My Old Kentucky Homesite

Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Tiger Woods and Sarah Palin: What’s Going On?

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 04/09/2010

We oh-so-rational atheists are not supposed to just spout off about any old thing, particularly ideas for which we lack evidence. Still, most of us, if we’re being completely truthful, have to acknowledge that we do harbor a few beliefs that might not withstand scientific scrutiny.

A few years back, I wrote a confessional post in which I admitted to some notions that fall into the above category. I’m not going to repeat the items here – most of them were too dull to have been written even once – but I’ll include the first one to show the kind of thing I mean:

Despite all my protestations of tolerance, I really do, deep down, think that anyone who believes in a god is a moron.

Anyway, here are some more unverifiable beliefs by which I live my life:

(1) There’s never anything on TV so important to watch that it’s worth cancelling or postponing any other activity.

(2) People who call you by name at the end of every sentence are always trying to sell you something.

(3) Weddings are a huge waste of money. Nobody ever enjoys them except the bride’s teenage female cousins.

(4) A world with Entenmann’s Chocolate Donuts is heaven enough for anybody.

(5) Doing the newspaper’s sudoku, Jumble, and crossword every day helps stave off senile dementia.

(6) Being a politician and being honest are mutually exclusive.

(7) Most Americans would embrace the most dictatorial political system if they thought it would lower their taxes and help them keep their crappy jobs.

(8) People who believe in a god always picture him as either a baby, a suffering misfit, Charlton Heston, or their father with a long, white beard.

(9) Kids need to have critical thinking abilities far more than they need to have self-esteem.

(10) Sex is fine in the afternoon and at night, but in the morning there’s nothing as good as a bowl of crunchy, sugary breakfast cereal.

(11) Sports stars and entertainers are not heroes.

(12) A twenty-something who says “WTF” in a face-to-face conversation is a fucking idiot.

(13) Unless you’re deluding yourself, it’s impossible to really like the taste of “lite” beer.

(14) The Pope is just an Ayatollah who speaks Italian.

(15) Some activities in life don’t need — and so shouldn’t have — an app.

(16) Driving, no matter how fast it’s done, is not a sport.

(17) Country music singers are not “artists.” Most of them are hardly even singers, f’Chrissake.

(18) No matter how creative it is, a billboard never made anybody change his or her mind about anything.

(19) A good post title will get you more hits on your Web site than interesting content.

(20) Nobody except those actually involved in the proceedings should give a rat’s ass who Tiger Woods or Sarah Palin screwed.

Readers, feel free to add any irrational beliefs that you may espouse.

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Posted in Freedom from Faith, Google, Seriously Silly, Useless Lists | 16 Comments »

Son of Googl-oetry

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 02/25/2010

Every day, millions of people enter keywords into Internet search engines, and get pointed to sites that frequently have little or nothing to do with the information they’re seeking. Sometimes, those unfortunate pilgrims wind up reading my drivel. As most bloggers do, I know a couple of methods by which I can track specific phrases that have led the unwary to my weird little corner of the Web. Unlike many others, however, I actually keep a list of those terms.

At first, I did so for my own amusement. At my previous blog, I was extremely flattered that someone, somewhere, would want to hear what I had to say about “tact is overrated.”  I was ecstatic when I learned that “fart sounds and what they mean” brought a knowledge-hungry populace in contact with my ideas. ”  Eagerly, I imagined sharing with the world my insights on “rosebud underwear.”

However, I soon tired of my collection. All those inane word-strings grew dull after a while.

But then, in July of 2007, I invented a new art form: Googl-oetry. At last I found a way to use, verbatim, some of those perplexing key phrases I’d amassed.

Now, I’ve got a new blog, and a new set of intriguing search terms. Each line in the following epic, including both of its alternate titles, was originally typed as a search term by someone who had no idea that he or she was contributing to great art. Crafting these entries carefully, I lovingly created a verse for our times (11:43 p.m. by my New York Airways clock).  As you can see, the work is both beautiful and profound — although perhaps unintelligible.  But then, the Googl-oet works in mysterious ways.

