Saturday, 26 December 2009

An Inconspicuous Beginning. Three Years Ago Today, Dec 26, 2006.

Three years ago today, I moved into my rented Blogspace at the cheaper end of town, rolled up the rusty, graffitied shutters, strapped on my surplus-store bargan blogachute, and jumped into the internet.
I'm still free-falling, somewhat uncontrolled, and of course, so long as I don't ever pull the ripcord, I can be confident that the blogachute will be in full working order.
Back in the first few days, I wrote more. I was probably trying to convince myself I wasn't as indolent as I really am, and trying to persuade myself I had something to say, but of course, in that very first post, I didn't really say much!

I've learned a lot, met some great people, had some fun.... Afer the first few tweaks I haven't messed with the colours, layout, or whatever much at all.
Funny really, You'd expect, if you saw my everyday garb, I'd be a green or blue blog.
I didn't use a sitemeter at first, then I got two, one you see, one you don't.
Activemeter says there are 75,000 visitors, Sitemeter is more conservative at 49,000.
Most of those people fell into here by accident and left after a quick muttered "What the hell is all this nonsense", but some stayed, some keep returning, and have done so from the early days, some of those constant returners are unknown to me, all I see is their identifier in the meter, so I know they're long-term visitors, but I know nothing of them. Except when I click on the "special tools" icon, and activate their webcam and microphone. Hey, Santa Monica! Nice wallpaper, I think your goldfish is dead.
Oops, look at the time! I have to go out now, so more musing on the why and wherefore and retrospection will have to wait.

Who are you, where from, when did you first drop by Grit in the Gears, and should I give up now ?

Tuesday, 26 December 2006
An Inconspicuous Beginning.

Damn... What have I done? And why?

First of all who am I?
For most purposes, these days, I am Ersatz Soubriquet.

I have another name, several, in fact, but Ersatz has been taking over in leaps and bounds. He first came into existence... A long time ago, I won't disclose how long just now, but it was before the internet, when he worked with a quill pen.
Stop that!
Ersatz, you never had a quill pen.
I did!
Liar! You remember, you had a pen, like a wood stick, with replaceable nibs, that you used for carving the desk until Mr Dennis smacked you with a ruler. And then you had to ask Mr Dennis for a new nib and he was very cross.
And you had to dip the pen in an inkwell on the desk, full of Parker's patent Quink, blue-black, washable, for schools, refiller from the big bottle in the cupboard. And then you left a big blob of ink on your book, and then you blotted it with blotting paper, which was pink until it got blotty all over, and you always had blue fingers and..
What the hell is all this? What are you doing? ink and nibs indeed, you're supposed to be introducing yourself to the as yet, mythical reader.
But there isn't a reader, The reader is a myth, it's just me!
Look, this is the innertent, or as the rest of the world outside our fuddled head knows it, The Internet ! (ooh good! if you hit the keys harder the letters are bigger and blacker)(or whiter, in this case) and the innertent is full of shoals of aimless people who might happen along here and read this.
But why would they?
Stop asking questions, just trust me, they might, and if they did, they wouldn't want to read about your early school years.
They might.
Trust me, I'm your more sensible self, they don't.
So. You're me?
I am, only more sensible.
Oh. Do you remember Mr Dennis then?
Yes. He was very big, we were about eight years old, and he smelled of pee. And he had an old greeny coloured jacket and he could throw a piece of chalk so it hit you right between the eyes.
I remember that. He was very big on not day-dreaming, or looking out of the window, or bending nibs.
Bit of a tough task, then. me, us, never been good at focusing on the task in hand, the present, and so on.
Right. Lets try focus, get together in the same brain and get on with it, shall we?

I've just signed up for this bloggery and I've no idea how it works or who the hell wants to know what I think about anything.
Will I persist? who knows. time will tell. I'd better learn how to do it now, so don't hold your breath, unknown first reader, because it might take months to figure out... Like what happened there? fonts changing size? and there's no teacher in the room. Maybe if I pull out the computer's plug it will fix itself... shall I buy a new keyboard?

