Not that it affects any of you in any way, but my last post was #1750. That’s not a significant number outside of it being just something I wanted to point out. After 1750 posts, and 12 years, for the first time I’m turning on page caching. That’s a good thing. I got a friendly email from my host last night that a significant increase in traffic to my site over the last six months has also increased load times and server resource usage. And it was legitimate usage as well, not some runaway script or resource hogging plugin. That means you fine folks are visiting, and visiting often.
I’m not going to insinuate that I know what I’m doing, or that I’m any sort of blog expert. I would also never bore you to death with self-aggrandizing posts about how to have a “popular” blog. That’s all horse shit. No pretentious crap here, no patting myself on the back for keeping at something long enough to “not suck”.
I simply wanted to say thank you.
Thank you to everyone who reads any of this. Thank you to the random people who just stop by from other blogs. Thank you to faithful and regular readers. Thank you for indulging my idiosyncrasies and politically and socially incorrect ramblings for this long. You guys are awesome.
That is all. Forward unto dawn.
A quick apology, mostly to Greg, but also to anyone else that’s tried to email me recently at this domain. Apparently, in a fit of spam-related rage, I turned on some ridiculously strict anti-spam measures. I had SpamAssassin set at a 2 (1-10, 1 being the strictest), I had BoxTrapper installed and a mandatory white-list in place. I don’t even remember doing any of that. So, if you were wondering why emails weren’t getting returned or why it was taking days/weeks for me to reply, there you go. Everything I was being sent was either waiting for confirmation that you’re a real person, or was sitting in a spam bucket, waiting to be deleted. Sorry about that. I put everything back at a non-paranoid level, and email should be returning to normal. Carry on.
I’m assuming by now that my old readers, my college and high-school friends, have all but given up on me and that my new readers, my baseball card bloggers, have no idea this isn’t a 100% card blog. It wasn’t always this way. Before 2011 there wasn’t a single mention of baseball cards. Actually, it was mostly video games, web stuff and little slices of life where I bitched and moaned about anything that crossed my mind. Part of me recognizes how my interests have changed and how, quite honestly, they’re allowed to. The other part of me wonders where the “old me” went and if he’s coming back. I’ve always been conflicted about blogging. What to share and how much. I’ve been doing it for so long that it comes in cycles. I’d write a lot, tons and tons of posts, then it would goes dark. Then my moods change, I discover something new or interesting, and I can’t shut up about it. I’ve also always tried to explain my thoughts as best I could and to make my website distinctly “mine”. I don’t know if I’ve ever succeeded in that, or if anyone even notices, but that’s been the idea for all these years.
Just a little back story for folks, I started this blog, albeit in a different form, way back in 2000. It’s logistical story is very similar to the history of blogs in general. For some perspective, I started this the year after Moveable Type and Blogger came into existence. I’m not saying this is the oldest blog around, but it’s up there. I started with Moveable Type, realized it was a pain in the butt, switched to Blogger, ran that for 2 years or so, then jumped into WordPress just after version 1. At the time I was self-hosting the site on a server with a bunch of my friends. My good friends had built a server so prone to dying they actually called it the Hindenburg. Those were the glory days of the internet. When a bunch of guys could literally host a server, and a site, in some other guy’s living room in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire. Sometime in college, in what I can only imagine is the single most ironic thing to ever happen, Hindenburg, the server, burst into flames during a hosting fire. I didn’t lose much, just a month or two worth of posts. In the end it was trivial. Thanks to their careful planning and backups, everyone was up and running shortly there after.
I was leaving college at this point and planned on jumping into my own business, which thankfully I never did, and I felt I needed a site that could potentially host shopping carts or some sort of client base. I didn’t want to burden the newly rebuilt server with any potential traffic jams, so I left to find other web hosts. At the same time, after taking numerous “professional practices” courses, I thought it would be prudent, especially for times when I was seeking employment, to have separate sites for my portfolio and my blog. In 2003 this domain was born. Why DocHoloday? Well, it’s been my screen name for longer than I care to remember. It’s literally been my only monicker in the digital age. It was taken from a post-modernist cyber-punk book published back in the 1990’s (that should explain a little bit about some of my crazy interests at the time), called How to Mutate and Take Over the World. In it, the authors “St. Jude” and “R.U. Sirius” hacked networks and generally had a good time, occasionally doing a little hired (digital) gun-slinging, wild west style, with their friend “Doc Holoday”. Holo, as in hologram. That reference, plus Tombstone hitting theaters a couple years later all but cemented it for me. While I never became the deviant internet hacker I wanted to be, I did enjoy the uniqueness of the handle. I’ve never encountered it before or since. It’s mine. Back when handles meant something, that was a big deal.
