Nine years is a very long lifespan for a blog. The vast majority of blogs don’t even make it to a first anniversary before the blogger loses interest and stops updating it. As I have no other particular claims to distinction, I’ll hang my hat on longevity. If I were to do it over again, I’d probably have come up with a different name for the blog, but for a spur-of-the-moment joke, it’s held up well enough. I guess.
One thing I don’t regret is not specializing in a particular area. I’m not an economist, or a military historian, or a political theorist, but I have interests in those areas that crop up relatively frequently here on the blog. I don’t generally post personal items, as there are lots of other venues (like Facebook) which are better suited to that sort of thing … and I live a fairly boring life, so exotic trips and exciting adventures are things I read about rather than experience directly. I especially don’t post about (past) employers or (current) clients in a way that they could be identified: that’s the sort of thing that tends to have only negative repercussions.
I did a retrospective round-up of the first year for the 2010 anniversary, the “best of 2005″ for 2011, and posts from 2006 last year. To stay on that path requires a look at what I posted in 2007 (and may still have some relevance or interest):
- QotD: Matching Wine with Food. Jennifer “Chotzi” Rosen exactly captures the highly imaginative food suggestions too many wine writers toss into their reviews.
- A close call. Winter driving in Canada can be unduly exciting when you least expect it.
- Close call, follow-up. Fixing the damage from the unscheduled off-road trip.
- An unexpected down-side to wine snobbery. Where I recount the new first-world problem of knowing too much about wine to order the plonk you are offered at too many restaurants (that is, terrible cheap wine at expensive wine markup).
- How does Symantec stay in business?. Symantec loses a customer.
- Declining to dine Roman style. I hate meeses to pieces.
- The tour went well…. A successful campus tour at Trent University. Victor only hit me once.
- Mississippi traps State Farm. When state governments overreach, companies respond rationally.
- Misunderstanding economics. Responding to a Toronto Star article by explaining the Broken Window Fallacy.
- Accounting and the military. “Jack Granatstein explains why the military budget numbers seem to come from another planet than the one we inhabit.”
March, 2007 (a very busy month, resulting in very low blog output)
- Our dystopian future?. “Brad Warbiany takes a moment to glance into his crystal ball and finds . . . shite”
- “Good job, buddy!”. An extended comment from a regular reader becomes a full blog post.
- Very disturbing development. “These guys are not exemplars of “warriors”. They’re parties to conspiracy and murder. That is not what soldiers do. The distinction may be a bit subtle for those raised on anti-war protests and anti-military propaganda, however. “
- Toronto to export garbage at retail level. The social and political side of garbage collection.
- The diet dilemma. The inevitable result of two trends: more sedentary adult life and cheaper food.
- Why have an army at all?. A letter to the Toronto Star suggests that Canada has no actual need for any armed forces at all.
- Everybody’s talking about it . . .. Some conversations just repeat on a regular basis. This discussion of how a criminal got his hands on the weapons he used in his crime could be copy-pasted into any month of the last decade.
- Somehow, I’m not convinced. A long-standing problem with using US college students as guinea pigs for sociological experiments is that they’re not truly representative even of Americans, never mind non-westerners. Your results will be biased due to the sample you’re using.
- Potential outages. Jon switched ISPs at the end of April. It took several days to get the blog up and running at the new ISP. An abortive effort was made to update to the then-current version of MovableType, but eventually he had to admit it wasn’t working properly and revert back to the older install.
May, 2007 (a death in the family meant another month of irregular updates)
- The Food Police. Another blog comment from “Da Wife” that grew to be a full guest post on the blog.
- Historical context, lack of, see Time Warner. If you want to use a historical event to make a point about something else, make sure you actually know enough about the historical event you’re referencing.
- Over-the-top iconography. Where we have to wonder what the heck the graphic artist and/or approving purchaser was thinking.
- “Pirates” fight to a 2-2 draw. The start of the summer soccer reports.
- How not to encourage foreign companies. A friend’s travelling tale of woe, showing how little has changed since the Cold War era.
- Bucket status: undefined. The job search and minor technical glitches of the moment.
