Charter Member of the Sub-Media

September 09, 2008

Screw This, I'm Outta Here « Blogging »

I'm fed up with Spam.

I'm moving to some new digs, over at

I will slowly close down all the comments here, as the spammers find 'em.
At some point, I may move my archives over there.

...or maybe not.

A new day is dawning, y'all.

I hesitated, because every time I've moved, I've lost readers.

Well, I think I'm only down to 3-5 now, anyway. If I can't get you few to make the transition, I'm better off not worrying about blogging anymore.

See you on the new site! And there, I promise: no comments lost to manual spam killing!!

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 17, 2008

Instalanche! « Blogging »

I finally got an Instalanche.

Unfortunately, not on this site.

I had to go "incognito" (sort of) and post on Car Lust to get this, but it did finally happen.


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posted by Nathan on 05:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2008

Just What Kind of Blogger Am I, Anyway? « Blogging »

To tell the truth, I hate blogging about politics.

I am very passionate about my political beliefs, but Ive gotten to the point that I hate blogging about it. I recognize that when I put what I believe down on trons (cant say down on paper, right?) that I am alienating anyone who doesnt agree with me. Some of my favorite people are either slightly or strongly in opposition to my political views.

Aside from all that, I seem to get the most attention from the rest of the blogosphere when I write about other things than politics.

So why do I do it?

Well, sometimes I feel like Im being unfair to my regular readers when I dont post. As hard as it is to fathom, some people actually like to read what Ive written. If I dont post, people start worrying about me and stuff. And theres nothing worse than not getting your free ice cream, right?

But there are a few things that appear to be coming together. The Chiefs are looking like they will be very, very interesting this year, if not very good (although Im convinced they may surprise some people). So Ill have quite a bit to write about there.

My involvement with Car Lust Blog also has me thinking (and therefore, writing) more and more about cars.

I have lots and lots of guitar stuff to write aboutIve been considering starting a regular Guitar Lust feature (modeled after the Car Lust), and have started assembling lots of pictures for that. I was daunted by the idea of running out of guitars to talk about, and that too many were just: Well, Ive never played one and probably never will, but its *pretty*. But you know what? Screw it. Im going to start doing one Guitar Lust each week.

So this fall I think should be a fruitful time for this blog.

Hopefully, Ill be able to avoid the politics that polarize.

right after I post another political post, of course.

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posted by Nathan on 11:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2008

Here's Another Project I'm Going to Kick Off « Blogging »

Got anything you want reviewed?

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posted by Nathan on 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 23, 2008

Still Sorta Busy « Blogging »

Work has been busy, and I haven't had as much time to post as I've been slowly working things out with my wife.

I also mentioned having some other projects going on.

This is one of them. Enjoy!

I only have one official article. They weren't able to link the 3-4 articles I did as a guest, but you can search through the archives for them.

But don't bother; they are all posted on this blog under "car issues".

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 15, 2008

Attacks on the Blog, and Comments « Blogging »

I'm dealing with a particularly virulent attack of nasty comments.
Movable Type isn't that good at blocking stuff.
Which means I do a search multiple times per day for this crap, and mass delete.
But going by the blacklist usually doesn't work, because it's too easy for them to come up with new stuff that doesn't match the blacklist. So I just search for everything, and then don't check the real comments.

Unfortunately, that method isn't perfect.

I've already accidentally deleted one comment from Mr. Lady, and one from myself. Maybe one from Diamond Dave, too...

So if your comment gets deleted, don't be offended, just repost it. Cursing me out in the new comment is optional, but accepted.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 30, 2008

Blogging Update « Blogging »

Hi, reader(s)!
Diamond Dave, thanks for checking up on me.

I'm okay, everything's fine.

I've got a number of projects I'm working on in other venues, and there's no real news about the Chiefs right now, and I'm moving away from socio-political commentary.

I'm also trying to put more effort into work and my family.

Not much time left for blogging.

But I'm okay, and there will be sporadic blogging when I find a consistent time to do little things that amuse only myself.

Please, no double entendre comments on that, k? Thanks.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 11, 2008

Page Rank « Blogging »

I now have a page-rank of 5. Which means that I'm now getting 100+ hits a day, and 90 of them are from Google Searches.

Is there any way I can make financial use of this page rank? Is "5" nothing worth sneezing at, or nothing worth crowing about?

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:45 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2008

Busy « Blogging »

Packing household goods today.
No posting, probably.

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posted by Nathan on 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2008

Clean Enough to Eat Off Of... « Blogging »

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Well below the 9% average of all web pages checked so far.

Stolen from David J.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2008

Pit Bull In Art « Blogging »

It's gotta be done.

I'm sorry, but I think putting a pit bull in art is probably a violation of most cruelty to animal statues.

Unless it is a mis-spelling of "put bull in art", because I think there is already enough bullS*** in modern art that there's a sort of grandfather clause on putting actuall bulls in art nowadays.

This has been a public service announcement from Brain Fertilizer's Trolling for Traffic department.

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posted by Nathan on 09:37 AM | Comments (385) | TrackBack (0)
It's Easter. You Know What That Means... « Blogging »

Aside from the celebration of Christ's Resurrection, I get crazy traffic from people doing Google searches on "why no Google Easter logo?"!

Back when I was a semi-important blogger (people actually read and even occasionally linked this site), I reacted to a minor kerfuffle about Google not doing an Easter logo design for 2005. For some reason, it scratched people's itch or something...or maybe seeing "Brain Fertilizer" with something closely related to what they were searching for sparked interest enough for people to click through...dunno, but I'm #4 on the Google search for the topic. And that means every Easter I get mega-traffic. This year blows the previous years out of the water: I already have more than 200...but I'm sure it won't translate into any sustainable traffic.

Snapshot of the last 100 hits of my traffic in the extended entry.

Read More "It's Easter. You Know What That Means..." »

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posted by Nathan on 08:42 AM | Comments (129) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2008

I'm Off Work Today « Blogging »

And getting stuff done at home.
I'm also curious how the Taiwan presidential election is going to turn out.

But I've got no real time to blog today. Sorry.

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posted by Nathan on 02:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 11, 2008

It's Monday. You Know What That Means, Don't You? « Blogging »

No free ice cream from David.

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posted by Nathan on 02:57 PM | Comments (67) | TrackBack (0)
Question to my Reader(s) « Blogging »

Do either of you know how to post .mp3s to this blog (movable type) in a manner to allow people to download them?

I have some home-made music I'd like to post.

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posted by Nathan on 10:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 02, 2008

Happy New Year! « Blogging »

Welcome to 2008.

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posted by Nathan on 09:12 AM | Comments (132) | TrackBack (0)

October 24, 2007

Not Much to Say Lately « Blogging »

...and I'm busy, too.

I have PRK (laser eye) surgery Monday. So it won't get better next week, either...

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posted by Nathan on 07:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 18, 2007

Google Trolling « Blogging »

I wish I had more information on Northern Rock
Pervez Musharraf
Lehman Brothers
Michael Mukasey
Harry Potter Sierra Leone
Steve Jobs
Barack Obama
Bill Belichick
Nova Scotia
the UF student Tasered at Kerry forum
the typhoon bearing down on China
Iraq death rates
mentos bird commercials
President George W. Bush's choice of former judge Michael Mukasey to be his new attorney general
OJ Simpson
The Emmy Awards
or the fact that the Denver Broncos suck

...but I don't. I'm sorry.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

September 07, 2007

Public Service Announcement II « Blogging »

For that matter, there are no pictures of Kyla Ebbert, nude or otherwise, on this blog, either.

There are here, though.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 07:01 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

September 06, 2007

Public Service Announcement « Blogging »

There are, of course, no pictures on this blog of Vanessa Hudgens, nude or otherwise.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:07 PM | Comments (390) | TrackBack (0)

August 28, 2007

Coming Soon! « Blogging »

Brainfertilizer Sings!

Followed by Bandfertilizer (Brainfertilizer the Band is already taken by a German band...).

Within about a week I'll start posting mp3 files of me singing classical art songs. Probably followed by some solo jazz guitar, some original guitar/song compositions, a blues piece (if I can come up with decent lyrics), and some Chinese songs in which I insert myself singing a harmony line. Maybe some midi-based karaoke? We'll see.

I will add a tip-jar to provide a tangible way to express thanks. I will also make CDs available for purchase. I am open to suggestions/requests, although I make no guarantees...

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2007

Bad Press is Still Good Press « Blogging »

This silly article on (left-leaning) Slate on blog names seems to dis pretty much only conservative-leaving sites, and praise left-leaning sites.

For instance, their multiple editorial layers couldn't correct "conservative christen" ?!?! Not to mention that both of the sites he cited as "conservative christen" have never seemed to focus on faith at all, except perhaps as a tangent (criticizing the intersection between Islam and Terror, at least with the Jawa Report).

It just seems like he found some conservative-leaning sites he didn't like and looked for an excuse to slam them.

Still, like the title says, his links will still drive traffic. It's just, do you really think anyone coming over from Slate will listen to good, conservative sense?

Me, either.

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posted by Nathan on 09:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2007

Sitemeter Hijinks Never Mind « Blogging »

Hey, ya'll!

If you use Sitemeter, did you have it stop working at some point yesterday afternoon?

Mine did. It just didn't appear on my website. I went to the site to log in, and zero hits recorded.

Something in all this made me feel like there was just a glitch, not that Sitemeter was actually down. So this morning I repasted the code somewhere else on my page. No help.

So I went into management to recopy the Sitemeter Code. When I pasted it into the site template, it was quite a bit longer than the original! When I deleted the original and reloaded the indexes, lo and behold! Sitemeter appeared on my site again.

So it would appear they changed the basic code without notifying me. If they did the same to you, well, that's what you need to do to fix it.

Update: something is up, but I'm not sure what.
The Sitemeter code for MT just doesn't work. It seems to have something to do with the server update that they said would only take a few minutes and wouldn't lose any hits. Well, mine has lost about 50 hits since yesterday. I can only fix the problem by no longer using their suggested method for MT, i.e., having a separate Sitemeter template. I just put the code directly into the sidebar now. That seems to work.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2007

Ethanol is for drinking. « Blogging »


Ethanol fuel for cars sounds nice, but there are significant problems with it as a motor fuel. Biomass waste doesn't give enough energy, only foodstuff biomass, and then you are switching cropland from growing food to growing fuel. It doesn't make sense economically or ecologically.

That's why I like the functional electric car (i.e., what Tesla Motors is developing). No sacrifice in driving pleasure, AND it provides more distance per penny than other propulsion methods. Hydrogen can't replace energy use, it just uses a different medium to deliver energy that still needs fossil or hydro fuels to produce (since the Greens won't allow nuclear), and since it is a medium, rather than a direct transfer, you lose energy in the transactions. An electric car wastes less energy by being a direct electric transfer. Not to mention I could have solar cells on the roof of my garage and house, further reducing the cost/carbon footprint/energy waste/use of the Tesla cars.

Also, the projected Honda Accord diesel is expected to be a fuel-sipper, and ultra-clean to boot. I expect bio-diesel could be in the works for regular diesel cars in another decade, making ultra-efficient, ultra-clean diesels a better choice than ethanol OR hydrogen cell OR hybrid.

Why do US carmakers miss the boat on these sort of issues so often?

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:04 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 25, 2007

Ratings « Blogging »

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Via David.

