Without quite planning it, the last week of August has become an anniversary week for me. Sunday, August 26, Mel Larch and I marked four years of marriage. It’s easily the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, and we will be celebrating later this week in an undiclosed location.

However, August 28 is  the anniversary of my very first two posts here in PopCult. I was just testing the waters, so they’re short and somewhat silly, but to save you the trouble of scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page to find the link, here they are:

First I posted, under the headline “Buy An Ebow on Ebay,” “Then write emo songs. Maybe you can get Brian Eno to produce your album.”

Had I known that I’d still be doing this thirteen years later, I might have come up with something more profound. My second post is a bit laughable because my tastes in food have changed dramatically since I wrote it. Under the headline “Feeling A Bit Crabby…” I wrote the following:

“I’m notoriously seafood-phobic. Can’t stand the stuff. I can’t even eat at a table where somebody else is eating shrimp–it just grosses me out. But there is one execption. I love crabmeat Won Tons. So the question I put forth is this–just exactly where in Charleston can a person find a decent crabmeat Won Ton?

Back in the 80s, I used to be able to get them at the mall, but now it seems that every place that sells Won Tons either fills them with nothing, or they fill them with some sort of sick, twisted cream cheese concoction (surely a creation of the Debbil!).

Has all the crab meat been hi-jacked for use in Krabby Patties or something?”

Not exactly Pulitzer material, I know. What’s funny about this post is that, two years later, I decided to start trying food and drink that I’d previously avoided, and discovered that I really like a lot of seafood. I regularly eat fish. I enjoy lobster on occasion. I have found the missing Crab Rangoon (the artist formerly known as Won Ton), and have even tried a variety of other seafood thingys that I found to be less desirable. I can’t really say I’m seafood-phobic any more. I did discover during this time of discovery that I still hate the taste of all beer, coffee, and anything with alcohol in it.

When I really started blogging in earnest, in September, 2005, I covered topics like IWA East Coast Wrestling, the comics art of Jack Kirby, Captain Action and Dr. Evil and Spinach, and posted the first Monday Morning Art (which wasn’t yet a regular feature at that point), a digital painting of my kid sister, who is now the Chief Public Defender of Kanawha County.

The image at the top of this post is the very first piece of digital art that I ever posted for public consumption (or rejection).  It’s called “Out The Window” and it was posted on August 31, 2005. Below you see a new version I just did yesterday of this painting, which proves that in thirteen years I have become somewhat more smeary as an artiste.

About a year later I started posting my art every Monday instead of randomly on any day of the week.  A lot of the early photos and art, and all of the music that I posted here fell between the cracks during some of the several server moves that PopCult has experienced.  That’s also why the first two years of this blog are credited to my original editor, Douglas Imbrogno, because of a glitch during the switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Aside from this post, I don’t see any need to call any attention to PopCult’s 13th anniversary. It’s not really a milestone, and some folks get squeamish around that number.  I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who have stuck by me since day one, through deaths, weddings, several hundred videos (including Radio Free Charleston), lost of posts about toys, comics, movies, books and gift guides, plus an internet radio station or two. I plan to keep doing this until the Gazette-Mail remembers I’m here and pulls the plug.