Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yes, Google is a verb

"Oh, my gosh!"
That's what my fifteen year old son said to me when he saw my Google search.
He laughed and shook his head.
We had been searching for plane tickets for him to visit his brother at Ft. Benning, Georgia. They were expensive, so I typed into Google, "Where the heck are the cheap plane tickets from Cody to Atlanta?"
He was right, it sent us to some scam looking site that probably attacked my computer with spyware. (nice try, but I'm protected!)

Seriously, though. I think asking what you want to know is a pretty good way to find out what you want to know. And Google seems to know a lot.

Sometimes my son and I entertain ourselves with the auto suggestion part of the search.
We just start the search with a question - Is, What, Why, Am I etc. Such as:

Is Mitt Romney . . .mormon, running for president, pro life, a Christian? Those are the answers - not really unexpected.

Why . . . was the berlin wall built, wyoming, is the sky blue

That surprised me - why wyoming is a top search - it's also the title of at least 2 different songs. Here's part of the lyrics from one by Eddie Holly:

When you say Why Wyoming
                                          Send you picture postcards
Just wouldn’t be the same
If you could be here with me in my wide open
You’d never ask me why again
Why Wyoming.

I've lived here all my life and it never occurred to me to ask, why Wyoming?

What is the . . .smallest country in the world, code of the west, difference between astronomy and astrology, proclamation of 1763, formula for calculating potential energy.

I started thinking that this could give me some good ideas for writing. I have a character who was raised on a ranch and has a dad who didn't talk much, but had a lot of wise sayings. When I looked at the code of the west, here's what I found:

If it's not yours, don't take it.
If it's not true, don't say it.
If it's not right, don't do it.

 ~Cowboy's word is his sacred bond~

~Bargains sealed with handshake are more binding than legal documents~

~be loyal~

~Demand square dealings~

~Be proud of your occupation~

~Lay down your life, if necessary, for the privilege of defending your outfit~

~Grant quick assistance to friends and strangers in need~

~Never tolerate cowards~

~Be cheerful~

~Endure hardships without complaining~

~Don't make excuses~

~Try to be better than the other fella~

~Never quit~

~Share anything you own with a fellow worker~

~Be generous with your life and money~

~Treat women like ladies~

~Never shoot an un-armed or un-warned man~

~Stealing and rustling are evil wrong doing~

There's a load of wisdom there - I especially like the last 2.
Then I found out that  Hop-a-long Cassidy had a code and Gene Autry and the Lone Ranger.
Here's a link if you're interested in more cowboy codes of honor. Roy Rogers and John Wayne probably had codes, too.

I've found some really good material for my character and learned some things about the area I write about. Just from asking - "what is the . . ."  and "why . . ."

Hmm, I wonder, if Roy Rogers, Hop-a-long, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger and the Duke were forced to fight  each other - who would win, based on their individual codes of honor?

I just have to Google that . . .


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