeskin Bentley, armed us with Space Modulators and superhuman powers, and sent us off to do battle with trolls, zombies, teabaggers and other forces of evil. She chased trolls off the forum (often letting us have a little fun with them first), and when we landed a really outstanding troll, she'd heckle him in such a way as to render it an art form.
ET was not just a friend and personal supporter of News Hounds, she organized many fundraisers for the blog, thereby raising several hundreds of dollars at a time on its behalf.
It was all in keeping with ET's character and unstoppable creativity. She could do so many things, and she did all of them beautifully: writing, singing, photoshopping, designing amazing costumes, crafting a Georgian manor house with exquisite attention to every detail, cooking, caring for Andromeda, Umbra, Timbit, Pixel and the late Apollo (the world's best-loved cats) and creating beaded bags and other lovely remembrances for her friends.
In my imagination ET is riding in a celestial Bentley now, off to the greatest adventure of them all. Have a good journey, my friend!