February 1, 2005

Oh One to Oh Five, Baby!

Well, it’s official. It’s February, and we have now been doing this crazy website thing for four years. Geez. Four years. That’s more than fifteen percent of my life. Ever since I was born I don’t think I’ve stuck with any one thing for more than fifteen minutes, so the thought that I’ve been running this site for so long completely blows my mind.

It’s been a weird journey, and one that would have been impossible without an immense supporting cast. I wanna give a give a loud shout-out to all my friends across the planet, who have braved the good and bad words, the thoughtful and thoughtless redesigns, the amusing and snarky links. I can’t think of any fair way to list all the lovely folk I wish to thank, so I will try and list ya’ll in a pseudo-chronological order:

Thanks to Jesse, who, on a frigid outdoor smoke break during a party at the Nerd Apartment in January 2001, forced me to reflect deeply on my committment to music. After a tough period of introspection, I decided that I loved her enough to let her go. Music, that is. Not Jesse. Jesse is a guy, for cryin’ out loud.

Thanks to James Lileks, of Backfence and Lileks.com fame, whose work inspired this whole endeavor. I remember that after I got my wisdom teeth pulled and was totally tricked out on gas, I read one of his Backfence articles five times in a row, in absolute awe that someone could be that funny. Later on I sobered up and discovered his website, which inspired me to pursue writing with so much passion.

Thanks to Abuabakar, and everyone else who was on AOL Instant Messenger during the early days. There was a time when writing a good away message was an art form, and there were those of us who took it way too seriously. Many of the earliest writings I did for Cromlech were actually away messages from the golden age of AIM.

Thanks to the dictionary for giving a name to my earliest website. I called her Cromlech, and she was all the space I had for nearly two years of online experimentation. Cromlech came into being on the web servers at the University of Minnesota Duluth, which I eventually outgrew in the need to install more powerful publishing software. Cromlech is still around, but not as we remember her.

Thanks to Jennifer of Zosia Blue. She is a fellow member of the Nerd Herd, and she was my first friend where we went though that awkward, “You have a website? Hey! I have a website!” thing. Whenever I’m in a slump I always find her writing inspiring, and back in the day our games of Slant Rhyming were top-notch. When I was ready to take my website off the spinning platters at UMD and into the wilds, she recommened I join forces with her host, Pair Networks. I did, and I regret nothing.

Thanks to the Nerd Herd, for playing Bubble Bobble all night, handcuffing me to a table, and being there when I almost killed myself with hot sauce. This may all have happened before I even started Cromlech, but I’m sure that it had something to do with the inevitable outcome.

Thanks to my old roommate Ryan, for always giving me something to write about. Just when I was ready to gouge my eyes out because I were so bored with school, this guy would set the toaster oven on fire or burn a pound of bacon and make me want to gouge his eyes out. If anything, he taught me that disasters make the best stories, which made my acclimiation to summer camp relatively painless.

Thanks to my old roommate Peter, whose genius inspired Leave it to Peter. Peter’s greatest ideas involved throwing matches at Ryan, training regular eels to become electric eels, and brewing potato vodka in the apartment. He cut his hair, and I haven’t seen him since. Leave it to Peter is currently defunct, and for the last four years I’ve made it a priority to get it up and running again.

Thanks to my music theory professor, Justin Rubin, who inspired Rubin Sez… with his wacky antics and wonderful sense of humor. Rubin has been a dedicated reader since our earliest early days, and the least I could do for him is resurrect Rubin Sez… I’ll give it the same priority I’ve given Leave it to Peter.

Thanks to all the members of Wuda Wooch!, both new and old. Running around with ya’ll gave me plenty of opportunities to dial in my outdoor photography skills, as well as get concussions and drop bus-sized rocks on Peter. Building photo galleries from our past trips was always a blast.

Thanks to my friend Daniel of Ice Storm Music, who offered up some space on his web server for Cromlech for a spell and has helped me come to grips with countless technical frustrations. Also, thanks for the hot lighting mods on the Tempo, which we installed in Hopkins during a tornado. Next time I see you, I owe you a heroin smoothie.

Thanks to Noah Grey, who wrote the web publishing tool Greymatter. Greymatter was Cromlech’s first shot at automation (and my first shot at raw HTML), and its installation allowed me to update my website while working at camp during the summer of 2002.

