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Nine Years and Out

August 5th, 2011


Nine years. 4610 posts, or an average of about 4 posts every three days. A little over five of those years with non-stop posting, at least one post per day.

I first wrote a post on August 5th, 2002, back before I found out about blogging software; I was pissed at Bush’s mad rush to war in Iraq and his abuse of the “War on Terror” to get whatever he wanted, and wanted to vent. I had heard about blogs, and so created one the only way I knew how–by hand, just banging out some HTML that could hold my writing. Looking back on it, the post was a bit more extremist than my current style (I was venting more than anything else, writing even less to any audience at the time, and knew less then than I do now), but the reason for writing was very similar to what it is today. Of course, I wrote about a lot more than just politics: my life in Japan, computer stuff, odds and ends, philosophical musings, funny stuff I stumbled upon. It has also turned out to be a fair diary, reminding me of what was happening in my life at various times.

In the spring of 2003, I started writing fairly regularly, and in August made it a daily routine out of a desire to practice some self-discipline, in addition to it being a personal form of catharsis. I was surprised when I started getting a whole bunch of visitors. Within a year of regular blogging, I was recording 10,000 unique-IP visitors per month (who knows how many that actually represented; some users have rotating IP addresses, though the stats software I use also does not seem to count RSS readers). That peaked in 2007 to over 50,000 unique-IP visitors per month, a number which fell dramatically when I was forced by my web host to switch from Movable Type to WordPress, thus breaking links. Granted, a whole lot of those visits were to my Eyelid Twitching post (currently at 2,165 comments), but still, the reaction to the blog in general has overwhelmed me over the years.

After all this time, blogging is almost more of a habit than anything else. I get up in the morning, read the news, and blog on something. I have kept blogging despite the sometimes hopeless feeling I get from the headlong rush of politicians to do increasingly more insane crap, and despite the repetition involved in pointing out the lies spewed out in the media and in political circles. Plus, blogs are a dime a dozen now, and whatever I write is written about by hordes of others, many with depth, knowledge, insight, and style far better than I can achieve. Increasingly, this feels more like banging my head against a wall than anything else, to less and less purpose. You may have noticed my posting habits dropping from 5 days a week to four, and now to three.

Moreover, it has come to the point where I simply have other things I want to do. The deciding factor is the new Shiba puppy Sachi and I will be getting in the next few weeks. I also want to delve more into PHP and C++, and wouldn’t mind doing some non-commentary stuff, perhaps some creative writing for a change.

As a result, I have decided to stop regular posting to this site. I’m keeping the blog open, and will drop a post now and then when the feeling strikes me (probably at least two or three times a month), but I will actually make a conscious effort not to blog here out of habit.

If you’re a regular visitor to this site, and (for whatever reason I cannot fathom) really want to know when I post something, then you might want to use the RSS feed to alert you to new posts.

In the meantime, I will be opening a new blog: Shiba Me!, where I will abandon politics and commentary for warmer and fuzzier subjects. If you like puppies, are interested in the Shiba Inu breed, or would like to see the progress of a first-time (as an adult) dog owner trying to train one of the hardest breeds to train, then you may want to drop by. I have a “Welcome” post up, and will be posting as we visit the breeders over the next week, but won’t start regular blogging until we get the puppy, whereupon I’ll further redesign the site.

If you read Japanese, by the way, then a visit to Sachi’s Poza Room site is in order. Despite the header, it’s not just necessarily for women’s health, and you may find it interesting.

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  1. Troy
    August 6th, 2011 at 01:03 | #1

    Like I’ve been saying, good call, Luis!

    Not that politics is necessarily a waste of time and effort, but the return is very hard to gauge and life priorities should come first.

    Have fun with the Shiba!

  2. Luis
    August 6th, 2011 at 06:41 | #2

    It’s not going to be easy. This morning, I had to stop myself from posting something.


  3. matthew
    August 6th, 2011 at 09:12 | #3

    Thanks for all the years of blogging. I owe a great deal to you for your Mac posts as they were the deciding factor in my switching to Macs back in 2004. I have always enjoyed your blog and found it informative and entertaining. There are countless blogs about and from Japan but few are from the perspective of long time residents. (such as you and I ).

    Thanks again! Enjoy your new dog. ( Just a thought–when i was a boy we always had two dogs so they would not get lonely when we out doing our human activities. As a result the dogs were always much more relaxed and never developed any unpleasant neurosis or destructive behavior.)

  4. Stuart
    August 6th, 2011 at 09:19 | #4

    [quote]If you’re a regular visitor to this site, and (for whatever reason I cannot fathom)[/quote]
    I first came to this site because of your commentary on the Chuo Line crossing gates (where the elevation of tracks has finally been completed!). Trains are one of my obsessions, especially the trains around Tokyo, being my favorite city. Politics is also one of my obsessions, so I stuck around.

  5. Stuart
    August 6th, 2011 at 09:20 | #5

    Oops used the wrong tag for quote.

  6. Charles
    August 6th, 2011 at 16:20 | #6

    Its hard for me to imagine no Blog from another Dimension. When I first met you I think I had heard of blogs but I had never seen one. That was more than five years ago. In fact yours is the only blog I consistently look at. Its been very informative, entertaining, and helpful. I wish you well in your new outlets and hope you manage to stay on the politics beat somehow, especially with the big election coming up (I guess they’re all big), and–a little earthquake as I write reminds me that I have often looked here for information on major Japan events. I’m glad that you will at least be keeping this going if irregularly. Thanks for all the great work!