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posted by Nathan on 01:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2007

And Another Thing! « Blogging »

I realize I get some hits from blogrolls every time I update. That's how the pinging/blogroll interaction works.

I understand that.

What I can't understand is, why are 90% of those hits from Ace of Spades? Is there some sort of crossover between our sites? Besides being conservatives, of course, we aren't much alike.


Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2007

Summing Up The Search Strings « Blogging »

For the record:
Yes, Caillou is a whiny brat. We hates him, my precious! So do many other people, according to the search strings that lead people here.

I've still never yet seen the Mentos bird commercial, but it must be pretty good since so many people come to my site looking for information about it. That started because I made a parody of a Mentos commercial, and once people started clicking on my site, hoping to see something about the bird, my page rank for that search rose. Then I started talking about people coming to my site looking for the Mentos bird commercial, and it just got worse.

Yes, there are pictures of the Bush twins in my archives. You've got to look for 'em though, cuz I'm not giving 'em to you that easy.

Nilou Motamed is still very beautiful.

The Zeta is still not the answer, and GM is still in trouble, and I still really don't like the Chevy Malibu that much. [shrug] Sorry, GM fans.

And, of course, there are NO naked pictures of Britney Spears, Mary Kate and Ashley, Linda Carter, Erin Gray, Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Nilou Motamed, Katie Couric, Nancy Pelosi, either of the Bush twins, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Susan Estrich, any of the Feministe or Feministing wymyn, Tom Cruise, the '92 Rhein Fire starting backfield, the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Pokeman Gold, or Madonna anywhere on this site. I'm remaining non-committal about Strom Thurmond and/or Jessica Cutler, though.

And Glenn Reynolds hates Nutter Butters. That's the honest truth, to the best of my knowledge.

Oh, and George Lucas ruined the Star Wars series, the cad.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:11 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2007

Alternate Blog Title « Blogging »

"Fertilizante del Cerebro"

That's "Brainfertilizer" in, I guess, Spanish. Or maybe Portuguese.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2007

Google: Still No Easter Logo « Blogging »

Alternate title: "why no google easter art" ?

I'm getting a good number of hits on searches leading people to my 2005 post regarding Google yet again having no special logo for Easter.

So there is a great deal of interest, and perhaps a way to boost hits by readdressing that issue.

If you poke around Google webpage, you should notice that there is no consistency in which 'holidays' they do logos for. They've done a special logo for Braille's birthday. They don't do logos for the lunar new year every year, despite that likely being the biggest holiday (based on numbers of participants) in the world. It seems like their artists have the freedom to do whatever they have an idea for. How many different things are there to do for Easter? Don't you think they get complaints for secularizing Easter (customer: this is the celebration of Our Lord's Resurrection! And you do a cute bunny?!??), and likewise would get complaints for doing religious themes? Imagine the furor from both the atheists and the extremely conservative religious if the two "O"s were changed into the cave mouth and the covering stone rolled away...

Easter is not a national holiday; in many places it is not a state holiday. It is a holiday in each person's heart, and I'm not concerned about what Google does or doesn't do with it., if they started doing regular Wiccan and Muslim holidays (both being more politically correct than the Judeo-Christian tradition) while still ignoring Christianity, then you might see me getting more upset.

But under the current circumstances? No.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2007

Comments « Blogging »

I closed comments. I got sick of deleting all the spam.

If you have something to say, send me an email. I'll publish 'em with responses, if it seems worthwhile.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2006

Apologies For the Mess « Blogging »

This blog was idle for far too long, and it looks like there are some errors in the code or something making things look really screwy.

The blog is due a facelift, and will be done soon.

Also, in my time off, I've moderated many of my views, particularly socio-political views. I hereby retract my arguments against the people opposing Intelligent Design, so ignore those posts. I'm going to leave 'em up because I don't believe in hiding my embarassments. Anything else you want me to retract? Let me know and I'll consider it. You would probably have a high rate of success with such requests.

So if you are stopping by here, you'll still get insight and analysis, but much less of the combativeness and touchiness when you criticize my opinions.

Fair enough? I still hope to make this an enjoyable place to visit.
I'm going to focus more on the Kansas City Chiefs, leadership, writing, and music. I'll have some original mp3s of my guitar playing, and midis of my compositions up eventually. Hopefully soon. More pictures, too, I think. We'll see.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 07, 2005

This Blog Is Closed Indefinitely « Blogging »

The last post was a good enough epitaph; Brain Fertilizer is over now.

Who knows, maybe 6 months later I will want to blog about news, events, or politics. But for now, I'm switching to Musings and writing about the Chiefs. It may not appeal to many of you, but it's what I'm doing. There will be plenty of non-Chiefs' stuff, too, as I discuss parenting, leadership, spirituality, or other aspects of life. There may even be a pun or two, who knows?

But it's a new direction.

So the new place is now Chiefly Musing. Brain Fertilizer has become the "Chief Muser." Please adjust your blogrolls accordingly, although emails will be sent out soon.

Thanks for a great time, people!


Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 31, 2005

Get Ready for the New Blog (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I'm switching to a new blog soon. I have a post up already. I haven't started tweaking the appearance yet, although I have begun to personalize the functionality.

If you want, stop by and leave comments, suggestions, helpful hints, etc.

It may take me awhile to get it all set up. I'm not sure when I'll start posting there full time, but it will be soon.

UPDATE: Link fixed. Thanks.

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posted by Nathan on 10:33 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

July 21, 2005

The Coming Changes « Blogging »

I've been thinking about it all lots...I've made a few false starts already.

The last abortive (pun intended) post showed me something, and kind of put the final nail in the coffin.

I'm not going to quit blogging. But I'm a little sick of "Brain Fertilizer". It's my brand, and so I can't really share it...but I don't really like the direction it's gone.

I don't like fights anymore. I find myself avoiding them more and more. I still have the same conclusions that led to fights...but I don't think people are interested in my conclusions.

One of the changes in the blogosphere lately is the "professionalization" (if you will) of the news/event commentary. I don't have the time to do that anymore, and don't have the inclination to compete against those who do. Call them "Semi-pros". I'm not one.

But people like my writing about the Chiefs. Cool. More of that coming up, yo. If I can write this much in the off-season, I should have plenty to write about during training camp, and even more during the season. I'm going to try to do a post a day once the season starts...'cept that I'll be out of the country until the middle of September.

One thing I can still do, though, is observe humanity, consider/think, and share with you what I learn. There are lots of anecdotes, ideas, interesting points. I've got kids growing up that will provide good stories. I can talk well about faith, leadership, parenting, love, friendship, I'm going to spend more time talking about stuff like that.

But I also want to have my own domain. Part of that is to get away from the restrictions (whether real or imagined) of "Brain Fertilizer". I've promised before that Brain Fertilizer will never have a tip jar, and now I want to change that. I want to have my own console, and be totally in charge of every aspect, for good or ill. I want to change the format, the appearance, everything.

And yet, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I don't really want to leave, for probably obvious reasons. I don't want to leave this location, because bunches of people have linked me here. I'll have to talk to Pixy Misa about what is possible. But I gotta tell you, the changes I want are profound, and if Pixy Misa is unable to accomodate my hopes, I will move on. Not because isn't awesome, not because Pixy Misa isn't flexible and helpful (he is, and amazingly so, and patient and generous as well), but because I to re-energize my enthusiasm for blogging, and this is a case where it may be all or nothing. I want to be excited again, and having a place totally my own may be the necessary step...

More soon.

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posted by Nathan on 01:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 15, 2005

Once Upon a Time... « Blogging »

...I was often included in little round-ups like these. (scroll down to the end of the post)

But like the sable avian creature said, "Nevermore".*

Read More "Once Upon a Time..." »

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posted by Nathan on 07:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2005

Yoo-Hoo! « Blogging »

Any Oahu Bloggers out there who want to get together for drinks, or a BBQ at a park, or something?

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posted by Nathan on 05:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 08, 2005

Decisions Have Been Made « Blogging »

And there will be big changes around here. Soon. Maybe not very soon. But certainly not non-soon. Because it's not non-soon season, yanno. Heh.

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posted by Nathan on 11:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 29, 2005

Plummeting Traffic « Blogging »

I've lost about a third of my normal traffic over the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, my lowest weekly total was 250 hits, on a Saturday. This week, however, my highest peak was somewhat less than 250, and yesterday was barely 225.

...and yet, I'm actually pleased. Why, you may ask?


Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.
Over the last 2-3 months, more than 1/3 of my hits were for variations of searches on "Mentos Bird Commercial". More than half my hits were from search engine hits of any type. And on any given day, I could boost my traffic by 20-50 hits just by linking the GM blog. So although I could boast* of averaging 300 unique visits/day, I realized that less than half of it was from people coming back to see me because of what I wrote. Hence, some of the petulant whining and snarky self-deprecation.

But now, the bulk of my hits are from links coming in from other sites, and "blocked referrers", which to me means someone who has me bookmarked, or perhaps browsing anonymously but still coming to Brain Fertilizer deliberately. Which is good.

I wasn't going to stop blogging in any case, but having more of what I consider "solid" hits certainly helps make blogging more satisfying.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:03 AM | Comments (8)

June 28, 2005

Finally! « Blogging » « Militaria »

I finally got the new blogroll category up:

The Association of Former Military Linguist Bloggers

But since I took so long to overcome my apathy, I've forgotten who originally responded. If you should be in that blogroll, let me know. And if someone wants to come up with a logo for it, let me know. Let me know if you want your MOS/AFSC and language listed, too.

More on this subject soon.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 01:55 PM | Comments (4)

June 27, 2005

Did you know that this blog is #123 in the Milblogger community?

I didn't.

That number is subject to adjustment downward as my traffic/linkage plummets.

Did all of you know I was a milblogger?

...just checking.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:10 PM | Comments (9)
Kokonut Pundit « Blogging »

It's cool when the Sitemeter referral log lets you know you are on someone's blogroll. It's even cooler when your perusal of this "new to you" site includes a nice little Greatest Hits summation of some thoughtful opinions.

I also like his term: "Hand-Wringers of America", and enjoyed this article about meeting protestors with shredders.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 11:19 AM | Comments (1)

June 16, 2005

Help « Blogging »

Need help changing the look of the address in the
address bar. Does anyone know the HTML code to do

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:04 AM | Comments (5)

June 13, 2005

Did Nilou Motamed Do Something? « Blogging »

Cuz I'm getting lots of hits from searches for her today.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2005

It's 3:00 PM Local Time « Blogging »

You know what that means, don't you?

80% of my hits for the rest of the day will be for variations of "Mentos Bird Commercial". I get in excess of 100 hits a day from that little phrase.

Go, me.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 05:54 PM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2005

So You Know « Blogging »

I didn't actually shut down comment functionality or Trackbacks. It's just that no one's interested in commenting or leaving trackbacks.

Just so we're clear, here.

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posted by Nathan on 12:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 05, 2005

Too Tired to Blog « Blogging »

I've got too much going on, with a new job, moving into a new home and all the attendant work that goes with that.

I also won't have internet access for about 2 weeks, either. I could find places to blog, anyway, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. So I'll post sporadically, but I'll see you back after a short semi-hiatus.

Same Bat-time, same bat-channel!

