website birthday

birthday cakeI was so busy Monday that I forgot to wish happy birthday to my website,

It just turned 11 years old.

We say a dog year is equal to seven human years. calculates an internet year as equal to 4.7 human years.

This would make this website almost 52 years old.  I’m 54, so we’re almost the same age.

It was born on February 7, 2000, when I made a call to, a web hosting company in Oregon.  This company has since changed it’s name to, and it’s still my host.

Two years ago I started using WordPress and changed it from a static website into a blog.  That’s been fun.  For all the years before that, I made changes, but not often.  My html skills have never been too swift.

The traffic continues to grow.  It now consistently gets over a thousand unique visitors a day.  I used to list a couple of pages of my short plays and then invite readers to email me for the whole play — respecting copyright, permission, royalty payment, etc.  When I switched to a blog, I started listing the whole plays and giving permission freely.   It’s not a money making endeavor anyway — so that’s probably been the best move I ever made.  Most of the site’s visitors seem to be students who are searching for a quick ten minute play.  I get emails almost daily asking permission to use those plays for a class project or student production. Each request warms my heart a little more.  Thanks, guys!

I realize there’s not a whole lot of interest in what I had for dinner or what my dog did that amuses me or how much I enjoyed my daily walk or what little poem just popped into my head — but every once in a while, a blog post gets a lot of attention, usually when I write something about a certain former governor of Alaska.

I enjoy it and am looking forward to sharing more and possibly making some changes — perhaps adding a guest blogger or two, or blogging more often, linking to more stuff.  I don’t know, something. Just thinking…

Our mailbox: out with the old, in with the new

old mailbox
old mailbox

How long should a mailbox last?

Seems to me that it should last as long as the house — but ours didn’t.

This mailbox lasted 22 years.  I installed it when we first moved in our house, on Thanksgiving day, 1987.

It became a much weaker mailbox about ten years ago, when a car removed it after a light snow.

old and new, side by side

Somebody (obviously not much of a snow driver) had put on the brakes, slid off the road, hit our mailbox, and continued pushing it down the street another hundred yards or so.

the post, remove

We didn’t see it happen, but we found the mailbox at the bottom of the street, in the middle of the intersection.  The car’s tracks told the story.

I put it back in the ground, and for the past ten years or so, we’ve had a wobbly but functional mailbox.

I can’t remember when the numbers faded, but they haven’t been visible for many years.

Then, last week, my daughter — who got her drivers license a week ago — backed into it.  That pretty much broke it.

My wife propped it up for a few more days with rocks, barely — until I had time, over the weekend, to get a new mailbox.

Looks nice, eh?

I put it a few feet in from the driveway — so even a really bad, drunk driver — should be able to back out of our driveway without hitting it.

Our new mailbox.  A metaphor for…what?

Maybe we’ll get another 22 years out of this one.  I hope so.

our new mailbox

life (a comedy in four acts)

that something somewhere:
maybe a goat
or a bottle of juice
a college town
or a computer mouse
tells me a song
of all that I’ve done wrong

wrong to love something
that never grows young
never thinks old:

young as a hair on a fire hydrant
old as a telephone pole

healing these
can take years

Two things I avoid: haircuts and new shoes

Two things I avoid: haircuts and new shoes.

Today I got a new pair of shoes.

I’ve had this pair for about a year and a half. Wore them every day for a year, until they were completely worn out.

old shoes
old shoes

Then, in January — I got a new pair. I wore those everyday, walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.

About a month ago, this old worn out pair started looking newer than the January pair on my feet (these are better quality; I only paid $14 for the January pair) — so I went back to this pair again.

Today, with sore feet that were crying for more support and padding, I sprung for the new ones — vowing not to go this long again.

There are certainly many more things I avoid. Shoes and haircuts happen to the be ones that come to mind.

new shoes
new shoes

I’m pretty sure I’ve been this way my whole life, even though my father was in the shoe business and I didn’t have to pay for them when I was growing up. There’s probably a psychological connection there somewhere.

Both pair pictured here are New Balance.  I like New Balance because they come in wide widths, they’re reasonably priced, and they’re good shoes.

I used to like the fact that they were manufactured in America. The company website still gives the impression that they are made in this country.

They’re not. The label inside clearly says Made in China.

Nothing lasts forever.  Not shoes.  And not the domestic manufacturing of a shoe that seemed, for years, to defy the market’s pressure for cheap, Asian labor.

I don’t know where the $14 shoes were made, but they weren’t bad at all, really — especially for that price.

In this economy, it’s nice to buy local when possible.

There’s nothing more local than a haircut.  Don’t know why I avoid those.