All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.

-- Jorge Luis Borges

Twelve years have come and gone and I am still here. What began as something to satisfy my post-college curiosity has evolved into an inexplicable dedication to this "place". Until the last year, my writing has changed slowly over that period, and my interaction with the site and other users resembles that of a sea turtle bobbing near the surface on the swells above the deep. But always moving forward, sometimes more slowly and others at speed, as if caught in a current. This past year mimicked a swell as my activity raced upwards over the first six months only to crest with the approach of winter. Since then I have been in a gentle slide to the trough.

Notable items from the past 12 months:

  • I met some of you in person! For the first time since signing up here in 2001, I had the chance to meet not one but two of you. And I didn't mess around, but went straight to the top. First I had the chance to meet Jet-Poop for lunch while on a business trip in Dallas. It was a great visit, despite my writeup to the contrary. Not too long afterwards, dannye returned to some of his old stomping grounds in the heart of Dixie and we spent an afternoon talking about music, people more talented than ourselves, and mortality. These made me sad that I had not tried harder earlier to make a personal connection with people from this place.
  • And then I almost quit (again). As a few of you know, in my time here I have developed a chronic health problem, lost my first career, have had my first marriage crumble around me, experienced the sudden and untimely death of my mother, and been reduced to a fragile and unhealthy frame of mind. These things changed me, shaped me, bent me. And after all of that, I still consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world. Time heals everything, and now I find myself part of a wonderful family. I am married to someone so incredible that she should only exist in a book, but I wake beside her each morning. We continue to grow together in our marriage, and now that our daughter is no longer an infant we have the opportunity for more extended adventures. As a result, the little bit of time I devote here has been reduced even more. I decided not to go away, but I doubt I will be able to re-create the same numbers as last year.

I have mentioned before how I do love feedback in the form of XP, Cools, and messages. Despite the legitimate sentiments of XP stoicism, this feedback reminds me that others are reading my thoughts. Sometimes they agree with my ramblings or even appreciate them, and sometimes I am alerted to their disapproval through downvotes or messages. These have their place as well. But overall, this was a good year, if measured by such metrics.

Category July 2012 June 2013
Nodes 42 68
XP 6122 7887
Cools 59 108

At 68 nodes, I am so close to the mid-70s that existed prior to my self-inflicted e2 annihilation several years ago. But the mark that I am most pleased with is the huge increase in Cools over the past year. These have become more meaningful to me as the number of votes available to each user has increased since I started here. For all practical purposes, the majority of people still get one C! per day, and for them to choose to use it on something I have written, I admit, makes me experience a small sense of pride.

As I did last year, I am posting my results from the node tracker tool before I update it for the coming year:

        E2 USER INFO: last update 2012-07-12 23:42:44

Nodes:     68 (+26)             XP:          7887 (+1765)       Cools:       108 (+49)
Max Rep:   69 (+2)              Min Rep:     11 (+1)            Total Rep:   1590 (+657)
Node-Fu:   115.99 (-29.777)     WNF:         40.26 (+3.003)     Cool Ratio:  158.82% (+18.347%)
Merit:     21.59 (+1.634)       Average Rep: 23.38 (+1.168)     Median rep:  21 (+1)
Up votes:  1648 (+675)          Devotion:    1468 (+630)        Merit Range: 17 to 28
Max Cools: 7 (+3)               Down votes:  58 (+18)           Votes:       1706 (+693)
Max Votes: 79 (+2)                 

review: 14.7% how-to: 4.4% place: 1.5% event: 2.9% essay: 7.4% person: 2.9% personal: 8.8% idea: 4.4% thing: 10.3% log: 42.6%
Change      Title
Published | Raspberry Pi
Published | fishing at night
Published | May 16, 2013
Published | Stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, I realized I made a mistake
Published | I could have known everything for five dollars
Published | February 28, 2013
Published | December 31, 2012
Published | November 20, 2012
Published | Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film
Published | October 3, 2012
Published | August 31, 2012
Published | Even the Elder Gods Fall before the Federal Government
Published | I met Jet-Poop and lived to tell the tale!
Published | sailing a wine-soaked sea of memory
Published | Agile Software Development
Published | August 13, 2012
Published | August 8, 2012
Published | Too many of my days are spent stuffing my cheeks with food and crash landing in the ocean.
Published | July 24, 2012
Published | July 22, 2012
Published | Ragemoor
Published | July 18, 2012
Published | Early Retirement Extreme
Published | It is hard to kill an animal while it looks you in the eye
Published | July 15, 2012
Published | July 13, 2012

I hope you are all well. I hope your summer is filled with watermelon and tan lines. I hope you have something to write about. Peace.

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