Shoulblog Turns Two!

Mardi Gras King Cake, from barbarabakes.com

It’s Shoulblog’s birthday! Two years ago today (OK, not exactly two years, but it was two Fat Tuesdays ago), this thing launched. This was the first post; you can judge for yourself if I’ve made any progress in that time.

With the anniversary, the blog has a new look. I adopted a new WordPress “theme” (it’s called Twenty Eleven, if you’re into that kind of thing—the old theme was called Contempt), which allows a little more flexibility. One reason I like the new one is the typography; the font seems a little larger, cleaner. The headlines are bigger and better-distinguished from the text. Ditto for the content in the sidebar (which, it seems, you don’t see on individual post pages, but if you click on “Home” or on the header, it’ll be back).

The biggest change is in the header, which now includes a photograph; it’s actually several different photographs, which will rotate in random order with each new page you open. I’ll be adding some smaller tweaks as time goes on.

The Year, In One Paragraph

Looking back over the last year of blogging, the longest (and most important, to me, anyway) thing I’ve written was “You Are Welcome Here,” which traced my return to the church I grew up in, if not necessarily all of its teachings. That post also took the longest to write; I probably worked on it for about three months, although I knew fairly early on that it was probably going to be the Christmas post, so I didn’t have to hurry it. Otherwise, the posts ebbed and flowed through the year. Last February, I didn’t post at all, nor was there much in March or April; partly because I was preoccupied with a speaking engagement, detailed here. (I found that one kind of funny; my son thought it was sad.) It was a lousy year for running—reflected in the fact that I only wrote a handful of times about it—but a pretty good year for list-making; there were several lists about music, about sports, even a list about lists. And I’ve started keeping track of the books I’ve read, both as a way of sharing recommendations and to spur myself to read more; the first two posts in this series are here and here. I did a little bit of traveling in 2011, and managed to write about trips to Northern Illinois and New Mexico, which is my new home, although I don’t live there just yet. December was something of a somber month, with remembrances of my brother Jim and of my mother, along with a plea for quieter and simpler Christmas music. January brought only two posts, including my annual “Pictures Of…” gallery, which seems to be pretty popular. Also along the way in the last year, there were posts about my family history, about the greatest album ever recorded, and other assorted silliness.

Other than the ongoing lists, I have no idea what the next year will bring. OK, well I do have some ideas…

Thanks For Reading!

Thanks to everyone who has commented, or “liked” a post, or shared a post on Facebook. I love the feedback, positive or negative.

By the way, I will usually put something on Facebook when I post here, but not always. Same for Twitter, when I remember to go there (which isn’t often, honestly). And occasionally I’ll e-mail a post to friends who might not see it otherwise. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any posts, you can “subscribe” to the blog by entering your e-mail address in the box at the right—that will get you an automatic e-mail every time I post something, if you’re so inclined. Or you can subscribe via RSS, which allows you to follow one or many blogs from one convenient page. There are lots of RSS readers out there; I use Google Reader and follow about a hundred blogs that way.

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll come back often!

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