The first lesson I learned in 2009 was that it would probably help if I put my drink down while filming fireworks. Or maybe even use a tripod.

But on New Year’s Eve, I really wasn’t planning of filming anything. However, when I ended up on a 29th floor balcony at the Flamingo in South Beach, overlooking Biscayne Bay and watching two fireworks shows at midnight, I couldn’t resist pulling my Canon TX1 out.

I love the compactness of this camera but that also makes it harder to keep steady. Especially when holding it with one hand after a few drinks in me and another drink in my other hand.

So it’s not the most perfect video but I did include a soundtrack of Jimi Hendrix playing Auld Lang Syne on his Fender guitar, which makes it close to perfect.

Anyway, it’s hard to believe it will be almost two years since my arrest. And it’s hard to believe that exactly one year ago today, I announced the new format for my blog, switching it from two-columns to three-columns as well as hosting my own site.

In that post, I promised to “mock and madden and maybe even muckrake” as well as to ” rant and rave and report and reveal and maybe even recite some of my rhymes”.

I think I’ve kept that promise. And maybe even done more.

After all, the Miami New Times recently called this blog one of “Miami’s best blogs”, which is an honor because this blog doesn’t necessarily fall into the category of a “Miami blog”. Most of my readers, in fact, don’t even live in South Florida.

Right now I have two posts that have accumulated more than 100 comments and several others that have reached more than fifty comments. Of course not all these comments are positive but it doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy the feedback.

And I do appreciate how discussions and debates have been kept mostly civil and respectful. For example, in the Lone Jew blog post, which right now has 138 comments, there has been an ongoing debate between two readers over the Israeli/Palestine issue, which is one of those topics that arouse the fiercest passions.

However, these two readers, Scott and Donkeyrock, have been able to state their differing opinions without resorting to insults and personal attacks, which is something the Miami Herald can’t even accomplish on its comment threads.

I also like the fact that conservative republican and liberal democrats have been able to agree more than disagree on the issues I discuss on this blog. Before launching this blog, I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.

And I like to believe that I have educated people in photography rights, including even a few police officers, not that they’ll ever admit it. But I know they’re reading from the Miami Police Department because their IP addresses give them away.

It is also refreshing to know that two of my readers who donated to my Legal Defense Fund happen to be retired police officers. And many others who have donated to my cause are conservative republicans, knowing good and well that I am a liberal democrat. Thanks, Babalu!

So I do believe I’ve made progress with this blog. And I do believe I will continue to make progress, not just with my case but with photography rights in general.

After all, these incidents never stop occurring. And they never fail to generate interest from readers across the globe, which makes me wonder why the mainstream media hasn’t done a better job of covering these incidents.

One of the most popular articles I’ve written for this blog was Deputy threatened to arrest 12-year-old girl for “unlawful photography”, which ended up crashing my server and forcing me to cut and paste the article and redirect the link to my second blog, where it generated more than 20,000 page views in a single day.

Another article that was posted last week and has quickly become the second most popular story on this blog is Amtrak photo contestant arrested by Amtrak police in NYC’s Penn Station.

These are stories that were never covered by the mainstream media, who are too busy wondering why they are becoming irrelevant. But these are stories that also prove why the mainstream media is becoming irrelevant.

So thanks for reading because without you, this would all be pointless.