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Cap J: A blog on Daily blogs

Don Rogers

Web diaries, or logs and so shortened to “blogs” in the inevitable tightening of words these days, are informal, irreverent, insightful and just plain fun to read.

Even the rants, and there are plenty of those, tend to be breezy and humorous, though sometimes unintentionally so.

The main quality might well be that the authors relax a bit. They don’t seem quite so caught up in the high art of crafting. So more often than not, they communicate better. That is to say their writing gets a lot better. Funny how that happens once you stop trying so hard to impress.

For me, blogs fit in the cracks beyond editorials and columns for print, a sort of twilight zone of commentary. My image is of a sketch book. Instead of a paint brush and high expectation of the next masterpiece, it’s a pencil and letting the demand for art leak away, free. It’s just words anyway. The thought’s the thing.

Of course this form is self-indulgent. It’s selfish as hell. I invite you in, but I don’t care what you think. That’s a flaw and a virtue, by the way. I’m just sharing, not purporting to guide you in any particular direction. I have my life and opinions. You have yours.

I know yours can be pretty interesting, too. More interesting than most of the stuff that passes for authoritative writing in papers, magazines and books.

So slipping into AnDee Heath’s story of falling down the stairs at a china factory and landing in the hospital, paralyzed, captivated me. She got up when a surgeon, rather rudely trying to get her to understand her new reality, said fine, walk to the door. She amazed herself and him by doing just that.

Then she went bowling. True story. At least I believed it.

Vitaliy Katsenelson urged calm in the face of a 300-point plunge in the Dow Jones index on of these recent days. Relax, he advised, that’s a 2.3 percent drop after the market rose 25 percent over the year. Some perspective, in other words.

Mark Conlin taught me that buying a condo in Vail and renting it out will not likely be a profit venture. I’ll probably still go in the hole, so that might not be a business to leap into without some serious thought ahead of time.

Still, I don’t think that would be my real aim. It would be the return when I sold the place a couple of years from now that would be the pay-off, right? Getting help with the mortgage just keeps the venture afloat until then. Hmmm. …

While I’m fantasizing about scraping up a stray few hundred thousand dollars for a down payment on that condo, Chris Klaschik gives me a glimpse of old-time Vail with his stories. The golden years.

A truly funny writer is JoAnn Chaney, a young mom with whom I have nothing in common. Her latest entry confesses she’s a cat person. Horror of horrors. I’m a dog dude, through and through. Definitely not a mom by any possible stretch. I worry less about my kids’ welfare than whether the stinkers will get the lawn mowed and change the damn cat litter.

I don’t cook, hate shopping, couldn’t be less interested or concerned about what those e-bullies have to say. No deep-seated issues with mom other than I know, I know, I know I really need to call her more often!

But I love reading JoAnn’s musings about life, so utterly unassuming, so funny, and authentic. None of this Martha Stewart junk or prissy pretension. Actually, I think she is my kind of girl. Bright, sassy and a lot of fun. I might not have much in common with her, but I’ll be my wife does.

I’m looking forward to sharing David Dempsey’s adventures in the rapids. His first blog entry posted a few days ago.

I may never kayak, but I’m in for the virtual ride. It just might be more real than much of the silly stuff that passes for news and such.

Don Rogers is responsible for the editorial oversight of the Vail Daily, Eagle Valley Enterprise and Vail Trail. He can be reached at 748-2920, or editor@vaildaily.com. Read his blog at http://www.vaildaily.com/section/BLOG


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