I'm dreadfully behind in reading LJ -- truly almost 2 years -- but I will catch up.
I've been busy enough that I've not been able to read any of the comics I used to enjoy (Helen, Girl Genius, Sluggy, Freefall, Kevin & Kell, User Friendly... and many more) but I will, eventually, catch up.
About 2 years ago I was looking for an inexpensive item and a friend mentioned Tanga.com. Cool beans. Bought the item, visited occasionally, and discovered their "daily fun" page. Don't much like that name, but there were puzzles published daily -- Rebus-like puzzles many of them, with answers from one word to 27 words long sometimes. I started showing up when the puzzles were released (10pm in Eastern time) and actually eventually became a contender, kind of. Broke the "top 100" barrier eventually. Now I usually do. Sometimes even make the top 10. On the rare occasion I've solved it first. They had a backlog -- going back to 9/14/2006. And I like a good challenge, so I've been working my way through it. Some more difficult than others. Some, early on, I gave up on (Renfurdson's Cleopatra comes to mind) and had the answer displayed. Then there were a few where I asked for the answer and it took away all the points I could have gotten for solving it, but did not tell me the answer, so I had to struggle to really solve it. Some of the early ones didn't have the conversation attached that had contained clues when they were originally solved.
Some of the puzzles were awful for someone as media-non-savvy as I: Identifying 15 celebrities (most of whom I've never heard of) who have their tongue stuck out. Some required knowledge of the rules of football or shuffleboard or bowling. Or state capitals, morse code, and various encryption techniques I'd not been familiar with. All in all I enjoyed it a lot.
I've done all of them since I started doing the puzzles (looks like 1/1/2012), and I've done all of the puzzles up to, at this point, March 29, 2009, as well as many random ones between . Right now there are 10165 puzzles published, and I figure I've done something over half of them.
I figured I would finish them -- to get the message when I say "show me a random one I've not solved" that there were no more. A few months ago there was rumbling that something called "Thought Lobster" would replace "Daily Fun", and I figured that while I wasn't keen on change, as long as they kept the history and the points (I still haven't broken the top 100 of all time puzzlers) "by any other name" and all that.
Tanga was more than an intellectual challenge, it was a community. And it was one that an introvert like me could deal with. 5 minutes spent competing against folks, 10 minutes spent helping someone. A spat of exchanged e-mails over a weekend. They had their own vocabulary -- salt & FMHG. And it was something I looked forward to every evening plus Saturday morning. Yeah, it caused stress when my computer chose 10pm as its time to pitch a tantrum, but overall it was good.
I learned yesterday that as of 9/30/2013, it is going away. It is not going to Thought Lobster. The archives, the conversations, the proposal-in-the-form-of-a-puzzle, the infamous Cleopatra. Just gone. And I don't have the time, know-how, or equipment to offer to take it over.
I would be less impacted if you told me that the GPS satellites were going away tomorrow.