# Anchor And Compass

Around this time last year the good folks at WordPress sent me an email to inform me that they had done some crunching of my blog numbers. While these might be boring for some, I find them fascinating. Part of this fascination is my inherent love of all things number-y. But there’s also a large chunk of fascination that I attribute to the story behind the numbers.

For example – while the raw number of 47000 page views (~128.42 per day) is fascinating, I’m more amazed that so many people thought to drop by my wee blog to view it. I know I’ve said this before, but I never started this blog with the expectation that it would reach so many people – I simply wanted a place to record my thoughts, my travels, my adventures, and my goals. I assumed that my family or a few friends might read it. I had no idea it would grow to what it is today. The fact that over 800 people have subscribed to the blog in some way blows my mind. The fact that so many others find their way here and opt to stick around to check things out leaves me gobsmacked.

Interestingly, my most popular posts this year were all written last year. The fact that older posts have such staying power is pretty sweet, especially given that some were related to Pi. Those of you who know me or read this blog on a regular basis will understand the giddy delight I derive from this knowledge. Of course, my post entitled Sad Babies Are The Saddest Babies Of All – which just so happens to be my most popular post ever – makes me delight for a completely different reason. I mean, why that particular post draws people to my blog is beyond me. Even better (worse?), one of the search terms that brings a lot of people to my blog is sad baby. Are there really that many parents out there that are worried that their babies are sad? Maybe this is normal – but I’m not a parent so I really have no idea.

Beyond the numbers, there remains the fact that this blog has brought me so much more than I ever thought it could. I never expected it to play such an important role in my daily life. I never expected it to help me set and achieve goals. I never expected it to be a place where I could go to reflect on my accomplishments and my failures. I never expected it to remind me of the road that I have travelled. And yet here I am at the end of 2012 realizing that it has been, in a way, both my anchor and my compass along the journey that is my life; keeping me true to my goals, allowing me to identify and accept my limitations, reminding me of where I’ve been, and pushing me to success beyond that which I might have thought I could achieve only a few years ago.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings. Thank you again for reading, for commenting, and for sharing these posts with others. It really does mean a lot to me.

The full WordPress report/infographic can be found below.

# A New Theme

You may have noticed something different about the blog tonight.

No?

Well, no worries.

In the event that you hadn’t noticed, I’ve opted to change my blog theme from one called Freshy to one called Ocean Mist. If you frequent my academic blog (danielgillis.wordpress.com) you’ll notice that I’ve adopted the same theme that I use over there for this blog.

Apparently I like Ocean Mist. And consistency.

What possessed me to change the theme?

To be perfectly honest, I liked how the Ocean Mist theme worked a little more. It has a few more options, such as allowing me to randomize my cover photo (that photo you see at the top of the page). And if you know me, you’ll know that I like randomization. Because I’m a statistician. Get it? Ha! Stats humour. I kill me. It also has what I consider to be better control over the menu structure. Yes I realize how nerdy that sounds, but I do love all things nerdy.

Anyway, I haven’t sold myself on the change yet. First and foremost, I want to know what you think of the change. Maybe leave a comment if you think it’s good, bad, indifferent, or ugly. And in case you have forgotten what the old blog looked like, I’ve painstakingly uploaded the before and after photos for your perusal.

Change is good, no?

# Zounds! 40000 Happened While I Wasn’t Looking

On September 15, 2011 I suggested that I wouldn’t write this kind of post until I hit another major milestone. Well, sometime last week a milestone was hit which demanded a post. Okay, maybe it didn’t demand a post, but it did provide me the opportunity to take a break from work, crunch some numbers, and continue my blog updating streak1.

In case you haven’t guessed it, my blog had its 40 thousandth view late last week. In a word: Amaze-balls. I’m not exactly sure when because I wasn’t actually paying attention enough to track it. Back calculation suggests it happened some time on Friday. Normally I watch numbers – what with me being a Statistician I’m sure that comes as no surprise – and then squee with delight when certain values appear (like $\pi$ or any multiple thereof, for example). This time however, I was caught somewhat unawares. I think part of the problem was that there was a huge spike in views on Friday – 294 views to be specific. I’ve no idea why, I just know that it happened.

