Tuesday, December 21, 2004

hello, flower mound!

Someone who visits my blog fairly regularly lives in Flower Mound, Texas. Or at least they're routed through there, somehow; I'm not entirely clear on how the system works. Statcounter gives me certain information about visitors--city/state/country, IP address, browser, screen resolution, referring site if there is one.

It's a little bit of a puzzle, and sort of fun. There are certain people I can pick out from this information. People I know (my friends here, Kate in D.C.), or people I haven't met who have written to me--Eric in Seattle, Ken in Kansas. Eric's got "tukw" in his address, and Ken "sunflower", which always makes me smile when I see it in the middle of the hash of numbers and letters that make up most of Statcounter's only-sort-of-helpful listings. Sometimes I can figure it out from someone's location and my knowledge of what kind of computer they use; other times I can figure it out by which link they consistently use to get to me.

But Statcounter isn't as interesting now as it used to be, in part because Blogger's "next blog" button means I get a fair number of hits from people who are just surfing through, bored. And I feel bad sometimes when I see the searches that have led people to me; here they were looking for real information on, oh, some kind of animal or something else that I've referenced, and instead they get... this.

But I was talking about Flower Mound. I have no idea who that is, but I love it that there's a place with a name like that. Especially in Texas, which I've never seen and imagine to be kind of dry and hilly. I am so curious that I went ahead and did a search, and learned that the Town of Flower Mound, population roughly 50,000 souls, boasts a wind sculpture that looks like a bunch of giant spoons. It's also conveniently located in the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (which sounds very William Gibson BAMA or Sprawl to me), the median age is 33.3 years, and Flower Mound kids do better on every section of the SAT than either other Texan kids or the national average. The rather literal, dry quality of the Web site--and the apparent blinding whiteness of the place (91% of the population as of the 2000 census self-identified as "white") aside, FM actually seems kind of sweet and sane.

But I'm piecing that together. I haven't found any photos of so much as a flowery hillock. One close-up photo of some wildflowers, and a few shots of Lake Grapevine, and a link to another site that exhorts me to check out the shopping. A timeline of the town's history, road by road. And a list of statistics by which I can determine that even on the biggest day as yet recorded, the good people of FM managed to stay 2.5 million gallons below their water system's maximum capacity.

But what is it like? I have no idea. I'm hoping my FM visitor will go out and take some pictures with a little more juice than the official ones on the site (Police Car in Front of City Hall) and send them on to me.