I Am Joe’s Blog:

September 7, 2004 • 4:01 PM


September means back to school and the beginning of fall for many people in the northern hemisphere. But in San Francisco, it means the beginning of summer. While I can usually count on the weather to be pleasantly cool, humid, and (often) foggy here, we’ve now entered our annual hot season, which will last for one or two months. I enjoy the sunshine—as long as I can enjoy it from the comfort of a cool, shady room. Alas, air conditioners are all but unknown in this city, and on days (like today) with no breeze in Glen Park, our south-facing house gets uncomfortably hot. Especially my office, which in addition to getting the brunt of the sun, is full of computers and other heat-generating electronic equipment. In short: it’s sandal weather here, and since every blog needs a “hello world” entry to get it started, I’m pulling mine up by the sandal straps today.

Even though I write daily articles for Interesting Thing of the Day, a vaguely bloglike publication—and even though I once had a massive and frequently updated personal home page listing every detail about my life—I’ve so far resisted participation in the whole personal blog phenomenon. It’s just too trendy, and besides, it takes so much effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.

But I’ve finally made the momentous decision to put those prejudices behind me, for several reasons.

First, I often find myself wanting to comment on current events, and that sort of thing just doesn’t fit into the mold of ITotD. Second, most of the writing I do requires scrupulous attention to spelling, grammar, and style—which is OK, but sometimes I like to kick back and write in a more relaxed way without worrying about word counts, deadlines, templates, or making editors happy. And finally, I wanted to be able to write about my work—Interesting Thing of the Day, alt concepts, ebooks, and so on—because increasingly people tell me they’re curious about what goes on behind the scenes.

So I’ve redone my personal home page and added this blog, which will henceforth be the new repository for news and commentary about my life, my work, and anything I notice that I think is worth sharing. It’s also where I’ll say anything I have to say about the books I read, movies I watch, music I listen to, and so on. I’d like to keep this informal and interactive; I invite your comments, questions, and suggestions.

Because this system is brand new, I assume that things like styles and layout will change as time goes on in order to make the site prettier and easier to navigate. I make absolutely no guarantees as to the frequency or quality of the posts, but I’d like to think that the very lack of pressure to produce will encourage me to write more.