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2009 in Review
A Year in the Life of Jer

It is that time again…the time to navel gaze and introspect about the highlights of yet another trip around the sun. My thoughts on the year 2009.

By the Numbers saw a sharp increase in traffic, with 395,000 requests and nearly 230,000 pages served. This is especially impressive given the slump that was the first half of the year. The year through the end of July accounted for less than one-third of my annual traffic, so the remaining 5 months must have been truly busy to accumulate the remainder. While this certainly sounds like a lot of eyeballs, the reality is that is actually pretty low. The Whatever (author John Scalzi's blog) is ranked 90,000 by Alexa and had probably about 4 million pageviews this year (and I'll wager I'm low by a decent percentage there)…Alexa doesn't even know I exist. How is that for humbling, Alexa even knows about Tucker Max, but I don't exist. It's an unfair world, kids.

My accounting of why I won't get Father of the Year remains (by far) the biggest source of traffic, accounting for nearly three-quarters of my pageviews; mostly on the back of a StumbleUpon mention (which means, either I need more of my stuff ‘stumbled’ or I need to write about being a shitty father more, one of the two). Interestingly enough second place was essentially a tie between the various parts of the Gamer's Outreach saga, my account of genital waxing, and the listing of Penguicon 7 reports. This is the first time, I think, that one of my non-humor pieces did so well (as it turns out, the Open Source Boob Project bit did similarly well, so that was a lie)

In all, a not-too-shabby year for my little vanity site.

Below, I recount the year through blog posts and my own faulty memory. I have also included a “Most Interesting Read” link for each month. This is the post that I made that amused or interested me the most as I trolled back through my posts. You might find them uninteresting, but I did not.

The Year, Itself
  • January saw me start and summarily obliterate a new diet in the same day, start new classes (both teaching and taking) which is far from abnormal for me lately, and otherwise lead a pretty boring life. (Unless, of course, you count losing breaks on the coldest night of the year, a little convention, and getting a free car from my family as ‘not boring’, that is)

    Most interesting read: I mess with people on a bus

  • I drank even more of the Google Kool-Aid in February when I picked up a G1 phone running the new Android operating system. It remains my favorite phone among the dozens I've owned. Ger and I started a wedding website and went to Capricon in Chicago so we could play with Dawn and Greg more. Oh, I got a Twitter account.

    Most interesting read: I discuss the nature of my blog-to-reader relationship

  • The Internet exploded, in March with the latest in a series of insert-witty-summary-word-here-fail in an apparent attempt to see if even a topic as important as racism could be trivialized by adding the fail suffix to it. Somewhere on the 'net a rational discussion was had…it was almost entirely masked, though, by the thousands of people who used it as a launchpad for their “look at how enlightened I am” blog entries. My life became a bit hectic with Penguicon and wedding planning.

    Most interesting read: I ponder volunteer project management and deadlines in a ‘less comedy, more rant’ sort of way

  • Ahh, April…if you were to judge by my posting, nothing happened at all this month, but that is because I was too busy with a bachelor party, school, and doing the logistics for a wedding and convention to post about any of these things. Frankly, if it weren't for Twitter feeding my blournal, I would have virtually no posts this month.

    Most interesting read: I don't know, probably a newspaper. I posted precious little, and what few posts I did have were mostly “here's why I'm absent” messages.

  • What happened in May? Not too much, just a convention, a wedding (mine, specifically), a certain “charity” acting the fool, then traveling across the state for yet ANOTHER wedding. My dream of blissfully relaxing after the full court press that was the first week of the month disintegrated into a flurry of plans and running around (and, to be honest, I am not sure I could live any other way). In familial news, my ex-wife and I made the decision that next school year we'd try it with the kids living at her home.

    Most interesting read: it's not a full on entry, but I was very amused when re-reading live Tweeting while watching the Twilight movie

  • June was apparently the month for Intarweb drama. First, a piece that I wrote explodes into interpersonal drama because it shared temporal space with OTHER interpersonal drama. Next, LJ personality TheFerrett was abused into deleting his web presence (he later returned). Oh, and an author friend found herself in financial trouble (and was abused for her friends trying to help her). Also in the “kinda crappy” column was my random kidney pain turned enlarged spleen and liver.

    It was not all bad though: the new summer convention ( ConStruct) advanced considerably and I formed a plan to self-publish a book (a book which is oh so close to complete).

