Saturday, April 30, 2022

What We're Writing Week - Julia Googles

 Julia Spencer-Fleming: I'm still recovering from the good time I had at Malice Domestic, where I brought back not just great memories and a cool "Guest of Honor" tea cup, but also *cue dramatic music* Covid. 

I'm fine; vaxxed and double boosted, my symptoms are identical to a boring head cold. I'm going through Kleenex fast enough to deliver a bump to Kimberly-Clark share prices and I've got a post-nasal-drip sore throat, but I was out yesterday tearing down multiflora rose vines (my lord, those things grow insanely long) and toting in wood for the wood stove, so I can't say it's holding me back. My doctor's office wrote me a scrip for Paxlovid and I'm not supposed to go anywhere until Sunday, which is fine, because I saw more people in four days in DC than I have in the entire period between January 2020 - April 2022. It was so joyfully overwhelming that I may not leave my house until Bouchercon this fall.

I'm not sharing an excerpt, because I wanted to answer an interesting question I got during one of my panels. Or maybe at the Guest of Honor interview? An audience member asked, "What are some of the odd things you've Googled?" and all I could think of in the moment was checking out if breath mints existed in the early 1930s for OUT OF THE DEEP I CRY. (They did! Sen-Sen, just like in the song from The Music Man.)

Of course, we all like to do research by interviewing, or being places in person, but as Debs pointed out yesterday, that's not always possible. Or convenient. You know what is, though? Our friend, Mr. Google. So I thought I would share some of my searches for the current work-in-some-sort-of-progress, AT MIDNIGHT COMES THE CRY.

What's the proper abbreviation for assistant state attorney general?

2008 calendar

Image of front-loader

Sunset times for Hudson Falls New York in December

Location of Applebees near Albany

Is "shacking up" still used as slang for living together?

Most popular boys names in 2000

How many square miles are in the Adirondack State Park?

Tourist camp sites near the High Peaks

White supremacy and the militia movement (this was a LOT of different sites!)

White supremacist signs

Law schools in New York City

What gear do you need for cold weather camping?

Common Chinese last names

NY State laws on prescription opiods

Map of NY State Thruway exits (This I should know by heart, really...)

NY State Park Rangers

NY State Fish and Game Wardens

Popular rifles for hunting game

What's the smallest concealable explosive you can make?

Home made explosives

Mohawk tribal lands in New York

Can eight month old babys walk? (Because believe it or not, despite having had three, I can't remember. Maybe because I had three!)

Santa appearances in the Glens Falls area in December

Can you hotwire a snowmobile?

 

Can you put together some of my plot lines, dear readers? And what are some of the odder questions you've asked Mr. Google?

103 comments:

  1. Oh, dear . . . sorry to hear that Covid managed to come home with you . . . .

    Considering my complete inability to figure out how to get myself from here to anywhere, most of my questions to Mr. Google are of the “How do I get to . . . .” variety, but a book I was reading recently did make me ask what a wax jacket was . . . .

    I chuckled over your baby crawling question, Julia, but now I need to go ask if you can hotwire a snowmobile . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't believe I had to Google that, Joan, but evidently those first years have all dissolved into a blur of spit up and sleep deprivation.

      Delete
  2. First, I'm so sorry you also brought COVID home! Sounds like your case is milder than mine, which is great news (I am feeling better each day, friends, FYI, and can stop isolating today but still need a mask even around Hugh until either I test negative or ten days have passed). May it stay that way.

    I love those wide-ranging searches. Mine recently have included Miata spare tires (they don't come with one!), poison tree frogs, driving time from Falmouth MA to Rehoboth, Everglades research centers, Otis Air Force Base, sentence for assault and battery, radiology tech certification requirements, when ospreys return to Cape Cod in the spring, and more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you are improving

      Delete
    2. Also, I would say it's the very rare baby who walks at eight months. What did your search turn up?

      Delete
    3. EDITH: Glad you are slowing feeling better!

      Delete
    4. Yes, I tested positive literally a few hours after I had emailed you saying, nope I'm fine! I'm also thankful it's very mild.

      Research says 8-month-old babies are often pulling to stand and walking while leaning against furniture that can hold them up.

      Delete
    5. Assuming that was from Julia! Yes, "walking" while holding onto stuff, but not straight across the room alone, I think.

