November 2, 2003.
I was so frickin' fed up with the incessant BushCo stomping toward war, the jingoistic bullshit from the punditry, the lies from every-which-way... and I found a site, themed in orange, of which I'd heard a little. And I signed up for an account.
To this day, I -- filkertom, dKos UID #2894, Tom Smith -- check this site first to find out what the heck is important in the Real World.
It's here that I find my Jed Lewison, and my Laura Clawson, and my Meteor Blades, and my Hunter. It's here I keep in touch with La Feminista and Horace Boothroyd III. It's here that I first found Nurse Kelley and commonmass and teacherken.
It's here that I first read Steve Gilliard.
It's here that, about a year and a half ago, when I was in a real bind, I asked for help... and you all delivered. No hesitation, just support.
I have met almost none of you in RealSpace. I don't presume to think of you as more than casual acquaintances -- no inflating occasional shoutouts and banter to anything resembling True Friendship.
But, dammit, you're a community that means so much to me. Daily Kos is a touchstone for me to keep myself on a path that I like and believe in.
We are a family.
Distant cousins, for the most part; maybe nieces and nephews, or in-laws, or somethin'. Being in science fiction/fantasy/gaming fandom for the past thirty-five years, I'm well used to the concept of Chosen Family -- i.e., there are those to whom you are connected by blood or marriage, and those you are connected to by temperament and choice. Sometimes, as family does, we argue amongst ourselves; sometimes, as family does, we even get nasty about it.
But that never gets in the way of the fact that we are family, and we care about each other, and there is so damn much love on this site for each other.
I've been along the periphery, mostly -- occasional diaries, relatively frequent comments (not as many lately, I've been busy), and lots and lots of lurking. And, for ten years and counting, dKos has changed my life radically and for the better.
Thanks to all of you. I love you.
ETA: Wow! First time on the rec list! Thanks so much, gang! (insert "aw shucks" and nudging of a rock with a toe here)