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Archive for December 2007

A Look at 2007

Posted on December 31, 2007 by under Blog, Web.    

Kurt asked me a couple of weeks ago how many visitors we get on our blog. I truly had no idea as I hadn’t been keeping track. I guessed probably only a handful since it’s mostly just family and friends that visit here. Besides that, I’ve been blogging about less controversial (and more and more boring stuff) lately unlike in years past so that doesn’t really do anything to build your readership. Brian says I have no internal censor, but I beg to differ. If I didn’t, I’d be blogging about my usually unpopular opinions about all sorts of things (which I have prudently kept to myself lest I get Dooced, and I wouldn’t wish that fate upon anyone including myself) and making people mad. It’s great for web traffic, but not so great if you actually want to keep your day job.

Anyway, Kurt’s inquiry got me to thinking about our web site statistics. How many people actually come here? Much to my surprise and delight, Life After Marriage actually gets a lot more visitors than I initially thought. Here are some of the more interesting stats:

We had about 400,000 hits in 2007. These hits were by 41,558 unique visitors who visited our blog 108,684 times (this equates to about 2.61 visits per visitor according to Awstats) throughout the year. The visitors looked at nearly 250,000 pages (or 2.25 pages per visit).

Altogether that’s approximately 3,500 unique visitors per month or 115 unique visitors per day. Not too bad, considering I thought I had a following of five: my mom and dad, my in-laws, Cannady Girl, Multitasker Girl, and myself. This is good news for me because it gives me hope on generating ad revenue. The only downside is that these visitors are not sticking around. For 2008, Brian and I will need to figure out a way to not only increase our reach (we are pretty much non-existent and do not matter according to Alexa; then again, very few of us can come even remotely close to the astronomical success of the extremely viral “Elf Yourself” site) but also keep our visitors coming back. Even if we can’t do much about the increasing pages per visit, I’d like to at least see the number of visits per visitor go up. To me that would be a sign of customer retention.

In marketing class this sem we learned the importance of building relationships with your customers (my customers would include you, dear reader). We talked about the Get-Keep-Have (GKH) model and how most people take the “keeping” function for granted. Get + Keep = Have, so without investing resources in the “keeping” function you can’t expect to sustain your customer base. I know this is important. The challenging part is knowing what it is that I’m supposed to do to keep you guys coming back. That part, I don’t know.

I guess Brian and I will just keep at it. We’ll try different things and see how they work. For instance, one of the things I’ve decided to try is a monthly newsletter. If you’re not currently on the distribution list and would like to be on it, just shoot us an email at newsletter@brubakers.us and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject or body of your message. We’ve got a few other things we’d like to try, but we’re just going to roll these things out gradually so as not to overwhelm you all. 🙂 Around this time next year, we can check the results to see if we’ve made any progress.

Before I close, allow me to leave you with some more interesting data about our regular visitors:

  • Generally based or located in the US
  • They stay for about 5 minutes on average
  • 62% use IE, 10% use Firefox, 20% some other unidentified, and the other 8% use Netscape (RIP), Opera, Mozilla, Safari, Konqueror, Lynx, etc.
  • The visitors who arrive at Life After Marriage through a search engine usually arrive by way of Google (which comes as no surprise to us because Google is our favorite search engine, too)
  • The top five search phrases that have led visitors to our blog this year are
    1. life after marriage (obviously)
    2. download
    3. crack (don’t ask, I have no idea why people looking for “crack” end up on Life After Marriage; I can assure you, Brian and I are both 100% drug free even to the point of avoiding legal drugs unless we absolutely, positively have to get medicated)
    4. bang bang sauce
    5. first night after marriage

    Incidentally, “myspace swingers” came in 8th on the tally. LOL. I find it funny that people looking for lifestylers end up on our blog when the blog entry (if I’m thinking of the right one) that is triggering the search hit is the one where I wrote about Brian’s anti-MySpace sentiment. To this day, Brian is convinced that the people on MySpace who are looking for “friends” and “activity partners” are really swingers. To this end he has deleted his MySpace account. Although, he is still on Facebook and I’m pretty sure there are swingers on there too. Don’t tell Brian, though. LOL.

Anyway, I hope you found this foray into our web statistics as interesting as I did. Thank you for your continued patronage and support. Please remember to click on the ads now and then. Every penny helps!

Have a safe and happy new year!

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Out with the Old, In with the New!

Posted on December 30, 2007 by under Life.    

Thats right folks, the New Year is upon us, for those of you that have Resolutions that they are going to try to keep to in 08, I wish you luck! Mine were pretty much decided for me, thats what happens when you get married! Everything is divided right down the middle, 80 – 20, 80 percent that she makes all the decisions and 20 percent that you will disagree at some point and sleep on the couch!

All kidding aside, I have a few resolutions that my wife and I have agreed on. First and most important is that we get this dammed house remodeled and on the market by the time she graduates. I told her that starting Tuesday we were going to be working on this house everyday after work till it was done. She agreed and wants out of here as bad as I do. I just wish she would quit looking for houses that are outside of our agreed upon price range. She seems to have it in her head that we can afford a three hundred thousand dollar home just because one of her coworkers can. I am the voice of reason here screaming that its not going to happen. Plus, when we go to look at houses next year, I’m the one that’s driving! So obviously the next thing on our list is to get into a new house next year. We are hoping to have it set up so that by Christmas we are in the new home with the old one behind us. It’s going to be a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end. The last and final thing that my wife is trying to instill upon me is that I stop drinking so much Pepsi! She doesn’t understand that I am not going to be able to just stop, I have been drinking Pepsi since I was a little kid. I have not gone longer than a few months without caffeine in my system. Plus, if I was in the desert and I was given the choice between Pepsi and water, I was choose Pepsi every time. I am a Pepsi addict and I have no problems with that. I know of course that it is bad for me and that I would probably live a longer and healthier life if I stopped, but who the fuck wants to live forever. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, I am trying to get us to the point that we don’t eat out so much (thats more of a financial thing) and I think that I am ok in life having this one vice left to me. However, I am going to try! I told her that I couldn’t make any promises and she has said that I am already setting up myself for failure. I wish she could see my side of the subject. Its going to be painful for me to quit, physically painful! The caffeine withdrawal and the headaches from quitting are going to drive me mad! But we shall see what the outcome is for the future of my Pepsi addiction. Stay tuned, my next post might be from the county Jail because I went on a withdrawal induced killing spree!

