Let it be known

The top search term to reach my blog in the past 365 days is “butt“.

 

And it’s not even close.

 

(We’re talking by a factor of 5 here)

Giving Myself Permission

Hey, ya’ll. You may have noticed a bit of a drop-off in posting here lately. Truth be told, I am having a bit of trouble staying on top of this. Turns out that babies are kind of a lot of work! Who knew? I find that when I do have time to work on things, my creative brain is just absolutely fried. So, apologies for the scarcity of posts, but also a heads up that this is likely to continue for the near future.

I’m giving myself permission for a mental health break, so I don’t have to feel guilty when I go for days without writing or blogging.

Thanks

-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…

I inspired someone!

As frequent readers know, I cross-post my blog to Glipho. As frequent readers also know, Sara is a frequent participant of the Chicago Food Swap, and I usually post a recap of what we traded after she attends one. Recently, these two things came together in the perfect storm of awesomeness.

Sam, a friend over at A Few Fine Things read the most recent food swap write up and was so inspired that she decided to bring the concept over the pond, and start her very own food swap in Manchester, England!

You can read her announcement post here, but I will summarize the important part (a.k.a. the part about me) below. (Forgive her the errant ‘u’; she’s British.)

Shane Halbach is a favourite blogger of mine. He has an amazing outlook on life and he and his family are a constant source of inspiration to me, his Baconfest for example…..

So every few months Shane blogs about his wife Sara participating in a Chicago Food Swap. A delicious concept where food-lovers gather to exchange homemade goods. No cash is exchanged and no goods are sold. In silent auction format, homemade goodies change hands; bread for cheese, cheese for jam, jam for peanut butter, peanut butter for houmous….. the combination and swaps are never ending. The end result is a happy community with happy tummies.

What an amazing concept.

So after searching for a Manchester Food Swap (there isn’t one) and a chat with Shane I have decided to bite the bullet and start one up.

Whaaaaaat? How awesome is that.

Since the time of that announcement, Sam’s been a busy bee. She’s got a date and a venue for the first swap. She’s getting interviewed for the local paper. She’s set up a website, a blog, a Facebook, and a Twitter account. This is happening for REAL, yo.

As much as I’d like to take all the credit, the credit is really Sam and all of the hard work she’s put into organizing the event. A million times an hour someone sees something on the Internet that’s cool, but they don’t go DO anything about it. Sam’s the one in a million who actually did. Even the inspiration credit goes to the Chicago Food Swap for organizing such a great event in the first place. Me writing the blog post was really the least part of it.

So why am I so excited about this?

Actually, I’m not really sure. Partially because I just get so excited when anybody around me is creating something. It often happens that I get more excited about something than the person who is actually *doing* the something, which can be a little awkward. But in this case, Sam is WAY more excited and committed than I am, which just makes the whole thing even more exciting.

Aside from that, blogging is such an inherently useless activity; pushing bits around on a computer screen without any hope for anything real to come out of it. This is one of those rare, shining cases where something in the world changed because of words. My words! That feels amazing. I could have lifted the stone, but I didn’t. I could have fashioned the lever, but I didn’t. But I did play my small part, and afterwards there was a real, tangible result. The stone was moved. Who’s to say my hand on the lever was any less important than any of the other pieces?

Alright, you’re right, it was totally me. I DO take all the credit.

I wish I could do more to help out. As far as I know, I don’t have any readers in Manchester to send to the food swap. But on the off chance someone is in a position to signal boost this, please do!

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