I’m with my buddy Val Prieto at Babalu Blog, I just couldn’t wait for 2009 to end. But all-in-all it’s been a good year for This Ain’t Hell thanks to all of you.
Our biggest stories of the year were;
1. The Inauguration Ball that (a) Obama attended (b) Obama didn’t attend, but so what, Joe Biden did, (c) was cancelled.
2. The Fort Hood shooter’s Officer Record Brief which stopped the media and the Army in thier tracks trying to paint him as a multi-tour combat veteran who went berserk at the thought of returning. Apparently we revived him, too.
3. Who can forget TSO getting pissed at the DHS memo?
4. COB6 holds the long-term traffic record for a picture he posted of Angie Harmon – we still get about 1200 hits/month to that picture.
5. We can hardly forget Carl Webb and Matthis Chiroux who generated a lot of traffic for us. Thanks for being such sociopaths, guys.
There was the time I saw Michelle Malkin and she remembered my name. And the time I posted a video of Joe the Plumber at a Tea Party and Hot Air and Breitbart linked it (without giving me credit). Smoking cigars with 509th Bob, (then LT) Nixon and Hooper at a Tea Party. Jimbo and me going to give grief to Lyndie England and she chickened out – so we drank beer instead. The time we raffled off Jamie.
I got to drink gallons of beer with Tankerbabe and Olga this year. I got yelled at by Genevieve Chase. I finally got to tell the USO Girls exactly what I think of them to their cute faces. I got to give Bill Roggio a drunk hug. I got hauled off to jail with furry handcuffs by Mrs. Grayhawk. We got to welcome Sporkmaster back from his tour of Iraq. I smoked cigars with Ponsdorf and Scott Swett.
You guys got TSO a new job. And we were in the funny papers;
We went over a million unique visitors in October and you guys have made about 20,000 comments. Oh, and we came in fourth in the Milblog portion of the Weblog Awards behind the three best milblogs on the net – who could ask for more than that?
Matt Burden, Blackfive himself, wrote about us in an industry magazine “Sometimes hillarious, sometimes deadly serious, This Ain’t Hell writes tough about tough issues.” I want that on my tombstone.
Yeah, it was a pretty good year, but I’m glad it’s over. Thanks to all of our readers for sticking it out with us and thanks to the bloggers who think that what we say is important enough to repeat to their readers. Most of all, thanks to COB6 and TSO for taking the time to help me build this tiny corner of the internet.
I hope your new year will be as great as I expect mine to be. Here’s mud in your eye.
The following is reposted from last year – give love to the folks who link here;
Kate at A colombo-americana’s perspective is a drinking buddy. She’s one of the first bloggers I met personally, She’s super smart and holds her beer real well – what more could you ask for in a buddy?
Speaking of great lady bloggers, I knew Skye of Midnight Blue before she became a star. She linked to me back on GOE I and we met, along with Kate at the ANSWER protest a year ago September. The three of us formed “The Troika” which turned into a beer drinking exercise more than anything productive. But Skye has been an important part of the growth of this blog, too.
Another super-smart lady is Nora at Spanish Pundit,who lives in Madrid. SHe’s one of the few Spaniards who actually think the jihadists are a threat. She blogs in Spanish and perfect English.
The folks at A Second Hand Conjecture are so smart, they intimidate me sometimes. I was so impressed with myself when I saw them link to some of my stuff with no prompting.
Those guys at Ace of Spades are my daily read. Ace linked to me back when the Scott Beauchamps thing was going on, but just that one time and again for TSO’s IAVA scoop. I think it’s because Ace found out that I’m of Skandi heritage.
Charles at Age of Hooper (The) and I did the Ron Paul rally together back on April 15th. He’s one funny guy, but I wish he’d write more. I think we have to set a date for beer drinking someday soon.
American Pundit keeps me up to date on stuff I miss when I’m writing or researching and can’t keep up during busy times.