    August 6th, 2011 at 18:07 | #7

    Cousin, yo do not change a winning horse … but good luck to you.

  8. Luis
    August 6th, 2011 at 21:50 | #8

    Cousin, feel free to take up the slack. :-)

  9. Andrew
    August 7th, 2011 at 00:11 | #9


  10. Tim Kane
    August 7th, 2011 at 03:49 | #10

    I feel like I’ve just experienced the death of a friend. Dear god. This site helped sustain me through a long period of unemployment beginning in April 2005, the loss of all my savings, taking a job out of desperation teaching in Korea, staying there for two years,… my odyssey hasn’t ended. I still haven’t found gainful employment and my life is all upside down, inside out, but this blog was always there.

    Very few of my friends remain, mostly because I fell out of my economic stratta and no longer live near them, and worse while my life was falling apart they all embraced the politics that contributed to the mega-economics that lead to my destruction.

    Still, I don’t blame you. The country is going down the tubes. There’s no reversing it now. Bush presidency was a coup, that destroyed the American economy and polity by concentrating wealth and power so far to the right that a sustainable push from the left is no longer efficacious.

    Best to pull oneself out of politics and concentrate on the finer things in life, like loved ones, and puppies. And blogging doesn’t really contribute to ones personal growth as much, as, say, learning a new computer language or something like that.

    I come here every day to use the link board to send me off to different sites (really out of lazyness), but I’m sorry you’ll be posting less. I’m really going to miss your sanity, clarity, and insight. Congratulations on your moving on.

  11. Tim Kane
    August 7th, 2011 at 03:53 | #11

    I forgot to say, most profoundly, thank you for all the good years.

    Oh, and your Japanese posting was also very helpful for me while I was in Korea. Not the same, but both ‘different dimensions’ of a similar caliper. Much of what you said about the Japanese is also true about the Koreans – after all, they are both Buddhist, Confucianistic, and obsess over cherry blossoms. Also, the Korean’s learned a lot from Japanese industrial policy, so in many ways their social systems are similar.

  12. Tim Kane
    August 7th, 2011 at 04:22 | #12

    One last comment: treasure the moments of the puppy years as they occur. They are the greatest.

    I still remember, getting a half malamute, half (small) German Sheppard puppy right after I graduated from college at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. I rented room in a house that relied on swamp coolers. It was so hot one night I dragged a mattress outside and me and the puppy bed down out there. He still had the floppy ears. He heard some noise in the distance, and both of his ears suddenly popped up and pointed towards the noise, for the first time. A million memories like that. And whenever he’d spill something over, he always knew he made a mistake and would go running for cover under neath blankets in the bed room. Or after I brought him home to St. Louis, my father lowering the tail gate of his pick up and commanding him to “get in the truck” and the dog knowingly responding immediately as if they had telegenic connection.

    I’m full of lamentations today.

    August 7th, 2011 at 04:34 | #13

    Cuan largo me lo fiais!

    August 7th, 2011 at 04:35 | #14

    Cuan largo me lo fiais!

  15. August 7th, 2011 at 05:48 | #15

    You know, I actually credit your blog with changing my life. You inspired me to blog daily, and when I went out applying for professional blogging jobs they told me they would take a chance on me because my personal site showed I had tenacity.

    Now, several years (and several blogs) later, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of a tech blog enjoying tremendous growth and building a reputation in the tech community.

    I wouldn’t have any of that without my finding your blog and thinking, “If he can blog every day, so can I.”

    Thank you, Luis. And should I ever find myself in Japan again, we shall definitely meet up for a meal, my treat.

  16. Luis
    August 7th, 2011 at 07:36 | #16


    In all seriousness, that alone makes the whole thing worth it.

    But you forgot to mention that the blog you edit is TechnoBuffalo.

  17. Andrew
    August 7th, 2011 at 15:29 | #17

    Look how much your blogging has meant to people, Luis! Take a bow.

  18. August 8th, 2011 at 13:16 | #18

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for years (especially your political writings (and the fact that you are a Mac guy is even cooler)). Anyway, thanks for the all the effort you put into the blog and good luck with everything.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your work so thank you very much.

    Good luck!

    August 8th, 2011 at 14:37 | #19

    Personally, I think it is a mistake, but he will know best. It would be understandable if he were fed up with it: in that case it would be “natural death”. But, Luis, this is not the impression you give. At least for foreigners living abroad like myself, this blog provides valuable insights in American politics.

  20. Roger
    August 14th, 2011 at 19:55 | #20

    Personal needs must and should come first, that is for sure. I don’t remember how I found your blog the first time, but it immediately became a regular stop (and one of my more common blogs to share links to). Too many awesome political and mac related articles to recall… and the articles on Japan and birds and your personal life, though not what drew me to the site originally, became for me important things to read as well. You shared your life (heart and mind) to the world… and many people appreciate it. Your political view is sharp and to the point and more often than you’d admit, is unique… and to the extent that you will be writing less, will be missed. Best wishes.

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