The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Birth of a Blog

           If anyone has looked at my profile page they might think, "Why is Arlee saying that this is his first year anniversary when it clearly shows that he's been on blogger since May 2008?"  True, I opened the blogger account then and thought about starting to write something, but I guess I didn't think of anything to write at the time and forgot that the blog was there.  After all I was busy with a full time job and honestly, I didn't want to think about writing then.

           Prior to May 2008 I had begun to become involved in some music discussion boards on  On April 1, 2008 I jumped into a discussion that had already been ongoing for about a month. This discussion was The One Song That Every American Likes started by one Stephen T. McCarthy.  I liked Stephen's writing style and the way he responded to participants in the discussion thread.  Soon I was one of several who had an ongoing dialogue with Stephen.  Eventually I became his Amazon "friend"  and we were able to communicate directly.

            At some point Stephen got kicked off of  All of his discussion thread entries and entries in an Amazon blog that he wrote were deleted by Amazon.  You can read Stephen's story on his blog.   Some of us in the discussion thread tried to convince Amazon to reinstate our friend Stephen, but to no avail.  He had been permanently exiled from Amazon.
              Shortly after this Stephen let me know that he had started a new blog on Blogger and invited me to come read it.   I was only remotely familiar with blogging and did not totally understand the concept.  I checked out Stephen's blog and decided to start my own.  It seemed like kind of a cool thing to do.

              As I pondered a blog name, I thought about what might define me or something about who I was.   I immediately decided that my background as a juggler would be an interesting place to start, but I also wanted to convey my interest in writing.  I knew I wanted to have an eclectic blog.  I thought of the titles that might include variations of the word "juggle" and began making a list.  Then I thought of words that described the act of juggling.  Eventually I hit upon the phrase "tossing it out".

             As soon as "tossing it out" came into my mind I realized that this should be the title of my blog.  This phrase conveyed the image of juggling--tossing objects into the air.  However it also suggested participation with others.  Whatever I tossed out the reader would have to catch and they could toss it back to me.  It seemed to create an ideal picture of verbal juggling so to speak.  I would toss out my words to be read and then the reader could toss back their comments to me.  I now had a blog and it was called Tossing It Out.

             After choosing a template and getting the blog on site, I went to bed and forgot about it for over a year.  I figured I would start writing on it eventually but I didn't and because I didn't it just slipped my mind that I had started a blog late one night.

            Near the end of 2008, I received word that my job would be ending at the beginning of the following year.  I had been managing a branch of a costume company in Los Angeles for nearly twenty years and now they were going to close my office and move all operations to North Carolina.  In March of 2009 I became unemployed at the worst time to be looking for work.  Previously I had been working ten to twelve hours five or more days per week.  Now I had a lot more time on my hands.

Tomorrow the story continues as I rediscover my lost blog.....


  1. I was wondering where the name came from...

  2. ugh! I wanted to read more... Okay..."to be continued"!!
    Seriously, I liked to learn about how you started your blog. I find it interesting that my blog also shows that I started blogging since March 2009. That was only when I opened an account in order to post a comment on my priests' blog. I didn't even know what a blog was until it was announced: "Father Ken is blogging" (I have to confess I frowned and wondered if the elderly parishioners would think it was some sort of And as curious as I am, I had to browse and comment. On May of this year was when I actually decided to create my blog.

    Well, I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the rest of the story. lol


  3. Wonderful write look forward to the next part.


  4. that Stephen guy must have been some mischief in the jungles of Amazon :))
    You could think about changing the template and colours, Arlee, to get a new image with the birthday :)

    How do you go on without job? Do you write a lot? Do you have some plans? Is retirement close or is it too early to think about that? My mom and dad retired two years ago. They are both 60.

  5. Hi Lee -- is that how it all began .. interesting & part two to look forward to .. goody!

    Enjoy today - Hilary

  6. I wish I had put mine to bed for a year, lol. I like the fact you are explaining this to us.

    Also, I wanted to say thank you again for being a REAL commenter on my blog. Your comments have kept me going here and I just wanted to let you know that. Thanks :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. Very interesting to hear how you began your blogging journey. The title suits you and your blog, Lee. Looking forward to hearing more.

  8. Very interesting story, I appreciate you sharing it. Just like on my favorite shows, I hate the part that says "to be continued..." But, Lord willing tomorrow is not far off. I do agree with Dezmond, for the birthday or anniversary a new template might be in order. Congrats again!

  9. Ya I started a blog a while back but I plan to actually follow through with this one

  10. Misha -- I know I'm often curious where people got names for there blogs

    Doris -- Your blog origins sound similar to mine.

    Yvonne -- Stay tuned tomorrow.

