July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rude Cactus (By The Numbers)

Five years ago, give or take, I started Rude Cactus. Having never successfully kept a paper journal for more than five minutes, I figured it would last about a week. Turns out, I was wrong. Especially considering that the entire site crashed and burned due to technical difficulties less than three weeks after I started it (which is why the archive starts in August). Five years later, here I am.

  • Total posts: 2.559
  • Comments received: 59,124
  • Haiku Mondays: 227
  • Times I've written aborted entries that started with the sentence "I have no fucking idea what to say": 1,395
  • Number of people who've stopped by: 1.26 million
  • Hits: 8.9 million
  • Bandwidth used: 314 GB
  • Kids had: 2
  • Odd bathroom encounters: 782
  • Photos posted (to flickr): 2,746
  • Cats died: 2
  • Cups of coffee: 5,475
  • Schadenfreude victims: 174
  • Search strings that scare he hell out of me: 1,278
  • Times I've said "fuck it": 372
  • Times I've reconsidered: 373
So, what do you like about the site? And what do you hate? More importantly, should I try for another five years?

Posted by Chris at July 21, 2008 6:31 AM


Number of times I got to comment first: One! Yay! And happy birthday! Just got to post this to make sure I get in first...hang on...

Posted by: Beth at July 21, 2008 7:09 AM

Ok now that I got THAT out of the way... without sounding like a gushing fan I will say that I love your blog. I read it first thing for a little laugh and for some great observations on life, work, being a parent...You have variety (on topics from past to present) but you also have consistency (weeklies etc). You ALWAYS make me laugh if not then at least smile or think what a dickhead I am SO much better than him (good for my self esteem) so there isn't much I hate. And I think you should most surely stick it out for another 5 years! For he's a jolly rude catctus...

Posted by: Beth at July 21, 2008 7:15 AM

I like your site. I like summary posts you do. I like the Monday morning haiku's. I like hearing your take on things. Though I do wonder how accurate the numbers are that you post. :P

Posted by: Hannah at July 21, 2008 7:37 AM

Keep going! Another 5 years would be great!

Yours was the very first blog I ever read. I'm not so sure how I found you, but Rude Cactus was my introduction to the blog world.

What do I like? I don't know how to pinpoint it. But you are real--not a fakey blog persona but a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person.

And, do you know how difficult it is to type a sentence with all those dashes in it? Whew!

Posted by: Alissa at July 21, 2008 8:11 AM

My dear Cactus, what I love best about your site is your unfailingly unique point of view! You make me laugh, you've made me cry (just a little) and you have definitely brightened my day!
Happy Blogaversary!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 21, 2008 8:19 AM

Okay - I will stroke your ego....of course, continue!! I wouldn't come back every day if there wasn't something of value (plus I usually agree with you which is a plus). Congrats and Happy Anniversary/birthday.

Posted by: Debbie at July 21, 2008 8:20 AM

Reliability. I know you almost always post earlier than I get into work, so it's a site I can count on to read. Your entries are always entertaining and thoughtful and you write well. It doesn't take much for me but I think your site rocks.

And you should keep on keepin' on for as long as it interests you. I think if it becomes a chore, the site will suffer anyway.

Posted by: Claire at July 21, 2008 8:21 AM

Congrats on 5 years Chris! Keep it up - I love reading! :)

Posted by: Laura at July 21, 2008 8:36 AM

I like your stories about the kids, your weekly hypotheticals, and your liberalism of course.

Plus, I've made a couple of good online friends from commenting here.

Have a good weekend.

Posted by: Ann Adams at July 21, 2008 8:41 AM

I love your site! You are my first read during my first cup of coffee at the office.

Posted by: Amy at July 21, 2008 8:43 AM

Hmmm, trying to write something witty yet congratulatory and not stalkerish is much harder than I thought...

I think I should give up and just say if you keep blogging, I'll keep
reading, congrats!

Posted by: del at July 21, 2008 8:43 AM

Hmmm, trying to write something witty yet congratulatory and not stalkerish is much harder than I thought...

I think I should give up and just say if you keep blogging, I'll keep
reading, congrats!

Posted by: del at July 21, 2008 8:44 AM

Happy Blogiversary!! I think you should definitely try for another five years. What I love about your blog is that it's very "you." I mean, I think I get a (basic) sense of who you are, and it never feels like you're trying to be anything you're not.

