BKDunn.com Stats for 2012

I don’t get enough traffic to get very interesting metrics. Instead, I get these.

Most-Used Search Terms
These are the search terms that were most used to find my site (according to WordPress).

Rank Term Last Note
1. diy tv stand 1 Still a bad project.
2. redwood tree NR
3. ford trimotor 3
3. la jolla NR
5. trigger finger 5
6. forbes field 2
7. la jolla cove NR
8. cross country road trip NR
9. diy tv stand plans 8
10. california redwood tree NR
11. diy kitchen table 4 Now holds up my compound miter saw.
12. b52 14
13. seven springs NR Overpriced, overcrowded. Assumed profitable.
14. ford tri motor 15
15. painted rooms NR
16. spruce goose 20
17. trigger finger splint NR
18. marble canyon NR
19. spooky gulch 6
20. pittsburgh international airport NR

More turn-over than I would have guessed. I’m apparently big in La Jolla. And last year my posts about the giant sequoias were big, whereas this year things have tilted toward redwoods. It’s probably meaningful.

Here’s a list about pages viewed (don’t know how these worked out last year). I’m omitting the home page and pages that are virtual duplicates (e.g., the multiple pages about the DIY entertainment center that isn’t very good).

Rank Term Year Note
1. DIY TV Stand Project 2008 Other steps would have occupied spots 2, 3, & 7.
2. US War Deaths per Day by Conflict (War, Battle) and How Iraq Compares 2008
3. ford-trimotor-interior (photo) 2009
4. Big Wave Day in La Jolla 2010
5. More B-52 Photos, By Request (Plus a Couple Pics of AMARG) 2008
6. slate-tile-floor-finished (Photo) 2010
7. Cross-Country Road Trip v. 3.0: 48 States in 90 Days 2009 I miss the road trip.
8. The Indistinct Redwood National Park and a Bunch of Indistinct State Parks 2009 I like the photos still.
9. My First Red Egg and Ginger Party 2008 There has not yet been a second.
10. Getting Closer: My Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Table Project So Far 2008
11. Injury Update: Trigger Fingers 2010
12. De-Stapling the Hardwoods 2010
13. Gantt Chart for My Home Renovation Project in Pittsburgh 2010 Milestones were missed.
14. Painting and Carpeting the Front Porch 2011
15. Spooky Gulch, Peek-a-Boo Gulch, and Dry Fork Hike 2010
16. How to Remove Shoe Moulding 2010
17. Kitchen Floor: Slated 2010
18. The Evergreen Air and Space Museum 2009
19. forbes-field-outfield-wall (Photo) 2010
20. Renting the Jeep Wrangler on Kauai 2007

So 2008 and 2010 were big years. Most popular posts written this year were about my fake plastic rocks and my Versa-lok retaining wall — they were tied for 66th. I didn’t post a lot this year.


Things That Are No Longer Interesting

This is  a sub-set.

  1. Zombies. Their day in the sun should have ended with Shaun of the Dead, which came out in 2004. The zombies’ 15 minutes are up. Adding the word “apocalypse” does not grant the zombie idea any new freshness.
  2. “Bacon” as a topic of discussion. Eating bacon is still fine. It’s also no longer interesting to put bacon in places where it doesn’t belong, e.g., in milk shakes or other dessert foods.
  3. The word “awkward” as a punchline. If you’re not sure whether your firm is hooked up with a competent advertising agency, any pitches that include TV spots where “awkward” is used as a laugh-line are a  give-away.
  4. Hipster music. In particular, hipster music used in TV ads.
  5. Google Doodle commemorations. The commemoration on June 6, 2012 was the 79th anniversary of the drive-in theater. Most days it is okay to have a plain Google logo on your search engine.
  6. Corporate April Fool’s Day jokes. These are no longer cute or unexpected. In order for it to be interesting at this point it would have to end up not actually being a hoax. Your Web site promotion for a printer that “prints live kittens” is only still entertaining if your company actually makes and sells a printer that prints live kittens.
  7. Snarky-turned-violently-indignant online opinion articles. Writing does not come off as fresh and edgy just by its using the f-word frequently; it’s played out.
  8. The phrase “I see what you did there”.
  9. Any image overlaid with words in white Impact font (with black outline). Changing the typeface doesn’t give it new life.

I worry that we have become not only technologically stagnant, but also culturally.

Updates as events warrant.


