joe crawford. blog since 2001 indieweb guestbook

20 Year Article Idea Fulfilled

My first blog post was 23 years, 3 months, 5 days ago. This blog has 764,376 words, which would take about 70 hours and 37 minutes to read.

By comparison, the dense and well-nigh unreadable Gravity’s Rainbow is 305,000 words. Depending on when I stop blogging, which is to say, once I am incapable of blogging because of infirmity or death, that sentence will stop updating because that sentence is generated programmatically.

Why the above preamble? It’s to tell you that I don’t know what’s in this blog unless I go looking. I recently did go exploring older posts. Why? Because I remembered that for a few months or years I used Markdown in some posts. I didn’t do anything more elaborate than using underscores and asterisks to denote bolding and italicizing (aka strong and em but it was something I did and then abandoned). I was using a WordPress Markdown plugin inside WordPress at the time. It worked fine, and allowed me to write somewhat faster. I stopped using it in 2005 or so.

When I stopped, I didn’t go back and find and edit those older posts.

So I wrote a script to go looking for old posts with lots of asterisks and/or lots of underscores. There were more than I thought. Underscores can be used for distinct reasons. I had a number of fun examples, for example in quoting the song Blank Generation I wrote lines like “I belong to the ______ generation and I can take it or leave it each time” – Richard Hell leaves a pause in place for some lines of the chorus. A distinct and legitimate non-Markdown usage.

But that’s not what I really want to talk about. What I want to talk about is that I found a post about ideas for posts on the long-since-sold local blog San Diego Blog: San Diego Blog (July 13, 2004). Included are some of the goals for the site: “post daily.” And I’ll include again what I wrote soliciting some posts for the site:

So — I guess I’m again begging your indulgence for feedback and stories that should be covered. Some stories bouncing around my noggin that are not really stories yet are:

was there a plan to blow up the strand if the coronado bridge was blown up — to allow egress of navy ships?
history of the giant dipper roller coaster (it was dormant for YEARS!)
the san ysidro mcDonald’s shooting
the dredging of “False Bay” to make “Mission Bay”
famous San Diego Bands
radio stations that used to exist (Mighty 690, for example) in San Diego
Unarius Society — cable access nutballs for years
history of the PSA skytower at sea world and the lights (they didn’t always keep those lights on) — maybe a history of sea world (like –what was it like on opening day?)
great record stores in San Diego (Lou’s, Blue Meanie, Off The Record, etc)
famous people who got their starts in San Diego (e.g.: Regis Philbin, Whoopi Goldberg, Racquel Welch, Tom Waits)
____________________________ <- insert your idea here!
If any of you would like to tackle any of these things, I’d really dig it. If you just have factlets or links that are like the germs of a story, I’d dig that too.

Thanks for listening to me brainstorm! I appreciate your time.

Best, Joe

Since the, I’ve written in bits and pieces about some of these things. But I was stunned to see at the top of that list: was there a plan to blow up the strand if the coronado bridge was blown up — to allow egress of navy ships? – because just this year I wrote a post about that here on my own blog: No, Bridges Don’t Float: Some Coronado Bay Bridge History

I was delighted to have fulfilled a part of a leftover editorial calendar, but alarmed it took 20 years.

(Not found in my search for asterisks were old drawings of giant punctuation in the desert).

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