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OK, so the Czech Republic is a whole country and everything, complete with it’s own traditions and character. You won’t find much of that on Czech TV. They have their own version of Superstar, on TV, where people with moderate talent compete to sound exactly like pop stars and thus become pop stars themselves. Just like America.

What prompted this episode, however, is the show blasting here at Roma right now. I think it’s titled “I’ll join your sham of a talent show and humiliate myself as long as you put me on TV.” The name is much shorter in czech, but I’m pretty sure of my translation. It’s like the gong show with more contestants and no gong. And the talent pool – and I’m using talent in the loosest possible sense – is much smaller here. Scary.

A Novel Writer Milestone

If I do say so myself.

This one talkes on printing, along with some other cool things. It occurred to me as I was preparing documents for submission to publishers that I was going to have to reformat my whole document to make it look good on a printed page and to match publishers guidelines. But I didn’t want to end up with a small, serifed font when I went back to edit the document. Switching back and forth would be a real pain, even with a modern word processor with styles. CSS-based solutions could do it, but there’s still setup and making sure each block of text has the right tags. My program already knows what all the pieces of the document are, so why couldn’t it reformat the text differently for different purposes?

Well, now it does. You can print with the screen settings, with or without margin notes, or you can create any number of presets with different fonts and styles to apply to each of your document elements. Now I can print a manuscript for marking up without messing up the settings I have for editing. Well, I could if I had a printer.

Here’s a complete list of changes for this release. Some of them won’t mean much to Non-JNW users, but I’m really happy with the way things are progressing. Expect to see some further upgrades to margin notes in the next months – every word processor in the world will have these some day, but why wait?

  • resizable margin
  • export by section
  • print by section
  • print cover page option
  • print margin notes
  • print with separate manuscript settings
  • Created Project Menu for access to operations that modify project data not in the main document view.
  • Moved project layout settings from preferences to new project menu, since they are specific to the project
  • Added fields for title and author, along with fields in anticipation of manuscript printing
  • Added ability to export Microsoft Word format (OS X 10.3 and later)
  • add preference to turn on/off alternate text color onscreen and when printing
  • add preference to change text highlight color
  • Made a change to make big files load faster, but it didn't help much
  • bugs fixed:
    • database window not correctly clearing description field when new is clicked
    • splitting text section messes up margin notes
    • disable split menu item when chapter title is active node
    • fix layout recursion bug when splitting large sections with margin notes
    • Fixed bug that would cause parts to display in the incorrect order when there are multiple top-level items (e.g., Books in the default structure)
    • Fixed potential crash when removing project levels in project structure panel

If you’re on a mac, drop by the hut and take a gander!

A bit of hockey gloating

He was open between the circles, and when his teammate put the puck on his stick, it was over. Bang. Pardubice was up 1-0 at the first intermission. They should have been up by much more. They had something like seventeen shots on goal, compared to one by the other team. It was like the ice was tilted.

The goalkeeper for K pulled off about four miracle saves in the first period. I take that back. You do it once it’s a miracle, four times is brilliance. fuego and I imagined the locker room. Coach: If we dont skate better, I’ll hold your hands to the table while goalie cuts off your fingers.”

The contest ended 6-3, supergoalie miraculously the winner. Crazy stuff going back an forth. A great game to watch. It’s a speed game here, all about skating and passing, and I miss watching people being forcibly removed from the puck. Still, it’s hockey. They have to take the puck with them as they skate across the vast arctic tundra. When they cross the blue line between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the rubber disk has to go first, and the passage is fiercely contested. That’s not a metaphor—the ice is that much bigger here.

It’s funny how many of the players I see in the penalty box are NHLers. The game is different here, Honestly, I like the small-ice, high-contact version of hockey they play in North America, but dang. I could be watching soccer.

Never mind.

So I’m sitting here in the nice little café an easy stagger from where I live. The bartender strikes me as having gypsy blood – raven hair and striking blue eyes. It’s a good look. I could be wrong about the gypsy thing. I don’t even know how to ask. At the table next to mine is a blonde, taller than I am, I suspect, watching me write as she drinks her wine. Even though she can’t see the screen and even if she could she wouldn’t understand the words, I am self-conscious.

I think she knows I am alone, the same way I know she is alone. As long as the laptop is open, that’s all it will ever be.

