Enough with the pictures, Sara, let's have some substance. 

Okay, I'll give you some ironic substance.  We all need more iron, yes?  Here's an entry from my *paper* journal dated March 27, 2006:

I spent too much time this weekend trying to throw together a web site and blog.  Gone are the days when simply knowing HTML could be impressive.  Everything is WYSIWYG now, which just seems to complicate/frustrate the whole webpage building process. You only get so many narrowly confined choices.  Your imaginary website has to fit inside the pre-defined templates of your free webpage service.  I say "has to" and "free" because you – as a young creative person – are broke.

Beyond the logistical problems, there are the content questions.  What goes on the blog? What's my topic, my theme?  And even scarier: will this blog one day replace my trusty paper journal?  Only if I let it, but that's the thing… will I let it someday?  I have a chest full of my old journals going back to junior high.  In more recent years, the selection of a new journal has been one of those infrequent special pleasures, performed very carefully with certain criteria.  No spiral bound. No lined pages. No self-proclaimed "Journal" or "My Journal" branding on it anywhere.  Small enough to fit in my day bag.

I suppose the time will come when I occasionally choose a new blog host or blog design?  I don't see that ever becoming nearly as fulfilling as the tangible search for a new journal.

Nevertheless… I've felt a pressure for quite a while now to make a presence on the web.  I've been feeling left out or something.  Damn social brainwashing.  Where does pop culture end and daily life begin?  I didn't think a cell phone would be necessary either but my girlfriend and I both have one now – at my instigation – and they might become our only phones once we move.

The thing I really want to figure out is subscribing to other blogs — keeping up on all the folks I've lost touch with, keeping up on news… pull technology, I can see plenty of benefits to that.

I wrote another entry on April 4th and then the paper journal wasn't touched for almost a month until yesterday, when I wrote an entry about all the stuff I can't put on a blog.  So… perhaps the blog is already replacing my paper journal.  Or… more likely, I will find a balance between both.  The paper journal will become more personal and this blog with include fun things like pictures.  I've figured out how to customize the template (somewhat) and I'm using bloglines to keep up on the folks I read. 

There is certainly something to be said for convenience.  When I got my little digital music player last year, I was soon hooking it up to our stereo's aux-in jack and listening to dozens of albums on shuffle rather than bothering with a CD.  I didn't have to choose an album, I didn't have to keep replacing CDs when they were over, and I heard songs that I hadn't listened to in a long time (usually because I'm not so keen on the rest of the CD).  And if I upgrade to the 60GB model, we could probably have all the stuff we actually like from our CD collections stored on one little player (plus a hard drive back-up) and never need our CDs again.  That almost makes me sad, actually.   

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