August 01, 2007

Well, now. There's you a surprise.

I'll be closing up shop.


It is a surprise! Although in fairness, not to me.

Several months ago, a position opened up within my department and I applied for it, and have been in limbo ever since, not knowing if they'd hire me or make me stay where I am. I realized when I applied that if I did get it, there would never be any way I could continue sitting around and writing in between work assignments, because the work assignments in this new gig are constant.

Anyway, I finally got the confirmation call this morning, and so in a couple of weeks (or so, things move slowly around here, in case you've never noticed), I'll be going downstairs to the 4th floor. One floor might not seem very far, but compared to what it's been like, it's way yonder far off.

The new job is directly related to my training--basically, I'll be practicing architecture again. The past twelve years (TWELVE!?), I've been doing a sideline-sorta-related function of urban designer. It was fun at first (after leaving the hell of The Bad Place), but for whatever reason, our little corner of the org chart was continually marginalized and there got to be a lot less fun designy-type work with pencils and crayons and junk, and a whole lot more of mindless bureaucratic paper-shuffling. And no chance to advance to senior paper-shuffler. When you're marginalized, folks in charge don't really care about such things.

So, you know, laboring on in obscurity, waiting for citizen complaints or various interdepartmental wild goose chases, filling out forms, and typing lots of passive-voiced meeting minutes, all without much in the way of pay raises or hope, tends to give you some free time. And a lot of things you wish you could talk about if you could find someone who wasn't even more insane than you are.

Thus entered the exciting blogging pastime.

Which is about the only way I think I've been able to continue doing this job for so long. Some people around here just close their door and read books, some simply ride the elevator all day, some feign consciousness, a few never even show up. At least this way, I've been able to make a bunch of new friends, blissfully blather on in a separate virtual-type world, and still actually do the various plebian activities that now constitute this position. Thankfully, even with blogging, no citizen ever had his need go unmet and no assignment was ever dropped. I'm not sure how well that reflects on me, or how badly it does on the position. Eh. Whatever.

ANYway, the new position requires attention. It's real life, health/safety/welfare architect things that are actually what I'm trained and registered to do, and since there's only three staffers, and I've got to learn how they do things, it's going to be busy. And busy means no time to play. And no time to play means, obviously, no time for Possumblog.

It has been an extraordinarily enjoyable thing, what I do here. Writing things down has helped me make some sense of events, and has allowed me to meet some of the most intriguing, enjoyable, erudite, silly, warm, brave, maddening, thoughtful, clever, intelligent, helpful, astonishing, wry, fragile, honest, and finest people in the world. As I've always said, I've imagined this blog as nothing more than the sort of random conversation you have when friends drop by and sit a spell over in the chair by the door. So, thanks to all of you who've stopped by to sit in that chair.

As for this enterprise itself, I never saw it as a way to get attention, or at least not the attention of the sort we've come to associate with fame (i.e., fleeting attention from the news media), but if there was any attention I did want, it was that anyone who came by would leave with something enjoyable or informative, and would be able to say to himself that even a gun-toting, Bible-thumping, openly-straight, Alabama redneck could still do pretty well for himself explaining his views, and further, do so in a way that was serious but not self-important. I've tried to save my vitriol and derision for the people who deserve it, that being, those who don't think they deserve it. I've never sought out other bloggers to disagree and argue with, mainly because it serves no purpose other than to give me a headache, and because it's quite difficult to find someone with whom I disagree who also seems to value logic and good humor.

I've written a lot over the past few years, and much about myself. Probably too much. In some cases, not enough. There are still some opinions I have that are too inflammatory to ever utter except during those nagging internal monologues, and some of them I realize are wrong and it would be wrong to say them. Some are just so convoluted I don't want to have to explain them. So, despite what you might think if you read everything in the archives, there's still some corners of thought that I haven't felt good about sharing. Especially in this highly non-anonymous format.

But, what I've said, I've said.

I hope it's been worth hearing.

In the coming few days, I've got some necessary job-related things to get squared away--packing, moving, paperwork--but I will still be around and keeping up with things, and I suppose I'll have one final post for shout-outs and to thank everyone one more time for making this one of their semi-regular Internet stops.

In the mean time, between now and the time I finally turn out the lights, if you've still got some nagging questions you've never gotten an answer to, or a tirade to launch forth on, feel free to drop me a comment or an e-mail.

You've been a great audience, everyone! Be careful driving home!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 12:46 PM

Unacceptable sir. Unkind, in fact. Unlikely. You will be back, because there are too many things requiring comment. You shall find the time, or make it, if only to let us know what happens to the car.

Your family knows already. Blog from home.

I wish you much success in your new position, and I will have to find something else to do at work now.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 1, 2007 01:01 PM

Well, day-um. You could have given us more warning.

I'll miss you and the community you've gathered here.

Good luck and godspeed and all that.

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 1, 2007 01:03 PM

Sorry to see you go but all things must end. Well, except Andy reruns and John Edwards’ preening.

