Statistics May: How In May 2021 Everyone Figured They Had The Right Amount Of Me


The past couple months had unusual things bring readers here. People looking for that post about which color tablet makes which Easter egg color, for example. Easter isn’t all that unusual, but most months it doesn’t happen. Or people on Reddit linking to one of my pictures to explain Mark Trail drama. As best I can tell, in May, none of that happened. There were just people coming around for their usual reasons. These reasons are plot recaps of story strips, this one S J Perelman essay, and bots trying to place generic comments on every web site they can reach. And what does this imply for my readership totals?

They went incredibly average. May 2021 looks to be the average-est month I’ve ever had. WordPress says there were 4,910 page views in May 2021. That’s below the twelve-month running mean, leading up to May, of 5,478.7 views per month. But it’s almost dead on the twelve-month median, which was 4,930 page views. There were 2,979 unique visitors as WordPress counts these things. That’s again below the mean of 3,317.5. But it’s still quite close to the twelve-month running median of 2,979. There were 38 comments in May. In the twelve months leading up to May there were a mean of 41.3 comments per month, and a median of 39.5 comments per month.

Bar chart of two and a half years' worth of monthly readership figures. After an upward spike in April and a smaller hig point in March the readership was down to rather close to 5,000 page views in May.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of blogger I’d be if I hadn’t discovered people want to read me explaining Gil Thorp to them. It’s too horrible a fate to consider.

It’s in likability that May stands out. There were 199 things liked in May. The mean is 114.2 per month, and the median 120.5. I think people love me mentioning forgotten sitcom Alice.


The most popular things from May this past month were mostly comic strip news, as usual:

I’m glad other people are as baffled by remembering anything about Alice as I am. The most popular of the MiSTings was Dreams of a Lost Past/Loss, Part 2 of 4 and I don’t know why that should be the best-liked slice of that.

Not one of my most popular pieces, somehow, but deserving of attention? Here’s how to get rid of WordPress’s Block Editor and get the good editor back. You’re welcome, everybody who hates WordPress’s Block Editor, which is to say, everyone who uses WordPress’s Block Editor. This would include the people who programmed the Block Editor, except we know they do not use the Block Editor. If they used the Block Editor they would have either fixed any of its limitless problems, or resigned rather than continue to endorse that fiasco.

My plan for story comic recaps for the coming month is to do these:

As ever, that’s subject to rejiggering if events warrant. When Rocket Raccoon gets done insulting The Amazing Spider-Man, I figure to drop that strip. The comic will have cycled back into strips I’ve already recapped. While I could do a better job recapping them now, do I need to do that work?

I’m open to thoughts about how to replace Spider-Man. Might do one of the not-newspaper-syndicated story comics like Rip Haywire. Or the humor story strip Safe Havens. But since I’ve missed its big multi-year Mars Mission storyline that’s probably anticlimax. I will not be reporting on what’s going on in Endtown because by the time any Endtown story is a month old I have no idea what’s going on in it. But, if someone has a good idea, please share.


Mercator-style map of the world, with the United States in dark red and most of the New World, western Europe, South and Pacific Rim Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in a more uniform pink.
Also sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I hadn’t pre-written the alt text, to describe what this monthly readership map looks like, so I can copy and paste that to each month for which it applies. And what will happen if I ever have a month where it doesn’t apply, like because I get way more page views from Ecuador than from the United States.

In May, some 85 countries sent me any readers at all. 18 of them were a single reader each. Here’s the roster:

Country Readers
United States 3,416
India 226
United Kingdom 164
Canada 161
Germany 117
Brazil 91
Philippines 83
Australia 81
Italy 36
Spain 30
Sweden 29
France 28
Norway 26
Austria 22
Finland 22
Romania 21
Netherlands 18
Ecuador 17
South Africa 17
Denmark 16
Indonesia 16
European Union 14
Ireland 14
Mexico 14
Japan 12
Poland 12
Argentina 10
Jamaica 10
New Zealand 10
Czech Republic 9
Egypt 8
Greece 8
Albania 7
Malaysia 7
Turkey 7
Chile 6
French Guiana 6
Georgia 6
Israel 5
Nigeria 5
Portugal 5
South Korea 5
Thailand 5
Ukraine 5
Belgium 4
Cape Verde 4
Cayman Islands 4
Singapore 4
Switzerland 4
Bahamas 3
Colombia 3
Croatia 3
Hungary 3
Kuwait 3
Peru 3
Russia 3
St. Lucia 3
Taiwan 3
Bangladesh 2
Burundi 2
Costa Rica 2
Guernsey 2
Honduras 2
Hong Kong SAR China 2
Paraguay 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Algeria 1 (*)
Brunei 1
Bulgaria 1
China 1
Dominican Republic 1 (*)
Guatemala 1
Iceland 1
Latvia 1 (*)
Lebanon 1
Libya 1
Lithuania 1
Macau SAR China 1
Maldives 1
Morocco 1
Oman 1
Qatar 1 (*)
Saudi Arabia 1
Serbia 1

