Being a friend Andrew's pre-Dish meant having to explain to people at dinner partiesmostly buttsore homos who hadn't ever read himthat while, yes, Andrew was ferociously argumentative, and sometimes wrong (who isn't sometimes?), he was also a wonderful, charming, hilarious, mellow, and generous person. A wonderful, charming, etc., person who just so happened to be doing more to advance the cause of gay civil equality than anyone else in the country.

Then Andrew started the Dish. Andrew realized years before anyone else that a blog is a much more intimate medium, and the Dish was quickly infused with Andrew's playfulness and compassion, his sense of humor, and and his sense of awetraits that his friends were familiar with, but not sides of Andrew that his readers, fans, critics, and enemies on the left and the right had ever exposed to.

No longer having to defend Andrew at dinner partiesthat's one upside of the Dish for me. Another is everything I've learned reading the Dish over the last 10 years, including how to blog myself.

The only downside of the Dish is this: I live on the West Coast, and whenever I sit down to write a post for Slog, I'm painfully aware that whatever it is I want to write about or link to, Andrew and his crew at the Dish have already covered. It makes me feel like Butters in the "Simpsons Already Did It" episode of South Park. Whatever I want to do, the Dish already did it. And did it better.

Happy birthday, Dish, and all the best to Andrew and Chris and everyone else who makes the Dish happen.

Read Dan at Savage Love and Slog.

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