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Consistency on the 5th Birthday of My Blog


picture of birthday candle

This Saturday is the 5th birthday of my blog. That's hard to believe. I started the blog as a way to share pictures and stories of our adventures we would have while teaching at a university in China in the summer of 2005. I was reluctant, but at the urging of and with the help of a young tech I worked with at IT, I set up my blog. My first post, on June 19, 2005, was called Strangers in Paradise. If you weren't an ivman reader back in 2005 and 2006, you might enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the accounts of our experiences during the two months we taught summer school in China.

I had been sending out "iv's" (instant vacations by e-mail since sometime back in 1996 or 1997 and got used to maintaining a regular mailing schedule. Some of you who have been reading "my stuff" since the earliest e-mailings probably deserve a purple heart! ๐Ÿ™‚ When I saw how easy it was to publish blog posts, which included images, I decided to start to distribute my "iv's" by way of the blog instead of by e-mail. If you're a fairly new ivman reader and don't know all the history, you might find my about page an interesting explanation of what my blog is all about.

In blogging it's important to be consistent — in timing and in over-all content. Some blogs start out great guns and then quickly die out because the blogger did not count the cost of how much work it is to keep up a consistent schedule. In a post called How to Start a Blog I shared the following comic strip along this line.

cartoon about blogging

Keeping with the theme of consistency, I'd like to share a fun series of pictures. One of the posters we hang up for a few weeks each school year in our French classroom is the one below. Ernest's face is amazingly flexible and expressive for illustrating the different emotions.

poster of emotions

That's a far cry from this classic Far Side cartoon showing how to recognize the emotions of Irish Setters.

cartoon of emotions

Here's a cartoon I found about how to read Obama's emotions lately.

cartoon of emotions

Obama has been known to freeze in other poses as well. A video that went viral last year was a montage of photos of the Obamas posing with over a hundred foreign leaders at a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here are some of the photos used in the montage:

picture of Obama group shots

Since the top of Mr. Obama's head is unfortunately cut off in the video that works on my blog, here's one of the pictures that give you a close-up view of his whole head.

picture of Obama smiling

Watch his smile in this 22 second video. (You might want to turn down the volume on your computer.)

His amazingly consistent smile simply never changed! (Actually, when viewed like that, it's kinda creepy....) And you know he had to have moved around and made at least a little small talk with each person or group before each photograph was taken.

Someone assembled a collage of pictures that show the seriously amusing consistency of another world political leader — Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany.

picture of consistency

Now that's amazing consistency, isn't it?! ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me wonder what consistent quirks I have as a teacher in front of my classes. I'm sure my students could tell me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lord willing, I plan to continue blogging as long as I have ideas and as long as people keep reading what I publish. I hope my iv's bring you much pleasure, as well as getting you to consider a different perspective from time to time. I enjoy putting the posts together and getting feedback on them.

Thanks to those who post comments on my blog. This summer has been so busy that I've not been able to be consistent in replying to comments. I will try to do better. Though I work at IT during the day, I'm seldom at any one computer long enough to write replies. And my evenings have been almost totally consumed with family events or house and garden work. At least I'm staying consistent with my Monday and Thursday morning postings.... Phew!

quotation...

"The more we have, the more what we have has us." - Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused.


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13 Comments on “Consistency on the 5th Birthday of My Blog”

  1. #1 Michael
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Congratulations on your 5th birthday! May you have many more. Great pictures about Obama and Merkel. I suppose that when you’re in the public eye, you get good at doing the same pose over and over again. A special kind of muscle memory. Thanks for taking the time each week to put these iv’s together for us to enjoy.

  2. #2 Tawnja
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! I have enjoyed IVs probably since very near the beginning. It’s nice to have a spot to come for good, clean fun. Thanks!

  3. #3 Vikki
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I wonder if he stood in front of a mirror and practiced that smile for hours on end… It does look natural, but, because of the consistency, I would vote fake. Kinda reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s big, toothy smile. That helped get him elected too. I remember my mother voting for Carter because, “He’s got such a nice smile.”

  4. #4 Vicki Johnson
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Congratulations on the fifth anniversary of your blog! And many thanks for the years of mood-boosting laughter. IVman is one of my favorite spots on the web!

  5. #5 Barbara H.
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Congratulations on your fifth “blogiversary!” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve enjoyed reading you since some of the early e-mail ivs.

  6. #6 Kris Stephens
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for 5 years of IV’s! Speaking of consistency, if any of you ever watch ESPN, notice that the anchor, Neil Everett, always crosses his hands on the table in front of him at least for a portion of every segment he’s in. Now that I noticed that, it drives me crazy when he does it!

  7. #7 Susan
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Congratulations! Blogging does take a lot of work. I have enjoyed yours immensely since I found it several months ago!

  8. #8 deb holman
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Congrats, brother, on your 5th year. I am sooooo proud of you! I enjoy your blog. You are such a good person, and what you give to others is amazing, and beyond words! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love you. Your sister, deb ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. #9 James Mann
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Fรฉlicitations! I don’t keep up with your “blague” as much I should but I am proud to be one of your French students :). For this blog I just want to say: Chouette!

  10. #10 Jewel
    on Jun 18th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Congratulations on your 5-year anniversary! I love your blog and know that if I need a good laugh, I will no doubt get one when I read your blog! Thanks for your consistency!! ๐Ÿ™‚ God Bless!

  11. #11 Deb
    on Jun 19th, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Hi Rob ~ I’m not usually very much of a conversationalist to add input to your posts, but I enjoy reading them as do others in my family. I do want to wish you a very happy 5th blogiversary! Keep up the great blogging.

  12. #12 Rob
    on Jun 20th, 2010 at 6:59 am

    @Michael and Vikki – I think you may be right about the muscle memory thing, Michael. I’m sure having to pose and smile with bazillions of people you don’t really know would tend to make your necessary smile a bit automatic and plastic (fake). The smile thing may be important to American voters, but the French are not so big on smiles. Interesting differences culturally. And that hand thing of Merkel’s must be a deeply ingrained personal quirk … maybe muscle memory again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Tawnja, Vicki, Barbara, Susan, Jewel, and Deb – Thanks for the well wishes. It’s always good to hear that people enjoy the fruit of my labor. I hope you will have many more years of enjoyable reading.

    @Kris – We don’t have cable, so I’ve never seen Neil Everett’s hand crossing thing. But quirks like that can drive you crazy.

    @deb – Thanks, Sis, for your wishes. You’re quite the giving person yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love you too.

    @James – Un grand merci.

  13. #13 Carrie
    on Jun 21st, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I’m one of the purple heart recipients, although I feel very privileged and not like a wounded veteran! :o) Thanks for all the work you put into your blog. Kind of makes me feel like I’m back in French class or on the mission team. . .