"Bottle of Claret for you if I had realised…"

Apparently my self-absorption knows some bounds: it did not occur to me until just now that today, July 2, marks the Ninth Anniversary of the inception of this blog. Having sprung this realization upon myself all unexpected, I have not shown the foresight nececesary to craft a traditional poste nostalgique. Perhaps if I am still here for Anniversary Number Ten next year, I will overcompensate.

Here, then, an appropriate musical interlude: Matt Marks' arrangement of the Beatles' "Revolution 9" as performed by Alarm Will Sound.


Blog Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar!

This little blog launched eight years ago today, on July 2, 2003. The posts are less frequently now than they once were, and less glib, but The Blogging still carries enough satisfaction with it that this Fool is likely to keep wandering these woods for some time to come.


For last year's seventh anniversary, I linked back to seven posts from the past seven years.  This time, a selection of eight posts from the preceding twelvemonth that do not, I think, embarrass their author too much.

Although it is not really reflected in that selection, this blog has been skewing increasingly toward the subject of music.  Something like 80% of posts so far in 2011 have fallen into that category, and I predict that the trend will continue for the next little while at least, as I have a sizable backlog of musical subjects that I want to write about but that haven't yet escaped to the screen.  As with so many other good things, music is more easily consumed than written about.  

So, off we go into the unknowns of a ninth year of blogging.  And to see this point our in a musical vein: Czech, please!


Photo: Circles of bricks, Magpie Hill, near Cleeton St. Mary, Shropshire; photograph Copyright Mr M Evison, licensed under Creative Commons Licence.

Seven Years Went Under the Bridge
Like Time Was Standing Still

Number 7 by bdunnette

This blog was launched on July 2, 2003, seven years agone this very day.  

It remains now what it was then: a fool's errand. 

Most anyone who was blogging during that heady period at the center of this century's first decade, roughly years 2 and 3 of this blog's span, can attest to what great fun it could be and to the sense of possibility that danced attendance upon the whole Blogging venture.  This part of the Forest of Tubes has never been particularly well traveled: 1060 posts and seven years in to the project, the stats stand at around 270,000 visitors to the blog, a very large portion of them driven by Google image searches and not by any particular interest in what was being said here.  (That total does not include however many or few folk may be out there following via readers and RSS feeds.  I suspect I have at least a handful of recurring readers evidence for whose presence is a thing unseen.)  

Though the pace has slackened, I am still having just enough fun at this to carry on into the foreseeable.

Lucky 7 by cordey

By way of commemorating the Magnificent Seventh, here are seven posts or collections of posts from the past, skewing toward poetry-related items, with which I am still more or less pleased:

  • My one and only original video, a recitation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, as a PowerPoint slideshow.  (Video version July 19, 2009; the PowerPoint slides themselves date back to April 1, 2005)
  • The entire Double Dactyl category, and particularly the lengthy Epithalamium (first posted February 26, 2004; repeated May 15, 2008)
  • Several runs and variants on Shelley's Ozymandius, including the hip-hop version, "Trunkless But Not Funkless."  (November 22, 2003)
  • My most recent run at poetical pastiche, from June of this year: The Walrus and the Petrol Man
  • Paired posts on a visit to Gettysburg, where my great great grandfather was occupying himself Seven Score and Seven years ago today: a monument to the battle  and a battle over monuments (both from July 3, 2004)
  • It has been a recurring pleasure to double-host the annual April Fool's Day edition of Blawg Review, with the main edition on my sleepy-sibling blog Declarations and Exclusions and the Appendix/Prequel here, in 200920082007, and 2006.  If dear ol' Dec&Excs was a bit more of an active endeavor -- it ostensibly hits its own seventh anniversary on August 5, but the posting there is sporadic at best these past several years -- I would no doubt have done it again this year.  Perhaps in 2011 we will rise to the challenge again?
  • For a seventh: ransack the archives and pick your own if you care to do so.  (Let me know if you have a personal favorite with a comment, won't you?  We bloggers thrive on positive reinforcement and attention.)

