Four Years

Cake Candle Birthday 4 Celebrating Set On Fire

With this post this Blog ‘O Mine reaches the age of four.  How, I wondered, should this occasion be marked?  Let’s go with two things . . .

First, thank you.  This would be an awfully lonely enterprise without the many of you who come to read, react and comment.  Your feedback and response is one of the things that keeps the fires burning here and I deeply appreciate the time you devote to coming here to read my musings.

I am also kind of proud that I have been at this for four years and have not once had to resort to a rerun.  Those more prolific than yours truly and who keep up a punishing schedule of multiple posts a week may be excused for the occasional re-post, but for those of us who publish weekly – well that would just be lazy.  Or maybe that is the “Raised By Germans” thing within me doing the talking.

This strikes me as a good time to deal with a second something that I have allowed to get a bit dusty – because it is something that needs dealing with and because I am thin on good ideas for celebrating four years.  About a month and a half ago I was among those nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award.  This honor came from Annie who blogs at AnnieAsksYou.

The Versatile Blogger Award “was created to celebrate blogs that have unique content, strong writing, and beautiful images or photographs.”  As with all things in life, there are rules, which are:

-Thank the person who gave you the award.
-Include a link to their blog.
-Select 7 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
-Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
-Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

In past years I have kind of ignored these.  Although I was always flattered, the idea of nominating multiple other bloggers for an award that required them to nominate multiple others always sort of struck me like those old email chain letters.  But this one gnawed at me a bit more than those others.

I think it is because Annie and I have commented multiple times on each others blogs and I have come to see her as a friend (despite the fact that we agree on virtually nothing when it comes to politics and national affairs.) So, here goes:

  • Thanks, Annie.  It is genuinely flattering that you considered this spot significant enough to recognize as a place that fulfills the award’s criteria.  I am honored.
  • Her blog can be found here.
  • Because of my aversion to the chain letter thing and because I have a deeply ingrained tendency towards being a contrarian, I am not going to individually pick out blogs.  But let’s do this.  If you are a blogger and if I have ever commented on one of your blog posts (especially if I have commented multiple times) consider yourself nominated.  And if you would like a public shoutout, let me know in the comments or privately and I will do so.
  • Seven things about myself?  Hmmmm.  Aside from all the things you know about me from reading this blog, I suppose.
    • I love old cars and have an abiding (irrational, some might say) love for the cars and trucks built by the old Studebaker Corporation.  We Hoosiers have to stick together.
    • I am trying to lose a little weight.  I am, therefore, a little grumpy because many of the delicious things that I normally consume without a second thought are either off limits or seriously curtailed.  I am, however, down about ten pounds, which alleviates some of the sting.  Not a lot of the sting, but some of it.
    • I have been very nearsighted for most of my life, so a good pair of glasses has been essential for daily living.  I tried contacts for a short time but could not stand to live without nearsightedness’s benefits.  Like being able to read little tiny things without a magnifying glass.  You know the line where you sign your name on the front of a check?  It is actually a microprinted phrase.
    • I really miss a world where old men smoked pipes.  As a former cigarette smoker, I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke.  I am mostly neutral on cigar smoke, but pipe smoke is one of the most wonderful smells on earth.  Or at least it used to be when there were still old men who smoked pipes.  Should I outlive my loving spouse (who refuses to kiss a smoker) I might just take up pipe smoking.
    • I once had a summer job in a potato chip factory.  There is nothing like eating hot potato chips right out of the fryer.
    • Let’s list a big annoyance.  Do you walk through large parking lots?  Do you sometimes cross the path of a moving vehicle in a large parking lot?  This is OK.  What is not OK is crossing at an angle as far removed from 90 degrees as it is possible to navigate.  In other words, if you are going to cross, then cross.  If you are going to walk parallel to the traffic, then do so.  But why, for Pete’s sake, is it ever OK to walk a path that will require fifty yards to get from one side of the traffic lane to the other?  Grrrrrr.
    • I am currently starting to read a book on the history of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg automobile company, another of the great Indiana auto manufacturers of yore.  I came across it in a used book store and snapped it up.  The best part is that it was written by a distant relative, a fascinating person I should do some writing about.

I suppose there might be some blog material out of some of the items above, so this was one more good thing to come from Annie’s thoughtful nomination.  It also helped to fill the void caused by a combination of Summer, a looming birthday and an overall lack of writing inspiration as I near the end of a busy week.

I should also take a moment to specifically seek out comments from readers on what are your favorite things to read here (and perhaps what are your least favorite topics).  I have been toying with making some changes to the layout so any thoughts you have on how user-friendly the current one is would be great to hear.  And if you have been a semi-regular here who has never commented, take a moment and introduce yourself.  It is the comments section where community is built and that is my favorite part of this endeavor.

So thanks for reading and I hope to see you again next week.


Photo Credit: Max Pixel, free use under Creative Commons CC0 License


18 thoughts on “Four Years

  1. At this point, let’s all say “Four More Years!”. If we say it now we’ll be ahead of the curve for what will inevitably be said elsewhere next year.

    Favorite topics here: Primarily the stories about everyday life. Most are relatable in some fashion and, if not, it’s good verification others have their own unique sets of stories and challenges.

