Monday, November 05, 2007

Self-Busting Avoidance Theatre

Salchaket graves We have three Memorex 2 gig jump drives in our household. (We can only ever find two of them, however, while the third is usually taking a ride in the washing machine's spin-cycle.) They're pretty much identical, except for one the wife has carved the letter "A" into. I managed to grab that one rather than my own before heading to work. Turned out the one I'd grabbed was the one we stored our Alaska pictures on for use with our digital picture frame. So I stuck them into an Alaska Pix directory on my computer at work and set the screensaver to scroll through them.

"What is THAT?" Newbie Ms. D asked upon spying the above picture.

"Oh, that's a Sa1chaket Indian grave," I said.

Ms. D said she'd never heard of the Sa1chaket Indians before, so I told her that they're pretty much gone these days but for one lady who still lives in the Sa1cha region of Alaska. Ms. D continued to express curiosity and wondered if there was anything online about them. I knew there was, because one of my readers here had steered me in the right direction when I'd had trouble finding info online back in May. Turns out I'd spelled Sa1chaket as "Sa1chacket" and that's why I couldn't find them.

With Ms. D at my heels, I decided to show off this knowledge and headed for the circ computer to Google it up. I brought up Google and typed "Sa1chacket" into the search blank. Just before I was about to hit enter, though, I noticed that my brain was screaming. It took a moment to understand it, but once it had calmed down enough to form sentences, it told me that if I did hit enter, one of the sites that was going to pop up in the list would be this one.

I hovered there for a moment, certain that I was about to bring a busting down on my own head. Instead of hitting enter, I backspaced over what I'd typed and instead searched for "Native Alaskan Tribes." That didn't help toward finding any Sa1chaket information, but it stalled long enough for Mrs. C to pop over and ask to borrow Ms. D for a project.

Once Ms. D was gone, I went ahead and did my search for "Sa1chacket." Sure enough, my entry was right there at number 2 in the list. Right above the search term, though, was the phrase "Did you mean Sa1chaket?" with a link to the correct spelling. Since I'd never managed to spell it right here, none of my pages stuff were in that search. I bookmarked that site and made sure to show Ms. D later, hoping this would satisfy her curiosity, preventing her from going off on her own searches and misspellings.

So far so good.


Ordinary Janet said...

once again, your ninja-like reflexes took over and saved the day!

Anonymous said...


An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.