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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
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July 26, 2004

Humdrum, Humdrum, Humdrum Hum

SW and I partook of the Oxymoronic Scotsman and wife's hospitality last week. Unsurprisingly enough, he and I talked of the blog at one point. To be honest, given my participation it's a rare social occasion when the subject of blogs doesn't come up, but that's neither here nor there, save as an illustration of the degree of geekiness I exhibit in social situations.

He was blunt ( the single grain whisky may have helped) in his assessment of Hraka, his sentiments boiling down to the obvious fact that, lately, I've been letting down the side.

It was true, but it didn't really bother me. I'd talked to Laurence about it a while ago, when he was dealing with a certain degree of ennui regarding Amish Tech Support. "Let the old Gods pass away and the new arise," was more or less his feeling on the subject of blog disengagement. At that time Hraka and ATS had been around for more than two years each, and it seemed to both of us as though the rheumatiz had set in.

Lawrence dealt with that perception by re-inventing himself. I dealt with the problem by....ok, I didn't deal with it, I ignored it, as is my wont when confronting what seems to be an insoluble problem.

The problem, and I'll willingly admit that in the great scheme of things it is no problem at all, is the exact situation the OxyScot put his finger on.

Lately, and by lately I mean since July of 2003, I've been a half-ass when it comes to updating Hraka with fresh material. Up until then I burned with Pater's hard, gem-like flame when it came to blogging, but since then the flame has become semi-precious indeed. I could, and have, put the cause thereof to any number of things--Ngnat and Scotty becoming older, my having said my piece on any number of issues, work becoming more involving, but when it comes right down to it the fact still remains that for most intents and purposes I've abandoned what most would consider active participation in the blogosphere for the past year.

The odd thing is...traffic to the blog hasn't really tailed off, even though to my mind I'm doing the Internet equivalent of letting old stock take up all the window space and never dusting. That's the wrong kind of feedback, people. Had you just gone away, I might have let the site pass away in peace, unnoticed and unmourned.

Since you won't let it die, what should I do with it?

I've been reading the McCullough biography of John Adams. At one point he mentions that his son, John Quincy, kept a diary for 67 years. I've not finished the book yet, but when I read that passage a thought struck me. What would Hraka look after the same amount of time? At the end of 67 years, or even 10, assuming I made it that long, which of the posts I've labored over would I find most valuable? Would it be the snide comments on the causes of the day, the labored political essays, preemptory links to off-site content, or would it be the posts on matters that feel the most banal at the time, remarks on what are to be honest nothing more than the humdrum of daily life? In 60 years time, which will be the more important, a Kerry joke, or a description of yet another Ngnat-constructed paper plate and pipe-cleaner craft?

In the end, it doesn't matter. Sixty years or ten would mean a plethora of everything, so would it really matter if I had an off-year?

Keep on keeping on, even if it's not every day.

Posted by Bigwig at July 26, 2004 05:30 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

I've been keeping a diary ever since I was conceived. However, the first nine months of the diary are extremely difficult to read due to moisture damage.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at July 26, 2004 04:46 PM

I'll just remind you of what the Professor said the last time you linked back to your post about baseball (yes, I pulled that out of memory from a year and a half ago). Do what you feel like, man, but please remember you have fans out here. I was just telling my coworkers at lunch today about the rough summer your father-in-law was having. Thanks for a great blog.

Posted by: Kevin at July 26, 2004 04:50 PM

I agree with Kevin: do what you feel like. But keep blogging. I always enjoy your writing, whatever your topic.

Posted by: fran at July 26, 2004 07:31 PM

Humdrum? Anything but, Bigwig.

Hope the Ngnat is OK now, btw.

Posted by: Tin Tin at July 27, 2004 01:33 AM

I dunno. I hear that you have been trailing in the polls since March, and that 52% of your readers do not approve of your job performance. Moreover, nearly 49% dislike the overall direction that the blog is taking.

Of those, 21% blame the Gnat, 19% blame Woundwort, and a staggering 83% blame you.

It's not all bad, however. Among blog readers, nearly 60% said they would rather have a beer with you, than with Misha, and nearly 90% said they'd rather drink with you than Kim du Toit. (This may be related to the fact that he doesn't really drink any more, but you should take good polling data where you can get it.)

So overall, I'd say your chances are pretty good, and you just need to hang in there and maybe work a bit on your grass roots efforts.

Posted by: Blackavar at July 27, 2004 09:35 AM

Don't give up the Blog.

Posted by: Yomama at July 27, 2004 10:11 AM

Keep it going! If nothing else, we all have gained some additional insight into what makes you tick. I just thought you got off on eating bugs and crap. Anything that leads the masses to a better understanding of you must be continued. My guess is that a long time from now the most important ones will be about the creations with paper plates and pipe cleaners. Keep it going, many of us check in and enjoy it daily. (Actually you have two-FDS)

Posted by: Mason at July 27, 2004 03:52 PM

Keep it up. The seemingly mundane stuff is really treasure. If you wrote more you'd kick Lileks butt. :)

Anything with the SWAM in it is automatically funny.

Posted by: Greg at July 29, 2004 05:53 AM
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