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2005

These Aren't the Stories You Are Looking For « Blogging »

I really hate it when I see a headline that looks like it might lead to an article worth linking and discussing to lend support to a point I want to make, but then it turns out to be less-than useful.

In the first case, HIV alert over teenage sex craze looked like a chance to make a point about our society...except it was about London's society. Oh, well. It is still a scary point for the British.

And the second one I saw looked like it could help me to talk a little bit about the the secular Left's recent demonization campaign against religion. With a title like "The secular Left is demonizing conservative Christians", you'd think it was exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, it was more of a unnecessarily-dry restatement of things already said by others. Preaching to the choir, as it were.

Blah. Blogging angst besets me. At least I got in a few good football pieces first.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 01:02 PM | Comments (4)

April 27, 2005

Fun With Google Searches « Blogging »

Interestingly, I am the #1 post on a Google Search for 'malibu ls v6 review'. How cool is that?

And for some reason, I've been getting lots of searches on all engines for variations on "mentos bird commercial", a full 48% of search hits leading to my site. What gives?

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 08:42 PM | Comments (17)

April 22, 2005

Kid In a Candy Store (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I'm sitting in a Starbuck's in Hawaii, about a block from what will be my new home.

They don't have wifi access, but the juice store next door does, and I guess I'm stealing it in some way, since I'm on the internet without buying anything from them.

I gotta tell ya, from a girl-watcher's perspective, there are few things better than sitting in a comfortable chair that faces the main entrance, and watching a parade of slender, attractive women walk past.

Life is good.

UPDATE: I've actually talked to two of them!

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posted by Nathan on 12:10 PM | Comments (7)

April 21, 2005

Google Loves Me (No One Else Does) « Blogging »

49 of my last 100 hits were from Google search hits. When you include in MSN and Yahoo searches, more than 60 of my last 100 hits were from searches.


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posted by Nathan on 06:09 PM | Comments (15)
» links with: Need Some 'Brain Fertilizer'?

April 20, 2005

Garnering Traffic « Blogging »

I'm still getting at least 4 hits/day from "Erica Durance Nude" (a trick I stole from Jay of Accidental Verbosity). And I get an extra 20-30 hits each day for a few days after I link Bob Lutz's FastLane blog. Especially if I make sure it has a good Title and Lead-in sentence that makes people want to click through.

I can sometimes give myself 'lanches from Michelle Malkin that way, too, if I'm the first person to link one of her posts.

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posted by Nathan on 08:20 PM | Comments (1)
Hm « Blogging »

Being in Hawaii just about makes me not care about blogging.

But I'm not going to make any decisions one way or the other until after things settle down and settle in.

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posted by Nathan on 08:07 PM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2005

Safely In Hawaii (EDITED for Accuracy) « Blogging »

Okay, so I'm in my new location.

Blogging is going to be later in the day from now on. I was already suffering a little bit from being a west-coast time-zone blogger, i.e., the east coast guys usually blogged lots of stuff before I could get to it, and they were done for the day when I was still posting...including late evening stuff that consequently didn't get as much notice.

Well, I guess that problem is just going to get worse.

For instance, it's lunch time here...but most east-coast bloggers won't see this until tomorrow.

No big deal. I'm not doing this to impress anyone on the east coast. Well, except maybe Bill of INDC Journal.

Of course, no one cares what if this guy thinks.

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posted by Nathan on 03:13 PM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2005

The ABlogolypse? « Blogging »

You know, there's that old legend that the end of the world begins when a baby is born without a soul...

...are they sure that wasn't a mistranslation? You know: maybe it was "when a blog is born without a soul that the excrement hits the whirling blads of a electro-mechanical cooling device?

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posted by Nathan on 03:30 PM | Comments (0)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: Jealousy. Simple Jealousy
Revenge « Blogging »

Apparently, some people think that it is perfectly okay to viciously attack someone just because that someone made a nasty, unprecented pre-emptive attack first. Well, I think it's totally unfair for him to defend himself. I won't let this justified retribution go without a response:

Read More "Revenge" »

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posted by Nathan on 02:30 PM | Comments (3)
My Very Own Post (UPDATED) « Blogging »

To clarify: A post named for me. I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. I'm moved to tears.

Upon reflection, it seems SaaM has now got bore-blogging down to a science with the linked post.

Upon further reflection, anyone who has been reading his site for long would probably argue he got it there months ago.

Upon even further reflection, I'm probably the only person who has the stomach to keep reading his site for long...

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posted by Nathan on 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2005

Update From The Road « Blogging »

I'm in the middle of the Brain Fertilizer Farewell Tour, Part II (leaving Spokane for Hawaii, where I will resume full-time blogging), and we're hanging out in a bar that has Wi-Fi.


In any case, I haven't been paying much attention to the news, so I have nothing to really blog about.

On the other hand, I have found a new taste treat. You know how people like to add fruit to breakfast foods? Adding strawberries to their Cheerios or bananas to Wheaties, and the like. Well, I've found (completely by accident, I assure you) that celery actually makes a great taste combination with Cocoa Puffs. I have eaten nearly every chance I can on this trip. It's like I'm obsessed.

Read More "Update From The Road" »

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posted by Nathan on 01:59 PM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2005

More RMBB Pictures « Blogging »

Altered to protect the guilty:

Read More "More RMBB Pictures" »

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posted by Nathan on 09:37 PM | Comments (5)

April 05, 2005

China's New Path to Freedom? « Blogging »

Check out what's going on over here.

In short, Canada tried to restrict political blogging in Canada. Canadian bloggers are reacting as you might expect: some are curtailing their political commentary, some are refusing to comply, some are treating the blogosphere geographically (as in, they won't post political commentary on their site, but feel comfortable doing so on, say, Free Republic).

The restriction on internet freedom in China is legendary. But there are always ways to work around blocks and filters and such. One interesting aspect of the Canadian blogger restriction is someone referred to the power of "American Blogosphere". From The Belmont Club (and blockquoted by Michelle Malkin):

Like the Rathergate and Swiftvets story, the scene seems set for an invisible and unacknowledged meme to exert a powerful influence on mainstream news. One poster at Free Dominion said Canada was about to experience the power of the American blogosphere.
The idea of an 'American blogosphere' is a curious concept. One Canadian poster, who balked at relating what he knew about the Liberal Party scandal on the Free Dominion because of the publication ban, suggested he and his buddies continue their conversation at the FreeRepublic, like they were crossing the border and going from Windsor to Detroit. Whether that made it all nice and legal I'll leave to the lawyers but a certain amount of absurdity suggested itself in the situation.

This highlights the impact that Internet self-publishing has had in breaking down political systems, whether peaceably (as in the case of Canada and the US) or not-so-peaceably as exemplified by Iran. Because the exercise of authority consists largely of information control (rather than physical control) by the State, Internet self-publishing has effectively weakened large areas of state power by weakening those controls. As a practical matter, there is not a judge in the world that can realistically enforce a gag order unless he can a) prevent the source leak or b) force compliance on all continents and seas of the planet earth.

This is a pretty heady concept. Many people (me included) have assumed that China's political freedom would eventually come through its economic freedom. That's still possibly a true statement, since the Chinese need enough economic freedom to purchase computers and internet service...but the lesson from this is that if bloggers in free nations set their blogsights on a corrupt/restrictive institutions that are at least partially dependent on public opinion, well, the pressure can be amazing. Maybe all we need to bring about freedom in China is an intense blog campaign against the Chinese government, complete with pressure on our own governments to censure, demarche, or otherwise express our disapproval?

Would the martyrs of Tian'anmen Square have purchased more freedom with their blood and breath for their nation if the blogosphere had existed then?

Mind you, I doubt that the blogosphere could be deliberately and effectively organized by an outside force for socio-political good, like a peace march or anything. The blogosphere is the sum of its parts, in that its direction comes from thousands of individuals making their own personal decisions, and more than the sum of its parts when you consider the amount of pressure it (the blogosphere) can bring onto a specific institution when aroused. And even if I'm expressing it badly, my point is that the blogosphere could only affect a totalitarian government like China's if enough people become concerned about situations and actions there. I probably couldn't make transforming China my pet project and get much traction in the blogosphere toward applying pressure. But if something like the Tian'anmen Square Massacre happens again, I don't think China's government would last a year.

As Archimedes said:

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

The Blogosphere is just about the biggest damn lever* our world has seen, I think. And getting longer all the time.

Read More "China's New Path to Freedom?" »

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posted by Nathan on 08:26 AM | Comments (1)
» A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage links with: China: Hope and Worry
RMBB Pictures « Blogging »

I've been informed that some people don't want their unaltered image placed on the web. So while those are being altered to protect the not-so-innocent, I thought I'd supply you a picture of our bartendress, the lovely Kathryn. No, I'm not sure that's how she spells her name, it just sounded like that. No, I'm not giving her the choice to not have her picture on the web, so, yes, I guess I'm violating her privacy somehow. Except that I did ask to take her picture so I could put in on the web, and she acquiesced to the shot, so there.

She was in mid-blink...

Read More "RMBB Pictures" »

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posted by Nathan on 06:34 AM | Comments (4)

April 04, 2005

Post-Bash Report « Blogging »

Like I said, pictures won't be up until this evening.

Some other post-bash reports:
Steve of Wadcutter


The Libercontrarian (who had this cool Borg-like cellphone attached to his ear)

A Bellandean

Freedom Sight

Darren, the Colorado Conservative

My thoughts? Funny you should ask.
First, the slight-less-than-48-hours I spent there were nothing short of awesome. I can't remember the last time I was in such an intellectually intense environment. I was constantly challenged with Good Ideas and Good Thought from David, from Andy, from all the people I met at the bash (Scott, Darrn, Matt, Steve, Stephen, Jeff, Robin, Ally...) I learned from hearing ideas I had never considered before; I learned from attempting to share my ideas with people bright enough to spot flaws and/or improve each aspect. I learned from watching people interact. I learned from listening to Jeff G. and Stephen G., et al, engage Chris in a uniquely entertaining discussion of the problems with and evils of Bush and the Republicans (at least, that's what I got out of it).

I tried to float and meet people and take pictures and make a few blog entries. I think that might have worked to my detriment, as I didn't get into near as many extensive conversations as I see other people did in the above post-bash reactions. Dang.

Perhaps I was too intimidated to actually share ideas with Jeff G. and Stephen G.? Perhaps I have too little experience in bar gatherings to know how to mingle well?* Perhaps I'm just a social idiot? Probably a little of all of the above.

I did meet lots of cool people, and that will certainly lead to an updated blog-roll and more visits to the people I met. I have to tell you, even if the person doesn't exactly meet your expectations**, knowing the person behind the blog is always better.

Greatest Missed Opportunity to Make a Pun That Probably Would Have Gotten Me In a Great Deal of Trouble:

Stephen Green (holding a pool cue): Wow, Matt! That is the crookedest rack I have ever seen!

Possible response: "To which lady were you referring?"

I intended to buy lots of people more drinks. The 3 times I tried to buy someone a drink, they told me they were drinking water or not drinking or stopping so they could drive home. I could have sworn I bought Zombyboy a drink, at least, but it didn't show up on my tab...
I didn't inflict anyone with a single off-the-cuff pun the entire evening. Or the entire weekend, as I recall. I must be slipping.