    Most interesting read: Probably the piece that I wrote that sparked all of the fun controversy I alluded to before. The entry is innocuous, but the commentary and snark that followed is priceless. It also generated a quote I love…

    I am profoundly comfortable with who I am. There are few enough people whose opinions of ME matter that I can count them on all of my digits with many left over. The opinions most of my friends have of my actions is of more importance…and the opinions of the remainder of the world is of almost no importance. I don't seek outside approval; I know who I am (within reason) and I like that person quite a bit. The rest of the world can take me or leave me.
  • In July, Gamer's Outreach ran a painfully unsuccessful LAN (and was given some free consultation about how to fix some of the broken). The next weekend, MPCon threw a LAN that was clearly successful. Seeing both was interesting from a event manager standpoint. Most of my month, however, was spent gearing up for the launch of the new convention we started (the aforementioned ConStruct), so I did very little writing and a great deal of pseudo working. Also, we found out nothing more about my medical woes.

    Most interesting read: another month with nothing interesting (by me, at least)

  • My grandmother passed away in early August, as I noted in a post about her card playing habits. I switched to a safety razor from cartridge-style pain and expense…and found the cost of my shaved head diminished tremendously. My daughter started having significant behavioral problems, and school hadn't even started. Oh, and while we were gone for the weekend, our home got robbed for the eleventy-billionth time. Life was interesting in the Chinese proverb sense. In happier news, though, ConStruct happened and it was awesome!!!

    Most interesting read: We are all Ambassadors wherein I discuss the racist happenings witnessed at a restaurant.

  • In September we signed a lease for a new place in a presumably less robbery-heavy locale. I loaded CyanogenMOD on my G1 (and lo, did wondrous glories appear unto me). The kids and I started back to school (and I started blogging for my school again). I rode in the Tour de Troit (and determined that I only roll with fun-riders in the future; serious riders don't enjoy themselves enough, they just complain about the pace). Mostly, I entirely failed to write because I was entirely wrapped up in getting ready to move and starting back to school.

    Most interesting read: didn't even happen on my blog, and didn't get published until early October, but it was WRITTEN in September, so that should count… 10 Random Things About Jer

  • I moved to Livonia in October into a place that we really love. I also took a moment to adjust my priorities and make more time for the things that are important; in this case, family, school, and at least a smidgen of free time (in hindsight, two out of three isn't bad, eh?). Ger and I hung out with the always fun Dawn and Greg at ConClave (and I had a bit of an bit of a problem with the Dorsai Irregular). I celebrated seven years drug and alcohol free.

    Most interesting read: Well, I am partial to my drug post (above) but for something a bit less heavy, I rant about zealotry (and learn that narwhals are real…crazy)

  • November was rung in by my participation in the International Collegiate Programming Contest regionals and changing my laptop over to Ubuntu. Not having gotten enough of the Chicago crew, Ger and I traveled to Chicago for WindyCon; much fun was had! The SMOScast made a comeback early in the month and good friends came together at month's end for food and fun.

    Most interesting read: I revisit one of my biggest open source peeves

  • Finally, in December I found myself briefly the target of a personal attack campaign, then got myself added to someone else's by virtue of talking about it…when will I learn, eh? I managed to stop nailbiting (at least so far). I finished yet another semester of slowly dragging down my GPA with B+'s (but the important bit is that I finished). As the year waned, my family and I traveled to New York and entirely failed to get robbed while we were gone, this time. I complained about feminist hypocrisy a bit (which seems to have become my shtick, annoyingly enough), but mostly I relaxed for the first time in a long, long time. It has been nice. Barring anything unforeseen today, that pretty much closes up the year.

    Most interesting read: This would have to be the saga of the anti-Jer campaign in all of its insane glory.

By the Numbers

I cannot complain about this year. It ended with a wonderful wife, a nice new place to live, and a bit of time with friends. Okay, that would be my one complaint—I would like to have spent more time with friends. So if I were to have any sort of resolution this new year, it would be that…to make more time for hanging out with friends. Oh, and I'm 95% of the way done with the aforementioned book, so within the next week I should be done with the main writing, I should be able to pay my artist for his illustrations, and then I have only to put everything together and do the editorial work. So those are the things I wish to do, spend more time with friends and finish this damned book.

So, what were your most memorable parts of this last year?