Kate at An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings keeps me in stitches with her common sense – and her almost weekly links keep me in the blog business.
Another Voice is Zero Ponsdorf’s blog and now he spends so much time here, he doesn’t write at his own place so much anymore.
I resisted becoming known as a milblog for a long time because I was intimidated by the great writers over at The Castle Argghhh!.
I admit I have a huge crush on Pamela Gellar at Atlas Shrugs mainly because she was one of the first bloggers to ever link me. She’s a big, strong voice on the web and I’m proud to have been linked to her.
One of my happiest days as a blogger was when I checked my comments one day and found a comment from Henry Gomez of Babalu Blog telling me he’d linked to me and made me an honorary Cuban in his blog roll. It’s always been a daily read for me.
Ann Leary at Backyard Conservative was another of the first bloggers to link to me along with her fellow Chicagoan Marathon Pundit – between them, they’ve forgotten more about Barack Obama and Rod Blago than most of us will ever know.
Baldilocks linked to me the first time during the Beauchamps saga and I’m always surprised when I find her still visiting and commenting here from time-to-time.
Big Dog at Big Dog’s Weblog and I think we’ve met at a protest or rally, but we can’t figure out which one.
Bits Blog is so smart I’ll never figure out why they ever linked to me.
Bob Parks at Black & Right has a unique perspective on political issues that need to be read every morning.
I tried so long to get a link from Blackfive and finally scored on National Airborne Day. Since then I’ve tossed brews back with Matt and Uncle Jimbo and met Laughing Wolf at a barbeque. And I’m a fan of Jimbo and Dave Bellavia’s In The Crosshairs Wednesday show produced by Blackfive Media.
Kate at Blatherings doesn’t write much, but you’d better pay attention to what she says.
The Bloodthirsty Liberal is one of the most important blogs on the internet – trust me. I begin each day over there just to see what important point I missed reading the news. BTL is probably the only blogger on the East Coast who starts writing earlier in the day than I do.
Blue Crab Boulevard is another daily must read of mine just for Gaius’ unique perspective.
I envy Bob at Bob’s Blog – he has the greatest life and sometimes he writes about it.
Boker Tov Boulder, Israel Matzav, Solomonia, Kesher Talk and The Enigmatic Jew all linked to me the first time I did a post about a pro-Israel rally and then the other side of the argument. I stand with Israel and I’m proud to have them in my blogroll along with other Jewish blogs like Shawarma Mayor and Tygrrrr Express.
Bostonmaggie likes the Navy just a little too much, but I cut her slack because she’s one of the sweetest women on the internet, and I’m proud to count her among my friends. Speaking of the Navy, CDR Salamander linked to me the first time when I did the VFF rally last Spring and along with Chapomatic and Neptunus Lex they are my go-to guys for squi…er, Naval news. They also like our pictures of DC protests and rallies, God bless ‘em. I spent one night on a Navy ship in my twenty year career and I knew after that one night I made the right choice joining the Army.
A new blog to my blogroll is But, I’m a Liberal and I guess he’s a convert to our side but he’s so new, I haven’t spent a lot of time there yet – but I’m trying.
Buttle’s World was another of the first blogs to link to me back when I did GOE I. mRed at Invincible Armor has been a good friend since the beginning. So has Decurion of The Marching Camp. Thunder Pig was another of the first to link to us early last year.
C.H.U.D Busters is another attempt by Lt Nixon to use up all of Google’s server space. But it’s a great place to keep track of the folks who have no problem expressing their derision at the folks who serve in the military. Nixon is a good guy, even though he’s Navy.
Robin from Chickenhawk Express and I are so synched that the Left has at times confused us with each other. A lot of my success with this blog is creditable to her. She linked TSO and I up for Winter Soldier and got me my first exposure on Newsbusters.
Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee is one of the nicest guys I’ve never met. He’s been so helpful getting some my stuff noticed, I can probably never repay him.