Algeria, Dominican Republic, Latvia, and Qatar were single-view countries in April also. There’s no countries that have gone three months in a row with one view each.


WordPress says I posted 26,084 words in May, bringing my year’s total up to 101,995. I’ll accept that, even though it means my average post was a hefty 841.4 words. I think the MiSTings are ratcheting my averages up. It does bring my average post for the year up to 676 words. That’s the highest that figure’s been this year.

In the time between US President Dwight Eisenhower’s first meeting with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1956) and the start of June, I have posted 3,042 pieces here. They were viewed a total 237,789 times by 136,548 unique visitors.

If you’d like to be a regular reader, great! Keep doing the thing you’re doing right now. That would be easier if you have an RSS reader. You won’t show up in my statistics, unless you comment, but you can read the articles from my RSS feed. If you don’t have an RSS reader you can sign up for a free account at Dreamwidth or Livejournal. Then https://www.dreamwidth.org/feeds/ or https://www.livejournal.com/syn lets you add any RSS feed to your friends page. More blogs than you imagine have RSS feeds. Give it a try.

And if you have a WordPress account, you can use the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button to add this page to your Reader page. You can also sign up for e-mail delivery of posts as they happen. That will give you posts with all the typos that I fix in the quarter-hour after a post publishes, so, be warned.

Statistics May: How the past month treated my humor blog


So how do my readership figures for May look? And how do they look compared to past months? And the short answer is that it’s down from April, because nobody cares about Easter egg dye colors anymore. But it’s still a comfortably large number. Not quite the figures I saw at the end of Apartment 3-G, but surprisingly close.

Specifically, there were 4,292 page views here in May 2020, spread across 2,505 unique visitors. That’s above the twelve-month running averages for these figures. The average was 3,769.6 page views from 2,179.8 unique visitors. The twelve-month running averages are increasing month-to-month too, but I’m not going to start tracking that because that’s getting daft.

Bar chart of two years, four months, in total views and unique visitors. The trend is generally upward, though falling back after a spike above 5,000 visitors in April.
By the way the default chart shows two years and five months’ worth of figures. I write this because every month I swear I’m going to remember just how much it shows, and then I forget, and I look at all the month tabs and I get lost and I guess it’s about two and a half years. Which it is, although why 29 months instead of 30 is another of those mysteries.

The disappointing figure in all this was the number of likes, which have been trending down forever now. There were 67 things liked in all of May, way below the running average of 109.5. More important than that, though, was that 39 comments came in over the month, well above the 19.8 average. That’s also three months in a row with more than thirty comments, which makes me feel so much better, really.

The per-post averages are all rather similar. There were on average 138.5 views per posting in May; the twelve-month average is 123.7. There were 80.8 unique visitors per posting in May; the average is 71.6. There were 2.2 likes per posting in May; the average was 3.6. There were 1.3 comments per posting; the average was 0.6.

There were 556 distinct postings that got at least one page view in May, up from April’s 514. 359 of them got more than one page view, up from 323. Only 72 pages got more than ten views, slightly down from April’s 76.

The most popular comic strips were a recurring mystery, and then a bunch of comic strip stuff:

I continue to have no idea why that months-in-reverse-alphabetical-order is popular, or why it’s staying popular. I feel like it must have got put on a list incorrectly. Or there’s just that many bots who got something wrong.

All those posts are old ones, though. The most popular thing posted in May was a comic strip recap, What’s Going On In The Phantom (Weekdays)? Why is the Phantom punching terrorists? February – May 2020. My most popular May piece that was intended to be funny was Remembering the home computers of the 1980s, one of my long-form essays that’s still a mushy nostalgic haze.


