Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Parsing URLs

I was trying to think of what to call this new blog. I wanted something that contrasted with my other blog, Timbecca, which had been a combination of mine and my wife's names (Tim + Rebecca = timbecca.) The most obvious choice was Tim Alone, since that most accurately describes the state of this blog while keeping the lyric rhythm of "timbecca," or something like that.

I know the new title sounds whiny and pathetic, but I feel I've earned the right to be a little whiny and pathetic since Rebecca moved out last week, leaving me, as the blog says, alone. (This aloneness is not to imply that I'm completely alone in this world, but simply alone in the home that Rebecca and I shared. I have enjoyed the support of my large family and friends over the past few weeks, and I feel very fortunate for that.)

But enough sentimentality. The interesting thing about this was that once I decided on the title of this blog, I had to decide what the URL (the web address) would be. Timbecca had been easy enough: http://timbecca.blogspot.com. Apparently, there are no other Tim + Rebecca couples out there who combined their names like us and had website domain names that we had to fight over. But Tim, by itself, is much more common, and of course http://tim.blogspot.com was already taken. (Taken, I might add, by someone who hogged the domain name and then posted exactly one entry three years ago.)

So I moved on. My next idea was to put Tim Alone in the URL, http://timalone.blogspot.com. When blogger told me that address was already taken, I was floored. You mean there's another lonely Tim out there who chose the same pathetic blog name as me? What are the odds? So I had to check out this guy's site.

It turns out it's not Tim Alone, but Timal One. Timal One is a German who started a blog and posted exactly one test message three and a half years ago. This illustrates the perils of trying to parse out URLs. Tim Alone might be Timal One, or Ti Malone, or Tima Lone, or Timalo Ne.

This reminds me of the amusing email addresses I've known in my life. Many universities will use your first initial + last name as a formula for your email address. My first German instructor in college was named Sam Lutman. His address: slutman. Another woman I know was named Sara Avery: savery. [Names have been altered slightly to protect the innocent.] I hope I never meet any poor bastards named Steve Hithead, Adam Swipe, or Robert Apist.

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