A few weeks ago I found myself in the dairy section of Whole Foods with my girlfriend trying to remember how many cups were in a pint. We were picking up ingredients for a recipe that called for 3 cups of buttermilk. She picked up one pint, saying, “This should do it.”

I thought that a pint contained a lot less than 3 cups, but I was not sure. I looked around and could not find any one of the many helpful Whole Foods employees that normally patrol the aisles. Here’s the thing – my friends and family members think that I am really smart because I always seem to have answers for these types of questions. It is not that I am very smart, but just that I am usually in front of a computer when usually asked these questions and I naturally ‘ask’ Google – who has not failed me yet. In fact – using Google Maps I have helped friends and family get directions when they are lost and on the road. Google Maps + me = personal Onstar!

So in order to avert sure culinary meltdown, I opened up my trusty P900 Sony Ericsson phone and shot off a text message to 46645 (GOOGL), Google’s short code. For those of you who do not know, short codes are “special telephone numbers, significantly shorter than full telephone numbers, which can be used to address SMS and MMS messages from mobile telephones.” You may have seen short code enabled voting recently on television during the World Cup.

I asked GOOGL ‘how many cups in a pint’? In a matter of seconds, I had a message back, saying “Google Calculator: 1 US pint = 2 US Cups.” Without saying I told you so, I picked up an extra 1/2 pint of buttermilk and headed to the checkout line.

I wondered what else I could do with an SMS and Google. I went to run some errands last weekend and realized midway through my journey that I had neglected to write down the address of the store I was going to. Not to worry though – I sent a quick text to Google again with the name of the store and the tentative zip code I thought it was located in. A short while later I received a text back from Google with both the phone number and address. Despite receiving the wrong zip code, Google was able to figure out which store I was looking for. Pretty cool Google.

In the past few days I have used Google SMS to check sports scores for my Boston Red Sox (texting ‘Red Sox’ to GOOGL) and movie listings for the area (texting movie: theaters 20007). In poking around on the Google SMS website, there are a number of other queries that you can also run. These include: searches on driving directions, random questions and price comparison with Froogle.

With product pricing, you can use the specific name of the product (Yamaha DSP A1000), the general name of the product (stereo amplifier), the ISBN code if it is a book, or the UPC code which is located underneath the bar code on all products.

I found another service called Mobsaver that does a price comparison via Amazon or eBay based on an item’s ISBN or UPC number. Unfortunately, I have had some difficulty with Mobsaver because the Sony Ericcson P900 does not like to easily send a text message to an email address. In addition, it would be nice to search based on a specific product name or product category. Hopefully Mobsaver will get an SMS short code setup. If any of you have used Mobsaver or similar services, I would be more than happy to check them out.

Google SMS is pretty cool and has definitely provided some good information at the right time. You can find a little Google SMS cheat sheet for your wallet here. The ONE thing I find lacking with Google SMS is that you cannot query GOOGL to see if your flight is on time or delayed. I spent 3 hours in an airport recently because I did not know that the flight was delayed. I have since discovered that American Airlines will send you a text message if your flight status changes at a predetermined time before your flight takes off. This only applies to AA flights and I’m not sure if other airlines have similar services. While this is good for the traveler, this does not work for the friend or family member circling the airport. Orbitz will allow a passenger to specific 6 contacts to be alerted in case of a late arrival, but that only covers part of the problem.

Google should solve this. I would LOVE to have the ability to know if the flight status changes by asking GOOGL. It would make my life simpler and save me some time. So if the nice engineers in the Googleplex are reading this posting, throw me a bone here! Till then, I will continue to explore the world of Google SMS and pass along my random discoveries.

hpy txtng!