Aside from anything else, this week marks eighteen years since I started my blog. The first post went up on March 16, 2005. I made nineteen posts that first month, starting off like gangbusters. If I’d kept up that pace, I would have been up around 4,000 posts by now. Instead, I’m at just over 1/8 of that number. I went long stretches without posting, like for a year at one point. I suppose my current blog streak is partially rooted in the desire to make up for lost time. Or something like that. That streak is up to 45 weeks, I think. That’s a good thing. Now I just need to write more about more than the mundane tidbits of life that I’ve been writing about.
When I started out, I had this grand idea that I’d become a cultural pundit or something like that. I didn’t have any specific topics chosen other than the minefield that is the gun rights discussion. I occasionally wrote about police abuse, even back in the beginning, because that kind of thing has always bothered me. Like many things in my life though, I had a hard time walking away from it when I was on other platforms, which cost me a few acquaintances.
At the time, I also had the idea that I’d write about the funeral industry because it didn’t seem that anyone in that career field was doing much on social media. I thought it’d be cool to write about my work as a funeral escort, thinking I’d be able to share some insight as someone in the industry, but not of the industry. I even tried to spin that off into its own site but wasn’t focused or driven enough to follow through on the concept.
As I look back over some of those really old posts, I get frustrated over my shortsightedness. There was an AP article posted at MyWay, an old start page provider, and I apparently thought it was pretty good, because I linked to it with a short post about how bloggers were learning of the risks of saying too much. But MyWay is now defunct, so the link is dead. As it turns out, the Wayback Machine didn’t get a good copy of it, but the blog headline I used turned out to be the same headline the AP used. I was able to find a couple of sites that still had the piece posted, so take a look at it here.
I recently started making more use of archive.today to save articles, but realistically, even that’s a risk. As I’m finding out, nothing guarantees a site will be around in ten years, or even five. My Funeral News Central site barely lasted a year of active posting.
It’s ironic that Professor Jones suggested that in the 2016 election, “someone’s Facebook entry will come back to bite them.” I emailed him to see if he felt particularly prophetic about his comments. He said, “I suppose my thoughts have probably not changed much insofar as we continue to see anyone’s social media posts having the potential to cause complications not only moments after positing but in many cases years later.”
Youngest Daughter has Facetimed us almost every day of her trip, which has simply been a treat. She usually calls around midday our time, which is late afternoon for her. That way we hear all about their day right after they get back to their place, which for the first several days was an AirBnB within sight of the Coliseum. She remarked in one call that she was having a difficult time adjusting to the social media freedom she has on this trip. On Girl Scout trips, the girls can’t post anything about their location until they get home. I think this stems in part from the infamous 1977 Girl Scout Murders. Youngest Daughter kept reminding herself that she was indeed allowed to talk about the trip on social media. They’re in Milan now until they fly home next week.
There was a big genealogy technology conference going on this week, so all of the genealogy sites ran heavy promotions around it. FamilySearch hit me with an email claiming I was related to Shirley Temple, which I doubted because it seemed awfully outlandish. Plus, the email sounded like a promo message, asking if I was related to several other figures, like Nelson Mandela, Juan de Garay, and Muhammad Ali (spoiler: I’m not).
I clicked through just to explore the connection, and . . . it makes sense. FamilySearch claims Temple is my 7th cousin once removed, meaning we share a set of great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. I’ve only definitively traced things back to Laban Smith, my 3x great-grandfather on my mom’s side. The FamilySearch page goes back another four generations and I’ve not had the time to research anything there. But the names and dates seem to make sense.
I sure wish I could have told my parents. Mom would have gotten a huge kick out of it.
The second concrete pour happened Tuesday. I think it looks great. That just leaves the driveway, but given the weather forecast, I suspect we won’t get our last pour until the last week of the month.
We chose tile for the bathroom renovation and picked out a light fixture for over the sink as well. There’s a new vanity coming, an overhead light (and fan!) along with a new showerhead. We’ve got at least two more weeks on this project because of the glass we’re putting in, but I think it’ll be worth it when we’re done.
And we bought a new swingset for Grandson. It beats the heck out of the $20 flea market find from last spring. It took us a couple of days, but we put it together with no parts left over, so that’s a plus. And we’re still on speaking terms with each other!
Political Seduction went back to the library this week, unfinished. I just couldn’t find the time to focus on it right now after having it for two months. Maybe I’ll get back to it later this summer.
I think I’ve wrapped up my Storyworth project. I realized last week that I needed to say that and just stop writing, because there was a very real risk I’d never stop. Once you start thinking about stuff like that, it’s hard to turn it off. It occurred to me as I was ordering the book for Oldest Son that something like this might be an interesting way to compile all of my genealogy work in a printed format. I don’t know that I’d do that any time soon, but it’s something maybe worth looking into.
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