Monday, November 01, 2004

Curiouser and Curiouser

Given that I average less than 100 visitors a day, I'm at a loss to explain how I just went from Adorable Rodent to Large Mammal in the TTLB Ecosystem -- overnight.

However, not being raised by morons nor as a moron, despite the blog's title, I shall refrain from examining the complimentary equine's dental records.

Hmmmm.... Apparently the TTLB Ecosystem is based on links. I was unaware of this -- I was under the impression that it factored actual traffic into the mix.

This may explain why I'm so high on the list. I was futzing around in Site Meter, checking out the hits and page views, and on a whim clicked on the "Referred By" link. I was amazed at how many other blogs link to me. M@'s comment also bears witness to this. Apparently there are a whole lot of bloggers out htere who have decided that I write well enough for them to post a link to my blog -- many of them without bothering to tell me, and some of them with considerable clout -- "Playful Primates" in some cases. So while I may not be a poplular blog among readers, apparently I've found recognition among other bloggers. I can't say this is new to me.

Remember back in high school how important popularity was? I remember. I remember how everyone wanted to talk to the popular kids, sought out their friendship, strove to be associated with those people, invited to the same parties, whatever. Does that sound anything like being instalaunched, or being high on the TTLB, or having tons of hits?

I was never a popular kid. I was never the one everyone WANTED to be seens with, whose friendship was a status symbol. But here's the weird part. I WAS friends with the popular kids. they liked me, they got along with me. Almost everyone did -- they just never considered it a big deal. Being seen talking to me never was a sign that you'd arrived, because, well, I'd talk to anyone. I wasn't popular, but I was well liked.

This reminds me a lot of this recent revelation about my blog. There's one big difference between then and now.

Now I'm OK with the distinction.

Hope for Spain

The Feared Redhead's sister and her husband are among the in-laws who returned recently from the wedding in Spain where my Father-in-law received the Stogie which I will hopefully be smoking tomorrow night. So while we were visiting them in Portland this weekend, they mentioned in passing that I would like spain because of the popularity there of Scotch whisky and Cuban cigars. Of course I had to make a crack about "And Socialist Prime Ministers who all but surrender to terrorists." They had an interesting response.

Apparently just this topic came up while they were in Spain, and the general concensus among the Spaniards they know is one of disgust over what has happened. Apparently, from their talks with the family friends, very few Spaniards actually changed their vote because of the Madrid bombings. They were told that voter turnout is usually pretty low in Spain, but that after the attacks, a large number of spaniards who normally don't vote did, and most of these people voted for the current Socialist PM.

What I'm hoping for is that this will be a wake-up call for Spain, and that Right-minded Spaniards will make sure that they get out and vote in droves next time. So while I'm still quite scornful of Spain's current government, I believe I should rethink my disappointment in the Spanish people overall.

The Die is Cast

Saturday morning, while the Feared Redhead was at work and before it was time to get ready to head to Portland for a family visit, I spent an hour or two at the local GOP offices, doing volunteer work as a phone caller. We were calling people who had already indicated suuport for the President. It was a pretty straightforward series of questions and reminders relating to Oregon's Vote-by-mail system: Have you received your ballot? If not, you need to go to the elections office and vote there. If so, have you voted yet? If not, it's too late to mail the ballot, you need to drop it off at a county-approved election drop location. If so, we hope you support the President.

One of the issues that our FAQ sheet addressed is people who respond, "I already voted, why are you still calling?" We were to explain to the person that our calling list is based on the most recent available information from the elections office, and that if we're still on their list, they may want to call and make sure their ballot has been received. I thought this was good information, and a great way to turn what could be an annoying call into a useful call for the people we call.

So Sunday night upon returning home, I checked our messages, and sure enough, 2 of the 4 messages were from the GOP. This despite the fact that we dropped our ballots off at a drop box this time last week. I'm sure you can guess what my first order of business was on my lunch break today.

Thankfully, the nice lady at the Elections office confirmed receipt of our ballots. and by nice, I mean nice. It's been my experience that for the most part, the people at the elections office are the nicest, most helpful government officials with whom I've ever dealt. I wonder if it has to do with appreciating the importance of performing this particular civic duty. Just a thought.

So anyway, our ballots are in. So all you Eugene-area liberals who have been harassing us, do your damnedest. It's too late now to change my vote -- as if you ever could have.

An Uncle's Observation

Taebo, Pilates, Step Aerobics, Military PT -- when it comes to a good workout, none of them can compare to taking an 18-month old boy Trick-or-Treating.

'Nuff said.