. . . here at Ricochet, I finally finagled a free, two-month invitation to join up last night when I replied to a tweet announcing the upcoming podcast featuring two of my favorite conservative luminaries: Jonah Goldberg and John Podhoretz. I hasten to stipulate that I've been mooching the podcasts here at this outpost of sanity for quite a while, so it's not like I'm some neophyte when it to the charms of Ricochet. In fact, I've even gone so far as creating a custom audio setting on my PC just for the podcasts, so that James Lileks's preposterously resonant baritone won't rattle the fixtures off the walls at normal listening levels.
With that said, the first thing I would like to do is to thank Ricochet for the free two-month trial period. I would have joined long ago, but I've just never been able to find the spare chump change to toss into the kitty. Times are as tough in western Kentucky as they are in the rest of this great land, and that's reflected in the final tally of my tips at the end of my weekend nights attending to the needs of my thirsty patrons down at the local Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Next, I'd like to thank all of the contributors here at this wonderful haven of reason and civility. I check in frequently -- often several times daily -- just to see what the pros are thinking. It has served as the inspiration for many a post over at my own blog, where I've linked to Ricochet often. (I'm not sure what the policy is with regard to members linking to their personal blogs, so I'll wait until I'm given the green light before doing so, lest I get off on the wrong foot with my inaugural post.)
Finally, in the interest of economy, I'll go ahead and share a little about myself here for those who, for whatever reason, may be curious -- thus sparing them the burden of clicking over to read my profile.
As is indicated above, my name is Walt Gilbert and I hail from the Bluegrass State -- home of the NCAA men's basketball champions, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. I've been active online as a writer, blogger, and commenter on various forums since the mid-to-late 90's. I'm a conservative with a fairly broad libertarian streak and a strong belief in federalism. I enjoy listening to music of all kinds, with the exception of hip-hop (because I'm a bit of a geezer) and especially country-rap (which is an utter abomination). Aside from politics and writing, I also have a recently developed passion for photography and am a stalwart devotee of the Pentax brand. I still haven't settled into a specific photographic genre, though my very favorite images are candid, casual portraits -- something like street photography, only without the streets.
As for my writing, I've been described as having a veering sense of humor and a somewhat anachronistic writing style. As I mentioned above, Jonah Goldberg and John Podhoretz are among my favorite conservative authors, along with P.J. O'Rourke and Ricochet's own James Lileks -- though, that shouldn't be construed as a slight against any of the other contributors -- all of whom I've enjoyed reading immensely. And I'd be remiss if I didn't give a mention to Dave Carter, who strikes me as a man after my own heart and a composer of elegant, insightful prose that often leaves me nodding my head in agreement and biting my lip in envy.
It's an honor to be able to have my name appear on the same site with such thoughtful and talented individuals of such varied backgrounds and perspectives. I'm looking forward to engaging in the fascinating discussions that take place here, and hope to be able to offer a worthy contribution here and there.
Thanks again, Ricochet! I truly do appreciate this privilege.