Visitations Part II

Some more quick thoughts on my web traffic since my last update:

  • I was mistaken earlier when I said that I had been visited by 49 states with West Virginia the lone holdout. It turns out West Virginia hadn’t visited, that part was true, but neither had Delaware or Rhode Island. West Virginia did visit this week, followed by Delaware, and then finally Rhode Island, so all 50 states have now stopped by. Drinks are on me!
  • I am unpopular with the druids. Exactly zero visits from the towns around Stonehenge. Zero! This may hurt my chances at becoming Archdruid.
  • I am also unpopular in Japan (Finland and China have since clocked in, so Japan is the lone holdout of countries I’ve visited). Perhaps the druids have taken over Japan. I need to look into this.
  • Each country has a two letter identifier at the end of their Internet address, except for the US, which is only fair since Al Gore did invent the Internet. Much like two letter identifiers for the states of the US, however, some of them are not for the countries I expected. For example, did you know that Switzerland is ch, so China is not ch but cn, and Canada is not cn but eh?
  • Canada has visited but at a much lower rate than I expected compared to the US. I had planned to run a targeted campaign by blogging about hockey sticks and Pocky sticks (attracting both Canadians and the druid-Japanese), but I no longer believe it will be enough to attract my friends to the north. What we need is an invasion. Fifty-Four Forty or Fight! Who’s with me? Hello? Anyone? Hello?


I’ve been monitoring web traffic at for a week or two and here are some quick thoughts:

  • All 12 visits from Ireland have come from Dublin. I’m pretty sure this is Bono visiting my site, I’m a big fan of his and I assume the feelings are reciprocated. Tell the Edge and Adam and Larry I said hi!
  • Out of the 50 states in the US, I’ve been visited by 49. The lone holdout? West Virginia. West Virginia! One of my favorite places to hike when I lived in Virginia. Come on folks, show me the love.
  • Visitors came from six continents. Google doesn’t show Antartica, so I’m not sure if they’re visiting or if I’m persona non grata down there.
  • Visitors came from 38 countries, only one of which I’ve visited (the United States). I know people from China have visited the blog (at the very least to try and spam it) so I’m not sure why they don’t show up in the list. People from Japan have visited before but perhaps not the past week. But what’s up with Finland? People of Oulu, hear my plea! It’s dark and cold, what exactly are y’all up to? I visited you in November when it wasn’t exactly tourist season that close to the Arctic Circle!
  • Two iPhone visitors stopped by (and viewed a combined total of 3 pages, one more than I would have expected). I can’t imagine what my site must look like on such a small screen, but I’m curious to find out. If I accidentally drop my current cell phone under the train tomorrow and need to get a new one, it’s pure coincidence I assure you.
  • I’ve only been visited by one of the three countries in George Bush’s infamous axis of evil. I’m disappointed, as my efforts to spread peace, love, and understanding through pictures of my cats has stalled. The visit from Iran doesn’t seem to have attracted the attention of Vice President Cheney as I haven’t seen any entries for “undisclosed bunker” in my logs.
  • The vast majority (over 85%) of the visitors come from the United States. Apparently the rest of the world isn’t as anxious to learn about America’s newts and squirrels as I initially thought.
  • I’ve been curious to see how many of the places that I’ve lived (even if just for a summer) have visited. There are a few towns I’ve lived so small they’ll never show up no matter how long I watch, but more places showed up than I expected.
  • For that matter, the site is getting a lot more traffic than I expected.
  • There are many more Mac users than I anticipated. I expected the blog to be Mac heavy since many of the people who know about it use Macs, but the regular web site isn’t that much lower. But where are the BeOS and AmigaOS users?
  • There haven’t been any visits from Atlantis. I was hoping they might slip up and give away their secret location, but so far no luck. I’ll keep watching.
  • It’s really hard to type with Scout draped on my arms, so I’ll stop now.

A Nice Quiet Weekend

The past few weeks at work have brought added stress even though my workload was usually not bad, as we knew layoffs were coming. I survived the axe once more but can’t say the same for some of my friends. A nice quiet weekend was just what I needed.