Thanks to everyone at Camp Ihduhapi, who actually lived and breathed the stories that we can only tell to others. Remember when we tried to sink the emergency boat? When we ate waffles? When we went to Valley Fair and made up our own lyrics to Weezer? When Montana got knocked out by a water balloon? When Victor raped a fish?

Thanks to Kristie who kicks so much ass and wears hoop earrings. Extra special thanks to Pip, Liz, Tara and Anne.

Thanks to the gang at Six Apart, whose Movable Type publishing software functions as everything from a blogging tool, to a photo gallery manager, to a poor man’s CMS. I installed Movable Type after I moved my website from UMD to Pair in the fall of 2002, and I spent the better part of 2003 trying to figure the whole thing out. Tonight, I finally gave those guys a couple of bucks and upgraded my Movable Type to version 3.14. For the last two years I have been one of those bastard MT 2.661 users that you hear so much about, who are too cheap to fork over $70 for the best damn piece of publishing software in existence. Well, if $70 is what it takes, then $70 it is. Count me in.

Thanks to Dane Petersen for introducing me to the work of Zeldman and other standards-based web designers. Also, thanks for being a great musician and doing the name justice! Move zig for great justice! If I ever find myself in Dallas, I owe you a beer.

Thanks to Nial Pipslyrh, the humor editor at the UMD Statesman, who published whatever crap I gave to him.

Thanks to everyone at UMD who almost passed out laughing at my humor columns. It’s reassuring to know that the only way I can outdo myself is to make you suffocate, black out, and collapse in a heap.

Thanks to Perfect Duluth Day for being beautiful. I’m sorry I don’t write more.

Thanks to everyone who puts together Geek Prom year after year. If there’s one thing that’s geekier than blogging, it’s gotta be nearly being crowned king of Geek Prom. Could anything be geekier than that? Certainly. Actually working at Geek Prom. Sitting in as a judge at Geek Prom. Blogging from Geek Prom.

Thanks to Rob, Dave, Robin, Tim and Pat of the Spontaneous Combustion Jazz Sextet, for throwing some kick-ass parties/rehearsals, and playing some awesome ‘jump yo’ ass’ music. “Dane, did you draw on the dog?”

Thanks to Tyler for being such a dedicated fan, and having a wit to match. Especially, thanks to Greta for saying, “Tyler doesn’t read your website when you get political.” That simple statement really helped me reevaluate my priorities.

Thanks to Hank Ryanins for having a weblog, forgetting he had it, and then rediscovering it.

Thanks to Silent C for always listening, and having great things to say when I finally shut my mouth.

Thanks to Luke for tripping on the dishwasher, vacuuming the cat, and moving out West.

Thanks to Nate for living a life of inspiration, and for making me want to always push to the next horizon. I hope that you have found the South Pole just as inspiring the second time around, and I’m certain that our canoes shall cross paths in the Boundary Waters this summer.

Thanks to my college advisor, Dr. Risdon, for letting me build an intense major around a vaporous concept originally titled The Philosophy and Techniques of the Scintillate Writer. I eventually cast off the cloak of intellectual snobbery.

Thanks to Dr. Stroupe for pushing my abilities in web design, information architecture and cyberspace philosophy. I still think that we should put our heads together and hammer out that New Media Writing major. How about an associate professorship?

Thanks to Dr. Cole for giving me my first web design gig. I always enjoyed the philosophy after-parties at your house, because your house looks like a castle and I think all students of philosophy should get to philosophize in a castle at least once.

Thanks to Sandy for recommending www.brainsideout.com, after being bombarded with all the other possibilities. I still love the name, and having recently renewed the domain for four more years, I have plenty more time to keep on loving it.

Thanks to everyone at Big Winds for taking a midwesterner with straw still in his ears, and turning him into true citizen of the Gorge.

Thanks to Mike for helping me figure this whole thing out. In many ways, you were a lot like the older brother I never had. Because, like, I didn’t have an older brother. I had an older sister who could have tied me into a pretzel if she wanted to, and I didn’t really want her to do that.

Thanks to Motoshi for being a fun roommate, snowboarding at Timberline in July, and teaching me how to kiteboard Japanese Style. Thanks to Miho for proving that girls make kick-ass kiteboarders. I hope that your baby is fine and healthy!