How People Found My Blog Last Year

The number one source of traffic for my blog is search engines. Crazy, I know. And I like self-evaluation. So, here’s this.

The top 20 search terms used to find my blog in 2011:

  1. diy tv stand (and what a stand it is…!)
  2. forbes field (I have one photograph)
  3. ford trimotor (ibid, but at least this one’s a potentially interesting photograph)
  4. diy kitchen table (although it turned out to be more of a writing desk)
  5. trigger finger (the ligament inflammation, not the need to shoot people)
  6. spooky gulch (referring to the gulch, not to my grad school experiences)
  7. b-52 (several photos actually)
  8. diy tv stand plans
  9. reagan library
  10. tv stand diy (it was still a terrible project)
  11. gluing wood together (although I can see my info being possibly helpful to someone trying to glue wood together)
  12. general sherman (the tree, not the general; anyone looking for the general will have been disappointed)
  13. tv stand plans
  14. b52
  15. ford tri motor
  16. diy tv stands
  17. flying tigers (one photo)
  18. diy entertainment center
  19. washing machine drain (one photo)
  20. spruce goose (ibid)

In addition, 49 people found my site by searching for the word “clamps”, 33 by searching for “kia jeep” (which isn’t discussed anywhere on this domain), and 30 by searching for “pittsburgh toilet” (and to think that two years ago I’d never heard of such).


Cell Phone Photo Dump, 2011

Another year, another full flash memory card. Except it wasn’t full. Not by a long shot. Because I didn’t do very much this year but go to class. What a year! What a year.

I should probably just start posting these on Facebook instead. Just that I kind of want Facebook to fail, so — you know. Also, I don’t remember in which month I got the phone. Probably spring some time.

Large eagle in lumber department.

A giant eagle at Lowe's: a retail allegory.

Because Giant Eagle is the big grocery chain in western Pennsylvania is why. That’s a really big bird, though. And not very shy. And I’m not sure which of the small children there he had his sites set on.


Pan fish

A pan fish I caught.

It’s not as big as it looks. Orrin did a nice job with the trick photography. But the impressive thing in the photo isn’t the fish that was about to be un-hooked, it’s (IMHO) this:

Poison ivy on arm.

The effects of poison ivy.

Before moving to Pittsburgh, I was barely even aware that poison ivy still existed in the modern world. I certainly wasn’t aware of how, just, ridiculously awful it is. Fortunately, after the fourth or fifth outbreak I figured out a regimen to minimize the damage of the contact. But man, at this point I itch just looking at it. Hopefully none of the poison got on the fish…


Meanwhile, here’s a sunset:

Sunset at Keystone Lake, Pennsylvania

Sunset on Keystone Lake


Also this…

Eastern Rat Snake

The eastern rat snake that got into my garage.

As mentioned elsewhere, he was a gentleman among snakes. Waited for me to open the garage door before slithering in, then barely complained when I picked him up with my snow shovel and threw him out into the yard. Four feet long, inch and a half thick. They eat bird eggs, mice, and chipmunks.


This next photo was taken at the mall nearest my house (Century III) at about 12:30 PM.

Century III Food Court

This is the food court.

Interestingly, most of the restaurant spaces were occupied (and the restaurants were open for business). OTOH, you know your mall isn’t doing very well when it not only has two GameStops in it, but it also has two Army recruiting offices. (Would seem to indicate low lease rates is what I’m saying.)


A shirt I wore one day while fighting my cell phone.


Here are a couple shots of Mt. Rainier taken while maneuvering around the breakwater barges in Commencement Bay (Tacoma) in my dad’s boat.

Tyee Marina breakwater

Heading out of the marina

Mt. Rainier from Commencement Bay

Then onto the open waters of Commencement Bay.


Also while out west this summer, I got to reconnect with some old friends:

Carl's Jr. in Spokane

This was in Spokane (downtown). It is the most friendly Carl's Jr. I've ever been to. The guy taking orders at the counter actually knew the names of his regular customers *and* knew what they usually ordered. It was almost too much to handle.

Del Taco in South Bend

The Del Taco in South Bend (Ind.) wasn't as friendly. And South Bend isn't exactly "out west", it was just close enough to have a Del Taco. Food was good, but I got the impression they don't sell a lot of the churros.


And this is a cup of Postum:


And then I went to eBay and saw that a jar of the stuff costs like $400 now because they quit making it several years ago.