That's it, I'm intimidated now by the empty space, I'll just go read someone else's blog and pretend I'm clever enough to do it.

Now what? Preview button..... post... Labels?

Anyway, mythical first reader, If you do happen by, please leave a comment. Try not to wound me too much.

Posted by soubriquet at 7:03 PM


  1. I first linked to "Grit in the Gears" via the "Sister Hood of the Pointy Heel" blog. That was back when I had my now defunct "World of L.Tart" blog. I've been blogging 5 years myself, & have met a lot of great people from all over the world. Blogging is a great way to connect with other people. I enjoy blogging as much as I did when I started back in 2005. I consider your blog to be one of the witty ones, you always have an interesting selection of music, too. I think this site is also where I first saw Bernard the Bear(which I now watch with my 2 year old grandson). So keep it up!

  2. SOUB! David! I have no idea how you and I came across each other, but I suspect you found me and got the ball rolling, and if you can, would you tell the Mule I miss her? :) And have you got any pottery going??????????????????????????????

  3. Well, I followed you from Rita's thing. It's interesting here, if I may say :-)

  4. I came to your blog via a comment you left on mine and I've continued to check in. I've been blogging since Jan 2005 and for the first two years I didn't get many visitors. Now I get many more but few take the time to comment mostly because I usually just post links, I suppose. Like you I take stock once in awhile and wonder whether to continue and for the time being I soldier on. I think you should too.

  5. Oh ARSE!
    I was writing a long and convoluted reply to all of you, and somehow i clicked on.....
    well I don't know dammit, If I knew I wouldn't have...
    Oh FFFFFF**********!!!!!!!

    And it's two in the morning.
    I'll try do it right tomorrow.

  6. Dave, great post and even greater comment! No matter how sussed you think you've got it that dreaded wrong button moment always out smarts all of us bloggers. Merry New Year, got that kiln in yet?!?!?!?

  7. Hey Matt, how did you know?.....
    All my keyboards (I kill them at a rate of about two per year) have a button, invisibly maked "wrong", and the cunning thing is, it shifts position, unpredictably. Add to that my medical condition, known in the trade as "Confusionfingeritis" which leads an afflicted victim to strike multiple keys at once, and gets stronger powers along with the victim's levels of tiredness..... Oh yes. in reality, I write several 1200 word, beautifully composed, phrased and illustrated blogposts every week, only to have them fall victim to the "wrong" button.
    Problem is, after I've written for an hour or so, chewed the imaginary blogpencil to splinters, rubbed out, rewritten, researched.... and then lost it all entirely, then I'm burned out. I can't write again what I meant to say the first time, it just doesn't work.
    And that's just in comments!

    Luckily, blogger recognised my incompetence and put auto saves in the post editor, but I really need auto saves in the comment box. Being of a butterfly mind, I then wonder if anybody has done anything that cures it.... and nearly google my way out of this comment.... which would erase it entirely. Another attack of "wrong" staved off.
    Thanks, Matt...
    Hapy midwinterfestivus!
    No kiln as yet. I looked yesterday, and it hadn't miraculously hooked itself up. But the Sparky's booked for the new year Whoopeee!!!!

    And, despite it being deep and crisp and even around here, my clay's not froze yet!

  8. hey soubriquet... i can't recall the date but it must have been the spring of this year (2009) that i happened upon your blog doins and i'm almost certain i came by way of gary rith's blog. 75,000 visitors, wow, that's nothin' to sneeze at.

  9. Jim: I should be replying to the earlier comments, but, I'm fatigued, It's 1:30 in the morning, I just got in, been on the phone with the Red Dirt Mule, Oh I love that Mule....

    Right... where was I ? That Gary Rith.... He makes me laugh, y'know? latest I see, he's been carving Ms Tastycakes name into the wall of the pub! Well, I was at my local too, (ten miles away), tonight, drinking pints of Easy Rider....mmmm
    Then back in the snow and ice, my brother's betrothed, April, driving, oh how nice it is to have a designated orange-juice drinker...
    Our blizzards are due again, tomorrow, the snow is not thick, but the street outside is packed white ice.brrrrr.
    That 75000 figure, that's the upper estimate. 25k per year....
    But they're the accidental visitors, mostly, looking for Tractor-Porn and poems by e.e cummings. The ones I value are those who say hello, those who become people, not just ip addresses.