- Why James Lileks won’t play. “Clearly the ability to soak up arbitrary complexity and incomprehensible names peaks at age 8. “
- Ontario under siege. The OPP and angry natives orchestrate a highway shutdown and perform some ritual Kabuki posturing. Foreshadowing the Caledonia confrontation, in hindsight
July, 2007 re-employment took its toll on blogging output
- New dog pictures. Pictures of early interactions between Xander and the new dog. We ended up adopting her and (of course) calling her Buffy.
- Daycare and the public interest. Always a hot topic of discussion among new parents. Always a hot potato for politicians as their mouths want to promise what the public purse can’t actually deliver.
- Raising fears of terrorism to fight terrorism?. Some things never seem to change.
- More on framing the war on terror. The usefulness or lack thereof in various government responses to terrorist threats.
- Home sweet (demolished) home. I was upset to discover that my childhood home was going to be one of thousands to be levelled in a massive redevelopment in Middlesbrough.
- Trains to Burlington. The long tale of moving a model railroad layout from Brooklin to Burlington.
- HTML markup accuracy. Amazing how much clarity a properly formatted superscript can provide.
- Public transit boondoggles. Once again, a topical issue as Toronto considers how to get all the subways, streetcars, light rail, and other public transit toys without actually footing the bill themselves.
- Fake volunteerism, overseas edition. The negative aspects of doing overseas volunteer work.
- Vikings trample Jets in exhibition game. The first of many mentions of the great Adrian Peterson (this was his first appearance in a game for the Vikings).
- And what else would you expect them to do?. The Canadian media still doesn’t understand or appreciate the military, but it’s actually better now than it was in 2007, as shown in this little post.
- Electrical gremlins. A follow-up post to the train layout post at the start of the month.
- Trains to Burlington, conclusion. The month-long tale of the model train layout comes to an end.
- Burlington Ribfest. After installing the layout, we took a side trip to the local charred meat festival.
- Amusing co-incidence. Being able to tell exactly when the satellite took a photo of your neighbourhood.
- Arctic Patrol Vessels: now with less sonar. An early warning sign that the APV contract would not go smoothly.
- Pirates finish out of the medals in playoffs. The end of that soccer season comes in pretty predictable fashion (including a default because we couldn’t get enough players to show up for a meaningless game).
October, 2007 (the job was consuming all my waking hours this month, so blog posts were very light indeed)
- There’s no place like Florida. There’s just something … special … about Florida.
- Voting day in Ontario. The election John Tory had to work really hard to lose. But he somehow managed the trick.
- Micro microeconomics. I explain “Russon’s Law of Economics” as applied to the Ontario economy just before the entire North American economy hit the skids. In hindsight, this was a flashing red light about the near-term performance across all retail sectors.
- The anti-age-effects movement. Rather than working toward mere longevity, put efforts into reducing or even eliminating the worst aspects of old age.
November, 2007 (deadline pressures at work kept blogging light)
- Outlook for Vikes-Chargers game today. I think it’d be safe to say that Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson had a pretty good game.
- A word to the Word-Wise. A cautionary word to those folks who have to depend on Microsoft Word for mission-critical tasks.
- This nicely explains it. The point where The Economist‘s drift towards advocating centralization and expansive government finally got me to let my subscription lapse. This was around the same time many UK bloggers were starting to refer to it as The Ecommunist.
- The real reason Ron Paul’s message is becoming popular. The cognitive dissonance of having a “Republican” who actually advocates for smaller and less-intrusive government.
- Canada cracks down on religious extremists. Well, some religious extremists, anyway. The kind that quote the Bible and all.
- Toronto council wastes money . . . in other news, water is wet. A rare link to the Toronto Star, and not for purposes of pointing and laughing.
- Go, Royson, Go!. The Toronto Star reporter fires back at the mayor who dissed his first article about council wasting money.
- Another good example of “spin”. Media gets report. Media spins report for maximum headline effect. Media then condemns the author of the report for hysterical over-hyping.
- Change your sexual orientation, get 10% off your flight. How not to advertise to minority customers.
- Victory is Mine!. A minor victory, admittedly. And the piper must be paid in the update.
- Another light blogging forecast. Toronto drivers. Snow. Do not combine these two elements lightly.
- Freedom of speech? In Canada, not so much . . .. Tip-toe past the word “censor”, or else!
- Attempting to excuse the inexcusable. Honour killings in western society.
- Velcro is not your friend. Christmas decorations. The joys of, sorta.
- Our Frankenstein connection. A bit of genealogical research leads to an interesting literary connection.