The Unbloggable Lightness of Being

Blogs are funny beasts. Back when I was setting up this website, I found a GoDaddy feature that shows what spiders crawl the blog. They are essentially in the background, crawling and reporting back to google, bing, yahoo, dogpile, etc. I just flipped over to the stat analytic page that reads the bots, and it tells me that google was onboard for 1 hour and 14 minutes looking for content on beavers. For once in my blogging career, I am speechless. Beavers?

I next clicked on the key word menu that shows the search terms that folks use to find (or show up) at this blog. And despite having never posted on this topic, 713 hits were generated last week over honey boo boo holiday photo. Wow, who knew? I’ll bet there were a lot of disappointed Honey Boo Boo fans. Well, now you guys have something to look at, this post!

One last note, if you all ever want to turn any post into an open thread, you have my thumb’s-up. I’ve said it before, I’ll be at work and come home to thirty comments and it is a neat surprise. Don’t ever feel like you are highjacking the blog. We are a community of sorts. Me, the beaver and honey boo boo blogger and y’all, the . . .

NORAD, Recon Scout

NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command – is now working with Bing to track Santa Claus. And yes, Google has a contingency plan. For those of you unclear on how and why NORAD got involved in the St. Nick recon business:

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, a newspaper published the wrong phone number for Santa Claus. Instead, it published the direct dial number for the commander-in-chief of NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD).

In the spirit of the holidays, CONAD’s director of operations, Harry Shloup, rolled with the snafu and had his staff field the calls from kids flooding into his agency asking for status reports on Santa. That night, a tradition was born.

Nice save, Harry. . .

Google Goes Global

Google has been global for some time, probably since its inception. At the bottom of Google this morning is this plea: Love the free and open Internet? Tell the world’s governments to keep it that way. Which leads to a petition and a map showing who is supporting this movement. The message boils down to: A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice. I don’t sign these sort of things, but I support the spirit of this movement.

Please Be Smart

Note to all those searching for a celebrity, by typing her name and a phone number (I can probably assume is hers by the area code) into google: this is not smart. You are sharing her personal info with whoever runs the blog. Site software lists search information that visitors type in to find a blog. And by coming over here, I assure you, you did not find her phone number, did you?

Even when sami qasem included his phone number when commenting on Gigi Chao, I “sanitized” it. I do not post phone numbers on this site. (If you have not wandered over to the above link recently, we have more suitable suitors for the lovely Ms. Chao.)

In a related note, if you happen to know someone in the CIA, it is not wise to search for them on google by typing CIA and THEIR NAME. That particular handle you typed in after CIA is not a name from literature. Be smart. Please.

Heroes Come in Many Shapes

Sometimes I surf the web looking for something off-beat to post, something different. When I type: pictures into Google, it auto-completes it with: pictures of herpes, pictures of Jesus, pictures of bed-bugs, and pictures of strep throat.

Then I click on just pictures. Lots of girls in bikinis and actresses. Dogs and cats. You know, loldogs. And there is this one:

Writer’s Digest Teaches Bloggers Almost Nothing

Writer’s Digest is a magazine that could be either annoying or helpful. They spam you with all sorts of emails detailing their latest junk articles. And occasionally, very very rarely, they strew an emerald among the gravel.

Their latest masterpiece is titled: THE 12 DOS AND DON’TS OF WRITING A BLOG. Of which, I pass and fail in my usual manner:

Find your focus.

Really? I fail. I write what I enjoy or what strikes me at the time. Yes, I miss stories. But only because I have nothing to add to them. The latest Marine Corps crash? I did not blog it. I thought it tragic, but I had nothing to add that was not already known. God bless those guys, would be perhaps my only addition.

Be relatable, be yourself.

4 I’s: I don’t know. I think I am relatable. I post a lot. I enjoy myself.

Use links within your posts.

Include images.

Respond to blog comments.

Yup. Yup. And yup.

Post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Anywhere Else You Can.

No. I. Don’t. Post. Anywhere. But. Here. (And I have a Facebook app that posts automatically to F’book. But it is often f’booked up. . .)

Okay, here are the things not to do:

Set Unrealistic Goals.

Too late. I set goals and surpassed them a long time ago. I did not intend to be unread. But once I met a consistent readership, I just enjoy posting.

Limit your word count.

I don’t limit my word count. Although, I have not written the long 1.5K word-long posts recently. I may. Tomorrow. That is what a blog is for, right? Spontaneity.

Make grammar mistakes.

I ain’t never.

Be negative.

Too late.

Write long paragraphs.

Not me.

Avoid trying new things.

I am trying this, right?

Here is the bottom line: do your thing. Write your blog however you want. Have fun. Follow your fire. Write what makes you laugh. Or what gets your hackles up. Wherever your hackles are. . .

Stacy Keibler and George Clooney: I Blame the Dentist

Recently, I had cause to visit the dentist. To get my yearly check-up. And guess what lurks at the dentist office, other than that sinking dread in the pit of your stomach and sweaty palms? Trashy pop-culture mags, of which I blame for this post. Advance apologies. . .

