Sunday, June 30, 2013

C’mon over.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

And the spike goes on…

In this post I was pondering the cause of an overnight 7,000% increase in page views  on my blog.

Well, the trend is continuing, with a new daytime high of 6,095 page views on the 24th of this month.

So I did a little bit of digging into the stats and found out that pretty much all of these new found page views are coming from Germany.  53,969 of 56,008, or 96.4% of page views in the last month.

But it’s not one single person hell-bent on messing with my statistics.  If you look at the browsers being used, the most used one, Firefox, only accounts for 38% of the month’s page views.

That means that either somebody in Germany wrote a virus that makes random computers access my blog, or I’ve become an overnight sensation there.


Wenn Sie eines der vielen Deutschen, die den Zugriff auf meinem Blog sind, lassen Sie mir einen Kommentar ließ mich wissen, über Ihren Besuch hier.  Wussten Sie hierher kommen absichtlich oder versehentlich? Suchten Sie sich etwas Besonderes und mein Blog auftauchte, und wenn ja, was haben Sie gesucht? Oder hat mein Blog nur Pop-up ohne Grund?  Wussten Sie dableiben und check it out, oder haben Sie schnell zu verlassen? Bitte hinterlassen Sie mir einen Kommentar, ich bin wirklich neugierig, was los ist. Vielen Dank.

Und auch, bitte vergib keine Grammatikfehler in meinem Deutsch, ich bin mit Google Translate, das zu schreiben.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Whole or Real, how do you like your foods?

I went for a walk around my neighborhood this evening.  It sprinkled a little, but despite that the weather was perfect.

This woman was flying a kite, which looked more like a parachute.  That’s probably why she was throwing it in the air to catch the wind rather than running with it.

Seems to have worked.

Then there’s the requisite “shoes hanging on a power line” shot.

Wholefoods Market has been in business on the north side of Wilmington Street for 5 or 10 years now.

And it seems that Realfoods Market is going to be opening right across the street.

Which brings us back to the title: Which do you think is better; real foods or whole foods?  Or is there even a difference?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Something’s going wacko on my blog.

  • 26,847 page views in the last month.
  • 3,280 yesterday alone and
  • 5,132 on June 17th, for the busiest day ever.

Before this unexplained inundation hit on June 15th, with 3,915 page views in one day, the highest number of hits I’d had in one month was 4,802 in October of 2012.  That’s an average of 155 a day, or 3% of June 17th‘s high.

I would love to believe that I’ve suddenly become a blog sensation, but I have a hard time believing in an overnight 7,386% increase in readership.  And it can’t even be attributed to one single post, or even a limited few.  Another Facebook Find is my most highly viewed page, and has only had 4,678 views in all time.

Personally, I think Blogger Stats has gone haywire, or some schlub in Podunk, Nowhere has spent the last week just looking at all my posts over and over to mess with my stats.  Or s/he is really, really bored.

I dunno.  If this trend keeps up I’ll start to believe I gaining a big audience.  If the trend goes back to normal I’ll be left baffled at what anomaly caused the spike of 2013.

C’est la vie.

Oooh, that hurts.

I woke up this morning and my whole body aches.  I did a little calculating, 22 bags, 80lbs of cement per bag, plus the water.  I hauled over a ton of concrete yesterday.

No wonder it hurt to get out of bed this morning.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Tonight’s supermoon.  These have not been doctored in any way (other than cropping the picture).

Phase II complete.

Phase II of house  project 4,529 is complete.

When I built the garage over a decade ago, the plan was to put up a retaining wall and level out the ground behind it.  Obviously, I didn’t get right on it.

Well, this summer is “retaining wall” summer.  The final plan is to put a carport in the back there so I don’t have to shuffle all the old Fords around to take them out for their occasional drive.  And they’ll all be covered and out of the weather.

I decided to build the retaining wall with cinder blocks.  One side is right up against the back wall of the garage, the other side will be covered with dirt, so looks are irrelevant.

Phase I was cleaning out all the tree debris that was left over from the big tree removal of 2010.  We have curb-side yard waste cans here in Salt Lake, so it’s just been a matter of cutting the branches up, filling up the can and then waiting until Wednesday, when the empty the can, to fill it once again.  I still have a little bit of wood left, but it’ll be gone before the end of the summer.

Phase II was to build a short concrete wall, just enough to give me a smooth, level foundation to put the blocks on.  It took me and my roommate 3 hours to build a 30’x8”x6”(average) concrete foundation.  The project went smoothly, except for the second trip to Home Depot for another 10 bags of cement, and a few of them ripping inside the Jeep.

But it’s done.  It looks pretty good, and in a few days will be ready for me to start placing the blocks on top.  Then a little concrete inside them to hold them in place and the retaining wall will be done.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blast from the past.