Closing up the laptop now; maybe there’ll be another episode later. (Yeah. Right.)

Er, even as I typed the above she packed up and left. Timing, man, timing.

Skip forward. I’m still here in this bar, and there’s a german shepherd at my feet. His mistress is yet another beautiful woman, who is smoking right behind me. I have thoroughly won the dog over. I’m good with dogs. They rarely smoke. Owner of big dog attempted to speak with me when I had moved big dog to heights of ecstasy, but I just wimped out and talked to the pup. Lame. She knows now I don’t speak czech worth a crap, but I closed the door on any attempt to communicate. I’m such a dork.

It’s funny. I can ignore almost any human distraction in a bar, but when it’s dogs I’m sucked in. Another dog has arrived and that dog is barking love sonnets to my new best friend. Best friend’s owner has made it clear that she doesn’t want new dog anywhere close. “Let them play,” I thought. It seemed to me the iron-discipline chick was being a hardass, but then it dawned on me. The bitch is in heat. I’m referring to the dog, of course. When I wrote ‘he’ above I was mistaken. Never was too good at that stuff.

So the evening rolled on and I actually did talk to the girl and her friends more, but a lot of the time I was just smiling and nodding. I’ve never seen the little place so busy – it was still jumping at closing time. They have an outlet so I can plug in while I work there, so there’s not much reason for me to leave. All told I was there for almost twelve hours, working for about ten of them.

Spring is coming!

It wasn’t so long ago I was talking to a Praguista and noting that it was still light at 4:30 – a notable improvement. Spring was right around the corner, we agreed. Dang! Now it’s light until after six p.m. Spring really is coming.

Today the temperature was above freezing for a sustained period. I imagine the snowman on the front of tram seven has finally met its demise. He was riding up there for several days, on the car painted bule to sell Japanese electronics or some shit like that. When I first saw the tram heading my way I thought there was some sort of effigy on the front, but when it got close I saw a meter-tall snowman mushed onto the hooking-up-thing that jutted from the tram car, its little snow arms spread in joy. “I’m the king of the world!!!!” the snowman proclaimed.

Days later I saw the same tram car, and the bowsprit was still there, spindly arms and all. And why not? Nothing had happened in the meantime that would cause snow to melt.

Today, I suspect, the snowman tipped off his precarious balance and was crushed beneath the wheels of the tram.

Spring is coming, and I’m ready for it. As much as I whine about it I really do enjoy the cold, but spring brings more than just warmth. It brings miniskirts. There are a few women who wear them even in the dead of winter, and I love those girls for suffering so my life can be a little better, but even now, as the days get longer, the skirts get smaller.

In San Diego, working a couple hundred meters from the beach, I had ample opportunity to appraise the female form, but for all I like the bikini, I like the miniskirt more. A little more mystery, a lot more swish. There are miniskirts burned into my memory the way no bikini ever could be. Some are recent – watching the girl with bare legs walking down Vinohradska as I huddle in my coat. Some are ancient – watching the walk of a San Diego bartender who shall go unnamed but who is neither Amy nor Rose as she nearly drove me to madness.

Good times. Fond memories. I hope I die before the miniskirt goes out of style.

A saying I just thought of

You can’t get fat eating yourself.

Programming note

Over at the gallery you can now see pics from around Slovakia (panorama is on page 2), one new inconsequential addition to the Czech bars album, and a few shots of snowy rooftops taken from my bedroom window.

Pan Ptáček

We have a similar way of solving problems, Otakar Ptáček and I. We try to outwait trouble, to roll with things until they either become intolerable or go away. That may not be ideal for a landlord—there’s no hot water in the kitchen—but neither of us are really the jump-on-it-and-solve-the-problem sorts. Perhaps if we could speak to each other it would be easier. Last time we spoke I surprised him by saying “super”. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I knew that word long before I came to the czech republic (but I did roll the r on that occasion better than I usually do). Even if I had the heart, I would not have had the ability to explain anything of the sort.

Mr. Little Bird was born here in the Czech Republic in 1925. I know this because his date of birth is listed on my lease. His is the only birthday reminder programmed into my phone as of yet.

He was a teenager when the Germans invaded. Did he rally in the center of Prague while the Czech government’s frantic pleas to the rest of the world were ignored? Did he take up arms? Was he conscripted into the German army? Honestly, I have no idea what happened to czech boys of military age during those times. He must have ended up fighting for someone, or in a prison that defies imagination. Or, possibly, both. How did he feel when he was nearly twenty years old, when the Russians came and freed their slavic brethren, opening the concentration camps and nursing the survivors back to health on sausage and vodka?