All right, then there’s this building on the campus at Pitt that’s called the “Cathedral of Learning”. It was a WPP project. How could it not have been? Anyway, every time I see it I think of the Tower of Babel, although I’m not sure any sacrilege (or language instruction) actually happens there.

Cathedral of Learning (University of Pittsburgh)

Cathedral of Learning, Pitt


And then there was this day when I was thinking that I hadn’t seen an AMC Pacer on the road in like a decade. Then a couple days later I saw this one (with current inspection stickers).

AMC Pacer at Pitt

You can't beat the paint scheme.

Or maybe you *can* beat it, I don’t know. I’ve never actually tried.


Anyway, that’s a big enough dump I guess.


Spam Trap Wisdom

I get a bunch of spam comments on my blogs. They either get filtered out by the spam filter (!) or stuck in my dark and somewhat dank “pending approval” queue from which they never return. It’s bots that leave them. They’re trying to mess with search algorithms by littering the blogosphere with their URLs. Sometimes they’re sort of funny.

viagra online writes “The author is really cool. But some of the commentators are just posting stupid words.”

His (her?) point is spot-on, but I was made a little suspicious by the fact that this was posted on a photo of a P-40 Warhawk that has yet to receive comments. The user name was also kind of a red flag…

HefHiesuchsic writes “I can not participate now in discussion – there is no free time. I will be released – I will necessarily express the opinion.”

Makes you think, right? Is HefHiesuchsic currently incarcerated? For crimes he (she?) didn’t commit? And what of “the opinion”?! Sadly, HefHiesuchsic never returned to (again) the photo of the P-40 Warhawk to explain. We may never learn the secret(s?).

Mei Hestand comments on this page “bathroom-drywall 008 | bkdunn.com? You should have thought of a much better title than that, lol.”

Again, a prescient point. I get pretty lazy about titling my photos of drywall in bathrooms.

Commenter preiswert urlaub raved about my trigger finger splints photo: “People Incident,force dog detailed shout term duty mental opinion page fill easy sometimes gate myself religion possibly work yourself dinner likely phase absolutely relative silence reform anyway blow contact boy equipment total corporate survey brother wonder define generally since state index responsibility method flight fact late event never effective pupil method accompany everyone yeah late reach grey have employment pleasure creation deal long deal comparison fund match museum see flow vast traffic pool aye significant impose sheet sky recognize lay shall arrange make sport plate satisfy traditional under survey”

And I’m inclined to agree. Meanwhile, over on my 48stateroadtrip site, commenter Vivienne Damone delivers some good news:

Pleased new calendar year!

Although it’s unclear whether she means that my post regarding the Valley of the Gods that has accomplished said pleasing. And then everyone’s friend jobs in graphic design had this counter-argument regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway:

I don’t accept this blog post. Nonetheless, I had searched in Yahoo and I’ve found out that you are right and I seemed to be thinking in the improper way. Keep on publishing high quality content similar to this.

I guess it wasn’t much of a counter-argument.

And now I figure it’s only a matter of time before the Good Times virus makes a comeback through social networking.


Bkdunn.com Top Posts of 2010

Here were the ten most popular posts on bkdunn.com in the year 2010, which thereby richly deserve recognition. I’m omitting the counting numbers because it makes the whole blog seem pathetic.

  1. Do-It-Yourself TV Stand and/or Entertainment Center Part 1: Plans and Stuff to By – It’s a crappy entertainment center, but that title is such tasty search engine bait. How could Google resist? How could someone looking for “diy entertainment center” resist? (I’m omitting parts 2-4 from this list; they’d occupy spots 2-4 if I included them. Because it’s kind of a crappy entertainment center. It’s falling apart even as I type. It probably didn’t deserve to make the move.)
  2. US War Deaths by Day by Conflict (War, Battle) and How Iraq Compares – More good SEO-bait in the title, but at least this time it’s sort of a worthwhile article. Gives some perspective and all. Korea was way worse than anyone gives it credit for.
  3. More B-52 Photos, By Request (Plus a Couple Pics of AMARG) – SEO-centric title, yep. And, fwiw, the post delivers as promised. The photos look warm.
  4. My First Red Egg and Ginger Party – Turns out other non-Chinese people also don’t know what gift is appropriate at one of these (money in a red envelope is the right answer).
  5. Getting Closer: My Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Table Project So Far – The title was not written to impress you, it was written to impress an algorithm. Algorithms have no soul (I don’t think). And right now the table is in the garage holding up my compound miter saw.
  6. Spooky Gulch, Peek-a-Boo Gulch, and Dry Fork Hike – Yeah, it’s probably a hike everyone should go on in their lifetime (unless they’re claustrophobic or exceptionally wide-hipped).
  7. Elwha Valley, Humes Ranch Loop, and Goblin Gate (A Six-Mile Hike) – I’ve posted less-read articles about much more interesting hikes. Goblins Gate is cool, but the rest is a tree prison. Hopefully those that read the post last year now understand as much.
  8. Trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park(s?) – The follow-on post about General Sherman and General Grant was immediately below this one in the rankings, but it’s sort of the same post, so not included. Big trees, much snow, many photos. Well — a *few* photos.
  9. Planes of Fame Air Show 2009: Old Planes in the 909 – I went to this air show. It’s a lot better than you’d expect an air show in Chino to be. Many WWII-vintage planes in the air.
  10. Gantt Chart for My Home Renovation Project (in Pittsburgh) – Yeah, so I didn’t really keep to the schedule, unfortunately. If I had — just, wow.

