I'd meant to mention this earlier, but wanted to see how it worked first.
Hitherto, the Posse has had an open comments policy. However, we are getting inundated with spam. Since it is hard enough for us to find the time to post in the first place, spending precious time deleting the dozens of auto-generated crap that infests the site is simply out of the question.
Thus we are now moderating comments. If you leave a comment and it doesn't appear, don't worry - it's in the system and if it is not spam, we will post it. Hopefully the current wave will subside and we will be able to open things up, but right now we're getting 20+ of these things per day, which means if we are away for a day or two, they really add up.
Since all these things are run by 'bot, my assumption is that once they don't see any of their garbage appearing, they'll move on and leave us alone for a while. If they don't, at least we won't continue being a honey pot for scam artists.
This year the Posse will turn 9 - something that is kind of amazing when one thinks back to what the blogsphere and the internet looked like in 2004.
To recognize this anniversary - which won't take place for three more months - we will be revising and updating the site. Discussions are still ongoing, but the general thought is to go with fewer, longer posts filled with the kind of information that is simply not available elsewhere.
Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone has facts, and the most popular posts on this blog are those that deal with facts.
To that end, posting will become a little more rare, but more substantive. At least that is the plan.
So stick with us as begin these updates and of course have a Happy New Year.
My co-blogger has already extended Christmas greetings to our readers and I have little to add, save to note that one of the greatest blessings in life is to surround oneself with loved ones.
I have family in town this week and fully intend to avoid any and all mention of current events - our news intake will be entirely sports-based. This is as it should be.
Tomorrow the news cycle will start cranking again and people will once more take to the stores and airwaves to argue this policy or that, but today it is far better to listen to the old carols and focus on faith friends and family.
It appears that my last post was on Nov. 11. Wow. That's quite a break.
I hadn't intended to be away from the blog for that long, but after a grueling work schedule for the last three months, I needed to lower my operational tempo.
That and the news is just too depressing.
I burned out on serious politics a couple of years ago, and my posts have increasingly focused on fun stuff - sports, movies and hobbies. However, the absolute debacle that is the Big Ten football season seriously sapped my enthusiasm for sports blogging.
So I took some time off. I stopped reading political news and even avoided the in-depth sports reports. Instead, I spent more time with the family, playing games with the kids and tending to things around the house.
Funny thing: I ended up happier.
I've said it before, but for much of the left, politics is their life - it is all they think about, all they do. There is no line between the personal and the political because to them the personal is political. The coffee you drink, the car you drive, the shows you watch - all of this is an expression of political preference to them.
I marvel at how they can keep it up. Maybe this is why they are always so miserable and screaming about the latest outrage. I look at my liberal friends on facebook and they are always up in arms about something. That's no way to live.
I intend to reenter the area, particularly given the developments on both the state level (Michigan's Legislature passed Right to Work last night) and the media's pathetic attempt to resurrect gun control as an issue.
And of course there is the ongoing drama of the Big Ten's self-humiliation. I can't let that go without comment.
The reason I separated this post from those is that I felt our readers deserved to know where I went and also I thought it important to remind folks that there is more to life than the latest spin from the White House.
So after months of neglect, I finally got around to clearing out the comments. We keep a fairly open mind as far as comments go, but the spam is just too much.
As I was wiping out these vermin, it occured to me that the Posse has finally got enough traffic that people think spamming our comments will mean more traffic or something.
Then I realized we've been around for eight years. Wow. Doesn't seem that long.
While the Hated Instapundit is doing "Ten Years Ago Today" posts, we are treating the anniversary of our existence with the customary laziness and inattention that our readers have come to know and love. Heck, half of the blogs we link to went away in 2008.
Anyhow, feel free to share your favorite post as we take this minute to look back on our greatest moments.
As is our wont, the Posse is light on posting this week. This is as it should be - after all, vacation means time off and sometimes even hobbies become burdensome.
The Hated Instapundit and other blogs are noting their anniversaries, highlighting their posts of 10 years ago. While the Posse is not yet that old (being founded in 2004), we have stood the test of time as well.
Periodically, I have to adjust the link bar as once-active blogs disappear for various reasons. Blogging can be a pleasure, but sometimes it becomes a chore. Of late, for me at least, it has been more of the latter than the former. Hence, the scarcity of my posts.
I think the primary reason for this is the the grim news all around us: the economy, world events, and the leadership vacuum in the White House. After a hard day of work, the last thing I want to do is ruminate on the latest disaster.
In a larger sense, though, the rise of blogs - particularly on the left - underscores what is wrong with the political discourse in this country. Time was, there were certain areas beyond the scope of politics. Sports, schools, church, family - yet all of these areas are now infused with it. The personal has become the political.
This is a shame.
Being an optimist, I don't think the trend is sustainable. Whether dealing with the fiddly light-bulb ban (now postponed) or some new outrage, more and more people are getting sick of the interference and want to get on with their lives. The left has managed to take the commanding heights of academia, government, and entertainment, and is now bankrupting all of it.
In the meantime, I'm taking a few days to sleep in, focus on my other hobbies, and enjoy a break from the worries of the world. It will all come back soon enough.
This blog is now on its seventh year - despite the lack of a bevy of strapping young ghost-bloggers and research assistants to tell us where to the put the commas (that's an Andrew Sullivan reference).
Anyhow, we're experimenting with a new way to finance this thing. The current model of "We put up a tipjar, which you most ignore" hasn't worked out so well, so now we've created an Amazon.com page. Buy stuff through this link, and we get money.
I guarantee it will be a success because I buy stuff there all the time. Now you can, too.
In a related note, the new ranch is taking shape, meaning gunblogging may resume shortly.
For the first time in a long time, this past Saturday I attended the Lansing area gun show, conveniently located in Mason. It had been a few years since I was in the market, and while I wasn't planning on buying anything, I did find a deal that was too good to pass up. More on that in a future post.
My focus today was on the changes since I last frequented the gun show circuit. Two things stuck out: The diversity of the crowd, and its size.
There were a lot of young women there. Not a majority to be sure, but the fact that I saw any at all was noteworthy.
I think this illustrates the fact that despite the best efforts of the gun control lobby, firearms are being normalized. To own one no longer carries a stigma, indeed many young women in particular find it empowering.
At my youngest daughter's birthday party some weeks back, we hosted a laser tag game. Long-time readers will not be surprised that I was not the deadliest participant - a 9-year-old girl took that honor (I came in second. In my own defense, I was a rather large and conspicuous target). I remarked on this to one of the other kids' moms and she pulled a pistol target with the center shot out from per pocket and speculated on what she would have been able to accomplish.
Now understand that I've grown up in the Lansing area and take for granted that guns are despised by all respectable folk, yet here was a soccer mom talking about her morning at the range - and she did so with perfect confidence. Truly, something I was not expecting and a very positive sign.
I haven't verified attendence, but I never recall the county fairgrounds being this crowded before. It was difficult to move between the tables with all the people there.
I noted with pleasure that the prices for ARs are beginning to fall (I saw a no-frills model for under $800) and that ammunition was plentiful (though still to my mind rather expensive).
I hope to continue this trend of frequenting area shows and if the readers like it, will endeavor to offer photos and other coverage of what is going on. The Posse used to do a lot more with firearms and based on the quantity of comments, this is an area where we should devote more attention.