Monday, May 24, 2021

A Movie and a Blogaversary


Dave and I actually went to the cinema yesterday. It was our first time back in a movie theater since Covid-19 began, and honestly we hadn't been for quite a while even before that. The last movie I can remember seeing in a cinema is "Rocketman," and that was way back in June 2019.

Anyway, we saw "Nomadland," which we both loved. It's very slow-paced, and the beginning is quite bleak, although it improves in perspective as it goes. We loved how true-to-life it is -- like listening to real people having real conversations, which makes sense because only a few of the cast members are professional actors, and most of the characters use the actors' real names. Apparently many of them are actual "nomads" who appear in the book that inspired the movie.

There were five other people with us in the theater, and before the movie began, a staff member came in and said we didn't have to wear masks while seated. But he asked us to please put them on if we went to the bathroom or the snack bar. We sat at least two rows away from everyone else, so we weren't too concerned. At the end we were surprised to find only three other people in the theater -- apparently one couple left because the movie was "too slow," or so the cinema staffer told Dave.

I can't imagine walking out, if only because the tickets were so darn expensive. For the two of us it cost £39.70, or just over $56! And that's without any food! Now I remember why we don't go to the cinema more often.

Today is a big day because -- drum roll please -- it's my blog's 15th birthday. (They grow up so fast! I remember when it was born, and now it's a teenager in high school!)

By the numbers: This is my 4,860th post, and for the last nine years I've posted almost every day. I took two substantial breaks, between November 2008 and February 2009 (when I was still wrestling with blogging vs. keeping my paper journal), and again between October 2010 and May 2011 (when I was working as a reporter in New Jersey and just couldn't bring myself to write both on and off the clock).

I apparently get about 1,000 page views a day, which surprises me because it seems like a lot. Here's how views have fared over time:


Why was I so popular in 2017, and why have I gone downhill since? I have no idea. Maybe I'm getting too repetitive.

Over all those years, here's where my readers have come from:


They like me in Brazil! Who knew?! But I have not caught on in India.

And here are my top referrers over the last seven days (you know who you are):


How is it that Bing is sending so many people my way?

The top search terms that have led people to my blog include, in first place, "shadows and light blog," followed weirdly by "phoenix bail bonds," "queen elizabeth funny moments," "how much to pay a dog sitter per day," "fake grass," "drain blockages" and "how to get rid of the spotted lantern fly." (Have I ever written about a spotted lantern fly? I don't think so.)

(Photo: Aquilegia in our garden, Saturday morning.)

69 comments:

  1. Happy Bloggoversary S&L! So glad you enjoyed "Nomadland" Steve. By the way, up here in Sheffield my off-peak "seniors" ticket cost me £6.20! The price you and Dave had to pay effectively discourages trips to the cinema.

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    1. Thanks, YP! Yeah, I know our London cinema prices are WAY beyond what everyone else is paying.

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  2. Happy Blogday!
    Interesting stats too.
    That's a pretty flower...is it an Aquilegia? The double flowered versions throw me a bit on identifying them!

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    1. It IS aquilegia! Good eye! We have a couple of aquilegias and each one looks completely different.

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  3. SNAP - I went to see Nomadland yesterday too. Absurd London prices - mine was £16.00 for two in central Bristol! I thought it was good but maybe not as good as your stats!! Thousand a day is excellent - just think most books are lucky to sell a thousand copies!

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    1. I feel like our tickets were expensive even by London standards. Maybe we chose the wrong cinema! (Everyman, ironically.)

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  4. Congratulations on 15 years, that's a big deal. My local theater is opening next week with Nomadland and friends and I plan to go. As members of the theater we will pay $5.
    Cheers Peter

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  5. I have to admit to being sceptical of blog stats, but, however you look at it, 15 years is a real achievement.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think many of those numbers reflect real people!

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  6. Many happy returns (literally), on your 15th blogaversary. Definitely an achievement to celebrate.

