Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Has It Been One Year Already???

Alternate title: Better. Stronger. Faster. Part Thirteen.

Alternate title II: Happy Blogday To Me.

Yes. June 14, 2004 was when this thing got started, with this post. There have been I think three ups, and probably plenty of downs over the course of the year. Here’s a nice down comment from Allie Cat: “I thought your blog was about to die.” In all fairness though, it was a busy time at work. Still, three posts in eleven days was pretty lame, even for me. Yeah, and when I started this thing, I told myself I would post something every day, since I have this habit of being really enthusiastic at the beginning of something and really bored shortly thereafter. Come to think of it, she hasn’t posted since New Year’s! Of course, she’s busy running the web stuff for Nothing Less. Who are on the Vans Warped Tour. At which you might see me, if you look carefully. Oh yeah, and if you do go see them, tell them I sent you.

But the blog didn’t die. Maybe it was just slightly comatose. I’ll probably be hanging on long past the freshness date. Still, a year is a year. I may have heard somewhere that if you make it a year you’re doing all right. Sort of like how they say half of all new teachers quit within five years, so if you make it past that, you should be able to last for the long haul. Sometimes I don’t know when to quit.

Which can be handy if I’m critically ill. Serious doctor: “We’ve done everything we can; it’s up to him now. He’s got to fight.” Of course I hardly ever get sick, so that’s not likely to come up. I think I took a sick day maybe eight years ago. No, I’m more likely to be a drooling, shriveled, ninety year old lump that hangs on, mindless, helpless, useless, draining society’s resources until some kind soul pulls the plug. Don’t cry for me, Terri Schiavo. And while I’m at it, is it Terri or Terry? The first two pages of Google give me Terri nine times and Terry eight times.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, one year here. Being a forward thinker, I actually started writing this post at about month three, trying to put together advice for a new blogger. But I pretty much chucked all that stuff. I mean, me giving advice on blogging is like Michael Jackson giving advice on how to run a boys sleep-away camp. If you really need to know, ask me later. I hardly throw anything away. I mean, I wrote an Arnold speech saying why he is against an amendment allowing foreign born citizens to run for president. It’s hanging out with an analysis of how That 70’s Show parallels the 2004 elections. And all the character details of the Vigilance Squad, who made a couple of brief appearances, but never got into steady rotation. And all the nicknames of the people or places I’ve written about. I write all this stuff in one big text document, and cut and paste to the blog as I go. I see that I’m up to 277 pages now, with maybe twelve pages of that being the background stuff just mentioned, and the rest being posts. How many posts? Well my trusty Blogger counter has been stuck on 268 and somewhere around December since, well, December. The actual number is I think 403, and this post is 404. So even if I didn’t post every day, the average is still there. Of course, someone like Glenn Reynolds probably does 400 posts every three weeks.

One bad thing that can’t be said about this blog is that I don’t pester people for links. I know I’ve asked for four for sure. Maybe five. But three of them paid off. We’ll get to those later. One bad thing that could be said is that I don’t do nearly enough self-promotion. I rarely comment on other blogs. I link to plenty of blogs in my posts, but rarely am I diligent enough to trackback to those blogs. I don’t often have good Google keywords in the titles of posts. Another bad thing is that my creativity is limited. I can do a lot when pointed in a certain direction, but I’m terrible at finding the direction myself. That’s where Better. Stronger. Faster. comes into play. I’ll have posts that are sort of my take on what someone else has done. With the other person being the Better. Stronger. Faster. one, just to be clear. We’ll get to those later too.

So what should I write about, anyway? Most of the good bloggers seem to have at least two things going for them: expertise and writing skill. My own writing skills are moderate at best, and I’m barely an expert on myself, let alone on some interesting topic. I’m really only good at cruelly despising the idiots who surround me wherever I go, but that’s more of a you had to be there sort of thing. I figured I’d just be blathering on about the typical stuff and people in my life, more of an online diary type thing. Which is pretty much what it’s been. Oh. And boring.

So from that perspective, maybe there is some advice I can offer: write whatever you want, whatever makes you happy, and even if no one reads it, you’ll still have a satisfying experience. People keep photo albums, digital or otherwise, to remind them of moments in their lives. To anyone else, they’re not that interesting, but to you, they’re precious, one of those things you keep forever. If nothing else, your blog is an album of your thoughts, of who you were then. That’s why your mom kept all those assignments you brought home from school. Like everything in life, keep your expectations realistic. If you end up famous, so much the better. But at the very least, enjoy it.

