I didn't meet Steven until the fall of 2006. By that time I had already followed his own blog that he kept at the time, and knew roughly the cut of his jib. He'd met and fallen madly in love with Lauren. They'd decided to leave the cool climes of the San Francisco area for the sweltering heat of Texas. They beat us to Austin by a few months.
Somehow, our paths took some small amount of time before we did cross (I recall getting a note on our door from when Steven and Lauren attempted a surprise visit), and finally we met up for the most Austin of traditions: breakfast out.
Prior to Steven, the only other person I think I'd met who knew me only from my online presence was RHPT, so it was a bit odd. I didn't know exactly if I'd live up to their idea of who the man behind the pixels might be, and, I assume that - yeah, I have a lot of rough edges. They didn't run away screaming, so, that seemed decent of them.
At any rate, I was immediately fond of both Steven and Lauren, and until they decided to return to San Francisco, we spend quite a bit of time with them both, and, frankly, I miss having them around. They're good company. You should look them up.
Steven doesn't comment often these days, but he was kind enough to send in the following:
On the occasion of your site's anniversary
Most web site fashions are temporary, coming and going with a season or
an era: Huffington Post faded for me after the Bush administration,
memepool.com stopped updating, Reddit.com was overtaken by Digg.com
refugees, and in its turn I'm sure Facebook will one day be called old
hat. But The League's enterprises: The League of Melbotis and the
Signal have not wavered in terms of my visitation in, I'm surprised to
admit, nearly 10 years. In fact, as I just found out while typing this,
my fingers still have the muscle memory of the original URL
What could make this small, personal blog so entertaining for such a
long time? As mentioned above, bigger, better-funded players have been
killed or committed seppuku in that same time span. What makes The
League's endeavors different? I think it comes down to this: his
site(s) have always been a nice, friendly porches with hot dogs and
spiked Dr. B in red solo cups. They've always been friendly, they've
always been positive and humorous in a vaguely James Thurber fashion,
and the content has always been coming (that is, there was something
Let me start by speaking of the novelty. It's hard to maintain a blog.
Sometimes you have no ideas and sometimes you feel like there's no way
anyone could care what you have to say. But The League has always been
industrious, his blogging has been remarkably constant. Like most
prolific authors, or Kal-El, he has occasionally gone silent to recharge
his batteries, but he has never gone away. And when he returned he
brought back that friendly brand of kind, Texas-and-Midwest-laced,
goggle-eyed suburbanite / Austinite humor.
The League's endeavors have always been humorous but in a gentle Cosby
fashion (with occasional dashes of blue material) and always with
friendliness at the core. In an early interaction with his readers he
ran a survey where he asked us what we thought of the world and
provided, in that "Unca League" voice his assessment of our entries and
proclaimed the best entries to be winners of the illustrious "Mellie"
Another humorous, but good-natured and friendly effort in his blogs has
been his taste tests with frankenfoods:
* Soda: http://www.melbotis.com/2005/12/league-with-special-guest-steanso-taste.html
* Chicken Fries: http://www.melbotis.com/2005/08/league-presents-league-taste-tests-new.html
Occasionally he would bring in unsuspecting conspirators like his lovely
wife or their unsuspecting pets.
And that is what I think a visitor's expectation is when visiting a League
site: there will be something new, something humorous, or something
personal and real, and fun. But at the end of the day novelty and a
laugh aren't enough to make your fingers remember how to get you back to
a site. In truth, the best part about the League's sites are his alter
ego, Ryan who is warm of heart, kind of character, and generous of BBQ
and Red Solo cups.
And ultimately that's why we come back to this site: because no matter
how far we might be from Ryan: from 183 and Oak Knoll, to San Francisco,
to elsewhere on the Terran crust it's a way of getting to check in on
our host, our moderator, or friend: the League.
I hope his keyboard will never still and that he'll continue to grace us
with his changing perspectives on life, the universe, and UT's defensive
coordinators. I'm thankful for this site: it has provided me amusement
and fun for 9 years but I believe, all the better, it has provided me a
So on his brainchild's 10 year anniversary I wish him the best, thank
him for the memories, and promise to travel along on whatever endeavors
the future holds.