Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Mystery of the German Anglers

I've mentioned before that behind the scenes at the blog, I am able to see a bunch of statistics about which pages are being looked at, referring URLs, and the like.  In perusing these stats the other day, I noticed a huge...and I mean huge...amount of traffic on one particular post.  As in five times as much traffic over the course of a week as it had previously seen in total! 

What could be going on?  I cross checked against the referring URLs and found that the traffic appeared to be coming from, I kid you not, a German fishing forum, in a thread called "Anglerboot selber bauen?!?", or "Fishing boat, build your own?!?"

Reading through the thread, the situation slowly became clear.  I worked through it non-chronologically and going back and forth with Google Translate but to ease reading, here are the highlights, in chronological order, Google Translated and mildly edited.

It all started innocently enough, with that age-old inquiry:

RKO9:  "Since I do not want to spend that much on a rowing boat for fishing, I had the idea to build a small rowing boat.  Is it worth it and do any of you have experience with this? Maybe one of you has a set of plans?"

Taxidermist:  "Google the terms 'stitch and glue', or 'dory'!" 

That sounds like good advice.

RKO9:  "Thank you for helping me, I will now do it.  I'll now build a Flatboat and when it is ready, I'll post photos."

Wow, that was quick.  The guy Googles stitch and glue and that quick, he's off!  Clearly others thought the same thing...

Taxidermist:  "... Will not you check maybe a few alternatives, and at least become familiar with the design? ...  But first, this is actually not that cheap, at least when the work included in the calculation!  Space and material must be added, not to mention specialized tools!"

After that there was the usual choruses of "good luck" and "I'd like to see the results."  A mere seven hours later, we get a status report:

RKO9:  "The frame is up already, but can not take a picture because my brother like the camera in the work has. (ed: I think Google lost something in the translation there) And taking a good photo with my phone is almost impossible. Picture will follow." 

Clearly there was reason to be perplexed, by the rapid progress...

hein mama"If the frames are there already ... I didn't realize that you were already so far."

Forum for German anglers, February 2013
RKO9:  "Thank you, but so far I have not progressed much because of my homework.  (Lecture and memorize poems with 30 stanzas learn) 
 And instructed the mother says only work before pleasure. "  ("instructed the mother"?...more lost-in-Google Translation there)

And now, a mere day after first contemplating the project, we get our first look at his progress:

Solitude III, May 2011

A round of congratulations poured forth:

Scorpian85: "... really cool ..."

zander nose: "Working for 2 days, this looks really quite nifty ... What design are you building? "

volkerma:  "Good clean work! ..."

Franky: "Not bad ..."

No kidding.  It took me months to get that far, and he did it in only two days!  Not only that, but he did it in my garage, thousands of miles from Germany.  With the same wood I did.  Now that's German efficiency!  Proud of his accomplishments, our intrepid boat builder opened up even more and was willing to divulge some insight into the cost and the origin of the design:

RKO9:  "I think my dad has paid 25-35 € for the wood so far.  No plans...only what's in my head."

Not only is the guy efficient, but frugal.  And a savant.  But then, a crack appeared:

Taxidermist: "It looks on the screen as if you've got installed a centerboard trunk! Or am I mistaken?  Is this to be a sailing dinghy?"

And just that quickly, the wheels came flying off:

atibandi:  "That's a fake!! Here is the link to the original builder of the boat:  http://leeboatworkspocketship.blogspot.com/2011/05/its-starting-to-look-boat.html
Just embarrassing!!!!"

Profound shock followed this startling revelation:

Taxidermist:  "Have I not seen correctly, a yawl and steal to boot (ie the image)!"

One6Zero3:  "Hahahaha.  Owned!"

derporto:  "very ungentlemanly! ... it is hard to think of a rational reason why one should waste time and energy, in a fishing forum, listing such a sophisticated fake ..." 

Taxidermist:  "...  Perhaps he is amused about our "stupidity"? ..."

Weird things happen on the web, and I can't say I ever thought that this blog would achieve this kind of international fame.  It is all just a little too out there to believe... Atibandi, you are my new hero.  How you saw through this elaborate deception and found the original owner of that picture, I can't even begin to guess.  Danke.

Perhaps the best summary is expressed in the immortal words of Taxidermist, "Ich habe den Verdacht,dass sich da ein ganz armes W├╝rstchen hinter verbirgt, der einem eigentlich leid tun sollte,"  or, as lost-in-translation by Google, "I suspect that as a very poor sausage hides behind that one should do really sorry!

That probably makes more sense in German, but I think we know what he means.

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