Looking Back on 2014

What seemed like a whirlwind 2014 is officially over which means it is time to reflect on the year’s blogging efforts.  LifeIntrigued has now officially turned 8 years old, which is about 7 years longer than I ever expected to keep going with it.  The intent has morphed a bit since the early years having put more emphasis on photography and projects in the latter years – the early years focused heavily on day to day observations as I navigated this thing called life.  I’ve tried to keep the posting varied over the year mixing in projects, insects, recollections and such among the numerous bird posts.  Admittedly, I use my valued readers as free critique on my photography growth so very appreciative of all your comments this year.  For the fourth year in a row I hit my 6 posts per month even adding a ton of extra posts last January due to Project Chekov (link here).   It really hasn’t gotten much easier after all these years, but that is probably self induced with all the images that are worked up for all the posts – what is getting faster is my digital darkroom workflow as I get more accustomed to the tools and pretty  much know the look I’m going long before the work begins – oh, that sub goal of at least one image per post was shredded for another year – pummeled, stomped on, tossed around the room and ax kicked to the ground into total submission.  This year I’ll up that goal to at least 2 images for every non-general post! (I know, I know, even that should be an easy hit but it is good to have a goal you can own for the year to make up for any that might have slipped a bit.

Hoping this year brings the completion of Project Auuuunold – so close I can almost taste it.  No idea what I am going to do with all my free time once that project is wrapped up.  Book recollections were once again an underperformer this season but I think the project output makes up for that deficiency.  I am pretty proud of my Valentine’s project (link here) and Project Posey (link here) is close to becoming an obsession hehehe). Birding is still a passion of mine and looking forward to some trips planned for this year which should yield even more new checks in the birding list.  I’ve pretty much captured all the local birds in the area so travel is about the only way to shoot the new ones – luckily we have an RV now so that will come in handy for photo shoot outings.  I’ve always maintained that I only work out and run to make myself fit enough to go in search of birds in any terrain required.  Always enjoy it more when Linda can come with me to enjoy the process (and be my voice of reason when the thrill of the hunt starts impeding logic)

There is one element that makes this blog worth it and it’s YOU.  The time you commit to reading my meanderings and the extra time you take to provide your comments is greatly appreciated and invaluable to the progression of the site.  It is because of this commitment I push myself to give you the best quality of images and as polished a product I can muster each and every time – it also helps to distract from the pain of training since a lot of that time is spent planning out the next post.  Pretty sure I have enough left in the tank for at least another year and even some more ideas on how to liven up the blog a bit – one of those will hopefully be due to increased exposure as I’ve finally started to spread the word about my little corner on the information Highway.

And now, the annual stats for the year’s worth of blogging.

Hit the jump to see the 2014 stats! UPDATED 1/6/15 due to some late comments!

