Archive for January, 2008

Australia: The Blue Mountains

Posted by Arlo on Jan 31, 2008 under Postcard Valet, Travel

Dont know what happened, but I like the jaunty angle!

In planning our trip to Australia, it didn’t take a lot of brain power to realize we were not going to be able to see everything in three weeks. Australia is huge. Imagine if someone asked you for a three-week itinerary for all the points of interest in the United States. Planning a visit to a continent is like that.

After much discussion, Oksana and I decided to constrict our movement to just two locations: Sydney and its surroundings and Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, three weeks is barely enough to explore either spot in depth, never mind splitting our time between the two. It worked for us, however. I only wish we could have made the trip out to Uluru.

While in Sydney, we managed to plan a quick jaunt out to the Blue Mountains. While still pretty close to the city – a couple hours by train – it was far enough away to almost be considered a third stop on our trip. If nothing else, the rugged landscape would be a nice change of pace from the city and ocean.

Everything I knew about the Blue Mountains came from a book I’d read years before called In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. Two facts stood out in my memory. The first, that the “blue” in the Blue Mountains was actually a visible blue haze in the air from all the eucalyptus trees’ exuded oil. Second, that the mountain range was considered impassible by every explorer to make the attempt for the first 100 years or so after Australia’s colonization. I suppose the reason I remembered each was because I had trouble believing both.

As our train left the city behind and the Sydney suburbs gave way to forests, I found myself peering out the window, looking for a gap in the hillside large enough for a view to the horizon. Was the famous blue haze only visible when the weather was just right? Worse yet, could it be seasonal? I tried to convince myself that the tiny bit of haze I could see beyond the trees was actually blue.

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Two Thousand, Seven

Posted by Arlo on Jan 24, 2008 under Life of Arlo, Website

2007 Awstats

So, 2008.

Yeah, I didn’t get as much writing done over the break as I’d hoped. Instead, I fiddled around with WordPress a lot, both on my own sites and someone else’s. If you’re the type of person that likes to read this via the RSS feed – And why shouldn’t you? The new version of WordPress tried to stop me from including the whole entry, but I fixed it. I got your back! – you might click through and take a quick look at the new design. I frittered away a lot of time on it while procrastinating. Hope you like it the one time you see it.

Looking over my blog’s web statistics for 2007 was enlightening, though I doubt any of you care. Just a hair shy of 50,000 “unique” visitors last year. Well, not really. That statistic resets every month, so there’s no telling. But still… scary on so many levels. Who are all you people?

On a related note, I did an ego search on Google the other day for the word “midgett.” This blog is third on the list after Midgett Realty and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter! That’s insane. “Arlo” shows up on the second page, but I doubt I’ll ever climb to the stratospheric reaches of Arlo & Janis and Mr. Guthrie.

What else is new? Hey, remember my idea to create a hard-bound book out of all these blog entries? Well, once I got to work on it, I realized publishing is harder than it looks. Specifically, proofing, editing, and designing the layout for a manuscript is a bitch. I scaled the project back, however, and I’m almost ready to try self-publishing a volume encapsulating just the first year of the blog. If it turns out, I’ll move on to 2004 soon. Right now I have a nice, big Word file – boy do I love Office 2007, by the way – with copious footnotes, a table of contents, and 4 or 5 appendices. Only thing holding me back is the foreword. Anyone want to write that for me?

Also, with the end of 2007, my first timeline was officially complete. I slapped up a new one for 2008, but my life has been boring so far; nothing to report. I went ahead and archived the old one, though it makes me feel bad that I didn’t write about many of the things on there. Guess it’s time for a quick synopsis:

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