Happy Blogiversary To Me!
This being the first anniversary of me starting this blog, I'm required by fortnights of tradition to write a long, self-absorbed post about "what it all means". When I started this blog a year ago, I really didn't know what to expect. My first post tells what I had hoped to accomplish:
"This blog has a three-fold purpose: 1) To be the one-stop shop in the blogosphere for any submarine-related news item that somehow makes it into the public domain. Don't look here for anything classified, though... just because I post it, doesn't mean that it's true. I'll try to give my best guess about whether or not the referenced article is at all accurate, or (more likely) why the writer doesn't know his ass from his elbow when it comes to submarines.
2) When submarine news is slow (as it normally is) I plan on exposing, mocking, and holding up to ridicule any particularly stupid items that get put out by the chattering classes (pajama-clad or mainstream). Does this mean that my opinion is any better than anyone elses? It depends on how you define "better". If it means "contains at least a little logic and some realistic knowledge of how the world really works" then I hope the answer will be yes.
And finally, this blog will 3) fulfill a promise I made to my sons to start a blog as soon as I got out of the Navy."
Throughout the last year, I've tried to share with those who were interested -- in addition to news and discussions about submarines and submariners -- my views about the world around us, as seen through the lenses of my experience as a submarine officer, and as expressed by my motto, my philosophy of life, and "Bubblehead's Law". (These are: "The stupid shall be punished", "When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all", and "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence", respectively.) OK, so I didn't make up "Bubblehead's Law", and it's really just a restatement of Occam's Razor for human nature, but that doesn't make it any less true. (My philosophy of life, however, I did come up with on my own. If you Google the phrase, and come up with this post, I'm the CENTCOM LCDR they're quoting.) Hopefully, I've been able to help my readers understand my perception of the way the world "really works", especially in the macro-political sense. (Some examples are here and here.)
While I try to devote at least half of my posts to submarining, I've been able to throw in a few posts mocking and belittling those who deserve it, as well as political discussions and posts of general interest. When I started this blog, I had an idea that I thought was so clear-cut and self-evident that everyone who read it would immediately understand why we're at war. This post, that I had thought was going to change the world, can be found here. Since you've most likely never read it, it obviously didn't have the impact I'd hoped for -- such is the life of a newbie blogger.
Here's a look at the last year in numbers and short answers--
Visitors: Over 90,500
Page Views: Over 199,200 (if this goes over 200,000 tomorrow, I'll probably edit this)
Blog Posts: 610
Group Blogs Administered: One (Ultraquiet No More)
Instalanches Received: Two (Here and here). Glenn really is the best blogger out there, and I just wanted to let him know that if the Great Blog War ever gets hot again, I've got his back. (Take that, Frnak J., and your "Alliance of Flea Blogs", too!)
Times I whined about Michelle Malkin not linking to me: Two (here and here)
"Pity links" Michelle gave me in response: One. (The other link I got from her was at least somewhat deserved, IMHO.)
Number of failed attempts to write a "humorous" post: One. I figured that a post about someone becoming near suicidal trying to "live-blog" an event (the NCAA basketball championship game) using Blogger would be a big hit. Instead, I got one comment from someone who recommended a better webhost. I suck at writing "humor".
Spamments removed: Probably coming up on a hundred
Most comments on one post: 122, for what is unarguably my most "popular" story, about asshat Fred Phelps and his family protesting the funeral of Cpl. Carrie French here in Idaho.
First blogger to link to me: bothenook. Thanks, Bo.
First non-submariner to link to me: Ninme. I have no idea why she's not the most popular blogger out there -- she's really good.
Attempts made to cache all my posts about the San Francisco collision in one place, in chronological order: One, over in the May archives of Ultraquiet No More. I've got about a third of them posted now, and I'll eventually finish.
Mostly, this year for me has been about interacting with great people I never would have met otherwise -- other bloggers and, most importantly, my readers. It's been about trying to correct, in a small way, some of the misperceptions that exist in the media about submarines. It's been about honoring the memory of MM2(SS) Joseph Ashley and all other submariners on eternal patrol. And it's been about one man trying to find a way to remain connected to the life that he loved: submarining. Thanks for making this journey with me, and I hope you'll continue sharing this small part of my world.
Thanks for visiting,
Joel Kennedy -- "Bubblehead"
Staying at PD...
Update 1944 17 Sep: Thanks to everyone for their good wishes in the comments, and thanks especially to Ninme and Mudville Gazette for mentioning my blogiversary. Just one small request -- I'm 250 page views away from 200,000, and I figure I have until 11:14 PM MDT until the actual anniversary of my first post to reach this milestone. Keep clicking on those links!
(Update to the update 2332 24 Sep: Thanks also to fellow sub-blogger Gus Van Horn for the mention.)
Update 2359 17 Sep: Well, I didn't quite make it to 200K page views; ended up about 150 short. Still, it's way more than I could have reasonably hoped for when I started blogging. As an additional postscript, I did some actual research, and found that what I called "Bubblehead's Law" above is actually called "Hanlon's Razor". I doesn't matter what it's called, as long as one remembers it when tempted to believe some wild conspiracy theory...