Of cards and calendars

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Ex-calendars.

Last weekend I was preparing to upload a set of new calendar pages to CafePress when I discovered that the wall calendar option I’ve been using there for years is no longer available. In place of the portrait calendar with square artwork pages there’s now a landscape-oriented calendar with artwork pages that are wider than they are tall. This is fine for people wanting to print their photos but it’s useless to anyone whose work is predominantly portrait-oriented. The square page was never ideal but with a little adjustment I could usually tailor a few things to fit the ratio; I also produced the two Alice in Wonderland calendars (above) especially for the square pages.

So that was the end of that. Suggestions from Twitter sent me to Zazzle where I’d forgotten I already had an account, required some years ago when I had to complain to the company about someone selling products featuring my artwork. Zazzle have a better range of calendars but none have square artwork pages. Zazzle does, however, offer more options for page layout than CafePress so after some playing around I’ve found a compromise which allows for square artwork to fit the portrait page (half of which is filled with the days of the month) with some slight overlap from the dates grid. This will be made more apparent when I’ve uploaded everything at the weekend. I may do the same with the older calendars but it’s a lot of work uploading these things, and at the moment I have more important things to do. One consequence of all this turmoil is that if you’ve ever bought one of my CafePress calendars you now have something of a collector’s item since these things are unlikely to be seen again in that form.

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Breaks the ice at eldritch parties.

So having set out a stall at Zazzle I can now start selling other things there, something I’m looking forward to since they have a different range of products, and the back-end is a lot better than CafePress. I’ve stuck with the latter since 2001 but their site has always been awkward to use, with things malfunctioning or not working at all. Earlier this year I tried putting playing cards on sale featuring one of my Cthulhu designs; this seemed to work at first, unlike attempts to make similar cards using other artwork, then the shop page vanished for some reason. As a test I’ve done the same thing at Zazzle with immediate success. Expect more announcements along these lines in the near future.

Nine

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Celebrating nine years of interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms. As before, a look at the annual delivery of stats from WordPress is instructive.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 970,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 42 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was August 30th with 4,215 views. The most popular post that day was Index, fist or manicule?

Most posts here hit between 2,500 to 3,000 visits a day although the annual total is down on last year. I have Google stats indexing this site but I can never be bothered logging in to see how they compare. WordPress has the advantage of delivering stats to your blogging dashboard.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2014.
1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916 March 2006
3 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
4 Gekko Hayashi revisited December 2012
5 The art of Oliver Frey July 2009

The gay art posts always beat everything else, and NoBeast is the most popular post for another year. Russia’s current crop of authoritarian goons may regard gay sex as horribly un-Russian but NoBeast gets consistently heavy traffic from VK, the Russian social network.

The top referring sites in 2014 were:
1. twitter.com
2. facebook.com
3. ficbook.net
4. pinterest.com
5. mentalfloss.com

Twitter and Facebook referrals are all very well but the way they hide what people are looking at means they’re no help to people running websites. Anyway, thanks as always for reading, referring and commenting! Here’s a few musical nines:

If 6 Was 9 (1967) by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Nine Feet Underground (1971) by Caravan
Nine Moons In Alaska (1971) by Beaver & Krause
Party 9 (1973) by Faust
Katzenmusik 9 (1979) by Michael Rother

Two steps forward, two steps back

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After less than a week of stability I again find myself without a functioning phone line. The company responsible assures me that it will be repaired by June 2nd. I’ve been rewatching Deadwood recently so rather than pen a useless rant you may imagine me fulminating à la Al Swearengen. Service may be restored sooner than the 2nd, of course (although knowing BT I wouldn’t bet on it), so stay tuned. Again.

Update: Phone line is back again so normal service will resume.

Hiatus

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Ho hum. Internet problems here mean posting will be sporadic for the next few days. My apologies. In the meantime the archive feature has been activated to bring up posts from the past. Stay tuned.

Update: Still contending with a week of All The Technical Problems, not only internet-related but things like my main work computer throwing kernel panics like they’re going out of fashion. Consequently I’ve been rather preoccupied while I attempt to get back to the usual operational status and do important things like attend to deadlines. It’ll still be a few more days before there’s further activity here, I’m afraid. Stay tuned.

Update 2: UK residents will tell you that the iniquities of British Telecom are like Walt Whitman’s contradictions: vast and multitudinous. All being well, however, normal service should be resumed here on the 20th.

Eight

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Dharmacakra in the Sun temple, Odisha, India.

Celebrating eight years of interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms. These days WordPress conveniently prepares a page of stats at the end of each year, and since I generally use the blog anniversary to record the posts of interest this is how things worked out over the past year:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 1,000,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 43 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was February 12th with 6,374 views. The most popular post that day was The gay artists archive.

This was more than a million fewer visits than last year. Nothing to do with me as far as I can tell. I read somewhere that Google had tweaked their algorithms which may have resulted in a fall of traffic. I’ve also noticed a lot less comment spam in the past year, something you seldom see at the front end thanks to filters.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013:
1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
3 Phallic casts May 2011
4 The art of Oliver Frey July 2009
5 Magicians September 2013

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

Okay, WP! Everyone is always after the erotic stuff. No surprise there although there was less of it in last year’s top five.

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That’s 210 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & France were not far behind.

As always, my thanks to all those blue countries for reading and commenting. Here’s Neu! playing After Eight.