A surreal Google Alert

I have been using Google Alerts to keep tabs on my various projects for a couple years now. Mostly it just tells me when splogs scrape my content, but every once in a while it has proven quite useful in alerting me to a cool linkback or someone talking about one of my sites.

As an exercise in vanity and to assure I’m not the last to know of someone trashing me in the Intertubes, I setup a Google Alert with my name a while back, and set it to send me a daily summary of content that contains “Ryan Mclaughlin”. Due to it being a pretty common name, I’ve used filters to cut down on the number of random mentions of other people. However, one that made it through this morning gave me pause:

That’s not just my first and last names, but my middle name as well. What’s more, that Ryan McLaughlin’s father is also named Michael (from whom we both, no doubt, received our middle names). I have to admit, it’s a bit surreal seeing your full name inline with the word obituary.

The obituary is, obviously, for a different Ryan Michael McLaughlin, who passed away from cystic fibrosis the other day. My heart goes out to his family.

Ryan Michael McLaughlin of Spokane passed away from cystic fibrosis on February 14, 2011 with his family by his side, he was 29. Ryan was born September 8, 1981 in Portland, Oregon to Michael and Rae Ann (Roach) McLaughlin, the second of three children.

Ryan is remembered by his many friends and family for his vivaciousness and love of life that defied the very illness he always knew could take him too early. His quick wit and famous one-liners will linger in their memories long after he is gone. His lifelong love of the outdoors, inspired by his father, gave him a love of fishing and camping. Ryan was passionate about life which he expressed through his tattoos.

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