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Monday, October 23rd, 2006

1001: A Blog Odyssey

I’m not even sure how to start this.

I joke that I’m at least a little obsessive-compulsive, but there must be some truth in that when you consider that the last day I missed posting on this weblog was January 26, 2004. Since then, between January 27, 2004 and today, October 23, 2006, I have posted to this blog for 1001 consecutive days. One. Thousand. And. One. Some entries have been short, more have been long, a few have been epic but they’ve all been on time (give or take, depending on time zones). In that time, I’ve posted dispatches from various points in Canada and the USA, all over Scanadanavia, Russia, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Japan. I’ve also been to some 175 concerts (give or take) and five major music festivals and covered them all, often in fine detail and with probably excessive photographic evidence. I’ve been through some great times and some awful times but have still always managed to put together a post of (I like to think) some merit, almost always by 10AM ET and always on my own.

And while I will modestly say that this is an impressive accomplishment and one I’m quite proud of, it’s not a sustainable work ethic. It’s just not. (Most days) I have a day job and that, in addition to the 25+ hours a week I spend on this site, can often leave me exhausted and/or without the time or energy for anything else. Simply put, the blog is running me and not the other way around and that’s not such a good thing. So a few months ago I did some calendar math and chose today, the thousand-and-first consecutive day of posting, as a nice round number to aim for. Actually I suppose it’s as pointy as it is round but it’s still a fine, palindromic number. But as I was saying, I chose this day to be the day that I celebrated the feat but more importantly, the day I called it quits.

Not the blog, not the website. Just the schedule. The rigid adherence to the calendar that forced me to often plan out my published schedule weeks in advance and fret about the days that there seemed like there simply wasn’t anything to write about – I think regular readers can tell the slapdash posts from the well-assembled ones. But the point is that I’ve felt that the quality of things occasionally suffered for the ever-looming daily deadline and I want to avoid that. So from here on out, things are going to loosen up. Exactly how, I don’t know – I’ve spent almost the last three years in an intense, regimented grind and learning how to take advantage of my self-emancipation or even acknowledging that it exists will take some doing. Expect things to remain pretty damn close to daily – there’s usually a lot going on – but there may be more short posts, more long posts, more posts per day (gasp!), I really don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. But in the long run, I hope being able to think in a longer-term instead of just worrying about the next 24 hours will mean that my interest in and the overall quality of the site will improve as a result, even if you won’t be able to set your watch by it anymore.

As today got closer, it felt like the end of a marathon and the sum weariness of the whole endeavour nearly took me out just short of the finish line more than a few times, but the past week I’ve felt great and refreshed and more into this site than I have been in a while. The monkey on my back has climbed off and is once again on its leash, doing its little dance in front of the barrel organ (okay, weird analogy but I like monkeys). Stuff I’d been procrastinating on for ages, like a new redesign of the site, finally got on the front burner and in fact, I’m almost done. Look for this place to get overhauled in the next couple weeks or so. Which, in turn, brings be to a question for you, gentle reader – how can I make this site better? What would you like to see more of? Less of? I am opening up the suggestion box to all, though obviously I make no promises to follow them. But if you do have an idea or something to offer, please leave a note in the comments.

It was inevitable that the streak would end sometime – it may not be tomorrow, or even in the next week or month, but it will. And when it does and I do miss a day, it will be because I let myself and not because I met some untimely end (though wouldn’t it be ironic if I DID meet some untimely end before I was able to take a day off? Knock on wood). But for now I think I’ll go out and get a life. Or a dog. Or at least a sofa. I’ve needed one of those forever. Maybe I’ll try and find a band again, I’ve been getting reacquainted with my guitars again. But believe you me, the prospect of posting what I want and when I want again is an exciting one.

And anyways, it wasn’t the longest posting streak in blog-land, or even indie rock blog-land. That title belongs, and always will, to Largehearted Boy. He’s Cal – I’m just Billy.

Thanks for indulging me on my emancipation day. See you tomorrow. Or maybe not.

By : Frank Yang at 8:45 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. brads says:

    A loosening of the straightjacket is much deserved, Frank… there are times I’d honestly worried about your sanity (or if your brain had been replaced by a mechanical one, albeit one with impeccable taste and mad writing skillz).

    Seriously, the streak is amazing, and like you said, I’m glad its interruption is your choice and not burn-out or tragedy.

    Oh, and not Cal, nor Billy. I say you’re the Tom Cheek. Toronto represent.

  2. Matthew says:

    Way to go, Frank! Your work ethic is astonishing.

  3. Alizee says:

    Hi Frank – it’s not even about the streak. Your blog is quality and this is all that matters. It’s not like I always agree with what you say – it’s just that what you say is sincere and interesting. Hope you continue enjoying this in whatever shape or form.

    Cheers

  4. matthew says:

    But Tom Cheek’s streak lasted longer than Cal’s. And Tom Cheek is dead! I’d say that, just from the numbers, Frank is the Miguel Tejada of consecutive blog days.

    1001 is insane, as is the fact that your posts are so consistently good.

  5. david says:

    Chromewaves is still my favorite music blog, Frank, and I am honored to even metaphorically be mentioned as your brother. If I only have time to read one music blog a day, this is it.