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    1. Thank you! It becomes a habit, and once it's part of a daily routine it's actually not that hard to sustain.

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  7. Happy Blogaversary! You've got some readers in South Korea I see. 안 녕 하 세 요 !

    I'm astonished that it costs $56 for you and Dave to go to the movies. I hope that for that kind of money you got reclining seats, like we have at the Regal Cinema here on the north shore of Long Island, where it costs $9.00 if you go to the first show of the day when you usually get the theater to yourself. I never buy food there -- you don't know how long that pre-popped popcorn's been sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey.

    BTW, I found your blog by googling "Leicestershire tourist spots".

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    1. Did you really? I remember writing about a visit to Leicester years ago, but I forgot that's how you found me! NYC theater prices are pretty insane too, as I recall, but not quite as insane as what we paid here. (The popcorn was fresh, though -- we watched them popping it. :) )

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  8. Happy blogoversary! Funny, my fourteen year one was two days ago. I've posted over 8,000 posts. We are the faithful, are we not?

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    1. I find it pretty easy to blog every day, honestly. You used to post TWICE a day, as I recall. I was never that prolific!

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  9. Happy anniversary!!! Your statistics don't count the readers who go to your blog through an app, like feedly.com, which I use and were was available before 2017 as far as I know. So maybe that explains the drop in numbers? I only go to the actual site of a blog when I want to comment.

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    1. Oh, well, that's encouraging! I'd mostly thought about the ways the stats are OVERestimating my readers, but it's nice to know they may be UNDERestimating them as well. :)

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  10. Congrats on your offshoot's fifteenth. I don't wish to deflate the birthday balloon but will confess that I click onto your blog a couple of times a day (sometimes more - oh my god, what possesses me?), so make the stat 999 and less.

    Great come to think of it: When a vain blogger (or two) doesn't fashion me into their own treasured troll, I turn out a stalker.

    U

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    1. Repeat visits count! I myself click my own blog probably ten times a day. LOL

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  11. Fascinating. And congratulations!
    Posting every day is a goal I fear I’ll never meet, but I have noticed that I’m often most interested in people’s postings about small day-to-day happenings rather than one or two big events. Probably it’s the nosy Mrs. Kravitz in me.

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    1. I agree, Marty. I always like stories about the ways people live their everyday lives.

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  12. Happy Blogversary! I'm a few years ahead of you. I started blogging when my older daughter was 17 and she's 34 now. :) I loved Nomadland and didn't find it slow at all. I was fascinated by how real it seemed; it had a documentary feel.

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    1. When I started blogging I thought I was already late to the game -- it seemed like there were many other bloggers out there! Very few of them are still around. (In Blogland, anyway.)

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  13. I think your peak has to do with general popularity of blogs in general. I used to get way more page views and comments but all those people have quit blogging and reading as far as I can tell and few new ones have taken their place. even I have pared down my list of blogs I read regularly, just too much of a time suck.

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    1. Maybe! It's interesting that it also coincides with that period of spam sign-ups to our e-mail feeds. Remember how you and I both found a ton of people with Outlook e-mail addresses among our blog subscribers, who all signed up around that time?

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  14. Happy Blogiversary! I am grateful that our blogging paths crossed, but I can't remember how I find your blog. We started New Dharma Bums back in 2004 when we first retired and moved to the Olympic Peninsula. Those pre-Facebook days were the best.

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    1. I don't remember how we found each other, but I'm glad we did! (I think I'd read "The Dharma Bums" not too many years before so I was attracted to your blog title.) I know some people who left blogging for Facebook, but FB doesn't allow this kind of long-form daily writing, which is what I like to do. (Not REALLY long-form, I guess, but by Internet standards it is!)

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  15. Congratulations on the anniversary! I loved all the statistics and I'm wondering how anyone found you searching for Phoenix bail bonds! And, I can't believe it cost $56 dollars to go to the movies...without any food. That is outrageous. I don't feel so bad about all the renting and buying I've done over the past year through Apple.

