I’m an idiot…

Views from Around the World

To my 8 or 9 devoted followers, let me say thank you for visiting my little corner of the net as often as you do.  In all honesty, I enjoy looking at my site stats every now and again to remind myself that people actually read the crap that I write.  It keeps me motivated to write more.  I appreciate it.

About a week and a half ago, I jumped on WordPress for my weekly stat check, and was extremely surprised to see a modest spike in readership.  Expecting to see the usual 4 or 5 views per day, I was quite shocked to see the following:

2012-12-13-2That’s right, the site went from 5 or fewer view per day to just under 200 per day.  That’s well over a 3000% increase.  I must say that when I first saw this, the first thing to go through my mind was, “Great!  I’ve been hacked!”  In addition to a huge increase in hits, I also noticed that the hits were coming from all over the world.  I typically see hits coming from two places.  I see hits from my friends in the US and hits from my friends in the Netherlands.  That makes sense to me.  This is what I saw when I looked at the location stats:


Yeah, that’s right. 5 hits from the Republic of Tanzania.

Having NO interest whatsoever in figuring out what was going on, I shut my laptop and went about my business.  A few days later, I checked the stats again, to find that they had continued to be WAY above what I was accustomed to seeing.  Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to do a little investigating.  Looking deeper into my stats, I found that most of the hits were coming from Google searches and heading straight to my article about Zwarte Piet.  Since Sinterklaas was just around the corner at the time, I assumed that people were just reading my post to get the perspective from an American living in Amsterdam.  Who knows?

After looking a little deeper, I realized that the hits were not just coming from Google, but Google Images.  Doing a Google Images search for Zwarte Piet gave me this:


That’s the #2 image on Google Images that links to my blog.

You can’t tell in the screen capture, but that is the second image that pops up in a Google Image search.  I know absolutely nothing about how Google’s search algorithms work, but they found an image that I stole from some other blog and decided to tell the web to come visit my page.  They even earned me a rather tame tongue lashing from a real Zwarte Piet in the comments section.

Anyway, now that I write this, I realize it’s not that interesting of a story.  Oh well, I wrote it so I’m going to post it.   You wont realize it’s a waste of time until you get about this far into it either, so we can share the experience together!

Here’s a pretty cool slight of hand video for wasting your time! Enjoy!





As I was out for my daily constitutional yesterday, I passed a sign that caught my eye.  A flyer for a missing kitty was taped to a door just a few meters from my apartment.  I quickly glanced at the image and one word stuck in my mind: “Vermist”.  As I continued with my walk, I began thinking about that word.

“Vermist.  What does that mean?”

“Is it related to vermin?”

“Hrmmm… Maybe it means cat.  Maybe the Dutch gave the cat an appropriate name like vermist because hunting for rats and mice is the only productive thing that a cat does.  How interesting…  The Dutch really are quite direct.”

After returning home, I consulted with my now ever present friend Google Translate to confirm my suspicions.

“Vermist:  Missing”

“Cat: Kat”

The truly sad part is that I learned that when I took my Dutch lessons before leaving the States…

I am an idiot.

Feeling Dumb

When we had to do our first load of laundry in the apartment I was having big trouble figuring out how to work the washer.  The whole thing was labeled in Dutch and the Dutch instruction manual was no help.  I took a picture of the dial so I could figure it out online.  Image

As usual, the web was quite helpful.  Turns out I was trying to wash the clothes in the dryer.