Writing about my experiences in Japan makes up the bulk of the content of this journal (blog) up to July 2005. It includes my reflections on life in Japan, with many accompanying photos. There are also some posts with anecdotes about my year-long stay in England in 2005-2006. Now it’s more about my art practice and related thoughts since art is my focus. Regardless of the shifts in subject matter, this site is where you can find out what’s been happening with me lately, since I’ve been known to be horrible at keeping up with personal correspondence.
I’ve been writing my blog since April 2004, but until early 2005 very few people knew about it, much less how to find it. This was mostly because there were long stretches where I didn’t post anything and thus didn’t think there was much point in publicizing a dormant site. For those of you who have been aware of the site since its inception, let it be known that this blog is no longer secret. Feel free to send your friends here. Encourage them to sign up for the announcement list, too. Next time someone says to you, “I wonder what Ed Pas is up to these days”—and I know how (in)frequently that happens—you can simply give them a link and tell them to see for themselves. The site went into a state of suspended animation while I lived in England from October 2005 through to the end of October 2006. This was primarily because I was spending most of my time on my art practice rather than blogging. In England I opted to live in as much of a media vacuum as possible: no internet access at home, and when we moved house after our first six months, no TV or radio. Not to mention newspapers. As such, I rarely checked my email, let alone wrote blog posts. Since autumn 2007 when I joined the communications staff of the Mendel Art Gallery, updates here have pretty much ground to a halt. Since then I’ve worked at Concentra Financial (2009-2015) in communications and estates, and completed an MBA at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan in 2016.
Unless otherwise noted, everything on this site is my own personal opinion or observation. Not that of my current employer, former employers, clients, former clients, friends, estranged relatives, the guy who sells tofu from his motorcycle parked on the street corner below my old apartment in Japan at five on weekday afternoons, or anyone else who might be reading to the end of this disclaimer hoping to see their name in glorious glowing pixels. Despite the glibness, I’m completely serious here.
Site History: From Weblog to Bog to Blog to Journal
When I began this site in early 2004 I started out calling this a weblog, but found that the word “weblog” doesn’t roll off the tongue at all elegantly. Because of its exclusive audience, I called it “Ed’s Secret Japan Weblog.” If you weren’t among the select few, it’s nothing personal—I probably didn’t have your email address handy when I did the initial list configuration. I began writing anecdotes about my life in Japan and posted them online for friends back home. I eventually grew tired of wrestling with my original blogging software—a program called Greymatter—and switched to WordPress. In the process I decided to open the site up to more people, and to move it directly to edpas.net from its previous obscurity buried in an unknown corner of my spiraldragon.com site.
At some point in internet history “weblog” started to be shortened to “blog,” a word that is shorter to type and easier to turn into a soundbyte. But doesn’t sound any more appealing than “weblog.” One evening I was talking about the dilemma with Lia, who couldn’t understand why I didn’t like “blog,” since it sounds like “bog.” She then did her poetic wordplay thing and proceeded to give me a mini-lecture about the richness of bogs. How they’re complex ecosystems with layers and layers of peat, and are great a preserving stuff. Like human bodies. But I digress. After Lia reprogrammed my mental block against the word “blog,” and in a post-poetic trance I kept thinking of bp Nichol’s “A Line A Lane A Lone” as it related to my word weirdness. My version went something like “A Blog A Log A Bog.” As a title for this site, I simplified it to “the Bog,” and ran with this as my site name for many months. Apologies to all affected parties for the misappropriation.
In June 2006 I changed the name to “Ed Pas’ Journal” because depite my rationalization of the vocabulary, I hadn’t ever been able to convince myself that bogs were relevant to what I write about, and I’m still not convinced about the word “blog,” no matter how common it has become.
In December 2006 I did a major overhaul of the site, adding my portfolio, a pair of texts I wrote about my practice, and making edpas.net a one-stop shop for information about myself and my art practice. Whereas previously it was necessary to dig through this site and the dated information on spiraldragon.com, everything is now concentrated here.
In September 2016 I migrated the site from its original host at Westhost to a new virtual host at Dreamhost. Because I also transitioned to a more recent version of WordPress, a huge number of plugins broke and I had no desire to replace most of the functionality. Whereas the previous iteration of the site was an attempt to mimic a couple of community-like blogs, I have since come to my senses and turned of comments and eliminated a lot of the community-enabling interface elements.