January 4, 2014

Five Years of veritable pastiche

Five years ago today, I published my first post on this blog.

I still remember the trepidation I felt as I pushed the button on that offering, a mere two paragraphs in which I expressed hopes that I would give people something to think about every once in a while.

Since then, I've published over 400 entries, started probably another 100 that I never did anything with, and jotted down ideas for dozens more, some of which never made it past a link or article that piqued my interest. Just the other day, for example, I found an email that had been in my inbox since April 2013, something I had sent to myself that just said 'research this' and a topic. I'm still working on that research, and hoping to post sometime before April of this year when that idea has a birthday.

I've had ups and downs; things started really slowly, and I've gone through stretches where I thought I couldn't even buy a reader. But slowly, things have gotten better. I've changed the format a few times, and have grown to like where it is today. And I think I'm a better writer now than I was then.  There's still lots of room for improvement, no question about that, but I can look at some posts now and not want to rewrite them, something that, in the beginning, was almost impossible.

Here are the posts that attracted the most interest since the dawn of the blog:
  • In this post from 2009, I described trying to renew my ID without having the right ID, a marvelous catch-22.
  • A post I did in 2010 talked about public displays of  patriotism (via flying the Gadsden flag) and what happened when one man decided to push the issue with his homeowner's association.
  • I did a couple of posts on taxes in 2011 -- one about how people pay them but corporations often don't; the other, related to some folks thinking that Jesus was anti-tax, was fun to put together, given I'm not a religious person. On this I was way outside my comfort zone. 
  • And there was the Alexandra Wallace-Jimmy Wong pas-de-deux; she complained about noisy Asians on their phones in the library, and he responded beautifully, in song, to her remarks. This post was also from 2011. 
  • Several related posts in 2012 - a homeless man, police doing good deeds, and some introspection - focused on generosity. Others that year, like many I've done, were about politics, or politicians, or money in politics
  • One of my favorites, lamenting the end of daily newspaper delivery in Syracuse, was really as much about my late father as it was about the paper. 
  • One post in 2012, and a related post from 2013, questioned what would happen if we could have a 'parade of homes' in the heart of the city, instead of in the suburbs. I hope to convince someone, somehow, that this would be a worthwhile effort.
  • In a popular 2013 post, I wondered what would happen if states color-coded driver's licenses or IDs for things other than immigrant status, which was under consideration for a while (ostensibly for safety reasons) in North Carolina.
  • A post on how medical debt impacts credit scores was another popular read; I think I have to follow up on that one. And speaking of medical debt, here in Syracuse and CNY that's a huge issue
  • Barack Obama promised to have the most transparent administration we'd ever seen. Sadly, that has not occurred; the City of Syracuse is more transparent, as I noted in my post on a neighbor's effort to get a zoning change for an interesting home business. 
  • And finally, Syracuse was honored by a visit from President Obama last year, a trip where he was focused on education. I posted on that, and the importance of teachers in a child's life. 
So where do we go from here?  More Syracuse, Albany, Anywhere - Genuine. Honest. Commentary. I hope it will inspire some thought, engagement, or action.

Thanks for your support. Let's have some fun in 2014!

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