Updates from January, 2005 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 9:26 pm on January 31, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    A Suspicious Spike 

    Andy just updated the usage statistics for TurkeyMonkey this month and, counterintuitive as it may seem, traffic to the site actually went up in January. And not by just a few extra page views; the number of visitors to the site more than doubled, from 3,481 in December to 8,398 in January. What gives, people? I mean, there are only three entries this month! Never mind the fact that I had absolutely nothing interesting to say.

    I guess this just goes to show, hard work and regular posting doesn’t pay off. Laziness, on the other hand, works like a charm. As does failing to blacklist the spambots, as well as using my web address on “A Treasure’s Trove” bulletin boards.

    The proof is in the usage stats pudding. The url extension with the most number of hits is “/cgi-bin/M_T/mt-comments.cgi” — or, to us in the blog world, the comment screen. In other words, spambots. The top three “Referrers” are twelve.org, Quest4Treasure.co.uk, and tweleve.org. That is, my new friends in the search for bejeweled insects. They probably also account for the number one search term: “save our trees art.” In case you’re not up to speed on “A Treasure’s Trove,” that’s what you get when you anagram the title with the number sequence on the frontispiece page.

    So, blog readers, what does this all mean? If I cut back to one post in the month of February, will I suddenly break the 10,000-visitor barrier? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    But it’s never to early to start padding next month’s numbers, right? So, msnbots and googlebots, I give you the following: UGFXJ YPCK = EARTH WHRC.

    Trust me, it’s ratings gold. Enjoy.

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    • Dik Hed 11:34 pm on July 2, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      What the hell does, ugfxj ypck = earth whrc, mean

  • Ted Mann 1:42 pm on January 30, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Return of the Freelancer 

    Given the dearth of new posts to TurkeyMonkey, and my continued obsession with “A Treasure’s Trove,” you might think that I’ve completely abandoned freelancing. Or at least that Iíve demoted it in my list of hobbies. And, to tell the truth, you’d be almost entirely right.

    Still, to all those people who have been nagging me to stop treasure hunting and get back to my writing (and yes, Mrs. Mendes Mann, I mean you), let me point you to the latest issue of Penn Arts & Sciences — exhibit A of my defense of being labeled Slacker in the First Degree.

    I have a short profile of Elijah Anderson, the Penn sociology professor best known for his ethnographic studies of life in the inner city, “Code of the Street” and “A Place on the Corner.” Anderson’s latest research project has to be one of the cushiest sociology gigs I’ve ever heard of. He’s been studying how different races interact in urban sanctuaries, which he’s grouped under the term “cosmopolitan canopy.” Specifically, what this means is spending days on end hanging out at Reading Terminal Market, and eating three squares a day at Down Home Diner.

    Talk about taking it easy! Alright, so the article might not be on the level of a Seymour Hirsh expose … and don’t ask me what that title on the website has to do with my story … and jeez, this is now starting to feel like pitifully shameless self-promotion. But hey, give me a break. Ever since the wedding, I haven’t exactly had the best blog material to work with.

    Now, if only I could figure out a way to pitch a freelance story that involved hanging out with strangers and gorging myself on comfort food. Even better, I could just find one of those darn bejeweled insects and write about that. Donít laugh, surely one of the two is bound to happen sooner or later.

     
    • gwynne 7:43 pm on February 2, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Great profile Ted. Nice to see you’re back in the saddle.

      I’m not sure what this has to do with anything, but I just learned that Kevin Bacon’s dad was a major city planner in Philly.

      Did everyone know this but me?

    • Ted 11:27 am on February 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      G-money, so glad you asked! Yes, I met Ed Bacon a few years back, when I was working at the City Paper. He’s one of the nuttiest, coolest people I’ve crossed paths with in this city. At the time he was all bent out of shape because John Street wanted to get rid of all the skateboarders in Love Park (you know, the one with the cheesy Love statue and concrete walkways, just north of city hall). Anyway, the news editor at CP, Howard Altman, convinces 85-year-old Bacon that he should skateboard around Love Park as a protest. I have a very vivid memory of the dude teetering around the CP offices, laughing like the Ghost of Christmas Past. What’s even more crazy is that he actually did it! They called a press conference and Bacon hopped on a skateboard, Altman and our production designer held each of his arms, and they “skated” around the park — which is to say, they pulled him like one of those crippled dogs in a children’s wagon.

