Thursday, July 31, 2008

Silly Fun with Google Analytics

nerd alertI've been running Google Analytics on my blog since I started, and today I decided out of boredom to take a look at the numbers for the entirety of my blog. What is Google Analytics? It is a software tool that allows you to put a snippet of code on your blog so you can then track your Internet traffic - how many people are reading your posts, which are more popular, how people are finding you. All useful things to know when you are trying to drive traffic to your site. I had used it before on a few commercial ventures and was happy with it, and it's free, which is important when using it for a non-money maker like a blog. Anyway, I thought the results were interesting enough to post.

Top 10 Countries

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. Canada
  5. Kuwait
  6. Finland
  7. Australia
  8. Iraq
  9. Brazil
  10. Italy
Overall, I had visitors from 90 different countries, and it's no surprise the US and UK would be first or that other major English speaking countries would be on the list. Germany, Kuwait, Italy and Iraq make some sense too since there are US troops there, but Finland and Brazil were a definite surprise. If you are a reader from those countries I would love to hear what your interest is/was (sgtgrumpy "at" gmail.com)

Top 10 Referrers
  1. mudvillegazette.com (really no surprise there)
  2. thisfuckingwar.blogspot.com
  3. thunderrun.blogspot.com
  4. hoperadio.blogspot.com
  5. milblogging.com
  6. ltnixonrants.blogspot.com
  7. thisainthell.us
  8. ci-roller.blogspot.com
  9. valleygirl71.blogspot.com - sadly no longer blogging
  10. del.icio.us
Blogging etiquette dictates I get links up to these folks pronto! Interestingly, I also got a large number of referrals from Google images searches in the US and UK, hmmm, is someone trying to get a look at the Grump?

Top 10 Search Terms
  1. Of course number one was some version of Sergeant Grumpy ( different versions were registered)
  2. jane hernishin (an active blog commentator)
  3. inshallah
  4. shitpond (a result of my Steaming Bowl of Suck, part 1, part II and part III posts)
  5. sergeant jump
  6. miss bosnia / miss bosnia 2008
  7. texan cheerleaders (thanks again Hope [;)
  8. whump there it is
  9. dead mouse in car (WTF?)
  10. operations for dummies (one of the funniest items of military humor last year)
Overall, the different versions of Sergeant Grumpy accounted for vast majority of search referrals, but heh, the other 9 are interesting, no?

Other Random Facts
  • Average time on site: 1:21
  • 20% of my readers use the Firefox browser
  • 6.8% of Grumpy readers get to my site over dial-up
  • My blog's busiest day was January 14th, 2008, which was shortly after my Steaming Bowl of Suck, part 1 post
  • My blog's busiest month was April 2008, which coincided with the Battle of Basra.
So there you have it, if any other mil-bloggers want access to similar trivia for their own site, go on over to Google Analytics and sign up. If you need help shoot me an email (sgtgrumpy "at" gmail.com) Milbloggers get free grumpy tech support, all others are $120/hr.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Justice for Bosnia?

After years on the run, the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, was captured in Serbia last week. This man played a big role in stoking the fires of hatred and genocide in Bosnia Herzegovina. While all sides in this terrible three way civil war descended into the depths of human cruelty, Karadzic's forces led the way and were responsible for some of the most gruesome acts of inhumanity since WWII, and rival the behaviour of Al Qaeda in Iraq. This includes the round up and murder of 8,000 men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995, and the vicious shelling campaign against Sarajevo (66 people were killed and 200 wounded in just one day, documented here.)

It is particularly gratifying for me to see this bastard caught - catching him was one of our major "projects" in Bosnia, as "D" also discusses. Of course we did not, but we had several interesting meetings with people close to him. And being based out of Tuzla for part of my tour, I also heard many stories of terror and loss from the Muslims who lived in that area. The Serbs were not just fighting a war, they were terrorizing and brutalizing everyone in their path.

