(Updated March, 2016)
In early 2003, Phillip, in his never-ending quest to encourage my creativity, suggested that I start a blog. I took him up on his suggestion. But, of course, the first question was: What should I blog about?
At the time, I was enjoying the best commute I’d ever had. It was a 3-mile ride, each way, on the 43 bus, between Capitol Hill and the University District. I’d spend my commuting time reading – or, sometimes, just watching the scenery. There were some mornings, when the weather was especially pleasant, that I’d ride the 7 bus into work instead of the 43. It would drop me off at the far side of the university campus, and I’d enjoy the nice walk. There were a lot of panhandling squirrels on campus, so I’d carry a bag of peanuts with me.
There was my answer: I’d blog about the joys of a voluntarily car-free commute. The answer to the second question – What should I call my blog? – came immediately. “Feeding Squirrels On My Way To Work” seemed like a perfect metaphor.
I set up an account with Blogger. I knew I’d be blogging only for myself, and possibly Phillip, so I set up some web space on an obscure URL and FTPed my posts over from Blogger.
I envisioned my new blog as more of a magazine than a discussion board, so I allowed no comments on untitled posts. On May 29, 2003, I began blogging.
In 2004, my commute became even better. It was a 1.5-mile commute, each way, on the 60 bus, between Capitol Hill and First Hill. The downside was that I didn’t have time to read more than a page or two during the ride. The upside, however, was that I could choose to walk to or from work.
At the end of 2006, after some problems with “Blogger Beta”, I opened an account with WordPress. I found that I couldn’t transfer my posts, so I started fresh with a new version of “Feeding Squirrels On My Way To Work”. My posts suddenly had titles, but still no comments.
In 2008, I relaxed my comment policy somewhat and allowed comments only on this “About” page. Sticking with the “magazine” analogy, I saw it as the “Letter to the Editor” section.
In 2011, TravelnLass began twisting my arm to allow comments on individual posts. So, you can now comment on specific posts, thanks to her. This is a blog, not a magazine.
In 2012, my commute worsened. It became a 1-mile commute, each way, between Capitol Hill and Cascade, with no practical option except to walk. Sure, I enjoy walking to work, but it got tiresome when it was my only option, day after day. (Things improved, somewhat, in 2013, when car2go arrived in town.)
On May 29, 2013, “Feeding Squirrels On My Way To Work” celebrated its tenth anniversary.
In January, 2014, my commute improved. It became a 2-mile commute between Capitol Hill and Downtown, with several bus options available.
Now, in March 2016, Link light rail stations have opened in Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. I have the option of a one-seat commute, underground, at speeds approaching 50 MPH. (If you want to get around, go underground!)
I rarely feed squirrels on my way to work these days. This blog has lost its original focus, if it ever really had it. But I continue to enjoy a voluntarily car-free commute, and I continue to blog.