Tonight I was surprised when I saw a banner ad with the name of my employer in it. Had the robot that created the ad known the significance of that name, it would not have bothered. But I loaded a Web page, and the Google-backed ad placement service provided personal data to the adbot, and there it was.
WTF? Then I realized I was using Chrome. I don’t normally. This eye-opening invasion is in fact what most people experience every day.
From a legal standpoint, I should be able to demand that Google delete all their profile information about me. But in fact I can only demand they delete the information directly related to my google accounts. Somehow, despite the depth of this profile, they cannot find a way for me to establish its ownership. Fuckers.
Google just asked to be allowed access to fairly low-level functionality on my computer. There’s a chance I might have benefitted from saying yes, but there was no explanation at all given for why the Goog should have that access. No value proposition whatsoever, just “Google wants to use the accessibility interface”. (That’s not the exact quote, which I now regret not saving.)
Honestly, I don’t even know how to prove the request came from Google. So if you get something like that, do like I did. Say no.
Tonight I created a new Google profile. The goal of the exercise is to increase my privacy by creating a separate Google account (with bogus information) so I can use the Google RSS service without dropping my pants. Not that I subscribe to anything particularly telling, but that’s my business. The answer: create a completely unique profile for only that purpose.
But, there’s a catch. There’s still a pretty good chance that the Goog (and all their pals) can still tell it’s me. They do this through fingerprinting.
Every time your browser asks for something over the Interwebs, it tells a little about itself. A lot of sites have little scripts they send your way that report back even more. It starts with screen resolution, the default colors for visited links, and a host of other little bits that, when put together, create a unique profile. Based on unprotected information, sophisticated sites can pin you down, even if you don’t (knowingly) volunteer information.
So tonight, before setting out to create a new Google account, I wanted to do something to prevent the Googlemind from figuring out that Arthur Kingman (not the name I used) was really me. It seemed like a pretty easy quest: I was looking for a plugin for my browser that would cause it to send slightly different information each time it made a request.
I found one (I think) — FireGlove for Firefox. I didn’t realize just how off Firefox I am until I was faced with the dilemma of using Firefox with this privacy plugin or using Opera naked. I never use Opera, so if I’m diligent and only use Opera in privacy mode when acting as my new alter ego it will be difficult for them to connect the dots. It’s inevitable, though, that at some point I will mess up.
It seems like there should be fingerprint randomizers for every browser. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. Anyone out there know where I might find one for any given browser?
Not very long ago, 200 visitors to this blog in a single day was an event worthy of my turning to my sweetie and saying, “hey, I got 200 visitors yesterday”. Now here it is before noon on a Sunday and the magic number has already been surpassed. What gives? Ladies and Gentlemen and others of the blogging community, I call your attention to exhibit A (click to see a bit bigger):
surging demand for egg-frying advice
This is the number of loads of a single episode on my blog: my tutorial on cooking eggs over-easy. That episode has been around a long time, but you don’t need an advanced degree in statistics to see that lately its popularity has been gong through the roof.
The blogger’s lament: “If only I could figure out how to turn those visitors into regular readers!” Still, I can console myself that perhaps out there a few more people are experiencing delicious egg breakfasts.
I suspect Google’s +1 has something to do with the precipitous rise in popularity; if a few people have endorsed the page, Google’s going to move it closer to the top of its rankings. It is a pretty damn good tutorial, I have to say, even if the promised video is currently AWOL.
I’m a little surprised, because I suspect the +1 thingie at the bottom of each page doesn’t work for everyone. The code tries to load a script in a way that violates the security policies of my browser (and should violate that policy on all of them, though obviously it doesn’t). I’ve found another, no-script button set that I could use instead, but in my naïvety about how that all stuff works, I don’t know if I’ll lose my current mojo if I switch. Will Google see the next + the same way? I’m probably fretting over nothing.
The astute among you will see a period last year when no visits were logged at all. I address that issue in an episode about getting my cloud and my protective systems working together.
Got a message from YouTube today, saying they missed me terribly and wished I would *ahem* login *cough* now and then. So I did. I’m an agreeable sort of fellow.
Google, who now holds almost my entire music collection, whose business mandate is to use data about people to make money off them, suggested that I might enjoy watching the latest Beyoncé video. Or Lady Gaga, perhaps? Or maybe Justin Bieber.
Google, seriously. What the Fuck? You know all the songs I’ve listened to for the last month. Justin Bieber was notably absent. Ravonettes, 50 foot wave, Sex Pistols. Nothing remotely like the Beib came down the wire.
If you’re going to collect data about me and then try to sell me stuff, as least do it right.
Those who remember the old days might recall that sometimes I would compile a list of unusual search phrases that have brought people to these pages. What follows is a list I started quite some time ago, but either I’m getting more jaded or the number of wacky phrases people are finding me with is dropping. Fried Egg queries are still the most popular, but I’ve been letting the culinary pages gather dust, which lowers their attractiveness in Google’s eyes. That doesn’t really bother me. Still, when I take the trouble to look over the various ways people stumble across these pages, I have to chuckle. Here, then, is a list of some search phrases that have caught my eye, and (usually) a link to the place in the blog that fateful string brought them.
On another note, the phrase I bastardized for the title of this episode is more interesting than I ever suspected. Apparently, “I am become time…” is an equally valid translation. In context it makes sense. A God is trying to convince some schmoe to go for the glory, and pointing out that since in the long term he will be forgotten no matter what happens, he has nothing to lose. Bitchin’. Meanwhile, on with the show!
- bily bear meat – Linked to an episode about czech hockey, of course.
- wm byrne pub kilkenny – linked to an episode about our stay in that congenial place.
- piker list of stupid – top hit, baby! When it comes to stupid, I’m very highly ranked.
- fivepin bowling 5 pin approach video online – far more interesting than the idea of some guy knocking all the pins over, is a bunch of guys knocking all but the 5-pin down, while team bowling.
- kicked in the balls+girl – no longer sure where it linked to on this site, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to meet that girl.
- Cost of Trip to Giant’s Causeway – whatever it costs, it’s worth it!
- carl sagan trampoline gravity – linked, of course, to a particularly extreme get-poor-quick scheme.
- All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku bathroom – bathroom? It seems odd until you remember that the bathroom stall is an elevator to the evil meeting room.
- humped his sweater – brought the unsuspecting googlist to the Stories category page, where a Werewolf’s bad manners are discussed.
