2010 in Review: Big Blue Mess Style

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

(Does anyone ever not get “wow” as the result?  Did some blog writer wake-up this morning, look at their blog 2010 review email and see it rated as “Pitiful”?  Is the “wow” supposed to make me hug kittens and inspire me to pick up the blogging standard and carry on?  Couldn’t they attach some sort of triumphant sounding .wav file maybe featuring a blaring horn section? I always feel more inspired when there’s the proper music.)

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 50 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 393 posts. There were 16 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 13th with 121 views. The most popular post that day was For Mother’s Day.

(On April 14th, the novelty of a new WordPress blog wore off.  Grabbing a tissue then I’m slapping the “helper monkey” that made this “inspired” abstract art.)

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were google.com, facebook.com (thanks to shameless promotion on my part and strong-arming friends), Google Reader (shh, don’t tell my friends who think I can’t see these), b12partners.net (shucks, thanks to Seth), and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for shirley jones, blue beagle, big tis, i can has cheezburger, and vulcan star trek.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


For Mother’s Day May 2007
1 comment

(Ok, why this is #1?  It’s not due to sentimental madre-philes, it’s because the Shirley Jones fans want to see a photo of her when she was in her early 20’s.)


Big Tis December 2007

(This is #2 because people can’t spell “tits” and I mocked them in a post.  Those little optimists still go to the link in hope of the tits and must stay for the mocking. LEARN TO SPELL!)


Post CCL Surgery: A Beagle’s Story April 2010

(YAY! The beagle folks!  Boo CCL tears, surgeries and rehab.  YAY! Healthy pets!)


Maintenance & Thank You’s! December 2006

(Lots of folks haven’t straightened out their old RSS feeds and redirected their links.  Thus, this made #4.)


About April 2010

(err… someone wants to know about me? That’s my #5? Sad.  In short.  I’m a Texan. I’m an Austinite through-and-through.  I have an accent.  I have pushy friends.  I have a beagle (she’s cute) and two evil cats that torment her (also cute) and a husband (very cute).  My favorite food is cheese.  My favorite drink is liquid.  I like romantic strolls through my house.  Rainy days.  Hot summers.  I study improv.  I suck at improv.  My dream vacation involves sitting at some random cafe near Washington Square people watching. I also like expensive gifts and being driven around.  I’m not kidding.

After receiving this email about my stats, I’m trying not to rock in place because none of the top 5 reflect readers being drawn in by my writing.  This probably says something about my writing.  Damn.  Back to rocking.


I need your help, so that means I need all 10 of you to grab your thinking caps and prepare to brainstorm.  It’s like a work session, only you don’t get paid and there isn’t any free coffee cooling in the back.  With that said, I’m sure you’re enthusiastically rolling up your mental sleeves in preparation.  C’mon.  Do it for me?

First up, I need ideas.  Are there any stories you’ve heard me tell that you’d like to see on the blog?  Anything you want more information on?  (Like yes, I did secretly yearn to be in drama and longed to become a cheerleader and dance for the drill team.  I mean, that’s an example.  Of course, I didn’t want to do any of that.  I was soooo beyond that in high school. *cough*)

A quick guideline on that: Work is strictly taboo.  I know  those stories are hysterical over Mexican Martinis, but in order for you to continue hearing them, I have to remain employed.  Certain family stories are off limits.  Yes, I know exactly where I come from and you do, too; however, some of the family are in denial and may have a different take on past events.  Also, I’m not going to shout about my political beliefs.  Mine are right.  If yours differ, it’s because of a tumor or brain injury on your part and quite possibly a bad upbringing.  It’s not fair for me to tease you about that.  (To that one person up north who just glared in my direction.  You can’t actually hit me from so many states away. I’ve done the research.)

Now, I will say that Lori is a bit ahead of her time (aka Overachiever), a couple of  years ago she gave me a ton of story ideas that I believe I’ve now worked my way through.  So, I need more.

Seriously though, I’d love to hear story ideas or maybe even blog ideas.  Maybe this blog needs to change.  It’s come a “little” way in four years – it’s moved from the concept of having a shared hub of my friends blogs to being fairly me-centric  (hey, I’m reasonably knowledgeable on the subject).  It’s gone from a Blogger backend to now a WordPress backend (I think that was a great move).  And with WordPress driving it, the blog definitely has a different look/feel.  Which brings us to the second thing I need your help with.

The Big Blue Mess logo – I’m attached to it, but the original high res image crashed and burned some time ago.  (Thus killing the dream of your own Big Blue Mess Chistmas mugs or that t-shirt with the image on the pocket.  Now you have a better understanding of why you got a different set of crappy presents last year.)  What I’m looking for is a banner for the Big Blue Mess – something sharp, something blue and something messy and I need it on the cheap.  This is a HUGE thing I’m asking, which I’m completely aware of as I have a friend in graphic design who tends to make low threatening growling sounds whenever I broach the subject.  Growling is kind of scary.  Do any of you have any ideas? Know of someone cheap?  (Feel free to send me a note to discuss my idea of “cheap”.)

Basically, after all this improv and discovering that every single one of my classmates is some sort of creative genius.  (Coudn’t they have just settled for “creative talent” or “creative dabbler”?)  I feel like I should step up my game and at least look sharper – maybe post once a week (CRAZY!)- and that’s why I’m turning to you, my audience of ten. 



Don’t miss the the much anticipated return of Dotopotamus with its fresh new look and fresh new stories!  WELCOME BACK!!!!!

