May 2005 Archives

Well all righty then!

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According to my website statistics I've had approximately 300 visits since I posted a request that readers de-lurk. And the only comment I've gotten has been from my old pal Liz. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. I myself read many blogs on which I have never left a comment. Looking to the right I see that I have links to almost fifty websites, of which it's possible to leave comments on maybe forty. I've left comments on only four of them, as best as I can recall.

When Ezra Klein started his own blog he asked readers to critique his banner, and I left a comment saying "It's a big banner". I once left a comment at the Whiskey Bar, but I don't remember what it was about. The blog I read most often is Eschaton, which I've read daily for a couple of years at least. I've left maybe half a dozen comments there. I've left a few comments on Making Light, when the topic being discussed was particularly interesting. That's all.

As the election has receded from memory like a bad dream, I've felt burned out on politics, and there has developed kind of a disconnect between what I link to and what I actually read. In addition to the livejournals of the people on my lj "friends" list, there are quite a few blogs I read that aren't listed on the right, and I've never commented on any of them.

One of my favorite blogs these days is The Big Yellow House. The author is a woman who has seven children between the ages of 10 and 0. She writes about the mundane insanity of raising and "unschooling" seven children, while renovating a drafty old house with 22 rooms. She has a terrific sense of humor. I read her blog because she makes me laugh out loud; I don't comment because, frankly, we have nothing in common.

I'm sure I'm not the only stranger who reads Trip to Wonderful, although very few comments are left there and they all seem to be from people who know the author. It's written by a mother of four kids, two of whom are autistic. She and her husband recently sold their house and are buying an RV and planning on spending several months traveling around the country. I can't wait to hear about her experiences.

From a link on that site I found travelogue, written by another mother of four who, along with husband and kids, lives in an RV and travels through Mexico, full time. More shockingly unschooled children who have somehow miraculously learned readin' and writin' while building sand castles and wading through tide pools on the coast of the Caribbean!

Another favorite is Pop's Bucket, and again, it's all about sense of humor. He's a stay-at-home dad, and while I love his blog, I don't really have anything in common with him and I don't really have anything to say.

So maybe I shouldn't be too surprised that I don't get many comments. Some people would prefer to send email, but readers be warned: the email address linked to this blog gets a lot of spam and I delete all mail that isn't from an address I recognize. So if you want to say hi, leaving a comment is the best bet.

I know you're out there

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Okay, time to fess up. De-lurk, whatever you want to call it. My webhost provides pages and pages (and pages) of statistics on this website. They cater to business customers, so the site stats are extremely detailed. I rarely pore over all the numbers. I don't know how to interpret most of it, but I do know one thing: I have at least a few hundred readers who visit my blog on a regular basis, by "direct request", meaning you've bookmarked the blog or typed the URL into your browser.

I didn't start this blog with the hope of attracting a large audience; on the contrary, I pay only $25/month for the website and having a large audience would increase the cost. I didn't sign up for syndication, or provide an RSS feed, or any of those things that would draw readers. I figured over time I'd attract a small number of like-minded people and it'd be nice to have a place to post my essays and rants and get just a little feedback. But alas. I seem to have attracted only lurkers.

You've no doubt noticed that I've been posting less and less lately. The lack of feedback is finally making me feel as though I'm standing on a stage in an empty auditorium, talking to myself. When I have something to say now I'm more likely to post it as a comment on someone else's blog, because I know more people will read it there. I've also been hanging out on livejournal lately because I have more interaction going with others over there, despite my having a grand total of four people on my "friends" list.

So, I've actually been thinking about shutting this blog down. I'm not ready to make the decision yet. Having this website gives me a place to put pictures and links so it's useful. And it's cheap. I'd be more likely to continue posting here if some of you would de-lurk. I'm asking all of you who read this entry to leave a comment, even if you're too shy to say anything other than "hi".

Mike is cracking me up tonight. I can't remember when I've laughed so hard. He's been home for a couple of weeks and has a couple of weeks left to go before he flies to Beijing for the rest of the summer.

He's sitting next to me playing World of Warcraft on his computer (we have two computers set up side-by-side; we share a DSL connection). Let me set the scene. It's Friday night. Mike is at home, sitting next to his mom, playing a computer game. He has a microphone hooked up to his computer and some software that lets him talk to the guys he's playing with, and he's wearing headphones so they can talk back to him.

So I'm hearing one side of a multi-person conversation about the dungeon raid they're on, and if you think this sounds pathetic, you should have been here five minutes ago listening to Mike describe the Friday night in Charlottesville when a very cute girl/friend (not "girlfriend") Christina brought 3 of her friends and a bottle of champagne to his apartment and wanted to take him out, and he made them wait twenty minutes because he was on a quest, and so they sat listening to his side of the one-sided conversation just as I am doing now.

If that isn't both sad and funny, what is?

Cool :)

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Yesterday Mike and I had a LOTR marathon. We bought a new TV a week ago--well, let's be honest here: I bought a new TV so Mike could take the existing TV with him when he goes back down to Charlottesville in the fall. Mike set it up, though, which was an all-day task, this being one of those "home theater" things. Picture wires snaking all across the floor in the family room; I've gotta find a better way. I might actually call an electrician and ask if we can't run some of these speaker wires through the ceiling or something.

I had borrowed a set of LOTR DVDs from one of the guys I work with, and we watched all three of them yesterday. The last movie ended just after 2am. Newly inspired, I took a LOTR personality quiz--one of many on the web:

You are most like Legolas, Son of Thranduil

Legolas knows his way around in the world, with a keen understanding of nature. He is often oblivious to the pain and fatigue of his activities.
Though reserved, you excel in aesthetic endeavors. If a mountain is there, you will climb it. Time alone is important and solitary activities refresh you. You have good observational skills. While providing compassion and being considerate, you may have the tendency of being soft-hearted or even "too emotional" You like keeping your options open. Closure is probably not one of your strong suits.

Like Boromir, you are not content to sit on the sidelines while the action takes place around you.

Traits: Open minded, easy going, persuassive, optimistic about the future. On the dark side you could be exploitative and an opportunist.

Doesn't seem quite like you? Take it again!

Test based upon the Myers-Briggs/Keirsey Personality Tests

Note: The results of this test are based upon the
books' characters, not the movie.

I really like this result, but I thought the quiz was hobbits-only so I wasn't expecting it and I certainly wasn't trying for it.

UPDATE: LOL!! Oops, I went back to the website to get the link and, just glancing at the quiz again, realized I'd scored it incorrectly. Instead of ranking answers from 4 (most like me) to 1 (least like me), I did it the other way around! So, reversing all my answers, I got this:

You are most like Frodo Baggins, Son of Drogo

With many acquaitenances, Frodo is deeply attached to a few people, like Bilbo, Aragorn, Gandalf, and Sam. His high ethics come out in his treatment of Gollum and Saruman. Frodo has pity on Gollum and believes that change can occur.
You have a strong personal morality. You are committed to relationships and their growth. You tend to be an idealist, believing the best of the world around you. Time alone is important and solitary activities refresh you. You have a tendency to introspection. While providing compassion and being considerate, you may have the tendency of being soft-hearted or even "too emotional" You like keeping your options open. Closure is probably not one of your strong suits.

The Orcs display the evil side of this personality with their lengthy torture methods.

Traits: Empathic, benevolent, looking to the future. On the dark side you could be sadistic.

Doesn't seem quite like you? Take it again!

Test based upon the Myers-Briggs/Keirsey Personality Tests

Note: The results of this test are based upon the
books' characters, not the movie.

Not a bad result, either, though. :) Oh and by the way the link is here.

Home at last

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Well the Pet Resort was not bad, but it's good to be back home at last. I don't usually consider myself to be the sentimental type, but I must confess it was good to see the old dame again, too. I wasted no time in letting the neighborhood know I was back.

By far the best part about the Pet Resort was Day Camp. In fact I loved it so much they let me go for five days even though the old dame had only signed me up for two. On warm days they put the pool out and we got to splash around. Lots of dogs come to day camp, more than spend the night. There were tons of labs, shepherds, and a Great Pyrenees--woah, that dude was big.

I got a "report card" and it was duly noted that I liked day camp best, enjoyed the food, kept my suite clean, and was generally awesome. The dude who walked me down to the lobby let the old dame know I was "a handful" and that I love to run and "play rough". Heh. Wait till my buddy Jackson hears about that!

The old dame is starting to talk about letting me go to day camp everyday starting a few months from now. Her office is moving to a new building that's not too far from the resort. It would cost big bucks, though: $600/month. I think that's just a bit more than she sends the kid every month to cover all his living expenses, heh. Hey--am I not worth it? I saw her going over "the budget" on the computer. She says she can swing it but there would be "nothing left over" whatever that means. I'm trying to talk her into it. I tell her it wouldn't just be fun for me--there'd be an upside for her too. I wouldn't get bored and chew on the furniture or rugs anymore. She wouldn't have to worry about coming home to disasters. It'd be better for the grass outside--I'd be too tired to play much by the time I got home in the evening. I'd pretty much given up on the search for "china" in the back yard anyway.

It means the old dame would have to leave home earlier in the morning to drop me off. That's a downside for her. I could use some help here. If you think it's a good idea leave a comment and I'll make sure she reads it.

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