INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Blogging Blahs

Jeneane announces a hiatus from blogging. She doesn't say for how long. We all hope it's brief. But, hey, she says she's gotta handle some stuff. So go do whatcha gotta do, gal. We'll wait.

Geez, If Jeneane's out of the picture for awhile, we really ARE in the summer doldrums. Guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself for having my own problems putting up content these days.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there's a lot of boring stuff lately in the blogosphere? I know it IS me to the extent that I simply glaze over the seemingly endless War/Peace stuff. It disappoints me when the "personal bloggers" that I love to read somehow get bitten by this bug and venture off into the dismal swamp of warblogging. If I want to know something about the subject, I'll consult the NY Times, Washington Post, or other authoritative source.

I’m probably risking heresy and excommunication here, but I've reached the point where I just don't give a shit what bloggers have to say about the War Scene. War sucks; Peace is wonderful; Hate sucks; Love is wonderful; Bush, Cheney and Gang suck; the Dems suck; Sharon sucks; Arafat sucks; Saddam sucks; Osama sucks. I already know that. Meantime, we have to keep on living. That's what I like to read about.

I know, I know. One of the blogosphere's greatest functions is that it provides a vast, immediate forum for the exchange of ideas. It was just such an exchange that was the spark for me starting my own blog (David Weinberger's "writing ourselves into existence on the Web. Together." and Jeneane's response.). So I certainly don’t mean to dismiss this aspect of blogging.

I'm still very stimulated by bloggers' idea-exchanges, especially in such areas as popular culture. But my greatest pleasure occurs when bloggers are writing about themselves and their experience of living their lives--giving us a peek into what it's like to be them--which invariably gives us a peek into ourselves.

As for the War/Peace stuff, I'll take a pass. Not that I don't care about it. I manage to get quite passionate about it sometimes. It's just not what I'm looking for when I go to blogs.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

A Writer and A Gentleman

Eric Olsen of Tres Producers not only is an outstanding blogger (one of the best IMO); he's a damn fine gentleman as well. He takes a moment from his busy day to send me some writerly advice on how to keep my blogging head above water.

Considering the source, it's welcome info indeed. Here's a guy who provides prodigious yet constantly interesting output to the blogosphere. You bet I'm going to listen to what he tells me:

"don't think about WRITING, just think about ideas you want to convey. Writing is just the mechanism for conveying those ideas, of which I KNOW you have a vast reserve. Tell stories from your past, comment on what other bloggers have up, comment on the news, it's infinite. Best of luck."

Thanks, Eric, for thinking of me, and for the nice mentions in your blog. It means a lot! Thanks, also, for the great post today on The Velvet Underground! It's one of those seminal yet neglected groups, I'm sorry to say, that has a tendency to fade into the background of one's consciousness. Eric's informative piece snaps it right back to the front again, where it belongs.

I'm headed off to the local CD shop as soon as I have the opportunity.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Blogblock, Cont'd

Many thanks to Dave Rogers, who sends me a nice note of support and encouragement regarding my current difficulties with "blogger"s block," or blogblock, to use his term. Dave offers his empathy, having experienced similar difficulties himself. He recalls the time when quotes from his blog started showing up around the blogosphere:

" I choked. It became much more difficult to blog. And I still find it difficult when I find that folks are looking forward to what I'm saying. I end up feeling like I need to say something really important and wise. (Kinda like what AKMA and DW do as a matter of routine)."

Some days I get around this by simply chatting about some tidbit from my daily life--as I did in yesterday's post. Most days, however, are too uneventful to provide any fodder for El Blog. I'm not a Doc Searls dashing off to one interesting conference after another. I'm in awe of those bloggers--Halley Suitt is perhaps a good example--who can take some seemingly insignificant little thing from their life and spin it into a fascinating blog post.

Anyway, thanks again to Dave for his support.

Friday, July 26, 2002


Boy, I'm in for it now! I've taken on my wife as a client. No fee,of course--just the hope of helping her generate some much-needed loot into the family coffers. Nothing much is happening at my end of the table anymore, so its pro-bono time for Old Dad. I guess you can't call it pro-bono, though, if it's on behalf of your spouse.

Anyway, our overly tech-centered economy in these parts just keeps on taking a severe ass-kicking. About a fourth of Jill''s clients have lost their jobs, and many of them have had to put their therapy on hold.

The other problem is that Jill is so friggin' competent that her clients get better and don't need to see her anymore. I guess that's the Catch-22 of solution-oriented family and marriage counseling--as opposed to the old-fashioned analysis model where it just goes on and on and never ends.

So, my enterprising wife is putting together a six-session workshop on effective parenting and taking it to market. Good for her! She knows her shit and is a dynamite presenter.

Trouble is, as I looked over her shoulder at the brochure she was putting together, I noticed that she had selected "Effective Parenting" as a title. That's when the light bulb went off in my head.

"You need a consultant," I proclaimed. "You can't call it that! Would you be interested in a workshop on time management that was called "Time Management?"

"No. I see your point."

With that, my latest client was on board--at an unbeatable price. We sat down and did a lengthy clearing process to help her arrive at a suitable title--something that does what any effective title has to do--speak to the primary underlying concern of the target audience, and suggest that what you're offering provides a solution.

"Parents of young children all think that they're not good enough, that they don't know enough, and that they're too stressed out. And they're terrified that their kids won't turn out right because they, the parents, fucked up." Jill observed.

So, after talking--and sometimes shouting--it through, we agreed on the following: "How Imperfect Parents Raise Self-Reliant Kids: Practical Steps For Meeting the Challenge and Managing the Stress." I earned a kiss for my efforts. Money ain't everything!

I must say, it was exilerating to be able to have an uncensored exchange with "the client." What a thrill to be able to tell your client, "you're full of shit!" and "shut the fuck up and let me think."

I know this workshop is going to be dynamite! Parents of young children these days seem to be more anxious and guilt-ridden than ever--far more than when our kids were little. These folks need help, and Jill's just the ticket. I hope I can do her justice in getting a vigorous exposure.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Shuckin' The Shrub

Profuse thanks to Frank Paynter for introducing us to Annie Mason--his latest interviewee. What a find! This salty Army veteran and chemical-plant worker sounds like the kind of gal any guy would love to hang with--unless he's a blithering idiot or stiff-necked traditionalist afraid of strong women.

I love her words on Our Leader. They are especially delicious coming from a bona-fide member of the Texas working class:

"I cannot forgive the Republican Party for not being able to find any better candidate to run for office than the shrubbery. There had to be SOMEONE other than a wealthy, illiterate, uncaring, derelict from duty, party boy to put in the White House. I understand that they were hell-bent on getting a GOP candidate back in office, but the shrub?!?

This guy is going to shoot his own foot while he swallows it and we, the people, are going to end up being the ones hurt. I cannot apologize for the way I view this excuse for a human being."

Welcome, Annie, to the Kingdom of Blogaria! Hope you get those links up soon.

Expectations and Pride

Let's face it folks, I'm in the middle of a serious bout of "blogger's block." I'm not going to dignify it by calling it "writer's block." That's a term more correctly applied to those who write for a living--or are trying to. The distinction between blogging and writing was sharply drawn by Shelley Powers in her farewell post--an event still causing withdrawal pains for many of us.

I seem to have entered into one of those periodic episodes where one's "Dark Forces" take over. When these invasions occur, in my case, there seems to be a recurring theme--a visceral, oppositional reaction to something that I conclude is being expected of me.

A couple of weeks ago, my blogging appeared to have reached some sort of threshold--a passage into the next level of visibility and recognition. There was my interview by Frank Paynter; a day or two on Daypop Top 40; an email from John C. Dvorak commenting on one of my posts; my addition to Doc Searls's blogroll--and several others; a couple of citations on Corante on Blogging; and a number of supportive emails.

