All good things...
I met Jim Walker around 2003, or 2004. We worked together at Wasington Mutual in Seattle. I remember one day looking at Orbusmax.com and someone saying, "oh, you're checking out Jim's site." At first I thought that Jim and I both frequented the same site, I soon realized that Orbusmax was actually Jim's site. Jim was the Orb.
Over the years, Jim and I became good friends. We talked about family, work, on occasion we played poker together (he was better than I was), and of course we discussed politics. When we talked politics, we got really in depth on the details of it all. We watched the moves that the politicians made like a serious fan might pick apart an amazing play, even if it wasn't your own team.
Jim really had a passion for politics. He would talk to anyone about it. He was always emailing the various players in the northwest. It didn't matter if they were collecting signatures for an initiave, hosting a radio show, writing for a blog, or actually in office, or seeking to be. Jim was involved. Who would have started such a thing as Orbusmax if they weren't passionate about it.
After Jim and I both left WaMu we kept in touch over email and phone calls. Once in a while when Jim was travelling, he'd call me and ask if I could update "the site." There was only ever one site he was talking about, and I always said yes. Back in those days, Orbusmax was just a flat file site that had to be manually updated. It sometimes took hours of pouring through sites, reading articles, and sorting through links. It was a lot of work, but it was Jim's passion.
The last time I talked to Jim was the evening of November 6th, 2012. I was at the Republican election party in Bellevue when I called Jim to see where he was. I was a little suprised to find that Jim wasn't at the party. In years past, he'd get a room at the hotel where the event was taking place and spend the night updating the site, with some visits to the party to take in some of the SuperBowl-like atmosphere. But that year was different, no Jim. Two days later, on my 44th birthday, Jim passed away in his sleep.
So, that's the story about how I came to run Orbusmax.com.
I started out manually updating the site just as Jim had. The only problem was that I didn't have the time or the passion that Jim did and the site quickly became stale. The best option that I could come up with was to automate the site as completely as I could. There have been many itterations since then, with varying degrees of automation. The site was never as specifically focused as when Jim ran it, but at least it got updated.
Recently, most of the feeds that I had been relying on to populate the site have gone away. As such, I'm not really sure what to do with the site. I simply don't have the time to dedicate to making it what it once was. For the time being the site will sit, just like this, with these words for all to read. Eventually I may come up with something more to do with the site. I would welcome your suggestions, and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've thought about making this a place for easily following a few twitter feeds, or posting election updates, or maybe just spreading the word of God, Jim would have loved that.
I know many of you will miss Orbusmax, so will I. I also very much miss Jim.
All the best, and God bless.