Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I don't often get involved in the current fads. Although I did have a pet rock the first time they were popular. And a mood ring. But really, I don't subscribed to fads that much.

What I do is my own fads, themes, obsessions or whatever. I played Farmville, Frontierville and Cityville - those last two daily from the time they started until I gave them all up on Jan. 1 of this year. I put in 2-3 hours a day playing Zynga games.

Then there's the food thing. I find a food I like and can eat that thing twice a day for forever, or until I get tired of it. Put some Panda Express pork potstickers in front of me and I can eat them 3 times a day. Especially with my favorite Thai sweet chili sauce. (That I now have four bottles of, thanks to a road trip to Ames on March 1.)

I think my new fad may be family history/genealogy webinars. I just finished one (on using Twitter/Tweetdeck) and signed up for Writing Your Personal History (and Living to Tell About it) which starts in about 10 minutes.

And maybe family search indexing. I just got an email yesterday saying I have completed 100 batches. Yay me. I actually know someone who has done thousands - tens of thousands - of batches. So I do need to get started on my second hundred ...

Side note: My mom says that her dad used to say that he was working on his second million dollars. The first million didn't work out so well, so he was moving on to the second.

That comment may seem out of place, but it actually fits with the family history category. I need to get more family stories - I can get dates and names from official sources, but they don't tell who the people were. My memories of people and what I was told may differ from someone else's, and I just want to document as much as I can while I can.

So let family history be my next fad, and may I control my direction (not letting it become an obsession to the detriment of my other responsibilities) but also may I never give it up.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Timing is everything

I went to the library yesterday between work times. (On Fridays I lay out a Sunday business page and copy edit the rest of that section, then go to lunch and come back to work until around 10:30 or so.)

I was hoping to see Roger Natte there. He's a local historian, in the Webster County Historical Society and Fort Dodge Historic Preservation Commission. I told him about In Old Fort Dodge.

He likes the site, but was particularly excited to see one article I had posted about the high bridge being nearly completed. He hadn't seen that one yet, and he's looking for every possible resource and information about the high bridge, as the Historic Preservation Commission is working to get the high bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I asked if I could scan and use photos from the  Historical Society. He's okay with that, but he got excited and said that I had to see these photos. He showed me a couple of pictures taken in 1912 of an aircraft invented by a Fort Dodge man. He looked around for the article and when he showed it to me, I got excited, too. It was dated March 25, 1912.

This meant that if I wanted to use it, I needed to get it typed and posted right away. So I typed it right then, and Roger sent me an email with the photos. The whole thing is posted here. I also talked to the acting library director, Rita, who said she will try to get a link to In Old Fort Dodge on the library's website. Cool.

This morning's focus on timing means that I can't watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" right now, because I signed up for a family history webinar that starts in 18 minutes. So it's time to go log in.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Natural disasters

An earthquake triggered massive tsunamis, affecting a wide area of the Pacific Ocean. The death toll is unknown at this time. Google has offered a widget to help people find each other:

If this doesn't work, go to

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A semi-productive day

I got A Vague Recollection up and running, might have freed A Wiser Steward from the clutches of Website Tonight (I haven't checked yet).

I sorted through hundreds of copies of newspaper articles for In Old Fort Dodge to get them grouped by month, and by day for January through February.

I have typed and scheduled posts for tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, and pulled articles for the rest of the month.

Of the four things on my to-do list today, I got one done. I didn't take Mom where she needed to go because she asked if we can do it Saturday. I didn't take Cayla to church because she wasn't feeling well and took about a three-hour nap. And I didn't get to the library, but I do have enough articles for this month, so it's not that urgent.

New day tomorrow, new to-do list. Feels kind of good.

The waiting game

Since I renewed hosting at and purchased three new domain names for three distinct blog sites, I've been trying to get them all set up.

I hit a glitch with A Wiser Steward. When doing the original hosting setup, I was asked if I wanted to create a launch page. I thought it was just a placeholder, but later figured out it was a one-page site through Website Tonight. This is a problem, since I want all four sites to be managed with WordPress.

I finally got A Wiser Steward off of Website Tonight, but it will take time for the account to cancel. Now I'm waiting for installation of WordPress at A Vague Recollection to finish, so I can get it started.

On the other hand, it's only been a few days since I actually got the ball rolling on this, so I should be patient. A friend from church is waiting for her baby to arrive, and she's been waiting a lot longer than I have. I should go take Mom on her errand(s) and go to the library. That would occupy my mind.

But, no. I keep going back to the tab and refreshing the page only to see "installing application" is still there.

I also press elevator buttons more than once, and hold down the button when buying pop from a vending machine.

(Update: Installation is complete, and I have a theme installed and a first post. Mom doesn't want to go anywhere today, so I just have to get myself going so I can get to the library. First, though, I'm going to organize the files I have, which is why I bought the file box and folders yesterday.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A productive day

Mostly, anyway.

Cayla had a headache and didn't go to school. I worked on In Old Fort Dodge - the post that was scheduled to go live at 6 a.m. didn't. It took several (many) tries before I got it to work. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Donna and I had made plans to go to Ames. I wanted to see if I could find a couple of food items: Yoshida's oriental gourmet sauce, which Kent and I used to do stir-fry with when we lived in Chicago, and Aroma Chef Thai sweet chili sauce, which I really, really like to use on potstickers.

Jessica went along, too. It was her birthday.

During the day we stopped at two Asian stores, three Wal-Marts, a diner/cafe (The Grove Cafe in Ames), Suzanna's apartment in Ankeny, Arby's (yay for chocolate turnover!), a super Target, PetsMart and Michaels. (Did I miss anything?)

I bought chopsticks, four bottles of the sweet chili sauce, a file box, hanging folders, manila folders, Sharpies, oil pastels, binders, two scrapbooks and some quilting fabric.

Tomorrow I have to take Mom on an errand, go to the library, schedule more posts on In Old Fort Dodge, organize the article copies I already have (which is what the file box, hanging folders and manila folders are for), and take Cayla to church.

It's kind of cool to have a plan. And now I plan to go to bed.