Number 555



Hi Everyone!

It’s celebration time here at the Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel!  This is a landmark 555th post.  I suppose it is a more common practice to celebrate one’s 500th post but that one kind of slipped by unnoticed at that time.  At any rate, 555 brings back many childhood memories when the cigarette brand “State Express 555” was one of the most popular brands in this part of the world.  Not that I was a smoker in my tender age but the 555 brand was so omnipresent that I still remember doodling on the ubiquitous “555” notepads.  That’s all the excuse needed here to have a mini celebration to lighten up the dark radioactive cloud that seems to be hanging over the world in recent times.

I started to blog in October 2006 which means it has taken me four and a half years to reach this 555th post.  I certainly have not been as prolific as some of you who seem to be able to do a post a day but I surprise myself that I have not run out of things to say long before this.  At the time of this post, there have been 94,197 visits to the Realm.

In June 2010, after taking a short hiatus to take care of some major life changing decisions, the Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel re-emerged but in line with celebrating making life changes, the Realm shifted lock, stock and barrel over from Blogger to WordPress.  In the process, some readers were lost into the ether but others were gained.

As is the custom of this mad scientist, I like to mark the occasion with a retrospective of what has been the character of this blog.    The Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel has been  quite eclectic and represents a very chaotic and wandering mind. However, the top 5 topics or themes have been humor, about people, about self, Malaysia and culture.   Here are some of my personal favorites from each of those themes.

HUMOR
1. I Get No Respect (where I gripe about what’s in a name)
2. Anxiety Attack or  Psycho 101 (where I confess to psychological problems)

PEOPLE
1.  Rediscovering Christina’s World (where I investigate the story behind a beautiful painting)
2.  Locked In (where I get to share about my brief contact with a very courageous woman)

SELF
1.  My Father (where I describe my father and our relationship)
2. How I Came to be Out in the Cold (where I go through a rite of passage with a friend)

MALAYSIA
1. Have Gourd Will Travel (where I relate a folk story from Malaysia)
2. Field Report on Manglish (where I give readers a chance to learn a foreign language)

CULTURE
1.  Time Ball (where I examine how some native American Indians used to keep their dairies, long before computers and blogs)
2. Secret Squirrel Spot No: 6 (Canals of England and Wales) (where I get to talk about going along the canals)

While those above are among my personal favorites, the visitors and readers of the Realm have their own preferences.  These may be determined either by the amount of visits to the post or the amount of comments generated.  Here are the top posts as determined before and after the Realm went over to WordPress.

Top 5 Pre-WordPress Posts (most comments)

  1. Half Mast, Half Post, Full Life (where I reflect on my father’s passing)
  2. Bears Just Want to Have Fun (where I post a very interesting video of polar bears at play)
  3. Born Buddhist (where I share my early childhood exposure to Buddhism and my conversion to Christianity)
  4. Squirrel’s Secret Spot No: 12 – Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (where I extol the virtues of this museum)
  5. 300th Post (where I look back at this blog’s first 300 posts)

Top 5 WordPress Post (most comments)

  1. Reflecting on 47 (where I lament my birthday)
  2. Danger Squirrel (where I try to prove that you shouldn’t mess with squirrels)
  3. First Day of the Rest of My Life (where I begin blogging on WordPress amongst many other beginnings)
  4. Old Man of the Forest (where I meet with a wild orang utan)
  5. Feeling Flat (where I wonder if the whole world got up on the wrong side of the sun)

Top 5 Pre-WordPress Post (most visitors)

  1. Choosing Seven Natural Wonders (where I propose my top seven natural wonders)
  2. World Food Spot 5; Horchata, the Elixir of Tiger Nuts (where I regale about this wonderful Spanish drink)
  3. The Haircut: The Ecstasy and the Agony (where I agonize about getting a haircut)
  4. Still Not My Year (where I begrudge the Year of the Rat)
  5. The Nutter and the Hag (where I discuss a movie and make fun of the Swamp Thing’s relatives)

Top 5 WordPress Post (most visitors)

  1. Tsunami – Japan 2011 (where the blog observed a week of silence in respect of all the victims of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami)
  2. The New Zodiac (where I re-invent the Zodiac for modern times)
  3. Carolina Squirrel and the Money Pit (where the debonair and courageous Carolina Squirrel tries to dig up buried treasure)
  4. Kat and the Kamama Wonderland (where we get to visit with fellow blogger, Kat)
  5. First Day of the Rest of My Life (where I begin blogging on WordPress amongst many other beginnings)

Finally, to round off this list, here are a couple of my favorites amongst the videos displayed on this blog to date.  If you have time to kill, I hope you will take a spin around the Realm with the aid of the links.