      Delete
    6. My cousin's babies were all gigantic when they were born, and two of them walked super early--they were born half grown, after all! (One was 13 pounds, and he has continued to stay oversized his whole life.)

      Delete
    7. My daughter walked at nine months--ack. My granddaughter at 10 months.

      Delete
    8. That walking while holding on to furniture and such is called "cruising".

      Delete
    9. Libby, thank you! I was trying to remember that term.

      Delete
  3. So, do we get the answers or do we have to wait for the book??

    Julia, so very sorry that you got Covid. Even though your symptoms are cold-like, it still is awful. I hope you feel better soon.

    I google things all the time, but can't think of anything that interesting. If I remember something later, I'll come back and post again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, I wish I could have remembered something interesting while I was actually in a room full of people! It is interesting to recreate what I've searched for. I think I may keep track more deliberately next book, just to see the sort of odd questions that come up.

      Delete
  4. Julia and Edith, grateful to hear you are recovering. Continue to be well and to Google … your questions are wonderful peeks into what the story will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anon. It is interesting to see how searches reveal certain aspects or outlines of the plot, isn't it?

      Delete
  5. Oh, forgot to say this is Elisabeth. Glad to be able to comment at all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops, I answered too soon. You are not the only person who has having problems commenting these days. Thank you, team Google. (Insert image of me rolling my eyes.)

      Delete
  6. Sorry to hear you brought Covid home with you. Though it sounds like it might be easier to fight than the rose canes.

    Google search histories as teasers. A novel advertising idea. I tend to use Duck Duck Go rather than Google. It leaves fewer electronic pieces out there for some enterprising soul to collect, filter through a virtual transporter and generate a fictional copy of you. Not that anyone would do that. Google maps is irreplaceable though. We have been househunting at a distance and maps help put context around a real estate listing. My recent non property searches have included books in order, how to make pastry cream, Boucheron, and is Amanda Cross a nom de plume for Carolyn Heilbrun?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are fascinating searches, CD! I've heard about Duck Duck Go, and have been considering it. I'm always in favor of increasing my privacy online.

      Delete
  7. JULIA: Ugh, sorry to hear you also got COVID while at Malice. Even though your symptoms seem mild, just watch out for recurring (worse) symptoms a few months later. I met an author friend at ABQ LCC and we commiserated about our long COVID experiences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, long Covid is the only thing I'm really worried about. I'm hoping my vaccination status will help me avoid that, as it's obviously helped me avoid any serious symptoms as well.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it's unfortunate how these prolonged COVID symptoms can affect your everyday life. My ABQ friend expressed how angry she felt every time she felt this wave of extreme fatigue start up out of the blue. It's not fair but we are both learning to deal with what COVID has given us.

      Delete
  8. Intrigued by the snowmobile situation! I google poisonous plants and seeds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, that would be interesting to anyone checking out your history! For my last book, I was googleing lots and lots of about poisons and addictive prescription medications. To an observer, I clearly would have looked like someone planning to commit a quiet domestic murder!

      Delete
  9. Good grief, I've been answering these on my phone before having any tea, and didn't even notice till now that my identity wasn't turned on. In case there was any possible confusion, Anonymous is me.

    I don't know why my Google account didn't automatically come up; it always has before.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So sorry about Covid, Julia. That sucks, as the kids say. Fingers crossed it moves along swiftly. As for Google searches, mine are quite tame, but it's what sometimes comes up that flummoxes me. For example, at Christmas time I searched for 'holly', as I wanted to see the shape of the leaf, and what came up in the image search were pictures of... how shall I say ... luscious ladies. Talk about unexpected! Ever since, I have been wary and skeptical of how tags are used to help boost search results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, just this morning I googled 'why has commenting on Blogger changed', but nothing helpful came up. Which is equally flummoxing, as we are all clearly experiencing a new commenting format -- and we cannot be the only ones with questions...

      Delete
    2. Amanda, I know Celia found it impossible to get on and engage with comments last Sunday, when she shared a recipe with you all. Blogger continues to be the deepest mystery of all...

      Delete
    3. Amanda, when you ask Google a question, you don't know if racist or porn sites will come up first. It can be very disturbing.

      Delete
    4. Judy: No kidding. Nefarious activity, that's for sure...
      Julia: I prefer my mysteries between the covers, rather on the screen...

