It is hard to believe that I have been writing this blog for four years and two months. It is harder still to believe that I am at this moment writing the 1000th post of A Shroud of Thoughts. This is particularly the case given that the average blog does not last much longer than one or two posts.
Of course, over the years A Shroud of Thoughts has undergone some changes. The most obvious of these was in its template. The initial template was only two columns and green in colour, looking considerably different from the current template. Here, courtesy of the Wayback Machine is a screen capture of that original template.
Sadly, the Wayback Machine did not spider any of the templates in between that initial one and this one. That having been said, I can describe them to you. The next template looked more or less like the first one, save that it featured three columns. I had to abandon that template when Blogger made changes which resulted in that particular template starting in the middle of the page, for whatever reason. I then switched temporarily to Minima Black, one of Blogger's templates. In a few weeks I had developed the current template, which was created through combining Blogger's Minima Black with Eris Design's Faintly Victorian and throwing in some modifications of my own, such as the way comments are handled. This template has served me well since July 2005.
The blog has undergone a few other changes as well. Originally I was a bit more willing to discuss my private life, although I usually did so obliquely. I cut this out except for personal reminiscences of my interactions with pop culture, as I figured a.) this is a blog about pop culture, not me, and b.) people probably are not interested in reading about my problems. Another change that developed is that I think A Shroud of Thoughts was once a bit more nostalgic than it once was. Oh, I still wax nostalgic about old TV shows, old movies, old comic books, old rock groups, et.al. but I do not write about the places that were once important in American society. In this blog I wrote about department stores, dime stores, barber shops, cinemas, drive in restaurants, and so on. The reason I stopped writing about such places was not a conscious choice, but simply the fact that I ran out of places about which to write! Quite frankly, those are among some of my favourite posts I have ever written.
Perhaps the biggest change in A Shroud of Thoughts is that the posts would grow longer and more detailed, until finally I was doing entire series of articles. The earliest posts tended to be briefer and less detailed. That would change quickly. The blog started in early June 2004. By mid-June I had done my first series, on the British Invasion. It was the first week of September that I did what I feel was my first truly detailed two part article, "The Vanguard of Mars." I have always been proud of this article, especially as I've never seen anything else like it on the Web--a history of Martians in pop culture!
Do I have any regrets regarding A Shroud of Thoughts? If I have one regret it is that I have not done enough with regards to literature. While I would say that not all literature qualifies as pop culture, there is a good amount of it that does. Basically, if the average person has a passing familiarity with a literary work, then it is part of pop culture. I have dealt with the works of Dickens and I think I have written about Wuthering Heights as well. I know I have discussed Tolkien, Howard, and pulp magazines. But I have never covered Mark Twain or Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe. For that matter, I have not dealt in depth with Lord Byron, even though A Shroud of Thoughts takes its name from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage canto iii stanza 113.
At any rate, I am particularly proud that I have reached 1000 posts. It is an accomplishment that not many bloggers have ever made. Now here is hoping that I can just write 1000 more!