Back in January, when I was editing Oilypenguin's profile, I learned that Teneman was his boss. So when we decided that owning the official stronghold of GWJ warranted a profile, I knew exactly who I wanted to write the intro. Hopefully, Oily will still have a job after calling his manager crazy.
It takes a special kind of crazy to be here. It takes an even more special kind of crazy to stick around, especially if your primary forum interaction takes place in the Wild West that is P&C. Yet here we are, almost 6 and a half years later, and Teneman is still here. How crazy is he? He’ll get misty-eyed and talk for hours on end about the "good old days" of Everquest (back when it was hard) and how he had to walk 10 miles uphill to forge bows and … I don’t know; I normally tune him out at that point, but it’s important to him, so that’s something.
Teneman is one of the backbones of our community here. He has a track record of hiring goodjers for positions and he’s even trying to do it again. He’s a busy man with a full-time, high-stress job, a home business, and a beautiful family. He might not always be able to be involved in the conversation here, but when he is, it’s normally important.
Frankly, it’s a privilege to know him outside of the boards, and I’m excited many of you will be getting that same opportunity soon. How can you do that, you might ask? Well, this dude bought a castle. Maybe you’ve heard something about that?
1) Who the devil are you?
My name is Jim. I'm 40 years old, an accountant, an attorney, and a lifelong Ohioan. By day I manage a law firm; by night, a castle inn.
2) What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
When I'm reading GWJ I should be doing my job, which primarily consists of making sure Oilypenguin is not reading GWJ while he should be doing his job.
4) How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
I have a wonderful wife of 16 years and two amazing daughters. And a dog. Who is also female. Needless to say, I've built up a fully stocked man-cave.
5) When and/or how did you get into gaming?
My first system was the Atari 2600, but gaming really sank its hooks into me in 1983 with the Christmas-morning arrival of a brand spanking new Apple IIe, Zork, The Bard's Tale, and Wizardry. I can't even count the hours I spent exploring the Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. Good thing there wasn't a "/played" command in those days.
6) What is your fondest gaming memory?
My favorite gaming memory is undoubtedly from Everquest. There are several contenders, including my first Plane of Sky raid — literally a 24-hour event. But my hands-down favorite memory has to be that first low-level run from Freeport to Qeynos, sweating bullets through the Karanas and getting lost in Highhold Pass. I'm not sure anything in any game since has quite recaptured that feeling for me.
7) Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
I suppose I play games to give me something to focus on other than the work issues, which tend to follow me home from the office. Sort of a "sleep mode" for my brain. As for why I haven't outgrown them: Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.
8) What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
It's cliché at this point, but it has to be Skyrim. I sunk well over a hundred hours into it, and I'll likely go back and put some more in as soon as I find some free time. I've always loved the Elder Scrolls games. They seem to come closest to recapturing what I enjoyed most about a good pen and paper adventure: the massive scope of the worlds, the ability to put together your own storyline, and approach any encounter or objective in pretty much any way you want.
9) What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
At the moment, I'm loving Minecraft on the 360. I've played it before, and the 360 version is outdated and somewhat buggy — but four person co-op on the couch with my wife and daughters? It doesn't get any better than that!
10) Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
I've really been looking forward to the new Ghost Recon, and hope to pick it up soon. I had a great group of guys to play the last Ghost Recon co-op with, and am hoping to catch up with them again. Beyond that, I think I'm looking forward to Borderlands 2 the most. The first Borderlands was just such great mindless fun.
11) What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
I actually don't recall how I found GWJ in the first place, it's been so long (over six years). What kept me coming back once I did find it were the podcasts, though. The old GWJ Radio with Shawn and Russ was the first gaming podcast I listened to, and it was about perfect for the length of my daily commute. They kept me hanging around the site, and eventually I actually started contributing, and the rest is history.
12) Is there a particular forum on GWJ that you frequent/favor? Why?
I primarily hang around in Everything Else, unless I'm in Tech & Help pestering the gurus for free tech support. I try to answer a question or two when I can in there as well, but the resident experts are just too darned fast!
13) What is the story behind your handle?
Teneman Bowsmith was actually my first and main character in Everquest, a ranger on the Erollisi Marr server. Originally, believe it or not, the name was a product of the random name generator (with a small tweak). But my wife and I played that game for years. Eventually Teneman was with me for so long that the name just took on a life of its own. It's also fun to hear all of the different pronunciations people come up with. It's actually TEN-uh-men, by the way.
14) What is the story behind your tag?
That one's on Seth. I used to hang around in P&C a lot, and I suppose "Dubiously Agreeable" summed up my persona there in Seth's opinion. I tend to agree
15) Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
There's so many great folks here, it's hard to single anyone out. I would like to toss an extra "Thanks!" to the gurus in Tech & Help though. There are a ton of people who answer questions in there, but in particular Parallax Abstraction, *Legion*, Trueheart, Malor and Scratched always seem to show up with helpful information, no matter how many dumb questions I ask.
16) Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
It's been said before, but thanks to all of GWJ for giving me a place on the internet that feels like home. It really is amazing that when something cool happens — such as having your purchase offer on a castle accepted — more often than not I turn to this community to share the news before I even talk to some of my real-life friends. I haven't met many of you offline as of yet, but I look forward to rectifying that at PenCon in October.