      Delete
    5. SAFE SEARCH! I had this on everything when my kids were little after the time 8 year old Victoria searched for "Britany Spears" and got a LOT more than she planned for. I still use it quite often because I don't want to see that stuff.

      Delete
    6. Interesting, Julia, and a good reminder. It seems that, on a Mac, the 'safe' search setting is the default. My experience with the unexpected luscious ladies was a PC.

      Delete
  11. Hope you are feeling tip-top soon Julia. We need you here and healthy to work on that book! Loved reading samples of research questions you have dealt with. I ask things all the time, but not necessarily very interesting ones. Yesterday I wanted a comparison of states teacher retirement systems. What I discovered was surprising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judi, I have found I'm so used to getting answers, or at least further information, on anything that might pop into my head, that I feel quite put out if I'm, say, driving and can't Google something on the spot! First world problems, for sure.

      Delete
  12. Sorry to hear you brought back Covid with you.
    I won’t try to put together your plot lines, I prefer reading the final product.

    As I couldn’t post comments since my last upgraded version a couple of weeks ago, I looked for how to solve the problem without a good result. At least, with this new way to comment, I can do it anonymously.

    I often look for books in order as I like to read series in order.
    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danielle, I bet most of my searches in the last few years have been about authors, books in order and availability of older books.

      Delete
  13. Another Google triumph, NOT! This is Celia - Hi, Yes Julia babies can walk/ run at eight months. My grandson, Aidan did. He was all action from the get go. No cuddles for him, it was all workout, workout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's highly individualistic, as well. I do remember Victoria became fully autonomous as a walker when I was just hitting 7 months pregnant with her brother, which would have made her a little over a year. On the other hand, Spencer was walking around well before his first birthday, but talking much later than his sister.

      Delete
  14. Well, that personal explosives thing should attract some attention! I shudder to think what will happen if my Google trails are ever followed by people with Federal standing. So much room for misinterpretation. I mean, who doesn't need to know about the poisonous qualities of eye drops and how much fertilizer it takes to, well, you know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, Kait? A good citizen should stay informed!

      Delete
  15. My Google search history got cleared out about a month ago, but since then, apparently, I've been obsessed with recipes and gardening stuff. And also, historic gas prices, Norma Desmond, the cast of Father Brown, lenticular lines on the trunks of cherry trees, the new National Museum of American Diplomacy, and which woodpeckers are founds in this part of Ohio.

    For once, nothing too embarrassing!

    So sorry to hear about more Covid from Malice, but glad to hear your case (and Edith's) is fairly mild. I am still holding my breath for news. We were also with a bunch of people last weekend, and I'm hoping for no infections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed for you, Karen. And while your search history is nothing that would intrigue the FBI, I find it interesting and revealing of a broad and inquisitive mind!

      Delete
    2. Fingers crossed here, too, Karen! Those enormous babies? My friend had a thirteen-pounder (mind you, she is tall and her late husband was, too) - Evan has been a giant of a man since he was thirteen, and not a slender one. He wears his black hair to his waist, too...

      Delete
  16. Julia, I seem to have read something recently which indicated the vaccinations and boosters are helping stave off long Covid. Fingers crossed for you!

    I searched for how much cash can a person deposit in a bank account without the feds being notified. If you see me in an orange jumpsuit, you'll know why ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering about that, not for research purposes, but because I had listened to and episode of planet money that was talking about fraud, and they didn't get into the dirty details. Not too worried about it personally, because I never seem to have more cash than a $20 bill. :-)

      Delete
    2. Long Covid: according to recent research it seems, 30% of unvaccinated people get some version of this. 15% of vaccinated people get some version of Long Covid. I hope everyone recovers fully and quickly.

      Delete
  17. This is Hank! I am so pleased that you are on the road to recovery! So frustrating and scary, but maybe this will soon be in your rearview. I love this list of search topics! Let me think… For my new book I looked up: charity scams, Nigerian common names, sentences for financial fraud, divorce laws in Massachusetts, how long does it take to drive from Boston to Osterville, what does the sunset look like in Osterville, what time does it get dark in Boston in May, currency transaction laws, what does a genealogy test report look like. Oh, and lots more! It sounds like I am writing a financial thriller, doesn’t it? But no. This is so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just been reading the same as Hank, Julia, that being vaxed and boosted really reduces the likelihood of having long Covid. I think the Paxlovid helps, too, and am really glad you were able to get that.