    Thanks Jim, for dropping by... Your dog, grrr... I recall returning to a similar scene, with my dog looking quite proud of himself, a shredded mattress scattered, and a dog proudly wagging with a "look what i done, Boss!" look about him.
    Count your blessings. That fool of a dog loves you.

  10. Phew.... Here I am again, daytime and outside, more snow is just starting, no plan to go out for a while..
    Rita: I did start to reply to you before, as explained in an earlier comment....
    Now, your earlier blog that I commented on, I'm wondering if you could either confirm or deny that the comment was on a post in which you were discussing a dumpster that had been outside your apartment so long it was growing weeds?
    My memory is not in the least a reliably filed entity, so this may not be at all true, it might be a phantom recollection.
    The Sisterhood..... HA! Vive la Difference! as they say, I still collect pics for use in my ongoing catalogue of the Sisterhood of the Pointy Heels' ongoing march.
    Some of my pseudonyms were sussed by the sisterhood intel folk, which made posting on their blog a bit trickier.
    And things hapened to our undercover guys.
    The posters there all seem to have drifted away into other activities, maybe i should stir them up with a few bogus posts there?
    Bernard the bear, or "Backkom!" as I know him, I love those cartoons, I think I identify with him, his little happinesses, his rages when inanimate objects conspire against him, his simplicity.
    My other great favourite animation series.... Wallace and Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep, If you don't know them, seek them out. They're as much for adults as they are for kids.
    Thanks for the encouragement, I was just wondering if it was time to pack up, maybe I'll carry on.
    As for flying cars....
    You're quite right. I want one, I really do, I always did. I can just see me, with a ten-year old one, outside on blocks, a trip to the scrapyard on saturday morning to see if I can find a compatible-ish turn-and-bank controller module out of a later model, followed by an afternoon filing, bashing, welding, fabricating a new bracket for the offside rear landing-leg..... Then a test flight, out over the park, whoops, that deflector's sticking again, still, I don't think anybody saw me drift accidentally and knock the head off the statue....
    Oh yes, flying cars on a budget, where's my duct-tape?

  11. Gary: Merry new one, and all that.
    When I win a vast and disgusting sum on the lottery, me and the Mule are going to buy a house near you, and come on pub-carving trips. She sends her love, and promises that she'll be back, eventually, but she's still wading the alligator infested swamps of divorce-land.

  12. Mac: Nice bike! when I was a teenager I pestered my parents for a bike, and it fell on deaf, or vociferously opposed ears.
    They were maybe wiser than I gave them credit for, because when I did start playing with two-wheeled beasts I had a couple of near-misses at the early stages, and it persuaded me to stick with things that didn't always want to fall over, or take fright at patches of loose gravel and spilled fuel oil. So I graduated to four wheel drive things that fall over and slither sideways down mountains.....
    I still look longingly at the bikes that roll up outside the pub on a summer evening though.
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    Hey. That Lion... I've not even dented her surety, have I? Damn.

  13. Nag: I've been droppiny in on your blog for a long time now, don't know when I started, I had loads of blogs bookmarked before I decided to do one myself, I like the way in which bloggers pick out things that interest themseles, and thus broaden my knowledge and experience. You post things that i wouldn't necessarily seek out myself, as I type, I'm listening to Miles Davis playing on your blog, in another tab, and being reminded of hearing him play in Iceland, in 1980...
    I like your blog colours, by the way, those ferns and the stone cherub, i like connections, I like exploring other people's outgoing links, and their links, it can, of course, waste hours of time when I should be doing something else, but what i like most of all is the feeling that the blog archipelago brings us into contact with real people, all over the world, not celebrities, nor journalists, but real people, people of diverse lives and interests, who all have this one thing in common, a wish to express themselves, and to connect with others.

  14. Oh fark. Look at all those spelling flubs. Memo: get new typing finger, preview, proofread, edit.


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