So we worked hard, but never caught him, always like a ghost he was, a rumor of his presence, but NATO was never fast enough. And then of course there must have been the obvious support from his former inner circle, and the rumors of the French leaking warnings to him and his crony in death, Radko Mladic. But the most likely was always the most obvious - he was said to be hiding in Serbia where he enjoyed support of the security services, and there were no foreign troops.

So what? Well there are several lessons that should be drawn from Bosnia. Of course, one of the lessons of Bosnia is that the U.N. is incompetent at stopping violence of any sort - it was only the threat of use of American force (by Bill Clinton) that stopped the fighting Bosnia and the actual use of force against Serbia that stopped the attacks in Kosovo. One of the bitter ironies of the war is that Srebrenica was "protected" by the U.N. as a "Safe Zone", thereby making it an UN Safe Zone. Truly, unsafe. The U.N. forces protected the civilians by standing by as the city was overrun, and helping organizing the bus loading. U.N. troops also played a vital role as human shields to protect against NATO (meaning American) air raids against Serb positions.

I am not saying the U.N. is useless mind you, the U.N. has successfully played an important role once fighting has been stopped but hopes that the U.N. could stop the genocide in say, Darfur, are misplaced. Sometimes the use of force is the only answer, and the U.N. is not the instrument for that. The Bosnian Serbs and the Darfur government both illustrate the fact that brutal regimes pay no heed to Western sit-ins, protests, lectures, boycotts, etc. While it may be hard to accept for some people who lived under the Western security blanket, some people cannot be reasoned with, some cultures only respect strength and force. It is not what we desire for the world, but it is still the world we live in.

Another lesson, which was reinforced for me during my tour in New Orleans, is that civilization is a thin veneer, and people are still a short step from a uncontrollable mob. Yugolsavia was, after-all, a model of Socialist success, an example held up by people like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and other Communist apologizers. Bosnia especially was the most ethically integrated part of Yugoslavia, with many intermarriages and multi-ethnic communities. New Orleans may well have been less ethnically integrated than Yugoslavia, but the rampant looting in an American city illustrates that even here, you must be prepared to defend your person and your property.

For those interested in learning more, here are a few recommendations that can help you understand. I also highly recommend the BBC website on Bosnia and it's personalities.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Help Soldier's Angels help Soldiers

You may have heard over at Blackfive that Soldier's Angels needs some help. These good folks provide some amazing support to Soldiers and their families in need. Certainly, if you can the best way to support them is to give direct. However, for those who may recall, Sergeant Grumpy also will donate 100% of commissions earned as a referral to Amazon to Soldier's Angels as well.

Now while I do not want to encourage unnecessary shopping - if you are going to buy something from Amazon anyway, please consider shopping for it through this blog, and know that your shopping will do some good.



Looking for recommendations for Warriors you know? Shop Sergeant Grumpy's Warrior store and commission there also support Soldier's Angels.

Sergeant Grumpy's Warrior Store

Friday, July 11, 2008

Waiting...

So it looks like I will be having surgery to repair a tear on my bicep tendon. I still don't have a surgery date, so I still haven't been able to plan some leave to take the family somewhere before school starts back up. Hopefully that will get squared away soon, in the meantime I have been well treated - there are an amazing amount of resources dedicated at demobing Soldiers who are injured in some ways. I am sure that this is because no one wants a Congressional inquiry after what happened at Walter Reed. I am also not sure if the program just happens to be good at this post, or if this is Army wide. I am grateful for it right now though. The biggest issue right now is figuring out how to keep my mind occupied now that I won't be returning to my civilian work and I have no mission to focus on. The "just being glad to be home" phase is over and I need something to do, we'll see.

That said I don't seem to have a lot to write about, although there are a few stories I have left to tell, I have not been motivated to sit and write. So for now I am just enjoying the mountain views, working out and trying to catch up on some non-military reading.