MalcolmSAPPHIRE Member
HOP admin
1,055 posts
Location: New Zealand

I have read "Malcolm is no where in sight!" and some of you may think I have left HoP, sunbathing on a beach, drinking wine all at HoP's expense.

Yes I am here, more so than any other member, or employee I spend 60+ hours a week to keep HoP in existence.

I do want to spend more time in the community. Finding the time is difficult, but I realize I need to be seen as doing "things". So maybe I should create a blog of all that I do for HoP behind the scenes.

Only about 3 people on the site know some of the troubles I have had over the past 4 years. Even through all my own personal troubles I have always worked my guts off for HoP.

I do not want pity. But maybe with what I am about to reveal you will see just how dedicated I am to HoP.

3.5 years ago my wife ended up in hospital with complications after giving berth to our son Jesse. I worked for HoP from Midnight to 10am in the morning then spent a couple hours time with Cherry and Jesse then work more hours and then visit them in Hospital for Dinner. I then slept on the floor on a mattress in the ward getting disturbed every hour by nurses etc and then repeated the cycle again for three weeks.

I then started suffering pain in my Hips and went through the worry of having arthritis. I was getting less and less sleep from the pain. Pain medication was increased.

Health system did not want to explore my pain further as I was too young to do anything. So I paid for my own scans and went to several specialist doctors to find out why I was in so much pain and what could be done. Finally from my own MRI scan I was told by a surgeon I had lost 3mm from the inside of my Hip sockets. And the edges of the sockets were breaking off.
I then got awfully depressed about how I could keep HoP going and how I could play with Jesse and Cherry.
I then had the worry of Hip replacement which they will not do in someone so young. And coming to deal with being in pain and trying to manage all I love.

Then I decided to get a General Manager to keep HoP running and loaded as much as I could onto him, being George.

I then had one operation to remove the broken off parts from my left Hip and tidy it up. It was unsuccessful in reducing the pain. So I did not go ahead with the other hip.

Pain and lack of sleep got so bad I ended up at the "Pain Clinic" at the hospital. Seeing specialist doctors, psychologists and physiotherapists.

This helped with the pain and my depression plus my relationship with my wife and child.

All the time with the rising New Zealand dollar all HoP's overheads basically quadruppled over three years but our Turn over in NZD rose only 50%. We have always run with small margins and hence we had to create better systems and processes to become more efficient and clever in how we worked.

Many other New Zealand exporters were and are still going bust or moving completely overseas in order to survive.

For many months we struggled to pay our bills and keep running.

Then I was moved onto a new pain drug last year and almost died from drug induced hepatitis. The first thing I did when I got out of hospital was go to HoP and start working again.

We spend over $100 a week on pain drugs so I can live a "normal" life as possible. But I am very much a changed person and very limited physically.

Pain had enabled me to work very long hours as I could not sleep, which to me is a good thing.

Our improvements have been recognized by HoP rating highly in business exporter awards.

Higher interest rates and rising NZ dollar is still affecting us but we are moving forward.

Some days I still arrive at HoP HQ looking like a zombie who has not slept in 3 days.

I am still struggling with Pain, sleep and my Diabetes. I feel I am no longer depressed.

I have only just started another drug which has improved my sleep, however makes me very mellow.
I am now on 16 pills/day.

You may not notice me, but I am and will always give HoP everything I can.

I am proud of what I have achieved. HoP is still here and getting strong again.

We all have to work hard. We all make mistakes. It is everyones job to use the "Alert moderator" button.
Most moderation is never seen .....**you know the story**

Pele does an excellent job and will be getting an award, as will a few others, for their selfless contribution to HoP and support to myself.

Now i'd better get back to our ball chain and quick link lack of supply crisis.

May your balls always burn

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

 Written by :georgemc

 Written by biggrinoc Lightning

Malcolm: I'll be there in less than 6 months to mow that lawn, buddy.

