Ending Year One

This blog started on July 4, 2003. Here’s the original entry. Not a very strong beginning, is it?

I wasn’t sure what a blog was supposed to be. As you read the first entry, it’s almost as if I started in the middle of a thought. There was no, “here’s what I’m doing,” type declaration. I’m still not sure what this is all about, but what I’ve written about has definitely evolved.

Since I’m a statistics oriented type of person, let me throw out a few numbers. There is a counter on each blog page. It currently reads 146,954. I was hoping for 150,000 page reads by now, so I’m a few percentage below my goal.

This blog has a little over 500 individual entries. Most are short essays about what’s going on in my life. It’s geofffox.com – I make no apologies that it’s about me. Actually, much of the time my family appreciates that I try and keep them out of it.

There is a huge collection of photos in my gallery. I think that number is over 1,000, but it’s tough to easily tell.

There have been 2,189,931 ‘hits’ recorded. Any time a file is called, it’s another hit. Each image on this page is a hit. So is the call to the database to get the text. I know some hits were forgotten when my web host lost 2 weeks worth of entries in a crash with no backup. Hits aren’t really important, but I like seeing I’ve been responsible for 2 million of something.

If you took all the individual bits and bytes that this site has spit out, they would fill 6 DVDs. The site itself sits in 304 MB of hard drive. I admit there are orphan files and directories that no longer serve any purpose other than taking up space. I’d delete them if I knew what they were and where they were.

Roughly 400 people come here every day. Some viewers actually do come every day. Most though are occasional readers, returning every once in a while and then reading what they’ve missed until they’re bored.

This framework of this blog is provided by Moveabletype. Their software, which was available to me free of charge, is easily customized. That’s why, even though most blogs are self similar, they’re all different.

My spelling is atrocious. I have learned that because often I type entries on a computer without easy spell checking ability (since this is written on-line, spell checkers like those in Word or OpenOffice don’t work here). Writing this much has opened up some interesting theories on how we translate thinking the typing.

We seem to think in words (phonetically) as opposed to thinking in images or concepts. I see that because my weirdest spelling mistakes are phonetic replacements. On other words, I’ve misspelled to another word that sounds similar – not a derivative of the word I got wrong.

I use iespell for spell checking. It is wonderful, and I am grateful.

The blog could probably use an editor too. There is little written, here or elsewhere, that wouldn’t be better if it were only shorter, more to the point and focused. Even with rewriting (and every page on this blog is rewritten – often more than once), self editing isn’t as good as a dispassionate outsider with a sharp pencil.

Over the last year I have become serious enough about this to actually shoot ‘stock photos’ to go along with blog entries. If you look closely, you’ll see some pictures that no one would ever take – except to illustrate a point.

I like the blog much better when there are pictures to illustrate the entries. Too much type on its own seems to bog down the look.

If you read the blog on a dial-up connection, God bless you. It wasn’t until recently that I ran the site through some software which told me how huge a task it is to download my home page. If this were a commercial site, it would be a death wish to bloat the pages as I do. I have chosen aesthetics and content over speed.

Do I say too much, revealing too much about my personal life? Maybe it’s the opposite. It’s hard to believe I’ve somehow struck the magic balance. There is no perfect solution.

I wonder if it’s a good idea to say as much as I’ve said about playing poker? Certainly it worries my mother, who occasionally reads this. It can become obsessive and costly… not just monetarily. I have continued to stay in the plus category (up around $900 since we started last August), so no harm, no foul.

One of the goals in starting a blog was to write every day. I haven’t been 100% with that, but I’ve been pretty close. There have been times when I’ve fudged an entry time to move something I wrote back to the day it should have appeared. There are only a handful of days without any entry.

My friend Diane says I now have enough writer’s discipline to write a book. I toy with that idea, but for now the blog will have to do.

So, there it is – imperfect in so many ways yet so fulfilling to me. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading what has been written and will stick around for year two – coming up next on most of this same blog.

3 thoughts on “Ending Year One”

  1. We’re coming more often these days to read the blog, almost every day….we enjoy reading and look forward to year #2! And, have a great vacation in Vegas!

  2. Thanks for writing and reading my blog.

    I’m taking a guess, based on your email address. The first gift I ever bought for my wife, back when we were just dating and I was avoiding commitment like the plague, was a beautiful “Molly Teddy” from Steiff. She named him “Bill.” I bought Bill in the actual Steiff factory store in Germany.

    He is still with us and as beautiful as ever.

    All the best,

    Geoff Fox

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