Monday, December 22, 2014

Statcounter Google Maps Game (Part 4)

I'm going to play my Statcounter Google Maps game...AGAIN.

Eventually I'll get tired of it.  But for now, it's a lot of fun for me. I'm hoping someone out there gets some enjoyment from reading it.

Anyway, in the game, I look at Statcounter to see the location of the next seven entities who visit my blog. Then I find the location on Google Maps; I randomly pick a place to view via Street View; and then I ramble on and on about various things.

I used to make a judgement of what I saw on Street View, saying whether I'd want to live on the street, visit the street, or avoid it. But that wasn't really adding anything to the game.  It's hard to judge a place based on one image of one street.  I'd end up cheating. A street would be beautiful, but I'd say I wouldn't want to live there because I know it has harsh winters. Or there'd be a street not so beautiful, but I would want to live there, because it's in Australia.

While I wait for visitors, I shall start watching another episode of The Elephant Princess.

Speaking of television, I was very pleased with Tim yesterday. I've been pressuring him to watch John Safran's Race Relations, and yesterday I learned he watched a couple of episodes.  I think it's annoying and kind of rude to pressure someone to read or watch something. Unfortunately, I've been guilty of it at times. But in this case, I don't feel guilty.  John Safran's Race Relations seems like it was almost made specifically for Tim. He loves humor about race and race relations.

A few days ago, I pretty much forced him to watch the beginning of the blackface episode.  I couldn't tell if Tim liked it or not. Then yesterday he told me he watched the rest of that episode on his own, plus the Fiddler on the Roof one. Those were my two favorite episodes.  I also, for some weird reason, like the scenes about the discount DVDs at Kmart.

1. I finally had a visitor.  Statcounter says they're from Garland, Texas, which I think is close to me.

With Street View, I landed on Sunflower Drive.  That's a nice name for a street.

I see a guy, in a purple shirt, standing on his porch. I wonder if he knew he was being photographed.

I also see a house, that's at least partly pink. Breast cancer pink. I really wish Breast Cancer hadn't hijacked that color.

I just moved a bit on Street View, and now I see there's a school  (Memorial Pathway Academy) right down the street. So, children in the neighborhood have an easy walk.  IF they go to that school. Some might homeschool, and others might go to a private school.

Actually, looking at their's a high school. So it's more that the teens of the neighborhood (rather than the children) can walk to school.

I just checked the distance between our house and Sunflower Drive. It's only an hour away from us. It's even closer to my sisters and their families.

Lord Wiki says Garland is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We're made up of a handful of cities.

Lord Wiki also says that there are a lot of Vietnamese folks living in Garland.

If someone is into cowboy hats, they might want to pay a visit to Garland. It's home to a company called Resistol Hats, which is known for making cowboy hats. Known to some people, but not to me. But to be fair, I'm not really into cowboy hats. If I was, I bet I'd know about Resistol.

2.  The next visitor is from Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland.

I've heard of Warsaw, Poland. I never knew Warsaw was inside something called Mazowieckie. Maybe that's like the state or territory.

The first thing I think of when I think of Poland is the Holocaust; and then I specifically think of Lilly Brett's book Too Many Men.  It's one of those books that I feel should be much more popular than it is.

The book is about an Aussie woman who travels to Poland with her Holocaust survivor father.  It's very sad, but also funny.  The father is adorable.

One of the things I remember about the book is that the protagonist is bothered by some of the Jewish-related tourism in Poland. Or maybe it's more about some of the souvenirs she sees at gift shops. There's this idea that modern Poland is somewhat profiting off what happened to the Jews. I forgot the exact details.

I'm on Street View now. I've landed in a place called Ludwika Kondratowicza.  It looks like a busy area.

There's a Coke truck.  It's kind of cool, because the truck is red. Then next to the red truck are two red cars.

There's something that looks like it might be a museum. It has these flags that look like tourist attraction type flags.

There's a group of people with shopping bags, so I guess there are shops nearby.

My Google Maps just froze. I couldn't leave that Street View.