Posted by: jim at August 1, 2007 01:14 PM

Thanks, guys. I do realize I should have engaged in a bit more "Mom's up on the roof"-type foreshadowing, but I've been bitten by that bug before and I promised myself this time I'd keep my mouth shut until I was dead sure of things.

Maybe when I get my bearings and my sea legs I'll be able to find time to check in, but the all day obsessive-compulsive inanity is not going to be able to return. And blogging from home!? If I had the time to do it, I'd be doing it now!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 01:17 PM

NO-O-O-O-O! We will miss you! As SkinnyDan said, blog from home. Seriously, I'm glad you will be getting to have a more interesting job. I hope you really enjoy it.

Posted by: Kathy at August 1, 2007 01:39 PM

Thank you, Kathy. I hope I enjoy it, too, but as I told Jim, it could be a case of a dog finally catching the car he was chasing, and then not knowing what to do with it.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 01:43 PM

I have to say this comes as a bit of a surprise, all right. But I do indeed understand how such a decision must be made. Thanks for entertaining us for five-plus years, Terry--it has been a blessing.

Now we face one challenge, for certain: how will we ever know about the milestones in the Possum clan's lives? And what if the Late Show comes calling?

Posted by: Stan at August 1, 2007 01:57 PM

Possumclan milestones? They'll just have to get their own blogs and do their own derned publicity!!

If the Late Show does come calling, I will make an exception and note that. If they bring money. Or canned ham.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 02:00 PM

Wow - (almost) all good things must come to an end. Sounds like you're pulling ALANHA on us. I can relate to the job thing and blogging. Hope things work-wise go well for you and you have a chance to earn a few extra dimes.

Coincidentally, my place of employment got sold yesterday (no, it's not Wall St. Journal). Supposedly everything will still be the same and keep doing a good job yadda-yadda, but with new owners may come new rules. One of those unsure future things ...

Posted by: Marc V at August 1, 2007 02:15 PM

You gonna do a special on Axis of Weevil t-shirts?

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 1, 2007 02:16 PM

Yeah, Marc--I'm taking the LittleA train. Next best thing since I never got a chance to take the Boeing. Best wishes to you on your new situation, too. I think you'll land upright no matter what.

As for tee-shirts, you folks are on your own!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 02:28 PM


Well at least I hope the pay is better, but I will miss you and all your possumy adventures.

Posted by: Sarah G. at August 1, 2007 03:40 PM

Don't quit cold turkey! At least keep the light on here, and post up once a week or so.

Like many others, I like to stop by for a quick peek at what you've posted. Most days (when I'm not too busy), I stop by several times. Gives me a chance to clear my mind, and most times get a chuckle.

Posted by: BillW at August 1, 2007 03:48 PM

Thank you, Bill. I will make an attempt to post something when I get a chance, but I fear those chances will be few.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 04:04 PM

And thank you, Sarah. I'll miss being made into various Photoshopped wonders. This is still my favorite.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2007 04:08 PM

You'll be missed across the globe. Won't you post sporadically, like most of the rest of us?

Posted by: kitchen hand at August 1, 2007 06:57 PM

Well shoot! Where else am I going to be a dollar short and a day at?

Der Chef waddles over to the industrial deep fryer to start on the Corn-Ah-Tees!® for the going away party...

Posted by: Chef Tony at August 1, 2007 07:45 PM

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I luv ur blog Boo Hooooooo I am so sad.

Posted by: Wendy at August 1, 2007 08:53 PM

Hooverdamm! First I get blocked at my job from hanging out at Possumblog, now Pblog is going ALANHA! That's just not right! Its bad enough that I only get to come around and visit after everybody else has gone home, now the show is closing...

Congrats on the new position and shiny pencils but you're going to have to find a way to keep our possum clan updates coming.

Posted by: Nate at August 1, 2007 10:50 PM

Possum ol' boy, WE are sure going to miss you. Now we are going to have to find someone ELSE to advertise our wares!

Posted by: Your friendly spammers at August 2, 2007 01:48 AM

::sniff:: Even the spammers are chiming in!

Kitchen Hand, if I do get a chance, I will try to post something, but I just can't promise anything. I do know it's not going to be the same sort of drinking-from-a-firehose inanity that you've all come to expect, so I will be living up even more to my motto: low expectations are your best friends.

Chef Tony, do not despair, there will always be a place you can be a dollar short and a day at. Even here. It's just going to be very, very quiet.

Wendy, you are much too kind, and I regret having to turn off the spigot after only recently gaining a new reader. Especially a reader who seems to understand I need constant positive reinforcement.

Nate, it's all obviously part of some sort of evil government plot. Which is bad. Aside from the substantial pay raise. Anyway, I will do as I've said and post if I get a chance, but it doesn't look promising.

And finally, to possibly my most engaged readers--or, I suppose, users--my comment spammers.

You guys ::choke::sniffle:: you...guys [turning away to wipe eyes and blow nose].


