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Do You Know Anyone in Antarctica?

This is the time of year when many of us make resolutions which is just a fancy way of saying we’re setting goals for ourselves. Some of those goals may be lofty aspirations that involve a long-term plan. I don’t do well with long-term goals. Maybe I’m impatient with myself. Maybe I have a need for immediate gratification, but having a to-do list of small, attainable goals gives me the sense of accomplishment I need to stay motivated. When I began Good Humored last June, my goals were to have fun and  to see if readers, other than my friends and family, would read my stories. The first time I got a “like” on one of my posts was from I’m on the Bandwagon. Shortly after that I started getting new subscribers.

In the fall, I received a few blog awards. Most recently, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of fellow bloggers who have given me the Kreativ Blogger Award by Elyse , my third Versatile Blogger Award by  Kirsty Ballard and the 7X7 Link Award from Emerald Garden Lady. These awards are a great way to broaden my blogging horizons and I’m honored that they have chosen me. Since I received all of these awards in the same week, I’m combining my award acceptance responsibilities. To fulfill the requirement for sharing information about myself, new readers who are interested in Paprika trivia can check out these facts about me.  I won’t torture long time readers by asking them to read the list again. As for sharing this award with other bloggers, take a peek at my blog roll and visit the blogs that are my favorite reads. As I “meet” some of my new subscribers, I’m sure I’ll be adding more, so check back often. For the 7X7 Award I have to provide links to seven of my previous posts. I’ll do that in a separate post coming soon to a screen near you.

With new subscribers and a few blog awards under my virtual belt, I was once again in the market for a goal. I set my sights on trying to get 5,000 overall hits by the end of 2011. This was completely random, but it was a nice, even number.  It was a close call, but on December 29th, I met my goal. I was thrilled. While I was contemplating what my next whimsical milestone would be, an amazing thing happened; my post “L’What”  was Freshly Pressed. To make that just a bit sweeter, I realized that I was “Pressed” in the same week with two of my best blogging buddies – Lisa of Main Street Musings and Kate from Views and Mews with Coffee Kat. I guess the editors at WordPress were hanging out in our neighborhood of the blogosphere.

For my non-blogging readers, being Freshly Pressed means that the editors, or story wranglers as they call themselves, have selected your post to be featured with about 9 others on their home page for 24 hours. Being promoted on the home page introduces new readers to your blog; readers that might have otherwise never come across it. WordPress identifies 5 criteria that make a post eligible to be Freshly Pressed, but the selection process is shrouded in mystery.

While I was busy responding to comments from new readers, Oregano amused himself by doing some calculations. He has a degree in statistics and thinks math is fun. I’ll never understand that side of him.

“Since they choose 10 posts each day, you have a 1 in 80,000 chance of being selected on any given day. In theory, based on 800,000 posts daily, you would be guaranteed to be Freshly Pressed after 80,000 days of blogging.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad. If someone sticks with it, they have a really good chance of being selected,” I said.

He knows I have notoriously poor math skills so he continued his explanation. “The average human lifespan is 80 years or 30,000 days. If you blogged every day of your life,  you’d still be 50,000 days short of guaranteeing a spot on the Freshly Pressed page.” To add insult to statistical injury he said, “You’re over 40 so, potentially, you only have 15,000 more days ahead of you.” That was a cheery thought.

After doing a bit of research on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website, I discovered that being Freshly Pressed is roughly the statistical equivalent of being struck by lightning. With my luck, I’m surprised I got the better of those two options.

The experience was surreal! My stats kept going up and comments poured in. They basically fell into 3 categories:

*French speaking readers who found it amusing that Bruschetta, Oregano and I couldn’t pronounce L’Occitane. They kindly offered lessons in the French language and regional dialects.

* Readers from non-French speaking parts of the world who learned how to pronounce the word by reading my post and watching the video.

* Readers who shared stories of their own personal pronunciation dilemmas with words like chipotle, quinoa, Jake Gyllenhaal, Au Bon Pain and Worcestershire sauce to name a few.

One of the most fascinating side effects of being Freshly Pressed is having the opportunity to discover new blogs and readers. As I work my way through the comments, likes and new subscribers, I am realizing that readers from every continent except Antarctica, have visited my blog. It is mind boggling to think that the words I type while sitting in my pajamas are making someone on the other side of the world laugh. Frankly, I’m humbled if I can make someone laugh when they’re in the same room with me. The events of this past week have so far surpassed any goal I had set when I began writing this blog that I now find myself in a position to develop another capricious goal. Does anyone know a scientist in Antarctica who could use a good laugh, or perhaps, a literate penguin with internet access?


About Paprika Furstenburg

I was born with an overly developed sense of humor and poor coordination. The combination of these two character traits has taught me humility and given me the perspective to find the funny in everyday experiences.