I think that I may have taken all these occurrences and wrapped them into an interpretation which says, "I am now being expected to keep putting out a blog that people like, whether or not I feel like it." This may have been the trigger. When I sense that "something is expected of me," here come the Dark Forces. I meet the threat by shutting down like a hibernating bear.

Paid a visit to the shrink who reminded me that I was forced to take care of my mother while still a boy--a very Big Expectation. "Have some compassion for yourself," I was counseled. "Do things that make you proud," she said. "I've read your blog and I see a lot of pride coming through."

She didn't need to say it. The prescription was perfectly implicit: "Keep on bloggin' " OK, OK. I'll give it a whirl. And it may be a struggle.

"If it's a struggle, why do it?" I ask myself. Blogging's supposed to be for fun isn't it? Yes, but it's also for pride. Every blogger that I enjoy is projecting his or her pride in one way or another. I respect them for it. It's an important part of what makes them attractive to me. Why should it be any different in my case?

Bear with me while I try to get back on my feet.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

The Complexity of Thanks

I've been out of the blogging loop this week, and I missed Dorothea's excellent post earlier this week. She applied her customary sharp analysis to the question of acknowledging the work of other bloggers that one likes. Previously and fervently, Jeneane and I had urged that, if you see a blog you like, tell the author.

Dorothea points out that it's a multi-layered question--not quite so simple as Jeneane and I were making it out to be. I won't attempt to summarize her points here, but I will quote her summation:

"So in my quiet nonentity sort of way, let me sum up: I don’t ask for email or comments or pings or links or blogroll spots or money from CavLec readers. Just because I don’t ask for them doesn’t mean they’re not welcome, however. My blogroll is just a blogroll; if you aren’t on it, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you or your blog. "

Check out Dorothea's entire post for a well-thought out point of view.

Thursday, July 18, 2002


Another great interview from Frank Paynter! This time with Gary Turner. Don't miss it.

Dervala Hanley has arrived in Europe and resumed blogging. Welcome back to Blogaria, Dervala, and good traveling!

Thanks to Jeneane for turning us on to George Partington, the latest additon to my blogroll.
Check out his excellent blog.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002


Jonathan is back from six months in Europe, looking great. He's moved another notch up the maturity scale. Suddenly, the house is awash with bright, fun-loving twenty-three and twenty-four year olds. This kid is a magnet, a natural born leader. It will be interesting to see where his post-college years take him.

I've been loving every minute of it. Honest to God, I've had more side-splitting fun and pure enjoyment spending a couple of hours shooting the shit with these kids than I've had at 95% of the dinner or cocktail parties I've attended over the last five or more years.

I don't know whether that reflects more on me or on my social life. It's been said that twenties and sixties have a lot in common because they're more focused on having fun and being in the moment. The thirties and forties ahead of and behind them tend to be consumed with money, power, and other concerns related to securing the future. Even though it's an extremely broad generalization, maybe there's some truth to it.

Cynics, however, would suggest that it's merely a manifestation of my arrested development. I plead nolo contendre.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Are You Willing To Say Thanks?

Jeneane sends out the following, quite legitimate bitch:

"FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I've been on Daypop and Blogdex for three days, with 300+ visitors a day (my average is 91). Do you think anyone has passed me a folded up note saying, "psssst. cool. check out my blog." Not one. This, my friends, is depressing. This is anti-conversational. This is not cool."

No, Jeneane, it ain't cool--not one little bit. I quoted Halley Suitt on this topic a few months ago. It's worth quoting again. Please allow me the repetition. She wrote this back to me in response to my having thanked her for making supportive comments about my blog:

"I swear, I can't get over how little people appreciate others' efforts for the most part on a day-to-day basis. Actually, it's even worse than that. People DO appreciate others efforts, including well written blogs, books, good music, good deeds, but RARELY take
the time to say so.

I think the neglect leads to ... hurt feelings,misunderstandings, grudges, general unnecessary
sadness and even WARS for god's sake.

Bloggers toil for nothing. They provide us with an amazing panorama of words, thoughts, feelings, experience, knowledge, and beauty. You're getting this whole cornucopia for free, godammit! I mean, c'mon now, if you like someone's blog, the least you can do is TELL"EM.

