July 13, 2011


On this day in '03 things were a little different. Beth and I lived in a small yellow house. We didn't have kids so god knows what we did with our time. We had cats but they weren't exactly tough to keep up with. I weighed ten pounds less and had a pronounced absence of gray hair. I was working a junior-level position at my company. I owned one suit, read two books a week, vegged in front of my Playstation, and had precisely one blog entry. I have no idea what that blog entry said because it was quickly wiped out in the Great Blog Crash of 2003 that nearly ended by foray into blogging before it officially began. But I didn't let that stop me. I reloaded and redesigned the blog and backed it up relentlessly. It was reborn in August.

July 2003 marks my entry into the blogosphere. Happy blogaversary to me!

It's been eight years and a lot has changed. We moved out of that small yellow house. Mia and Owen came along and the cats sadly died. I gained a few pounds, bought a few suits, grew quite a bit of gray hair and worked myself into a senior management position at work. I read less now, maybe a book a week if I'm lucky. The Playstation is sitting in the basement replaced by a Wii and an iPad. But the blog is still going...looking exactly the way it did in 2003.

And in those eight years, I've written 11,296 entries and received 250,391 comments.

What's amazing to me - aside from the fact that I've been doing this eight years and thought that it would last about a week - is that so many of you still read. And there are quite a few of you who started reading on day one and never stopped.

Blogs are on their way out. This is obvious. There are fewer and fewer and while bloggers remain an influential presence on the internet, we're not what we used to be. But I've never been in it for fame and fortune. I just wanted to share myself and my life. And I think I've done that. I've thought about slowing down or even stopping. Frankly, this post-a-day thing can feel like a job and the expectation that I'm going to chime in at 7:00 in the morning and say something hilarious, witty or insightful can be a bit overwhelming. But I'm still here, trudging along, writing about my life.

So here's to another 11,296 posts and another 250,391 comments. But most importantly, here's to you for sharing your lives with me and stopping by to read what I have to say.

Posted by Chris at July 13, 2011 7:19 AM

Blogs may be dying but if you keep writing, I'll keep reading. I love the diversity of what you write about, you are always well written and I've gotten some great advice (books, tunes, time wasters - curse you!). If not for your blog I would never have heard of the Backyardigans and my son freaking LOVES that show, and I can actually tolerate it without wanting to poke my eardrums out, so thanks a bunch.

Posted by: Jen at July 14, 2011 7:34 AM


Posted by: Jodifur at July 14, 2011 7:35 AM

Go Chris! Thanks for writing and sharing, I enjoy what you have to say.

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 14, 2011 7:51 AM

8 years! amazing!!! thanks for sharing your life with us. I have found it to be entertaining.

Posted by: linda at July 14, 2011 8:29 AM

What Jen said!

Happy blogiversary! Congrats!

Posted by: cyndy at July 14, 2011 8:34 AM

Happy Blogiversary!

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 14, 2011 8:41 AM

Happy Blogaversary Chris!

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog over the years and will continue to come back for as long as you write.

Posted by: Jules at July 14, 2011 8:49 AM

*raises coffee cup* To another 11,296 posts! :o)

Posted by: Emily at July 14, 2011 9:01 AM

Eight? You are just a blog baby ;) I started on 12/31/1995, although we didn't call them blogs back then. You have have amassed way more comments than me though, not that I'm bitter or anything.

Posted by: COD at July 14, 2011 9:09 AM

Happy blogaversary! I wasn't reading in 2003, but I most certainly was in 2005. It's kind of shocking, when I stop and think about it: I have been reading about your life for 6 years. I feel like I know you in real life! Anyway, keep on keepin' on and I'll keep on reading.

Posted by: Erin at July 14, 2011 9:13 AM

I agree with a lot of the other comments - I started reading sometime in 2004 and other than a six month hiatus, I've been reading ever since and definitely feel like I know you in person. I agree, blogging is probably on its way out, but I still keep one and will continue to read yours as long as you post. Congrats!!!

Posted by: Heather at July 14, 2011 9:26 AM

Happy Blogoversary, Chris! Whatever would I do to start my day, if it weren't a visit with you here on Rude Cactus?

