Tag: milestones

27 Years on the Job

brown framed eyeglasses on a calendar
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

Despite it being a Sunday today, it was a Monday 27 years ago, on October 17, 1994, my first day with the company that I still work with today. When I was 27 years old, I had already been with the company for 5 years. Four years ago, I had been with the company longer than I hadn’t; that is, I had been with the company 23 years, but I was 22 years old when I started, so I’d been with the company more than half of my life.

I know this kind of thing is pretty rare these days, but within my company, I’m not even in the top 100 in terms of longevity, company-wide. Within my department, I think I just barely crack the top 10.

A little over a year from now, in December 2022, I will celebrate another milestone anniversary, this one for my avocation. In December 1992, I wrote my first story that I sent out to a magazine with the idea of having it published. That story wasn’t published, and it took me 14 more years before I finally starting selling what I wrote, but that does mark the 30 year anniversary of what I consider to be the beginning of my writing career.

I final both of these milestones fairly remarkable. And both also make me feel like I’m getting old.

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7,000 Posts

Well it crept up on me, and I didn’t notice it until this evening: Yesterday’s Practically Paperless post was my 7,000th post on the blog. This morning’s post on my favorite baseball books was my 7,001st. Seven thousand posts! It’s hard to imagine that I’ve written that much here, but the evidence is right in front of me. The 7,000 post combine for 2,782,000 words. This, of course, is spread over 16 years between October 2005 and today. Still, that’s an average of around 174,000 words per year. Some years have been better than average. In my best year, 2011, I wrote 419,000 words spread over 762 posts, or just about two per day that year. 2021 is my 6th best year in terms of word count: 225,000 words spread over 348 posts–and we are only partway through October.

I don’t think 7,000 posts is like getting 2,456 hits or hitting more than 700 home runs. I’m sure there are blogs out there that have a lot more posts than I do here. Still, I’m proud of this milestone. Each post is an opportunity for me to write for an audience. Each post is an opportunity to learn and improve my craft. Each post is an opportunity to connect with readers. I love doing all three.

So I am having myself a (very) little celebration this evening, congratulating myself on managing to write 7,000 posts, and for keeping this blog going these last 16 years. And I’m already putting together a list of the next 7,000 posts to write. If you look closely at the image above, you’ll see there are already 10 in the drafts folder, waiting to be scheduled.

Thanks for reading and for making this so much fun.

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100+ Days Caffeine Free

This week was so busy that I completely missed that July 27 was my 100th day caffeine free. I gave up caffeine back on April 18, 2021. This isn’t the first time I’ve given it up (I gave it up for 7 years from 2003-2010), but I think it is the furthest I’ve gotten since. I’m well past the point where I even crave caffeine. I can watch other people drink it and be happy with my own caffeine-free drink. About the only think I miss is the boost it gave me in the mornings. But my morning walks have replaced that, and I enjoy them more than I did the caffeine.

This is me patting myself on the back, and congratulating myself for being caffeine-free for a little over one hundred days. I will return you now to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Milestone: 3 Million Views on the Blog

Over the weekend, the blog passed a major milestone: 3 million views over its nearly 16 years life. It is creeping up on a second milestone, 1.5 million unique visitors over that same period of time.

When I started the blog (on LiveJournal! remember that?) I had no plan. I just thought it would be fun to have a place to write in public. The blog migrated from LiveJournal to WordPress (self-managed) back in 2009, and more recently to WordPress.com earlier this summer.

In the early days on WordPress (circa 2009), I remember getting 10 or 20 views a day and being happy that there was a handful of people out there enjoying what I wrote. Over the years, those numbers steadily climbed. I didn’t do much that I am aware of to make that happen. I just tried to write things that interested me. I remember when the daily views hit about 100/day that I was thrilled. After I began writing my Going Paperless posts, things really picked up and for several years, I was seeing 3,000 or 4,000 views per day on average, something that astonished me, but that also made me nervous. I knew most of those views were for the paperless posts, but I still wanted to write about whatever interested me.

