On February 2, 2005 I wrote my first post on this blog. You can read it here (it’s a mere single paragraph): Bloggity blog blog
In fact, why even make you click? Here it is, in its entirely:
I was the last one to get bell bottom jeans in grade 5 and now I’m the last person on the Internet to have a blog. Hooray for me! As you may have guessed, I am using WordPress for my blogging needs. An apparent feature of WordPress is relentless self-promotion as witnessed by the three separate links for the software on this very page. I’ll be culling a few soon and adding some other links that might prove interesting or not.
Me, February 2, 2005
Not exactly a fascinating debut, but actual interesting writing eventually made its way to the site.
Here are some 2005 fun facts:
Facebook didn’t exist
Twitter didn’t exist
Netflix existed but only rented out DVDs
Blockbuster still existed
The current version of Windows was Windows XP
I had hair (I would keep it for six more years)
I was 40 years old, which seems a almost kind of young now (scary)
Today, I came across a story about an even older blog–https://kottke.org/. He has a billion more posts than me, has had an actual impact on the web (he created the permalink!) and has been on TV. It made me wonder what sort of impact my blog and its 4280 posts has had on the world, and whether that matters.
I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as the blog entertains me, or serves some kind of useful function for me (I think it does). But I do sometimes ponder about starting up another blog with a tighter focus (reworking this site would seem to almost go against the chaotic randomness of it). But the problem with going with a tighter focus is…my brain tends to wander all over the place. Imagine it with legs and a cute little suitcase. I write, I draw, I take photos, I run, I ponder, I make lists, I post things I find amusing or stupid. I complain (I have long-struggled to minimize the latter).
And in the end, I never do make that other more focused site, because I am not a focused person. At least not yet. Let’s see if I am for the 25th anniversary of this blog. Only seven years to go!
Actually, it’s probably more than I can’t focus long enough to sit down and write something. In any case, I intend to start cranking up the old writing machine in the next few days, seeing if I can hit a goal of an average of two posts per day for the month (62 total). As of right now, I am 10 posts behind. That’s a lot of McTopics. I need to get cracking.
Here’s a haiku to start. I even wrote it myself instead of outsourcing it to ChatGPT!
Time to Write
Time to get writing
Put fingers on the keyboard
Magic gushes out
Yeah, it’s not spring yet, but I feel like my brain could use a good spring cleaning. Lately, I’ve been coming up empty for writing and drawing. Is it the time of year? Is it lack of sleep? Is it some other unpleasant thing in my life, like mismatched socks?
I asked ChatGPT to generate ten exciting blog topics because I didn’t even write anything yesterday and felt bad. It came up with a list that’s way too ambitious compared to the kind of mindless frippery I usually post here. So I’m just going to paste its list instead and call this a success.
10 Exciting Blog Topics
“Exploring the Future of Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Society”
“The Rise of Remote Work and its Effect on Productivity”
“Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: How Brands are Making a Difference”
“The Science of Sleep: Understanding the Importance of a Good Night’s Rest”
“The Evolution of Virtual Reality: How it is Changing the Way We Experience the World”
“The Future of Transportation: Electric Cars, Hyperloops, and More”
“The Mental Health Benefits of Gardening and How to Get Started”
“The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”
“The Future of Food: How Technology is Changing the Way We Grow and Eat”
“Exploring the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and How to Get Started”
After getting nothing but spam accounts endlessly registering on this site (but unable to post because the first post any account makes must be manually approved by me before it can post freely afterwards), I shut off registrations altogether. My blog–this site–officially became me shouting into the void, with people unable to directly comment or cajole.
Today, I ran an experiment: I once again allowed user registrations.
Within moments, a new user had registered: clintonvanderpoo
I mean, I kind of like how the name is sort of a portmanteau as imagined by a spambot, but still, having a poo name show up within seconds of opening registrations, while unsurprising, was a tiny bit depressing. I’m not exactly lamenting the old days of Internet Explorer 6 circa 2001, but the web has certainly changed since then. In most ways, for the better.
I use a WordPress plugin called Modern Footnotes1You can check it here: Modern Footnotes plugin to make pop-up balloons for posts. Yes, not actual footnotes, because this isn’t a Grade 8 Social Studies paper2I still have some of the essays I wrote in high school and college. Toward the end I think I was getting bored, because my focus seemed to be more on wordplay and being funny than extensive research and nuanced arguments, but pop-ups that appear when you click on the footnote number, allowing you to keep your place while reading about funny cats3Cats are funny people, my runs4Officially up to 735!, my weight5Treading water at the moment or my latest excuses for not taking part in National Novel Writing Month6Too many to fit into a footnote or pop-up.
Today I spent some time modifying the CSS of the footnotes and almost have them the way I want them. Almost. They’re more round and bigger and a little sexier.
This concludes my programming FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.
Yesterday (Saturday, August 27, 2022, for the record) I was curiously unmotivated to post. I was up late and as I watched the time tick by, and it got closer to midnight, I thought, “I should at least post something, even just a haiku.” and yet I did not. I watched some videos, I had a nice shower, I did some reading. I slept.
I regret none of these things. Sometimes you just need to let everything slip away and get lost in your own head for a while. Which I did.
Now that that’s done, here’s a haiku and a cat:
Is no easy thing to do
Brains don't shut down nice
Draw a line every day. Don’t try to do more, don’t try to be perfect, just do a line, every day (or write a sentence every day or throw some clay, or whatever your creative pursuit happens to be). Emphasize quantity over quality and develop your skills without pressure to produce great art every time you sit down (or stand at your fancy sit/stand desk).
Some guy on the internet who looks just like me
I have done a few drawings since then. One every day? No. I have failed. I am bad and should feel bad.
I feel bad.
It’s such a simple premise, but I got caught up in the quest for perfection again. “I can’t just draw junk, it has to be something,” I’d think. And then it would be time for bed, and off to sleep I’d go! Repeat multiple times.
So here I am confessing on the interweb and trying to atone. Will I draw a line today? A mad veggie? I don’t know, but I will draw something, even if it’s junk. I promise!
To be accurate, the emoji are not actually 3D, they’re just shaded to give a 3D appearance. Microsoft recently made them open source via Github for anyone to use. And I want to use them (okay, maybe not all of them) because they’re just so adorable, odd or both.
Just making sure the site is working after today’s MySQL maintenance and such. If it is, you get a picture of a tugboat on the Fraser River. If it isn’t, then I get to use some colorful metaphors directed at the hosting service.