Tag Archives: Gas Pumps

The Problem With Gas Pumps – Revisited

29 Aug

In the early days of this blog, I wrote a post about gas pumps and how they think humans are stupid. Now that I think about it, I may have started this blog specifically to write that post. For a long time, that one post brought people to this site, and it still leads as the most read thing that I have written. To understand this post, I encourage you to read “The Problem With Gas Pumps.”

I was hoping that the years would bring gas pumps that thought more highly of us, but, alas, that has not happened. My regular gas station just installed new pumps that are slick. You can even watch television while standing under the bright neon lights. Unfortunately, they have not learned anything about the intelligence of people.

When you get to the pump, this is the first screen that you see.image-50

That is easy enough. I am using a credit card, so I hit the button that says “Pay Here with Credit.” Now, the pump knows my intentions. That is when the next screen pops up. It says “Insert Credit Card.”image-51

That makes sense. I told the gas pump that I was using a credit card. Now, it wants my credit card. I put the credit card in the slot.

Now, this screen pops up.image-52

Wait a minute. It is asking “Debit Y/N.” Why is it asking this question? I already told the gas pump that I am using a credit card. I inserted the credit card. Now, it is asking if it is a credit card. Do people go through the credit card process only to insert a debit card? Does it happen enough that the gas pump has to ask this question of everyone?

That is my problem with gas pumps. They think humans are too dumb to know the difference between a credit card and a debit card. They think that we would go through that entire process to only use the wrong one. I have a real problem with gas pumps thinking we are that dumb.

I have written about this before, and I will probably write about it again.


It Was A Very Good Year

3 Feb

Due to events out of my control – namely, a trip to Cancun and the start of school – I never got around to analyzing my year-end fireworks show and review. As Frank Sinatra sang, it was a very good year.Frank Sinatra September

It was also a very interesting year because only one of the top five posts was written in 2013.

Into the Sunset (April 2013) is the one that got Freshly Pressed. If you ever wondered what happened to the cowboy after he rode into the sunset, then you may want to check it out.

Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition (May 2012) is the first in a series of posts about bits of wisdom to be found in movie dialogue. You would be surprised at how many people want to know what Burt Reynolds had to say. That is especially true for one line in Smokey and the Bandit.

Listeria – Gunslingers Edition (November 2012) is exactly what the title says – a list of the great gunfighters of the West. It probably gets attention because of all the names tagged in it. However, the best part can be found in the comments. Somebody wanted me to know that I had the death date of Jesse James wrong. He faked his death and lived to be an old man.

Listeria – Western Actors Edition (October 2012) is also what the title says – a list of the great actors known for the Western genre. It also gets attention because of the names that are tagged. Check it out. If you can think of something who should be on the list, then let me know.

The Problem With Gas Pumps (November 2011) is one of the first posts I ever wrote. For a long time, it dominated the stats of the blog. For a while, it was like everyone was searching for gas, gas pumps, gasoline pumps or pictures of gas pumps. Its rule over the SBI world has faded, but it will definitely be the first inductee into my personal Blogging Hall of Fame.

The annual report also lists the top commenters of 2013. Feedback is important, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. These are the ones who commented the most.

Dying Note has been commenting on this blog almost as long as there has been a blog.

Marilyn over at Serendipity is someone I always like to hear from.

Manu Kurup is a frequent commenter and great blogger.

Front Range Scribbles posts great comments and has introduced new music to an old music lover like me.

My Favorite Westerns is a great place to go to learn about that movie genre, but a lot of great comments about other subjects also come from there.

Oh, you might like to know the top search terms for 2013. I wonder who many blogs have Johnny Ringo and Porno as the top two search terms. If you find one, then let me know. I would like to read it.

A Post About Posts

10 Jun

I am always fascinated by what brings people to this blog and what they read when they arrive. Occasionally, I will go over to the stats page and see where the posts rank in viewership, and, the other day, I did just that. Some I knew would be there. Others were a little surprising.Eleven

The Problem With Gas Pumps“, as it has for months, stands at the top of the list. In the early days of this blog, I wrote a sarcastic view of gas pumps and how they think we are imbeciles. For a long time, no one read it. Then, it hit big. This post controlled this blog for a long time, and I can’t figure out why.

Into the Sunset” brought a huge surprise when it was Freshly Pressed. The idea for this one kicked around in my head for a few days before I wrote it. When I got around to it, there was no plan. I just typed. When I got the email that said it had been noticed, I sat there stunned.

Victorian Brothelese” was another early post and covers my research topic in graduate school. I am sure you noticed the word brothel in the title. You can imagine the search terms that get people to this one.

At some point, I came up with the bright idea to look for movie quotes that provide life lessons. My first attempt at this was “Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition“. I’m not sure people are looking for wisdom from Burt, but, from the search terms, I know there are a lot of fans of Smokey and the Bandit out there.

At another point, I decided to use our fascination with lists as a topic and came up with Listeria, a combination of List and Hysteria. Get it. Listeria. Anyway, two of those posts have hit the big time. The first is “Listeria – Gunslingers Edition“, and the second is “Listeria – Western Actors Edition“. There seems to be another theme there, as well.

The Good, the Bad and the Presidential” gets a lot of hits from folks trying to find out which of our presidents was any good. I’m not sure that I can help them, but I have provided a handy list of who I think was any good.

