President’s offices and servants’ stair

I’ve added a few new photos of the President’s Secretary’s Office and Private Study. I’ve also removed the pictures of Rose Mary Woods and put them on a hidden page for reference, since I’m sure the room is not the President’s Private Study, Dining Room, or Secretary’s Office.

Also, I’ve added a couple of pics from the recent History Channel special sent by Stephen of the staircase between the Butler’s Pantry and the Pastry Kitchen.

White House: Behind Closed Doors report

I just watched WH:BCD and here are a few things of interest:

  • It has a nice 3D WH and takes the lid off to show various parts. However, the floor plans are not significantly different from WHM’s and it does not show any parts (like the basement press offices) that I don’t have documented. It specifically avoids showing the layout of the third floor even when discussing it directly and showing it from the outside.
  • The servants’ spiral staircase definitely ends at the first mez level and has storage shelves built into the interior[!]
  • I believe we get our first glimpse at the basement mez pantry.
  • In addition to the Kitchen and state rooms, we get a good look at the guest rooms, Treaty Room, West Sitting Hall, and Private Dining Room.
  • Laura claims she and W stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom when they visited the Bush 1s. This contradicts her claims from Monarchy that they stayed in the Queens’ Bedroom. Then again, she also says that they hosted QE2 and Prince Charles in the Private Dining Room, while a picture is shown of the QE2 lunch in the Yellow Room.
  • There’s a good moment when the narrator says the WH is wired for 21st century living and we see a workman remove a wall panel to reveal what appear to be 50-year-old screw-type fuses.

Site stats

Visitorship continues to rise, apparently with a mention on MSN this week. Here are the page views from the past few weeks, the first of which represents the last “normal” week.

5-Oct-08 56,761
12-Oct-08 70,975
19-Oct-08 73,760
26-Oct-08 78,386
2-Nov-08 192,762
9-Nov-08 369,645
16-Nov-08 525,377

Mirror site

Visitor Dale sent a note about the mirror site, saying a lot of the pictures didn’t show up. I noticed and fixed a few several days ago, but I can’t find any now. Please comment on this message if you come across a page in the mirror site where photos aren’t showing up.

More QE2

I happened upon Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work this afternoon on public television and found episode 1 to include the queen’s visit to the White House. Here are some tidbits:

  • WH staff is shown touching up the paint, using Duron Exterior Alkyd/Oil Gloss labeled “Whisper – 248”.
  • Miss Beazley got into the white paint the day of the queen’s state dinner.
  • The queen’s visit was the occasion of the first (and, I think, only) white tie event during the Bush 2 administration.
  • Buckingham Palace is waaaay fancier than the WH, but some of the corridors are very narrow.
  • Bush 2 met the queen when she visited the WH during the Bush 1 time, 16 years earlier.
  • Barney likes to steal the president’s ball when he is practicing on the putting green and is very good at pulling golf balls out of the hole.
  • The president had a good joke about how he was concerned at how Barney would behave toward the queen, given that he is Scottish.
  • The Bush 1s stay in the Queens’ Bedroom when they visit the Bush 2 WH, as the Bush 2s did when they visited the Bush 1 WH.
  • Some of the queen’s house staff are what Mrs. Slocombe would have called “dead common”.
  • The queen’s lunch was held in the Yellow Oval Room.

Redecoration speculation

Fox News has an article on moving into the White House. It’s a follow-up to their piece about White House food.

The AP has something on first lady transition tours.

Very grumpy article from The Scotsman on how darn much presidents and prime ministers spend redecorating to make things “homely”. (British pound conversion: double it and add thirty.*)

The Californian has an article with some juicy cost details I haven’t seen before in the right sidebar.

* I may have that wrong.

I knew this would come in handy for something

I decided I can somewhat alleviate the site slowdown problem, at least for those who check this blog. I’ve uploaded nearly the entire site to as a mirror.

It’s still loading as of the moment, but keep an eye on it. Once the images get loaded, I’ll go thru and fix things like broken navigation links (like links from the site to this blog, which of course isn’t mirrored).

UPDATE: Actually, this is going to take hours. Please be patient.
UPDATE: Okay. All done. 1OC is practically an identical copy of WHM as of yesterday. WHM now has several main room pages and floor plan pages broken out into current and historical versions, as the Oval Office has been for some time.

Site performance still poor

I called GoDaddy again about the slow performance of the site, but they’ve confirmed that even with the upgrade it’s just swamped with user requests. Mirroring content wouldn’t even help, since it’s not a traffic thru-put problem.

The only real solution at this point would be to upgrade to my own server, which is $150 a month. And with donations still topping out at $0 a month, that’s not economically feasible. 😦

I’ll spend some time breaking up content so the individual pages have fewer images and see if that improves things.

Marine One

I finally added Peter Sharkey’s wonderful model of the new Marine One to the 3-D Models page. He created it quite a long while ago, but it looks great. I even did an X-ray view that looks very cool. (When I say I “did” it, I mean I clicked an option that says “X-Ray view.” Pete is the genius here.)

Site performance

I’ve upgraded my hosting plan with GoDaddy to allow for more concurrent users, which is what is causing the slow-down. Doubling the concurrent users should ease the traffic jam.

PS Can you tell I haven’t have a whole lot to do at work today?

New presidential limo

Jalopnik is reporting that GM is working on a new limousine for the president, a version of the GMC Topkick disguised as a giant Cadillac DTS. Since the DTS is a bigger STS, which is a bigger CTS, You would think they’d call this the LTS (for limo) or maybe even PTS.

I’ve always wanted the limo fleet controlled by the Army so the president’s car can be called Army 1 to match the names Air Force 1 and Marine 1, but that’s just my natural neurosis for parallelism.

Page views

Traffic went thru the roof as election day approached. I’m now getting some offers to add advertising, but the potential sponsors are kind of random (patriotic or DC-related products might make sense). This chart shows page views (not unique visitors) from the beginning of the site to this week, with this week’s final numbers partly a projection.

UPDATE: I’ve updated the chart to show the real numbers up to Saturday, and they’re even higher than I projected.