Chell in the Rain (Main Page)

Updated Message from Nick - 1 Million Pageviews!

August 25, 2011

Well, this has been quite amazing. The growth of this site has been extremely impressive. In 4 months we have hit over 1 million pageviews and 850,000 visits. I have received a few dozen wonderful emails, including about a dozen emails saying how this site has somehow helped them. I truly appreciate everyone who has emailed. Feel free to continue doing so as they really do make my day.

My life has changed considerably over the past few months. I am currently employed at a left-leaning training organization in Washington, D.C. I handle analytics, email blasts, online donations and do a bunch of online technical work for the organization. I was juggling my application to my current job as I was building this site.

I also lost my mother to metastatic melanoma a few months back. She was my biggest supporter and enjoyed the site tremendously. She was always proud of me, but when I told her of the outpouring I was getting she was especially happy. She got to see me graduate and land a job doing what I love. And while I cannot speak with her almost daily as I have in the past, I know she's proud.

I've been meaning to come back to this for quite some time. I have spoken with more than a few people who would like to generate their own sites and to be honest that wouldn't be that difficult to implement. The easiest way to keep up with what we are doing is to follow the site on Twitter.

So thank you for your time. It's been a few months of ups and downs but things are looking up.

-Nick Catalano

BTW, check out this video. It placed second(ish) on the Portal Music Video Contest.
You might recognize the start.

Message from Nick

May 1, 2011

First off, wow. I think at this rate we will hit 200,000 pageviews sometime this week (first week of May.) I did not expect this at all.

I figured if others were going to tell me about how this impacted them I should do the same. So if you want to hear my story, read on.

I want to share with you the story behind this, and where my life has been this past week, because I think the people who have shared their stories with me deserve to hear mine. I am graduating from college in a few weeks (May 13, 2011 at around 9AM CDT/GMT-5 actually) and starting a career... somewhere. I’ve been stressing out because I’m not 100% sure where I was going to go and how I am going to pay for it.

But then I first got this background image. As I had it sitting on my second monitor I started playing this song. And as I thought through my problems I would look over and see the image you see now. And start dreaming of what it would be like to be in that scene. What it would be like to run my hands through tall uncut grass as the sun was setting in the distance and a light rain started. I thought of what that would feel like, what that would smell like and what that would sound like.

I tried to mix together the rain sounds with the audio using some online tools I found, but it wasn’t turning out. It just didn’t look right and getting looping sound and adjustable volume isn’t that straightforward. So I decided that the only way I was going to see this through was to just make it myself as part of a webpage. So I did a quick search on how to setup two YouTube embeds so that I could control the volume on one and threw up this page, initially a small static page on a domain I have owned since I was a teenager.

It was nice... and I knew that, maybe, just maybe, someone else would find enjoyment in something I really just made for myself. So I submitted it to reddit.

I didn’t expect this.

When I hear the stories of people accomplishing tasks because of this or falling asleep to the sound, I am genuinely humbled. The stories I am getting on reddit, twitter and which I find elsewhere put a smile on my face. And for the first time I realize that while things may be rocky for a time they are ultimately going to be all-right.

And I think about walking through that field knowing that one journey is done and another is about to begin.

-Nick Catalano

And if you want to say something about the site, this note, or life in general I included a comment box below