15th anniversary open thread

Make of it what you will.

Historical note: This site went live on 9 April 1996 with seven pages. Not all of them are still up. One of the dearly departed was the then-obligatory links page, which eventually was subsumed by the blogroll; another was something called “Tyranny of the new,” which listed every last update in reverse chronological order. That disappeared in 2000, when I started updating every day. (Before that, updates were on an as-needed basis, except for The Vent, which came out fairly regularly four times a month.)

Some ideas from the early days that have since been excised:

  • A section of 1996’s Communications Decency Act was intended to criminalize online abortion information. I am no great fan of abortion, but I took offense at this, and posted a list of local, um, service providers. (And yes, there was a list of pro-life counselors, at the very next link.) Eventually, most of the CDA was canned, and I saw no reason to maintain the list, though one relic from that period remains: a send-up of a then-well-known anti-abortion group.
  • “Your 15 minutes are up” applied the classic Warholian interval to various celebrities and concepts. The Wayback Machine actually has a 1999 copy. I’ve since used the phrase for a blog category.
  • “Forty-one with a glass ceiling,” in the Music Room, was a list of songs that peaked at #41 in Billboard. (The Cars had three of them.) I took it down after deciding that their lawyers might think I’d used too many of their chart references in a single page.


  • The dustbury.com domain was obtained in March 1999. At the time, the counter service I was using had recorded 6,444 visits; I then switched to Site Meter, and set the starting number to 6,445. The count is currently a bit over 2.1 million.
  • Busiest day ever was 12 May 2009, with 13,636 visitors, mostly due to an Instalanche on this item.
  • Originally everything here was hand-coded. I installed Movable Type in August 2002 for the daily bloggage, and put up about 7000 posts over the next four years. In September 2006, noticing performance issues, I scrapped the old database — all the old posts remained as static pages — and started over with a new permalink structure. This lasted two years, until it started taking five, six minutes to publish a post; I exported all those new posts to WordPress, then deleted both the database and the static pages, so as to avoid duplicate content. There are now about 9500 posts in the WordPress database.

If anything else is bothering you about this site, feel free to use the space below.

(Stuck to the top of the screen all day.)



  1. Michael D. Bates »

    9 April 2011 · 12:45 am

    Congratulations, Charles, and thank you!

  2. McGehee »

    9 April 2011 · 6:10 am

    More cowbell.

  3. Jeff Brokaw »

    9 April 2011 · 8:27 am

    Fewer Rule 5 posts, so I don’t feel the need to visit so damn often. [JUST KIDDING!]

    But in all seriousness, hearty congratulations from me to you Chaz – you’ve built yourself quite a brand here. Well done! It’s quite a legacy when you really look back on that body of work over 15 YEARS. Wow. The discipline to post so regularly and prolifically is a serious accomplishment all by itself. You rock.

  4. Tam »

    9 April 2011 · 8:49 am

    That’s a lot in blog years!

  5. fillyjonk »

    9 April 2011 · 10:02 am

    Congratulations. There are probably fairly few people in our culture with the persistence to be able to continue to do anything for fifteen years….

    This is one of my daily clicks, I often get my first laugh of the day from a post or from the clever titles.

  6. Brett »

    9 April 2011 · 10:16 am

    Congrats, Charles! Here’s to 15 (or however many you wish) more.

  7. BatesLine »

    9 April 2011 · 10:28 am

    Dustbury’s deci-sesquicentennial…

    The combination of interests produces enough strange search engine queries to justify a weekly feature highlighting the select strangest. Somehow he manages to write intelligently and amusingly about each topic he takes up. (I envy his brevity; as fait…

  8. View From The Porch »

    9 April 2011 · 10:31 am

    That’s, like, a million in blog years….

    Had I been aware of it, I could have pointed my shiny new Explorer icon at the web log of one Charles G. Hill, which is celebrating its fifteenth birthday today. By way of comparison, my first blog post is so recent that it was typed on the same comput…

  9. Jennifer »

    9 April 2011 · 10:55 am

    And you’ve managed to do it without ever being boring, trite or irrelevant. That is one incredible accomplishment.

    Honored to call you a blog friend, Mr. Hill. I tip my hat to you.

  10. Old Grouch »

    9 April 2011 · 12:13 pm

    Indeed. You’ve been posting for as long as I’ve had an internet connection!!

    I call myself “Old Grouch,” but your peformance makes me feel like a mere infant. Congratulations!

  11. Mike Pechar »

    9 April 2011 · 2:55 pm

    Chas Hill – the Energizer Blogger

    “You da man!”

  12. Kirk »

    9 April 2011 · 3:01 pm

    Congrats, Chaz! You have brightened my day or made me think more times than I can count these past several years.

  13. Jeffro »

    9 April 2011 · 3:05 pm

    You were an esteemed blogger back in the day when I first logged on, and you’re still going strong! That’s a lot of work, and it’s good to see I’m not the only one that appreciates it. May you have even more years of great blogging!

  14. sya »

    9 April 2011 · 3:39 pm

    Happy blogiversary! That’s one heckuva milestone. Here’s to many more…

  15. Old NFO »

    9 April 2011 · 5:00 pm

    Congratulations Sir! And many more!!!

  16. Kim »

    9 April 2011 · 7:33 pm

    Congrats on your milestone! I have no idea what you did technology-wise, but I truly enjoy your bloggage.

  17. Roberta X »

    9 April 2011 · 9:52 pm

    Yer mah Hero! (But you truly are).

  18. ms7168 »

    9 April 2011 · 10:36 pm

    Congratulations Charles! I didn’t join the fray until 2000 but have been a most frequent visitor ever since and shall remain!

  19. Mike McCarville »

    10 April 2011 · 4:00 am

    When I grow up, I want to be just like you, sir. Masterful writing makes for good reading…and repeat readers!

  20. Guy S »

    10 April 2011 · 11:17 am

    A big tip of the squid lid to you sir for your wit, wisdom, and upbeat take on things (in general). May you be able to continue doing what you do for as long as you take some measure of comfort (catharsis?) in same. We are all richer for your actions and efforts.

  21. Ellen Smith »

    10 April 2011 · 1:53 pm

    Happy Birthday! Not that it matters, but your spelling is really fantastic.
    Never once have I noticed any confusion about loose/lose. And I think that says something. I’m not sure what, but it does.

  22. Fishersville Mike »

    10 April 2011 · 6:15 pm

    15 years on the net…

    Dustbury celebrated the 15th anniversary of his blog Saturday. The first newspaper I worked at traced its roots back to 1797

  23. Don »

    18 April 2011 · 11:26 am

    Congratulations Charles! I’ll give you the highest praise I can…you, Sir, are an excellent read. Looking forward to the next 15 years of your wit and wisdom.

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