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    1. I photographed a bail bonds place years ago, so I get where that comes from, but the Phoenix part is a mystery to me, too.

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  16. Congratulations! That's a lot of writing - you're so consistent, which is good because I'm always happy to see a post from you. I've had almost 1,700 posts in my 12 years. I used to be more prolific.

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    1. You just save up your daily posts and add them all once a week, with daily subheadings. You're still basically blogging daily!

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  17. Congratulations on 15 years of blogging. I hope you keep going For a long time. Looking at blog following is a bit of a mystery.

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    1. Thanks, Red! Yeah, the stats can be bewildering and somewhat misleading. I don't take them too seriously.

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  18. I've heard good things about Nomadland, maybe one day. I like coming here to your blog. You have lovely photos, a dog, and flowers. And it's gentle. I think I found your blog through Ms. Moon or it might have been John Gray, not sure which. Happy blogaversary.

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    1. Thanks, Lilycedar! I generally like to be positive, if a bit snarky. I do find myself grousing about politics sometimes. :/

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  19. a teen ager, awww look at it now, all spotty and gangly, Way to keep track of who and what reads your blog! I have five readers I think- Never checked. You and Mary keep me afloat in blog land- it is a comfort to see you every day.

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    1. You'd probably be surprised at the numbers if you checked your stats, but as others have said, don't be misled into believing those are all actual people. I've always liked your blog, Linda Sue, and your artistic output!

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  20. Happy versary! I had a time in 2017 when I was getting over 10,000 hits a day, and I’m not nearly as popular as you. I think it was a Russian bot!

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    1. Ha! Yeah, that sounds a bit bot-like, but you're more popular than you're giving yourself credit for being!

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  21. Don’t get too excited .....I was told not to a while ago when I got all big headed at my stats
    A lot of your page views will be spam and automatic views
    That’s what I was told xxx

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    1. Yes BUT both of you get a LOT of comments, and that tells me something! Even if most views are bots, you gents have many faithful readers. -Signed, Kate, She Who Has Blogged Consistently for 1000 Years and Never Gets More Than a Few Comments

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    2. John: Yeah, I know those aren't real people. There's no way a thousand people are reading my blog every day! LOL

      Blondi: The comments are a much better measure of engagement, but of course half of the daily comment count comes from my responses. :) Still, I LOVE all my commenters!

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  22. I watched Nomadland for $6.49 (per month) on Hulu last month, as well as, The United States vs. Billie Holiday ... another excellent movie! Can't beat the price and you can pop your own popcorn!

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    1. When Frances McDormand won the Oscar she asked people to see the movie on the big screen, so Dave and I took her seriously. (Although the screen wasn't that big in the cinema we visited!) Also, we can't get Hulu here. I think it's part of the Sky TV package in Britain, and we're not subscribed to that. I haven't seen "Billie Holiday" yet, but it sounds interesting!

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  23. Happy Blogaversary! 15 years is a real accomplishment!

    I would never see a movie in the theater if I had to pay such an outrageous price. I do hope to see Nomadland soon since everyone seemed to like it so much.

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    1. Yeah, we don't go often and that's partly why -- although to be honest we've also come to appreciate the comforts of home. :)

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  24. We haven't seen Nomadland yet. It's on Hulu, so I guess I should sign up, at least for the free 30 day trial. I always forget to cancel free trials, so they end up being permanent. Congratulations on 15 years, that's impressive.

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    1. It's definitely worth seeing. One advantage to the cinema is that it makes you simply sit and absorb the movie -- without getting distracted by the dog and making dinner and doing dishes, putting the film on "pause" over and over, etc. (Which I always do.)

