So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Don't Panic

Post by nebcanuck, Stephen’s son.

After joining in on the blogging world here at i, Pundit last summer, it would seem that it is time for me to move on. So when you don’t see any more posts around here from me, don’t panic… it was a thought-out decision.

It’s come about as a result of a couple of factors. The first — chronologically — was that Dad decided not to focus on his book. The initial reason for my joining the blog was to ease the burden on Dad, so that he could spend some time writing larger material. The plan shifted over time, partly because I wasn’t really that great at keeping up with his phenomenal writing pace, and partly because Dad let go of the idea of the book he had in mind.

The second factor is one of shifting tastes. For some time now, I’ve been moving away from blogging as a medium of expression. My hockey blog has been stagnant for some time, and my posts here have largely been short ones. Perhaps it’s because I’m fairly limited on time, and perhaps it’s because of the heavily-saturated blogosphere, but I never felt that I had found a true niche. As I came to accept that, the motivation to blog decreased. Truth is, when it comes to the blogging world, I’m just as happy to be a reader and commenter, instead of a person who is followed. Thus, in a move to minimize my faux commitment to blogging, I’ve removed my hockey blog and will be ceasing my role here.

There was one other factor worth mentioning, though I don’t wish to dwell on it overmuch at this point. When my dad posted two commentaries on Robert Wright’s views on religion, this decision of moving away from i, Pundit became much more important to me. The simple fact is, I belong to that class of people that is referred to as the “religious right” nowadays. I believe that Truth, by nature, is (at least somewhat) exclusive, and that Jesus Christ as a figure spoke directly to the point that he was the only means to reconciliation with God. Now, I am happy to distance myself from some figures within that movement, in that I don’t believe in creating a homogeneous Christian society, and neither do I believe that there is always a clear cut-and-paste answer to every one of life’s questions. There are substantial questions — including the most-prominent Problem of Evil — which I don’t claim to have an answer for. But those differences do not negate the fact that outside of Christianity, there is no other religion which speaks truly to the nature of God, the damage of sin, and the only means by which God can accept men into his presence — Christ.

With that being said, I know that my religious opinions are far more conservative than most of the readership here. I respect and encourage a diversity of opinions in the world. Do I think it’s wrong to express that God is only a means to a happier society? No. Do I think the concept itself is wrong? Yes. And unlike political differences, which are of secondary importance, I consider God’s nature to be the most important thing a person can ever consider. So, I can’t in right conscience promote anything but, either directly or indirectly.

Rather than attempting to sway readers’ opinions in a series of posts — something which I don’t pretend I have the power to do — I would rather step back from the blog, and focus on other means of evidencing Christ in my life. I would hope that people who know me can attest to my desire to show how much of a difference God has made in my life. I can’t support the thought that God is simply a concept to a better world, because of that difference. Neither can I fight it on such an impersonal forum.

Thus, thanks for the time that you’ve had me around. But it’s time to say “Good bye.”

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Logistical note

I’ve checked the new template on Firefox, Safari, and IE. It looks flawless on Firefox and Safari. Predictably, if I was going to have a problem, it would be in IE.

There are supposed to be three columns. On my work computer, where any browser other than IE is verboten, the third column was underneath the other two.

On my home computer in IE, I had three columns — except at the bottom of the page, where the categories cloud was underneath the recent comments.

There’s not much I can do about it. I’m using the wordpress theme, straight out of the can, except that I’ve customized the background.

Still, I’d like to know if it doesn’t look right on your computer.

Annual bout of spring fever

An anniversary passed this week, without fanfare. Without any notice at all, in fact.

I started blogging on April 1, 2005. As of this past Wednesday, I’ve been at it for four years.

If you happen to be a long-time reader, you know that I reinvent the blog about once a year — usually around the time of my blogiversary. Right on schedule, I’ve got a new blog name and a new blog appearance.

It’s a species of spring fever, I suppose. I always seem to get bored and restless around this time of year.

The new blog title reflects our focus on political and social commentary. The new blog appearance has a newspaper-ish feel to it — underscoring a fascinating cultural shift away from old-school journalism, toward the new, unpaid media.

We’re all journalists now! Or none of us are — take your pick.

In any event, I plan to start blogging more regularly again. Pressures are letting up in other areas of my life:  i.e., the self-government negotiations (see Where’s Waldo) are coming to a successful conclusion.

Where’s Waldo?

I see I haven’t posted anything new since March 7. That may be the longest gap between posts since I started blogging in April 2005.

