A lot of this and that

by Christina Geyer on June 6, 2007 · 12 comments

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You may or may not have noticed, but I’ve decided to change my Blogger screenname to “Christina G”, in order to avoid confusion with Christina (Mausi). I thought about using “CG” instead, as that has been a nickname of mine in the past, but I figure there are a lot more “CG”s out there than there are “Christina G”s.

I’ve given up on iLike (a social networking site based on your iTunes Library). This was a waste of time. I didn’t make any “real” contacts or discover any new music that I liked. There are a fair number of Germans using the site, however.

For about a month now, I’ve been a member of MyBlogLog, a social networking site for bloggers (perhaps you’ve noticed my new “recent readers” feature in the sidebar). This site rocks. I love it. I have found so many great blogs through it that my Google Reader is overflowing. I generally read a blog for a while before deciding to link to it, just to be sure I really like it, so look for many new links to be popping up in the near future. Also, my readership has gone way up since I joined. Just yesterday, I had 26 new people visit my blog from MyBlogLog. I think this may be one of the best ways I’ve tried of increasing my blog’s readership. It’s also not just increasing your stats through single-time hits like BlogExplosion, a site that involves a lot of work surfing to earn credits and I at least didn’t find any new blogs to read and I’m not aware of gaining any new regular readers through it. I believe MyBlogLog is adding really interested readers who will be checking in often (and no one is payin’ me to say that either!).

Speaking of Google Reader, that’s also a fairly new addition to my internet favs. Five weeks ago, I was still visiting all the blogs I read through my web browser’s bookmarks. I was not sure I’d like using Google Reader, but it’s turned out to be pretty great. Pluses: (1) I can read at least twice as many blogs without feeling overwhelmed at all – I currently have 112 subscriptions to various blogs, and (2) I know within a few hours when a blog has been updated. Minuses: (1) I don’t comment or read comments nearly as often anymore, (2) I’m not as aware of when changes are made to the templates of the blogs I read, and (3) a few blogs crash MIE when I load them up in Google Reader. I’m working on minuses 1 & 2 by making it a point to click through to the more interesting blog posts. Neutral interesting observation: I get annoyed at the blogs that sometimes have 20+ posts a day because they are clogging up the reader.

The car search is… progressing. Last Saturday we made it to the Peugeut/Renault and Skoda/VW dealerships before the dealerships all closed at 1pm (how lame is that?). Rainer was in Tegernsee Monday through today, tomorrow’s a holiday, so hopefully the search will continue on Friday. So far, we like the Renault Megane Kombi best. It actually has the same trunk space as the Renault Laguna but comes with a smaller engine and price tag. We saw a used automatic Skoda Octavia, and we like all the handy little features included in Skodas, but we decided the back was a little too small.

I had my regular two week checkup at the ob/gyn yesterday. If you’re not familiar with the schedule, you generally have monthly appointments until you hit your 7th month, at which point you go every two weeks, then in the 9th month, you’ll be seen every week.

It was my third time getting a CTG (a.k.a. NST or baby Doppler), where a microphone is strapped to your belly and the baby’s heart beat is recorded. Normally this is done for 30 minutes, but Oliver has never been a cooperative baby, so I had to be strapped in for an hour because he didn’t want to sit still the entire time. If the baby is moving around too much, the heart beat does not get picked up by the machine. Let’s just say that the doctor just gave up at the end and concluded that Oliver is a “busy guy.”

After my appointment, I had lunch with Sarah at Café Félix (Fröhliche Türken Str 6 – I love the name of this street). I heartily recommend the hamburgers there. No funky Gemischthackfleish burgers (mix of ground pork and beef), thems was pure beef. The fries were just okay though. After some post-lunch strolling, we ended up at Diba Chocolat on Rote-Hahnen-Gasse. This place has got THE BEST ice cream in Regensburg (well, that’s what Sarah and Cliff say and so far I agree – #2 is Gelini Gelateria at Neupfarrplatz). Diba serves up amazing flavors like Schoko-Ingwer (chocolate-ginger), Birne-Mascarpone (pear-mascarpone), and Quark-Cranberry.

And finally, to round things out, here are five second reviews of a few recently watched movies:

  • Pride and Prejudice – In my mind, Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy. I like some of the actors better in this version, some worse. Overall the movie feels too rushed and there’s too much screen time of Keira Knightly staring off into space (but at least there is no cheesy Mr. Darcy wet t-shirt scene).
  • Children of Men – Clive Owens is hot hot hot and the movie is not bad either.
  • Silent Hill – For most of this movie I was sitting on my sofa going, “What the f***???” Everything is explained at the end, which instead of making me go “Aha!”, just made me feel cheated.
  • Nanny McPhee – I think this is possibly the best movie I’ve seen in a while. To be honest, my expectations were low (I was very disappointed with Lemony Snicket and imagined this turning out similar) and I didn’t know anything about the story going into it, so that could have played a part, but I love Colin Firth and Emma Thompson. The movie is funny and sweet and I even cried at the end, but that could just be my wacky hormones talking.
  • Bek

    I usually use bloglines, which I like a lot. I started changing my subscriptions to the google reader, just to see how different it is. Sofar I haven’t noticed many differences – except that I can use google reader at work – while the otherone is blocked from my worksite.
    I also tried out mybloglog (after seeing it on your page) and stopped using it again. I don’t really have the time to check in on another site. The weird thing though, I still get readers from there – so I don’t think my blog is completely away from their listing.

