Monday, January 23, 2006
All that glitters....
When I was a kid, all of our family vacations until I turned 14 were camping trips. Every year we went to one of three of my father's favorite areas to fish, pitched a tent and spent a week communing with nature. One of the places we ended up most often was the Middlefork of the Boise River. I always knew it simply as Middlefork.
Camping with three kids and a dog wasn't a picnic for my mom. Dad would generally leave with my older brothers early in the morning to fish and leave her to hold down the camp. Although my mom had grown up in the country she didn't really consider pitching a tent and bathing in a river or lake, a vacation. She hated to cook at home on an electric range. Cooking over a campfire on a metal grate with cast iron pots and skillets didn't improve her appreciation for the culinary arts.
Regardless of how my parents felt about the camping trips, as a kid, I was pretty content to spend a day hiking, swiming and sitting around a campfire. But one of my favorite parts of camping was looking up at night at the stars. There is nothing like a night sky in the mountains to showcase how incredible the universe is. I used to lie on my back staring at the Milky Way and think, as only a child can think, about the possibilities of life in the Universe. I'd fantasize about exploring the stars and discovering the secret of life. I'd be a space prospector.
And then the week of camping would be end and we'd be back in Boise and I'd give up on my search for intelligent life.
But now I'm middle aged and I can't help but look at the Internet and blogging as a reflection of that night sky I used to fantasize about. This is the new frontier Captain Kirk used to talk about. I know I'll never explore the real outer space, but I can launch forays through cyberspace.
So sometimes I venture out into the sea of blogs beyond my circle of favorites. I still call it space prospecting. I'm looking for nuggets of value out of the 34 million (give or take a few million) blogs out there. It is a daunting and sometimes hopeless task. Because it is hard to see the cyber forest for the cyber trees.
Ironic, isn't it? Blogs have become the Tribbles of our cyberspace. Oh sure, they are cute and fuzzy, but they breed mindlessly and take up valuable space. Millions and millions of blogs about nothing trodding along the information highway.
I feel like Diogenes trudging through the marketplace in Athens with a lantern looking for an honest blog. Well, not necessarily an honest blog as much as one that doesn't involve some teenager's angst over Biology 101 or a conservative's worship of George W's inane and insane behaviour.
Now before I get comments from my few blogging friends, I am not talking about your blogs. I consider you blogs sancuaries from the mundane and tarnished stars in that vastness of cyberspace. I'm just looking for other signs that there is hope out there. And I'm looking for this tide of crappy blogs to ebb and leave the nuggets on the beach where like minds can discover them.
I want to boldy blog where no man has blogged before!
Or make some money. I'm easy.