The last post of last year

I keep almost writing a 2021 blogwanking post or a sort of round-up of last year, and then finding excuses not to do it. Not that the bathroom renovation isn’t more interesting (I hope, at least) than endless navel-gazing, but I can only put this off for so long before I just can’t write it any more. So, long story short: traffic last year was way way way down, which doesn’t matter because it’s still plenty high for a personal blog site of a non-famous person in 2021, and y’all are stuck with me here anyway for the foreseeable future. Two things are pretty cool. This is the lifetime map of countries that I’ve had hits from:

That’s … everywhere, basically; that island up at the top is Svalbard island, where less than fifty people live, most of whom are climate researchers, and it’s part of Norway anyway. North Korea. South Sudan. Tajikistan, I think? (EDIT: Nope, that’s Turkmenistan.) These are not heavily populated countries with a lot of infrastructure, in other words. And despite the low numbers of actual hits (down over 20K in hits and about 12K in unique visitors) the geography from last year is pretty gratifying all by itself:

One way or another, the notion that people from literally all over the world have at least popped in over here, if not actually stuck around and hung out, is pretty amazing.

I have to admit something that is, if not a Hot Take, at least not an especially popular opinion: for me personally, and my immediate family, I don’t think last year was that bad of a year. Now, you have to take this in context, where I am pretty sure that I have described every year since 2016 as the worst year of my life, and I remain of the belief that yes, my life really did spiral south for five straight years, culminating in the loss of my mother on January 11, 2020. 2021 was the first year in a long fucking time where I have a few good things to think about when I look back on it. My brother and his wife had their first child. My dad’s doing okay. We’ve done a lot of work on the house. I made more money last year than I’ve ever made before, a feat I should be able to repeat this year, and because I’ve paid off my credit cards, leaving me with no credit card debt for the first time since college, I’ve been able to keep more of that money and use it for more than just paying off interest. My son is happy and healthy and thriving at school. My wife got a promotion and a raise. I, who a few years ago was convinced I’d never see the inside of a classroom again, got nominated for Teacher of the Year again. By the time this school year ends, I’ll not only have paid off my car, but my student loans might be gone.

All in all, on a strictly personal basis, I can actually see some light again. I have reason for at least a guarded level of optimism, which has not been true for quite some time. I mean, the rest of the world is still going to hell, don’t get me wrong. But at least not everything is going to shit.

My one big personal regret right now is that my writing career is, at the least, on a significant pause, and very well might be done. I haven’t written a word of fiction in at least a couple of years, and I’m not missing it much. I mean, it’s not like I was changing the world or anything like that, as much as I tried to take everything seriously, I never managed to make any money at it– every single con I attended lost me money, so it was more of an expensive hobby than anything else. I’m not saying I’ll never release another book, but I’m not in a hurry to.

You never know. Most of my creative energy lately is going here and to the YouTube channel, and maybe eventually that’ll blow up. If not, well, we’ll see what comes next.

On low standards

I wActivity-for-iOS-app-icon-medium-220x188.jpgant my Pebble back.  In fact, after a week (?) of Apple Watch ownership, I’m kind of tired of Apple as an entity, for the first time in quite a while.

(Before you say it: yes, I’m aware I can turn this shit off.  And I’m going to, as soon as I’m done complaining about it.  I shouldn’t have to turn annoying shit off.  This annoying shit should not happen.)

I am a smartwatch fan, as the three entries under this one that WordPress will select will no doubt demonstrate.  I have simple goals for my watch: I want it to alert me when I get an important notification (“important” being determined by me) and I want it to be a watch and an alarm clock, and to have a battery life compatible with being both.  I was worried about the Apple Watch’s battery; I plug it in while I’m reading at night and it’s fine, and it appears to be good to go to make it two days without a charge with no real trouble.  It’s at 80% right now and hasn’t been charged since last night.  That’s fine.

I just got a notification congratulating me for standing for one minute during each of the last twelve hours.