Now I'm looking at the street via the map rather than Street View. It's hard for me to understand much, because it's in Polish.

It looks like Ludwika Kondratowicza is a major street, and it goes past two parks.

There's also a bank.

That's pretty much all I can tell.

Lord Wiki just reminded me that Warsaw is the capital of Poland. I think I knew that. Probably. Or at least it's the city that's most familar to me. If someone said name a city in Poland, I would probably say Warsaw.  But most-familar-city doesn't always equal the capital. Australia is a great example of that.

There are two famous people from Warsaw that I know of, but I didn't know they were from Warsaw.—Marie Curie and Frederic Chopin.  I don't even think I knew they were Polish.

Lord Wiki says that before World War II, Jews made up about 30% of Warsaw's population.  There are much less Jews now there, but I can't find exact numbers.

Here's a positive article though. It talks about how the small group of Jews in Poland are doing well—having a bit of a revival, I suppose.

Well, actually there is a number here, but it's for Poland in general; not Warsaw. They say there are twenty-five thousand Jews.  This other website says the pre-Holocaust Jewish population of Poland was three million. So, that's quite a change.

3.  The next visitor is from Kew, Victoria. That's in Melbourne, I believe.

I think it's near the CBD. Or maybe I'm wrong. I wish I had an idea of where it was.  East of the CBD...west? Maybe north?

For Street View I've landed on Barrington Avenue.  It has lovely houses and trees.

I see a lot of red brick.

I just zoomed out. Kew is north-east of the CBD.

Crap. My mind has gone totally blank. I'm trying to remember the name of that place in Melbourne. It's modern and has a big screen.  There's a media museum there.  My friend and I sat there for a long time waiting for the others in our party to return from a football game.

Federation Square!  Thanks, Google. Although, there was a list of attractions in Melbourne, along with icons, and they didn't list Federation Square.  I had to click on the ACMI museum to get the name of the area.

Lord Wiki says there was a lunatic Asylum in Kew (Kew Lunatic Asylum).  I think these days, the name would be very politically incorrect. I'm guessing that several decades from now, the term mental illness and/or psychiatric will be politically incorrect. Language keeps changing.

This website lists places in Australia that are seen as being scary. The Kew asylum is one of them.  It says here that when the hospital was closed in 1988 (with a new name), it was turned into a residential building.

From what I'm seeing by Googling, though, it seems there's a rehabilitation centre near, or at, the place where the asylum used to be.

No. Wait. I think I had the wrong information. I was misled!

According to this Walking Melbourne site,  the address of the asylum is 1-258 Wiltshire Drive.

When I Googled the address, a big box appears in the search engine with the address 1 Yarra Boulevard. Underneath that, in smaller print, is the name The Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre.

According to Google Maps, the two locations are a six minute drive from each other. They're not one and the same.

The past-asylum is a really beautiful building. though.  I wonder if I'd want to live in the apartments that are there now.  Would I be scared and disgusted by the dark history; or would I be somewhat thrilled?  Well, I'd probably feel a combination of emotions.

It's like the Holocaust...and things like 9/11 and the Titanic. There's fear and sadness, yet many of us are drawn to it. We read the stories, visits the sites, watch movies made about it, etc.  And yeah, people profit from it.  But it's all complicated.  I wrote a novel about Neurofibromatosis.  It's not selling well at all. But if it was?  Then people could say I'm profiting from a medical disorder that causes many people a huge amount of hardship.  When I wrote it, though, it's not like I sat down, laughed an evil laugh, and thought, I want to make money from other people's suffering.

I guess it's all just part of the human experience.

4. The next location is Paris, Ile-De-France, France. I have no idea what Ile-de-France means. Maybe it's just another word for France?

Lord Wiki says it's a region of France.  Okay. That makes sense.

With Street View, I've landed on Notre Dame de Nazareth Street.  It looks very fancy, as I'd expect from Paris. It's a narrow street with beautiful architecture and a lot of shops.

When I left Street View, and looked at the map, I saw that there's a synagogue on the street.  Lord Wiki says it's the oldest of the great synagogues of Paris. What does that mean, though?  Could there be not-so-great Paris synagogues that are older?

