100 Posts - the History of the War on Pants Site
I've been putting a couple of articles on hold so this article can land here chronologically. So, without further ado:
Does this smell like GeoCities to you?
Originally this site was going to be a blog all about software and firmware. The original title was a computer pun on "the long and short of it."
The background is a screenshot of a checksum calculation routine I wrote as part of my home automation protocol. In the end, I decided against "the 32 and 16-bit of this." I didn't want a blog that was completely about software and firmware; I don't have enough to say, and I felt like the site would feel like work at home. Also, the "this" word made it sound like a C++ site.
I tried to think of what I like to do. It has been a long-running joke about how much I hate pants. I decided to write about my crusade against them. Few things that I like it are done while I wear pants. Everything I don't like in life requires pants.
I've had a few domains in the past, but they all died with time. I really didn't have anything to say. When I got the urge to create a site this time, I decided to start it on Blogspot. I noticed that a lot of my posts were of the "sorry I haven't written anything" variety. So, I found a way to motivate myself: I gave myself a deadline. It didn't matter what I wrote about, as long as I put up something with content.
To solidify this, I wrote a post that was more like a personal mission statement. Things have changed slightly, but not by much.
Points 1 and 2: "I joined Twitter." and "That made me start to like social networking more."
The novelty of social networking has worn off. Social networking is only good when I'm completely bored out of my skull. There are some gems in the pile of crap, but I can usually find something else that feels less like of a waste of time. (That's not to say that it is less of a waste of time.)
Point 3: I’m not really on a computer when I go home.
I mentioned that "my job is slowly killing my hobby." It has. My RC Tank project was important to me, and I was making great progress on it. Then, I was moved onto another project at work involved firmware. My tank has sat in pieces ever since.
I have tons of pictures to post. I want to write the articles. I have a working remote control now. I just have to build the final assembly. The problem is that when I go to start writing, just the thought of firmware makes me sick now. My job destroyed any joy I found in my hobby and turned it into pain. It's kind of funny, too. At one point I was actually afraid that I would run out of ridiculous things to write about because I was starting to like my concentration camp of a career.
Point 4: I hate office life.
This has never been more true. I also know that my job is literally killing me. I'll swear on anything that you want that these numbers are true. I went to the doctor during work once. My blood pressure was 150/120. That's dangerously high. Systolic pressure that high is causes health problems, but diastolic pressure that high can kill someone. Less than two weeks later, I went a few hours after work. My pressure was 97/85, which is borderline normal to high. It's not healthy to have such an extreme swing like that. It's also not healthy to be so stressed at work.
Point 5: I can't post my projects at work.
That explains why I haven't posted any of my already-complete projects yet.
Point 6: I run this blog for myself.
This point was for sheer motivation. I know that if this was completely for myself, I would just write it in an encrypted journal. Then again, I never understood why anyone would put something considered deeply personal or private on the Internet without the intent of sharing it.
The idea of "running for myself" was to prevent me from holding back. Nobody can write something that will appeal to everybody. If I try to write against what I truly think or tone down my opinion, I will come across as insincere or wishy-washy. I don't want to read crap like that, and if I don't want to read what I write, then no one will.
The only restriction I place on myself is that I try not to have blatant nudity or gore on the site. That's what the rest of the Internet is for. ;-)
Point 7: I have a life.
My job is trying to take this away from me, too. That's why more of my posts are about office life and less about outside life.
Point 8: I love to be outside.
This ties in to point 7. The long I have to be at work, the less I get to enjoy the simple delights like feeling the breeze, watching the ducks swim, or listening to the rain. You don't realize how relaxing something was until you counter-productively have to fight for your relaxation.
Point 9: No one cares about my life.
This is the problem that I have with Twitter and Facebook.
No one cares if you're eating a sandwich or taking a crap. Why do you feel the need to announce it on the Internet? If you have a blog, why are you elaborating on it? I want my posts to have actual content. I like sharing my research and pointless math about stupid topics.
Point 10: I use this blog as a reference.
This is less true now that my job is crushing my hopes and dreams, but I have learned a lot from this site. I'm now competent with PHP, and I brushed up on my photo manipulation skills. I think my favorite manipulation I created for the site is for a post that was never popular, but I still enjoyed writing it (point 6).
When I started the site, I didn't tell anyone about it. If it was going to die, I didn't want anyone I know to bring it up as a failed project. First attempts and abandoned projects aren't necessarily failures. I've learned a lot from running the site, especially how things have changed since I was a webmaster only a few short years ago.
In a mere year, War On Pants has grown from no visitors at all to getting over 3,400 unique visitors per month. I never expected such readership. It grew from word-of-mouth, Facebook and Twitter sharing, and an occasional link from other sites. I've never advertised the site other than sometimes linking to it on my Twitter feed.
My most popular picture is still one that I put together just to satiate my anger at the time.
I've been writing for this site for over a year now, and I have no plans to stop any time soon. I have a lot more in store for the site. Thank you for reading. You have helped stave off the corporate-inspired madness that has entered my life. Hopefully, I'll have a better job one day. Until then, I'll have to settle for posting more stories of incompetence on the Internet.