Friday, December 07, 2012
It's my 7th blogiversary!
I first started blogging because Older Daughter was in Europe -- in Spain, allegedly, although her boyfriend (now her husband) was in France -- and she had a blog so that those of us stuck back home could live vicariously through her adventures.
And she had some. Spanish night life starts late and ends so late for most of us it's early the next day already. She was exposed (*ahem*) to rampant public urination. There may have been something about attending a play where all the actors were costumed, or not (i.e., in the altogether) as well. It's hard to remember. Her blog was long ago discontinued, before I abandoned my first one, in fact.
Older Daughter attended school for a semester in Bilbao, in the Basque region of Spain. My wife's father's ancestors were Basque (although, if you believe the article cited in this 2007 post, all of us of English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh descent are more Basque than anything else). Anyway, the Basques in Spain have a separatist movement and from time to time the lads like to blow something up just to keep in practice. I don't think Older Daughter blogged about it, but I distinctly recall her telling her mother once that the local terrorists had blown up a station on the train line she used to take to school. "But it was in the other direction," she said, "so it didn't really mess up my commute." This did not give my wife a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Older Daughter had to go to Europe to find out that not everyone uses dollars. I don't know why. I've been a member of the National Geographic Society since 1971 (like George Bailey, I've only been able to go to places within the pages of the magazine). If reading about different cultures and currencies was too difficult for her, I could have taken her to the bank.
But, no, she had to go to Europe. And she was so angry when she got her first tuition bill. She'd calculated, to the penny, what she'd need for the trip, and we didn't have a lot to spare (we had more then than we do now, but we didn't know, or fully appreciate, that). I don't remember the exact numbers. But, for example, what something she had budgeted for $2,000 was actually €2,000. And in those days a euro was worth a lot more than a dollar. "What is the matter with these people?" she fumed. "Why can't they use dollars like everyone else?"
I've learned a lot since I started blogging. I've learned some HTML and, just maybe, something about writing, too.
The one thing I haven't learned is how to attract a big audience. At least, not to this blog. I started a blog in real life -- and, this year, won a prize for my work on that site. According to Google, I've had more than twice as many page views at my 'real life' site than this one.
Also earlier this year I started The Blog of Days. Despite the catchy name, it's also starting to find an audience -- 178 page views on December 5, for example, and over 12,000 in total, according to Google. (Sitemeter says BoD has attacked just under 5,000 total visitors, and only 58, on average, in the past week. Naturally, I believe Google must be more accurate.)
But, despite these other ventures, both of which have benefited, I believe, from my struggles here, this one remains closest to my heart. I'm grateful for the handful of readers who have stopped by, especially those who have been so generous with their comments over the years. Although, could you maybe direct a comment or two over to the nice folks at the MacArthur Foundation? They never seem to get around to giving me a Genius Grant.