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The Net is a Freaky Place

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I may have mentioned that I'm deep into a 200-drawing assignment. Yes. 200. I had about 80 of them already in the files. I've done about 40. And am slogging to the end. I rely heavily on the Google image search to find reference photos of birds in poses I can use. To keep myself from dying of boredom, I think up zany things to draw. The last drawing I did was of a laughing gull trying to eat a least sandpiper, something we witnessed at a horseshoe crab beach in Delaware last spring. In my drawing, the sandpiper gets away, instead of being gulped down whole as the unfortunate Delaware bird was. It reminded us that gulls are predators, and they're always watching, always ready to take advantage of the small and unwary. Gulls and deadlines. The closer I get to the deadline, the more predator/prey drawings I seem to do.

I was searching for images of willets, and found my own willet photo in the Google lineup, from our March '06 trip to Sanibel. I'd posted it on the blog, and it made its way into Google's capacious memory bank, and into my image search. So I used that for reference. That was cool. I'd forgotten taking the photo, and the Net organized it for me without even being asked.

So I'm doing a search for images of kildeer, and on page 8 I run across someone who looks familiar. Does he look familiar to you? What's he doing on Google's kildeer image result page? Well, it was last February, the 17th, the anniversary of the day we got Baker from Pennsylvania, and Laura, Somewhere in NJ, made a comment about having heard a kildeer call that day, and through the magic of the Google search that comment got linked to Chet Baker's impossibly cute photo, and there you have it. I'm looking at my own one-year-old puppy, up to his eyeballs in kildeer photos.

I'm quite used at this point to seeing my own paintings and drawings show up in image searches for particular species, but it was cool to find one of my photos, and my lil' pup, popping up too. Hello, Bacon!

If you haven't been reading Bill of the Birds, you've missed a good belly laugh. In one of his "Song in My Head" posts, Bill riffed a bit on XM Satellite Radio's program The Loft, mostly lauding it, but complaining about periodically having to dive for the stereo power button when they play Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." I came to this relationship 15 years ago hating Billy Joel, and I think that's probably why Bill decided I was OK. That, and the bird thing, the music thing, and the art thing. But hating BJ was a must. For the record, I also hate John Cougar Mellencamp, Lionel Ritchie, Jewel, Madonna, Natalie Merchant, Bill Morrisey and Rufus Wainwright, but this is a shiny, happy blog and sometimes these things just slip out. I am sorry. That was uncalled for.
So Bill gets this comment on his post from Mike Marrone, Program Director for The Loft at XM Satellite Radio, stating for the record that while he does play some Billy Joel, he has never played "Uptown Girl."
I think Bill and I laughed and high-fived for 15 minutes. I mean, you're typing away in this cybervacuum, pretty sure NOBODY except your most loyal comment cadre is reading this...stuff... you're cranking out, and you get a FYI c0mment from Mike Marrone, whose voice booms out of our quadraphonic speaker system for much of every day. Waaaah! He probably has a Google Alert that tells him when anybody mentions The Loft. And he jumps on that thing and gets all FYI on your a-s.

We were still laughing about it at mid-morning when the Lil' Bastard's immortal epic poem (like a vampire is immortal) "Jack and Diane" came schlubbing out of the speakers. We dove for the power button.
Oh, God. It just hit me... Do you think Mike Marrone's Google Alert is going off now? Is it OK that I said I hate the Lil' Bastard in the same post as I mentioned The Loft?

Yeah, the Net is a freaky place.


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