There were 77 countries, or things like countries, that sent me any readers in May. There’d been 78 in April and 73 in March, so that’s all normal enough. There were 20 single-view countries, just like in March, and basically like in April, when there were 19. Here’s the roster of what countries they were, and how many views each got:

Mercator-style map of the world with the United States in deepest red. Most of the Americas, western Europe, South Asia and the Asian Pacific nations are in a uniform, less intense pink. Almost no African countries are pink.
I do kind of wish WordPress would use a different map projection, because every single month I give this the alt-text ‘Mercator-style map of the world’ and every single month I have to look up whether it’s ‘Mercator’ or ‘Mercatur’. And I’m the map freak here. Me! Anyway if they could do an equirectangular or maybe a Gall or Lambert I’d save myself that little bit of monthly embarrassment.
Country Readers
United States 3,171
India 177
United Kingdom 135
Canada 128
Australia 65
Germany 59
Sweden 58
Brazil 46
Italy 35
South Korea 33
Philippines 28
Finland 24
France 20
Spain 19
Colombia 14
El Salvador 13
Ireland 13
Russia 13
Mexico 12
Portugal 12
Norway 11
Argentina 9
Indonesia 9
Malaysia 9
Vietnam 9
Kenya 8
Netherlands 8
New Zealand 8
South Africa 8
Serbia 7
Singapore 7
Taiwan 7
China 6
Denmark 6
Jamaica 6
Japan 6
Poland 6
Turkey 6
Hong Kong SAR China 5
Pakistan 5
United Arab Emirates 5
Belgium 4
Chile 4
Czech Republic 4
Peru 4
Croatia 3
European Union 3
Iceland 3
Israel 3
Romania 3
Venezuela 3
Barbados 2
Bolivia 2
Costa Rica 2
Ecuador 2
Morocco 2
Zambia 2
Bahamas 1
Bangladesh 1 (**)
Belarus 1
Bhutan 1
Egypt 1 (**)
Greece 1
Guam 1
Guatemala 1 (*)
Lebanon 1 (***)
Mauritius 1
Panama 1
Puerto Rico 1
Saudi Arabia 1 (*)
Slovakia 1
St. Lucia 1
Switzerland 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1
Tunisia 1
Uruguay 1 (*)
Zimbabwe 1

Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay were single-view countries last month too. Bangladesh and Egypt have been single-view countries three months in a row. Lebanon is on its fourth month so.


Through the start of June, I had published a total 2,677 posts. They’ve drawn 171,428 views from a recorded 96,260 visitors. And I’m hoping some of them will stick around for my writing. Each Thursday, Eastern Time, I post a long-form humor essay. Each Saturday, similarly, I post something for Statistics Saturday, my Dad’s favorite feature here. And then, for Tuesdays lately, I watch What’s Going On In the story comics. My plan for the coming month, subject to breaking news, is to cover these strips:

WordPress estimates that I published 15,458 words here in May, in 31 posts averaging just over 515 and a quarter words each. For the year to date I’ve published 83,346 words, over 150 posts, for an average 556 words per posting. This is running a bit under the pace for 2019, which I am fine with.

I’m always glad to have more regular readers. If you’re on WordPress you can become a regular reader by clicking the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button on this page. Or you can add the RSS feed for articles to whatever reader you use. If you don’t have an RSS reader, good news: you can get a free account at Dreamwidth or Livejournal, and use their Friends page to look at any RSS feed you like. I also announce posts by automated service to my Twitter account of @Nebusj. But while I’d sort of like to be active there again, Twitter only sometimes lets Safari read it. I don’t know what its issue is, and I don’t have the energy to work it out. Sorry.

Statistics May: How The Past Month Was Read, And For What


Deep down, I knew I wouldn’t repeat April’s four-thousand-plus page views. Not that my readership doesn’t seem to have risen to a new plateau since Roy Kassinger discovered me. (I don’t see a reason they should be connected, but the correlation is there.) Just that April saw a couple weird spikes of readership that I think were freak events.

There were 3,414 page views in May 2019. That’s down from the 4,033 of April and 3,565 of March. It’s still a bit above the twelve-month running average, though. (That was 3128.2 page views, for the curious, which will be ‘me in one month’.) There were 2,058 unique visitors, down from April’s 2,418 and March’s 2,165. It’s above the twelve-month running average of 1781.6, anyway.

Four and a half years of monthly readership statistics. The readership jumped up by about a thousand people per month from the start of 2018.
I had been feeling all good that I grabbed a snapshot of my statistics just as June started, so that there wasn’t this embarrassing final column with a couple of page views on it. And then two days later remembered I could fiddle with the date range so as to show four and a half years of statistics, which gives so much a better sense of change over time. So, here you have it, with that embarrassing final column.

