March 01, 2003

The History of This

So back to the thing about the sink smelling like a fish tank. We had a few runs at the fish tank thing when I was maybe 10 and the experiments can be divided into two categories: the fish would die within days or the fish would overstay their welcome.

My older brother had two tiger barbs -- something like the most badass of fresh water fish -- and they coexisted happily for months, eating smaller fish for sport. After one of them died we figured it was only a matter of time before the other one turned belly up but no..it lived for another year or two. Eventually it was too big for its tank and too big to be transferred to another tank. This was one vicious fish. Sadly we couldn't keep up with its, um, productivity and the fish was constantly swimming in its own filth. I must have taken the most pity on the dreadful thing because I don't remember anyone else ever cleaning the tank, and it was a horrific smell.

We also had a collection of goldfish that evaded the tiger barb. Anybody that lasted a week in its tank was rescued and placed in another tank. Most of these refused to die (perhaps my earliest first-hand experience with natural selection) and before long they too were swimming through murky stinky waters.

My brother eventually convinced a pet shop to take the tiger barb and we somehow transferred him to a bucket. He's probably still alive today eating centenarian tortoises in the lobby of a restaurant.

What I really meant to write about was the long journey to this web log. I've watched the web log grow from a great diversion during college (thanks to Annie) to a worldwide phenomenon. Today I heard Wait Wait..Don't Tell Me use someone's web log entry as a quote. I resisted the temptation at first because I didn't think I had enough to share, and later because I knew it would be lost in the sea of boring bloggers. Another annoying random blog that only my friends might read. But once I decided that the only people I would want to read my blog were my friends, it made sense.

I'm not modest about the fact that I've had a web page since 1995. I sometimes feel like a pioneer in the field -- yeah, I used Lynx via Michigan State University. You used to be able to dial into their PPP servers for free with no name or password. Just dial up, type in "gopher" or "lynx" and have at it. Back before URLs were heard on the radio, read in newspapers and printed on everything and when Altavista seemed like a godsend -- not because it was heard to sift out the good sites, but simply because it was hard to find sites in the first place. Back when Altavista had the less than obvious URL of http://altavista.digital.com/. Back even before Jennicam. I would have had a web page sooner but I didn't know what to put on it.

So when my boss was putting together a page for our project and asked me if I had a home page to which he could link, I slapped something together for my record label that went nowhere, bLatent Records. Soon after I put together a page describing my summer of 1995. I think it was that same summer that I started the Michigan Music and Media page (which I've finally decided to put to rest) as a local answer to the Internet Underground Music Archive. That fall I learned how to do tables and client side image maps. My knowledge of HTML pretty much stopped progressing at this point, eclipsed by the new students who had actually taken classes in the stuff. I missed the Javascript bandwagon (probably for the better), the dynamic HTML thing, PHP and MySQL and all that.

Maybe that's why I resisted the temptation to start a blog -- in the span of six years or so I was already washed up as far as the internet was concerned. Sure, there are still enough wretched GeoCities sites to make you wish you never heard of that band, let alone found their page, but I couldn't keep up with the reasonably well-designed sites.

Anyway, we'll give this a go.

Posted at March 1, 2003 06:59 PM, Categories: Beardcore
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