I'm a big fan of the Weeklies in particular.

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 21, 2008 8:49 AM

Congrats on the five years. Very cool. What I like about RC is the simplicity of reading it.

You got spunk. CHarisma, You got those...I like those on a woman...wait a minut that is from Johnny Dangerously. Sorry.

Posted by: William at July 21, 2008 8:52 AM

you have to keep writing!!! I say 55 more years!!!! I really enjoy the rude cactus!

Posted by: linda at July 21, 2008 8:53 AM

Congratulations on 5 years! I've read your blog now for quite some time and I will say that I really hope you try for another 5+ years. I love your blog because you make me laugh and make me think, usually in the same post. Sometimes your hypothetical question is the only thing that jump starts my brain in the mornings.

Posted by: Jennifer at July 21, 2008 9:09 AM

First and foremost, your writing is fun. It's funny, it's informative, and sometimes it just good journaling.

Beyond that, I'd have to say that your almost-daily posts are always my first blog hit of the day. It's nice to read blogs where people post often.

I've also mentioned before, but will again, that a simple, one-line response to a comment is a neat little validation that you've read the comment. I do that more often with my blog because of you.

Keep it up! I think you'll have a ton to write about for more than even 5 more years.

Posted by: Brad at July 21, 2008 9:12 AM

Happy birthday! Please continue.

I like your point of view, how you spin a tale, and your sense of humor. The Weeklies are my favorite.

Posted by: Maria at July 21, 2008 9:14 AM

Oh yes, another 5 at least please.
Simple - you make me laugh. And sometimes you even make me think! You say what you're feeling and it comes across very genuine. Also, you seem very appreciative of your life and your family and that is very nice to see.

Posted by: diane at July 21, 2008 9:16 AM

Definitely aim for another 5 years! I like this blog, makes me think, makes me laugh, and sometimes you say things I've been thinking in a fantastic way (you did a post once about why all antidepressants aren't the same, it was great!).

Posted by: Katherine at July 21, 2008 9:25 AM

Happy Blogiversary, Chris! Five more years! Five more years!

Posted by: Erin at July 21, 2008 9:27 AM

I can't remember if I started reading your blog or Beth's first. I think it was Beth's. But I kept reading them for the same reasons. You guys just seem like my kind of people. I like your site because I don't feel like I'm reading about the life of some random internets person. I like it because I feel like I'm reading my friend's blog (that's not to say we're NOT friends. That's just how I felt immediately, when I first found your blog.). In fact, I went back through most of the archives on both blogs the first few weeks. I am that big of an obsessed nutso of your lives.

I look forward to five more years of awesome.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at July 21, 2008 9:33 AM

I'm going to pretend you didn't even ask that question. Rude Cactus is the first thing I read when I get to the office. It would be an extreme understatement to say that it would be missed.

Posted by: Karen at July 21, 2008 9:35 AM

please please please keep going with the blog! and happy blog birthday :)

Posted by: mamacrow at July 21, 2008 9:36 AM

Happy 5 years! I've probably only been around for the last four and a half years, so I can't claim to have been reading since the start. I will be for the next five though! (that's my vote that you try for another five years)

Posted by: bad penguin at July 21, 2008 9:50 AM

I'm an infrequent commenter, but I started reading after it became clear that Emily in Texas was a fan. So yeah... keep blogging. *grin* I'm mainly a Liver Journaler (and a Twitter-er, and a Facebook-er, and a MySpace-er), so there's not much of anything of mine available to the general public.

Posted by: Maggie at July 21, 2008 9:52 AM

I'm an infrequent commenter, but I started reading after it became clear that Emily in Texas was a fan. So yeah... keep blogging. *grin* I'm mainly a Liver Journaler (and a Twitter-er, and a Facebook-er, and a MySpace-er), so there's not much of anything of mine available to the general public.

Posted by: Maggie at July 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Happy, happy blogoversary! I most certainly vote you keep blogging for at least 5 more years!

Posted by: suze at July 21, 2008 9:59 AM

Books to read, music to listen to, kids, and some good, quality snarking. Plus you comment on your comments. What's not to like?

Another five years wouldn't be a bad idea. Happy Blogaversary.

Posted by: Amy at July 21, 2008 10:13 AM

yours was one of the first blogs I started reading on a regular basis - and one of the few that I still do

Happy 5th Birthday!

