And That’s All I Wrote (But Never Say Never)

May 15th, 2014

Don’t think of this as a goodbye.

Yes, technically it is, but it’s only a small one. It’s not like I’m leaving the internet for good (if I ever say I’m doing that, please commit me to a mental institution). No, this is more just like I’m moving out of this house and going to exclusively spend time at my other homes. I won’t sell this one quite yet, but I have no plans to return. Without further adieu, here are your 10th (and final) year stats:

  • 365 posts: “This Is A Year To Celebrate” to “It All Had To End Eventually”. My final blog post count including today is 2990. It’s a little disappointing that I came that close to reaching 3000, but I’d have to go back and blame my 2007 (or earlier) self for that.
  • The post streak reached and ends at 2581 consecutive days. From April 22, 2007 to May 15th, 2014 I didn’t miss a single day of posting.
  • Yet another year of a decreasing maximum title length. I maxed out at 9 words over the past year, hitting it two different times. Five years straight my most common title length was 5 (118, 32.3%) with 4 (106, 29%) and 6 (60, 16.4%) as the runners up yet again.
  • My last five minute posts crept up again, this time reaching 157. I had been doing so good, but clearly I just wasn’t on my posting game this time around.
  • My Australia trip left me with 17 ITEMS PLAN posts, surprisingly the exact same number as my Europe trip did back in 2012. Those were spread out across only three new categories instead of five this year though (Cairns: 5, Sydney: 5, Melbourne: 7). I only had one additional new travel category (New York: 5), and I hit a some other previous locations as well for good measure (Boston: 5, Dallas: 14, Las Vegas: 4). I would say that’s “only” 45 days of traveling since the year before I hit 53 (and before that it was 58), but being away from Seattle for over a month is still pretty awesome when you think about it. My media posts gained a new category as well (Music: 1), but with only 7 Videos and 2 Comics, I relied far less on those this time around.

As I mentioned before, if you wish to keep getting updates from me, I’m still going to be updating Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with things I find interesting. I’m sure that I’ll add in new social networks going into the future, and at some point I might resurrect a new personal site even. Chances are it won’t be a blog though.

I guess that’s it; there’s nothing left for me to say. I could have waited until this evening to make this post, but getting it out of the way in the morning just felt like the most appropriate thing to do rather than stretch out the end longer than necessary. Now you can just read, reflect, and continue on with your day. If you ever need to find me, you’ll know where I’ll be.

However, just in case I don’t see you… Good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

-Jeff

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It All Had To End Eventually

May 14th, 2014

Well, looks like I did it. I’ll save the final streak count and everything for tomorrow, but I finished ten years of this blog. I guess I could end it today and be happy with my accomplishment, but with every other year really being celebrated on the anniversary date, I think I can make one more post to round things out.

At some point in life it should have been obvious that I wasn’t going to keep making daily postings. Did anyone really think that I was going to keep this up forever? At some point my ability to continue to find ways to maintain my posting streak was going to run out (I can only come up with so many different acronyms), and once that happened, where was the motivation going to be to maintain this daily posting system? From there it would just be a slow descent into more spaced out postings with the ever lingering question of when (or if) the next one would come. No, I think it’s far better for this to end on my own terms.

I fully expect not having to architect my daily schedule around writing a new post every 24 hours or so to take a little bit of getting used to. For a while it’ll probably feel like something is missing, like I’m constantly forgetting to do something before I go to sleep every night. I expect that feeling to dwindle over time, and eventually I nothing will seem out of the ordinary at all.

 

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Not Even I Know What To Expect

May 13th, 2014

Let’s face it, starting Friday the only difference in my life is that I won’t be spending some amount of time each day writing one of these posts. The only result of me no longer posting if that I’ll gain a small amount of free time back in my day. I made extremely few decisions in the past 10 years as a direct result of this blog, and I don’t expect my decision making algorithm to change that much when I no longer have a post to make. If you think that means my life is going to be predictable, then please tell me what it is that will happen.

