Yes, I am still here, and I have every intention of coming back.
First, now that I've had a break, I'm going to try and get at least sort of caught up with all of the albums I've been sent by The Ripple Effect (great site, check them out if you haven't already) and the random band submissions. I know I'll never get 100% caught up because more are coming in every day, but I'm going to at least make an attempt at the mounting pile I have in front of me. I leave for vacation in a few days, but I should be able to get at least a handful done before then.
I've started getting the writing itch, which is good, it's what I want. A return of the want to write would be grande for me at this point.
Secondly, while I don't think I'll ever bring The Guide back to it's former glory, I am working with a group of musically-minded individuals on a new project of sorts. This one will be more varied in musical scope, with all forms of rock accepted. I'll keep doing my metal thing, and I have one or two more partners in this project that also enjoy them some heavy, so there will be something there for you all to enjoy. It will just be mixed in with more accessible music for the masses. Fear not, I will keep up both sites to the best of my ability, with each getting unique articles from yours truly (but also a lot of crossover). We are looking at an end of July start-up for that one, so when I get it all up and running I'll make sure to inform all of you to that.
Thank you to all of you for your patience and understanding, I have gotten a few comments and emails and that feels great; makes me feel like I'm making a difference in some way. Gotta throw a shout-out to That Devil Music and Captain Beyond Zen for their help as well, some more great sites to read while you're waiting for me to get off my lazy ass.