Read that sentence again, and drown in the banality of the universe.  And realize that I was on my feet for the entirety of at least seven of those hours.  I walked four and a half miles while I was at work, 9000 steps (less than usual; it’s Wednesday, my half day) and collapsed on the couch at home and fell asleep.  I didn’t hit either of my “fitness goals.”  I can’t set a step goal, which is kind of annoying.  I feel like that ought to be available.  But I can for damn sure be nagged to stop doing things and freaking meditate like some sort of techno-hippy once an hour and be congratulated at the end of the day because once per hour in the past 12 hours I, I dunno, got up to take a piss or something.  But the watch doesn’t notice seven straight hours on my feet.

Bah.

Also, whatever was in the iOS update that pushed out Tuesday bricked my phone, and I was nearly late to work trying to figure out what the hell had gone wrong and restoring my most recent (ie, months old) backup.  So I’m not super keen about technology right now in general.  But yeah:  Bah.

(WordPress probably ought to not choose this entry as another chance to constantly re-add Uncategorized as a category or delete half my tags while I’m adding them.  Just saying.)

GUYS

My artist just sent me a preliminary sketch for the cover of TALES FROM THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES.

I may have emitted girlish noises.

Possibly.

I cannot wait to share this with y’all.

Whoopsie (on 2000 posts)

7952218146_06c93a8339.jpgI really meant to eventually write a “real” blog post after my brief ode to a good morning yesterday, but events got away from me in the morning (in other words, I laid around reading and then took a nap) and then we spent the entire evening at my parents’ house.  If I hadn’t gotten that post up early, I’d have entirely forgotten about the blog yesterday.  Which would have broken a streak that’s nearing two years long now, but otherwise wouldn’t have been any kind of big deal.

I wrote my 2000th post on this thing a week or two ago.  This is actually probably post 2010 or so, because the milestone slipped past me at the time.  I noted it on Twitter, but haven’t mentioned it here yet.  The post itself wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, but I’m entertained about the song I chose.

Some random facts:

  • I’ve had, so far, 377,623 pageviews and 204,501 unique visitors to the site.
  • The first post was June 4, 2013.
  • My best day had 12,451 pageviews.  Today will probably have around 150; traffic’s been a bit down this year.
  • My most popular post, by far, is “In which I tell you how your religion works,” with 106,900 pageviews.  The next most popular is the Goddamned Snowpiercer review, which has 22,872 and still is regularly in my top 5 posts every single fucking day.
  • I’ve had traffic from 195 countries, or at least what WordPress calls countries, which occasionally seems a little odd.
  • The top 10:  The US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, India, France, Brazil, and Norway, in that order.
  • There’s been exactly one pageview from 14 places: the Cook Islands, Equitorial Guinea, the Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Iran, the Marshall Islands, Martinique, San Marino, the Seychelles, Sint Maarten, St. Martin (apparently a different place?), Syria, Tajikistan, and Togo.

On to the next 2000, I guess.  🙂

REBLOG: Open Letter to My Fellow Geeks, by Kate Chaplin

I met Kate at Starbase Indy last year– we were booth buddies. You need to read this.

Kate Chaplin

My Fellow Geeks,

We need to have a conversation.

Growing up in the 1980’s geeks and nerds were not popular at school, in film, or in pop culture. Films like Revenge of the Nerds and Weird Science showed geeks and nerds as outcasts, misunderstood and perpetually destined to live in mom’s basement and make robot women.

Steadfastly, we found heroes in our nerdom. Characters we could relate to whether geeky like Val Kilmer in Real Genius, heroic like Superman, or business savvy like Steve Jobs. We found a kinship with them, many times alone, sometimes with a few trusted friends.

We dreamed of the day we’d be accepted. When it would be okay to love comics, video games and sci-fi. When the bullying would stop. But something happened…

Geek culture became pop culture. Geeks became celebrities in the mainstream. Our beloved comics, books and video games became box office summer…

View original post 1,085 more words