A long-time goal was realized this morning...100,000 Page Views. Naturally, this is just a number and getting too hung up on reaching certain numbers seems to be a peculiar aspect of our shared internet experience, where self-value is measured by the number of likes a post receives on this or that social media platform. So while I certainly aspired to this goal of hitting 100,000 page views...it is certainly not a milestone that will make it into my future obituary...at least I hope that won't be all that I would ever remembered for...
All that said and understood...it is still an accomplishment and something that I want to spend at least one blog post celebrating. So bear with me!
This blog began in 2011 with zero expectations. I had no idea what I was doing or what I ever thought I would accomplish with my blog. The name for those, who may not know is based on the Confederate General William E. "Grumble" Jones.
Grumble Jones hails from my home of Southwest Virginia and served with distinction until his death in 1864 at the Battle of Piedmont, VA. His nickname was well earned and the irascible general was fluent in the profanity of his age and was not afraid to use it...to the consternation of his superiors like Jeb Stuart.
For me, he is the perfect embodiment of the "Grumbler" as the French referred to the Grognards of Napleon's army. And of course Grognard is a term used often to describe the veteran ASL player. So the name "Grumble Jones" was decided upon.
Now, those of you familiar with my early posts will certainly note that they were flat and ultimately a bit uninteresting. Things got better in 2012 and 2013...but it was not until 2014 that I finally found my voice and my AAR style.
The primary event in 2014 that would help propel my Blog to its current state, was the Pegasus Bridge CG that I played against Christoper Brackney, aka "Big Kansas". It was during that months long CG that I realized the power of creating a narrative story to go along with the AAR. It was a way to convey to readers, the pure excitement that I was experiencing in playing that fantastic game. It remains one of the greatest ASL moments in my life. If you ever wonder about playing a CG...wonder no more. Just do it. You will not regret it.
A key aspect of my AAR's that developed over time, was the photography. This may not seem like a big deal...but it really is.
Everyone has seen the boards and counters before...so it's generally not that compelling for a reader to spend much time looking at yet another picture of board 10. So focusing the pictures and bringing the action up close became a staple of my picture taking and editing. And of course there is still massive room for improvement. Finding a way for an ASL game to pop off the screen with the same intensity as a miniatures game has always been my primary goal. I'm not sure that I will ever get there...but I will never stop trying.
OK, now for some thank you's. #1 Thank you to my readers...the 100,000 is really your accomplishment more than mine own. You have graciously given your valuable time to follow my blog. I very much appreciate it.
And now a moment of thanks to the ASL Players who have spent their time playing Cardboard via SKYPE with me these past many years and whose gaming has formed the basis for so many AAR Blog Posts. Thank you to Scott Waites aka "My Regular STL Opponent, Christopher Brackney aka "Big Kansas", Scott Holst, Dan Best, Robert Zinselmeyer, Steve Landreth, Rick Salisbury, Alex Key, Jim Burris, Roy Connelly, and Richard Burton. Thanks for the excellent games and for allowing me to blog about them.
Tim was kind enough to create a custom Grumble Jones ASL Blog Morale Patch. I currently have five of these to give away to the first five blog readers who PM me with their addresses at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish I had more to offer, but like everyone else, I have to manage my finances or face my wife's wrath.
So if you would like one, just PM as quick as you can. The fastest five will be the lucky winners.
And I do want to thank Tim once again for a custom patch he included with my order. I absolutely love it. Thanks again!
OK...that's enough patting myself on the back for one day. Thanks again everyone for your readership and support of my humble blog. I very much appreciate it.