Sort-of Embarassments:
I never expected how self-conscious it would make me to have someone whose intelligence and ability I respected as much as Stever of Wadcutter say that he read me regularly.
I never expected how self-conscious it would make me to have one of my original readers/commenters (Matt of Roverpundit fame) be present. When I think of some of the self-important crap I was putting out back then. Well, yeah: the stuff I put out now is still crap, but at least I've done a better (if incomplete) job of taking out the "self-important" part.
I didn't really expect it to bother me so much to hear someone say, "You are much more conservative than I am". I like my beliefs; I've thought long and hard about them, and I think I have good reasons for the conclusions I've reached and the views I advocate. There are a wide range of opinions I respect without actually agreeing with, as well. Someone, despite my attempt to remain independent-minded, I have assimilated the MSM's constant refrain that "conservative" is somehow bad, "moderate" is somehow courageous, and "liberal" is somehow saintly. Bah. No more excuses for my beliefs. Simply put: I advocate what I advocate on the basis of how I've seen the world work. I'm not going to force my views on anyone, but I will continue to try to convince people that a conservative and moral approach to life, as based on accumulated wisdom, is the best way for you to be happy and content, and to help those around you be happy and content. That's my ideology in a nutshell; take it or leave it.

Okay, that's all I can think of right now. I will be adding more as I remember what I wanted to say. Probably new posts rather than updating this one. Please set your bookmarks accordingly.

Read More "Post-Bash Report" »

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posted by Nathan on 11:12 AM | Comments (6)
» ResurrectionSong links with: Blogger Bash 4.0: Where the Hell Were You?
» Publicola links with: A Bash Of Bloggers

April 02, 2005

RMBB v4.0.3 « Blogging »

...maybe I should have posted these under "social issues...."

Ah, well. Next time I'll make a special category for the special type of madness that goes on here.

They closed the bar at midnight! What is wrong with these people!!

Ah, well. I've had a blast tonight. I know I'm going to be reading and linking people in the coming days whom I had never even heard of before tonight. Good has been done here.

...although I never expected I would feel so...embarassed, say, to have someone tell me they read my blog every day. I feel like such a celebrity!

Sort of. I mean, I did stand next to Jeff G. for fifteen minutes at the bar for a while. I talked with Stephen Green about digital cameras, and he didn't once refer to me as a mere insect! What a rush! [grin]

Yeah, I sort of feel like Navin Johnson. Sue me.

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posted by Nathan on 10:47 PM | Comments (0)
» A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage links with: Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash
RMBB v4.0.2 « Blogging »

Despite my best half-hearted efforts, I haven't been able to get a decent drunk on. Which is probably good, since I have a long, long way to drive tomorow.

I've had a good time talking with bunches of people. Jeff G. has an adorable child, although he is still somewhat too leery of strangers (the child, not Jeff...although Jeff might be, as well...I shall check).

The bartendress has been quite awesome...although the lack of a blender has meant I have been entirely unable to fulfill my desire for a frozen drink. Ah, well, the Beam shot was nice, as have been the Guiness bottles. I shall provide a picture of her on Monday.

Are there any specific questions any of you might want me to ask of anyone in particular?*

Read More "RMBB v4.0.2" »

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posted by Nathan on 08:57 PM | Comments (0)
» A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage links with: Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash
RMBB v4.0.1 « Blogging »

Everyone is still having a good time!

Can you believe it?

I've had some great conversations already. I've learned that despite my misapprehensions, strategy war-gaming is alive and well (Avalon Hill-type stuff, if that means anything to you). I've learned quite a bit about raising puppies in preparation for them becoming working (assistance) dogs, and how tough it is to give them up. I've seen Stephen Green play pool*.

All in all, a fascinating evening with a bunch of fascinating people.

Again: woot.

Read More "RMBB v4.0.1" »

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posted by Nathan on 07:24 PM | Comments (0)
» A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage links with: Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash
RMBB v4.0 « Blogging »

Live Blogging is now initiated!!!!!

We have:
uh, Me, Zombyboy or ResurrectionSong, and...other people. Honestly, people, there are too many of the Denver bloggers here for me to remember 'em all, so rather than offending someone who I've forgotten, I'm gonna stop there. Suffice to say there's a bunch of newly-met-and-still-unfamiliar faces.

Screw it.

The important thing is: we're having fun and drinking, and if you are reading this, you probably arent. Hah! You just gotta make the next one.

Pictures will follow on Monday.


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posted by Nathan on 06:31 PM | Comments (0)
» A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage links with: Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash
RMBB v4.0 Notice « Blogging »

Hey, yo:
One of the great things about coming in from out of town is you get to participate in all sorts of "initiation" activities like this one.

Much fun. Good times. Scary Stuff.

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posted by Nathan on 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

Intermission « Blogging »

Blogging at this site is suspended until further notice.

I'll probably post pictures after the RMBB 4.0, so look for some stuff in about 10-11 days. Probably nothing before then, unless I get really excited.

I'm getting close to my move, and there are people to see, things to do, issues to handle, and traveling to be done. I don't know when I'll be able to blog, and certainly won't be able to blog regularly until about April 20th or so.

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posted by Nathan on 08:50 PM | Comments (9)
Hey! « Blogging »

Pay Attention to ME!

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posted by Nathan on 02:38 PM | Comments (8)

March 23, 2005

Blog Commenting « Blogging »

I've noticed that some of my friends, cohorts, and otherwise frequent commenters don't do so much anymore.

It was just about a week ago that I realized that I didn't leave comments so much anymore either. So I stopped to think about why.

I think much of it is that I have grown tired of people eschewing venom in response to a comment of mine, even if it is obvious they didn't completely understand, or even completely read. When you comment on someone else's site, you lose control of everything. Your comment can be edited or deleted (although I have never had that happen to me), you don't always see the responses, the blogger can write new posts "fisking" your comment, other commenters might attack unfairly and the blog proprietor might let you twist in the wind without giving support, or someone who only reads that comment might understand at all what context your other writings might lend to the comment itself.

So if I have something to say, I'm increasingly moved to just say it on my website rather than posting a comment. I'm more likely to read and consider rather than pound out my immediate reaction.

Has anyone else had this development in their blogging? Is it a blogging maturition process?

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posted by Nathan on 02:43 PM | Comments (5)

March 21, 2005

Oh, Yeah: « Blogging »

The new banner graphic was the, um, brainchild of my friend and sometimes-doormat, Sharp As A Marble.

Thanks, SaaM!

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posted by Nathan on 03:24 PM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2005

In Retrospect... « Blogging »

You know, my past comments of not being impressed with Michele Catalano's blogging were probably borne more out of jealousy.

My comments about Venomous Kate still stand, though. Luckily, she should not and does not give a Flying Rat's Butt about my opinion.

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posted by Nathan on 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

Hey, Y'all « Blogging »

Please note: I have a new tag-line. Perhaps "Sub-Masthead is a more appropriate term.

Hat Tip to Sen. John Kerry for the appellation.

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posted by Nathan on 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

What Blogging Has Done For (To?) Me « Blogging »

The other day my friend sent me an article excerpt about the Bankruptcy Bill, mainly just a quote from Sen. Schumer. I really don't like the guy for a number of reasons, and he is one of the people who I don't trust to make a simple statement of fact when politics are involved.

I admitted I didn't know much about the subject, but that my initial reaction was that it wasn't as simple as Sen. Schumer was saying: that Republicans passed the bill to stick it to the little guy and let the rich off the hook.

After returning home, I started researching, and found that the truth behind the bill was actually pretty bad, just not the aspect my friend was upset about (in my opinion). I went to Google News and was able to get a good idea of the issues involved just by reading the headlines and the first few lines of the article Google always includes. From those, I saw that while the Bill made it harder to file for bankruptcy, it did nothing to address the way credit companies make it easy to get too far into debt. It did alot to reduce the supply of bankruptcy for individuals, but nothing to reduce the need for it in the first place.

Then I saw several other bloggers address the issue; some were people I respect, some I'd never heard of. But without even having to turn on a TV, I was able to gather facts, commentary, and opinion about an issue that really hadn't had much coverage on the national stage until last Tuesday.

The left side of the blogosphere accuses the right side of being an 'echo chamber' and 'taking marching orders from the RNC fax machine'. The right says the same thing about the left...interestingly, the only actual evidence I've seen is that the DNC does send out faxes...and it is also true that there are more singular/ultimate opinion leaders on the left side (Kos, Atrios on top, with a number of second-tier opinionists like Drum, Yglesias, O-dub, Pendagan (sp?), Kausfiles) than on the right side (where we have independent opinionists like Bill Whittle, Dean Esmay, Charles Johnson, Ace O' Spades, Allah Pundit, Bill INDC, the Llama Butchers, Glenn Reynolds, Wizbang Blog, Kim and Connie du Toit, Baldilocks, Michele Catalano (when she's feeling political), Vodka Pundit, Rather Biased, Blogs for Bush, JawaReport, Q and O Blog...and I'm sure I'm missing a dozen that are equally as big and important. None stand out as the place to get information, except for Glenn Reynolds perhaps (and he does less opinion and more linking. All of the people on the right side can and have become the focal point of the blogosphere when they hit on something important or newsworthy.

But I digress.

The point is that within a few minutes, I can scan and get diverse opinions from an extremely wide range of viewpoints. I can check out the extreme conservative, the classicly liberal, the religious conservative, the libertarian, the social moderate, and the straight conservative viewpoint and what they think of the issue and feel very confident that I have a good idea of what issues are at stake. I don't have to adopt any specific viewpoint, and rarely do. Even apart from a possible/probable liberal bias in print and broadcast news media, I could never get such a range of opinion and reaction in the old media. But the scope and range I can cover in just a few minutes means that it is very difficult for me to get caught up in one just erroneous opinion.

This applies to all sorts of issues. I can see that Kansas City signed a Safety away from Miami, and over the next few days I can hear what the sportscasters think of the guy and his prospects for improving the defense. I can more easily remain a Kansas City Chiefs' fan no matter where I live. Sure, that's the internet...but what cements my status as a fan is that I can talk about the Chiefs with other Chiefs fans around the whole world, no matter where I am.

And when I encounter some issue or news item that elicits a strong reaction from me, I can research it and expand my understanding, without fear of mistakenly swallowing misinformation.

Blogging has absolutely revolutionized the way I get information and news about the world I live in.

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posted by Nathan on 06:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

Garnering Traffic « Blogging »

It looks like I'm getting a Nilou Motamed-alanche! Woot!

Brain Fertilizer: Your source for All Things Nilou Motamed. I'll have to post some bio data on her soon, I guess...

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posted by Nathan on 06:09 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

Nilou Motamed Is Very Beautiful...Now I Have the Proof « Blogging »

Although I admit the picture below the fold doesn't really do her justice. She's one of the women who is most beautiful, I think, when she speaks and smiles, her eyes flashing and her spirit revealed in every graceful motion.

Or maybe a professional photographer with more time could bring it out better.

No matter. I hope someday she "googles" her own name and sees these posts and writes me to say, "WTF, over?" and I get all embarassed and try to insist I'm not stalking her, although I will then accidentally admit that she looked very nice in the brown sleeveless dress and really should have gone with that over the blue wrap-around she eventually went with that night...

...or did I say too much?

Read More "Nilou Motamed Is Very Beautiful...Now I Have the Proof" »

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posted by Nathan on 10:29 PM | Comments (3)

March 06, 2005

Public Service Announcement « Blogging »

I suck and am not worth your time.