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2008 Halloween Poker Cruise

Posted on December 29, 2007 by under Life, Travel.    

Kurt’s new business venture, Getaway Easy Travel, is offering a heck of a deal on their 2008 halloween poker cruise. Even though we’ve done this particular cruise before, we would totally book now (except we have vowed not to take a trip in 2008 so we can work on the house and put it in the market during the 2008 real estate sales season).

I remember when Brian and I took this exact same cruise (only backwards, our first port was Cozumel instead of Ocho Rios) during our honeymoon in 2002, it cost us about $3200 and our room was even on the bottom with mere portholes. If you book through this specal offer, $609 per person will get you an ocean view room, your tournament buy-in, and port fees. They’ll even let you use easy pay — you can put down a reservation fee of $50 per person and then just pay in installments (this is before January 10; after January 10, the initial deposit must be $100). It truly is an unbeatable deal!

The ship sails from Galveston, Texas on Sunday, October 26, and returns to Galveston the following Sunday, November 1. Here’s a list of some of the things they’re throwing in:

  • Complimentary “WPTAPL Members Party” (we didn’t get this on our honeymoon cruise)
  • Cash Games
  • Tournaments starting at $25 (there weren’t any poker tournaments on our cruise, only blackjack tournaments)
  • $500 FreeRoll for all players (a shot to win some money with no tournament entry fee, what more can you ask for)
  • Satellites to Main Event starting at $45
  • Main Event Tournament $440 Buy-In
  • Visiting Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel (these are excellent ports with lots of fun off-site excursions; trust me, we’ve done this same cruise)
  • Halloween Costume Party
  • Meals are included

If mom and dad weren’t planning on going home to the Philippines next year, I would totally try to talk them into going on this one. Granted, they don’t play poker… But these are some of the best cruise rates you’ll see. Even if you’re not really a poker player, you can even do the free roll. You might even win! Beginners always seem to win. Wouldn’t that be awesome? If you could go on a cruise, play a poker tournament for free, and win some money for souvenirs?

Shoot, I want to go just writing about it. Even if I’ve visited these places before. This is too good a deal to pass up. If we get our house sold by September, I’m definitely going to try talking Brian into going. We are getting on this ship! (more…)

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Pictures from Christmas Day

Posted on December 29, 2007 by under Family.    

Picture 261 Picture 263 Picture 275 Picture 276 Picture 279 (more…)

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Dinner at Tokyo on Thurdsay

Posted on December 29, 2007 by under Family, Food and Drink, Life, Reviews.    

The last time we were in Derby (Christmas eve) I noticed a new resto — Tokyo Steakhouse. Brian and I both like Sumo and Kobe so we figured we would give this place a try. We managed to talk Jen into going with us. Here is her colorful account of the evening:

Arriving at Tokyo, and realizing that my sister had not made reservations, I started making a mental calculations of how long we would be waiting based on how many people were sitting and eating, how far along they were at eating, and how many people were standing around waiting for a table.

As we waited I noticed I really pissy looking hostess. She was short and thick, and had those faces you just immediately want to slap. No clue why. Then beside her, another hostess, this one super tall and super skinny, and her mannerism kinda made you feel like she’d been picked on for most of her life. I couldn’t help but watch them really, because as the people piled in at the waiting area their attitudes started really showing. The skinny one kept looking at the seating chart, looking around, looking back at the seating chart and periodically she kept putting her elbows up on the table and burrying her face in her hands. I think she was trying not to make eye contact with the patrons, now growing impatient, and all watching both of them to see who was going to be seated next and when. The pudgy one kept walking from the back of the restaurant and back to the hostess table, and she was carrying this air of importance that you could tell didn’t belong to her. I guess, Brian overheard an argument between the two of them on whether to seat people on the empty tables or wait for thsoe that actually made reservations. In the long run, skinny chick won.

When we got seated, Ching started getting really concerned about whether they served sushi or not. I’m not sure why, because she didn’t want to order sushi, but she was really concerned. And she also started jotting bits of information about the night, I think for her review. Like she would have a really hard time recollecting the night or the food if she decided to sleep before writing about it. So she sat there looking around for a sushi bar, and jotting things down on an Inspector Gadget looking notepad. And then when the hibachi chef came by, the show really started. Not because he was anything different than all the other hibachi chefs we’ve seen, but because Ching was really into interacting with him. In a fairly somber table, she was trying to out-joke the guy whose job it was to make jokes. I think this happens because she rarely drinks, and my theory is that your body has to expel weirdness and absurdity. Usually people that drink have an outlet, but with Ching you just get it randomly, whenever her body feels it has to expel these things to make more room.

Either way it was a great meal, but for my money, I still prefer Kobe’s.

I haven’t written my review for Foodies yet, but that is coming. First, I need to find my “inspector gadget-looking notepad” and get some “weirdness and absurdity” out of my system.

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