Sunday, June 14, 2009

That's 7 in Dog Years

Is it something with the weather that makes us so restless with our blog's appearance, or is it that first anniversary that makes us want to refresh our pages? ~ Corey Wilde
Funny how these things creep up on you. As as we hit gloomy June, I began to think about the blog and its imminent first anniversary. It was a year ago, on Father's Day (in golf lore that's the day of Tiger's U.S. Open fourth round at Torrey Pines, June 15, 2008), when I started this thing. And giving credit where it's due, I have Jen to thank for that (I only considered writing one because of my fellow Craisie). If I had a Stetson (like author Craig Johnson), I'd tip it your way, Jen. Plus, writing one of these weblog thingamajigs has its benefits.

Blogger Blogumus failed installationImage by wavey davie via Flickr

Not only have I gotten the chance to write something (however meager and all without the benefit of a teacher correcting me with a virtual red pen), but my perspective and outlook has definitely expanded due to it. I've taken in the extraordinary content of some talented bloggers within the past year, and all credit to them. In no particular order, these include: Jen, Corey, Nordette, Gay, Livius, Steven, Dennis, Elyse, Joshua, Tom, David, Daniel, a handful of John's (in various spellings), and others. And if I've gotten to exchange some ideas or comments with any of them, it's all been good (maybe not for them--but those are the breaks for interacting with the likes of me ;-).

Although, truth be told, what I really get out of doing this blog (hopefully) is a chance to put some of me out there in the ether for the benefit of my children. I won't always be here (though I'm waiting on Corey to discover that cure he mentioned), but maybe, there is something I can leave/say to my kids when I'm not. You see, the hardest job I've ever loved, without question, is being a father. Hey, if I changed poopy diapers (on my own), then it means I really love them. No k-i-d-d-i-n-g. I came to this parent-thing from the inverse role model school (those breaks, again). I'm always asking myself, "what would my dad do here?" Then, I know to do the opposite. Plus, to do this job even half-way decently, one must remain in the father character constantly to have any chance of perfecting it.
You just keep running that play until you get it right. ~ Bill Cosby quoting his old football coach
Needless to say, following this parent-path (which began in the mid-90's) doesn't allow much insight for the kids regarding their paterfamilias. Yes, my kids are well aware of their old man's persona (as crusty as that is). But, my role in the family makes it difficult for them to gather much beyond that. Certainly, having my children learn to make the right decisions (for later in their lives) means I have to be a father now, not their friend. Later (if Google stays around, and they do a halfway sufficient job of archiving this ongoing scribe), they might find out what made their pop tick (or is it tick pop... whatever). Naturally, after they discover that their old man really didn't have anything deep to say about life and the popular arts, they can move on to puzzle out why mom married this guy. Remember kids: if you've grown up, got educated, have a successful enough career to afford the psychoanalysis, you can always blame all of your craziness on your father... ;-)

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

For those interested in curmudgeon-tech, you'll notice today's change in the blog's appearance. Credit for this template change goes to e-friend Corey (without his template episode this month I wouldn't have gone on to explore template changes and fixes), Amanda Fazani @ Blogger Buster for writing her help narrative and A Cheats' Guide to Customizing Blogger Templates, and the authors at Digital Nature for their freely available Fusion template. Quick tutorial: clicking on the <> in the upper right hand corner will change the layout from a fixed column (always the same size) to a flexible one (aka stretched). Clicking the AA will enlarge or shrink the font size of the blog. You think I could come up on my own with a CSS template with 2 columns (right sidebar), and fixed or fluid width?

Dream on, kids.
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  1. How jealous am I? Let me count the ways...
    1. You got a new template up and running. I have fallen farther behind than I was when I began whinging about my efforts in that direction.
    2. You have a reason for blogging: posterity and a legacy. I just run off at the mouth.
    3. Damn, I like how your sidebar really shines now. My blog is still as homely as my first blind date.

    Don't hold your breath waiting on that cure. I already tried that and it didn't work.

  2. Corey:

    1. Hang in there... I have faith in you, brother
    2. No, I'm jealous. I wish I could do what you do
    3. You could have your blog on a paper bag and I (and others) would still be lining up for your posts. It's your content, not the template, that brings us back

    As always, thank you Corey.

  3. Wow, thank you for the shout-out! It has certainly been a pleasure doing ESP experiments with you.

    I like your new template (not that I had a problem with the other one). It's so clean. At first I thought my Mac was wigging out and am so relieved it wasn't.

    Congratulations on your first anniversary. Besides the makeover, how else will you celebrate?

  4. PCN: to paraphrase Audrey Hepburn from Charade, I think I'll have "... a nervous breakdown." ;-)

    My wife can attest to my obsessive nature when I start something. I have to see it through, NOW. The change to the blog template HAD to be done before the 15th. I'm like a dog with a bone, sometimes.

    But, I think I'll take the night off and get some sleep :-). Always fun doing the ESP experiments with you. Thanks, Elyse.

  5. This looks AWESOME, Michael! I'm so glad you started to blog a year ago today. While we chat through my blog, we chat twice as much with your blot, too...and that's a blessing in my life! And I LOVE that picture of the kids! I can't wait until I get to meet them. Keep bloggin' my friend. I would be so incredibly lonely without you.

    P.S. I think I need to check out some of that fancy stuff you did. Of course my result will probably be that everything I presently have vanishes! HA! It's stunning!

  6. Thank you, Jen. Glad you like it and that there's a communication link between us all. I get to live vicariously by reading your wonderful posts. It's my daily fix.

    p.s., I got in trouble for posting the picture of the kids by-you-know-who. Oh, well...

  7. I thought I was in the wrong place for a minute.

    I like this post. It's a rare parent anymore who is willing to be more parent than friend. It's so much easier to be the latter than the former.

  8. I thought I was in the wrong place for a minute.

    In my house, I'm AKA Mr. Non-Subtle ;-)

    Thank you for the comment and compliment, Naomi.