Thanks to Leslie for loving great music, for wanting to see great music live, and for saying awesome stuff like “drop trow.”

Thanks to Deb at Mount Bachelor for sticking up for me, and giving my life a new direction as a snowboard instructor. Thanks to everyone else at Bachelor for being an excellent group of cats. Special thanks to ski patrol, who peeled my sorry ass off the mountain after I broke my leg.

Thanks to Erik the Great for helping make Lava House a Nexus of Greatness, complete with Monty Python, Mel Brooks and bad puns. Thanks for having guns in the house and taking me shooting. You make a darn good pot of chili, and while you always remember that the most important ingredient is beer, you sometimes forget that the second most important ingredient is Corn Nuts.

Thanks to Fish for being a hilarious member of the Lava House Alliance, and for having a shiny head. “She was attached… at the neck… to an ALBATROSS.” I always enjoyed our long discussions on the Lava House Philosophy Porch. Seeking, man, still seeking.

Thanks to Lisa for loving GIR enough to put up with our tiny voices, and for giving me my own personal GIR. “I’m dancin’ like a monkey!”

Thanks to everyone at Alpine for embracing my crazy antics, including the Incredible Hulk Hands, the Goggles of Focus, and the scenes of Armageddon regularly depicted on my whiteboard.

Thanks to Jim for being the best damn boss anyone could ever ask for. Thanks for buying us beer, guiding us down the Deschutes, streaking our parking lot, and making Morgan puke on his 21st birthday. Your passion for the outdoors (as well as your unorthodox management style) will continue to be a source of great inspiration.

Thanks to Jody for being a great co-worker and an awesome climbing partner, for taking the kayak down every side chute on our river trip, and for loving PBR as much as I do. Thanks for wanting to ride in a monster truck so badly that you were willing to wrench your ankle to get the opportunity. “Aye, Whitey! Ya’ll whanna drink some beerz an’ git ‘n a fight idn’it one guy?”

Thanks to all the Bend Bloggers, including Jake, Simone, Shannon, Barney, Jesse and Jon. What a fun crew! You guys were the first blogger friends I made, and you certainly won’t be the last. Also, thanks to all the Live Journal-ists of Bend. Somebody’s gettin’ egged!

Thanks to my old roommate Shane for being an excellent cook, and for doing a sweet job winterizing our irrigation. Just kidding, man, I love ya.

Thanks to Erin for renting out a room in her brand-spankin’ new house to a trippy death hippie like myself. I hope your shoulder is feeling better. Just think, you picked the best winter in years to injure yourself snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest. You haven’t missed much!

Thanks to everyone from Hopkins who has managed to stick around and stay in touch. We’ve scattered to the far reaches of the globe by now, but it’s wonderful when we can get together and trade stories.

Thanks to all the people who I don’t hear from very often, but I know are out there. The thought that this site means something to you is enough to keep me writing, to pay the bills and keep it running. And to Jackie, I’m sorry about the search engine placement.

Thanks to everyone who I have neglected to mention in this list. I had a pressing deadline, and I’m awfully sorry that I missed you!

Most of all, thanks to my parents and family. My dad reads the site regularly, and will leave comments if I need to remember to schedule a dentist appointment or something. My mom doesn’t like reading on the computer and has my dad print off the latest entries, and he’ll be the first to let me know when my printer-specific stylesheets get out of whack. Sometimes I’ll get a concerned phone call if I go too long without updating the site.

Thank you so much for your continued love and support, as I continue to trek across this glorious planet and collect new stories and experiences.

Geeze it even loads OK on Ed’s Apple (System 9)!
Looking for about 8 inchs of fresh snow tomorrow & more tomorrow night.
Hope you are feeling better

Hey Dad!
Glad to hear that you old farts are gettin’ snow. Say hi to the freshies for me… we’ve been really hard up for snow this year, and I’ve only been out snowboarding once.
Oh well. Not too long and I’ll be enjoying some Mexican wind. The good kind, hopefully, not the bad kind.

ah, lordy, the time… busy life here – no writing going on really anywhere. allow some veg time and we’ll see what comes out. certainly nothing as inspiring or nice as this celebratory entry o’ yours. kudos, dane. keep it coming.
from one wandering kid to another…