3rd Anniversary Message
“Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God Laugh.”
-Al Swearengen, character on the HBO series Deadwood.
Well, year three of the adventures of this foolish Baboon is upon us. I place the quote above to remind me not to get to excited or overzealous. A lot can happen to foil even the most prepared primate’s plans. Last year, I ran into some circumstances that cut short my enjoyment of life and the posts you see on this website. The predictable one: enhanced work responsibilities, the unpredictable one: I broke my right big toe. So this year I tread more cautiously, although my injuries have healed and I’m ready to go.
First of all, I would like to thank all the visitors, commentors, & emailers. I actually need your feedback to press on amidst moments of caving into to lethargy. And I am not helping you discover the world around us, as much as you are helping me keep my mind and body moving throughout life’s journey. I wish I could thank everyone individually here, as I have in the past, but truly they are too numerous. I want to convey my most sincere thanks to anyone who gives my little hobby a place in their lives.
As to the future, the State of the Baboon is reasonably strong. I still have the desire to continue this endeavor and will for the foreseeable future. There are some important items to remember about me and the parameters of this site. First, although the site is often classified as a blog, and indeed I use the services of blogger to post, but I don’t run like a typical blog. I don’t write daily about whatever crosses my mind, each entry realistically takes about 10 hours of my life, if you include driving and visiting, with nearly three of those being spent at the computer: downloading, editing, and uploading photos; research of the topic in question; writing and proofreading the entry; and setting up the web content correctly. The outcome is this: fewer entries, but higher quality in what is presented. And I have no real intent of changing that. It works well in my lifestyle and creates a publication of which I can be proud. Additionally, take note that I will be only doing this with any regularity between February 15th and October 15th of each year. Within that window, you can expect to see 3-5 new entries each month. I tell you this because I am not going away ever without notice, I just take a couple of months off when the weather gets too cold for me to get outside and to sit for any great length of time in the unheated Lilburn garage this site calls home.
There will be some milestones this year, sometime in March, the Urban Baboon will mark its 100,000th visitor. I find that to be amazing. The site turns three years old today on the same day the author turns 41, which I find to be just as mystifying. Somewhere in the July/August area, we will have completed our 100th distinct post, just to name a few. And I’ll take moment to raise a glass to toast, the visitors, posts, and birthdays yet to come.
As for predictions for the future, there are some things I know and some things I don’t. First, I have a new and better camera going forward. The old Fuji Finepix served me well and will always be remembered fondly, but we usher in a new Canon Era, with a Powershot hanging around my neck on my travels. Second is social media, I have created a facebook page to help facilitate a dialogue between me and my readers. Please feel free to check it out, it will be monitored a few times each week. I would like in addition to good wishes, to get suggestions on places of interest, any will be welcomed, but especially things that might not be easy to find. I also have a very desperate need of good places to go to eat when I am away from the city. Places where they do food well, I can get a beer, and they don’t mind having customers who just spent 5 hours on the trail. I also have a twitter account, but that’s more of an experiment that I don’t quite see the value of as of yet, it may continue though its just as likely that it may not. Third, is the addition of the category, “A bit farther away.” This category is intended to cover some of the interesting things that sit more than 3 hours from Atlanta. Consider them more of overnighters than daytrips which is the primary scope of the blog. Also, this category will include some entries that leave Georgia altogether at a maximum distance of about 6 hours. I consider this to be of value to the Atlanta resident albeit a different sort of value. So I will use this category to cover any trip outside of Georgia even if the distance is less than three hours. I also plan on adding a second entry like this one at the end of the season, a year in review to go with the State of the Baboon. This will give any continual reader the heads up that the Urban Baboon is about to go into hibernation.
The final addition will be a real attempt to monetize this blog. Although I do this as a labor of love, I have been told that I have real possibilities of defraying the cost of the blog, which aren't much. There’s already some advertising from Google and Amazon, but I intend to add on a Café Press site (or something similar possibly Zazzle) to sell photo related items like Coffee Cups, Calendars, Mousepads, and the ilk. Now, I’ve been telling my best friend (and second most frequent traveling companion) that I would be doing this for couple of years now, so it is hit or miss to say whether it gets done.
Additional items I have hinted at in the past are on hold for the moment. I will not be doing any commentary on the site and reserve the facebook page for that endeavor, if I so choose. The food & leisure will probably appear sometime in the future, but will not be a focus of this site. I am still in need of a good logo for the site, and have been in hopes of reader contributions for some time.
Again, I want to conclude with my sincere gratitude for your support and well wishes. I wish you all a life worth living. May all your trails be dry, your waterfalls raging, and your landscapes breathtaking..