- Deanna Mac Guinness – apparently I’m the only one at homepage.mac.com/ that Yahoo found any mention of Guiness and Deanna.
- easy steps to sketch a large cowboy hat – The Cowboy God pulls in another one looking for something else.
- writing essays with modern language ass. – I’m not sure how modern my language ass is, but I have some thoughts on the subject.
- car accidents 395 adelanto – they’re not pretty.
- Neurotic writers – Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on that as well.
- bosom machine – Ahh… bosoms. Though a mechanical one doesn’t sound as appealing.
- jer’s novel writer for windows – doesn’t exist. Trust me.
- Budvar Bar – there are many, but this is my favorite.
- reggie wanker – John and I were recently lamenting that that movie is still not available on DVD.
- why does bud light kill you? – it can only hurt you if you drink it. Don’t.
- what do u learn when u study graphic design – Muddled U starts attracting potential students!
- ho does one save if earning 9000 – brought the searcher to, of all places, the Get Poor Quick category page.
- glenwood cutoff – one of Google’s top matches brings people to the heart of suicidal squirrel territory.
- post graduate degree course for someone who doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree – Muddled University again!
- tom carruthers glendale ohio – someone was digging deeper into the insidious infiltration of the squirrels, and the humans who have betrayed us. We were here to help.
- EDDIE ROCKETS – I’m glad that someone in the UK took the trouble to look past the first nineteen google results to land on my appraisal of the rather awful place.
- how to fix a yoyo ball when it is broken in half – Muddled Ramblings was one of the top matches, despite the lack of yoyo’s
- Nightmare Jer – surprisingly, was not my ex-wife searching. Whoever it was, ended up reading about a rather unpleasant flight I took recently.
- one toe itches more so at night? – I hope they found a cure for that.
- women in the great gatsby literary criticism – linked to my brief discussion of a pretty dang good book.
- bagel rhymes – not just for breakfast anymore.
- secret evil bunny labs – brought the searcher to the Rumblings category page.
- cuttlefish for birds blister card – that almost makes sense until you get to the word ‘card’. Cuttlefish-man to the rescue!
- cowboy holding coffee table – The Cowboy God pulls in another lost soul.
- glad commercial, robbing bank – hey, I could have been in that, except I wasn’t very good.
- Eddie Bauer fishing rod – all right! My open letter to Eddie Bauer is starting to attract attention.
As I pay more attention to where visitors are coming from (Have the Campbell Award judges come by? Have the Campbell Award judges come by?) I am once again bemused by the wide variety of odd searches that people type into Google and Yahoo, only to end up here. Go figure.
In the past I have obfuscated key words in these entries, in order to avoid misdirecting the search engines to here, rather than to the original page. This time, though, I’m just too lazy.
- stacking haircuts – I’d much rather be stacking rocks.
- “large breasts” embarrassing incidents – linked to an episode where I discuss the darker side.
- cult in scotts valley – linked of course to the shocking expose that only this blog dared expose.
- minimum sample size – I doubt the searcher was looking for thoughts on Czech TV, but that’s what he got.
- girl with extra-arms – the Stories category page was buried way deep at match 190, but that was enough for this searcher to arrive here
- soup boy – linked to an episode in which I describe learning of my first pro sale.
- Budvar Bar – the place is near home, and it’s cheap, to boot.
- write without fear – it’s an important ingredient for success. Sometimes I almost come close.
- half baked sex – and understandable misunderstanding to be misdirected here.
- stacked rocks – maybe I’m just paying attention more now, but interest in rock stacking seems to be on the rise. On Menorca , they’ve been doing it all along.
- laura k hamilton blog – misspelling the famous writer’s name got me a high ranking in this misspelled search. Linked to an episode that talked about the words that ended up here.
- boobs lake mead – nestled among the predictable crap was the sleep-deprived story of my day as I traveled from Las Vegas to Mesquite, or more accurately, Through the Valley of Fire to the Bosom of Bobbi.
- Bearded actors – Everybody’s searching for them!
- bud light banner – I assume if the searcher wanted a banner advertising the product, he didn’t share my opinion about that vile substance.
- i like to clean my duck of air and heat myself – I think I feel sorry for the duck. Linked, strangely enough, to the Eels category page.
- How to write a writing questionaire – attracted by a mutual misspelling to my writing category page, where no help at all was to be found.
- how tall is kareem abdul jabaar? – mentioned tangentially in a Pirates! episode that took me from a garden party in Prague to a hotel bar in England.
- Buffalo Butts – imagine the dismay when the searcher found an image of the back ends of bison.
- “pork sparrow” – there’s only one reason to search for that phrase, and that’s to answer the question “what the hell did I just eat?“
- can a blind man dream in color – I ask the same question myself in a pile of random stuff, but no answers are even offered.
- sestina origin – that my explanation is the top match in Google is likely a disservice to the poetry world, but what can you do? Plus, I like my version.
- wizard of id ; shinola – linked to an episode in which I ramble about (among other things) how profanity is encoded in the mainstream media.
- menorca pigeons – the episode mentions pigeons in passing, but it really about life, death, larceny, and all that stuff.
- two beers in japanese – linked to an old, old episode in which I enumerate ways to say “two beers“. Your favorite not on the list? Leave a comment!
- lonely in adelanto – whatever the searcher wanted, I doubt he found it in this episode with a sexy title.
- summer seems shorter – linked to an episode with a story that with a little work would be all right. The comments are the best part of the episode.
- hankering for bud light – notable only because my episode called Bud LIte is Horrible was the second match out of 36,000.
- stacking things on drunk people – Good sport! Linked here.
- my first enema – the constipation mentioned here is metaphorical.
- Ax Chop Elf – linked to The Quest for the Important Thing to Defeat the Evil Guy , which has axes, chopping, and lovely young elves, but is almost certainly a far cry from anything the searcher wanted to find.
- Mount Mazma – once it was very tall. Now it’s not, but it’s very pretty.
- big ass diverson – Yahoo! corrected the spelling and brought the searcher along with me to San Angelo, Texas, for some big-ass beers.
- dont get mad get glad – I don’t get every role I audition for. One time it didn’t work out.
Notable also is that in the last two weeks there has been a surge of searches for suicidal squirrels. The searchers are in Western Europe, mostly Germany but also France and Italy. The trend seems to be spreading to Eastern Europe as well. The crack team of Squirrel Watchers at Muddled University will continue to monitor this trend very carefully.
