I mentioned a few days ago that I’d pulled every entry on here and was slowly adding them back. That’s basically all I’ve been doing for the last several days. I had close to 1600 entries before starting this crusade. I’m down to about 100 in the queue, although I wouldn’t mind doing some more general cleanup. I also need to do more work to get this site completely modernized. I am not entirely happy with this theme, and there’s some plugin changes that could be made to speed things up.
It’s really weird reading through 23 years of entries in one clip. A few observations:
- I really like the first few years, when I was in Seattle and the word “blog” hadn’t been invented yet, and this was more of a diary than anything else. It’s fun to read the old entries where I’m talking about what I ate for lunch or what happened that day on the drive to work. It was a lot easier to belt out short updates like that when there were no expectations and there was nothing else to compare this site with.
- In the years before I published my first two books, all of my writing about writing is extremely cringe-worthy. I’m glad I got past that.
- I always forget how bad my early system was for running this site. I reluctantly switched to WordPress pretty late in the game. When I started, I had this crazy system where I had to telnet to the server machine, type everything in emacs, then run a C program to generate the table of contents on the left. The program broke every new year’s day, and required manual surgery to reset everything to January. I later half-fixed this with PHP, but it was still ugly for a long time.
- I also forget about how I had my own garbage system for hosting photos on this site. I would put all of the image files in a directory on the server, then run a shell script that used mogrify to resize them to web and thumbnail sizes, then build the index.html file. Brutal stuff.
- I think I owe a general apology or amends to anyone who read this journal from about 2002 to 2005. I was a real contrarian asshole about all things political. I’ve been scrubbing that stuff, because it’s so cringe and horrible.
- I don’t know how I got as far as I did in my writing career without knowing that commas and periods go inside the quotes. I can probably blame this on learning to program in C before I really got into writing.
- Speaking of punctuation, I sure did like using the f word as a piece of it. I should stop doing that.
- I was seriously on fire in the early 2010s. I think I’ve written 200 entries in the last six years, but I easily wrote 200 in just 2010-2011.
- I have a lot of stories that were on this blog and later collected into books. I’ve removed them from here. I think if you didn’t read it in a free book that came out in 2003, you aren’t going to read it.
- I also pared back a ton of posts announcing “see my story in…” that had a URL that points to a Chinese gambling site now.
- I don’t know how I ever survived seven years in New York. Reading the stories of my trials and tribulations back then are hilarious. I’ve unfortunately had to trim a few of them back for career-limiting-behavior reasons. But living in Astoria with no AC really can drive you to drink, eh?
- I think about 40% of the 1500-some entries here have to do with dental trauma or being sick. I am really glad I stopped drinking a case of full-sugar Coke every day, because that’s calmed down both problems somewhat.
- I used to have a separate section of the site with a bunch of long-form trip journals. Some of those got collected into my Vegas book, but may more were pulled from the site out of general apathy. I often wonder if I should put those back, or clean them up and put them in a book that nobody will buy. Something to think about later, I guess.
- Music reviews are a real waste of my time. Luckily nobody reads them anymore.
- I took all the links off the side (now bottom) of the page. I will probably put those back as I find more blogs worth following.
- I really need to pick up the blogging more. It’s a much better time-waster than Candy Crush or reading the news.
I really do think I need to spend more time here next year, and a lot less time on Facebook. I need better integration or whatever to drive people from FB to here, but of course all of that is a crapshoot, and when I post a link from here on there, only three people see it. I don’t know if a mailing list or the return of RSS feeds or something else will make this any better.
In that vein, I’ve reluctantly turned back on comments. They are all in “strict” mode and you need a login to use them. It uses Disqus, so it also uses Facebook, Twitter, or Google logins. I moderate all comments. Feel free to add to the discussion, but don’t be an ass.
Hopefully I’ll finish this quest by the end of the year, although that’s tomorrow, so I better hurry.