This post marks the 495th blog post to the Bear Feed!
Yeah … like … I am almost at 500 posts! Can you believe it? I mean, who knew I could stick to a hobby 500 times. That’s 500 opportunities to make fun of myself, talk about my jerk of a dog (we have been on the outs recently), complain about the weather, and occasionally mention a bear.
I have some plans for the 500th post, something epic, something that’s going to take work … but between here and there, I thought I would give you a little bit of a warm-up.
I don’t expect many of you to know the real history of the Bear Feed. Heck, 90% of you probably didn’t even know me when I started writing it.
For those of you who haven’t been here through all 495 posts, I expect you to go back and read them all.
I’ll just wait here until you did all that reading.
I’m not kidding, go back and read them.
Okay. Fine. I’ll give you a summary. (And by ‘Summary’, I mean a long winded story of this blog that intended to give you anyway but was trying to be funny … but in fact, wasn’t.)
I can tell you the exact moment I had the idea to write the Bear Feed – mostly because it wasn’t my idea at all. First a little background.
I was at a huge turning point in my life. I had just accepted a job to work for BP Exploration in Anchorage, Alaska and was in the last weeks of my eleven year tenure at Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas. There was a full on rush to finish all the projects I was working on, turn my house into something that would actually sell (rather be burned down for the insurance money), and somehow find a way to say goodbye to all the friends and colleagues I have built up for years before.
One of people I worked with on and off was a man named Peter Huy, a Dutchman who used to work for Cessna based in Holland but moved on to a role with a supplier in Mexico. This day in particular, I just put my car on the back of a truck for it’s trip to Alaska. I needed a ride to the Airport to pick up a rental car to take care of myself in the interim and Peter offered. On the way to the airport, we talked about the move, and my combined excitement for the big change as well as sadness for the departure. I mentioned that I wondered how I would keep in contact with everyone – social media was building still, but wasn’t a guarantee. He stated bluntly: “Why not write a blog.”
This was 2012. Writing a blog wasn’t the ‘fashion’ it was 2 or 3 years ago. It was new, building in popularity, but still accessible to the common folk. Writing things wasn’t out of the question for me, especially in the blog type format.
I spent a little time doing research on what it would take, landed on a website, and started it off. The name “Bear Feed” came from a couple directions. The main one came from a joke – someone asked how likely I would be eaten by a bear, which led to someone else wondering if the bear would find I be more tasty covered in teriyaki sauce. So the double meaning of possibly becoming “Bear Feed” and giving the “Bear Feed” seemed to fit. That … and bears.
The first post was on July 26, 2012 and was a whole 53 words long:
Welcome to my Blog. It’s just beginning, but the intent of this is to create a place where friends, family, or random people can keep up on what is happening in my life. Specifically, my big move from Kansas to Alaska.
More Details to come, just trying to make sure the account works. 🙂
The first couple of posts were more excuses for me to put off housework (and there was a LOT of housework), but were as much about saying goodbye than anything.
Of course, it all changed with the post: Two Feet on the Ground, Two Fists in the Air My great Alaskan adventure began. For the next two years, the blog was quite prolific, but then again, there was so much to blog about. So much of it was trying to explain to you ‘normals’ what life was like there, from the different sites to see to the different animals that could eat you.
One of the quirky things that came along in the early years was the ‘Bunny Count’. Every month, I made the habit of posting on the 1st to give a rundown of the month’s stats. The idea was stolen from Amy Fletcher (who’s husband you can see this weekend conducting the Purdue All-American Marching Band at the Indy 500 … just saying). The Bear Feed Bunny Count was a summary of the activities – starting with the count of all the cool animals seen (bears, moose, whales, etc) then daylight hours, snow counts, weather facts, and more stupid things I got myself in. Each Bunny Count ending with the harsh reality that I had yet to be killed by any of that.
Auggie the Doggie was a key part of the Bear Feed from early on. He came into my life a couple months after the Bear Feed began – and was introduced to the world there: The Next Big Thing is Small (it includes a picture of him at 2 weeks … so be warned of the cuteness). Since then, he’s had more than a few of his own updates (or “Pupdates”).
I left Alaska in 2014, which meant the Bear Feed had to change with the new surroundings. During that time, I lived in Boston, Massachusetts; but I really did very little ‘living’ there. I spent over 200 nights in hotels both those years, constantly on the road to try to support one plant or another in my job covering a quality program all over the US. There was a high demand for my attention in my work, so finding things that weren’t about my ‘here and now’ to blog about was constantly difficult. During that period, the blog shifted more about me and what I was doing. Sometimes there was a thing that popped up here and there about some event I went to or some place I visited; but my work-life balance wasn’t a big fan of next explorations. I did tap into writing about things that interested me. I spent more than a few posts on my history with the Marching Arts & Drum Corps. I’d sometimes talk about the writing things I worked on. Sometimes I just sat and made fun of the weather.
When I moved to California in 2016, things shifted again. Now I was working in a job that made people interested. Even as recently as this weekend’s posts, I update progress on missions coming out of JPL or touch on things that are happening here. Plus there is more to see and explore. Plus California is really different to many of you that aren’t from here. So while still not back to how the Bear Feed was ‘All Alaska All The Time’ … it is a heck of a lot easier to write this thing.
I will be honest though – as much as the Bear Feed is about me the writer, it is HEAVILY filtered. I intentionally do not blog about things that make my life troublesome, depressing, or difficult. I avoid politics and other topics that people may find off putting. The intent is this is supposed to be something I want you folks to enjoy reading. I completely embrace that I am failing to do so … but that’s not the point.
The point is that 495 posts later, the Bear Feed is still rolling on.
Now … go back and read the rest of them like you said you would.