Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Senseless Rambling or Why I Heart Sitemeter

If we're paying attention, we learn something new every day. For example, one morning on the way to work I learned from reading a sign while waiting at the gas station that Chuck E. Cheese is "Now Open at 1 a.m.!" A couple of days later, I learned that the sign was partially obscured by a phone pole on my first reading. What it really said "Now Open at 10 a.m.!" Somehow I found this comforting, because, really, what kind of person goes to kids theme restaurants featuring arcade games and animatronic characters at 1 a.m.? In my head I picture little kids, all hopped up on cocoa and marshmallows, wearing fuzzy slippers and nightgowns, slinking out of their homes for a late night rendezvous at the Pizza Time Theater. Or maybe they're lured by some strung out, low rent Tinkerbell who fills their heads with promises of a personal audience with the great Chuck E. himself. The whole thing just seemed kind of unsavory. 10 a.m. just seems much more reasonable.

While we're talking about Chuck E., is it just me or does he not look like a giant rat? Wikipedia calls him an "anthropomorphic mouse", but I still find the mascot costume somewhat disturbing - not at all the kind of thing that makes me think "mmmmm, I want to eat THERE!" Of course, I am not without my C. E. Cheese prejudices. When I was a teenager, my cousin got her first job there, and would come home bragging about how she whiled away the hours spelling out dirty words in pepperoni on the counter. This went on until a manager caught her and demoted her to head rodent, and it became her job to wear the "mouse" costume.

But I digress. My point is that when you keep your eyes open, you see things. That is what is so fun about services like Sitemeter and their ilk. They see things for you. With out it, I could not be as delighted as I am to know that this very weblog is locatable by googling the following:

  • Powellhurst woods
  • Charlie & the cheese factory
  • Schreuderspitze
  • quaker colony the dalles
  • fiona dunscombe
  • isaak dinesen
  • appropriateness of sympathy for perry smith
  • shosholoza bathroom [what prompted that search???]

and my personal favorite:

  • anti-war fruitcakes - Somehow I'm thinking that particular search was oozing about as much good will as the guy who tailgated me down I-205 the other day, flipping me off for a really long time (seriously, I'm surprised his finger didn't get tired. He must have been really committed to his cause), because he apparently did not enjoy my "US Out of Iraq NOW! bumper sticker.

Anyway, without my ability to snoop around my own site (which kind of cancels out the "snooping" part, since you're allowed to look at your own stuff), I would also not know that my current readership breaks down into:

  • US - 72% (hey, mans - you've gone up...at one point you were only 65%, which wasn't all bad as it made me feel multi-cultural and cosmopolitan)
  • UK - 14% (You know who you are!)
  • Korea - 2 % (Annyong ha shimnikka - Oh, I really hope that means "hi" and not something like "I have a booger in my nose", I'm placing great faith in you, Internets!)
  • Unkown - 1% (I don't really know what to say to you, Unknown)
  • Germany - 1% (Wilkommen! Wie geht's? Now, I know that isn't anything about boogers, because that would be "Ich habe einen Popel in der Nase", and I would never say that to you, because, well, frankly, I like the cut of your jib)
  • South Africa - 1% (Molo! Sawubona! Hallo! Hello!)
  • Pakistan - 1% (hello, Islāmī Jumhūrīyah-e-Pākistān, 6th most populous country in the world)
  • India - 1% (thanks for taking in the Dalai Lama and for Gandhi. Oh, and curry, definitely thanks for curry!)
  • France - 1% (Bonjour, mes amis!)
  • Ecuador - 1% (Salve, Oh Ecuador!)
  • China - 1% (Ni hao!)
  • Canada - 1% (sorry for being such a crappy neighbor these past few years, we'll try to do better)
  • The Netherlands - 1% (Welkom and thanks for the crepe restaurant by the Anne Frank House! I ate there 18 years ago and still remember it fondly. I wonder if it is still there...)
  • Swiss Cheese Caves - 0% (That's all you get. You know what you did! Apologies may be sent via e-mail, surface mail or carrier pigeon)

And with that riveting analysis, I am off to work, where I have been learning lots of new things as well, for example that "kind frankness" really does work. It really has been looking up since the implementation of my kf policy, but is at the same time more stressful due to unyielding deadlines and departing staff. I am hopeful that it will even out again once I have learned the new duties I've taken over. Until then, the raise I just got somewhat eases my pain. Have a happy Tuesday!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Fourteen months ago, I reported that Googling the single word "Powellhurst" brought up 31,900 hits and that top of the list was this very site.

Trying again now, the hits have gone up to 34,600 but sadly this site has slipped to fourth place, elbowed out by an elementary school, hospital recruitment and the weather forecast. However, it's only Martina's blog that has one of those double entries, the second one indented, which not only takes up lots more space on the screen than those insignificant others, but also indicates a breadth of material which merits citing multiple pages.

All that global coverage must be so satisfying. Do you have a map on the wall to stick pins in, say a pin for each percentage point?

There are a great many languages spoken in South Africa. I have a sample ballot form from the first multi-racial elections there in 1994 (yes, I was there, I'm proud to say) which has a heading written in the eleven most common languages. Swahili is not one of them, it doesn't go that far south, so saying "jambo" to your South African visitors isn't a good idea. Zulu is probably the best bet, so "sawubona" would be the equivalent greeting.

Not that I speak Zulu, I confess. I had to look it up on a site of "Greetings in more than 800 languages". As well as all those words for "hello", Jennifer has lists for the phrases "How are you?", "Goodbye", "Please", "Thank you", "What is your name?", "My name is...", "Do you speak English?", "I don't understand", "Yes", "No" and "Welcome".

And "welcome" is the only other word of Swahili that I know without having to look it up. It is "cariboo", with the stress on the middle syllable. They know that, and much more, down at Portland's very own Voodoo Doughnut shop, where you can take classes in Swahili. And they are open 24 hours, so if you can't find cheese in the middle of the night, there's always doughnuts.