Meaning, of course, that the first year has rolled by. The first year since the inaugural post. The first year since the Glorious Launch Of The Ricardiblog™.
Gosh, where does the time go? And, come to think of it, where is it now? I’m only finding time to write this by typing like a madman on the 360 Express Bus which, as I’m sure I’ve complained about before, is hardly an environment conducive to the authoring of witty and erudite commentary. It’s even worse than the coach trip from London Heathrow Airport to Cambridge via Luton and various even less memorable places.
So, choose, if you will:
a) credit where credit is due, or
b) the following characters are to blame.
Zoe, whose blog is the first I ever started reading, after typing the word “Twat” into Google in a fit of frustration. She got me hooked, then badgered me mercilessly until I started one of my own. And she’s always been very graceful about my usually unhelpful remarks over at her place. She's got a book, you know.
Speaking of badgers, Dawn, who appeared one day in Zoe’s comments box, or maybe Scaryduck's, or maybe both, and rapidly turned out to be a chainsaw-wielding Canuck, just like me except a bit shorter and with funkier glasses. She did her share of encouraging, and even made some comment somewhere about how “there should be a Ricardiblog”, which is why this thing gets the title it does. She also hosted my first guest blog post ever, after I completely chickened out of guesting over at Zoe’s place. I think they’ve both forgiven me by now. Dawn is still also the only blogger I’ve ever knowingly met in person, along with an attractive and talented group of balancing fish.
Rik, who didn’t badger me but has always been rather encouraging, and I think may be the first person to link my blog from his. He hosts my music files too, which is rather nice of him, and has on several occasions offered to spruce the place up a bit. I may still take him up on that, although it’s fun messing with the template on my own, in a perverse, html-misery kind of way.
Scaryduck, who fuelled my blog addiction with his highly entertaining daily reads, even if the quotient of vomit and adolescent pain and anguish causes me to cringe every now and then. He’s got a book too.
Misty, who probably single-handedly convinced me (without trying) that Flickr is a great way to show off and waste time all at once. Not that I’m accusing her of showing off, mind. Her blog is a hoot, as they say.
And various others, for encouragement: Anna, Debi, Guyana-Gyal, TRT, Black Knight, Alethea, Wyldwoods, Kaptain Kobold, Bob, John.G, Auntymarianne and the rest of you lot whose blogs I visit from time to time. You'll find yourselves over in the sidebar, and yes, I'm too lazy to put in links to each of you here in this post. I may not always comment when I visit, but I always enjoy, so keep doing it all of you. Please. Oh, and a special shout out to the blogless Wonderferret for his kind words and nice photos, and to various other readers who drop by from time to time (Alicat and Heather, I'm looking at you).
Finally, some credits to the webby types who keep this silly thing running so elegantly:
Blogger, even though I like to complain about it.
Flickr, where I keep all the photos and hide various bits of the blog as well.
Statcounter. It counts the stats (surprise, surprise) and occasionally provides a humourous look into the ways people find their way here.
Clustrmaps. They make the map over there in the sidebar. The one with the clusters on it.
Rikaitch. As I said above, he hosts the music files that nobody ever listens to.
Feedblitz. Email feedy goodness for all of you. Well, the two of you who signed up, anyway.
Creative Commons. "Some rights reserved" is a most excellent idea.
The Weather Network. For the weather widget, in case you were wondering.
AltaVista Babelfish. In case you want this translated into Canada’s Other Official Language, or something.
Brilliant Button Maker. Ok, I only made one button, but it's brilliant isn't it?
Plus all kinds of websites I used to learn bits of html... notably, this chart of colour codes, this indispensible list of Windows ALT-key codes, and this rather handy HTML / XHTML reference site.
Well, that's about it. Multiple apologies to anyone I've forgotten. If I'm still around next year, I'll try to post something a bit more meaningful. In the meantime, I leave you with this, in typical Ricardipus style: a picture of a flower.