And for what it’s worth, here were the top five images viewed. These only count if they were viewed as a separate page, which probably only usually happened if they were found through Google or Bing image search.

  1. Ford Tri-Motor Interior – It’s a photo of the interior of a Ford Tri-Motor (passenger) airplane located at the Evergreen Aerospace Museum. It’s a nice photo. I’d want to look at it.
  2. Gantt Chart – It’s the Gantt Chart from above. Not very photographic, but it gives the appearance of having planned.
  3. P-40 Warhawk Flying Tiger – From the same collection as the tri-motor above, only this one has a drip pan!
  4. Trigger Finger Splints (1) – Way better than Trigger Finger Splints (2). It shows off my trigger finger splints.
  5. Forbes Field Outfield Wall – And now I see this wall *every* *single* *day* (unless I don’t go to school, in which case I don’t see the wall).

So now you know and, assuming that knowing remains half the battle, that makes this useful.


I’m Still Unique Just Like Everyone Else

I did this once already, but it was 3.5 years ago. First image to come up in Google Images for each of the following answers. I would try Bing for the novelty, but they don’t do a good job of indexing my site. Sorry, JL.

1. Age on my next birthday:

The crazy thing is that I actually know what HICSS *is*. I’ll probably attend in a couple years.

2. My favorite color. Continue reading

Injury Update: Trigger Finger(s)

There’s nothing like a medical condition that makes you feel old while at the same time emasculating you. Because it’s most common in women over 40. Anyway.

  • Basically the tendons are swollen, such that if my left ring finger or right pinky is curled up, the middle knuckle “catches” when trying to extend the finger out straight.
  • It’s like that when I first wake up, but as things warm up during the day, the fingers act normal.
  • It started coming on back when I was doing the floor. Apparently it’s a bad thing when, after finishing sanding, your hands feel like they’re full of springs.
  • Working with my hands every day since then apparently exacerbated the situation, until maybe three weeks ago when the “catching” started.
  • It doesn’t hurt (all my fingers have been a little stiff and sore since mid-May), it’s just disconcerting and likely to progressively worsen without measures being taken.
  • Recommended course of action is to (a) stop doing things that require me to grab stuff, especially power tools that oscillate or vibrate; (b) splint the affected fingers, especially at night; and (c) maybe pop some “anti-inflammatories” (ibuprofen). Should heal itself in four to six weeks.
  • If that doesn’t work, then I can go in and get some cortisone injections. I’ll feel like a professional athlete! Like an old, emasculated professional athlete.

Not sure whether this means I just stop doing anything with the house or what. It’s going to be hard to be here without trying to do stuff, since:

  • All that’s left to do in the kitchen is install the cabinets (and sink and dishwasher and disposal).
  • The den is looking good, but needs bookshelves that I’d need to build.
  • I ordered five sets of slat blinds that should arrive next week some time; it might be hard to avoid hanging them once they get here.
  • Now that the master bedroom is basically ready to go, it’d be cool to put a door on the room — but the door needs to be painted and hung, which require grabbing and tool-use.
  • With the kitchen floor done, I can start moving stuff from the basement into the living room, but carrying all that stuff might be proscribed.
  • The upstairs bathroom is still a no-mans land and it sucks having to go downstairs to use the toilet.
  • Plus the whole rest of the house and all.