Posted by: Kathryn at July 21, 2008 10:24 AM

Only 5 years? Its seems like I've always read Rude Cactus. Please keep writing I love your take on things...personal and political...and everything in between. Happy Blogiversary!!

Posted by: Krush at July 21, 2008 10:30 AM

Awww. Happy birthday!

What do I like? Pretty much everything. Reliability (sounds like a car), writing style, content... I also like that you ask questions of us. Who doesn't love to be invited to randomly talk about stuff with virtual strangers? Also, you make me laugh. Oh, and kid pictures are always a plus.

5 more years! 5 more years! 5 more years!

Posted by: sunshine at July 21, 2008 10:33 AM

You can't leave. You've on my short list of Blog-Gods. You're an inspiration to us all. I don't know what I would do without your doses of unbearable cuteness (Mia).

Was that thick enough? Because I could go on. ;)

Posted by: Tink at July 21, 2008 10:48 AM

Congratulations! I'm just over my 100th post, and I really enjoy writing, but it's not as much fun as reading yours! I stopped my paper journals several years ago and have never been able to pick it back up, but this is a format that I seem to be able to enjoy.

I'd love to watch your kids grow up, so if you keep bloggin for that? It would be worth it. I love your liberalism and I enjoy the music and book suggestions, I never know how to find "new" things to listen to and read.

Don't know, but you do make me think! And I like that.

Posted by: k8 at July 21, 2008 11:26 AM

Of course you should continue! You're my first read of the day and I almost always get a comment back from you. I don't know how you do it but it always amazes me!

Love Haiku Mondays but REALLY miss the Haiku Smackdown. Maybe once a month rather than once a week...?

Keep up the good work and thanks for allowing us a glimpse into your life and family! Your children are beautiful and your wife is my second read of the day!

Here's to five more years!

Posted by: zanie at July 21, 2008 11:41 AM

Gosh- I'm such a newbie here, only six months in or so and you've been blogging for FIVE YEARS? Love the variety. It's not a mommy blog or a daddy blog but a life blog- we need more of those. Love the words/music (have you read Ian Rankin? I think you'd like him) and love the family tales, since I've got a toddler too. I wait until I am ensconced at my office computer with a cup of coffee before tuning in- it's like a little present to myself as I ease into the day. So it's your birthday but it's MY present!

Posted by: rebeccaeee at July 21, 2008 11:43 AM

Congrats on 5 years! :D I like what you're doing, so I'd be happy for you to just keep doing it.

Posted by: Lisa at July 21, 2008 11:43 AM

Congrats on 5 years, that is awesome. I love you page and don't think you need to change a thing. I'm looking forward to the next 5 years and the adventures they bring!

Posted by: Adi at July 21, 2008 12:48 PM

Happy blogiversary! Will there be cake?
I enjoy the frankness of your observations, your willingness to share your opinions, and the entertaining stories about bathroom encounters.
I'll toast to another five years.

Posted by: Beth at July 21, 2008 1:32 PM

happy birthday! :)

and i don't think you need to change anything!

Posted by: ashley at July 21, 2008 1:49 PM

Happy bloggeversary (or however the hell you spell that). I think I'll jump on the keep writing bandwagon - I really enjoy reading your blog. I enjoy that you post early (since my kids wake up freakishly early on a consistent basis) but I love that you've actually got something to SAY. A lot of blogs out there (and I'm not excluding myself from this) really don't say much. You have a very clear POV, and that's awesome to read. That you never waffle around on where you stand on a subject is cool too.

Plus, my kid and your kid are going to be 3 this week - so when you talk about Mia, I can very clearly see my kid doing the same kind of stuff... It's fun for me to "see" another parent/household going thru the same kind of stuff.

Posted by: sarah at July 21, 2008 2:01 PM

Feliz Cumpleanos! (imaginary tilde above n)

I like your sense of humor and your dependability. I know when I get to work I can come here first (yes, even before e-mails) and it has become a part of my morning routine.

Another five years? We'll have run out of water or be living underground because of global warming by then. If we still have the internet despite all of this, I sure hope you're still around.

Posted by: Mymilabean at July 21, 2008 2:07 PM

Congrats on 5 years! That is amazing and impressive.

There are many things I love about this blog. First and foremost it's funny as hell. Your posts are always timely and interesting. You have an interesting perspective on stuff and you have an even better perspective on parenting. It's really just refreshing to read. Not to mention the near daily posting - that certainly keeps things rolling. The weeklies crack me up. It blows my mind that you respond to nearly every comment..even if the response is two words it shows you value your readers enough to validate them.