  • According to the WordPress Stats:  2014 Total Posts 566 and 1003 comments (barely hit my goal for comments but overall comments lagged the last two months big time)
  • According to the WordPress Stats: 2014 Total Posts 95 (thanks to a massive Jan posting) and 239+23 comments (thanks to some late comments that came in late – overall down from 290 in 2012)
  • According to the WordPress Stats: Total number of tags – 1176
  • Total blog pages this year (according to MS Word): 724 (over 161 pages more than last year!)
  • Total number of words this year (according to MS Word): 103,496 – an increase of roughly 1,332 from last year (really thought this would be higher based on the number of extra posts in 2014)
  • Post topics (some posts had multiple categories) 2014 / Total
    • Birds: 54 / 151  (almost twice as many as last year)
    • Fail: 0 / 5 (two years in a row for zero – fodder starting to pile up)
    • General: 2  / 33
    • Insects: 8 / 14 (8 more than last year!)
    • Observation: 43 / 382
    • Phoadtography: 1 / 15
    • Products: 0 /20
    • Projects: 36 / 58 (over 3x from last year)
    • Ramblings: 0 / 11
    • Recollection: 10 / 65
    • Service: 0/ 52
    • Uncategorized: 0 / 0
    • Wildlife: 64 / 149  (1.5x from last year)
    • WIT: 0 / 2
  • Blogs this year by month
    • Jan: 26  (Whoa Nelly!)
    • Feb: 6
    • Mar: 9  (Woot!)
    • Apr: 6
    • May: 6
    • Jun: 6
    • Jul: 6
    • Aug: 6
    • Sep: 6
    • Oct: 6
    • Nov: 6
    • Dec: 6
  • Comments this year by month
    • Jan: 38 – due to the massive number of posts that month for Project Chekov
    • Feb: 21
    • Mar: 42 – extra posts this month helped as well
    • Apr: 12
    • May: 8
    • Jun: 12
    • Jul: 16
    • Aug: 16
    • Sep: 23
    • Oct: 25
    • Nov: 2 (eesh) *updated: +12 (thanks to some late comments)
    • Dec: 0 (double eesh) *updated: +11 (thanks to some late comments)
  • Posts with Most Comments
    • Reach Out and Grab It – 12 (knocking the usual winner – the UB post off – the top – in fact it didn’t even get second billing) – somehow the comment topics got a little skewed on that one having just looked back on the post out of curiosity.
    • One Awesome V-Day Gift- 7 (It was pretty awesome!)
  • Writing style: no change on the conversational front and still a healthy dose of angst against the current administration which now includes both liberals and Rhinos – wake up sheeple and stop accepting lies and deception from those who are suppose to working FOR you
  • Most common grammatical error: For some reason I had an onslaught of doubled up words (as as, in in, the the etc.)  Not exactly sure why, but blaming my keyboard – got another one for xmas) – luckily Word caught most of these before they made their way here
  • Number of WordPress upgrades: 1 Major and a couple of Minors as committed to at the end of 2013 – Finally solved that three year behind thingy – Kudos to WordPress for making the upgrade process completely painless now
  • Number of images used: (Once again I met my requirement of having at least one image per post)
    • Birds – 309 (you had to expect there was a hefty amount of these this year)
    • Other Wildlife Photos – 33 (this was lower only because I didn’t get to my Yellowstone shots yet)
    • Insects – 51 (sorry if I made your skin crawl)
    • Other Photos – 305 (Up by 45 thanks to projects shots, Halloween and a lot of races)
    • Custom Graphics – 10 (again, opting for focus on photography shots instead)
    • TOTAL: 718 (up from last year’s hefty 534 output – this is why these posts take soooo long)
  • Languages uses: 1 (unless you count Engrish and Brigrish)
  • Completed Life List Items: 6
    • Once again ran the IVS 1/2 Marathon – again, this one was a test as I was still coming back from the training accident.
    • Added two new Half Marathons this year – The Peoria Heights and Peoria’s
    • Completed the Screaming Pumpkin 1/2 Marathon again  – this time WE WON coming in just seconds before midnight
    • Ran the Steamboat 15K – pulling ANOTHER PR for that race.
    • Ran the BIX7 – that was a big one this year since that was the first race since the Heat Stroke Incident
    • Blogging for a seventh year hitting my self-imposed 6 post/month quota .. you actually almost got 5 months of extra quota this year!
  • Maintained convictions: 6
    • Never giving Metallica a penny of my money (still not a dime)
    • Ban of RIAA backed musicians
    • Not giving Sprint a dime of my money
    • Never stepping a foot in Pressleys
    • Never listening to anything associated with Pearl Jam or watching SNL since their bad decision to joke about Benghazi – added U2 and Chili Peppers to this list this year
  • Missed Goals: 3
    • I failed to get through my reading list for another year (sigh) – really tough to get through those with all the projects going on around here
    • Project Auuuuunooooold is STILL in flight, but we have made it through some major milestones – just a little more time, just a little more time.  Way I see it there are only 4 more phases to really go
    • My marathon plans were derailed this year due to the training accident – haven’t made my 2015 resolutions yet, but it just might make it on there again this year (shhhhh don’t tell Linda)
  • Suck List: 2 (those firsts I never wanted to experience)
    • Succumbed to Heat Stroke this year causing me to make my first 911 call
    • Same event I had to take my first ambulance ride
  • Recollections:
    • Books: 2 – now that is pathetic, but I do blame Project Auuunoooold for most of that
    • Games: 0 – all work and no play makes Brian’s projects go quicker
    • Movies: 0 – bad year for movies – really didn’t go to the theater much this year (did see a lot of them at home)
    • Concerts: 0 – saw a few including The Crue’s last one and Alice Cooper, but didn’t bother to blog – maybe sometime in the future
    • Running: 4 – a lot of recollecting on the running front having almost bit it during training
  • Posted 95 more items than my brother over at Dead Reckonings (he clocked in at 0) – This is a running joke, of course, since he prefers to go with this thing called “quality of post” – he definitely had me beat out of the gate this year with the official Sliver release (link here), but something tells me I’ll be passing him soon.
  • Was able to check off 25 new birds on the bird list in 2014 which was awesome – there is also one probable which I am still researching.
  • Personal Revelations:
    • Same as last year and the year before … still upset at the pathetic action of our current administration.  Would be nice to have press that actually INVESTIGATED anything rather than just relying on spoon fed talking points.
    • Still think my photography work is improving – looking back I’ve definitely progressed from those less than stellar early offerings.
    • This year brought a lot of challenges in the running realm.  Just now looking up at my medal rack was quite the surprise – a record haul of 6 medals this year.  One Half Marathon less than I planned, but that was replaced by a TROPHY for taking first place in the Screaming Pumpkin run this year.  I need to improve this year and that starts in the head and during training which has already been progressing well thanks to running with friends every Sunday using the toughest course in Peoria as our workout course.
    • Having soundly defeated Linda in the UB competition will only mean she will be coming after me this year with some likely phenomenal work – I’ll need to work at getting some great shots this year if I want a repeat.

