…And Counting: A Thank You Note

100th-birthday

I’ve been informed by my blog-hosting service that this is the 100th time I have inflicted my thoughts about writing, running, managing, grilling, and metal upon you.  My apologies.  I confessed to a friend yesterday that one of the reasons I write these missives is to encourage people to pay attention to me.  That’s right: I do this selfishly.  My narcissism has resulted in my being overdue with a few thank you notes.

While you, dear readers, are the arbiters, I believe 100 blog posts have made me a better writer.  I’m aware that many, if not all, of these posts could use more editing, as I’ve often thought of a better way to entail a metaphor immediately after clicking the “publish” button.  In my haste to go public, I may have missed a few delightful turns of phrase, but I have improved my editing skills.  I have learned economy.  Superfluous words and phrases beware: I will cut entire sentences, mercilessly, if they are unnecessary to the meaning.  Blogging has taught me to get to the point…this post notwithstanding.  I must thank my sensei SeattleAuthor for unfailing support of my growth as a writer.

Posts about running have drawn some of the biggest crowds.  My running readers have enthusiastically “liked” my stories from the road and inspired me to step up my game.  I was happily retired from running marathons, satisfied to log my daily three to five milers, when my fleet-of-foot fans insisted I join their Facebook-based running team – an all-women team, I would learn later – and start training for a marathon.  We ran through hell together in December, and I P.R.d a marathon last month.  Pretty cool.  Of course, their motives for getting me running long include a desire for me to write about our escapades and point out the humor inherent in doing something as absurd as running 26.2 miles.  I’m happy to oblige.  Thank you, ladies of It Hurts So Good, for the miles of comedy and camaraderie.

The posts about my life as a public sector manager tend to be a bit more somber than the running posts.  It is a job, after all, and jobs are often more about paying the mortgage than following your bliss.  While my work life is fraught with politics and peril, I do believe in the work and reflecting on it here has helped me exorcise a few demons.  Of course, some of the demons just get a lot of exercise.  In the end, what keeps me going to the office on Monday mornings are the people I work with.  Thank you, my fellow public servants and friends, my fellow Viking warriors.  You make a difference, and I’m happy to fight by your side.

There’s no sadness in grilling, but there is hard work.  Granted, that work looks like a lot of sitting on the patio, but I assure you my attention is focused on tending the black steel oven in which carefully managed fire and smoke weave their spell and turn slabs of protein into culinary treasure.  While this blog affords me the opportunity to receive digital praise through “likes” and “shares,” there is no sweeter tribute than the ecstatic groan of a friend or family member savoring a mouthful of pulled pork or sliced brisket fresh off the grill.  Yes, I know that last sentence sounded dirty.  Barbecue has an undeniable lustiness, born of anticipation and desire.  I want to thank my friends at Patrons of the Pit for sharing my passion for grilling and continually inspiring me to coax new flavors out of blue curls of smoke.

Yesterday, I spent time watching two metal heads on YouTube’s Banger channel conduct a taxonomical debate about which heavy metal bands should be considered representatives of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) and I loved it.  If you have read many of these posts, you know I am, unapologetically, a die-hard metal head and writing about the music only makes it clearer to me that metal is my greatest passion.  Since I started writing this blog, I have made listening to new music and attending shows a priority.  I have rejoiced at my favorite “old” bands still thrashing hard, new bands forging  fresh alloys, and a thriving local metal scene of young people who have the same exuberance for heavy music as I did when I was a 18-year old hesher jumping into a mosh pit for the first time.   Thank you Evil Awakening, Twisted Heroes, and other Oly metal bands for your musical brutality.  And thanks to my brother-in-metal, Sean, for keeping me supplied with new music, driving us to the shows, and always being willing to debate whether Venom should be considered a NWOBHM band.

When I started, I knew this blog would be an eclectic collection of rants and panegyrics about a few of my favorite things.  In an attempt to bring order to the chaos of posts about writing, running, managing, grilling, and metal, I offered the motto you see up there beneath my name: be who you are, like what you like, and do cool stuff.  100 posts later, I’m convinced that aphorism has merit, and I wear it with even more pride now than when I started.  I came across this video of Will Wheaton making the same point to an audience of “geeks” at a Comicon event.  As I am also a proud science fiction fan, I thank Wil for his words.

Whether this is your first visit or you’re a regular, thank you for stopping by.  I never presumed I would draw a crowd, so I’m delighted and grateful that you took the time to read my ramblings.  Pretty cool.

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4 thoughts on “…And Counting: A Thank You Note

  1. 100 times is pretty good! If there is anything I’ve learned that is a challenge in blogging, it is being consistent. And anybody who has made it to a hundred posts has probably been consistent. I cannot tell you how many blogs I’ve come across who gave up after a while. Who hath lost their luster, their gumption for the game, after a few short posts. I guess that’s why the #1 advice often given to bloggers is this – to write about that which you are passionate for. Some thing of which you do very well, by the way. Eclectic for sure, but a pleasant read none the less.

    Congrats on 100, Todd. Keep it up my friend. I learn new things every time I check in. This time it was the word “panegyrics”. One of which I will have to look up after submission of this comment. Indeed, you illuminate me!

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