1.  Nocturnal Perambulations in Borneo (come see a rare video of a rare and reclusive creature of the rainforest)
2. Flagpole Sitta from Lost and Refound 2 (come enjoy a funny music video and wish you worked there)

And finally, what loyal readers have to say……..

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22 thoughts on “Number 555”

  1. Congratulations on this landmark Calvin – I’ve heard of Winston Ciggies but the 555 doesn’t ring a bell …

    … I suspect that Bill was lying when he said he didn’t inhale … just as he lied about Monika …

    … I hope I’m still around to read your 5555 th post (I’m bad at maths so I haven’t calculated how long this will take – perhaps it’s better that I don’t)

    Keep On Blogging

  2. So glad you blog. This great grandmother enjoys a good read and she still can learn something. Looking forward to the next 555 if I last that long.

  3. Congrats on 555!

    As i’ve only been reading here for a year and a half or so, i’ll have to go back and read some of these.

    So glad you blog and i get to read what you write! 🙂

  4. I’m glad you stuck with us. You didn’t ask for our opinions but I have to say that my favorite posts of yours are your stories of your travels and the photos. You’ve had experiences that seem like things from a novel to me. And I miss the Manglish! I still ponder about your days in school in England as a a youth from Malaysia. That really is fascinating to me. I’d also love to hear more about your chilhood. You did a post once describing your childhood home and I loved it.
    And again, thanks for keeping on – keep on blogging!

  5. congrats to you! I don’t even know how many posts I’ve written. how’s life going as a beach bum anyway? And isn’t it funny how we all like different things?

  6. I had to go back to your zodiac post. Funny! You must have put some time into that. Unfortunately, it says my new baby boy is a “Mad cow” and I am an “Edward Cullen”. It is true my easy going “live and let live” nature has put me in some, uh, awkard positions, however, I assure you that I did not “have a cow, man!”

    Melanie

  7. Congratulations LGS! 555 is an amazing accomplishment! I am pleased I’ve read most of the posts you listed…I look forward to reading the rest. Keep on writing please…as you know, I am a big fan of your blog. It is a gem. 🙂

  8. OneStonedCrow,
    Thanks but I suspect we would both have lost interest (if not our eyesight and memory) long before post 5555. LOL.

    Joyce,
    And I have always valued your readership and comments. It encourages me immensely.

  9. kathryn,
    Thanks for your comments and for bothering with my little blog. I greatly appreciate our interaction.

    geewits,
    Thanks very much for the feedback. It is most helpful. I was thinking that I shouldn’t have too much of “an old man reminiscing about his lost youth” type posts but you have encouraged me to let loose the floodgates. Okay, more Blasts from the past in the near future.

  10. emerrube,
    Can I still be a beach bum when I have no beach to bum on? Arrrgh! Such philosophical dilemmas.

    Wandering Coyote,
    Thanks. By the way, I like coyotes though not as much as otters, squirrels, wolves …..etc. But don’t worry. Definitely in the top 10. Hope that you are feeling more spring-ish.

  11. Colleen,
    Why thank you. Hoping to see you around here more often. Plenty of insanity here to go a round. 🙂

    Melanie,
    Don’t know about your baby (congrats, if I haven’t already said that) but you are SO Edward Cullen! Don’t you live somewhere where it is always raining and the sun is hidden by clouds?

  12. Melanie,
    Oooo. Well, 666 is really big. Maybe I’ll do something apocalyptic? End of the world?

    Laura,
    Thanks for the encouraging words. Always appreciated. Nice to know that the “lone” grey squirrel is not really “alone”.

  13. Congrashulashions! – we should hic shelebrate thish… hic :whaddya want, scotsh or brandee)? hiccup

    On the serious side I always enjoy whatever you post – love your sense of humour and you’ve posted some awesome photos at times. At other times you’ve provided fascinating info about Malaysian culture. Hope you feel inspired enough to post another 555. 🙂

  14. Wandering Coyote,
    Hang in there. The snow will melt and flowers will bloom and soon winter will be a just a distant dark memory.

    Janice,
    Thanks for all the kind words and I am ever grateful for your advice on haiku writing but I guess I do not have the haiku spirit.

    Mago,
    Thanks. Looking forward for a long relationship together with you on the blogosphere.

  15. Mr. LGS: Congratulations! Your 555th post is hilarious and awesome. How you managed to make it both at the same time I do not know! 🙂

    I was looking at my list of updated fellow bloggers and for whatever reason yours was listed as updated 3 years ago. I literally did a double-take. I knew that couldn’t be right.

    You have a wonderful personality and a compassionate heart. Your blog has been a source of encouragement and a place that makes me smile! God bless!

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