Ten years ago today — Saturday, November 8, 2003 — I wrote this:
Welcome to Bark Bark Woof Woof, a blog dedicated to my take on life, the universe and everything with my unique sense of dry amusement. The title comes from a guy I once worked for who said “bark bark woof woof” instead of “et cetera, et cetera,” and in memory of my dog, Sam, who was my best friend for 13 years.
Since then, I’ve moved to two different places, been through three computers, I’m on my second Mustang, and written close to 20,000 posts here. Three presidential elections, ten Detroit Tiger seasons, a couple of hurricanes, one off-off-Broadway production, over a thousand music videos, theatre festivals, car shows, innumerable cultural references to Mel Brooks, M*A*S*H, and the Marx Brothers, and all — I hope — with the sense of humor and insight that I aspired to when I said that I was just “trying to get through life without bumping into the furniture.”
Something like this does not happen in a vacuum, even when some of my posts suck. I started out by being a commenter at other blogs and met like-minded people who amazed and inspired me to try it for myself. That’s how I met NTodd, who, it turns out, spent his childhood in my home town, and who served — and still does — as mentor and touchstone for what’s worth writing about. Soon I met a lot of other bloggers and made friends and actually met a couple of them in person. That is one of the enigmas of this craft: you form close bonds with people you’ve never met.
Among those are Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, who one day casually dropped me a note inviting me to be a contributor. I was stunned and honored beyond words, and from that has grown a bond that has taught me so much about being a better person, a listener, and a feminist. There is so much to admire about Melissa’s strength, courage, and just plain Liss-ness.
Michael J.W. Stickings at The Reaction has been a good friend and teacher, and being a part of his group is both an honour (the blog is based in Canada) and a welcome challenge to keep up to the standards that he sets for liberalism unbound. Every year when I go to Stratford we talk about meeting in person, and some day it will happen.
None of what you see here would be possible without the help and guidance of my brother CLW. Not just on the technical side — the countless hours of design work front and back and support when hackers attack — but also for the brotherly love and inspiration of topics and views that go way beyond C++.
I know that if I listed all the people who have been a part of these ten years, I’d be rattling off names for a long, long, time, and the cake would get stale. So let me say to each of you who has been with me since 2003 or if you just clicked on the link last week: thank you. I appreciate you more than you know, and as Bilbo Baggins famously said, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
And with that… here’s the cake.