Friday, January 26, 2007

Who Moved Invercargill?

Two and a half years ago my husband and I spent a month in New Zealand. It was one of the best months of our lives. We had a wonderful time everywhere we went from Bay of Islands where we visited wonderful Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Robyn Donald and her equally wonderful husband to the tip of the South Island at Bluff and many many places in between.

It would be hard to say which bits I loved the most because I loved so many of them in so many different ways and for so many different reasons that the list would run on and on. But for sheer, "this place feels like home" attraction, it would have to be Invercargill.

We only spent a couple of days there -- one on our way via the Southern Scenic Route to Milford Sound and Te Anau and a sheep and cattle station not far from there -- and one on our way back via Lumsden and Gore and Mataura. The whole drive back felt like home because it was like driving through Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Iowa and ending up in the midwest-by-the-sea. In other words, pretty much my comfort zone.

Even renting a car in Invercargill ended up being in my comfort zone because everyone in the Invercargill airport, it seemed, helped us get on the road. They gave us directions, maps, let us make phone calls from their office, drank tea with us and offered advice, gave us rides to garages and lugged our suitcases around. By the time we left, I felt like they'd taken us into the family. And when we came back a week later, we were treated like long-lost relatives.

I wrote about Invercargill a few months ago on this blog and hoped that someone from there would show up to read it so I could have a dot where Invercargill is on my ClustrMap. Someone did -- my "minder" from the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference where I was speaking, Pat Snellgrove. Pat doesn't live in Invercargill, but she doesn't live a long way away. It counted.

Except on the map.

The map says no one in the bottom half of the South Island has been near my blog. That can't be true. Pat was here.

Did someone move Invercargill? I desperately hope not. It's on my short list of places I want to go back to. If I had to make a list of places I would go to live if given half a chance, Invercargill would be in the top five.

So they better not have moved it!

Maybe the ClustrMaps people need to re-examine their dotting structure. Maybe their dots have drifted north.

I do know that I am pleased that the map is working again. For a while there it seemed frozen. But apparently they've moved servers and now all is well again. Thank you, ClustrMaps (and CJ who answered my questions when I asked even though I'm sure there were many other more urgent questions from people who get far more hits than I do).

And speaking of wonderful add-ons, the flag counter folks have detected more countries! We're up to 49 now! I'll have to go through my list and figure out which ones they are and celebrate them next week. Maybe by then we'll hit 50. Who do you suppose 50 will be?

Norway would be nice. Or the Bahamas? Someone from beautiful Harbour Island, perhaps? Russia? The Ukraine? Ghana?

Theo is going to make an appearance early next week. He and Martha are back, beaming, because they've just heard from my fourth cousin once removed that their book The Santorini Bride (Theo told me to plug the title) is on sale in Waverly at the Wal-mart. He figures if it's in Waverly at the Wal-mart it should be pretty much everywhere. He suggests you all go out and look for it! So does Ted.

And don't forget, the Here Come the Brides Contest ends January 31, so if you haven't entered, check my website for details. And Theo's own contest, which he will be back to talk about next week still has a couple of weeks to run. But it is more work, he reminds you.

BIGGER PRIZE, he also says.


And if anyone knows where they've moved Invercargill, tell them to put it back. It was perfect right where it was. And I want to go there again. Preferably soon.


Blogger ClustrMaps Team said...

Hi Anne - glad you're enjoying ClustrMaps - ALL users are important to us, and we're curious about those 'south island' dots you mention.

Our dot-drawing routine is highly accurate, but the data source can only go by where the user's "IP number" is apparently geographically located.

I say 'apparently' because in many cases the location information that our computer is given is merely the location of the Internet Service Provider headquarters, which may be some distance away from your site visitor's TRUE location!

Anyway, we're always looking to make things better, so we are grateful for you and our vast collection of other loyal users sticking with us!

All the best..

-CJ on behalf of the ClustrMaps Team

27 January, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi CJ!

Imagine meeting you here! Thanks for stopping by and explaining about the IP address thing. I don't know where Pat's ISP originates. Maybe in Wellington, which would explain the discrepancy between her location and my dots.

Anyway, ClustrMaps is great and I love seeing the new places pop up on the map. Thank you for it and for answering my questions!


27 January, 2007  

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