Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Google's Birthday

Happy 7th Birthday, Google! Can you believe it's only seven years old? That means Google came into existence in September 1998, the beginning of my senior year of high school. It seems like it has been around much longer, primarily because I can't remember what life was like before Google. Where did we go for information? How did I get through high school without it? It's crazy how quickly the world changes and how quickly we can become dependent on something that didn't even exist a decade ago. These days I always go straight to Google when I need to find the answer to practically any question. Where's Uzbekistan? Check Google. How many tablespoons are in a stick of butter? Check Google. What restaurants are in Dupont Circle? Check Google.

Which brings me to the question...If something can't be found using Google, does that mean that it doesn't really exist? It seems that everything is on the Internet and if it's out there, Google will find it. I can't get it to find two things, however, and that makes me wonder if they exist outside of my world.

1. I can't get Google to find the phrase "give him/her down the road" in the sense of telling someone off. I wrote about this before last year, and I just did another search without luck. Does this phrase exist outside of my small world?
2. The second verse of the birthday song, which I've always been a bit suspicious of, can not be found using Google. When I Google "second verse happy birthday," I get a second verse, but it's nothing like the one I know. When I Google combinations of "good health good wealth happy birthday," I get nothing. This second verse apparently does not exist beyond the Zimmerman family (and its offshoots), so I'm really really curious as to how it came about. Let me know if you know.

And as a final thought, isn't it interesting how "Google" is now also a verb. Seriously, you better watch out, Google is taking over.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My First Business Trip

Sunday night, I'm heading out to Santa Monica to go to our West Coast office. I've never been to Santa Monica, and I've only been to California once, so I'm kind of excited. Plus I've never got to go on a business trip. That part kind of makes me feel old, but at least I'm lucky that I'm going to Santa Monica and not the middle of Iowa or something lame like that. Our office is right on the Third Street Promenade and just a block or two from the beach, so that should be nice. I told Jeff he should come with me, but he's lame and says he needs to work. I told him he's dumb for passing up free hotel and meal money. If it were me, I'd go. But he is taking off Friday, because I'm meeting him up in Seattle for the weekend. Some relative from Sweden is going to be there, so it worked out nice that I can combine the two trips instead of having to do cross-country trips twice, especially since I really hate flying that far. So while it's work, next week is kind of like vacation.

The funny thing is that I'm going out to our West Coast office to teach everyone about our new Web sites. I'm like the office web guru, which is pretty hilarious, considering I've never thought of myself as all that computer knowledgeable. But I guess I know more than I thought, and I've learned a lot (mostly self-taught) in the almost three months I've been working here. So far the Web sites seems to be functioning well, so I guess I'm doing alright. It's strange the positions you find yourself in. Who would have thought I'd have a job where one of the main parts of my job was being the computer know-it-all...and on both PCs and Macs? I just amaze myself. Wonder what else I can do? Anyhow, if you're at all interested in the Web sites or the organization, please go check it out. From there, you can check out the other three sites I run - Contentbank, Techpolicybank, and Expresslane. Exciting, eh?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Lunch in Dupont Circle

I think I'm going to write a book called "Today, While I Was Sitting in Dupont Circle..." and just write little anecdotes about the things that happen to me while I'm sitting there. So far, I could include the following:

*I was treated to a concert by a group of Christian teenagers. Not only did they sing Creed's "Higher", they also did interpretive dancing to it. Then they capped it off with a song that must have lasted at least five minutes but contained nothing but the words "My God is an amazing God." Apparently not so amazing as to give them any songwriting or singing talent, however.

*I had my lunch eaten by a homeless man. Having finished what I wanted to eat and sat it down next to me, I got on the phone. I felt someone sit down close by but I didn't turn to look, as they are usually weird people I don't really want to engage with. When I did finally look over, I found the homeless man who I had earlier seen dropkicking imaginery things eating my leftovers. Not wanting to be dropkicked myself, I let him eat them, but I was a little annoyed that he threw away my tupperware.

*I watched a man pee on the sidewalk. Not only did he not go to a store to try to use the bathroom or at least go over to a tree, he didn't even get up off the bench. He just pulled down his fly and let his pee rainbow right onto the sidewalk. A policeman wasn't 20 feet away, and he had to have seen it, but he just ignored it. Guess he didn't want to get peed on.

*I met a man who chatted me up about foreign policy, telling me that he worked under Condoleeza Rice and did all kinds of things that he couldnt' really tell me about. He was knowledgeable on a lot of subjects, but his mind jumped all over the place, making the conversation somewhat hard to follow. I had to wonder what he was doing just sitting in the circle and hanging out if he had such a high power job. Then when I saw him again a few days later, with the same clothes on, carrying the same bag, and sitting in the same place, I really started to wonder. Maybe he's undercover...or maybe he's just another crazy.

*I was serenaded with Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" by some guy who was originally just wandering around the park but then decided to stand right in front of me and belt it out as loud as he could. Slightly awkward.

*I was approached by a guy asking if he could take a cab to IKEA. I told him that I didn't know of any laws forbidding it (seemed like a dumb question to me), and he then told me that my "ensemble" was nice.