First of all, let me clear up some of the math misconceptions: I am starting my tenth year at this location. I could have made the sixth of May my anniversary, but then I went and took a weekend off nine years ago. Since then, it's been one a day. Nine years of prattling on about whatever it is or was on my mind at the time. Sometimes it was pressing. Others it was a passing fancy. If you've ever been passed fancy I think you know how confounding that can be.
But this is a celebration. Today I would like to thank all those people who made the past nine years possible. I couldn't begin the list with anyone else but my mother, who encouraged me to take up a pen and paper in the first place. She's been reading what I have to write since I started. I would also like to acknowledge my father's contribution to my pool of genes, since his love of a story is what fuels my need to tell people about whatever it is that I decide has to be turned into a story. My brothers, who tell stories of their own and star frequently in the reminiscences of days gone by.
I miss my dogs. They listened when no one else would and gave me a world of anecdotes that continue to bring me smiles in their memory. I have a sea of other friends who are not so furry who have also helped me keep this ball in the air. Some of them comment. Some of them send their approval in other ways. It's nice to know when I get one right. It's also important for me to know when I've gone too far, since the isolation of the keyboard and screen sometimes allows for this. I appreciate those voices that say, "Really? Did you have to say that?"
The teachers who taught me how to write. The teachers with whom I now work. The teachers with whom I used to work. These are inspirations for many of the best bits of wisdom I have to share. Like Bruce Springsteen or John Elway, it's important to have heroes, and these folks are the ones that remind me day after day what the important work is. I could write an opera or paint a picture, but those avocations don't take place in this finite space.
This is what I've got: My little corner of Al Gore's Internet. Entropical Paradise, named not for the conservative think site or the electronic music recording, but rather for the band name I thought up in college. I don't have a band, I've got a blog. I've got a group of friends and family who drop by on a regular basis to keep up with what I have to say, and that feels about right. I have a couple of friends, one of whom suggested I give this blog thing a try way back when, and another who maintained his own site of haiku. They are the ones who got me off the mark back in 2005, and so I salute you for that. And while I'm at it, I suppose I should give a shout out to George W. "Pinhead" Bush who may be the most frequently mentioned human in this blog. Thanks for the fuel, W. Thank you all for helping to keep this fire burning.