And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Friday, December 17, 2004

I (Heart) the Internet

What did we ever do without the Internet? I mean, I use the Web all the time for work (the Library of Congress's online catalog is indispensable to an editor/proofreader), and it's great for entertainment, but the best thing about it is how you can solve those nagging little trivia questions that you obsess over until you know the answer. (Well, I obsess over them; perhaps someone more normal does not.)

Today's issue was Little House on the Prairie. I bought Katie an illustrated LHOTP book called Santa Comes to Little House (it's a chapter excerpted from Little House on the Prairie). I got it for her because I remember it as one of my favorite stories from the series -- it tells how Mr. Edwards brings Laura and Mary their presents after meeting Santa in town. But I remembered that Mr. Edwards came through a blizzard, and Pa heard him coming and was playing his fiddle while singing "Come In and Shut the Door." Instead, Mr. Edwards crosses a high creek in the rain. I was trying to figure out if Mr. Edwards saved another Christmas, and if that was what I was remembering, but skimming seven or eight books is a pain. So I turned to the Internet.

I googled* "Pa," "fiddle," and "come in and shut the door," and turned up a page that said that song was in These Happy Golden Years. I went to the bookcase, pulled the book out, and discovered that I'd remembered the scenario right, and it was Christmas, but it was Almanzo who turned up mysteriously. Aha! Thank goodness. That would have been bugging me all day.

Gotta run -- Katie's Christmas party (and I'm not being un-PC -- at an Episcopal school, they actually do have Christmas parties) is this morning, and I've got to get Ian and myself ready early so we can go pick up balloons (why do I volunteer for these things?).

* Actually, I used Yahoo, which is still my search engine of choice. But right there is a case in point about why TiVo shouldn't make a big deal about not wanting to be used as a verb.