However, I do appreciate your generosity and kindness in continuing to stop by here and read my drivel. Thank you.

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posted by Nathan on 08:15 AM | Comments (7)

March 02, 2005

Bostages! « Blogging »

How does one delete trackback ping spam?

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posted by Nathan on 02:32 PM | Comments (3)
Update on these Morality Threads « Blogging »

I seem to be in total disagreement with nearly all the people I normally agree with on socio-political issues.

Is it that I have kids and most of them do not? Possible, but I'm not sure.

In any case, do you think I'm going to get linked by Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, or any of the really big bloggers for my principled stand and (hopefully) plausible support for my views?

Nah, me either. But thanks for stopping by and reading, and commenting, faithful readers!

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posted by Nathan on 11:22 AM | Comments (0)
» Steve's Two Cents links with: Blogger Voices Discovered

March 01, 2005

Why I Talk About "Hits", not "Readers" « Blogging »

Michelle Malkin does some figuring on the back of her virtual napkin and comes up with some plausible numbers.

So only about 25,000 unique individuals visit Instapundit in a day, eh? I'm not as far behind as I thought. Only 24,700 (or so) to go!*

Read More "Why I Talk About "Hits", not "Readers"" »

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posted by Nathan on 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2005

Check it out! « Blogging »

I'm linked at Salon!

I'm honored! Welcome, Salon Readers!

Please keep in mind, this is a soapbox, and a pulpit. I lay down smack, I speak in absolutes (usually), and may come across much differently through my monologues than I would if you met me in person and engaged me in a dialogue. I will admit when you make good points. I will get irritated if you defecate in my wheaties, so to speak. I am flexible, and my mind is usually not as entrenched in its track as some of these essays might seem.

But have fun, and enjoy your visit!

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:01 AM | Comments (6)

February 03, 2005

Never Before Seen on Brain Fertilizer « Blogging »

Open Thread!

Discuss whatever you want to.

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posted by Nathan on 02:48 PM | Comments (8)
Ya Take What Ya Can Get « Blogging »

I was hoping for a Best of the Web spike for my previous post (I submitted it to Mr. Taranto).

Instead, I got my name into the contributor's list. Ah, well, I think my line about the headline is better.

USO Shows Ain't What They Used to Be
"Marines Miss January Goal for Recruits"--headline, New York Times, Feb. 3

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posted by Nathan on 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Screw You Guys, I'm Outta Here! « Blogging »

Taking a short vacation (4 days). I'm sure I'll post something, because this is an addiction, yanno.

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posted by Nathan on 07:47 AM | Comments (2)

January 26, 2005

Why I'm Not a Bigger Blogger « Blogging »

I don't blog with a "Topic A-ist" priority.*

Read More "Why I'm Not a Bigger Blogger" »

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posted by Nathan on 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2005

A General Apology to my Blogroll « Blogging »

People, there are just too many dang good bloggers doing their stuff these days. I can't seem to keep up with everyone. If I don't stop by your blog every day, please don't be offended or think I don't like your stuff. There just aren't enough hours in the day to read all the good stuff worth reading and blog my own opinions.

And you know I can't live without my soapbox...

...and then I go and add another one! What's wrong with me???

I especially like this one, particular the #1 caption.

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posted by Nathan on 09:00 PM | Comments (9)

January 22, 2005

I'm Back! « Blogging »

It wasn't exactly a restful vacation...had to deal with the in-laws...

...I've got some good stuff to post, though, so expect some good stuff this coming week. I'll continue posting through the weekend, as well.

I'll leave you with this "Do It Yourself"/"Finish the sentence" humor exercise:

Driving home, I saw a spoiler on a Ford Escort. On a Ford Escort! Who do they think they're fooling? A spoiler on an Escort is like...

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posted by Nathan on 05:09 PM | Comments (3)

January 16, 2005

On Vacation « Blogging »

Hi! I'm on vacation for one week. If I don't post, that's why! See you when I get back!

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posted by Nathan on 07:52 PM | Comments (2)

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!!! « Blogging »

I have 54 hits today already.

What's wrong with you people??? Go spend time with family. Or friends. Or co-workers. Or find someone else alone and you reduce the number of people alone by at least 2.

Give something of yourself to someone.

Then again, I'm writing something on my blog... And I was pathetic enough to actually check my sitemeter.

Um, What's wrong with me, people?

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 01:27 PM | Comments (3)

December 22, 2004

Break (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I'm going to take a break until after the New Year's.

I've been blogging very consistently since I started up this blog, often blogging through the weekends. The only thing that stopped me at all was when I physically couldn't get to a computer in transit.

But I think I need a break for a few days, so I'm taking one.

I may end up posting at times, but if I do, I'll be as surprised as you!

Read More "Break (UPDATED)" »

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posted by Nathan on 12:36 PM | Comments (8)

December 21, 2004

Suggestion « Blogging »

If, by some chance, I ever become an important enough blogger that my links result in significant spikes of traffic, I suggest that you refer to it as a "Brain Storm".

That is all. Go about your business.

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posted by Nathan on 10:24 PM | Comments (1)
New To The Blogroll « Blogging »

Joe Huffman of The View from North Central Idaho.

I saw his comments on someone else's blog, followed 'em, and whether or not I agree (and I think I largely do...give me time to consider), his thought process was good enough that I'll be interested in seeing what else he comes up with.

Particularly since I hadn't seen this bit o' nonsense by King County anywhere else.

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posted by Nathan on 03:05 PM | Comments (2)
Sorry About Not Posting-- « Blogging »

---been having a rough day. I'll post more tonight after work.

xoxo, Nathan

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posted by Nathan on 02:52 PM | Comments (2)

December 17, 2004

This Just In « Blogging »

Kris of Anywhere but here has the best-looking site I have ever seen. Bar none.

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posted by Nathan on 03:27 PM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2004

Where Are My Commenters? « Blogging »


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posted by Nathan on 09:46 AM | Comments (7)

December 06, 2004

Fun With Search Hits, III « Blogging »

I'm not sure I want to know why my blog comes up for this search.

But I'll bet there's an interesting story motivating the search. I hope it isn't also tragic...

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posted by Nathan on 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2004

Fun With Search Hits, II « Blogging »

I'm #1 in a Google search for You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means."

How cool is that?

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posted by Nathan on 05:27 PM | Comments (6)
Fun With Search Hits « Blogging »

I got a search hit from google on this string: "Is a Yorkie right for me?"

The answer: I don't know.

Oh, and the search led the seeker to this post.

A Yahoo search on this string, "Christian Sexual Mindsets" led someone to this post, which is always a good read and a good reminder. Especially if you start with this post where it started.

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posted by Nathan on 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2004

Just So You Know « Blogging »

Appparently, you can get hits by having references to Erica Durance, particularly if she's talking about Clark being nude in the first episode of Smallville, because then searches for "Erica Durance nude" or "Erica Durance without clothes" will get you hits.

Hey, works for me.

Get the whole story on getting hits from "Erica Durance nude" here.

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posted by Nathan on 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

Okay, Uncle! « Blogging »

Okay, that's enough heavy stuff for one day.

I look forward to the hate mail. [grin]

I'll blog again today, but expect much lighter fare.

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posted by Nathan on 09:18 AM | Comments (2)

November 29, 2004

WTF, Over? « Blogging »

I was up to around #500 and solidly a Large Mammal in the Ecosystem. Now I've plunged to Marauding Marsupial and am way above #1000.

Was the Large Mammal ranking erroneous, or the current Marauding Marsupial ranking? I mean, NZ Bear says that he's debugging, but he didn't say which way the problem fell....

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posted by Nathan on 09:32 AM | Comments (2)

November 25, 2004

Time Out « Blogging »

I'm calling a debate time-out so I can cook, watch football, eat, and give thanks to God for all we have, including this blog with which I can smite the Godless Heathens (okay, the last part was a joke).

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

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posted by Nathan on 11:16 AM | Comments (3)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Happy Thanksgiving from the LLamabutchers!

November 24, 2004

One Year Ago Today (Close Enough) « Blogging »

I was one of the first bloggers to post about President Bush's surprise arrival in Iraq. I even beat the Drudge Report.

Oh, yeah: I was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at the time.

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posted by Nathan on 01:13 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004

Perspective Question « Blogging »

I never hear anyone mention Meryl Yourish any more. I saw a comment she left on a very old thread, and actually wondered, "Is she still blogging?" ...followed the link and, sure enough, there was an entry from yesterday at the top of the page.

Now, I don't do Instapundit, so maybe I'm missing lots of links to her. But other people in my circle of normal blogging rounds who used to link her at least occasionally haven't linked her in ages.*

So what gives? Am I moving in the wrong circles? I, um, moving in the right circles? Enquiring minds want to know.

Read More "Perspective Question" »

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posted by Nathan on 06:12 AM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2004

You Know, I'd Really Like To Post Something Today « Blogging »

...but my brain just isn't playing along.

So you get this lame post instead.

Ummmm, "The United States are neither 'United', nor actually 'States'". Discuss.

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posted by Nathan on 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2004

Sidebar Pictures (UPDATED) « Blogging »

Wow! It isn't that bad on my home computer. Okay, I'll be changing the format now, sorry for the inconvenience!

UPDATE: That's better. That was an easier fix than I anticipated. Again, I apologize if anyone was materially damaged by my mistake.

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posted by Nathan on 09:41 AM | Comments (2)

November 12, 2004

By The Way... « Blogging »

...I have the day off. I'll try not to gloat too much.

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posted by Nathan on 11:03 AM | Comments (2)

November 10, 2004

Too Cool to My Narcissistic Disorder « Blogging »

I have no idea how they stumbled across my blog. However, this was in my sitemeter referral log.

Unless it’s changed (and it took me a full minute to figure out where the link was), it should be highlighted in a big box on the left-hand side.

Is that cool, or what?

I know it means nothing. It’s only gotten me one extra hit that I can see. But I gotta say these are the moments that make hours/days/weeks of blogging worthwhile.

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posted by Nathan on 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2004

Rumors of My Demise Were Widely Exaggerated « Blogging »

Shoot, I'm blogging up a storm and loving it. I can't find enough time to post all the things I want to post.

I'll be around for a while, don't worry.

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posted by Nathan on 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
» RIGHT ON RED >> links with: Next Please
Cool! « Blogging »

The Billings Gazette has me as a Montana blogger, even though I am only by the most tenuous of connections. I don't live there, I don't blog about issues there...but I became the person I am today due mainly to the influences of growing up there.

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posted by Nathan on 09:16 AM | Comments (4)

November 08, 2004

Light Posting Alert « Blogging »

Bad News. I'm extremely busy today. I may post this evening after you have mostly all gone to bed, but no guarantees. Light to moderate posting tomorrow with a 35% chance of puns. Full normal posting to resume Wednesday.

That is all. Return to your lives, citizens.

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posted by Nathan on 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2004

Question « Blogging »

Has anyone started blogging because of me? Don't I have any blogchildren?*

Read More "Question" »

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posted by Nathan on 10:22 AM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2004

FYI « Blogging »

I am a blogging machine. I'm serious. I'm blogging like a maniac here. Check out the number of posts over the last few days, and I'm not even slacking from post-election let-down. I'm a blogging machine. Me. Brain Fertilizer = blogging machine. You heard it here first, that Nathan has been a blogging machine, is a blogging machine now, and plans on continuing to be a blogging machine. When I do social issues I'm a blogging machine, when I do political issues I'm a blogging machine, and you know dang well when I'm in a punning mood, I'm a blogging machine that few can match.
Yessiree. I'm simply a blogging machine.