How much does that "baby" weigh now?

That 'baby' is gonna eat you alive Doc! I can see it now... biggrin

Yeah, he's got to get around my impenetrable wall of tickles. ubblol


Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura

Pink...?BRONZE Member
Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
6,140 posts
Location: Over There, United Kingdom


I too am in the opinion you do not need to explain yourself. I have never questioned where you were when you hadn't posted online for a while.

I had no idea of all the problems you have/had been going through, and it just makes me want to thank you even more. We all know you love HoP and would never abandon it.

You have created something so wonderful, so magnificent... words can not even begin to describe how much this site has changed me. It led me into the world I live now... I would not have a fantastic job, a fanastic fella, and well a pretty good life at the moment.

I really wish one day I can get together enough time (which is the main problem! time!) and money to come and mow your lawn smile

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

fluffy napalm fairyCarpal \'Tunnel
3,638 posts
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land


Thank you Malcolm, and I am sorry to hear life is presenting you with so many challenges. Enormous love to you and Cherry and Jesse (who I only met as a bump). You have changed so many people's lives - you need to save some energy for your own too. Nobody doubts your input - if they do they just need to look around and see what you've built here. Thank you so much.


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

blu_valleySILVER Member
fluffy mess
197 posts
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

Have a hug biggrin

"I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

faith enfireBRONZE Member
wandering thru the woods of WI
3,556 posts
Location: Wisconsin, USA

If this group wasn't here, I probably never would have kept spinning and met cool people here and in real life

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

pricklyleafSILVER Member
with added berries
1,365 posts
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Hi Mr Malcolm!

I don't think anyone was questioning your visability or contribution (unless I've really missed something). I've only ever heard good things said about you, and in a community of 70000+, thats one hell of an acheivement! I too had been thinking that you had started posting a lot more recently. However, I don't think that you should feel you have to in order for people to know you are dedicated to HoP, I feel the debate was/is centered around mods and not you.

I'm sorry to hear what you've been through, and have an even greater respect for you after hearing that. I'm glad you got the help you needed with your business, sometimes its the hardest thing to take a small step back from the baby you've grown, and let someone else help when you need it. Like others say, I'm very sorry and saddened that you felt the need to post this. But I hope that now a big positve will come out of it and it will show you how valued you are, and what a huge difference you have made to so many peoples lives, especially when they've been struggling. Mine included. Thats something that very few people manage to acheive in their lifetimes.

Keep looking to the positives, I really hope that your health improves and you get the help you need. I'm glad that you're starting to feel better.


P.S. You can also add me to your list of lawm-mowers, I'll be in NZ around February onwards '09 biggrin (You're going to need a bigger lawn at this rate...)

Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

BirgitBRONZE Member
had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
4,145 posts
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Holly, we should coordinate the lawn-mowing. That means we both get all the honour, but half the work ubbidea

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

KaelGotRiceGOLD Member
Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
1,584 posts
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Cheers Malcolm, your efforts are very much appreciated <3

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

gitaSILVER Member
.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
3,776 posts
Location: brizvegas, Australia

 Written by :Rouge Dragon

Although this now explains the lawn mowing wink

ubblol exactly what i was thinking!!! biggrin

malcolm you ROCK! clap without you there would be no hop...& it's been around for a long time now!! everyone needs a break from their job at some point & i reckon you have about the best reason out there!!! i personally didn't even notice that you weren't around as much (mainly cos i haven't been here as much!) but as some people have said - you are hop, you are the everpresent mysterious being who may not be highly visible...but you are there!! smile


do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good to eat!

if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! grin it confuses people!

ValuraSILVER Member
Mumma Hen
6,391 posts
Location: Brisbane, Australia


I am really honoured that you would share such a personal story with us.

You have been the main driving force behind the success that is HOP, and a lot of your dedication (behind the public world of the blogs) goes unnoticed.