As with my previous posts of this nature (see here for the 10000 view announcement, and here for the 20000 view announcement), I feel the need to break this number down with some stats. You can’t honestly be surprised. Anyway, without further ado:

• It took about 382 days to reach 40000 views. This translates to an average of ~105 views per day.
• In 2011, the average daily views sat at 103. So far this year, the average daily views are 125. Based on the current average, I might actually hit 80000 views before the end of the year. That is insane.
• I’ve posted 332 times since starting this particular blog. That’s an average of 120 views per post.
Once again, thank you to everyone who takes the time to drop by and read my ramblings. It still blows my mind that so many people do, and I very much appreciate it.
Here’s to the next 40000! Now to get back to work while sipping some February scotch – a drink worthy of today’s milestone.

1 In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve posted at least once per day for all of 2012. In fact, the streak goes all the way back into the old-time-y days of 2011. Specifically I’ve posted at least once per day since December 20 of last year for a total of 50 posts (including this one).

# 525 Thousand Six Hundred Minutes Of Wanderlust

Wow. Time really flies when you’re having fun.

It’s hard to believe that I wrote my very first blog post here at Consumed By Wanderlust 1 year ago today: January 19, 2011. I won’t say that my re-entry into the blogging world was all that profound; I mean, my first post here was entitled “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)“. I’d like to believe that things have improved since that initial post. But let’s be honest, anything that followed “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)” had to be an improvement, right?

When I started the blog I had fully intended it to be a place for me to write about my adventures, my academic and health related pursuits, my nerdery, and other such related bric-a-brac. And for the most part, I think I’ve been successful in that respect.

I also had intended the blog to be a place where I could identify challenges for myself, set goals, measure them in some way, and further keep track of the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to do (as I am rather forgetful). And again, I think for the most part I’ve been successful in this too.

However, there were also unintended consequences of this blog that I never would have ever foreseen. First and foremost this blog has taught me a lot about myself. That’s not to say that I didn’t often stop to reflect on my life prior to the blog – I did. But having to put into words the things that I have been thinking or feeling has been a great way to evaluate not only where I am and where I want to go, but more importantly who I am and who I want to be.

A second amazing and unforeseen consequence has been the development of new friendships. The online community has been (and continues to be) amazing. For those Bloggers and Tweeters  that I’ve been able to meet in real life and get to know outside of the interwebs, I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this past year has been and how awesome all y’all are. You are a group of amazing individuals who are unbelievably active in the community, who are charitable and positive, optimistic about life, health-minded, and never lacking in laughter and smiles. You have and continue to inspire me to be better at everything that I do. Your lust for life is addictive, and I thank you for getting me hooked on it.

Finally, I would also never have foreseen that my blog would be read by so many. To date, this little-old-blog has been viewed almost 40,000 times. It has received over 1500 comments and is followed by over 500 people. I’m not sure where that stands in the grand scheme of blogging, but it’s far beyond what I ever had imagined. Truth is, when I started this adventure I figured I might get a few family and friends reading my posts. The fact that this blog receives over 100 views per day astounds me.

Anyway, here’s to another year of blogging and all the awesome things that it brings.

Some statistics, because, well, why not?

• Total posts: 316 since January 19, 2011
• Total page views: 38257
• Average daily views in 2011: 103
• Average daily views in 2012: 127
• Total followers: 518
• Most common search term that brings people to my blog: sad babies, followed closely by pi

# The Month That Was NaBloPoMo

Holy crapshite time flies. Translation: NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, is officially over today.

In case you forgot, I mentioned way back in the early days of November (here specifically) that I was going to attempt to take part in this crazy event. Of course, given my penchant to distraction I opted to modify the requirements of NaBloPoMo. That is, instead of posting every day I instead committed to posting at least 30 times this month.

How did I do? Pretty well I think. I’ve managed a total of 39 posts. These include posts here at Consumed By Wanderlust, and several posts at my official ass. prof. blog simply titled Daniel Gillis. It also includes a guest blogger post at the Sporcle Blog. Talk about a crazy month of posting. I missed only one day of posting – that being November 5. Clearly I was doing something of such importance that it meant that I couldn’t post. Or perhaps I was lazy. One of those answers must be the truth.

My average blog views for November jumped significantly. In September I saw about 96 views per day. By October this had climbed to 154. In November, it was up again to 184 (not including today). Crazy! I credit the jump to the Movember Contest, my posts from New York, and the recent incident of my brother’s accident. Regardless of why you are reading this blog, I’d like to say thank you to those that are. It still blows my mind that anyone reads it at all! Big cyber hugs and such all around.

Anyway, I now provide to you dear readers a list of all of my blog posts from this the month of NaBloPoMo. You know, just in case you missed anything.

# Now Serving 314

This will be a short entry as I’m about to go jump on the treadmill. W00t! Three runs, 5 days, 15.73 kms. Not too shabby.