I was trying to get my bearings, and sought what was most familar.  So....Notre Dame de Nazareth Street is twenty minutes east of the Eiffel Tower.  I wonder if that takes traffic into account.

5. The fifth location is Perth, Australia.  I get a fair number of Western Australians on my blog, but mostly I get visitors from Melbourne and Sydney.  I hardly ever get anyone from the Northern Territory.  I guess it's mostly about population, though.

For Street View, I've landed on Bannister Road.  There's a large silver building. It looks like the type of place that sells cars. Across the street is a place where you can buy sheds.

I've left Street View.  Now I can see that Bannister Road is quite large.  I'm pretty sure, that in the past, when you left Street view, Google would take you to the exact location you were viewing. But now that's not the case. It's kind of frustrating.

Okay....I finally was able to find the part of the Bannister Road I had been viewing. According to Google Maps, the shed place has closed.

The silver building MIGHT be ALS industrial.

Or maybe not.

I'm lost and confused.

Bannister Road is part of a suburb in Perth called Canning Vale.  Lord Wiki says there are many distribution facilities there. It makes sense. It looks quite industrial.

6. The next place on my Statcounter is very exciting! Kampala, Uganda! I rarely have Africa on my Statcounter.

Unfortunately, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Uganda is not a good thing at all. It's that horrible disease that causes children to be brain damaged. Some refer to it as a zombie-like state.

Here's a video about it. The illness is called Nodding Disease.

It's really scary and sad.

I have serious doubts there's going to be Google Street View in Uganda.  But I'll check.

Yep. There's no Street View.

I can at least see the location of Kampala though. It's in the southern part of Uganda, and it's coastal.  I just zoomed out. That's not the ocean. It's a lake.  Sadly, I'm not very good at African geography. Otherwise, I would have known that Uganda itself isn't on a coast. It's surrounded by Kenya the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda.

Lord Wiki has photos of Kampala. It looks like a regular city.  In my head, it was a bunch of people living in huts surrounded by streams filled with germs that turn kids into zombies.

Lonely Planet describes Kampala as being modern and safe.

I really need to broaden my view of Africa.  While reading about Ebola a month or so ago, I read about how some Africans are very tired of being viewed as simply a charity case. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the only person, outside the continent, to view Africa as being a vast land of unfortunate people.

I just consulted Lord Wiki about nodding disease. He says it's been found in northern Uganda. So people in Kampala are not getting it.  Though according to this article, a couple of years ago, there was an outbreak of Ebola near Kampala.

7. The last place for today is The Netherlands. There's no specific city listed.

With Street View, I've landed on a lovely place called Raadhuislaan.  It might be a street name. I'm not sure. It looks very cute and European. Unlike Kampala, it fits the stereotype in my head.

It seems there are multiple Raadhuislaan's in the Netherlands. I looked closer at the map though, and found the one I was looking at is in Abcoude. Is that a city?

Lord Wiki says it's a town in the province of Utrecht.  Yeah. That word was on the map too, but I had ignored it.

This tourism website says Utrecht has beautiful canals.  It's interesting. The site is a UK site, and they refer to country as Holland. We used to call it Holland. Now we call it The Netherlands. Why? And what do they call themselves?

Lord Wiki says Holland is a region in the Netherlands. Outside of the Netherlands, it is often used to refer to the whole country. He says some people are insulted by that.  I guess it would be like us calling Australia "Queensland" or "New South Wales".

Here's a whole article about the name of the country.

You know, I thought the Netherlands changed their name, and that's why we now refer to it differently. But I think it's more of a case of people becoming more sensitive and knowledgable.

Or maybe not. I just read the article.  At some point, the Netherlands didn't exist. It was just north and south Holland. When did that change?

Google says the Netherlands was founded in 1648. So this isn't something that happened recently.  I'm not sure if that's the time that the word Netherlands began.  I'm all confused.

I think I'm going to quit and go eat some breakfast.  Although it's actually lunch time now.