Thursday, November 29, 2018

Diary

I haven't been reading much lately or had much to report. Pretty soon I'll start on the biography of Rousseau that I mentioned earlier, and that should take a long time to complete. The weather pattern this fall has been more irregular than usual, so preparations for winter have been somewhat disrupted. There was rain throughout October, leaving soggy leaves on the ground, and then in November it suddenly began to snow. I barely managed to pick the last tomatoes, rake the leaves and mow the lawn one last time before the first snow. We've had a total of about a foot of wet snow so far. This morning I cleared it off the vegetable garden beds and dug out the carrots, which, fortunately, hadn't frozen yet. I've given up stargazing for the year because of the sustained cloudiness, and yesterday I brought in my small telescope. The first load of firewood arrived last month, I've installed snow tires on my car, and I should be all set to waste inordinate amounts of time reading or on my computer next to the wood stove for several months.

William, the cat, is three years old now, and his behavior is changing a little. He used to like going out for most of the night, but now he balks if it's raining or very cold. The problem is that he has a great deal of energy, and if he doesn't spend several hours a day hunting mice and voles (or moles, chipmunks, birds, snakes, toads, bats or insects) he becomes obnoxious indoors. If he's inside at night when I go to bed, I close the bedroom door in an attempt to prevent him from waking me up, but he has an insistent personality and makes loud noises pawing the door, and I wake up anyway. He is hard to play with, because his idea of playing is catching a mouse and carrying it around for a while: cat toys don't register with him. When there are no small rodents around, human hands suddenly become attractive to him. He has good moments, so I still appreciate him, but I don't like the interference with my sleep.

One of my hobbies is trying to determine whether anyone reads this blog. As far as I can tell, very few do. That is fine with me, because I'm not interested in dealing with lots of comments, based on years of unsatisfactory experience with them. According to the statistics at Blogger.com, I get a few hits every day. It seems that many of them are generated by high school or college students who are searching for material on Google for assignments. I don't intentionally give titles to my posts with the aim of being googled, and therefore the popularity of any given post is somewhat random. Actually, I am averse to popular post titles, because they are more likely to attract unwanted readers. My post, "Robert Hughes on Andy Warhol," is popular in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Hughes was Australian, so he probably has better name recognition in those countries. My guess is that students have been writing papers on Andy Warhol. I also use Google Analytics, which often shows completely different results from Blogger.com. When a specific pageview matches on both, you can be confident that it's real. However, in recent months, only on Google Analytics, I've been getting barraged on weekdays from unexpected locations such as Iraq, the UAE, Brazil and India. Just as I am typing this, I'm getting hits from Brazil, Italy, India, Spain, Portugal and South Africa. Since all of these hits show up as users of Windows and Chrome, I think that they are either a disguised visitor or the result of a technical glitch. It makes no sense that new visitors from all over the world would suddenly view my blog at about the same time of day on a weekday and all be using the combination of Windows and Chrome. Since I still get waves of hits identified as originating in Poland, Ukraine and Russia, perhaps various agencies also monitor this site, for whatever reasons. I suppose that at some point people will be getting PhDs in the activities on noncommercial blogs.

I am assuming, based on what a couple of readers whom I know have said, that this blog isn't getting boring.

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