Thursday, April 25, 2013

Words to Live By (Part 1)

“Some will come back. So post wisely and well.”
―Lambert Strether

First, the Backstory

Monday. Earth Day. 10:00 a.m.―oh, alright, quarter-to-eleven―I roll out of the sack in anticipation of a fairly laid-back day, not quite awake but too awake to get back to sleep. There’s nothing on today’s agenda more complicated than booting the computer, checking e-mail, fixing breakfast, doing some prep work in my garden, visiting with my neighbors, fixing lunch, with time for reading and writing near day’s end followed by a late dinner and more reading before retiring around 2 a.m. So far, at least, it looks like just another routine day―minus a few of the routines.

Except this is not a routine day; today is Earth Day―a major holiday for me―and I plan on giving it a rest. The petitions can wait. The pleas for donations can wait. Blog and blogosphere can wait. Although I have yet to lay eyes on my computer this morning, I already envision deleting e-mail as fast as I can pound the delete key, because I know most of it will be the same kind of vacuous bullshit that shows up during every holiday―essentially meaningless trivia trying hard to disguise the fact that the message contains nothing of great importance. No time for that today. Delete. Delete. Delete.

Fifteen minutes later I’m at my computer, breakfast in hand and coffee close-at-hand, scrolling and scanning for e-mail that might demand my immediate attention when something leaps out and grabs it. Yippee-ki-yay! Someone commented on the piece I posted on Saturday, and before I can stop myself I click the mouse. In less than a minute, my plans for the day begin to unravel.

It’s not the comment that causes the unraveling, however, but what’s happening on my Feedjit Live Traffic Feed. For some reason, Frieddogleg suddenly seems to be every Internet surfer’s favorite destination; the traffic is insane. Clearly, something unusual is going on, possibly something important, and almost certainly something that bears further investigation. Before I can stop myself, I click the mouse.

The Feedjit Live Traffic Feed window on the blog page shows the last ten visitors to the blog. Clicking the Real-time View link at the bottom of the window takes you to the Feedjit site, where you get to see the last 50 visitors. In my case, only the most recent visitor hails from Portland, Oregon; the previous 49 represent visits from diverse locations all around the world over the last two or three hours. It’s unprecedented. I’ve only seen this kind of activity on A- and B-list blogs, never before on Frieddogleg. The standard questions―Who? What? Why, How? Where?―are most in need of answers, but how many times have this list turned over is the question now burning brightest in my mind.

In seconds I return to my senses. Stick to what’s important, I tell myself; accept the good things that come to you gracefully and graciously, but always do your best to find out what you did to deserve them. With those thoughts now at the forefront and my mission back on track, I begin my quest to solve this nagging mystery, minor though it is.

(to be continued)