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Three score and ten or more

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Night before last, I was working on my “journal” (a sort of autobiography I am writing for my grandchildren) and just got a major case of writers block. Being at the computer anyway, I checked into some of my favorite blogs, then, on a whim, I started clicking on the “next blog” box on one of the pages. I immediately found an interesting blog by a soldier in Iraq who is coming home in February or March. His writing wasn’t great, but he was very thoughtful in probing his own feelings about the war, about the actions that he had recently taken, about his hopes for his wife and children when he returns, and I found myself really caught up. I clicked on about six more blogs and, of the six, five were interesting and emotional. Two or three were so well written that I would have felt justified in paying for the privilege of reading.

One, I particularly liked used a phrase in her profile that said (I am paraphrasing, I don’t remember the exact wording) “single female, staring 30 defiantly in the face without blinking” . This was a young lady who wrote with amazing polish about a wide variety of topics. She had several “sub-blogs”, one of which dealt with her last job as a reporter for a newspaper somewhere (I’m really definite about this, right?) I read most of her posts, even in archive, enjoyed her reaction to the comments of others, and even scanned her “sub-blogs” and spent a really pleasant half hour.

The next blog was a fascinating photo essay on the vegetation and wild life in the Mojave desert. It included so very much information that I didn’t know though I have been to the Mojave a couple of times (briefly) and driven through it a lot. (when I was young and lived in the west.)

There were several others of interest, but one (also a twenty nine year old female) caught my eye with a listing of things that were important to her. One of the things listed was her intense hope (or fear, of the possibility that he would, I don’t remember the exact wording) that her biological father would never find her. Even without reading the rest of the blog, I found myself musing on the various situations that could have created this need or fear of the father’s awareness. I was also struck by her confidence that her biological father was not computer oriented, because the blog contained pictures and names of her friends, jobs, etc. If I wanted to avoid being found, I certainly wouldn’t provide clues on blogspot. The whole blog was a very interesting insight into a lovely and complex human being.

I sorted through several others of interesting and well written and closed the computer well satisfied with time well spent. It was only after closing window that I realized that I hadn’t flagged or saved the URL of any of these, but, I decided that “there were lots more fish in the sea.:

Last night, after rehearsal, I went back to “next blog”, and found a totally different situation. I scanned or skipped through, or attempted to read almost a hundred blogs. They included teeny-boppers whining about romantic betrayal by their friends, multiple blogs written in, what I can only describe as pidgin English interspersed with chat jargon, one blog in which the writer described himself as “the meanest toughest son of a bitch that lived” and who devoted the top three posts to whining (and trying to justify himself) that his wife wouldn’t sleep with him or forgive him because she discovered that he was having an affair with someone else (who really didn’t mean anything to him, was just for fun and games, I wonder if his friend ever read the blog to see how she was appreciated). In short, there was NOTHING except blither in all those hundred that I looked at. The experience was like being forced to grade essays for the worst high school freshman class that ever lived.

I really wrote this, puzzling at how different the two experiences were. Was I just in a better mood the first day? Do they have some mystic sorting process in blogspot that groups the trash together and puts those written by literate interesting people together, and keeps the groups separate. I may go click on “next blog” now, except that I haven’t read anything by Patrick or Eddie or Mahndisa or Polanco or Saurkraut or any of my other favorites for a couple of days and I don’t want to get so far behind that I never catch up.


At 12:45 AM, Blogger Davo said...

Apparently there are approximately 19 million blogs, increasing at 5 thousand or so a day. Only 18,999,850 or so to go. Have fun (grins)

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Been there / done that. It's funny how on one day you'll get peaches, the next day you get field apples (a farmer's euphemism).

I read through the 11/11 blog and commented. I appreciate the interest!!!

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

I haven't had much luck with the next blog feature mostly finding field apples as Saurkraut says. I have better luck going through blog rolls of like minded or at least similar individuals. That is how I found this blog which I now read daily.

But what I hate worse is finding a good blog that only posts new stuff once in a blue moon. I have a whole favorites menu full of those and on some days I can scan them all in a few minutes and other days it takes hours. No consistency. Maybe I am just too demanding of a reader.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Richard, I tried the Next Blog thingy but found it more rewarding to check out the blogs of people commenting on other blogs that I like - I just found enough on Wombat's Waffles and am reading it next.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Super Hip GMa said...

I have basically done the same thing as Ed & Patrick. I find myself spending more time at the computer than I used to. Oh well, I'm retired and am learning so much.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger exMI said...

I have found alot of interesting stuff on the next blog. You just have to remember to bookmark it when you find it. Taht being said of course there has been alot of dreck too, but that I skip over and don't go back too.


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