Like an aging granny, I spin tales to Jeb about the ‘old’ days when I was a child.

“Back then, there weren’t even cell phones!  In fact, most of the my time growing up, there were only land lines and they had cords attached to the wall!  You had to sit by the phone.  You couldn’t walk anywhere when you called someone.”

This isn’t quite like the tales of walking to school in snow, uphill (both ways!).  But I see the wheels turning in Jeb’s imagination as he listens, not able to picture my world of curling cords and rotary phones.

“You know, there wasn’t even an internet.  When I was a kid, if you needed to learn about something, you went to the encyclopedia.”

I remember the leatherish bound encyclopedia set on our living room shelf, representing all letters of the alphabet.  Pages edged with a gold-colored coating, promising entry into all things of the known universe that began with the letter ‘A’.  ‘A’ was a book, maybe two inches thick.  For anything A-related, not listed, that was further research in the stacks down at the local library.

courtesy of Shishberg

Back then, should you have opened up ‘G’ (it may have been combined with ‘H’ or ‘I’), you would not have found an entry under “Google.”  These days at our house, it’s a standard phrase.  If Jeb asks me questions I can’t precisely answer (“how is dry ice made?  what makes lightning?), he simply says “Let’s Google it.”  In two clicks we have a plethora of answers.

In all my granny glory, I shake my head, cluck and sigh with amazement:  “Oh, the times have changed…”

Instead of pulling down a two-pound bound edition from the shelf, the fingers of answer-seekers are weightlessly flying over keyboards, typing any phrase imaginable to find clues to their queries.  Oh, the things that you can find on this new-fangled internet thing!

What are people looking for?  And where do their searches take them?

Believe it or not, some of them find me.  So intrigued I’ve become, I am introducing a new page here on the Archives called Little Engines that Search (see left sidebar, under About, and click).  With WordPress tracking the phrases browsers use, I get a glimpse into the words that trace them here.  Fascinating, indeed.  So I’ve dedicated a page listing some of my favorite phrases that have brought people to the Archives.

Who would have thought that “highway grass”, “stirrup chairs” and “does anyone sell banana leaves in fresno county” all would have funneled cyber-surfers to this very ethereal locale?  Inspired by these phrases, I’ve played around to create my own search term poetry.  You never know, maybe this is the next big thing.  So profound it could be published.  Maybe into a hard-bound book to sit on a shelf…full circle!  I can see the title now:  “Words Sought in the Ether.”  I’d definitely want the pages edged in gold.

inspiring word
butterfly cocoon unravel
morning sunlight through my bedroom window
bottle french wine
who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land
rainbow colored honey
rock texture moss
desktop ocean
beautiful toes
barrel of love
wave tossed in the ocean
the honey peace of old poems
robinson jeffers
how do you know? Love
snakes of coastal bend
scary wave wipeout
succulent pocket
osho zen the lovers
chrysoprase stone
moons in our solar system
shroud of turin
desktop water love
a banana leaf miracle

hafiz you have been invited to meet a friend
spelling sentences
goat in heat charging
does anyone sell banana leaves in fresno county
highway grass
california safe tent camping
lone ovary
the anatomy of a compost pile
rumplestiltskin edward gorey
solar system for kids
fetus at week 23
how to cut down a banana tree
stirrup chair
red toenails
hornier neck lift
airline rush luggage tag images
charts and graphs on insomnia in children
screen saver crazy
kermit the frog

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