For those of you keeping score at home, this is the third time I’ve changed my mind

“Everything changes. Don’t be afraid.”

– Al Swearengen, Deadwood


There’s this thing I do where I make an announcement about a project that’s a little premature. I fully intend to do it, but then, in the time between making the announcement and the launch, I start to think about it. In fact, I overthink it (I’m one of the great overthinkers).

That’s what happened with the print newsletter I announced last month, which replaced another print publication I had announced a few months before that. (This is where I would usually embed a link to what I’m talking about but I don’t want to draw more attention to something that isn’t going to happen. In fact, I’m going to delete that page right now. BRB …)

… I’m back.

I’ve decided to do it online instead. There are a few reasons for this, which I will now discuss is boring detail.

It’s just easier. For me and for you. I like sending out mail and I bet you like receiving it (letters, I mean. I’m sure you don’t like receiving bills or offers for timeshares in Florida), but since it will be online I’ll be able to actually write more often than I was going to do in print. And though I’m sure you may not be thrilled about having to read yet another thing on a screen, we’re all used to it, and it’s convenient. (I also have a suspicion that some people don’t want to give out their street address, which makes sense.)

I already did a print thing for years. It was called “The Letter” and it ran from 2012 until 2019. I enjoyed doing it but it certainly was a lot of work for one person.

I already send out a lot of snail mail. I’m a big fan of writing letters and thank you notes and sending real Christmas cards (I’m single-handedly trying to save the post office) and I don’t want to add even more stuff that I need to send out. And when I did “The Letter,” it got to a point where it was rather strange to charge my friends (and people who later became friends) money for a handwritten letter I was sending them. I don’t want that to happen again (even if this new project was going to be more of a newsletter than a casual missive). I’m not going to stop sending out letters and notes to people, not at all. In fact, now that I’m changing things up with this project those letters and notes will increase. It will just be good to not have the newsletter compete with, at least in my mind, regular letters I send out.

I have four options:

– Substack/Patreon. (I know, I know, but they really do look great and they’re easy.)

– an email-based newsletter or site that I cobble together myself

– keeping everything on this site but making certain posts locked for paying subscribers only.

– something else??

Details coming in two weeks.

Everyone who subscribed to one of the print publications I mentioned earlier will automatically get this, whatever it turns out to be. You don’t have to do anything.

If you’d like a refund on your previous subscription, send me an email with the subject line “What the hell, Bob?”

If you’d like to berate me publicly for changing my mind again, leave a comment below.

If you’d like to see video of a monster crab attacking golfers on Christmas Island, here you go.

Plan 9 From Five Things About Media and Technology Right Now

(I don’t know why I started to give these posts classic sci-fi/monster movie titles, but sometimes things just happen. You can find earlier entries on this page.)

1. So Ben Smith is leaving the New York Times. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I scratched my head when he was hired by the NYT in 2020, this BuzzFeed guy, a pedestrian thinker and pedestrian writer who stumbled into a great cushy gig writing the media column. And now this. The reason he gave for leaving to head the newsroom of a new media company is at best laughable and at worst the kind of reason that might make the NYT wonder why they hired him in the first place (or maybe it was simply the $$). Someone at BuzzFeed, please write a “Tell Us Your Favorite Salad Toppings and We’ll Tell You Why Ben Smith Left the NYT ” quiz.

2. If I had a dollar for every notebook I’ve bought, every notebook I’ve researched, every notebook review I’ve read, every notebook video I’ve watched on YouTube … well, I’d probably buy more notebooks.

3. For the last time, it’s spelled W-H-O-A. Not “woah” and certainly not “woha.”

4. “The biggest communication problem we have is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply.” I don’t know who said that but it’s accurate.

5. You know what your New Year’s resolution should be? To quit social … oh, I’m just screaming into the void at this point and don’t want to repeat myself. Just read this.

Strawberry Champagne

That’s what I’m drinking right now, as 2021 melts into 2022.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I mean, can one truly like a drink that sounds like the name of an over-the-hill Las Vegas stripper? But it’s delicious! Smoother than the regular stuff, without the harsh after-effects (though I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning if that’s true). It’s by Andre’.

It may sound odd but one of my resolutions for the new year is to drink more. And I don’t mean Yoo-Hoo. I drank a solid amount when I was a teenager (don’t drink kids – and stay in school!) and when I was in my 20s, not to a dangerous level I just mean it was a normal thing to do, but somewhere along the line, in my boring 40s, I stopped. (I’m 56 now.) I can honestly say that in the past two years I’ve probably had no more than a dozen alcoholic drinks. That’s weird, right? The most “buzzy” thing I’ve had the past few years is caffeine, but there’s nothing wrong with something stronger once in a while.

I’m looking across my living room right now and I see a fully-stocked bar that I rarely touch. I use the stuff on top of the bar, including a table lamp that illuminates the room and two pine-scented Yankee candles that never smell as good as I want them too, but never the alcohol on the shelves below, the gin, the bourbon, the Cointreau. I declare 2022 my Year of Booze (TM).

This rambling post was brought to you by three glasses of Strawberry Champagne by Andre’. Pick up a bottle today! Happy 2022. RIP Betty White.