Quite a lot of the traffic to this site is thanks to Google and the other search engines. I imagine that most of those drawn here with the promise of a match on their phrase take one look, say “Well that wasn’t what I was looking for,” and leave again post-haste. Nevertheless, I like to browse through the search phrases that brought people here from time to time, just to get a feel for the odd things people want to find. Some of the things I list below are there for entertainment, while others are there because the link back to episodes I like. Think of this as an index to my site compiled by a dyslexic teenager with raging hormones.
- where is the rubble from Japan? – Where indeed has all that rubble got to?
- how to write a nursing reflection essay – visitor 40404 landed, improbably, on an episode about writing without fear that I happen to like.
- threat level indicator – It seems most of the other threat level indicators out there are for silly things like pandemics and stuff. Fortunately the SSDC threat meter ranks right up there with the top matches on Google.
- sexy nymphs stickers – attracted to the verbal pot-luck that is the observations category
- sex pitchers – more economical than sex by the glass
- band rush bobblehead dolls – that just seems wrong on so many levels.
- how much for a single rose? – Oh, you are only beginning to pay the price when you fish out your wallet.
- “rat trap” bucket bacon – another poetry candidate. Anyone want to make a bit of verse that uses this? Connected to a chapter one that starts and ends well. Natasha is cool.
- “bad song” daniel powter – could the searcher actually have been looking for my version?
- respectable breast – rated high in google, where, nestled among the more predictable results, was a brief discussion of the American Road Myth, an essay that has since been improved here.
- “you’re “selling past the close” again – linked to a tour through my unfinished business, an even more muddled ramble than usual, but there are some interesting bits.
- ned’s albuquerque – sitting in a bar after a long drive.
- some people ruin their drinks with ice” – a lyric I quote in an episode about a particularly good day.
- Tallest Structure before 1889 – This recent episode is already attracting attention. (The answer is in the comments.)
- english story writing-it was raining heavily i dashed in a deserted building – the Stories category page seems to have hit on many of those words.
- born guy but had sex change now woman with pics – surprisingly, the Stories category page came up on top in Yahoo, despite just a smattering of matching words. No, no pics, and no sex changes, either.
- origin of the sestina – Google has decided that I have the explanation the world will most want to see. Google is dead wrong.
- bud light taste nasty – oh, yes it does
- we met a the sports bar on sat in mesquite – but was Bobbi there?
- fotbol slang – I don’t know any, but I’m still the top match for an episode in which the Czechs qualified for the world cup (barely)
- smoll bar – a new addition to the list of bar names people search for
- speed bowling – the precursor to team bowling
- pregnant and constant headrush – believe me, there’s nothing on this site that could possibly be of interest on that subject, but there is always the Homeless Tour category page.
- sunshine company ocean beach – a bar mentioned in this episode
- strasnice – Google’s first match was for “Find a Grave”. My episodes that mentioned the Haunted City came quite a bit farther down.
- beyond yotta – the rest of the scientific community is beginning to show interest in my pioneering work
- haircuts by drunk man – That might yield some interesting results. No haircuts in this episode, but there is drunk.
- “I LIKE THIS BAR” – not a bad search string — you could combine it with a city name before you go anywhere and find a good place to hang. Like, for instance, here.
- sabotaging brakes – someone should have put the brakes on this episode, I suspect
- to inspect mimeographed miles – an odd phrase, that, but there’s been more than one search for it landing here lately. Perhaps it is a line in a poem or pop song or something. Miles strike me as being rather difficult to mimeograph, although that might explain Kansas. Cowboy God was the number two hit.
- How Many People Owned Televisions in 1950 – I have no idea, and I suspect the searcher came away from the Homeless Tour category page none the wiser.
- as i drove she began to rub my crotch – linked not to stories from my road trip (there is not crotch-rubing there, I promise you), but to my Stories category page.
- “Bar and Books” Prague – another bar I mention
- trouble with trendy fern bars – I don’t have trouble with them, per se
- “slush pile” “magazine of fantasy & science fiction” – the searcher came to the writing category page, but was probably looking for the Slush God.
- lil j’s sports bar, san angelo, tx – another in my legacy of bar stories that rate higher than the sites for the bars themselves (if the bar even has a site). Maybe there’s a business opportunity there…
- sad music – buried way deep in Google’s results was a link to a brief episode where I wonder what might have been.
- menorca call girls – this is not the place to find out about those, but don’t tell Google.
- kundera essays – if not call girls, then perhaps the writings of a celebrated Czech author. Linked to the Stories category.
- moonlight sonata story – Well, I have a story called Moonlight Sonata with which I’m fairly pleased, but not THE story of Moonlight Sonata. I have improved the sotry since, but this version is still pretty good.)
- “en vogue girl” – Ah, the key line in the lyrics to Cutey Honey Flash!
- first time auditions daisy – linked to an episode about my experiences
- “embarrassment to our country”bush – linked to the episode long ago where I declared my candidacy for president last election.
- why do sneezes come in threes? – linked to a not-very-good chapter one.
- nature of bowling – not so surprising that Team Bowling would show up, buried deep in a list of results. In fact, it was right before an article called “Aggression in Invertebrates”.
- hiking stacking.rocks – the dot did not interfere from MSN recognizing a kindred spirit.
- cadíz – I’m surprised my episode about Cadíz ranked so high (5th out of 37,000), but it was the Czech Google, so maybe the presence of a few czech words here and there worked in my favor. Or maybe not — maybe it was my use of the accented í without the accented a. Czech Google may be more accent-sensitive, as are the czechs.
- 9 bastards of the World – top match on Yahoo linked to a brief episode about Skype bringing cheap bastards of the world together.
- can pomegranates cause flatulence in some people – came from a search engine I’d never seen before. Linked to the main page where I still have an episode that mentions Persephone and farting.
- road food weed california – included here as an excuse to link back to an old episode about my trip to Weed, a rambling episode from early in my ramblings.
- Jerry Seeger – quite a few people recently have been looking for me by name. I must confess I always have to check where they’re from. I know, I know, but I just can’t help it. New York is suddenly an exciting place for someone interested in me to be from. They have agents there.