How did he feel when the communist government started building its own concentration camps, less brutal than the nazi versions but still horrible? What compromises did he make living in a society whose foundation was suspicion?

Where was he in ’68? When the czechs did their dress rehearsal for the peaceful reform of their government only to see russian tanks sweep through their country? He was probably too old by then to be throwing rocks at tanks, but what did he say as he drank with his friends? Was he still remembering being liberated in his youth, saying that kids these days just didn’t appreciate all that the Russians had done for them, or was he quietly looking forward to a new government, or was he just ordering another round?

Like other Czechs, he’s rolled with it, outlasting the problem. Fascists, communists, capitalists all come and go, but the czech character remains. They’re a fatalistic bunch; they take their injustice stoically and in their hearts they don’t really believe in progress. Change they know, and even embrace—the way a mafia boss will embrace a rival. Change will happen around them, but not to them.

And here is my landlord, pulling up the stairs slowly, explaining with his hands that he has a bad heart. Čekám, I say, my use of czech lost to him as he labors up the stairs with his daily ration of beer, but he smiles gratefully for my patience. He’s got a winning smile and an open face; in the end everything is something of a joke to him. A quiet, introverted, joke that only he gets. I laugh too. I don’t know the joke, but I know it’s a good one. Pan Ptáček has seen enough to know what’s funny and what’s not.


I’m working on getting the Slovakia pics into my album this morning; by the time you read this they should be there. Up by the castle I took a dozen pictures to stitch together into a panorama. fuego’s camera has a cool feature that shows the last picture on the screen offset by a certain amount to help you line up the next shot. My digicam has no such feature, so I just took a whole bunch of overlapping pics with the horizon in about the same place.

“Time to learn PhotoStitch”, I told myself this morning. PhotoStitch is the program that came with my big camera for turning lots of little images into one big one. I anticipated a process in which I told the software which points matched up on adjacent photographs. It would take a while, but what can you do?

I was wrong. I arranged the photos in sequence and hit the merge button and it just… did it. Here’s the result:

As you can see, one section is a little dark, but that’s a quibble and is easily fixed. The slices were by no means of equal size, yet the software knew how to line things up. I watched as it added the slices, completely amazed. You can’t tell from this tiny version, but along the seams everything is still very sharp. Incredible.

As for the picture itself, it is about 180° taken in twelve shots. The river is the famous Danube, and on the other side are endless gray housing blocks made from pre-fab concrete. On the near side are the old church towers and red tile roofs from pre-Soviet times. A (somewhat) larger version of this pic can be found over in the Slovakia section of my photo gallery.

Shoulda Mentioned

I’ve got a piece this week over at Piker Press. When I started writing it, I had a much different idea about where it was going to end up; but this ending presented itself, and, like a parking place in Prague, you just don’t pass that up. The first part of the story appeared here, I believe, as a Chapter One a while back. It’s the cover story – I’m not sure they gave fuego the photo credit, but that’s his work photographing the pizza.

Conjugating nouns

I’m writing this partly to get things straight in my own head. I may well be wrong on some of the subtleties.

In Czech, nouns have different forms depending on how they are used in a sentence. The rules are different depending on the gender of the noun, and (if the noun is masculine) whether the thing named by the noun is animate or inanimate. These rules apply to people’s names as well — they’re nouns, after all.

For instance, If I were to say “My friend Brian Votaw is over there,” I would use the nominative form of the noun: “Můj kamarád Brian Votaw je tam.” No biggie. (Of course for females it’s not so simple. The last name would have -ova appended to it: Barbara Seegerova. Naturally sometimes you don’t just stick letters on the end; that would be too simple. Čapek becomes Čapkova, for instance, and if the root family name ends in ?~C½ you just switch it to an á. But I digress.)

Since Brian is (usually) animate and (biologically) male, to say “I know Brian,” I would use the accusative singular: Znám Briana. It doesn’t matter whether Anna is animate or not, she’s female and that’s enough to turn “I’m waiting for my friend Anna” into Čekám na mou kamarádku Annu. Note that the czech word for the pronoun “my” (which was múj for Brian above because he was male and that was the nominative form) switched from the feminine (or moje, take your pick) to mou, and kamarádka (The feminine form of kamarád) became kamarádku.

