November 19, 2004

And then we were one.....

Friday November 21 2003, 2:46 P.M.

We are the LLama butchers

We come in peace

to defenestrate the indefensible

to decapitate the corrigible

to spread havoc and fear among the idiotarians

we are llama butchers

hear us yip

Unfortunately, the original email to Rob was erased some time over the past year. But it was something along the lines of "Dude---want to do a blog together?"

The original post was this:

Well, Rob? Let er rip

So Sunday is the first anniversary, but it's really today: like last year, a grey, wet Friday afternoon before the Thanksgiving break. I had tried to start blogging for awhile, and had about a half dozen different aborted blogs that I started but then abandonned over the previous two years. I had tried starting another blog with a buddy, where the schtick would have been he's a hardcore Democrat and I'm, well, me. But he never pulled the trigger, and it was probably for the best, as the election drove us pretty far apart. Robbo and I had been emailing back and forth for years with the sort of stuff which is the daily fare of the LLamas, but for whatever reason it took me forever to realize "here it is."

2499 posts on blogger later, and xxxx posts on moo knew, and 110K + visits later......

What have I learned from all this?

The first and most important thing is the sheer fun of enjoying a friendship formed rowing in college to hit an all new level. Our families were close beforehand---Rob and I were groomsmen in each others weddings, we're the godfathers for each of our youngest daughters, and our wives get along very well. I met Rob's wife on their second date, and knew right then Rob had found his match. But I think it's quite fair to say that you don't really know someone till you blog with them for a year. And so let me say this: thanks, buddy!

The second thing that blogging has taught me is perspective. Let's face it, the last year politically has been incredibly stressful. I can say without a doubt blogging has improved my marriage because, to be perfectly honest, I don't get cranky about things anymore the way I used to. Someone do something stupid in the world? Blog about it. Something piss you off? Blog about it. And maybe delete it later, but maybe not Something make you laugh? Definitely blog about it. So what I'd like to do is give a huge thanks to our regulars---you know who you are!---for keeping me sane through the past year.

Over the weekend, I want to do what has become traditional in Blogistan---ye olde advice to newbie bloggers. But for right now, thanks for making this past year so much fun.

Yips! from Robbo: Right back at you, Big Guy! (Note to everyone else- no, we're not shopping for curtains together, not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Yes, it's been quite a ride. I never told Steve-O this, but when he set a goal of cracking the top 100 in the Ecosystem and rolling over 100K visitors in our first year, my secret reaction was "yeah, right". In retrospect, I am damned impressed with his work and just feel honored that I've been able to come along for the ride.

When we started out, I really wasn't sure exactly where we were going to go in terms of style. At first, we toyed around with an idea for a conscious split - "Robbo the Tory Felix Ungar and Steve the Whig Oscar Madison forever wrangling" sort of thing. But that never really picked up any steam. And frankly, I'm glad of it. In the end, we just decided to run with our natural inclinations, tastes and temperments, posting about what interested us and saying exactly what we think. Looking back, I believe this has worked out just fine, as we have plenty of overlap in a number of ways, while each of us also expands the menu of Llama offerings in sharply different directions, thereby covering an awful lot of ground between us. Steve was kidding around about "Goofus and Gallant" earlier today, but in the past, he's also made several allusions to his Falstaff and my Prince Hal. Not only do I take that as an immense compliment, I also think there is a great deal to it, in the best possible way of course, as a description of our combined style.

I also concur in the benefits that blogging has brought to my life. Last year was terribly stressful for me. I got the news that my old practice group was being eliminated about three weeks before we started blogging, and subsequently spent about eight months looking for a new job. During that time, you can't imagine the release I got by being able to drop in here and bloviate about things both large and small.

In broader terms, of course, I really just love writing. And after all, what English Major doesn't delight in being able to see himself published whenever and wherever he wants? Also, I like to think that all the practice I've been afforded here has, in fact, greatly improved my analytical and compositional skills. Nothing so forces one to choose one's words carefully than the knowledge that a lot of other people who know a great deal more about the subject at hand are going to read them. And might comment on them. And might make one look like a complete charleton. Makes one think, that does.

One quirk about this whole business that I haven't quite figured out yet is a sense of dual personality that I sometimes feel. This is a function of a rather large strain of self-consciousness with which I've always been plagued, and with which I still grapple after all these years. So where plain old Rob sometimes feels he's being awkward, embarrassing and/or dull in social settings, Robbo the Llama Butcher goes in with a whoop and a holler, doing his best to be the life of the party. (It's a whole Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask kind of thing and I've sometimes thought of writing a separate post about it.) I honestly don't know what many of you would think if you ever met me in real life.

Speaking of which, of course the greatest aspect of running the Butcher's Shop is all the new folks we've met. When we first started this opus, I think I was regularly reading maybe three or four of the big guys - Glenn, Axis Sully and The Corner. That was it. I had something between little and no clue about the rest of the Blogsphere. A year later, I'm amazed at how many solid, solid writers there are out there, how friendly and knowledgable so many of you are and how much fun it has been to talk with you. We can't thank each of you individually as you deserve and we can't thank all of you collectively enough for what a truly great experience you've made this.

As we're very fond of saying 'round here, Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!

YIPS from Steve: No, I was serious about the Goofus and Gallant thing. Because we all know that I'm Goofus....

Posted by Steve at November 19, 2004 03:17 PM | TrackBack

Congratulations and feliz cumpleanos!

Posted by: JohnL at November 19, 2004 03:51 PM

friendship formed rowing in college to hit an all new level.

We're not talking about in a gladiator sort of way, are we?

Posted by: Bill from INDC at November 19, 2004 04:15 PM

Congratulations gentlemen on the blog and thank you for bestowing upon me the coveted title of "Llama Military Correspondent". Periodically, you graciously allow me to post a word or two on topics particularly near and dear to me-the ones that come to mind are a post on John Kerry's slander on Vietnam vets (including my father) in his 1971 Senate testimony and a piece on meeting the 1958 Army shooting champion at a range in Virginia Beach. Best of luck for the future.

Posted by: LMC at November 19, 2004 05:38 PM

One year of the LLama Butchers--LLucky us! Our alternate universe called the blogosphere wouldn't be the same without you...congratulations and happy anniversary.

Posted by: Chan S. at November 19, 2004 05:45 PM

Congratulations, Llamas. Always a pleasure to read you each day. Yip Yip!

Posted by: DWC at November 19, 2004 06:38 PM

Mega-Yips to you both! You've been one of my favorite reads just about every day. Keep up the wooley goodness.


Posted by: Gordon at November 19, 2004 07:13 PM

Boatloads of Yips for ya.... hmm, that doesn't sound right. Anyways, great blogaversary to ya! There needs to be a DC blog/reader summit sometime ;)


Posted by: Lysander at November 19, 2004 09:00 PM

Happy birthday, and blog on!

Posted by: Fausta at November 20, 2004 01:00 PM

Happy, happy BlogDay.
Bend over show your links!
They might be blogger cushy.
They might be full of kinks.

We are going to "hit" you
No matter what you post.
So, happy, happy BlogDay,
Don't ever give-up the ghost!


Posted by: Rae at November 22, 2004 01:23 AM
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