How many people remember these:





Yeah, I was going through some of the things I rediscovered from the garage clean out.  A bunch of slides was in there and I contemplated how many of my students would recognize them.  I think I’ll have to bring some in August to find out.

I also found this picture, which made me laugh.  It’s a little dark, but that’s me in the driver’s seat, and my friend Dave “holding the gun”.

It was the mid-80’s and I was in my mid 20’s.  I’d had to ret a car for a few days and ended up with this blue-grey 4-door K-Car.  It could have been reality or something perpetuated in the movies and TV, but blue-grey 4-door K-Cars were often associated with suit wearing police-type government officials.  Which is what we were discussing at HQ* when we came up with a brainstorm of a practical joke.  It took us a couple hours to plan the whole thing, choreographed it down to the last minute.

We positioned Bill at the pay phone on the corner of 800 So and State Street (1), a busy corner on a weekend night.  Rick, Rae and Dan were positioned on the other side of the streets (2) walking down the sidewalk.  Dave and I were dressed in our best suits, wearing sunglasses and armed with a water gun and a “car phone”.

We pulled into the Sears parking lot and went over to the corner where Bill was.  Screeching to a halt, we jumped out of the car and got out to hassle Bill.  Hung up the phone on him and had a heated discussion for a couple minutes.  Bill pointed across the street towards where the other group was stationed and Dave and I jumped back into the car and took off. squealing the tires as much as I could get the K-Car to.

We crossed through the light and squealed to a halt up on the curb right in front of the other three.  Another heated argument and then we took Rick and shoved him in the back of the K-Car.  He was screaming the whole time, yelling “They’re gonna kill me” and, as we drove off, was pounding on the window so hard I thought he was going to break it.  Or a hand. (He did hurt his hand).  We took the first corner, Rick stopped banging on the window, and we all headed back to HQ.

With the political climate today (NSA, Homeland Security), surveillance cameras on every corner and everyone having a cell phone, there is no way I’d do that now.  Even if I was in my early 20’s.  It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do even back then, but, hey, I was young and stupid.

*What we called the house a bunch of us were renting together.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Curvaceous Cooking

A group funded by NASA came to our school for lunch one day in May.  Their purpose was to show “Solar Cooking”, and along with solar ovens, they brought these two curvaceous solar deep fryers.

You’ve heard the phrase “Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk”?  Well, I was surprised to see that these two could get the oil hot enough to fry scones.

It took between 5 and 10 minutes to properly brown the scones, but as you can see, the oil was boiling around them.  We also had hot dogs cookies baked in solar ovens (not curvaceous enough for this Thematic Photographic), but the scones were by far the hit of the party.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Visit to the Salt Lake Cemetery

My friend Lisa and I went up to the Salt Lake Cemetery yesterday, just to get out of our respective houses, into the sun and take some pictures.  It was the perfect day for this, sunny and warm, but cool enough that we weren’t sweating as we wandered around.

I couldn’t tell if this was an actual piece of petrified wood, or if the stonemason did an awesome job of recreating it, but it was a cool looking headstone.

I really liked this simple, but beautiful, natural looking headstone.

Just a bunch of graves.

This was an interestingly shaped headstone.

Emo’s Tomb.  Long before “emo” was a clique moniker, back when I was in high school we had the urban legend of Emo’s Tomb.  Legend has it that if you go up to the tomb on Halloween night, say “Emo” three times as you turn around three times, a face will appear in the window of the door.  I’ve gone up many times, with many different sets of friends, and not one of us ever finished the ritual.  Not that we believe the legend or anything.

As Lisa put it, the “the tombstone graveyard”. 

This picture of the tombstone graveyard creeped me out when I first saw it full sized.  A little arm and hand caught my eye, and before it could register as part of one of the tombstones, my mind saw it as real.  I’ve been watching too much “Criminal Minds” lately.

Side view of some headstones.

This was a really interesting one.  There was no indication of the meaning of the statue for this young man, he was in his early 20’s. 

I’m not sure if their tree trimmer is just really short or if this is the look they are going for, but it seems as if they gave up halfway up these trees.

Watering the entrance to the Iron Worker’s section of the cemetery.

Yet another baffling fixture in the cemetery.  It didn’t seem to be specific to any one person, and had obviously been used to burn something at some time.  What and why, I have no idea.

Probably the most colorful headstone in the cemetery.  Very beautiful.

I thought this one was really cool too, a monument to the people who donated their bodies to medical science.

And finally, watering, in the middle of the day.  It is nice how well kept the grounds are, but it’s a lot more efficient to do the watering in the early morning or late evening, when less will evaporate before even hitting the ground.