Sunday, July 14, 2002


Marek does not appear to have missed a beat. He's out of the hospital and cajoling all of us motherfuckers to wake up. He blogs a truly inspirational celebration of life and we motherfuckers who share it with him.


Son Jonathan is currenty somewhere over the Atlantic, winging his way home from six months in Europe. We are jazzed!!

Love and Kisses

Well, I guess that Frank Paynter has catapulted me into the big time. Doc Searls has added me to his blogroll (thanks, Doc!). And none other than John C. Dvorak has read my blog and emailed a mild protest.

A few days ago, in a post praising Dave Rogers, I injected a snide reference to Dvorak:

"Is it my imagination or do I hear John C. Dvorak bitching in the background about bloggers falling all over each other in mutual suck-up? That's right, Mr. D. There's already too much love in the world. We have to put a stop to it)."

Dvorak writes:

"I am not bitching in the background! Mumbling to myself..MAYBE. kisses"

OK, John, I'll own up to it, I got carried away. But you have to admit, you made yourself an irresistible target.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

A Proud Family

Congratulations to our cousin Chuck Tauman on his nomination for Trial Lawyer of the Year--in recognition of his work in a landmark case against tobacco giant Phillip Morris! The whole family is thrilled and raises it glasses in a proud toast.

Trial lawyers are a group that Americans love to hate--a sentiment eagerly fanned by the conservative politicians who enjoy making them a convenient whipping boy. One of a number of cheapshot ways of diverting attention from actual problems facing society.

One reason the right hates them so much is that the trial lawyers are prodigious contributors to the Democrats. It wasn't always that way. They used to have divided political allegiances, pretty much like the rest of society. The conservatives drove them into the arms of the Dems with their incessant vindictiveness.

I think it's a bum rap for the most part. Yes, there are some sleazeballs out there. But I'll bet that there are a hell of a lot more trial lawyers who are like Cousin Chuck. Chuck toiled in obscurity for years on behalf of the little guys whose health and well-being had been grossly abused by big bucks environmental rapists and other big money interests.

Chuck has never given a shit about money or fame. He's motivated by one thing--justice for his clients. I think he's probably a bit embarrassed about the amount of money he's likely to come into. Knowing Chuck, it won't go into any ostentation, that's for sure. He'll probably use it to finance some more tough battles ahead. And, most likely, a fat check to some of the causes vilified by Bush, Cheney, and Gang.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Rude Awakening

Thanks again to all those who have written such kind remarks after my interview with Frank Paynter. Some people have asked whether I'm any relation to disk drive pioneer, Alan Shugart. Ha! I only wish.

All my life, I was accustomed to having a name that was obscure--peppered constantly with, "how do you spell it?" and "how do you pronounce it?" Then, in 1979, I got my first gig in the high-tech sector. In this new universe I suddenly found that my name was practically a household word. Shugart Drives were in their heyday, having been installed as the 5.25 inch floppy driver for the wildly popular Apple II. Also in 1979, Shugart founded Seagate Tecnology, making a big splash in the business and technical press.

So, almost overnight, the questions changed from "how do you pronounce it?" to "are you any relation?" It was a jolt to my reality until I began to get used to it. I developed a pat reply for use at business mixers, those dread events where you're trying to make small talk. I'd say, "No, I'm no relation, but I'm tempted to walk into the Seagate HR department some day and announce, 'Dad says it's time I got a job. What have you got?" Semi-suitable as an ice-breaker.

Then, after playing this card for a dozen years or so, I got caught short one evening. I had never factored in the advance of Father Time. It was one of those moments that smack you right in the face and announce that the game has changed. So I'm tossing my customary ice-breaker at this guy and just before I get to the word, "Dad," he interrupts. "Oh, I get it. You're going to tell the HR people that your BROTHER told you to get a job!"

That convenient little ice-breaker never emerged from my lips again.

