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Ride'm Cowboy

Moving Day

My troubles with overflow continue. I'm moving the Darwin Awards and some other high traffic pages to Annex B, aka http://richardhartersworld.com/cri_b/. My website is beginning to resemble one of those molluscs that molt every so often, discarding their old shell. The nice thing about the web is that you can erase your tracks as you go along.

Perhaps, though, webmasters should not be allowed to bury their mistakes by deleting files and revising pages. I foresee a day when webicide is a capital crime.

An alien perspective

I was googling the other day. Googling, for the non-egocentric, means that you go to google.com and search on your name. Google in turn returns a listing of the pages that contain your name. According to google there are about 2300 pages that contain the name, "Richard Harter". My name is uncommon but not rare. There is (was?) a Professor of English, Richard Harter Fogle, who wrote books and essays. There is basketball coach named Dick Harter. There is a lawyer in MA by that name, and there is a preacher, also by that name. It turns out, however, that the majority of pages found by Google refer to yours truly.

This is not surprising. I have been a prolific contributor to the usenet news groups for twenty odd years. Some of the pages on my site are standard reference pages, e.g., the Piltdown Man pages, an article about mutations, and an article on changing conceptions of the age of the Earth. There are a lot of links to these pages.

More than that, I have a lot of garbage, er, interesting and unusual pages on my web site. Many of these pages are referred to, discussed, or even copied elsewhere. There are a fair number of people who read my pages regularly and are so indiscreet as to mention the fact.

A lot of these references give an approving opinion of my site or at least of the mentioned pages. This is only natural - those who find nothing just to their taste are not likely to mention my site at all. There are exceptions.

Irina Rempt is a pleasant married Dutch woman with three daughters. She is active in the Orthodox church. She writes a bit, some stories in Dutch, and a novel (not yet sold) set in an imaginary kingdom. Irina came across my web site during a web search. This is what she had to say:

By serendipity, I found Richard Harter's World, a web site of which the author says "This site isn't hot; it isn't cool; it's, well, it's sort of tepid, a cross between an e-zine and an intellectual rubbish heap." I can't really recommend it: Harter's outlook on life is too different from mine. But it's refreshing to read something with such an alien perspective and still not offensive (and when he does offend, he is courteous enough to warn of it).
Now there are words to live by, words to warm the cockles of my heart. (Whatever might cockles of the heart be?) I have an alien perspective. Count on it - you read it here.

Going Rodeoing

Our Lady of the Large Black Dog comes from a rodeo family. Her kin go to rodeos and participate in them. Two of her nephews, Todd and Randy Suhn, are among the top dozen steer wrestlers in the nation. She was thoroughly convinced that I would enjoy going rodeoing with her, just as I was confident that she would enjoy going to SF conventions with me. In the past thirteen months we've been to five major rodeo events, three in Las Vegas, one in Omaha, and one in Dallas, versus one SF convention in Boston. I'm not sure what that signifies; actually I have a strong suspicion, but I prefer not to inquire into the matter too closely, thank you.

The rodeo world has some resemblences to the SF world. Each in its own way is a community of interest bound by communal events. Each world has an active core population for whom the rodeo/SF world is a central part of their life, and a much larger fringe population of spectators. The events (rodeos, SF conventions) are focal points in which the core population gathers and socializes. People in the rodeo world rodeo. Rodeo is a verb meaning, roughly, to attend a rodeo and/or participate in it. The SF equivalent is fanac (short for SF fan activity.)

Other than the sociology, the rituals of going out to eat, partying, the traveling of long distances, etc., rodeos and SF conventions have nothing in common.

A small mystery explained

From time to time, every few months or so, I get a letter of inquiry asking how to get on the next survivor show. I usually answer them with a polite note suggesting that they check the CBS web site. It has always seemed a bit peculiar to me that people would write me asking me for info about the survivor show. Why me, for heaven's sake? Well, it turns out that this little mystery may have an answer.

My current ISP (tiac.net, the company, disappeared years ago; the name keeps getting passed on from one company to the next) has some tools that let you monitor what is going on with your account. One of these tools is a listing of the ten most frequently accessed pages. I was scanning this with a view to moving said pages to somewhere less trafficked. I spotted a reference to 2001/survivor.html. As of Dec 29, 2003 that page had 1275 hits. "

Hmmm," I said to myself, and myself replied not. "Why am I getting so many hits on this random page?" I continued. "Can it be that this is the source of those mysterious queries about the next survivor show?" I quickly brought up the page and examined it. The title was, you guessed it, "The Next Survivor Show". Myself expressed admiring noises about my cleverness. I was not done though. I brought up google and did a search on "Next Survivor Show" and there was a link to my page in the number two slot.

Apparently people do a search, find my page, and fire off an inquiry without bothering to look at the page. I suppose I shall have to do some research and actually find out how one gets on a survivor show. After all I do have an obligation to my readers.

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This page was last updated January 1, 2003.
It was reformatted and moved September 7, 2006.

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