After I finished school I continued to blog about life, what I was having for lunch, what video games I was playing, and what I thought about, well, everything. I’ll admit, I had a lot of anger issues when I was younger. Comparatively, I was probably just your average New Englander. I believe the term is “salty”. I like a good story, a good argument and a good fight. The combination of the three means I probably had a pretty good weekend. At some point, without really having a good reason or a conscience decision, I just started to mellow out. Maybe it was youthful exuberance wearing off, maybe it was “growing up”, maybe it was a combination of all that and more. I started writing more from the heart than from the tongue. Through my wife I started attending church and met a lot of really good people. A couple years ago I felt moved and accepted Christ and was baptized. A couple years after that, we had our baby girl, who is the absolute joy of my life.
I don’t really know why I wanted to write this today. I was just doing some reflecting on where I am and where I’ve come from. I can’t honestly say I’d change any of it because, it turns out, it all changed me. I think, in some small way, writing my thoughts out for all those years helped me deal with a lot of things. I didn’t bore anyone with tiny details about my problems (at least I hope I didn’t), but it was a way for me to voice my bigger concerns and frustrations and opinions and have my friends, who’s opinions I trust implicitly, give me feedback.
A blog isn’t just a journal. It’s not just a collection of stuff. It’s not a bunch of baseball cards I have, or movies I’ve seen, or games that I’ve played. It’s a small piece of me. Some days I feel like writing, some days I don’t. Some days are sunny, sometimes it rains. It’s always here to come back to, and it’s never far away.
As I said, I don’t really know why I felt like sharing that. I guess it’s to illustrate the point that, while hobbies and passions and interests may change, I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to have and to use this outlet. I was actually going to apologize about the amount of baseball card posts recently, but writing what I just have, it makes me realize that at this point in my life, it’s something I enjoy and I enjoy talking about it. I can’t artificially post my interests in another topic simply to have a more “balanced” blog. It would be fake. It would be a lie. I don’t actively intend to ignore the discussion of my personal life, but it’s simply not that interesting. By comparison, my hobbies and interests are. So, I’ll make you this promise: Whatever I’m interested in will always be the topic du jour here at my blog. My close personal friends, I will strive to write a little bit more about my day to day adventures, but please don’t leave if I mention baseball. My baseball friends, please realize that this isn’t a 100% card blog. It never was and most likely it never will be. If that means you’ll never come back, and that you feel the need to remove me from your reader feeds, I understand.
Take care, and sincerely thank you for reading.
I just realized that my RSS feeds were only showing excerpts. Sorry about that. I don’t know how that got changed. For anyone reading my blog via RSS feeds, they should now display the entire post correctly (including images if your reader supports that). Sorry for the mix up.
I did a little rearranging this morning and decided that the home/intro page wasn’t really serving any purpose in it’s current form. Having a list of “featured” posts that was out of date and a completely separate “blog” area seemed redundant. So, for as long as I’m using this theme, I decided to condense a little bit. The main page is now the blog and the blog page now redirects back to here. I used a 301 redirect plugin so that legacy links out there won’t break. So, if you’re seeing this and used a URL with /blog/ in it, feel free to update your bookmarks. I also increased the number for posts per page and did some general maintenance (upgrades, etc) behind the scenes. Let me know if anyone runs into any trouble.
For quite a long time now I’ve been blocking search engines. Mostly just to cut down on blog spam. I realized that while it’s easy to stay in my own little bubble, it really doesn’t make much sense. The point of a blog is an outward opinion, shared with the masses. A voice in the crowd that you can call your own. No one is trying to change the world or anything, but on rare occasions I’ve been known to make valid points. Why hide those from the world? So, from this day forward, this blog is no longer blocking itself voluntarily from the world. No more shelter, no more quite corner of the internet. If you’ve recently discovered this blog, than welcome. I hope you enjoy the nearly 10 years of randomness I’ve been known to produce. Also, please feel free to share the site, link to it from your own blog (which I hope many of you are already doing) and make liberal use of the discussions and comments. This also means a slight reduction in the highly personal posts, which, let’s be honest, are pretty scarce anyway. Don’t worry, ranting and raving will still be in fine form, that’s not going anywhere.
Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring this blog, I’m taking submissions from anything vaguely related to my interests. Anything hobby related, computer, video game, sports, food or entertainment. Bandwidth isn’t as cheap as it used to be. Please contact me if you feel like your company would be a good match for sponsorship or if you have anything you’d like reviewed. I do that as well.
//insert Reel Big Fish song, you know which one…