Stacy Keibler and George Clooney: Hot Mess or No?

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler (referred to by their cutesy one-iker Cloonbler) are apparently an item. How do I know? Star magazine whispered the factoid in my ear.

I hate to rain on their picnic, but this pair is short-lived.

First, she is taller than him. Yes, she may be wearing heels, but George does not give the appearance of a happy camper in this picture. (Rain on their picnic, happy camper? I might be overdue for a little outdoor romping, like a long trail run.)

And she used to wrestle professionally for the WCW and the WWE, yet George does not waft the air of your typical wrestling fan. Let’s not forget that the WWE CEO, the politically conservative Linda McMahon, ran for the Senate. But Mr. Clooney most decidely harkens from the other side of the aisle. Ms. Keibler, of course, could possibly be an outlier in her industry and of the same political feather as the ducky Clooney.

George Clooney or Yeti? Either way, every hairdresser’s dream

I could be off-base with my observations. What do I know about pop-culture? Let’s go to the experts:

At Sunday’s (Oct. 16) New York Film Festival screening of “The Descendants,” Cloon-bler made its red carpet debut.

The two have been linked for several months and photographed at parties, but never before have they brought their strikingly beautiful love to the carpet.

It appears that Keibler has worn down serial bachelor Clooney’s resistance. Way to be persistent, Stacy.

Keibler, a former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, is best known for her years as a WWE ring diva; her signature move was provocatively bending over to get between the ring ropes.

Stacy Keibler: related to the Keebler Elf?

Now she’s canoodling with the top of the A-list. That’s what we call “upward mobility,” folks.

I am sorry for Ms. Keibler, but this has rebound written all over it. George recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend, the Italian model Elizabeth (Elisabetta) Canalis.

I unearthed the background of this complex pop-cultural case by exercising my google fu. (I enjoy the distinction and honor of wearing a brown belt in the martial art.) So if any of this angers you, get mad at google.

Additional facts for your consumption: Ms. Canalis was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, as was Stacy Keibler. On that note, Ms. Keibler had this to say regarding her stint in the show:

Stacy Keibler and Elisabetta Canalis: George Clooney’s not-so-tiny dancers

The actor’s current girlfriend, former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler, came in third place on Dancing With the Stars in 2006 — and now she’s offering Clooney’s most recent ex Elisabetta Canalis some sage advice.

“I think everyone should just have fun with it,” she told Us Weekly at the Appleton Estate Rum Bartender Challenge Finals in NYC Monday.

For our final tally, Ms. Keibler finished third at the Big Dance and Ms. Canalis finished near the bottom. Perhaps George enjoys cutting the rug and is a secret ballroom dancer? A cha-cha-cha-er. And he wanted to trade up?

Alternative conspiracy theory: Stacy might be a heiress to the Keebler cookie fortune. And maybe George craves mightily the cookie masterpiece known as E.L. Fudge. (Note: E.L. Fudge is not a Latin product, however El Fudgerio is.)

Folks, please allow me to extend my sincerest apologies. No more George Clooney posts. ‘Til the next time I visit the dentist. Uh oh, I have a cleaning in two weeks! You had better hope that they don’t find anything requiring more extensive dental spelunking or it could be a month of Clooney. Until then. . .

Google Translate Test

Alright linguists, let’s test Google Translate. We need a joke, something basic to run through the software to see how it performs in a comms check. Apologies to comedians everywhere:

1. A guy goes into the doctor’s office.
وقال الرجل يذهب الى مكتب الطبيب.

2. And tells the doctor: Doc, I think I am a dog.
ويقول الطبيب : DOC ، أعتقد أنني كلب.

3. The doctor says: hmm, how long have you had this problem?
الطبيب يقول : هم ، كم من الوقت هل كان لديك هذه المشكلة؟

4. The guy smiled and said: every since I was a puppy!?!
ابتسم الرجل وقال : منذ أن كنت في كل جرو؟!

After Action Report:
1. Google translated “goes” as the English slang for “said” rather than the action verb “to go.”

2. We lost sentence ordering here, but if read backwards, it still translates, somewhat.

3. Very close. With the exception of translating “hmm” as they. (Which in Arabic, the sound “hmm” does mean “they.” But in English, we use it to “think.” Or are they translating it as a sound?)

4. Punchline: So I learn a new word here: جرو. Does that mean “puppy?” Perhaps. (Whoops, I switched verb tense, but Google got it right.) Sometimes I feel like a جرو around Arabic. And jokes too.

PS If you do not already read the Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey, you should. I don’t agree with him on everything, but with posts like this, all is forgiven.

Update: So the wily proprietor of Bookworm Room has commented below about running the phrase back through the translator. Excellent idea. Let’s, shall we?

1. The man goes to the doctor’s office.

2. The doctor says: DOC, I think I have a dog.

3. The doctor says they are, how long have you had this problem?

4. The man smiled and said: Since you each a puppy?!

And there it is, complete gibberish. In 2 above, the inclusion of an English word messed up the ordering. In Arabic, we (Arabic speakers) read right to left. We don’t do this in English, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and no particular desire to understand what is written.