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Saturday, December 31, 2016


Mostly ruminating, but on this final day of the year, I typically wonder if I'll continue this blog site after today.  But something good happened last month, for I got my highest viewership ever:  1700/day.
Graph of Blogger page views
Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history
I think it had something to do with the presidential election, but, why?  Pings have dropped off this month, but are still double what they were in the past.   All told, I have averaged 367 visitors/day to this site. 
Typically, half the daily visitors are first-timers.  For you, I provided a guideline in October, so you can click on that link to learn details about SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY.  As my final posting for 2016, I end the year with a few highlights since the beginning of this blog, way back in April of 2008.

It was eight years and eight months ago that my very first blog focused on the two books I had then recently published,  SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth and SS for Humanity.  The first book represented a crystallization of my professional life.  Then, I thought, what about a book on topics of interest to me for which I was not a world authority.

Thus, what began as a site for renewable energy and a clean environment has expanded into anything I wished to pontificate on when I sat at my computer.   Try doing this for 3172 days in a row.  The justification of my wide-ranging topical spectrum had to do with the Humanities book featuring chapters on religion, travel, education and other miscellaneous subjects.

Well, I might have skipped a few days during my travels through China, for there has been bad blood between the country and Google from the beginning of tech time.  Actually, there are 40 countries controlling Google content, with China the most egregiously.  The gray areas to the left allow full-Google.

In China, there was a nine-day period in 2010 when I got blocked out.  I once actually once found a way to work through a Russian server, and got strange and provocative comments that worried me.  At the Westin on the Bund in Shanghai, I made friends with the concierge, who arranged to have someone come to my room to bypass the government system.

Combined with the horrible air pollution and expensive visa, I now bypass China in my travels.  I reported on my escape from Shanghai to Zurich to summarize my itinerary, then added a second entry on the Shanghai Expo that same day.

These various journeys have particularly interested people.  For some reason my trip to Qatar intrigued many.  As I earlier said, I can't quite grasp why so many show up on occasion.

I have taken more than a ten around the world trips, all via air, and for the future there remains a plan for a global cruise.    However, the 2018 departure will now be delayed until 2020.

Stage 2 of the process to select a possible shipmate will involve one week on the Pride of America visiting the Hawaiian Islands, something I tested out earlier this month.  If Norwegian Cruise Line calls me with a $1200 bargain for a solo room, I'll probably go again.  That's only $171/day for all the food you can eat, wide-ranging entertainment, a room with a changing view and travel to all the major Hawaiian islands.

What have also attracted readers are animals, the larger and weirder the better.  Can the Whale Shark Replace Cattle captures the imagination, while irritating PETA-types.  It's possible that I get more negative comments on this issue than anything else.  First, a whale shark is not a whale, but a shark.  Yes, shark fin is now largely illegal, and it is terrible that humans kill 100 million sharks/year while they eat "only" about one American/year (perhaps 5-15 worldwide).  Cows, yes, cows, kill 22 of us in just the USA every year.  Mosquitos?  655,00/year worldwide.

The matter of sin is frowned on in this blog site.  Every so often I sneak something in, but, if no one directly complains to Google, there are no repercussions.  At least I've survived for more than eight years.  Thus, I needed to very carefully present The Magic of Truffles.  I share with you my Dali-esque response and that image to the right is reminiscent of what I faced.

My one best day on any around the world trip was probably Vienna in October of last year when I:
  • Enjoyed a five course truffles lunch at Quadri on St. Mark's Square.  To the right a white truffles dessert.  Those are shaved pieces of truffles on top.
  • First met my Blue Bar Pigeon, that for a year now has been following me around the world.
  • Then a hundreds yards away, got the final seat available for the San Marcos Chamber Orchestra performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, in the small theater where he composed this piece.
My postings on food probably stimulate the most feedback I get.  Another particularly memorable lunch (I tend to feast at midday when I travel, for some cities are not safe at night) I had was at Pierre Gagnaire at the top of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, for the person who served me sort of looked like my late wife.  The food was exceptional French, and the view was fabulous.

At the other end of the cuisine scale, a simple bento I generally have next to "Pearl's" statue at Jindaiji near Tokyo, has become an annual tradition.  The story of how I found this art piece is both sad and, yet, remarkable, for two deaths occurred.  My series on PEARL'S ASHES, with Chapter 1 appearing on Wednesday, January 4, will re-live some global memories.

Natural disasters seem to draw people to this blog site.  For a long while, the most visitors I had in one day (3356) was on 27 February 2010, when an 8.8 moment magnitude earthquake struck Chile.  The Huffington Post contacted me by e-mail, asking if I could report on the tsunami coming to Hawaii.  I responded, OK...but I was in Amsterdam, and never told them that.  Turns out that my hotel room television allowed me to constantly view two cameras from CNN pointed at Hilo Bay and Waikiki.  A few friends of mine back home had to drive up to the hills just in case the worst happened.

So this blog site has survived from a time three months before petroleum leaped to $147/barrel, when Barack Obama was contesting the democratic primary against Hillary Clinton--oil is now about one-third that price--to Hillary's second loss, this time to Donald Trump.  220 Google domains have visited this site, which means I have 26 to go, for the last time I counted, there were 246 "countries" in the Google Domain.

Not sure what a pageview is, but the number at the top of this page shows more than a million.  The question I keep asking myself is:  When will I retire this blogsite?  As I reached my highest viewership last month, there will be a posting tomorrow.  I guess I'll continue until I can't.  (Painting by Alex Stone.)


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