40 responses »

  1. I enjoyed this post, the informative links, Oregano’s math mind (that’s two now in his favor, math and trash). I remember well the post that got you FP’d, though I was very new to WP myself at the time. I’m not even sure if it was when I was “liking” yet (it took me a while to get with the program). I must go now and like it.

    • Thanks, Shannon, for going back into the Good Humored vault and taking the time to read and comment on the older posts.

      Oregano’s math mind and his penchant for recycling are just two of his many useful talents.

  2. Hello from the bottom of the world!! It may not quite be Antarctica, but it’s as close as I think I’m going to be able to post from. We are in Ushuaia, Argentina (, the most southern city in the world, and our leaping off point for the Last Continent. Tomorrow we head out to Antartcica proper, after a two day journey across the infamous Drake Channel But, as I don’t think they have much Wifi down there, I’m posting to say hello from here.

    I’d say it counts!! 🙂

    I’ll send some pictures through when we get back!

    Sesame and Five Spice

    • Sesame and Five Spice,

      I’ve checked in on your blog a few times to see how your journey is going. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy trip to leave a comment on my blog. I think it’s as close as I’m going to get to Antarctica, so I agree with you that it should count. In any event, you win get the honor (if you’d call it that) for being the furthest south!

      Enjoy Antarctica! Can’t wait to see the pictures.

  3. Actually I think the statistics are a bit higher, because I’ve noticed they only have certain topic blogs that they choose. Foodies, travel, funnies, and photos. Not seen many if any writers and certainly no animal blogs ever get chosen. woo woo woo!

  4. Congrats again, Paprika! Well deserved. As much as I liked the FP’d post, I wish it would’ve been the big cookie one. I think everyone needs to know about that cookie. It might’ve changed the world.

    • Thanks, Angie! I was surprised that any post was chose to be FP’d, but didn’t think the one they picked was one of my funniest. Just goes to show I have no idea what’s going on. I don’t know if that big cookie would have changed the world, but it would have changed my husband’s world.

  5. Thanks I wondered how someone made the list, considering we started just over two weeks ago I don’t think I will live to see that honor.. but truly hope that our blog is still going in 80,000 days.. It would be amazing to have honored that many veterans. =)

    • Thank you so much for sharing this award with me. I am truly honored that you are enjoying my blog enough to think I am deserving of this award. This is my fourth Versatile Blogger Award. I fear that if I write another thank you post readers will abandon me from lack of new content. I have been reading a few of your posts and am enjoying your writing style and variety. As a token of my appreciation, would you settle for a spot on my blog roll?

  6. Good luck, Paprika. Would it help if I donned a tux to comment?!? Your honors are well deserved. And I need to go read that post. As someone who lived in french-speaking Switzerland for five years and managed to NOT learn the language, I need your take on this!

    • Thanks, Elyse. No need for such formalities, but I appreciate the offer. How did you manage life there for 5 years without learning the language? We were there for 3 days and were reduced to mime just to get food.

  7. The problem, dear Paprika, is that you have not been posting your blogs upside-down thereby making it impossible for those down under to read you commentary. Perhaps that reverse, inverse or whatever psychology would yield resulsts….

    • ˙ǝɹǝɥdsıɯǝɥ uɹǝɥʇɹou ǝɥʇ uı sɹǝpɐǝɹ ʎɯ ɹoɟ pɹɐɥ ʇı ǝʞɐɯ ʇɥbıɯ uʍop ǝpısdn buıbboןq ‘qoq

      • Great comeback, I would expect no less from you….but just think of the following you will get from the chiropractors in the northern hemisphere who will be treating all of the resulting neck ailments…..(starting with me…)

      • You know I have to bring my A game with you, Bob. I’m sure the chiropractors would be happy, but I’m betting a lot of readers wouldn’t be.

  8. A related joke: Why did the polar bear go to the south pole? To visit his Aunt Arctica!

    I’m so proud to be your blogging buddy. I don’t doubt that you will achieve all of your goals. That said, finding a penguin follower from Antarctica might be a stretch. Would you settle for my husband in a tuxedo?

    • Ahh…the old polar bear joke. Have you been reading some of your children’s old joke books? 🙂 My follower doesn’t necessarily need to be a penguin, just from Antarctica. So, if you husband is willing to don his tux and head south for the Antarctic summer to read my blog, that works for me. Not sure how much he’d enjoy it.
      Seriously though, I appreciate the encouragement and support you offered me as I was just beginning this endeavor. I think of you as my blog mentor.

  9. Paprika – watch it…it sounds like your fans are working to find a way to bundle you up and get you to Antarctica! (You would find a way to blog with stiff cold fingers, right?) Nice post.

  10. Congrats on the new success. I too have wondered what makes one ‘Freshly Pressed’. I admit, I’m jealous and can’t wait for that accolade myself. But now that see my chances, I’ll just wait to be struck by lightening instead.
    Isn’t it wonderful to see those around the globe reading your articles? I have readers in Malaysia!! Who knew?
    And a side note- I’m on the email list for L’Occitane and I always think of you when I see them in my IN box.

