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« Love Thursday: March 6th, 2008 | Main | Look Who Cleaned Up »



photo by Alex Beauchamp

5 years ago, I had no idea what a blog was. Today it's become a fairly significant part of my life. I was trying to think back the other day about how it all happened, and then remembered. It started with a jewelry search. One day, I googled "jewelry suppliers", and stumbled upon It was like I had died and gone to heaven. All kinds of creative women pursuing their dreams, in one place. I sat for hours reading their stories. And then promptly got hooked on this thing called blogging. Now, even when I'm crazy busy there are at least ten sites a day that I feel like I have to visit. But it all started with Alex's site . So that made me wonder about everyone else. Do you remember the first blog that ever inspired you? I'm so curious to hear your stories too. 

Reader Comments (49)

Oh man. Here's a confession. I got into blogging because I had a little crush on a singer-songwriter named Denison W. back in early 2002. He happened to be keeping a tour journal on his website that was hosted on Blogger, which made me think that I should start a blog on Blogger too. He was also the first performer I photographed, and I became addicted to concert photography (which would later lead to meeting my current husband). This whole blogging thing just happened to coincide with the most tumultuous time of my life. My 1st marriage had just dissolved, I had "lost my religion" (conservative Evangelical Christian) and was questioning all the beliefs I had been raised with, and my dad, whom I loved dearly, was in the hospital dying of pancreatic cancer. I discussed everything on the blog. It became free therapy for me, and I was hooked. It didn't really matter to me if anyone read it or not, and I didn't try to promote it. Most of my traffic was from my concert photography anyways. But it was so cathartic to write about every little thing while I was figuring out who I was. Some of it was embarrassingly petty and silly. I think I can honestly say that I came of age on Blogger.

I believe the first blog I read obsessively was Chez Miscarriage by Getupgrrl which was brought to an end in October of 2005 after she had her son through a surrogate. I don't even know how I ended up on that blog. But it did lead me to other great blogs by other women, and I eventually found myself on Tracey's Picture This.

So that's the scoop on my blogging history! Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It's just in time for my blog's 6th birthday this Saturday.
March 5, 2008 | Registered Commentersarah-ji
Well, I'm very new to blogging. I started in September. I vaguely knew what a blog was a year ago, and if you had told me I'd be a devoted blogger back then, I would have laughed at you! But then my husband bought an iMac, and using iWeb, I created a website for my family that I keep private. I started a blog about my son so that his grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. can keep up with him. Then my husband suggested I start a site for myself, about my writing etc. I was wary at first, but my son was one year old, and I had not been writing for the first year of his life. I desperately needed a creative outlet. So I started my website, and I started the blog. I couldn't think of a better name for it, so I called it "Mama of Letters." I remember I typed Mama of Letters into google to see if the name was taken, and it wasn't, but I found Shawn's blog, "Letters to my Daughters" that way. (She has since changed the name of her blog to "Between the Lines.") I got hooked on her blog, and I got hooked on blogging. Now I have about a dozen blogs I visit - and it's growing. I find so many good ones. But I have to be careful about the time I spend on it.

I am very surprised at how happy blogging makes me. I'm writing more than ever. I started a new novel, and I attribute blogging to making my creative juices stir - exercising that muscle. Writing ideas just pour out of me now. And the people I meet - I feel like I have a new community. A blogging community. It's wonderful to connect with such creative women - like yourselves!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShelli
I started blogging after looking for information on my favorite tv shows and stumbling on Television Without Pity. I loved the writers and found many of them had these things called "blogs." As I started to read their blogs I found their blogrolls which lead me to the infertility bloggers, which is the peg of life I found myself in at the time. So, I started blogging my infertility under an anonymous blog.