The number of likes resumed its dwindle; there were 133 things liked around here in all of May. There’d been 233 likes in April, and 176 likes in march. And that’s certainly below the twelve-month running average, which I won’t name here because every other month had more likes. It was 172.8. Which sees odd since I had at least one piece that really hit a nostalgic sweet spot, according to the comments I got about it. Comments were a bit more common, 24 in May. There were 10 in April and 24 in March. The twelve-month running average (this is going to become a new obsession, isn’t it?) was 47.7.

In all, 377 of my posts got some view in May. (The Home Page also drew views, but that’s not counted as any specific post.) The most popular posts were about what I would have guessed:

I expect comic strip plot recaps to be my most popular thing. And something posted near the kalends of a month has the best chance to get readership counts. But I am surprised people didn’t just get the joke with Edward’s Dog of un-depictable ugliness. Maybe I’ve been better-primed to expect that joke.

And while it wouldn’t make the top five, one of my long-form essays was finally reached the top ten. Everything There Is To Say About Programming A Computer In The 80s was really well-liked, and I’m glad. It may not actually have a specific big laugh, but I think it has got that sort of humor that comes from knowing someone actually thinks like this.


Mercator-style map showing readership mostly in the United States, but also in most of the Americas, Eurasia, and Australia. For a wonder there's even a reader from China.
I realize that it’s just one viewer who possibly didn’t even know what they were looking for but, wow, someone from Mauritania looked at something I wrote this past month? How did that come about?

75 countries, or country-like polities, sent me readers at all in May. That’s up from April’s 66 and March’s 69. That feels nice to see. 18 of them were single-reader countries. That’s more than April’s 16 and March’s 14. Here’s the full roster:

Country Readers
United States 2,607
Canada 119
India 103
United Kingdom 90
Sweden 55
Brazil 46
Australia 43
Japan 35
Hong Kong SAR China 24
Netherlands 19
Malaysia 18
France 17
Germany 17
Mexico 15
Philippines 13
Romania 9
Denmark 8
Indonesia 8
Ireland 7
Finland 6
Hungary 6
Italy 6
Peru 6
Spain 6
Turkey 6
Colombia 5
New Zealand 5
Nigeria 5
Portugal 5
Singapore 5
United Arab Emirates 5
Uruguay 5
American Samoa 4
Argentina 4
Kenya 4
Russia 4
South Africa 4
South Korea 4
Switzerland 4
Taiwan 4
Bangladesh 3
El Salvador 3
Kuwait 3
Norway 3
Serbia 3
Thailand 3
Venezuela 3
Austria 2
Israel 2
Jordan 2
Kazakhstan 2
Liberia 2
Nepal 2
Poland 2
Sri Lanka 2
Ukraine 2
Albania 1
Belgium 1
British Virgin Islands 1
Bulgaria 1
China 1
Ecuador 1
Greece 1
Guam 1
Iraq 1
Jamaica 1
Macedonia 1
Mauritania 1
Moldova 1
Myanmar (Burma) 1
Paraguay 1
Puerto Rico 1
Qatar 1
Réunion 1
Uganda 1

This is a complete turnover in single-reader countries: none of those sent me exactly one reader in April. This is my first complete single-reader turnover in a long while. Possibly since I started paying attention to these things. And, of course, I am happy that anyone might read and, I dearly hope, enjoy what I write. I’m just curious why I should have so many readers in Sweden, Brazil, or India. Again, I’m happy to have you. I just feel like … really? I say anything relevant to you? I’d like to know what it is.


So my story strip recaps. All the story strip recaps should appear at this link. I do have a plan for the next several Sundays, if nothing happens that shakes up the orderly world of the twelve threads I follow. My plans are for:


Between the start of 2019 and the start of June 2019 I’ve published 149 pieces for a total of 92,272 words. 19,030 of these words were published in May. So, that’s 614 words per post on average in May — April had been 644 — and, year to date, an average of 619 words per post. At the start of May it had been 610 words. I told you those Wednesday little things weren’t working.

There’ve been 204 comments overall on the year, for an average of 1.4 comments per posting. That’s the same average as at the start of May, at least. 820 total likes, for an average of 5.5 likes per posting in 2019. At the start of May this average had been 5.7. But at the start of April the average was 5.5 again. Hm.