Well, that’s pretty much it.  I still enjoy doing this blog and having this forum to talk about my daily endeavors and projects.  Embarrassingly, I am still 1.5 years behind on my photography queue, but that just means I have plenty of fodder to feed the beast this year.  Looking forward to another year of exciting projects and most off all, pushing myself to be more creative and more fit.

Now time to sit back, pop the cork and enjoy the year’s accomplishments (note, we got to celebrate the New Year’s in Vegas this year so we got this year started out on the right foot!).  Ladies and gentleman let’s toast to 7 amazing years!

Have a great New Year everyone!… 2014 is officially in the books

2 thoughts on “Looking Back on 2014”

  1. Well, congratulations on an unbelievable year of posting!! As you know, I expressed more than once this year my nagging angst, nay fear, that you would not be able to meet your monthly quota in months when you were swamped, in the hospital, etc. But every time you came through!

    Now that I’ve caught up with your blog posts, maybe you can update your comment numbers for November and December. And yes, until this post of yours I had more blog posts this year than you, and even now we’re tied! I’ll have nowhere near the number you do, but I plan to post some of my backlogged material this year. BTW, thanks for the shout out to my blog and my new baby, Sliver!

    Cheers on a new year. I always look forward to reading your posts.



  2. Yee of little faith – haven’t you learned by now it takes more than a brush with death to keep me from my goals.

    I will update my numbers based on the barrage of comments I got from you recently although technically they came after the new year so not sure how to count them – maybe put the Barry Bonds asterisk after them.

    I think I’ve taken the lead now and there’s another one on the way soon so you better get to it if you want to claim the lead again this year.

    Sliver’s awesome glad to do it, but I expect a full analysis when I do my Marathon (no need to show Linda though)

    Thanks for reading and all the comments throughout the year! – looking forward to more of the same in 2015


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