He sees you when you’re sleeping …

In our bimonthly marketing meeting yesterday, we were further familiarizing ourselves with the VisiStat system we're using to analyze our website traffic.

It's way cool.

One of the most remarkable functions is being able to see — in real time — who is visiting your site.

For example, as I write this, there are 14 people visiting HolidayWorld.com. Eleven of the 14 are from the U.S., including New York, Alabama, Tennessee, and New Jersey. Several are visiting our homepage, while others are perusing the Pilgrims Plunge page, the webcams, pricing and the HoliBlog.

I can click on a button and see the "click path" each person has taken, the browser they're using and even their "monitor resolution."

While showing this to Will and John, Will couldn't contain himself: "West Chester, Ohio — that's The Gravity Group!"

Now, obviously the city of West Chester holds more than our five friends at TGG. But still…

I glanced at my watch. Ah, 10:30 am. That's 11:30 their time. Lunchtime. HoliBlog time.

Sure enough, the click path showed a visit to the HoliBlog and then the webcam page. And a big honking computer monitor.

Will just howled with laughter. I promised to check in with the fellows, guessing it was Korey or Mike.

Here's my email:

Hi guys–

Yesterday, in a marketing meeting, we were looking at this cool new system we're using to analyze our web traffic.

One of the neatest features is that you can see — in real time — who is visiting your website.

At 10:30 am (11:30 am your time), we saw someone was visiting from West Chester, Ohio. Will howled with laughter and I promised to check if it was one of you — we saw that you visited the HoliBlog and the webcam page.

Kinda creepy, huh?

Within minutes, I'd heard back from Korey (remember Korey? the World's Tallest Roller Coaster Designer?):

Wow…that is creepy. I am the guilty one. I read the blog at lunch and noticed a tweet about the Pilgrim’s Plunge webcam being up, so I was curious and decided to check it out. I guess Santa has the ability to watch me more than ever now…

That's right, Korey.

So, you'd better watch out …


Twelve elves a-laughing

Mrs. Koch loved this letter so much she drove it over to show me:

Dear Santa

We howled with laughter when I got to the line: Do you go to the bathroom at peoples house?

What a great question! And the first time we've seen it in all the years the Santa's Elves have helped Santa with all the letters he receives.

One of the Elves quipped, "That gives a whole new meaning to 'don't eat the yellow snow,' doesn't it?"

Funny face

Eric and I were chatting about our Facebook fan page yesterday (we topped 800 fans in just over three weeks).

Eric, who's in his 20s, mentioned that he had never created a personal page. He shook his head, "Even my dad has one!"

Okay, that spread the generation gap a little farther, but Eric's okay. For a kid.

Anyway, our conversation must have helped catapult Eric over to the dark side. It was time at last for him to make his own Facebook page.

Only…Facebook didn't believe him.

Here's an email Eric sent me late last night:

Apparently Facebook doesn't believe that an Eric Snow lives in Santa Claus, Indiana. I had to reply to an email to confirm my identity. Now I'm waiting to hear back from the "Facebook Team" so I can be granted access to join the site. So, not only am I so behind the times by not having a Facebook account while my father does, I didn't pass Facebook's authorization standards! It's a good thing I don't live on Snowball Drive.

That reminds me of a friend who moved here to Santa Claus this time of year back in the '80s. She called her old bank in Florida to transfer funds, but when she gave them her new address (I think it was Sleigh Bell Lane in Santa Claus, Indiana) they hung up on her!

Yet another podcast

Easy to tell this was recorded shortly after the election–I keep saying things like "gosh darn it" a la Governor Palin. Should have thrown in a "yes, we can" I guess, to balance the interview politically.

If you'd like to hear the 'cast, head over to the SeasonPassPodcast site and download #54.

Who measures by “yards”?

Concrete people, that's who.

When Mike mentioned in our last Directors Meeting that the first Pilgrims Plunge tower foundation required 240 yards of concrete, only a few of us nodded our heads.

I don't pretend to know anything about construction.

So, Mike, what exactly is a "yard"?

We're all familiar with a backyard, a prison yard, a school yard, and Scotland Yard. There's a yard of fabric and a yard stick.

But for many yards of concrete going into a deep hole, you need one of these:

Two loaded cement mixers at a time transfer their goods into that crane-like contraption that forces the concrete 'way up and then down into a very precise place.

Like this:

Remember reading about "gruel" in Dickens novels? That's how I've always pictured gruel as looking. Thick and purple-y gray.

No doubt there were many more steps than this, but basically a very big hole was dug and supports added. Rebar, too, to make it pretty.

Let's step back a bit for a wider look.

Sorry, I don't recognize who that is, with all the winter garb. But he's steering the hose to the next spot.

I'm pretty sure this is Tom. In the background is the tower foundation that took 240 yards of concrete. The other two foundations are farther back.

Below is the "after" picture of the middle foundation, which took a mere 148 yards of concrete. Lisa has posted even more photos on our Facebook page.

So the answer to our initial question? I have several tidbits of information to present for your consideration:

A concrete truck holds nine yards of concrete.

A yard of concrete weighs approximately one ton.

That much concrete (240 yards) would fill half of the Otorongo splash pool.

Someone even calculated that's a total of 49,000 gallons.

Mrs. Koch wanted to know what that amounts to in tablespoons. We immediately knew it was time to move to the next agenda item.