Posted by: Maribeth at July 14, 2011 9:45 AM

What Jen said (minus the Backyardigans :))

Congratulations and have a beer on me!

Posted by: bacioni at July 14, 2011 10:08 AM

Happy 8 years! It has been fun reading along as your life has changed and I'm glad you've kept at it.

Posted by: hillary at July 14, 2011 10:26 AM

Happy blogiversary! I hope you never quit, because I am selfish and my days would be far blander without my daily dose of Cactus.

Posted by: Julie at July 14, 2011 10:30 AM

Congratulations. You are an inspiration.

Posted by: harmzie at July 14, 2011 10:30 AM

Happy 8 years blogging! Thanks for still being here. Also, I really enjoyed the podcast, but never got around to commenting. You sounded great. Do it again, sometime, okay?

Posted by: LeeAnn at July 14, 2011 11:04 AM

Happy Blogaversary, Chris! I commend your effort. I used to keep a webpage for my kids and family, but even once a month became to often to update. I'm a lazy schlub. So I appreciate you! Cheers!

Posted by: Brooke at July 14, 2011 11:51 AM

Happy Blog-iversary!

I haven't noticed the decline, perhaps I just read a few that keep on writing? The kids are certainly growing up!

I really don't know how you manage to do it daily. I'm glad you do. I would miss the Cactus-Fish adventures.

Posted by: Heather at July 14, 2011 11:57 AM

Thanks for writing your blog! I look forward to your posts.

Posted by: James Proffitt at July 14, 2011 12:20 PM

Happy Blogiversary!! I have been reading from day 1 and look forward to reading for many years to come!!

Blogs aren't dying...they are slowing down and becoming something for an "older" (25+) crowd who have more to share than Facebook or Twitter posts.

So glad you blog and share your life with us!!

Posted by: Krush at July 14, 2011 12:28 PM

Happy, happy! As long as I continue to have a few moments each day to sit at the computer (and I will), I'll keep reading! :o)

Posted by: ironic1 at July 14, 2011 1:31 PM

Happy 8th! Your blog is the first one I check in the morning and one of the few I read everyday.
Thank you for sharing 8 wonderful years with us and I look forward to reading for many more!

Posted by: kali at July 14, 2011 2:39 PM

Happy Blogaversary!

Posted by: cassie-b at July 14, 2011 3:07 PM

For what it's worth, I'm glad you do it. Blogs like yours are why I started and why I keep reading. :)

Posted by: claire at July 14, 2011 3:19 PM

Happy blogiversary Chris.

I don't know. We keep hearing that blogging is going out. However? I still have 200 blogs in my reader. (Although my commenting has gone down the tubes.) I post a few times a week. I read a shit load of posts for BlogHer's Voices of the Year committee last month. I just don't think personal blogging is dead.

Or I'm deluding myself.

Posted by: Issa at July 14, 2011 3:22 PM

Congrats! I hit 9 years this month but I don't post there much anymore.

Posted by: Lisa at July 14, 2011 3:29 PM

I don't quite go back to day one but I don't miss it by too much. When we first met, Miabean was tiny and you still had the cats.

I haven't updated by blog in ages but I sure read yours daily. Congratulations on the 8 years.

Posted by: ann adams at July 14, 2011 3:29 PM

Congrats! Happy Blogiversary!!! :)

I don't think I started at day one, but I know I've been reading for a good long while. :D I remember the cats, and I remember pre-kiddo days!

Blogging definitely seems to be a dying art (if you could call it that), but I'm happy you're still around. I read every day, even if I rarely comment. Here's to another 8+ years. :) *cheers!*

Posted by: Manda at July 14, 2011 3:54 PM

Happy blogiversary! I think i started reading you when Mia was a baby. I too wonder how you manage to turn out a post every morning (I'm guessing it must be early as they appear on my reader at lunchtime UK time), but thank you very much for doing so!

Posted by: Katherine at July 14, 2011 4:25 PM

You're right, quite a few bloggers from when I first started reading have fallen away. Respect for you, Chris, for keeping it up! It is appreciated!