The weather here in Portland was projected to be beautiful so I got up before dawn Saturday morning and headed out to Ridgefield. No great pictures as the best subjects came after the first hour of sunlight when the light wasn’t so good, but it was an enjoyable morning nonetheless. The yellow-headed blackbirds have indeed returned, they stayed in the interior of the marsh but their singing could be heard from the road. Hopefully I’ll catch them near the road sometime over the next couple of months before they leave us.

The savannah sparrows were out singing in the meadows as well but I didn’t get the good looks I got last year. Two coyotes were out and about but just out of reach, one had something dark and duck-sized in its mouth. Red-winged blackbirds were numerous and singing, and while watching them I noticed a young bittern just a few feet away at the edge of the marsh.

As I was about ready to leave I spotted a river otter nearby in a narrow channel. I waited to see if it would resurface but they swim fast and can hold their breath for a long time, so it was probably already off fishing somewhere far away.

The rest of the day was spent in yardwork, as was Sunday afternoon. I can barely move but it was lovely weather to be outside. I moved a blueberry bush that was struggling due to lack of sunlight, as well as some strawberries that were too close to the fence. They are both survivors from when I weeded the forest of weeds that was growing under the grapes when we moved in, and from when I dug up the grapes as well.

The strawberries in particular have done well since I sent the grapes on their longest journey, there were only a few straggly plants but with the grapes gone they get a lot more sunlight and now there’s a whole patch of ’em. The berries are surprisingly delicious so I hope the transplants will survive.

Today’s Report Card

I managed to dress myself properly today. This shirt has buttons near the top, providing both visual and tactile information on whether or not I have it on inside out.

Also, I wore pants.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring? I face it unafraid.

How Did They Know?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Templeton lately and missing the way he would curl up on my lap and purr himself to sleep.

After I got home two nights ago, Scout climbed up on me when I sat down and curled up for a nap. Last night Sam climbed up first and then Scout came up, they were purring and rubbing all over each other before settling down.

And then tonight, Sam’s curled up in my lap as I type this.

God bless my kittens.

I Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Dress Myself

I really shouldn’t.

At the end of the work day as I got ready to leave, I realized I had my shirt on inside out, and it had been that way the entire day. I thought back to how many people would have seen me like that, I’m sure some of my colleagues must think I’m a maroon, but fortunately I had worn another shirt over it most of the day to stay warm.

Still …

A Familiar Sight

Our kitten Sam licks the head of his older sister Emma

Sam and Emma have been with us long enough that their personalities are really starting to come out. It’s been fun to get to know them and see them blossom as they truly understand that they have found a home for the rest of their lives. All three cats are getting along well and in the mornings they’re usually all snuggled into bed with us. And even though I’ve been glad to see them develop their own distinct personalities, I have been amused that they each share a trait or two with our dear departed Templeton.

Emma has mellowed out a bit, she used to follow us underfoot every time we went up and down the stairs, which was good exercise for her, but I’m glad she’s comfortable enough now that she can see us leave the room and be OK with that. She won’t let me go to the bathroom without opening the door and coming in, but Templeton used to do that too. He didn’t push the door quite so wide open though, he at least left with me a shred of dignity.

Emma’s not the best groomer, something we suspected when we first brought her home. She does OK with the parts of her body she can lick directly, but the top of her head and back of her neck don’t get quite so clean. Scout is a fastidious groomer (almost too much so), but she won’t groom anyone else. Little Sam, though, appears to share another one of Templeton’s traits, in that not only is he a good groomer, but he’ll help you out too. He loves to lick your hand if he thinks it needs a cleaning, and I’ve seen him give Emma a little help too.

Today though he wasn’t bashful about it, he grabbed her head with both front paws and went to work. It all went well until he got a little rambunctious with the sleepy Emma. Emma had been sleeping in an Amazon box, one of Templeton’s favorite places to sleep. She’s been sleeping there a lot lately and doesn’t seem to mind the gray fur that lines the edges of the box from Templeton’s many hours in there, I just can’t bring myself to clean it out.

As far as greeting me at the door the way Templeton did, Emma comes the closest as she often sleeps near the door around the time I come home. I don’t know if she’s doing it on purpose or if she just likes sleeping there, but she’s usually at the door by the time I get it open. Sam follows Scout’s approach and usually comes running in from wherever he’s been sleeping.

It’s at those moments, though, that I wished God had blessed me with three arms to pet the three cats who come running up to welcome me home.