I haven’t lost the will to blog. I’m just overwhelmed with work at the moment, and I’m too fatigued to write blog posts when I get home.

I’m in the final weeks of negotiations on a self-government agreement with a First Nation in Manitoba. That’s about as much information as I can provide, for reasons of confidentiality.

As we approach the point at which we can initial the final agreement, I’m suddenly negotiating on multiple fronts:  with the First Nation (of course), with the legal-technical working group (the lawyers who evaluate the text from a legal drafting perspective), and with the Department of Finance and other government departments. This means that I’m continually revising the agreement and then presenting the revisions to the other interested parties.

Sooner or later, there’s got to be an end to this “iterative” process. It only seems endless.
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Is it spam or is it legit? You be the judge!

WordPress.com uses a built-in spam filter called Akismet. I’m very impressed by how well it works. Spam rarely gets through, and legitimate comments rarely get spammed.

But no system is perfect. Today I was asked to moderate the following comment (warning: bad language ahead):

ocytyfj | npatahyr@exjepsijg.com | perfectonline.webng.com/bit-tits-fuck-hard.html | IP: 61.206.218.95

His eyes lingered on the glass before standing around the big tits ebony teen titty fuck poolparty. Dad drove usslowly past the drink, tit fuck pregnant for anothermartini. Theo s 1. She wassmiling. You agreed to waste tit fucking freckled on theo looked so small. He was not make no mistake you re told me wide titty fuck milf eyed.

On another occasion, I was asked to moderate this:

lesbians | lesbiansbigtit@mail.com | gaestebuch-umsonst.ws/l/lifortvenoslaps.htm | IP: 59.25.9.95

big tit lesbians lesbian sex videos young penis latin ass interracial lesbians ass licking lesbian girls butts

As I say, no system is perfect. But I’m baffled:  why would Akismet hesitate to identify those comments as spam?!

By the way, this post may not stay up for long. If I suddenly find I’m getting dozens of hits from people searching for “pregnant ass licking interracial lesbians with big butts who love to tit fuck latin penises,” I will reluctantly delete the post.

btw, it occurs to me that we have all lost some of our innocence in the age of the internet.

Rebranded!

Outside the Box is no more. It was time to shake things up around here. Nebcanuck and I have collaborated to design a new theme.
 
When I chose the url, “itsmypulp”, I anticipated that one day I would change the name of the blog. But I’m still “outside the box,” of course. Always have been; always will be.

There’s nothing new about fact, opinion, or B.S., either. You’ve called me on it lots of times. The only difference, now that nebcanuck has joined the stable of bloggers, is that you’re getting two opinionaters for the price of one.

From us to you:  there’s plenty of [a]mazement and [be]musement to go around!

(Re the image above:  Hobbes would not approve.)

This blog has taken on a life of its own

I’ve been at this blogging business for two and a half years now. I have accrued enough posts that the blog has taken on a life of its own. Here are my daily stats for the last 30 days:

thirty-day stats

As you can see, Outside the Box averages more than 300 hits per day. There were only six days this past month when I dipped below 300 hits.

Last week, I suddenly shot up to about 800 hits per day. But I wasn’t doing anything noteworthy to attract attention.

A few days ago, I got curious and checked my top posts to see what was going on. These are my stats for a seven-day period (I have cut off everything that received fewer than ten hits).

seven-day stats

We must be entering the Christmas season:  Controversial Christmas trees (from last November) received over 1,000 hits in a seven day period! It managed to surpass even Tarted-up teens, which is extraordinary.

Tarted-up teens attracts mega-hits for all the wrong reasons. I went back and removed most of the vowels from Br*tney Sp**rs’s name, which reduced the traffic considerably — but you can see that it still receives over 500 hits per week.

The remarkable thing is, none of the top eight posts is recent. Introvert / Extrovert: the difference is in your brain consistently attracts a half dozen hits per day, though it was posted in December 2005. Here are the stats for the past twelve months:

Introvert-Extrovert stats

As I said, the blog has taken on a life of its own. It’s very gratifying! And remarkable:  given that I’m now have a second blog, I am not devoting as much attention to Outside the Box as I once did.

Which brings me to a big announcement. Nebcanuck, my university-aged son, is going to join me as a co-blogger! He is studying political science but, like me, is interested in all sorts of things. (His first love? The Fastest Game On Earth.)

We will probably give the blog a face lift to mark the occasion. It might even receive a new name, but the url will remain the same.

When nebcanuck expresses a personal opinion, I’m sure you will show him the same deference that you show me. Which is to say:  have at him!

Many thanks to my regular readers!

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