    • Thank you for offering congratulations. I know it’s always a mixed bag – you are happy for the other blogger, but wish it was you instead. I’d keep hoping for being Freshly Pressed though, being struck by lightning doesn’t sound like much fun.

      So funny that you associate me when you see L’Occitane e-mails in your inbox. Thanks for sharing that with me 🙂

  11. Thanks for the statistics. I am just coming up for air myself. On the whole, if one of the choices (other than getting hit by lightning) included winning the lottery it would be a hard choice but Freshly Pressed is certainly a rush. Great job.

  12. Antarctica? Do you need someone to carry the luggage?? Actually, they should invite you as a guest, considering their continent is remiss in responding to your blogs!! They would have the clear distinction of being the ONLY continent that has been missing out on the fun!!
    You’ve had 13,886 hits already??? Blimey!

    • I don’t actually want to go to Antarctica. Way too cold for me. I’d like to find someone who’s reading the blog from there so I can say that I’ve had readers on every continent. I’m sure the scenery is beautiful and the penguins are adorable, but I was cold enough when I was in Iceland in November standing in a snow covered field watching the Aurora Borealis.

  13. No sooner asked for then done! My daughter (Sesame) and her husband (Cauliflower) will be in Antartica starting January 18th for the summer season; which means they’ll be there for 8 days. I will ask them to write you.

    Keep up the good work and good writting!

    • You rock, Uncle Sea Salt! (Does that make you rock salt then?) That would be awesome if Sesame and Cauliflower read the blog and leave a comment from there! No pressure though. I’m sure they’ll have far more interesting things to do when they are there for 8 days.

      • Hi Paprika!

        My salty Dad is right, we are headed off on a round the world trip (starting in 2 days, omg!) and just a few days after we hit Argentina, we are heading down to Ushuaia, the southernmost point, to jump on an icebreaker bound for Antarctica. It’s been a dream of mine since childhood, and I know it will be amazing! The ship’s internet connections are spotty at best, but we’ll try and drop you a note from there, or at the very least, as close to as possible.

        If you or your readers are interested in following our 13 month adventure, you can also check out our blog and travellers advice site- Blogging is new to me too, but I am really enjoying it!

        All the best,
        Sesame & Five Spice (he changed it by deed poll from Cauliflower)

      • Sesame, your adventure sounds AMAZING! Thank you so much for offering to play along with this ridiculous quest. No worries if you can’t check back while you are way, way down under. It’s just fun knowing that you’ll be there.

        I’ll be sure to check out your blog and keep track of your adventures. Travel safely!

  14. this struck a chord as I have just recently started following on twitter a woman who is currently striving to be the first to cross Antarctica solo – not sure she’d have the time to stop and read your blog unfortunately, although I’m sure she’d find it cheering 8o)

    • Sounds like a fascinating person to follow. I was at a conference once and the key note speaker was a woman who traveled to Antarctica. Her photos were amazing and I admired her adventurous spirit. I know I could never do it. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to share this information with me. Glad to have you back again.

      • she’ll be coming to our area next month to give a talk so I’m hoping to go along – definitely the closest I’d ever get to that sort of expedition, although the Pictlets are more adventurous!

  15. Hah – this made me smile 🙂

    As it turns out you’d have a better chance at visiting Antarctica yourself, as it involves a complicated application process and “to be approved for a visit, a person should have some interest in creativity, whether that be the arts, home-decorating, cooking, gardening, software, science or similar pursuits, and should also be what is generally referred to as a ‘good person’. ”

    On the upside, if you do make it through the selection process (which can’t be more grueling that getting freshly pressed and I have heard of lightning striking twice) you get a free tourguide for the time of your stay – isn’t that cool?

    They’ll even help you find a job, if you decide to stay – maybe you should just mail them and tell them about your plan.

    Since their selection requierments seem to be creativity and being a good person (and I can vouch for both of them) and they seem to be pretty friendly to foreigners, they might just reply – You never know 😉

    • Wow! You really know a lot about how a person can get to Antarctica. I appreciate the offer to vouch for my creativity and kindness, but I hear the ride there is a bit rough and then there’s the fact that I HATE winter and cold weather. I know it is summer there now, but I’m guessing that doesn’t exactly match my image of summer.

      You are creative and kind, perhaps you could go to Antarctica and then read my blog from there 🙂

      • Actually I don’t – but Ralph Robert Moore (linked in my comment does) and since I found him through Google he couldn’t be a more reliable source.

        Thanks, but ähmmm – I’ll have to pass. I think we might have similar ideas on “summer” and yes, you are probably right that it’s not quite the antarctican summer we are talking about.

        Good thing is, by reading through your top comments, you seem to have that part covered too – Yay for you 😉

      • How funny would it be if I do actually get a comment from the bottom of the world?

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