Monday, September 10, 2007

Google Me This

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." ~ Dorothy Parker

Have you ever tried typing your own name into the Google search engine? I did it, and found some interesting people across the world who have the same first and last name as myself.

The first entry under my name is a man who was part owner of a motorcycle shop and a moto cross racer who was struck and killed by a hit and run driver while riding a mountain bike in a bike lane on a street in Houston. Another owner of the same shop was killed in the same incident, but unlike Mark, he wasn't killed instantly. He died later in a hospital. I didn't see anywhere that the hit and run driver was ever caught.

Apparently, Mark was well respected and quite successful as a moto-cross rider and shop owner.

Second entry: A director of low budget motion pictures who has been recognized for his achievements in motion picture directing. He is apparently better than Ed Wood, but not as well known.

The third entry is a manager of a Texas motorcycle/ATV store and racing team. He might be the same as the victim of the aforementioned hit and run victim but I can't confirm that.

Fourth is a golf instructor, once again, from Texas. According to the web site, "Mark is a PGA Member and 2004 Northern Texas PGA Teacher of the Year." The website has a picture of him.

I'm much better looking.

Next, the search turns somber. A scanned death certificate from Tennessee. this may actually be an ancestor of myself. One of my great great etc. grandfathers migrated east from North Carolina in the early 1800's, stopping for a few years in Tennessee to marry and have some children, before moving on to Missouri or California.

OK. That requires an explanation:

There were two brothers who set out to migrate to California. One settled in southwest Missouri, and the other continued his journey to California, never to be heard from again, at least to anyone in my family. No one yet knows if he ever arrived in the Golden state. Needless to say, I am descended from the one who settled in Missouri.

I guess that's why they were called "settlers."

The next few entries have to do with the golf pro and the film director, and then two consecutive entries of a corporate officer affiliated with the Anhauser Busch Corporation in St Louis, MO, and an inventor in Michigan!

I went on through repeated entries about the golf pro and the moto-cross rider/hit and run victim, and further down the list I actually found some references to myself, my blog, and comments about my blog or about my comments on other blogs, which referred to comments or blog posts I had made when I used to use my last name along with my first. (OK, that last sentence was a grammatical nightmare, but I'm in a hurry and ...what the heck! I don't care!)To my delight, most were highly complimentary. One even said my blog post should be read and read again. Others called my posts brilliant and insightful.

One said I must go through life with blinders on and even accused me of being light in the loafers, although I could see nothing in my comments that would lead someone to that conclusion.

Some commenter's don't agree with me, and said so.

Whatever floats your boat, I always say.

There were many references to people with my name as part of various genealogy searches. This could be a way to find out, once and for all, what happened to my great great, and so on Uncle.

There were also references to people with my name who live in Scotland. I am of Scottish heritage, you know.

The most shocking thing I came across in my search was someone (and I think I know who) used my name to insult a commenter on a other blog, a profoundly profane, obscene, and absolutely un-called for insult. I had never seen that blog before, so it couldn't have actually been me who made that comment. When I clicked on my own name in that comment, I was taken to a political parody web site which mocks Conservatives and the Bush administration.

I also found a couple of web sites which reported two people with my name had committed murders. Two separate murderers. Of children. In both cases. I believe one was in California, and the other in Utah.

I also searched for my sons name on Google and the first entry of his name was on a sex offenders list.

There was a Youtube video of a teenager with my son's name, about my son's age, in Grapevine, Texas playing on a set of drums. He was very good. I showed it to my son. He said he wasn't impressed.

Coincidentally, a man with my name is listed in Grapevine Texas, as a Sunday School teacher and father of a high school student there. Do you think they could be father and son? What are the odds?

Have you ever googled your own name? What do you find?

1 comment:

Henry said...

Ahh yes, the vanity Google. Not too excited about Googling myself, but it's pretty much the same as yours: Genealogy listings, a few listings of my blog and my other sites, etc.

Here's a really fun one: Try a Google, or Yahoo, search for your phone number.