Of course, there are the perennial favorites – Egg friers and those looking for lyrics to theme songs for very silly anime. Several people have come looking for suggestions about what to write in yearbooks, while others are attracted to descriptions of particular bars. In the last two days, there has been a surge in people searching for Suicide Squirrels, which makes me think it’s time to review the threat level meter.
I get a few hits from image searches as well. The picture titled Rain in San Angelo gets a surprising number of hits. Go figure.
What does this all mean? Are the search engines providing a cross-section of modern thought? I hope not.
It is time once again, members of the muddled masses, to ask the question, “just what the hell is everyone doing here?” While it is true that the occasional visitor does come here on purpose, many, many lost souls are tossed up on the shores of Muddled Island by a random correspondence between words typed into a search engine and words that appear here. There are a lot of words here at Muddled Ramblings, 200,000 or so, and the diligent robots at Google and Yahoo have cataloged each and every one.
Occasionally I will obfuscate a word by adding s p a c e s to prevent those same diligent robots from becoming attracted to this episode, so that future searches will continue to yield the desired page elsewhere in the Muddleverse. Also, I like saying obfuscate. Obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.
- james bond silk banners – linked to the first episode in my James Bond adventure.
- Haiku black hole – linked to an episode about my descent into (and emergence from) a black hole.
- rock stacking in the desert – linked not to my page about rock stacking, but instead to my episode about NOT stacking rocks.
- A Next Generation Junior High S c h o o l G i r l Idol in Japan – linked to the Observations category page, attracted primarily to my musings about the downside to being a s c h o o l g i r l in Japan.
- goodbye amy – linked to an episode in which I said goodbye to many people, some of whom I will never see again.
- white tigers and liberec – apparently they have some in their zoo up there. I’m more interested in the hockey team, although they were swiftly eliminated by the Beers this year.
- team bowling games – mine is the best.
- automatic counting chicken – hmm… that would go great next to my whistling squirrel. Surprisingly, Yahoo put me right at the top of the search results for this episode.
- allright mr demille,i am ready for my close-up – linked to an episode about my first day of work on the upcoming blockbuster James and the Giant Explosive Device
- speech writing sucks – that’s why you have assistants, Mr. Bush. I’ve lost track of what on this site attracted that link to this site.
- supernatural subtitles download – linked to my episode about Cutey Honey Flash. The version I watched just had normal subtitles.
- capt. kirk “valley of fire” buried – the top match for this phrase was a particularly salaciously-titled post-Las Vegas ramble.
- “I like this bar” – brought a reader to a discussion of my first trip to the closest bar to where I know live.
- giraffes as beast of burden – linked to the stories category page, where I talk about a story that is lost in the mists of time
- cat heaving – yes, someone searched for that. This chapter one ranked fifth at Google for that phrase.
- hot teacher sex nun pics face army – wow. Amazingly, the stories category page had all these things, but nothing that comes close to what I imagine this googler was looking for (although I wonder if the searcher had any idea either).
- step-by-step information on laws of thermodynamics – I’d never thought of a natural law as a procedure before, but it is a natural segue to an episode about eggs.
- scary squirrels and annoying neighbors game – of all the potential matches on this site, Google pointed this searcher to an episode about a shitty bar in Pacific beach
- rock stacking in hawaii – I am not the only one to call anti-stackism to the attention of the world.
- she has nice gams – Top match on Yahoo linked to the first episode of Feeding the Eels, which reminds me…
- short film ideas bowling funny – all that and more can be found here in the Muddleverse!
- what determines how drunk you get – I do! linked to an episode at a bar in Bozeman, Montana.
- “p e e for distance” – linked to a side discussion about how a man can measure his age.
- The sun was shining brightly. It was a fine Sunday morning when the – seems like they typed out most of it anyway, not much point in searching. This fine Sunday morning was the top match, though.
- trombone autumn leaves moan plunger – I would like to see a guest poem that uses this line. Anyone? Anyone?
- bad s e s t i n a – while not technically a s e s t i n a, this poem caught the searcher’s eye.
- brain vibrations – early morning – linked to an episode about a good morning in New Mexico
- metaphor + skin + “my life as a fake” – linked to the main page, just about the only top match that wasn’t what the searcher was probably looking for.
- teenage n y m p h s – got an improbably high match with my new understanding of Japanese culture.
- name of soap worn by teacher in movie scent of a woman – this might be the most useless piece of trivia ever! Linked to the Stories page, where there is talk of soap, and women, and movies, but not all at the same time.
- a shot video that shows a pitcher then a scary person pops up and scars the crap out of anyone – Top Yahoo match linked to the Pirates! category page, where there is talk of a pitcher, and scars
- american road trip cult map – So you can find nice cults to hang out with on your trip, I suppose.
- d e l i c t i o n – I just coined the word and already the world is jumping on the bandwagon.
Of course, many, many people came by to learn the art of frying an egg, and the lyrics to a silly but violent anime theme song has become a big attraction. googli is popular among foreign searchers, and people coming here to find pictures (or pitchers) of ocelots regularly have their hopes dashed.
Well, while I ponder beer, peanuts, and old pick-up trucks, while I muse over big dumb dogs and the world’s longest bumper sticker, I’ll toss up another episode with some of the search phrases that have caught my eye lately. What you see here is a list of phrases that people have typed into Google, Yahoo, or a cousin, and somewhere in the result list one page or another of this blog popped up. Usually Muddled Ramblings was near the top of the list, but occasionally a searcher passed up hundreds of other possibilities to come here.
In almost every case the searcher did not find the object of his or her quest on these pages. As always, to prevent the search engines from coming to this page next time the phrase is searched on, some key words are obfuscated with s p a c e s.
- Predator Power Pants – here. Did the Predator in the movie have power pants, or was that Schwarzenegger?
- sister-in-law porn – linked to an interesting night in Montana.
- n e t o ‘s p a s s t i m e bar – scored high on this search – after all, how many people are going to be talking about that place on the ‘net?
- no pants day – although we observe No Pants Day here, this actually linked to an episode mentioning Dr. Pants’ brief foray into Internet radio.
- Pi day poster ideas – apparently the number has its own day now. MR&HBI ranked high because of the word Ideas in the title.
- poor boy gyroscope – no longer are gyroscopes strictly for the wealthy.
- whores in bahrain – apparently they have them there. Linked to the Bars Of the World category page.
- loud phones – number 3 hit on yahoo. Links to a very brief episode about, uh, loud phones.
