Friday, November 24, 2006
So this morning I'm out walking the dog over on the nearby campus of Houston Baptist University. As usual, I try to pay for the privilege of enjoying their running path and sidewalks by picking up and disposing of some litter, and I pick up what looks to be the plastic wrapper from a small cake or pastry. The largest word on the wrapper is a word I didn't recognize: "Vainilla." After some thought, I concluded it was probably Spanish, and confirmed that when I got home to the internet. It's probably pronounced something pretty close to "Vah-ee-NEE-ya." But I didn't recognize it as a Spanish word at first. Rather when I initially read it, I attributed an English pronunciation to it, resulting in a nonsense word: "Vain-IL-la." Sort of like a mix between "vain" and "plain vanilla."
"That's me!" I thought immediately.
One thing that I believe is intrinsic to the notion of blogging is that one does it for fun, and only when and if one's so inclined. Thus, one doesn't owe anyone else explanations or apologies if one stops. Nevertheless, I apologize to those of you who've wasted clicks looking for new content here over the last year, and I thank what turned out to be the surprising number of you who emailed or otherwise contacted me with encouragement to return.
If you were wondering:
I just haven't felt like blogging for about a year. Some of it was frustration and burn-out from my frantic, futile efforts to defend the Harriet Miers nomination in October 2005. (No, I'm not going to blame the Republican party's loss of Congress on that intra-party bloodbath, and Justice Alito is fine. But I'm still angry at the elitism and the refusal to trust the President that brought down that nomination, and I despair of the chances of a courtroom lawyer ever getting a seat on the Supreme Court bench, even though that's a perspective that's badly needed there.) Another cause was a prolonged case of the blues that, in hindsight, had mostly to do with my employment circumstances from mid-2005 to -2006, and that seems to have lifted now that I'm again in solo practice.
I need to do some site maintenance — clear out about a zillion spam comments and such. And I might again find my blogging muse. We'll see.
In the meantime, I've much to be thankful for, including continued good health, fabulous kids, loyal clients, and a renewed enthusiasm for my law practice. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving as well.
Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Vainilla and sent a trackback ping are listed here:
(1) R. Steven Cox made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 11:00:34 AM | Permalink
Most pleasantly surprised to see a post.
R. Steven Cox
Glad to see you back. I had just started reading you and had worked thru the archives when you went on hiatus. In any case, glad you're back. Kept you on my blog roll, but marked you "dormant." Will change that status immediately.
Thrilled to see a post from you!
I took some extraordinary steps to check on your welfare in recent months, including calling you at work.
Glad you're well.
No apologies needed. I'd rather have your substantive and thoughtful commentary one a year than much of the vain drivel that passes for reasoning in most quarters. I too was quite disappointed in the Harriet Miers fiasco, thinking that the right missed the forest for the trees. But they've done that quite a bit lately, haven't they?
I'll be here whenever you post. You're in my favorites rss feed.
(5) Old Coot made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 6:49:38 PM | Permalink
Damn, it's good to hear from you again! I missed your doses of common sense mixed with vinegar; hope you'll find the energy to continue.
(6) elvula made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 7:53:59 PM | Permalink
Wahoo!! Beldars' Back!
The world's kilter just settled out a bit...
(7) Diffus made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 7:55:33 PM | Permalink
You disappear after the 'stros lose the Series, then reappear on the day the Forces of Darkness were vanquished in Austin.
Coincidence or not, welcome back. I've missed your writing very much and do hope you find your blogging muse again and often.
Yippee! Whoo Hoo! Missed you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.
(9) Greg D made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 8:14:02 PM | Permalink
Welcome back, I've missed you. :-)
Echo-ing Old Coot and many others, you've been missed.
Glad to hear you're still of sound body and mind.
(11) DRJ made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 9:31:26 PM | Permalink
I am glad to see your post. The blogosphere isn't complete without you. Plus, as one Plan II'r to another, you know what I mean when I say I needed something to cheer me up.
Can't keep a good trial lawyer down.
Great to hear your voice!!!
(13) Charlie made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 10:26:48 PM | Permalink
What a nice holiday treat! Welcome back.
(14) PC14 made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 10:55:33 PM | Permalink
Beldar's Back In Town!