  6. danieljosef says:

    Frank,

    I’ve always wondered where you found time to write everyday and stay so consistent with your posts. Your posts are always immaculately written! It’s nice to hear that you’ll be giving yourself some more time to enjoy things outside the blog/concert hall.

    cheers!

  7. mark says:

    best blog. no one is close. keep up the great work.

  8. Erin says:

    Congratulations Frank! I’ll miss the daily check in, but the anticipation will make your posts all the sweeter.

    from a longtime lurker/first time poster

  9. Thierry says:

    I say you’re Doug Jarvis!

  10. stytzer says:

    Everything’s been said by others, but I’ll try to think of something….I will miss the daily updates, but I’m certain that it’ll continue to be one of the best blogs in bloggerland!

    Doug Jarvis indeed :-)

  11. doug says:

    Lazy bastard!

  12. mike says:

    I appreciate all the hard work you put into this site, but you do deserve a break. I mean don’t do a 180 and start to post weekly(or gasp longer) – I think I’d prefer shorter posts daily than the epic ones you usually do. Do you ever think of going back to the format of your earlier posts(circa 2002, 2003) which were much more spur of the moment? But really, you did need to take a day off – I mean, I thought you totally lost it when you continued to post during your vacations. Looking forward to what the era in Chromewaves brings.

  13. Frank says:

    Doug Jarvis? When I was growing up, Steve Larmer was the man.

    thanks everyone – don’t misunderstand, I expect things will remain fairly close to the pace that they’ve been at. In fact, if they don’t tail off at all, you can interpret that as a failure on my part to get the aforementioned life.

    Mike – yeah, there may be more shorter spontaneous posts. Still figuring out a new paradigm (if I may slip into corporatespeak) for the moment, but that’s more likely. Less sitting on stuff to save up for a slower news day.

    As for the vacations, most of those I actually had a lot of extra time on my hands (in Scandanavia I was on a cruise ship and the shuffleboard was always being hogged by the bluehairs) so ironically that was when I had more time to post than when I was normally at home.

  14. Jake says:

    Congrats! That’s quite a feat. Take a vacation.

  15. slumber says:

    Congrats Frank!

    (or as you’re known among my music loving friends, chromewavesfrank)

    The blog is a delight to read every day, and it’s the first site I check, without fail. Your posts are informative, humourous and, apparently, amazingly regular.

    Please enjoy your freedom and don’t worry about us readers/fans. Go do something unproductive without a hint of guilt!

  16. Roland says:

    Congrats!

  17. Eugene says:

    Rbally is ending too! What’s going on?!?!?

    http://www.rbally.net/

  18. Adam D. Miller says:

    Seriously Frank, keep up the great work. You are totally committed to your site, and I’m always amazed that no matter where you travel, you still keep up the posts!

    Keep ’em coming!

  19. kelly says:

    congrats. i couldn’t breathe for a second cause i thought you were shutting up shop!

    keep the goodness coming on your own time!

  20. Karl says:

    "I know a song… would you like me to sing it for you?"

    I’m glad you mentioned it, as I would have worried when the post-less day arrives.

    Far better to be a little more casual than to let the blog eat your life or burn you out on the things you enjoy.

  21. vlalerlie says:

    You are definitely in a class of the most dedicated bloggers and you can see that in how much your site has improved through the years- but definitely don’t let the blog take over. It should be fun.

    We’ll all still be checking the site tomorrow even if you miss a day or two of posting.

    (but don’t get a dog- they just hog the couch)

  22. renee says:

    you definitely deserve the break. get a cat!

  23. Kyle says:

    congrats congrats congrats. you’re a universally-accessible digital muse. and the consistentcy is a bit creepy, it’s good to know you’re not a robot. rock on.

  24. Dan Dickinson says:

    Enjoy the rest, Frank. Catch up on the backlog of music that I *know* you must have piled in a corner of your apartment/hard drive.

  25. thomaus says:

    Get a dog?!? According to "the Internet" the average life span of the North American dog is 12.8 years. That works out to a consecutive 4676 days of walking, feeding, and cleaning up after the pooch. And you think a thousand-day blog is a burden.

    These days, a blog is man’s best friend. It looks like you’ve finally housebroken yours.

    Congratulations. But don’t get the dog.

  26. Chris Ganzer says:

    Being bownd to a small business and one that involves food I understand what you mean. Quality is what has been your trademark and therefore a little less quantity is a perfectly acceptible compromise. So congrats from an Aussie – and go outside and see the sun. But I guess after 1001 blogs you haven’t seen it in a long time.

  27. Kevin says:

    "What would you like to see more of?": References to inferior younger brothers of great baseball players. Billy Ripken. Well played.

    Congrats on breaking free. Your work is greatly admired, friend.

  28. stytzer says:

    Hmm – I believe Steve Larmer ended his "iron-man" streak himself (by holding out or wanting a trade)? So Steve Larmer is probably more accurate than Doug Jarvis :-)

  29. TS says:

    Most excellent. Time for a blog nap. However, i hope you’ll still have the 24 commentary on time!!