Recently a friend was immobilised, recovering from an injury — and I could think of no better gift than sending her links to my original newsletters.
Mostly I am writing this post for myself (recurring theme in this blog) so I have a page with easy links to all my early BJR Newsletter brilliance.
So, here it is — the historical archive of the BJR Newsletter (and eventually, blog).
The Newsletter Era 1995–2003
Upon starting my first job, I wanted a way to keep in touch with friends, or at least invade their privacy and force them to receive updates on my life. The dawn of the purely email-based “BJR Newsletter”, full of third person self-references and Dave Barry rip-off humor.
At one point the newsletter list was around 500 people.
The First BJR Newsletter
The brilliance began with the very first newsletter in July of 1995!
1996–2003 Newsletters by the Year
- 1996 — Life in Austin, working for Trilogy, a trip to Jamaica, and a project in Milwaukee.
- 1997 — Leaving Trilogy. Two months biking in New Zealand. Moving to California.
- 1998 —Two months cycling in New Zealand, co-founding Reactivity with John and Brian, living in the Bay Area for one year before returning to Austin.
- 1999 — Moving back to Austin. Buying my first house. Getting married (in hindsight not such a great idea). Approaching Y2K.
- 2000 — Reactivity Boston opens. Reactivity gets funded. BJR’s life begins to unwind.
- 2001 — Losing Dad, Leaving Reactivity (the first time), and finalising my divorce. A 30 day trip cycling around Ireland, and a new job at a stealth startup that never needed to be stealthy (AlterPoint).
- 2002 — Heads down at AlterPoint. The plot thickens. My sense of humour deteriorates.
- 2003 — Selling the house and moving into the nicest garage ever. Back at Reactivity, living life on an airplane!
Blogging. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
2004 — Enter, Livejournal
The first blog I used was LiveJournal. Not bad, but not great. Okay, the default look and feel was bad.
I started blogging because I wanted to record my experiences during my kidney transplant in 2004. I also wrote book reviews (meh) and posted transplant related articles, both of which I’ve tried to omit here and just keep the personal stuff.
The blogging starts on Dec 11th with two failed attempt at surgery (Catastrophe), then follows with the lead up to the transplant (The Transplant, The Days Before Surgery), the big event and aftermath (Surgery, ICU, Dunn 4 West) and then the final chapters (The People, Released)
2004 Newsletters — The newsletter continued. A roller coaster year, with Diagnosis, Disease, Dialysis, and Deliverance. The purchasing of an urban loft in Austin!
Life post transplant. Joining MessageOne.
- I blogged my dramatic exit from the hospital, in Recovery Fiascos, listed all my Drugs, and in February, 2 months post transplant, I declared I Couldn’t Be Doing Better.
- The 2005 Newsletters were relatively benign, with updates about professional life and personal life.
I managed only four blogs, though I love the titles: The Five Jackasses You Meet In Heaven, What I was thinking over two years ago, A few bits of humor and introspection and Brokeback, Enron, Speeches and Zen.
I snuck a single newsletter in just before the end of the year with The Runaway BJR.
In 2007, my blog titles at first became much more terse, and the content was much less entertaining: Muse, London Calling, and Paris. But then rage inspired my writing in License Plate TX 338 SHB, I will find you and Homeless window breaker, i will not find you. My sense of humour filled a Donkey Suit, and I discovered the angst of maturity in Blues and Jazz? What’s wrong with me?
The blog went out of control. Almost microblogging at times.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood was the usual BJR fare, but a short 10 miles shows that I didn’t always love running the way I do today. A weird happiness after a slow triathlon came in Slow Happiness and an off-balanced team appeared in Austin Marathon Relay.
A lot of posts were for the Lone Star Circle of Life bike ride around Texas:
- A note to my donors, The BJR 600 Mile Survival Challenge, ESPN Radio Interview
- Prep, Shaving down, First day, Second day, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Homecoming, Day 6 (again?), Day 7, Retrospective, A day in the life of a rider
And a handful of other blogs:
- Visiting the Bay Area / Tour de Kids / Choices
- Altitude Adjusting Your Attitude
- You boys like Mex-i-co? Yee- Haww!
- Getting out of a speeding ticket
- Observing a kidney transplant
- [BJR Newsletter] I kissed a BJR and I liked it
I traveled to India to see a friend’s wedding get blessed. Our flight boarded just hours after Pakistani terrorists had murdered tourists at the Taj.
- US to Mumbai, First Full Day in Mumbai
- The Pooja
- New Delhi and Old Delhi, Agra, Delhi to Kochi to Alappuzha
- The Kettuvallam trip begins, Second day on the Kettuvallam
- Return to Mumbai, Final Day in India — The Flight Home
- Conclusions from India
The End of the Newsletter
In 2010, I switched to Wordpress, and you can see everything on Wordpress, by just clicking a single link (and scrolling through about 8 years of blogs… enjoy).
And now, I’m currently using Medium as my blog platform of choice.
But a few pieces of writing that I’m proud of from 2009–present:
- Confessions of a Reformed Homophobe
- Fun in nature: The NT with my NT, The Microadventure, Sharks: Conquering Fear with Stupidity
- Two trips to Cambodia: A Personal Revolution and Overwhelmed and Humbled
- Operation Bear Back
- The Gift of Life from my Cousin Diane
- A Second Life in Australia
- I really enjoyed writing these: An interview with Bryan J. Rollins by Bryan J. Rollins, and A second interview with Bryan J. Rollins by Bryan J. Rollins