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posted by Nathan on 09:55 PM | Comments (4)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: Go visit Nathan...
» The LLama Butchers links with: It's official!

November 03, 2004

Befuddlement « Blogging »

Okay, I admit it: I like some of the new functionality at NZ Bear's latest version of the Ecosystem.

Except that I don't understand the way he does the links anymore. Apparently I've whined my way into enough attention that my actual work is getting attention now. I suddenly jumped up to 169 unique links and a ranking in the low 800s, good enough for Large Mammal.

...but when I look at the links on the bottom of the page, it's all the same people, and there's only 23 of 'em. How do I find the other linkers (looks like about 30 new ones in the last few days...probably due to the generous attention I've been getting from the Llama Butchers)?

I like to link the people who link me, but I can't link you back if I don't know about it. I used to find an occasional new linker from Ecosystem as well as I can't figure out how to do that with the Ecosystem. Any suggestions?

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posted by Nathan on 07:19 PM | Comments (2)

November 02, 2004

Throwin' In The Towel « Blogging »

That's it. I'm pooped. I'll catch a few hours of shut-eye and see where things stand in the morning.

But it's looking like a win and a strong mandate for Bush. Not the landslide I expected, but better than a legislated result.

Have a good night, and remember: we are all still Americans. It's just that the Americans who voted Democrat were stupid.*

Read More "Throwin' In The Towel" »

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posted by Nathan on 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

Yeah, Baby! « Blogging »

Brain Fertilizer is #1 on a Google search for Nilou Motamed.

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posted by Nathan on 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2004

Milestone Alert « Blogging »

At the historically-established rates, I should pass 50,000 Sitemeter hits sometime tomorrow morning.

I have no plans to reward anyone, mainly because I'm really not sure how to use Sitemeter to identify who it was.

What would be really cool is if ya'll could help make sure it happens today, instead...that would definitely be worth some sort of prize.

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posted by Nathan on 12:52 PM | Comments (5)
» The LLama Butchers links with: The Brain is giving away a free T-Bird
» The LLama Butchers links with: The Brain is giving away a free T-Bird

October 13, 2004

Light Posting Alert « Blogging »

Got meetings and stuff all day. I probably won't post again until this evening.

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posted by Nathan on 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

...Maybe I Should Have Waited « Blogging »

I have now been blogging for 2 years and 2 days. WOOT!

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posted by Nathan on 07:43 AM | Comments (5)

October 10, 2004

Which Picture Do You Like? « Blogging »

One of the things that came up from the Great Inland Northwest Blogjam was that Dana insisted you should put a picture of yourself up at your blog, because it really helps people to have a visual of who is writing the helps readers feel like they know who you are.

Okay, with that in mind, which picture do you think should go up in my sidebar? Keep in mind, cropping is not only possible, it is probably necessary...

Read More "Which Picture Do You Like?" »

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posted by Nathan on 09:04 AM | Comments (7)

October 07, 2004

Happy Blog-Birthday To Me! « Blogging »

I can't guarantee I'll remember this tomorrow, and my Blog-Birthday happens to fall on a Sunday Saturday in which very few people will be blogging, so I call your attention down to the little Sitemeter tag that points out I've been doing this for (as of the beep) three days short of two years.

Wish me a happy Blog-Birthday and Tell All Your Friends.

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posted by Nathan on 02:31 PM | Comments (5)
:( « Blogging »

Okay, either Sitemeter is having problems, or no one is stopping by my site at all.

Either way, this sucks.

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posted by Nathan on 09:00 AM | Comments (8)

October 01, 2004

Fun With Google Searches « Blogging »

Someone found my site with this search!

Is that cool, or what?

It's official: this has all gotten entirely too metaphysical.

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posted by Nathan on 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2004

Blogging From Home « Blogging »

For those of you who have intermittent contact with me at work, my daughter has pinkeye. I will be blogging from home today and tomorrow.

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posted by Nathan on 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2004

...Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong...? « Blogging »

Hmmm...I'm still not in the top 125 political blogs.

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posted by Nathan on 09:12 AM | Comments (6)

September 23, 2004

What Others Are Saying About Me « Blogging »

You know how many blogs have that "What others are saying about me" section on their sidebar?
Well, I hadn't really collected many of those, so I didn't have one. In fact, for several months, I had a tongue-in-cheek "quote" of what Glenn Reynolds said about me, to wit: "Who?"
But maybe it is time for an audience participation exercise. No, I'm not going to hold out the mic and let you sing the lines of the song you paid $65 to hear me sing. Rather, I'm going to invite you to say, in once sentence or less, what your impression of me or my blog or my blogging style leaves with you. The winner(s) will get their quote in the sidebar, which will incidentally mean a highlighted link to your site (if you have one).

In a private correspondence, Zombyboy has the first entry:

When I think of you, I think of puns and the Chiefs.

...not a bad legacy, methinks.

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posted by Nathan on 09:29 AM | Comments (5)

September 17, 2004

Stage Fright « Blogging »

So, welcome everyone who came from Ace of Spades HQ and Allah is in the House!

I have to admit, I hadn't done much Anka-blogging before the post that caught your attention... ...and now I have no idea what to do. I want to impress you, amaze you, amuse, and retain your readership.

But I can't do that. I'm not the boss of you, so I can't make you stay. And I can't try to change who I am and how I blog just to keep traffic levels high.

I'm sorry.

And so now I will return to my normal blogging about "Puns", "Writing", "Guns", and "Dressing Up In Women's Underwear and Cruising Sprague Avenue in Spokane".

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posted by Nathan on 11:18 AM | Comments (2)

September 15, 2004

Channeling Mr. Johnson « Blogging »
This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now!

The occasion?

Thanks to Jo, I have a button now!, um, ya'll just do with it whatever you're supposed to do with buttons and stuff, ya know?

Read More "Channeling Mr. Johnson" »

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posted by Nathan on 10:26 AM | Comments (9)
Traffic and Rankings « Blogging »

I gotta tell ya, after all my whining about not getting noticed or linked, I do finally feel satisfied. This:

Inbound Links: 128
Inbound Unique: 120
Current Rank: #854
Current Status: Marauding Marsupial
Average Daily Visits: 209


...seems to be what I think I deserve, and a fair total based on the level of quality I think I give. I don't know why it took me nearly 2 years to get to this point, but I'm happy now. Thank you all for being patient and supportive and participative. You have all played a significant part in this aspect of my life, and this aspect of my life is a significant (if somewhat small) part of my overall substantial contentment/satisfaction in life.

Again, thank you.

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posted by Nathan on 09:31 AM | Comments (5)
Self-Promotion « Blogging »

My "Brainfertilizer Way" series gets results. I'm not just throwing crap out there, folks, I'm only sharing the stuff that I've tested out on myself.

In any case, thanks for the follow-up, Tracy! Congratulations!

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posted by Nathan on 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2004

Huh. « Blogging »

I can't think of a dang thing to post.

...might be time for another PunKu, then...

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posted by Nathan on 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

A Semi-Valid Question About the Possible-Forgeries « Blogging »

I've been trying to find out the origin/etymology of "CYA" through online searches. So far, all I've found is this article that seems to attribute the phrase to Viet Nam.

Fair enough.

I still have questions, however:

Was it an Air Force term at all? Or just Army? Or even just Infantry?

Would a desk jockey back at the home station be familiar with the jargon of the front-line troops? Enough to use it in a memo?

These days we think nothing of obscenities. In the early 70s, however, it was difficult to even imply obscenities in public. True, the military was more coarse than the general public at the time, rather than the politically correct organization we see these days. However, I'd like to know if there are any other memos from that time period that actually use the "CYA" acronym.

Any help from those of you more knowledgeable than me would be helpful.

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posted by Nathan on 06:44 PM | Comments (2)
» Ambient Irony links with: Set The Wayback Machine To 1972!
» Skyler's Rants links with: CYA
My Latest Attempt To Cash In On The Forgery Kerfuffle « Blogging »

Here are three more interesting posts:

Q and O Blog

Ace O' Spades

Digital Branch

I won't think any less of any of you if you blame me for being a shameless hack. Just as long as you link me in your blogroll.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 04:18 PM | Comments (5)
» resurrectionsong links with: Forged Documents? Let's Slow Down (Updated)
Blatant Links « Blogging »

So CBS, Dan Rather, and 60 Minutes used questionable paperwork that looks to be forged, eh?*

Read More "Blatant Links" »

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posted by Nathan on 03:26 PM | Comments (0)
» resurrectionsong links with: Forged Documents? Let's Slow Down (Updated)

September 08, 2004

Many, Many, Many Thanks « Blogging »

Pixy Misa (Andrew), I've never properly thanked you for giving me the opportunity to blog in your domain. I've enjoyed every minute of it thus far. I've appreciated your immediate response when I've had difficulties, as well as the excellent and willing help of Madfish Willie, without whom this blog would not have the format with which I feel most comfortable.

I really, really appreciate all you've done for me. I hope I will find myself able to express my thanks in a more concrete manner soon.

Again, thank you.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 01:40 PM | Comments (2)
Don't Take Things Too Seriously « Blogging »

Yeah, I'm feeling full of piss and vinegar today. So what?

For the most part, I'm proud of the United States. I think we tend to make the fewest mistakes, when we do make them it less out of malice and more out of ignorance, and we do usually at least make an attempt at rectification. Most of the time. Unless the place has really good beaches [Hawaii].

The thing is, it usually works out that a government's main function is to keep themselves in power. And one side effect of being in a government seems to be an unfortunate detachment from the common individual, and a corresponding callousness towards the lives they are toying with. The people who develop policy may have the best of intentions, but decisions usually end up being amoral, cold-blooded strategies that work solely for the interests of that nation. It sucks, but expecting anything else is just naive. As citizens of the United States, we can at least try to make sure our leaders do some good at the same time. We've freed millions of people from oppression in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it was worth it. We can't solve all the world's problems, but these two countries are a good start.

Since the UN has demonstrated it is almost completely morally bankrupt now, I'd like to see us start a new club, composed of the coalition members in Iraq, as a force for Freedom. We can and should establish trade benefits to those who helped us, and offer those same benefits as incentives to nations like China and Russia to reform themselves internally. And then recognize the success of those efforts when it happens. Sure, we do that somewhat already with the "Most Favored Nation" trade status and other moves, but it has become watered down and less effective these days...

So when I'm feeling provocative, don't forget that sometimes I just like to stir things up. I'm in that sort of mood today.

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posted by Nathan on 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

I Must Be A Real Jerk « Blogging »

Because everyone who comments on Dean's World seems to hate my opinions.

I like to think I that I merely think outside the box and that offends the people who like conventional thinking.

But since this is happened how many times, Dean? Three? Four? I gotta start asking myself if maybe they don't have a point.

Ah, well, I gotta be me. And I appreciate the traffic, in any case. Note to self: "Find something else to write about that pisses people off." If I find the right topic, I might even get a link from Mr. Reynolds! I might have something, soon. Keep watching this space.