- time warp shirt – not sure what they were looking for; they passed 33 links that had much more to to with time warp shirts only to wind up in a discussion of pizza and black holes.
- why do eels have little teeth? – maybe I’ll answer that in a future episode, but probably not. Maybe it’s because they have little mouths.
- lots of baby ocelot pictures – I have the top hit on google for that, despite the fact I have no baby ocelot pictures at all. What I do have is other episodes like this one.
- nasty nun stories – linked to my Stories page, where the only Nun may have been severe, but she didn’t strike me as nasty.
- my mom can kick my ass – my mom can kick your mom’s ass.
- choose a character how did he change in the story the house of staris – lots of people stop by for my expert knowledge in the field of literature. They are always disappointed. Linked to Stories category page.
- Drunk Women – notable mainly because the searcher went through sixty-one pages of search results to end up on an episode about a sober guy (and his drunk friend).
- gravity sex trampoline – not sure what he was looking for, but I like the way he thinks. I’ll be sure to look him up when I have my hotel on the moon up and running. Linked to my reusable space vehicle idea that I wrote up before I did the math.
- sum small pups – they add up.
- “reactor scrambled” – MSN only came up with five matches, and mine had nothing to do with nuclear power, or even eggs.
- picture of a giant half chicken half squirrel – oddly, there are other sites that provide just that.
- “how to make an electric spark” – the only match on Google. I don’t think I ever explained how I did it for Pirates, though.
- High King’s Chair – Yahoo connected this, improbably, to a nice bar I visited.
- p i t c h e r s of dogs – it’s a classic!
- Japanese scalp message – is that like a head tattoo?
- wolf eel ambush tactics – Linked to Feeding the Eels, of course, but now I’m wondering about the wolf eel, and how it ambushes… things.
- neuromancer “case pollard” – different books, same author. I misspelled the name of the herione in the same way as the searcher, and that made me the top match.
- Plato ex pats – an odd enough combination I have to wonder if the searcher was actually trying to find the ex-pat game
- photo of god looking down – seems like every time I get a shot of God, he’s blinking. Linked here.
- supermodels riding bulls – wow. Linked to the Stories category page, where I talk about my brief time as a supermodel, and also mention a horrible (if fictitious) painting.
- antler dust and sick – Attracted to a recent chapter one.
- RV instrument repair – somehow was attracted to my Get-Poor-Quick topic, after wading through two hundred other choices.
- c o n s t r u c t i v i t i s – it’s a plague the world over, so I’m surprised more people haven’t coined the phrase.
- matador squirrel – Linked, of course, to the now-famous Suicide Squirrel Death Cult
- Jerry Seeger – I mention this one because the OTHER Jerry Seeger’s IMDB listing is near the top of Google’s results, while mine is nowhere to be found. Maybe this link will help: Jerry Seeger (As of this writing, fifteen of the top twenty Google matches for Jerry Seeger were references to me, either as a geek, a writer, or (frighteningly) as a photographer. You see where this is going, don’t you?)
The usual suspects were all there: pitchers of things, various bars and taverns around the world, and lots and lots of eggs. We have a new major attractor as well; folks the world over want to learn more about sweet little D o k u r u – c h a n and her bristling club of death.
Some people visit this site on purpose. Go figure. There are more who arrive her by accident, the collision of words sought with words used somewhere in these pages, which now number in the hundreds. Every once in a while I take time out from my busy and productive life to see just what it is that people are looking for, when they wind up here instead. Here is a list of some of the ones that have caught my eye lately. As always, when I don’t want the phrase to distract search engines in the future, I obfuscate key words with spaces.
- daniel p o w t e r bad day notes – here is my parody
- d o k u r o – c h a n lyrics – (multiple searches) amazingly, I had exactly what the searcher was looking for. I’m getting multiple hits for this episode daily now; while it doesn’t rival egg frying, it’s big, baby.
- pipiru piru piru pipiru pi – as above, lyrics and a brief review are here
- john bevins – he was a good guy
- mystery family revival band in san angelo – linked to the Homeless Tour category page, where I hope the searcher found my mention of the band in a salaciously titled episode. If the act goes big, I’ll be able to say I saw their first gig.
- internet access pirate 4×4 – top link, thanks to a fortunate convergence of the stars, but what were they really looking for?
- baby ocelot – once a classic, now rare. Linked to a page like this one, which referred to a previous google page, which referred to yet another page, before the chain finally reached the “elevator ocelot rutabaga” episode.
- pirate toast All For Me Grog – linked to the Pirates! category page, where there is much talk of grog, and of the old song.
- he, too, once lived in Arkady – probably searching for references for one of my favorite paintings in the Louvre, instead came to the Observations category page.
- lyrics to skippy snackbar jingle – the searcher came to the Bars of the World Tour category page, attracted to an episode about the Herna Snack Bar and to one where I refer to a crazy woman’s friend as Skippy.
- zoo phonics groveland – came to an old Homeless Tour episode, written the day I wandered the streets of Groveland looking for some toast.
- MYSTERIOUS SECRET MESSAGE – here
- hotelsmobile – search came from Malta. linked
- “eunuch sex” – linked to another google episode
- what the color of a rose means – as I am a widely respected expert on romance and the ways of a woman’s heart, it’s only natural people would turn here for advice
- what are the three major forces of life in china? – second only to my legendary romantic prowess is my astonishing knowledge of life in China. Linked to the Politics category, which hasn’t seen much action lately.
- you cant spell pirate without irate – linked to the Pirates! category page
- elf breasts – linked to one of my trashier chapter ones.
- ned’s +albuquerque – I get hits for several bars, and now Ned’s has joined the bunch.
- “amazon women in the avocado jungle of death” – a surprsingly fun movie (not that it would take much to be surprised), the episode reached is actually one of the first entries from the homeless tour
- “spreadable meat” – linked to an episode about hockey.
- scary bloody gorey picture – linked to an episode about books
- Strč prst skrz krk – It’s the whole no-vowels thing
- cartoon swearing symbols – linked to the Homeless tour category page
- “i’ve never told this to anyone else before” – linked to an episode that, while muddled, I happen to like.
- what makes a bar and grill work – while I have some thoughts about that, Canyon Bar and Grill is probably not the place to emulate – but it has personality.
- girls american fotbol team – sign me up as cheerleader!
