It was twenty years ago, no, actually it wasn't. Not even close. Then again, when have I ever passed up a chance to work in a hackneyed pop-culture reference?

So okay, it was seven years ago today. I had a whole lot of words kicking around in the back of my head and a whole megabyte of Web space to play with. There wasn't any real justification other than "because I can," but sometimes that's enough.

Even in 1996, vanity sites were a dime a dozen and dropping, and by the time I'd moved to my own domain (more of that "because I can" stuff) in the spring of 1999, I'd built the site to over 150 pages and had seen the cute little odometer graphic roll up to the staggering figure of 6,444. Were I ever to get my duly-allotted fifteen minutes of fame, I'd have to do something drastic.

Then again, "drastic" for me seems to take about a year. In the summer of 2000, I rolled the version number up to 7.0 and installed what I described at the time as a Sort of Blog. There's been at least one update every day since, and today there are nearly two thousand individual pages under this domain, eating up 27 megabytes (so saith the host) of disk space and blowing through 2 megabytes of bandwidth each and every hour of the day. This latter figure works out to around 1.5 GB per month, the equivalent of a good 8-hour shift at InstaPundit.

Of course, I am no pundit, instant or otherwise. I'm just one person with a lot of issues, frustrated by life's downs and often unable to detect its ups. I glory in my solitude just loudly enough to drown out the cry of loneliness. By any reasonable reckoning I'd have crawled into a hole and died by now.

And yet, here I am, seven years later, a very small but more-or-less accepted part of the Blogosphere™, with a handful of regular readers, a reputation for B-level snarkiness, and a meter now reading just over a quarter of a million. At some point during these 2,556 days, I must have accidentally done something right. But be assured, Gentle Readers, that I couldn't have done it without you.

And in thirteen more years, we'll see if anyone remembers the one and only Billy Shears.

The Vent

9 April 2003

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