We make holes in teeth!

Monday, February 02, 2009

What You Are Saying

Check out this graph of users and page views from the blog:

Big month of March I had there. What you're telling me is that I need to travel more. Well, I'll be going to Chicago this week but I'm not sure that's the kind of travel that keeps the people coming back for more.

I'm still baffled by this breakdown:

Browser Language Unique Visitors
English / United States 3411
Korean 216

How does Korean rank so high? I don't get how that works out but all I can guess is that some Korean blogger latched on to my Taiwan trip and a handful of his readers checked out some pages.

Nothing really of value here but I just decided to check my stats today. They're pretty poor, admittedly. I'll try harder in 2009*.

*I'm lying


Following Life of Pi

Just last week I said I was going to try and blog once or twice a week, in a more serious fashion, where “more serious” is defined as longer, maybe more involved. Well there goes the second week (last week) and I didn’t get a blog on. Bloggon sounds like a planet from science fiction. So here I am on Bloggon last week, not getting my blog on. I was home all week because I was on-call. I guess it slipped through the cracks. I did warn you that it wouldn’t last, though I didn’t think it would be one and done. Anyway, it’s Monday and here we are with a blog entry that isn’t exactly pointed but encompasses many different independent thoughts I’ve had this morning, none of which appear as bright shiny objects in my world right now.

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. Am I un-American for that? The reality is that football interests me little, at best. Football, and all sports, have fallen off the map for me unless you include biking in that. But biking is hardly sport in the sense that the NFL is, especially the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is gambling, eating, drinking, funny commercials, a social gathering, and oh yeah a game in there too. Biking is exercise. Football is chicken wings. Biking is not. I enjoy a good gathering. But watching a game I’m not interested in just isn’t, by definition, interesting to me.

It just so happened that it was a good game, much to my surprise. While I find it hard to pull for the Steelers there would be something cosmically wrong with the Cardinals winning the Super Bowl. It could stand as a metaphor for our country if Obama doesn't get the job done, right? His first feat of office was to see the Cardinals win the Super Bowl! But in the end, the Old Guard stands strong and wins the day. Does that mean another year of war debt, bad economy, and Everybody Loves Raymond reruns?

I voted for Obama so this is no sly political commentary. I just thought of it so went with my current SOC diatribe.

I did watch the last 26 seconds of the game. Kinda. Nat will probably check out the commercials on youtube today and tell me which ones I should watch. But really, this social event wasn’t a social event for us. Terren invited us over but my parents were at the house and how can you stay up until 10:00 with an almost 3-year-old? While she does stay up that late, being out that late would be major meltdown territory. We went to the neighbor’s in the past, which is convenient because you can come and go pretty easily and you don’t have to deal with the drama of the car ride at 10:00 at night. Aside from that, it’s just a late football game. Competition! Raw power! Large men in spandex! I get all the “men in tights” action I need in my biking life. No need to add enormous tracts of muscle.

As a side note here, can you really become good friends with someone after college? I used to believe this, then I thought I changed my mind on it. But now I’m starting to go back to the idea that after college, you never really make a friend that you really consider a “great” or even “good” friend. I’m speaking vaguely, because I’m not sure I believe this assertion. I guess if I wanted to really assess that I would need to make a list of people we would invite to a wedding if we got married again. I wonder, how many people that we invited then would be invited now? How many more? Would my wedding party be the same? Best man? I think the answers to the questions would be: most of them but not all, I don’t know, probably an extra person or 2 on each side, and yes.

After a long Saturday of being on-call I had 2 Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ales and an Anchor Steam. The Stone beers were good, are good. Not past tense, but present tense. Or past, present, and future tenses. I’m not a huge fan of Stone beers but I really like this offering quite a bit. Ok that’s besides the point, there are plenty of good beers out there. After those 2 beers I went to the well of mediocrity and grabbed an Anchor Steam. I don’t know how long I’ve had it so it may be old, but boy I really didn’t care for it all that much. I know a lot of people like it but it was pretty mediocre for me. It may be that on the heels of the Stone offering this one can’t possibly compete. But it was a tough one to get down Saturday night. It also may be a better first beer as you don’t get tuned into the taste of something else.

I'm off to Chicago this week so I may try a video capture from somewhere out there if time permits. But more than likely it won’t, unless I break out the camera in the airport or on the plane. Maybe I will, just because it’s something new. Once I hit the ground though I’ll be neck deep in work and post work activities. The time out there will likely be really fast and then back to Jersey 2 days later.

Vinny has asked me what else to read after Life of Pi. This is a tough question which has sort of helped me on my path of identifying the 51 authors that should be on your bookshelf. See, I have this grand plan to name 51 authors you should own. Or maybe 51 “entities” or “items” is a better way to name it. The idea of an entity stems from the thought that you don’t want to list 5 Kurt Vonnegut books, even though any good bookshelf will have at least 5 from him. So maybe I put Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as one entity. Then maybe a dictionary and thesaurus, even though the web makes those items a bit out-of-date. Or a travel book (or set of books) to your favorite destination. The Foundation books, if you’re into Sci-Fi, are required but that’s like 5-6 Asimov books plus the Caliban trilogy that followed. Then there are the Robot books. So your entity here is “Asimov’s Foundation and Robot books”, which amounts to something like 10-15 total books. Hey, any solid bookshelf is going to have hundreds of books.

So to answer the question, Salman Rushdie is awesome but over most people’s heads, my own included. The Namesake was a good book, but not like Life of Pi. Bel Canto was good, but again, not as good and maybe too slow for most people. I can’t come up with a book to recommend in that ballpark. It’s a tough park to play in, really. Some will suggest Cormac McCarthy but I can’t say I agree with that. Not bad, just different. It’s like Vonnegut or Robbins or Christopher Moore. All solid authors but different than Yann Martel.

Amazon tells me that the Kite Runner and Water for Elephants are most commonly bought with Life of Pi. I have read neither of these books. It also suggests the Curious Incident of the Dog etc (which I strongly disliked and isn't remotely like Pi), Secret Life of Bees (I own, have not read yet), Time Traveller's Wife (wtf?), the Alchemist (heard of it, more intrigued now), Poisonwood Bible (I do like Kingsolver), and Middlesex (another huh?).

So really, I’ll have to get back to you on that one. It may take a long time.

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