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Self-congratulatory, self-indulgent blurge

Well, I'm under the weather, not motivated in the blogging sense, and have nothing to talk about unless you think more DCRTV rumors or Sports Illustrated giving Jim Bowden a "D" for the hot stove are interesting topics. Trust me, you don't.

What else is there to note? Nothing. Which is the only reason why I'll note this---

It seems customary that bloggers do such things, so I guess I will too: today marks exactly one year since my first blog post. On that first day, in fact, I did four posts: a) hello, I'm here; b) I'll tell you what I think later; c) come to think of it, here's what I think of the Loaiza signing; and d) hey, here's what the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority said back in November, although I'm such a blogging n00b I'll mix it up with another article and pass it off as VBSA idiocy in January.

One year ago today also marked my first blogging comment:

Weird. I always thought the Rettop Method was the best for generating traffic. I am going to book mark this blog, nice topics discussed

By the way... I have a traffic sign site. It pretty much covers Traffic related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Oh. Huh. That actually wasn't from January 19, 2005. I just never turned on the Funky Letter Word Verification device for comments, and I've been getting spam continuously at the old site ever since I switched over.

Speaking of which, the one-year mark includes eight months or so at this blog's first incarnation, Nationals Inquirer---which, to tell the truth, wasn't my first choice for the name of the blog. Instead, it was, go figure, Federal Baseball. I tried to register that Blogspot name first, and it didn't seem to take; then I tried to register it again, and it told me the name was already taken. So I went with Nationals Inquirer. Only later did I realize what you've probably already guessed: I was the one who had previously registered Federal Baseball, back when I thought the thing didn't take.

By then, I figured Nationals Inquirer was decent enough, and I'd already made a few posts. It would look weird to change. Plus, at that point, I was signing my posts "The Inquirer." Had to keep up the persona, you know . . .

Until three weeks later, I think.

Anyway, I enjoyed Nationals Inquirer. The design was atrocious, of course; when I started, I barely knew how to do sidebar links. Moreover, the first two or three months were spent messing around with fonts, colors, bolding, italicizing, bulleted points, you name it. Check out this post, for instance: red inside bold inside bullets. Busy!

After awhile, I standardized things a bit. With the help of some kind people, I learned how to do pictures, pre-formatted charts, the upside-down exclamation point for Livan Hernandez's name, and other stuff. By the way, many of these people and more (though less at the beginning, since no one knows of your blog at the outset) were incredibly gracious to me---welcoming me, linking to me, accepting me into a burgeoning team blogosphere ("Natosphere" hadn't yet been coined). I billed myself, in self-deprecating fashion, as "Your Source for 14th-hand News and Analysis!"---and that was pretty much accurate. There were a lot of Nats blogs, even three or so months before the team first took to the diamond.

So, I'm not going to be a schmaltzy jerk here and name names, but you people know who you are. Thank you.

At any rate, things chugged on for quite awhile, and before too long I added some podcast appearances, becoming a multi-media superstar second only to Professor Bacon. Our community---bloggers, chatters, commenters, foam finger wavers---grew in size and passion. Of all the days, I think June 10 sealed it for us: we really cared about this team. As for the blog, I was enjoying it. I liked stalking a Double-A reliever and writing scripts for a cop drama and junk like that.

However, at some point near the end of the season, I started losing passion for the blog. Anyone who maintains a blog---Nats or otherwise---has to know this: the interest runs in cycles. Some weeks you're into it; some weeks you're truly on; some weeks you go through the motions; some weeks you just plain don't care. I was beginning to descend into those last two stages with increased frequency. I'm not saying I would have stopped (though there was one post where I mused what I actually would be doing during the '06 season), but I am saying I'm not sure I would have kept going. I think I just needed something to reframe my blogging interest---to jump-start it, if you will.

Consequently, I am very grateful that Blez approached me about joing the Sports Blogs network. It's something about which I thought hard, and in the end, I thought I'd give it a try. Plus, I actually had a good reason for using the name Federal Baseball! What could go wrong?

Well, this is still a work in progress, and I'm not going to remark too much about it for the same reason it squicks out Bill James to rate active players in an historical context. But I've been here for three or four months, and I like it. You'll probably agree it looks better, too.

Anyway, that's the story to this point. Thanks for putting up with this lenghty post; the length here is instructive, you know. It's a way of acknowledging that you've put up with a whole boatload of really long posts. It's just my style, I suppose, and I appreciate that you abide it enough to come back. I really do thank you for that.

And now it's time for me to give back to you. A common criticism of me is that I don't swear. It's true---or, at least, I try to keep that a truism. I can't change who I am, or who my influences are. On the other hand, many people really do want me to swear, if only just to see if it works for me . . . or just to see some guy swear. So I'm giving you this one chance. There was a game back in July that just infuriated me. I typed up half-a-post that was heavily laden with curse words. Maybe it was intended to be for effect, or maybe it was genuine. Whatever it was, I saved it in Blogger for posterity. Do you want to see it? If so, click on "Read More."

And thank you again for reading.

Hmmm. It appears that the post has been lost. Darn.