Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apologies to Plano

Feels strange to worry about letting down the readership when this forum has so few readers, but with each passing day I am increasingly aware of the fact that it’s been far too long since I’ve brought any new experiences, observations or photos to this space. And, believe it or not, there are people out there who do return on a fairly regular basis – most I know, others I don’t.

A few months ago I put a Site Meter on this blog so I could get a sense of how many people were visiting from day to day and assess my prospects for challenging Heather Armstrong of www.dooce.com in a battle for world parenting blog domination.

[Note to Heather: no cause for alarm.]

In addition to a running total, this free Web service also provides a little snapshot of each visitor – general information like their ISP, what browser they are using, a rough geographic location. If someone found my site through a random Web search, I can see the terms they searched for and actually link to the “results” page their search generated. It’s pretty amazing.

I can tell when my parents, one of the nation's few remaining AOL customers, have come to look for a new posting. Or when my sister, who is served by RCN, has signed on to check out the space. I sent the link to an old high school friend who works for a law firm in the city, and he was so captivated by the site (I'm talking three or four visits a DAY at times) that I actually went back through all of my previous postings just to make sure I hadn't inadvertently included a few Led Zeppelin tracks playing backwards. There is also the very frequent visitor tagged by Site Meter only as “Plano, Texas.” As far as we can determine we don’t know anyone who currently lives in Texas, so this could be my first unaffiliated fan, or maybe just an obsessed stalker. Can’t tell for sure because, unfortunately, Site Meter doesn’t go to motive.

[Note to Plano: drop me an e-mail at some point, I would love to say hello and either thank you for your loyal patronage or pursue a formal restraining order.]

By way of an update, let me just say that we are all fine. The girls have enjoyed the first month or so of school. We had “meet the teachers” night at Madison’s school a few weeks ago and it was good to see her classroom and get a sense of the specific space and activities that now fill her days. That heart-warming experience was followed a few weeks later by a notice that the school had detected some sort of lice outbreak, so Madison now wears her hair up, we’ve moved her to tea-tree oil shampoo and Gwen is rubbing all kinds of essential oils on her neck as a preventative measure.

Ava is also doing well, enjoying her nursery program and making the same distinctive impressions on her teachers and classmates that we’ve enjoyed around here for going on four years.

We finished the remodel of the girls’ upstairs bathroom, and that’s the end of the home improvement phase for at least the next six months. By far our most successful and stress-free project – again masterfully quarterbacked by Gwen – we did not come to detest this most recent contractor, and may in fact welcome him back somewhere down the road.

Work for me has been busier than ever, and unfortunately we’ve gotten into a routine – all-too-common across this great and God-fearing nation of ours, I suspect – of basically falling out of touch during the week and reconnecting on the weekends. Friday afternoon arrives and we scramble to fill our 48 hours together with a combination of relaxation and frenetic activity that quickly results in Monday morning.

And in addition to parenting and the formal work schedule, I’ve been trying to find the time to finish the book that has been in process and kicking around my head for longer than I care to admit. That endeavor has also taken time from this forum. Not an excuse, just a fact. I hope to finish by early next year, seems a fairly reasonable objective if I can hit my stride with it, and I’ll be back here from time to time when opportunities emerge to document something happening with us.

So this isn’t a shut-down, not a formal hiatus, but absolutely an explanation and an indication that 23 days between postings is likely to become more the rule than the exception for the time being at www.ithinkthisworldisperfect.blogspot.com

Apologies to Plano.

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