Over the weekend I learned of the death of Max Jennings. Max was my academic adviser when I started at ASU, and I took several news writing classes that he taught. Then he left to become Executive Editor of the Mesa Tribune, and when I graduated he gave me my first job there.
Max was a journalist of the old school, not afraid to raise his voice in the newsroom, always ready to point out your mistakes and praise your good work in equal measure. When I was the news editor on the Tribune, each day I would come in to work to find a copy of that morning’s paper in my mailbox with every mistake circled with a red marker pen, from a missing comma to a missing fact. I absolutely hated opening up that paper each day. But I learned how to get things right.
I lost touch with Max after I went to work in Los Angeles and beyond. But if he’d known what I’ve been up to in the intervening years, I’d like to think he’d have smiled that big, goofy grin and said in his Texas drawl, “Ridey, not bad, kiddo”.
Our old paper remembers him well, as do some of the countless journalists for whom he was truly an inspirational editor.
If you had trouble accessing ridey.net in the past 24 hours, we were temporarily offline while migrating to a new Internet Service Provider, Zen. It was an incredibly smooth transition. I did it without ever actually having to speak to anyone at Zen on the phone! And initially it seems much faster than the BT broadband it has replaced. And also, I am now the proud owner of eight static IP numbers! Time to get some more computers!
A rainbow over the M40 motorway near Banbury, taken by Alice on our way to Hook Norton on Saturday.
A few weeks ago, I was bragging about the record uptime the iMac that hosts ridey.net had achieved. I’d thought no more of it until tonight, when I was notified via email that someone had posted a comment on that particular item. My curiosity then caused me to look through my web server’s access logs. In the past few days, three visitors, including the comment poster, came to ridey.net via a Google search for record uptime, for which Google returns 292,000 results, and for which my humble boast comes top.
Now that’s weird, but why did visitors from Brookline Mass, Cherry Hill, NJ, and Hacienda Heights, CA, all find me using the same search terms within the space of 48 hours?
Am I wrong to smell a rat? Perhaps not. Doing a whois on the domain name of the comment poster would seem to confirm my suspicions that things are not as they appear.