June began with my having made 2,311 posts. They’ve gathered 125,314 views from 69,657 unique visitors. And as mentioned, 377 posts got at least one view in May. 565 posts got some view in April, and 420 in March. I have no idea what these fluctuations signify. Most likely nothing. If I’m actually interested in how much of my archive is being read any month, I should probably look at, say, the number of posts that get at least five page views. Or some threshold that suggests it wasn’t just a mistake.


If you don’t think reading me is a mistake, thank you. You can be a regular reader by adding the Another Blog, Meanwhile feed to your RSS reader. Or you can use the “Follow Another Blog, Meanwhile” button in the upper right corner of the WordPress page. I’m on Twitter as @Nebusj, but I won’t feel jealous if you follow other people too.

And if it helps you decide whether to follow me, I try to start each month with a pair of rabbit pictures.

Statistics Saturday: Some Things Which Are Not Components Of May


Please notice that this is a completely new joke from last month and is not me stalling because “ten fake Greek letters” and “some uncertainly named United States states” haven’t been debugged yet.

  • June
  • February
  • 32nd
  • P
  • Flag Day
  • Winter (northern hemisphere only)
  • Automan
  • K, V
  • Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test flight 4, mission ALT-15, 12 October 1977.
  • April
  • Turbo, that movie about a snail in the Indianapolis 500.
  • Gravity

Note: Some or all of these may be found in May but are not essential components of such.

Source: Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Simon Louvish.

Statistics May: What Readership Around Here Was Like So Recently


And now let me pause to figure out how many people read something or other on my humor blog in May. I’m guessing that the Nancy boom has worn off. You can’t count on exciting comic strip news like that every month.

OK, so it’s wearing off slowly, at least. It was another month of more than three thousand readers. It’s dropped again, a little bit, but the readers are still around. There were 3,227 page views recorded, down from April’s 3,590 and March’s 3,773. This came from 1,871 unique visitors, down not so much from April’s 1,988 or March’s 1,917. There were 175 likes registered in May; in April there were 177. This does nothing to dissuade me from thinking WordPress is making stuff up. My humor blog had 73 likes in both March and April. I know, right? It was a slight bit chattier here in May than in April. 54 comments, up from 43, but down from March’s 84. I think comments are going to pick up, though. In the story strip summaries we’ve got Judge Parker and Spider-Man coming up this month. And Gil Thorp might well draw a response from someone, considering.

Bar chart for the blog's readership, which was rising steadily to about 2,000 per month through December 2016 and then leapt up to the three-to-four-thousand range.
Most boring game of Tetris on record. By the way, are they still going ahead with pretending they’re going to make a Tetris movie or have they given up on that? Or has the movie come out and we’ve forgotten it already? Were they ever planning to make a movie out of the game Candy Land? Doesn’t that seem like one that there should have been?

So what all was popular in May? The biggest thing was me grousing about a truly awful footer to the vintage Thimble Theatre strips on ComicsKingdom. I suspect that somebody popular referenced my dazed and ironic reading of those awful Kabibble Kabaret alleged jokes that Harry Hershfield inflicted on a country already plunging into the Great Depression. The top five posts of the month:

As happens, the Spider-Man and the Gasoline Alley posts were to specific essays and I’ve changed the URLs to the tag links. They’re from before May, it happens. The most popular thing I wrote in May was What’s Going On In Mary Worth? Muffins And Despair. February – May 2018. I’m glad. I liked writing that one, much as some of the subject matter got bad. My most popular original long-form piece was in there eventually, What They Found Inside City Hall. My hypothesis is that one found that sweet spot of being about something relatable, being much more true than people realize (there legitimately is a hole in an upper-floor bathroom from which you can peer down through many storeys), and got refreshed each Monday with some extra bit of preposterousness. The state’s spite building and the walled-off escalator are for real too.