Why Radio Sucks

Correspondent Laura Holson submits an informative piece in the New York Times on "By-the-Numbers Radio." Read it and weep--or barf, as the case may be.

Thank God I was born early enough to have experienced the days when DJ's were artists in their own right and treated us to their eclectic mixes and wide range of individual tastes.

The senior citizens I least want to emulate are those who sit around bitching and whining about "things ain't as good as they used to be." This is one area where I'm willing to make an exception and join them.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Paynter On Fire

Frank's latest interview--Dorothea Salo this time--has hit the blogosphere. As Denise Howell comments, he's on fire. Right you are, Denise! Frank's interviewing skills just keep getting sharper. He can draw out the interesting personal, even intimate details. He can ask brainy high tech questions. He can relate to the subject's intellectual interests and pose relevant questions thereon. He can talk the old-boy shit and swap reminiscences with geezers like me.

What a great subject Dorothea was--and more on that in a moment. It's been a rather humbling experience to have my interview appearance sandwiched in between two such talents as Halley Suitt and Dorothea. But I'm not complaining. It was a gratifying adventure

Anyway, I was moved by Dorothea's level of self-honesty about her choice to be childless. Nothing even comes close in my life to the high--and the deep satisfaction--of being a parent. But I'll be the first to say that if you really don't want to have kids, DON'T HAVE 'EM. You're doing the world and yourself a big favor. I have a world of respect for Dorothea and her husband for their forthright decision. I would be surprised if she doesn't get a lot of support for this from readers of the interview.

I have to address something in one of Dorothea's responses. She found it odd that I was looking into the question of "rules" around the matter of who you put on your blogroll:

"Tom Shugart just blogged about blogroll etiquette, when to add or remove someone from your blogroll. I had no idea anyone thought there were rules to it. I instinctively grasp that removing someone from your blogroll could be seen as a slight, but rules about adding someone? Weird."

I wasn't looking for rules. I was trying to explore the various opinions I had encountered on the subject. I can understand the notion that it's a non-issue. Your blogroll is your own damn business. There are no rules. I was speculating on what, for Jordon Cooper, and potentially for me at some future point, had become a matter of concern: should one limit one's blogroll to a certain length? If so, when does it become too long? Is there such a thing as a blogroll being too long? Are there ways of organizing it to get around the problem? If you decide to limit it, what are your criteria for who goes and who stays? For some bloggers, it's a non-issue. For others, it isn't. So be it. I think I'll write to Rebecca Blood for her input on the matter. Maybe she's already covered it in her new book. I've ordered it but it hasn't arrived. If she has, and somebody knows about it, drop me a line and I won't bug her.

Anyway, back to the main point of this post. Congratulations to Frank and Dorothea!

Tuesday, July 09, 2002


Turns out that Jordon Cooper's wife, Wendy, has a damn fine blog in her own right. I'm thoroughly delighted to find myself on her blgoroll, and will return the complement.

Same goes for Anita Bora, author of "Just A Little Something". Check out both of these excellent female bloggers!

By the way, the Coopers have a dog named after a NFL quarterback. Real sports nuts. Come to think of it, it's kind of a neat idea. Except that my dog, if I had one, would be named Montana, not Elway.

Gracias Mr.Rogers

Thanks to Dave Rogers for his extraordinarily kind remarks on my interview with Frank Paynter. It's especially gratifying since Dave is one of my favorite bloggers. ( Is it my imagination or do I hear John C. Dvorak bitching in the background about bloggers falling all over each other in mutual suck-up? That's right, Mr. D. There's already too much love in the world. We have to put a stop to it).

Anyway, the only problem with Dave's blog is that he doesn't do it all the time. Lately, though, he's been churning it out, and we are pleased. I'm glad that Dave doesn't hold my being a Northern Californian against me. I'm something of a freak among the northerners as I actually enjoy the Southland almost as much as the home territory up here. Sorry, Dave, but you won't be able to suck me into this NorCal/SoCal argument.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Interview Aftermath--Cont'd

It sure is nice to have someone like Elaine in your corner. Her spirited support of free will vs. determinism is music to my ears. She lends the note of passion that is lacking in my fumbling attempts at articulating such matters.

