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I've always been shy. I struggle with my own social goalposts.

I grew up in an extremely small and isolated town, where everybody knew everybody and, for the most part, everybody was friendly with everybody. It has to be that way, or people would claw each other's eyes out. Not that that didn't happen anyway, but it is generally a very amiable place.

After graduating from my tiny, docile hometown I attended a University which was far too big and noisy, and failed miserably. I moved back dejected, putzed off aimlessly for a while, and about 10 years ago I moved away for good. I found a really nice town somewhere in between, found a decent and steady job, married a wonderful woman, and we set about raising our two girls. I go back, sometimes, but I never stay long. It's complicated. And I'm happy where I am.

It's nose-to-the-grindstone though. My wife and I switch off: I work days, she works nights. We keep our belts and our wallets tight, and I don't drink. So long story short I've had difficulty breaking through and being social. But recently that has begun to change.

I won't go on much more about myself; I've stayed away from open conversation on the subject. When I'm ready I'll just have out with all of it.

But I'd like to thank you all. The set-up, the community, the absolute opulence of knowledge to be found here; all and sundry have been a most excellent addition to my life. I hadn't been more than passing interested in politics, besides a few papers and discussions back in high school, and I hadn't done any writing since those days either. Both the interest and the desire to write about it were kickstarted again when I found this place; right at the very very earliest beginning of the 2012 campaign season, weeks before the death of Osama bin Laden. Since the first I've been hooked. I've pushed myself here, more than I'd have done in the meat world under most circumstances, and that has in turn helped me to put aside my issues with sociability. I've reached out, come out of the shell somewhat, borrowed some confidence one might say.

And I have learned and am learning so much by clicking on the little orange link, on such an array of subjects.

I wasn't involved in the GOTV effort in this election, besides a modest amount of diaries here, some tweeting, and a small donation. In the future I hope to change that.

And regardless, I very much felt the victory on November 6th, and rejoiced with all of you. It was quite honestly one of the most exciting moments of my life. A great many notches below the births of my children, but on the same scale. Wow what a rush when I clicked to refresh the Front Page and it showed Ohio going Obama. Cheering and jumping around the room and all that. Good times.

So; editorial and technical staff, diarists and commenters, organizers, Markos; thank you. What you've built here is truly awesome.

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