Monday, May 11, 2009

Gross!

This is the 144th post for the 'Running In the Yard' blog. Over the entire three-year history of my blog(s), the actual number is somewhat higher - a few of the earlier posts didn't get 'reconstituted' when I started back up, almost a year ago, and a few posts from my 'Second Blog' were repeats from my 'First Blog', and it didn't make sense for me to re-post both copies.

Confused?

Well, this is also close to the third anniversary of my presence as a blogger in Blog-space, so maybe in honor of that, combined with my 144th post (which, for the math geeks among my readers, is also 100-base-twelve) (because yeah, that's just the incredibly nerdy way I roll sometimes), it is an opportune moment to indulge in a brief retrospective of my blogging life; you would be very kind to bear with me. . .

I discovered Blog-space sometime in the fall of 2005. I think that, at the time, I was bored with work, and took to surfing the web to alleviate my boredom. Initially, I found folks like Digger and FTN, who, would talk about their Christian commitment in the context of their marriages and daily life in general, and I found them encouraging, in helping me to at least take a 'Christian' approach to Blog-space.

For several months, I just lurked occasionally. I left my first comment on FTN's blog in March of 2006 (I don't know if that was the first comment I left anywhere, or not; but the other possibilities no longer exist, so I can't check them out). For the next couple months, I lived in Blog-space as a lurker-cum-comment-gadfly. Initially, I commented anonymously, but within a couple weeks, I adopted the 'Desmond Jones' pseudonym (taken from the Beatles song, 'Ob-la-di, ob-la-da', for those who haven't yet figured it out; I had used it a couple times for entries in the office NCAA pool, and the 'life-goes-on' vibe seemed to fit, along with the whole 'happy-family' bit) (maybe more ironically than I wished, but for blogging purposes, it worked well).

At one point, I complained to one of the bloggers I dropped in on from time to time (her blog no longer exists) that her blog wouldn't let me leave a comment, because I didn't have a blogger account. So, by way of addressing my 'problem', she opened a new blog for me, which she called 'Desmond's Place'. "So now you've got a blog," she said. "Knock yourself out."

I put up my first post on May 19, 2006. My first few posts were of the 'About Me' variety, introducing myself, Molly and our kids, and I told a few of the stories that described the 'boundary conditions' of our life - most especially, our troubles with our kids. And for a month or two, I was finding my 'sea legs' in Blog-space.

That July, I spent a goodly bit of my summer break (the company I work for observes a 'summer shutdown' week) - a little too goodly, as it turned out - tending my new bloggity toy, which irked Molly a bit, and she complained that I was spending too much time in Blog-world, and not enough in the real world, where she and our kids needed my attention (and more to the point, my 'mental energy'). So, impulsive creature that I am (and ever-obedient to my wife; sort-of), I shut down my blog. Actually, I didn't completely shut down the blog - I deleted all the posts, but left the blog itself in place. And thus ended the First Incarnation of my blog.

I didn't leave Blog-space, though - I just reverted to my earlier status as a 'comment gadfly'. For about a month. By the middle of August, 2006, I thought that, perhaps, I could take a sufficiently low-key approach to blogging, that I could remain faithful to my real-world commitments. So I re-posted a few of my favorite posts from the 'First Blog', and started back up.

In some ways, the fall of 2006 was the 'Golden Age' of my blog (such as it was). Amusing and/or thoughtful posts seemed to flow freely from my fingertips, directly into Blog-space. And in the course of it all, I made a few friends - folks like C-Marie, O272, Confused Husband, and Christian Husband (none of whom are actively blogging anymore); and I had some interesting exchanges with Emily from Australia, and Flutterby from Saskatchewan (obviously, I have some affinity for members of the British commonwealth). FTN had his first Real Blogger World House in November 2006, and I was privileged to be one of the participants; that's also where I first met FADKOG, so that was nice. Also in November '06, a couple new blogs popped up, authored by Recovering Soul and Therese in Heaven (I was one of the first to figure out that they were married to each other), and they also became good friends.

