Three Um’s or Two O’s, Which Is It?

Monday, November 12, 2001

The following paragraph recently appeared on a special page of our site:

Our site was located at for a while, but just like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, we came back here. Now that Ummamum’s World (Version 15) is completed, The Oo Kingdom is closed, and the domain will be up for sale.

Soon after this was posted, we decided to keep The Oo Kingdom after all! Let’s pretend, for a moment, that the swallows can talk. Their aerial conversation might sound something like this:

One swallow says to another, “Uh… which way is Capistrano?” The other replies, “Gee… uh… I’m not so sure.” He scratches his head in mid-flight. “Capistrano,” he says thoughtfully, “is that where we’re supposed to be headed?” The first swallow answers him, “Yeah, I think so… or wait, maybe it was cappuccino.

“That’s it!” he exclaims. “I thought the leader said we were going to Capistrano, but what he really must have said was, ‘We’re going for a cappuccino!’”

Stupid management decisions seem to be the American way. Take this case in point: in 1985, the Coca-Cola company announced a new product. Market research indicated that customers didn’t like Coke as well as Pepsi because Pepsi was sweeter and had a milder flavor. So Coca-Cola introduced a new Coke that was sweeter and milder (translate: bland). Customers panicked and hoarded the original product. Sales of Coke dropped. The company became a laughingstock. Finally they brought back the original Coke and renamed it “Coca-Cola Classic”. After a brief time, the “new” Coke was discontinued.

All that being said, it doesn’t excuse our own fleeting and foolish “decisive indecisions” regarding the placement of this website. Trust me: I really feel embarrassed and humiliated about moving the site back and forth like this. So let me explain how it all happened, beginning with the first two moves. The following was published on Monday, November 5, 2001:

Why all the fuss?

  1. To begin with, we were having problems at this location. This server was often slow or not working at all, and the problems lasted for over a month.

  2. In addition, our sites on Yahoo! GeoCities were plagued with JavaScript errors that were not of our own making, but were caused by the server-generated ad squares.

  3. Having six different websites was a pain in the neck anyway, and we wanted to consolidate them into one. So we bought the domain and built the new site.

  4. We learned that in order for the domain to work, we have to pay for web hosting. I found a company ( that only charges seven dollars a month, not bad but still more expensive than the no-ads hosting that comes free with our Internet service. Between the domain registration and the web hosting, we would be paying about $100 per year, and we’re not even selling anything! At any rate, this server appears to be fixed now and working better than ever.

  5. Immediately upon publishing The Oo Kingdom, I registered the site with four major search engines. A month later, none of them had us listed, but at least seven search engines listed the site at this location, including Google, AltaVista, Lycos, AllTheWeb, MSN, Ask Jeeves and Hotbot. You can search either Ummamum or “Charlie Petitt” and find us on any of them!

    It seems that what you need to do to gain listings on search engines is simply to stay put long enough for word to get around the Internet, at least a year or so. Or else pay for keywords, which I’m not about to do.

Anyway, that’s how all this happened. Rest assured that we won’t be moving again unless we change our Internet service, which I don’t expect will be any time soon.

As you can see from our latest decision, I made a liar of myself in short order! So now I owe you an explanation for our third and final move, back to The Oo Kingdom. I may look stupid for doing this, but I have thought long and hard about it this time and have also discussed it at length with my wife and son. Here are the issues we addressed:

  1. Our commitment to an ad-free, error-free site led us to close our sites on GeoCities. This was a good decision.

  2. It was a good idea to consolidate all of our sites “under one roof.”

  3. The Charter webpage server is working OK for now, though it isn’t quite as speedy as the one that hosts The Oo Kingdom. And we are guaranteed 99.9% + server uptime on that one. We haven’t enjoyed that luxury on Charter.

  4. And what if we do change our Internet service someday? Do we really want to go through all of this again?

  5. Then there’s the problem, not mentioned here before, of the long URL, And people always seem to ask, “How do you spell that Ummamum again?” is much shorter and simpler, and when I explain that my childhood nickname was Oo (with two O’s but pronounced OO-oo), they usually get it right away.

  6. So maybe $100 or so per year isn’t too much to pay for what we’re getting… especially when we only get 10 megs of Web space on Charter, and we have 7 megs tied up already! If we stayed put and then outgrew our Web space, what would we do then?

  7. The worry about search engine listings was foolish and short-sighted. Sooner or later, the search engines will catch up with the move. In the meantime, we can post pages on the Charter server to redirect visitors into the new site. Duh.

  8. There’s another matter that my son, Joe, pointed out. I’ve saved it until last because it sounds superstitious. But it is true that every version of the site posted to the Charter server has been fraught with design problems, often JavaScript errors. Visitors using Netscape 3 would find that Ummamum’s World Version 15 (the last one on Charter) was no exception! Is it a curse?

So the “two O’s” (Oo) will now reign supreme on our website. But what about the “three um’s” (Ummamum)? I think we have a solution in the works. Once it unfolds, the details of it will be posted on a second page here at Oo’s Writings.

We extend a sincere THANK YOU to all who have patiently visited and/or linked to our site during this confusing chapter in our history. Stay tuned… it has to get better!