Most definitely stick with it. Here's to another 5 years.

Posted by: Jen at July 21, 2008 2:14 PM

Like about the site: You!
Hate about the site: You! (I'm schizophrenic!)
Five more years: Yes! No! Help!

You're awesome. Don't stop being awesome. Stay gold, ponyboy.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at July 21, 2008 2:15 PM

Happy Birthday Chris! I like that your writing is funny, and smart, and you tell us what you read. I'm amazed that you write every day, and that you always respond to comments. And that you've been around long enough to remember Haiku Smackdown.

Posted by: Sheryl at July 21, 2008 2:43 PM

I like your site just the way it is, wouldn't change a thing. Since I actually do read you daily you cannot go anywhere!

Happy Birthday Rude Cactus!

Posted by: Jeff A at July 21, 2008 3:00 PM

Darn right you better be around for another 5 years. Actually, another 24 years would be better - that is when I can retire =). I need something to help jump start my working days.

I like everything. My fav is your honesty. Happy 5th!

Posted by: Amber at July 21, 2008 3:01 PM

I like to consider myself a devoted reader, and I suppose after following your blog for so many years I see you as sort of a celebrity. A celebrity that replies to my comments! You pair well with my morning cup of joe! I dont hate anything about your site/blog and YES...go for another 5 years!

Posted by: Lani at July 21, 2008 3:07 PM

happy blogaversary, chris. keep writing and posting photos of those beautiful kiddos! i like your parenting posts the best.

Posted by: Dolly at July 21, 2008 3:38 PM

Must keep going for another five, forget that, ten. As enjoyable as reading about the parenting toddlers years are, I can't wait til we get to the teen years . . . bwa ha ha . . .

Posted by: OS at July 21, 2008 4:54 PM

of course you should try for another 5 years.

i like your sense of humor, pictures with stuff on your head ( or on the heads of others, owen would probably be good at it) and i am always interested to see what books you are reading. i get good ideas for books from you.

Posted by: jodi at July 21, 2008 5:37 PM

Yes please!

Why do I like this blog, well mostly because you make me laugh (with you, not at you - okay sometimes at you). Also, it's nice to know that there are non-perky people out there in the world too, the ones that hate tourists and wonder how to get through a day without caffine.

Things I hate, nothing really. Well maybe the Haiku Mondays, but that's a personal thing between me and haiku - yours are great, as far as haiku goes.

Posted by: Mandy Lou at July 21, 2008 5:52 PM

Don't stop while you're on a roll...more book reviews like you used to do.

What happened to your cats? you knew I'd ask.

Posted by: been there, done that at July 21, 2008 6:43 PM

What I like?

Reading a man's point of view on marriage, parenting . . .

All of the references to sweet, 8lb.10oz. baby Jesus. In his holy diaper . . .

The weekly schadenfreude.

The fact that you know what schadenfreude means, how to spell it, and use it weekly.

Things I hate about it? That you don't post on demand. Like. Now. When it's 4:30 pst and I'd rather do ANYTHING than finish reviewing this purchase sale agreement and finish writing this letter.

5 more years? Personally - I'm all for it.

Posted by: Mindy at July 21, 2008 7:40 PM

Happy blogversary! I'm voting for 5 more years!

What do I like about your site? Wow -- it's tough to put my finger on the exact 'thing' that I like. Maybe it's a sense of your "normalcy" that I appreciate. Whatever it is, it works. Keep doing it!

Posted by: coolchick at July 21, 2008 8:48 PM

i'm pretty sure i've been reading you for a majority (if not ALL) of the time you've been around :) happy birthday rude cactus. here's to many more.

Posted by: tiffanie at July 21, 2008 9:16 PM

I love your site.... my favorite posts are the Weeklies. I also like reading about what you've been reading and listening to - in fact, you've introduced me to some authors and music I would have never known.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: anne at July 21, 2008 9:27 PM

Happy Birthday, Rude!

Love the site! I'd only say that I find myself skimming over haikus online (not just yours!)....otherwise, FAB-U-LUS!

Posted by: Wendy at July 21, 2008 10:20 PM

Happy Anniversary! I love the pictures, and appreciate you making me laugh most mornings and think the others. ;-)

Posted by: Much More Than A Mom at July 22, 2008 12:26 AM

Go here to see what will happen if you stop blogging. And turn your sound on.