78 countries sent me readers in May. There were 76 doing so in April, and 75 in March, so I guess we’ve run out of countries in the world. Here’s that part of the world:

Country Readers
United States 2,491
India 142
Canada 136
United Kingdom 72
Germany 35
Australia 33
Spain 31
Sweden 25
Denmark 15
Malaysia 15
Finland 14
Netherlands 12
France 11
Italy 11
Brazil 9
Japan 9
Norway 9
South Africa 9
Mexico 7
Botswana 6
Hong Kong SAR China 6
Philippines 6
Poland 6
Portugal 6
Indonesia 5
Singapore 5
South Korea 5
Chile 4
Egypt 4
Israel 4
New Zealand 4
Russia 4
Austria 3
Bangladesh 3
Belgium 3
European Union 3
Ireland 3
Puerto Rico 3
Romania 3
Turkey 3
Argentina 2
Bulgaria 2
Colombia 2
Croatia 2
Czech Republic 2
Macedonia 2
Peru 2
Serbia 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
Ukraine 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Uruguay 2
Vietnam 2
Brunei 1
China 1 (*)
Cyprus 1
Dominican Republic 1
Ecuador 1
El Salvador 1
Greece 1
Iceland 1
Jamaica 1 (*)
Kenya 1
Latvia 1 (**)
Lebanon 1
Madagascar 1
Malta 1
Nepal 1 (*)
Pakistan 1
Palestinian Territories 1
Panama 1
Saudi Arabia 1
Sint Maarten 1
Slovenia 1 (**)
Sri Lanka 1
Taiwan 1
Thailand 1 (*)
Zambia 1

There were 25 single-reader countries for May. That’s up from 21 in April and back to March’s 25. China, Jamaica, Nepal, and Thailand were single-reader countries in April. Latvia and Slovenia have been single-reader countries two months running now. The United States readership dropped a couple hundred people, and Canada’s a bit. But the India readership nearly doubled. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.

Insights says I start June with 87,587 total page views, from 48,298 unique visitors. It tells me that this year I’ve published 99,521 words through the start of June — so the 100,000th was somewhere in yesterday’s long-form piece. I’m not interested enough to figure out which word that was. But there’ve been, to the start of June, 151 total posts, which gathered 340 total comments and 982 total likes. This implies I had 16,968 words published since the last statistics review for the month, and that for May I averaged 565.6 words per post. (And add to that the 10,836 words I put on my mathematics blog and I’m writing at a rather good clip. And you see why I don’t feel guilty never making a NaNoWriMo attempt.)

For the year I’m averaging 659.8 words per post. That’s down from the start of May’s 682.3 words per post. Good. I’ve needed to save the time. I’m now at an average of 6.5 likes per post for the year, down from 6.7. These decimal points are going to kill me. I’m still averaging 2.2 comments per post and there seems to be no affecting that.

If you’d like to follow Another Blog, Meanwhile, I’d be glad if you did. You can add it to your WordPress reader by clicking the button on the upper right corner of this page. Here’s the RSS feed, if you want to read this page without my ever knowing you’re doing it. And if you want to follow me on Twitter, here I am. I announce new posts for here and for my mathematics blog there, and sometimes I even talk with friends. You know how that is.

Statistics Saturday: Components of May


Big block that just says 'May' in it.
Fun Fact: May was named after Maia, the Roman Goddess of the Spring, but before the emperor Claudius.

Source: Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild, David Stenn.

Yes. This. This has to be the joke I’ve been searching for all month. If it isn’t, what else could it be? Exactly. There isn’t one.

Statistics Saturday: Components of May


Components of May: Sunday 4, Monday 4, Tuesday 5, Wednesday 5, Thursday 5, Friday 4, Saturday 4.
Maybe I should be looking at the the letters in the days of the week? Like, how Saturday is the only day of the week to have any of the letters of ‘d-a-y’ in the part of its name that isn’t ‘day’? Oh, except for Wednesday. Never mind; that clearly isn’t going anywhere.

Source: This Is New Jersey, John T Cunningham.

Seriously, there’s just got to be a legitimate joke somewhere in the composition of May. And I know what you’re thinking but no, it’s not in a grammatical debate about what composes May versus what comprises May. Better people than I have tried making that work and it does not. I can learn from experience.

Statistics Saturday: Components Of May


Doughnut chart, 31 wedges of an annular ring each with one of the whole numbers 1 to 31 pointing to it.
Also the new version of Apple Numbers wants us to know it’s a really big thing that they can draw charts like this. And I guess the doughnut chart is nice enough. But I don’t feel excited by this. Do you?

Source: Airborne Trailblazer: Two Decades with NASA Langley’s 737 Flying Laboratory, Lane E Wallace.

I don’t know. I’m sure I have the right joke in here somewhere. I just don’t know that I’ve found it yet.