      Delete
    2. Hank, I think all of us spend a lot more time searching calendars and sunset / sunrise times than most readers would suspect!

      Delete
    3. DEBS: I hope you're right. Of course, the two of us who got sick in March 2020 were unvaccinated. My friend at ABQ LCC was double vaxxed but got COVID before the boosters were available. Everyone's immune system is different & the long COVID symptoms are also changing with each variant.

      Delete
    4. Grace, there's no way I would have gone to Malice, even as GoH, if I hadn't had my second booster. I had a lot more confidence after that.

      Delete
    5. Ah well, I will have to wait until the summer before the second booster becomes available for my age group in Ontario. Good news is that I will be as vaccinated/protected as can be for Minneapolis Bouchercon.

      Delete
    6. Becky Sue EpsteinMay 1, 2022 at 10:07 AM

      Glad to hear everyone else is also looking up things like sunset and sunrise times. I was wondering if I was the only one obsessed with getting this right.

      Delete
    7. I think a lot about 18th century history and when I'm researching an episode in detail, I always check sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, and weather! You won't be surprised to learn that many attacks happened on clear, moonlit nights!

      Delete
  18. Julia, I loved this! I think all the time about how we managed without Google. My Google searches can be pretty bizarre, but a couple of tame ones yesterday: dance wear stores Notting Hill (none!), and after school clubs London primary schools. You can probably guess what this is about...

    Thanks for keeping us updated on how you're feeling. I so miss the days when we could have a cold and not worry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debs, I'm feeling better already this morning. I was surprised when I spoke to the nurse at my doctor's practice and found out the symptoms should be much briefer than a typical head cold. I'm glad I got the Paxlovid as well. Credit goes to Victoria, who told me to ask for it.

      Delete
  19. Hank Phillippi RyanApril 30, 2022 at 10:19 AM

    Seeing if this works…

    ReplyDelete
  20. Susan Nelson-HolmdahlApril 30, 2022 at 10:32 AM

    I only use Duck Duck Go for internet searches. If you could see the information Google retains, even with perfect privacy settings, you would never use Google. Google searches are also manipulated by advertisers and others. The Duck Duck Go search is straight forward and the results are not manipulated or tracked. As an attorney, client communication privacy is a great concern, therefore I set up my own web site snd email system, where I control the privacy protections and security.
    My daughter walked at seven months, no crawling for her. She stood up, walked and was running within a week. Her twin brother walked at eight months, but preferred sitting to walking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, you poor thing! Twins, and both early walkers!

      I guess this is why we have children when we're young.

      Delete
    2. They were and are great fun. It was actually easier when they became mobile, they no longer needed to be carried and were able to carry items themselves. I had them my third semester of law school, while I had a full time software engineering position. My husband did a lot of the work with them and we had hired and family help.

      Delete
    3. Good Lord, Susan! I stand in awe of you. Even with hired and family help, that is a full-time load for three women.

      Delete
  21. Well, maybe we should not be putting down Google as this blog belongs to er google. My searches usually involve plot synopsis's of tv shows so I don't miss anything. Also look up things like are Cuban tree frogs poisonous to cats, also bufo toads same question. I mostly check things like (name of food) +( name of food) = recipe when I am out of ideas for fixing something to eat.

    Julia, Edith and others. oh no Covid! Did people not wear masks? Did it not matter? Makes me very concerned about attending conferences. I am glad you Covid was mild, but still.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coralee, to be honest, the mask wearing was very spotty. I made a decision early on that the reward was worth the risk, and since I already feel better today, I'm going to stick to that. However, if I were in a different category - older, immunologically compromised, with underlying conditions - I would have thought long and hard before attending.

      Delete
    2. Seriously? Like Google cares what you think! Blogger is a bad product they could fix quickly if it was on their priority list.

      Delete
    3. Hey anon.. rarely serious always facetious = Coralee /thx for asking

      Delete
    4. Your message received loud and clear! Obviously, responding to facetious, oblique sarcasm with in your face sarcasm didn’t communicate my meaning. There are many on the blog that don’t understand subtle anything but especially sarcasm. They read it literally. They may be on the spectrum or have a language disability. All this to say either speak directly or label it as sarcasm.

      Delete
  22. JULIA:
    Sorry I am late to the party. I can kind of guess from your searches, though I want to wait to find out from reading your novel. Yes, I have been doing google searches for my novel in progress.

