7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 223)

June 28, 2013 | 18 comments

— 1 —

Whew! Now that everything is up and running perfectly on the new host, I’m just kicking back and watching my pages load at lightning speed while I sip a glass of lemonade! Oh, wait. I’m thinking of the alternate universe where it is not my destiny to be plagued with endless problems related to my website. Here in this dimension, the mind-meltingly frustrating feed issue is back, and I am on a journey of discovery in which I learn just how vastly different client-side and server-side traffic analysis programs can be (more on that in #2). I’m at the point where I may stop messing around with SFTP clients and staging servers and start praying the St. Jude novena for hopeless causes instead.

— 2 —

I learned something interesting about Google Analytics: evidently it misses a lot of traffic. A lot. Like, according to my new web host, I have 5X the number of monthly visits that Google Analytics reports (and since Sitemeter uses similar technology, presumably it has the same problems too). This forum comment tells the story of a guy who tested Analytics on his own website and had it miss a lot of the visits.

This is great news for people who were casually wondering what kind of readership they might have to their blogs. It is a totally-game-changing (and-not-in-a-good-way) revelation for people who have just signed up for hosts who charge by amount of traffic.

— 3 —

I know, I know, you’re hoping that I’ll spend more time whining about my hosting woes. You don’t feel like you have sufficient information on this subject, and you’re worried that there might be some annoying technical minutiae that I have not told you about. There is! But unfortunately only Dorian is privy to that kind of excitement. She’s lucky enough to be the single recipient of the Jen’s Hosting Angst email list, which is written in all caps, updated hourly, and has no Unsubscribe option.

— 4 —

For the first time in over a decade, I got nervous about buying alcohol the other night. I found myself standing in the grocery store checkout line, rehearsing my “I forgot my ID” line as my heart raced in anticipation of the big moment. Allow me to explain how I found myself in this situation:

My amazing mother offered to take all six kids for a couple of hours on Tuesday evening. Joe and I were happy about the offer (read: we fell on the floor sobbing tears of ecstatic joy), and decided that we simply must have a glass of wine to celebrate. So Joe stopped at the store on his way home from work…only to discover that he didn’t have his debit card because I’d borrowed it recently. He was beyond frustrated, mainly because going to the house to get the card then back out to the store would waste precious babysitting time, so I offered to go to the store immediately. I figured I could run down there and back in the time it would take him to get through traffic to come home.

So there I was, meandering through the beer and wine section of our grocery store, chatting with Joe on my cell phone about which varietal would most bless us this evening, when I realized with abject horror: I DIDN’T HAVE MY $%^#! CARD EITHER. I had left my wallet in the computer bag I’ve been taking to coffee shops when I work on the book. If I were to drive all the way back to the house to get it and do another store trip, my mom would be dropping off the kids at the same time I returned with the wine.

Just when I was about to stand in the center of the Merlot section and shake my fist at the heavens to decry this cruel fate, I remembered: I still had Joe’s card. The laundry situation has been a little dicey lately, and therefore the card was still in the pocket of the jeans I was wearing when I got it (procrastination: it always pays off). So I would be able to get the wine…as long as they didn’t ask to see ID.

“Well that should be noooo problem, ” says anyone who’s reading this and has seen me in person lately. You’d think. But evidently our grocery store has some policy that they have to see ID if you look a day younger than 80, and I do sometimes get carded. It was like I was 19 all over again as I scanned the checkout stands to see which employee looked coolest. Oddly, as I stood in line, I was not any less nervous than I used to be now that I would not actually be lying when I said I forgot my ID. (For the record, nobody ever believed me when I was 19.)

The checker did not card me — perhaps because she wanted to get the crazy woman who kept making loud comments about how she has six kids and some early arthritis pain out of her line as fast as possible — and Joe and I had a lovely time catching up over our glasses of hard-earned wine.

— 5 —

I loved all the suggestions about light fiction last week! I wish I had time to do a summary of everyone’s recommendations, but here are a few of the titles that multiple people raved about:

Can’t wait to check some of these out!

— 6 —

Speaking of books, Ignatius is getting into the fiction game. I don’t think I’m being biased because they’re my publisher when I say that this book looks really good:

— 7 —

Keep praying for Dwija and her baby! Also,  Cari is hosting a fundraiser to help Dwija’s family fix their laundry room. If you feel moved to offer a donation, I know they’d really appreciate it!



  1. Monica

    Oh! In This House of Brede is excellent! I read it last year and have been slowly forcing everyone I know who reads to read it. And everyone who’s taken me up on it has liked it. I actually am getting ready to read it again, because it is a truly excellent book. I can’t say enough, so I’m going to stop now before you get tired of reading my ramblings.