Guess I should’ve gone to Oregon for the family reunion. It’s amazing how pretty much everything I sort of am interested in doing requires me to grab stuff. I’m not sure I should even consider hiking in WVa, since all the interesting hikes there have river crossings and I’d be mad trying to do them without poles. Also unsure about fishing, since it’d require me to have my hands in curled-up positions.

Instead I’m heading to Southern Virginia — it’s cheaper than Oregon on short notice and most of what there is to do there is passive (read: a lot of looking). It’ll keep me off my hands for a few days and then when I get back I can maybe re-evaluate. Also, in case you were wondering, it doesn’t make sense to visit a doctor until September when I have real insurance and not the kind with the $5,000 deductible.

I dunno. Maybe this is the blown transmission of the house renovation months. I swear I’m not just trying to find excuses to avoid painting doors.


A Day in the Life

Woke up, fell out of bed, comb+head, found my way downstairs and drank a Coke, etc., etc. Opened my garage door and there, between the door and the grill of my truck (parked in the driveway) was a dead bird. A sign, no doubt, an omen of things to come, namely:

  • There was a cop blocking the onramp for Mifflin Road, so I had to veer off onto Carson Street and was half-way to South Side flats before there was a turnoff I could use to turn around again.
  • Found out it was going to cost me $5,000 to get my roof fixed.
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. retired.
  • Big ol’ electrical storm.
  • Power went out (and stayed out for 18 hours).

Took a shower by flashlight, then I went back to bed. Today I got a revised estimate on the roof: $3,900. And it seems like I should have taken a photo of the bird.


PS, My hair’s too short to comb, but the rhythm would’ve been way off without it. Also considered using the Easy Star All-Stars variation (fingers+dreads), but figured the original would be confusing enough.

PPS, I’m sad about Griffey retiring.His bat was too slow and he should have retired at the end of last year, but he was a big part of the reason I ended up liking baseball as much as I do; he was the guy that made my team relevant. With him out of the game it feels like a part of me is, now, officially and irrevocably, washed up.

My New (Used) Car: An FAQ

  1. Dear God, what is that *thing*?

    It’s a 2001 Toyota Prius.

  2. And you bought it?


  3. Seriously?


  4. Why?

    The reasons are as plentiful as they are interesting. Or maybe not. Depends on your definitions of terms. For one thing, I didn’t want to be driving my big ol’ pickup around in Pittsburgh — it’s expensive to operate and too big to fit on city streets.

  5. So you’re selling your truck?

    Not sure yet.

  6. So why a Prius?

    It was a good deal and it’s fuel-efficient.

  7. How much?


  8. But — a Prius?

    I was looking for an econobox. My first choice would have been something like a Honda Fit or Scion xA, neither of which are ego-enhancing, but both of which are fuel-efficient and small enough to fit in Pittsburgh and more fun to drive than a Prius. However, thanks to (I’m guessing) the current economy and (I’m also guessing) Dear Leader’s societal engineering projects (read: Cash for Clunkers), the prices on used cars, small ones in particular, are insane.

  9. Saying small car prices are insane is racist.


  10. Like — how insane?

    Like ElEff bought a 2008 salvage title Fit two years ago for $8K. Today, a 2008 salvage title Fit will cost you $9,000+ — unless you want one that actually runs right, in which case add another thousand or just buy non-salvage for $11K. Similar story for the entire category — Scion xA’s, Civics, Mazda3s, Matrixes (Matrices?), et al.

  11. So why didn’t you just sell your truck and buy something more expensive then?

    Because I wasn’t going to buy a salvage Fit for $9K. And then because if I’m going to spend $10K+ for a car, it should be a car I kind of want and would enjoy driving, not one I’m buying for the sake of being pragmatic for a while. Nothing that’s any fun to drive and that’s under 80K miles and eight years old costs less than $17K right now. And I’m not in a position to spend $17K on a car. All hail reality.

  12. So does this make you some sort of environmentalist now then?

    It’s just a car.

  13. Hmm.


So I’m not necessarily *excited* about the car, but then again, it’s not a car I bought for the sake of excitement. It’ll definitely get good mileage. I bought it from a known source that I know isn’t trying to scam me. It was cheap enough that if it spontaneously combusts RIGHT NOW, I’ll recover financially. It’s not pure driving excitement, but OTOH it handles and responds better than the second-gen Prius I drove from Phoenix back to OC, so — you know.

ElEff called this car the vehicular equivalent of the house I’m (hopefully) buying in Pittsburgh. Sounds about right. At least I’m enjoying a new level of consistency.