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Seven Years of Unpigeonholeable Tomfoolery

Here’s to odd-numbered anniversaries: seven years ago this week, I started this weblog. I would’ve never believed it would have lasted this long, but yay for longevity. To mark the occasion, I thought it would be a gas to take a look back at the earlier incarnations of

Scrubbles logo #1

In the summer of 2000, I came across an article on “weblogs” in the defunct online magazine Feed. Intrigued, I dove into finding various examples of this “weblog” phenomenon, most of which were technology-oriented or simple online journals. At the time I was working at The Arizona Republic, mostly designing but also writing the occasional travel piece or music review. Basically I was a marketing guy who didn’t quite fit in the newsroom and I needed an outlet to blow off some writing energies. Why not start a weblog, just for fun? So I signed up with Blogger and cobbled together a simple template with the slipshod Scrabble tile logo seen here. The blog was housed on my own personal server with an inpenetrable URL containing a tilde (~). Gosh, it all seems so innocent now.

Scrubbles logo #2

The very blue design #2 was in service from the Summer of 2001 through December 2002. This was a hot period. I was posting multiple times daily on anything and everything, Boing Boing had me linked on their front page, and people were flooding in. The blogging community as a whole was on the crest of a giant wave. Would it ever crash?

Scrubbles logo #3

Design #3 was my favorite, so excellent that it broke my heart when the Great Movable Type Incident of September 2005 forced me to give it up. But I’m getting ahead of myself here — in retrospect, 2003 was a bad year for me. I was under a lot of stress at work and had to take several breaks from the weblog. Eventually I quit and underwent a major reassessment of everthing in my life. Gradually the m.o. changed from quickie “look what I found” link-based posts to longer, more thoughtful pieces (well, as thoughtful as 400-word odes to junk food and junkier television shows can get). Not quite as hot and sexy as the latest celebrity gossip, but it suited me better.

Scrubbles logo #4

The current! At the risk of sounding totally self-serving, I feel like we’re getting better with each passing year. So here’s to more retro-goodness, wherever it comes from. If you yourself have a weblog — thanks for the inspiration. If you’re just stopping by — thanks for the visit. I hereby promise to be as unpigeonholeable as possible for the coming seven years or longer.

12 Thoughts on “Seven Years of Unpigeonholeable Tomfoolery

  1. No. Thank you. Seven Years… Long time.
    Good work!

  2. Seven years . . . that’s antediluvian by blog standards. I’m celebrating three years today. What is it about July 11?

    I enjoy your work over here. Best wishes.

  3. I’ve been reading this thing for seven years? I remember all those designs?? Man I need to go outside, say hello to my loved ones — aw screw it, too late now. Let’s go for another seven!

  4. I am embarrassingly proud that I recognize and remember all of those designs. Well done!

  5. Congrats on seven years! I’m just as addicted today as I was in 2003 when I found you.

  6. Terry Anderson on July 12, 2007 at 1:19 pm said:

    As a long-time listener, sometime caller I salute you on you achievement.(I,too, loved version 3.0 *sigh*)Congratulations,and long may you wave!
    Keep up the good work, and many more years of success to you.

  7. Your page has been a favorite of mine for a while now (I only recognize the last two versions). You’re always interesting, and I enjoy the personality that comes through. Thanks!

  8. Seven years?!?! I am humbled, sir. Congratulations.

  9. Wow! Seven years of Scrubbles. Most bloggers burn out in less than a year, so seven years is an eternity on the net. You’re like the Cal Ripkin of bloggers! Looking forward to seeing your entries when you and Chris are living out your days in the rest home. You’ll be writing about the best denture cleaners and reviewing Shrek 13. And I’ll still be there reading them.

  10. congrats matt! here’s to seven more fantastic years. i’m trying to remember when i first started reading your blog..but coming up with a blank. was it blue hand or after blue hand or before? hmm. well, the important thing is i discovered it. :)

  11. Big big congrats on your milestone, Matt! Seven years is indeed several lifetimes in blog-dom. You should be very proud of this moment. Good for you! I found your blog when doing a search on Charley Harper one day and found that you had some of the exact same things I had of his — that cookbook and the Biology book. It was Design #3 that I remember. Yeah, that was a good one. And I remember that empty feeling I had when I found out that everything was pretty much lost from The Great Movable Type Incident of 2005. Sheesh, it freaked me out. But you’ve been back on track and still providing some great insight to wonderfully odd pop culture nick-nacks. Keep it up!

  12. Thanks, Ward (and everybody else)! The pre-10/2005 Scrubbles posts are actually still online, just harder to find. They look ugly since the CSS links were broken, but they’re there. That Charley Harper post you mentioned is linked from his Wikipedia page, for example.

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