Just like I said back at the beginning of this string of posts, if you’d asked me ten years ago specifics about where I’d be right now or what I’d have done, chances are I would have missed on all of them. I’m smart enough to realize that thinking I can predict the next ten years from right now is just as pointless of an effort. Are there things that I expect will probably happen? Sure, but back in 2004 I could have anticipated that I’d go to college and get a job. Fortunately I’ve learned to deal with change significantly better in the past decade, so I’m not worried about what my future holds. It’s the unknown, and in 2024 maybe I’ll look back and see just how closely it matched up with what I felt I could have predicted now.

Personal - Seattle

What A Long, Strange Journey It’s Been

May 12th, 2014

Barring any incredibly last minute surprises between now and the end of the week, I’m done making posts away from Seattle. That means if you look at my Trips category, I’ve made posts from a total of 19 different locations around the globe. The final count could be even higher (for example, Vancouver isn’t a city on that list), but I feel like 19 is a very respectable amount of world traveling to get in over the course of 10 years.

Dallas was the first posting location and it should be fairly obvious why. My first “non-home city” post came from a trip to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday, and I feel like that location shouldn’t be entirely unexpected. From there I moved onto LA when I still thought grad school was in my future.

Tokyo in the summer of 2008 was my first international trip and also the first true test of my posting streak. I even pulled that one off with real-time posting which introduced the system of needing to make a post while it was still within the appropriate day of this site. Once I came back to the US, my next trip was to Seattle for my Microsoft interview, and then I finished up my traveling from Dallas with a trip to Park City and a return visit to Seattle the spring before I moved up here.

Once my home location pivoted, my only travels were to Dallas and Vegas for close to two years. In the spring of 2011 I found myself on a recruiting trip to Baton Rouge, and that summer was my triumphant return to LA for the first Child’s Play golf tournament. My first trip to Boston wasn’t until 2012 for PAX East, and that summer had another LA visit for the second golf tournament.

Barely a month later is when my system had to adapt to keep my posting streak alive, and I found myself in five different countries spanning two continents over the course of two weeks. By the time I returned from London, South Africa, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin, I was fine sticking just to Dallas for the remainder of 2012.

I kicked off 2013 by traveling to five locations in the first three months of the year (Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, Dallas, and Boston), and then came my third international journey, this time to Australia. After my escapades in Cairns, Sydney, and Melbourne wrapped up, I kept my trips in the country but did throw in some New York to go along with my Dallas visiting. Finally, this year I’ve been to Vegas and Boston so far with upcoming trips to Dallas and LA. I wouldn’t bet against a new location by the end of the year, but I’ll just have to see what happens.

I think what’s most impressive of all (and something that I didn’t realize until I wrote this post): every single one of my “Trips” posts occurred during the time period of my continuous posting streak. Yes, I somehow visited 19 different locations across five continents and never once missed a post. If that’s not true dedication, I don’t know what else you want from me.

Personal - Seattle

A Decade Defining Project

May 11th, 2014

If you think about everything that this blog has made me do over the past ten years, it’s kind of impressive. There’s the YotGotYGP that I did in 2012, easily responsible for setting a record of the number of games I’ve beaten in a single year in recent history. There’s the blogging that I’ve done on three international trips, effectively creating a written record of my experience that probably wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Then there’s just the random posts covering the minutia of my day to day life, but that’s captured things like HP winning State in 2005, a wide collection of movie reviews, and getting hired by Microsoft. Fine, the post concerning the latter was really more about my epic dinner journey than anything else, but it was the far more exciting part of the day for an outside observer.

Just because I’m going to stop blogging doesn’t mean that interesting things are going to cease happening to me (at least, I really hope that’s not the case). I still plan on taking trips places, I still plan on watching more movies, and I still plan on coming up with seemingly pointless plans for my life that serve little other purpose than to amuse me. I’m not changing that much; I just won’t be spending time documenting every single day of my life anymore.

If nothing else, I may adopt some sort of writing methodology to help me archive these experiences in a non-web based format. Yes, I’m aware that’s what the rest of the world calls a journal/diary, but I don’t plan on going that far. I’m not going back to the dark ages, people. Recognize that I have at least some amount of tech cred that I have to maintain amongst my peers.

