One year of the blog! 27,300+ page views! And steady growth on an upward trajectory.
Many thanks again to any and all out there who read this. I'm having great fun. I've had hits from all over the world -- the farthest north from Lapland and the farthest south from Tasmania. Country rankings are first US (of course), then on down through the English speaking world, the UK, Canada, Australia, then Brazil (que bom!) and on down through dozens of countries to the bottom of my hits from the Republic of Moldava and St. Kitts & Nevis.
I still feel perfectly happy to be in the bloggernacle but not of the bloggernacle. I read a lot more than I comment on and much that I read drives me crazy. Probably many feel that way when they find this blog. And that's OK. The point is, I am in charge of my own blog. It is the extension of my life where I feel that I am in total control. Not that the rest of my life is out of control or even unpleasant. Most of it's pretty good. But I don't have to try to fit in or even argue with anybody I don't want to. I state my thoughts and views here and the world can take it or leave it. Of course it's very gratifying when anybody at all takes it. And I do obsess a little over my hit count.
I just don't understand a lot of the LDS bloggers out there. I don't have the patience for the intellectual nit-picking and some of the extremes on both sides drive me crazy. I just remain moderate and passionate about it. I don't enjoy arguing, but I'm very happy to hear your ideas and hope you give mine a thought. (For an example of the kind of dogmatic exchanges I don't enjoy, check out the recent comments on Utah and the Public Lands. ) I've often changed my mind on things, but not very often by dogmatic argument (It just makes me feel icky.) And I don't seem to get listed on those conglomerate listings or links. I used to carry some of those Mormon blog list links, but the heck with that!
I do have some really good friends out there in the digital ether. Brother-in-law by two marriages, Doug, of course, who now allows me to use his name. He is actually tangible in physical presence at family gatherings and our occasional downtown lunches (Crown Burger), not just in cyberspace. While I take a lot of his thoughts and ideas, I can't get him to blog himself (except for that one time!). Ardis at keepapitchinin is a good blogger-friend and I read her Mormon History Blog more than any other--and she's linked me more than anyone else by far, not to mention publishing a guest piece! Next is my buddy Phil at the Liberty Tree, a good man with some good sons I did Scouting with a few years back. I'm really liking my new buddy Curt Bentley, one of the best Republicans out there--a sane one. MMM is always entertaining and writes so well (that's my buddy Middle-aged Mormon Man, not the newer Modern Mormon Men who are OK, but with somewhat of a generational and intellectual disconnect from my life). And I have a lot of new friends from the comments. There's Daniel, SLK, and Rich, Karen H., Elaine (T), childhood friend Dave S., and best of all, sort of my "second mom" and most frequent comment writer, Anon/M (have I gone too far?) And I hope I didn't miss anybody!
I have my loyal 15 followers who have actually signed up. And I get some additional comments on my Facebook links to my blog postings. I wish those friends would share here on the blog comments so more of the world could see them. You can still remain anonymous in ways that let me know who you are (as in "Anon/M" above).
And thanks to Von for hosting my icon. (I still have trouble figuring out some of the technical details.)
And I'm eternally grateful to my own kids and their spouses who read me. That is the greatest compliment a dad could have. My own spouse loves me but only tolerates the blog, which is probably for the best to keep me a little grounded.
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Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!