I’m reasonably sure “I’m looking forward to seeing Amy” becomes Těší­m se Amy because Amy ends in y. However, I usually type it Amz, because the y and z are switched on the keyboard when I’m in Czech mode.

This episode only deals with two of the seven forms for each noun. Five more to go! Wahoo!

I hope reading this helps you as much as writing it helped me. Things are a lot clearer now, don’t you think?


I am in a gentle place. There are books all around. At the table next to me earlier was the editorial staff of a new literary magazine working out how to deal with a legal complaint because they have the same initials as another literary magazine here. I should have introduced myself, but they were all so earnest and young and passionate and shit and really I don’t have time for that right now. I’ll drop them an email.

The music here is gentle. There are electric guitars and stuff, but they don’t get too carried away. Right now they are playing a pop song that underneath is Pachelbel’s canon. That’s OK, the P-man laid down a good tune. It is being followed by one of U2’s less aggressive tracks (notably, not With Or Without You, which starts out a lot like Pachelbel’s canon). Mellow white American music. No, U2 is not Irish anymore. Just listen to their music. It’s good, but it ain’t no Bloody Sunday.

The people in this place are, at least on the surface, gentle. They read books, speak softly to one another, and shout into their mobile phones. The crowd is young and more than half are American. Moments ago I broke down and spoke english to the girls at the table next to mine. More on that later, if my battery holds up.

It is a gentle place, and I am editing The Test. By coincidence I am working on the most graphically violent bit of writing I have ever done. It’s a powerful scene, and there’s no getting around it, and to pull my punches would weaken the story, but there’s no denying that it’s ugly. I will be embarrassed when Mom reads it. I’m embarrassed the idea of it came out of my head.

But it did, and there’s no taking it back now. If you want to show the evil of slavery, you have to show what happens to the slaves. While technically slavery is an abomination in the depicted society, the enormous gap between rich and poor has created a de facto slavery that is just as bad. So here I am, contemplating violence and degradation, the crushing of the human spirit, while I sit in a very nice bar drinking very good beer.

OK, the girls at the next table. They are at the table the editorial staff held before, and one of those left a sweater. The presence of the unclaimed wool has chased people from the table even when the rest of the bar was pretty full. A girl came in, and hesitated by the table. I had the laptop closed, conserving electrons while I contemplated the worst things that one human could do to another. I glanced her way and she asked with gestures whether the table was taken. I gestured that it was not. I wondered if she was czech and took me for american or whether she was american and took me for a czech.

The answer came when the waiter approached. She’s American. She’s moving out of town, and she doesn’t know how to say ashtray in czech. I don’t know either, but I don’t smoke. When her friend showed up I broke my vow of Czech to offer sell them the sweater. They didn’t buy it.

There was another girl in here earlier, very pretty, with her German Shepherd and her American Boyfriend (in that order). I don’t know where she was from, because her voice didn’t ring out across the small room. Probably she was czech, then. The dog was a sweetheart. There are no dogs in the scenes of terrible violence I honed to a knife’s edge today. I have that to be thankful for.

Episode 12: The Cat’s Claws – Part 1

Note: To read the entire story from the beginning click here.

My little .38 was a pea-shooter compared to the hardware the goons up above were carrying, but I pulled it out. “Get behind the crates as best you can,” I said to Mrs. Fanutti’s new incarnation as Meredith from Kentucky. She brushed against me as she groped in the darkness. Her wildflower perfume had changed when mixed with fear, adding a musky humanity to her appeal. She cursed softly as she barked her shin against a wooden crate.

We waited as whoever was above tested the sound of the trapdoor beneath his feet again — stamp, stamp-stamp — then slowly walked away. It had almost sounded like a signal. A minute later the faint rectangle of light around the door vanished.

I heard her trying to pry the lid off one of the boxes with her fingers.

“What are you doing?” I asked almost inaudibly.

“If I get this open we can make molotov cocktails,” she replied no louder.

“Even if you could open the crate without alerting the whole waterfront, fire’s not the best weapon in an enclosed space, especially when you’re throwing it toward the only exit.”

She stopped her efforts. “I suppose you’re right, but they may come in handy once we get up there.”