Posted by: jessica at July 22, 2008 1:27 AM

happy to have been along for the ride...
ride 'em cowboy (and add a stat for all times you have listened to random shit from me :))

Posted by: stinkerbell at July 22, 2008 1:47 AM

LMAO @ Jessica's link! That is so wrong, but too funny!

Posted by: coolchick at July 22, 2008 6:24 AM

Congratulations! Here's to (at least) another five!

Posted by: debra at July 22, 2008 7:17 AM

Wow! Congratulations Chris! I didn't realize it had been quite that long. Definitely keep it up - you know we'll keep coming back for more!

Posted by: Caitlin at July 22, 2008 8:05 AM

*don't say that you read because he's hot don't say you read because he's hot*

AHEM. Just thank you. It has been a joy and a privilege to spend the past four years with you. And whew, I only have one year of archives to catch up on. THANK GOD.

Posted by: Mr Lady at July 22, 2008 12:25 PM

I love your blog because it makes me laugh :) The Weeklies are my favorite.

I can't really put my finger on exactly what makes me coming back; maybe it's your style of writing, maybe because while you write about kids it's not ALL you write about, or maybe it's the bathroom encounters.

I just know that I'm here regularly because I enjoy it and I then try to stretch my own writing skills in return.

Happy Bloggy Birthday!

Posted by: scatteredmom at July 22, 2008 2:54 PM

- Bathroom Stories
- Family Stories
- Pictures
- Musical Suggestions

Does not having enough time to read count?

Should you try for another five years?
Is this rhetorical? Hell yes you should keep at it!

Posted by: Emily at July 22, 2008 3:15 PM

Not that you haven't heard this already, but CONGRATS on a milestone in blogging. What I really want to know is how the hell does 5 years pass so damn quickly? I've been blogging (oddly enough) just as long as you, and I just don't know where the time goes. Thanks again for keeping us unknown masses entertained, and for doing it so (seemingly) effortlessly. Here's to five more years!!!

Posted by: ironic1 at July 22, 2008 4:59 PM

Likes - Your sense of humor. You seem like a real person. If my hubby and I knew you and Beth in real life, we'd probably be pretty good friends. Oh and of course Mia and Owen. But that should go w/out saying. Apparently I've been reading your site for about 3 years, becuse Beth was VERY pregnant with Mia when I found your site.

Dislikes? None. at least not off the top of my head.

Posted by: Molly at July 22, 2008 5:13 PM

five years? that's like 100 in internet years.

five more? nah. kill it. it's outlived its usefulness.

fuck it

wait, I reconsidered. keep it

Posted by: croutonboy at July 22, 2008 6:22 PM

I love the Weekly List. and, I love that you're a bullet guy. (I'm a bullet girl and I appreciate the "to the pointness"). Oh, I just thought of one more thing I love -- I LOVE the story of when you pretended to talk Chinese or Japanese to someone. Every time I think of that it cracks me up. :o) HA!

Posted by: Leticia at July 22, 2008 10:24 PM

Yours is one of my favorite blogs. 5 more years!

(heee, cheap shot.)

A Democrat from a Democratic State :)
aka Popstar

Posted by: Poppy at July 22, 2008 11:13 PM

Don't stop! Keep going! RA RA RA!!!

Posted by: samantha jo campen at July 23, 2008 11:43 AM

You better!

Posted by: laura at July 23, 2008 2:29 PM

I don't know how I got to your site, but I still am thankful for the blogger who led me here!

I really hope you're around at least another five years. You are funny and interesting; your family is your life...I like that about you.

If I had my druthers, I would say dump the Haiku, but it's just a personal dislike of mine.

I love the weekly summaries; they crack me up and lead me to some good reading. I LOVE that you are a GUY and you READ (why I must caps lock is because that makes you one of the few guys I know who can't be bothered to read anything, (we won't bring up instruction manuals here) and therefore you are SPECIAL!

Happy Blog Birthday...and here's to many more.

Posted by: ie at July 23, 2008 4:13 PM

Happy 5th blogiversary, Mr. Cactus! And more more... :)

Posted by: Zandria at July 23, 2008 11:38 PM

Happy Anniversary! Definitely go for another five years. And then publish a book and be all famous and stuff.

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