Monday, June 08, 2009

Voting with their index finger?

One of the wierd things about blogging - or any of the peculiar forms of electronic intimacy, from e-mail to porn sites, that characterizes our early 21st Century - is the completely unpredictable, almost random way that these "relationships" ebb and flow.

I was thinking about this because of the comments, or lack of same, for the four preceding posts below.

The Friday 5/29 post about American world policies and our domestic character? 22 comments, and a pretty lively discussion of the subject.

The Tuesday 6/2; the Screwtape letter to Randall Terry and his merry band of Christ Crackers? 14 comments, although the discussion was mostly between Sheerahkhan on the side of the angels versus the rest of us - sorry, Sheerah...

The Friday 6/5 killer-diller Forties music post? Even that one got 9 comments.

Saturday's adorable kids-and-Portland post?

Zero. Zip. Nada. As in, nadagoddam thing.

When I started this thing almost three years ago my audience was pretty tiny, and almost exclusively limited to those people I knew through international adoption ( especially the Yahoo group "ALT-DTC06"; Walternatives, Millicent from Different Dirt, Atomic Mama from the long-gone and sometime mourned Atomic-Ranch. Linda from the old Singing Bird of distant memory; Wzgirl, from Buttercup; and Red Sand from Spitting Wooden Nickels. Beeb from Moonbeam) and a couple of local Portland friends.

At the time I got few comments and almost none on the political posts. The feedback, when it came, was all for the domestick-y stuff; home improvement, kids, waiting for (and then living with) a little person from China.

Since autumn 2007 I've noticed a lot of changes. The old adoption group has nearly disappeared; Red Sand drops in pretty regularly, and I've heard from Wzgirl and Beeb once or twice over the past couple of months. On the other side, I gave the Different Dirt crew the Cut Direct after they disrespected my Little Miss. But Walternatives, Atomic Mama and Linda have decided to unblog themselves, and seldom leave the confines of Facebook. I've noticed that with their absence the home-and-family posts get very little reaction now. I wonder if I've helped contribute to their flight with a larger diet of posts about politics and war...I hope not; I miss them - Facebook is a dry pretzel stick of a connection after the banquet of images, ideas and opinions that was wordpress or blogger...

But into the space opened by the departure of the old aquaintences have come other ones, many old friends from the old Intel Dump: Al, Publius, srv, fasteddiez, sheerah, Charles (and I hope this finds you doing well, Charles!), basilbeast and (every so often) seydlitz - as well as newer friends like mike, and Lisa and Jim from Rangeragainstwar. This group is a lot more in tune with politics and things opinionated, and that, too, mitigates against the domestic stuff.

But I enjoy the domestic stuff...

So I hope that everyone is willing to bear with me. I enjoy interacting with you all, my electronic extended family, but I am too old and to cussed to reinvent myself, like Madonna. To say nothing of how I'd look in a bustier and heels. So even though the old adoption-mom-and-family crew has almost gone, I'm going to continue to resist making this into an "opinion" blog. There will be politics and opinion, but there'll be adorable-kid glurge and "Cool Things in North Portland", too.

Because, as the Peeper would say, that's what fifty-one-year-olds LIKE.


Pluto said...

Keep on posting the domestic stuff, Chief. Just because we don't have anything to say doesn't mean that we aren't reading and enjoying it.

sheerahkahn said...

omg, I have guilt.

Sorry, Chief, I do read the domestic stuff...and seeing the little ones bopping around pop is a joy to see...I just don't know what to say other than if you could bottle and mass-produce that cuteness and sell it as a cure for the ailments that bedevil our society I'd buy stock in your company.

I'm a dad too, two sons, one of whom just...he's 20, turning 21 this year...hell in September, and we're having those...uh...father-son "issues."
The youngest, 16, he's out and about...more than his brother...hmm, anyway, the youngest one is in marching band, scouts, music as a general rule, oh yes, and he likes painting minatures, and playing Warhammer 40k.
Though, as my wife says about the youngest, "he's a facebook wh*re."

I'm not really sure I'm comfortable with that description, but then again, she seems to know alot more about facebook than me...or my youngest.


Linda Dove said...

Au contraire. I read you every day, via Bloglines. I just don't have the time to comment, especially when no one comments on my blog anymore. What comes around, goes around.

I prefer Facebook for its immediacy, as you know. And, as my blog is no longer anonymous, I am limited as to what I can write about there.

Rick98C said...

As an old Intel-Dump "lurker" I come here for your military and politcal posts, but also enjoy the domestic ones. Your innate ability with the written word pretty much makes anything you have to say an interesting read.

I spent most of my Intel Dump time as PA NCO, which I probably should have written as P.A. NCO as I spent many years as a Public Affairs guy and was not from Pennsylvania.

basilbeast said...

