Now some five years later, I'm not sure that the writing has improved much; but the nature of the blog has certainly ... evolved (I was going to say 'matured', but we all know that such a term seldom if ever applies to JBS, and never to me). Here we are however, with well over 900 posts (some of them links to the over 100 efforts for the TFP), and having received over 34,000 pageviews in its lifetime, for some unaccountable reason "Just Blowing Smoke" yet remains.
In fact, while this site averaged 700-800 pageviews per month for much of its history, it now unaccountably sees well over 3,000 for each lunar cycle lately. It has even been getting some of that attention from places as far from Toledo, Ohio (where it began) and Mission, Kansas (where it's now produced) as Russia, China, Germany, Ukraine, The United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, Venezuela, and Brazil (hope I didn't leave anybody important out); no doubt due to a general increase in the amount world lunacy today that I am eternally grateful for.
In the Internet world, such numbers still mean that "Just Blowing Smoke" isn't one of the most popular sites on the web, efforts in it usually draw little if any attention in the larger world, and I am seldom 'called out' on the mainstream media (though there was a TFP effort of mine was once read by Glenn Beck on his syndicated radio show a couple of years ago). It can therefore truthfully be said that even after five years (which sometimes seem like decades), I labor in relative obscurity and corresponding anonymity.
While anyone who writes likes to be read, I am content however (actually, I'm shocked) that there are still people out there who feel these efforts are of value ... or garner an occasional laugh. As for notoriety, the relatively few times in my life that I gained even a sliver of the spotlight have normally proved personally dangerous; and were usually those followed by massive bouts of egotism, followed by unintentional and very public commissions of social suicide.
Which reminds me that the real purpose of pointing any of this out is to thank each and every one of you who continue to find the nonsense, tripe, and recklessly produced natural fertilizer contained on this site worth losing a bit of time in your lives that you'll never get back. Since JBS is not the kind of site which assembles important news items, is not contributed to by nationally recognized pundits, or has received stacks of awards (or even one for that matter); I am eternally grateful that anyone deems these often twisted efforts worthy of a Google search (even though I'm sure most of you, in a form of electronic hand sanitizing, delete your browser history soon afterward).
Even the few of you have shown yourselves sadly in need of proper training in good internet manners, based on the comments that you've submitted (most of which have needed to be moderated out to preserve the last shred of good taste remaining here) have been amusing in a rather perverse way. As for the isolated threats of bodily harm offered by those who I must assume are even more twisted than I am; while I make no claims to personal bravery, I am nevertheless prepared to meet you on the 'Internet Field of Honor' and suggest that you have your seconds get in touch with my seconds. (If my seconds aren't available, contact my thirds. If my thirds can't be found, let's have our fourths do lunch.)
Since I have been credited with the attention span of a gnat and organizational skills normally reserved for director of FEMA, I sometimes wonder lately however if five years of these efforts may have been too many. Since JBS has become a rather time-consuming hobby, and in spite of the enjoyment that it at least brings me, I can't help but wonder at times if I've over-stayed my welcome and all of this perhaps should end. Perhaps I've said enough (or as is more likely the case, far too much), and it's time to move on to other things. I must admit that concerns over merely repeating myself or beating the drum until those around me are tired of the awful din do occur to me, and will not be easily set aside.
But enough of such maudlin thoughts. After all, an anniversary is a happy occasion cause for celebration. While attempting to make a long-term decision as to the fate of JBS therefore, my intention is to continue attempting to crank out at least two mostly useless and probably tasteless efforts per week, with the hope that the 'blind squirrel theory' will occasionally produce something worthy of your consideration.
Who knows, five years from now we may all be able to look back on this and say ... "Man, it's only been five years. It sure seemed like a lot longer."
Meanwhile, somebody cut that cake and let's toast each other's health until we all get stinkin'.
(smoke 'em if you've got 'em)