Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year Fireworks

Here in the United States the most popular time for a fireworks display is July 4 or Independence Day.

Back in July 2012 I wrote a post about Fireworks Memories. I included some nice pictures I had taken of fireworks and shared some of my memories of fireworks displays over the years.

Fireworks Post, Stats, Blog Stats, Graph

I always like looking at the stats for my blog. By the end of the month I had 36 views, but then there were hardly any views at all until December when I had 736 views of the post. There was even one day when there were over 200 views.

I assumed that the reason for the traffic was because of the popularity of fireworks at New Year celebrations.

Blog Stats, Fireworks Post, Fireworks Memories, Numbers

Traffic was also high in January and then it slowed down until another blip up in July. The post was by then the most visited post on my blog and I figured it would alway get a lot of seasonal traffic.

The traffic dropped down to 3 in October and 2 in November but I was ready to watch it boom again at the end of the year. If you look at the image above you can see that the boom never came. In fact, traffic slowed to a trickle.

Fire Works - 4th of July - Most Liked Posts - Holiday Fireworks

The picture above is what drew most people to the blog post. During the time when I got the most traffic this image showed up near the top in Google image searches for fireworks.

At that time if you would click on an image in Google image search it would take you directly to the page with the full size image of the picture found in the image search.

Fireworks, Google Image Search, Image PreviewNow when you click on the picture you get a preview page that gives a larger image and also gives information on where the picture was found.

Fire Works - 4th of July - Most Liked Posts - Holiday FireworksI can look at my blog stats and see when Google implemented the image preview feature. I definitely had a drop off in visits to my blog because of the image preview feature. This was not the only post that was affected by the change.

I still watch my stats, but fluctuating numbers do not concern me as much as they did in the past. When I see a drop off in traffic I can usually find the root cause. Most often it is a new update to Facebook that resets the default newsfeed settings to what Facebook wants you to see.

Fireworks - Apricot Fiesta - Patterson - Independence Day - 4th of July - Fireworks DisplayEnjoy your New Year fireworks if you live in a place where they are popular. I will wait for warm weather to enjoy a beautiful outdoor display 🙂

Happy New Year!

Steven

State Shapes

Tonight I have been watching a How the States Got Their Shapes marathon on H2.

Most of you know that I am fascinated by maps, and especially the history or data behind maps.

The History Channel series is based off of the book How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein.

I have the book around here someplace and really enjoyed digging into it.

The People Behind the Border LInes, Mark Stein, How the States Got Their Shapes TooBack in September I was at the book store and saw a sequel to the original book. How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Border-Lines was a title that definitely caught my eye so I had to take a closer look.

After opening the cover and looking at the table of contents I knew that it was going home with me.

Lone Journey, Roger Williams, Jeanette Eaton, Newbery Honor BookThe first chapter in the book was about Roger Williams and the boundaries of Rhode Island. Since Roger Williams is my 10th Great Grandfather I decided that I needed to see what they had to say about him. I read the first few chapters, but then set the book aside until I took it along with me on my trip to Tokyo earlier this month.

The picture above is from the cover of another book I read about Roger Williams earlier this year. The book is Lone Journey: The Life of Roger Williams by Jeanette Eaton which was a Newbery Honor book in 1945.

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul, John M. Barry, Separation of Church and State, Rhode IslandYou can also visit my post The American Soul to find out more about Roger Williams.

While watching the show on H2 I also though about other ancestors or family members that lived near state borders or helped influence our countries map in other ways.

I have even lived very close to several state borders and have seen how an invisible line can affect how people think differently just based on what state they live in.

I wonder about how family members who lived on opposite sides of the Iowa/Missouri border during the Civil War looked at things differently. Many of my ancestors were pioneers who moved across the country as land was opened. I wonder how they felt as territories became states and they gained their identities.

A lot to think about 🙂

Now, back to the marathon.

Steven