(Unlike the Big Blue Mess, who is trying to think up stories and is attempting to write something new for my first writing group meeting.   This may quickly be followed by me being unceremoniously kicked-out of the group after much raucus laughter at my pitiful little debut.  Self-confidence – not one of my strengths – I may have a small stroke  between now and presenting my first story to real writers.  At the very least, that might give me a story for the Mess.  And just think, a week after that I go to a free Improv class – surely, more stories could follow.)

Wee vs. The Boards

Dear Wee,

After much grousing, a semblance of the boards has returned just for you.  Sure, evidence of your old charm is gone, but think of it as a new, fresh place to spread your message of big pulsing hearts and teddy bears – a bold new board. As a bonus, I bring you ads of women with lip burrs claiming to promote whitened teeth and side shots of belly rolls, because nothing says breakfast like coffee and a side order of belly roll.

Now don’t make me drive all the way to Indiana to force this on you. I don’t think I’d like Indiana. I’m sure it’s lovely, but its name starts with an “I”, which makes it a bit suspect. And since we’re so PC these days, I’m sure I’m supposed to stop at your boarder and protest, insisting its name be changed to Native Americana. Shameless turn-of-the-century hillbillies!

Anyway, I expect to receive the “Wee Registered for Your Boards” message today. Othwise, it’s “Unleash the Raven” time and do you actually want me to go there?  Now go click the link on the side before I flip out.


Jay & Seth

No, this isn’t a story about Jay & Seth . I know, you saw a new post and were expecting some insight or maybe a comment on a commonality between the two.  Let’s see, ok, ummm… Seth once lived in a commune in Canada (there’s a Wiki about it, but see how this isn’t actually hyperlinked, that’s because I’m a BAD friend and don’t know the site off the top of my head) and Jay once lived on an Apache reservation in Arizona, which there isn’t any Wiki I’m aware of about his family’s experience.  Seth lives in Chicago.  Jay lives in my house.  See, practically TWINS!

No, really – what I’m here to say is that I turned off an annoying “feature” that I thought I turned off on Sunday – it was something called Snapshots and I’m telling them about it, but since you, too may have also twitched when you stumbled on it and because you’re going directly to the site’s URL instead of reading the blog from an RSS feed thinger (technical term), I wanted you to know as well.  Jay & Seth just get the special acknowledgement because they happened to be the two who pointed it out and I’m making a big production out of fixing it.  My hope is that they’ll confirm it’s gone and you will, too.  So, what I need for you to do is hover over the following link – if a little pop-up window showing a different website appears, then I have failed.

Sure, I could test on my own, but this way you can add “Software Beta Tester” to your résumé.  Hey, no need to thank me.  I do it because I care.

Beth, Where Are…

The pictures? You were going to ask about the pictures, weren’t you? Well, *I* have them, but in making the changes to the new blog the links are broken. I understand how frustrating this is to lose the links to the acclaimed photos from the amazing photojournalist that is me. No really. You all have a terrible attitude. Anyway, we’re (and by “we” I’ve asked resident expert and boss of all things related to my blog Anna for assistance) going to see about a workaround. Please send Anna copious amounts of presents and praise.

What about the forums?

Seriously guys, there’s only like 3 of you who regularly play there, but I’ve asked Anna to look at that, too because the 3 of you can be rather whiney.  (You know that comes from a good place, right?)  But keep in mind, she’s busy (she like leaves her house and stuff)  and may want to smack me for being so annoying about my blog these past few days.  Right… sending her a present now.

UPDATE:  Well, it turns out she IS outside as I predicted.  I AM actually annoying, BUT, I HAVE ordered the presents and they’re set to arrive at her house on Tuesday.
UPDATE PART DEUX: Photos are reappearing and Flickr and I have just made friends again.

What Did You DO?!?!

OMG!!! The blog changed. It’s no longer blue! The sidebars, the glorious sidebars… gone!

Well, it was about time don’t you think? Dear ol’ me, with the help of dear ol’ Blogger caused my blog to explode last week. It wasn’t pretty. I had written a  heartfelt-ish post, threw a gigantic post Post pity party (get it, see it’s post the post, oh never mind), yanked out tissue and hit “Publish” and Blogger said “pthbbt” so I tried the “I said PUBLISH DAMNIT!” key, and I heard faint giggling. Clearly, the best thing to do was to make a lovely honking noise into some tissue, wipe my face and say, “fine, you want to migrate, I’ll let you migrate”. (Back story: Blogger was fussy with 5% of its users, which included me and my Mess.) So, I pushed their magic “Migrate” button and it displayed a nice “GOOD JOB!!! You Did It!” and back I went to that broken “Publish” button, which I mashed and mashed and mashed until I became a complete button mashing vegetable glaring away at my monitor. Seems that one of us, one of us who say doesn’t like manuals, one of us who learns more from a hands-on approach (sometimes referred to as breaking things), one of us who CAN and WILL make a square peg fit into a round hole (as if that couldn’t be done) and may be the same person who applauded the genius who made short work of the Gordian Knot instead of fiddling about with it – this same person may have caused their website to explode.  Stop looking at me.  I was talking about you.  Sheesh. Way to go.  Thankfully, I decided to clean up your Mess. (Get it? I’m so under appreciated.)

Anyway, enough about you.  For now, this is the blog – think of it more as a slate blue than grey – c’mon, you know you can if you put your mind to it.

I will try to pick the brains of my more website savvy friends to see if we can make it look better, but for now – we’ve got nice and clean and Messy again.

BIG THANKS TO SETH & ANNA!  Without them, you’d still be looking a stagnate little corner of the internet.