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New Year, New Season, New(ish) Website

The MAFL website is moving again, this time to take advantage of the extra features offered by Squarespace 6. But the change in URL is about as small as I can make it, and should represent no change at all for some of you.

If you're using the URL there's nothing you need to do since that domain has already been pointed to the new site, but for those of you still using you'll need to switch to The old site will remain and house the entirety of MAFL history, but no new posts will appear there; the new site will have all of the history and all of the future content.

As well, the new site should behave much better on smartphones and tablets, although I'm sure there'll be some things I'll need to tweak along the way to make sure that this is true. Hope to see you there.



Vale Chi

I really didn't think he'd see the Grand Final of 2013, but he did - not that I think he cared much for the outcome.

Yesterday, a little after 3pm Sydney time, I watched while MAFL's first and only mascot, Chi the Absurdly Determined, laying blissfully on my wife's lap in our vet's surgery, a study in zen-like non-attachment, went limp and then peacefully disappeared forever from our lives.

As some of you know, the last few months of Chi's life have been especially difficult, probably moreso for us than for him, as his bingo card of ailments and pharmacopoeian list of treatments grew more numerous, the best of 21st century veterinarian medicine pitted against, amongst other things, his murmurous heart, his failing eyesight, his arthritic body and his demented brain (though, truth be told, he wasn't doing much with that organ anyway). Our vet likened the situation to propping up a tent from the inside using only your hands while it's collapsing at multiple, random places, all around you.

It was, I truly know - and as my amazing wife and our amazing vet knew - the time to let go, or as near to that time as anyone could reasonably estimate but, regardless, it's hard to quell an uneasy feeling of betrayal; he made it so difficult. 

Even early on his last morning he was, in his own mind, purposeful in heading towards the kitchen, backdoor, water bowl - who knew, given that his chosen path involved a plainly unnecessary detour via the TV in the lounge room. And then, throughout the remainder of the day he was as keen of appetite as ever, finishing most of a breakfast of eggs and ham, devouring the few, small coveted pieces of banana that were offered him, and then contentedly melting into whatever lap was available. If he knew nothing else on his last day, it was that he was loved.

One small comfort is that we never got to the point where all that was left of Chi forever spoiled our memories of all that he was.

And now, he's no more, and I feel sharply aware that, like the as-beloved pets before him, he's destined to become a blurry memory. He does have one thing in his favour though: he's easily the most photgraphed pet we've ever welcomed into our home. Should anyone ever decide to do a retrospective on him they'll suffer from no shortage of contemporaneous material.

It's cliched, I know, but if you have a pet - something, someone you love - be mindful in their presence and be thankful for the brief time you'll share together on the planet.

See you mate - and thanks.


Finding What's New On The Site

In the navigation bar at the right of every page, MAFL now provides a link to the five most recently published blog entries.

It's a quick and easy way to see what, if anything, is new on the site and includes all posts, no matter which journal they appear in.

(With thanks to Debs for doing all the work necessary to make this happen.)


And Then There Were 50

Yesterday a reference to MAFL appeared on the Revolutions Analytics blog, which was subsequently republished on r-bloggers and on That sort of exposure does wonders for traffic to your website. Over the last 36 hours or so, almost 200 people have visited MAFL from, it appears, many corners of the globe (which, thinking about it literally, is a ridiculous notion - just how many corners does an oblate spheroid have?).

Anyway, so diverse has the traffic been that, sometime today, MAFL welcomed a visitor from country number 50, Peru.

The most-recent traffic leap-frogged the UK into 3rd position, and closed the gap between Australia and the US, though whether today's visitors like what they've seen enough to continue visiting has yet to be determined.

From my point of view, having the Czech Republic in 5th, Spain in 6th and Singapore in 7th - all ahead of Australia's near-neighbours in New Zealand - is both surprising and heartening. 

So, no more updates on the Flag Counter until MAFL reaches 75 countries, which I'm predicting will take a long time (unless MAFL gets linked on a site like reddit ...)


30 Countries (However Accidental)

MAFL Online (or MatterOfStats, depending on how you got here) has now been visited by people from 30 different countries, most recently Croatia.

Visitors from Australia and the US still dominate in terms of pageviews, with Great Britain and Canada tied for second.

Just in case (like me) you're unable to recognise the flags here immediately, here's the detail: