Counting visitors -- 03/11/00

It has been a very lazy weekend so far. Didn't get up until after seven a.m.. I logged on to check email, etc. around eight a.m. while the coffee was brewing. I've got a bunch of counters (as you may have noticed on my index page... the geocities one plus three different free internet counters that provide additional statistics as well. As I think I mentioned somewhere back in January I signed up for the free thirty day trial of Geo Plus which for a mere $4.95 a month is supposed to provide me with a bunch of stuff that I don't really care about anyway, so I don't know why I didn't unsubscribe, but I haven't... so I figured I should at least get something out of it, so I put a non-displaying counter on each journal entry starting just about a month ago...

Due to various things (network traffic, server problems, software glitches, entropy and the heat death of the universe, whatever) these various counter sites do not always agree on the volume of traffic. That is, a visitor may be counted by one site but another one, for whatever reason, will miss that visit. Usually they pretty much agree, but completely.

Anyway, there I was this morning, sipping at my first cup of coffee in one of my favorite weekend morning coffee mugs (my Roberson Center mug) and looking at the display from those nice folks at Site Meter and I saw that I had had a visitor just a few minutes earlier from Australia (from net.au according to the log)... I did some mental math and came to the (erroneous) conclusion that it must be past midnight there, nearly one a.m. Sunday morning (much later it occurs to me that my mental math was off as I adjusted Sydney time by two hours, but I adjusted it the wrong way, it was really nearing nine Saturday evening there)... Later this afternoon I checked email again and found that I had mail from that Australian visitor (Hi Joanne! Check out her website, she has some nice graphics). It's nice to know that real people stop by and read my ramblings (Okay, not vast crowds, but still...)

An interesting thing with something like Site Meter, is being able to see where in the world visitors are coming from... Most hits are from the United States, but I also have hits from Australia, England, Canada, Sweden... In fact, according to Site Meter, I received two hits from net.au and in between them came a hit that I'm guessing came from England (Site Meter said the domain was unknown but it was from the Greenwich time zone)

And I also find it interesting to compare the numbers from those little non-display counters I put on individual journal entries. I put little titles on each entry, as do many (most?) other online journalers. (I already commented on this in the blog that Thetis recently added to her site, so if you read that, please feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph.) On Feb 23rd I wrote about driving up to Boston to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and on Feb 24th I wrote about seeing a university production of British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce. The entry titled Bedroom Farce has been accessed more than five times as often as the entry titled Museum of Fine Arts. Fascinating. The museum piece was read by fewer people than any of the dozen entries that have individual counters on them except for the Feb. 15th entry "On the road again" which really was an insignificant little entry written on a laptop in a hotel room and not posted to the web until a couple days later when I got home. In fact, I guess that might actually have had more readers because I don't think I put the counter on it until it had been up for a day or two. Anyway, the "Bedroom Farce" entry has roughly twice the number of hits as the average entry, so I just picture someone wandering into this site, seeing a list of entries and choosing that one in expectation of something risque. Hmmm, I should try to think up some outrageous titles for entries and see if those entries are accessed more often than others. I don't think I've posted anything risque on this site. Well, maybe someday... there are a few amusing tales I could tell... perhaps about skinny-dipping (if you were on Amanda's "Rainy Day Stories" mailing list when she solicited stories from readers, that one about a clothing optional college lake was from me)... but probably not anytime soon.

Didn't accomplish much today. Spent a lazy hour or two reading a fairly mediocre novel -- a techno-airforce thriller by Dale Brown, a typical book by him, cardboard characters, weak editing (the same information being repeated multiple places in the novel) but some very vividly depicted aerial combat and loving descriptions of aerospace hardware (which, I guess, is why I continue to read them). But it has been rainy all day long (rain is quite heavy this evening, with thunder and lightning) and it seemed appropriate to lie down and read for a while. Had dinner at Nancy's mother's house. One of Nancy's sisters lives on the same street, so she was there, and three out-of-town sisters were visiting. Add in assorted children (elementary school through college) and it was a fair sized gathering. (Nancy is from a large family.) As always, a warm and enjoyable time.

It's now past midnight and Sean has been hinting that he would like to use the computer and I am getting sleepy, so I suppose I should stop typing and move this to my journal.


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Some favorite coffee mugs
  • Roberson Center for Arts and Sciences - white with blue designs - used to love to visit Roberson when we lived in Binhamton, NY. They had local history, interesting art, hands-on science for kids, arts and crafts classes, a planetarium, a theatre, etc.
  • London Underground - white with red design - a souvenir I picked up in London in 1998
  • The Rossetta Stone - white with dark blue design - another souvenir, this one from the British Museum, 1999
These are just the right size: just a bit larger than a standard coffee cup but not a huge mug (where first it stays hot for too long but then, because it takes so long to drink, the last few sips have grown too cold)