Dear old JFASN. What am I to do with you? After five years and two months and 166 reviews of fantastic jazz albums, is this to be it?

I wish I knew the answer to that question. Despite nightly use of the Sleep Apnea mouthpiece that I finally obtained last August (by paying for out of my own pocket), it seems that I still cannot count on having the energy on Saturday to write a coherent review.

The simple solution would be to write each review a little bit at a time, in multiple sessions throughout the week, after I get home from the day job. Say, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, for example.

That is a great idea, except for the fact that by the time I get home from work in the evening, after that almost 25 mile one-way trip, most of the time I am too exhausted to summon the ambition to do what needs to be done to write a decent review. It may not show, but each review takes anywhere from three to five hours to write.

The weekends aren’t really a whole lot better. I began last Saturday, the 22nd, with three goals in mind:

1) Visit Barber Dan in Southeast Portland and get my hair cut.
2) Drive East out Highway 26 to the small town of Sandy, Oregon with my camera and get some more photos of Mount Hood from the Johnsrud Viewpoint. (The view is a whole order of magnitude more spectacular than it appears from the tiny photo on the City of Sandy’s Johnsrud web page.)
3) Write the jazz review that I have been promising for the last three weeks.

I did manage to visit Dan and get a nice haircut from him. But somewhere between his barber shop on SE Gladstone St., just west of 39th, and home, the energy drained out of me and with it my ambition.

That despite the fact that I actually got a pretty good night of sleep Friday night, one of the best I’ve had recently. Admittedly, I had a hard time getting out of bed Saturday morning, but I think that was because I turned on the electric blanket before I went to bed Friday night and it was sooooo snugly comfortable under those covers the following morning.

The same thing happened Sunday morning. That is why every fall I try to make my first use of the electric blanket on a weekend, when it won’t matter if I sleep in the next day.

The following may be just a by-product of my ongoing Sleep Apnea-induced sleep deprivation, but the more I think about JFASN, the less I want to return to writing reviews.

Something happened when I moved the blog from BlogSpot to WordPress. On BlogSpot, I had only 2 followers but I also garnered thousands of page-views every month. On WordPress, I have 64 followers (thank you!) but after five years, the LIFETIME total page-view count here has only recently surpassed my average MONTHLY total on BlogSpot.

I have no idea why that is. Did my writing skills simply fall into the crapper after I moved the blog to WordPress? (That’s a rhetorical question. Please keep your opinion on that to yourself, especially if you are inclined to say “yes”.)

I left pointers all over the old blog, pointing to the new address on WordPress. All anyone had to do was click a link and they would be taken from the old blog to the new one. Even now, there is a placeholder on BlogSpot explaining the move and with a link to the new location.

I never have written these reviews expecting accolades from my readers, but rather mostly for the simple joy I get from writing and from sharing good jazz with anyone who cares to take the time to read what I write. I also try to keep in mind that another reason I write these is to keep up my writing skills.

But everyone likes to receive an attaboy every once in a while.

For a long time I told myself that I shouldn’t let the drop in page-views bother me. “Eventually it will build back up to what it was.” I told myself.

And while the weekly page-views has increased somewhat from when I first moved the blog to WordPress, it has not, as you will have gathered by now, increased to anywhere near where it was on BlogSpot.

For the time being at least, it is obvious that I need to set aside the goal of writing a new review every week, or even every other week. All things considered, I don’t know when, or even if, I will return to writing weekly reviews.

Having just gone back and re-read what I’ve written, I want to dispel any impression I may have given you that I am incapacitated by this. I am not lying in a corner curled up in a fetal position, sucking my thumb, unable to function.

But right now, writing this blog isn’t the top of my priority list. The reward, if you will, simply has not been commensurate with the effort required to write a good review.

I will try to write something for this space when I can, but that probably will not be on any sort of regular schedule. Most likely much of what I do write will be about my further experiences with Sleep Apnea, but I may surprise you now and then. 😉


PS: I wrote the above Sunday afternoon, the 23rd, with the intention of posting it Monday evening. But then something unexpected happened.

More about that later.

Thanks for reading this.

Al Evans
Wood Village, Oregon

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