This post over on Twitter kicked off a small memory cascade and reminded me of something I meant to do back on the 13th. I wrote a note to do it, but apparently put it in a good safe place…
My memory is fuzzier than I would like, but I had been doing guest posts at various blogs for a while, including at the missed Winds of Change blog. Joe Katzman, who is mostly offline these days, was kind enough to post my stuff there. He also teamed up with John Ringo (with some assistance from David Weber and his better half Sharon) to encourage me to start my own blog. You can blame them for the fact that on April 13, 2003 (according to the Wayback Machine) LaughingWolf.net came online.
Despite several hacks of hosting providers and other fun delights, and with the technical help of the now radio silent Zonker, it’s been in continual operations ever since. There were some periods of lite posting, some of heavy, but it’s been here.
Those early days were fun and I do miss elements of it. Seriously, can you imagine teasing Instapundit about having a fondness for puppy smoothies and roasted hobo in today’s environment? Reminds me, I do need to find that 465 HP blender of his and get it back to him… There was a lot of good natured banter. There was drama too, including some needless drama. Fact is, I don’t miss some who took their footballs and left. I do miss some of the others, who have either quit blogging or are no longer with us. The latter is a growing list and there are days where I do miss everyone from Acidman and MommaBear to Jonn and Lex.
I started pseudo-anonymous as there were employment issues to consider, though I think today is far worse than then. When I was accidentally outed, I could and did run with it, which would be far harder to do today. The troll I attracted at NASA that eventually ended up with formal complaints and legal involvement was but a pale taste of what can and does happen today. Lost a job over the blog and politics, but worth it. Even the trolls and death threats have been worth it. I’ve had it a lot easier than others, but will share that one should never try to out crazy Stacy McCain.
Let’s get real. The early days were exciting, interesting, and a lot more. Thanks to some local get-togethers, BlogWorld and the Milblog events, I got to meet a lot of neat and interesting people, both bloggers and readers. Getting to spend time with some of the Georgia bloggers, Vodka Pundit, John of Argghhh, Greyhawk, Baldilocks, Froggy, Subsunk and his wife, and a host of others made up for having to deal with name-dropper Matt and Uncle Jimbo. Smile.
I got to know Matt online in those early days when I offered to stand second for him in a duel. Seriously. No duel, but when the douchebag in question apparently came to a meeting and saw Matt there, he turned around and left. There was indeed a bit of the Wild West to blogging in those days.
When Matt began working on his book, he asked several of us to post at Blackfive. He laughed his ass off later when I told an audience that since the book was a success, he hadn’t sobered up since and didn’t realize I was still writing there. Fact is, writing at Blackfive was a privilege and an honor. A greater honor was getting to work to help the wounded. Never thought any of the things I learned about BI/TBI would ever apply to me. Two embeds and the worst injury was a split shin. I will note, however, that you should never trust MaryAnn Phillips if she tells you there are just a few boxes of supplies for the wounded that need moving. I still laugh and take a small bit of pride in how much we got done that day. Good memory.
Blogging has been mostly good memories. Wish I had handled a couple of things differently. Wishing I had made better word choices, always. One of the few regrets I have is letting Matt and Jonn talk me out of a rather blunt tell-all post on what happened to the Afghanistan embed. Wish I had held out for a less blunt but honest piece, especially as the prime soup sandwich was already on his way out of the Army (who decided they no longer needed his services). As it is, without solid info, too many rumors ran wild.
There have been a lot of changes to the blogging world over the last twenty years. Far too many of us fell for the illusion of social media, and I’m glad I kept the blog going despite such. I also want to thank all of you who helped me change hosting providers and do other work to make this a bit more stable platform. It’s nice not to completely break when you get an Instalanche. Huge thanks to Sarah A. Hoyt and Stephen Green at Instapundit, along with Ed Morrissey and the team at Hot Air on helping with that. In fact, it was Sarah who talked me into starting the fundraiser, and her support and encouragement have been very important.
Because, yeah, the last decade has been interesting with everything from a botched colonoscopy that came close to getting me to a false diagnosis of cancer (unrelated events). There is advanced severe osteoarthritis and other issues. Then, coming up on two years ago now, I got hit by lightning. Trying to do a lot better job of listening to figure out what the Lord wants me to be doing and where. I know where I think I want to move, but not sure it’s where I need to move. Again, listening.
Meantime, I may be slower but I’m still moving. Never was a high speed low drag type, more a low speed high drag model. Thing is, never quit moving. Never quit trying. You may not get it perfect, but you are still doing and still in the game. That’s what counts.
Writing takes a lot more time and effort than it used to. Between short term and long term memory issues, well, fun is a word that can be used to describe it. But, as long as you keep reading I will do what I can to keep writing. I will do what I can to write solid stuff, and even some fun stuff.
As for what the future holds, I think blogging may make a comeback. That said, I also expect to see governments around the world, including our own, do their best to silence the blogs. I expect to see a lot more de-platforming with hosting providers (and why I am likely to stay with my current host as while their support sucks hairy warty ones, they have been resistant to such efforts). I expect in return we may see a bit of creativity on the part of hosts and others. Oh, and if you think that horrid new law Chuckie and company are pushing targets VPNs and those who use them by mistake, think again. Let your congresscritter know not to vote for that anti-freedom cesspit.
Even if Elon succeeds with what he’s trying to do at Twitter, I plan to keep the blog going one way or another. We tried putting our eggs in one basket one time before. Didn’t work out so well, did it? So, let’s not do that again.
Thank you. Thank you for reading me. Thank you for all the good comments. Thank you for the encouragement and support. You are the reason I and this blog are still here. Thank you.
NOTE: Writing this has sparked more than one memory cascade. Good things. But, there was a reader at Blackfive I talked to a while back who was going through an interesting time. If you are still out there and chance across this, let me know at the addy above how things are going please. Hope they continued to improve. Also, I know I’ve left a lot of names out. No way to list everyone, not a slight. Doesn’t help that I’m pretty sure I don’t remember everyone…