This entry is to officially announce the end of life for this blog. I've been thinking about this for a while, and felt it was time. There are a few reasons for this...
When I originally started writing here, my intent was to share something different - a different perspective on ordinary things, or to talk about things that had meaning to me but that others could learn from. That isn't happening anymore. I'm finding more and more that this has become an outlet for my own frustrations in dealing with the everyday nonsense that I see around me every day. Sometimes this is a good thing, but I'm not always so sure that it isn't indirectly giving credibility to things that shouldn't get it. Moreover, while I'm sure there are some people who are interested in what I write about, in general nobody really wants to read someone's constant rants.
Sadly, the frustration is indicative of how many things have been going lately. If I thought writing about it here would make it better, I would continue to do that. It isn't.
As far as being original is concerned: There are too many other people out there doing exactly what I'm doing -- many times with the same basic opinions. Some of these blogs articulate those opinions much better than I can. Some of what I've said is original, but unfortunately there are many people who are just echoing the same frustrations about the same things.
One person ("JC") who I felt did do a better job of articulating many of those feelings has disappeared off the face of the earth. I know through some digital bread crumbs she left around the Internet that she went through some of her own difficulties and has since resolved them and moved on (I think) to better things. I suspect that she, too, came to essentially the same conclusion I did. "Mental Shrapnel" has been dormant for 8 months.
I also looked forward to Tristin's ("speck") writings as well, and she too has become too busy with other things to write regularly (the last thing was a month ago). In fact, I feel that the writings here has partially damaged the in-person friendship I had with her -- namely that I found myself saying, "It's in the blog," way too often. Additionally, due to some over-sensitivity to some things she's said in person, I've found myself (in person) trying to skate around technical discussions in an attempt to not make her feel left out of a conversation, and that has simply become more rude than helpful. So to Tristin: sorry 'bout that...
Aside from the rants that have been published here, there are also many that are not published. Some are things I wrote, but never published. Some I actually published, then removed shortly after. Even others I thought about writing but never did. This is because the subjects have been getting more and more controversial. These topics are ones that, no matter how rationally I try to discuss them, they end up offending someone or making me look mean-spirited (I'm really not). Don't get me wrong -- there are some people I don't really mind offending. I think that the cable and phone companies deserve a good flogging for sure. There are some people who don't mind sharing their opinions about life with me, to the point of getting in my face about it (or restricting my rights). I don't really care if I offend these people either. As I said above, though, writing it down is neither therapeutic to me nor does it really effect the change in the actions I find offensive. Over the last couple of years I have been surprised by and felt happy that others have shared my opinion. For example, when I wrote about problems with perfumes and forced smells, someone pointed me to a web site with others who have similar problems. Unfortunately these experiences are few, and as I find having to censor myself more and more, writing here becomes less and less enjoyable.
Finally, there's a matter of time. Because I need to think carefully before I write, putting these entries together takes a great deal of time. Sometimes several hours. After two hours of writing about a topic it becomes difficult to remember all the points I wanted to make. For example, in my most recent entry about The Invention of Lying, I never did discuss the fact that its description of religion was not just not offensive, but even further, it demonstrated how religion can be comforting in times of grief. I was so consumed with rage over the people who trashed the movie because it offended their faith that I failed to remember this important point after two hours of writing. That makes me just as bad as they are in some ways. The thing that went through my mind as I wrote that was the comments made by the various coalitions for "family values" and so forth who ripped into South Park and tried to get it removed, and how they've trashed homosexual marriage, and how they've trashed anything even remotely pornographic (but violence is okay). Yeah, I know, enough already. I've made my point. Again. That's what I mean: It's the written form of, "Don't get me started."
There are technical topics I would like to discuss here too. Unfortunately, while Blogger is great for writing paragraphs and text and lists, it is horrible for editing tables and things like that. I have tried importing HTML created off-line, but this usually becomes unmanageable very quickly (if it even works at all). When one talks about technical topics, presenting information in tabular form is a must. Again, there is also the issue of time.
So to those who have found this helpful in some way, I am happy that it did, and hope you can appreciate where I am at this point. I'm considering starting a new project of sorts that will be done on my own (personal) web site that will be more like what I wanted to do here for technical information. Please leave feedback here if you're interested in that project. As far as my opinions go... Well, I'll probably leave 'em here for a while, but they're probably going to be removed by me at some point and archived away somewhere. What is here is the result of a lot of work. I really appreciated meeting the people who I did meet here, and I'm glad that my friends who I know in-person got a little better insight about what I'm thinking (as ugly as that has become as of late).
Thanks, as always, to the kind people at Google for keeping Blogger alive and ad-free. This resource is a great service to the 'net at large, and there are countless people who have and still do use this for great things. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your continued support. Thank goodness this is done...