Anyway, before I get off track and rambling about running – something I’ve been known to do – I just would like to point out that this is post number

here at Consumed By Wanderlust. And clearly, I can’t not celebrate my 314th post. At this point, it’s probably obvious to everyone why I’d be celebrating this particular post. But in case you haven’t noticed, or are new to my blog, this post represents my (approximately)

post. And we all know how much I love $\pi$. Anyway, clearly the occasion deserves a celebration of sorts. I’m pretty sure that mathematical tradition recommends pie. Or scotch. Perhaps both. Probably both.

# Tomorrow You May Be Eaten – Words To Live By

It’s National Blog Posting Month. Or for those in the know, NaBloPoMo. Seriously. It’s a thing. I don’t make this stuff up. Okay, sometimes I do. But in this case, I didn’t. Just ask Dr. Beth – she was after all the one who informed me about this particular festival of the blog.

As far as I can tell, the goal is simply to publish every day for the entire month. I’m not sure that I’m going to commit to that exactly; however, I will commit to 30 posts in 30 days. That way, if I’m swamped one day, I can make up for it on another. So far I’m ahead of the curve as this will make my 4th post in 3 days:

If I include the new page for the first ever Consumed By Wanderlust contest, then we’re up to 5 posts in 3 days. I’m on a roll. W00t!

Anyway, for fear of having “Worst Blog Post Entry Ever” on repeat in my head (and clearly voiced by Comic Book Guy), informing you of NaBloPoMo is not the entire purpose of this post. It’s also to inform you of my other newest challenge (NaBloPoMo being the first challenge): Marathon the 2nd.

That’s right folks, I’m picking up where I left off prior to my hiatal hernia surgery back in the old time-y days of August. That is, I’m starting my slow but steady return to running and the elusive sub 4 hour marathon. While I’ve been trying to get my ass back into running since surgery – and I have made several attempts – I’ve had to abandon all of them because I wasn’t quite feeling it. Don’t get me wrong, the running part felt great. The abs, however, disagreed completely. They tired far too easy, and often included weird stitching/pain/pulling – I’m not sure what I’d call it to be honest – both during and after running. I just know something down below didn’t feel quite right. So I figured I’d err on the side of caution and continue to heal.

What’s different now? Well, after having some time to contemplate life while sipping some scotch at the top of a mountain with Rick and Paul, and then following that up with some reflection in a dark wet cave, I realized that my body was ready. I mean, if I could hike to the top of a mountain in 2 hours, run down it in 25 or so odd minutes, then crawl around on my belly in some rather tight spaces, surely my abs were good to go.

So, with this in mind, I set November 1 as my get back on the horse day. And while the run wasn’t all that long or intense (20 minutes, 3.72 kilometres), it felt awesome. Today marked my second run. I ran the first mile in 10 minutes, and then kicked it up a notch. I managed to hammer out 2.125 more miles in 15 minutes, 55 seconds. In other words, 3.42 kilometres in 15:55, or a pace of about 4:40 per kilometre. Not my fastest pace by any means, but it felt good. I’m sure my muscles will be feeling it tomorrow – but in a good way. And my abs – they feel great. No pain. No stitching. No pulling. Awesome.

Anyway, wish me luck on this my return to marathoning. It’s going to be a long hard road of running, but it’s going to be so worth it. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, I offer you this wonderful bit of ridiculum that I found on the interwebs. Every time I look at it, I laugh. This, dear friends, is why the internet was invented.

# 20000 Reasons To Smile Like An Idiot

On May 19, 2011, Consumed By Wanderlust hit 10,000 page views. At that time, I was amazed at the number of people reading and commenting on my blog.

Well folks, today marks another monumental step for this blog. Today is the day that I hit 20,000 page views. Twenty freaking thousand! That’s incredible. If only each of those views came with a dollar; we could have a wicked awesome party. And who doesn’t want to celebrate 20,000 views?

How am I actually going to celebrate? Well, I’m going to have a bit of a nap (as I was up quite late last night working), then maybe a run, followed by a tea and some food, and then bed. Sweet, sweet, bed. Yes, I’m just that much of a party animal. Oh, and I might also be going to Montreal tomorrow night (where might also be clearly means am), but I’ll leave that particular adventure-in-the-making for another post.

As with my previous milestone of 10,000 page views, I offer you some random facts and statistics about Consumed By Wanderlust. The blog was created on January 19th, but it didn’t go ‘live’ until January 27th. Working from the 19th of January, that means the blog has been chugging along for 239 days. In that time I’ve had 20,000+ views. That’s an average of almost 84 views per day.  Sweet!

