The Best 2004 Ever!

Well, I guess that about wraps it up for 2004. It’s been a heck of a year overall. I’m not going to recap it now – if you want to review it you can go back over the last 310 or so episodes. There are a couple things worth noting, however, looking back and looking forward.

I think over the year the quality of the writing here got better. I look back at some of my earlier favorite entries and they just feel a little sloppy. Sometimes sloppy is good—I’ll have to be careful not to become sterile, and there are certainly still some pretty crappy episodes—but overall readability has improved, I think. You might disagree. I think I was able to produce higher-quality episodes back then, but I didn’t take the time. Or did I? I don’t have anything else to show for those months. It’s all a blur now…

And hey! Check this out! This is a graph generated by Sitemeter that shows my traffic this year:


There’s still a few hours of December left, so it’s easy to imagine hitting 1800 visits this month. The red line is my more conservative estimate of the number of people who visit on purpose. The actual number may be higher; it’s difficult to estimate between all the hits for eggs, alcohol, and sex. The red line is you, the people who actually read this stuff and leave comments and contribute to the community that this has become. The people who leave personal messages for each other in comment threads. As I sit here in a far-off land I still feel connected to you.

Hardest to estimate are the lurkers. I know there are some. Hello, lurkers! Thanks for stopping by! Come back again real soon!

(I was planning to do a fancy interactive thing with a comment for each month as you rolled over that column, but that started sounding an awful lot like work.)

I will not finish The Monster Within by midnight tonight. Part of the reason for that is I’m devoting more energy to smaller bits I can get published and build up a publishing credits list. The other part of the reason is that I’m lazy.

The smaller bits are coming along, though. That may affect the blog as well; some of the creative writing pieces that I had been starting to put up here may go to a different outlet instead. I’ll still put up fragments, but if something is more or less complete I’ll be shipping it elsewhere instead. Moonlight Sonata, which I posted here a while back as “a good start to a short story” now is a short story, and will be appearing soon over at Piker Press. Also, a vastly modified version of the american road myth will be appearing over there. So, obviously, there is still a place for my blog in my creative writing, but it may evolve.

As for New Year’s resolutions, I have but one: Get the pizza crumb out from under the “r” key.

34 thoughts on “The Best 2004 Ever!

  1. Happy New Year’s Day (Observed)tm.

    My fellow visitors, in my official, if largely ceremonial, capacity of not-yet-pervious Millenium Office Holder 9K1, I hereby declare the Twoth of every month to be a holiday in our little section of the blogosphere, MR&HBI.

    Accordingly, January the Twoth will, henceforth, be known as New Year’s Day (Observed)tm. For those amoung us who are too (choose one or more) drunk (still), hungover, tired, way into watching football, or otherwise occupied to start the new year on January the 1st, New Year’s Day (Observed)tm is just the ticket. Think of it as a much needed mulligan on the first tee of each year.

    I (or perhaps subsequent MOHs) will keep you posted on additional holiday names (perhaps a poll could be helpful), but you can pencil in “Founder’s Day”tm for April the Twoth.

    Enjoy your second chance to make a first impression in 2005.


  2. Excellent. I will conduct a poll for Feb twoth. Any suggestions for names? April Twoth is indeed reserved, as among all the other important events of the day, it was the first day of the road trip.

    I looked (briefly) at online calendars to track important dates in Muddled history, but I didn’t really find anything that floated my boat.

  3. Groundhog Day,

    Groundsquirrel Day,

    Groundbeef Day,

    Coffeegrounds Day …

    How about Beer Day? I know, I know, every day is beer day, but that wouldn’t stop us from making it a holiday.

  4. February is the 2nd month. Since mr9k1 wants to celebrate the 2nd day of each month, how about secondtwoth day, or twotwoth, or tutu. Everybody should wear a tutu that day. Preferably pink, and go to a sports bar; act like nothings up.

    Its the 02-02-2005 day, or aught two, aught two. We could make it oughto oughto day ,as in Jerry ought-to ought-to have the Monster Within wrapped up by then, or we oughto oughto make this a beer drinkin holiday.

    BTW, I know the Jerish diaspora is scatterd to multiple countries, but…2005 = 20th anniversary of BB1. When’s the full moon of July? How about a counter on the sidebar?

  5. Since this chain started with an episode about the site meter, I offer the following projection (calculations attached):


    The biggest of all MOH#s: 1M6

    Today’s visitor count: 9,335

    The site meter’s projection of visitors next month (based on the past month’s activity): 1,800

    Conclusion: 45.8644 years until 1M6


    990,671 visitors to go (1M6 – 9,335) divided by 1,800 visitors per month (conservative rate) equals 550.37277 months which is 45.864398 years.

    I just hope that the internet is (and we are) still around by then.