    Least favorite (but let’s rephrase that as “frustrating”…): Some of the jazz related content but here’s why….when I read your blog it is generally early in the morning. I’m not able to listen to any links at that point due to everyone else being asleep nearby. So it’s a lot like being told how a picture looks without the ability to see the picture.

    Overall you have found a nice balance of opening the door into your life and thoughts without disclosing too much information. That’s a talent not everyone possesses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback. Sometimes I wonder if the”everyday life” stuff gets overdone but those pieces seem popular.

      The jazz stuff underperforms in stats, so you evidently have company. Perhaps I need to offer a webstore with a selection of earbuds and headphones to assist with this. 😀

      Those pieces, however, scratch my itch for research and history in a small way. They tend to be the most labor-intensive on this end, which keeps the number down.

      In any case, I appreciate your being around as one of my long timers.


  2. Congratulations, and well done. Please continue, I really appreciate the variety of content, a versatile blog indeed. I like jazz but am not terribly knowledgeable about it so I find your music posts enlightening and informative.
    Having been manufactured in Hamilton just like Canadian Studebakers I too have an irrational love for them.

    I also appreciate the look into the world of Catholicism and of Midwestern Americana, likely there are a lot of things we don’t agree on as well, but I think it’s important to dialogue on these things and build relationships. It’s been very helpful (unlike say Baruth’s blog which I don’t bother with anymore)

    My grandfather smoked a pipe. I love, LOVE the smell of pipe smoking. However, my grandfather also died of esophageal cancer directly attributed to his pipe smoking, so I’ll take a pass.

    Carry on!


    • Thank you from this first comment from the Canadian contingent. I enjoy hearing from a Canadian point of view, something I have come to appreciate as (hmmm, thinking of a good term) similar but different.

      Perhaps the secret to successful pipe smoking is to not start until about the age of 70. At that age by the time cancer gets a start all the other stuff wrong with you will probably get there first instead.

      I guess I was technically manufactured in Ypsilanti, Michigan – so perhaps I should transfer my allegiance to the stuff that Kaiser-Frazer built at nearby Willow Run? And maybe that’s why I have an affinity for early Hydra-Matic transmissions that were built there after Kaiser moved out in the 50s. 🙂


  3. Wow, it’s been forty years already. Wait- four, you say? That means I’ve been reading a new post from you first thing every Friday 208 times. Unreal. How the time flies!

    Congrats on your award! I can appreciate the chain-letter sentiment, though the award is well-deserved as your musings cover a lot of ground. My favorite posts tend to be those you categorize as Life, Fun, and Current Events, though I appreciate all. Your jazz posts, in particular, have helped develop my own year. Similarly, your posts regarding religion have helped develop my faith. So what’s not to love?

    Thank us for reading, but thank you for writing. See you next week!


    • Wow, 208? I didn’t do the math. But now I feel old and tired. But loyal readers rejuvenate me.

      I have to say that if I actually had passed the award to seven others, you would have been among them. Your blog on Indiana courthouses has been required reading for me every week. My trying to get you to start a second round with interior shots is partly selfish because I don’t want it to end when you hit the last of our 92 counties.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very flattering. Thank you! Your posts make me jealous when I’ve missed a few weeks. I would love to get started on interiors, as we’ve discussed.

        I have about forty geared up from Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia as well, and hope to make it to Illinois and Kentucky soon too. So even if I don’t get inside some more, we’ll have material for a long time.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! This is my fourth attempt after three failures. I am about to append the comment that should appear here to your response to me on my blog: specifically, on my most recent post about how to break bad habits. Hope this one goes through.


    • Wow, how odd, I have been unaware of anyone having difficulties with comments. I will need to look at the settings.
      Wow, a childhood of riding in Studebakers – how cool! My best childhood friend lived that kind of life and I spent plenty of time as a young passenger in several.

      My father smoked cigarettes and I hated the smell. Maybe I tolerated cigars more because being around them was not the daily occurrence that you lived through.

      Yes, we have been able to find our common ground. I look forward to doing so wherever we can in the future.


  5. Well, I know we probably don’t agree much on politics, and I’m not a jazz listener, but your writings have eloquently inspired me to broaden my views. And, I’m just catching up after a week away from home, which included seeing two 1950’s Studebaker pickups by the roadside and sitting in gridlock this afternoon in Placerville, California, where John M Studebaker sold enough wheelbarrows to gold miners to help finance the family wagon business.


    • Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate thoughtful views that differ from my own. You have raised good questions that have made me think.

      Awhile ago my Mrs was recording old episodes of Death Valley Days on the DVR. One was about a guy who started building wheelbarrows for gold miners. I laughed out loud when they concluded by telling us that the guy was John Studebaker, whose family started the business that was still churning out cars when the show first aired.


  6. Congrats on reaching the 4 year mark! And a special congrats on the 10 pound loss. I just passed my 2 year anniversary, and sometimes there’s not much to write about. My recent travels have given me some blog fodder, which definitely makes it easier.


  7. I enjoyed pipe smoke as well back in the day. My Dad smoked a pipe from time to time, using Sail tobacco. However I became allergic to it, so it became problematic. Congrats on your 4 years, keep up the great feed.


    • Thanks Lee. Both my grandfather and an uncle were pipe smokers, though both gave it up as they got older. But I used to love both the smell and watching all of the fiddling with it.


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