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posted by Nathan on 09:00 PM | Comments (7)

August 23, 2004

Nilou Motamed is Very Beautiful « Blogging »

She is the Travel and Leisure editor for CNN. But I can't find an image of her on the web. But then, one of the things I find so attractive about her is the way she smiles while talking, and the sparkle in her eyes...those might not show well in a still photograph.

....just saying, yanno?

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posted by Nathan on 11:49 AM | Comments (5)

August 19, 2004

An Explanation « Blogging »

...regarding this post:

It's all no big deal. I'm feeling a little disappointed in blogging lately, like I've been spending too much time doing it...and not pleased with my results. I haven't had a post I'm proud of in a while. I haven't had a post with truly original thoughts or development in longer than that, probably. I've been linking stuff I've enjoyed reading, mostly just to get another post up so people will still keep dropping by. And while that's a perfectly valid way to blog, it's not me.

I want to do more posts about China. I want to try some Op-Ed. I want to concentrate on writing some new puns. Goodness knows I'm years overdue for the Pun-Fest that is the Just-Us League.

Bottom line, though, is that I've been doing oodles of politcal and social blogging, particularly over the last year. I'm more than that. The blogosphere is more than that. Sure, the most pressing issue is the Global War on Terror mixed in with the economy and pressing social issues of abortion and homosexual rights, and they all intersect in the 2004 election. The mainstream news media has dropped all pretense of objectivity in trying to get Kerry elected, and the blogosphere plays a very important (if not vital) role in defending the nation from the onslaught against democracy by Democrats.*

But I'm tired of it, and I'm not the only one. I think the blogosphere is going to contract quite a bit, if not actually implode, after the elections in November. We will have a landslide, or at least a clear mandate, and there will be little to fight for once the politicians stop stirring us up and the mainstream news media stops being complete hypocrites and partisans (either because they won and don't have to anymore, or because they lost and ended up selling their integrity and ethics for nothing).

So I want to work on sharing my whole mind, my whole thoughts, and preparing for Blogging Life After November. Sure, not everyone is so wrapped up in it, but I am, and many of the blogs I read are. Some will be so burnt out they will take a break, if not flirt with quitting. I don't want to be burnt out, I don't want to be exhausted. I want to put better quality of posts out, I want to research topics instead of just putting stuff out first draft. I never even 'sanity-check' 'em for grammar/spelling clarity! I think this method has limited my effectiveness as a writer and persuader. I do want to become a professional writer, and one of the choices is as an Op-Ed writer, but you can't just spout of your gut reactions, you have to back it up. I need to develop as a writer.

Don't get me wrong, blogging has gotten me to this step, and I'm betting blogging can take me to the next level, too. But I'm going to have to consciously make a change to do it.

And so look at my posts today. It's a rare thing, indeed, when I only have 3 posts. And I wouldn't have even had this one if it weren't for Casey's comment on the aforementioned post.

Don't worry about me, people. Don't cry for me, Blogentina! I ain't going nowhere! But it is time for me to make a qualitative change. I can feel it. I hope you'll be able to see it.

Read More "An Explanation" »

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posted by Nathan on 09:59 PM | Comments (7)
...guess I Don't Have Much To Say (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I think this blog is going to go through a metamorphasis.

In trying for volume of blogging, I have done everything 'first draft' and done lots of 'link + reaction" blogging. I'm growing displeased with the results.

Okay, I'll admit it: one of the reasons I'm displeased is that the kerfuffle I unfortunately dumped on Michelle Malkin gave me more than 1000 hits one day and over 600 the next, the first two steps of a long, slow decline back to equilibrium. ...and now I often don't crack 200. While I understand that is the normal course of events, and while I recognize that my hit total equilibrium is still significantly higher now, I still feel a touch of chagrin that I'm still currently incapable of sustaining that level of traffic.

Sure, I have some nice puns, but I can't produce them consistently. I have some original opinions, and some original and unique viewpoints, but the brutally honest self-introspection says that I don't offer the same quality as Stephen Green at Vodkapundit, or Zombyboy at Resurrectionsong, Juliette at Baldilocks, or Ace at Ace of Spades HQ...just to name a few of the better bloggers out there. Yeah, each one of them has a schtick that helps them stand out...but having stood out, they attract and retain traffic through top-notch writing and content.

Don't get me wrong, I think I can do the exact same thing. I think I am capable of being a top-notch writer and producing top-notch content. But I don't think I've actually demonstrated it, at least, not consistently.

And so, I think it is time for a change, of sorts. I'm going to spend some more time researching things I want to discuss, instead of depending on my native intelligence and vague understandings. I'm going to try to focus on some areas in which I have fairly unique knowledge. Like: China, for instance. I love history, and study it, and have some very controversial viewpoints on certain aspects...but I've depended on other people to bring up the topic before I responded and reacted, so how many people really know that I'm a history buff? Probably few. I did some good stuff for Zombyboy's Africablog, but what have I done lately? Zilch. It's time to change that.

But the time's gotta come from somewhere. So it is possible that my volume of output might be reduced somewhat. Or I might end up falling into the same routines and things will be the same as always. Dunno.

It should be interesting to watch, though.

Some related thoughts.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 10:48 AM | Comments (4)

August 17, 2004

Blogging Under Fire « Blogging »

I just got back from the range with Emma's husband.

A great time was had by all. Except maybe the cardboard boxes.

The VEPR shoots quite well. Little perceived recoil, felt good in the hands. Now if only its owner could hit the broad side of a barn! Then again, we weren't shooting at barns, and I did put a few holes in the boxes. Of course, that isn't that impressive at something less than 100 yards with a scope.

Ah, well, the main point was to do a functions check, and that and the L1A1 (FN-FAL clone) both fired well, considering...

I had a little problem with my Polish Mosin-Nagant M44. It was fun to fire, but I think the magazine spring lost a part, because it suddenly stopped feeding correctly. I'll look for a replacement part online soon.

We'll do it again.

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 09:01 PM | Comments (2)
[Sigh] « Blogging »

I wish I had something worth posting.

Read More "[Sigh]" »

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posted by Nathan on 01:01 PM | Comments (1)

August 16, 2004

An Open Message « Blogging »

Sometimes things get misunderstood in writing. The writer tries to be emphatic and ends up sounding pissed. Someone tries to make a joke, and it isn't taken that way.

I have enough problems sticking my foot in my mouth when speaking, so I try to be extra careful in blogs to ascertain that I'm actually being insulted before I react as such. If two people end up in a dispute, it can often be entirely possible that both are correct that the other person started it. Best to not even go there.

So remember, your comments stand fine on their own. I think the quality of reader I attract can express themselves well without ad hominem attacks. So far, no one has proven me wrong, but let's make sure it stays that way, m'kay?

Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

Question « Blogging »

Will some please explain to me why, when you attempt to upload a picture that's a little too large for your sidebar, the option to change the pixels (size) doesn't actually change anything??????

I even manually change the numbers for width/height, and it makes no freaking difference!


Show Comments »

posted by Nathan on 07:55 AM | Comments (4)

August 12, 2004

Why Blog? « Blogging »

A question oft asked, and attempts to answer oft made.

Personally, I prefer to address that as three interrelated and indivisible questions:
Why did I start blogging? Why do I continue to blog? And what do I get out of blogging?

#1: I started blogging as a way to stay sane while on a long, lonely, boring, and professionally-frustrating deployment in the Indian Ocean.

#2: I continue to blog because I cannot stop. I know, I've tried. But as long as the outlet exists, I will want to use it to express myself.

#3: I have gotten several things out of blogging:

-A non-blogging friend told me he loves the conversations we have about politics and art and society, because he can get such discussion nowhere else. I don't have the callousness to tell him I have better discussions every day in the blogosphere.

-I've made several friends who I fully expect will accompany me until the ends of our lives. I'm going shooting next week with the husband of another blogger. I very nearly considered moving to Denver because of the concentration of interesting people who live and blog there.

-Blogging has cemented my self-image as a writer. I haven't finished a novel yet, but I know I will. Blogging increases my commitment to becoming a paid writer, which increases the chances for my eventual success.

-I have refined my understanding and views of abortion, homosexuality, sexuality, humanity, war, politics, and several other issues almost exclusively through blogging interactions.

-I have discovered a deep and abiding love of old rifles, going so far as to spend more than $2000 in building my personal collection of rifles, all directly due to blogging (and in no small part due to Kim du Toit.)

-I have discovered and refined a talent for punning.

Well, I hope the earlier gains outweigh that last negative...

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posted by Nathan on 01:55 PM | Comments (5)
» INDC Journal links with: Why Blog?
» Miss Apropos links with: I'm not jealous.

August 04, 2004

Back! « Blogging »

We came back a few days early.

Many thanks to all the people who stopped by while I was gone. Even more thanks to those of you who didn't delink me!

I won't have anything to say that's any more vital or important than I usually do, but I'll be sure to share all my thoughts and ideas with you nonetheless.

Your pal/punching bag,

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posted by Nathan on 09:11 PM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2004

Light/No Posting for 10 Days « Blogging »

I'm going on vacation!

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posted by Nathan on 06:14 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2004

Hmmmm « Blogging »

You know, there's an obvious issue to blog today: The DNC Convention. I find I have nothing to say.

In fact, I usually have more to say when the blog-worthy issues aren't so obvious. I guess I hate just following the herd, and I like to find unique viewpoints/thought/ideas. So much time time/effort is being spent analyzing and reacting to everything, I really don't think I could come up with anything unique.

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posted by Nathan on 10:23 AM | Comments (1)
Blog Suggestion « Blogging »

Make a point to go check out Accidental Verbosity today. They've got bunches of posts recently pointing to all sorts of good blogging, and some nice comments/posts themselves. It's what blogging should look like.

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posted by Nathan on 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

My Evil Genius Knows Know No Bounds « Blogging »

You say I can't leave comments, but I can do so with a trackback, no? Bwahahaha!

....except, I really don't have the need to say anything.

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posted by Nathan on 12:57 PM | Comments (10)

July 25, 2004

The Cabal of Cunning Linguists « Blogging »

Nice name, don't you think?

I haven't gotten around to compiling the list of nominations yet...maybe later today, or maybe tomorrow evening. I'm also trying to figure out if I want to make my already-long sidebar longer, or to try and do a separate page. Does anyone know how to create a permanent page for something like that? If I do an archive, the links will eventually move off the front page and the Ecosystem won't count 'em anymore.

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posted by Nathan on 08:56 AM | Comments (2)
Fun With The Ecosystem « Blogging »

For some reason, Movable Type didn't catch this linking of one of my posts by Yorkie. I only found it when I was poking around The Ecosystem, looking for new links from other blogs.

So I glanced through her site, and found this article, which I appreciated immensely.


I'm sorry, but is someone really suggesting that there is something inequitable about people with skills and college degrees making more money than people with no skills and no degrees? Is it really surprising that households with two married working partners make more than poor households, where half of working age adults (according to the study) do not hold down a job? Perhaps the fact that "nearly all" working age adults in "wealthy" households ($89,000 and up!) are working has something to do with the fact that they are "wealthy"?? And let's not get caught suggesting that single parenthood might have something to do with poverty, or that marriage as a social institution has a lot to offer in financial terms -- because in spite of what the numbers show, that would be very un-PC of us.

Is it just me, or does this strike anyone else as aburdly simplistic?

There's good writing over there. I'd check it out, if I were you.

