One of the most entertaining aspects of maintaining a publicly accessible website is looking through the web server logs.  Whenever you visit a website, your browser tells the web server which page contains the link that sent you to the web site.  This information is then logged in the web servers logs.  Also, when you visit a search engine, the terms for which you searched that led you to a particular page/site are also sent to th web server by your browser and logged by the web server.  So, by looking through the web server logs, I can see what search terms bring people to my site and which pages receive the most hits.  The top search terms that direct people to my site are below in order of frequency: 1. Easily the most popular page on my website is a picture of yours truly standing in the Roman Colosseum.  On particular search engines (AltaVista, especially), a search for either "Colosseum," or "Roman Colosseum," will bring up links to my site in the top twenty or so links.  The interesting thing about that picture is that the picture immediately preceding it in the set has far more information about the Colosseum itself and is a better picture, too.  However the preceding page is only viewed one-sixth as often as the picture of me standing in the Colosseum.

  1. The second most often sought out page on my website for the month of December got that ranking for several reasons.  Some people hit that page looking for "UPS INTERNAL ACTIVITY CODE" which is only there because I cut and pasted some tracking text from UPS’ web site (followed by the obligatory rant on how much better our world would be without the bumbling incompetence of UPS).  Someone else hit that page looking for information on "how to split wood."  Well, I do mention splitting wood on that page, but only in the context of the fact that I recently had my first wood splitting experience.  Finally, the text "La Grande Vista CA" also draws people to that page for some reason.  This text is only included, again, as it was part of the UPS tracking information that I mentioned above.
  2. The words "Rome mcdonalds" typed into certain search engines will bring people to another picture on my site that shows the interior of a McDonalds near the Spanish steps.  I get a few of these a month.  I will admit that when I put up the pictures from our Italian vacation that I had no idea they would be so universally popular.
  3. Other search terms that brought people to my site in December (and other months): - Building a monster truck (One of my personal favorites as anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m the last person on Earth who could tell you anything about building a monster truck.  Not only do I know nothing about cars in general, I know, and want to learn, even less about monster trucks.)
    • Bogen pest control
    • Trolling for mountain lions
    • Bogen answer machine
    • ooze OR disassembles OR orators OR seconders OR autocrats (I would like to see what pages do match this one.  Apparently one of mine does…)
    • Sexy chevy (A phrase I use all the time…)
    • Here’s your sign
    • schizocarpous OR subsidist OR hydrosulphuric OR philobotanist (I’m glad the searcher could spell those terms, because I certainly can’t.)

We saw The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers yesterday afternoon.  I liked Tolkien’s version of Tolkien’s story better than Peter Jackson’s version of Tolkien’s story.  Jackson’s version is about twenty-five to thirty percent true to Tolkien’s story and the remainder isn’t necessarily better, or even as good.  About the most complimentary thing I can say about the movie is that the visuals were generally well done.  In fact, I’d say that I enjoyed I Spy better than I did LOTR:  The Two Towers.