Sunday, May 17, 2009

Apparently there was some sort of Google outage last Thursday. I wasn't personally affected by it, but I did happen to see an article about the outage on CNET.

In most articles about topics like floods or recessions, you'll see quotes from "the man on the street". A reporter will ask some random dude how he's been affected by the downturn in the economy and he'll say something insightful like "I'm just hoping I don't get laid off."

CNET takes a different tack. Instead of tracking down a human in the flesh (which reeks of 2005) they search Twitter for quotes about the phenomenon in question. I don't know how familiar you are with Twitter, but it's a constant stream of pithy quotes about pretty much everything and you can search what people are saying RIGHT NOW!!. Let's search Twitter for.... uh.... sex mittens. Bam, here's your quote:
I have decided that coffee with non-fat dairy creamer is as satisfying as sex would be if one wore three condoms and a pair of oven mittens.
Thanks, man on the street Dannelke! Anyway, it's pretty obvious that this is a pretty mockable way to practice journalism. We don't even know the guy's name and you can't hear his tone of voice to determine if maybe the guy is actually an oven mitten fetishist and therefore LOVES coffee with non-fat dairy creamer.

So, the Twitter quote (aka "tweet") that CNET got about the Google outage said something along these lines: "Ugh. The internet is broken. This is made of lame."

I snorted in derision as soon as I read the quote, shaking my head in disgust at the state of CNET journalism, but as the day wore on, I couldn't get rid of the quote. It was stuck in my head, repeating like the chorus of a song you can't get rid of: "This is made of lame."

Eventually I decided that I loved it. Hi my name is Mike and I love describing things as being made of an adjective. That brings me to my point.

I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice to live in a big city. Back before we had a kid, we enjoyed the culture and the restaurants pretty regularly, but now that our life is kidful, we just don't get out that much. This last week, however, I had a great week living in and enjoying San Francisco

Last Saturday night, we went out to see the Shins at a gorgeous theater. On Sunday my daughter got to perform at a piano recital in a small auditorium in the San Francisco Opera House. On Wednesday I took the afternoon off to see the Giants game and then in the evening I went to a hipster gallery to attend an art auction. I closed out the week by seeing Star Trek in Imax on Friday and then going to a showing of the musical Wicked. It was a spectacularly big-city week.

In short, my week was made of awesome.


nrd2 said...

unless that person meant her life was made of gold lamé...

tinyhands said...

From one of my favorite TV shows, My Boys...PJ: It was so weird, all she wanted to do today was "spa" and "club".

Andy: I like your verbs that are things. I think I'm gonna sandwich after I sofa here for a bit.

Mike said...

Nrd2, I live in San Francisco. I think I'd recognize a gold lamé reference if I saw one.

Tiny, I recall us discussing this issue during one of my previous posts about the verb "facebook".

nrd2 said...

this from bones:

I called Heather to ask when/how she wants to get the SAG pamphlet. She said, "I'm ennui."

You're what?

I'm ennui.


My workout.

Your workout gave you ennui?

What? I'm ennui. I'm using it to do my workout. I got the sports package so I can do my workout on the Wii.

Oh! You're on Wii!

Yeah. What did you think I said?

I... so .... I got you a copy of the SAG indie pamphlet. When do you want me to drop it by?

Whenever. I'll send an email after my workout.

When you're off Wii.


OK. Bye.

Mike said...


Ms.PhD said...

I'm ennui, too. Love it.

That really does sound like an awesome week! What did you think of Star Trek? I liked it...

Mike said...

Ms.PhD, I thought Star Trek was great. The casting and tone were nearly perfect and it was just generally a lot of fun. Probably my biggest complaint was that I didn't think the villain was worthy. I didn't really buy his whole revenge motivation. Overall, however, a pretty damn good flick.