So long for now
I entered this Web site cum blog routine in 2004 through the good offices of a great journalist Nick Pinto, who was a contributing editor for me at The Somerville News. The question was how to post articles from the paper without getting caught in the weeds of a Web site. I was overwhelmed. He was not.
Nick figured it out and patiently explained to me the little tricks, such as changing the size of the pictures and changing the date and time an article could be posted. This way a number of stories could be loaded up in advance and launched at different times.
When the newspaper "The Alewife" began in 2005, there was no question it would have a companion Weblog to post the articles and hundreds of notices and other stories.
Since Nick, I have found my own tricks and stolen others along the way. I was never a programmer, but there were times, frankly, I was very pleased with the content programmed here.
I can share with you now that part of the grab of doing something like this is watching the traffic come in from search engines. There were stories I picked up on, not from a tip, but from people using the same keywords reaching the site accidentally because of a previous posting that was somehow close enough. By following up on what they were searching for and not finding, I could find the story myself. Insiders looking to see if a story broke, ended up breaking the story themselves through their search words.
Hmmm. Maybe this is only interesting to me. Sorry, I tend to digress.
As I have checked out other blogs, I have recognized that most reach some kind of terminus and the creator has to make his final entry. This is that entry for me.
Since 2003, I have been a regular contributor to The Pilot, the newspaper of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Over time that committment has expanded to becoming a photographer for Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley's own blog and then last year joining the staff as the full-time reporter.
For the last year, I have tried to keep the Web site fairly current with items and news, but looking back it was not really done so good. My only defense is that I have been pulled away in other directions. In the last year those directions included research on a book about Charles W. Whittlesey, and six weeks of active-duty training with the Army.
Now, I being pulled away from everything.
Since 2000, I have been a member of the Army Reserve, where I am a photojournalist with a combat historian designator.
In March, my unit the 311th Military History Detachment deploys to Iraq. We will collect first-person accounts, other primary sources and artifacts for future military historians researching our victory there. It is a mission I have been preparing for since June when I was put on stand-by as the alternative for the 54th MHD.
The editors of The Pilot have asked me to send them back "Soldier's Diary" pieces, which I will do from time-to-time, but given the operational tempo I expect, there is no way I can even pretend to maintain this site. It is better to finish it off here, and look at it again when I get back.
I thought this would be difficult, but the other day it just seemed obvious.