Shivering on a cold Saturday. I love the winter but sometimes even I find the really bitter cold a little too much.
My Friday was a disaster from noon to night. Not a single person wanted to beta test my new Windows software (recommended retail price $25). Cartoonists mustn't read this blog or perhaps cartoonists only ever read my 'Guide to Unblocking a Rotring' and, once their pens are fixed, they don't come back. Such a shame. I tidied the application's interface yesterday, adding a few little switches, fixed a few tiny bugs. Today I was going to make it available for download. I think I'll wait a little longer.
Traffic is at an all time low and emails coming into the blog have dried up apart from SPAM which is worse than ever. 22 emails waiting for me this morning. 22 new ways to 'improve kidney function', cheap medicines, and Chinese handbags.
So many single hits on the site it's depressing. I find myself living for the moments when a visitor reads 30 or 40 pages. The only solace I have is the number of times that happens from somebody reading at a university. I used to have a regular reader from London University, which was always a point of pride. The other day somebody from Manchester University seemed to enjoy the site. Call it intellectual snobbery or simple delight in finding a reader (and one not so far away) but I felt like I'd connected with a real human being. I find that's such a rare thing these days.
Speaking of connecting with somebody: yesterday I also saw my favourite checkout girl at Tesco. I say she's my favourite but it's a rare kind of favouritism based on total enmity. Do you ever meet a person and know they're you're natural enemy? Simply saying hello creates an immediate friction and you know that you've just met your exact opposite. They're the anti-matter to your matter and certain to cause the explosion of the universe should you ever touch. I'd like to think she's the Moriarty to my Holmes but it might well be that I'm the guy in black and she smokes a pipe. Every time I use her till, I'm aware of this great hatred that exists between us. She very clearly hates me and I dislike her intensely. She's a funny shade of orange and extremely talkative. I make jokes and she'll look back at me with dead eyes and say 'sorry... I don't get it'. She says things like 'you look fed up' but not in a concerned way. More like a challenge. If I say 'black', she'll says 'white'. She has strange half-closed eyes, as though she's doped up on something. 'Ya what?' she'll say. 'Nothing,' I reply, grimly packing my bag. 'Can't hear you,' she replies. 'You want to speak up.' That only makes me grumble deeper into my rucksack.
She seems to embody 90% of the world. If the rest of the world is like the girl at the Tesco checkout, then no wonder I'm having trouble. No wonder the world is in trouble.
I continually feel at odds with the internet and the world. Yesterday I learned of the existence of a website called TubeCrush. (http://tubecrush.net/, I'm not giving them the Google kudos by actually linking.) Even if it's legal, I'm pretty damn sure it's not moral. Had I launched a website where you could post pictures of attractive women you've covertly photographed on the Tube, there'd be a national scandal. I'd be a public enemy, hounded on Twitter, and given the Evan Davis thumbscrews on Newsnight. The fact the website is for women to post their photographs of men means it's not a talking point. The media don't seem that interested in taking it down. It's just 'a good laugh'. I just don't understand the world.
I also suspect I've gone on Google's bad books but it's hard to tell why. Sometimes you do things to promote your blog which Google likes. Sometimes you do things they hate. I added some new Ping services to inform various websites when I update my blog. I wonder if I'm now pinging too much and the dip in traffic is related.
Lots of reasons for feeling uninspired today. Last night I lost the best cartoon I'd ever drawn and it felt like a boot into a sensitive region. I've always suspected that Artflow couldn't really handle multi-layer 4k canvases but I thought problems would be more evident as I went along. Today I intend to redraw the cartoon, simply so it won't beat me. If I paint it, I'll paint it on the PC.
I also took the rare step of replying to a web marketer who wrote to me asking if they could write content for my blog. I wrote a long Stan-like email and told them they can have the site for a year if they give me enough money to buy a Surface Pro. I did it as a joke but it got me wondering how much this site is worth. Siteprice.org tells me that this website is work $6,748. Not sure how the hell they calculate that or how I could actually turn it into that kind of money. Anybody out there want to buy this blog for $6, 748?
I see websites on sale for crazy amounts of money that don't have any content or their content is no more enlightening that a picture of some Japanese guy wearing diapers. I know I would sell up if I could. I like the Spine name but it's never been a name I've particularly loved. I once owned the domain name www.apenguin.com but I had no use for it. I now see it's on sale for $2000. Some domain speculator has clearly picked it up. Wish I'd kept it. I've always been more penguin than bone. Maybe I should just sell the website and start again as a Japanese guy in diapers. Perhaps the world would then come rushing my way to take pictures and post them on Tubecrush.