Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Blog Ranking

Sometimes you get a particular piece of news and you just really don’t know what to think of it. That’s the dilemma I face today.

Technorati is the authority for tracking blogs on the World Wide Web. I mean the authority. Nobody tracks blogs like Technorati does.

The blog tracking business is specialized. Not just anybody can track blogs. Technorati does it by inviting bloggers all over the blogosphere to put a little snippet of code on their page. Every time the page is refreshed, a server at Technorati gets pinged and the blog is tracked. Not rocket science. But pretty cool.

Heck, when I first established my blog last year, I balanced the corner of a heavy book on the “refresh” key and left it there overnight, just to raise my blog ranking.

Well, it didn’t work. (I think they have filters for that kind of stuff, anyway.)

Anyway, I just checked my Technorati statistics. According to their web site, they track 108.5 million separate blogs. (That’s million, with an “M”. Not as impressive as a billion with a “B”. But a lotta blogs, nonetheless.) There’s a whole lotta bloggin’ goin’ on out thar!

Out of that 108.5 million, my ranking is, uhm, 1,803,855th.

That’s when the good news / bad news starts to sink in.

Let’s see. On the one hand, I’m in the 98th percentile. Gee, that’s good enough to get into just about any Ivy League school. I oughtta be proud.

My guess is that there are a whole lot of dead blogs out there. Because it looks like there are just about 100,000,000 of them that actually have lower readership than mine. And my readership is just about as low as the belly of a flat skunk on the center stripe of a country highway.

On the other hand, I have almost two million blogs that I have to leap-frog to get to that coveted number one position. (That rank is currently held by “Boing Boing” at www.boingboing.net, described as “a weblog of cultural curiosities and interesting technologies”.)

Heck, I have 800,000 blogs that I have to leap-frog to get to that coveted one million position!

I’m not going to fret too much about it. I pretty much write what’s on my mind. Some of it is actually good. And some of it can be used for bird-cage liner.

I’m going to write what I want. A few people are going to read it. I may get lucky and get a book deal some day. All I need are about a million of my friends to commit themselves to balance a heavy book on the refresh key.

I think I just saw a pig flying by my window. With a melting snowball in his mouth. Maybe there is a chance for me after all.

Friday, October 05, 2007

That Dreaded Season

The Earth revolves around the sun once a year. And it rotates on its axis once a day. I’ve always had a problem with people who never can remember the difference between a “revolution” and a “rotation”. But that’s the subject for a different day.

The Earth’s axis is tilted at a 23.439281 degree angle. And therein lies my problem for today.

I live almost exactly half-way between the Equator and the North Pole. Around 40 degrees north latitude.

That means that here in the Kansas City area we have four seasons. Go a couple hundred miles north and they only have two. Go a couple hundred miles south and they only have one. But we have four.

And since it’s the first part of October, that means we’re coming up to the saddest season of all. It’s fall. Or autumn. It’s miserable enough that they thought it deserved two different names.

In my mind, “crisp” is just a euphemism for “cold”. There’s nothing “crisp” about this air. I like my crackers “crisp”. I like my air breathable.

It’s not that I don’t like autumn (or fall, whatever). I just think it’s sad. Summer is the time to get everything done. The yard gets mowed. The house gets painted. They play baseball. We go on vacation. Stuff happens. I like it.

Fall (or autumn, whatever) comes around and ruins everything. Suddenly I’m painfully aware of everything I didn’t get done over the summer. It’s a weird combination of a mad dash to get everything done and a sinking realization that it’s not going to happen.

The sun used to stay up until 8:30. I know it did. That’s about the time I have to flip on the headlights on my lawn tractor in July. And I still had a good hour of mowing time left. Now I can’t even get started mowing when I get home from work.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that we revert from Daylight Saving Time around this time of year. You lose a couple of minutes of daylight each day and then suddenly — BAM — a whole hour gets wiped out in one weekend. Depressing.

Holidays? Nope, just Halloween, that dreaded, stupid excuse for making your kids look ugly and cute at the same time so they can mooch candy from their neighbors. Each year I turn off my porch light and hang around the wholesale club until it’s all over. Pushing around a shopping cart full of five-gallon tubs of corn flakes was never so much fun. (Actually, there’s nothing as amusing as those institutional-size jars of mayonnaise.)

The only good thing about autumn (or fall, whatever) is that it’s only two seasons away from spring. Wake me up in time for Christmas. Then I’ll hibernate some more until March.