“The cops are bound to come sooner or later. We just need to hold out until then.”

“Cops are the last people we need. Who do you think they work for? Who do you think was my husband’s chauffer for his last ride?”

“In that case, I think it’s time we left this hole.”

“What if they’re still out there?”

“There’s always going to be someone out there, but I think that last guy might have been a friend.”

“I don’t think I have any left. Besides you, I mean.”

“Cello wants you alive long enough to get your map, and he wants me alive long enough to get the map from you. I don’t know who that was up there, but he found the trapdoor and didn’t even try to open it. Wait here.” Like she had anywhere else to go. “Don’t move until I give you the all-clear.”

Without the square of light around the trapdoor it took me a bit of groping to find the ladder in the blackness. I knew the general direction but I passed it on the first try, then got turned around a bit. Soon enough my outstretched fingers found the smooth wood and headed I headed up. I felt the planks pushing down on my hat. I reached up and the bolt was where I remembered it. Odd to have a bolt on this side except for contingencies exactly like this one, but then you would have another exit as well, wouldn’t you? The steel bolt slid in its groove silently. I lifted the heavy door just enough to peek out.

It was dark in the warehouse, but after the total blackness below I could see well enough. Nothing moved. It would have been easy enough to hide in those shadows, however, and there could be someone standing five feet behind me, just waiting to put a bullet into the back of my head. That kind of thinking doesn’t get you anywhere, though. Just ask General Custer. I pushed the door open a little farther to extend my field of vision. Still nothing. It was useless I knew, but I decided to move quickly in case there was someone behing me. Perhaps in the darkness I’d only be wounded by the barrage from the Thompson machine gun.

I took a few deep breaths and flung myself up the ladder, twisting to look back over the thick wood. I found myself sitting on the edge of the hole, losing my grip on the massive door and dropping it painfully on my thighs. I almost dropped my gun as well, but I was happy to have only bruises as I looked and found no one there. I sat as silently as I could, catching my breath. There was a time when that maneuver would have been easier. I lifted the door off my legs and hauled myself out. Below I could hear Meredith moving around. I hadn’t given her the signal, but it would just make more noise to stop her now. I pulled the trap the rest of the way open and watched the shadows as she emerged, my coat still draped over her shoulders.

We slid to a wall as quietly as possible and Meredith led me toward a door opposite the one we had first come in by. I was hobbling along pretty badly, walking like a constipated crab as I tried to work the kinks out of my bruised legs. There was a form lying near the door in a splash of moonlight from a skylight. I kept to the shadows but my escort gasped and stepped up to the corpse. She knelt by the dead man. “Mick,” she said. She put her hand in his hair and it came back dark and sticky. She looked up at me, her skin pale in the moonlight, her eyes lost in shadow. Her voice was eerily flat, the voice of Lola Fanutti. “Whoever did this is a dead man.”

I believed her.

Tune in next time for the conclusion of: The Cat’s Claws!

Too much

One thing about walking a couple of miles each day is it gives me some good thinking time. Tonight I was walking along and I thought of a great way to start a novel. It’s fantastic. Tantalizing and human. Its about a tortured soul that doesn’t even know it’s tortured. It works.

So I fired up the ol’ novel writer and opened a new document. I looked at the blank page, “Book Title Here” written at the top, and thought about what it meant. Another project. The Test is not shrinking down enough to fit between two covers, I’ve been neglecting selling The Monster Within, and my real passion, the novel with the road in it, is languishing. Then there’s the big update to Jer’s Novel Writer I’m working on right now, and I’m tweaking the first release of the slick little flashcard program I’ve been writing when I should be studying my czech. How can I possibly start another project?

I once worked at a largish company, and while in the end I didn’t like the CEO much, he did say something that has stuck with me. To paraphrase: anyone can start something, but almost no one finishes anything. The whole reason I am here, the whole thing I am trying to prove, is that I am one of the people who finishes things. I’m not some dilettante wanna-be dabbler flitting like a butterfly from thought to thought, easily distracted by the pretty colors of the Next Big Idea. I have discipline. I can do it. If I say that often enough maybe it’ll be true.

So I have to be careful when a new idea blossoms. I have to do something or it will eat away at me while I worry that I’ll forget it. I’ve been putting effort into short fiction recently, and that’s been a fun way to pay attention to new ideas without disrupting my flow too badly, but this new idea won’t fit in such a small space. I guess it’s time for another chapter one.