I’ve also had 926 comments, with Follow Up III: Dissertation Haiku being the most commented post. Of course, the comments on that particular post consist of a back-and-forth Haiku-off between myself and a friend. Check it out, it’s actually pretty hilarious.

How do the views break down by month and post? I’m glad you asked. And because you’ve asked so nicely, I present to you a tabled summary of number-stuffs and nerdery. Enjoy.

 Month Number of Posts Number of Days Number of Views Views Per Day Views Per Post Posts Per Day January 11 12 477 37 43 0.92 February 28 28 1909 68 68 1.00 March 34 31 3313 107 97 1.10 April 29 30 2532 84 87 0.97 May 28 31 2988 96 107 0.90 June 22 30 2547 85 116 0.73 July 22 31 2029 65 92 0.71 August 26 31 2815 91 108 0.84 September 10 15 1377 82 138 0.67
• The busiest day on the blog (with 300 views) was August 29. On that day I published Naughty 6 Squared Birthday To Me.
• The second busiest day of the blog (with 237 views so far) is today. Crazy!
• Total blog posts = 210 (including this one, but excluding those prior to January 19th, which are posts that were imported from an older blog that I once had a long time ago).
• Average number of views per day = 84.
• Average number of views per post = 95.
• Average number of posts per day = 0.88.
What else can I tell you? How about this – the top search term that brings people to my blog (from Google, for example) is sad baby or some variant of that. Seriously. A quick calculation suggests that about 400 people have found my blog because of this. I’m not sure what to make of that. A close second is pi, with about 350ish people having found my blog due to that search.

Anyway, thank you all for reading and for commenting. I am constantly amazed and honoured at how many of you do. You’ve definitely made this blog a joy to write, and it makes me smile every day. Sort of like this:

Consider yourselves the helping hands that make me smile.

Oh, and don’t worry folks. I’m not planning on updating you with every 10,000 page views. Perhaps the next time you’ll hear about this is when I hit the 40,000 mark. And maybe after that, 80,000. Are you sensing a trend?

Happy reading all y’all. Here’s to the next 20,000 views!

# 10000 Strong And Growing

So today marks a pretty big event for Consumed By Wanderlust. Today marks the day when this blog reached 10,000 page views. That’s awesome. Clearly I have only you, the readers to blame thank for pushing me to this milestone.

Granted, I have no idea whether or not 10,000 views of this blog in 112 days is normal.  That is, I’m not sure whether or not 10,000 is to be expected after 112 days of blogging, or if this number is above or below the average. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things.  But being a statistician, you have to forgive my wonderings. :)

Anyway, as part of the celebration I thought I would take a look at some of my blog history and traffic data. Being all nerdy and such, I present it to you in list form:

• The blog was created on January 19th, but it didn’t go ‘live’ until January 27th.
• Since then I’ve had 10, 000+ views.  That’s an average of just slightly more than 83 views per day.  Sweet!
• Total views in January = 477. Average per day = 37. Total posts = 11.
• Total views in February = 1909. Average per day = 68. Total posts = 28.
• Total views in March = 3313. Average per day = 107. Total posts = 34.
• Total views in April = 2532. Average per day = 84. Total posts = 29.
• Total views in May (so far) = 1756. Average per day = 96 (so far). Total posts = 15 (including this one).
• I’m averaging just slightly more than 1 blog post per day. :)
• The busiest day on the blog (with 216 views) was March 10. On that day I published 2 posts: It’s Shiny And New, But Is It Squee Inducing? and It’s Pi-Eve: Only One More Pi Day Until Pi-Day.
• Total blog posts = 181 (including this one).  Of these 117 are new (post January 19th).  The others are from an older blog of mine.

Of course the data made me wonder, why was March the busiest month?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I’m assuming it had something to do with the power of Pi Day (March 14th for those of you that have forgotten).  Whatever the reason, I interpret this result as such: my readers are as nerdy as I am.  w00t!

Anyway, here’s looking to the next 10,000 views and all of the blog posts between now and then.  Hopefully I keep you somewhat entertained, perhaps provide some added nerdery to your day, and at least leave you wanting just a little bit more!

Thanks.

# My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)

So this is going to be my first official blog posting.  Why did I decide to write a blog?  Mainly it’s a way for me to keep track of the ridiculousness that is my life, but also to keep in touch with people who I don’t get to see on a regular basis, who might want to know what I’m doing.

I also want to keep this blog to have certain things in writing as a way of being accountable to myself.  You know, a way to look back on the year and review where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and figure out where I want to go.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my ramblings.