October 5, 2023
Long before Star Trek’s “red shirt” was a pop culture reference for a doomed minor character, many war movies and police dramas created a sense of foreboding by having a cast member start talking about their upcoming retirement/discharge/or release. While I am not looking to live up to that stereotype, the eighth year of this blog will be a short one for me. At the end of 2013, I was approached by the Gear Technology staff about becoming their official “blogger.” We were not sure what it would involve but agreed to an open-ended arrangement where I would create short pieces of interest to readers of the magazine. It started with a goal of three posts a week, which proved to be difficult to achieve because of my consulting work load and occasional writer’s block. Lowering the target to twice a week proved to be a reasonable compromise; enough “new” content to keep people engaged while not draining the “idea pool” too quickly. Following “semi-retirement” in 2017, we cut back to once a week. This is not a lucrative “influencer” gig. Topics have varied from “newsy” to technical to amusing. Along the way, we offered lots of information on things you were not taught in school. I have nagged about my pet peeves and probably told a few too many stories about “the good old days.” Some things worked great; I met many “fans” at Gear Expos and occasionally was able to answer queries from readers around the world. Other aspects of this experience were a disappointment — chiefly, our “comments” tab being hijacked by spammers. As an admirer of the robust and spirited exchange of opinions once featured in early 20th Century technical magazines, this was a low point in the experience. A high point has been getting to know the wonderful staff of the magazine. They have found ways to make my musings look great with appropriate graphics and photos. On rare occasions they have suggested topics of interest; mostly they let me meander around the gear trade and report on what I found interesting. The current plan is to post weekly through January and February with a final blog in early March to conclude my 50th year in this wonderful business. It is my hope that someone will pick up this torch and use the blog to share their knowledge and experience with our visitors. If interested, contact the magazine. I will be happy to share the tricks of the blogging racket if you are curious, but worried about running out of topics.