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). . .

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.

The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories and the reminders to vote continued — and will continue as we go forward — to contribute the bulk of the blogging content. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

I had erroneously mentioned on my previous update that in March I had pretty much given up writing about COVID-19 and related stuff. Well, I must have shut a lot of it out of my mind because April 2020 saw many posts relating to COVID-19 and associate issues. This LINK brings up all the posts where I mention COVID-19, even if only in passing. But, to be sure, there are many posts (too many) dealing with masks, social distancing, statistics, bat-shit theories, misinformation, disinformation, etc. etc. . I’m posting it here because I really don’t want to keep mentioning it as I go forward. If interested in revisiting what was on my mind about COVID-19 in April, May, and June, knock yourselves out.

So, was there anything NOT involving COVID-19 and the Alphabet Challenge? A few things, but I’ll begin with photos . . . 

Once again, the bulk of the photos come from the ‘reminder to vote’ posts. A few exceptions are covered below, but the short reminder posts with a few photos each pushed my photo processing along.  

From the previous year-end update, it should be obvious to everyone that — by volume — the big contribution for the year has been from The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

The Alphabet Challenge disproportionally contributed both directly and indirectly because not only were there five posts relating to it every few weeks (three stories, one voting post, one results post for each round) but I also had daily reminders during the rounds.

I’ll mention some exceptions below, but The Alphabet Challenge also dominated in contributing photos. It’s tough picking a favorite from the first quarter’s reminders . . . but it’s easier picking one for each month’s reminders, starting with January’s . . . 

The photo I liked best for January is this, from the  Orphans<<link posts. . . 

This year has been something, I tell you what. So much so that I decided on a bit of a year-end summary.

A summary of my blogging efforts, my life, what I observed and think about the year, and whatever else comes up as I write these posts. That’s right . . . posts, because it would be difficult — and draining — to write about all those things in one post.

Therefore, I begin with is by far the easiest thing to write about . . . numbers. Specifically, numbers pertaining to this blog, and more specifically, numbers for the year and numbers for the ten years this blog has been in existence. 

Here we go . . .

The big jump in visitors and views for 2020 is due to The Alphabet  Challenge (LINK), as can be seen below.

The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories seems to mirror another race that’s going on, with the lead changing hands almost daily. For a while, only one point separated the three stories. As of this writing, two points. As I wrote this, one story surged ahead and taken a three-votes lead. Impressive move this late in the round.

Regardless of who wins this round, it’s nice to see a good turnout at a time when people’s lives have many other pressing considerations.

I’ve been meaning to let all the procrastinators know of the impending deadline, but I’ve been putting it off . . . until now.

At noon tomorrow, this race will be called. If you plan to vote, please engage your posterior and get a move-on.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon (Chicago time) tomorrow.

Yesterday I posted a few “Westernized” photos. The bold colors are a big part of the characterization . . . but would they still be Western landscapes in monochrome? Well, let’s see . . .

Western scenery in monochrome
. . . You know what? It still do looks kinda Western-like . . . in fact, it reminds me a bit of the Tex Willard(link) comics I used to read.

The voting for the best of The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories poll continues to be close. This either means the stories are near-equally good . . . or near-equally bad. 

Regardless of who wins this round, it’s nice to see a close race. For them keeping track, there are two more days before this round’s voting closes in two days.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

I’m going to post a few “Westernized” photos. I mean, the post-processing is such that it gives the photos a “Western” look (or so I imagine).

Colorado scenery - fence and some red rocks
. . . Don’t know if I succeeded. I mean, the photos are all of Western scenery (Colorado), but I don’t know if these conform to people’s idea of Western paintings  . . .

The voting is unusually close (at the time of this writing) for The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories poll. Perhaps as a reflection of what’s happening elsewhere, the race for the top spot is tight. Unlike what might be happening elsewhere, this voting is not fraught with contention, and voters are not under any pressure since the results won’t matter much to anyone other than the writers.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

So, I was having some issues with the theme I had chosen. Specifically, photos were not being presented as I liked, especially in older posts.

Red-tailed hawk perched on fencepost
. . . so, here it is, a different theme. There are a few things I like with this theme . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories poll has picked up steam and is now a hotly contested race the likes of which I can’t imagine being matched in the real world.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

I’m still trying to digest the change in theme. I’ll be trying some new ones, possibly tomorrow.


I’ve seen some interesting themes and I’m actually considering exploring some drastic departures from the usual . . .

A quick reminder that The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories poll is still lagging in votes with only five days remaining. Of course, I realize we’re probably all a little occupied with a little election that’s going on. 

Still, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who would like to express an opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

And . . . readers who are on a PC might have noticed something . . . a different look for the blog. But, before I discuss that, here’s a photo . . .

Yellow VW Beetle covered in snowBack in the days when we were still living in Colorado and I was still working, we’d experience our first snows in September . . .

After a small surge, The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories polling has again lagged. We’re now hoping for the usual late-voting surge, but I fear all the talk of voting may have put some people off.

You see, it might be they assume this has to do with some election or other. I wouldn’t know much about that, but I thought it best to change vote/voting to poll/polling . . . although that too can have negative associations.

Still, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who would like to express an opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

OK, there be no photos on this blog post . . . only screen captures.

Let me explain . . .