  • cliff1976

    I used Google Reader about a year ago pretty heavily. I think they’ve made some improvements to it since then.

    But what I really like is http://www.netvibes.com — and that’s how I stay up on all my sites. It was recommended to me by another convert from Google Reader.

  • Jul

    I am all about Google Reader. It’s so much nicer than going to various sites to see if they’ve updated. If bloggers don’t publish full feeds, I rarely read them anymore.

    I signed up for MyBlogLog a while ago, and then pretty much forgot about it. Then a couple days ago I put the ‘recent readers’ thing in my sidebar too, just for shits and giggles, but I’m not sure whether I’ve seen any actual traffic from MBL. It’s a little weird going to a site and finding a picture of yourself as a recent reader…

    By far the biggest traffic surges I’ve ever had have come from StumbleUpon. Have you played around with that?

  • Rositta

    I just started using Bloglines too and it seems easier than going to my favourites all the time. It lets me see who has updated and I like that. I’m not that concerned about increasing readership though, that just means I have to blog more often and I just hate pressure…ciao

  • Lost Boy

    Hey there,

    Well, I came acros your blog through one about Thailand. I’m an expat blogger too, from the UK, living in Thailand. I use tons of blog directories that I often forget which I’ve already signed up to. I’ve got links to most of them on my site if you need some more.

    Anyway, fancy swapping links with another expat? http://whatismatt.com/ Let me know either way and I’ll reciprocate.

    Matt :p

  • barbara

    Hi Chrsitina,
    Nice to hear you.
    I’am also pretty satisfied with My Blog Log. It is so fun and you get to socialize with so many people.
    Thumbs up!
    It looks like Oliver is a busy guy, and is growing up just fine.
    I never have been through a pregnacy, so I don’t have anything to share with that.

    By the way, I tagged you with a meme :)) !!
    Come & check it out on the blog.

    You take care & stay healthy.

  • Christina G

    @bek: I think the biggest thing for me is not that I get readers from MBL (that’s a nice bonus), but rather that I’ve found a lot of great blogs through it. I can understand not having time though. I’ve given up on a lot of other sites in the past.

    @cliff: I’ll have to check out netvibes.com. I looked at it briefly, but it looks a little complicated to just jump into in five minutes.

    @jul: I haven’t used StumbleUpon, though I’d heard of it. I looked at the site and I guess you need to install a toolbar in your browser. I’m not sure I want to do this, since I already have the Google and Yahoo toolbars and use them both pretty frequently. But I’ll keep it in mind! Thanks!

    @rositta: There is definitely pressure involved to provide entertaining blog posts when you get more readers, hence my more frequent product, television show, and other more info-themed posts.

    @lostboy: I will check out your blog and get back to you about that. Thanks!

    @barbara: I will do the meme soon, but maybe not today (I’ve gotta think of some good random facts). You take care as well! 😉

  • rita

    you didn’t like the wet shirt on colin firth when he coulb be the first man to win a wet-shirt contest easily? :)

  • Christina G

    @rita: I think that’s a scene you either love or hate. Or maybe it’s just me and the rest of the straight female/gay male world loves it. I just find it too gratuitous. 😉

  • Ange

    I’ve also just started using MyBlogLog, I am getting lots more visitors but I am not sure if I am using all the features available and getting everything out of it I can – I’m fairly new to this scene (as you know) but I might browse around the other sites you mentioned and have a looksie…

  • Michael

    I use GoogleReader–does that show up on your counts for visitors? Or are the rss readers invisible?

    Thanks for the movie suggestions!

  • Christina G

    @ange: I’m not sure I’m using all the features available either. Maybe I should actually read the MyBlogLog Blog :) Have you checked out the Expat-Blog site? They’ve got a blog directory you can put your blog on and that’s another place I get a lot of visitors from.

    @michael: They’re pretty much invisible. I added the bookmark and subscribe buttons from AddThis and the email subscription from FeedBlitz and they keep track of people who sign up for subscriptions using their service (5 people since I added them about a month ago), but I don’t have much of an idea about how many people subscribe on their own. I know there are quite a few, because sometimes they click over to read or make comments and they shows up in my stats as linking from GoogleReader or Bloglines or whatever.

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