(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

IT WAS THREE YEARS AGO today that I posted my first entry, “Snow and Chinese Food,” on this website. Since then there have been 77 additional entries added, including this one, consisting of nearly 83,000 words. So many words and I haven’t told you nearly as much as I intended to when I first set out on this little adventure. What have you read here regarding my first marriage, or my work as a milk pasteurizer for 13 years, or my son’s learning disabilities, or my experiences in the federal witness protection program? Not much. Possibly in the future I will write about those things.

In addition to the journal entries, there have been 60 photo galleries posted on this site, several of them in multiple parts. There are over 1400 photos. Not too shabby.

It is amazing how much changes over the course of three years. People come and go. Circumstances change. Fortune fluctuates. Hopefully, this has been reflected in the writings on this website. I chose the accompanying photo because it represents “progression.” Life is going somewhere. It is not stagnant. Even if you determine to sit still and keep everything just the way it is, it still changes. It continues on and brings you with it whether you like it or not. When you resist life’s changes, life sort of grabs you by the hair and drags you along in a primal way. It’s better to cooperate a little, learn some things, gain some wisdom.

My writings are often my reflections upon what life has handed me. They are partly memoir, partly introspection, often intimately revealing, always sincere. All with a dash of humor to help it go down easier. They are about me. Yet, I try to write in a way that touches others in fundamental ways. Sometimes I write about past experiences and feel the emotions of those times while I am writing. I try to capture this and blend it into my writings. When I receive emails saying, “That made me cry,” or “I laughed so hard my drink came out of my nose,” or “Are you okay?” I know that the emotion was in the writing.

Online journaling has been an interesting experience. I have connected with people in various parts of the world. With a few of them I now have very good long distance friendships. Some people stumble upon the site while they are surfing around. Some find it through links on other journals. Some find it while they are searching for the strangest things on Google or Yahoo. Some people read a little and never come back. Some stick around and even sign up for the notify list. Some tell me they feel that they have known me for a long time once they read some of the articles. A few have even said that they came across the site and read something that was just what they needed to hear at that time.

There have been a few strange incidents in relation to the website. After I posted some crazy stuff about roasting ponies, someone sent me an email and ripped me apart. I was told that it was people like me who keep the world as messed up as it is. I was called heartless and cruel. It turned out that the person who wrote to me was a 14 year-old girl in Denmark. Another oddity was when an ex-girlfriend contacted me through the website using a fake name. I always make it a point to respond to people who write to me. Usually those interactions go well. But this particular girl has a tendency to be spiteful and rather sharp in her comments. Eventually this gave her away and I figured out who it was. Rather weird and very annoying.

I suppose that a person puts themselves in a vulnerable position, susceptible to being approached by the weird and annoying, when they write an online journal. The essence of journaling is expressing personal experiences and personal reflections on those experiences. An online journaler may also write about subjects other than themselves (politics, places, events, etc.). But even this will be personal observations and points of view. Overall, a journal is personal in nature. This type of writing always exposes a writer to those who will criticize, those who will assume, those who will misunderstand, even those who will attack.

So be it.

I believe that the online journaling phenomena has added something of great value to the internet. It has brought an element of humanity to this technological wonder. There are plenty of websites offering commercialism, pornography, facts, figures, etc. Through their websites, the writers of online journals offer themselves. They open the door a little and allow others into their lives. Sometimes I think that as technology advances, we become more isolated. The technology is convenient. But it has also replaced real human interaction to some degree. Online journals help to counteract that. They are expressions of colors in the grayness of cyberspace. They are beds of flowers planted among the bits and bytes of web servers all over the world. They are inns of hospitality along the information highway.

Okay… so my online journal is not so much like an inn of hospitality and more like a nut house. But come on in anyway! Kick off your shoes! Let down your hair! Join the insanity!

Seriously… thank you all for reading my site. I appreciate it.

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