Saturday, July 28, 2007


Two years ago today I wrote my first entry in this blog. It was one of those “Here I am, now what do I do entries?” In the subsequent weeks I tried to figure out what to do with this untried form of communication. I knew what I wanted to do: I wanted a substitute for all the letters I was writing to friends and family. I thought a kind of daily account of our activities and our experiences, along with photographs and the occasional observation, would take the place of letters and e-mail photographs and I hoped other family members would give me material to share. Alas, it didn’t quite work out that way. There can be no such thing as a “one size fits all” letter and it was hard to pass along information from other people without stringent editing which took the fun out of it. My second aim was to find a way to preserve some family history and memories and this format seems to work well: the pages are much neater than anything I could come up with, photos can be incorporated with text and I intend to print up some of the entries for the family.

So, after two years, how do I feel?

I am sorry that I didn’t explore more format options. I admire some blogs out there on Wordpress and wish I had tried it, because I don’t have as much control over the Blogger format as I’d like. What I see, in Preview, is not what I get, in published form. And there always was, at the back of my mind, the desire to learn how to code my own journal. I suppose it is not too late . . .

I am proud that I figured out a little html and soldiered on through all those instructions that initially left me glassy eyed. I still get annoyed with “help” pages that get me going and then pull me up short with something like:

Unpack the tar archive and place the resulting g-client directory on your emacs load-path.
Type make to compile the code.
In your .emacs, add (load-library "g") to set it up.
And of course, once I mastered simple html, along came widgets, which made life harder, not easier.

I am ashamed that I do not have a better grasp of punctuation. I am constantly aware that my semi-colons are wrong and I am not sure about capitals after colons. Yes, I could learn, but . . .

I am concerned that I haven’t kept my links up to date. I have discovered a number of Blogs I would like to promote. I’ll get to that soon and share some new discoveries with you.

I am surprised that I am such a sloppy writer. I am an über-critical reader and I will always pounce on errors of fact or on unclear or clumsily constructed sentences in other people’s writing. But I do not polish many of my entries. I tend to check facts, but there are many occasions when I go back and read a published post and realize I could have constructed it better, used a better turn of phrase or simply used a more appropriate word. Why does this not upset me? Probably because if I didn’t forge ahead, I would never write anything. I would like to sit here leisurely crafting my essays, but Virginia Woolf had it right and a “Room of one’s Own” isn’t always a physical construct. I grab what time I can and make the most of it.

And, finally, I am (just a tad) peeved that I haven’t had more comments from you, dear reader. Friends tell me that it is hard to leave a comment without a Blogger, or is it Google?, account. But the valiant persevere, so if there is anyone lurking out there who hasn’t left me a comment, please do so. Just once.

Consider it my anniversary present.

And in case you are wondering, I am going for another year. Or two.


Marcie said...

Happy anniversary! Two years is quite impressive. Yes, its true that I have never left a comment but I do enjoy reading your blog regularly. Keep it up!!

candyschultz said...

I have been seeing a lot of complaints about Wordpress lately. Happy Anniversary. I find the widgets to make things a whole lot easier.

46er Family said...

Ditto. Love the blog. Here's a bit of research I was doing that maybe can help.

46er Family said...

Oy. That would be "Bridget". What was that you were saying about sloppy writing?

Septuagent said...

Dear Beryl,

I like reading your blog. I tried blogger at first but soon decided to try "Typepad" (which is not, of course, free) but which suits my prejudices and foibles. I can understand it and it doesn't seem to go wrong very often. Widgets I can live without. Typepad have recently introduced what they call "pages". You can set up a page and link it to the main blog so that you move into a cross between a blog and a website. I should think for some people this would allow them to be very creative.

All best wishes,