We have a movie star in the blogroll at Confessions of a Closet Republican. Incognito even comes by and comments here sometimes – I don’t know who she is, but in my head she looks like those sultry blondes in the 1940s detective movies.
doubleplusundead is another important reason for our success – not only did he put us in the Moronosphere blogroll, if I write something marginally coherent, he links me up on Conservative Grapevine which is always good for a lot of new traffic. He’s doing real well at his blog, too what with all of his fancy-named co-bloggers and smart commenters, he hardly writes anything any more.
Another reasonably new link is D.C.Thornton who doesn’t write much, but you know what they say about brevity.
I almost met Dadmanly once – so close to him I took his picture at a VFF rally, but his is another blog that intimidates me because of the sheer volume of each of his posts.
DC Protest Warrior is one of concretebob’s blog along with United Conservatives of Virginia. Concretebob has made sure I got home from drunk-blogging and listened to my blathering while under the influence (BUI) – what more needs to be said? Bob does so much for everybody, he deserves his own post. He deserves credit for getting Code Pink tossed from their corner at Walter Reed on Friday nights and so much more he deserves all of our thanks. Bob is a co-blogger at The Talon along with Rurik, the stealth blogger at Winter Soldier from Veteran-American Voices, Rosemary from Rosemary’s Thoughts and Cao from Cao’s Blog .
Don Surber had me in his blog roll for a long time and now he doesn’t. Why, Don, why?
Dust My Broom is the absolute best Canadian blog – and Canada is our canary in the mine in regards to the whole Sharia/Muslim socialization thing we’re being led towards. And Darcey rates beer on Friday nights, but for some reason, I couldn’t find my beer rating a few weeks ago – it threw off my whole month.
As near as I can tell, e-Claire and Knowledge in Power are written by the same folks – the owner and I began our relationship with a spat that lasted about a minute – but she still sends me traffic occasionally, so I guess I’ve been forgiven for being a guy somewhat.
Fausta’s Blog is my daily read for what the blogosphere is going to be talking about in the next few hours – she’s always firstest with the mostest. Love those fiery Latin women.
Flopping Aces is what I hope to become someday – a great crew of writers, good solid research. Curt was one of the first bloggers to link to me and got my GOE I pictures out to the world. Wordsmith at Sparks From the Anvil is one of the Flopping Aces bloggers who linked to me early at his own place.
My crush girl is Tankerbabe from From Cow Pastures to Kosovo. A lot of folks talk about helping the troops and letting them know what we think of them – TB is right there with the guys all of the time doing stuff we can only dream of doing for them. She introduced me to Yankee Mom who blurted out “You’re Jonn? I love you.” which normally would cause me to blush, but it was in front of my wife – so I got knocked in the head a few times on the way home. Other bloggers who keeps me up on stuff for the troops are Long Island Girl and Some Soldier’s Mom,
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit is hands down the nicest guy on the internet. He always gives me credit when he borrows stuff and he always answers my emails – someday, I’ll buy him a beer or twelve, but I’ll never be able to repay him.
Grouchy Old Cripple is the most irreverent guy on the internet. If you want to read your own dark thoughts expressed more eloquently, Denny does you only better. His link to COB6′s “I’m voting Democrat because…” is what drove all of our traffic that week.
I’ve been trying to get Protein Wisdom to notice me for more than two years – finally I gave up. This month they’ve linked to us twice.
It took me more than two years to get a link on Hot Air and it took one of our readers to pass a tip to them on TSO’s IAVA story to get it. And I think the picture of our Russian babe, Anna got the second link.
The Velvet Hammer at Ironic Surrealism II is a conservative redhead, that’s all I needed to know.
Jammie Wearing Fool is another of the nice guys as far as this blog is concerned. He’s done a lot to get this blog’s name out there and I can’t thank him enough.
