Nothing is created in a vacuum, and this site is no exception. If not for the inspiration and influence of those listed below, you'd be staring at a blank screen right now.

First and foremost on this list is Tim Bland. It is his footsteps that I follow into the woods of Web self-publishing, making him the godfather of the House of Cheer. Tim is also one of the best friends a guy could have. Go look at his site, already. If you see some similarities between his place and mine, rest assured that they are not accidental.

My first experience online was with a bunch of MST3K fans on the old Compuserve forums, way back in mid-ninties. A mutual love of that wacky show brought us together. Friendship, humor and a penchant for wandering off-topic into the most obscure, ridiculous and rewarding corners of the universe have kept us going all these years. If you'd like to hear a few yarns spun, get involved in the occasional pun war and riff the world as it passes by, come visit us.

When I grow up, I want to be Garrison Keillor. At least, I want the warm wit and overwhelming sense of contentment that this fellow Midwesterner exudes. Most folks know him from his long-running radio variety show, A Prairie Home Companion, and the books that have sprung from it. He also hosts a grace note of a radio segment called The Writer's Almanac, airing on National Public Radio stations across the country. Through September of 2001, he wrote an advice column for Salon covering writing and relationship questions; an archive is available and well worth a look.

If you've been to the main page (and I'm assuming you have), then you know that I've jumped on the Blogger bandwagon. I could explain what blogging is, but they do that much better than I could. The Blogger service is free, robust, and it didn't take me weeks to figure out how to use it. I can think of no higher endorsement to give.

For exceedingly funny and consistently great Web writing, take a look at TeeVee. They been blogging since before blogging came along, with new entries several times a week for the past few years. Their mission is to skewer all that's wretched, substandard and overwrought about television. I hope to make this site at least half as entertaining.

There are a lot of sites out there aping Letterman's Top 10 list format, but there's only one that gives ol' Dave a run for his money: And I'm not just saying that because I've made the list a few times.

Augie, the House of Cheer mascot, owes its name to John Lipovsky and his fondness for mythology.

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