You even took the time out to send me flowers after our gorgeous son was born. That meant so much to us, and there will be something in the mail in about six months to show how much you mean to our family...

ubbrollsmile wink

You helped me find my soulmate... and not just me, but a whole slew of hoppers on here... now with all the babys in exsistance from the people who met on hop, you have helped to create a generation of hoppers ...(ewww does that sound dodgey? eek) and all because of the type of dedicated person you are.

Through all your hardships you have still been dedicated and given as much to hop as you physically and emotionally could.

Arsn and I have often spoken of how successfull hop is, but I can honestly say I didnt know the half of what what you have been through to help it become the business and community that it is.

Thank you for helping me to understand.

I hope that you could take a holiday, some time out for now, to just get back to where you feel stronger. You sound like you have done some amazing healing emotionally, but perhaps some time for yourself,and family, may assist in your pain?

Im not a doctor or profess to know what Im talking about, but in my bad health experiences I needed to take time out to just be and let my body slow down to heal.

Its proberbly very difficult for you to take time out to do that, but prephaps people could pull together for a good three weeks to do anything we can to assist...?

You are deeply respected here Malcolm, but I dont believe that is validated to you enough... sometimes its just nice to hear that you have done a great job. biggrin

Kia Kaha...
Be Strong. hug

TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

Nephtysresident fridge magnet
835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

hug Malcolm hug

I've been away for a bit and missed whatever precipitated this, but I just wanted to say I NEVER doubted your commitment to HOP, and I will be eternally grateful to you for creating this place, for all the wonderful people I've met here, the many things I've learned.

I'm so sorry to hear about all that you have had to cope with and are still coping with, and I'm so impressed with your positivity and unbelievably hard work through it all.

Unfortunately I don't think I will make it over to NZ any time soon, but consider me astrally projected with my astral lawnmower mowing your astral plane.... can I have some astral ice cream now please?

hug Malcolm hug

everyone's unique except me

splinterificGOLD Member
248 posts
Location: Ireland

 Written by :pricklyleaf

biggrin (You're going to need a bigger lawn at this rate...)

or miraclegrow biggrin

BurdaASILVER Member
377 posts
Location: At the quiet limit, United Kingdom

Sorry to hear of your tribulations. I haven't even been here long but you're clearly a hero hug2 *squeezes Malcolm...real hard*

Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom

 Written by :Valura

You helped me find my soulmate... and not just me, but a whole slew of hoppers on here... now with all the babys in exsistance from the people who met on hop, you have helped to create a generation of hoppers ...(ewww does that sound dodgey? eek)

ubblol it's true!! Malcolm, perhaps you could consider creating a dating website!! ubbrollsmile

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

fluffy napalm fairyCarpal \'Tunnel
3,638 posts
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

You mean this isn't a dating website? Oops.......... redface

Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia

ubblol ubblol ubblol

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

BirdGOLD Member
now available in "advanced"
6,086 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Hey Malcolm,

Just stumbled across this thread and thought I'd throw a thought or 2 of my own into the mix.

Firstly, as stated by many others, you don't need to justify yourself to us, after all, most of the people here have never, and probably will never meet you, or the family you work endlessly to support.

I feel sure, having read your first post in this thread, that If it weren't for your focus on, and dedication to HoP, Cherry and Jesse, you may well not have had the mental strength to keep going.

Having met you a couple of years ago (damn, was it really that long already) it was clear to me that you need HoP as a part of your life, as much as it needs you to keep it going as a strong business.

All the work and effort that you (and the rest of the team for that matter) put in really is appreciated by the regular users, most of whom see this as a family, not just an online community.

Anyway, I've babbled on enough for a Sunday morning, so I'll leave you with a hug and a grouphug to share with Jesse and Cherry.

One day, I'll be back to give them in person, but for now, look after yourself.


My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

MalcolmSAPPHIRE Member
HOP admin
1,055 posts
Location: New Zealand

Thanks all hug

May your balls always burn


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