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Sunday, December 23, 2007

On any given day...

I don't often visit the archives of this blog, but last night I was poking around, looking for something specific and noticed that the 22nd of December marked the four year 'blogoversary' of treppenwitz! 

It's hard to imagine, but this little exercise in omphaloskepsis started as a way to get out of writing separate emails to family and friends we'd left behind when we moved from the US to Israel in the sumer of 2003.  I figured that posting a few pictures and an occasional description of our new life here would save me the heavy lifting normally required to maintain long distance relationships.

So on December 22nd 2003, a couple of weeks after the birth of our youngest - Yonah - I sat down to try to think up a suitable name for the site.

'Treppenwitz' seemd about right since it was a fantastic concept for which there was no common English equivalent.  Being a bit absent-minded and slow on the uptake, the idea of 'a striking reply that crosses one's mind belatedly when already leaving, on the stairs' was all too familiar.

I never imagined anyone outside my immediate family and perhaps a few dedicated friends would look at the site, so I never even considered the possible benefits of anonymity.  But within a few months I was shocked to find a few hundred people peeking in on whatever blather I'd posted on any particular day.

In the months that followed I posted a few older pieces of writing that had been archived on dusty floppy discs, but for the most part I continued to treat treppenwitz as a personal journal rather than a public blog.

Every six or eight months I would kind of run out of steam and would start to feel pressured to feed the site - even when I didn't have anything particularly compelling to share - and would consider either taking the site off-line for my own private use, or giving it up altogether. 

But each time I had such a through I told myself "when I get to the end of the year I'll wrap things up neatly".  But each December as my blogoversary approached I would invariably fall back into the routine of writing and would plow on through the self-imposed deadline for giving treppenwitz a proper cyber-funeral.

I'm now standing at the end of four incredibly rewarding (for me, at least) years of writing here, and I feel like I still have a little bit left to say.  I'm not committing to any particular period of time, mind you... but on any given day I still love the process.

The only reason I'm pausing to mark this blogoversary at all is as a grateful acknowledgment that this is far from a one-sided affair.  There are a lot of you who take time to share your knowledge, experience and feelings with me on an incredible range of topics.  There are even more of you who, while apparently not interested in a dialog, have made the site a part of your daily on-line routine and have shared the site through word of mouth.

As time has passed, I have abandoned any pretense I might have once had of keeping treppenwitz apolitical.   As a result, I've chased away many readers whose opinions I deeply valued... but who apparently couldn't abide mine.  While somewhat inevitable, I'll be the first to admit that the comment board here has been the poorer for their departure.

It may surprise many to hear that I still consider myself a centrist.  It isn't that my views on any one issue are anywhere near the politic centerline, but rather that my feelings on any given issue are balanced nicely by my views on any another.  So while many would pigeon-hole me based on a few narrow litmus test issues, I try to take a broader view of things.

That, by the way, is something that few outside of Israel (and some inside) seem able to grasp.  The political right and political left here are not analogous to anywhere else.  Issues such as social welfare, civil rights and the environment can fall to either (or both) sides of the political aisle on any given day.  And except for some small trappings of religious observance (or lack thereof), the clothes worn by the youth of the far left and far right seem to be made of the same soft natural fabrics, if not always dyed in similar hues.

The point of this rambling post is that I'm not quite finished observing/describing our developing Israeli-ness or sharing an [admittedly biased] glimpse of life here in Israel.  I can't promise to be fair or even accurate.  Personal observations are rarely either. 

You don't need me to report the news.  You can find your brand of news on countless media and political sites that have better access to the sources and more time to report.  What I'd like to continue doing is to simply keep daddy-blogging and occasionally provide a glimpse of how one particular Israeli family is affected by the news... on any given day.

At last count this site contained 1,026 posts, 19,118 comments and had received 1,086,213 page views (of which 644,928 were unique visits).  I don't expect anyone to slog through my archives to go over all that content (although I see that some of you have done just that), but for the newcomers, here are a few of my favorite posts from the past four years:

Thanks again for reading along... on any given day.

Posted by David Bogner on December 23, 2007 | Permalink

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Just so you know, "The Rental Cello" was the post that brought me here. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Dec 23, 2007 2:11:07 PM

Where's 'My Cab Ride To Beirut,' my all time in-stitches-and-tears Treppenwitz post? It's on my Treppenwitz Top Ten list.

