Friday, July 23, 2010

Vanity googling gets weirder all the time

Today I googled myself and among the oddities (a page that reposted one of my videos from YouTube, complete with the same comments, with different wrappers; a page that reposts shorter versions of my blog entries and links them back here) was this item, a paragraph I submitted to Boy's Life when I was 13, where they paid me $5 for a hobby idea, and which I barely remember Apparently Google is now indexing old Boy's Life magazines.

In this piece, I boldly suggested that boys age 10 or so should collect antiques. I believe this was a hobby of mine for about five minutes back then. I sent it to the Hobby Hows column of Boy's Life and I'm pretty sure my main goal was to get the $5 they paid:

An interesting and rewarding hobby is collecting antique items. You can find inexpensive ones at many garage sales and flea markets.  I bought a chess set for $3 at a garage sale and later found out from some antique dealers that it was worth $75. It is interesting to track down an antique's origin and see how things were made long ago. -- $5 to Aaron DaMommio, Arlington, Tex.

I know I was quite earnest about it at the time, but now the only thing about this paragraph that rings true is the phrase "I bought a chess set for $3 at a garage sale." I didn't stick with "antique" collecting, I'm not at all sure that chess set was an antique, I certainly never realized $75 from it, and now I think that most of the "antiques" you'd find like this are not particularly old.

I'd still recommend that kids do their shopping at garage sales, though. My kids get a lot of their toys that way.


  1. That is so great! So you were a pro writer from early on.

  2. Ha! I even sent an article to Dragon Magazine when I was 17, and it got accepted. Only they sat on it and never actually published and eventually sent me a $20 kill fee. :)

  3. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Self-googling is a completely pointless exercise for me, because I can go page after page seeing entries for other people named Doug Sims. I never thought of it as a common name like John Smith, but it is apparently common enough.

    I'm envious of your secret Internet power: your very unique name. It's a definite advantage in a search engine world, at least until you kill somebody and try to go into hiding. Then I'll have an edge on you!

    Incidentally, just one more reason why, if I ever manage to write anything significant that I want to publish, I'm going to go with a pen name that includes some variation of my middle name; Douglas Dunedan, Dunedan Sims, S. Dunedan, something like that.