Today is "Blogger Appreciation Day," and I can't think of a blog I appreciate more than mine.
You can appreciate my blog, too, but you have to sacrifice a chicken and invoke the spirit of Bhaal.
Hey, these aren't my rules.
At the risk of sounding like an octogenarian with an ear trumpet, vigorously waggling a cane at some teenagers traversing my lawn, I have to say: the Internet is really starting to annoy me.
Not the Internet in general, mind you. I actually love the Internet. But, there's one aspect of the Internet specifically that has me on the edge of insanity.
Not a day goes by, it seems, that I'm not requested to register online for SOMETHING. Web pages want me to register. Computer applications I'm not even aware exist on my machine suddenly pop up and ask me to register. E-mail services I haven't used in years manage to locate me and ask if I'd be so kind as to re-register. Online registrations are basically replacing the previous scourge that was junk mail.
Honestly, I wouldn't mind registrations all that much if they each didn't require me to come up with a unique user name and password--and yes, they have to be unique, because using the same information over and over opens you up to identity theft, and I don't want thieves stealing my identity; mostly because I'm interested in protecting the thieves from a lifetime of embarrassment.
Now, I'm not what you'd call an elephant when it comes to my memory. I've pretty much forgotten what I wrote in the previous paragraph, although I vaguely recall it had something to do about online registrations. My point is, I can't be expected to conjure and then REMEMBER countless user names and passwords for every Web page, computer application, e-mail address and whatever else prompts me to register online.
There was a time, about 10 years or so ago--back when Google didn't quite yet own our online souls--when I actually kept a notebook filled with user names and passwords for such sites as eBay and the like. But now it's as if every entity that maintains a Web presence wants a registration pound of flesh if I want to simply read a single page about anything. There's just no way I can maintain an accurate log of that many user names and passwords. I'd have more success trying to memorize all the names on "Schindler's List" or the ingredients comprising a Twinkie.
Of course, the online registration world isn't entirely stupid. Web entities at least realize people are annoyed by online registrations, so some try to sweeten the deal by offering goodies if you'd just be so kind as to register. My own unintended research into this has revealed most Web entities think a two GB USB key is the necessary carrot to entice people to register. On a typical day, I'm offered about three USB keys if I'd just take the time to register.
Now, there was a time, 15 years or so ago, that two GB of storage was considered more data than a person would ever use in his or her lifetime. Nowadays, a two GB USB key is the equivalent of a 1.4 MB floppy disk. If you don't know what a floppy disk is/was, then you managed to avoid a data storage era that involved hundreds if not thousands of saved disks that are now basically worthless.
Anyway, 2 GB today really isn't all that much storage, but it occurs to me that a 2 GB USB key is probably ideal for maintaining a database file of all the user names and passwords I've accrued over my digital lifetime.
That's pretty sneaky, when you think about it.
Once upon a winter dreary, the city council pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of bureaucratic lore,
While they nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a flapping,
As of some birds freely crapping, crapping all over Rochester.
"'Tis some sparrows," they muttered, "crapping all over Rochester-
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each crow murder member wrought its feces upon Rochester.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
An umbrella or a large sombrero; protection from the splattering arrows -
For to spare me from the ravens' rain of fecal terror,
To safely travel door to door.
And the silken, mad uncertain rustling of each feathered urchin
Thrilled folks - filled folks with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that hence, to still the beating of their hearts, they stood repeating
"'Tis city dwellers entreating action from the council chamber door -
Some city dwellers entreating action from the council chamber door; -
Deal with the crows! Declare war!"
Surprisingly the council's brains grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sirs," said they, "and Madams, truly your forgiveness we implore;
But the fact is we were napping, and so gently the crows came flapping,
And so gradually came their crapping, crapping all over Rochester,
That we scarce knew of the problem - from beyond our chamber door; -
But now we see and we deplore."
And so the council started thinking, with results suggesting heavy drinking;
To consider killing crows was something none had dreamed before;
"The crows' routine must be broken! Use hawks and falcons!" What were they smokin'?
The plan, it failed, and the only words there spoken was the whispered phrase, "Spend more."
This they whispered, so the city's taxpayers couldn't hear the phrase "Spend more."
If they'd heard they would have swore.
Back into the chamber turning, the council members' cheeks were burning.
Once again they heard the flapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said they, "surely this can't be happening; all this wanton raven crappening.
Let's try something different; there are more options to explore -
Let's try trapping them, and release them where they're not our problem any more."
The council's brain cells number four.
"Just kill the crows!" some people demand. "Shoot them! Drug them! Make a stand!
Hire crow assassins, any creep will do!" "We can't kill the ravens," others say. "Crows are people, too!"
And thus the council's caught in twain, and no one has a working brain.
Accumulates the fecal gore, as thousands of ravens quoth:
"Here's some more."
Come spring the ravens will likely depart and briefly halt their fecal art,
They won't torment Mayo Clinic patients, or strafe paint the $300k bus stations.
But come winter's inevitable return, the crows will once again be a concern,
And the council will ask, "When will the feces no longer pour?" And the ravens answer:
While my posting has been light to non-existent as of late, I should point out that February marks my 10th anniversary for blogging. I was 26-years-old when I sent out my very first blog post, back then on Blogger.
Ten years of blogging, and what a ride it's been. It's been at different times a fun writing exercise/distraction, a modest money-making venture, and a crucial sanity saver during one of the darkest chapters of my life.
So, yeah, I think it's been worth it.