To everyone who has asked what happened to me over the last several weeks, thanks. A lot of responsibilities escalated suddenly--work and parental responsibilities, primarily--that made blogging seem like an expensive luxury.
But that's not the whole story. I also needed a break to take stock of what I've been doing with my life, blogging included. My conclusion? I'd like to continue writing Arms and Influence--but only if there's an audience. If I'm just talking to myself, I'd rather not pour time into an elaborate series of personal reflections on national security. If people are reading the blog, and want to continue a dialogue about national security, I'll return to regular posts.
Therefore, you, Dear Reader, hold the fate of Arms and Influence in your hands. I'll base my decision, to a large extent, on the responses to the survey below. The number of responses is as important as the Yes, No, or Don't care choices. If you feel very motivated to help keep this blog on track, send people over here to answer the survey.
Meanwhile, I'll do a little posting soon. One topic I'd like to discuss is an idea for a military history project. I'd love to hear your suggestions, criticisms, etc.
Our experiment in switching phone and DSL providers blew up in our face. The short version: if you make the change, be sure to parse the phrase "phone line" correctly. It does not mean the physical connection to your house. Instead, it means an active phone number assigned to your house. Guess wrong, and you may not have both a phone and Internet access.
On the upside, I've learned a new term, "dry loop." Plus, I'm learning the virtue of patience, the kind that keeps me from punching someone in the face.
As a blogger, my "reward" for having a post linked in some other popular blog or web site (such as Wikipedia) is spam. Therefore, I'm forced to make some changes in the comments section, as much as I hate to do so.
Starting today, I'll be holding comments for approval. Apologies in advance for times when I'm not as speedy as I should be with these approvals.
On the plus side, you'll be able to use HTML in your comments--because YOU asked for it!
Other blogs have a tradition of cute cat blogging. To prove how adorable their pets are, bloggers post pictures of the beloved beasts, rolling on the floor, sleeping, playing with twine, etc.
I have to put up with a cat who posts taunts in the comments section of this blog. Baddas Cattacus (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), I know who you are, and where you live. One more outburst from you, and I'll see you on Donald Rumsfeld's Island of Death for the final showdown. I fear you not.
I'll have to feel my way through the task of regular blogging. I've changed jobs--or, more accurately, changed careers. Last Friday was my last day as a product management VP. Next month, I start work as an industry analyst. In between, of course, are the holidays, but so too is a chance to get back on the blogging horse again.
Still, I don't know what this new career means for my blogging time. We'll just wait and see.
Meanwhile, let me just say that this career move is a good thing. I've wanted to try being an analyst for a while, since it allows me to focus completely on the research part of my work.