When we finally got pregnant I stepped out of the blogging closet, started a new blog for family and friends to follow along on our adventures with the new baby. Now I blog for my mental health as well as keeping family and friends updated. I've made many friends through blogging, and wouldn't trade it for anything.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralli
Ironically it was you, Maile, who inspired me to start a blog. I guess I had blogged a little on my son's website (I didn't know it was called 'blogging') to keep everyone updated and I wrote rants, raves, and funny stories about my family on Myspace...but it never occurred to me to start a photography blog. Then I saw yours and thought it was just so fun and honest. Now there are several blogs that I have bookmarked and that I check everyday...including yours of course.
I have always enjoyed writing and am so glad to have found a way to combine writing and photography.....what a great creative outlet. Another bonus is getting to meet all these new bloggy friends who actually know what I'm talking about when I say Lightroom or CS3...Lol!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I remember a good friend of mine began blogging and I thought she was nuts. Like who has time for all that? But as time passed and I began to read some of the blogs out there in blog land I decided maybe I could start my own over there at, afterall, I am a homeschooler. Tentatively at first and then with great excitement I began blogging. Now I've settled into a happy little routine and still LOVE reading other people's blogs. The first blog I ever read was Yea Nancy!!!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
for me it was dooce. a friend sent me the link and asked if i'd ever read that 'blog'. i had no idea what a blog was but knew instantly that getting to publish my own words on the internet for free? that's up my alley, say what.
The first blog was On My Mind. It was a knitting blog. I was looking for free knitting patterns and advice. Her blog was charming. It gave a few tutorials and free patterns. I wanted to do the same and started my own blog. Because of blogging, my love of photography has peaked. I have read every photography book; white balance, lighting, composition, and post processing. I've praticed taking many shots. Learned to do some post processing with the free products or sites. I am planning on purchasing my first DSLR in a couple of months. I can't wait to see how far I take this new passion. And it all started with one knitting blog.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRosa
A bunch of writer friends and I all decided to start our own blogs. I think that was in 2005. Not sure what inspired us, but we blogged about our writing, writer's block, our characters, our page counts. After awhile my blog gradually drifted into less of a writer's blog, and more into a "this is my life" blog. I got more into photography and now my blog is filled with photos and my quirky view on life when "stuff happens".

Blogging is such a part of my life now. I so enjoy it. I enjoy taking the pictures. Processing the pictures. Writing the blog posts. It seems like everything I see these days says to me "hey, blog this!"
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKacey
Great topic Maile! When I started out it was totally in the Motherhood genre (I was asked to touch on the point and wrote a post about it -
And then I began to discover blogs in a variety of genres (art, photography, etc) and my world continued to open up.
Blogging has quite literally changed my life! And with Shutter Sisters, things only keep getting better! : )
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertracey
I started blogging after being actively involved in the forums for an exercise video game called Yourself!Fitness. Initially I created my blog for a spot to post a few pictures. It wasn't until almost a year later that I really got involved in posting and reading. That was in 2005.

Beautiful image, btw.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter*pixie*
For me it started out as a project to write every single day. I started on myspace because I didn't know anything about blogger or real blogs. That was a year and a half ago. After writing on myspace for 2 months every single day as a self imposed challenge a friend started a blog and sent me the was like the world opened up for me. What I am most thankful for is that it has afforded me a very easy way to connect with a solid community of women when I don't have many around me in my current situation. It is inspiring and uplifting to read others' stories and get such insight. A side bonus is that I will be turning the last year (or selected posts from the last year) into a baby book for my daughter and she will have a very real and detailed account of what becoming a mother was like for me, something I don't have and would have loved.
The friend's blog that inspired me is: she is a painter and homeschooling Mama with two girls, three really but one was lost very early. She is such a doll and is still always at the top of my list to check each day.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersummer
3 1/2 years ago my old high school prom date called to congratulate me on the birth of my daughter. I hadn't talked to him in ages. Always liked him, he always made me laugh. We talked a bit about the birth and how I was coping with all of the changes and lack of sleep. He asked if I read I hadn't really dabbled in the bloggy realm before and decided to check it out. She was hilarious and candid and I was shocked at her honesty. Started a blog that day. In the last year I've been inspired by the photography on I had been interested in photography all along but her you-can-do-it-too attitude really got me serious about pursuing my interest. Now I dream of all things photography.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMama DB
The blog that started me was based on a friend's wedding preparation (it's closed down now) and the issues she was working through before going down the aisle. I loved reading about her daily experiences - and soon realized that it would be a great way of getting the word out to my far flung family about the events going on in my life, my new marriage, and the renovations to our new home. It also became a great outlet to show my photography to the same family (without having to get out all the photo albums when we would occasionally see each other!).
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercotterpin

My first blog was also I love her style of writing and wish she would post more. The other blogs I started reading first were Andrea Sher's blog: and Pamela Barskey's blog at Great inspiration and great photos. Now I love shuttersisters and your blog.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLynn
oh yes i remember it well. having just had baby #2 a few years back, i think my hubby saw my need to connect to other mommies, no longer out in the work world and trying to maneuver through this new strange place called "stay at home". somehow he found Eve (of 3 faces of Eve) and got a good laugh out of her and sent her to me and that was it. i was hooked! she was (is) so funny and open and i would actually click on her blog every morning in anticipation of something, anything, new to make me laugh. then i would read other blogs from her favorties list and so on and so on. then i thought i'd try one as well. more as a way to share the life and times of us as a family and for a place where fam and friends could come see pictures of the ever growing thank you Eve! and thank you blog world!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkristin
I've only been blogging for four months, but my first inspiration was dooce. I write web content for my company's corporate site, and I've done some freelance magazine writing, but I wanted to start writing about things that were more personal to me. When I first named my blog Hugging the Midline (a yoga principle), I thought I would write more about yoga, but my site has evolved to be mostly slice of life type posts. I love blogging and I'm inspired now by lots of blogs -- life, photography, design, writing, parenting, green living, yoga. I also love that I've developed relationships with fellow bloggers, and my blog has even been a springboard for new conversations and deepening relationships with friends and family, a nice surprise for me.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMissy k
a friend of mine started a blog, and raved about how much she liked it and I decided to give it a try. Dooce and Amalah were two of the first blogs I got hooked on.

Over a year later, I am getting ready to start a photo blog (! inspired by many of the great photographers on this site) and have met so many wonderful people through this medium. I don't know what I would do without it.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
I actually started my first site in 1999 as a way to share my photography and random babble with friends and family. I had something of a blog (although each post was hand coded and didn't allow for comments.) When I installed a blog CMS in 2002 and actually received my first comment, it was from a stranger across the pond and it freaked me out a little.

Now, I work for a software company that enables people to blog, and this whole being public online thing doesn't freak me out as much anymore. I kind of like it.

Plus, I've met some really cool people online -- like you!

My two big inspirations were Spacegirl (who now blogs at and Pamela Ribon at -- who I later found out was being a little fictitious in her online "honesty" but I forgave her because her book made me cry laughing.

p.s. Is that you in the photograph? It's hard to tell. Love the hat, the skirt, the boots... seriously I need to trade a website for some fashion advice...
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKrystyn
I started blogging back in 1996, before I knew what blogging was. I had a little website I called Reflections Especially for Single Christians; it was born in my mind after I spent some time complaining there was very little on the web about living life as a (reluctantly) single Christian, other than sites focusing on the belief that God would, definitely, without a doubt, send you a mate if you believed purely and fiercely and patiently enough. I taught myself HTML and began posting my thoughts every week or so. I think the site lasted a couple of years. As my faith in evangelical Christianity faded, so did my interest in maintaining the site. Then back in 2003 a coworker mentioned her LiveJournal to me. I wanted a place where I could put my voice out there, religious doubts and all, and have it heard. I've been blogging ever since.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterW. Lotus
I remember stumbling on Alex's site and reading all the backstory of how she left corporate life to write. I loved seeing the world through her eyes.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternikkipolani
Several years back, my husband started reading various blogs. I was very skeptical. Then, in 2005, some good friends of ours asked us if we would like to start a local blog with them, and was born. We had to choose goofy super-secret internet names, so my husband became the Bosphorus, I chose Mrs. Eaves (I'm a font nerd) and our friends were Golden Apple Corp and her husband Atomictumor. The four of us all took turns posting. Many things have changed since then, but the blog became a tremendous resource during some very difficult times. The online blog community is wonderful.
At some point early last year, I noticed that every time I felt like putting a post up on the 'tumor, it would involve a picture. So I decided to start my own photoblog, and was started on May 5, 2007. I put up one photo each day.
I first learned about Shutter Sisters through and feel very blessed to have found such a warm, supportive community full of talented women.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Eaves
That photo is gorgeous!

