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Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort First Anniversary Edition

May 24, 2010 - May 24, 2011

Yep, amazingly enough, it’s been a full year since the first Southern Comfort post was published, and I figured the milestone shouldn’t slip by unannounced. I’ll mention again that SC began as a chance suggestion by a friend of mine, Pete, when he heard I was going on that long ride in July 2010. At the time, I had no real idea what a blog about the ride might include, or if anyone would even find it interesting. But Pete’s a pretty savvy guy (not to mention a world-class photographer) and I decided to take his suggestion to "blog" about the trip.

Southern Comfort became the name, not after the booze, but actually from what I was looking for. I was kicking around ideas for a title, Southern Comfort came to me, and I stuck with it. At the time, I was up to my fucking ears in the corporate/legal DC rat race and in desperate need of mental R&R.
So that’s how the blog started, first writing about my trip preparations, buying and installing bike equipment. Then came the daily entries about the ride...places I stopped...people I met. There was even one environmental rant after my trip to Grand Isle, LA, right after the oil spill disaster. 

When I got back from the ride, I thought about letting SC collect dust, but decided to keep it going after I figured out people were actually reading it. I added a couple write-ups about equipment that worked, or didn’t, and then moved onto posts about other biker events and weekend rides. Or whatever..... Even Fred's birthday party got a post! I figured it folks were actually reading the page, maybe even enjoying it a little, I'd keep going. I'm an amateur writer anyway, so it was fun for me.....

Yup....a little ink. A reminder of the best vacations I ever took....Once in a lifetime experience.

I’ve also written about my 2008 Softail Custom (best damn motorcycle Harley ever built...Period), and now I'm writing installments about my latest bike, the Joker, a 2008 Nightster, that I'm mildly customizing. 

Over time, Southern Comfort evolved into a journal, with work stuff left conveniently out, though I'll say now that it’s great to have a job in tough times, and greater still to have one that pays enough to support my bike habit and to finance an occasional extended adventure. Thomson Reuters has been good to me. And for sure, it’s great to have a boss that understands my need to go get lost on a twisty back road in Somewhere, USA. Thanks Joe!
To my surprise (and I'm proud of it) SC got marginally popular, and links to this blog can now be found on some motorcycle parts manufacturer’s websites! Lots of peeps also find it via Google searches, or from HD Forum.
The all-time favorite subjects people read about are East Coast Sturgis, my Kendon Trailer, the Pitbull Lift, and a few of the trip/rally articles. And it seems that anything that involves a topless girl or kinky sex gets more hits, but I just can’t figure out why......
Here’s some other stats on a year’s worth of Southern Comfort:
  • Over 9,150 visits....
  • 7,260 of those were from the US, but there were also
  • 334 from Canada,
  • 157 from Germany,
  • 136 from England,
  • 127 from the Netherlands,
  • and still more from India, Russia, Thailand, Slovenia and France, in order of number of visits. I’m not upset that France was in last place.
And last, but certainly not least, over the year, Southern Comfort has earned me a whopping $6.30 from people clicking on the ads Google puts on the page. Retirement can’t be far away, so keep those clicks coming in.......
Beyond the stats, I gotta thank all the guys and girls I ride with for making guest appearances and for the zany stuff y’all do that makes the events fun, creates the memories, and adds a little zing to the articles. There’s Linda, Charlie, Damien, Natalie, John, Bev, Cathy,  Swede, Oilcap, Debi, Ricky, Deb, Kirsten, Marianne, Kenny, Becca, Mark, Becky, Becky, Becky (lots of Becky's huh!?), Angel, Jim, Beth, Helene, Denise, Jack, Billy, Debby, Harley, and yeah...that F’n Fred.

A quiz! How many girls are flashing their boobs in this photo?

And yeah, the whole fucking city of New Orleans, the fine ladies of Rochester NY, Hooters Girls everywhere, and all my good friends at Patriot Harley Davidson in Fairfax, Virginia. Especially Marika, Irish Mike, Tim, Keith, Danny Boy, Mike, George, Vicki, Ruby, Mark, Geoff, Jeff, and Jeff (Sherpa)....and yeah, Alison, (now there’s a cutie....!!!!) I’d buy another bike just to talk to her....... LOL. And if I forgot ya, sorry ‘bout that.......I got lots of great friends all over the US and the UK.

Linda and Cowboy, partying on Bourbon Street!

 My girl, Becky, who just wouldn't come home with me.....But I haven't given up!

(don't peek)

Speaks for itself....

Charlie and Linda (might have) visited here...Just sayin'.

It’s been fun, really, and I’ve enjoyed the writing and all the fun comments and “Attaboys” from readers and even parts manufacturers/distributors. I certainly didn’t expect that. I even got an inquiry or two about magazines picking up the blog, or just an article here and there, but nothing’s ever come of it. Still, it was cool to be considered. Hell, come to think of it, I really didn’t expect more than a couple peeps to even look at the damn thing, and I sure didn’t expect to still be adding to it a year later.
So Happy Birthday Southern Comfort! Best wishes for another year of fun and good times with great friends...including those I haven't met yet! Can't wait, and July is coming...... Southern Comfort, Part II.