Traveling at the Speed of Google

A long list this time. I didn’t bother with obfuscation, a decision I may revisit.

  • squirrel pants law Linked to two different episodes: SSDC and My Pants.
  • “yellow brick road” meaning – If metaphor is what the searcher wanted, The American Road Myth isn’t bad.
  • movie accidents of Garfield – this was a search on A9, which at least wants to appear to be affiliated with Amazon. My hoping that Marmaduke would choke to death on Garfield’s corpse pulled a visitor into a fairly incoherent episode.
  • chilly midriff – the searcher went through some 320 hits before arriving at my page, only to discover that Google was out of date and the references to small shirts and cold weather had been pushed off the main page. In the search I was in fine company, clearly, wedged between “nauseating repugnant and therefore very cool” and “Yo mama”.
  • butch girl haircuts remarkable because the word haircuts appears nowhere in the episode, none of the words are in the title, yet the episode came in second in google’s list. (The episode gets a lot of hits for its mention of specific bars; all I can figure is some of that love rubbed off.)
  • electromagnetic bomb scheme build – linked to the get poor quick category page; most of the word matches were in the Reusable Space Vehicle episode.
  • space launch cannon here’s the followup to the reusable space vehicle episode
  • drinking from the stanley cuphere
  • ramblings of a drunken man – main page
  • “and that’s the way it always is”Megan
  • the brief explanation about AM radio – well, this site is a bastion of science…but in this case no science was to be found here.
  • jeans for real women – linked to an episode about my pants.
  • gyroscope balanced motorcycles – there’s it’s gonna work, I tell you.
  • roxie blog OR journal “san francisco” -cinema -theatre -theater – all that and they still came here.
  • san diego fern bar – I have to wonder why anyone was looking for a fern bar, no matter where it’s located.
  • dew barrymore and clovis – a typo and a weird convergence of words led to the homeless tour category page.
  • ideas techniques expose skirt – a stripper looking for professional advice, or someone needing a new half-baked invention? Votaw, I want the blueprints on my desk by Wednesday.
  • “the frogs” band virginia “yeah yeah yeah”
  • shy dogs facts and pitchers – that misspelling gets me lots of business
  • poker’mon pitchers – what do you get when you cross a hick with a anime fan?
  • freeloading counter linked the episode where I borrow broadband from Jojo.
  • beeristers – I’m surprised more people haven’t used this word. I used here while wondering about a girl across the bar.
  • i only make passes at cowboy asses – somehow I don’t think The Cowboy God is really what they were looking for
  • holiday ticker – ’cause you gotta know what’s coming up!
  • flashing breasts – only notable because msn ranked me number 4 for this search.
  • PARTY GAMES WITHOUT WRITING.COM – ’cause so many party games require literacy
  • “Tiki Hut Girls”
  • “this means nothing” interesting only because this meant nothing
  • skoda store – linked to a very brief observation about the effect of cars on an unsuspecting society
  • i have lost my pants
  • VIDA ……………………………OGLING – an episode like this one was top of the list for this odd query
  • i have lost my pants – linked to the episode where I paid tribute to my pants
  • Cartoon Poodles – linked to the main page here, due to the episode where I picked a fight with a poodle
  • define ssdc comcast net – the other search results didn’t mention squirrels at all! What gives?
  • prague guide “budvar bar” – linked to main page.
  • how to get getting started in arial photography – linked to the get-poor-quuick category page. I think they were looking for aureola photography, but I’m not sure.
  • scary squirrel sex
  • step to step guides on how to use bed hoists? – the new egg episode caught their eye.
  • breakfast rhymes with – linked to an episode about Ely, NV.
  • “why people go to bars” – you need a reason? Linked to my episode from oh, so long ago about bartenders.
  • telecom tower praha babies – someone else fascinated by the giant freaks. Did not link to the episode with the pictures.
  • BIG ASS BEER – I like the exuberance expressed in the search.

All the usual suspects have been well-represented, but February was the slowest month here in a long time, partly due to Google deciding that I wasn’t the Egg Guru it used to think I was. Perhaps it suspected me of being a Google-bomber. For a while I actually got a better feel for how many people come here on purpose, and it was better than I thought. As of yesterday, the egg-friers are back with a vengeance, though. The reign of The Mr11K3 will soon come to an end.