A couple of years ago a friend of mine started a blog as a way to chronicle her life here in America for her family in New Zealand and France. She was honest, funny, and took beautiful photographs.

When we moved from my husband's hometown to a new farm several hours away she encouraged me to start a blog so our family and friends could keep abreast of our journey. I now have two blogs - one that is more personal for our family and friends, the other is all for me. It is an eclectic mix of all my interests - chocolate, family, faith, farming, photography, sewing, homeschooling.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCocoa
Of course I remember. My college roommate introduced me to all about a mother of triplets who shares her amazing faith in God and in her family. I just knew I had to document mine and my husband's life together in the same way. Now that the Air Force is moving us to another state, my blog will become an even more important means of communication with our family and friends.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
No, I don't remember the blog that first inspired me to open a public domain. I have been writing personal "stuff" on the internet since 2000 (via LiveJournal, also where I met my Husband) and so "blogging" has just been a sense of my reality since college. However, I am continuously inspired by so many to KEEP blogging. :)
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom
I am the dinosaur of blogging. I started blogging in the last century at diaryland and I don't even remember how I stumbled across it, but I remember one of the diaries (no one used "blog" back then) had a girl who wanted to write books and she was so awesome and beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. So I started there and have since had a blog pretty much everywhere to varying degrees of readership. The blog I have now isn't for readership at all, but just for family members who do not live where we do. The first blogs that inspired me, much like that awesome girl, were all wannabe writers who have since, very happily and with much awesomeness, published and done really well, thanks, in large part, to their online lives. I actually started to dislike blogs and had stopped reading them until I discovered the mom-blog-book a year or so ago and got hooked again although now it's all about hobby/crafting blogs.

I think I just can't ever stop reading and blogs are ever so much more exciting than the sides of cereal boxes.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertrains | boats
I mean to say mom-blog-BOOM, not book. D'oh.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertrains | boats
I also am pretty new to blogging. Simply Stork came about because my husband said my pics were being wasted just sitting on the computer...he also wanted to know some of the "back story" on the photos I take of the "littles" while he is at work. I take some interesting shots that is for sure...but he always said it's all in the "caption"...Simply other blog came about because I needed incouragement in taking photos and figuring out my camera. The crazy thing is way more than I will ever know.

My introduction to blogging was I love the way she captures her life with pictures. It's right up my alley.

March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimply
I'm a baby in the blogging world. I started last month and am addicted. My goal is to write something every day. It has been amazing and I'm loving it.

I started blogging after reading The Comfy Place:

Jen B. made me realize that the tomorrows may never come. I need to do, appreciate and live now. How amazing is it that someone halfway across the world can change a life with a few simple words.

And, I must say that photo is gorgeous! I love it! Happy blogging all!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShalet
The first blog I remember reading on a regular basis was A Little Pregnant, but the one that inspired me to start my own was Pundit Mom. She writes about politics and social issues AND her family. I read it and I started thinking, "I should start a blog about my kids and my family could read it and see pictures." But then when I started, all this other stuff came out!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLawyer Mama
I got into blogging before it even officially had that title. In my various hours spent wandering the internet in High School I came across a collection of personal sites that included online journals. I remember that it was on the 'manifestangel' site, but I don't remember the groups name. I do remember that the particular journal I read most was 'Drowining in Dreams' and it prompted me to start my own... ah the days of making a seperate html file for each entry and having to update the index page and the 'next entry' link on the previous post...
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenn
I'm just commenting again to say how much fun this is, reading everyone's responses. Thanks for posting this, Maile!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah - Ji
Oh, yes, yes I do. The blogbait that hooked me forever stands as a virtual tie in my memory between Posie Gets Cozy ( ) and hulaseventy ( ). Each of these women have inspired me from my earliest foray into the reading of blogs.

