The Second Most Viewed Book Report on MfBJN

I might have mentioned, gentle reader, that amongst the 1500-odd book reports on this humble blog, for some reason my book report from 2013 on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Sire de Maletroit’s Door is very popular. Probably because it’s on the first page of Google search results.

Would you care to guess what is the second most popular book report here?

Continue reading “The Second Most Viewed Book Report on MfBJN”

Living The Life Of Lileks

I’ve always looked a bit at the life of Lileks and thought, Man, that’s what I wanted my life to be, especially when I was at the university (which was before the Internet, so before I knew of Lileks). I mean, family, writing newspaper columns, a vast audience across the country….

Welp, I am finally aligned with his lifestyle, at least the bit he describes this morning:

Can’t say I was the most productive person this week. Can’t say I did much of consequence, besides the usual work. Some weeks I feel as if I did my part, but some weeks I think, well, my part in what, exactly?

That resonates too much.

Not Feeling Bloggy

The current troubles, unlike the previous unpleasantness, made me do something that I probably haven’t done in twenty years.

I closed my Web browser yesterday.

I wish I could tell you I was more productive, but mostly I just wrote another letter to my grandmother who apparently delights in them, so I’m writing her every couple of weeks.

Which is more pleasant than either my Facebook feed or the Web currently.

Apparently, This Will Now Be An Annual Tradition At MfBJN

As I mentioned, gentle reader, I mostly do this blog for my own entertainment, as I like to prowl through my archives, often using the visit counter’s note of a random search engine hit as a starting point, wherein I read the post that the visitor browsed, and then I start next posting or previous posting to see what else I might have been doing/thinking/reading at that time.

So somehow, I got to browsing my archives, when I got to a post from last March about Tide’s Fresh Linen scent called Unlike The Other Leading Brands.

In recent memory, I did another post with the same gag, albeit presented differently, this very month: What Do Clean Clothes Washed With Other Varieties Of Tide Smell Like?

Sorry for the reruns. I’m getting to be like that old guy who keeps telling the same stories over and over again. Just ask my children.

Suddenly, I Am Big In Korea

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from Korea. The Good Korea:

I don’t know what to make of it; it looks like the IP address from Kakao is actually owned by Kakao and hasn’t been reassigned to something like Google with an old entry showing up in my stats.

I assume this means that I’ve suddenly been indexed by a South Korean search engine or that somehow elevated in its rankings.

But, of course, I don’t wonder if it’s not something more sinister like some kind of hacking attempt or probe.

Still, welcome to the blog, Mr., Mrs., and/or Miss Park.

Is that racist, to use a popular Korean surname, one held by 8.4% of the population, in that statement? No more than saying “Keeping up with the Joneses” is somehow classist, denigrating social climbers who don’t know their place in society (or yours, peasant, so don’t try to spend your way to success and fulfillment). However, I am pretty sure saying Park is a common Korean last name is racist if you want to call someone who uses it racist.

Config Change

I’ve made a slight config change to the blog. Instead of streaming whole posts to feed readers, I’ve changed it to only sending a summary, which makes some readers who were invisible to my stat tracker suddenly appear.

Wow, hey, I do have readers.

Thanks, and I hope it’s not too inconvenient to gratify my ego by clicking through.

The International Flavor of MfBJN

The Artist Formerly Known As The One Hand Clapping Guy notes that he receives a lot of traffic from Spain.

Here at MfBJN, we’ve had more of an international flavor of traffic over the last couple of days:

I have no idea why this is. I do spend time speculating, though

What I do know, though, is that the book report for The Sire de Maletroit’s Door continues to be my most popular book report and one of the most-read blog posts ever. For some reason.

Two Words: Ivory Crockett

Bark M. challenges a man of trivia:

I defy you to find a track record of any type that is twenty-three years old—nutrition and training are now far, far superior, and athletes are shattering times from that long ago on a daily basis.

Ivory Crockett still holds the world record in the 100 Yard Dash:

In 1974, he ran the fastest 100-yard dash with manual timing of 9.0 seconds, a record he still holds. This was deemed at the time by the Los Angeles Times as “Immortality in 9 Seconds Flat”, and he was quickly tagged with the title the world’s fastest man by Track and Field News who put him on their June 1974 cover.

