Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Thingie" and Google Fu

Way back around post number two, I wrote about my gift with the female language, “Thingie”. It was that post that won me my first blogger writing award and secured the following and friendship of some of my long time blogger friends such as GunDiva. Well, my lovely wife (All hail The Queen! Long live The Queen!), over the course of our almost 10 years of marriage has taken “Thingie” to a whole new level. Please allow me to present the evidence.

First, The Queen has a horrible memory for movies and actors. Here is a fairly typical example:

The Setting - Imagine a husband busy at some task of daily living minding his own business when, from out of left field, this curve ball makes a u-turn and falls in his lap…

The Queen: Do you remember who that person was who was in the one a while back?

Me: Which person in one what when?

The Queen: I don’t remember.

Me: I need a hint here. Male/female? Animal, vegetable, mineral? Movie, TV, commercial? Anything? Bueller?

The Queen: She’s the one who plays a stupid woman all the time…

And so it goes until finally, I say “Aha! You mean Dustin Hoffman in ‘Tootsie’”

Nine times out of ten, I can guess the right answer in under twenty questions and five minutes. It is a stimulating exercise if you’ve never tried it.

But, my Queen is not content with that. She has now stepped up her game from Expert Thingie speaker to Grand Master Thingie Speaker. To wit, I submit the following example:

The Setting – settling into bed at midnight after a long day and needing to get up early the next day to get on the road.

The Queen: I need your help finding a song I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago.

Me: Okay. Who’s it by?

The Queen: I don’t know.

Me: How does it go?

The Queen: I don’t remember. It was slow, with a lot of bass. I think it was sung by a black guy.”

Me: Lenny Kravitz?

The Queen: No.

Me: Can you give me anything else to work with?

The Queen: I took a picture.

[The Queen shows me a very blurry photo of our car stereo display which shows the radio station ID and, ironically, Puddle of Mudd – Blurry. Also, there is a word at the top that is either “ination” or “iration” or something like that.]

I pull up Puddle of Mudd – Blurry on iTunes for a sample.

The Queen: That’s not it.

Me: Are you sure? That’s what the radio is showing.

The Queen: I’m sure that’s not it.

Me: Okay. Let me see what else I can do.

At this point, I am forced to unleash my Google Fu. The first thing I come up with is the radio station’s play list. They only keep the list for the current day and the previous day up on their website, but I give it a look any way.

A song jumps off the list as being in heavy rotation, and I pull it up on iTunes for another sample.

The Queen: That’s it. What’s the name?

Me: Sail by Awolnation.

The Queen: How did you find that?

As near as I can tell, The Queen took her photo just as the station was moving to the next song. The radio moves the last song to a ticker tape at the top under the station ID, and she caught it just as Awolnation was marching across the screen. What I mistook for “ination” was “lnation” and that was what caught my eye on the play list. Sail is on heavy rotation (five to six times a day), and is the only band with “nation” in its name.

Score major bonus points for Daddy Hawk and his Google Fu.


  1. Impressive! Very, very impressive.

    1. GunDiva, thank you. Thank you. Maybe I should start a magic act.

  2. You need to work on my team.

    1. Brigid, I'm quite happy with my current job, but I can be persuaded to do some part time consulting for the right price.


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