I know, I know, the blog’s been quiet for almost a month. Not that I haven’t been doing things – the problem is that I’ve been doing too many of them. We’re angling around making an offer on a property up in Port Townsend. I’m revising a bunch of short stories and writing new ones. I’m digging into all sorts of crazy new technology to get myself up to speed on what we’ll be building for Antarctic Program’s new vessel data acquisition system.
But also, I uh, accidentally started a new blog.
Yes, I know, I know. When I posted the poll last month about whether I should split the Roadtrip into a “Travel” blog and separate “Musings”, the response was unanimous: keep it as a single thing. I know. But then I got around to trying to deal with my old t-shirts.
You see, about half of the actual clothing I own is old Google t-shirts, most of which I never wear anymore. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to get rid of them yet, and if I did, I wanted to make sure they found a good home. After a year or so of waffling, though, I finally pulled them out, took pictures and posted to the ex-Googler mailing list asking if there was anyone I could send them to. I mean, each one of those shirts represented an event – a project launch, a new office, a new page in the company’s history. Given how obsessive the world is for tidbits about how Google became Google, there had to be someone who was interested in these artifacts that documented little milestones along the road to Googliness. A Google Archivist, or Historian. Right?
My query returned a name and email address that bounced – whoever had been Google’s historian at the time had also been a temp. My next lead forwarded me to another address which auto-replied that I should contact another address where, after a few days, I got a response from a human: “Send the materials to my admin and we’ll put them in the archive.”
Okay. But in the meantime, I had those shirts out on the floor all over our bedroom and started picking through them and reminiscing: oh man – I remember this one… And the stories just started coming. I wrote a couple of them down, and five hours later there was http://googletshirtproject.com. You know how these things happen, right?
Since then, I’ve been trying to solicit stories from other people about their t-shirts, and while I’ve lots of people forward me their pics, only one other person has stepped forward with an actual story (still pending his review before I post it). But I’ve got four of my own t-shirt reminiscences up there now, two more written-but-not-posted, and almost a dozen fleshed out in the queue.
Honestly – I didn’t mean to. And I’m going to try to keep that project on the back burner and not let myself do more than one of those stories a month, but there are just sooo many fun Google stories behind those shirts. Writing them is like eating candy – it’s hard to stop.
I promise I’ll do more normal blogging. I’ve got another short story almost ready to post on Medium, I think (good news, readers: nobody actually dies in this one!), and an upcoming week of travel with the Collings Foundation that should yield some good Roadtrip posts.
So please bear with me. And if you’re really desperate for some writing where nobody dies, have a look over at the Google T-Shirt Project.