odd time signatures

Rebooting the Blog

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you might be scratching your head at the change in tone from “hey, this is what’s happening with my family…” to “stand up and be counted.”

It’s intentional. During the election, I blogged politics on a separate site and lost focus on what to do here. Consequently, I gained a ton of readers to that blog and lost many on this one. After the election, I was somewhat burned out and mostly gobsmacked that we had actually succeeded in electing a gifted, smart, talented couple to the White House. It was one of the few times I’ve been at a loss for words.

The layoff forced me to sit up and think about what I want to be when I grow up, and it wasn’t a dialogue I wanted to have in public. It’s ongoing, but I know this much: Whatever I spend time on needs to be purposeful. I’m more or less done with the pursuit of the almighty dollar, though that doesn’t mean I don’t want to earn enough to keep us afloat and take care of things. The jobs I apply for now are focused on areas that matter to me. I’m not alone in this. The last job I applied for had 700 others in line with me. I’m still in the running as of the last update.

I was already passionate about health care reform, but Sticks’ illness has also forced that hand. For me, politics is no longer a spectator sport. The gamesmanship compelled me to do more than rant in the confines of my living room. I actively participated in a national election to elect a President who works hard and wants to get things done, and who told us “We were the change we were waiting for.” Eleven months later, that promise has never held more challenge than it does right now.

So the blog changed direction, but not really as much as you might think. I started out writing about Caremark and swore then that I would do everything I could possibly manage to stop their immoral practices. That was in 2005. Now it’s nearly 2010 and I’m still working on it. It seems natural to continue that struggle in the place where it began.

It comes down to this: Whatever time I have left on this planet is going to be used for the purpose of doing something good online and off line. On the blog and on Twitter, in the community and in debate. Politics is often ugly, but it’s the best venue I have to be heard and to act. I’m going to be working hard in the next year to replace Elton Gallegly, who has done virtually nothing in all the years he’s been in Congress. Tim Allison has stepped up to challenge him, and I plan to put my full support behind him, here and in the community.

Health care reform has to get finished, and soon. Even then, it really won’t be finished. This is the first pass. It will take pressure and more to refine it to what it should be. 2010 will bear a lot of weight on the final outcome. Sticks’ ongoing battle with diabetes and colitis motivates me every single day to get up and keep pushing toward that goal.

Finally, a couple of housekeeping notes. It seemed like a good time to refresh the look and feel of the blog, so I did a redesign from the ground up with Chris Pearson’s Thesis theme as the foundation. I added the MSNBC video ad mostly so you could find the most current MSNBC videos easily. Of course, clicks help, too. The background represents the ink-blotty thought processes that I still rely upon, that funky rhythm that pushes me ahead with some passion and purpose while wandering down the sideways thoughts of the next picture I want to take. And I decided that the colors should be fresher and brighter. I may write about politics, but that doesn’t mean I have to have a red, white and blue backdrop.

The photos have not gone away. The latest and greatest will always be on the front page just underneath the first post excerpt. I’m posting the photos on a Posterous blog and importing the RSS feed into the feature area on this one. At first blush it might seem like a kludgy way to do things, but it widens the audience to Facebook and Twitter friends, as well as offering a visual break for readers from my usual intensity here on the blog. However, they will no longer appear in this blog’s RSS feed. You’re going to have to come visit to see them. Don’t be shy…I’ve missed hearing from lots of you.

Over on the far right sidebar, there’s an image and a link to Sticks’ CD. When he made it, he never dreamed he might actually need the money from sales to help, but he does. If you like jazz, I hope you’ll consider buying a few to help him defray his med and supply costs, which are about $400/month these days.

There you have it. I hope you’ll stop by and let me know what you think of the design and the content. Or, just come say hi to the pictures and photographer.

(image courtesy of StuffWeLike – Reboot the Movie)

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