Having an unusual name can be a blessing and a curse. Fortunately, the "curse" part is mostly behind me now because I'm not in high school ("Hem-Ding! Dinger! Heme-lemma-ding-dong!" ).
To borrow from Tigger, the most wonderful thing about "Chris Hemedinger"s is that I'm the only one. (Ha! I'm sure my friends agree with that statement.) This makes it easy to "ego-surf" -- enter my name in various search engines and see what comes up. You can't do that if your name is "John Smith", because there are a million of you. And you can't do it if you share an unusual name with a celebrity (like "Arnold Schwarzenegger"), because your personal ranking will be completely eclipsed.
I recently visited the Google Maps page and typed in "Hemedinger". I got one result: my place of work at SAS in Cary, NC -- where I'm sitting right now. Talk about an ego boost! (If you go to the Satellite view you can see me looking up and waving at you.)
But even with my unique name, when I enter my name in the Google toolbar, this appears at the top of the results page:
Did you mean: chris heimerdinger?
No, I most certainly did not! ("Heimerdinger" -- is that a funny name?) Who is he, you wonder? You can look him up yourself on Wikipedia. I'm not going to provide a link to him here. (I've probably already altered our Google realities enough by including our names in the same blog entry.)