A New Look

Fiddling with the look of the website today. It has been a long time since I’ve freshened it up! I don’t believe in the thirteen or so years that I’ve been running this thing that I’ve ever gone with a light theme. What do you know, I kind of like it!

I think I basically have it how I want it (mostly just cleaner, dare I say, more professional?), but don’t be surprised if you notice some additional changes in the days to come.

— The Management

Blog Administrivia

For those of you who read the blog on Facebook, you may have noticed some formatting errors recently. Please bear with me.

I’ve been using NetworkedBlogs for many years to push to Facebook because I can’t stand the default WordPress integration. However, they decided to make their service really crappy in order to force people into paid accounts, so I am experimenting with different methods.

So far, all of those methods suck and I don’t like how they look on Facebook.

I apologize and hopefully I will get something working before too long. In the meantime, the links will still be posted, even if they have redundant text, bad images, or generally look stupid.

–The Management

In regards to Quote Mondays

It has become increasingly difficult to get enough quotes to fill in Quote Mondays lately. You may have noticed that I have skipped them here and there in the past few months. The older the kids get, the less hilariously out of context they are. Their too-serious comments are thoughtful or spot-on, rather than funny.

I have always maintained a sort of “editorial vision” when it comes to Quote Monday. There have always been comments that one or another have urged me to put into Quote Monday, but I have refused on the grounds that it didn’t “feel” like the right kind of quote. So I am very sensitive about not forcing quotes, or writing down “inferior” quotes, just to make my quota. (Get it? Quota?)

Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I am going to have to retire Quote Monday as a regular feature here on the blog. There are currently 275 entries in the “From the Mouths of Babes” category; more than enough to occupy you should you feel the need for some quotes.

I know this breaks everyone’s heart. Quote Monday has long been the favorite feature of the blog. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

I will still post quotes occasionally when I have them, but I don’t yet know how often that will be.

— The Management

No Quote Monday Today

Sorry everyone, no quotes today. Lots going on lately, and not much time to blog. Updates will probably be slim until at least after Thanksgiving.

So…how are you?

-The Management

Whiffing on a big milestone

I had been keeping my eye on the fact that I was coming up on my 2,000th post here on the blog. You know how they say to keep your eye on the ball? Okay, so, this is actually my 2,004th post on the blog. Whoops.

In any case, 2000 is a pretty big number considering how short lived most blogs are. On the other hand, it sure feels like I’ve written more than 2000 of these things (you have, you idiot, 2000 and FOUR of them!) WordPress doesn’t appear to have a way to count the total amount of words I’ve published, but if we pick a nice conservative number of 200 words per post (I suspect I’m well above that…I do tend to go on), we’re talking about a minimum of 400,000 words (again, I think that’s low, but that’s not even counting stories I’ve written in that time, papers at work, etc.)

And yet my wife still says she can’t get a word in edgewise.

So here’s to another 2,000 opportunities for me to go on, and on, and on, and on…

 

…and on…

 

…and on…

 

 

…and on…

10 Years a Blogger

10 years ago today I wrote my very first blog post.

10 years is like 1,000 years in Internet time. By Internet standards, I’m definitely a dinosaur. I predate smartphones, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook only beat me by 13 days. Myspace was less than a year old in Feb. 2004. Friends was still on the air!

Forget Internet time, 10 years is a long time to do anything. 10 years ago I didn’t have kids. I wasn’t married. I didn’t live in Chicago. I wasn’t writing, knitting, or even really cooking anything more complicated than a frozen pizza. Apparently, judging by all my early posts, 10 years ago I was also the whiniest emo crybaby on the planet.

This is my 1,887th post. I have 2,855 comments here on the blog proper (not counting anything on Facebook, Glipho, Google+, etc.) I’ve been interviewed about blogging, been a guest blogger, and received a comment from a childhood hero.

I don’t know if I really have anything to say about it that I haven’t covered before. I mean, in 10 years I think I’ve pretty much used up all the words. So, sorry future generations, I’m the reason there are no more words left.

Who knew that when I started this thing I’d still be doing it 10 years later? I’m definitely proud of that as an achievement. Someone commented on my first post and asked if this was the first blog post in recorded history. The funny thing was, when I started a blog I knew lots of people who had been doing it for a lot longer than me. The difference is, none of them are still doing it. The vast majority of blogs don’t make it to 1 year, much less 10. So, you know, congratulations to me or whatever.

I’m not really sure what the future will bring, as far as blogging goes. It’s still something I enjoy quite a bit, but I periodically change directions around here as well. If it ever stops being enjoyable, I have to do something new to keep it interesting. Maybe that’s the secret to making it 10 years. Probably not, though; I’d have to attribute that more to pigheaded persistence than anything else. I’m nothing if not relentless!

Anyway, I hate to say here’s to 10 more years because I don’t know if I’ll still want to be doing this in 10 years. I’ll be in my 40s(!!). Ollie will be on the verge of being a teenager, and Evie will be getting ready to drive (in her FLYING CAR). Besides, by that time the two of them will have long since killed me for all the embarrassment this blog has caused them.

Cutting Back (Again)

The Internet basically only exists to suck time away from us. This is especially true in my case. Some obsessive aspect of my personality really latches on to the Internet and can’t let go. I have to friend every person and read every status, tweet, or blog post of anybody I ever even remotely knew, as well as anybody they recommend, etc. I try to suck it all up and absorb it, but the Internet is endless. There is always one more website to read or blog post to write or link to share on someone’s wall. Slowly but surely, the Internet eats me until there is nothing left.

This is not the first time I have crawled my way out of this black hole. In defense of my sanity, as well as defense of all my other hobbies (including sleep), I’m going to throttle down a little bit. So if I don’t comment on your Facebook as much as I used to, or if I unfollow you on Twitter, Please don’t be offended. It’s not because you are uninteresting. Quite the opposite in fact.

Additionally, I will also be cutting down on my blogging.

On Jan. 3rd 2009, I started posting on my blog 5 days a week. It was a little bit of an experiment to see if I could. At that time I didn’t think it would last very long. It seemed impossible, and I also worried it would hurt the quality of the posts. A little over 4 years later, I am ready to call the experiment quits.

I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and I think that, not only did the quality remain high, but I think it actually improved. Blogging is still something I love, and it really became part of my personality during that time. I’ve received such nice feedback from people, and it’s really kept me in touch with a lot of people that I wouldn’t otherwise had any contact with. Lately, however, it has become too much of a burden. Sara could tell you how much time I spend fretting about things like, “I need another post for this week!” or “Is this really good enough for a post?” or “Why is my traffic going down? Was I boring this week?” or “Make the kids do something funny! I’m short on quotes!” This becomes doubly difficult when something’s going on, like stress at work, or queuing up posts for a multiple week vacation.

Since I receive no tangible benefits from blogging, there’s really no reason to add this kind of stress to my life. I will still continue to blog whenever I feel like it, which will no doubt be multiple times per week (maybe even every day!). However, I will no longer force myself to make an arbitrary post count.

Thanks to you who have enjoyed my blog over the years. I hope you will continue to enjoy it as it enters yet another new chapter.

-The Management