certainty limits freedom
or
yiddish for grumpy

whats kentucky famous for
ashley judd johnny depp
johnny depp ashley judd
ashley judd and johnny depp
johnny depp and ashley judd
old kentucky overalls
does johnny depp ever go back to kentucky?
i saw johnny depp in lexington
translating the ten commandments to our own language of 2010

can you swallow ky
“tomato brandy” -hybrid -“brandy wine” -sauce -aioli -seed -boy –soup
“de-lovely” jingle soda
authentic chopped liver
coney dog in kentucky
kentucky colonel dog
2 a day
stomach flu 2010 january kentucky
“the great american bathroom book”

how is old kentukey is diffrent from this kentukey
pterodactyl sightings kentucky
creature encounter with driver in kentuc
religious fanatics in kentucky
silly podunk kentuckians
d cup moms
free casual sexual encounters owensboro

thats my homesite
place that is never cloudy
winston churchill homesite
millard fillmore homesite
my old kentucky fa la la
my kentucky bell the poem
yiddish cacamoon
coonskin rotten
my old kentucky wallberg

Posted in From Bad to Verse, Google, Seriously Silly | 12 Comments »

Read the Book While You See the Movie

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 01/10/2010

Every now and then I get tired of being curmudgeonly, so I  try to take a few hours off from grumbling. This is tougher to do than you’d think, because sometimes the only way I know I’m really alive here in Lexington is to feel cranky.

But on these mellow occasions, I do make an attempt to relax my mind, not burdening it with any cantankerous details whatsoever. That may be easy for some of my butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-heads fellow Kentuckians, but it’s no easy task for me. Still, tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m gettin’ old.  So, just for tonight, I didn’t want to have to rev myself up to my usual level of orneriness.

Instead, my wife and I spent some time reminiscing about the good old days. The good old days — which, really, weren’t that great unless you liked French-cut canned stringbeans — were back when only birds tweeted, back before anyone who wasn’t a pie-maker ever thought about a blackberry, back before “iPod therefore iAm.” We certainly had no such thing as Google, where every factual error in the world can be summoned within seconds. In those days, people found information by reading books. I’m not kidding. We turned pages with our — yuck! — fingers.

Of course, that’s an outmoded procedure nowadays, but my wife and I are kind of outmoded ourselves. So, even though each of us can do esearch with the best of them, we still often find ourselves racing to our bookshelves whenever we’re hungry for tidbits of information. You can’t teach an old dog new nitpicks. That’s why it takes us about a week and a half to get through a 90-minute DVD.

To be more precise about the reason it takes us so long: It’s because we’re Lookies.

The original Lookies were a couple of friendly question-mark-shaped children in the 1950s who urged kids to nag their parents for the World Book Encyclopedia. Their motto, as I remember it, was: “We never guess; we look it up. ‘Cause we’re the Lookies!”

I’ve been a Lookie all my life, and so has my ladylove. Years ago, when we first combined living quarters, we sat our two reference collections down and promised that we’d show no favoritism. But now, ages later, we still don’t trust each other’s books.

“What does ‘heuristic’ mean?” she might ask, peering at me above the top of her magazine article.

“I’m not sure. Let’s look it up.”

“Use my dictionary.”

“Mine’s better.”

“Well, it’s my word.”

Our Lookitude really flourishes, though, when we’re watching a film. As we were earlier today.

“What city is that?” asks my wife, while the camera pans down on the opening shot.

“I’m not sure it matters to the story,” I answer, scanning Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, an edition of which I always grab before pressing Play. You never know what kind of film-knowledge emergencies might come up.

“Of course it matters,” she says. “It’s not just some vague place. We’re supposed to recognize those buildings. What does the book say? I see palm trees. It’s probably Miami or L.A., don’t you think?”

“There’s a street sign,” I point out.

“I missed it. Stop and hit reverse. Let’s see it again.”

Meanwhile, the film’s narrator is telling us, “The sun rose that morning over …”

“Stop that damn thing for a minute!”

“C’mon,” I complain. “He just said it was Minneapolis.”

“I don’t care what he said, but I think you’re hearing things. There aren’t any palm trees in Minneapolis. Even you know that, right? Go look up ‘palm’ in my botany encyclopedia.”

“Maybe it was an unusually warm summer,” I suggest. “Let’s just watch the movie.”

My wife leans over and grabs the remote from my hand, frantically hitting pause. “Wait a second. Wait a second. What else took place in Minneapolis? I’m thinking of something but I can’t zero in on it.”

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'” I say.

“Oh, yeah, right.” We both sing “Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take …”

“You know when Mary Tyler Moore really made me smile?” My wife tosses her imaginary hat into the air as she gets up to walk over to one of our 3,000 bookcases. “I wanna find something in Total TV. Just bear with me a second. Go pee or something”

“I don’t have to. Can’t it wait till after the movie?” I ask.

“This is gonna drive me crazy through the whole thing. When we were singing about Mary Tyler Moore, it reminded me of when she was married to Dick Van Dyke. And I suddenly can’t remember their last name. Aha! Here it is! Petrie!”

