Monday, July 10, 2006

Memoirs of a BUsha: Ten Years of the URI! Zone

2000 - 2001

For my fifth and final year as a college overachiever, I finally moved off campus to escape the antics of serial fire-alarm pullers and people that threw up in, on, and around dormitory bathroom stalls. I moved into a three-bedroom Foxridge apartment with Rosie and Anna, sacrificing high speed Internet for the master bedroom with a private bathroom and Friday-night pajama'd pillow fights. Having 14.4k dial-up after four years of T1 came as a shock, especially since the connection was shared across three separate computers, and I barely had the patience to wait for CNN.com to load, much less update and maintain a whole website.

For posterity's sake, I had my website labelled as a Historic Landmark. This means I dumped it on a free server (the Virginia Tech Music Department's) with everything that had been in it in previous years, and then didn't do a thing to it all year long. I think I had two and a half visitors all year long. 2000 was also the year we got Kitty, and the initial batch of photographs would be the inspiration for future editions of Cat Media Tuesday, Cat Media Wednesday, and sometimes Cat Media Thursday.

2001 arrived, I graduated, refused to buy a ridiculously overpriced cap and gown, skipped the billion-man-march version of ceremonies, and left Blacksburg, Virginia, leaving behind Kelley Corbett to keep an eye on things (a one year appointment that ultimately stretched into fifteen or twenty before he finally moved to New York). I started music grad school at Florida State in Tallahassee to needlessly prolong my adolescence and was once again in the situation of wanting to keep in touch with people that I no longer saw daily. Thus, the daily updates were born. Because I was still leeching bandwidth off of the Tech Music Department, the site was not very interactive, but people finally had a reason to come back regularly.

The tone of my updates took some time to mature. Initially, all my visitors were people from Virginia, so my early updates were journal-style entries talking about what I was doing in Florida, which horseshoe crabs were sleeping with which other horseshoe crabs, and what beaches I had visited to take pictures of the sun rise. As the readership shifted to be more Florida-centric, I talked more about musical matters, and close-to-home events. I tried several different styles, from daily quotes to fun facts, and finally came up with the simple "here's a picture, here's a paragraph, and here's some links to news stories I find interesting" approach. It may have been dull, but it was regular and I managed to update every day including weekends for many months. You can still read all my original entries by scrolling down the left sidebar to "News of 2001".

To be continued...

Happy Birthday Andrew Simmons!

Judge lets ex-fiance keep $40,000 ring
How not to be inconspicuous
Crime and punishment with a one-two punch

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