Well, before I met you guys, I had a high m0rtgage rate, a t1ny p3n1s, no hot stock tips, and could only dream of owning a f@ke Ro lex. But now ::sniffle:: NOW! I have large supple breasts, a steady supply of V1c0 din, and TWO fake R0lexes! [loses all composure]

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 08:13 AM

Congratulations on finally getting to do what you love! May the learning curve be short and the toaster oven far from your office!

Posted by: Diane at August 2, 2007 08:54 AM

Well, love might be a bit strong--what I love to do is read and watch teevee and play with the kids and play with the wife and work on cars and play with the wife and sleep and sit on the beach and eat and think about playing with the wife. But I've not yet been able to find a way to make a living out of any of that, so I suppose architecture is something I love being able to make money with. Speaking from experience, it certainly beats working on a road crew placing concrete or working in a steel fabrication shop.

ANYway, it will be a good change of pace, and I'm with you--I hope I don't look like an idiot for longer than necessary trying to learn the ropes. And yes, there will be blessed relief from the continual burnt offerings that are lifted up on the altar outside my door.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 09:08 AM

No! I believe you will still check in from time to time. I changed jobs recently, and found that after a few weeks, things settled down enough for me to write a post every now and then.

Congrats on the new job! It's fun to do work at work. I'v enjoyed reading Possumblog.

Posted by: megabeth at August 2, 2007 09:34 AM

Thank you, Beth. But I have to ask, since I'm no longer going to be a world-famous blogger, will we still be able to have lunch together, or am I to be discarded like so many rotten corn cobs?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 09:48 AM

Rats! But I guess productivity in my corner of NASA might be a little improved.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at August 2, 2007 10:16 AM

Just doing my part to help American space exploration!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 10:39 AM

Will you be leaving this site up in this format?

I use your blogroll all the time.

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 2, 2007 10:48 AM

If you'll leave your site up, we'll relocate to Megabeth's blog!

Posted by: Your friendly spammers at August 2, 2007 11:12 AM

Yes, Miss Janis, it will remain active, but there just won't be much in the way of new posts. But the blogroll will always have something interesting.

And Spammers, I would advise you not to do that. She's very tech-savvy, and will hunt you down and put you to shame.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 11:33 AM

Thank you, sir.

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 2, 2007 11:56 AM

Not at all.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 12:02 PM

And Ms. MegaBeth might also run you spammers over with her Italo Quad 4 Super Duper Twin Engine Overhead Cam Racing Bike, which would be extraordinarily painful.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 2, 2007 01:55 PM

Painful, yes, but potentially worth it if for no other reason than to catch a glimpse of her in Spandex.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 02:15 PM

Yes we should have lunch soon, although I know that Ruby would find you to be just as tasty as a corn cob (especially if you have been sweating).

The spammers have already located to my blog! I approve all comments before publishing them, because 98% of them are spam.

Posted by: megabeth at August 2, 2007 02:38 PM

p.s. Can I have Chet?

Posted by: megabeth at August 2, 2007 02:38 PM

You can have Chet just as soon as you can pry him out of Miss Butch's cold, dead fingers. Which might be hard, since she once wiped out an entire battalion-size group of VC using nothing more than an 1895 Mauser and a water jug.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 02:47 PM

And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we need Possumblog. The confluence of Spam, Spandex, Guns, and 110 year old Hmong Women happens nowhere else.

Well, maybe on ESPNdeportes, but no place else.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 2, 2007 03:38 PM

Drat. You've found my secret source! I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 03:57 PM

Well, I'm back for another comment, so it must be tomorrow again, just like it was yesterday. If that's possible.

You are aware, of course, that abandoning your blog could mean more work than ever before? Tim Blairposted an announcement that he will be away until mid-August and so far he has received 2410 comments, all genuine spam-free real people. Imagine if he were to reply to them all.

Posted by: kitchen hand at August 2, 2007 07:04 PM

Awwww, man! Now how am I gonna keep up with doin's back in my home state?

Congrats on the new job, anyway.

Posted by: mike hollihan at August 2, 2007 08:46 PM

Are you sure it's tomorrow now, Kitchen Hand? I keep thinking it's yesterday. Or day after tomorrow. Silly International Date Line. ANYway, I don't think I'll have to worry about 2400 comments.

And Mike, there are still plenty of Bama blogs out there, although obviously none written by marsupials.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 3, 2007 07:38 AM

I stop reading blogs for a few days so that I can try to pretend to be a good mom and educate my children and you go and make an announcement like this?!?

Waaaaaaahhhh! Now how am I going to ignore the children and make them ask a million times what I'm giggling about?

Sigh. Can we still e-mail you and bug you that way?

Could you at least publish a Monday weekend update?

Posted by: Jordana at August 6, 2007 09:33 PM

You bet, Jordana--the e-mail continues to roll, and it could be that I'll have time for some blogging. Just don't be disappointed if the well runs completely dry. Or if it doesn't.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 7, 2007 08:04 AM