Sometime after he set the record, probably as part of the global conversion to the metric system, the powers that be eliminated that particular event from the Track and Field canon. So Ivory Crockett’s record will stand forever.

I actually just told the story of Ivory Crockett again to my children as we were in Old Trees on Sunday, and we passed under the banners for the Ivory Crockett 5K and fun run which had been the day before. So it was fresh in my mind. Not that this particular fact is very far from mind.

UPDATE: Sorry, I originally attributed this to Jack, but it was Bark M. posting over there. I have updated the attribution above and would vow to pay more attention to post authors, but, come on, we all know I won’t.

Someone Wants To Renew A Blogwar

Kevin McGehee says that I don’t count:

As evidenced by my reduced blogging frequency in recent months, the loss of my only known occasional reader is not the sole cause of the Tally Book’s dearth of content; it’s a cause, but not the only one.

Oh, I am nothing, am I? I’ve kept you in my blogroll all this time even though you kept changing the URL to confuse me?

Bear in mind, son, we only declared a truce or got bored with the blog war. We never signed a peace treaty.

But I agree with him on this:

Another big part of it is that, when it comes to things political and social, the only thought that ever occurs to me anymore is to wonder whether it’s possible to roll one’s eyes so hard and so often that they eventually just pop right out of their sockets.

You might have noticed, gentle reader, that this particular blog has also gotten less focused on the news and politics since its inception. But that’s because after the first decade, you realize that you’re just repeating yourself and that history, or at least governments and politicians, repeats and without much, if any, improvement or learning.

So, yeah, you get twee book reports that are a couple of paragraphs about what the book made me think of and pictures or stories of life. And by “you,” I mean “me in a couple of months or years when I stumble back upon each post.” Or when I have to crawl the archives again trying to update all the YouTube links because it has again changed its embedding format. As I fixed in one of the posts from the 2006 Blog Yee Hawd.

But enough about me. Kevin McGehee is responsible for bee colonoscopy collapse disorder.

Flashback: Brian J. Noggle, Flip-Flopper

Way back in 2003, I pooh-pooh LASIK surgery.

Spoiler alert: A couple years later, I had LASIK surgery.

Perhaps it was when I corrected the misunderstanding:

Pardon me, but my family doesn’t have a generations-long tradition for opening the front of the eyeball like a can of french-cut green beans and firing a computer-guided thing-we-used-to-call-a-“laser” against the retina until it scorched enough of the cones and rods to make things better, as though it was a military expedition to win over the hearts and minds of my optic nerve with napalm. Oh, yeah, and then they close it back up, and it either works or you’re blind, oops.

The laser doesn’t work on the retina after all.

Flashback To That Time I Interviewed A Dolphin

Well, not really, but I did dedicate a lot more time to the blog in the distant past, such as that one time I put together a pod cast to make fun of something John Kerry said extraneously a couple presidential elections ago: World Exclusive!

As with the photoshops, they’re fewer these days. Where did the time go? And I don’t mean the passage of the years: I mean all the time I had every day.

Oh, yes. Children. A better use of the time, surely.

Lileks Recycles My Schtick

Brian J., March 2012

I went into the nursery last week, and I asked to see the Lileks.

“What?” the man asked.

“The Lileks,” I said. Well, it’s not what I tried to say, but that’s what it sounded like.

“Oh, the lilacs,” he said.

Lileks, today:

Also: next door neighbor is out back for a smoke, waves to me in the dusk, asks a favor. I come over.

“What’s up?”

“We have a dear sweet old lady coming over for dinner tomorrow,” he said. “And she just loves Lileks.”

“Well I would be honored to drop by and pay a visit,” I say, thinking as long as you’re not asking me to stay for the whole dinner, sure – pop in during dessert, surprise the old lady.

“I mean the lilacs.” He points to the bushes. “I wondered if I could snip a few.”

I included a picture in 2012 of the lilacs I hopefully planted around our propane tank. They lasted a couple years. Then we had a couple years of years of sunflowers. Then a year of tall grasses that I thought were sunflowers when they sprouted, but clearly they lacked, you know, flowers. This year, I went with hydrangea bushes. Which are almost already dead.

One of the reasons we moved to Nogglestead was to have more space for gardening, which apparently here at Nogglestead means “Making room for the Bermuda grass.” I’m beginning to wonder if that will be one of the reasons we move out.