Saturday, December 25, 2010

Just wanted to wish a happy holiday to all of you who've participated in SHAMblog over the past yearwith a special note of gratitude to those few who've been with us throughout the bulk of this blog's five-and-a-half-year (!!) existence. I've said this from time to time here, as well as in email exchanges with individual contributors, but you cannot imagine how humbled I am by the idea that you folks take time out of your busy schedules to (a) visit my blog on a regular basis, and (b) sit down and compose something in response. I am especially amazed when I get comments that go on at well-reasoned length (and sometimes even need to be split over the course of several comments due to Blogger's limitations), or where people engage with me or other contributors in a dialogue ("multilog"?) that spans several days and thousands of words. I never lose my sense of wonder at that.

It still awes me that anyone might be intellectually stimulated by the stuff I randomly churn out, and that people stick with me despite my occasional over-the-top tirades, off-the-wall observations, and other impolitic remarks. Our community remains a relatively cozy one as these things go, but I appreciate each and every one of you. And on this Christmas morning, I hope that you all receive something
a gift, a word, a hugthat enriches your day.


Dimension Skipper said...

Thank YOU, Steve, for being predetermined to have the random thoughts in the first place and for cultivating neural pathways and neurotransmitters which compel you to churn them out here occasionally. (It's often amazing too to witness what side paths some posts eventually lead down.)

I for one appreciate that this is one blog which, while there may be certain themes and tendencies, doesn't get tiresome BECAUSE you don't just spout clichéd rhetoric over and over on the assumption that it's true just because, well, it's so obvious since so many people believe it. I read/hear enough of that sort of stuff and then I realize that "obvious" is but one "li" from "oblivious."

To put it another way... you're not a monotonous hip-hop drumbeat, but a series of freeform jazzy riffs.

Anyway... Yes, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you as well as the various itinerant SHAMblog-ists out there.

And in addition to the usual Christmas/Holiday wishes I also extend my condolences to you as you no doubt remember your sister Ginny today. Having lost my parents in fairly recent years I am always sympathetic to such remembrances particularly on these traditionally family-based occasions, but I also always feel it's important and appropriate to reflect on the presence/presents of lost loved ones in our lives at such times even if only for a few moments here and there.

And now to close on a more upbeat note, perhaps Calvin & Hobbes says it best...

Steve Salerno said...

DimSkip, the pleasure is all mine, believe me.

And yes, Ginny has been in my thoughts a great deal. I truly do believe this stuff that I (too) often spew about determinism, and it has occurred to me again and again since that sad day in July that Ginny was on that path--that inevitable path--her whole life, and we didn't know it. She was going to die that day, and there was nothing anyone could do. We spoke to her the previous day, not knowing. She spoke to us and said we'd "talk soon." But we wouldn't. The cards were already played.

I think that realization has strengthened my resolve to try to get the most out of every day--sort of in Ginny's honor. I might never have come to that point, that strengthening of resolve, had Ginny not died when she died, so it's sad to think that her death was part of my destiny, my evolution to a different place in life and/or thought.

I dunno, man. You can't think about this too much. It's crazy-making.

Steve Salerno said...

Btw, DimSkip, thank you for remembering.

Jenny said...

Hi, Steve and fellow SHAMblog afficionados. Maybe I speak for some others here, too, when I say that the reason I return here so often is because I sense that you are sharing something relevant and important and thus worth my time. Gotta be choosy about these things, ya know? :) Cheers . . .

Dimension Skipper said...

I dunno, man. You can't think about this too much. It's crazy-making.
—Steve on Determinism vs Free will

At the extreme risk of crossing some SHAMblog/universal boundary conditions myself¹, if this isn't proof² that Zach Weiner is a SHAMblog reader I don't know what more you could want...

Today's SMBC (12/29)³

¹ This comment in its entirety is meant strictly in fun and is not intended to imply anything whatsoever regarding a certain SHAMblogger's tendencies or prowess during intimacy.

² This is not the first time that SMBC has been very on-topic with—though lagging just ever so slightly behind—some specific SHAMblog subject or comment matter. But I feel fairly certain Mr. Weiner would claim that any similarity to actual SHAMbloggers or other persons named "Steve" is purely coincidental, to be chalked up to the general randomness of the universe (or possibly to the higher multi-dimensional universe or even the infinite multiverses if certain cosmological theories pan out).

³ Be sure to consult your doctor to determine if pondering cosmological/philosophical concepts of consciousness, existence, and ultimate potential meanings of life may be right for you. Possible side effects include dizziness, blurred vision, and increased risk of intracranial bleeding if she finds out what you were thinking about "during."

And finally... just to remove all doubt as to any seriousness in here whatsoever, here's a smiley emoticon in triplicate...

:-) :-) :-)

...with an "lol!" for good measure.

(NOTE: I don't drink—or partake of illegal mind-altering substances—so I have not gotten an early jump on celebrating 2011... Just in case anyone was wondering. Yes, that's right... this is me NOT high.)

Steve Salerno said...

Hmmm. "Oh Steve!," eh?

Not to take this too far, and be accused of patting my own fanny once too many, but there was a time during the 2008 election cycle when I would've sworn that Bill Maher's people were reading SHAMblog. There were just so many jokes/asides in the opening monologue, as well as references in his New Rules segment, that echoed material I'd trotted out that past week on SHAMblog. I'm not talking about generic memes-of-the-time, which of course were culture-wide, but rather specific "takes" and references.

I dunno, man. Even if it's all pure coincidence, I guess I can take a measure of comfort in GMTA, no?