About

(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.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Paul…..

    When you look at your site stats you might not know where they come from. Randon People that you do know are reading your things. Last summer I did a random google search about feeding squirrels since my kids and I toss peanuts to the squirrels in our back yard. Your site came up.

    I check on it once in awhile.

    Thanks to you we started geocaching. We bought a $300 garmin and have 7 finds. Pretty cheap investment for a family hobby. we’ll probably join the premium membership at geocaching.com.

    We are always asking why we live where we live since there is seemingly no reason to be here. now we have something to do here. and my kids love the excitement of the hunt.

    So thank you….and keep on writting. You never know who is watching, and how your simple blogging can introduce new things to people and maybe change thier relationships with those that they love.

    thanks!

    Have a great day.

  2. I really enjoy this site Paul. Thanks! I think you’d really enjoy the sites I write for, SuperForest.org, and sunshineson.wordpress.com. They seem like they might just be your thing. I hope you have a wonderful day! Have a good commute! Cheers brother!
    ~Mathew

  3. Hi Paul,

    My name is Clara and I work with Yaktrax. I came across your blog (which is fantastic!) and am glad to hear that you and Phillip have enjoyed your Yaktrax Walkers in this winter weather. You are correct in avoiding cleared sidewalk, since they are designed for walking in snow and ice. It sounds like you get enough time outdoors on your way to and from work, but if you run, hike or work outside during the winter season, make sure you use our Pro’s, which are more durable and meant for uncleared territory. If you’re interested, send me an email and I’d be more than happy to send you a pair!

    Please feel free to contact me if you ever have questions or comments about Yaktrax. We are dedicated to improving and adjusting our products for the needs of our supporters and getting customer feedback is one of the best ways to keep our products in check.

    Take care and stay safe out there!

    All my best,

    Clara

    yaktrax.experience@gmail.com
    http://www.facebook.com/yaktrax
    http://www.twitter.com/yaktrax

  4. Whew! Thanks for the tip on unearthing the ONE page that allows comments! (geez, is this some kind of a new puzzle geocache?) 😉 I also managed to subscribe to your blog via your (likewise elusive) RSS link (“META” links – “Entries RSS) Again, thanks for the pointer.

    Loved your notion of an annual solo train trip to Portland. I look forward to following along.

  5. “…Soon, I will have to buy a proper, plastic laundry basket and retire the king.”

    Three words: Don’t. Do. It.

    Glue it, reinforce it. Whatever it takes, do NOT toss that dear king crow box in favor of an ughy plastic laundry basket.

    You have been warned. 😉

  6. Hi! I can’t comment on a specific post, so I figured I’d post here.
    How old are your gliders? You mentioned that at least one was starting to bite – lots of gliders go through a “teenager biting phase” [oh, the rebellion begins…] somewhere between 6months to a year, or even later.

    • Erika, Sonar is almost four at this point. He is the fifth sugar glider we have had since 1996. Each one has been unique, with their own little personalities and quirks. We had three at one time, and then Max and Sonar. Max died too young, and now it’s just Sonar and us humans.

      And how about you? Do you live with a sugar glider?

  7. Oh I DO so wish you allowed comments on your posts my dear – today’s was exceptional, and your “Do’s & Don’ts” could easily be for most any trip to a far off land in the world.

    So do consider allowing comments (they’re the highlight of writing my TravelnLass blog – esp. when YOU drop a few mots!) on individual posts.

    Besides, surely WordPress likewise has an excellent comment maintenance system, should you find a comment annoying (rarely, if ever do I find any such on TL.)

  8. Hey, it’s really good to see you posting many blog posts, and I’m so inspired! I’m new to wordpress, and while searching through different blogs, I’m glad I came across yours! Keep writing.
    –Shreya.

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