Then, in a follow-up post, she shares a moving bit of self-searching into her quick-to-anger resentment of male authority. Elaine at her best. We're so lucky to have her voice.

Thanks to Hylton Jolliffe for the quote from Frank's interview which appeared in yesterday's edition of Corante on Blogging---Hylton's recent addition to the Corante site. What a great service he's providing to the blogosphere! His welcome new contribution makes it easier for us to keep up with the blog scene.

Thanks also for the mention from such blogging luminaries as Doc Searls, Steve Pilgrim, Steve MacLaughlin, and Denise Howell. Denise, a fellow survivor of the Paynter interview process, sends a much-appreciated note via Frank's Comments section: "congrats on matriculating with high honors!" I wonder if, come Halloween, Frank might consider throwing a hayride and wiener roast for an alumni get-together on his Wisconsin farm (airfare included, Frank).

Finally, Frank emails that we made number 25 on the Daypop Top 40 yesterday. But as I predicted, the slide back to obscurity is already underway.. We're now in a four-way tie for 30th and dropping. By tomorrow it will probably all be a fond memory.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Interview Aftermath

A few dribs and drabs of comment are beginning to show up. I might as well enjoy this temporary fame while it lasts. In a couple of days, it will back to obscurity as usual.

AKMA weighs in on my remarks on self-creation and on Elaine's comments in Frank's Comments section in which she says:

" 'But true self, in my view, is created as a conscious act of existential will.' So says Shugart and so say I. Not everyone agrees with Tom about this, but I think that those who have lived long enough to experience enough of the process of self-discovery and subsequent re-invention know that Tom's got it right."

AKMA's reaction:

"other very old and very experienced observers have likewise doubted the necessity of thinking oneself the creator of one’s own identity. I’ve gone on too long about “identity” in other posts here; suffice it to say in response to Elaine and Tom that I’m thankful for their participation in forming my own identity, thankful that it’s not up to me to create or to decide who I am. While Tom cites his health as part of the rationale for asserting his adherence to the premise of self-creation, my own well-being depends as much on attaining a true sense of my interdependence with others as on relying solely on myself; indeed, an exaggerated sense of self-reliance predictably gets me into trouble. "

Thanks to AKMA for pointing out the part of the equation that I left out--"interdependence with others." AKMA's right, of course, to point out that "an exaggerated sense of self-reliance" will get one into trouble. I didn't mean to imply that the whole load could be carried exclusively on one's own shoulders. That's a proposition that's totally depressing to contemplate.

Just as AKMA is thankful to Elaine and me for our participation in forming his identity, I celebrate all those who, by their participation, play an important part in the formulation of my own identity. That goes doubly for AKMA and you other bloggers out there because you aren't tied to me by blood, commerce, or other self-interest. Your participation is pure unadulterated choice. Note that the quote from David Weinberger that I use as my blog's slogan, "writing ourselves into existence," employs the first person PLURAL pronoun, not the singular. That's a distinction of which I was very aware when I selected it as my slogan.

So thanks again, AKMA, for reading the interview, and for your customary astute perception.

It's Here!

I was away all day and didn't even realize that the Paynter interview with me had hit the blogosphere! Arrived home to find an email from Frank wondering why I hadn't blogged a link. Here it is, Frank. Sorry it's a day late.

The interview was both fun to do and a bit frightening. In the end, though, it was worth doing--and it's an honor to be Frank's first male subject. I sure hope he's got some other guys lined up. I think he's trying to get Rageboy, but Chris doesn't have the same level of submissiveness that I do, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks, Frank! You were fun to work with, and it was a delightful surprise to discover the number of things we have in common.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Happy Independence Day

Ageventure, a site aimed at my cohort, comes up with a surprisingly hip Fourth of July observation. I guess it goes to show that Boomer influences are beginning to make themselves felt in the senior market:

July 4th is a holiday in which Americans shoot firecrackers instead of each other. The event is limited to one day per year, because firecrackers are more strictly controlled than handguns.

