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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!

Comments:
You've been on the ground (but not off the plane) in the Omaha airport. As far as I know, you've never been to New Mexico or Lousiana.
 
So I was 3 for 4 on my "I think I haven't..."'s. Post now edited to include good ol' Nebraska (the site's running very slowly this morning for some reason, though); the Omaha airport counts, I say. So after this summer I'll have a full North-South columhn from Texas to North Dakota; heady stuff.

Where was the drive-through animal shelter place we went to lo those many years ago? I thought that was in Nebraska somewhere.
 
So you're apologetic about claiming all of Indiana on the basis of two full days in Valparaiso, but 20 minutes on a plane within shouting distance of the border is good enough for Nebraska?

Interesting.

I think that animal shelter was near Silver Dollar City in Missouri. I don't know if they have animals in Nebraska.
 
From what I'm told, 20 minutes on a plane within shouting distance of the border is about the pinnacle of the Nebraska experience. I'd actually forgotten about the two full days in Valparaiso; I was apologetic about claiming Indiana based on driving through three times on my way to (once) and from (twice) Michigan. Having been reminded of my Valpo trip, I'm somewhat more sanguine about Indiana. Other than Nebraska, I've spent at least one night in all the highlighted states. Neat.
 
Surely you must have been on the ground in New York or Boston on your way to Europe, right?
 
Nope (although I agree that's a logical assumption). Nonstop international out of Atlanta.
 
Idaho, once.
 
I fear I must retract my earlier statement. You see, there are occasions when it is necessary to xelf (darn it!). Why, just yesterday, I super-flexed, then ultimate-flexed, and then, just for good measure, I threw in another flex, and what do you know, boom, I over-fleeeEEEEE
 
I think "meme" is kinda silly, too. Is it the French word for "same," or some other word entirely? What's its origin?
 
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted . . . by repeated action from one mind to another.

[Shortening of mimeme, from Greek mimēma, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate.]
 
So are you ever going to post anything new? The masses are waiting to be entertained!
 
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