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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oh, the places you'll have been

This from the crazy-what-you-can-find-on-the-Internet-isn't-it files: here's a site that'll make a customized map of what countries you've been to. Interesting stuff. Here's mine:

It doesn't seem like I should be able to claim all that red space for Canada just from a one-week backpacking trip to Banff, and I'm intrigued by how hard it is to tell that there are 6 European countries represented in that little bit of red (those from the WFWCCB's 1997 Europe tour). It's interesting to have it graphically illustrated just how well-traveled I'm really not; there's very little red on that map. It's sort of fun to look at, though, since it brings back memories of those trips and starts my mind wandering about other parts of the map I might fill in.

The site also has a "what states have you visited?" dealie. This one was harder to fill out; twice I thought I was done adding states and then noticed ones I'd missed (Texas and Illinois, for instance, apparently escaped my memory the first time around). I'm still not sure it's 100% accurate:

It seems likely to me that at some point in my youth I visited Nebraska and/or New Mexico and/or Louisiana and/or Mississippi, but I don't clearly remember visiting any of them so they're on my "I don't think so..." list and I encourage any readers who know one way or another to chime in with the authoritative word.

Even more so than the world map, this one triggers a pile of memories. My backpacking trip to Montana is right there in the string of red states stretching west from Iowa. That line down to the southeast is band tour to Florida and a road trip to Atlanta with my parents. Heck, just seeing Texas highlighted (once I remember to do so ("have I ever been to Texas? Hmmm...")) reminds me of my childhood there. Interesting stuff, if flawed for many of the same reasons as the world map (I shouldn't be able to claim all of Indiana, for instance, and Iowa, Texas, and Kansas should be somehow set apart from Wyoming).

I'd be curious to see what sort of maps other people come up with. Those of you readers with blogs should make your own where-I-been maps and post 'em (here are the links again - world map, states map). I won't call it a "meme" because I think "meme" is a silly word and I have no idea how to pronounce it, but I encourage you to nonetheless.

Thanks to those of who who've been stopping by Central Standard Blog, by the way. I assume from the average length of stay and from the amount of traffic it's been getting that it's not all people looking for this blog and startled by the new link. Feel free to chime in with comments, even if you're just suggesting something else you'd like Matt and I to write about.

And an especially huge thanks to any of you readers who might have been in Madison on the 18th for Joel's birthday; that day turned out excellent beyond the planning teams' wildest hopes and I very much appreciate all the people who turned out for my little baby brother's birthday festivities.

The days-till-summer-camp timer stands at an even 60. Huzzah and/or hooray!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

There's an age-old urge to find the infinite

A brief step back into the old "name that lyric!" game, just in case you were missing it...

So here I am in some new e-digs. Very exciting stuff; I hope I didn't put you out too much with having to change links or bookmarks. Honestly, I have higher hopes for Central Standard Blog remaining an interesting read than I do for Meaningless Musings - it occurred to me the other day that Matt and I might as well include those interested masses (that's (hopefully) you) in the band-related e-mail discussions we've been having for the last five years.

Anyway - if you don't mind, I'd like to delve briefly into that lamest of blogging traditions and spend some posting time talking about why I don't post more often (I know, I know - be still, thy beating heart (I accidentally used that phrase at work ("work" for me being a cardiovascular surgery ward at a hospital) the other day. Awkward!)). I find it difficult to figure out exactly what I want to do with Meaningless Musings. Blogs work best, I think, when they fit some sort of niche - some blogs are wildly entertaining (Mark's - the one linked there - is actually dangerous to read; I find it often becomes hard to breathe), others are intentionally designed to be windows into the blogger's life so that they can be means of remaining in contact with people important to the blogger, others are simply mediums for showcasing significant writing ability - a free publication mechanism. Still others are fascinating sources of interesting links that the blogger has already gone to the trouble of finding for you. And, of course, many are combinations of these - the "big" blogs that get thousands and thousands of hit a day particularly, but even among those links I provided (all but one of which are from my blogroll, and I intend to rectify that soon, Kelly) there's a great deal of crossover; any of those blogs is easily "good enough" and more than good enough to become a wide-circulation blog if it just became more widely known. I'm out of luck there, though - I lack the ability and/or extroversion and/or predilection for wide surfing required. So mostly I post because I enjoy reading so many peoples' blogs and feel like I should give something back to the Blog-a-Lee community and because enough people seem to read the posts to make it seem somewhat worthwhile. That's not really a formula for particular motivation, though, and therefore I end up with a post once every month or so. I badly missed my post-a-week goal, but I'll nonetheless boldly step forth and promise you, Faithful Reader, an average of a post a month - heck, at least a post a month - for 2006!

There isn't much by way of newsy news from the last month, so I'll summarize in a series of unconnected sentences for those of you interested in what news there may be from Charlieville: Kenosha (the event, not the town (the event's in the town, yes, but "Kenosha" as used here is a thing, not a place))'s coming up this weekend; I'll try to post some sort of recap. I've signed a contract to spend another summer in the woods at EWALU this summer, which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying - it feels like my first summer again. Again, I'll probably write more about that at some point. I'll hopefully be a Hawkeye again next fall; nothing's definite yet but indications are positive. Moving day's coming up again; after four years of not moving I'll be moving twice in 9 months. Phoo on moving, says I, but I say it without losing sight of how fortunate I am to have a fun bunch of folks to live with (and who seem to be willing to put up with having an old man around the place). The Cajee Brass almost had a reunion concert scheduled but had to cancel for want of trumpets, which goes to show that low brass is not only cooler but more reliable.

Okay, then - content-ful posts to follow (heck, I just laid out themes for a half-dozen posts). A blessed Lent to you whether or not you're interested in being Lent-ally blessed.

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