I’m back

computer frustration.gifNo, I really didn’t intend to take almost a week off from blogging without letting you know.
But as I noted on Twitter a few days ago, when you think it’s about time to change the company that hosts your blog, it’s already too late. But more on that later.
The good news is that with the help of the trusty and multi-talented Deji Osinulu, HCT is back up and running. Some of the old images won’t show for awhile and we’ll be making some technical tweeks over the next few days. But the new host company (Arvixe) appears to be quite capable and responsive, so I do not anticipate any further problems.
Thank you for all the emails and social media messages during my brief absence from blogging. And thanks most of all for reading HCT.

Tech update

79404-CurseWordSymbols Sorry about the problems accessing the blog over the past couple of days. The blogís host server went down, so everything had to be migrated to a new server. It looks as if things are working reasonably well now.

Be sure to check out Fridayís post on the developments in the Enron-related Nigerian Barge case. What a strange, wild ride it has been.

Thanks for the patience and for reading HCT.

A change in blogging seasons

blogosphere network map-1 When I started this little blog a bit over four years ago, the blogosphere was a different place. The pioneers of blogs were well-established and had created a viable vehicle to enhance communication of information and ideas, but the blogosphere was a much smaller place. My initial goal was simply to communicate more effectively with an eclectic email group that I had maintained for about five years that was comprised of about 100 friends and family members, mostly businesspeople, clients and former clients, academicians, lawyers, and doctors.

I initially informed no one about the blog other than the members of that email list and figured that, at best, most of them would take a look at it every week or two. Much to my surprise, hundreds and then thousands more began reading it almost immediately. As one sage regular reader apprised me, "Kirk, the success of your blog is conclusive proof that a large number of people don’t have enough to do."

As anyone reading this blog knows, the blogsophere has exploded over the past four years into a key information source and communication device that even few of the blog pioneers predicted. Specialized blogs in such diverse areas as law, business, economics, medicine, education and politics (among others) have fundamentally enhanced the distribution of information and the communication of ideas. As I mentioned in a presentation that I gave on blogs last year at the State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Seminar, if a lawyer today is not at least periodically reading the specialized blawgs that are addressing the key issues, developments and ideas that are related to the matters on which he or she is providing service to clients, then that lawyer almost certainly is not providing the best quality of service to the clients that is currently available in the marketplace of legal services.

As with many things in life, my blogging over time fell into a rhythm of about 15-17 posts per week, usually three a day on weekdays and a single post on the weekend days. Inasmuch as I also maintain an active family life and a busy law practice, that output was sometimes challenging to maintain, but the benefits of doing so far outweighed the cost in time expended — I have made dozens of new friends through blogging and gained a far richer understanding of many issues and ideas through the blogospheric discussion of them.

Now, however, the time has come for my blogging season to change. Over the past couple of days, my family and I have had to confront a most difficult crisis in our lives. Please don’t be alarmed — the crisis does not involve my health, which continues to be blessedly excellent. Moreover, I am blessed with a wonderful wife, great children and a loving, supportive family who make dealing with these inevitable occurrences in life much easier and more manageable. My family and I will come through this chapter of our lives just fine.

But in the end, my time is finite and the two most important customers for that time are my family and my clients. My family needs more of that time now, and my clients don’t deserve any less, so I am gladly cutting down the time I previously used for blogging to accommodate my family. That’s not a tough call.

I won’t be leaving the blogosphere completely, though. I will continue to post on the topics that I have addressed over the past four years when I have the time and note an issue or idea that particularly stimulates my interest. My posts just won’t be as frequent as they have been. Thank you for making this blog such a fulfilling experience for me and please continue to check in on my little corner of the blogosphere sandbox when you have a moment. Hopefully, there will always be room in your life for a little clear thinking.

Administrative note

SpamBox.jpgI’ve had to turn off comments for awhile because of an extensive spam attack. I will turn the comment feature back on once I’ve figured out how to stem the attack, which should be shortly.
Inasmuch as I moderate comments, none of the spam makes it on to the blog site, but it’s still easier simply to turn off the comment feature while modifying the spam defenses to deal with the attack.
It’s always something.
Update: I’ve decided to require TypeKey authentication for comments. I would have preferred not to do so, but authentication provides a strong component in the defense against comment spam. I hope the nominal registration requirement for authentication is not too much of a bother. Thanks for the patience.

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving-turkey.jpgLight blogging will be the norm over the next several days as I enjoy the holiday with my family and, on Friday, travel to College Station for the annual rivalry game between the Longhorns and the Aggies.
The 10-0 Horns are an uncharacteristic 27.5 favorite in that annual grudge match and are 9-1 against the spread during this magical season that appears to be heading to a Rose Bowl matchup with USC for the BCS National Championship. The 5-5 Aggies are only 3-7 against the spread this season, which reflects that this particular Aggie team has not met the expectations of the betting public, much less its rabid faithful. So, this one could definitely be a blowout, but the sociological implications of Texas v. Texas A&M are always entertaining to experience regardless of the score.
As you enjoy the holiday with friends and family, take a moment to read this heartwarming story by Clear Thinkers favorite Mickey Herskowitz, who has been the best Houston sportswriter over the past generation. Mickey is one of the wonderful people that makes Houston such a special place.
Have a joyous and restful holiday, and thanks for reading Houston’s Clear Thinkers.

Note on comments

I’ve had to close comments for the time being to thwart a fairly large comment spam attack over the past couple of days.
Inasmuch as my blog requires that I approve all comments before they are published, the comment spammers’ spam never makes it on to the site. You would think that they would ply their spam elsewhere, but the robots they set up to send out such drivel don’t know that the spam doesn’t ever get published. So it goes.

Tsunami Relief Donation

I have added a hyperlink on the right side of the blog for Amazon’s Red Cross Tsunami Relief Donation page.
The power of the Internet allows us to make a donation quickly and easily to help subsidize relief efforts for this disaster. If you are financially able to do so, please take advantage of this wonderful resource. As of this post, the Amazon page has generated $1.9 million in donations for the relief effort.
If you prefer to make your donation through another organization, The Command Post has provided this extensive listing of hyperlinks to various relief organizations.

Spreading Holiday Cheer through Amazon

If you, like me, purchase a boatload of holiday gifts through Amazon.com, then you can help support this blog by clicking the “Holiday Shopping @ Amazon” link on the right side scroll bar. At no additional cost to the purchaser, Amazon’s Associates program pays a small commission to this blog for any items purchased while accessing Amazon through that link. A number of other fine blogs are also in the program, (Virginia Postrel and Marginal Revolution to name just two), so I encourage you to use Amazon by clicking such a link and help support your favorite blogs during this Holiday Season. Thanks!