Posted by: vicki at July 14, 2011 4:36 PM

congrats kiddo... on all of it..not just the blog...and while blogging may be going out..journaling seems to be an integral part of human nature for some of us...so even if nobody is reading i have a feeling a lot of us will still be writing... and im glad of it...

Posted by: suicide_blond at July 14, 2011 5:21 PM

Happy blogiversary!

Posted by: Heather at July 14, 2011 6:03 PM

I don't count myself as one of the people here from the beginning, but I started reading when my son, Owen, was really little and he turned 9 this year. So I suppose I've been here for a while. Don't always comment, but always read. Thanks for letting me get to know you - and Beth - over the years. In so many ways, you both have helped me feel more normal. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Posted by: Sharri at July 14, 2011 9:41 PM


I think blogging is alive and well, and you are proof of it.

Congrats on doing such a great job.

I think blogging has evolved, and better writers are continuing while others just fade away to the next "thing."

Wouldn't you agree that the content of many blogs has become better over the years? It ends up weeding out the bad, and probably influences them not to continue.

It would be like if I invented the game of Chess. I made it up, I set the rules, and I dominate...for a moment. Until the smart kids show up and whoop me at it with my own rules.

The fact you've been continuing to write and participate in a time when professional writers have flocked to the web is an amazing testament to your effort, and skill.

I look forward to reading more. :)

Posted by: Graeme Gibson, D.C. at July 15, 2011 3:05 AM

Congrats on your 8 year blog anniversary! Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Delia at July 15, 2011 6:39 AM

Congrats Chris! I love the weeklies and I read your blog everyday with my coffee :-) You are insightful and funny ...keep up the good work!

Posted by: Julie Andel at July 15, 2011 8:10 AM

Happy Blogaversary to you!
I used to check a half dozen blogs every morning, and now I'm down to you and one other. I've been reading since around the time that Owen showed up in the story line. Thanks for the funny stuff, the not so funny stuff, and the "oh, my gosh - that just happened to US!" stuff. Keep up the good work, and I'll stick around till the next major blogaversary!

Posted by: Kim at July 15, 2011 8:41 AM

Happy Blog-Anniversary!
As other have said- keep bloggin' and I'll keep reading. : )

Posted by: mutt at July 15, 2011 9:59 AM

Happy Eighth to you. Isn't it awesome to have this record to look back upon? I started mine as a work experiment in July 2005, right before finding out I was pregnant with my first child and then it quickly became a mom-blog. But being able to look back on all my posts, even the inane ones (of which there are plenty), it's just so amazing to me.

And backing up is a great idea. I should probably do that.

Posted by: Angela at July 15, 2011 10:27 AM

Happy Blogaversary! I've been reading for a while - don't remember the exact date, but it was well before Mia was in the picture. Thanks for sharing your life with us! You have interesting ideas and often share things that make me think! Here's to more!

Posted by: Sue R at July 15, 2011 12:03 PM

Congrats to 8 years! I've only discovered you in this past year...I look forward to those 11,296 more posts!

Posted by: laurs at July 15, 2011 1:50 PM

Congratulations! Your life sure has changed since I first started reading your blog.

Posted by: jodi at July 15, 2011 3:45 PM

Hi Chris!
8 yrs - has it really been that long? You're making me feel old! I started reading your blog in Spring 2004, when I started blogging with a self-hosted moveable type blog (Just Janice). Over the years I've watched/read how your life has evolved much like mine - our oldest daughters are the same age and were due within weeks of each other. I haven't commented much, but I've been reading. Thank you so much for starting my day off with a chuckle!
All the best,

Posted by: Janice from Fitness Cheerleader & Mom on the Run at July 16, 2011 7:15 AM

Happy blog birthday! I can't believe I've been reading for most of those 8 years! Remember back before RSS readers were readily accessible and you had to actually visit all your blog sites to see if they'd updated or not? The dark ages!

I love that you post every day, but I'd keep reading if it was once a week or even once a month. I just like reading your take on the world, since it cracks me up or tickles my heart or speaks to me in some way. Here's to your next 11,000 entries!

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Posted by: nbdnb at July 18, 2011 8:33 PM