Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Hiding in Plain Sight

Nate McCord wonders about this:

Check this out- Google Search: "terry oglesby" There's 24 pages of links to our favorite grey furred marsupial! The reason that I find this of interest is his professed anonymity at the possum burrow. I'm mighty certain the distaff possum is an intelligent and web savvy type person and I know that there is a web connection functioning in the burrow because the more active, minor possums use it for schoolwork.

So how come the Mrs. Possum has never googled her hubby's distinctive name to see what footprint he might leave on the www? Or maybe she has and she stays mum from embarrassment? How does Papa Possum keep all the fun that is his blog out of the familial conversations that don't include soccer schedules and multi-league logistics? Hmm?

My BSU, on the other hand (or paw I suppose) knows that this crummy bit of drivel exists, she's just not curious enough to check it out. My kid thinks its dumb too so I'm an outcast at my house but what breadwinner and parental type person isn't? So I say and write whatever I feel like without wondering about who's checking on me.

Just wondering is all.

Well, now--let's dispel a few misconceptions here, Nate!

Although Miss Reba knows how to use a computer, she is NOT Web savvy. She looks at using the Internet sorta like she does getting the car worked on. She knows enough to know when it's working right, but if it's not, she tells me to fix it. Same with the Internet--she doesn't have access to it at work, so her ability to learn all the ins-and-outs of searching for stuff is necessarily limited. When she does need something, it's usually a specific thing like shopping for clothes or something, and she (usually) can navigate to the proper website. Aside from that, though, she doesn't spend any time at all just surfing around looking for bizarre stuff. And since she doesn't know that I write all this mess, and doesn't fully comprehend how easy it is to find someone's name using Google or whatever, I don't think it every occurred to her that she could look up mine, hers, or anybody's name. Just not something she even thinks about. As for the kiddies, being that we have no filter or anything on the computer at home, whenever they use the Internet, I am hanging right there over their shoulder lest they stumble into something they shouldn't. Again, I don't think it has ever occurred to them (yet) to search for mom or dad's name. Why would THEIR names be on the Internet?! But, if any of them ever DO by chance find this, or if anyone else who knows me does, well, hopefully they'll enjoy it. Or at least understand why I act the way I do.

As for how this little slice of pixel heaven remains a topic not conversed, it is simple. I have four kids and a wife, and in real life I am exceedingly quiet. Even if I were more talkative, I couldn't get a word in edgewise at my house. And even if I were able to manage to get a word in, the moment I started talking about something I wrote, eyes would glaze over, and I would promptly be ignored. I have a few close friends and former coworkers with whom I can converse, but between our mutually busy schedules, it's difficult to spend much time with them. And given that I work with bureaucrats, most of whom believe sucking at the public teat is some sort of divine right, it makes it hard to have the same sorts of discussions with them that I can have with you folks.

In the end, I need some kind of outlet to blabber about stuff. I make no claims of special knowledge or insight--I'm just some guy, and this is just some blog. I talk about what I want to talk about, and sometimes it's politics, and sometimes it's art or food or meat or guns or Catherine Zeta-Jones or penguins or what a steaming pile of dog dung Ted Kennedy is or painting or cars or severe personal injury or people I like or my home town or the Spanish Inquisition. Which is something no one expects. I write not because any of this means Anything Deep, or because I want to become the Most Famous Blogger in America (unless it pays really, REALLY well) or because I'm trying to influence the public debate. It's fun, it gives me a way to vent, and keep some sense of normality (such as it is) in a world that continually seems one second away from chaos. And you meet some interesting folks. Such as Nate. And all the rest of the folks on my blogroll--every single person up there I have corresponded with in some way--they aren't just there to be there.

As for the anonymity, well, I guess I'm just more anonymous to some than to others. I don't really go out of my way to get my name out there, but then again, I do use my own name. I'm not quite sure yet if that's good or bad, but it is the way it is. I figure nothing on here is nothing I wouldn't say to you if you were sitting over there in that chair by the door.

And as for the 24 pages of Terry Oglesbys out there, it's interesting, but if you put in that name on Google Smackdown along with "Manatee," it comes back with 313,000 pages for the gentle aquatic creature, versus only 330 for me.

That in itself tends to damp down any delusions of grandeur.

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