  6. There ain’t gonna be a poll. It’s oughto oughto day. I’ll get the bacchanal countdown set up pronto.

    Good to hear from you, Jesse. Oh, and Bob, good to hear from you, too.

  7. I’d been home with el nino and tho I logged in several times to feed the MR&HBI jones, it was too hard to type comments with one hand while the other held vato jr.

    Did my reply to the php ques get to you?

  8. As part of my solemn MOH duty to enhance the worldwide understanding of and appreciation for beer (and to get off the snide in the haiku department), I offer the following quiz.

    Match the type of beer to its haiku description (edits and improvements cheerfully accepted) below.

    A.) lager

    B.) brown ale

    C.) stout

    D.) bock

    E.) IPA

    F.) bitter

    G.) amber ale

    1.) dark and flavorful, full bodied rich coffee taste, highly roasted malts

    2.) strong malty winter, doppel is extra potent, name means billy goat

    3.) heavily hopped, made for lengthy sea voyage, extra alcohol

    4.) found on draft in pubs, normally dry and hoopy, extra or special

    5.) top fermentation, special carmelized malts, between dark and pale

    6.) pale golden color, colder bottom fermenting, crisp and refreshing

    7.) darker than amber, pleasantly hoppy finish, nutty nuances

  9. Only a slight modification from the original citation:

    Sass that Ford Prefect

    There’s one hoopy frood who knows

    where his towel is

  10. I have printed out the beer haiku and posted it, like Martin Luther, to my office door. Bob, you’re a much better MOH than that Mr7K guy.

  11. As my term as MOH9K1 is now in its second (some might say better) half, I am here to announce that, in keeping with established precedent and for the sake of variety, I will not be seeking the office of MOH10K7.

    Consequently, we must begin planning for the orderly transfer of power that distinguishes democracy (and what we’ve got) from lesser forms of governance.

    Who will be the candidates and who will fill office? Thanks to the awesome power of low expectations (see Keith’s last sentence above), success in the role is easier than you might think.

    Will it be Brian with his obvious (some might say dangerous) enthusiasm? Will it be Keith with his witty comments (that the rest of us enjoy almost as much as he does)? Will pL (or whatever we are supposed to call him) provide some international perspective?

    Only time (and the site meter) will tell.

  12. Jer —

    I vote you put ’em all in. Maybe you reduce the explanatory poem to 50% of the time so all the new poetry gets a chance of being seen.

  13. I am currently scrounging up a suitable placeholder picture for Bob. I have shots of all his kids, but amongst their clamor I never got one of Bob.

  14. I am visitor 9677. Which is the 331th place from 10007, (going by fencepost math). 331 is a prime number, so maybe I can be one of Bob’s minions. Undersecretary of ladies underwear perhaps? Of course there are lots of prime numbers between 9001k and 10007, so there are lots of minions. Maybe Director of pervious pervatron regulations?

  15. Hi Jesse,

    While you will always be welcome as a pervious minion, I am confident that you would make a fine MOH10K7.

    Here’s to your latest brainchild, oughto oughto day. Toast!

  16. Hmmm, maybe you put a photo of Bob’s offspring in place of the parent. (Forming vague idea of yet another way to embarrass a teenager who’d really rather not admit to his friends that he actually has — shock, horror — parents!)

  17. Hey, I like the stand-in photo for Bob. Is it the same one for all the beer haikus, or is Lefty just for the IPA?

    BTW, has Bob ever ment Lefty?

  18. The beer quiz is all Lefty. Next time I’m in a bar I’ll see about taking a more beer-related placeholder. I don’t think Bob has had the pleasure of meeting the pup.

  19. Hmm, that makes me think… What if Lefty or God forbid Spike becomes the MOH10K7? Boggles the mind… Enough thinking for now.

  20. OK, if Spike’s haiku gets in, so does Dulce’s:

    Meow ??? meow meow meow

    Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow

    Meow meow meow ???-1 meow

    where ??? is a number that starts at 100 and descends by one each time the verse is repeated. It’s her favorite song to sing in the car.

  21. No problem with geek notation. Dulce does geek. Tres doesn’t. He has a huge vocabulary, but it doesn’t include Java.

  22. big tongue little brain

    frantic at the sound of “beach”

    exceptional dog

    Do you remember the time we pit roasted the pig? (I know John will never repress the memory of “dressing” the carcass.) At that BB, there was more than too much delicious roasted pork. Everyone gave Geek their scraps, and he got so full that, when someone threw a big piece of pork about two feet in front of where he was lying, he just looked at us with a “Do you really expect me to get up and walk over there just to eat that?!?” expression. About a half an hour later, he finally found the will to eat it.

    You know it’s a good party when even the dogs have the time of their lives.

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