- “fried chicken embryos” – perpetuating the misnomer in the name of culinary arts
- celebtrity heart attack victims – a misspelling get me the top match
- flyer for socks for the homeless – linked to the Homeless Tour category page, naturally, where I discuss socks, flyers, and things like that.
- czech word nazis pronounce – in general, Czechs aren’t big fans of Nazis.
- death in Gila Bend – all I saw was a slice of life.
- TOASTY TENTS – not only connected to a Get-Poor-Quick scheme here, but there was a store called halfbakery selling a product for keeping you toasty in your tent.
- does jer’s prof want to meet tomorrow at noon – somewhere on the Web the answer must lie! Linked to the Stories category page.
- joe byrne these things I know – Linked to a page where I discuss Joe’s last gig at Callahan’s before heading out into the big world, in which I barely mention the band.
Egg Fryers have shown a surge in popularity again lately (I suspect that episodes like this one actually make Google think that my blog is more important, because there are so many links to it.), as well as violent anime searchers, and the steady flow of people wanting to read about particular bars. I’m trying to come up with a system so the comments get indexed by Google as well.
As most of you already know, I like to watch and see just what it is that brings the accidental tourist to this site. Google and its buddies form and extremely important role in the Websphere, finding for people the information they need in this big, disorganized pile of fact and opinion.
The search engines are imperfect, however, and sometimes people end up here.
Usually the search phrase is innocuous, “plate of shrimp” or something like that, but occasionally the search will be interesting, either for the odd phrase or where it linked to. Old-timers can have a little fun chuckling at the resonances between the search and remembered episodes, while newcomers can use this page as a guided tour of some of what has gone before. Search terms I do not want to attract to this page are, as always, haphazardly obfuscated with spaces.
- b o w l i n g ball rack designs – linked to get-poor-quick page, with team b o w l i n g
- what does poop look like in dipper’s? – linked to an episode like this one, in which many of those words were scattered about
- squirrel cult – the SSDC is still popular after all these years…
- obfuscated pronunciation – linked to yet another episode like this one, for obvious, if obfuscated, reasons
- goofy footwear – linked to the observations category page, where I devote a very short episode to the subject.
- haiku on drinking – linked to a description of a very pleasant moment I had. There’s no haiku there, though, just the teaser for the crap shop.
- arrogant assholes – We know what major metropolis that refers to, right?
- “sound of p o w e r” – Linked to an episode about, well, the sound of p o w e r.
- when is the next sign ups for the Kids A m e r i c a n I d l e? – that spelling joke never gets old…
- “pretty b l i n d girl” – linked to an episode about someone I saw waiting for a tram.
- c o w b o y gets pulled over and dances – didn’t check the link, but I figure it probably linked to The C o w b o y God
- b e e r e n a – linked to a episode about a woman in a bar.
- czechs and beer – the two go hand in hand
- m e a t rhymes – linked to an episode about hockey, which is obviously what they were looking for
- st. louis drivers are assholes – I just said they were really bad. And they are. Really, really bad.
- rumble rumble – linked to an episode about grocery shopping in Prague
- team b o w l i n g – already starting to make a splash!
- can’t wait a minute czech lyrics – linked to the main page here
- s q u i r r e l t r a i n e r – linked to the first shocking exposé of the Suicide Squirrel Death Cult. But… who was looking for a s q u i r r e l t r a i n e r anyway?
- death to squirrels – likewise
- triangles in architecture – got quite a few hits on queries like this one, actually, but no architecture guys have chimed in.
- S W E A T CHEESE – the classic Czech dish is back, this time shouted.
- poop explosion photo – linked to the Idle Chit-Chat category. Poop comes up in a lot of queries these days, and gets routed here mainly because of episodes like this one, where I discuss previous poop queries.
- give red flower means pink flower – linked to my erudite and unassailable writings on the meanings of flowers
- funny spiritual stories and pics – because, you know, I’m famous for those…
- night elf breasts – speaking of spiritual stories, I’ve got your spiritual story with elf breasts right here, pal.
- make up ideas after wearing glass for a long time – maybe I should try that, but where do you wear the glass? Linked to the main page here.
- Sunday bloody sunday karaoke – this episode was about the morning after the White Wedding Incident at karaoke.
- SCARY Squirrel THE GAME – linked, surprisingly, to a story in a czech pub.
- site : humtum te – top link! (Um, Yippee, I guess…) Led to an episode with whining in it.
- M e a t parade – everyone loves a parade!
The usuals were there, although egg frying is not bringing in the unsuspecting guests the way it once did. I’ll have to do something about that. And, after all this time denying I have a picture of elk poop, I find that I do have one after all (it’s right there in the middle). Unfortunately no one is coming here looking for elk poop anymore. “M e a t” is becoming an increasingly popular word in searches that bring people here, and I hadn’t considered before just how cool a word that is. I think I’ll say it again. M e a t.
The gnomes at Google understood better than anyone else that the Internet was more than just a big pile of information. It is a big, loosely structured pile of information where connections are based on association, rather than categorization. In that way, I believe, it models human memory more than other repositories. But while surfing the net, hopping from link to link, is much like daydreaming, what was missing was a way move to a specific piece of information. There was no way to concentrate. In that giant ad-hoc pile of info is the answer to your question, but where? Google and the other search engines provided that critical capability, and without them the Web would be damn near worthless.
So, hooray for the search engines!
As a side effect, the search engines also give us a snapshot of the cosmic unconscious. We can see what it is that people are looking for out there. From here, it looks like a hell of a lot of people want to know how to fry eggs, and to read about Japanese g i r l s who wear short s k i r t s in the winter. They want pitchers of the oddest things, and they want to know the ins and outs of X-ray g o g s. Then there are the strange ones.
I occasionally chronicle some of the searches that brought people here to MR&HBI. Because this episode will also be cataloged by Google and the others, phrases I do not want to distract the engines from the original quarry I obfuscate with spaces.
- s w e a t y ass problem
- stories on how the language moves on the Ladder of Abstraction – actually some of the other links were very interesting.
- “crosses by the road” – linked to this. I think I finally have a story working that captures some of this feeling.
- do you lose if you scratch on the eight ball – it depends on where you live.
- tree in the forest does it make a sound – yes, I am now widely recognized as an expert on the deeper philosophical issues. We need to have more nobody’s in forests so we can figure this one out. Linked to another episode like this one
- driving time between calgary and edmonton – linked here, but this is also interesting.