As I've written before, I like your writing. Whatever you write about. And I've often thought, and will officially mention here, since he comes around here from time to time, that you and aviator ought to collaborate. As you like to write about Portlandian domestic life, maybe he'd like to write more about the idyllic island life in Greece. And since Lisa has come to my attention, I've read Ranger's site. I don't comment there, ( I s'pose to be neighborly, maybe I should ) because if I do, I fear I'll never get off the computer.

Most of my time is devoted to the big lefty news sites and a message board, on which I have linked to your site occasionally, when your language is decent.

All too often we think our home life is just the same old same old, but each of us is exotic to someone else in another boring locale.

With exceptions, of course. I caught Colbert's show from Iraq last night. What a hoot!

Here in Kansas ( no kids from Mrs. bb and me, BTW ) we get to see the wheat grow and experience the occasional big news homicide. BTK a while ago and Tiller.

Plus all the folk from I-D. How long has that been now in all?

How about that DADT? Surprising our politicians think the military can handle pain, danger, dismemberment, even death, but petrifies at the sight of 2 guys or 2 gals in a clinch.

Oh the Horror!


Anonymous said...

My first time visit. I followed over from Linda's site because I found what you had to say about your middle eastern travels touching. My travel experience occurred in 84 also and I agree context is everything. Actually I knew then that I'd never experience Europe the same way again.

Lisa said...


Please know I am a faithful reader, if I do not always comment. I enjoy your highly allusive and eclectic style. Sometimes your "eclecticity" takes me in new directions, which I appreciate.

We see the same ebb and flow with comments over here. I just presume people don't have the time, but am glad if they are reading and thinking.

FDChief said...

Pluto, sheerah: I will. I'm glad you enjoy my kid stuff, too.

Linda: I accept your stricture; I've been bad about checking Selvage, and I promise to do better - one thing I've missed during the run-up to publication (for those who don't know her, Linda is a soon-to-be published poet whose blog, ( is an insightful and entertaining look into the use of words, the process of creating and whatever else crosses her mind...) has been visiting with you on the web.

Rick: Glad you cleared that up - I always took your screen name to reflect your status as PAARNG! Glad you like the kidlet stuff, too.

basil: Seems like ID folded so long ago...I am glad that us old Dumpers still gather around the bar, tho the disputation lacks a certain heat without old foes like Dionysus and MSR. I appreciate the shout-out.

I always thought that the amount of energy expended over DADT was ridiculous. I came off active duty and went right into an Army Reserve hospital (99th CSH) and thought I was in some sort of goddam Fellini film; the sheer volume of consensual sex made me fear that we would have problems with noise and light discipline in the field from the sparks flying and the sound of boots knockin'. I have never had a problem in 22 years of service with a homosexual or homosexual acts - despite the widespread knowledge that quite a few women in the army are openly lesbian (the 210th Aviation Battalion female billets in Panama was snidely referred to as Big Mama's Clam Shack for some unknown reason...) the women are just too damn useful at their CS/CSS jobs to Chapter out - but lots of headaches with sex, all of it het, most of it consensual.

We have perfectly good UCMJ to deal with sexual offenses. Commanders and NCOs just need to use it to make the boys let the boys alone and the girls let the girls alone like they (should but often don't) use it to let the boys and girls let each other alone...

pasedena: welcome!

Lisa said...

Down memory lane with MSR and could we forget "Frank Drackman"?!

Fasteddiez said...

Are Y'all talking about Dio????
Not Ronnie James of course, but I think his handle was Diogenes. He was CI man, which would make him a runnin' partner with Publius, No?

I mean, they both have names from antiquity. Maybe they grok Vicky Davis Hanson in his inimitable Mexican peon drag.

FDChief said...

Lisa, fasteddiez: Oh, Christ, I forgot that idiot "Frank Drackman". What a maroon. What an im-bessal. I never did figure out if he was seriously that stupid or he was just pulling our legs.

Fasteddiez: Not sure who the guy's real name is. He went by "Diogenes" at the old Dump, was a real Kool-ade drinker, nuke-'em-all-let-God-sort-'em-out type garritrooper-I-think. When he would go off into his neocon flights of fancy Al, Publius or I would refer to him as "Dionysus" since those comments made it seem like he was well flown with wine and the God of the Grape was a more appropriate handle than the Seeker After Truth.

rangeragainstwar said...


I'm sure hoping that you are not implying that we at RAW are opinionated.
I enjoy our small unit.


Red Sand said...

Like many of the others, I read very often and comment much of the time, but it doesn't mean the spots where I'm silent are uninteresting to me. Google Reader is part of the answer - I too read a lot directly from there, but I enjoy and appreciate it all.

Publius said...

It's your blog, buddy. Do it the way you want. I enjoy it all.

I do miss Intel Dump, but those of you who are more talented and/or motivated than me are helping me make the transition. I understand what Carter did. The guy I can't figure out is Henderson. Starts a web site and then never posts anything. Go figure.

Diogenes. Forgotten about him. And, no, Eddie, he was not a "running partner" of mine. I don't think he was CI or Humint.

Cheers to all.