Jules Crittenden finally linked to this blog with the Willie Williams phony soldier post. Geez, who knew Willie was that much entertainment?
Kamangir is written by an Iranian student living in the west. When the Islamic Republic finally falls, it will be in large part to Kamangir’s translations of their news outlets.
Liberty Peak Lodge is another daily read – apparently a lot of you read it because he’s always mentioning the traffic he gets that originates from here.
What can I say about Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs? Every time he posts a link from us, I feel like I’ve climbed Mount Everest. Sometimes his own posts make me feel uncomfortable and he takes on foes I wouldn’t dare touch. That’s probably why he’ll always be a giant among the rest of us. I’m grateful that he feels some of my posts deserve a place among his, and I never take that for granted. He certainly doesn’t need my endorsement, but he’s got it regardless.
I remember Marooned in Marin when he was actually in Marin County. We’ve missed each other at least three times this last year, but 2009 is our year – I can feel it.
Michelle Malkin gave me my break. She used to link to almost everything I sent her, until recently, but I have no expectations. She’s a great blogger and we all owe her a debt for giving us a bit of legitimacy. She linked to the Code PInk shoe toss the other day and got us about 9,000 hits in two days.
VanHelsing of Moonbattery is another of those really nice guys who’s always been helpful and always throws me a link when I ask. I owe a lot of people a lot of beer.
Thanos at Noblesse Oblige is right up there among the good guys, too. He’s always been willing to help out – like when LGF went down right when I had a big post, he threw the link up on the LGF alternate blog which is still bringing in traffic a year-and-half later.
Pajamas Media surprised me with a link one day. On the day Al Gore won his Nobel Prize, I banged out a post expressing my displeasure while still in my pajamas (appropriately enough) and by the time I got to work, they’d linked it one of their posts. How much easier can the job get?
Plumb Bob Blog surprises me. Phil is so damned smart and he says things that no one else is saying – I’m surprised that he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. From them I learned that the secret to successful blogging is to do the exact same thing everyone else is doing – only different.
Protest Shooter is another good buddy of this blog who takes great and important pictures of the Left in Berkeley and San Francisco. I’ve always said that PS and Zombie are my mentors. And I can’t mention photographers and mentoring without Ringo the Gringo who was among the first to compliment my photography and encourage me to continue.
Psycho Phil likes beer – go have one with him.
QandO‘s Bryan Pick is my mole inside VFF. Now everyone knows, so I guess he’s not really my mole anymore. I need to block out time to read Q and O because once I start reading I can’t stop because they’re so enthralling.
Laurie at Soldiers Angels New York was one of the very first comenters here and one of the first to link to me. We’re pretty good friends, I made my cousin Scott (A Patriot Guard Rider) look her up at one of her events to thank her for me. She’s also one of those deer huntin’ women – she sent me a Sarah Palin-type picture of her and her deer last year.
Sister Toldjah was one of the first blogs I ever read and her easy style is so hard to copy, I decided I’d just be myself. But she’s still a daily read.
The Foxhole‘s GI Jane and I have been buddies for years back before she became famous – back before we were both bloggers. We tossed beers back together a some club in DC until she drank me under the table. She’s been a big help too, especially when she scooped the whole blogosphere with an email from Beauchamp’s first sergeant.
But the sweetest girls on the internet are at USO Girls. I swear I need insulin shots before I click the link every day to read about their latest exploits.
If you haven’t seen Rusty Shackelford at The Jawa Report take down a jihadist website, you ain’t seen nuthin’.
The crack young staff at The Hatemonger’s Quarterly are among the funniest guys on the internet, I swear.
I about fell off my chair when the folks at Weekly Standard Weblogs linked to me the first time. I went through the floor when they did it the second time.
I met Melanie Morgan at GOE II and I’m always surprised when she links to me without me having to say a word to her.
The Gentle Cricket is a quiet guy. For some reason he thinks finishing med school is more important than blogging.
