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Sunday, October 31, 2004

There were two "Dukes of Hazzard" theme songs...

...a fact that apparently most people don't know. Indeed, a fact that apparently one is something of a freak for knowing. Most people know (or at least immediately recognize) Waylon Jennings' "Just Two Good Ol' Boys" that was the theme for the Friday evening program, but the theme song for the Saturday morning cartoon is apparently less well-known. I'm curious to see if my co-workers' categorical denunciation of me as Sir Freak-a-Lot based simply on my being familiar with the cartoon's theme song is wildly unfair or merely somewhat unfair - if you know it, post a comment to that effect. Joel, if you read this blog, I'll expect you at least to know the tune.

Anyway, to get back to the self-involved musings that are the stuff of the blogosphere - I turned 30 last Thursday. 30. Thirty. The big three-oh. The first of the birthday milestones that are traditionally not looked forward to (as opposed to, say, 21 or 16). I find it to be not all that different from not being 30, so far. As with the previous 29, there was no dramatic transformation on birthday morning. I don't feel any different or look any different. Still, there's certainly more self-reflection involved with one's 30th birthday. I'm likely well over a third of a way through my life now - a sobering thought. I'm past my prime years to be a professional athlete, older than any of the Beatles except Ringo were when the band broke up, past the life expectancy of 3/4 of the lifeforms on Earth. My little baby sister's almost 21, kids graduating from high school this year were born the year I started junior high, Tuesday's will be the 4th Presidential election I've been able to vote in. It's quite a daunting thought.

It's also traditionally a time to take stock of oneself, and I'll be (and often am) the first to say that in many ways they've been 30 years of underachieving and non-accomplishing and generally taking up space and oxygen. I'm sure I don't want to see a list of what all my high school classmates are up to these days - the handful I know about depress me plenty. I'm told that one of my obligations as a new 30 year old is to look back over my life and be disappointed at all the things that aren't there, and I find I have little trouble doing so.

At the same time, though, as I look back it's staggering to me how much is there. I've been incredibly fortunate in the number of really close friends I've had (I've heard it said that a person's lucky to have one really good friend in their life; I can easily name a half-dozen), and in the family I was born to. I've watched the sun set over the Canadian Rockies, stood on the stage at the Cavern in Liverpool, and fallen asleep in a canoe drifting down the Turkey River. I've stayed up until sunrise talking to a new friend and driven an hour and a half at 2 in the morning because an old friend needed to talk. I've played a concert listened to by an international radio audience, eaten some of the finest grilled cheese Eastern Iowa (if not the world) has known, and stood next to some of my closest friends on their wedding days. It's easy to let myself get frustrated and disappointed at where I am at 30 years old, but I can't think of much I'd change about how I got here.

I'm not suggesting we all stand around the campfire and sing the chorus of Poems, Prayers and Promises (although if anyone's interested, I'm in; I love a good campfire), but more than anything that's where my birthday ruminations have led me - it's not as much where you are as how you got there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Welcome,blog, to your new home!

It seems a little silly, really, for me to move this blog over to a dedicated blogger's website. Some of the blogs that blogspot.com hosts are really insanely impressive, maintained by people with a level of talent and dedication and an amount of available time that I can only marvel at. My blog has so far been basically a sad little hack blog and there's no reason to assume that trend will suddenly change.

This new site does offer several advantages over the direct-to-HTML system I was using before, though, and I hold faint optimism that it might actually help me be a more prolific poster. It takes away the extra steps involved in posting through an editor - no writing extra code (granted, it was only a few lines of code, but still), no opening up the FTP server and uploading. I can blog from any computer hooked up to the Internet and save unfinished drafts. Considering that the whole service is free, it's really quite a good deal. Plus, the site looks better than the old one did, and - perhaps most importantly - it allows you, Gentle Reader, to comment on posts. I look forward to seeing responses to posts (I acknowledge that I may have to post responses myself... lame, yes, but I'm prepared to do that if necessary) and I'm curious to see how many people actually read the drivel I clutter up the Internet with.

Maybe it'll be a short-lived experiment that I decide I'm not happy with, but for the time being, at least, welcome to the new home of "Meaningless Musings." The goal, once again, is a post a week, but I'm not foolishly optimistic.

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