Way back in 1998, I got up to the 100th installment of this series, and disclosed at the time:

[T]he idea wasn't to get an audience; it was for me to get a few things out of my system. Or perhaps not so few: one hundred of these tedious little screeds? Why, I could have used that 300k of server space for, say, two nice photos of Yasmine Bleeth.

Back then, these pieces were shorter: 3000 bytes was typical. Today the average is a hair under twice that. This is directly attributable to the fact that I started doing daily updates in the summer of 2000, and it made more sense to move longer pieces under the Vent label. And besides, in 1998 I hadn't actually bought this domain yet that would happen in the spring of '99 and therefore I had to deal with the space limitations imposed by my ISP of the time: 20 megabytes, and not one bit over. The fact that this was twenty times as much as I had had in 1996 didn't make me feel any better about it. (The present-day version of this site now sprawls over a couple of gigabytes.) And #100, a mere three paragraphs long, was, and is, the shortest Vent ever. Number 104, which showed up a month later, held the title of longest Vent ever until 2010, when it was displaced by #693.

Number 200, two weeks before the daily updates began, contained some fairly useless statistical material about the 199 articles that preceded it, thereby anticipating this one. There was no such wrapup for #300, which was a response to a challenge from another blogger. However, #400 said this:

No way am I going to claim that this is the longest-running regular feature on the Web if you know of one that's been around longer, by all means let me know and I'll give it a plug but still: four hundred of the damned things? The phrase "glutton for punishment" comes to mind, and stays there.

Number 500 was, of all things, a look at what Newt Gingrich ("political revolutionary or ethically-challenged weasel"?) was up to. Number 600 was also political: my preferences for the State Questions on the 2008 ballot. However, #700 was reasonably nonpolitical, as its title ("Not cute") suggests.

So: what to do with #800? How about a nice vintage photo of Yasmine Bleeth?

Yasmine Bleeth from the 1990s
The Vent

  10 December 2012

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 Copyright © 2012 by Charles G. Hill