Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Hot Dog Existential Angst

What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain knowledge must precede every action. The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.
Søren Kierkegaard , Letter to Peter Wilhelm Lund dated August 31, 1835

When I started blogging about hot dog four years ago it was easy. The vast field of HDJs lay before me just waiting to be reviewed. In the first year Chris and I were able to review 100 hot dogs. The next year, after adding Kevin and then his replacement Big Daddy in North Central WV, we equalled the first year's production. Now, after more than 300 reviews I know I speak for the other Wonks when I say that is getting harder to find a new HDJ to review.

Some of the problem lies in the economy: A lot of small mom and pop places closed last year before they could be reviewed. Some of the problem lies in the personal economies of the Weenie Wonks: Too little money and time to travel to far-flung HDJs -especially when they might or might not be open because of the aforementioned macro-economic uncertainties. And then there is the simple fact that we have reviewed all HDJs that are well known enough to show up on our radar.

No point in spending a lot of time on the reasons. The bottom line is simple: "We review West Virginia Hot Dogs, therefore this blog exists."

Absent a good supply of HDJs to review, there really isn't much point in continuing.

I've thought about my options: If I chose to do so, I could go to every gas station and convenience store and sample their self-service dogs. I could go to Target snack bars and places of that ilk. I could attend church hot dog sales and probably find a few good hot dogs. I could also just post when I run across a new HDJ. I am not excited to do any of these things because all of them are in opposition to what this blog has always been about.

It seems to be the lesser of the evils to, for now, simply remove any expectation of regularly posting reviews; not because of laziness or inattentiveness on our part but simpy a supply issue. Who knows what the future holds? Perhaps the President will institute a hot dog stimulus program and we will be flooded with new HDJs opening up in the spring? If so, expect to see us rise to the challenge. But lacking that, expect this blog to be quiet for a while.


BoltMountainRambler said...

I hate to see the site go idle because I always enjoy reading your reviews. Thought you might be interested in the new dogs at Jenn's Southern BBQ since they've moved to Institute. Seems they've moved away from the Utilitarian/Genteel Dogs and into the realm of Artisan Dogs. Their dogs are now on a pretzel roll bun. I'd be interested in what you thought about them. Personally, I always thought they did a decent job with the utilitarian/genteel dog. But then again, I don't care at all for most artisan dogs I've tried.

John said...

PLEASE tell me I did not cause this with my question as to whether Speedway dogs would merit a minus one weenie!

This is one of my favorite sites on the web...and the reviews are not only credible, you can take them to the hot dog stand!

The Film Geek said...

The only thing more troubling to me than my own current angst about blogging is the idea that WVHDB might go idle for an indefinite period. Here's hoping 2010 is the Year of the WV Hot Dog.

Susan said...

What about some re-reviews of places you reviewed some time ago? Compare now to then. Tell your adoring public whether they have improved or slacked-off. Update essential info such as hours, acceptance of credit cards, additional offerings, etc.

Stanton said...

Thanks Bolt; I will check out Jenn's new offering and maybe I'll blog about it. It's ecouraging to read someone wax eloquently about Artisan vs. Utilitarian Dogs.

John, it isn't you, it's me. Thanks for the kind words though.

TFG, maybe someone will open a movie theater that sells first class WVHDs and we can meet there and perhaps both be re-inspired!

Susan, re-reviews of HDJs aren't so much fun as going back to real restaurants; there's just not that much variation. And I have always very intentionally not published hours and such info because HDJs are so fickle and subject to change with the weather and whims of the owners.

I have been thinking about perhaps a hot dog death match kind of format. We'll see how that develops.

Susan said...

I like the death match idea. If you need any help with graphs, let me know. But I am not sharing my bong. ;-)

Scott said...

I don't know if you have any requirements for where you eat, but Happy Days and Pizza Plus in New Haven, WV serve hot dogs. Both have a few different hot dog combinations and toppings. It is only about an hour from Charleston in Mason County.