Thank you sevenfold, reader.


A concluding musical interlude, on the theme of the passage of seven years:

Suddenly I'm on the street
Seven years disappear below my feet
Been breakin' down
Do you want me now?  Do you want me now?

    -- Freedy Johnston, "Bad Reputation"

Freedy Johnston - Bad Reputation [Daytrotter Session]


Photos: "Number 7" by Flickr user bdunnette, and "Lucky #7" by Flickr user Cordey, both used under Creative Commons license.


It Went Without Saying

Now We Are Six

Somehow, it slipped my mind and escaped my notice and slid by all unbeknownst that this weblog reached its Sixth Anniversary some six weeks ago, on July 2, 2009.

Looking back over old posts to confirm the correct date and the proper age to report here, I rediscovered that I was already punning on our 44th President nearly five years ago, when he was but a very junior Senator-elect.  Google evidence suggests I was the first to come up with that particular pun, for what it's worth.  

You can tell that that post is an old one because two out of three of the hyperlinks in it are dead, a Web-based memento mori of sorts:

We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a 404 Not Found error.


Mayday! Mayday!


Certainly has been quiet around here lately, hasn't it?

This weblog has been, I regret to say, on an unplanned and unintentionally lengthy hiatus, the consequence of a tumbrel-load of conflicting, largely professional, pressures that have kept me away from the much more enjoyable task of posting posts since early April.  These conditions seem certain to prevail until at least the middle of May.  Do, please, keep this Fool in your thoughts, your bookmarks and your RSS feeds until that time.

And now, back to work...

Illustration: August Saint-Gaudens, Adams Memorial (1891; bronze cast 1969), at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire; original in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.  Photo via the National Park Service.

P.S., In honor of the day, here's Elvis Perkins:

Welcome to 2007


As a New Year's service to myself and my readers, I have managed the trick of making this weblog available directly through the URL www.afoolintheforest.com.  Nostalgists can still reach us through the old cumbersome TypePad address, if they insist. 

[Not quite true, yet.  Stay tuned.]

UPDATE [010207 0950 PST]:  Now, it's true.  The more readily memorable URL (don't forget that it begins with the indefinite article "a") is fully functional.  Oh joy.

[Photo by biewoef (Hilde Vanstraelen, Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium) via stock.xchng.]

Home Away From Home for the Holidays

I am genuinely thrilled to report that I will be guest-blogging from December 19 through December 25 as a [woefully inadequate] substitute for Walter Olson at the indispensable Overlawyered.  I will be trying to do my part to fulfill Overlawyered's worthy mission of "Chronicling the high cost of our legal system."

Please join in, and add Overlawyered to your daily weblog rounds if you have not already done so.

Seeking After Foolthy Lucre


Inspired by the mercenary go get 'em entrepreneurial example of the likes of big-time weblogger and Economist correspondent Megan McArdle, I have created my very own little corner shop, or "aStore," at Amazon.com and stocked it with goodies -- books and CDs  mostly -- that I recommend to anyone who might be interested.  Some are items I have written about here, others I will write about, and still others are hearty perennials.  The shop provides a perfect spot in which to curl up in a comfy chair and carry on your holiday shopping, or perhaps pick up a little something for yourself. 

I have named my little electronic pushcart

and it is accessible through that overstuffed link or through the link in the left sidebar, just above the "Recent Posts" section. 

Should you browse around there and make a purchase, or if you click through the link at the bottom of each page to reach the main Amazon site and make a purchase after having passed through TFT, I receive a small stipend from Jeff Bezos & Company.  Purchases of Amazon Gift Certificates count, too.

Your custom is always appreciated and as a customer you are always right.  May I help you out to your car with that?  No, no: it is I who thank you.

Incidental Intelligence:

  • One of the recordings I placed on TFT's virtual shelves is the self-titled CD by the Chicago band Hummingbiird.  Imagine my pleasure and surprise when I discovered that the "Editorial Reviews" section on that Amazon page -- the section that usually draws from the work of actual critics and respectable journals -- includes an excerpt from this January 2006 post.