Google dance… I exist again

A while ago, I griped about the difficulties of moving to a new domain—in particular, Google kept pointing everyone to my old site. That seems to be in the process of correcting itself. I knew we were getting closer when I started seeing a lot more referrals to my site from Google and its search affiliates. But as of today, the handy-dandy PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar shows that this incarnation of my site has moved up to 5 out of 10. (Of course, my old site at is still 6 out of 10, but that will drop off as the content becomes staler and staler.) Also, the quick search test (ego-surfing for my own name on this site, vs. at my old site) is much less out of whack; the old site now shows 6,940 hits, vs. 7,830 at the new site.

This seems to be what is meant by the term “Google dance.” I guess the master index got updated in the last few days.

Skiless in Seattle

We had planned to go skiing this weekend—for me, it would have been the first time skiing since high school—but reality intervened. First, taking down the tree took much, much longer than expected. Second, we woke up on Sunday, looked at each other, and said, “Maybe we’d better go sightseeing instead.” (This week was also the week we started going to the gym again, and I don’t think either of us felt up to a day on the slopes yet.)

In our defense, the snow isn’t great here yet. The relative drought we’ve had in Seattle this fall and winter has also affected snowfall at the skiing resorts. On Friday the western section of Snoqualmie Pass had only about 40 inches of base. (I’m told that’s not a lot.)

So we drove north, since we hadn’t explored in that direction yet, to Bellingham. Which, coincidentally, is the home of Orchard Street Brewing Company. Which, sadly, turns out to be closed on Sundays. Ah well: another time, perhaps…

Chopping out character: Clones outtakes

Yes, I finally got around to watching Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones on DVD. Including the second disc material. Including all the material cut from the film. Which turns out to be, in large part, dialog that establishes character. Discussions between Padmé and Anakin that brings out her past life choices, between Padmé and her parents(!) that establish that she is a person with a family and a history, and parents who think she should have been married a long time ago. In other words, scenes that establish the Queen/Senator as a person.

“It’s emotionally touching, it gives her a lot of character, but in terms of moving the story along it isn’t necessary.” —George Lucas

Any surprise that all these scenes died? This is where the missing heart of the film is, for me, the stuff that makes the awkward adolescent fawning between Padmé and Anakin bearable. And of course they got cut out. Because the target audience—kids who will buy the action figures—won’t care.

I’m not sure whether this makes me feel better or worse about Star Wars as a universe. I know how it makes me feel about Lucas’s skills as a moviemaker.

Licensed to blog

I’ve added a reference to the new Creative Commons license for the contents of this website to my template; scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar and it’s there. What does this license mean? Essentially it makes explicit the terms under which most bloggers have always made their content available: anyone can copy, distribute, display or perform the contents of the weblog, provided they give me credit. No one can use the contents of my website for commercial purposes without my permission. And no one can create an altered or otherwise derivative version of my website. The full text of the license is also available.

Creative Commons has made it very easy to decide which of their licenses (currently there are eleven available), and to apply the license to your content.

Creative Commons License

Small culinary confession

I was busting George’s chops earlier about scrapple, but I had to ignore a small voice inside my head that said, hypocrite bloggeur! —mon semblable, —mon frère!”

Yes, I too am guilty of desiring unidentifiable meat products. In particular, ring bologna, which is similar to summer sausage in taste but not form. I used to eat a half-pound of this stuff at one sitting. On Triscuits. Hey, I was young.

Anyway, I was amused to find quite a few online sites for ordering both ring bologna and scrapple, including Stoltzfus, which sells both products in holiday gift boxes (still available, though Christmas has passed by) or individually. If you’re ordering scrapple or ring bologna on line, I think you’d have to do it from Stoltzfus, since not only do they have a fine Dutch (as in Pennsylvania Dutch, or Deutsch) name, but also an address in the fine town of Intercourse, PA.

Hey, I’m not making this stuff up. Other towns in Lancaster include Paradise, Bird-in-Hand, and Blue Ball. My parents were gifted on their wedding day (at Leacock Presbyterian in Paradise) with a set of road signs measuring the distances to each of these towns, in case they got lost on the way to their honeymoon destination. After all, as it is written, “In order to get to Paradise you have to see Bird-In-Hand, enter Gap, then go through Intercourse without reaching Blue Ball.”

Sloan bloggers back

Jay posts his first update in a while to bemoan short holiday vacations. I suppose there’s an answer to this—perpetual student life, or unemployment—but I certainly sympathize with his perspective. George chimes in with a “welcome to the real world.” George, talking about the real world is one thing, but mentioning it a few moments after discussing scrapple: something else again. I’m not sure the concepts real world and scrapple can ever coexist in a meaningful way.

I should also mention (and blogroll) George’s other weblog, where he now keeps all his writing about fishing.

New morning

The rain finally caught up with us here. The nice thing about living in Seattle is that inclement weather rarely delays the traffic at SeaTac; the airport is so used to dealing with rain that it barely registers. My in-laws are currently being driven to SeaTac on their way back to New Jersey. It was a fun couple of weeks.

They took us out to dinner last night. There were only a handful of restaurants open on New Years Day on the Eastside; one was P. F. Chang’s in the mall. Putting aside my reservations about chain restaurants, we decided to go. It was quite good, actually. And they’re not afraid to spice the food. In fact, the Schezuan Beef was so highly spiced it’s still reminding me I ate it. Hopefully my stomach will calm down enough soon that I can have some coffee. I am not waking up quickly this morning…

Happy New Year

A year ago today, I wrote about putting a foot in the behind of 2001, a comment that was only comprehensible if you could follow the link to the Boondocks strip in question. Which of course you can’t. Sigh.

So, it’s 2003. Here’s to putting a foot in the behind of

  • 2002, and
  • Sites that don’t have permanently linked and available content.