Google Earth and Unmade Beds


Fast forward seven years from now to May of 2016, and listen to a telephone conversation between my father and me.

Busy Blogger Son: Good morning Dad. How are you doing?

Career Marine Dad: Great son. I just finished my beach walk. I still get my eight mile walk in every day—and the last mile is double quick. I did have to stop loading my backpack with rocks for an extra challenge on the hikes.

Busy Blogger Son: Yes, I was glad to hear that you came to your senses and stopped carrying those boulders. I was worried about your back.

Career Marine Dad: Came to my senses? I stopped when that communist backpack of mine broke. It was definitely not Marine quality.

Busy Blogger Son: So, Dad how is the computer running?

Career Marine Dad: Computer? Oh yes, I downloaded and began using Gurgle Earth. That is quite a do-hickey.

Busy Blogger Son: Gurgle Earth? Oh, you mean Google Earth. Yes, it is neat.

Career Marine Dad: Yeah that is what I said Gallop Earth. I pulled up your address on it to yesterday.

Busy Blogger Son: Wonderful. What did you think?

Career Marine Dad: Well, I made a list. Hold on… {long pause in which loud elevator music is playing in the background}… Ok, here it is. When are you going to wash that car boy?

Busy Blogger Son: Huh? It is a little dirty, but…

Career Marine Dad: A little dirty? I have seen M-4 Shermans on extended desert warfare that looked better than your vehicle. You need to wash that car by hand once a week—no excuses. Are your neighbors complaining about how tall the grass is in your yard yet? And when are you going to pick-up that dog mess near the side gate?

Busy Blogger Son: Your right dad-—I plan on mowing tomorrow, we have just had lots of rain and I have been busy. Won’t the lawnmower action just take care of the poop for the most part anyway--that is called multi-tasking, right?

Career Marine Dad: All right wise guy, get that lawn scooped ASAP. I was also able to get a view of your upstairs. Do you think that bed facing the street would pass inspection? Tuck those sheets tightly, right after you wake-up from the rack and then it is done.

Busy Blogger Son: Yes, sir—-we have been off schedule this week. Your youngest grandson…

Career Marine Dad: Yeah, speaking of that little one, my latest images from Gouging Earth show that he needs a haircut. You turning him into a hippie or what?

Busy Blogger Son: No, Dad he still doesn’t sit well for haircuts and…

Career Marine Dad: All right, you just make sure that those tasks are completed by 0600. I have to go clean my floor tiles with a toothbrush—-be warned, I’ll have Google Egg running later this evening to check your progress. Dismissed son…
Ok, Dad is not really this extreme, is a great father, and I should certainly follow his example more. He has fiddled with Google Earth and the last time I looked at our house using the program, the photo was obviously from several years ago.

Being armed with only dated images of locations has not prevented users from harnessing the power of Google Earth and related programs--I saw three stories in the last ten days on the topic. First, a man examining images of a creek near Refugio, Texas claims that he found the location of a sunken Spanish treasure ship.

Second, reporters state they found a US drone air base in Pakistan.

Finally, two geography professors at UCLA, using Google Earth, believe that they have located the most likely hiding place of Osama Bin Laden—-in Northwest Pakistan.

Despite the age of many images on Internet satellite programs, I wonder: how long will it be before technology allows current views of the world? Will Dad really be able to see that my yard needs mowing? Even though the military would not want such information to be readily available, I believe it is only a matter of time before I can take a look at real-time video of almost anywhere in the world.

Thinking about this possibility, perhaps I should be spending less time blogging and more time scrubbing the car before Dad has any photographic evidence on me…

2 comments:

MeadowLark said...

You tell your dad I said "Semper Fi, brother". And don't let him give you any crap about Women Marines, or else you tell me and I'll go knock some sense into him ;)

Our kids didn't mind growing up with two (albeit non-career) jarheads. It builds character. :)

Slamdunk said...

I'll pass those kind words on to my father ML.

Oorah to you and the Mr. and thanks for your service.