    Bright Young Things 1920s
    WWI nurse - England and Scotland
    Image of Dower House
    did anyone try to kill Sigmund Freud
    village school England and Scotland
    Image of Vicarage
    can a DI be a grandson of a Duke?
    Royal ladies in waiting
    Photography in England / Scotland history
    Marquess of Reading / Lord Mayor of Reading (not sure if they were the same person)
    Deaf Church in London
    Danish royal ladies in waiting
    sign language and royalty
    how far was the 1880 Milan conference from the port of Milan?
    was there a British consulate in Milan?
    did anyone try to kill Alexander Graham Bell?
    Train travel from England to Scotland 1923
    Deaf soldiers on the Western Front
    Deafened veterans of the First World War
    can additional poison in a cigar kill immediately

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, I love how historical and innocuous everything is until we get to "Can additional poison in a cigar kill immediately?" Which of course prompts the question, "Does less poison in a cigar kill slowly?"

      Delete
    2. JULIA: I just remembered a cartoon that I used to watch when I was a young child. Someone put an explosive in the cigar and when the smoker lighted the cigar, it exploded in his face.
      Diana

      Delete
  23. ah I had forgotten that I searched for the Ojibwe word for blueberry pie last week. Here is the answer: "Miin-aan baash kimini-sij-i-gan bitooyin sij-i-gan-i bukwayszhiigan" which translates roughly to blueberries in sugar baked between a kind of bread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool, CD! I always love learning more about Ojibwe language and culture from Kent Kruger's books.

      Delete
  24. My husband kept a baby book and wrote in it regularly when our kids are little. So that's where I'd go to answer the question about an 8-month old. But I actually remember that my eldest didn't walk until she was a year old... she just sat there happily yakking away and waiting to be served. My younger was up and about at 7 months, holding on. Made me very wary of all those "milestones" they tout about child development.

    I confess to the bad habit of using Google while I'm doing crossword puzzle. BIG CHEAT. I know. The other big search area for me is food. Most recently, what to substitute for nutmeg in bechamel sauce. None of the answers were satisfactory since what I really want to do is just leave it out. Can't stand nutmeg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coralee speaking as as the Frugal Fat Omnivore. leave the nutmeg out and rename the recipe Hallie's famous bechamel sauce

      Delete
    2. https://www.yummly.com/recipes/bechamel-sauce-without-nutmeg

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Coralee! Great solution.

      Delete
    4. LOL! Excellent problem solving, Coralee! And Hallie, yes, I had one early talker/slower walker and one just the opposite. My pediatrician said babies tend to focus on one big skill at a time, and I guess that was what was important to each of them.

      Delete
  25. My first phone call on Wednesday was from a nurse telling me she had Covid. She didn't sound so good but said she mostly tired. I'm hoping she was exposed from her child's school and not from a patient she had visited during the past weekend. Hope you are all feeling better sooner rather than later.

    I use Google maps every day at work. It helps determine which therapist or nurse I'm sending to our new patients. An address may say Sebastopol but if you look up the address you might discover that this person is really far west of Sebastopol, and south of Freestone. We have the same problem with one zip code that starts north Santa Rosa, hugs the low eastern ridge to south of Santa Rosa but also includes section of in town addresses - three different teams of clinicians. I often use Google to see days of the week for certain dates. A most recent search was St. Andrew Day in 2023. It will be on Thursday, Nov. 23. Which is also Thanksgiving Day. It will also be the 150th anniversary of my church building. I know it might not seem very long for east coast people, but I live in earthquake country. My church served as a temporary morgue after the 1906 San Andreas Fault earthquake, also known as the San Francisco Earthquake. Oh, I often use Google for spelling to avoid embarrassing errors especially with names.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my gosh, Deana, I use Google all the time for spelling/names. I'm terrible, and some programs I use regularly - like this one! - tell me when a word is wrong, but don't offer any suggestions. Maybe Google is using Blogger to double dip?

      Delete
  26. I haven't asked anything that odd. You are definitely beating me. And that's a great teaser. I'm trying to figure out how all these things come together for one book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a guide to winter camping in New York, and how to keep yourself warm with explosives! :-D

      Delete
    2. Of course! I feel so silly for not figuring that out myself.