Statistics Saturday: Components Of May


Pie chart, with one-third 'M', one-third 'A', and one-third 'Y'.
If you think this whole exercise is just a chance to show off how great the valley in the center of the ‘M’ looks in this typeface (Futura) you’re mistaken. It’s to show off how great the slanted outside legs of the ‘M’ do. But yeah, that valley in the center of the ‘M’ is pretty great too. Really there’s all kinds of great stuff in Futura.

Source: Shakespeare’s Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages, John Julius Norwich.

What do you think? Is this a better rendition of the joke? Or should I just scrap the whole project?

Statistics May: How The Last Month Treated My Humor Blog


I’d meant to look at my readership back on Friday but then we got some breaking news about The Phantom in. And then the usual routine stuff filled up scheduled slots and that’s why I’m getting to my monthly readership report a week into the new month.

Well, I didn’t break 2,000 page views last month. Came close, and I thought it was almost sure when I checked a couple days before May ended. But according to WordPress I finished May with 1,944 page views. That’s up from April’s 1,765, and about two busy days below March’s 2,085. I shall be lobbying to extend May to a 33-day month sooner or later. The number of unique viewers was up again, to 1,291. In April it had been 1,099; in March, 1,308. So May was almost as busy as March around here. I can cope with that.

The secular decline in ‘likes’ around here had a temporary pause in May. 167 pages got liked by someone or other, up from April’s 147 and March’s 154. Probably won’t last. Comments, now, those were typically dismal. Only ten comments made around here in May, down from April’s 26 and below even the 12-comment doldrums of March. This does coincide with a useful discovery, though. I switched back to the old style of making links to other posts here, one that generates on the page referred to a link to whatever makes the reference. These get sent to me for approval as comments. They don’t affect the comment totals, though; I certainly had more than ten internal cross-reference links in May. Since using links this way makes it easier for people to find relevant stuff in their archive binges and it doesn’t mess up the comments count I’ll stick to doing that. Still don’t know why WordPress insists I approve links from my blog to my blog, though.

Meanwhile, my conversion of the blog to a full-time report on the story strips is basically complete. The five most popular posts around here in May were:

Well, at least I can be of use to people who want to understand the ongoing Mary Worth plot without having to actually read the comic. (She’s doing the tourist areas of Cozumel Island while the special guest Bland White Guy is sneaking cigarettes behind the cruise ship’s school gym, and that’s about it.) My most popular long-form humor piece is the review of Python Anghelo’s bonkers concept document for the Popeye pinball game from the early 90s. If you haven’t read it, I’d be flattered if you did read my summary, but I really am just painting the lily that is nine pages in which the least daft part is H Ross Perot helping Popeye launch the Glomar Explorer into space. My most popular recent long-form piece was about my new computer and why I needed one.

Well: on to the roster of the nations. Where did my readers come from in May?

Country Views
United States 1495
Canada 63
India 60
United Kingdom 47
Australia 25
South Africa 23
Brazil 21
Germany 18
Romania 17
Sweden 13
New Zealand 12
Denmark 9
Netherlands 8
Poland 8
Austria 7
France 7
Italy 7
Ireland 6
Malaysia 6
Spain 6
Switzerland 6
Russia 5
Singapore 5
Hong Kong SAR China 4
Indonesia 4
Peru 4
Philippines 4
Trinidad & Tobago 4
Ukraine 4
Czech Republic 3
El Salvador 3
Finland 3
Japan 3
Mexico 3
Argentina 2
Bangladesh 2
Belarus 2
Bulgaria 2
Chile 2
Croatia 2
Norway 2
Angola 1
Belgium 1
Cambodia 1
Dominican Republic 1
Estonia 1
Georgia 1
Libya 1
Macedonia 1
Nepal 1
Pakistan 1 (*)
Portugal 1
Serbia 1
Taiwan 1 (**)
Thailand 1
Turkey 1
Venezuela 1
Vietnam 1

Pakistan was a single-reader country last month. Taiwan’s been one for two months. I make out visitors from 58 countries, up from April’s 51 and March’s 55. There were 17 single-reader countries, up from April’s 13 and March’s 14. This seems to suggest middling-readership countries are drying up. I hope they’re all right. Somebody write in they know what’s going on.

WordPress figures I started the month at 54,678 pages viewed from 29,834 distinct visitors. It also figures I have 736 followers on WordPress, up from 729 at the start of May. That seems like quite the jump, considering how these things grow. You can join them, if you like, by clicking the link on the upper right side of the page to Follow on WordPress. There’s also the chance to follow by e-mail that’s another link at the upper right side of the page.

