Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


RESEARCHING AND COMPOSING is great fun. As the dotty old woman said, “I never know quite what I’m going to say until I say it.” And so it is with my topics, initiated, researched and composed almost daily.

Part of the fun is a statistical analysis of website readership. About half of you reside outside the U.S. A typical daily array of others might include Canada, France, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Ukraine, New Zealand and Brazil in a top ten.

Occasionally, there are inexplicable concentrations of a particular country: Finland with half that day’s readers, Japan with a similarly skewed abundance. Statistics on which topics are accessed give only partial explanation of this. Sometimes, it’s that day’s topic. Other times, an older item seems to go viral.

Three come to mind: “Celebrating Eugene Bullard,” one of the two black pilots in World War I; “Hurrah for the Hurg!,” the vintage Brit H.R.G. sports car; and “Henry Dreyfuss—Designer for Humanity.” Whatever the appeal, it’s a delight to see items with longevity. I suspect this is perhaps because they pop up responding to internet queries.

Another delight is recognizing that a goodly number of readers access the website early each day—or at least early each day in the U.S. Pacific time zone whence each new item appears.

This brings me to a matter based on an old R&T joke of running from drugstore to drugstore with a red pencil to correct an error in the magazine. The need for this, thankfully, was rare. One I recall was when an article on the Packard Gray Wolf was titled Gray Fox. Maybe this was honoring Lil Fox, rest her soul, the associate art director or maybe not….

Wouldn’t it be appealing to transform errors already committed to print? Come to think on it, this conceit is implicit in Jasper Fforde’s wonderful Thursday Next adventures. In her parallel universe, things in print exist in constantly changeable format occasionally challenged by evil-doers. For example, in The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel, master criminal Acheron Hades highjacks the Jane Eyre plot until Thursday counters by giving it a happy ending.


But, of course, that’s fiction. And magazine publishing is, after a fashion, the real world.

So is website publishing, with one important difference—and this is the disclosure mentioned in today’s title. Each new item appears at at 6:05 a.m. in the U.S. Pacific time zone. My regular activity is to listen to BBC World Service news at 6 a.m., then go directly to the website for a look. Full disclosure: I do all this using my iPhone while still abed.


In the early days of, there were occasional discrepancies in appearance between the full-screen view on my PC and the mini look on the mobile (access to which had to wait until an actual posting). I’d allow myself instant editing to correct such anomalies.

I also formulated a protocol of other permissible revisions, something only dreamt of in the old days. These are of two sorts. First, if a reader corrects something, I insert a bracketed update within the item, perhaps with date if the item is a long-standing one.



The second revision protocol is an instant one, while I’m still abed. A typo may be caught. A minor change of wording might take place. And, one hopes, the inappropriate Fox is replaced by a Wolf. All within the first 20 minutes or so after the item’s online debut.

So, I confess to readers throughout the world: For the archival, read it after 6:25 U.S. Pacific. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2016


  1. phil ford
    April 13, 2016

    I certainly wish I could catch all my mistakes within 20-minutes …

  2. sabresoftware
    April 14, 2016

    I don’t know if I register on your daily stats very often as most days I usually read your item as an email (usually abed myself), only venturing onto the WordPress site when I comment or to look up an older item.

  3. Bill Urban
    April 14, 2016

    Dotty old woman said: “I never know quite what I’m going to say until I say it.”
    E. L. Doctorow offers a variation for roads and even tracks: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
    Dennis, keep up the good works. Don’t change a thing (after 6:20 🙂

  4. worldwidewilli
    April 15, 2016

    Dennis, add Italy to that list if we haven´t already made it. Hopefully there are a number of us. Ever entertaining stuff. Write on…

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