  2. Claudette

    hi, I’ve been reading your lovely blog for a while now but I’ve never left a comment. I found you through the nunblog and through your blog I made friends with Jenny of mama needs coffee 🙂 House of Brede is THE book I turn to all the time when I need comfort and the most exquisitely written literature. I will read anything by Rumer Godden, she’s that kind of writer. The story is amazing and stays with you. Then you go and mention a book by an English writer whose parents are Maltese and she writes about Malta. Being Maltese this interests me greatly and it seems the kind of story my parents would love so i’ll keep it in mind. God bless your lovely family and thanks for the blog.

  3. Sarah Reinhard

    Jen, In This House of Brede is awesome…and Poor Banished Children is awesome too. I put off reading it, and was shocked and awed. In fact, I’m just starting that author’s latest title (just out and totally different). I’m a big fan of fiction and tend to really hate memoir, so I always hesitate to recommend fiction your way…but yeah, those two are GRRREAT.

  4. Theresa@OrdinaryLovely

    Ooh… I missed the lit suggestions convo, but I have to jump in because I also say read “In This House of Brede.” One of my top five books!!! Actually,choose anything by Rumer Godden and you can’t go wrong! Another one she wrote about religious life is called “Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy” (referring to the mysteries of the rosary) and it’s also very good! Happy Summer reading!

  5. Lisa Schmidt

    Please leave Dorian alone already. I need her focused on two VERY important projects. 😉

  6. Amelia

    I like the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency…and the books are usually super easy to find at any local library!

  7. Katie @NFP and Me

    I’m glad you were about to get your wine. I’ve heard Texas is very strict with their laws!

    I can’t believe Google Analytics misses so many views! Although it makes sense in retrospect because we were getting warnings on iuseNFP and there was no way we were even close to our limit per our GA numbers.

  8. Paul H

    One solution to the wine problem could be carrying some cash instead of relying solely on a debit card. Cash can come in handy. 🙂

  9. Dianna Kennedy

    Hmm. Well, that little tidbit about GA makes me feel a wee bit better about the fact that my traffic is as flat as a pancake.

    Analytics makes my head hurt.

  10. Maia

    I get a shaky adrenaline surge when getting carded, driving past cops, and walking close to store exits with a full cart. Despite the fact that I’m generally a rule-follower these days. I feel that I must look either crazy or guilty. I would have been making similar comments if I was in your shoes!

  11. Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries

    I’m shocked about the scrutiny you get buying alcohol! All this from the state with more than a handful of drive through liquor stores?? I remember driving through and getting margaritas (not for the driver, of course) on our way to go tubing. Crazy. Glad you and Joe were able to enjoy a quiet evening at home with a bottle of wine after all, though. 🙂 Aren’t parents who take all.the.kids at once THE absolute best?? 🙂

  12. Patrick Padley


    I’m not convinced that point #2 is correct. If you look at that forum post, it is from 2010. Google has done amazing product upgrades to their analytics tool including real-time tracking. We use GA at my digital agency as a standar on all our client websites.

    Are you sure you have it setup correctly on your site?

  13. MelanieB

    Wow, Google Analytics isn’t accurate. Now I wonder what my traffic is really like.

    In This House of Brede is one of my all time favorite novels ever. Love it.

  14. Scissortail Art Center

    Last I knew the reason Google Analytics’ traffic reports were generally lower was because they were the most diligent about weeding out visits from spiders. This, however, was five years ago and I haven’t kept as up to date with it as I once was. Worth looking into again I suppose.

  15. Kelly M.

    I had the same issue with web traffic when my husband loaded some new thing(Cloud Flare) on my site to help with something (security?)…. he’s the computer guy so I just have to trust he knows what he’s doing. ANYWAY, Cloud Flare’s stats showed me bringing in a ton more traffic than my old WordPress stats or Google. And as much as I would love to believe the numbers, I just can’t. I gotta think all these different analytic thing-ys are calculating there numbers totally different. Maybe in order to make more money when it’s convenient?

  16. Jane Hartman

    I love “In This House of Brede.” It has been a favorite of mine for years. Can’t wait for your book to come out.

  17. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Gr. My server is down right now too. 4 days! FOUR DAYS! I feel like the little ol’ blog I’ve been cultivating is dying a lonely death.

    Am I being dramatic?

  18. Laura

    In this house of brede is wonderful but _avoid_five for sorrow ten for joy unless u want to delve into really really dark depressing subject matter …. Also wonderful is Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series. Detective writing at its bet with a very very subtle undercurrent or catholic sensibilities, esp later in the series.

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