- a r r o g a n t assholes – Second on Yahoo for my description of New Yorkers
- why sneezes in threes – I don’t have the answer to that, but it did connect to a mediocre Chapter One
- forced to smell stepmother’s feet – linked to the stories page, attracted to the frequent use of stepmother in the drivelicious The Quest for the Important Thing to Defeat the Evil Guy.
- p i c t h e r s of dogs – this search is now more common than “p i t c h e r s of haircuts”, but neither sounds too appealing.
- big b a z o o k a s – in this case, the b a z o o k a s were full of beer.
- “Oscar Peterson” “hockey fan” – I like both those things. Linked to the Idle Chit-Chat page.
- E l k poop pictures – I saw e l k poop in Y e l l o w s t o n , but I didn’t take pictures.
- free x-ray pictures beach girls – because you want to look at them from inside as well
- Building an Elevated to the moon – I’d settle for being elevated the first few thousand miles.
- D a r t h V a d e r Bowling Ball – linked to an episode about the travails of Travis
- cerrillios road, nm – a soulless stretch of misspelled commerce in Santa Fe, but a good place for breakfast
- z e p t e r bullshit – was attracted to my Writing category page where I say some unflattering things about the company, but stay neutral on their products.
- The retro into the b l a c k h o l e – here
- diaper-explosion photo – ewww
- Beer Piss Tour linked to the bars of the world category page
- lyrics “we’re not abba” – linked to the Observations category page, attracted to an episode in which I complain about bands doing covers that sound just like the original.
- what would it take to be a rock n’ roll celebtrity top hit, baby! I tell you, I know all about celebrity! Linked to the Stories category page.
- “anatomy of a face” book – not a wacky search string at all, but it reminded me of a chance encounter with a truly beautiful woman, who is gone now. And I got the title of her book wrong. But I miss her, the woman I drank with for a couple of hours in an airport bar.
- sublime “locked up” – linked to a road episode
- g i r a f f e m y t h stories – I’ve written one, sort of, but it’s not here
- sex sparking my mocking pics – wow. Searches for lists of random words that include “sex” often end up on the stories category page.
- toaster cooks eggs heats meat – now there’s a toaster I could endorse!
- j o j o and the slave
- curse words in pig latin – linked to an oddamgay episode like this one
- tweaker chick pictures – at least they weren’t pitchers
- what would go wrong with a blimp – linked to my sure-fire idea for a new sport. Higher on the list was an interview with Bob Denver. It seems he had a fondness for wacky blimp-based ideas. I knew there was a reason I liked him.
- toasty tent – linked to an idea that almost doesn’t qualify as a get-poor-quick scheme. The cold winter nights of the toasty tent are coming soon.
- half baked, ive killed and watched killed – linked to the main page here
- towns from Reno, Nevada to Weed, CA – if you follow the route I took (via Prince George, Canada and Durham, North Carolina) there are lots of towns between those two places.
- “how to make an electric spark” – I had the only hit, for a ramble about my special effects work on Pirates.
Perhaps it is a sign of the changing times, but while eggs queries are still the most common, queries about my little writing app are on the rise. Queries about particular bars are on the decline. Perhaps that means I need to write about more of them.
People search the Web for all kinds of stuff. It’s good for that. However, sometimes things go terribly wrong and the searcher ends up here, where there is almost no chance they will find what they are looking for. Sometimes the search itself is interesting, however. Here is a smattering of phrases that search engines decided related to MR&HBI. As usual, key words I want to keep pointing to the original episode where they appeared are obfuscated with spaces.
- pronunciation becherovka – I’m no expert, but the more you drink the easier the pronounciation gets
- slivovice – like the above, linked to the bars tour category page
- this might pinch needle – top link, for some reason. It came to an episode like this one.
- “i love the r o a d” – top hit! Links to an episode I rather like.
- z e p t e r vacuum cleaner – went to the Roma Time Warp episode. I wonder how Z e p t e r feels that I score higher than they do on the search. Maybe they’d pay me to plug the Diavolo.
- genetive czech preposition – yes, someone came to this site hoping to learn something about czech. Scary.
- “you have to do stupid things” – Top match on Google, and why not? When it comes to stupid, I’m an expert.
- alpha romeo faults – out of many choices on the AOL search, came to a page like this one.
- alice b e n d o v á bikini – Alice has been bringing in several visitors. I wonder if the czech who did this search appreciated what (presumably) he found.
- in the forest, does it make a sound? – top match on Google led to an episode like this one.
- pitchers of the fresh prince of bel-air – it’s that damn misspelling again.
- s w e a t cheese – mmm, s w e a t cheese.
- you’re as indigent as i am – I’ve slipped in the rankings since that visit, but this episode I rather like.
- “Pirates of the White Sand” – not long after the Duke City Shootout winners were announced, someone was a-googlin for it.
- bitchin poem – second place out of 11,000, baby!
- alcohol and “yellow sick” – linked to an episode like this one.
- “brian votaw” – Holy crap! There’s more than one of them! Linked to a czech lesson
- cheskie puller – this tale of travel in the Czech Republic was not only the top match, it was the only one
- “ruthie + miguel” – just part of the growing buzz around Pirates.
- but I will go through the valley if you want me to – but will they reach the bosom of b o b b i ?
- San Angelo radio sucks –
- Lincoln+ragtop – top hit, baby!
- being unemployed sucks – linked to an episode where I make exactly the opposite case
- Expose bosom – Ahhh, B o b b i again.
- whale blowhole dynamite – links, in an unlikely convergence, with the story of J o j o becoming my beer s l a v e . (By the way, I am ranked at the top of Google for the phrase “beer s l a v e”)
- hollywood bang half up half down hairstyles – I am not the guy to consult about things like that.
- a u t o m o b i l i z a t i o n of America – alluded to often, but mentioned here
- wear a red carnation and stand under the big clock – linked to the stories category page
- new york sucks – yes, it does. Good rebuttals in the comments, though.
- no miniskirts after 35 – there, I have to disagree. There are plenty of women who are downright dangerous in a miniskirt long past their 35th birthday.
- sex gogs with girls – mmmm… gogs.
- bicycle blimp – linked to a popular get-poor-quick scheme
- eunuch sex life – I’m not proud of being found by that phrase, but not surprised.