As life got busier, as more of my attention was taken up with my kids and family, I wrote less. I “retired” as Evernote’s paperless ambassador, and retired the paperless column, which had always been an experiment in my mind. Readership went down on the blog and along with it, the daily views. I think last year (2020) was a low-point for the blog. I wrote less than ever before, and I missed writing here. That is part of the reason that I decided to try to write here every day in 2020. These days, the daily views on the blog are a tenth of what they were at the blog’s peak readership, but I’ve noticed a definite trend upward, and that pleases me because I am writing about what I want, and not trying to focus on one niche.

I used to obsess over the blog stats. I try not to do this anymore but sometimes, I can’t help it. I’m amazed that the blog has lasted as long as it has, and I’m grateful for all of my readers, especially those who have been around for a very long time. I’ve never tried to compare my stats with other sites, so I don’t know where I stand. I’m sure there are sites out there that get 3 million views in a single month (and possible in a single day), but I’m happy with the slow-but-steady accumulation I’ve managed over the last 16 years.

The first million views could have been an accident. The second million maybe showed that I was on to something. The third million just helps to convince me that there are people out there who enjoy what I write. What can be better than writing what you enjoy for people who enjoy what you write? I am eternally grateful to everyone that comes here to read what I write, who leaves a comment, or emails me with kind words, or questions. You have all made this more fun than I could have possibly imagined when I started out.

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My 5,000th Blog Post

Hard as it is for me to believe, this is my 5,000th blog post. I started blogging regular way back at the end of 2005, and is has taken me close to 7 years (with some small gaps in between) to accumulate 5,000 posts. But looking back over the years, it is a quite an array of posts, and some pretty good documentation of my life over those 7 years.

In case you were wondering, those 5,000 posts amount to 1,583,943 words, which averages to about 325 words/post.

I’m deeply ensconced in NaNoWriMo this month and I didn’t plan on anything special for my 5,000th post–other than to call it to your attention. So let me just say, once again, how grateful I am to the readers who take a few minutes out of their day to drop by and read what I write. And thanks also to those who go above and beyond and a leave a comment or provide other feedback on the blog.

I wonder how long it will take me to write the next 5,000 posts?

The 4,000th post

Yes, this is my 4,000th post. After some intermittent starts back in late 2005, I made a consistent start, blogging regularly back on December 31, 2005, and continued without missing a day for more than 3 years. When the The Little Man was born, things got spotty for a while, but since November of last year I’ve been back to my usual pace of a post or two a day. It seems like a big number like this deserves something really special, but I’m so busy that I’ll save it for the 10,000th post. In the meantime, I thought for this post, I’d provide some links to the most popular posts I’ve written since I’ve bothered keeping stats–which is when I moved to the WordPress platform in February 2010. Keep in mind that these are based on direct visits to the site and doesn’t include people who might read this through Feedburner and other RSS accumulators.

Top 10 most popular posts since February 2010:

  1. Scrivener 2.0: my month-long test drive
  2. Scrivener: the ultimate writers tool
  3. Vacation in the Golden Age of Science Fiction
  4. My 2010 Hugo and Nebula nominations
  5. (Almost) Everything I learned about science I learned from Isaac Asimov
  6. The paperless writing cycle using Scrivener and Kindle
  7. What I found in the 1942 issues of Astounding Science Fiction
  8. About me
  9. Scrivener and publishing to the Kindle
  10. Why you should read Beyond Apollo

And here are a few posts that are particular favorites of mine:

Here’s hoping for 4,000 more!

Miscellaneous Tuesday items

As I pulled into my driveway after work today, my car it the 115,000 mile mark. October will be 12 years since I’ve had the car, and therefore, in 11-1/2 years I have driven, on average, 10,000 miles per year. However, since moving to the Metro D.C. area nearly 6 years ago, I’ve driven an average of about 5,000 miles per year.

No mail of interest today.

It’s tax day, but I paid my taxes yesterday.

Today was a long day. I woke up tired, for some reason. In fact, I woke up to my alarm, which is pretty rare. But I climbed out of bed at 4:20 AM, as usual, promising myself that I’d be in bed early tonight and get a decent night’s sleep. And so I shall. I’m heading off to bed as soon as I finish up this blog entry, although it will only be 7:20 PM, and still light out. I plan on reading for a while (I’m now 500 pages through In Memory Yet Green and, of course, loving every minute of it) but lights out by 8:20 or so. And tomorrow, I get to see Kelly.

