Looking back on the first TEN years of Agent Palmer

This post was not my idea, but I can’t argue with the editor that suggested it. On episode 52 of The Palmer Files, I discussed celebrations and anniversaries with my editor and polar opposite when it comes to those things, and one of my best friends, Chris Hughes.

It was his suggestion that I write a post about blogging for 10 years. Since it’s hard to argue with someone who has a good idea, especially when they are more practiced at celebrating anniversaries, you go with them.

What follows is a tweet’s worth of reminiscence on 10 selected posts, and a few other musings from the last 10 years of this blog. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane, as much as I have putting this all together…

1. Football over Rhodes Scholarship… What would you do? | Nov. 17, 2011
The first-ever post on this blog was setting up the scenario and choice of Yale QB Patrick Witt, who chose to play in The Game over going to his Rhodes Scholarship interview. Still, I like that a question and commentary started the blog. (And yes, I still would play in the game!)

2. Medieval Knights and the Knightly Code ~ An Essay Assignment form the Jedi Manual Basic | May 9, 2012
I would like to think that some of my book reviews are essays, but this is something different. It’s a true assignment and something that I had intended to do more of along the way. But the opportunities haven’t presented themselves like this one. I’m very proud of the result.

3. Quake: It was great then, it is still great now! | Nov. 10, 2013
When I was still living and dying with each visit to the site, idsoftware, the developer of Quake, retweeted this post, and it became my first viral post. Also, it got retroactively folded into my Retro Games Revisited series, which didn’t exist when it was first published.

Ferdinand Cheval’s Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”)

4. Cheval’s Ideal Palace a Lesson in Patience in an Era of Instant Gratification | Sept 15, 2014
Perhaps one of the most complete blog posts I have ever published. It’s historical, philosophical, and hopefully inspirational. “Just make sure you enjoy the journey and you’ll be fine.” It’s odd to be quoting myself, but you have to expect it. Also, I have enjoyed the journey.

5. The Last Podcaster Standing: Behind the TLPS Mics | Aug. 19, 2015
Perhaps the most in-depth, independently reported post I’ve done. Utilizing the “Behind the Music” structure for a podcast was obvious, and this wasn’t the last time I did so, but it was the first. This is the most comprehensive historical text of TLPS, and even they enjoyed it!

6. An Attempt to Decipher “Why John Henry by They Might Be Giants is My November Album?” | Nov. 14, 2016
This post was also retroactively moved into one of my series, “Track by Track” which officially makes it the first one. Every year, every November, I share this post because I’m listening to this album again. I’m not as interested in the why anymore; it’s now just tradition!

7. A Book Review of “A Mind At Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age” by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman | July 13, 2017
Pulling back the curtain: This was the first review where the authors reached out to me because of another review I had done to send me a free advanced copy in the hopes that I would review it. If I didn’t like it the post wouldn’t have been written. Jimmy and Rob choose wisely.

8. Whatever happened to DiC? An Attempted Oral History on the Saturday Morning Cartoon Powerhouse | Sept. 20, 2018
Part of the reason this is special to me is because the process of researching and drafting deep-dive posts are as much fun as the writing process is. This was the case for DiC as well as the Coffee History post… I couldn’t do these often, but I should do more.

Agent Palmer Coffee Series Promotion

9. Coffee Declassified: The History of Coffee | Sept. 24, 2017
This one was special because it was an experiment in content. It was the first post of seven consecutive posts about coffee. A series that has continued since, but that initial seven posts in seven days was the first and, as of now, the only time I’ve published daily for a week.

10. Breaking the Fourth Wall: Recapping My Year-Long Content Experiment | Nov. 6, 2014
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the “Year of Content” recap post. The first two years may have been shaky, but since this post, I haven’t missed a week. It set me on the path to consistent content, which is such a challenging yet fulfilling exercise for me.

By the numbers these are but 10 of the 678 published posts on this blog, including this one. But there are a few others worth mentioning.

My first review of Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards launched a Rotospective into the man whom I respect and admire. The series currently has 19 posts and still isn’t finished yet. There’s also my succinct review of the modern Battlestar Galactica, which was the first spoiler-free review I posted in what has become the most prolific series I publish. Who knew that classified reviews would be the direction I chose to follow?

And speaking of direction, there’s the 14 “Interrogations” I conducted on this site. That is now a number unlikely to grow, as the podcast has become a place for those conversations. It is interesting to look back on what once was.

I don’t know what happens next, other than posts I’ve already drafted or outlined for a decent portion of year 11. I have ideas for more that will easily take me through the next decade. This blog is a part of me now. I can’t imagine not writing for it. And that’s just fine with me, because I am proud of the work that I publish here.

Agent Palmer's Editor Christopher J. Hughes

Agent Palmer’s Editor Christopher J. Hughes

But I’m not alone either. Thirty-five posts have been written by guests on this blog, and I have a handful of editors who on occasion look over my rough drafts before they get posted. One of them has been more prolific than any other. He also happens to be my best friend. Christopher J. Hughes, the editor who has been the single most vocal and energetic champion of not just this blog but of me and all of my endeavours, and there are a lot.

Editor’s Note: It is always a challenge to push one of your closest friends to always be better. I do hope that’s what Palmer and I have achieved as I’ve nitpicked my way through countless book reviews and untangled the longest of run-on sentences. It is a blessing and a curse to have so much trusted placed upon our friendship, but I’m always excited to see what Palmer is producing. At the very least, it prevents me from spending any money on books I would not have read otherwise.

With that, a decade is behind us, and we continue spinning around the globe to start a second. Ten years ago this was just an exercise, now it’s a Brand, with a capital B, that has spawned a podcast and who knows what else. We honestly do not know what the future has in store. We may try to plan or prevent it, but what happens will happen when it’s supposed to. Are you ready for it?

Knowing me, I’ll probably be documenting it somewhere, either here, on the podcast, or on whichever platform happens to be next. Just know, for certain, that this blog isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Your regularly scheduled Thursday posts will maintain their course.

Stay hydrated as we look to the future

Stay hydrated as we look to the future…