Back home again!

by admin on July 28, 2008

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but this blog has had a lull for the last week because I was out of town. I was helping my wife, Kay, sell her quilt books and patterns at the International Quilt Fair in Long Beach, California.

The world did not stop in my absence, of course. One very important thing happened: Juande Perea, whom regular readers of this blog know as the winner of the recently concluded Santa Cruz Cup, became the proud father of a baby girl, Lucia! Here is the photograph that he sent around. That’s Juande holding the baby, but I cropped it so that you only see the star of the show…  😎

This is a bit off topic, but one of the most interesting parts of my trip with Kay was the chance to talk with the other guests at the bed and breakfast. (We stayed at the Turret House, and I give it an enthusiastic two-thumbs up.) This morning we talked with a man named Bill Lamin, a just-retired school teacher from West Cornwall, England, who is on his way to Tonga for the coronation of the king. Turns out that he was a friend of the king (who was then crown prince) when they both studied at the same university in England. They got in touch again through Bill’s blog, and the king invited him to Tonga for the coronation! Talk about friends in high places! BBC radio is actually going to air an interview of Bill, the everyday Englishman invited to a royal coronation.

As if that isn’t remarkable enough, I should mention also that Bill’s blog is a fantastic story in itself. It is called “World War I: Experiences of an English Soldier.” The blog consists entirely of his grandfather’s letters from the front lines of World War I. Every blog entry goes up 90 years to the day after his grandfather first wrote it, so the effect is that it’s occurring in “real time.” Nobody except Bill knows what is going to happen next!

Bill’s blog has been a tremendous success, with several million page views. He said that it was doing okay until BBC television aired a feature about it, and then the number of visits absolutely went through the roof. It’s kind of interesting, this interaction of the new media and the old media. On the one hand, no one would have ever heard about Bill or his grandfather if it weren’t for this wonderful new medium of the blog. On the other hand, the path to blog stardom, as it were, still seems to lead through the old medium: television.

Perhaps I shouldn’t say “the path” to stardom, but “one path.” I’m sure there are some blogs whose success is truly viral. Nevertheless, I would still conjecture that the first time a blog gets publicized in a big way on TV, its viewership will take off like a rocket, no matter how successful it was before.

Anyway, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Bill seemed like a genuinely modest person who can’t believe all of these wonderful things that are happening to him!

One more piece of news, just for regular readers of this blog. For about the next month, I expect my posts will be rather sporadic, because I have two major and urgent deadlines within the next month. I will get my head chopped off… well, figuratively speaking… if I don’t make them. That means, unfortunately, less time both for chess and for blogging. Sorry! Hopefully, the projects will get done on time, and I will get back to my normal routine (with head intact) in late August or early September.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andres D. Hortillosa July 28, 2008 at 8:57 pm

My congratulations to Juande. I am sure we will miss you.


Andres D. Hortillosa August 20, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I have some news for you and your avid readers but I will wait until your return in September.



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