According to Insights, my best-read day around here was Friday, which had 16 percent of page views. Friday is the date I normally publish the long-form piece of the week, but 16 percent is so close to 14 percent that I can’t believe there’s any significant difference. The 12 am hour is the most popular reading time; 12 percent of page views came then. So, stuff gets read by people who notice it’s just come up. Good to know, but I can’t say that’s revelatory.

Thanks all of you for reading, and for putting up with my meager self-examinations like this. Back to whatever it is I do tomorrow.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose nearly eight points today on words such as “bound”, “kurtosis”, “melange”, and “patina”.

190

Hack Work for May 2017


I have my tradition of setting free the scraps of writing I couldn’t use the previous month for the big Thursday/Friday-ish piece of the month. And I want to do that too. For example, here’s a bit I couldn’t do anything with all May: “you remember trituminous coal from how it got used to blow up the Amargosa observatory in Star Trek: Generations”. I don’t know what you would do with it either but let me know if you do.

Thing is I’d just got back to something kind of normal-ish with my computer woes when I got a cold. It’s not much of a cold. I’ve been lucky the last couple years in not getting really big colds. Not the kind where you have to stay in bed all day, no longer wiping your nose because the tissues hurt too much and even the lotion-filled ones have abraded your face to a smooth, featureless mass of weeping flesh. Nor the kind where you get a fever that can’t be measured because your thermometer melts into a puddle and your loved one repeats the mention of liquid crystal display until you finally holler that yes, you got it the first time, you just don’t have the power to giggle at a line like that even if you did feel like giggling at it, and then your loved one apologizes for trying to make light and you have to spend the rest of the day everyone in a sullen silence over how they each failed a little bit to be empathetic enough and nobody knows how to apologize exactly.

No, my cold has been the typical sort of light one I get. I spent a while feeling warm, which is nice, because I haven’t really felt warm since 2006 when I last lived in Singapore. Singapore is on the equator, and it has the climate you’d get if you jumped into the middle of an open-faced kiss between a fire-breathing dragon and a smaller ice-breathing dragon, all humidity and heat and sudden surprising blasts of air conditioning and sometimes the food kiosk has an offering that looks like some kind of organ meat. Not everyone’s taste. But at least I didn’t need to wear a little something extra over my shirt.

Also I’ve spent my time coughing. I won’t pretend that I’m a world-class cougher. I never got past the state level (14th place, 2010, New Jersey; 7th place, 1999, New York, although that was later vacated as I’d had a throat infection, a purely administrative change of ruling which does not reflect on my ethics). But serious coughing is tough competition. We do some impressive stuff. Back in the cold of October ’15, without even seriously training, I coughed hard enough in the shower that I threw out my back, causing my spine to rebound off the shower wall, clobber my right shoulder blade, and then sucker-punch me in the kidneys. I think there were deeper issues at work here and the coughing just a pretext. But what a pretext! It was so painful I even admitted that it kind of hurt.

Still, the coughing’s been going on nonstop since Tuesday. It’s triggered by some events, like taking too deep a breath, or too shallow a breath, or trying to say a whole word. I’d be fine with this really, since given the choice I’d like to just sit still and not say anything out loud. But then I have to reassure my love that I’m fine, really, the coughing is just annoying and not something we need to get to emergency care for, and it can take as many as twenty-two minutes to get through a sentence that complicated. Also work wanted me present for a conference call with people who were in the main office’s Echo Testing Chamber. I don’t believe we got any work done, but absolutely everybody has a headache.

I’d like to credit all this coughing to being exercise. I can feel the burn in my abdominal muscles, and I’m all set to smash my head into the steering wheel as I drive to the emergency care clinic. Oh, also I’ve been trying to build some kind of piece around sorting the nightshade family of plants into those that are edible versus those that are deadly, but I can’t figure a way to do it that isn’t just a factually useful chart. It feels a little xkcd-ish to me anyway, and that’s fine, but it isn’t me.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index dropped a point on learning that four percent of Michigan employers will allow their workers to bring pets into the workplace, because this is a fair bit below the national average of seven percent.

207

Statistics Saturday: 2015, Compared To Projections, Update


Completed to date: 151 days. Planned for this date: 151 days. Planned for the year: 365 days.
How 2015 is progressing compared to projections for this point.

The good news is we’ve made a lot of progress since February! And that’s about all I have to say for that.