In January of 2007, my blogging life suffered a bit of a crisis. I had carried on an on-and-off correspondence with the blogger who had first opened my blog, mostly encouraging her to strengthen her marriage. That January, the correspondence had accumulated to a point where I thought that I should show it to Molly, in the interest of 'full disclosure', and keeping my hands where she could see them, so to speak. Well, Molly didn't like what she saw. Didn't like it at all - which made it a little bit hard for me to trust my ability to run my blog in a way that was appropriate to the 'real world' parameters of my life. And from that point on, the Second Incarnation of my blog was on life support. I ran a few token posts through the cold weather months, but Easter of '07 was the final end. I left the last post up for a couple weeks, and then deleted the blog.

Once again, I stayed active as a 'comment gadfly'. But, for over a year, I was quite happy not to have a blog. I even made a few more friends - hello, Phyllis and Xavier! And also my erstwhile fellow-Michigander and fellow-alum, Bunny; I think I also met Trueself around that time. But of course, as is self-evident, I was eventually moved to start back up again, and what you see before you (for better or worse) is the fruit of that. In June of 2008, I opened 'Running In the Yard', the Third Incarnation of my blog; I restored nearly all of the old posts. I've posted at a slower pace than before - about three posts every two weeks - and I'm not sure that the quality has been what it once was. But, I've made a few more friends - hello, Lime and Cocotte! - and that, to me, has always been the joy of blogging. Last fall, we had the Great Midwestern Blogger Gathering, and a few of us got to 'take it real' with each other, for a couple days. Which was very cool.

Anyway, there are now a full gross of my posts, spread unevenly over the past three years, available for your perusal and (I hope) enjoyment. Maybe even edification; I'll leave it to you all to decide. . .

10 comments:

Cocotte said...

Thanks for the history lesson! I'm wondering if Blogging is a winter sport? It seems like a lot of bloggers have slowed down the pace on posts and the comments have also lessened on mine and many other blogs I read.

Sailor said...

Nice overview. Rather fun to compare "where I was in blogger" with it as you went along, too- neat.

for a different kind of girl said...

I agree with Cocotte. My Reader is a lot less dense now that nicer weather has kicked into gear, and my own mental gears have slowed down considerably. Some of that might also be due to the fact that you laid some serious math (to my number weak brain) down in that first couple of pagraphs!

Kudos for keeping up what you do, when you do it. Even though the opportunity to meet so many of you in person fell through for me, it feels like I've forged a nice little connection with so many of you that to not have you around, posting when you can, would make the world seem a little different!

lime said...

i wasn't aware of all the history so that was kind of interesting. as for enjoyment and edification, yes to both. i'm glad to have been introduced to you by bunny because of the shared adoption history. i've found many more things here that have both encouraged and challenged. glad you're "gross." hope you can get "grosser."

FTN said...

That was a fun post. It's always interesting to look back at our history... Blogging must be like dog years, 1 is about equal to 7.

Desmond Jones said...

Cocotte - I actually hadn't thought about blogging being 'seasonal'. But that might explain some of the slower traffic I've been seeing in recent weeks. . .

Sailor - Yeah, the 'community' aspects of blogging are the most fun part. At least as far as I'm concerned. . .

faDKoG - Sorry if I made your brain hurt. . . ;)

And just so you know, I cherish the connection we've made over the years, too, such as it is. . . And thank you for being there for me, too. . .

Lime - I'm gratified that you are entertained and edified, even encouraged and challenged, by what you've found here. And even more gratified to have gotten to know you, just a bit. . .

And yeah, I guess I do OK at 'gross'. Maybe even 'too gross'. . . But that's another 144 posts away. . .

FTN - In a way (known only in the depths of my psyche, and not very well, even there), you started this whole thing for me. I hope you're happy with yourself for that. . .

And you make a very good point - I'm only three posts from 300-base-seven. . .

Xavier said...

So the fickle blogger pulled together a bunch of gross posts ... how quaint!


:-)

The blog world is a richer place with you in it, my friend. Thanks for hanging around!

Desmond Jones said...

Xavier - Excuse me? Who's talking about 'the fickle blogger'? At least I'm still blogging under the same pseudonym. . .

;)

Seriously, tho - thanks for your kind words. If it wasn't for folks like you, I wouldn't still be here. . .

Summer Rose said...

I'll let my hubby know you mentioned him, he's taken a long break from blogging, in my opinion he needs to let some of his anger out in writing but he won't. I just posted tonight, Congrats on the mile stone of blogging glad to see your still around.
S.R.

Desmond Jones said...

Hi, Summer! Good to see you here! Do tell CH I said hello, and he's a good man. Hope all's well with you guys. . .