“Yeah,” I say, “like the dish we used to make gunk in during high school biology. Now you’ve got me curious. Who’s that dish named for? You think it’ll be in one of the desk encyclopedias?”

“I bet it’s in mine.”

“Mine’s better. Hold on, while I check in my office.”

“I’ll go look in mine.” Both of us call out, almost simultaneously, “J.R. Petri, German bacteriologist.” Then, as she heads back to the living-room, she hollers, “OK, I’m ready to watch the movie now.”

“No, no. Not yet,” I holler back. “I wanna see something. I’m checking Nobel Prizes for Medicine in The World Almanac.”

“What year?”

“I don’t know. I graduated from high school in ’65, so it had to be before that. Just shut up and let me do some serious research here.”

About fifteen minutes later, I march into the living-room, triumphantly.

“Did you find out if he won a Nobel Prize?” my wife asks.,

“No, I got sidetracked. But y’wanna hear something weird! We were just talking about Dick Van Dyke, and I was looking up awards given out in 1965, right?” She nods. “Well, guess who won the Miss America Contest in 1965!”

“No clue,” she says.

“Guess.”

“I can’t. Now you’re holding the movie up.”

“Vonda Kay Van Dyke!” I say. “Isn’t that a strange coincidence?”

“What the hell kind of name is Vonda?”

“It’s a variant of ‘Wanda’ and it means ‘wanderer.’ I knew you’d want to know, so I looked it up.”

“Where?”

“In What to Name Your Baby.”

“What are you doing with that?”

I shrug. “It was on sale at Barnes and Noble. I couldn’t resist. You never know what kind of information …”

“That reminds me,” she says. “Remember ‘The Wanderer’?”

“Yeah, yeah. I figured you’d ask so I looked in The Encyclopedia of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Dion sang it in 1962.”

“Not that wanderer,” she says. “A different wanderer. I was thinking of some opera character. Where’s my opera handbook?”

“I’ll go look in mine, too,” I suggest.

Five minutes go by.

Siegfried,” she calls. “By Wagner,” I respond. “The Wanderer is Wotan,” she calls. “Leader of the Norse gods,” I answer.

“Yeah. By the way, my stylebook right here says not to confuse ‘Norse’ with ‘Norwegian.”

“You know who I picture when I think about Norwegians?”

“Garrison Keillor,” she answers.

“Hey, that’s amazing,” I shout. “Minnesota.”

“Minneapolis!” we both cheer.

Finally, having come full circle — at least for the time being — we head back to the couch to unpause the movie. And to breathe a sigh of relief after a job well done.

Nobody ever claimed that being a Lookie was gonna be easy.

Posted in Books & Bookshops, Google, Old Movies | 7 Comments »

SEO Strategy: Come and Get It, Web Crawlers!

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 11/13/2009

I was outraged when Congress mandated earlier today that every American, including unborn fetuses, must maintain a Web presence of some kind. I’ll admit that I felt a little better when the Twitter Opt-Out Amendment was narrowly passed, because I didn’t see any way that I’d be able to confine my communications to 140 characters or less. At my age, I need more than that just to pass gas.

Fortunately, I already have this blog, so I needn’t do anything further to comply – except continue to post. I am excited about the Drivel Mileage Tax Exemption, though. If I can produce enough extra trivial chatter to print out pages (using Arial 12 only, as stated in IRS Publication AR12.03WTF) that will cover the distance between my house and the nearest troubled bank, I’ll be eligible for a deduction equal to the number of hours I spend monitoring my blog, divided by the number of nano-seconds I actually take to compose my posts, multiplied by the average number of hits I receive per hour. Since the Google spider-bots have yet to find my site, the mean number of my visits is, regrettably, somewhere in the low hundredths, which means I’ll earn about a nickel off my taxes.

So, please excuse me, but I’m taking steps to attract those little ethereal critters by mentioning Michael Jackson (still alive!), Taylor Swift (older than she says!), Sarah Palin (nude!), and Cookie Lavagetto (for all old-time Brooklyn Dodgers fans who happen to be Web-surfing despite their gerontologists’ orders).

Anyway, here’s the list again, in Arial 12 Boldface.
Michael Jackson: Still Alive!!
Taylor Swift: Older than she Says!!
Sarah Palin: Nude!!!!
Cookie Lavagetto (Honk If You’ve Heard of Him)

OK, I lied about the font. But I was able to say all that in a mere 1,680 characters, or, as the kids call it, exactly twelve Tweets. Twuly!

Posted in Google | 4 Comments »