On to the three links that paid off. Donald Sensing gave me a nice little boost for my post about how John Kerry saved my sex life. Jim Treacher came through on a rip-off post I did about John Kerry and space unicorns. Dang, it’s like I have a Kerry fixation and I didn’t even vote for the guy. And just a few days ago, Roger L Simon pitied me from his high perch and linked a post about the terrorists just down the road from me in Lodi. Thanks again, guys.

Here are some posts, not necessarily highlights, that seemed significant for some reason:

Most searched posts: When Google comes calling, they’re usually looking for this medical post here. Running second is this post on ponytails.

Speaking of medical posts, here’s a Better. Stronger. Faster. hospital post. A quick look reassures me that this isn’t the embarrassing one. Whew.

Follow the links on this post for a bit on the Vigilance Squad and the secret transcript of Whoopi’s fundraising comments last summer.

I liked this series about a work conference we went to last summer. It’s in the August archives, but here’s part one to get you started.

Another series, eight parts, in the December archives. Here’s part one to get you started.

Here was some advice about sexy tattoos. And about toilet seat etiquette. And flirting. And sharing a bathroom.

Here’s an early Team Magnum where the issue of whether or not soul mates exist was brought up. I argued the negative.

Here's a summary post on the military hammers that will propel me to the status of Benelovent Dictator.

And now let’s go to the highlight reel. I’ll just stick to one for each month. I mean, why prolong your agony?

June 04: I liked this Prince concert post.

July 04: Here’s a not too sappy 4th of July post. Ok I lied. Here’s a second post, this one with my annoyed response to one of those “funny” male bashing bits that get circulated through emails. This must have been a good month. Here’s how I did on one of those psychological tests, and a look at the results I should get.

August 04: Here’s a nice wedding I went to. With hot babes. Here’s one of the few times I would comment on current events.

Sept 04: Here’s a bit on Michael Moore and documentaries. And here was a lost tale of my adventure at a local music festival.

Oct 04: More movie criticism, Team America this time. And here’s an early appearance of Captain Burnout, typical liberal. And me wanting a Hummer, which became the point of gentle ribbing at the office. The silver lining? Drinking Buddy buys me beer so I can save my pennies!

Nov 04: I expanded to social commentary here. And got my sweet justice here. Plus Green Day here.

Dec 04: Here I realized even the holiday season doesn’t stop me from hating people. And Green Day revisited.

Jan 05: A new year, and I still hate jerks. Plus a summary/intro to office gossip about the relationship between Miss Tori and I.

Feb 05: February is the month of love I guess, so here’s a nice ritual you can perform to get out of one night stands and into the arms of a long term snuggler. The office gossip about my love life also got its own dedicated title this month. And here’s the story of perhaps the biggest laugh ever in the office lunchroom, featuring Captain Burnout and a science experiment you can do at home. And I thought this would be a good meme; no one else did.

March 05: Part one of three parts on lipstick (starts March 6th in the archives) that began with a brief bit on camel toes. Easter came early this year. I was at the Hall of Elders.

April 05: Who could forget the Pope? Nobody. Absolutely nobody, as I observed here. And Captain Burnout hinted (and at a later date, confirmed) that civil war and massive deaths in Iraq is better than success, because success would make Bush look good. I mentioned he’s liberal, right?

May 05: Another dedicated post to office gossip here. Sure, weddings make me think about hot babes, but funerals too?

June 05: Here’s one where I saw a national magazine mention something I discussed a couple of months before. Good for the ego I guess. And here’s the first law that will pass when I’m Benevolent Dictator. And it took me a year to liveblog something.

Of course this month by month highlight reel wasn’t my idea. I ripped it off from Michelle Malkin, whose first blogiversary yesterday reminded me of my own today. You can read her Better. Stronger. Faster. version here. You go look now!

I suppose I ought to mention all the biggies who have inspired me along the way. Even if most of them are mentioned up there somewhere, I might have missed a few. First and foremost must be Rand Simberg, the very first blog I ever read. All the rest I found from links on his blog, and then links from those blogs. Then there’s Instapundit, Powerline, Wizbang, Ace of Spades, Dean Esmay, Roger L Simon, Captain’s Quarters, Jim Treacher, Donald Sensing, Frank J and Sarah K, Chris Muir, the Llama Butchers, Witty Sex Kitten and Pink Kitty, and late arrival Nehring the Edge, with movie reviews that always leave me wanting more. Oh yeah. Can’t forget The Shape of Days, where the excellent Survivor recaps have actually made that show worth watching. Thanks Jeff.

That pretty much sums it up. I guess it’s been an ok year after all, and I’m glad you could share it with me, all six of you.

Now who can I pester to link to this?
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