    Dezmond -- For the full story you can follow the link to Stephen's accout, but in a nutshell he's got some controversial politcal views, but he is probably right about most of them. I've been thinking about that template change for a few months but it seems like I'm always so busy with the act of blogging that maintenance and change gets neglected.
    So far I've still been eligible for unemployment benefits that keep me afloat. I write a lot but no money yet--that's why I need to curtail my blogging activity--so I can write to seriously try to make some money from it. It's a few years before I'm eligible for any kind of retirement.

  11. Hilary -- I always enjoy the "how did it all begin" stories. Hope everyone enjoys this one.

    Jules -- I know I like to get the "real" comments and it's the way I like to comment as well.

    Karen -- Your blog title was suited to its origins as well. Relevance is pretty cool.

    Gregg-- I've been trying to keep my posts shorter. And this whole week is dedicated to origins to this blog. New template should be coming soon-- but what if everything disappears when I do it? I'm afraid.

    Sy -- Yes, the blog doesn't work that well unless you post something now and then. Thanks for visiting.

  12. Oh wow. I can't wait to read the rest of sounds like a story with which I'm quite familiar...

  13. And you end it right there? Worse than a two-part season ending TV show!

  14. Hi, Arlee! I hopped over from Kittie Howard's blog to say hello and congratulate you on your award. :-)

  15. r-LEE-b ~
    Don't you think it's a bit dangerous to your reputation to be publicly admitting an association and even (Gasp!) an actual friendship with this Stephen T. McCarthy character?

    I know a bit about him and he's a real jerk. Conceited, loud-mouthed, and full of it. He probably deserved to get the Amazon boot. I would steer clear of him... if I could.

    You know, buddy, you're judged by the company you keep. Just a little sumpin' to thinkz about.

    I'm interested to see what changes are in store for TOSSING IT OUT (hopefully you won't be tossing it ALL out).

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  16. Lee, I've got a little something for you over at my place. Enjoy!

  17. Liza -- Is this your story as well? Actually a lot of bloggers these days may have a story like this.

    Alex -- An heart pumping tale like this needs a good cliffhanger!

    Shannon -- Thank you for letting me know!

    StMc -- I've never been one to cover up the truth, no matter how ugly it may be. Besides I think I've been keeping some pretty good company. By the way, I revived that dormant thread you started on Amazon and Valerie Henshaw popped in to tell me to tell you hello. Check the link in my post if you don't already have that link. I was looking over those posts again and it's amazing how many deleted entries there were that came from you. Sad.
    As far as the future, I never know where I'm going until I get there. I may not toss anything out, but I do need to curtain this blogging stuff some.

    Kittie -- Thank you for your kindness. I will acknowledge the award on my Saturday post.

  18. Its fun to take a trip down memory lane and reminise (did I spell that right?) I wondered how you got the name for your blog. Juggling. Got it. Looking forward to tomorrow'a follow up blog.

  19. Oh a cliffhanger! I love a cliffhanger! I hope there is lots of drama and excitement to come.
    Did you find another job? Did you retire? How did you feed your family? Did you become a computer junkie? Do tell Arlee, do tell!!!!
    Love Di ♥

  20. To NC? I thought everything and it's brother LEFT NC. That's where I live. Huh. Small world. And I'm sorry you lost your job. Been there, done that.

    Way cool that you were a juggler. I can barely juggle two things. Any more and it's a disaster.

    I really love the way you came up with the name of the blog. My sister in law, Pooh, started one. She did one post. And it's just sitting there. Once in a while she will make a comment, but....

    I, too, tried to think of what described me. I love rainy days and wander around in books, movies, my imagination for hours and

    I'm really looking forward to reading The Rest of the Story....

  21. Nothing disappears. It is retained and will be there when you pull the trigger on a new look. I know I did it.

  22. Love the history of Tossing it Out! Thanks for sharing :)

  23. Stephen Tremp -- Thanks for stopping today.

    Diana -- Yes, you do the cliffhangers as well. I think I did become a computer junkie. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode.

    Words Crafter -- Actually I thought NC is the happening place these days. I'll bet the economy there is doing better than CA.

    Gregg-- I'll make my change soon--I think. Then again I am rather attached to the current format.

    Jemi-- History is fun!

  24. Great story and a real cliffhanger! Can't wait to hear more! Happy Blogiversary,too! There's a surprise for you, over at my place! :) Cheers!

  25. Marguerite -- Thanks for the award. Looks like I'm going to be dreaming about food again tonight. Crab cakes! aah, they look so good.

  26. Interesting to hear about the birth of your blog! Looking forward to Part 2.

  27. "I write a lot but no money yet--that's why I need to curtail my blogging activity--so I can write to seriously try to make some money from it."

    well, Lee, as I said before you do have a very natural and brilliant talent for storytelling so I don't doubt your book will be great if you find a great plot and put in some great characters. You have the support of the blogosphere :)

  28. Paula -- Hope you enjoy.

    Dezmond-- Thank you as always. The support from the blog community means a great deal to me.


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