Saturday, April 02, 2005


I have been Googling today. Google is a wonderful place to visit. One can discover all kinds of delights. There is something for everyone. You can read about the mating habits of an ostrich, if you desire; check out a medicine you are taking for its disastrous effects on the human body; brush up on the Constitution; or just visit Blogs.

It is such a popular sport that the name Google has brought new words to our vocabulary. "To Google", verb. "Google-checked fact", adjective. "Googler", noun. The name itself is brilliant. Whoever would have thought of naming something "Google"? We all know there is a giggle and a gaggle, or even a gargle...but Google? It was a stroke of genius.

I read a story about the two young men who started Google, and I believe they worked in their garage at the beginning of it all. If I am not mistaken, the two Steves who created Apple also worked in their garages. What is it with these teenagers? The only thing my kids ever did in the garage was walk from the house to the car. Yet these geniuses sit in their garages and change the world! And become multi-millionaires in the process!

Which brings me to Bill Gates. I'm not sure he ever worked in his garage, but the puzzle is just how anyone with Bill Gates' appearance can be the Richest Man in the World. He looks like a cross between John Denver and Huck Finn. He looks like that nerdish fellow next door who works as a teller in a local bank and cuts his lawn wearing a mask to filter pollen.

I could understand it if Bill Gates looked like Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet may be rich, but he looks like every other rich man in the universe. Donald Trump, now, isn't too impressive. I know this is redundant, but that hair! I've seen better haircuts on a poodle.

Speaking of the rich and the homely, I think perhaps Alan Greenspan wins the medal for the "face you would rather forget". Alan might soften those features with a smile, but then, with the national economy on his hands, there is probably nothing to smile about. Looking dour has become a professional necessity. None of us can afford to smile too often with Paul Wolfovitz in charge of the World Bank!

One of the things that beamed clearly through my efforts with Google today was the marvel that is the personal computer. Even though I don't know a modem from a madam, this machine is wonderful. I say that because I have spent a lifetime looking things up in dictionaries and encyclopedias. I have thumbed through more pages than I care to contemplate and, even then, have been embarrassed by stupid mistakes and erroneous facts.

Not so the writers of today. The world is at their fingertips. Information is just a click away, and so there is no excuse for stupidity any more. It has been said that Joan Crawford, hearing of the attack on Pearl Harbor, said "Pearl who?" Well, no excuse for this with a computer on hand. Now, I even know where Afghanistan is located. I know who signed the Declaration of Independence. I've read the Unabomber Manifesto. I know the route from here to downtown Toledo. Knowledge is oozing from my brain, all because of Google.

One thing the computer has brought us is an escape from the old typewriters we used to write articles and stories on! How well I remember that antiquated monster, that evil beast, that unholy terror that reigned in my office! I remember the constant erasures, with the dark blots on the white paper. I remember the WhiteOut, which did cover a mistake, but was about as subtle as a lipstick print on the page.

Now, my Word Processor not only can back up and start over, but it points out any word I have misspelled. I don't have to have any spelling skills. I don't need a brain. The computer has supplied me with one.

Can you imagine what the postal authorities think of e-mail? Imagine the money they are losing with people scrawling free messages and sending them, stampless, across the universe! That's when the Post Office started putting all those Ads on television, trying to lure us back into the fold.

Of course, there is a downside. I get tons of Spam in my e-mail. It's annoying, but informative. I know where to get Viagra at a cheap rate. I can fly anywhere for a few bucks, and there is free merchandise at my disposal, along with offers to enlarge my penis and locate a compatible mate.

All in all, those kids in their garages did us all a favor. If your kids don't spend time in your garage, you might send them out there to invent something. Just look over their shoulders now and then to make sure it isn't explosive. Because, we may believe that everything inventable has been invented, but who knows what will pop up tomorrow? Already, we have telephones that are cameras...little handheld gizmos that play tunes...and Google! But there is always room for more!