- confirmation of r e g u l a r i z a t i o n – the searcher was probably looking for mathematical theory, but instead was lured in by this.
- RUBBER ALIEN PROPS TO PURCHASE – linked to the main page here, but was mostly attracted to talk of props for Pirates
- Los Lunas scary places – also attracted to various bits of pirate chatter
- B l a c k H o l e Thrift Store Los Alamos – a well-named establishment.
- beauty big ass – more interesting than the connection to my page about big-ass beers, Roger Ebert had the top match for this phrase.
- poems on chickens – you’ve got your poetry slam and your poetry barnyard scramble. I think the latter would be more fun to watch.
- stroming my pay with his fingers – it was a german who did this search. Inexplicably the Eels category page was the top hit.
- r e u s a b l e space capsule – it seemed like a good idea until I did the math.
- how to sell a refrigerator to eskimos – linked to the Bars of the World Tour category page. Why? Only Google knows
- “bare legs” cold winter girls japan 2005 – and make sure there’s none of those crappy 2004 pics in there! The Japan-bare legs-winter search is actually fairly common. Linked to an episode like this one.
- The Joy Of M i n i s k i r t s – amen, brother!
- women in real jail pants – I do mention pants and jail in an episode, but I don’t think that’s what this searcher was looking for.
pics of giant rattlesnakes found in West Virginia – linked to the homeless tour category page, where there are no rattlesnakes
- i wold want to now where i can go to (play games of Tinker Bell) – Wow. A convergence of various Get-Poor-Quick schemes brought the searcher here.
- “fern bar”+definition – linked to an episode like this one
- lost squirrel secret stash – an odd thing to search for on the Internet – unless, perhaps, you’re a squirrel. Linked, of course, to the SSDC page.
Of course there are the usual suspects – eggs, x-ray gogs, and now A l i c i a B e n d o v a . Lou Reed and P o w e r of P o s i t i v e D r i n k i n g have been popular as well. What does it all mean? Not one damn thing.
Well, it’s that time again, to see what people are searching for on the Web. Some are surprising, some are funny, some are just odd, but all these searches brought people here. As usual, words that I don’t want Google and the other search engines to pick up on I have obfuscated with spaces.
- “how many days” wear pants – personally, I find myself wearing pants almost every day.
- pitchers of the saw fish – I’m guessing you have to run it through the Bass-o-Matic first. I sure wish the episode that keeps attracting people who can’t spell was a better one.
- How often rarely – Sometimes I have to wonder just what these folks expect to find. I hope they enjoyed this.
- eggs over easy squirrel – I’m thinking they were actually looking for this site.
- + g a t o r a d e +sex – not the first time for this, either.
- Oh lordy lordy with your bloody wings – linked to an episode about the morning after the Billy Idol Incident.
- “n o p a n t s d a y” accordion – this episode has been attracting a lot of attention lately.
- bikini site:mac.com/ – linked to an episode about why bikinis are nice, but not my favorite outfit to observe.
- the monster within – good to know the advance press is starting to work.
- Prank Ideas to pull at Band Camp that aren’t stories – this main page was at the top in a dogpile search. I have no idea why.
- i want to see beauty of the night – linked to a ramblier-than-usual episode that I rather like.
- tour+bars+of+WORLD – not just the COUNTRY, mind.
- hollywood party rhymes – ’cause, you know, in Hollywood the party doesn’t start until I start rhymin’.
- “rhymes with ‘atlanta'” – drawn to an episode about hockey.
- Half Baked still photos of the squirrel master – maybe I should drop Tommy Chong’s name just to get more hits from people looking for info about the movie. Look! I just did!
- vla antenna photo – from the greek google. Amazingly, they got what they were looking for! That’s gotta be unusual.
- fun Hangover Poem – don’t have one of those here – yet.
- cowboy symbols and typo – I imagine the roundup. “It’s lazy J, Bart, not lazy K!” “Dang! Another typo.” Came to an episode like this one.
- can i buy a t r o p h y that looks like the s t a n l e y c u p – I cracked the top ten on this search, and the the title of the episode must be enticing for any hockey fan.
- half up half down hair ideas – I get lots of hair stuff (usually along with the word pitchers, which gives an indication of the literacy of the average hair stylist) , but this case it was ‘half’ and ‘ideas’ that got me the hit. The searcher did not linger.
- “boy, i tell you what” – top of the charts, baby. this episode could not possibly have held any interest to the searcher, but it does describe a nice bar.
- M o J a v e R o s e t i t s – I underobfuscated the last episode like this one and drew the search to the wrong place. R o s e and t i t s should be a category of its own here at MR&HBI.
- goodbye r o s e – it was a tough goodbye, but we’re tough people.
- my chicken eggs havent hatched yet – nor have mine, thank God.
- folding metal chairs t hooked together – oddly, the lone t was part of the match. Linked to The Cowboy God.
- drunk meter – linked to an episode about friendship.
- what to carry when you’re drunk – you know, that’s a good question.
- what is the origin of sestina – there are many, many, sites better qualified to educate on obscure poetic forms. My example doesn’t come close to following the rules.
- chris drunk – yes, he was.
- masochist poems – usually it’s the masochist reading my poems
- “what makes a good bar?” – now there’s something I know something about!
- fashionably square – that’s me, baby! Well, except for the fashionable part.
- main idea for so how did i get here – linked to the main page
- driving interstate 77 in west virginia – linked to a road trip episode about a particularly nice day driving.
- half rat half squirrel – you don’t need me to tell you where that linked to. This was also an interesting link.
- american idle chat – doesn’t surprise me that someone who wants to chat about the show also can’t spell.
- nice bosom – I like those.
- “berry berry good to me” – linked to an episode like this one
- nodding yes in slovakia – linked to the idle chit-chat category page (they nod yes the same way we do.) Some of the other links look intriguing…
- fuego-sat – fuego with his own satellite? If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.
- latest hot water diversion valves – I do not have the latest, but I did have something to say on the subject.
- r e g u l a r i z a t i o n of the person – I never did market the A c c e l e r a t e d R e g u l a r i z a t i o n S y s t e m ™
- blinding flash of light poems haiku – I actually have one of those. Alas, the guest poems are graphics, so guest poems cannot trigger Google.
Of course there were the friers, and a remarkable surge in people needing advice about yearbooks. I wonder if anyone actually did sign a friends yearbook with “Elevator O c e l o t Rutabaga”.