These summaries always stall when we get to the fourth quarter . . . I mean, that was just a few weeks ago, right?

Well, here’s the thing . . . it’s a few weeks ago for regular readers, but digital media archeologists hundreds, if not thousands, of years from now, probably won’t have the time to sift through three months’ worth of posts and likely will appreciate this summary.

I mean, do you know how much content they’ll have to sort through? Well, let me tell you, but first, a photo . . . a photo from one of the first non-reminder posts of the quarter<<link . . .

Anyway, the number of 2020 tweets future digital archeologists will be confronted with? … roughly 200 billion tweets (an average of 6,000 tweets per second) . . . think your tweet will go viral? The odds are not good.

What about Facebook? … well, as of October, 2020, there are 3.21 active Facebook users. Sure, a billion of those are probably Russian and Chinese bots making sure we stay mad at each other, but that still leaves 2.21 billion users sharing all manner of dubious information and pet photos . . . daily. 

What about blog posts? … here are the (depressing to bloggers) statistics (LINK). . .

The “W” stories voting block has entered the doldrums . . . still, we got us a decent number of votes and — with nine days remaining — I’m expecting a few more votes before the round closes.

One thing I would ask of readers . . . if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — get friends and family to read it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you).

On the other hand, I get how annoying it could be, so if you don’t want to bother your friends, then don’t worry about it . . . BUT . . . if you have an enemy you wish to annoy, then sent them the voting link. If they’re not too bright, you can word it like a chain letter; you know the kind . . . “bad luck will befall your ass if you don’t read and vote and get at least ten others to also read and vote!”

No matter how you come to them, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, more bird photos . . .

These are presented in chronological order and all from the end of 2018 . . . so, two from the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and two from Long Beach.

The “W” stories voting block is off and running . . . I believe this will be another block where people may find it difficult to find a favorite to vote for. And, I mean that in a good way.

One thing I would ask of readers . . . if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — get friends and family to read it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you).

Not that I had a lot of followers (finger-counters had no need for more than one hand), but I’m no longer on either Twitter or Facebook, so it would be nice if word-of-mouth played a bigger role in getting people to read and vote.

On the other hand, I get how annoying it could be, so if you don’t want to bother your friends, then don’t worry about it . . . BUT . . . if you have an enemy you wish to annoy, then sent them the voting link. If they’re not too bright, you can word it like a chain letter; you know the kind . . . “bad luck will befall your ass if you don’t read and vote and get at least ten others to also read and vote!”

No matter how you come to them, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, bird photos . . . .

I’m going back to October of last year for these. A dreary but not cold day, I sat outside with a cup of coffee, a camera, a phone, and a view of foraging birds.

I had two posts alerting readers to the Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction of 2020 (LINK and LINK), but I realize many people were not able to see it because of weather (or other reasons).

I figure I would do a couple of posts sharing the photos I took of the event as luck smiled upon me and I was able to shoot a number of nights, including the night of the closest approach (December 21st). The two previous posts shared some of the photos, but these posts will go into a bit more depth.

We begin a month prior to the event. November 18th, to be precise, and to be even more precise, November 18, 2020, at 6:15:58 pm (18:15:58) local time (Central/Chicago time).

November 18, 2020, 18:15:58 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Sigma DC EX HSM 17-50mm 1:2.8
Photo: 50mm 1.3 sec. f/5.6 ISO 100

I’m including the shooting data as much for me as for anyone else.  The photo was taken from my driveway and the garage lights are illuminating the neighbor’s trees.

This is the 23rd round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “W“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the first of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “W” as submitted by its author.

This is the 23rd round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “W“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the second of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “W” as submitted by its author.

This is the 23rd round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I will each write one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, a story whose title begins with the given letter. For this round, it’s the letter “W“.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on total votes received.

In each round, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “W” as submitted by its author.

If there’s a social platform with any traction, I usually have an account on it (whether I use it or not) . . . which means I have both a Facebook and a Twitter account . . . which I will cease using.

Mind you, I won’t erase the accounts for the same reasons I got them in the first place — they lock down my identity on those platforms — but anyone following me should understand that  I won’t be logging on or checking my feed on either platform. And, this will be the last post on them. I won’t even read responses to it because the notifications will be turned off.

“Big whip!” some say, “Good riddance!” others add.

Some might ask “Why?” Let me tell you.

The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories and the reminders to vote once again made up the bulk of posts for July, August, and September. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

By July, I had (mostly) shaken my habit of mentioning COVID-19 and concentrated on writing reminders to vote for stories. It wasn’t until the middle of the month that I wrote something else . . . but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Again, I’ll begin with photos . . . 

This masked opportunist gave me the first set of photos of the Third Quarter. Side note: you can use the calendar option on the sidebar to see all of the posts for a given month or individual dates.  

I’m I was on a 186-day streak . . . meaning I’d posted at least one post per day for 186 days. It’s not my longest effort, but it’s still significant.

Again, a lot of the posts had to do with The Alphabet Challenge. Still, 2020 saw me put up 414 posts . . . which had an average of 7 comments per post (2,809 total comments, although at least half of those are mine since I answer every comment).

I’ll explain the monochrome part in a moment.