At some point, I have to get back to the gym. I feel as though I’ve undone all of the good work I did last year, and that I have quite a hill to climb to get back into that shape. But I also feel distinctly older this year, and those hills are getting harder and harder to climb.

A streak comes to an end

I drove into work today, the first time I have done so since moving to the Washington, D.C. area from L.A. almost 6 years ago.

When I lived in L.A., I commuted from Studio City to Santa Monica, 20 miles each way, through L.A. traffic. I did this for 8 years and quickly grew sick of it. One of the benefits of moving to the D.C. area was that I could take advantage of the public transportation, particularly, the DC area Metro (subway). My first day at work in D.C. was on August 1, 2002. From then, until today I have never driven my car into the office. (In fact, I went from driving 16,000 miles/year in L.A. to just about 4,000 miles/year out here.)

I estimate that I took the train into work roughly 1,200 times in the nearly 6 years that I have been out here. But today the streak comes to an end.

I drove into work because I am leaving early today, picking up Kelly at noon, and we are driving up to New York to get started on our Rainbow Room Birthday Bash weekend. So it’s certainly a worthy cause for breaking the streak. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’ll ever beat the streak now that I’ve broken it. 6 years is a long time. Couple that with the fact that I am most likely moving into the Arlington area later this year, and I may no longer have a reason to take the train every day, as I will be much closer to the office.

It’s no “iron man” streak, but it was something I was proud of. 1,200 trips (each way) mean roughly 1,200 hours I’ve had on the trains to read, sleep, listen to music, day-dream without the worry of driving. It also meant that I was doing my part as a commuter. Of course, I’ll be back on the train on Monday, but the streak will have to start over at Day 1.

Incidentally, it took almost exactly 20 minutes to get from my house to the office via car. Keep in mind, however, that I left my house at 4:55 AM. I was mildly surprised to learn that Route 50/New York Avenue has more congestion at 5 AM than the 405 and 10 freeways in L.A. do at the same time of the day.


Today is my 12 year anniversary at my company. That’s right, twelve years ago today was my very first day, and I can remember parts of it as though it were yesterday, which is kind of scary. In those 12 years, I have had exactly 3 offices, which is probably some kind of record since people seem to trade offices like stamps here. My first office I had for exactly 4 days, while my second office was being painted. I had my second office for about 8 years. I got my third office when I transferred from Santa Monica to Washington, D.C.

If you imagine that I started at my job when I entered the first grade, then today I would be about to enter my first day in college. It’s weird to think that I have been here that long. I have lost count of the number of people that have come and gone during that time. There are a handful of people that are still around: Beth and Jim and Michael and Sue and Cyndie and Ron. Some of them have been here longer than me. Some of them have been here longer than I have been alive.

There are some things that have gotten better in 12 years. My very first computer was a 386 with 16 MB of RAM and a 30 MB hard drive. My current laptop has 2 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. Other things are not quite as good. When I started we used an entirely UNIX-based email system based on mh mail. In the years since we have adopted Microsoft Exchange, which is a big step backwards.

In twelve years, my salary at my company has more than tripled, which I guess is a good thing, even considering inflation. The amount of vacation time I get each year, however, has stayed the same: 4 weeks. Four weeks was almost unheard of in 1994. I imagine more companies are giving more vacation time now and 4 weeks may not be as attractive as it was back then.

I am spending my anniversary here in our Pittsburgh office, doing a training session for a project that I am not even directly involved in. Someone was needed to train and no one has time to do the training. I am doing it because of all of the people who don’t have time, I am the only one who knows the product and who has trained on it before.

Happy anniversary to me!

Happy New Year!

April 6 is the first day of my New Year. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, it is close to the beginning of spring, and until relatively recently in human history, the new year was celebrated with the coming of spring at the end of March. Second, it is the day that my favorite author, Isaac Asimov, died, now some 14 years ago. But there is a reason above all others that April 6 is my New Year.

April 6, 1996 was the very first day I started keeping a diary. When I started doing this, it was my intention to be as disciplined as possible about it, but you never really know how that will turn out. When I was younger, I’d tried keeping a diary in one form or another and it never seemed to last more than a few weeks. Today, however, is April 6, 2006 and I have now been keeping my diary for ten years–a full decade.

Read more about my diary