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, this wildlife side is a little younger as this offshoot 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.

7 thoughts on “Year 13 Wasn’t So Lucky”

  1. Congrats on the long publishing streak! May it continue at least thrice as long in retirement. And do the bird numbers mean 490 identified? How does that compare to Ron?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – hoping it will be easier now that I am not spending my nights dealing with work issues. The bird numbers are the number of posts – that is not the unique life list number. Trying to refresh that now as that takes a surprising amount of work to get done (must stay on top of that this year). As of 11/19 I was officially at 254 which means I got a good enough picture to confirm identity and it was featured on the blog. That number is definitely up now from the 2020 posts, just not sure how high yet. There are also at least 30+ birds still in the queue I need to get posted on. Ron is technically around 10 or so as he put up a blog ( which means new count rules went into effect hehehe. As far as his unofficial count, I think he is pretty close if not beyond me thanks to big boost from me at the beginning of last year – he tinned about 40 more in one outing with Linda and I at the beginning of last year.


  2. Man do I miss the races too! Non-runners don’t understand the motivation that comes from an upcoming race, nor the adrenaline, thrill and accomplishment during a race. I’m longing for a good, real, in person marathon somewhere too! Tired of get deferred to virtual crap and losing entry fees! William

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right there with you – I stopped signing up for anything as I doubt things will change anytime soon and would just be wasting my money. Lately I’ve been getting 80% off entry fee notifications for late year races etc.. then you read the fine print and there is no refund if they cancel the race. Hoping I can at least get my running friends together sometime soon to make the training runs a little bit more enjoyable. Fingers crossed and shoes on I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, a shout out! Thanks! Can’t wait to see the additional subscribers I will get from your mention. hahaha. I am sure impressed with your numbers. I took a look at mine recently and was surprised as I never really think about numbers when I write and it isn’t like I am making money off people stopping. Snowing again here, hummmm maybe another opportunity. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sure hope the CJ WordPress servers can handle the surge of new views you are going to get hehehe. The Intrigued enterprise is run on numbers. The cold heartless lawyers have retainer fees based on the number of words they have to scrutinize over (with bonuses if they have to go to court to keep me out of jail), the interns are compensated for every image they work on that makes it to publication, the editing team gets a cut based on number of errors they discover and the field team – well they are paid in Scooby snacks, but their union wants profit sharing based on viewership – no wonder we struggle to just break even every year. Oh, and the local birds are picketing the headquarters for not getting releases to use their images – lawyers are going to charge me an arm and a leg to resolve that one – luckily, we heard there is a kangaroo court that will be available to hear our case soon. Keep us posted on the snowman production over there – I’m considering doing a Halloween themed set of snow sculptures – think Calvin and Hobbes if you remember that comic strip and their hilarious snowman scenes. Thanks for dropping in CJ!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now if you want legal action just infringe on Calvin and Hobbes! As for kangaroo courts…well… the rules are a bit different down under so maybe the outcome will be different than expected. Don’t put your birds all in one basket.haha.

        Liked by 1 person

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