Posted by: aliyah06 | Dec 23, 2007 3:43:08 PM

Can I haz pie charts, pleasou? :-)

Posted by: a. | Dec 23, 2007 3:50:04 PM

Just so you know, I was one of those who slogged through every single post when I first found your blog. As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, (5 months in and I already am experiencing writer's block) I am always impressed by the myriad of topics. My favorites are when you talk about your kids (such as the recent Asara B'tevet dawn breakfast) and life in Israel (that very special cab ride from Be'er Sheva to Hebron to Efrat). As long as you keep on writing, I'll keep looking for your posts.

Congratulations!

Posted by: Baila | Dec 23, 2007 3:57:10 PM

dfb1968... And I haven't managed to scare you off yet? Give it time. :-)

aliyah06... That was one of the more recent posts that I figured didn't need mentioning. I was just dusting off the archives. But thanks. :-)

a. ... im in ur archives messin up yur statistics. ;-)

Baila... There should be some sort of prize for anyone who endures that kind of a reading marathon. a pair of bifocals, I'm thinking. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 23, 2007 4:11:11 PM

I'm not committing to any particular period of time, mind you

Oh I suspect that we can get 10,000 posts out of you, and if not that then maybe we can help you keep this going until your kids are ready to start sharing stories about you. It is only fair. ;)

Keep up the good work and we'll keep hanging around.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 23, 2007 6:22:40 PM

can't remember how I found you...but I'm glad I did

Posted by: cruisin-mom | Dec 23, 2007 6:36:10 PM

Congratulations!
Go ahead and celebrate with an (ugh) egg nog....

Posted by: Ben-David | Dec 23, 2007 7:29:40 PM

I found your blog via Yaeli, and you are on my favourites to visit every morning (I live in NZ). I have just started to run through your list of favourites, and I'm enjoying them all thoroughly - seems we are the same age, so you've triggered an idea for a post on my bit of the blogosphere. I'm looking forward to being in Israel in a week, and will certainly wave to any signs pointing to Efrat. Warm regards, Noa

Posted by: Noa | Dec 23, 2007 7:40:00 PM

Baila, it only took you 5 months to get through all his archives?? It took me a couple of years!

Posted by: Alisha | Dec 23, 2007 9:22:49 PM

But completely worth it, David...it didn't occur to me at first to mention that, since why would I have spent all that time if it wasn't? But I figured I should make sure that's clear!

Posted by: Alisha | Dec 23, 2007 9:24:45 PM

What a treat! Thanks for sharing...I know, I know, you're a giver....

Posted by: westbankmama | Dec 23, 2007 9:59:46 PM

Happy Bloggversery

Posted by: Avi | Dec 23, 2007 10:18:34 PM

Happy Blog-versary! Best of the archives...what a way to procrastinate.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Dec 23, 2007 10:41:28 PM

Alisha,

It took me far less time to get through Trep's archives--maybe a week of constant reading. Talk about bleary-eyed, but when I find a blog I like, I like to "catch up". The 5 months is how long I've been posting on my own blog.

Posted by: Baila | Dec 23, 2007 11:35:49 PM

Happy Bloggiversary, and here's to many more years of interesting stories and analysis.

Posted by: Irina | Dec 24, 2007 4:16:00 AM

Best wishes to all o' ya! (Or is that "aliyah"?)

Posted by: Bob | Dec 24, 2007 4:53:38 AM

Dave, you're still the first blog I check out when I get back from a gig - even before our buddy BlogInDm (don't tell him I said that!) Anyway, happy blogaversary, and keep up the good work.

Posted by: psachya | Dec 24, 2007 5:12:57 AM

I would add "writing home for someone...." from October 2007 to the top ten list

Posted by: asher | Dec 24, 2007 1:05:28 PM

Happy blogoversary. I've been enjoying your omphaloskepsis for over a year now, but this is the first time I've let you know I'm out here. Thanks for the informative fun.

Posted by: Jeanne | Dec 25, 2007 12:50:18 AM

Happy Blog-oversary! So excited to re-read your favorite posts...thanks for rounding them up. Here's to many more years of the blog!

Posted by: SaraK | Dec 26, 2007 7:09:21 PM

Trep:

Happy Anniversary. I'm going for 2 years, currently with a hard drop-dead deadline in summer '08.* Four years is a good long time to keep at this. I suppose the family angle (which I cannot exploit, as I have to maintain a certain semblance of anonymity for my missus' sake) would keep one going, and that's a nice angle, because there is rarely anything more important than family.

Congrats -- Cheers. Keep Up!

:Wry M.

*Of course, since this is an exercise for me in compelled writing, I may continue on, if the "writing bug" still needs to be fed.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Dec 30, 2007 9:17:59 AM

I found this blog on a google search and boy am I glad I did. I thought I heard someone mention it in a free chat room.
Awesome read!

Posted by: Free Chat | Jul 21, 2008 7:23:14 AM

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