      (Check out the pictures we got! http://citypaper.net/articles/2002-10-31/pretzel.shtml

      What more?! Last year Bacon got in touch with the Penn Press because he was all bent out of shape about what has happening to Philly city planning. He’d been partially responsible for a lot of planning stuff in the ’60s (which, sorry to say, ain’t such a grand claim to fame), and he now wanted to publish a book denouncing the city’s current notions of urban revitalization. Somehow he’d linked up with this kid from Wesleyan, who worshiped Bacon as an urban planner and skateboarder-rights advocate, and the two of them had cooked up what has to be THE WORST MANUSCRIPT I’ve ever seen. I felt kinds bad for the kid, who stopped by our office every other day to receive more and more bad news — kind of like a dog in Kevin Stengle’s house. Ultimately, rejected the book, Bacon lodged a formal protest with Judy Rodin (Judy friggin Rodin!), and we had to apologize to him — and then reject him all over.

      Ahh, the memories. Sorry to go on so long, but he sure is a fun character.

  • Ted Mann 1:12 pm on January 22, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Endorsement: Audible.com 

    This is really a 2-part endorsement, for both the iPod and Audible, but nobody really needs to hear me extol the virtues of the former, so I’ll focus on the latter.

    I’m one of those technophile wannabes that thought it would be really cool to be an iPod early adapter, but then, when I got one, I realized that I had nothing to upload to it. Sure, I could rip every CD in my collection and download a couple songs from iTunes (all of which were free; thank you, Pepsi!). But the truth is, I’m sick of all the music I already have, and I don’t have the foggiest idea what songs are worth downloading these days (save John Legend, of course). So, until people start posting about their favorite new artists at Plugs, or I take the time to read Rolling Stone, I’ll remain an ignoramus about current music.

    Enter Audible.com. For a subscription fee of $14/month, I get one radio program and one audio book every 30 days. “This American Life” has been my radio show of choice (except one month, when I experimented with the abominable “Your Mac Life”), and I’ve downloaded audio books by David Sedaris, Stephen King, George Crile, Elaine Pagels, Sarah Vowell, and — my personal favorite — Atul Gawande. Not only has Audible helped to fill up the gigabyte void on the iPod, but it’s also helped me to catch up on my long-neglected reading list. And it’s enabled me to stay current with TAL, a show which I love but can never seem to find on NPR.

    Maybe I should be ashamed that Audible has hastened the aging process, that it has essentially turned me into my mother, listening to audio books all the time. And when you put it that way — well, let’s not put it that way, ok?

    If any of you are interested in joining Audible, give me a holler so I can send an invite for a free trial.

     
  • Ted Mann 12:11 pm on January 22, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Treasure Hunter for Hire 

    If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted in the last two weeks, why I haven’t got anything interesting to share in the blogosphere, there’s a simple reason: I’ve become a round-the-clock treasure hunter. All those books I received for Christmas have been shelved; the job hunting that I’m supposed to be doing has been indefinately postponed; and the wedding albums that I’m supposed to assemble will have to wait. At the Mann household, it’s “Treasure Trove” time, 24-7.

    Until Andy sets up a blog for THE BOOK, as we’ve taken to calling it, I’ll spare all of you my thoughts on the subject. I’m assuming that there’s limited interest and you might tire of reading daily posts about how the p.20-21 spiderboard is a vigenere cipher, or how Pook the dog’s flatulence relates to military time, or how the darklings might be similar to Sherlock Holmes’ stickmen cipher. For now, I’ll just leave you with this riddle:

    How much weight can a plastic Radio Flyer wagon support?
    (The correct answer will make you the proud winner of a red and blue cat sweater — size extra-large)

     
    • David S 3:59 pm on January 27, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Crystalized turkeymonkey is thirteen.

    • Jet 3:41 pm on January 28, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      You are SYSOP.
      No I, repeat – I AM SYSOP

      -JET

    • Ted 4:27 pm on January 28, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the tip, David.
      As for you, JET, don’t make me hit that MT Blacklist key! Consider yourself warned, buster.

    • elcaonhbu ofvcbnq 12:23 am on July 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      sdiytmokb btzjafm lugw euaixcty fmioe qmjywft lmnketbq

  • Ted Mann 9:51 am on January 6, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Back From Santaland 

    Sorry that I’ve been MIA since December 24. What can I say? Holidays are a bitch. My family was trading various upper respiratory infections like baseball cards, and I was in lovely Dorset, VT, without internet access for over a week. Compound that with no phone (until we got fed up and reactivated my mom’s service), cell phone access, or TV, and you’ve got the makings of Survivor 12. Never before have I felt so disconnected from the outside world.

    But I’m back now, and hope to get back in the routine of posting. To start off, I’ll explain on Plugs why, given that I’ve been back since Sunday night, I’m only getting onto the blog just now. Three words: A Treasureís Trove. Mix that up and what do you get? Save Our Trees Art.

    As Cuba Gooding says in Jerry McGuire, “It’s not a very good reason, it’s not sexy … but it’s a reason!”

     
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