(15) Richard made the following comment | Nov 24, 2006 11:41:03 PM | Permalink
Glad to see you back. We need your voice of sanity now as much as ever. Thank you.
Des Plaines, IL
(16) Bench made the following comment | Nov 25, 2006 2:14:02 AM | Permalink
I am glad you're back. I don't know if it helps you to know that strangers half a world away care enough about what you write to be thinking of you and hoping for your success, but if it does, know they do.
(17) Ric Locke made the following comment | Nov 25, 2006 8:52:18 AM | Permalink
Hope your muse encourages you to continue. I'm one of the ones who was disappointed when clicking your link didn't yield any new content.
Yes, vainilla is Spanish, pronounced pretty much as you figured. It means "vanilla", big surprise. If you like snack cakes, cookies, etc. you should try the various Mexican offerings. They tend to be less sweet than Li'l Debbie and the like, and because they're sweetened with sugar instead of "high fructose corn sweetener" they taste better (at least to me.) If some of the suspicions popping up lately have any basis, they may be a little less bad for you, too.
(18) Stephen made the following comment | Nov 25, 2006 11:37:45 AM | Permalink
Welcome back. You've been the first stop every day for your blogroll, and now new entries by the proprietor!
Wonderful to see you back.
(21) Bill M made the following comment | Nov 25, 2006 1:16:19 PM | Permalink
Let me second...third...fourth...whatever!!! Welcome back.
(22) Ridolph made the following comment | Nov 25, 2006 3:12:02 PM | Permalink
It's your fault the Democrats won Congress, due to your lack of posting. But welcome back anyway. Try not to screw up the country this time.
Welcome back, Beldar!
You've been missed, but I know what you mean about blogging. I'm on vacation from it too.
Missed ya. Just got the word from Patterico.
(26) wtxsungoddess made the following comment | Nov 26, 2006 4:41:19 PM | Permalink
Welcome Home! However, respectfully disagrees, knows Beldar from long ago..and would never think he is vanilla.
(27) Royko made the following comment | Nov 26, 2006 8:02:42 PM | Permalink
Glad to read you are back.
Life seldom works out as we plan, but it is a challenging journey.
Beldar, damn it is good to hear from you. I was a bit worried about you there at first. I even tried to call you at the office to check on you but didn't make it past your secretary. (I think she might have been a bit wierded out by the call.) Granted blogging is a voluntary "for fun" sort of thing but the least ya could have done is tell us you were going on hiatus so we wouldn't worry about ya.
I'm gald you are back.....
I was worried. After about six months of not seeing anything on the blog, and not getting any answers to email, I even went as far as calling your secretary at work, but when she assured me that you were alive and well, I saw no need to bother you.
But your return to blogging inspires me - my last post to Neo Warmonger was in August, and I just haven't felt like posting anything since, but if you could come back after such a long break so can I.
Wow! What a great surprise to have you back! Made my day, week, month!
(31) Kathy made the following comment | Nov 29, 2006 7:08:13 PM | Permalink
Welcome Back. I am probably one that would click through to see if you were back. Instapundit has an announcement.
Glad to have your perspective back.
*does Snoopy's Happy dance*
(33) marla made the following comment | Nov 29, 2006 11:37:18 PM | Permalink
We were worried about your well being....glad you were just taking time off and it was not a health set back. I must confess I too had considered calling your office to confirm if you were alive or not. So much time passed I just assumed you had died....so glad I was wrong... WELCOME BACK!!!
(34) Carl Pham made the following comment | Nov 30, 2006 12:28:32 PM | Permalink
Good golly, the man is back in the saddle again. Huzzah!
I, too, feel like blaming you for the fact that Nancy Pelosi -- Nancy Pelosi!!! -- is now going to be Speaker. Where was the voice of reason when the macaca was flying? Oh well. We get the government we deserve, I guess. An unserious people -- or at least people in an unserious mood -- have elected an unserious government for risible reasons unworthy of a daytime soap opera. Better luck next time, America.
Great to have you back, Beldar, despite our (respectful) disagreements over Miers. (I will needle you one more time by pointing out that Justice Alito has, in fact, tried cases to juries - but I still agree that it would be a fine thing to get someone with a civil litigation background on there). Anyway, I'm putting you back on my "favorites" and blogroll.
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