Rochester Conservative and I are homeboys – we had similar life experiences in the Rochester, NY area at different times. It’s like we’ve known each other forever, but we’ve never met.
The Tanker Brothers were another of the first to link to me back at GOE I. For CDATs they ain’t bad. Another of the blogs that linked to me while he was deployed was Sergeant Grumpy, but he’s back and safe now.
William Teach at The Pirate’s Cove is another of the nice guys. he links here almost every weekend and hardly a week goes by that he doesn’t leave a comment. I don’t what I did to deserve his attention, but I’ll keep it up, I promise.
Snapped Shot first made it on my screen when Associated Press decided to pick on him for making fun of their pictures. I’m still boycotting AP over that. AP Check reminds me every day why I quit using AP for a source – unless I criticize them. But not nearly as well as B-Media does. On the same page is McClatchy Watch who critiques the McClatchy papers – or what’s left of them.
The Venezuelan Blogs that keep an eye on Hugo Chavez for me in my blogroll are
Martha Colmenares (in Spanish), and Daniel at Venezuela News and Views. Jungle Mom at The Jungle Hut used to watch things in Venezuela, but Hugo booted her and the other Christian missionaries out (and brought in the Hezbollah missionaries). Now Jungle Mom blogs from Paraguay (is that cool or what?).
Some of the other huge names in blogging that shocked me when they linked the first time are
Redstate, BlogmeisterUSA , Stop the ACLU, Wake Up America, Right Wing Nut House, The Anchoress, Weasel Zippers, and Wizbang, Thanks, guys.
Tom The Redhunter I met at the Walter Reed victory rallies on Friday nights. He’s got a brilliant blog about the way the war in Iraq is being fought to a successful conclusion.
Coby at The Dillard Doctrine is another guy I’ve met – most notably outside of the National Press Club when Jeremiah Wright spoke there. He’s also the guy that the media reported was a veteran of the USS Constitution (a wooden ship) instead of the USS Constellation. We still chortle over that one.
The Sniper? Who’s that? Actually, they snagged one of my photos from one of the protests and I tracked it back to them. Then I couldn’t resist being a regular reader, and finally I forced TSO over here at gun point with the promise of riches, endless beer and cheap women.
David at The Thunder Run probably has the record for links to us. Pam from Right Voices and I had a disagreement a few months back, but I think we’re cool now. I used to get traffic almost daily from Asher Abrams at Dreams Into Lightening, and I liked that, but not so much anymore.
Ya know it took me a month to write this post and I ran out of stuff to say about all of these great blogs who showed the good sense to link to me. I’m grateful and I want to include everyone, so even if you didn’t get a personal introduction, your link is still appreciated as much as the others. Thanks so much.
And they’re all blogs ya’all should be reading.
Bear Creek Ledger, Hollywood Does Conservative, Pros & Cons, Jamul Blog, jcdurbant, Molten Thought, Military Families Voice of Victory, Red Alerts, Right Truth, Right Wing Champ, Road Sassy, ROK Drop, Schmaltz und Grieben, Splinder, SWAC Girl, Talking to the Boys, The Avid Editor’s Insights, The Barnyard, The Doctrine of Original Intent, The Line is Here, The Quincy Pundit, The Radio Patriot, They rode on, Tired of all the Liberal Rhetoric, True North, Vocal Minority, Wolf Howling, WSJ Online; Washington Wire, Yellow Limes, ZardozZ, zTruth, In Partibus Infididelium, Infidels Are Cool, Conservative Libertarian Outpost, Constitution Club, Cookie Crumb Express, Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group, Cuanas, Pal2Pal, Pat Dollard, Once More Into The Breach, Neocon News, Nine-sixteenths, again, Defend Our Troops, DocWeaselBlog, Experimentum Crucis, Granite Grok, Locomotive Breath 1901.
Happy New Year to all and here’s hoping for a better one next year.