Why do I have to register to leave a comment at your site?
You can leave a comment anonymously by logging in as "otoguest", password "otoguest" if you prefer.
By registering, you enable Antville to identify you on your comments. It also prevents others from posting comments with the same nickname, masquerading as you. It's a favorite pastime of "trolls" to stir up flame wars in this fashion, so having a password protected identity system helps to preserve the civility of the discourse around here.
Antville also uses your login to provide a link to your website (if you have specified one) from your comments. Your wise words in this forum can serve as self-promotion for your own corner of the web. I know I, for one, will often click through to learn more about the person behind a particular comment.
Finally, once you've registered for one Antville site, you're registered for all of them. This enables some nifty features like the "subscriptions" option, which you can use to keep track of your favorite sites at antville.org and see which has been most recently updated.
If you find the login an annoyance, you can always ask Antville to cache your login information in a cookie, so you don't have to log in on subsequent visits to the domain.
You need not provide an e-mail address, but for the record it is my policy to make no use of it if you do provide one, other than to contact you in the event that the site is unexpectedly relocated and the old site is not available to redirect my loyal readers. In other words, probably never.
What's with the title of your site? And who is this "ototoro"?
The title "words of my neighborhood" comes from a variety of different sources.
The Lancaster, PA band The Innocence Mission, of which I am a fan, has released an album entitled "Birds Of My Neighborhood", and it is partly an homage to that album.
My login-name "ototoro" comes from a film by Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki entitled "My Neighbor Totoro". If one translates the Japanese for this title (Tonari no Totoro is the romanji) in a more literal fashion, it can be read as "Totoro of my neighborhood", so it is also an homage to Miyazaki and that film.
In the film, there are actually three different Totoros seen inhabiting the forest near the home of the young girls Mei and Satsuki: O Totoro, Chu Totoro, and Chibi Totoro. O Totoro is the largest of the three, given to grumbly growling and big happy grins. He's my favorite of the three, and I identify very much with a lot of the themes in this film and his role in them, so that's why I chose "ototoro" as my admin name.
When you see a message from "ototoro" on this site it is, of course, from me.
I also chose "words of my neighborhood" because I was already imagining a photo project for myself that would involve taking pictures of interesting texts and typography within walking distance of my home. It may be another week or two before I get that posted, so you have something to look forward to.
Finally, the most important reason for "words of my neighborhood" is that it seemed to be the only organizing principle I could imagine for my willy-nilly approach to blogging. My site doesn't pigeonhole neatly as a political blog, photo blog, literature blog, diary blog, or any of the other various precision-focused blog genres. About all I can promise about this site is that I'll always be writing about the world around me. That may be the greatest weakness of this site, but I hope to also make a virtue of it in time.
I believe that no matter how global one's perspective gets, there's always an element of the local in their worldview. The internet, and changes in society in general, have complicated the notions of locality and neighborhood to some degree, but I think that ultimately everyone's words come from their neighborhood, however large or small, however analog or digital. These words are from mine.