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Category Archives: Weblogs

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.net.

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 scrubbles.net 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 scrubbles.net! 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.

Dollops of Sunshine

Here we go again — I found another cool/old record weblog while doing some research. This time I was trying to find info on ’60s singer Julie Budd, one of whose songs was included on a Sunshine Pop mix made by my friend Ion (Yesterday’s Sunshine, excellent and if you email me nicely I might be able to share a copy). It was during this search that this page popped up as part of Waxidermy, a site which reviews old vinyl of every genre as long as it’s sufficiently obscure (and having a weird cover photo apparently helps, too). Occasionally they share mp3s; the two songs by Ms. Budd are nice examples of that rare crossover between Broadway style razzle dazzle and psych-pop.

Jesus in 12″ or Less

Where have I been? In the long and sticky process of finding artwork for every song in my iTunes library. While searching for info on a old, campy LP by preacher John Rydgren, I came across the weblog Heavenly Grooves which presents downloads on all sorts of home grown religious recordings from the ’60s to the early ’80s. I used to come across a lot of intriguing looking albums of this stripe in my thrifting days, but never bought any of them ’cause, well, they’re all about Jesus. At least with this weblog you can try stuff out without the risk of losing 99 cents! I hope they post more white bread vocal group LPs, preferably the ones where the ladies sport mile-high beehives on the cover.

Four for the Feeds

Still working out the kinks on this WordPress conversion, but I have a few new (to me) weblogs to share which I can across during the transition period:

  • Vintage Pop is the latest venture from J.D. Roth of Folded Space. This one deals in early 20th century American pop culture, and he’s already off to a great start (and thanks for helping me out, J.D.!).
  • Condour of Wacky Neighbor has embarked on another project in the form of Smallist, a weblog dealing with all things miniscule. It’s fascinating the variety of stuff one can write about in such a small area, no pun intended.
  • I came across The Hits Just Keep Comin’ after the proprietor linked to a scrubbles post. Nice writings on pop music of the recent past, especially as it relates to the Billboard charts (a freaky obsession of mine). Loved the recent post on the vaguely psychedelic ez-listening obscurity “1900 Yesterday” by Liz Damon & The Orient Express (among other tunes).
  • Modeling Midcentury Modern comes from a guy who does these amazing 3-D models of vintage buildings. His rendering of the Monsanto House of the Future was recently linked on The Disney Blog, but my personal fave might be this nifty old-skool Jack In The Box.