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The Butterfly Effect

May 10th, 2014

To build on yesterday’s post, I’d be lying if I said that I’d never thought about how my life would be different if I’d gone to UT Austin, Stanford, MIT, or any other “top tier” CS school. What I do know is that I wouldn’t have gotten to continue volunteering at HP with their sports programs for four years (including being part of the 2005 football championship), meaning all of those people I met and connections I made wouldn’t exist. While it’s almost all but certain Microsoft would have still come to recruit at whatever school I went to, would I still have a job here? Would I have been hired into the same position that controlled my first three years up here?

Even then, if I’d gone to a different school my entire relationship with our recruiting department could have been different, so I might not have ever met the person that got me into the position I had for Windows 8.1, and that most definitely has a direct relationship to my job right now. All in all, I can’t really say that I wish anything was different because it’s not like I have all that many complaints about the present.

Personal - Seattle

Not The Same Blogger I Was

May 9th, 2014

Let’s go back ten years ago. I was 17, finishing up my junior year at HP. If you asked me then where the next ten years would take me, I probably would have said something along the lines of this:

I’ll go to SMU and get a degree in Computer Science. Then I’ll enroll in the Guildhall program to focus on game design for graduate school. Once I’m done with that, I’ll get into the video game industry as a game designer. I might have moved out of Dallas, but there are enough game studios around here that I could possibly stay in the area as well.

For as little as that actually represents what actually happened, it’s really not that far off. I got a degree in CS, not from SMU but essentially the next closest possible school. Even after enrolling at UTD, up until almost my senior year there I would have stuck to pretty much the same script. It wasn’t until my chance interaction with Microsoft in 2008 that my world took shape into its current form.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally happy with what did end up happening. In fact, I’m not sure that there’s too much I could really complain about even if I wanted to. Not working in the game industry? There’s a whole division here where I could get that experience, and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to transfer over there that I’ve never pursued, so that’s entirely on me at this point.

Personal - Seattle

It’s The Final Week Countdown

May 8th, 2014

One week from tonight is my final post, people. Rather than just my normal daily ramblings (unless something incredibly interesting happens), you’re going to be getting posts a little more substantive than the normal fare. Just think of it as my parting gift to everyone who has stuck around with me for so long.

The way that I know these are going to not just be my usual ramblings is because I’m actually writing them up in advance. I mainly expect them to touch on recapping the past ten years in one way or another, focusing on some aspect of something that’s happened. I say expect because I haven’t actually written them all up yet; as of right now I’m good through Saturday, so just appreciate that I have good intentions and at least some level of commitment to closing out this blog on a high note.

Personal - Seattle

A Firstest World Problem

May 7th, 2014

I had to watch Survivor tonight when it aired here normally because my team’s morale event got in the way of me being at a computer at the appropriate time to watch it on Dallas time. Unfortunately neither Slingbox nor the TV it’s hooked up to in Dallas are equipped with any DVR functionality aside from being able to pause/buffer live TV for 30 minutes or so. I think that’s even beyond a first world problem though, so I guess I’ll just accept the fact that occasionally I might have to be inconvenienced.

It looks like today is the last day of nice weather until the weekend rolls around, so my one day of taking the bus to work (yesterday) appears like it will be it for yet a second week in a row. My target is three, and once true summer weather sticks around for a while, that’s not an unreasonable target in my mind. If I can not get wet and also have a slightly faster commute though, I’m pretty sure that option is going to win in a head to head match.

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Old School Entertainment

May 6th, 2014

With no desire to do anything productive on my computer or even watch TV at the moment, I’m about to take advantage of this boredom to go read more Game of Thrones. For the most part I’ve just been getting in 1-2 chapters tonight, but at this early of an hour I’ll have far more time. Given my ability to totally remain focused on tasks, I think it might be possible for me to get in…3? Yeah, 3 sounds like a good target to shoot for.

Thanks to my parents not being rich enough to own a private jet and me clearly not doing enough networking while I was in HP to have any friends with one, I’m stuck trying to find flights to LA for the 4th of July like everyone else. To make matters even more difficult I’m actually trying to coordinate with other people on departure times (if not exact flights), so just because I see a certain flight at a reasonable price doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best one for me to book. Thanks for making my life difficult, parents…

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