I have a love/hate relationship with this blog. The concept that the least of my thoughts can be instantly captured and cataloged on the interwebs for potentially thousands of people to read (but mostly, about a hundred) and comment upon is a thrill. I feel that in my small way, I and the others who blog here are contributing to an advancement of conservative ideas and policies.
Then again, this blog is a colossal pain in the ass. The only way to drive up readership is to post constantly and then push those posts through other sources (Twitter, Facebook, etc). A blog is a harsh mistress, laying claim to time without thought to the consequences. I tend to have free time to blog early in the morning--that is, early in the morning on the days in which I'm not traveling in to DC for work. Those days have become fewer and fewer, as the dual influences of a declining defense budget and my desire to grow my business have pressurized my time. Where I previously drove over to the Western Shore twice a week, I'm now doing so four or five times a week. When I'm away from my desk/working with clients all day, I get nothing done administratively, so time after dinner is turned invariably into admin time--emails, proposals, contracts, etc. What gets squeezed? Family. Actual thought work. Blogging.
Add to this, my continuing desire to be connected with UVA, my friends there, and football Saturdays. Yes friends, this one is a choice--and it is one that drives a good deal of the pressure around here in the Fall. I made it clear to the Kitten when we were courting that the UVA football Saturdays weren't negotiable, and she easily agreed, swept up in the emotion of early enamor and unaware of the time sump they would come to represent. You see, Charlottesville is a 4 hour trip from Easton no matter how you slice it. Often, I drive there via Richmond (or for the William and Mary game, to Northern Virginia) to pick up a buddy to go to the game with. We try to get to the game three hours before kickoff for the traditional pre-game meal at the Virginian, then to the tailgate. Throw in a 3.5 hour game (minimum) and the travel, pre-game, and game time adds up in the somewhere north of 14 hour zone (getting out of Charlottesville after a game is never a quick kill). Unless the game is early in the day, it generally means an overnight--in C'ville, NoVa or Richmond.
Now,throw in hunting season. I'm no Daniel Boone, but I have come to really enjoy a day with some good old boys, a few guns and some dogs. Birds, deer, whatever. Doesn't matter. But--when I'm hunting, there's no blogging, there's no family time, there's no chores doing. More pressurizing the vessel.....
Which brings me back to time. I return home to the house from Charlottesville still very much in upheaval as we enter month 14 of our 7 month renovation. There is a lot to do here, and shuffling off to UVA for 24hours has done me no good around the house. So to ensure continuing tranquility, I put it in high gear--chore wise--and wind up the day without so much as looking at the blog. But of course--Monday would be a holiday! Yes! I can rise early--whilst the Kitten/Kittens and Cats are still a-slumber, and fly to the ManCave where I can spend 2-3 hours in blessed solitude--me and my computer--there to populate the blog with good cheer, reasonable analysis and clear thinking.
But it was not to be. I awoke early, the light just beginning to appear. I stole from the bed, careful not to wake any occupant, human or feline. I tip-toed out of the room to make the first cup of coffee of the day, there to propel me to blogging greatness. The coffee machine was down. The power was out. What a buzz killer, but not fatal. I have a cell-card I can stick in my laptop and use the internet through Verizon Wireless. First though--to Dunkin Donuts for the sustaining coffee. Along the way, I remembered that there were few spots in the house where I had cell coverage good enough for data--one of which is Catherine's splendid new--nearly complete--office. I drove home, placed my coffee on her shiny new desk, placed my laptop atop its gleaming expanse and connected to the internet. I wheeled her new chair from the kitchen into the office--there to be the first productive human to actually USE the office. But.....oh no.....what's that? Is that one of the painters pulling up into my driveway? Juan--have you no respect for Labor Day? Where are you going. "Hi Mr. McGrath. Reggie said that I should work in the office today." What? The only quiet, internet accessible place on this ENTIRE FARM and I'm to be displaced by a man working on a Federal Holiday? I quietly packed up my things and left, a sour, angry man with the nagging thought of his blog in the back of his mind, the blog he has been paying less attention to, the blog whose ignoral (likely not a word) is sure to summon emails from friends and family signaling their displeasure.
Then--the power comes on. Thank goodness. I can salvage something of my morning by heading out to the ManCave for a few hours. "Is the internet working in the house?" I am asked. Hmmm.....(run Bryan, run!). Why, no it isn't. I'll just power down a few times, that ought to re-establish. Uh, no. It doesn't. (Home is cable internet, ManCave is DSL). "Is that something we should call about?". In my head? I'm thinking "hell, I've got DSL in the ManCave--I'm OUTTA here." In the kitchen, it was "yes, let me do that". And so then another thirty minutes with the cable purveyor figuring out that there is an area-wide outage. I explain this, and then head to the ManCave, somewhat beaten, four hours after waking and without a single word having been typed.
But--I'm here now. I'm grooving in the ManCave on a lightning quick 2.56 Mbps DSL line, the kittens have headed off to play and the Kitten has agreed with my assessment that what I need is a few hours in front of the computer to cure me of my entirely sour disposition. The woman is a saint--I am not easy to live with on a good day, and that she is able to take me when I'm riled up is a credit to her.
I just hope there is something interesting about which to blog.