      Delete
  27. Those searches are so intriguing! Sorry about the COVID souvenir . . . Healing Light and gentle hugs. <3

    ReplyDelete
  28. Julia, I'm glad you're already feeling better. It's so unsettling when Covid lingers and affects life possibly long-term. My 38 year old daughter got Covid back in the middle of February, and she is having long-term effects. Fatigue and joint pain are the most frustrating effects. Ashley has always been an extremely active person, someone who actually enjoys exercise. She's still teaching water aerobics at the YMCA and going on family fishing trips and taking the kids to their thousands of activities, but she pushes herself and has to nap during the day and go when she doesn't feel good. Some days are bad; some are not as bad. She's learned to fake it a lot. I hate this for her, and I'm hopeful that she will get better. Oh, and she was vaccinated and boosted (not the second booster).

    I ask Google so many odd things. The problem is that I can't remember them now. Although, I do remember when I was reading Widowland, I looked up a lot about Nazi Germany and its leaders and things like Bride Schools. I was afraid that anyone seeing my search history then would think I was a Neo-Nazi or the like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, Long Covid is really the one thing I fear at this point. I hope your daughter will get better gradually. I do read there is more and more research being done on the long term effects, so there may be some treatment in the offing.

      As to Google - I didn't even put in the stuff I was looking at re: home grown Nazis and white supremacists before I started the book. I was worried someone might assume I was getting radicalized!

      Delete
  29. Sorry you have covid and I am glad it's a mild case. My sister had it over Christmas and hers was like a cold as well. Your searches give us a hint about the book to come. I'm looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm already thinking about the book cover, Gillian!

      Delete
  30. So I just had to look up Paxlovid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know what it was either, Judy, but the Maine Millennial works in a pulmonary department and on Sundays, for the hospital's walk in clinic, so she's now my go-to person for this kind of thing.

      Delete
  31. Sorry you got covid and yes I brought it home with me as well. I couldn't get the viral drug because it interacts with meds I already take. Feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must be why the nurse had me go through all my meds! I hope you're feeling better as well, Dru Ann!

      Delete
  32. Julia, I'm very sorry to read you have Covid but glad it is mild. It seems to be a real crap-shoot. My friend in her sixties had a similar experience and a friend in her mid-twenties was completely flattened and is now dealing with Long Covid. Both were equally vaxxed.

    If Russ and Clare are winter camping they will be warmer if they are lying on doubled sleeping pads, to insulate them from the snow/frozen ground. When I was young in the early 1980s and thought it would be fun to camp in the snow (!), we all used simple ensolite pads -- essentially yoga mats. Many campers are considerably upgraded these days, but ensolite pads are easy and packable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Milkmaid, that's an excellent point! Since my idea of camping involves taking a scenic hike then retiring to a B&B, I need all the information I can get!

      Delete
  33. Oh, no! So sorry you have Covid! Argh! I hope it passes quickly. Love the questions. I am still running around NYC - like a nut - but heading home today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, at this point I barely feel as if I had a head cold. My symptoms started Tuesday, peaked Friday, and have almost disappeared Sunday. Thanks, Moderna/Pfizer!

      Delete
  34. I am intriged by the writers searches, so many possibilities to look forward to! My regular searches are for the new & full moons, as I tend to have very vivid dreams that I can remember upon waking. A search peculiar to me is upcoming dates for Easter Sunday. I was born on it in '52 & it doesn't occur again until 2031, then again in 2036. The Easter Bunny keeps getting lost! Hope you all recover well from Covid soon.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great to hear you're feeling better! I went to Malice, came home healthy, and got locally sourced Covid! One unexpected Google result for me, and possibly untrue, was that paper money is not covered in cocaine as in urban myth, but Acne bacteria. Ah, Google.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So sorry to hear you've been COVID-ed and hope that you are healing well. Maybe we need to explore gardening as a therapeutic intervention? Your google question brought me right back to the day that I suddenly realized that if someone looked over my shoulder at the open windows on my computer, I was going to have a lot of explaining to do. I was wearing my "risk management" hat and had search results for how to respond to an international kidnapping; explosives in mass transit; infectious disease profiles in the sub-saharan region; local language translations for known food allergens and whether pigs could get rabies (they can but it's rare). Nothing to compare to your list, Julia, but definitely eyebrow raising grouped together. My email spam folder continues to be a very interesting place as all of these searches create a much more interesting profile than my actual ordinary self.

    ReplyDelete