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RumFriday.com

Take a second and check out rumfriday.com. Ha! That’s right! I finally own it.

What is Rum Friday? It’s pretty complicated. See if you can stay with me here: you drink rum… on Friday. Why? Umm… why not?

I don’t have any big plans for the domain name, but I’m happy to add it to the collection. I should have bought it years ago when I first looked but I delayed and then someone snagged it. They finally let it go and I anxiously waited through the period between their last payment and it being released to the general populace again.

So for now it just points to this blog along with these other domains:

  • benmartens.com
  • benandtyla.com
  • martensfamily.net
  • ctrlaltben.com
  • elijahmartens.com (points to Elijah’s facebook page)
  • tylamartens.com (points to Tyla’s facebook page)

If you’ve never bought a domain name before, it’s incredibly easy. Use a registrar like hover.com or godaddy.com, pay about $10/year and you’re done. You can just have it point to your Facebook page or anywhere you want. And if you pay a little bit more, you can get email forwarding set up so that any email sent to you at that domain name gets redirected to your regular email.

Follow On Facebook

facebook-wordpressFacebook is a monster. They have over a billion and a half unique users who visit every month. That’s a staggering number. So the odds are that many of you are on Facebook and some of you might even preferred to get notified about new posts via Facebook.

I recently added a WordPress plugin that automatically publishes a news story in Facebook for every post that I make here. They all end up on the old, but rarely used, Studio711 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/studio711.com

If you Like that page, you should start seeing some of the posts show up in your newsfeed. Due to Facebook’s algorithms, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see all of them, but you’ll, of course, always be able to find the full list once you come to this site.

I will take no offense if nobody follows that Facebook page, but I thought I’d throw it out there in case it’s useful for you.

 

Azure IP Blocking

A few days ago I noticed that my website was getting a little sluggish. It wasn’t much but it wasn’t as snappy as usual. I checked out the website dashboard on Azure and noticed that the number of requests to my server were steadily rising. A quick scan of the logs revealed that a single IP was flooding my server with requests. It was trying to hit the URL where I used to serve up CascadeSkier data so I doubt it was an intentional DOS attack, but the effect was ramping up to be similar.

I wrote previously about blocking traffic to Azure websites, but new features are always getting added so I looked around again. Indeed they have added the ability to block specific IPs. Check out the final section of ScottGu’s blog post for more info.

It was a one line configuration file change and the results were immediately apparent. Even if you don’t understand any of the geek gibberish that I just wrote, I bet you can figure out when I implemented the change:

networktrafficdrop

One Million Words

The median word count for a book is about 64,000 words. Moby Dick has 212,000 words. The NIV Bible has 728,000 works. This blog? Over ONE MILLION WORDS. Granted, the vast majority of those million words are not worth much, but I guess there’s something to be said for quantity over quality.

Microsoft Word can calculate the reading level of your text using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula. I ran that for each year of the blog and the average is somewhere between 6 and 7. I found a few sites that recommended targeting a 7th grade reading level for general audiences so I guess I’m a little below that. The reading level is based on the average length of a sentence and the average number of syllables per word. You can see that it has been increasing over the years, and since I’m a data scientist now, I’ll include the R-squared value on the trendline.

readinglevel

There should probably be some sort of prize for those of you who have been reading all this stuff since the beginning. A million words. That’s a lot of time. The average adult reads 300 words per minute. That’s 55 hours of your life devoted just to reading this website. That’s a lot of time, but it’s actually quite a bit less than I expected it to be when I started doing the math. So meh, cancel the prize. You only wasted two and a half days over the past 12.5 years.

Every time I do one of these posts looking back at the volume of text I’ve accumulated, I’m left wondering about when I’ll eventually stop writing. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know when this post will come to an abrupt end.

13 Years of Blogging

13poolI’ve been doing this for so long that this one almost slipped by me. Thirteen years of daily blogging! I’ll keep this one short and just say thank you. Thanks for coming here and listening to me babble. Writing is therapeutic and has improved (I hope) my communication skill, but if nobody was reading, I probably would have quit a long time ago. I hope that every once in a while you get a smile, a chuckle or a new tidbit of knowledge from this site.