7 Google Searches I Wish I Could Take Back

Google Web History has been around for about a month now, and what a fantastic tool it is!  Fantastic… until you start combing through your search history and realize you wish you didn’t make some of those search queries after all.  Even more so, you wish Google didn’t catalog every move you made so that your significant other could use it for her personal viewing pleasure.  But I guess we’d rather have Google catalog it instead of Big Brother… or is Google Big Brother?  Just kiddin’!

google web historyI installed the Google Toolbar last month on one of my machines and didn’t realize that Google’s Web History was activated by default.  Angel and I had fun (or not) looking through some of the search queries I made over this month-long period.  I had a tough time explaining the motivation behind a few of them. 😉  Some were a little scary and others were downright hilarious, but one point became clear: If you’re not careful, Google will know every move you make on the web… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here are 7 Google searches that I made last month and wish I could take back:

  1. Funny/Scary – filetype:txt “windows XP” +cdkey – No Mr. Gates, it’s not what it looks like.
  2. Scary – My home address mapped out in several Google Maps driving direction queries.  Well, now they know where I live… lets hope Bill can’t afford to buy Google.
  3. Funny – pamela anderson’s cup size – Honey, one of my coworkers must have typed that in when I wasn’t looking.
  4. Funny – hemroid symptoms – Google now knows more about my ass than I’m comfortable with.
  5. Scary – My full name – We all Google our own name right?  So what if they have my name and address now.
  6. Funny – Kama Sutra – Yeah baby… I was just studying up for the big game!
  7. Funny – -inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(mpg|wmv) “paris hilton” – Oh, I’m a big fan of her music, so I was just looking for her latest music video… I swear.

When was the last time you checked your Google Web History track record?

Email Communication Problems: How To Communicate Effectively

Email is an extremely popular form of communication in both the business and personal communication landscapes, but it can often lead to major problems if the underlying tone of the email message is misinterpreted at one end.  If the parties involved are in different emotional states of mind, the slightest disagreement via email can quickly spiral out of control leading to a full blown argument.  The email communication breakdown occurs because… let’s face it, we all aren’t poets.  Seasoned poets can clearly exhibit brilliant emotion in their writing, but the average email communicator’s intended written emotion gets lost in translation.

email communication problemsAs soon as email writers start using text phrases to characterize emotion that would normally be delivered via physical body language, the intended message could be misunderstood by the reader due to a complete misinterpretation of the writer’s emotional tone.  It’s also important to note that intentional sarcasm in an email message only makes matters worst.  The source of the problem with email communication deals directly with emotion.  Emotion portrayed in a text based email can be interpreted differently when being read by different people, in much of the same way that a well written poem or set of song lyrics can receive various interpretations by various people.

How can we solve the email communication problem?  There isn’t a single correct answer, but here are 4 bullet points to help you out:

  1.  Be clear. Be brief. – Write short email messages with a crystal clear point.  Do not write long winded confusing paragraphs that leave room for misinterpretation.
  2. Proofread. – Proofread your message multiple times.  If the email deals with touchy subject matter, have a third-party read it over as well.  This can give you added perspective on how well it will be received by the intended recipient.
  3. Wait. – Write the email, proofread it, and then sit on it for a little while.  Knock off a couple other tasks before you have second look at it.  If your emotions were flaring when you wrote the email, a little time can allow these emotions to settle, allowing you to evaluate the message in a different light.
  4. Pick up the phone! – While email can be a convenient communication channel, certain discussions need to be handled over the phone, or if possible, in person.  If you notice that the situation is starting to deteriorate, don’t send another email, it’s time to pick up the phone or arrange a face to face meeting.

A Garbage Man: The Greatest Job I’ve Ever Had

One of my good buddies recently told me a rather thought-provoking story.  As short and simple as it is, the story uncovers certain indirect truths pertaining to personal satisfaction in life and the impact that camaraderie plays in creating a rewarding career. 

It goes something like this:

garbage manWhen I joined the Marines as an active duty soldier in the mid 1990’s my first job as a lowly 18 year old Private First Class was picking up trash on the military base.  I worked with 5 other soldiers my age.  We drove a pickup truck around the base for several hours every morning picking up other people’s garbage bags and emptying small dumpsters.  Military or not, we were garbage men, through and through.  What initially seemed like a nightmare, actually ended up turning into one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had.

It’s not that I love the idea of being a garbage man, or even that I enjoyed picking up smelly bags of trash.  I enjoyed the job because I loved hanging out with the guys I worked with.  In the four years I spent serving my country as a Marine, I was assigned many different jobs, duties, and responsibilities.  Many of these jobs held more prestige and were far more sophisticated than my duties as garbage man.  Yet when I look back at my military years, some of the most memorable moments, the moments that defy the test of time, emerged from the month that I spent with my fellow garbage man buddies.

Maybe I was just young and carefree, or maybe the personalities just clicked.  Either way, I’m proud to say that being a garbage man for one month on a military base in Japan was one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had.  It was an experience that taught me a fundamental life lesson…  No matter how difficult a task is or how intimidating the surroundings are, with the right mix of people working together, any task can be easily conquered while being collectively rewarding to all the parties involved.

Google Calculator Tips and Tricks

Google Calculator has been around now for the last three and a half years, so a post on this Google service isn’t exactly groundbreaking. However, I came across this article on lifehack.org while I was doing a little research for work yesterday afternoon.  It reminded me of some cool conversion and calculation tricks I had messed around with in the past.  At that moment I was just looking for a quick currency conversion, and the easiest way to accomplish this nowadays is Google’s Calculator shortcut. Satisfied with the quick conversion, I finished my research and then decided to kill a little time by messing around with Google Calculator.

Here are a bunch of fun problems that can be quickly solved by utilizing some cool Google calculation tricks:

You can find more interesting Google calculations here and here.

The Two Most Important Practices in Life

The two most important practices in life necessitate the proper management of time and the continual development of personal relationships.  Possessing an elite social status with an abundance of money, a solid education, and even perfect health will seem irrelevant in the face of routine loneliness.  What’s the point in striving for personal success if you don’t have anyone to share your story with, or enough time to enjoy it? 

save time for personal relationshipsAll too often in the news we read success stories supporting the endeavors of young career professionals that put “their lives” on hold while in pursuit of the prestigious career and job title of their dreams.  I’m not saying it’s wrong, I truly believe you should pursuit your dreams.  Putting all your effort into achieving something you truly desire makes sense… it is basis behind the American dream.  However, there must be a balance.  The time spent on business matters can never be recovered.  If sufficient time is not allocated to fostering new relationships and nurturing current ones, will the end result suitably reflect the original envisioned dream, or will it leave something to be desired?

Remember, you can easily invest your time in exchange for money, status, education, and health; but nothing can buy you more time.  Make sure you spend it wisely, leaving enough time for the people you care about most.