Alicia/Posy is the perfect combination of survivor, spitfire and sweetheart. Hula/Andrea is quirky and lovely and so beautifully fantastic/creative. Her Photobooth Fridays ( combined with Alicia's deeply moving post about her accident ( ) were the final straw for me. I started my own blog in April of 2006. I am so happy to say that I consider each of these women to be my friends.

I have collaborated with Alicia on her big recent project. Andrea and I have been trying to be in the same city at the same time for over a year now (it helps that she moved only one State away last year). Real friends. That I have never sat in the same room with. Imagine that. And there are others (Steph, Elena, Vanessa, Danette, you?) that I hope to see across a table from me one day. My small contribution to this blog world has brought me true connection and so much satisfaction over the past two years. Just think of the people that I would not have met otherwise.

Just think.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
Great topic. In a word: (ok, two words) Ali Edwards. (

After reading her book in Dec '07, I googled her to see what else I might find. Well, I found her blog, which lead me to Superhero Journal, Hula seventy, 3191 and many other amazing blogs by creative women worldwide. It wasn't immediate, but soon thereafter I began to think a little online forum of my own might be a good thing ... and it is a good thing in too many ways to enumerate here. But I'm grateful to Ali and so many others who opened my eyes and mind in this way.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
I stumbled upon your site from another blog. I have to say your pictures are beautiful. I have a sister in law who is really trying to learn more about photgrphy and I told her about your site. I will be checking back to see your picutres.

Have a good day-
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
Great photograph! I stumbled upon blogging after being involved with a fertility message board for five years. One of the women who I conversed with via the board all that time started a blog; it took off like crazy and I started reading her commenters' blogs as well. This is how it all seems to go - one blog leads you to another and to yet another. I am only semi-involved in that message board now but I am an avid blogger and have been for a few years, on and off. I really appreciate the community. I tend to remain on the outskirts of a few circles, reading blogs that a few same women also read. It's great to learn about different perspectives yet feel the commaraderie of being a mama-writer in this lifetime. It's really such a great thing - there are some super smart, amazingly talented writer-photographers out there, Kate, here, being one of my most favorite. Keep up the great work, Shutter Sisters - this is an amazing site as well - full of inspiration :). Blogs are my daily coffee, truly.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJo
wow...i love this question and i am loving the stories here. blogging began for me before they even called it 'blogging'. i had an online 'diary' at a site called ''. it was a little online community for other 'diarists' who found a community and connection sharing day to day tidbits and poetry and confessions. i needed the connection it brought into my very solitary life as a single mother. i love write as a form of expression and therapy...and to have found a 'group' of others who shared my love for the written word...the same things, well that made all the difference between being alone and being lonely to me.

i started up 'blogging' again about a year ago. i had my 4th baby and suffered deep well of darkness as post partum depression set in. i decided to use a 'blog' as a way to simply write the 'good' things about my life as i struggled thru that dark time. it was a way of healing for me and i promised myself that it would only include 'good' feelings and good things. i have so much to be thankful and grateful for and i knew this deep within, but the ppd was hindering me from 'feeling' it.

once i got back on blog remained a steadfast friend to me. i found that it holds {and still does} only good feelings attached to it. soon enough, i realized how friendships were being formed from readers, commenting on the things i shared...i was just amazed at how much wonder and goodness came from blogging....and to this day, i am hooked. i can't go more than a few days without visiting my favorite blogs.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentershelbi
I'm a journalism professor and so have eagerly followed the development of the blog from a journalistic perspective for years. I, quite frankly, was curious. I was drawn to the semi-voyeristic thrill of reading diary-like blogs -- and often admired the writer's bravery. I'm with some others who have commented here already -- Dooce is a favorite; but I really was drawn into Julie Powell's blog, which was later turned into the novel "Julie and Julia" -- the Julie/Julie cooking project.