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posted by Nathan on 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2004

Good. Now I Can Read Her Stuff More Regularly « Blogging »

One of the top new bloggers finally broke out of the ghetto that is Blogspot. Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly for La Shawn Barber's new digs.

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posted by Nathan on 12:50 PM | Comments (1)
After Thoughts « Blogging »

After musing over my previous statements that I felt Michele at A Small Victory is overrated, I think I may be wrong.

Much of my reconsideration has grown from seeing a few recent links to something she said, and not being able to follow the links*. This reminded me that when I have time to go online at home (which is not as often as I might like), I am usually doing so for a purpose, and don't have time to browse the internet like I sometimes do on slow days at work, looking for additional geopolitical viewpoints. Thus, I rarely, if ever, get to places like Michele's or Steven den Beste's or Glenn Reynolds' blogs. Unlike A Small Victory, however, I have previously spent copious amounts of time reading at both USS Clueless** and Instapundit. It is quite possible that I've never spent enough time browsing A Small Victory to catch on to her unique abilities and blogging charm.

So maybe I was totally wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

Read More "After Thoughts" »

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posted by Nathan on 10:18 AM | Comments (2)
Insightful « Blogging »

I think Dean hits another one out of the park with this article on the apparently disproportionate influence of weblogs on politics in the United States.

Check out this line:

And what is a political weblog if not a small-circulation political journal?

Anyone could have thought of that and said it. Dean did. It's one of the reasons he's one of the Big Blogs.

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posted by Nathan on 07:54 AM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2004

Calling All Military Linguists « Blogging »

I'm thinking of starting up an alliance of former military linguists. Of course, I've thought about other things that I haven't done, too. (like: Blogwash!)

Not everyone talks about their MOS/AFSC at their blog, though, so to this point I know of three, including me:

Tac Jammer (98G Kor), Baldilocks (former USAF 1N5? 1N6?, Eastern European language, I think), and me (98G Chinese Mandarin).

If you know of anyone else, or if you are one, let me know in the comments or in email. And if someone can come up with a cool icon/button, please do so. I'll be working on an icon myself, but I can't guarantee the quality or aesthetics...

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posted by Nathan on 10:44 AM | Comments (19)
» TacJammer links with: Calling All Military Linguists

July 19, 2004

Blogging Hints and Tips « Blogging »

Nice little primer over here by Right Wing News.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

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posted by Nathan on 10:45 AM | Comments (6)

July 18, 2004

Apologies and Exuses « Blogging »

In my own little Bonfire of the Vanities Moment, I'd like to apologize somewhat for the last post. I've been pressing on this blog, feeling I have to find some way to justify Michelle Malkin's linking of me. I wanted to show my entire range of blogging in just a few days. Now, I can often be that prolific, but I was making an effort. And since everyone was talking about the possible terrorists on the flight, I thought I'd try to put it all together and take a moment to try and guess what changes it might have on our society. In retrospect, after a few days of reflection, I don't think I did a very good job...

Ah, well. My overall point was trying to be that in the past, we gave an amazing amount of authority to elected/appointed/hired officials, but with that authority, we expect they won't abuse it, and our system of government has methods built in to allow us redress in the event that authority is abused. Somewhere along the line, though, we began to expect our law enforcement authorities would, could, and should almost automatically know who the badguys actually are, and leave the rest of us alone.

It just cannot work that way.

The underlying assumption of our system of law enforcement and crime prevention is that most people will generally try to follow the important rules, and that we won't get messed with unless we are doing something excessively bad. It's why comfortable suburban dwellers get so upset when a cop stops them for going 5 miles over the speed limit: "Why aren't you out catching criminals instead of messing with me for such a minor thing?"

This provides a loophole for terrorists to work with. If we want to make ourselves more safe from a terrorist attack, that loophole will have to close. There are two ways to close it: if we, as citizens, start getting into each other's business, or if we allow law enforcement officials more latitude to arrest/detain/hassle us before a definitive crime has been committed. Both choices are distasteful to Americans, yes. But losing 3000 citizens in one morning is far worse than merely "distasteful", and so something's gotta give. I wonder which it will be?

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posted by Nathan on 10:07 AM | Comments (2)

July 16, 2004

Oops! « Blogging »

I forgot to change the settings on my blog...all the comments have been sent to my home email addy, so I haven't seen 'em. I'll go look "manually" now.

My apologies for not responding sooner.

...I was wondering why no one was commenting....

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posted by Nathan on 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

Blogging Tastes and Popularity « Blogging »

Over at this post asking, "Who is Overrated?", I nominated Michele of A Small Victory and Kate of Venomous Kate. Apparently, I'm the only one who feels this way.

Here's what I said:

Michele at A Small Victory. I've seen nothing there that compels me to go back.

Venomous Kate. In my opinion, she pretty much invented the concept of empty self-promotion. Any "How to get more traffic" primer should start with a study of Ms. Kate and how she really added very little of any substance or value to the blogosphere. Of course, if she's no longer blogging, you can ignore this.

An explanation or two might be in order:
Michele...I don't know why she doesn't do it for me. It's quite possible I caught her on her bad days, or the posts the people link are the ones they like because they know her, and not knowing her, it doesn't impress me. Or maybe the best part about her is her commenters, which is possible. That's kind of true at Jane Galt, too, except that I'd read Megan even if she closed comments....tho I've dropped out of the habit of stopping by her site, so she may not be the same, dunno. All I know is she doesn't make me laugh like Juan Gato did or Ace and Jeff G. do, she doesn't make me think like Dean and Zombyboy and Accidental Deb do. I don't fault anyone who does love her, I just don't. There's nothing there that makes me stay away, either, if that helps.

My beef with Kate, if you are curious, is that my first encounter with her was seeing her get alot of attention and traffic from linking (and apparently flirting with him to get the attention) Acidman. I showed up about the time they got in a small blog-war about her blatant link-whoring techniques, i.e., using him to attract hits. I stopped by, left a few comments, got mixed up in the "Kate's an alcoholic" "No, she's not" kerfuflle, and just stayed away. I began noticing lots of meme's popping up all over the blogosphere, all crediting her...but incidentally, also linking back to her. Again, nothing she wrote seemed that funny, insightful, witty, incisive, or anything. She was just good at getting people to link her site, and everything she did seemed geared toward that. I didn't really appreciate her, but didn't dislike her, either. Until the day she posted a rant saying she abhorred all the puny link-whores who tried to attract hits by using her comments to promote their own links. Remembering her history, her meteoric rise to "the top" by using just those same techniques, I felt a great deal of irritation. Not so much to wish her ill, so I still prayed for her when she was having problems with her lawn washing away from the North Shore, but if a post referenced V. Kate, I ignored it. I much preferred Suburban Blight, who in my perspective seemed to have pioneered the weekly linky-love roundups, told interesting humorous stories, and made me care about her person and life. Like two sides of the same coin, in my opinion.

But that's just my opinion. I'm not trying to insist it is the truth. It's entirely possible that the Kate who got in the link-whore blogfight with Acidman wasn't V. Kate, but that's how I remember it...that was over a year ago, I think.

The point is, it's a big blogosphere. I've already noticed that I have some people I really like, but other people I really like don't like them. The closest thing I saw to an actual clique, nearly an informal alliance, was between Kevin McGehee of blogoSFERICS, Deb of Accidental Jedi, Zombyboy of ResurrectionSong, Jo of Seething, and me, because from my persepective we linked each other more than anyone else, commented on each other's sites more than other places, and were all rather familiar with each other. Jo's stopped blogging; Deb found the love of her life, got married, and moved both in real life and bloglife, Kevin bought a Bronco, I stopped blogging for nearly 4 months and moved a few times and lost all my archives, and Zombyboy....I don't know...he seems to be the only one who hasn't really changed much.

Has anyone else had a blogging experience like that?

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posted by Nathan on 06:18 PM | Comments (18)

July 14, 2004

Blogging Problems (UPDATED) « Blogging »

It might be a temporary problem, or it might be my work LAN internet filter deciding to block a key process in posting entries, but I also cannot leave comments.

I'm not sure what the problem is. I've asked Pixy Misa to take a look at it. If you are reading this, he's posted this for me.


Wait...I think that despite an error message, things are still getting posted. But I still seem to be having problems getting comments to take.

Nope, no problems with comments, either. Go about your lives, citizens.

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posted by Nathan on 08:41 AM | Comments (2)
Blogger Alert « Blogging »

While I am enjoying the benefits of my ill-gotten hittage gains, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to help spread the wealth, no?

I've enjoyed this guy's humor when he's left comments (at Protein Wisdom, I think?), but had never followed the hyperlinked name to his site until he linked me in the recent kerfuffle I instigated.

And since Christopher Cross likes boobies, I thought it wouldn't hurt to link this post for him...

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posted by Nathan on 08:37 AM | Comments (3)
» QandO links with: Basic Human Rights...
I'm Blushing Furiously Right Now « Blogging »

This is all my fault. I was afraid my whining would get back to Ms. Malkin, and it did.

I tried to head it off with this post, but it was too late. She'd already got a free shot. Grandstandin'. Right there in front of the home team.*

I was wrong to be miffed. I was doubly wrong to post about it. I guess the last few times I've whined (and I have, believe me), I got zero attention for it. This time, well, let's just say I am embarassed and ashamed that I didn't keep my mouth (fingers?) in check. Sure, blogs are a place to vent your spleen, but I vented in the wrong direction at the wrong time.

The worst of it is, now I'll never know if I would have earned a spot on her blogroll.

The moral of the story, kiddies, is that if you don't do things the right way, you rob yourself of any satisfaction when you succeed.

You can quote that.

Read More "I'm Blushing Furiously Right Now" »

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posted by Nathan on 07:49 AM | Comments (14)
Blog Stuff « Blogging »

I think I've got everybody blogrolled from the outpouring of links over the last 36 hours...Let me know if I've missed you. I look forward to the new interactions and exploring new blogs!

Posting will be light in the morning the next few days. Remember that I'm out in the Pacific Time Zone, so always check my blog out one last time after you get home from work!

Thanks again, everyone. You have made it a good week for me.

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posted by Nathan on 06:54 AM | Comments (4)

July 13, 2004

Mea Culpa « Blogging »

I've mentioned in my comments somewhere, and over at Craig's excellent blog, but I'd like to make it even more open and clear: I was out of line when I was miffed for Ms. Malkin not linking me when she mentioned my name.

When people leave comments, they may include an email address or a blogsite address, but you have to hover over the link or click it to see which it is. That's why I wanted her to link me, see? Bloggers are usually too lazy to follow the hyperlink of a name, but usually follow a link in the body of text. But seeing as how bloggers are lazy in that way, it is entirely possible she didn't check whether I have a blog or not. The evidence is that she called me "Reader" Nathan rather than "Blogger" Nathan. And, when it comes down to brass tacks, I didn't actually contribute anything but the link, so putting my name in the body of the text was about all I could hope for. She could have just said, "A Reader", y'know?

So...what do you think? What is blogiquette for that sort of thing? I usually link a blog whenever I have a halfway decent reason to do so....but was this even a half-way decent reason?

Of course, I have a decent reason to let my ire dissipate, since my whining has resulted in the biggest hit day on my blog ever, probably double my previous best. Heck, at one point I had 53 links in one hour!!, thanks to Bill of INDC Journal and Kevin of Wizbang, among others.

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