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Posted On 07/30/2014 07:21:35 by Thundercloud

All of you know her as EB, some of you know her as Darcy, and most of you know she’s a pretty special lady. She is the one who makes sure that everyone who writes gets an answer, every order gets filled, and everyone with a computer problem who has a Cloudeight Direct service key gets scheduled.  Without her, Cloudeight would probably not be around anymore. She’s a fighter and she really cares and she makes the ideas I come up with work. My head’s always in the clouds — which is why we are called Cloudeight…not really…but my head is in the clouds. She makes this site work — and she does come up with some great ideas too.

Today is her birthday and I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best. What I wish most for her birthday is that all her dreams come true.

You probably don’t know this but she used to own a bar, and that’s where I met her. The bar was called Michigan^Tavern. Honest! I stumbled into her bar and starting fighting with her (it’s true). For some reason, in spite of my arrogance and contentious nature, she became my friend. I was a helpless nerd who knew almost nothing about computers then. My son was in a rock and roll band — and I made the world’s worst looking site, but I was proud of it. I showed it too her and rather than telling me it looked like a pile of junk she redid the entire site — she took her time to make the first web site I ever made look great — and she barely knew me and didn’t know my son at all.  What she did with the junky looking site I made was amazing — but she never took any credit for fixing it up.

The year was 1997 and the bar Michigan^Tavern was virtual — it was a chatroom that EB and some of her friends had created. So we met in a virtual saloon and Cloudeight was born.

In 1998, after she took me under her wing and taught me a lot about making web sites and we created the first Cloudeight site. It was called “Thundercloud and Eightball’s Christmas Graphics and you can still see it by clicking here.

We both use to work other jobs back then. Every day whoever got home first would check the counter on the site to see how many people had visited. I can remember the day we got 50 visits and we were sure we were on our way to Web stardom — ha! — but there’s something beautiful about naivete.  The excitement of having 50 visitors encouraged us and we kept working together.

One day, EB sent me an email with a scrolling background — and it had music playing. I thought she was magic! “How did you do that?” , I asked. We figured it out and started making stationery. It was then we created Cloudeight Stationery and it became wildly popular — at our peak we were getting 3 million visitors a year and our stationery became the most famous stationery on the Web.

We loved our jobs and we were so excited when we were working on a new stationery collection. We’d show each other what we had designed and couldn’t wait to release it to our subscribers and visitors. Cloudeight Stationery grew and grew – and Cloudeight became a business and our only job.

In 2002 we started Information Avenue and later InfoAve Premium to pass along some of the computer tricks and tips we’d learned over the years. It’s a good thing we did because when Microsoft introduced Windows 7, it had no email program, and therefore Windows 7 users couldn’t use our scrolling / musical stationery – our bread and butter. We had to completely re-invent Cloudeight and staying in business became a weekly struggle.

I have no doubt that if it weren’t for EB’s kindness and caring, we’d have gone belly-up several years ago. She never gave up and we came up with some other ideas and we’re still around. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care was her idea, not mine, and it really has helped us keep sailing on — and it really helped us get to know the folks who helped us through some very dark days.

Whether you know her as Darcy, EB, or both, she’s quite a lady and I’ve always felt quite lucky that, despite my cantankerous, contentious, belligerent nature,  she saw through all that and saw a different part of me — the part I never show the world — the compassionate, generous, gentle part. We’ve been friends since I walked into that virtual saloon and I’m a better person for it. And any of you who have had the chance to get to know her are blessed too. She’s one in a billion and we’re all lucky to have her.

Looking through her phone, I found a couple of her selfies, and I’d love to share them with you:

EB finds TG sleeping on the job again: “I’ll get you my pretty!”

EB getting ready to ride her broom to the grocery store to get me beer.

She’s the best partner and friend anyone could ever have. I poke fun at her in almost every newsletter, and she laughs along with us all. She’s great and I’m lucky to have her — and so are all of you.

Happy Birthday, EB! May all your dreams come true…


Viewing 1 - 3 out of 3 Comments

07/30/2014 19:03:18

Happy birthday Darcy and enjoy that special day. It only comes once a year like XMas. All the best to you and take care. Love and hugs. Joe!!!!!!  XXOO

07/30/2014 15:31:48

Indeed, We are lucky to have her! Happy Birthday, Darcy.

07/30/2014 13:27:22

Happy Birthday, Darcy/EB... Have yourself a Wonderful Day. You deserve all of the Blessings that ever come your way, for all of the years you have dedicated to help and guide we less knowledgable computer users. I for one have learned so much since the early years of Cloudeight Stationery and appreciate the lessons learned and the mistakes not made because you being a part of my online life... Happy, Happy Birthday today, And many, many more!!! :o)

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