One of my personal favorites is “Dirty Deeds and Thunder Chief“, an examination of lyrics that people get wrong. You would be surprised at how many people search for the exact words in the title. Perhaps, I should write a fictional biography of Thunder Chief and throw them off track.

Another favorite is “Sometimes It’s a Western, Sometimes It’s a Porno“. I love the search terms that bring people to this one. I didn’t realize that were so many people wanting Western themed porn. Honestly, the porn studios are missing a real opportunity here. Unfortunately, this post isn’t what they are looking for.

One of the best experiences of my life was meeting a man named Tom Drake, and I wrote about it in “The Cullman Comet“. This is a post that I would like everyone to read. Truly, he is an interesting man.

Finally, another early post has worked its way toward the top. “A Requiem for Josey Wales” is an examination of one of my favorite movies. For years, my mom complained because my father, my brother and I watched it every time it came on television. Then, she watched it and liked it. This is a movie that should be required viewing for every human.

Those are the titles at the top of the charts. It’s probably cheesy to link a bunch of posts like that, but, from a personal view, it’s interesting to see what draws people to this blog. It looks like these are the ones.

Thank God for Gas Pumps

24 Sep

All of us bloggers like to look at our stats. At least, I assume all of us bloggers like to look at our stats. I know that I do, anyway. It’s not like I look at them all of the time. Wait, I do look at them often, but that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to point out an anomalous point in the stats. I have pointed it out before but feel the need to point it out again.

One of my earlier posts, The Problem With Gas Pumps, completely dominates this blog. In fact, it makes up 17% of the total page views in the SBI universe and outnumbers the next 30 posts combined. Undoubtedly, some of its popularity is due to the excellent writing exemplified by the post. However, I believe most of the popularity comes from the fact that it includes this picture:

This picture drives more page views than a topless picture of a princess.

Don’t believe that gas pumps dominate? Here are the top 15 search terms for Surrounded by Imbeciles.

1. gas pumps

2. gas pump

3. gasoline pump

4. pictures of gas pumps

5. josey wales

6. gasoline pumps

7. dumas brothel

8. mount rushmore conspiracy theories

9. outlaw josey wales

10. pump gas

11. picture of gas pumps

12. the outlaw josey wales

13. images of gas pumps

14. gas pump image

15. picture of a gas pump

The only things that bust the monopoly are people looking for old prostitutes; people looking for hidden meanings in stone-faced presidents; and, people who are fans of Clint Eastwood’s best movie.

Bloggin’ ain’t much of a livin’ boy.

In honor of The Problem With Gas Pumps and to gratuitously promote other posts, I present the ten posts that are eating the most dust.

Victorian Brothelese – There are the whores that people are looking for.

Greetings and Salutations – You can always count on the About page.

Dirty Deeds and Thunder Chief – My ode to lyrics that people mess up.

Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition – Watch some Burt Reynolds movies. It will make you smarter.

A Requiem for Josey Wales – “To Hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Presidential – There is more bad than good in this post.

It’s a Conspiracy – If you think things aren’t as they seem, then read this post.

John Wayne and Edgar Allan Poe – What? You didn’t know poetry could be learned from a John Wayne movie?

Memories of a Day in September – My thoughts on the anniversary of 9/11.

A Totally Not Funny Account of My Trip to New Orleans – It’ll make you cry.

Charting a Mystery

16 Feb

A month ago I wrote a post about old posts that we have probably forgotten about and how they don’t disappear but hang around in cyberspace until cyberspace collapses on itself. The post about “old posts” was inspired by the second ever post I published on this site – an ode to the peculiarities of gas pumps. It had never gotten any hits, then, all of a sudden, a person took a look at it. Needless to say, I was thrilled that some of the things I had written while wandering in this newfound wilderness of blogging had been read. I went back to look at it again. I wrote a new post about the experience. Then, I went on my merry blogging way.

Then, something strange happened. It got another hit. And another one. And another one. On and on it went for days. Each time I looked at the “Site Stats” another search engine term was popping up.

gas pumps

gasoline pump

pushing credit or debit at a gasoline pump

gasoline pump pictures

pictures of gasoline pumps

In a matter of weeks, a post that laid dormant forever and had been given up as unreadable and forgotten had just gone to the top of the Hit Parade. Once lagging behind at a total of ZERO hits, the sarcastic look at pumping gas reached the top of the charts and passed such favorites as:

Dirty Deeds and Thunder Chief

Guns ‘n Roses in Nashville

John Wayne and Edgar Allan Poe

It seemed that I had a mystery on my hands and needed the help of those meddling kids in the Mystery Machine. Have gas pumps suddenly gained a new popularity? Are people becoming interested in the intricacies of debit and credit card use? Has this become the hip thing to look up among hipsters?

To solve the mystery, I started up the search engine and began looking myself. Starting with the simplest search term, I typed in “gas pumps” and looked around. Page after page, I could not find a reference to the “Surrounded by Imbeciles” world. Then, I shifted to images, and, behold, “Surrounded by Imbeciles” appeared as the first entry on the first line.

Part of the mystery was solved, searchers had come to me through the photo I uploaded to the post. When they hit images, there it appeared. However, a second mystery remains. Why, in the middle of January, did gas pumps become so popular? Even after being forced to watch Murder, She Wrote as a kid, I don’t believe I have the sleuthing talents to figure it out. Perhaps, you readers can help. Or, maybe I should call the In Search Of version of Leonard Nimoy.