Year 13 Wasn’t So Lucky!

Intrigued Blog Summary 2020

Well, it was the year 2020 but if anyone had perfect vision for what the world would be put through, they should immediately make their way to Vegas and find an open Roulette table – should not be hard to find an empty seat these days.  It is the small achievements along the way that get us through the bad times.  One such example is the completion of the 13th year of blogging here at Intrigued – at least for the mothership, the wildlife side is a little younger as that sister site was  created a number of years later.  Adding to that is a self-pat on the back for once again hitting the 6 post a month self-imposed minimum.  It was touch and go there a couple of times during the year, but we fought through it.  Definitely had a huge gaping hole in the running posts this year.  With the exception of the one virtual race recollected a couple of posts ago, the year was a complete bust.  This made hitting my yearly goal of logging at least 1,100 miles a lonely journey.  Toeing the line on race day is a huge motivation for me – with every race last year canceled due to that ass Covid, keeping on track and hauling myself out to the trails every other day tested the mental toughness.  Fought through two injuries to the back and a ridiculous last month of miles to get that check again this year (1,200+ actually).

2020 also brought with it some big changes related to our careers.  Linda officially retired February 1, 2020 giving her some badly needed stress relief after her large operation the year before.  Thanks to the pandemic, she really didn’t get to enjoy her first year of freedom as much as she deserved.  By November I had convinced myself to hang up the corporate life as well and went on permanent vacation until the official retirement on February 1st of this year.  Definitely looking forward to all the extra cycles available to spend on blog material – in between the extra training runs of course ha!

One of my goals last year (come to think of it … every year) has been to increase awareness of the Intrigued blogs.  Over the last year I’ve been able to keep in touch with many of my long time readers and had the privilege of gaining additional followers that apparently enjoy my musings.  For the existing fans as well as the new followers, I am truly thankful and honored you are willing to spend the one thing that is the most valuable in our lives – ‘time’.  A unique possession that is perpetually consumed yet never replaceable.    I am also thankful for the other members of the blogsphere that educate me on a daily basis, give me hours of enjoyment and continue to expand my thinking/perspectives along with pushing me to get better at my craft.

A few quick shout outs.  One to my brother Ron who is a big part of the behind the scenes operations as birding companion, ID confirmer and all around fact checker – not to mention invaluable help with all the Halloween projects that go on around here year round.  To CJ (link here) and B. in the UK (link here) who keep me informed on what is going on across the pond and then there’s my personal editor Brad M.  who keeps the pages mostly free of the egregious syntax errors – sorry for all the errors that make it through – In my defense, I graduated from the University of Illinois’ Engineering College which makes bits and bytes my first language (then married someone with a similar background so we could communicate hehehe).

Keeping with tradition, it’s time to look back at the year’s output and self-evaluate.  One noticeable improvement is the number of followers.  Few things bring a smile to my day more than a comment or like on one of my posts.  If you are curious about the details, hit the jump to see the individual stats and accomplishments.

Thanks again to all my readers and here’s to the new year of fun and adventures that will assuredly find their way onto these pages.

Hit the jump for the details on the 2020 Life Intrigued blogs summary.

  • All time stats are a bit messed up as I migrated the mothership blog to the WordPress service and something appears to have clipped a lot of the numbers.
  • According to the WordPress Stats: 2020 Total Posts 83 (exactly the same as last year) and 489 comments (up 33!) along with 1,016 likes (up 417 from ’19)- very appreciative.
  • Total blog pages this year (according to MS Word): 780 (up 188 from last year and I think a new record for me)
  • Total number of words this year (according to MS Word): 90,262  (a drop of 2,699 from ’19 – maybe next year I should count syllables hehehe)
  • Post topics (some posts had multiple categories) 2020 / Total (again, the totals are a bit off from the transition)
    • Birds: 63 / 490  – up 2 this year – after all, it is all about the birds!
    • Fail: 1 / 6 – finally got a fail out (or a hmmmm as CJ calls it)
    • General: 3 / 56 – up 3, although these are generally just announcements or general holiday greetings
    • Insects: 2 / 25 – expected more – need to work on this for ’21
    • Observation: 78 / 865 – yea, up 5
    • Phoadtography: 0 / 16 – category suffered now that I can write posts while traveling
    • Products: 0 / 22 – eh
    • Projects: 11 / 81 – huge year for Halloween projects, but some of them bled over from 2019.
    • Ramblings: 0 / 11 – definitely good for you
    • Recollection: 4 / 139 – thanks to Covid taking out my races, this category was crushed
    • Service: 0 / 53 – in light of Covid, took easy on the service industry
    • Wildlife: 71 / 604 – up another 5 from last year – the trajectory is looking good
    • WIT: 0 / 2 – going to kill this category – it was fun while it lasted.
  • Blogs this year by month
    • Jan: 7
    • Feb: 6
    • Mar: 8
    • Apr: 8
    • May: 6
    • Jun: 6
    • Jul: 6
    • Aug: 6
    • Sep: 6
    • Oct: 8
    • Nov: 6
    • Dec: 10 – retirement definitely helped!
  • Comments this year by month (from wildlife stats) (comments / likes)
    • Jan: 28 / 58
    • Feb: 22 / 38
    • Mar: 57 / 99
    • Apr: 56 / 108
    • May: 31 / 67
    • Jun: 37 / 75
    • Jul: 29 / 59
    • Aug: 18 / 53
    • Sep: 36 / 65
    • Oct: 40 / 82
    • Nov: 50/ 105
    • Dec: 85 / 207 – thank you thank you thank you!
  • Posts with Most Comments
  • Posts with Most Likes
  • Number of images used:
    • Birds – 356 – surprised I was 46 down this year, what the hell, what a slacker.
    • Other Wildlife Photos – 60 – well, least up 28 here.
    • Other Photos – 405 – up 256 thanks primarily to finally getting to both the 2019 and 2020 Halloween Haunted Trail walk throughs
    • TOTAL: 821 up 219 – burned through some browser caches this year ha!
  • Completed Life List Items:
    • Well, let’s not talk about the race season beyond the fact there was ONLY one race this year and even that was virtual – damn the monster from the East!
    • Once again crested over 1,200 miles for the year – especially hard this year given there was no race incentives.  This medal whore needs some hardware.
    • Blogging for the 13th year successfully hitting my self-imposed 6 post/month quota – unfortunately wouldn’t consider it a lucky year thanks to the pandemic (how about we just act like last year never happened – ignore this summary.)
  • Bird count for 2020 is still being calculated – got a bit behind my cataloging this year.

That’s a wrap, here’s to much better 2021.  Still getting used to this whole retirement thing, but so far it is quite wonderful.  2020 is officially closed – once again, a big heartfelt thank you to my readers, your time spent with me is truly a blessing and greatly appreciated.

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