Nineteen And Life

It was another brutally cold February evening. I was working at a doomed dotcom, five months into one of the series of “New Normals” we’ve had in the past couple decades, after 9/11. I was a newly-divorced single guy, I had a couple kids to take care of, I had all kinds of anxiety about the near future as the software industry began an ugly contraction.

I was also chafing. While ten years of marriage and raising kids had modified my priorities a bit, I was missing something from my twenties, badly.

That “something” was a soapbox. I’d had one, fourteen years before, at KSTP-AM – an overnight weekend talk show where I opined about politics and argued with drunks and had the time of my then very young life.

Life had moved on, and I went with it. But there was a part of me that missed having the big discussions with complete strangers.

That afternoon at work, I’d read an article in Time magazine about the new wave of conservative intellectuals and their chosen medium, the”Blog”. Andrew Sullivan was their example. I went, read it, checked out “”, thought a bit about the possibility that maybe I could get back into writing stuff again…

…and started “Shot In The Dark”.

Nineteen years ago today.

I gush about this every year about this time – how I started this blog hoping to maybe draw five readers a day that weren’t subject to the vagaries of the various list-servers I was on, how I’d happily keep doing it if five readers were all I had, how thankful I am not only for the outlet, and for the opportunities it’s led me to, and especially for having it introduce me, virtually and often in person, to every one of you – new friends, and old friends with whom I’ve been able to reconnect.

It’s been nineteen years, and while writers block comes and goes, it’s still just as fun as it ever was.

So I thank you all.

16 thoughts on “Nineteen And Life

  1. No thank you Mitch for keeping this going! I have only been a reader and very infrequent commentator for about 2 years now, but I thoroughly enjoy the posts and the comment section on a daily basis. I was one of the folks that ‘fled’ St Paul in the fall for somewhere more rural (and to capitalize on my homes resale value while the market was hot), but still read this blog to keep up on what’s going on in my old stomping grounds. Keep up the good work!

  2. I greatly admire and appreciate what you’ve built here, Mitch. Blogging is tough to do, especially when you need to produce new content to keep a readership. My blog remains but my output is way down; you’ve gone from strength to strength. Congratulations, and thank you.

  3. Congrats on 19 years, Mitch. I left the Cities in ’09 in search of other opportunities, but I have enjoyed reading your blog and stay up on the happenings in the People’s Republic of Minnesota ever since. Thank you for keeping it alive.

  4. It was about 15+ years ago that I discovered your blog and it’s still pretty much a daily read for me. I’ll keep reading as long as you keep writing.
    Congrats on 19! Looking forward to a celebration party come year 20!

  5. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 02.05.21 : The Other McCain

  6. I remember asking you “What good is this”?

    It is whatever anyone wants to make of it.

    Me? It gives me something to do other than shout at my TV. That, and all the social life/led me to the NARN/still fun stuff. .

    That’s worth plenty – to me. YMMV.

    And thanks for being here all that time, however it is you answer your question.

  7. I have been enjoying your blog for quite some time. I think it was Hugh Hewitt who got me started reading it.

    I appreciate the effort you put into it.

  8. That sounded a bit harsh. Berg has put a lot of effort in here, and it has attracted a fair audience. My comment was meant to observe the impact he, or any righty blogger has had.

  9. Hiya Mitch. I’ve checked in to your blog several times a week at least since since the firearms carry permit legislative wars of 2003-2005, and catch your radio show frequently.
    You are a valuable and appreciated voice of reason and rationality.

  10. A few days late, but happy anniversary and thank you for your output. You are my only remaining daily (or as close to daily as I can make it depending on how busy I am at work) read. My wife used to listen to HH in the late 90s/early 00s and that’s how she found you, and recommended SiTD to me.

    As an amusing aside, Somewhere between reading the title of this post and finishing the first paragraph, “18 and Life” popped up in my shuffle playlist that has 195 mostly pop songs in it.

  11. A belated Happy anniversary to you Mitch! I began reading SITD & Captain’s Quarters at the same time many years ago and have enjoyed your writing and the comments ever since ….. thanks for all you do/write

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