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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Fri. Jan 06, 2006

A Belated Look Back at 2005

In previous years, I’ve assembled a “best of 200X” collection of articles from the preceding 12 months. And, um, usually did it much closer to the actual end of the year. But this has been a year of change in quite a few ways, so no need to stop now. In fact, it may be the changes themselves that need to be noted.

We’re entering 2006, and I’ve been doing this bloggin’ thang since the summer of 2000. Over that time, I’ve pretty much been around the horn on all counts; software used, style of blogging, frequency of posts, length of articles, mix of content, topics most frequently covered, etc., etc., etc. And the longer the perspective, the more obvious the evolution becomes to me.

For one thing this year, I’ve dropped any pretense of what many bloggers feel is mandatory … immediacy. It’s not uncommon to read a blogger apologizing for being late commenting on a news event that happened less than 12 hours before. Here, it might be a day. Or two.

This article right here is a prime example. It’s happening when I got around to it, not a week ago, when it might have been more “time appropriate.”

I’m not one of those who feels the need to post half-baked thoughts within ten minutes of an event based on incomplete or erroneous first reports, and then post updates and corrections every hour after that.

I’d rather wait a day (or two), do it once, and do it right. If at all.

I also find I often simply have nothing to say. Not about a lot of the topics at the top of the blogger feeding trough of the day. That doesn’t seem to stop a lot of bloggers.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve tried to average about three articles a week or so, but I also wait for something to move me. And that doesn’t always happen on a three times a week schedule.

All of this is part of the reason I Changed The Do last November. Quotes and links and mixed in with articles in a blatant attempt to cover the fact my “original” output is somewhat less frequent than it once was.

I think part of the reason I write less frequently is that I don’t “interact” with the blogosphere like I used to (though I’m not sure anybody does). It’s all I can do not to gape in wonder much of the time.

I’m not going to go on a 3,000 word rant like I did at this time last year (and during the year, too). But there’s an obvious truth stamped on our collective foreheads, even if we pretend it isn’t there.

The world of weblogs used to be a pretty nice place, where occasionally ugly things happened. But the blogosphere has become an ugly place, where occasionally pretty nice things happen.

And I think, at least on my own internal terms, I’ve kind of withdrawn from that. More of an island than a part of the big rolling river.

Much of it can be attributed to subject matter. There’s just some things I prefer not to write about anymore. I gave up on Iraq a long time ago. Sometimes you just reach a point of resignation and/or disgust where it seems pointless to cover the same ground any further.

I got to that point with politics this year.

Congress, in particular, vexed me. Over and over and over and over and over again.

In June, I gave up. First there was “Parting the Parties,” part one and part two. Then I suggested that you Buy Stock in Greasepaint, and stopped writing about politics completely for about three months (and only very sparsely since then).

2005 was the year that my disgust with politicians, their parties, and their blog-brigades drove me inside. I look out the window every now and then to see if they’re face down in the gutter yet. Because I know there will be no change until that happens.

And 2006 is looking more and more like gutter time, isn’t it?

I also had far more relevant and local issues to occupy my time and thoughts. Susan had some health problems this year that certainly had an impact in many ways, including on this site (bad patients can be a handful). We’re thankful to be past that now, though.

Other local news offers proof I dropped all pretense of blogger immediacy this past year. I didn’t write about the Atlanta courthouse shootings until the day after, and then again two days later. The infamous “Runaway Bride” had been “found” for two days before I got around to Kick the Bride.

So let there be no doubt I’m not your Local News Boy, nor do I have any desire to be considered some kind of journalist. Just the opinionated SOB I endeavor to make plain on these pages.

The primary exception to my lack of timeliness was Eric Rudolph, whom I considered a special case. On the day he made his guilty plea in court in Atlanta, I went to Centennial Park for Remembrance. And on the day he was sentenced, I wrote Closing The Door On Rudolph. Good riddance.

Did we have any fun this year? But of course! There was the Super Bowl, the time Earthlink nearly killed my kitties, and the Curse of the Freebird. There was the post where I compared my photo to that of a couple of other 47 year olds, wrote about The Freedom to Handle Fish, and summarized The Year in 12 Sentences.

Fun was also generated by the purchase of new computers, as detailed in A Tale of Two ‘Puters, Mac Mini Makes Multi-Monitor Madness, and The First Mini Week.

The purchase of the Mac Mini was also the catalyst for an enjoyable new dalliance with music, via Garageband. Within two weeks of getting the Mini I issued Sound Infliction #1. Within a month, I got my first cheap keyboard. Five months later, I’ve got a page with fourteen songs that have been downloaded over 1,100 times.

I probably said more than enough about it in My Little Frontier, but suffice it to say that this new … hobby … has been a blast for me. And my inner child. I expect much more such merriment in 2006.

And finally, the last few months of the year were dominated by the arrival of two ladies. Actually, more like a little girl and a bitch named Katrina. She darkly inspired The Catastrophe of Katrina, Over Capacity, Katrina’s Collateral Damage, and The Blocked Bridge.

But even out of such a huge catastrophe, you can find some unique beauty, as I explained in Operation Eden: The Good Son.

The other lady who appeared in my life near the end of 2005 was A Girl Named Caroli. It’s been a little over two months since I welcomed Atlanta’s Newest Belle, and during that time she has absolutely stolen my heart. And that of nearly everyone she’s encountered. Even on the web.

She set the tenor on the closing of what had been at times a difficult and ugly year. And put a lot of it into perspective as well.

I can’t think of a better foundation for starting 2006. What will it bring?

Change. Other than that, I make no predictions or promises.


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