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  25. I am humbled. I find that you have written in excess of 900 more posts than I have. But then, you have me by some two years in blog history. Happy Blogaversary! 😁

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    1. Thanks, C! Nine hundred isn't much in blog terms. :)

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  26. Congratulations Steve, 15 years of dedication and friends is just so awesome. I wish that I had the dedication that you have. I started out posting a couple of times a day but I was having some major health issues at the time and dealing with Dental extractions and trying to play referee with my daughter and her boyfriend of 16 years, 14 years now and I slowly started missing a day and then a week and here I am trying to be a better blogger.
    Other than you, Paddy and Miss Edna no one leaves me comments. I always reply but I am never sure that anyone ever gets them. (Sigh). Sometimes I do get a lot of spam comments that I just delete. Your blog is just wonderful and I enjoy it a lot.
    I actually found you on Mrs.Moon's blog. I was looking for something else to read and I saw you had the same last name as I did so I thought.. hmmm I will go over and well the rest is history.

    I am so glad that you got to get out and have a night out with Dave. The cinema prices were totally shocking. It always cost us a arm and leg to go to the cinema in Austin and the last movie that I wanted to see was RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) but the boys said NO WAY and I really wanted to see it but I gave in and they wanted to go and see something that I can't even remember the name of but there was no seats left and so we ordered Chinese food and stayed home. I was happy to do so and I really don't want to go now. I am just happy with my Netflix and all of the other movie channels that I can stream from lol.

    I have tons of phone calls to make so I will say see ya later and have a great day. XXX

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    1. I think you and I probably ARE related somewhere way back on the Reed family tree! I'll just call you "cuz" from now on. :)

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  27. Happy Blog Birthday! You must have been one of the pioneers! That's a lot of posts -- and I'm only just discovering you this week!

    That's a pricey ticket. I wonder if they've upped the movie prices here. I think the theatres opened this week. It will be a while before I go. But before pandemic there was always $5 Tuesday-before-six and even after, I think it was $8. I guess that's the diff of a big city to a smaller one!

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    1. Actually, I feel like I came to blogging late. I remember reading about it in the late '90s or early aughts and thinking I should try it, but I didn't get launched until 2006!

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  28. That IS a high price for a movie. Last time we went - which was quite a few years ago - it was about $34 for two adults. Maybe it's $56 here now, too - who knows?

    Fifteen years is a lot of writing. Well done. You have an appealing way of describing everyday life that is both calming and interesting. There is always a friendly welcome here, and for that I thank you.

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    1. It's insane, isn't it? I suspect the cinemas are charging more because they're trying to recoup losses from the pandemic. The whole business is in trouble. I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog! I always like to see your comments.

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  29. Congrats on your 15th blog anniversary, Steve! That is terrific and I have enjoyed many, many of your posts. You have a interesting, humorous, informative style of writing and your photos are fabulous! Well done!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ellen! I'm glad you're here and enjoying the blog!

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  30. Hsppy blogoversary, and thank you for giving us these daily glimpses into your world!

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    1. Thanks, Debby! I'm glad you're reading them and finding them interesting. :)

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  31. Congratulations Steve! I always enjoy what you say and how you say it - both your words and your photos.

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  32. Happy 15th! I hopped over from Ms. Moon, because you had such thoughtful comments, and have been enjoying your posts - words and photos - ever since. And Olga!

    Chris from Boise

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    1. Thanks Chris! (Did you change your account name? You were just Mike before, weren't you?) I'm glad you're here and yes, I think if I gave Olga her own blog, at least two-thirds of my readers would abandon me and follow her. LOL

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    2. Mike's computer has a functional monitor, so I often use his. When I can't pry it out of his grip, I sigh and log onto my (our) ancient laptop and do my best. Just trying to confuse you! Mike is off at an appointment at the moment, so I'm seizing the opportunity to catch up :-). (He really is a wonderful guy, and it IS his computer...)

      C f B

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  34. I can't read maps to save my life. I am reading and enjoying from Vancouver, Canada

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