This week my web site got its 100,000th visitor of the year. In all of last year I only got 81,000 and 16,000 the year before. I think this internet thing might be catching on.
I also got my fourth payment from Google and made my first profit-sharing payment to CARE. They are a global aid group based in Atlanta. I set up a system that will pay them automatically each quarter a few days after I receive my Amazon payment. They will get roughly 30% of my combined proceeds from Amazon and Google which will still leave me with enough money for a new iPod early next year when they come out and a new Palm this Fall. Originally my idea was to do one of those deals where you sponsor a child, so essentially something non-tangible like the web site would be supporting a non-virtual child in the developing world somewhere. But at some point during my research into sponsorship organizations I decided CARE would be a better choice. Maybe I liked that they are based locally. I still think Save the Children is a great organization and may do something with them eventually.
Pluto’s demotion from planet to dwarf planet yesterday is making all the news. As a follow-up to my comment on Jeb’s post, Boortz’s complaint was even less valid when he said it took 3,000 astronomers to decide on Pluto’s status, since only 300 actually voted on the issue.
Anyway, whether Pluto is a planet or not is like whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. Ultimately it doesn’t really affect anything. But just so you know, I looked up the definition of vegetable in my Microsoft Bookshelf dictionary, which says that any plant product grown to be eaten is a vegetable. That includes lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and I guess wheat. So tomatoes are clearly a vegetable.
I decided to do some research on names for the new dog. For instance, if I was going to name him “Kevin” then I wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a belief that naming a dog Kevin was bad luck, or that dogs named Kevin are considered a delicacy in Burma. I didn’t find anything like that, but I did find out that Kevin is Irish and means handsome and/or beloved (I think the dog looks kind of like Kevin Costner who is both handsome and beloved).
I also found a neat site run by the Social Security Administration where they rank the popularity of different names by year. I guess they know everyone’s name and date of birth. If a name falls in the top 1000, then it will be listed. You can also pull up the popularity of names over time. For instance, in the year I was born, Michael, John, and David were the most popular boy names (Lisa, Mary, and Karen were the most popular for girls). That year Kevin was number 13, about the highest it ever got. In 2005, Jacob, Michael, and Joshua were the most popular names for boys and Emily, Emma, and Madison were the most popular for girls. Meanwhile, Edward has gone from 29th to 134th, putting it behind even Trevor at 112th.
Yesterday I went to the Paws Atlanta shelter with Katie to look for dogs. We wound up taking home a near twin of Katie, except he is male.
He is part pit bull, I’m sure (he has a big head), but he has a very sweet disposition despite some unsolicited advances on Katie yesterday. I don’t think he has barked yet. He is extremely skinny right now, but has been eating a lot, so he should be fine. Though I formally adopted him, I consider him to be on a working test for the first week or so. The shelter named him Austin, which is okay, but I’m thinking about Buddy, Buster, or Trevor. Any suggestions are welcome. Katie seems largely indifferent towards him. They don’t play, but they don’t growl at each other. He is very affectionate towards me though.
I remember as a kid that we would say something was catercorner if it was diagonally opposite of something. We must have gotten that from mom and dad, because that doesn’t seem like a word that you learn in school. I think now I probably say cattycorner (apparently a southern thing), but I’ve heard people say kittycorner as well (maybe a black thing). It turns out all of these can be used.
Catercorner is the original version of the word and is apparently not based on cats, but on the French word for four, “quatre,” an old form of which was “cater.” This link says that the word is an example of folk etymology, which happens when people change a word to make it more like words they are familiar with. Other examples are “piggyback,” based on “pick-a-back” and “wheelbarrow” from “wheel bearwe.”