When I started writing the blog in 2007, I envisioned myself as a columnist. Kind of a Dale Hoffman of the blogosphere, mixed in with dashes of favorite on-line bloggers and columnists such as Bill Simmons, Greg Easterbrook and Al Bethke. My intent from Day One was to be humorous and clever to make people interested in checking back with me, and then BLAMMO!, hit 'em with a political viewpoint or something of sincere interest to me. I guess I wanted everybody to think; "Wow, He's clever and so very, very wise".
But something happened along the way. First, I decided that I really have nothing much to say about West Allis proper. I can't get excited about school board races, absentee landlords, taxes which should - but apparently don't - pay for good civil services. (Side note; Solution? I never write about that stuff.)
I also realized that though I have political viewpoints, I don't have nearly the audience as a Mark Belling or Charlie Sykes, or even as Kevin Fischer for that matter. I also don't have their knowledge, either. (Side note; Solution? I will let Belling and Sykes and Fischer tell us how massively important it is that a conservative Republic won ol' Teddy's seat in Massachusetts.)
So when I blog about something I am passionate about - like avoiding 12 roundabounds on 27th Street in Franklin and Oak Creek, it is my viewpoint... why I think it is stupid and why I think it would be disastrous for businesses in the area. But when comments come in that basically say that I don't want them because I'm not used to them, or when some egghead in Franklin throws a millions disputable "facts" at me, I've got nothing to back it up (though it is nice to know that someone with more knowledge than me also agreed with me). I know that I am satisfied that my viewpoint hasn't changed, but I don't have the basis for engaging in debates. (Side note; Solution? I'll leave that entire can of worms to Stubborn Old Man.)
Also along the way, I try to find humorous ways of making points. In October, I tried to make a point that the lack of respect in society is inversely proportional to the rise in "non-traditional" names of children. Nobody apparently read the blog for two weeks, but finally someone did, and that person read something (of course, racism) into something that wasn't there, forwarded it to others who also saw the same thing that wasn't there, who bombarded poor Mark the Editor with calls and messages and the entire post was deleted as if it never existed. Of course, Eugene Kane can write about his take on the real reason that suburbs want to standardize Trick-or-Treat times (wanna take a guess at his reason?), but well, I guess the difference between he and I is that he is paid. (Side note; Solution? Nothing controversial, even if on accident. The most you'll see is a link to an article that someone else wrote. That way, if it is misconstrued, calls and messages can go to THAT editor.)
Something else that happened is that family issues started backfiring. Anyone who has read my blog knows the characters... My-Sugar-Na (my wife), Mitten (my son), Gooey (my daughter), etc. I love my family and I am proud of them so I want to talk about them. I try to disguise their names so they don't become public figures. Well, I also gave a character name to my ex-wife, who decided that she wouldn't play along, but you know what? I can still deal with those ramifications (Other bloggers may not want to deal with them, but, well.... :o)
But in my last blog that I wrote on Christmas Eve, I was devastated by a comment from someone. It had nothing to do with the post, but it accused me of something heinous. This person posted about something I have never, ever blogged about (I may blog about my family quite a bit, but there are some lines that even I won't cross) and then this person completely strangled the details. Mark the Editor, showing proper ghastification, kindly pulled the comment, and all the sore feelings in the family were smoothed over by the fact that it was likely not many read the blog or comment in the two days it took to get it pulled.
The fact is that although I disagree and don't appreciate comments that portray me as an idiot or a racist, those are on me. But to get my family involved, and worse - not know what the hell you are talking about anyway - that bothers me greatly.
After that happened in late-December (coming on the heals of getting that blog entry pulled in November), I had to take some time to seriously question if I wanted to continue blogging. Something that had been a riot three years ago has become a chore, burdened by the nagging thought of who would object this time. And when I took a step back to look at my life, it is becoming more hectic all the time. If something has to give, should it be blogging?
Luckily, something very bad happened on January 9th (Something bad being lucky? you ask). Doesn't matter what happened, but I had contact with the West Allis police, and with one particular officer who went out of his or her way to be the type of cop that people want to avoid; one who perpetuates the myth of wanting to keep the police away, as they aren't really there to help. My honest feelings are that this officer is there solely to make inappropriate comments, smarmy one-liners, and to tell me how it is his or her job to tell me how I screwed up my life. Now, if I had actually done anything wrong, that would be one thing. In fact, my involvement with the police was as a witness!
Again, what happened isn't relevant, but the fact is that as a blogger, I have an outlet for this kind of material.
So if I can ask indulge the four or five of you whom I haven't alienated, please understand that I've got to unclutter my personal life a little and I will soon be back with regular entries (as a matter of fact, I have three half-completed ones that I shelved for one reason or another. They may become nice filler.)
When I do get back on the horse, expect a lot more humorous garbage about nothing important (sports, gambling, vacations and State Fair). I actually do get positive feedback about trip reports, or when I comment about a restaurant that I've tried, so those will appear with more frequency, too.
And if you don't like my blog or what I have to say, then just close the browser or Google something like this.