Blogrolls and Class

Turns out that my expulsion from Jordon Cooper's blogroll was all a big mistake. His blogging software happened to be acting up at the same time he was posting about thinning his roll. I put two and two together and got five.

This incident has prompted Jordon to blog an outstanding piece about the issue of blogrolling. Highly recommended. It's an issue all serious bloggers have to deal with at times.

Thanks, Jordon, for your wonderfully supportive words. You're a class act!

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Welcome to The Club

Frank Paynter is relentless! His latest application of shameless persuasion is directed toward his town-mate, Dorothea. Apparently as vulnerable to promises of instant fame as the rest of us, she's given in.

My interview is mercifully drawing to a close. I suspect I'll be appearing on Frank's pages any day now.


Well, there's a first time for everything. I've been hit with my first removal from a blogroll. Jordon Cooper has decided to do some trimming of his roll so that he can accommodate new listings without the list getting too long. I can't argue with his reasoning. It might be a decision that I'll have to face myself at some point.

I wonder how others feel about the issue of blogroll size? Jordon feels that over-long rolls cause readers to skip over them. Do you agree? At what point does a blogroll become too long? Rebecca Blood deals with it by dividing her blogroll into categories (very cleverly, I might add).

Should you remove links to blogs that have removed yours? I know that some people think that you shouldn't link to anyone who doesn't link to you. I don't agree with that. For example, I read Doc Searls and David Weinberger nearly every day. They don't link to me. I wouldn't dream of taking them off my blogroll. After all, they are mega-blogs--in terms or readership and quailty--Rebecca's too. While it would be wonderful to be on their blogrolls, I would be air-headed to expect it and foolish to feel slighted.

For a smaller blog like Jordon's, it's a bit of a sting to get expelled, but, again, I understand his reasoning. I think it would be spiteful of me to take his link down. It's as good a blog as it ever was, so why should I remove it? If and when the time comes to start thinning the roll, I guess the first to go would have to be those who don't reciprocate with me (the super-blogs excepted). In the meantime, I'll still read ya' Jordon. Sorry you lost interest.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Pride, Fun, and Facades

Jill and I have continued to keep our focus on doing fun things--which was our New Year's resolution this year. In keeping with that, we hauled our butts over to the City yesterday to see something that we've put off for years--the Gay Pride parade.

The San Francisco parade is the granddaddy of all such events. It was truly spectacular, moving, and loads of fun. There must have been at least a quarter of a million people downtown and tens of thousands of marchers. I was overwhelmed by the scale of it.

It's very moving to see so many people openly celebrating their sexuality. Ian McKellen was the Grand Marshal. He's one of the very few male film personalities to have come out of the closet. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of another one.

Nancy Sinatra was one of the Marshals. Don't know if she was coming out or just lending her name to the cause. She may be laughable as an alleged rock-and-roll personality, but, hey, give the gal credit for taking a high profile at this event. Wonder what Daddy would think? Probably something along the order of
"what the hell is she doing with all these fruits?"

My enjoyment of the event was enhanced by being next to some tourists from a small town in Washington who were absolutely bug-eyed at the ongoing display of tits, butts, phalluses, and complete gender scrambling.

My favorite sign in the parade was in the Asian male contingent: "Good at Math and Blowjobs." My favorite moment was the gay members of the SF Police marching with their domestic partners. San Francisco is indeed a very special place.

Or is it? SF Chronicle columnist, Rob Morse, cautions readers, in a scathing column, not to be fooled by the façade of the allegedly homo-friendly city:

"San Francisco isn't what you think it is. Before you do the calculations on how you can afford to live here, pull back the curtain…. . .. This is a very conservative town, a town run by a small cabal shamelessly pursuing happiness through money and power. San Francisco is easily as corrupt as Chicago, but instead of cleaning the streets, the politicians hang out more rainbow flags. This is a town overrun by blatant heterosexuals who perform whatever acts they want, from City Hall to the mansions of Pacific Heights."