I have been blogging for eleven years!!!!!

I was browsing around my blog today and noticed down at the bottom of the page that I had 45 pages of archives. I decided to click on the last link to see what my very first blog post was. My very first blog post was on October 9th, 2004. You can see it below. 

Now, I obviously wasn't using Posthaven back then and it appears that I had setup a custom html website with an RSS feed at the time. To be honest, I don't remember exactly what that was. Clearly though through the beauty of RSS I have been able to export and carry my past blog posts to the various platforms that I have used over the years. I have at one point or another used nearly every blog platform out there. For years Blogspot.com was my go to choice for blogging in the mid-2000's. The interface was clean and with the ownership of Google you got good search results. That annoying blogspot bar got to me over time and I then migrated to other platforms. At some point I was using Wordpress and while I liked the platform, it did eventually change from a blogging tool into a full on CMS, which became a bit overkill for my needs. Tumblr and Posterous were also great sites that I experimented with and there were probably more. 

In the end I have found myself now residing on Posthaven.com, which is a decent place to blog. It is a bare bones blogging system with a minimalist interface, but that is largely what I am looking for from my blogging system. I have always preferred to go with a paid hosting site if I can so I don't have to deal with ads and can have my own URL. Posthaven has grown a bit stagnant over the past few years though so there may come a time if I find the need to move onto another service to try. 

In the meantime though I thought it would be interesting to post a couple of my favorite old blog posts. Going through these brings back some interesting memories, and while the migrations from service to service to service hasn't preserved every post, many of them are at least still readable. 

C2E2 2016

Meg and I went to C2E2, Chicago's comic-con on Saturday and we had an absolutely blast. I have wanted to goto this show for a few years now, but I always miss the date and find out about it after the fact. It just so happened that this year, Megan's art teacher's conference abutted up to comic-con so we were able to attend. 

The show is a blast and if you are into comic books or TV shows then this is a good event to goto. There is a huge floor full of all sorts of vendors and media ranging from books, to comics to toys. And then there is the cosplay. As with any con, the cosplay is almost the draw in and of itself and the cosplay did not disappoint. There were some absolutely amazing costumes out there like the Black Mage from Final Fantasy I got a photo of. 

Megan got in on the cosplay this year and went at Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service. It was a simply costume, but I was surprised at how many people wanted to get a photo of here. She probably had 30+ photos taken and she was a hit. I think she wants to go full in on the cosplay creation now.

Cook Book Series: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home - Olive Oil Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago Megan and I won a goodie basket from the chocolate fair at the Morton Arboretum. In the basket was (obviously chocolate) some olive oil and some dark chocolate balsamic vinegar from the "Olive Tap". We decided to adapt the olive oil ice cream recipe from Jenu's ice cream book, leaving out the nuts in the recipe to instead make just a pure olive oil ice cream. 

First off, if you are into making your own ice cream. Get this book. The recipes here are not only fantastic, but they are super easy to make since they do not require you to make a custard with eggs. Instead Jeni uses cream cheese as a base. 

This ice cream came out incredibly smooth and in fact did taste like custard when we were mixing it. It probably helped that the olive oil was as high quality as it was. This was a super easy recipe that nailed it out of the park. 

February 2016: Reading List

The year is off to a fine start, so let's check in on what I am reading so far. I had a couple of books roll over from the end of the year into January and February. I finished up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Both were wonderful books and if you haven't read them you really should. You can read my reviews of them at the links above, but they are probably entrenched enough in popular culture that you would know going in whether they would be for you or not.

I decided to start reading Young Miles, which is the second omnibus of the Vorkorsigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I read the first omnibus book, Cordelia's Honor, a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I am surprised that it has taken me this long to get back around to reading more of this series. The writing in this book is superbly done so far, but for some reason it isn't quite capturing my attention. It is odd as there are parts where I have a genuine smile on my face while reading. Perhaps I am just not in the right mindset at the moment for this book. I will continue through the book though as it is a fairly easy read.  

I also went to the library this weekend and picked up the audiobook of Ancillary Justice. This is another sci-fi book and typically I don't read two of the same genre at the same time, but I have heard just too many good things about this book. First impressions after the first couple of chapters is that this books is really well done. I am enjoying the mixed narrative perspective in this book a lot since our main character is an artificial intelligence that can inhabit more than a single body at once. The narrator for this audio book is quite good as well, being able to reflect the proper tone for different characters. I have listened to the Sword and Laser podcast talk about this book when they read it as a group about a year ago and so far it is holding up to impress so far. 

Working to Improve My Handwriting

So, tied into my recent notebook acquisition I am now working to improve my handwriting. My cursive handwriting I have always felt was "OK", but my script has been terrible. Following the line with the Midori modification video, I found another video from the "Stuff and Things" Youtube channel in which the host talks about his efforts to improve his handwriting. That video brought me over to a great website called iampeth.com. It is an interesting repository of old handwriting and calligraphy styles. From there I began to drill down and found the Ames Guide to Self Instruction in Practical and Artistic Penmanship. I am using some of the worksheets and style phrasing in that book to practice. 

Megan is also practicing her handwriting using the guides in that book.