Remember the old Romper Room when Miss Vickie (or whoever your RR lady was at your local affiliate) used to hold up the Magic Mirror and intone: “Romper, Stomper, Bomper, Boo.” Then she proceeded to say that she could see all of us ankle-biters in “TV Land” and would call our names: “I see Jimmy and Mary and little Ryan. . .” Even if I didn’t get a shout-out, it always creeped me out. SHE COULD SEE ME THROUGH MY TV! Romper Room usually ended at my house with me hiding behind the couch.

I lead you through Memory Lane for a purpose. Suddenly I have THAT power. Yes, the Romper Room Magic Mirror has been passed to me!

Because it’s the 21st Century, it comes in the form of a bit of code for my blog called and I got it here.

I don’t usually enthuse over plugins, widgets and code. More likely, I’m cursing at them or weeping tears onto my keyboard over them. But this thing is AMAZING.

It gives me a report of every single person who lands on my blog. No, not just a visitor count, but as accurate a profile as I would get if my blog were a high-security airport and my visitors had to go through a full body cavity search to get in.

A lot of counters can tell you who your visitors are by IP address, server and location, as well as by where they came from on the web, what circuitous route they used to get to your blog and how long they hung around. Yeah, can do that. But then it goes one Secret Squirrel Super Spy trick better.

I can actually click on a visitor and zoom in, through Google Maps, to see exactly WHERE they are by block and street. Well, I’m actually not so sure how completely accurate this is as one of my San Francisco visitors was shown to be in the middle of four lanes of Geary Boulevard while still on-line. May I put on the record that I want readership, but not badly enough to risk a pile up on San Francisco’s busiest street during morning rush hour.

But wait. Don’t order yet. There’s more. And to someone like me who is still struggling to figure out what an IP is, this is the best feature. shows me little pictures of each of my visitors. Yes, little Jimmy, Mary and Ryan out in TV Land, I can see you through my Magic Mirror.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that these pictures are little avatars, but they are interestingly distinct.

ppl-lg_18.gifThis is one of my San Francisco visitors surfing my blog in the middle of Geary Boulevard. Kinda nerdy and techie looking.



ppl-lg_32.gifAnd, hey, my visitor from Arkansas even has a mullet.




ppl-lg_32.gifMy Florida visitor sports a killer tan and bleached blond hair.




ppl-lg_23-1.gifThis woman from the Ukraine seems to be a real fan. She’s logged on to my blog four times in the last day. She looks sort of like that annoying woman in the Progressive Insurance ads.



ppl-lg_25.gifMichigan kind of threw me. I’ve got a good friend there, but he’s a former Navy SeAL. This doesn’t look like him. But he could be logging on from a friend’s computer in an attempt to confound my new super powers.



ppl-lg_07.gifLikewise I have a typical blonde Swedish-looking friend in Minnesota and this isn’t her. Unless she’s decided to get a make-over with dreadlocks.



ppl-lg_08.gif This visitor is just plain scary looking. But at least I can see where he lives — down to street level — on Google maps. Thank goodness he’d have to drive hundreds of miles to get to me.


So how accurate are these avatars?

Here’s what says in their FAQs:

Q: I am curious, how are those visitor avatar images assigned to each visitor. Do you know my visitors’ gender and age?

A: Since everyone deserves privacy, we do not go as far as determining the gender and age of your visitors, however, their behavior and demographics are analyzed by our proprietary algorithms (while adding some random factors as well) to approximate the mood and the gender of each visitor. Thus, the incognito avatars are assigned to each IP address. On the other hand, no guarantees are made at any point as for the accuracy of the representation. The visitor identification algorithms are primarily established to help you to differentiate each visitor to simplify the navigation within your logs.

I’m reading that to mean, they’re peeking through the InterWebs and WE CAN SEE YOU! WE CAN SEE WHAT YOU ARE WEARING! MMMMMWWWWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAHAAA.

Just being able to see you in your jammies as you surf my site is only the beginning of my fun with this doo-dad. I’m starting to get a picture of why people come to my blog. And it’s not what I was thinking. You all are fascinated by our Green Acres adventure from City Slickerdom to established vineyard owners, right? Well, not exactly.

A shocking number of you are looking for Christmas Songs. Okay, I did once write an entry called The Greatest Christmas Songs You’ve Never Heard. Many of you are also searching for Country and Cowboy Songs and I wrote a blog for you about The Top Ten Cowboy Songs of All Time. Now that I know what my audience wants, expect a post on the Top Ten Cowboy Christmas Songs. Watch this space.

Not sure I can fulfill all requests. Three people landed on this blog after a google search for “where did cowboys get food and water”. Well, I can tell you where they got wine.


And all those visitors still landing here after googling “Ryan Lochte naked”: yes, I wrote about the Olympics during my Beijing trip in August, but I NEVER posted nude pictures. (Well, Michael Phelps’ Speedos were a

little “low” when he leaped out of the pool after the qualifying heat we watched.)

And the rest of you, come back and set a spell. But before you surf, you might want to change out of that raggedy underwear.

I CAN TOTALLY SEE YOU! Romper, Stomper, Bomper, BOO!






I’m getting myself geared up for NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month, where you commit to posting once a day, every day for a month. And no cheating and writing 5 advanced posts on Sunday!

This is my flight check week.