I've dabbled in using blogs as a classroom tool (connecting students to each other and giving them a taste of writing for someone other than themselves or their teachers) and as a way to share photos and life details with family.

But nothing "took" -- not until I stumbled upon Ali Edwards' blog last year. That was it. I was inspired and now I'm a full-fledged blog addict. I started my own blog this January ( -- a way to share the photos from my 356+1 photo challenge -- and in the chaos of my current life as a working mom with twins, it's my calm in the storm.

Love Shutter Sisters. So glad to have found it!
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyn
For me it all started with Dooce. I was bored at work and reading the Chicago Tribune online. They had an article on getting fired from your job for blogging at work. After spending several days (at work) reading through her archives I started linking to other blogs and from then on I was hooked. About a year late I started mine to share my photos with friends and family. A lot of people don't understand the sense of community you can feel from blogging or reading other blogs. Sometimes I'll say something to my husband like "Kal had her baby today!" and he's like "Who?". When I tell him it's someone from a blog, he thinks it's kind of weird. I don't really blame him. Before I read blogs I might have too.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaige
A co-worker of my husband thought I'd like a blogger.. Jen Lemen ( from there I found Andrea Scher, and the rest is history. I owe a lot to blogs, I was a VERY different person when I started my first blog (about 4 years ago). Through a lot of very gentle souls I was able to write in a safe place, and eventually I would become a completely different person, for the better. I learned about art and about my creative side, about being a woman and loving being a woman.
March 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternatala
I stumbled across blogs accidentally at work and, because it was a very quiet time, I was able to spend quite a lot of time exploring.
One day I read a post on Children in the Corn
which had old photos with no names and it was as though a light bulb went on in my head. I felt I had to start blogging immediately to document my family life and I started my own blog The Magpie Files
that afternoon. I still feel an urgent need to record all the details and minutiae of our life - as though it is sand slipping through my fingers.
I have been inspired by Blackbird at Say La Vee
and by the vision of blogging described by the very courageous Sam at Toddlerplanet
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to record my gratitude to these inspiring women and all of other wonderful writers of blogs that I have read since that first lucky accident.
March 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlice C
I posted on my blog about it- it was Andrea from Superhero Journal. My how things are interconnected!
March 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlindsey
3 VERY different bloggers started it for me: was the first that i checked obsessively.
then (still love and visit several times a day) (a sweet friend, and she really propelled me into the possibilities of blogging)

now i've found this AMAZING creative circle that i truly can not get enough of, all spiraling around together:
(just to name a few...and right now i could name a couple of dozen, honestly)

the magic in all of this is that i feel like i've found my tribe. over this damn interweb. it's crazy. what it feels like is the salons of old...talking books, and art, photography, and color and design, and words...and...and...all the really important things. and to second what natala said above...learning about being a woman and loving being a woman.
March 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblissful*thinking
Hi Maile!!

My first 'blog' was on bebo and was designed for friends and family in the UK to keep up with us. Then I came across Melody at 'Slurping Life'!! Melody and her boys plus a friend in the US who used blogger was how I got addicted to blogging. I am currently trying to wean myself off it a bit in order to concentrate on 'real life' :-D
March 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterarizaphale
For me it all started with Kate at <a href="">SelfTaughtGirl</a>. She inspired me in ways difficult to express. She took me on her journey of self and I became a better person through her exploration of the world around her. She introduced me to Andrea, Alex and Keri. After nearly two years of reading I started blogging in 2005 and have never looked back! There are so many wonderful people out there!
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Actually, for some reason I can't the html to work.
March 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchronicler
thats for sure, dude
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